Heh - Antifa

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Great meme:

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My next project

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When I was at the auction last week, one of the items I was bidding on was a welding rod oven. My favorite rod is 7018 and you get a lot better operation and cleanup if it is stored in a bone-dry environment. They ship it in sealed plastic or metal containers but as soon as you open it, air and moisture start coming in. I use a desiccant pack for mine and that works OK but is not preferred. Plus, using a hot rod allows for easier starting and a more stable arc. Win/win.

Unfortunately, these are expensive. The units at the auction were going for much more than they were really worth.

Here is the high end:

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And here is the low end:

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There are pluses and minuses to each unit. The big unit can store 350 pounds of rod. This is great for a large fab shop with several welders using different kinds of rods on a daily basis. It also has an adjustable thermostat for specific rod temperatures. The downside is that it takes a lot of counter space and costs $3,342.59 plus tax. Wince!

The low end unit will only hold ten pounds which is one box of rods. It only has one fixed temperature. I want to hold maybe sixty pounds so I can have different types of rod (6010 and 6013) as well as different diameters. Again, each one comes in a ten pound box.

It occurred to me that it would not be difficult to build my own. I ordered a PID temperature controller from Amazon for $40. It arrived today. The unit has all the parts I need - the PID controller, the K-type thermocouple and a solid state relay to switch my heater. I picked up a smallish 3,500 Watt water heater element for $7 at a local hardware store and it fits into a bog-standard 1" National Pipe Thread.

Proportional–Integral–Derivative controllers are very very cool - from the Infogalactic entry:

A PID controller continuously calculates an error value as the difference between a measured process variable and a desired setpoint. The controller attempts to minimize the error over time by adjustment of a control variable, such as the position of a control valve, a damper, or the power supplied to a heating element, to a new value determined by a weighted sum:

Comes up to temp faster and holds temp better. It will "learn" what to do when the door is opened - how best to recover from the temperature drop. Looking at about $40 in steel sheet for the case and some expanded mesh for the inside shelving. Already have refactory materials for the wall insulation. Planning to do a YouTube video when I do the build in a couple of weeks.

Muahahahahaha - welcome to my lair...

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Going to be pricey but looks like a lot of fun for the right person. From geek.com:

Aston Martin Will Build You Your Very Own Supervillain Lair
Ever dreamed of having your very own Bond villain-worthy lair to house your fancy ride? Aston Martin is here to make that dream come true (insert evil laugh).

The luxury sports car manufacturer has unveiled a new service that enables car enthusiasts and collectors to customize the perfect space for their Aston Martin — whether it’s a bespoke underground garage or a glass-encased luxury retreat.

The service, called Automotive Galleries and Lairs, lets clients work directly with the Aston Martin Design Team, as well as with renowned architects that have local knowledge and an excellent understanding of the specifics of the brief.

Their press release for this service is here: ASTON MARTIN AUTOMOTIVE GALLERIES AND LAIRS

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Classic move by clueless politicians. From Top Gear:

Is it the beginning of the end for drive-thrus?
Bad news for lazy people who like their fast food on the go (and influencers looking for a clickbait title for their supercar video) as the days of drive-thrus are numbered.

At least in Minneapolis, anyway. The city has banned the building of drive-thru windows in order to reduce emissions, noise and pedestrian accidents. They specifically state vehicle emissions will be reduced, but no doubt human flatulence inside cars will also fall given this new ruling. Either way, this could be the first roll of the snowball that could see drive-thrus being a thing of the past.

Following a city council vote, members have voted to update zoning laws that will ban the construction of any new drive-thru windows in America’s 46th largest city. The Minneapolis City Council declared the zoning change will help achieve the city’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent come 2050. But businesses with existing drive-thru operations needn’t worry, as they’ll still be allowed.

I really think that city councils should be banned. Nothing good comes of them except for more nanny-ism and micromanagement by people who are living in a bubble. Seattle and Bellingham are perfect examples.

We need the same kind of parliamentary body as the State and Federal House of Representatives so the citizens can vote on everything and the Representative works for the citizens of their district. The councils are not held responsible for their poor thinking and judgement.

Dinner is good

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Heading out in a bit - two pints of beer have my name on them.

Cooling off so will take the dogs with me - they have been in the garage throughout the heat. Too hot in the car even in the shade. Back in a couple of hours.

