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February 16, 2018

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heh. Pete the cat has changed my name. formerly cleek, now '``````````````````'.

what is illegal about collusion IS colluding with a foreign government.

i'm not sure this is correct.

a primer

yeah, it's politico, but i think it covers the high points pretty well.

you can have a conspiracy to illegally do stuff other than that.

agreed.

I guarantee you they have substantial presence in basically every well-frequented or influential comments section, including leftish ones.

yes, but we have Ken M.

Gina Montalto

@``````````````````

I, for one, welcome petting our Feline Overlords.

Gina Montalto, innocence shot like a dog in her fucking school.

The unshot, the undead, the mentally ill, and the still living and walking and picking-up-the-cash bi-partisan guilty:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2018/02/18/late-night-horrorshow-open-thread-who-does-the-nra-actually-represent/#more-230191

I'm at a loss. I hope North Korea targets me personally for nuclear incineration just for the pleasure of the collateral damage in pigfuck America:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/trump-attacks-congressional-dems-fbi-mcmaster-clinton-obama-schiff-and-more

Obama could have ordered drone strikes on gun shows terrorist arms depots, and the NRA Terrorist HQ, but he Never. Even. Tried.

Deplorable, really. I certainly won't vote for him again.

In the spirit of He, Trump's rally shout-out to Wikileaks, I call on hackers everywhere to steal and publish Wayne La Pierre's emails.

Especially competent hackers are invited to hack into NRA's membership files and mount disinformation campaigns like sending all Life Members cancellation notices.

I call on cartoonists everywhere to drop the Elephant and start using the Pig as the GOP mascot.

Especially talented cartoonists can probably add a trough without making the icon too complicated.

I call on divorce lawyers everywhere to offer their services to Melania, pro bono.

Especially nefarious divorce lawyers can explore the possibility that Jared is Barron's biological father.

Hey, we can't let Putin have all the fun of ratfucking in American politics.

--TP

It must be said that, with his tweets this weekend, the President has outdone himself. Even by his standards, these are amazing.

will we be able to survive a President who doesn't constantly act-out like a petulant teenager?

..., the President has outdone himself.

He's a regular Rockin' Robin.

Luke Hoyer

...why, I sometimes tweeted as many as six self-contradictory things before breakfast.

(The Orange Queen)

Fourth down, inches to go:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-chinese-officials-reportedly-clashed-over-nuclear-football-2018-02-18?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Does China bring it's nuclear fucking football to Washington D.C state visits?

Here's a thought for us:
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/02/18/letter-hey-hey-nra-how-many-kids-did-you-kill-today/

The past as prologue....

Pace of play: Pitching changes only between half innings.

Only real way to change (speed up) the pace of play:
Have advertisers tell the networks ( and, indirectly, the teams) that there will be no pay for the parts of games longer than, say 3 hours. They can still play on until the end, and the networks can broadcast if they wish. It's just that long games won't result in more revenue. Do that, and the incentive to run long disappears.

If you want to change at some other time you will automatically be charged a run for everyone on base (and they will remain on base), if no one is on base it will cost you one run. RBIs go to whoever is up.

Do they get more ad revenue for games that run long? It's always been a mystery to me how paying for an advertisement during a sporting event of indeterminate length/stoppages works.

Since this is an open thread, I have what the kidz call a "bleg", aimed mostly at the olds around here.

Talk to me about cataract surgery and intra-occular lenses. Have you, or somebody you know well, gone through this? What kind of IOL did you get? How does your vision compare before and after?

In particular, can you read a highway sign at 1000 feet AND also your speedometer, or read your laptop screen AND also the powerpoint slide at the other end of the conference room, with ordinary IOLs? At what range do you need to put on reading glasses? Are adaptive-focus IOLs worthwhile?

Between our "health care" and our "health insurance" systems, straight answers to these questions seem hard to come by.

--TP

Do they get more ad revenue for games that run long?

I'm pretty sure that the networks do -- they get paid per ad, after all. It's a matter of getting paid more for game-time ads than for whatever analysis show they would follow the game with. And how much the networks make get impacts how much they will bid for rights to broadcast games, i.e. how much the teams get.

Tony, I'd love to help. Unfortunately, I've still got the same 20/400 vision plus astigmatism at 70 that I had at 15. So no relevant experience to offer. Sorry.

And, returning to the original Olympics topic: apparently we have now had a second "wardrobe malfunction" on ice. Perhaps some penalties for poorly designed outfits would help concentrate minds. That or leveling the playing field by having everybody (both men and women, of course) skate au naturel. ;-)

A general practice is to have IOLs with different focal lengths.

