Another visit from the empty chair

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Obama failed to send anyone of consequence to Paris for the Charlie Hebdo rally.

Now he is doing the same for the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

From the New York Times:

For Auschwitz Museum, a Time of Great Change
For what is likely to be the last time, a large number of the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz will gather next week under an expansive tent, surrounded by royalty and heads of state, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of those held there at the end of World War II.

“This will be the last decade anniversary with a very visible presence of survivors,” said Andrzej Kacorzyk, deputy director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, which encompasses the sites of the original concentration camp, near the center of Oswiecim, and the larger Auschwitz II-Birkenau on the city’s outskirts.

And who will be attending:

A preliminary list of those attending includes President François Hollande of France, President Joachim Gauck of Germany and President Heinz Fischer of Austria, as well as King Philippe of Belgium, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark. The United States delegation will be led by Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew.

Treasury Secretary? Not the President or Vice President. Not even Kerry?
Christ - Send Hillery - at this point, what difference does it make.

This is pathetic - from The Daily Caller:

Feds Enlist Disney To Make A ‘Frozen’ Film About The Melting Arctic
The Obama administration is looking to Disney to push its global warming agenda on America’s children. A top State Department official revealed he is in talks with the entertainment conglomerate to use characters from the movie “Frozen” to teach kids about global warming.

“I said, you’ve taught an entire generation about the Arctic,” Adm. Robert Papp, the U.S. special envoy for the Arctic, told an audience at a Norwegian conference about his talk with a Disney executive. “Unfortunately, the Arctic that you’ve taught them about is a fantasy kingdom in Norway where everything is nice.”

“What we really need to do is educate the American youth about the plight of the polar bear, about the thawing tundra, about Alaskan villages that run the risk of falling into the sea because of the lack of sea ice protecting their shores,” Papp said.

Plight of the Polar Bear whose numbers have dramatically increased in the last fifteen years, thawing tundra - if you would be so kind as to point out where (that would be a NO), villages falling into the sea - they always do this. The Alaskan coast is in a constant state of flux. The year after the great Alaskan Earthquake, my family and our minister visited the town of Shageluk, Alaska. It was sited on a tributary of the Yukon River and because of the quake, the tributary was shifting its banks and the town had to move. We presented them with a sawmill and movie projector. This was in 1964 and these things have been happening before and are continuing to happen.

To use an iconic children's cartoon character to spread this propaganda and false information is unconscionable. Admiral Papp has had a distinguished career and has done well but it is time for him to retire.

This is just plain crazy - Al Gore...

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...and ex-Mexican President  Felipe Calderon wants to spend $90,000,000,000,000 of our tax dollars.

From FOX News:

Al Gore: Spend $90 Trillion To Ban Cars From Every Major City In The World
Former Vice President Al Gore and former Mexican President Felipe Calderon are pushing for $90 trillion in spending to ban cars from every major city in the world and make them more dense.

Gore and Calderon presented a report from the Global Commission on the Economy & Climate (GCEC) and argued that fighting global warming will require making cities more compact and wholly reliant on public transit. This is the only way to make sure urban areas don’t contribute to global warming, the two politicians argued.

Calderon and Gore argued that $90 trillion is going to be spent anyways in the coming decades upgrading cities around the world. They argue that it should be spent on making cities more climate friendly.

The money is going to be spent anyway so let's hijack it from needed items like repairing the infrastructure and utilities and instead, convert the cities into dystopian ghettos where no one will want to live. These people are so far out of touch that it is unreal.

Talk about going off the deep end...

I could see this guy as President - he has done amazing work as Governor of Wisconsin.

From The Hill:

Walker shows fire in Iowa
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) delivered a fiery speech in Iowa on Saturday, wowing the conservative crowd with a passionate argument for small government and his own lengthy resume.

The Wisconsin governor, in rolled-up shirtsleeves, paced the stage as he blasted big government and touted a long list of conservative reforms he's pushed through in blue Wisconsin.

The governor also showed a rhetorical flourish that's largely been absent from his previous campaigns, drawing the crowd to its feet multiple times.

"There's a reason we take a day off to celebrate the 4th of July and not the 15th of April," he said, almost yelling as his voice grew hoarse. "Because in America we value our independence from the government, not our dependence on it."

Walker's speech had something for every element of the activist crowd. The governor touted his three victories over Democrats and recall win as well as his state-level education reforms. Each new policy he helped pass drew cheers: Voter ID laws, education reforms, tax cuts and defunding Planned Parenthood.