Gun violence - some analysis

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Willis Eschenbach is a favorite blogger of mine. He is a great storyteller as well as the owner of a very keen mind with a penchant for mathmatics and anaysis. Here is his take on gun violence in the USA

What’s Behind Gun Murders?
Well, I did this analysis about a year ago, but I hadn’t posted it because I knew that people would call me “RACIST!!” … but what I’m posting are simple facts. Plus at this point I’ve been falsely called a RACIST!! so many times it doesn’t even register any more.

Let me start with a much less contentious bit of analysis. This is the correlation between the rates of gun ownership and the gun murder rate. The short answer is … no relationship.

Just go and read the whole thing.

Well summer was nice while it lasted

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From Seattle weather guru Cliff Mass:

The First Autumn Storm Makes Landfall on Wednesday
It is very typical for first "autumn-like" storm to reach our region during the third week of August....and this year will not be an exception. In fact, we have two systems that will be making landfall this week, with the first one being the strongest.

You can see the impact of this "first autumn storm" in the precipitation climatology Seattle. Below is the daily climatological probability of enjoying at least .01 inches at Sea-Tac. At the end of August the probability jumps to roughly 25%!

Much more at the site. We usually have a wonderful Indian Summer but these first storms are the beginning of Fall and Winter to be sure. That certainly jives with the local forecast:

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A new term - ELI5

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When you give an explanation in the simplest possible terms, you are ELI5-ing.

From the Urban Dictionary:

ELI5
Explain Like I'm 5.

Used when you want someone to explain something in the simplest way possible.

Hey, Can you ELI5 the Bermuda Triangle.

Going to remember (and use) that one - cute.

Cute design

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Some cupcakes:

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Heh - first thing I would do is nibble off the nose but that is just me. Yeah - I am weird.

And done for the day

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Got the slumgullion on the stove. Just need to add the pasta and it will be good to go. Made it with TVP instead of hamburger today. Had the meat thawed out but been eating a lot of meat the last week or so and my body was saying "enough" so doing more vegies. Did some grocery shopping and picked up some root vegies and some squash for the next couple of meals.

Surf for a bit, eat and then out for a pint or two.

Out for a bit - working at home today

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Had breakfast and took care of a couple things here and now heading out for coffee and stuff.

Working at home today - cooking slumgullion for dinner tonight. Cheap and easy - true comfort food. Still have a bunch of frozen ground beef from the half-cow I bought last year. Need to do another batch of hummingbird nectar too. Not as many of them around as we now have a lot of flowers but they still come to the feeders. Already went through one 25 pound bag of sugar this year.

Back in a couple of hours...

A tale of two cities

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This says it all:

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The rally in New Hampshire - Joe Biden

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President Trump held a rally in New Hampshire last week. It drew over 11,000 people and was the largest event for the venue. Broke the standing record for attendance. Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren held a rally the same day and drew 700 people. Just read that Presidential Candidate Joe Biden also held a rally.
From the North Andover, MA The Eagle Tribune:

Biden campaign holds rally down the street from Trump
While thousands packed the Southern New Hampshire University Arena to hear President Donald Trump speak, about 30 supporters of Joe Biden gathered at the Portland Pie Co. to talk about the former vice president’s campaign.

Stuffed in a small room with six tables, munching on several types of pizza, campaign members discussed Biden’s qualities with interested voters.

“We are here because we are standing up to hate just down the road,” announced Biden’s New Hampshire Organizing Director Peter Dougherty, 28, of Manchester. “This is our moment, our chance. We need to talk to people now about what (Joe Biden) can do.”

High energy and chants of “Go, Joe! Go, Joe!” could be heard throughout the restaurant from supporters and interested voters of all ages.

Pathetic. Seriously? These people consider themselves to be serious candidates? They have nothing to offer us.

As the stars move overhead

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Brilliant video of the Milky Way Galaxy as it moves. Actually, it does not move. We move. Brilliant correct video:

I hope that they are planning to do another version someplace where the sky is darker and for more than just three hours. Great idea - see the Earth's rotation.

