18 Bizarre Moments From Trump’s Unhinged Press Conference

From Rolling Stone

Donald Trump took questions from the media on Thursday afternoon. The hastily called press conference came as a surprise to reporters, who would typically had a briefing with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer during that time. (According to reports, Trump walked into the Oval Office earlier that morning and said, “Let’s do a press conference today.”)

The event was ostensibly meant to roll out his new labor secretary nominee, Alexander Acosta. (Previous pick Andy Puzder bowed out Wednesday after it became clear to Republican Senate leaders they did not have enough votes to confirm him.) But the event had little to do with Acosta, and quickly devolved into one of the most remarkably incoherent spectacles in recent memory.

18 Bizarre Moments From Trump's Unhinged Press Conference

Here are some of the most noteworthy moments.

That time he batted back reports of chaos in the West Wing
“I turn on TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos – chaos – yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”

That time he confirmed the veracity of the leaks that lead to Michael Flynn’s resignation
“The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”

That time he couldn’t say Flynn lied
“The thing is, he didn’t tell our vice president properly, and then he said he didn’t remember … that just wasn’t acceptable to me.”

That time he characterized the rollout of his travel ban as “smooth”
“We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban; we had a bad court.”

That time he called the country of Russia fake news
“Russia is fake news. Russia – this is fake news put out by the media. The real news is the fact that people, probably from the Obama administration because they’re there, because we have our new people going in place, right now.”

That time he denied knowledge of whether anyone from his team colluded with the Russian government during the campaign
“Nobody that I know of. How many times do I have to answer this question? Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years.”

That time he bragged about not being a bad person
“And I’ll tell you what else I see. I see tone. You know the word ‘tone’? The tone is such hatred. I’m really not a bad person, by the way. No, but the tone is such – I do get good ratings, you have to admit that – the tone is such hatred.”

That time he promised America and Russia would have a nuclear holocaust “like no other”
“We’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are they. I have been briefed. And I can tell you, one thing about a briefing that we’re allowed to say, because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it, nuclear holocaust would be like no other. They’re a very powerful nuclear country, and so are we.”

That time he mused about attacking the Russian vessel lurking off the coast of Connecticut
“The greatest thing I could do [politically] is shoot that ship that’s 30 miles offshore right out of the water.”

That time he conceded his oft-repeated line about having the “biggest electoral margin since Ronald Reagan” is a lie
Reporter: “You said today that you had the biggest electoral margin since Ronald Reagan – 304, 306 electoral votes. In fact, President Obama got 365 in 2008.”
Trump: “Well, I’m talking about Republicans.”
Reporter: “President Obama 333, George H.W. Bush 426 when he won. So why should Americans trust…”
Trump: “I was given that information, I was just given it. We had a very big margin.”
Reporter: “I guess the question is: Why should Americans trust you when you accuse the information they receive as being fake, when you’re providing information that is not accurate?”
Trump: “Well, I was given that information. I was, actually, I’ve seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory. Do you agree with that?”
Reporter: “You’re the president.”

There is more.  He is delusional and the President of the United States.

Why can 12-year-olds still get married in the United States?

From the Washington Post

Michelle DeMello walked into the clerk’s office in Colorado thinking for sure someone would save her.

She was 16 and pregnant. Her Christian community in Green Mountain Falls was pressuring her family to marry her off to her 19-year-old boyfriend. She didn’t think she had the right to say no to the marriage after the mess she felt she’d made. “I could be the example of the shining whore in town, or I could be what everybody wanted me to be at that moment and save my family a lot of honor,” DeMello said. She assumed that the clerk would refuse to approve the marriage. The law wouldn’t allow a minor to marry, right?

Wrong, as DeMello, now 42, learned.

While most states set 18 as the minimum marriage age, exceptions in every state allow children younger than 18 to marry, typically with parental consent or judicial approval. How much younger? Laws in 27 states do not specify an age below which a child cannot marry.

Unchained At Last, a nonprofit I founded to help women resist or escape forced marriage in the United States, spent the past year collecting marriage license data from 2000 to 2010, the most recent year for which most states were able to provide information. We learned that in 38 states, more than 167,000 children — almost all of them girls, some as young 12 — were married during that period, mostly to men 18 or older. Twelve states and the District of Columbia were unable to provide information on how many children had married there in that decade. Based on the correlation we identified between state population and child marriage, we estimated that the total number of children wed in America between 2000 and 2010 was nearly 248,000.

Despite these alarming numbers, and despite the documented consequences of early marriages, including negative effects on health and education and an increased likelihood of domestic violence, some state lawmakers have resisted passing legislation to end child marriage — because they wrongly fear that such measures might unlawfully stifle religious freedom or because they cling to the notion that marriage is the best solution for a teen pregnancy.

I always find it hard to believe that in a nation that does nothing to stop mass shooting will do anything to stop women from being forced to marry at a young age but maybe I am wrong.  Make sure you read the entire article.  It has a long list of many disturbing statistics that come from being forced to marry at a young age has.