I requested IOLs with the same focal length suitable for computer monitors. :) I only need glasses when I go outside. But I have to hold books and magazines at arm's length and small text is difficult to read. Off the shelf reading glasses don't fix it.

Unless they've improved in recent years, adaptive-focus IOLs generate more complaints and replacement requests than other IOLs. However, there are new lenses that may be available in a year or so that allow the muscles in your eyes to focus the lens in the same way as a normal eye. But, they are expected to cost about $3,600 per lens.

Pace of play: Pitching changes only between half innings.

You are a brutal person.

Pace of play, NFL: Any game goes over the limit, the league forfeits its anti-trust exemption.

Any game goes over the limit, the league updates all DVRs with the new airing times of any preempted shows.

Tony,

I am just coming off cataract replacement. I was terribly near-sighted all my life, wearing coke bottle glasses since the 4th grade. Driving at night (esp. when raining) was becoming a real challenge. Optometrist said it was "just a matter of time", and the sooner the better as the natural lens becomes more brittle with time.

So after an incident where I nearly ran over a pedestrian who absurdly took the risk of standing in the middle of an unlighted residential intersection on a dark morning, I decided the time had come.

Nobody told me squat about IOL's. I must have missed something.

What do I see now? Pretty much 20/20 at a distance. Far vision seemed 'funny' at first, but with healing, (and getting both eyes "on line") I am more used to it. Colors are much more vibrant (LSD lite), and I really notice light reflections on newer automobile coachwork (never paid any attention prior).

I can now comfortably drive under any conditions.

My vision gets blurry starting about 4 ft. away, and gets worse at close range. Since I'm still on the eye drops, I get by at work with off the shelf reading glasses...OK for computer, a bit more difficult wrt reading printed matter like books/newspapers/shopping lists.

I'll have to get some kind of prescription glasses, but the exam is not scheduled until late March.

All in all....favorable. I figure in a couple months I shall stop raising my hand to "adjust" my glasses.


TP -- I've asked a friend of mine who has had cataract surgery, and lenses implanted; don't know if he'll even reply, we don't correspond via email very often, but I'll pass along anything he says.

Other considerations:
1. Can now swim and see simultaneously!
2. Will be able to wear off the shelf sun glasses (i.e., not prescription)...can't wait to try!
3. When outdoors, will not go blind due to snow and/or rain or fogged lenses.
4. No longer have to fumble for eyeglasses before arising from bed.

Any game goes over the limit, the league updates all DVRs with the new airing times of any preempted shows.

League commissioner has to watch 'Heidi' on repeat loop for 24 hours straight.

pace of play...golf. HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Cara Loughran

Perhaps a tldr, but I had a detached retina, and to get at it, they removed the lens and replaced it. They asked if I wanted to have my vision in that eye remain the same or if I wanted some correction. I opted for correction, which may have been a mistake, I feel like I lost about 10-20 meters off my vision because the two eyes have not totally synched up yet. Despite having very poor vision, I could recognize my students far enough away (and note that they were my students before they realized it was me) that by the time they got up to me, I could remember their name. The distance I have lost means that I can't pull up their name. This has a knock on effect, my conversations with them end up being 'anata dare desuka?' (in Japanese, who the hell are you?) don't exchange as much information and am therefore less likely to make connections.

My brother, on the other hand, had both lenses replaced for cataracts and he's over the moon. He's into hunting and he says that he can see so much more clearly now.

Another thing was that lights are very bright now, so I had to spend some money on getting much better sunglasses, and because I still had my glasses, they were clip-ons, but if you don't need glasses, you may want to get some good polarized sunglasses as they can cut glare quite a bit.

I also notice the more vibrant colors and have to be careful, cause I'll now catch some sort of color mirage out of my peripheral vision if I turn my head quickly, especially when it is dark. I also really really don't like driving at night when it is raining.

I think the count said it before: getting old is not for sissies...

In fairness it must be said that, when it comes to (slow) pace of play, baseball isn't even in competition compared to cricket.

I've nothing really to complain about ... yet ...as far as aging (I do have eye story, but later), but at some point I will move on from the Bette Davis rue about getting getting old and sissies and instead quote Philip Roth, from his novel "Everyman":

"Old age isn't a battle; old age is a massacre."

