Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Mysterious Lithophones of Vietnam: Descendants of the First Musical Instruments?

Via David

The word ‘lithophone’ is derived from two Greek words, ‘lithos’ and ‘phone’. The first can be translated as ‘stone’, whilst the second means ‘sound’. Therefore, a lithophone may be said to be a ‘sound-making stone’. Today, this word is used to denote a type of musical instrument made of stones. Lithophones have been discovered in different parts of the world, including Vietnam.

Researchers have said that lithophones were played between 4,000 and 10,000 years ago.
Generally speaking, a lithophone consists of several stone slabs of varying sizes. As these stones are struck, different tones are produced. Therefore, a lithophone may be considered to be a percussion instrument, and it has often been compared to a xylophone.

Speaker Paul Ryan Is on the CHOPPING BLOCK – Check Out His Likely Replacement…

Via Mike

Things aren’t looking good for Speaker of the House Paul Ryan after he bungled the Obamacare replacement bill.

House Republicans are now openly discussing replacing the “crippled speaker.”

Ryan failed to replace Obamacare in the House that HE RUNS. He also repeatedly promised the public that the replacement plan would pass — which it did not. He also mislead President Trump every step of the way.

In the wake of this massive failure, Republicans are openly having a dialogue about replacing Paul Ryan as Speaker of the House. Many are concerned that Ryan isn’t taking into consideration the best interest of President Trump or the Republican Party.

“This is another example of the staff not serving the president well and the weakness of the Paul Ryan speakership,” a source close to President Trump told Breitbart News. “This calls into question once again the speaker’s commitment to supporting Donald Trump and his agenda.”

“Speaker Ryan proved today that he does not have the best interests of the President at heart,” said another source close to the president. “He sold out the president and showed his word can be taken with a grain of salt. There is only one course of action that should be taken to move past this catastrophe and that is the swift removal of Paul Ryan from the speakership.”

Christian v Patriot

"I know, sir, how well it becomes a freeman and a Christian to forget and forgive. As individuals professing a holy religion, it is our bounden duty to forgive injuries done us as individuals. But when the character of Christian you add the character of patriot, you are in a different situation. Our mild and holy system of religion inculcates an admirable maxim of forbearance. If your enemy smite one cheek, turn the other to him. But you must stop there. You cannot apply this to your country. As members of a social community, this maxim does not apply to you. When you consider injuries done to your country your political duty tells you of vengeance. Forgive as a private man, but never forgive public injuries. Observations of this nature are exceedingly unpleasant, but it is my duty to use them."

—Patrick Henry, Life, Correspondence and Speeches, William Wirt Henry, editor (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1891), Vol. II, p. 490

How Democrats Killed Their Populist Soul

Via Frank


In the 1970s, a new wave of post-Watergate liberals stopped fighting monopoly power. The result is an increasingly dangerous political system.

 t was January 1975, and the Watergate Babies had arrived in Washington looking for blood. The Watergate Babies—as the recently elected Democratic congressmen were known—were young, idealistic liberals who had been swept into office on a promise to clean up government, end the war in Vietnam, and rid the nation’s capital of the kind of corruption and dirty politics the Nixon White House had wrought. Richard Nixon himself had resigned just a few months earlier in August. But the Watergate Babies didn’t just campaign against Nixon; they took on the Democratic establishment, too. Newly elected Representative George Miller of California, then just 29 years old, announced, “We came here to take the Bastille.”

Russia Prepares For Split With International Banking System

Via Billy

Although Russia's alternative system to SWIFT isn't fully functional, Russia would likely come out on top in the long-term

Russia has successfully developed and implemented an alternative should it be excluded from international banking systems, according to a recent report.

As far as western sanctions go, by far Russia's largest vulnerability is in its banking sector, which for better or for worse is tied to the hip with international banking.

If Russia wishes to maintain the status quo, there's not much that can be done about this dependency. But shortly after sanctions were announced in 2014, Moscow set out to prepare for the worst-case scenario: being cut off from the Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system.

