33 thoughts on “Sunday Serendipity”

  1. in other places, things thawing out maybe?

    The Davos Congress Center, center, where the World Economic Forum will take place is covered in snow in Davos, Switzerland, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is taking place in Davos from Jan. 15 until Jan. 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

    The Davos Congress Center, center, where the World Economic Forum will take place is covered in snow in Davos, Switzerland, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum is taking place in Davos from Jan. 15 until Jan. 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Top Western envoys review Ukraine peace formula to end Russia’s war as Zelenskyy plans Davos visit (yahoo.com)

    DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — Top foreign policy advisers from Western countries and Ukraine are meeting Sunday to help push forward Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy‘s peace formula that aims to end Russia’s war on his country.
    The fourth such meeting of national security advisers takes place in the Swiss town of Davos, where Zelenskyy is set to attend the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting starting Tuesday. He will endeavor to keep up international focus on Ukraine’s defense amid eroding support for Kyiv in the West and swelling distractions like conflict in the Middle East.
    Andriy Yermak, the Ukrainian president’s chief of staff, and Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis are hosting Sunday’s conference attended by more than 80 delegations that aims to build on the previous closed-door efforts in Denmark, Saudi Arabia and Malta last summer and fall.
    Zelenskyy has presented a 10-point peace formula that, among other things, seeks the expulsion of all Russian forces from Ukraine — at a time when both sides are fighting from largely static positions along a roughly 1,500-kilometer (930-mile) front line.
    Russian forces have recently stepped up missile and drone attacks that have stretched Ukraine’s air defense resources, leaving the country vulnerable in the 22-month war unless it can secure further weapons supplies.
    “The war is far from over and peace is still nowhere in sight,” the Swiss department of foreign affairs said in a statement previewing Sunday’s talks.

  2. Gosh darn, i got a new desktop computer and didn’t realize the cheap monitor doesn’t have built-in speaker so can’t hear today’s music until I move downstairs to my phone.

  3. https://www.newyorker.com/news/the-political-scene/how-trump-captured-iowas-religious-right

    “How Trump Captured Iowa’s Religious RightHow Trump Captured Iowa’s Religious Right”

    “Jon Dunwell, an Iowa legislator and evangelical pastor, had tweeted support for Reynolds’s position, then watched as his tweet accumulated five million views and thousands of denunciations. “So I feel like I am one of the most hated pastors in all of America right now,” Dunwell told me when we met, on December 14th, on the second floor of the capitol. “People would say to me, ‘Forget the Constitution, it’s a dead document. You’re a Christian first.’ ”


    “In tweeting about the Baphomet statue, Dunwell, who was also supporting DeSantis, had cited Ephesians 6—“The Armor of God”—saying that hope was the breastplate of righteousness. “And Christians are running back and saying, ‘Don’t hand me that weak effeminate Christianity,’ ” Dunwell told me. “So I gotta pull a sword out now and have some sort of muscular Christianity?” He began speaking more quickly. “It grieves my soul,” he said. “These Christians—they call me a boomer. They say my generation of Christianity is the reason America is this way, not because we were ineffective in transforming lives but because we weren’t bold enough to grab the sinner by the neck and throw him down and enforce the laws of God. And that, to me, is scary. It’s a little bit—it can be Talibanistic.”

    What did I tell ya, they are the Chicken-fried Taliban.

    “Maybe this would sound strange to you, but I believe Trump has given us the gift of discernment,” the pastor said. “What I mean by that is he came in, he was asking questions and pushing back on so many things that never entered our mind. And it was like somebody just punched a hole in a brick wall. And we’re, like, there’s another side to this.” Trump, the pastor went on, “is very provocative and embellishes certain things. But, when you look at the core message, I think there’s a lot of truth to it, and it is that the people in charge aren’t to be trusted.”

    “He felt at least as strongly about the covid vaccines. The pastor and his family had taken ivermectin, the antiparasitic drug that the media had denounced as a “horse dewormer.” It had been on the shelf for decades, he said, “but it’s not a moneymaker,” so the medical establishment had urged people to forgo it in favor of profitable vaccines.”

    “The first Trump campaign was animated by the feeling of loss. This one may unfold in an atmosphere of fear.”

    “That is one thing the DeSantis campaign got wrong, beneath all the mundane errors. (DeSantis’s has been “the worst-run campaign I’ve ever seen,” one former Iowa state Republican legislator told me.) The conceit of that campaign was that social conservatives were in a position of power, that Trump was unnecessary, that what was needed was a leader to simply impose their will in the way DeSantis had in Florida. The trouble was that, though social conservatives at one time might have felt like they had a natural majority, they don’t anymore.”

    Orange Adolf is selling them fear of the other. The boogeyman. Anyone who doesn’t look, sound, and believe exactly as they do.

    “At an October rally in Waterloo, Pastor Joshua Graber, of the Cornerstone Baptist Church, in Vinton, had said, “We ask that those who stand against him would be put to silence. That those horrendous actions against him and his family would be exposed and struck down.”