OLD AGE IS A DEAD LOSER.

one of the things i notice about getting older is that the various doctors and other health professionals i see seem far more blase about whatever ailment or condition i show up with.

hey doc, i have X Y or Z going on.
oh really? wait... how old are you now?
61.
oh yeah, well stuff happens at that age.

my favorite one was when i got this weird lipoma on my shoulder. i've probably told this story before, hopefully not more than two or three times.

i have a lipoma on my shoulder. i go to see the doc. the doc looks at it from a couple of angles, pokes it with his finger, moves it around a little bit, ponders all of this.

i say, "well, what do you think?"

doc says, "lipoma. it's along for the ride".

bada-boom-crash! he'll be here all week. try the veal.

nothing like being a punch line for your doc, the amateur humorist.

:)

on the eyesight front, i apparently have migraine, but without the headache. the way this presents itself is in a variety of visual distortions.

scotoma, which is sort like having a scintillating little wiggly worm squirming around in your field of vision.

odd blank spots in my field of vision, which last about a half second. just... grey areas, nothing there. happens especially when it's bright out, or if i move my head or my eyes rapidly.

once in a great while, the classic migraine wavy lines in the periphery of my field of vision, even more occasionally narrowing my field of vision to a small little dot. or, on one occasion, just waves.

it's all kind of trippy, but as long as i don't get the headaches, it's all good as far as I'm concerned. just another bit of bodily weirdness, along for the ride.

if it kept me from driving, that would be a problem. so far, so good.

"Old age isn't a battle; old age is a massacre."

As Grandpa used to say, I don't expect to get out of this alive. But I'm determined to get old with some amount of grace.

Regarding baseball and time, the only interval I want shortened is the wintry one between the last out of the World Series and the first day of spring training.

oh really? wait... how old are you now?
61.

Being 61 is just gross. But I kind of like it.

Only way to cut the interval between the end of the World Series and the start of spring training: drop play from 6 days a week to 5 during the season. Which doesn't sound all that great to me. YMMV

If ever I was tempted by "optional" eye surgery (Lasik, whatever), I'd first chat with some amateur astronomers to see what they have to say about it.

I can't think of any other group that would bring such intense interest in the subject, technical knowledge, and obsession in good results.

Alaina Petty

But I'm determined to get old with some amount of grace.

One of the quotes I put on the back of my dad's funeral card:

"The idea is to die young as late as possible."

"The idea is to die young as late as possible."

I wrote that down in my little moleskin quote book, for later stealing. Maybe I'll include it in the eulogy at my wake, which I plan to give in person.

"one of the things i notice about getting older is that the various doctors and other health professionals i see seem far more blase about whatever ailment or condition i show up with."

I've noticed that too. Why, it's a creeping death panel, if you ask me.

"When does it hurt?" the doctor asks me.

"When I hit the ground during head-first slides flat out into third base."

A pause, as he removes the stethoscope ear buds from his earholes, rolls his eyes ever so slightly, and then says "So, don't do that," but with the slight inflection of a question, the real subtextual question being "Whaddaya, NUTS?"

What I really hate is when I call to make an appointment with my doctor and the voice on the other end of the line says that HE died.

It's like finding out your long-time car mechanic died when the brakes in his car failed and he went thru the guard rail into the ravine.

Now there is a subject for bemusement, of the Greek dramatist kind.

I wish Alaina Petty could have lived to my age to experience my meager complaints.

A lady showed up at Paul Ryan's fundraiser in Deathtown, Florida the other day and got off a few (automatic, by this time) verbal rounds at him for his rather tasteless, even by contemporary republican conservative standards, attempt to pickpocket the spare change out of the pockets of the corpses of the kids and their teachers and coaches still freshly bleeding out on mortuary slabs, and security was quick to converge on the lady and deny her First Amendment rights, despite a well regulated verbal statement, hers, being necessary to the security of a free state, and was removed bodily from the premises, unlike any number of young white conservative men waving around implements of mass destruction are treated.

I guess that'll teach her which Amendment will get her message thru to the likes of vermin Ryan.

"What I really hate is when I call to make an appointment with my doctor and the voice on the other end of the line says that HE died."

I had this experience, my cardiologist died of heart attack while travelling in Italy. My appointment was cancelled.

"When I hit the ground during head-first slides flat out into third base."

"So, don't do that,"

When I was 45, I was diagnosed with low bone density. After innumerable increasingly exotic blood tests, and two more density scans at 18-month intervals, the specialist's conclusion was that it was just the way I was. When I asked if he had any specific advice, he told me, "Don't take up pro football as a second career."

