Daily Archive: 02/26/2015

Feb 26 2015

Is Cuomo Covering His Corrupt Tracks?

The International Business Times is reporting the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered the destruction of state government e-mails older than 90 days. Cuomo ordered this in the midst of a Federal investigation into public corruption.

In a memo obtained by Capital New York, Cuomo officials announced that mass purging of email records is beginning across several state government agencies. The timing of the announcement, which followed through on a 2013 proposal, is worth noting: The large-scale destruction of state documents will be happening in the middle of a sprawling federal investigation of public corruption in Albany. That investigation has been looking at state legislators and the Cuomo administration.

Cuomo’s move to purge state emails follows a similar move he made as state Attorney General. International Business Times confirmed that in 2007, he put in place a mass deletion policy for emails in the New York Attorney General’s office that were more than 90 days old, making it difficult for the public to know how — or whether — his office investigated bank fraud in the lead-up to the financial crisis of 2008. In the Cuomo administration’s announcement this week, the governor’s chief information officer, Maggie Miller, justified the new email purge as a cost-saving measure aimed at “making government work better.”

But former prosecutors and open-government advocates interviewed by IBTimes say the move seems designed to hide information.

According to the Capital News article, the memo (pdf) from Ms. Miller, a former Girls Scouts of America executive who was hired in December, was sent to agency heads of Friday. The article goes on tho site that over a dozen advocacy agencies sent a letter to the governor’s office (pdf) last month  arguing that the policy was out of step with federal guidelines and technologically unnecessary:

In this era, government runs on email, and access to email and electronic records has become a cornerstone of public transparency. Our groups are very concerned that the administration’s June 2013 policy of using centralized software to automatically delete state employee emails after 90 days is resulting in the destruction of emails that are considered public records under New York’s Freedom of Information Law,” wrote the groups, which were organized by Reinvent Albany. “This policy was adopted without public notice or comment. Furthermore, we are extremely concerned that the inevitable destruction of email records under your 90-day automatic deletion policy directly undermines other public accountability laws like the False Claims Act.

New York’s contract with Microsoft, which developed Office 365, allows for 50 gigabytes of e-mail storage per employee. Reinvent Albany estimated this would be enough to handle up to 30 years worth of messages. [..]

In addition to the federal seven-year standard, other states like Washington, Florida and Connecticut have retention periods of between two and five years. The Central Intelligence Agency recently proposed a three-year retention period for departing employees, and was criticized for not archiving messages for longer. Shorter retention periods are more common in corporations seeking to reduce their exposure in litigation, according to a memorandum compiled by Reinvent Albany (pdf).

After Cuomo abruptly ended his Moreland Commission that was investigating campaign finance and public corruption when it apparently got too close to his own office, US Attorney Prete Brarara began a federal probe into Albany. The timing of this order raises significant legal questions, according to Melanie Sloan, a former Clinton Justice Department official:

“This is potentially obstruction of justice,” she told IBTimes. “The only reason that the government destroys records is so no one can question what it is doing, and no one can unearth information about improper conduct. There’s no reason for New York not to preserve this information.”

Sloan said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who is spearheading the Albany probe, could issue a letter to Cuomo ordering him to preserve all documents that could be relevant to the public corruption investigation. In May 2014, Bharara issued such a letter to state legislators. Bharara’s office declined to comment when asked by IBTimes if it had now issued a similar directive to Cuomo.

John Kaehny, the head of a coalition of transparency group called Reinvent Albany, said the purge order may be designed to circumvent obstruction of justice statutes that are designed to prevent deliberate document destruction.

“[The policy] may mean that you could never be accused of obstructing justice or destroying evidence because you could claim that the machine automatically deleted it,” he told IBTimes. “It creates a loophole and opportunity to destroy embarrassing emails.” [..]

Trevor Timm, executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, says beyond questions about legality, the public should be concerned about how the policy may preclude journalists from reporting on state government.

“This policy will allow the Cuomo administration, in many cases, to delete newsworthy emails faster than reporters can even request them,” Timm said. “It looks like an attempt to avoid accountability.”