    ~Said with all the love and joy of Jesus~

    “The argument for DeSantis was reduced to the belief that he would fight more reliably and consistently for the social-conservative cause. But the pro-Trump pastors had simply followed that logic another step. For them, the attraction was the promise of power: the richest billionaire, the brightest display of force.”

    “This is more than a fight between left and right, Democrats and Republicans,” Hall said. “This is good and evil. Biblically.”

  4. With bad weather in Iowa, whose supporters are more likely to show up to caucus?  I think we can guess. 

    It’s up to a balmy 14 degrees, here.

  5. Renee
    For our world it is normal weather. Cold artic air plunging down along side the rocky mountains sometimes as far as Mexico is normal, so normal the folks on the southern great plains even have a name for it. “Blue Norther”
    They certainly aren’t a sign of global warming, at least around here. 
    My neighbor gathering turnip greens out of my garden the end of December was a result of unusual weather patterns. 

  6. BiD
    Weather in Iowa is going to be perfect, sunshine, so the roads will be clear. The temperature is back above zero. You can’t ask for anything better. A good night to get out and talk to your neighbors. 

  7. Interesting New Yorker piece, BiD. I still think religion has nothing to do with Trump’s appeal to a lot of so-called evangelicals who are actually racist bigots who know nothing about Jesus.

  8. Agreed, Craig.  The whole “war against Christmas” thing was a seed planted long ago, to gather them under the tiny Republican tent.  They feel aligned with Jesus when they feel persecuted.  That explains why tRUMPsky gets more popular as his indictments increased.   Jerry Damned Falwell, Sr. started this mess way back when.

    jack – I’ve been thinking about moving back to the Midwest. This morning, I was informed the windchill was -39 and I had a childhood flashback to my grandparents’ house with ice on the walls, boiling water for dishes and baths, and an outhouse.

  9. “They feel aligned with Jesus when they feel persecuted”

    Nail-on-the-head, BID. I hear about that in-person all the time. It gives them a sense of mission, literally, they go on missionary trips at home and abroad. 

  10. What’s funny is the evangelicals don’t seem to be aware of how they are driving droves of people away from christianity.

  11. Ah what a day.  So far COVID negative, nasty cold possible.  The world has changed so much in four years.
    Craig, one option is to run the audio output to an A/V receiver and use that for noise.
    There is so much going on in the Ukraine fight for existence now it is hard to keep up.  Primary is there are a lot of fires happening in russia.  Along with fires comes small explosions, often in electric supplies. Heating plants are now going bad.  Makes life a pain living in the dark without heat, water or sewage treatment.  There is a noticeable lack of skilled technicians to maintain all of too.  This afternoon Ukraine shot down a very big surveillance plane and a large bomber.  This does not happen with shooting off shotguns.  Weapons the U.S. has been very reluctant to supply Ukraine with, but are now slowly showing up, are making the difference.  Still important hardware, fighting vehicles and planes are withheld.
    Finally, people who watch sfb, similar to how I watch puttie, have noticed he has started limping on his right leg.  Lots of speculations, but a pool was started that essentially covered him not making it to election day.  An MD has the best date of course. This is European pool.  For puttie pool I have him not making the end of summer.

  12. Well, they do have modern plumbing  now in Nebraska. Having grown up with an outhouse myself, I understand, plumbing is good.
    It is 5 below in Lincoln NE, I’m 5 hours south but temp wise not much difference we are 0 that looks like the high for the day, a bit of snow. The small difference in temperature as you go south with one of these weather event is not unusual A lot of cold air spilling down out of Canada.
    Dallas is 15. Another interesting thing about living on the Great Plains if you just go east and it is like you are in a different world. 
    Shreveport LA about 3 hrs straight east of Dallas and the Temp is 30.
    BTW, Last week Pat posted a headline and article that I suspect was AI written or certainly IA written (Idiot and pick your favorite A descriptor). It said that a terrible storm was sweeping across the US. Not so much as I recall.
    But this week yep , this storm system is hitting most of the US east of the rockies.
    Looks like Cory is going to have fun, lots of snow in his world  and across the great lakes. 

  13. The fundies can be both living in a world of pretend/perceived victimization, as well as being racists and bigots.  It’s not an either or situation.   They like rules.  Authoritarianism is their kink. 

    BB – I was hoping Pootin would’ve been gone long before now.   Will we know or will a double appear?   

  14. https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/la-times-today/2024/01/04/sports-illustrated-use-of-ai

    “How Sports Illustrated readers spotted AI-written articlesHow Sports Illustrated readers spotted AI-written articles”

    “Last fall, readers began to notice that the content in Sports Illustrated articles was not stacking up with the magazine’s previous quality. Stories were being written by artificial intelligence.”