It's too early to talk about it.

Not only that, but stop talking so eloquently about it at your age.

https://www.mediamatters.org/blog/2018/02/20/pro-trump-media-launch-attacks-student-survivors-florida-school-shooting/219426

It's too late to talk about it.

My appointment was cancelled.

That seems drastic.

I'll never forget the look on dumbass Jack Kingston's face the night years ago when it dawned on him, on air, that Steven Colbert's conservative persona was schtickt aimed at his ... Kingston's nuts:

https://www.mediamatters.org/video/2018/02/20/cnns-jack-kingston-i-have-hard-time-believing-florida-school-shooting-survivors-can-organize-rally/219427

I was like when the last synapse in a one-celled brain goes dark.

It's not too late for the media to stop talking to Kingston and company altogether.

I(t) as like ...

"My appointment was cancelled."

"That seems drastic."

Yeah, talk about limited networks.

Smells like teen spirit:

http://juanitajean.com/we-call-b-s/

We don't need to get rid of the Second Amendment:

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/2/19/1742306/-Cheers-and-Jeers-Monday

http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2018/02/second-amendment-not-u-s-doesnt-good-gun-control-policy

http://samuel-warde.com/2016/06/family-man-invented-ar-15-m-16-says-horrified/

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-awesome-power-of-the-firearm/

The only thing wrong with the Second Amendment is that the wrong people are being shot dead.

That, and the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party are legal entities on American soil.

"When does it hurt?" the doctor asks me.

"When I hit the ground during head-first slides flat out into third base."

So riddle me this: Why slide head first? It seems like a normal slide would get the same job done, without leaving you chewing dirt off the infield. Am I missing some benefit of it?

One of the core skills in modern management: supply chain management. And then there's this:
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/feb/19/kfc-uk-closed-chicken-shortage-fash-food-contract-delivery-dhl

Oops!

I've always done it, so habit.

Any decent coach would talk me out of it. Someone run out and find me a decent coach.

But mainly because my feet-first sliding technique has always been wanting.

I'd rather break a finger than an ankle or jam a knee. I'm still blessed with the speed of a human much younger than I, so I'm coming in fast.

Plus, strategically, I find it easier to steer my slide around the tag while keeping a hand on the base during those close shaves.

I do it maybe three to five times a year anymore. Mostly in softball where there are more close plays on thrown from the outfield.

The occasion doesn't arise much in my now senior baseball league very often because stealing bases is prohibited on account of an injury can lead straight to the eternally disabled list.

Except for those triples in the gap.

Funny thing, too, in the amateur world, the amateur umpires are often so taken aback by the head first slide, whether in softball leagues where the much younger guys don't bother with it, or in the older guy baseball league ... that I still dare to do it ... that they give me the benefit of the doubt and call me safe, thinking maybe if he cares THAT much about it, give him the base.

I don't know, if my cup isn't full of infield dirt by the end of the game, I figure I must not have been trying hard enough.

Nigel, GftNC, etc. I would appreciate a little local knowledge. I realize that the Sun is a tabloid, but I have no feel for whether it is one on the level of the New York Post (sensationalized, but generally not totally adrift from reality) or the National Inquirer (which did "alternative facts" long before the term was invented).

The reason I ask is this:
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5597516/jeremy-corbyn-paid-communist-spy-czech-republic-labour/

In other times, I would have severe doubts. But considering what we have been seeing here of late....

Hmmm. Well, I bow to no-one in my contempt for the Sun and other Murdoch mass-market tabloids (and non-Murdoch ones too, like the Daily Mail - a true force for bad in the UK), but I have to say that in my opinion, using your dichotomy, it is closer to the New York Post than to the Enquirer. Which is not to say that it isn't capable of publishing bullshit, jingoistic, rightwing rubbish, but still I think it has a sense of itself as a newspaper, and one which believes in "facts" as opposed to "alternative facts". Regarding the Corbyn story, we will have to wait and see. It may not be true, but on the other hand would not entirely surprise me.

The kids, those that remain unshot, are alright:

"Nicole
@NicoleK8686
The same people that said 13 and 14 year olds were perfectly mature enough to date Roy Moore are now saying 17 and 18 year olds are too immature to have opinions on gun control."

I see no inconsistency in those two views commonly held by white conservative cracker types:

"You no never mind tellin me what you think about my weapons little missy. Why don't you bring that purty little mouth over here and admire my gun instead."

17 and 18 year olds may be too immature to have opinions on gun control. But, obviously, not to immature to buy by a gun.