Interesting times in Portland, Oregon

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The major cities in Western Oregon are bastions of loony liberalism. Portland the worst. Drive 100 miles outside the urban areas and things are different. A LOT different. Here is a map of the 2016 election:

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This weekend, Conservative groups have been marching in Portland and being met by Antifa and their ilk. Some clickable headlines:

It is worth noting that these "far-right" groups have been operating under very strict guidelines of behavior. They are being incredibly careful to not strike the first blow. They are peacefully marching and it is the leftists who have been throwing rocks / bottles / hammers / fists. Once one of the conservative people have been attacked; once the first strike has landed, all bets are off. For some strange reason, this has not been reported in the mainstream media. The violence is coming from the left.
End of story.

UPDATE: Zero Hedge is doing a very nice aggregation of tweets and news stories.

Now that was a load of fun

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Should have brought the video camera too. I'll post some pics tomorrow but there was a lot going on. Ran into a couple people I knew from Camano Island as well as Bellingham - lots of people and really nice atmosphere.

I like going to car shows but I would never own an antique car - too much money for something that is just an aesthetic appeal. Looks like a lot of fun for the people who do this though - a lifestyle instead of just taking care of a cool car. Very much the same with the airplanes. There were probably a thousand of them there and many of them had tents - the people were flying in from all over and camping and hanging out.

There was a gorgeous DC-3 - I love DC-3's. When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, we used to visit my mom's parents in Erie and the local airline used DC-3's for the commuter trip (about 120 miles). The sound of the engines is very nostalgic and wonderful to me.

When I went last year, it was on a Friday and a lot of people had not arrived or set up yet. Saturday is the way to go.

Finally, there were a lot of food vendors. I had an ear of corn which was yummy. Ditto the strawberry shortcake. The hot dog was a bit of a disappointment - a couple of bone fragments and really strong taste. I had gotten a soda from the same vendor and it (Diet Pepsi) tasted a bit off. Looked at the date and it was expired... Made me wonder how old the hot dog was. Needless to say, I brought it back and complained. They offered me another one but all of their sodas were either expired or were expiring in a week or so. They said that they had gotten them from the Pepsi distributor but no reputable vendor would sell something that was that old.

It was a bit of an expensive afternoon too. As part of my getting into shape and working out, I had been thinking about getting a bicycle as 90% of what I do here (new shop included) is within a couple of miles from my house. The problem is that Camano Island is pretty hilly and many of the roads I like to take do not have an appreciable shoulder. I was exploring eBikes and saw a couple of designs that looked interesting. This would give me a workout as well as be able to power along at a decent velocity if I needed to flow with traffic.

There was an eBike vendor there today and we talked for about 20 minutes. I tried a couple and found one that I really like. Heading down to pick it up next week. I had a handle on the retail prices and these people were offering a really great deal - about 30% off the MSRP (I checked when I got home - my memory was correct).

Working at home tomorrow, meeting Monday and doing the emergency radio net on Tuesday.

Heading out for the day

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Coffee, drop two books off at the library and then down South to the Arlington Air Show. Got a fresh charge on a couple camera batteries and will be bringing my telephoto lens and my fake chinesium wimberly ($60 instead of $600 - needed to be disassembled and "tuned up" but it works well now - real smooth).

The rally in New Hampshire

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I knew that President Trump's rally in New Hampsire was big - turns out it broke the record for attendence at the venue. From Breitbart:

Trump: New Hampshire Speech Broke Elton John’s Arena Attendance Record
President Donald Trump announced Thursday evening that his re-election campaign rally at the SNHU Arena broke the stadium’s previous attendance record, held by rock star Elton John.

The SNHU Arena holds nearly 12,000 people, and was nearly filled to capacity when the U.S. Secret Service closed the doors. Thousands more people watched the president’s speech on giant television screens outside the arena.

Trump tweeted news about the attendance record shortly after the event was over. He spoke for nearly two hours.

Yeah - and Fauxcahontis stood and hectored 700 people at her big New Hampshire campaign rally.

The trade war with China

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It seems that the nabobs at the Wall Street Journal think that they know more about economics than President Trump - from Breitbart:

Donald Trump Rips Wall Street Journal: ‘They Understand Nothing About Trade or Business’
President Donald Trump ripped the establishment Wall Street Journal on Thursday for editorializing against his ongoing trade battle with China.

“The Wall Street Journal editorial board and some others continue to publish foolish articles that demonstrate that they understand nothing about trade or business,” Trump said. “Nothing.”

