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steve2470's Journal
steve2470's Journal
December 31, 2017

-49F at Watson Lake, Yukon, Canada: something tells me they are staying IN for New Year's Eve....


But hey, it's the Yukon. Maybe a nice cool ride with the sled dogs ? Probably too cold for them.
December 31, 2017

Google And Amazon's Childish Little Fight Is Spilling Into Your Home



When, as kids, we used to get into fights our parents would sometimes suggest that we should have our heads knocked together. Not so much as a threat, but as a way of saying "you guys are both idiots, stop it". In case you haven't guessed, I'm here to suggest that Google and Amazon need their heads banging together, for the sake of their customers.

Google has now removed YouTube access from Amazon's devices, a move it took earlier than planned. Amazon has, once again, delisted Google's products from its store, offering its own and cheap imports as alternatives if you search for, say, Google Chromecast.

The ongoing spat between the two gigantic corporate babies is said to revolve around Amazon's refusal to stock Google's video streaming products like Chromecast, instead hoping to drive more sales to its own Fire TV sticks. Also removed from Amazon's listings, as I write this, are Google's "Home" products, which compete with Amazon's Echo range.

Although, of course, it's only possible to guess that this is the major problem. It's quite possible that the two firms have other differences that aren't widely known to the public. Google told The Verge that this is about Amazon not selling its products, and blocking Chromecast users from using Amazon Video - which in fairness is annoying.
December 31, 2017

What in the hell is Putin doing in this pic ? Is someone grabbing his finger ?!


eta: Tineye results here


eta2: After looking at Tineye maybe it's a Photoshop ?

eta3: Ok I asked the guy what it means. Maybe he will explain it.
December 31, 2017

The last days of the Battle of Berlin and Trump's followers....

The forces available to Artillery General Helmuth Weidling for the city's defence included several severely depleted Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS divisions, in all about 45,000 men. These formations were supplemented by the police force, boys in the compulsory Hitler Youth, and the Volkssturm.[c] Many of the 40,000 elderly men of the Volkssturm had been in the army as young men and some were veterans of World War I. Hitler appointed SS-Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke commander of the city's central government district. Mohnke's command post was in bunkers under the Reich Chancellery. The core group of his fighting men were the 800 members of the Leibstandarte (1st SS-Pz.Div. LSSAH) Guard Battalion (assigned to guard the Führer).[13] He had a total of over 2,000 men under his command.[d]

Because of the smoke, dusk came early to the centre of Berlin. At 18:00 hours, while Weidling and his staff finalized their breakout plans in the Bendlerblock, three regiments of the Soviet 150th Rifle Division, under cover of a heavy artillery barrage and closely supported by tanks, assaulted the Reichstag. All the windows were bricked up, but the soldiers managed to force the main doors and entered the main hall. The German garrison, of about 1,000 defenders (a mixture of sailors, SS and Hitler Youth) fired down on the Soviets from above, turning the main hall into a medieval style killing field. Suffering many casualties, the Soviets got beyond the main hall and started to work their way up through the building. The fire and subsequent wartime damage had turned the building's interior into a maze of rubble and debris amongst which the German defenders were strongly dug in.[77] The Soviet infantry were forced to clear them out. Fierce room-to-room fighting ensued.[78] As May Day approached Soviet troops reached the roof, but fighting continued inside. Moscow claimed that they hoisted the Red Flag on the top of the Reichstag at 22:50, however Beevor points out that this may have been an exaggeration as "Soviet propaganda was fixated with the idea of the Reichstag being captured by 1 May".[77] Whatever the truth, the fighting continued as there was still a large contingent of German soldiers down in the basement. The Germans were well stocked with food and ammunition and launched counter-attacks against the Red Army, leading to close fighting in and around the Reichstag.[78] Close combat raged throughout the night and the coming day of 1 May, until the evening when some German troops pulled out of the building and crossed the Friedrichstraße S-Bahn Station, where they moved into the ruins hours before the main breakout across the Spree.[79] About 300 of the last German combatants surrendered.[77] A further 200 defenders were dead and another 500 were already hors de combat, lying wounded in the basement, many before the final assault had started.[77]