M-44 Cyanide Bomb Kills Dog, Many More Spread Across the U.S.

Via Billy

This is a horrific story of a government action supposedly preventing one problem, but creating a whole new danger.

It killed a cherished family dog. It almost killed a little boy.

It may be in your neighborhood too.

From Conservative Tribune:
Canyon Mansfield, 14, was walking with his family’s dog when he noticed a pipe sticking out of the ground. As soon as he touched the pipe, it released a deadly poison.
“I see this little pipe that looked like a sprinkler sticking out of the ground,” Mansfield told the newspaper. “I go over and touch it. Then it makes a pop sound and it spews orange gas everywhere.”

Dem Sen. Kamala Harris: Gorsuch Too Judicial To Be SCOTUS Judge! Ha! :)

Via Billy

Dem Sen. Kamala Harris: Gorsuch Too Judicial To Be SCOTUS Judge
Wicked Witch Oh The West!  

During the opening statement of his confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch expressed his philosophy on how a good judge reaches decisions::
I’ve ruled for disabled students, for prisoners, for the accused, for workers alleging civil rights violations, and for undocumented immigrants. Sometimes, too, I ruled against such persons. My decisions have never reflected a judgment about the people before me, only a judgment of the law and the facts at issue in each particular case.

A good judge can promise no more than that. And a good judge should guarantee no less. For a judge who likes every outcome he reaches is probably a pretty bad judge, stretching for policy results he prefers rather than those the law compels.
In other words, for Gorsuch, a good judge bases his rulings on the law as it is, not on how he or she wishes it was.

As Senator Chuck Grassley put it ,
“He’s a guy who I think comes to the court every day on the 10th circuit wearing a referee’s jersey – not trying to wear a Broncos versus a Packers jersey – and that’s what you need in a judge.”
Good enough, right?

Nunes: Leaks against Trump jeopardize reauthorization of crucial spying powers

Via Billy

Rep. Devin Nunes said Thursday that Republicans' concerns about intelligence leaks targeting President Trump are jeopardizing congressional reauthorization of crucial government surveillance tools.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the National Security Agency to monitor telephone communications and Internet data generated by foreign nationals.

It is valued by national security experts for its ability to scoop up vast sums of information that can be used to spy on American adversaries and identify terror plots. But it can also incidentally scoop up Americans who speak with foreign nationals. Including, potentially, a newly elected president and his associates.

House Intelligence Committee Closes Doors to Public for NSA, FBI Testimony: Likely Nunes Believes “Smoking Gun” Forthcoming

Via Billy

The Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes, abruptly canceled the committee’s open session on Friday, saying that major players within the NSA had requested to testify a second time on anti-Russian surveillance efforts —but would do so only behind closed doors.

Although he says it’s something the public ought to know, Nunes is keeping his information under tighter wraps than a celebrity Snapchat account.

According to Nunes, former National Intelligence Committee director James Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan and former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates have all agreed to provide testimony on whether the Obama Administration was investigating members of Donald Trump’s campaign team for their ties to Russia.

Of course, now that he has the doors closed, Nunes has invited other top figures to re-testify, just in case there was something they didn’t want to say on camera. FBI Director James Comey and NSA director Mike Rogers will be back Friday, it seems, for a second round of testimony.

More @ Heat Street

In 24 States, 50% or More of Babies Born on Medicaid; New Mexico Leads Nation With 72%

Via Billy

In 24 of the nation’s 50 states at least half of the babies born during the latest year on record had their births paid for by Medicaid, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

New Mexico led all states with 72 percent of the babies born there in 2015 having their births covered by Medicaid.

Arkansas ranked second with 67 percent; Louisiana ranked third with 65 percent; and three states—Mississippi, Nevada and Wisconsin—tied for fourth place with 64 percent of babies born there covered by Medicaid.

New Hampshire earned the distinction of having the smallest percentage of babies born on Medicaid. In that state, Medicaid paid for the births of only 27 percent of the babies born in 2015.

Virginia and Utah tied for the next to last position, with 31 percent of the babies born on Medicaid.

More @ CNS