Monday, January 21, 2019


Vision Zero, a ‘Road Diet’ Fad, Is Proving to Be Deadly
See the first Wall Street Journal article, below.

‘Just Like a Dog’: Emotional Support Alligator Visits Senior Center (PHOTOS)

NYC pension staffers are chilling in Key West as Arctic chill hits

Amsterdam’s red light district suffering from tourist overload

Oh my gourd! New York's iconic 'Pumpkin House' with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and Hudson River finally sells at a discounted $2 million after being on the market for two years

To Save the Sound of a Stradivarius, a Whole City Must Keep Quiet

The True Story Behind the Cheney Family Feud Over Gay Marriage and Cheney's Gay Daughter

Nobody Is Moving Our Cheese: American Surplus Reaches Record High

Think Snowstorms Are Rough Now? Check Out These Vintage New York Blizzards

Glaciers Are Retreating. Millions Rely on Their Water.

Russian space program and rocket development in 2018

Washington fears new threat from 'deepfake' videos

This nanny is taking on cops, prosecutors after finding boss’ spycam in bathroom

Harvesting Democratic Votes
See the second Wall Street Journal article, below.

Inside the Mueller team’s decision to dispute BuzzFeed’s explosive story on Trump and Cohen

Trump defends immigration proposal against 'amnesty' criticism from conservatives

Americans More Accepting of Socialism? A Psychological Take

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – 
which you can never afford to Lose – with the discipline to confront
the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."
        - VAdm James Stockdale, USN (1923-2005)

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (without permission)

Vision Zero, a ‘Road Diet’ Fad, Is Proving to Be Deadly

Emergency vehicles get stuck on streets that have been narrowed to promote walking and bicycling.

Jan. 18, 2019 6:17 p.m. ET

Auto traffic flows in and out of Los Angeles.
 Photo: frederic j. brown/AFP/Getty Images
Renee Khoury was in the kitchen when she heard a scream. She ran outside and found her 65-year-old mother, Rebecca, sprawled on the sidewalk with a compound fracture in her left leg. Renee called 911 then comforted her mom as best she could.
The Khourys live five blocks from Fire Station 62 in West Los Angeles’s Mar Vista neighborhood. They heard a siren right away, but something was wrong. It wasn’t moving. “It took 10 minutes,” says Renee’s husband, Jeff. “Becky was in pain. They could hear help but it couldn’t reach them.”
Los Angeles, like cities nationwide, is transforming its streets. In July 2017 the city installed a “road diet” on a 0.8-mile stretch of Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista, reducing four lanes to two and adding bike lanes separated from traffic by parking buffers. The project is part of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Vision Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities in the city by 2025. Launched in 2015, Vision Zero is the most radical transformation of how people move through Los Angeles since the dawn of the freeway era 75 years ago.
By almost any metric it’s been a disaster. Pedestrian deaths have nearly doubled, from 74 in 2015 to 135 in 2017, the last year for which data are available. After years of improvement, Los Angeles again has the world’s worst traffic, according to the transportation research firm Inrix. Miles of vehicles idling in gridlock have reduced air quality to 1980s levels.
The international Vision Zero movement began in the 1990s in Sweden, where it apparently worked well. The Swedish government claims a 50% reduction in traffic deaths since 2000. Hoping to achieve similar gains, U.S. mayors from New York City to North Pole, Alaska, have adopted Vision Zero. Projects range from multibillion-dollar light-rail lines to retiming traffic lights for slower traffic. Road diets are key.
In neighborhoods across New York City, residents, community boards and local businesses have done battle with city officials over “traffic calming” measures imposed by city hall. Lane reductions, bike lanes, new meridians and other innovations designed to reduce vehicle speeds make it difficult for bulky ambulances and fire trucks to respond quickly to emergencies. And while pedestrian deaths have plummeted in the Big Apple under Vision Zero, deaths of bicyclists, motorcyclists and people in vehicles have ticked up.
Around the country, officials have implemented projects on short notice, over local objections and without consulting first responders. Howard Holt, a fire captain in Oakland, Calif., said he found out about a road diet in front of his station when he arrived for a shift one morning. “I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to drive in the new green lanes,” he said recently. “Turns out they’re bike lanes.” He calls the city bureaucracy “The Wall.”
During the 2017 La Tuna Fire, the biggest in Los Angeles in half a century, a road diet on Foothill Boulevard the in Sunland-Tujunga neighborhood bottlenecked evacuations. After the fire a neighborhood association voted to go off the road diet. The city ignored the request and instead added another one to La Tuna Canyon Road.
The story isn’t confined to big cities. In Waverly, Iowa (pop. 9,837), Fire Chief Dennis Happel and Bremer County Sheriff Dan Pickett say the city has ignored their concerns over a road diet plan. In Fairbanks, Alaska, Fire Battalion Chief Brian Davis says the city installed traffic controls to mitigate the impact of new bike lanes in front of his fire house. In January the average high temperature in Fairbanks is zero Fahrenheit—much too cold to ride a bike.
It’s noble to want to make America’s streets as safe as they can be. But government officials shouldn’t impose projects on communities that don’t work, inconvenience residents, hurt businesses and impede emergency responders in the process.
Mr. LeGras is an attorney and writer in Los Angeles.
Appeared in the January 19, 2019, print edition.