(hsh, better?)

???

Somehow Pierce managed to cram crypto-religious rod worshippers, David Brooks asking us to buy the aforementioned rod worshipping snowflakes a cookie, and much more into one column:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a18358905/parkland-shooting-conspiracies-lies/

The NRA gettin a little sceared:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/nra-rallies-members-kill-the-nra-billboard-kentucky

Gosh, what are they going to do? Buy more guns?

Maybe kill some more legitimate human beings who exercise their First Amendment rights?

It's interesting, ain't it, that this recent school shooting and that graffiteed billboard all occurred just as the murderous gun manufacturers were reporting declining gun sales on account of there being no more black people in the White House, 'cept when Ben Carson goes over there to have his bag of cotton weighed.

False flags all over the place.

I'm proud of myself that I can't get as creatively low and imaginatively depraved as the walking, talking republican conservative zombies face-chewing the country:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/far-right-spreads-conspiracy-theories-parkland-students-fronts-anti-gun-groups

Alex Schachter

oh yeah, well stuff happens at that age.

sounds like the NHS, except they show that attitude towards everyone starting at birth:

unless you have an obvious wound or something immediatelt life threatening, they will likely give you a pat on the back and send you home - also, the concept of preventatives medicine doesn't seem to exist in their books

(I say that as someone who likes the NHS, well, at least the idea of it...)

re age, I've always liked this quote:

"Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life." H H Asquith


The marketing departments for knife manufacturers are looking at these trends very carefully, noting that the elementary and high school markets seem to be pretty crowded with competition from the gun manufacturers, but middle schools and geriatric centers around the country seem to be relatively untapped as targets.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/video/younger-dynamic-pushing-ar-15-sales-higher-after-parkland-massacre/vi-BBJnczL

It could be that a marketing plan targeting the the one-at-a-time stabber, sort of a heritage, organic, craftsman type of sustainable murderer could be the lever that takes market share from these automated, one-size-fits-all, mass manufactured murders that currently dominate the market.

Wall Street analysts question this approach, citing the reduction in productivity and efficiency that might result if less deadly technologies come to the fore, thus cutting into margins.

And then there is the matter of increasing the mass murder labor force, with might lead to inflation.

Why have one hundred angry white guys do what nine angry white guys and one American-born Muslim could with less effort and lower overshithead.

"...the the one-at-a-time stabber, sort of a heritage, organic, small-batch, artesanal craftsman type of sustainable murderer"

Anyone who stabs McArdle should rub some Pink Himalayan Salt in the wound.

sort of a heritage, organic, craftsman type of sustainable murderer

if you make it out of vinyl, the hipsters will be all over it.

First of all, "...the the one-at-a-time stabber, sort of a heritage, organic, small-batch, artisanal craftsman type of sustainable murderer" made my day.

Anyone else a little skeeved out at the PA Supreme Court drawing the Congressional Districts?

I spent personal time canvassing and my own money helping get the Fla anti-gerrymandering amendment across the line, but the PA court seems to be overreaching here to me.

Tony,

I had cataract surgery a couple of years ago. Great thing. email me and if you want the name of my ophthamologist.

A few things:

The card they gave me says the IOL is made by Abbott and is a model ZCB00, with radio, heater, and automatic transmission. I lost the card for the other eye but presume it is the same.

Apparently this is some kind of premium lens, but it is not the kind that gives you good vision both near and far. I still need glasses to read, but they are off-the shelf cheapies. My guy said he could do the other kind but recommended against it, because of the risk of side effect, which, IIRC, are more common in men than women.

The lens provides UV protection, so I need sunglasses only for glare, and to set off my stunning good looks.

I was told not to get the thing wet for a while, so I got an inexpensive scuba mask for showering. Worked fine.

One interesting thing. My kitchen cabinets are white. When I looked at them after the surgery they had turned sort of blue, as many other white objects had. Cataracts are sort of brown or yellow. They tint everything. Your brain makes the adjustment when it knows what's up. So the cabinet sends "white," and the cataract turns that into "yellowish." The brain, smarter than the cataract, says, "I know the damn things are white, so I'm adjusting the message."

You still get the adjustment after the surgery, until the brain catches on that the cataract is gone, when the shift towards blue goes away.

The color effects of cataracts affected Monet, whose colors show the gradual effect as he aged. He had cataract surgery at age 82, and was displeased by the change in perceived colors.

(My ophthamologist, besides doing good work, likes to talk about this stuff.)

the PA court seems to be overreaching here to me.