The president spoke about the paper during a political rally in New Hampshire about leveling tariffs on China, noting that the Wall Street Journal editorial page kept urging him to remove them.

“I lose all the cards if we take off the tariffs,” Trump replied, pointing to the tough tariffs leveled by countries like the European Union and India.

The members of the WSJ editorial board are not businessmen. They went to journalism school. Big difference.

China and Venezuela

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Venezuela has the worlds largest reserve of oil but they are a 3rd world nation. Why? Socialism and incompetent governance. Now it seems that China is tightening the screws a bit - from Bloomberg:

China’s Biggest Energy Company Shuns Venezuela Oil on Tighter U.S. Sanctions
China’s biggest energy company is backing away from direct purchases of Venezuelan crude as the Trump administration tightens sanctions against the South American nation.

China National Petroleum Corp. has canceled plans to load about 5 million barrels worth of Venezuelan oil onto ships this month in the aftermath of the latest executive order by President Donald Trump, according to people with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified discussing proprietary information.

CNPC joins Turkey’s largest bank, Ziraat Bank, which severed its relationship with Venezuela’s Central Bank following sanctions. The moves represent a setback for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has been counting on both China and Russia to keep the country going amid a humanitarian crisis, food shortages and hyperinflation.

China became the top destination for Venezuelan crude after U.S. sanctions against state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA were announced at the end of January. Venezuela may run low on options without the help of CNPC to export oil, a main source of revenue that bankrolls the Maduro regime. The three August-loading cargoes canceled by CNPC’s subsidiary PetroChina Co. Ltd. haven’t so far attracted another buyer, according to reports seen by Bloomberg.

Good - hit the rat commie where it hurts. Their rice bowl. Venezuela used to be the breadbasket of South America - exporting food. Now they have to import. Their nation is in a shambles with crumbling infrastructure and runaway inflation. Socialism sounds good to the uneducated but it is an economic fallacy with no exit strategy. It will always wreck the nation that tries it.

The wheels spin at over 10,000 RPM - that is 166.666 revolutions each second. You build up a lot of force on the wheel and if something happens to it - a nick or a defect in manufacture - shit hits the fan in a fraction of a second.

The person in this picture is very lucky that it hit his safety glasses and that they were good glasses. A lot of the cheaper ones (Harbor Freight) are crap and will shatter. If this had hit his cheek, it would have torn the skin down to the bone.

That being said, I have never had a wheel come apart like this in 14 years of using them. Still, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when so I suit up every time I fire one of these puppies up. I am also very aware of the position of the tool relative to my body and where the angular momentum will go if the disk fails. Situational awareness is a good thing.

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RIP - Peter Fonda

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Unlike his sister, he was a good person - from TMZ:

PETER FONDA DEAD AT 79 FROM LUNG CANCER
Hollywood icon Peter Fonda is easy riding into the sunset -- the veteran actor died Friday ... TMZ has learned.

A rep for Peter confirms he passed Friday morning at his his home in Los Angeles, and was surrounded by family. We're told the official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer -- and he had been in and out of the hospital recently.

A class act. His Dad too.

110% cringe factor

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How stumpy got his name. The tool in question is called an angle grinder. Everyone who works with metal uses five or six of them - loaded with cutting disks, grinding wheels, wire wheels, flap disks, etc... Very useful tool. Also, very very dangerous. What we are seeing in this photo is extremely bad operation with the chance for a serious accident:

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No sign of a tsunami

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The mouth of the Stillaguamish River (named for the tribe) is about four miles from my house and this height gage is out far enough that the water level is strongly influenced by the tides.  The tidal action here is squirrely enough that a computer model delivers a very fuzzy representation so an actual real-time gage is nice to have.

Anyway, reviewing the graph shows no visible sign of any tsunami or change in water height from this morning's quake off the Oregon coast. I looked for similar data for the Columbia river and that was not available - they do not have a gage close enough to the river's mouth to be tidally influenced.

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And I am back

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Was planning on working from home but got an email and met with someone at the property for an estimate (concrete floor) for my shop.

There was a new restaurant open today - very disappointing. Looked great, the menu looked really interesting and they already have another restaurant that has been open for a couple of years so they should know what they are doing.

