All content on this blog from Tim McGhee has moved to the Tim McGhee Substack, and soon, Lord willing, will be found only on that Substack.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Nature and Resources Updates

40 years ago #MountStHelens[…]

As flying returns, jetmakers seek to quell #coronavirus fears over cabin air via @STcom #COVID19 — […]

@USGSVolcanoes: #40YearsAgo at #MountStHelens: 9:20 AM Seismograph goes wild. Reports of eruption. No response from Johnston. From plane, Don Swanson watches roiling, twisting helix. Clouds pull back enough to see column jets from great hole. Swanson radios—the top of the mountain’s gone! #MSH40[…]

@AP: A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that a salvage firm can retrieve the Marconi wireless telegraph machine that broadcast distress calls from the sinking Titanic ocean liner.[…]

@capitalweather: Catastrophic dam failure in Midland, Michigan, along Tittabawassee River, ~110 mi N of Detroit. One dam has failed, another is failing. Predicted water level in Midland 4' higher than 500-yr flood in 1986 via @midlandcountymi. 10k folks being evacuated. Flash flood emergency. 1/2[…]

@capitalweather: NOAA calls for busier than normal Atlantic hurricane season: between 13 to 19 named storms, 6 to 10 hurricanes, and 3 to 6 major hurricanes of Category 3 or greater:[…]

Thursday, May 28, 2020

SCOTUS Updates

@news_ntd: "...question of whether a governor... can exercise effectively limitless, unilateral, temporally unbounded #authority."-Michigan Legislature Lawyer "This is the force of law, and we expect people to follow the law." -Gov. Whitmer Michigan gov. case may go to Supreme Court[…]

@azpolicy: Abuse, poverty, discrimination - all part of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' life. Check out his remarkable story Monday :[…]

@KevinDaleyDC: … Opati v. Sudan, ruling that terror victims can seek punitive damages for the 1998 embassy bombings. Justice Gorsuch has the opinion for a unanimous Court. Justice Kavanaugh is recused. #SCOTUS[…]

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Federal, International Updates

@SecPompeo: “The International Criminal Court is a political body, not a judicial institution.”[…]

Value: “Your customers don’t care what it took for you to make something. They care about what it does for them.”[…]

RT @DHSgov: “In valor there is hope” is inscribed on the marble walls of the police memorial in Washington. By reflecting upon the valor displayed by each of those lost in the line of duty, we can certainly find hope as a nation, especially in these trying times.[…]

“To all Norwegians and the millions of Americans who trace their ancestry to Norway, I offer my congratulations to you on this Constitution Day.”[…]

RT @eAsiaMediaHub: “Any decision impinging on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory," @SecPompeo added.[…]

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Freedom, not just for mountain life

To one party he was specially attracted. They were mostly young, stout, active, hardy men, in manner and speech provincial. In their look, the certain indefinable air, the pose of the head, glance of the eye, there was a spirit which did not, as a rule, belong to the outward seeming of ​the lower orders of Jerusalem; the spirit thought by some to be a peculiarity of life in mountainous districts, but which may be more surely traced to a life of healthful freedom.
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Presidential Updates: Space Force, Religious Freedom, Memorial Day

Space Force leadership presented the flag of the Space Force to @POTUS today in the Oval Office. The flag will hang alongside those of the other military services @WhiteHouse. @SecAFOfficial @SpaceForceCSO[…]

President Trump announced a new push to renovate the Strategic National Stockpile. "The final step in rebuilding the stockpile is to bring critical manufacturing permanently back to America," the President said.[…]

Remarks by President Trump at Presentation of the United States Space Force Flag and Signing of an Armed Forces Day Proclamation[…]

Remarks by @POTUS @realDonaldTrump at Presidential Recognition Ceremony: Hard Work, Heroism, and Hope via @WhiteHouse — […]

Monday, May 25, 2020

The bravest man he ever knew

The war was over and the post-war era was churning with a new sense of opportunity and responsibility. Several dozen of the boys from the Center had gone to war in that five-year holocaust that recast of the world into a new mold. Mothers and dad had prayed, trusting the Lord to protect their sons through the brutal battles in Europe, Africa, the South Pacific, Asia, and in the many places where men were involved in mortal combat.

As an encouragement to their faith, Lance Latham had preached many times on the marvelous power of believing prayer. “When you know Christ as personal Savior, and when people are praying for you, you are as safe on any battlefield as you are in your own home here in Chicago. Let’s always pray for our boys and especially trust God to help them to be a great testimony for Christ.”

Higher Education Updates

RT @nytimes: As universities announce plans to bring back students, a pattern is emerging: shorter semesters to avoid late-fall infections[…]

RT @EDcivilrights: New #TitleIX Blog, posted today, discusses the Final Rule's prohibition against relying on statements of a party who does not submit to cross-examination and its application in cases involving verbal conduct.[…]

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper (@EsperDoD) Remarks for the 2020 United States @NavalAcademy Commencement via @DeptofDefense[…]

My great-uncle Dave Breese used to speak to college and universities on a regular basis. I recently discovered a hint of why he traveled thousands annually for many years and clearly enjoyed what he was doing.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Is it possible to be addicted to debt?

I got into a conversation with a real estate agent today. He's been in the business 14 years, so he has seen some ups and downs.