Well, I think they are on pretty solid ground in vacating the previous districts. Admittedly, I'm not an expert on the Pennsylvania state constitution, but presumably they are. (And if the Republicans couldn't convince Scalia to even bother to ask the other justices before telling them to pound sand, likely the PA court got it right.)

At that point, telling the legislators and governor to come up with something better made sense. Which they couldn't manage to agree on -- that is, somebody (it can be argued later just who) wanted to gerrymander more than the other could tolerate. At that point, getting an expert to draw the lines doesn't seem unreasonable. And it's not like the court failed to warn the legislators that they would do so if necessary.

So no, not seeing a great deal of overreach. What would you have them do instead? Allow elections to go forward using districts that they have already ruled were unacceptable? Or what?

I think the PASC map is slightly gerrymandered in favor of Dems. That sends a bad signal.

Why doesn't the USA embrace democracy and take control of electoral boundaries out of the hands of politicians?

"The color effects of cataracts affected Monet, whose colors show the gradual effect as he aged. He had cataract surgery at age 82, and was displeased by the change in perceived colors."

Is that why his paintings are so blurry?

I wasn't going to tell my eye story, but it may be that I suffered from a cataract at a younger age than anyone here, or at least I hope so for all your sakes.

I was 11 years old. In the backyard, playing catch with a younger brother with, inevitably, a baseball. I had my back to the woods that took up the back half acre or so of my parents' property and my brother overthrew me and the ball sailed into the ravine, rolling to the creek below.

I plunged after it and somewhere along the way a tree branch snapped back into my face and, as it turned out, a twig went directly threw the center of my left eyeball and just as quickly snapped back out.

I thought at first, as did my very attentive mother, that the offending branch had merely scratched my eye. She couldn't tell much with her naked eye. A couple of hours on the couch and what seemed like a mild irritation of the eye turned into some considerable pain and a headache so off to the ophthalmologist, a very good one in Pittsburgh, among many in that city.

He took one look and into the hospital I went for a week, no surgery ... yet, but shot up with antibiotics and more eye drops than I knew existed.

My Dad bought me a transistor radio so I could listen to the Pirates' games. The old Forbes Field was only a few blocks away. There was no air conditioning in the hospital and it was sweltering. I lived on ice cream.

A traumatic cataract quickly formed. I was to learn later that I came within a few hours maybe of losing the eye completely from infection.*

Over the next two years ... this was before laser eye surgery was available, all done with scalpels, I had two surgeries to remove the cataract(s) and relieve the pressure on the eye.

The lens, and a bit of the iris, went with the cataract, so I was, and am to this day, mostly blind in that eye and I don't use it.

If I place my hand over my good eye I can see with the injured one, but it's highly blurry. I can see the top big E on the chart and that's it. Maybe a line or two more using the little thing with tiny holes in it.

Had to start wearing glasses, which I took as an attack on my vanity.

No sports, because the condition of the eye was delicate.

That didn't last long, despite my doctor's orders and my mother's fears and, well, now I patrol center field 55 years later chasing down fly balls.

I occasionally have a problem, usually at the beginning of the season, with depth perception, but my eyes and my brain have worked something out between themselves and it dissipates within a few days of practice.

There was discussion into my early twenties about correcting the vision via contact lenses, then eyeglasses over those with prisms in them. Maybe a system of pulleys and weights too. And standing on one foot perhaps.

Like Jerry Lewis or Mickey Rooney characters.

I have vague double vision, but only when I choose to notice. The tricky part is the images from either eye are not vertically in synch either.

No thanks. I can see the girls fine with one eye.

The eye is only a tiny bit lazy upon close inspection.

I see a doc once a year to keep track of the pressure .... it's a little high but not dangerously so.

I sometimes think about what medical science might so for me in 2018 (I'm sure I'm missing the fullness and depth of a visual field), but I figure if I've come this far, so good, and if it's only half broken, why fix it and take the risk of something else going wrong.

My eye injury at the time, 1963, I was told, achieved some notoriety in the medical journals, though I've never gone back and checked. My doctor, a very fine man and a great doctor, had me sit twice at the eye instrumentation for hours at a time while a room full of doctors from all over the world peered into my peeper.

One wore a monocle.

"Ah, yes, I do see ... most wery intaresting. Zee angles are wery unusual. Miraculous werk on the cataract, doctor. Quite exquisite."

Then the next guy would give it a go.

I felt like the Elephant Man. A little sick of my predicament but proud of the attention.