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank prints full-page ad in today’s Baltimore Sun to clarify POTUS comments.

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank prints full-page ad in today's Baltimore Sun to clarify POTUS comments.

Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank prints full-page ad in today’s Baltimore Sun to clarify POTUS comments; doesn’t mention Trump by name.

The ad, which states the company is “publicly opposing the travel ban,” appeared to be in response to comments Plank made earlier this month on CNBC, calling Trump “an asset to the country” and a “pro-business president.”

“To have such a pro-business president is something that is a real asset for the country. People can really grab that opportunity. He wants to build things. He wants to make bold decisions and be really decisive,” Plank said in the interview.

The comments sparked a boycott by some against Under Armour, including criticism from celebrities such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Valentines Day

It was a quiet Valentine’s Day.  That is more of a reflection of it being a Tuesday than how long Wendy and I have been married.

On Saturday night Wendy and I went downtown to Red Pepper for some Vietnamese food and a quiet night out.  It wasn’t busy and was nice to chat and talk.

Today we woke up and I gave her some gifts.  I had picked her up a plush Snoopy which made her laugh.  Growing up as a kid, I had a stuffed Snoopy that I called ‘Noopy.  So she made fun of me and all was good.  In addition to Noopy, I gave her a new necklace.  It was my attempt to be romantic and nice.  I also gave her some Toronto Blue Jays earrings because she is a fan.

Of course there was the chocolate.  There is always chocolate.

There was some exciting action but not the kind you are thinking of.  Marley developed an instant hate for Snoopy and tried to fight it within seconds of me giving the gift to Wendy.  The situation only escalated when Wendy called Snoopy “a good puppy”.  That enraged and then made Marley sad.

She gave me a 48 ounce Nalgene water bottle.  I have one always and two Swell bottles but the number one thing I heard from people going to Grasslands and also Yoho was how much water they should have brought while hiking.  She also gave me a book of photography called Abandoned Places by Kieron Connolly.  My kind of book.

Quick Test: Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0 – 5.6

As some of you know, i bought the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II camera this fall and I really like it.   I was thinking of taking it hiking at Lake O’Hara this summer.  I need to purchase an ultra-wide angle lens.  My choices come down to the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM for my Pentax DSLR or the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0 – 5.6.  The Olympus has some horrible reviews.  Some of the worst that I have ever seen.  At the same time I keep looking at sample images and they looked okay to me.  

Here is the problem with most camera reviews, you never really know what the review is expecting nor what they are comparing them to in their mind.  On the other hand, when you can look at a large collection of images online, especially taken by people who know what they are doing and know how to test a lens, you get a good idea of what you can expect.

So I took the Olympus out for a test today.  Here were some of the shots I got.  Nothing artistic, I just wanted to see how it looked in the corners and look for something called chromatic aberration.

Cavendish Building in Saskatoon

Of course I took a shot of the Cavendish Building because I am haunted by it.  I can’t find any history on it at all.  Ahab had his whale.  I have this building.

Superior Millwork in SaskatoonThe Ramada Hotel in Saskatoon

I like the Ramada Hotel.  First of all I remember coming into Saskatoon the first time and seeing it and thinking the Soviet Union had invaded Saskatoon and now all of the city will look like this.  Also I appreciate the investment they have made into the hotel to upgrade it.  Finally, I know how hard it is to get the entire hotel into the frame.  This lens did it.

The Ramada Golf Dome

I know, it’s a giant blob that we call the golf dome.

As for what do I think?  I love the weight of the lens and it’s compact size.   Combined with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 II, it is a lot lighter than my Pentax K-3 and the Sigma 10-20mm.   As for the image quality.  When I got home, I imported the files in DxO Optics Pro.  It is software that corrects lens flaws and does a remarkable job.  It also lets you look at the corrected version and the original with the click of a button.   There was almost no correction on the lens and I didn’t see any chromatic aberration.  Like the sample images I looked at on 500px and Flickr, the corners were sharp.

As for which one  I will purchase, I need to take the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM out for a test and then I will make up my mind.

100 Ideas: Showcasing Saskatoon

If I was Tourism Saskatoon, I would put up some money with a sizable first prize and ask filmmakers to create a three minute video highlighting the best of Saskatoon.  Run the contest for a year.  Let people capture all of this video footage of all of our best restaurants, festivals, and moments.   If your first prize was enough, you would probably have 20 videos submitted online that could be shared for years showing Saskatoon off to the world.

20 videos.  Let’s say that average 5,000 views a piece.  Shared on Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, blogs, and emails while dominating the search results in Google Video’s search listing.  Is that worth $10,000 in total prize money?  I think it is.  Especially if it gets the people of Saskatoon thinking more highly about their city.

Can you imagine a series of videos like this one by Andy Clancy about Saskatoon?

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