This lookng more and more like a cover up of Cuomo’s corruption ever since he was the state’s attorney general. Hopefully, he won’t get away with it.

Feb 26 2015

Oh, Greece

Capitalism’s War on Democracy

European Banks vs. Greek Labour

How Radical is the SYRIZA Party in Greece?

Transcript

Transcript

The Modern History of the Greek Debt Crisis

Greece Now Positioned to Negotiate a New Loan Agreement

Feb 26 2015

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

Trevor Timm: Why shutting down the Department of Homeland Security would be a good idea

Republicans in Congress are now embroiled in a petty dispute with Democrats over funding for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) because they don’t like President Obama’s new immigration policy. If Republicans don’t agree to pass a funding bill by the end of the week, the agency will have to partially shut down and thousands of employees will be furloughed.

While Republicans are again holding a federal agency hostage for a ridiculous reason, they’ve managed to stumble across a good idea in the process: Congress should not just threaten to pull DHS funding, they should abolish it entirely.

DHS is a behemoth and a bureaucratic nightmare that is projected to cost Americans $38.2bn this year. This conglomeration of over 20 government agencies, under one umbrella of dysfunction and secrecy, was mashed together by George W. Bush after 9/11 to form a largely incompetent and corrupt spy machine. Examples of its awfulness abound. [..]

In response to Republican threats, Democrats are in the midst of running a cringe-worthy “Don’t shut down our security” campaign. But why not recognize this as a blessing in disguise? Thanks to this contrived ultimatum, Congress can go a step further and do what should have been done a long time ago: dismantle this wasteful, invasive, secretive agency once and for all.

Dave Johnson: Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership Promises Echo Clinton’s On NAFTA

NAFTA – the North American Free Trade Agreement – was sold with promises of jobs and prosperity on all sides of the border. What really happened was that an increased trade deficit sucked demand and jobs out of the U.S. economy; workers lost bargaining power, resulting in pay and benefit cuts; and income inequality rose as corporations pocketed the wage differential.

Now the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being sold with literally the same promises. [..]

Today corporate lobbying groups and President Obama make the same promises about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. They say that it will increase the number of jobs in the U.S. by increasing exports. But they never mention that imports exceed exports, resulting in an enormous, humongous trade deficit. [..]

The president and corporate lobbyists promise that TPP will have strong labor standards to protect Americans from having even more jobs shipped overseas. However, TPP is being kept secret, even from congressional staff who could analyze these promises. TPP will be pushed through Congress using “fast track” trade promotion authority that allows Congress only 90 days to debate and conduct an up-or-down vote after it and the public first see the agreement. This does not give Congress and the public enough time to read and fully understand this enormous, complex agreement and especially not enough time to consider the ramifications on our economy and our working people.

The question to ask is, if this agreement is so good for us, why is it kept secret, and why are they insisting on rushing it through before the public has time to understand it and rally opposition if opposition is warranted?

Bill de Blasio: Ensuring Internet Equality For All

It’s no secret I consider income inequality the greatest challenge of our time. And whether you’re my age or my teenage son Dante’s, it’s clear: the Internet has become fundamental to solving it. Like electricity in the 1800s, the Internet is now an essential building block of economic opportunity.

It doesn’t just connect us to our friends and family through Skype or Facebook. It links us to job opportunities, critical services, and troves of information. It allows us to check whether our children have homework, take advantage of new education tools, or build a business. More and more each day, the Internet — like electricity — is turning into a basic utility. And this critical resource should be treated as such.

All this points to one conclusion: we must have affordable broadband.

Richard (RJ) Eskow: A New Rule, and a Brave Official, Gain Allies Against Wall Street

A lone bureaucrat has been fighting the financial industry for years, on an issue that stands at the intersection of two national challenges: investment regulation and retirement security. Along the way she’s collected some new and interesting allies. Is that a sign of things to come?

Phyllis Borzi is Assistant Labor Secretary for Employee Benefits Security. By background she is an attorney, a professor and an expert on retirement issues and employee benefits. When she was the pension and employee benefits counsel for a House subcommittee, Borzi became known as the “mother of COBRA.” That’s the provision that promotes the continuation of employer-based health care coverage when employment ends.