But enough about my eyes. What about women's eyes?

I didn't have much need to think about it through 31 years of marriage, but now at my age and single, I seem to be invisible to women.

I see them just fine, but they can't see me.

Is that normal?

*I was drinking late at night in Philippines many decades ago with a few other expats and one guy, an Australian, who claimed a lot of iffy things that night, as Aussies will do, had a glass eye. At one point he popped out into his hand and plopped it into a glass of water, which I'm not sure was a good thing in the third world. As a kind of drinking parlor trick.

I thought to myself that if I had lost the eye, I could do that too.

Why doesn't the USA embrace democracy and take control of electoral boundaries out of the hands of politicians?

Well, some places have. But it mostly seems to be places which provide for Initiatives, since the politicians tend to be disinclined to let go.

Or did you have some other approach in mind?

We did it by voter initiatives in Florida.

Why doesn't the USA embrace democracy and take control of electoral boundaries out of the hands of politicians?

And put it in whose hands? And how are those hands chosen?

But why stop there? Let's get rid of state boundaries as well. Weren't they drawn by politicians?

Well, some places have. But it mostly seems to be places which provide for Initiatives, since the politicians tend to be disinclined to let go.

+1 for noticing. While there are isolated cases elsewhere, initiatives are near-universal in the West. I claim that over the next 25 years this is going to result in the West looking a lot less like the rest of the country, politically.

I think the PASC map is slightly gerrymandered in favor of Dems.

FiveThirtyEight disagrees, which means you’re wrong ... obviously. ;^)

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/pennsylvanias-new-map-helps-democrats-but-its-not-a-democratic-gerrymander/

The PASC map is considerably LESS fractal than the previous map, or the map proposed by PA Dems. What remains is imposed by mountain chains (as reflected in county boundaries also, too).

PA constitutional amendments are really hard to pass: two successive legislatures have to pass them, then a statewide referendum. So "just amend already" isn't a very simple solution. In any case, it's just until 2021.

Lots of 18th Century holdovers in PA.

Anyone else a little skeeved out at the PA Supreme Court drawing the Congressional Districts?

not me

I think the PASC map is slightly gerrymandered in favor of Dems.

maybe there are just more dems in PA.

somewhere in this great nation of ours, there is a genius who can come up with a simple way to allocate congressional districts that completely ignores party affiliation.

this is the age of algorithms, right? base it on average number of freckles. annual sales of ice cream sundaes. whatever. just figure something out, apply it uniformly across the nation, and get party affiliation the hell out of it.

He had cataract surgery at age 82, and was displeased by the change in perceived colors

i've seen his late work from before he had the surgery. it was.... increasingly vivid.

I see them just fine, but they can't see me.
Is that normal?

I will paraphrase a brief song introduction monologue, from a leonard cohen performance.

first, you are irresistable.
then, you are resistable.
then, you're kind of... repulsive.
then, you're just invisible.

but if you stick around long enough, you're cute again.

geezer goals.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/fake-news-strikes-again-this-time-targeting-florida-school-shooting-survivors-2018-02-20?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

We are living in a conservative republican-created shit storm of murderous venality, not a polity, not a country, not a democracy, a monstrous piece of conservative republican shit that must be killed.

We aren't going to redraw the lines.

We are going to blow up the entire landscape.

And I'm not interested in having Rubio, that shitheel Cuban, stand up for the students.

Yesterday, he said the AR-15 genie is out of the bottle.

Yes, thanks to his summoning of that diablo djinn via his masturbatory rubbing all these years of the NRA political donation murder lamp with three wishes, all of them the same.

Money for him.

He will be sent back to Cuba to face execution, the republican scum.

There is no refuge for him in belated calculated fake decency.

Go to Mar-a-Lago, all of you, so we can burn it down and rid the country of vermin.

Rubio's not a Dreamer. He's a fucking nightmare.

An NRA wet dream.


My kitchen cabinets are white. When I looked at them after the surgery they had turned sort of blue, as many other white objects had. Cataracts are sort of brown or yellow. They tint everything. Your brain makes the adjustment when it knows what's up. So the cabinet sends "white," and the cataract turns that into "yellowish." The brain, smarter than the cataract, says, "I know the damn things are white, so I'm adjusting the message."...

That's interesting, given that your brain makes this white balance adjustment pretty well every day as lighting conditions change.
It's probably that the cataracts block pretty well all the blue light photons from reaching your retina, so the adjustment is a very large one.