I walked in the front door and it was about 15 feet from the door to the bar. The menu was posted on the wall along this space. There was a clot of about 18 people milling around and they were ordering from one person at a register who was taking orders and pouring beers. I saw an empty seat at the bar and sat down. There were a couple of waitresses circulating and food was coming out of the kitchen.

I like to read if I am out by myself so I opened my book and proceeded to read for about 5-10 minutes. No service, even more people clotted up by the door so I figured that it was opening night, the bar didn't have enough people on call and the one server was working at max capacity. The waitresses were serving the tables so I moved to a table and proceeded to wait. A waitress came over and asked if I had a number. No. I needed to go and find the end of the line by the door, stand and wait until I could place my order there.

All the while I had been sitting at the bar, nobody came to me to tell me this.

So basically, this is an upscale McDonald's with better burgers and fishwiches and with adult beverages and you are paying over ten times the price for an unhappy meal.

The clot of people by the door made for a very chaotic and unwelcoming first impression (very bad Feng Shui) and this is a really stupid way to run a business. I will give them another shot in about a week (it is across from the library I use). There are a lot of other places to go if I do not feel like cooking.

Heading out for a few hours

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Need coffee. Running a couple of errands and then working at home for the rest of the day.

The Arlington Fly-In is tomorrow so planning to head down to that. Was there last year and it was a lot of fun - check it out again this year but plan my visit for when the cool stuff is happening (2:00PM).

Farmer's Market later today - lots of wonderful food.

It is Washington after all

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This is my surprised face. From The Smithsonian:

A New Species of Leech Is Discovered Near Washington, D.C.
In the summer of 2015, when Smithsonian research zoologist Anna Phillips and other scientists were standing in slow-moving swamp water, letting leeches latch onto their bare legs or gathering them up in nets from muddy pond bottoms, they didn’t realize that some of the bloodsuckers they’d collected belonged to an entirely new species. But in a just-published paper in the Journal of Parasitology, Phillips and her colleagues from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Royal Ontario Museum report that a previously unknown leech species, Macrobdella mimicus, is the first to be discovered on the continent in more than 40 years.

And the little guy is running for President in 3... 2... 1...

A bit of perspective - two rallies

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The Presidential candidates are starting their 2020 election campaigns. There was an interesting comparison yesterday.

From Heavy:

More Than 11,000 Attend Trump’s Manchester, New Hampshire Rally [Crowd Photos]
President Donald Trump hosted a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on Thursday night as part of his 2020 campaign for President. The venue where Trump’s rally took place was packed with thousands lined up hours before the doors opened. The venue itself holds 11,770, but so many people showed up that many had to stay outside in the overflow space. Read on to see crowd photos and learn more about what happened.

And from Manchester, NH station WMUR:

Warren speaks to crowd of hundreds in Franconia
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren campaigned Wednesday in Franconia as she continues to climb in the New Hampshire polls.

Warren spoke to a crowd of more than 700 voters at a scenic farm in Franconia.

The numbers speak for themselves... The Democrats have nothing to offer except rhetoric and We The People are sick and tired of all the fscking rhetoric coming out of Washington.

From the Minneapolis, Mn. CBS affiliate:

Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District Listed As Worst District For Black Americans To Live
Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, represented by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, was listed this week as the worst congressional district in the country for black Americans.

The financial website 24/7 Wall Street compiled a list of the 30 worst districts for black Americans by using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Specifically, the list-makers honed in on metrics like median-household income, homeownership, unemployment, poverty, and educational achievement.

The numbers produce a stark picture of the 5th Congressional District, which encompasses Minneapolis and several surrounding suburbs.

“Black area residents are about four times more likely to live below the poverty line than white residents and three times more likely to be unemployed,” the list-makers noted, citing a legacy of historic racism as a source of the disparities. “Minneapolis is one of several Midwestern cities that enacted restrictive housing covenants and exclusionary zoning policies in the early 20th century. These policies impact residential patterns to this day.”

Getting elected to Congress was not an excuse to push your antisemitism and to travel to other parts of the globe on taxpayer dollars. You were hired by your constituents to do a job and you are not doing it. You are goofing off.

Yikes - large quake

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Off the coast of Oregon about 30 minutes ago. No issued tsunami threat - from the National Tsunami Warning Center:

EVALUATION
----------
There is NO tsunami danger from this earthquake.

PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS
---------------------------------
The following parameters are based on a rapid preliminary
assessment of the earthquake and changes may occur.

    • Magnitude 5.4
    • Origin Time 0723 AKDT Aug 16 2019
    • 0823 PDT Aug 16 2019
    • 1523 UTC Aug 16 2019
    • Coordinates 44.4 North 129.2 West
    • Depth 7 miles
    • Location off the coast of Oregon

Watching the tide record today - see if there is an anomoly.

Where I am on the island is actually quite protected against the tsunami that will come from the Cascadia Subduction Zone when it cuts loose again. There is not a straight path for the water to surge in - it will hit the other San Juan islands including Whidbey and the surge will be dissapated. FEMA predicts at most a five foot increase in the tide waters. Made sure to check it out before buying the place.

Question the messenger

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Shot - Fox News:

'Great Recession' to hit US, jeopardize Trump's reelection hopes: Peter Schiff
The U.S. economyOpens a New Window. is heading into a free fall that will be worse than the Great Recession of 2008, according to Euro Pacific Capital CEOOpens a New Window. Peter Schiff.

The economic forecaster is predicting the Federal ReserveOpens a New Window. will cut interest rates to zero and launch quantitative easing, a monetary policy where the central bank purchases Treasuries from financial institutions to stimulate the economy.

“The dollar is going to go through the floor and it’s going to take the bond market with it and the next crisis, it’s not subprime mortgages, it’s going to be in the Treasury market,” he said on “After the BellOpens a New Window.” on Wednesday.

Chaser - Foundation for Economic Education:

5 of the Worst Economic Predictions in History
Uncertainty makes human beings uncomfortable. Not knowing what’s going to happen in the future creates a sense of unrest in many people. That’s why we sometimes draw on predictions made by leading experts in their respective fields to make decisions in our daily lives. Unfortunately, history has shown that experts aren’t often much better than the average person when it comes to forecasting the future. And economists aren’t an exception. Here are five economic predictions that never came true.

And closing the list at #5:

5. Peter Schiff and the End of the World
Financial commentator Peter Schiff became famous in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis for having foreseen the housing crash back in 2006 (even a broken clock is right twice a day). Since then, he has been predicting economic catastrophes every other day, with very limited success. There are many examples of failed predictions from which to draw upon. For instance, in a 2010 video (see below), Schiff foretold that Quantitative Easing (the unconventional monetary policy undertaken by the Fed between 2008 and 2014) would result in hyperinflation and the eventual destruction of the Dollar. Unfortunately for Schiff, the average inflation rate per year since the onset of QE has been 1.68%, slightly below the 2% target of the Fed.

And Schiff is keeping some great company in this list - go and read four more spectacular failures.

Schiff gets on the air because he promotes the narrative: Orange Man Bad. His track record is actually lousy.

Trump Derangement Syndrome on display

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From the Politico Twitter account (the comments are where the TDS manifests):

Institutionalizing is the perfect solution. Up to the 1970's, we used to institutionalize the mentally ill. Some of the institutions were not nice places but in general, the people there had security, a consistent environment and daily routine, good nutrition and some level of psychological care. Their families were able to come and visit whenever they wanted. We have John F. Kennedy to thank for this:

Starting around 1970, the progressives started lobbying against these psychiatric hospitals calling them inhumane. They started pushing for Deinstitutionalisation and for the social rights and justice for the mentally ill. These people were transfered from their safe environment and their care was shifted from in-house 24/7 care to walk-in centers where they had to take it upon themselves to visit and to show up for appointments for their treatment. President John F. Kennedy's Community Mental Health Act is the keystone of this program.

I wrote about this last year: Taking care of mental illness

Be sure to visit the Politico site so you can read the comments - it slews off into Nazi Germany concentration camps and stays there.

Dinner then meeting

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Got a ham radio meeting tonight at 7:00PM - get a burrito first. Got a new book in at the library and two to return.

Couple of pints after the meeting.

Turned out to be a hot day - got the heat pump working in the room I am camping out in. Rest of the house is pretty toasty but have the doors open so getting a nice breeze.