Harvesting Democratic Votes

Liberals want to impose the California voting model on all 50 states.

Jan. 18, 2019 7:09 p.m. ET

Voters mark their ballots at the Santa Monica City Hall polling station in the 2018 midterm general election, Nov. 6, 2018. 
Photo: mike nelson/epa-efe/rex/Shutterstock
Democrats in Congress are making election reform their top legislative priority, and we’ve criticized it as a majority protection act. To understand why, consider that Democrats are trying to do for the country what they’ve done with election laws in California.
The Golden State is where Republican candidates went to bed on election night in November with leads in most of their competitive House races, only to lose in the ensuing weeks of vote counting. In Orange County, Young Kim was poised to become the first Korean-American woman in Congress, with a sizable lead on Election Day over her Democratic opponent. She lost by three percentage points. Republican Rep. Mimi Walters’s 6,074-vote lead on Nov. 6 turned into an 11,866-vote loss to Democrat Katie Porter.
The GOP wipeout came after the Democrats who dominate Sacramento passed laws aimed at greasing their voting machine. The project started in 2015 when California became the second state after Oregon to move to automatic voter registration.
Can’t be bothered to register? California does it for you, automatically adding to its rolls any person who has any interaction with its Department of Motor Vehicles. The system is already a threat to ballot integrity, with the DMV acknowledging in September it had incorrectly registered 23,000 voters.
In 2016 California passed the Voter’s Choice Act, which allows counties to mail every voter a ballot. Lots of Californians use mail voting, though previously they had to request it. Now ballots arrive automatically, whether voters want one or not. Thirteen million California voters received ballots in the mail last year, compared to about nine million in 2014.
The biggest score for Democrats is a separate 2016 law pushed heavily by unionsthat legalized what’s known as ballot harvesting. This allows any person—union activists, canvassers, community organizers, campaign staff—to show up at homes and collect mail ballots on behalf of voters.
California law also allows counting mail ballots postmarked or delivered on Election Day, as well as same-day registration and liberal use of provisional ballots. This year the Democratic vote totals piled up long after the polls closed. Fred Whitaker, chairman of the Orange County GOP, has estimated that an extraordinary 250,000 mail-votes were dropped off on Election Day thanks to harvesting.
All of this is carefully designed to enhance Democratic turnout. Media stories have detailed a sophisticated operation that pinpointed Democratic voters and deployed volunteers to harvest door-to-door. Republicans struggled to get conservatives to hand ballots over to strangers, and Democrats can’t be blamed for better organization.
But California law also creates opportunity for fraud and coercion. Voters in a 2017 special election for an open seat in the California state Assembly reported activists harassed them at their doors to fill out ballots for specific candidates and hand them over.
This creates opportunities for harvesters to “help” voters complete their ballots, or even pay to finish them, and it’s easy for the unscrupulous to lose ballots they think may go for the wrong candidate. This is why ballot harvesting is illegal in many states, or at least limited to drop-offs by family members.
House Democrats are now moving to impose much of this on the other 49 states. Their For the People Act, or H.R.1, would require all states to adopt automatic voter registration based on names in state and federal agency databases. This means anyone receiving federal food stamps in, say, Ohio, would be automatically registered to vote.
The bill also requires states to allow same-day and online voter registration. It mandates looser rules on provisional ballots, requires every state to provide two weeks of early voting, prohibits restrictions on mail voting, and limits states’ ability to remove voters from rolls. Oh, and it will require that the United States Postal Service deliver ballots for free. Vote harvesting isn’t in H.R.1 but give Democrats time.
All this is an affront to the American tradition of letting states set their own election rules. Few states have automatic registration, on the principle that voting is voluntary. Even liberal Slate magazine, in suggesting that the House bill would “Save American Democracy,” acknowledged that some of the bill might not survive Supreme Court scrutiny.
California has become a one-party state, and Democrats have used their dominance to make it even harder for Republicans to compete. Now they want to use their new House majority to do the same for the rest of America. The Senate can stop them for now, but look out in 2021.
Appeared in the January 19, 2019, print edition.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Glorious Glenstone: An Immersive Experience of Art in 230 Acres of Natural Beauty