And put it in whose hands? And how are those hands chosen?..

An interesting question.

The UK's Boundary Commission is widely acknowledged to be politically impartial, but that is (perhaps) as much owing to the UK's tradition of civil service impartiality as it is to its appointments procedures.

https://boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/about-us/

I didn't have much need to think about it through 31 years of marriage, but now at my age and single, I seem to be invisible to women...

Ask pretty well any womepan over the age of fifty (I possibly exaggerate, but not by much), and they will tell you much the same.
Which suggests that it ought to be a problem with a relatively simple solution...

Womepan ??
Apologies for the inexplicable absence of the usually unwanted but inescapable autocorrect. And my own incompetence.

I heard about Monet's eye problems and their effect on his paintings too. But would he not perceive the colours on his palette the same wrong way thus correcting the error for the most part (as opposed to a person with actual colour-blindness where some colours are not shifted but look the same)?

As for stabbing stepping in for shooting: what about semi or fully automatic knife launchers?
(There is a guy in Germany who became a celebrity by designing launchers for anything conceivable* without any use of explosive chemicals).
What is the legal situation about hand-cranked automatic weapons? Does the ban** on automatic weapons cover those too?

*supersonic LEGO bricks!
**I know, strictly spoken automatic firearms are not formally banned in the US but just so heavily regulated that it amounts to a de facto ban.

And put it in whose hands? And how are those hands chosen?..

Have a look at how it's done in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, or any other country with a functioning democracy. And pick the method you like best.

I don't know how you get there from here. I'm just drawing your attention to the fact that this is a uniquely American problem.

Martin Duque Anguiano

For Germany the most significant factor is likely that we do not have a pure "winner takes all" system, so gerrymandering would have very little effect even if tried. Bavaria (run by the German version of the Texas GOP) is about the only exception but even there gerrymandering is not the tool of choice.

a friend's Facebook feed has introduced me to the wild and hallucinatory world of QAnon.

it's getting weird out there.

as an aside - has anyone ever looked into the correlation between software engineering and a tendency to embrace weird conspiracy theories.

just something I notice, i'm wondering if it's particular to my circle of acquaintances.

QAnon

never heard of it. Googled, ended up on a Newsweek explainer.

the comments are full of people who believe it.

Alex Jones is a menace. Jerome Corsi is deranged.

Have a look at how it's done in the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, or any other country with a functioning democracy. And pick the method you like best.

That may be, but I believe all those countries are parliamentary systems (as Hartmut points out).

The problem may be deeper than just drawing lines on the map.

as an aside - has anyone ever looked into the correlation between software engineering and a tendency to embrace weird conspiracy theories.

At the very least, libertarianism seems to be more common than in the general population. And there seems to be a correlation between libertarianism and subscribing to conspiracy theories.

I believe all those countries are parliamentary systems (as Hartmut points out)

Hartmut's point is that Bundestag elections use a party list on top of constituency elections, with candidates elected from the list so as to achieve proportional representation. So there's little incentive to gerrymander.

The way California selects its redistricting commission is this:

  • There is an open application period, when anyone can apply (I did).
  • The State Auditor selects the 20 most qualified candidates in each of 3 groups: Republicans, Democrats, individuals who are not members of either of those parties.
  • The Speaker of the Assembly, the President pro tem of the Senate, and the minority leader from each house reduce each pool to 12 individuals.
  • The State Auditor randomly draws 3 individuals each from the Republican and Democratic pools plus 2 from the independent pool.
  • Those 8 members then select 6 more members from those remaining in the pools.

The California Constitution establishes a set of rank-ordered criteria that the Commission has to follow to create new districts:

  • Population Equality: Districts must comply with the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of “one person, one vote”
  • Federal Voting Rights Act: Districts must ensure an equal opportunity for minorities to elect a candidate of their choice
  • Geographic Contiguity: All areas within a district must be connected to each other, except for the special case of islands
  • Geographic Integrity: Districts shall minimize the division of cities, counties, local neighborhoods and communities of interests to the extent possible, without violating previous criteria. A community of interest is a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation.
  • Geographic Compactness: To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with previous criteria, districts must not bypass nearby communities for more distant communities
  • Nesting: To the extent practicable, and where this does not conflict with previous criteria, each Senate district will be composed of two whole Assembly districts
That seems to have been successful in creating a body which is effectively non-partisan and which has produced districts that are not gerrymandered. (Of course, given the on-going determined suicide of the California GOP, it's hard to be absolutely certain just based on the results....)

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