Borzi has been fighting to extend something called the “fiduciary rule” to every financial advisor who handles retirement accounts, requiring them to act in the best interests of their clients. That’s a change from the current regulatory situation. As Robert Hiltonsmith of Demos told The Huffington Post, advisors currently “work in their firms’ best interest, which is not yours.”

John Mueller and Mark Stewart: Terrorism poses no existential threat to America. We must stop pretending otherwise

One of the most unchallenged, zany assertions during the war on terror has been that terrorists present an existential threat to the United States, the modern state and civilization itself. This is important because the overwrought expression, if accepted as valid, could close off evaluation of security efforts. For example, no defense of civil liberties is likely to be terribly effective if people believe the threat from terrorism to be existential.

At long last, President Barack Obama and other top officials are beginning to back away from this absurd position. This much overdue development may not last, however. Extravagant alarmism about the pathological but self-destructive Islamic State (Isis) in areas of Syria and Iraq may cause us to backslide. [..]

It is astounding that these utterances – “blindingly obvious” as security specialist Bruce Schneier puts it – appear to mark the first time any officials in the United States have had the notion and the courage to say so in public.

Jessica Valenti: Women’s bodies can’t perform magic. Someone please tell Republicans

Do Republican men think women are mythical creatures, like unicorns or fairies? It’s the only explanation I can come up with to make sense of the party’s continued insistence that women’s bodies can perform feats of absolute magic.

On Monday, during testimony on a state bill that would ban doctors from using telemedicine to prescribe abortion pills, Idaho Republican Rep Vito Barbieri asked a testifying physician if pregnant women could swallow small cameras so that doctors could “determine what the situation is“.

Dr Julie Madsen – who I imagine must have been suppressing the eyeroll of a lifetime – responded that it couldn’t be done because “when you swallow a pill it would not end up in the vagina.”

Barbieri now says the question was a rhetorical one (that’s the ticket!) but his gaffe reminds us all about just how little Republicans understand about women’s bodies. Though, again, I’m honored that they think we hold such awesome abilities. After all, who could forget then-Rep Todd Akin’s assertion that women who were “legitimately” raped would not get pregnant because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Like a superpower! Or Rush Limbaugh’s belief that women’s bodies are so all-powerful that we actually require a birth control pill every time we have sex to keep from getting pregnant. But it doesn’t stop there.

Feb 26 2015

The Breakfast Club (Floor Wax AND Dessert Topping)

breakfast beers photo breakfastbeers.jpgThe real problem with physics is the difference between a wave and a particle.

Hey, hey, hey, calm down, you two. New Shimmer is both a floor wax and a dessert topping! Here, I’ll spray some on your mop and some on your butterscotch pudding.

Mmmmm, tastes terrific!

And just look at that shine!

So imagine a BB (you’ll put your eye out), if you shoot it through a hole you’ll get a mark in your target (there’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza (who “emulates a Rogerian psychotherapist“).

ELIZA has almost no intelligence whatsoever, only tricks like string substitution and canned responses based on keywords. Yet when the original ELIZA first appeared in the 60’s, some people actually mistook her for human. The illusion of intelligence works best, however, if you limit your conversation to talking about yourself and your life.



* hello eliza. I am feeling sad about moonlight kingdom

> Did you come to me because you are feeling sad about moonlight kingdom?

* no, I came to you because I’m researching rogerianism.

> Did you come to me because you are researching rogerianism?

* Yes

> Are you Sure?

* I’ve told you that twice now

> Oh…  that twice now?

* wow

> OK… “I’ve told me that twice now”. Tell me more.

These marks tend to cluster kind of fuzzily around the hole because BBs only travel in straight lines (ok, ballistic curves but for the purposes of this experiment we can discount the influence of gravity until later when it becomes relevent or not).  Even if you move around the BB gun you get this clustering because at certain angles of attack the BB is larger than the hole you’re trying to shoot through.