    “All of these articles start popping up under the Sports Illustrated banner that are really poorly written… It’s some of the worst writing you can imagine. It turns out that it’s written by writers that don’t exist because they’re artificially generated and the articles themselves are almost certainly artificially generated. And [the publisher] says [they] contracted out the production of these articles to another company called Advan, and they are a company that’s in the business of producing AI-generated articles,” Merchant said.

  15. Being retired is nice, I can just set in my easychair and look out the window and watch the snow. Don’t have to worry about anything, I’m not going out in this cold to see if that truck will start, I’m not leaving the house. I’ve got a pot of beef & veggie soup on, cheese and crackers and liver pate’, Spiced tea that will go good with honey and dark rum for a hot toddy. I do have to listen to that furnace run but as long as it is running, I’m fine, I’ve got money to pay the gas bill.

  16. https://www.texastribune.org/2024/01/12/texas-power-grid-conservation-arctic-blast/

    “Texans asked to conserve energy Monday as expected demand likely to put strain on electric grid”

    “The conservation request is from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Monday, when the sun is fully up, solar power is expected to boost the power supply.”

    “ERCOT has issued what it calls a “weather watch,” calling on people to be aware that it expects power demand to be high Monday through Wednesday. ERCOT must make sure electricity demand never exceeds supply, or the grid could be catastrophically damaged.”

    Greg fixed nothing, but he’ll blame the sun for any outages.

    ps – He said shooting migrants was off the table because it would result in a murder charge, so they’re letting them drown instead.


    “The Border Patrol officers made unsuccessful attempts to contact the Texas Military Department, National Guard and Department of Public Safety via telephone about the distress call. When the officers went to the park entrance to verbally notify the state, Texas Military Department personnel denied them entry, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar said in a written statement.”

    “Texas Military Department soldiers stated they would not grant (Border Patrol) access to the migrants – even in the event of an emergency – and that they would send a soldier to investigate the situation,” Cuellar said in the statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.

  17. https://www.texastribune.org/2024/01/12/texas-majority-pac-george-soros-democrats-fundraising/

    “A new group, run by alums of Beto O’Rourke’s 2022 campaign and funded by Democratic megadonor George Soros, has emerged this election cycle to take on the age-old challenge of turning Texas blue.”
    “U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is up for reelection in 2024, and the Democratic president, Joe Biden, will be on the ballot in a traditionally red state that he only lost by 6 percentage points four years ago.”
    “The PAC suggests its focus is more regional than that of the state party. Fischer said the group is “helping to build party infrastructure at the regional level, because the various regions of our state are distinct and therefore require different strategies.”

    “Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republicans have already cited the Soros donations in fundraising emails to warn that the New York billionaire — a favorite GOP boogeyman — is trying to turn Texas blue.”

  18. new desktop computer 

    bluetooth, bottom right corner or search “bluetooth” with magnifying glass

  19. The Danes did their abdication/coronation really well.  Not a lot of cosplay like the UK. 


    “The handover took place at a cabinet meeting at Christiansborg Palace in the capital Copenhagen, when Margrethe signed a declaration of her abdication, officially transferring the crown to Frederik.”

    “The Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen then publicly proclaimed the King’s accession from the balcony of the palace – a tradition in place since the constitution of 1849.”

    “Margrethe, 83, was Europe’s longest-reigning monarch and the world’s last reigning queen. She announced her historic tenure would come to an end after 52 years in a stunning live address on New Year’s Eve.”

    “While the Danish monarchy is one of the oldest in Europe, stretching back more than 1,000 years, there is no traditional crowning moment. As such, world leaders and high-profile dignitaries were not in attendance, with the Danish changeover being a significantly more low-key occasion in comparison to the global spectacle and pageantry of King Charles III’s coronation in May.”

  20. Poobah, surely you have an old pair of earbuds or headphones with a mini RCA plug, or as Bink points out, Bluetooth earbuds or the like hanging around in a drawer. 

  21. https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/13/world/meloni-italy-rome-salute-intl/index.html
    “The MSI party grew from the ashes of Benito Mussolini’s National Fascist Party after it was dismantled at the end of World War II when the dictator was deposed and killed.”
    “It is the party through which Meloni first entered politics; she led the MSI before melding it into her own more moderate Brothers of Italy party, which won snap elections in 2022.”
    A viral video of more than 150 men, clad in black and raising their right arms in a fascist salute in central Rome, has caused a stir everywhere but in the office of Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.”
    “The event, now under investigation by Rome’s special anti-fascism police unit, took place on the evening of January 7 to mark the 46th anniversary of the Acca Larentia massacre, when three young neo-fascist militants from the Italian Social Movement (MSI) were killed on the street of that name.”
    “In the videos shot by onlookers last weekend, the saluting men can be clearly heard yelling “present” three times as they raise their right arms.”
    “One then shouts a common neo-fascist battle cry: “For all fallen comrades.”
    ”A commemoration of their deaths takes place every January 7, with police providing security under both left and right-wing administrations.”

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