Sowell:  Fact-Free Politics

Terrifying New Escape Room Just Locks You In A Church Meet-And-Greet Time

For Sanity’s Sake, Delete Your Account
See the second Wall Street Journal article, below.

ACA Turns Patients Into Guinea Pigs

The Centenarian: Arthur Warner McNair

How to Store Data Along Memory Lane
See the first Wall Street Journal article, below.

Facebook testing a 'meme hub' called LOL in attempt to attract teens

Pentagon: Climate Change is Real and a 'National Security Issue'

Scientists find preserved animal carcasses in mysterious Antarctic lake 'twice the size of Manhattan' buried under 3,500 feet of ice

It begins this Sunday 10:34 p.m. EST.

Putin's megarocket plans grounded after engineers find flaw that could cause new 'heavy lift' rocket to explode

The Truth According To Your Weltanschauung

Facebook shuts down over 500 pages it says were created by two separate Russian 'influence operations' in major crackdown

STOP The 'Dem Politician Protection Act'!

Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback

Meet the man who paved the way for government shutdowns

The Shutdown Is Bringing Pain – But Perhaps Silver Lining for Swamp Opponents

MLK National Park to Re-Open Despite Shutdown, Thanks to Delta

Thanks, TM ...


‘We needed Trump to survive’ – in this area of Texas, Trump is deemed a success

-- "You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to Lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be." - VAdm James Stockdale, USN (1923-2005) FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (without permission)  use link for full story.

How to Store Data Along Memory Lane

Inspired by a relative’s Alzheimer’s, Nelson Dellis learned 10,000 digits of pi and found ways of making memorization creative and entertaining.


James Taranto

Jan. 18, 2019 6:18 p.m. ET

Illustration: Ken Fallin


Nelson Dellis remembers things. Useless things—strings of random digits or the order of the cards in a shuffled deck—and useful things like names and phone numbers. Mr. Dellis, 34, describes himself as a “memory athlete,” meaning he trains intensively and participates in organized competitions of recall. He won the annual USA Memory Championship four times in five years starting in 2011, and once set a record, since surpassed, by memorizing 339 digits of pi in five minutes. In 2016 he spent 10 days committing pi’s first 10,000 digits to memory to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease.

Saturday, January 19, 2019


Italian town puts dozens of homes on market for as little as €1

News Quiz: Test Your Knowledge of the Week’s Headlines (8 out of 11)

Did you solve it? Catriona's colorful conundrums

2018 ended with Heaven’s Gate being run for the first time!

Now you can rent a grandchild for chores and rides

The ripple effect of Eric Berry

Generation Z Looks a Lot Like Millennials on Key Social and Political Issues

We Need To Retoxify Masculinity

Ex-Navy SEAL Jocko Willink: 'Toxic masculinity' and the powerful dichotomy of being a man

Is Ancient DNA Research Revealing New Truths — or Falling Into Old Traps?