On the morning of 2 May, the Soviets stormed the Reich Chancellery. In the official Soviet version, the battle was similar to that of the battle for the Reichstag. There was an assault over Wilhelmplatz and into the building with a howitzer to blast open the front doors and several battles within the building. Major Anna Nikulina, a political officer with Lieutenant-General I. P. Rossly's 9th Rifle Corps of the 5th Shock Army carried and unfurled the red flag on the roof. However, Beevor suggests that the official Soviet description is probably an exaggeration, as most of the German combat troops had left in the breakouts the night before, resistance must have been far less than that inside the Reichstag.[99]

At 01:00 hours, the Soviets picked up radio message from the German LVI Corps requesting a cease-fire and stating that emissaries would come under a white flag to Potsdamer bridge. General Weidling surrendered with his staff at 06:00 hours. He was taken to see Lieutenant-General Chuikov at 8:23 am. Chuikov, who had commanded the successful defence of Stalingrad, asked: "You are the commander of the Berlin garrison?" Weidling replied: "Yes, I am the commander of the LVI Panzer Corps." Chuikov then asked: "Where is Krebs? What did he say?" Weidling replied: "I saw him yesterday in the Reich Chancellery." Weidling then added: "I thought he would commit suicide."[46] In the discussions that followed, Weidling agreed to an unconditional surrender of the city of Berlin. He agreed to order the city's defenders to surrender to the Soviets. Under the direction of Chuikov and Soviet General Vasily Sokolovsky (Chief of staff of the 1st Ukrainian Front), Weidling put his order to surrender in writing.[46][100]

The 350-strong garrison of the Zoo flak tower finally left the building. There was sporadic fighting in a few isolated buildings where some SS still refused to surrender. The Soviets simply blasted any such building to rubble. Most Germans, soldiers and civilians, were grateful to receive food issued at Red Army soup kitchens. The Soviets went house to house and rounded up anyone in a uniform including firemen and railwaymen, a total of 180,000 and marched them eastwards as prisoners of war.[101]


Many of Trump's supporters are like these Nazi troops/forcibly-enlisted old men and young boys and foreign fighters. They fought to the death in 1945 or got captured and later mostly died in Soviet camps.

I have no hope for most of them. It's really sad, for them, and for our country.

December 31, 2017

Happy New 2018 to all my friends on DU!

22 hours and 36 minutes to go here

My advice:

1- Do NOT go out. It will be insanely crowded wherever you go, full of drunks, very young people and very rude people.

2- If you MUST go out, yea, take a taxi or Uber or Lyft to get home. Would a taxi be a better bet tonight ? I don't know.

3- If you are going to drive no matter what (soberly I hope), for god's sake, don't drive between 11 PM and 4 AM. I've seen some really serious insanely crazily drunk driving then. I'm lucky to be alive.

4- Stay home by the fire (if in GA or further north hehe), have yourself a nice drink or two or three or a nice um chemical!

Let's hope 2018 is much BETTER than 2017 and yes TRUMP-FREE, Gawd/Allah/Buddha/Abraham/the Universe willing!

December 31, 2017

"Can't win a piss fight with a skunk", ever hear that from your parents ?

When I became politically aware in 1972, Watergate was beginning to rage away. I lived in the middle-sized town of Orlando, then newly famous for WDW and long a citrus industry town/center. Accordingly, the Orlando Slantinel (officially called the Sentinel but you get my drift) was VERY right-wing and very supportive of Nixon.

I would read the Slantinel and get apopleptic with rage over their selective coverage and their editorials and columnists (mostly conservative but not all). So, like any good teenager on a mission, I would write my LTE. Several of them.

I complained vigorously to my dad, who in exasperation one day said, "Son, you can't win a piss fight with a skunk." I knew immediately what he meant LOL, and quietly resolved to stop wasting my time.

My dad rarely said things like that. He was pretty religious in the old-school Episcopalian (easter and sunday boys ya'll) way, so it was a surprise hearing that come from him!

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