Master this technique and you can become a world class goalie.

If Democritus is right does the world behave this way?  I mean anyone Plato, the proto-Neolib that advocated man (women? hah!) was so stupid that democracy is an unworkable farce and the only political state with a chance to succeed is a dictatorship of elite philosopher-kings (got to love Plato, especially The Republic if you’re one of the chosen few morons with the right credentials) hated so much he wanted to burn their books can’t be all bad, can they?

Like many questions the answer is in how you measure the cat.

Because you see, in the real world, on certain scales, if you take a small enough BB and fire it through a hole you don’t get a clump, you get a wave.  How small is small enough?  Go down to the beach.  On the scale of an ocean a drop of water is small enough.

What is interesting about waves is that they transfer energy from one place to another without disturbing the particles (or non-particles) between them.  In the most commonly observable kind of wave (water in a test tank) this energy is transmitted in an up and down kinetic force so the apparently two dimensional surface in fact oscillates in a third dimension that is not usually measured.

Simple, right?

Not really, scientists still have a problem with spooky action at a distance so they keep junking up a nice clean vacuum with cat hair, and dark matter and energy (the good, the bad, it’s all the same)…

and extra dimensions (you can never have enough, I personally favor 26 dimensional Bosonic string theory because it goes all the way to 26)-

Feeling entangled yet?  You can’t be objective about Nixon.

The Reality of Quantum Weirdness

Edward Frenkel, The New York Times

FEB. 20, 2015

In Akira Kurosawa’s film “Rashomon,” a samurai has been murdered, but it’s not clear why or by whom. Various characters involved tell their versions of the events, but their accounts contradict one another. You can’t help wondering: Which story is true?

But the film also makes you consider a deeper question: Is there a true story, or is our belief in a definite, objective, observer-independent reality an illusion?

This very question, brought into sharper, scientific focus, has long been the subject of debate in quantum physics. Is there a fixed reality apart from our various observations of it? Or is reality nothing more than a kaleidoscope of infinite possibilities?

This month, a paper published online in the journal Nature Physics presents experimental research that supports the latter scenario – that there is a “Rashomon effect” not just in our descriptions of nature, but in nature itself.

Over the past hundred years, numerous experiments on elementary particles have upended the classical paradigm of a causal, deterministic universe. Consider, for example, the so-called double-slit experiment. We shoot a bunch of elementary particles – say, electrons – at a screen that can register their impact. But in front of the screen, we place a partial obstruction: a wall with two thin parallel vertical slits. We look at the resulting pattern of electrons on the screen. What do we see?

If the electrons were like little pellets (which is what classical physics would lead us to believe), then each of them would go through one slit or the other, and we would see a pattern of two distinct lumps on the screen, one lump behind each slit. But in fact we observe something entirely different: an interference pattern, as if two waves are colliding, creating ripples.

Astonishingly, this happens even if we shoot the electrons one by one, meaning that each electron somehow acts like a wave interfering with itself, as if it is simultaneously passing through both slits at once.

So an electron is a wave, not a particle? Not so fast. For if we place devices at the slits that “tag” the electrons according to which slit they go through (thus allowing us to know their whereabouts), there is no interference pattern. Instead, we see two lumps on the screen, as if the electrons, suddenly aware of being observed, decided to act like little pellets.

To test their commitment to being particles, we can tag them as they pass through the slits – but then, using another device, erase the tags before they hit the screen. If we do that, the electrons go back to their wavelike behavior, and the interference pattern miraculously reappears.

There is no end to the practical jokes we can pull on the poor electron! But with a weary smile, it always shows that the joke is on us. The electron appears to be a strange hybrid of a wave and a particle that’s neither here and there nor here or there. Like a well-trained actor, it plays the role it’s been called to perform. It’s as though it has resolved to prove the famous Bishop Berkeley maxim “to be is to be perceived.”



The answer depends on how you interpret the equations of quantum mechanics, the mathematical theory that has been developed to describe the interactions of elementary particles. The success of this theory is unparalleled: Its predictions, no matter how “spooky,” have been observed and verified with stunning precision. It has also been the basis of remarkable technological advances. So it is a powerful tool. But is it also a picture of reality?

