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Marc's Musings

Former Army Private Chelsea (nee Bradley) Manning has been sitting in jail for three months and has accumulated $30,000 in fines. Manning has not been:
  • indicted by a grand jury
  • convicted of a crime by a jury of peers
  • allowed to confront accusers/witnesses
  • afforded due process
  • granted an attorney
  • allowed to present witnesses for the defense
Anytime you think you live in a free country, remember the following: you don't.

The U.S. is just weeks away from testing a missile banned by the 1987 nuclear arms treaty with Russia.

As luck would have it, Russia was found to be in violation of the treaty to justify the U.S.' withdrawal just in time to test the new weapon. More thoughts on this topic here: Arms Race or Equalizing the Playing Field?

Twenty-nine years ago today the United States went to war and didn't come back.

(There's a fair argument to be made that we went to war seventy-eight years ago and never came back, but we will leave that for another day.)

U.S. authorities have indicated that the son of Osama bin Laden has died, but have not given additional details.

Outlets are reporting the person's name as Hamza bin Laden, when in fact the person's name is Hamza, styled as Hamza bin Osama.

The concept of a surname does not apply.

A Louisiana woman arrested on suspicion of theft denied ownership of a gram of methamphetamine that was found in her person after a cavity search.

They say possession is nine-tenths of the law, so she may have some wriggle room there.

Empowerment Therapy
Day 1

Mantra of Impervious Defense

I am rubber, you are glue.
Whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.

What do you get when you cross Baby Boomers with Millennials and add Columbia, Maryland?

Not Woodstock 50. The troubled "cross-generational" event was finally cancelled after organizers were informed that LSD is still illegal and Millennials think it is some kind of church.

In last night's Free Stuff Sweepstakes on CNN, prizes offered totalled more than 210 trillion dollars.

Bernie Sanders ran away from the field with his $35T spending over ten years, but was dogged by Andrew Yang's $30T of proposals. Karen Gillibrand placed third with her paltry $10 trillion.

Marianne "Don't call me Crystal Lady" Williamson finished in the bottom third with $500 billion. Obviously, Ms. Williamson needs to up her game if she wants to improve her visibility in the Free Stuff Sweepstakes. This is where she could play to her strengths by offering free soul cleansings or perhaps acquiesce and promise a free healing crystal in every lunch bag.

60% of Burning Man attendees are white and more than half have household incomes above $100,000.

The takeaway is that broke non-white people have no desire to drive to the middle of the high desert for a week to live like a broke non-white person.

While some parts of the globe are experiencing record heat waves, others places such as Minneapolis and parts of Russia, are experiencing record low temperatures.

I'll put on my meteorologist hat and postulate that the reduction in solar activity associated with the grand solar minimum has weakened the jet stream permitting the co-mingling of thermal strata across latitudes that is not observed during periods of nominal or elevated solar activity.

Put another way, global cooling is causing global warming.

Remember when the Reagan administration required eight years to borrow a trillion dollars?

FY2019 will cap a two-year federal borrowing spree of 2.57 trillion dollars.

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.

According to Harvard researchers, men who can do more than forty push-ups are less likely to have a heart attack.

I wonder what their methodology could have been?

Sum(MenCompletingFortyPushups) - Sum(MenHavingHeartAttackTryingToCompleteFortyPushups)

If you grew up thinking that South Dakota, South Korea, and Georgia were part of the same biome, you might be a product of 1970's television.

When Robert Mueller was asked to testify before Congress about his investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 election, the nature of the request was apparently lost in translation.

What Mueller heard was, "We'd like you to do your best 'Farrah Fawcett on Leno' impression."

I have been telling people for years that if they think things are tough now, wait until the international community abandons the dollar. JP Morgan is warning that the U.S.' unconscionable $22,000,000,000,000 debt is weighing on its status as a global reserve currency, so of course that warning will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Funny how those things work.

How anonymous is anonymous data collection? According to a Belgian study, there's an 83% chance that you can be identified based on gender, birth date, and postal code.

More data points than that, and you're a fish in a barrel.

I am not well versed in the statistics of global hunger, but I do know the United States has the largest arable tract of land in the world and it pays farmers to watch it blow away.