Chuck the Schmuck - body armor

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From guns.com:

BILL TO REQUIRE THOSE WANTING BODY ARMOR TO GET FBI PERMISSION
Legislation promised in the U.S. Senate would make the legal sale of body armor a “may issue” process signed off on by federal law enforcement.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, announced his legislation on Sunday to require FBI permission before anyone except law enforcement could buy what he termed “sophisticated body armor,” setting a bar that would require a clear purpose, such as an occupational requirement, for the buyer to seek the safety equipment.

“The bottom line here is that the ease by which one can acquire wares of war demands the FBI sets reasonable regulations on who can get it,” said Schumer, who plans to introduce his bill after the current Senate recess.

And, of course, Schumer is just virtue signalling. There are already laws on the books to cover this:

Even if Schumer’s proposal does not make it into law, it is already against the law for criminals to add body armor to their toolkit. Since 2002, it has been illegal under federal law for convicted felons to possess body armor of any sort. This has been prosecuted in U.S. courts even in states that do not criminalize the possession of body armor.

Why don't you start doing your job for your constituents instead of pandering to the progressive elites. How is that wall coming Chuck?

Great news - England and Energy

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Wonderful - from the Mirror:

Tories plan mini-nuclear reactors for the North in major change to energy policy
A series of mini-nuclear reactors could be built across the North in a major power scheme.

Plants could generate energy in Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire under a project spearheaded by Rolls-Royce for “small modular reactors”.

The Government is pumping in £18 million so the firm can develop the design of the reactors.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to formally announce the plan in September and the first plant could be up and running within the next 15 years.

Good news - of all the "traditional" designs, SMRs are the very best of the lot. This is what the US and Russian navies have been doing for their ships and submarines. My personal choice would be for liquid thorium but that is another technology to be developed although we had a bunch of them back in the 1960's.. Thorium does not go Ka-boom like uranium and the 1960's was the height of the atomic weapons race and the US decided to not operate two nuclear supply chains. Uranium is about as common as platinum in the earth's crust; and about as expensive. Thorium is about as common as lead. Dirt cheap.

Occasional Cortex - big money

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An interesting look at her campaign contributors by the Federal Election Commission. From Daily Caller:

Ocasio-Cortez’s Known Donors From Her Own District Are Nearly Non-Existent, FEC Records Show
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has outraised all other freshmen representatives so far in 2019, but nearly all of her reported contributors to her reelection campaign live outside her congressional district, a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings found.

Ocasio-Cortez’s reelection campaign has reported receiving contributions from just 10 individuals living within her district in the first half of 2019, according to its Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.

More - some numbers:

The $1,525.50 Ocasio-Cortez received from her New York constituents represents less than 1% of her campaign’s itemized contributions reported to the FEC in the first half of 2019.

The known monetary support Ocasio-Cortez’s reelection campaign has received from the people she represents is minuscule compared to the 88-member freshman class of the House of Representatives.

The average freshman representative’s reelection campaign received $107,141.29 in itemized contributions from their constituents in the first half of 2019, FEC filings the DCNF analyzed show. Ocasio-Cortez’s reported in-district fundraising haul of $1,525.50 was just 1.4% of that average.

Who is paying her? Follow the money. This is not a grass-roots movement, this is pure astroturfing.

MABA - Make Alexandria Bartend Again.

Google = evil

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Google is the 800 pound gorrilla in the room. It dominates the search and news activity on the internet. Fortunatly, there are other options like the Brave browser which uses DuckDuckGo for searching. Been using both for several months and love them - a lot less hassles and a lot better searching.

Here are two posts at gaming website One Angry Gamer which detail just how evil the Googleopoly is.
First:

GOOGLE NEWS BLACKLIST REVEALED, WEBSITES LISTED
Project Veritas put out a new video that’s nearly 20 minutes long, featuring the Google whistle-blower Zachary Vorhies, who let loose more than 900 pages in a document package proving that Google does engage in biased censorship, and that there are various websites that Google keeps on a blacklist to suppress in order to prevent people from accessing those sites when searching up certain kinds of content.

The full documents can be accessed via a 200MB file over on the Project Veritas website,

A bit more:

Take note that just because these sites are on the blacklist doesn’t mean that they’re completely removed from Google’s search index. What it means is that – on Google News – these sites are suppressed when search queries are entered, and they will appear lower in the search rankings compared to other sites that have more “authority” within Google’s website ranking system.

Additionally, given that these sites aren’t outright banned, it means Google has plausible deniability to state that they aren’t overtly censoring these sites, just downranking them, even though the results are pretty much the same.