Here, one of the biggest issues is the interpretation of the so-called wave function, which describes the state of a quantum system. For an individual particle like an electron, for example, the wave function provides information about the probabilities that the particle can be observed at particular locations, as well as the probabilities of the results of other measurements of the particle that you can make, such as measuring its momentum.

Does the wave function directly correspond to an objective, observer-independent physical reality, or does it simply represent an observer’s partial knowledge of it?

Hmm… Nixon.

If the right people had been in charge of Nixon’s funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.  Open the Pod Bay doors HAL.

I’m sorry Dave.  I’m afraid I can’t do that.

The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation.

Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

Science News and Blogs

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Obligatories, News and Blogs below.

Feb 26 2015

On This Day In History February 26

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

February 26 is the 57th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 308 days remaining until the end of the year (309 in leap years).

Two national parks preserved, 10 years apart. The two national parks were established in the United States 10 years apart, the Grand Canyon in 1919 and the Grand Tetons in 1929.

The Grand Canyon National Park

U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt visited the Grand Canyon in 1903. An avid outdoorsman and staunch conservationist, he established the Grand Canyon Game Preserve on November 28, 1906. Livestock grazing was reduced, but predators such as mountain lions, eagles, and wolves were eradicated. Roosevelt added adjacent national forest lands and redesignated the preserve a U.S. National Monument on January 11, 1908. Opponents such as land and mining claim holders blocked efforts to reclassify the monument as a U.S. National Park for 11 years. Grand Canyon National Park was finally established as the 17th U.S. National Park by an Act of Congress signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson on February 26, 1919.

Grand Teton National Park

In 1897 acting Yellowstone superintendent Colonel S.B.M. Young proposed expanding that park’s borders south to encompass the northern extent of Jackson Hole in order to protect migrating herds of elk. Next year, United States Geological Survey head Charles D. Walcott suggested that the Teton Range should be included as well. Stephen Mather, director of the newly-created National Park Service and his assistant Horace Albright sent a report to Secretary of the Interior Franklin Lane in 1917 stating much the same. Wyoming Representative Frank Mondell sponsored a bill that unanimously passed the United States House of Representatives in 1918 but was killed in the United States Senate when Idaho Senator [John Nugent feared that the expansion of Park Service jurisdiction would threaten sheep grazing permits. Public opposition to park expansion also mounted in and around Jackson Hole. Albright, in fact, was practically run out of Jackson, Wyoming, by angry townspeople in 1919 when he traveled there to speak in favor of park expansion.

Local attitudes started to change that same year when proposals to dam Jenny, Emma Matilda, and Two Ocean lakes surfaced. Then on July 26, 1923, local and Park Service representatives including Albright met in Maud Noble’s cabin to work on a plan to buy private lands to create a recreation area to preserve the “Old West” character of the valley. Albright was the only person who supported Park Service management; the others wanted traditional hunting, grazing, and dude-ranching activities to continue. In 1927 philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. founded the Snake River Land Company so he and others could buy land in the area incognito and have it held until the National Park Service could administer it. The company launched a campaign to purchase more than 35,000 acres for $1.4 million but faced 15 years of opposition by ranchers and a refusal by the Park Service to take the land.

In 1928, a Coordinating Commission on National Parks and Forests met with valley residents and reached an agreement for the establishment of a park. Wyoming Senator John Kendrick then introduced a bill to establish Grand Teton National Park. It was passed by both houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge on February 26, 1929. The 96,000 acres park was carved from Teton National Forest and included the Teton Range and six glacial lakes at its foot in Jackson Hole. Lobbying by cattlemen, however, meant that the original park borders did not include most of Jackson Hole (whose floor was used for grazing). Meanwhile the Park Service refused to accept the 35,000 acres held by the Snake River Company.