Autoland: When pilots can't see the runway

FBI records, emails, Social Security numbers exposed in huge data leak

Android users' private tweets were exposed for more than FOUR YEARS without their knowledge after they changed the email linked to their Twitter account

Pressure mounts for Trump to reconsider Syria withdrawal

White House: Second Trump-Kim summit coming next month

Meet the bomber the US is sending to crush ISIS

Man claims 11-year-old got pregnant from his clothes

An Island for ‘Unwanted’ Migrants Is Denmark’s Latest Aggressive Anti-Immigrant Policy

Trump’s Border Wall Is a Political MacGuffin

Mueller’s office disputes report that claimed Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress

James Woods calls Ocasio-Cortez ‘the most dangerous person in America’

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – 
which you can never afford to Lose – with the discipline to confront
the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."
        - VAdm James Stockdale, USN (1923-2005)

Tuesday, January 15, 2019


Dangerous? I've got it licked! Daredevil performs a somersault and other brave stunts on Norway's famous Troll's Tongue rockface

Walmart bans woman for riding electric cart, guzzling wine from Pringles can

Not a very good boy! Hilarious moment Dalmatian accidentally puts his owner's $180,000 RV in reverse and sends it careening straight into a lake

The Writer Automaton, Switzerland

Keillor:  To be less enamored of self-destruction

The News in Zingers

Thanks, TM ...

What happens when the doctor blames you for your own lung cancer?

DYING TO HEAR: What's the last song you would want to listen to before transitioning? A palliative care doctor found out

Mutiny on the Sex Raft: how a 70s science project descended into violent chaos

‘Live Your Truth’

Remembering the Holocaust: Survival stories of survivors preserved on film to be projected as holograms at museums to ensure future generations learn from the world’s mistakes


This Robot Is Delivering Coral Babies to the Great Barrier Reef

Attention (Grand) Parents of High Schoolers: There's a national shortage of workers in a critical field

Thanks, TM ...

Women Don’t Belong in Combat Units
See the Wall Street Journal article, below.

 Wesley Glenn Bost, 27, of Birmingham, Alabama, made quite the impression when he fell through the ceiling of a Waffle House in Tuscumbia, not least because he wasn't wearing pants.  Bost apparently went into the restaurant's bathroom and used his pants to tie the door shut, then, said Tuscumbia police Detective Sgt. Wes Holland, climbed into the ceiling with the intent of robbing the office.  WHNT News reported that video of the incident shows Bost shoving other restaurant patrons on his way to the door, which was being held shut by people outside, before hitting the door with his shoulder and falling to the floor.  Finally he managed to flee . . . without his trousers . . . which held his driver's license. [WHNT, 11/6/2018] 

Robbing Beyonce Blind: The ADA litigation monster still continues to run amok

ISIS fanatics allegedly planned to poison Kate Middleton’s groceries

Trump Asks Turkish President Not to ‘Mistreat’ Kurdish Forces (Fat chance of this request being honored ... Kurds are DOA.)

Syria looks to ramp up talks with embattled Kurds

Iran exploring new uranium enrichment that could void 2015 nuclear deal

Apocalypse Ruth

Watergate by Any Other Name

Dems zero in on Trump and Russia

The Rise Of Socialism: Standing On The Shoulders Of Morons

"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end – which you can never afford to
Lose – with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever
they might be."
           - VAdm James Stockdale, USN (1923-2005)

FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (without permission) 

Women Don’t Belong in Combat Units

The military is watering down fitness standards because most female recruits can’t meet them.

Jan. 13, 2019 3:33 p.m. ET
Female Marine recruits in boot camp in Parris                  Island, S.C., Feb. 27, 2013.
Female Marine recruits in boot camp in Parris Island, S.C., Feb. 27, 2013.
 Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images
The Obama-era policy of integrating women into ground combat units is a misguided social experiment that threatens military readiness and wastes resources in the service of a political agenda. The next defense secretary should end it.