The list is pretty comprehensive - they are 80% conservative and christian websites and 20% conspiracy websites.

Second: this:

YOUTUBE BLACKLIST CENSORS CONTENT CONTAINING CERTAIN KEYWORDS
There is a list of keywords that YouTube has on a blacklist that suppresses search results on the video sharing site from content creators that use such words within their headlines, descriptions or tags. These words are designed to down-rank content creators who utilize them to promote or discuss certain topical matters. Content creators deemed to contain “authority” are exempt from the suppression tactics.

Google uses an algorithm called Twiddler, which de-ranks content that they don’t want you to see on their services.

A bit more:

In plain English, the Twiddler helps re-rank search suggestions made on sites like YouTube and Google, and gives preferred results based on criteria that the engineers implement into the algorithm’s database. What this does is it helps reorganize how sites or content appears across YouTube and Google products from certain outlets, and then those outlets are given ratings based on the “Raters” that are employed.

So Google is hiring people to search the web and down-rate posts that do not fit their corporate narrative. The ranking in a Google search is no longer the popularity or volume of traffic visiting that website, it is what the corporate minders want you to see. Again, pure fscking evil.

The Green New Deal - repercussions

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Actions have consequences. If you go for the extreme progressive narrative, expect mainstream voters to reject you.

From the Los Angeles Times:

She vowed to upend the status quo. But voters chose a longtime City Hall aide for council
Astrophysicist and college educator Loraine Lundquist ran for office with a promise to take on the status quo, saying she would shake up Los Angeles City Hall by ending “pay-to-play politics” and scrutinizing decisions with the eye of a scientist.

Lundquist’s bid for a seat on the City Council energized Democrats, environmentalists and progressive activists eager to win over a San Fernando Valley district long represented by Republicans.

But Lundquist ran into a buzz saw of opposition from some of City Hall’s most experienced players, including business groups, the police officers’ union and former council members who represented the northwest Valley for generations. All lined up behind longtime City Hall aide John Lee, who emerged victorious Wednesday.

Eight paragraphs later:

Many also argued that the Green New Deal and Lundquist’s environmentalist credentials were deeply relevant to the Valley district.

The article also brought up this point:

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, the combative union that represents most workers at the Department of Water and Power, ran an expensive campaign against Lundquist, calling her an “extremist” who would hike taxes, drive up electric rates and even force Angelenos to buy electric cars.

Unions are usually solid Democrat - they see that the Green New Deal is toxic to jobs and the general economy. alt.energy is a political scam.

A fun rant

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From here: The Morning Rant

The first reason I mentioned was: 'we are winning.' I am confident of this because of a number of things I have observed. The first is the number of progressives who have gone from openly attacking Trump to openly attacking Trump supporters. The attacks usually go something like this: "Trump is a racist, a white supremacist, and a despicable human being. And if you intend to vote for him, then so are you." This is not the well-considered argument of a reasonable person. This is desperation. This is panic. You can smell the flop sweat. They're not going to win over potential voters by screeching at them. What they're trying to do, I guess, is to shame you into not voting for Trump. But that's not going to work. Because Trump voters are not going to not vote for him, they'll just keep their heads down, not say much, maintain a low profile, and then vote for him on election day when they're far, far away from the progressives and their ceaseless hectoring about how deplorable they are. They only result is that the polls will be thrown off due to the undercounted Trump who are tired of being called names.

More at the site.

Good move - Israel

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From Associated Press:

Israel bars entry to outspoken US congresswomen
Israel said Thursday that it will bar two Democratic congresswomen from entering the country ahead of a planned visit over their support for a Palestinian-led boycott movement, a decision announced shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted that it would “show great weakness” to allow them in.

The move to bar Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from visiting the close American ally appeared to be unprecedented, and marked a deep foray by Israel into America’s bitterly polarized politics. It is also a sharp escalation of Israel’s campaign against the international boycott movement.

In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is “open to critics and criticism,” except for those who advocate boycotts against it.

“Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress,” Netanyahu charged. He said their itinerary “revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”

Bibi is doing the exact right thing. These two are just grandstanding - they are trying to promote a narrative while getting a nice trip on taxpayer dollars. Shut them down. Their hate and antisemitism have no place in this world.

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