He said in the last few weeks, the market has gotten very competitive. A house goes on the market, and there are 30 bids put on it.

With a quarter of the workforce unemployed, something about this doesn't add up.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Following the Senate: 7 things learned, 5 ways it helped

For the last few weeks I've been following the Senate closely. It has taught me several things.

1. The pattern of a Senate day's opening: • prayer, • pledge, remarks from the • President Pro Tempore, • Majority Leader, • Minority Leader, • Minority Whip, • Majority Whip. After the first three or four of those speakers, the order can vary.

2. The sound of a few more Senators' voices.

3. The issues Senators like to talk about.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

CARES Act Quarterly Report

Congress passed CARES Act less than two months ago, and apparently it's already time for a quarterly report on the law. Considering it spent $2.2 trillion, perhaps that's none too soon.

The Quarterly CARES Act Report to Congress

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

The great under-monotone of real life

Men speak of dreaming as if it were a phenomenon of night and sleep. They should know better.

All results achieved by us are self-promised, and all self-promises are made in dreams awake. Dreaming is the relief of labor, the wine that sustains us in act.

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Coliseum, holy ground

More vividly than all the written histories, the Coliseum tells the story of Rome's grandeur and Rome's decay. …

In addition to the gladiatorial combats and other shows, they sometimes threw members of the hated sect into the arena of the Coliseum and turned wild beasts in upon them. It is estimated that seventy thousand Christians suffered martyrdom in this place.

Friday, May 15, 2020

50% more days

Today my lifespan is 50% longer than was my biological father’s. He had just over 4 sevens on this earth. So far I’ve had about 6. 10,457 x 1.5 = 15,685

Today, I got a new piece of technology. He was into electronics, too. An HD Radio in the Washington area means one can listen to C-SPAN without a cable subscription. The used HD Radio I got as a backup and secondary option was worthless. This one is perfect.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Would AI make socialism finally work?

The Soviet economy suffered from chronic problems in planning, in production management, and in distribution. Let’s briefly analyze which of these problems lend themselves to Artificial Intelligence solutions, and which to a paradigm shift toward a more flexible economy. Another thorny problem to address: the design of an efficient automated Planning and Scheduling capability for the entire economy—a task facing a nearly infinite array of possibilities at the onset.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Buying Used

I’ve not had much success with buying products used. This has been true of items with costs having 4, 3 and 2 digits.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Love stays

Riches take wings, comforts vanish, hope withers away, but love stays with us.
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Monday, May 11, 2020

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Sunday Talk Show Recap: Economy, Coronavirus

Preview: As states loosen social distancing restrictions, lawmakers address dwindling state budgets

Recap: Reopening in spotlight after historic job losses

Clips on Twitter

Members of Congress on Mother’s Day

Mother-love, unlike any other

About that time two women came down the street from the direction of the Tower of Antonia, approaching the palace of the Hurs. They advanced stealthily, with timid steps, pausing often to listen. At the corner of the rugged pile, one said to the other, in a low voice,

“This is it, Tirzah!”

And Tirzah, after a look, caught her mother’s hand, and leaned upon her heavily, sobbing, but silent.

“Let us go on, my child, because”—the mother hesitated and trembled; then, with an effort to be calm, continued—“because when morning comes they will put us out of the gate of the city to—return no more.”

Tirzah sank almost to the stones.

“Ah, yes!” she said, between sobs; “I forgot. I had the feeling of going home. But we are lepers, and have no homes; we belong to the dead!”

The mother stooped and raised her tenderly, saying, “We have nothing to fear. Let us go on.”

Friday, May 8, 2020

The Fruits of Retail Therapy

For some people, retail therapy is a thing. For me, some of the best therapy is furniture moving. Sometimes the current configuration has outlasted its usefulness, and a change is due. I’ve written about this before. In this case today, the furniture-moving therapy was brought on by a little retail therapy.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

National Day of Prayer

There were two mentions of prayer on the Senate floor I found noteworthy today.

The first mention of the National Day of Prayer came from Senator Lankford.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

No reason to feel uncomfortable

If ever I ran an organization, I promised myself I would make it as easy as possible for people to see me and I’d always tell the truth, no matter how difficult the situation.

As long as you can be honest and rational and are able to explain yourself, there is no reason to feel uncomfortable.

No one person, however smart, can solve every problem. But an army of smart people talking candidly with one another will.
Source: What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence by Stephen A. Schwarzman

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Where men and women hurt

Would you hurt a man keenest, strike at his self-love; would you hurt a woman worst, aim at her affections.
Source: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace

Monday, May 4, 2020

An introduction to machine farming

(In Rome) They plow with a plow that is a sharp, curved blade of iron, and it cuts into the earth full five inches.

And this is not all. They cut their grain with a horrid machine that mows down whole fields in a day.

Friday, May 1, 2020

What gets immitated online, and what doesn't

But there’s still something that makes a meme distinct from an idea that remains obscure or merely becomes popular without spawning imitations. Often, it’s that memes are weird. Why do memes look like they do? In particular, why do they often involve distinctive and weird linguistic styles?

Limor Shifman provides a tantalizing clue: she did a study of YouTube videos that spawned many imitations compared with videos that had the same number of views but few or no imitations.

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