Discouraged by the stalemate, Rockefeller sent a letter to then U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt telling him that if the federal government did not accept the land that he intended to make some other disposition of it or to sell it in the market to any satisfactory buyers. Soon afterward on March 15, 1943 the president declared 221,000 acres (890 km2) of public land as Jackson Hole National Monument. Continued controversy over the Rockefeller gift still made it impossible for the monument to officially include that land, however.

Opposition to the monument by local residents immediately followed with criticism that the declaration was a violation of states’ rights and that it would destroy the local economy and tax base. Ranchers, led in part by famed actor Wallace Beery, drove 500 cattle across the newly created monument in a demonstration designed to provoke conflict. The Park Service did not respond to the stunt but the event brought national attention to the issue nonetheless. Wyoming Representative Frank A. Barrett introduced a bill to abolish the monument that passed both houses of Congress but was pocket vetoed by Roosevelt. U.S. Forest Service officials did not want to cede another large part of the Teton National Forest to the Park Service so they fought against transfer. One final act was to order forest rangers to gut the Jackson Lake Ranger Station before handing it over to park rangers. Residents in the area who supported the park and the monument were boycotted and harassed.

Other bills to abolish the monument were introduced between 1945 and 1947 but none passed. Increases in tourism money following the end of World War II has been cited as a cause of the change in local attitudes. A move to merge the monument into an enlarged park gained steam and by April, 1949, interested parties gathered in the Senate Appropriation Committee chambers to finalize a compromise. The Rockefeller lands were finally transferred from private to public ownership on December 16, 1949, when they were added to the monument. A bill merging most of Jackson Hole National Monument (except for its southern extent, which was added to the National Elk Refuge) into Grand Teton National Park was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on September 14, 1950. One concession in the law modified the Antiquities Act, limiting the future power of a president to proclaim National Monuments in Wyoming. The scenic highway that extends from the northern border of Grand Teton National Park to the southern entrance of Yellowstone National Park was named the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway to recognize Rockefeller’s contribution to protecting the area. In 2001, the Rockefellers donated their Jackson Hole retreat, the JY Ranch, to the national park for the establishment of the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, dedicated on June 21, 2008.

Feb 26 2015

The Daily/Nightly Show (A One Way Trip)

What?  Lil’ Wayne is only the second most offensive Rapper on the Internet.  Ask the 7 white guys if they’re racist.

So tonight’s topic (just keeping it 100) is whether you would take a one way trip to Mars.  Hands?  Well, you’re all going to die.

Of course so will the rest of us and maybe you’ll get a brass plaque somewhere that aliens can come and look at and say- “what the hell is that?  Is it some kind of alien language or something?”

I guess whether you find that funny or not depends on your perspective.

I knew Or and Wil and Curt and in honestly (oh, you can look at that as a contra-action but then you’d be missing what makes it punny) when I saw those bags of sticks and strings I contemplated not whether I longed for the sweet release of Death, but how quickly I wanted it to happen.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my Grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

Ahhh! Woooh! What’s happening? Who am I? Why am I here? What’s my purpose in life? What do I mean by who am I? Okay okay, calm down calm down get a grip now. Ooh, this is an interesting sensation. What is it? Its a sort of tingling in my… well I suppose I better start finding names for things. Lets call it a… tail! Yeah! Tail! And hey, what’s this roaring sound, whooshing past what I’m suddenly gonna call my head? Wind! Is that a good name? It’ll do. Yeah, this is really exciting. I’m dizzy with anticipation! Or is it the wind? There’s an awful lot of that now isn’t there? And what’s this thing coming toward me very fast? So big and flat and round, it needs a big wide sounding name like ‘Ow’, ‘Ownge’, ‘Round’, ‘Ground’! That’s it! Ground! Ha! I wonder if it’ll be friends with me? Hello, Ground!

Curiously, the only thing that went through the mind of the bowl of petunias, as it fell, was, “Oh no, not again!” Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the universe than we do now.

There was a time I wanted to go leading my troops in a hopeless battle against impossible odds just as the tide turned to victory.  Now I just want a nap, and in my sleep I would dream of napping.

A cat with restless sleep is a sad thing indeed.  At least Larry is funny when ‘Black Ice’ is around.