The biggest question for Walker as he ramps up for a race is whether he has the fire in the belly and political skills to stand onstage against the other candidates. And in his first major Iowa address, he may have done a lot to dispel notions that he lacks charisma.

When he said he won reelection as Milwaukee County Executive in an area where President Obama won by a two-to-one margin, some in the audience gasped.

"If you get the job done the voters will actually stand up with you," he said before contrasting his record with Washington's deadlock.

 Walker actually gets stuff done - a lot of the people lining up have no real track record in this department.

Got out of Vancouver just in time

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Yesterday in Vancouver was overcast with some sprinkles in the morning. It dried off at the same time we went to the bird watching beach and stayed dry through the rest of the day.

What a difference 24 hours makes - from The Vancouver Sun:

Pineapple Express hits North Shore mountains, Metro Vancouver with heavy rain
Skiers and snowboarders hoping to hit the North Shore slopes this weekend may be disappointed, as a Pineapple Express is expected to wallop the region with up to 100 millimetres of rain, saturating the snowpack and forcing resorts to close runs.

The warmer weather and heavy downpour doesn't bode well for the North Shore's three major ski resorts, as Environment Canada predicts the freezing level could climb as high as 3,400 metres by Saturday. Cypress and Seymour mountains are about 1,400 metres in height, while Grouse Mountain is just over 1,200 metres. Whistler's highest lift accessed elevation is 2,284 metres.

It's 41°F and raining at Baker as well but at least we have some decent base.

House Speaker John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak to Congress on March 3rd without consulting the Obama administration.

From The Times of Israel:

Netanyahu ‘spat in our face,’ White House officials said to say
The White House’s outrage over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to speak before Congress in March — a move he failed to coordinate with the administration — began to seep through the diplomatic cracks on Friday, with officials telling Haaretz the Israeli leader had “spat” in President Barack Obama’s face.

We thought we’ve seen everything,” the newspaper quoted an unnamed senior US official as saying. “But Bibi managed to surprise even us.

“There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price,” he said.

Officials in Washington said that the “chickenshit” epithet — with which an anonymous administration official branded Netanyahu several months ago — was mild compared to the language used in the White House when news of Netanyahu’s planned speech came in.

In his address the Israeli leader is expected to speak about stalled US-led nuclear negotiations with Iran, and to urge lawmakers to slap Tehran with a new round of tougher sanctions in order to force it to comply with international demands. The Mossad intelligence service on Thursday went to the rare length of issuing a press statement to deny claims, cited by Kerry, that its chief Tamir Pardo had told visiting US politicians that he opposed further sanctions.

So typical of the rampant narcissism in the White House. We know the best way to do things and if you go against us,  there will be a price. This is not leadership in any sense of the word. Obama and company are in over their heads and impotent.

These are serious issues that are being dealt with - a nuclear Iran will be an incredible instability for the entire world. The Obama administration are like schoolyard bullies.

Because of price fixing, Venezuelan stores are frequently out of basic items and when there is stock coming in, people have to wait in lines. Rather than wait themselves, some Venezuelans are paying people to hold their place in line.

From Yahoo/Reuters:

In shortages-hit Venezuela, lining up becomes a profession
There's a booming new profession in Venezuela: standing in line.

The job usually involves starting before dawn, enduring long hours under the Caribbean sun, dodging or bribing police, and then selling a coveted spot at the front of huge shopping lines.

As Venezuela's ailing economy spawns unprecedented shortages of basic goods, panic-buying and a rush to snap up subsidized food, demand is high and the pay is reasonable.

"It's boring but not a bad way to make a living," said a 23-year-old man, who only gave his first name Luis, as he held a spot near the front of a line of hundreds outside a state supermarket just after sunrise in Caracas.

More at the article including the wonderful fact that President Maduro's party has a 22% approval rating and there are elections coming up later this year.

Guns and Murder in the United States

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Bill Whittle uncovers an inconvenient truth:

 

RIP - Edgar Froese

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Founder of Tangerine Dream - from the website:

+++ FAREWELL TO EDGAR FROESE +++

Dear Friends,

This is a message to you we are deeply sorry for…
On January 20th, Tuesday afternoon, Edgar Froese suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from the effects of a pulmonary embolism in Vienna.
The sadness in our hearts is immensely.

Edgar once said: “There is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address."

Edgar, this is a little comfort to us.

Yours,
EB (ADMIN) & the whole EASTGATE MUSIC TEAM 

One of the great ones.

Ho Li Crap - archery

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Verily! The mind; it doth boggle...

I had written just this last Monday on how Moog Music was re-releasing their three iconic synthesizer systems - the System 15, System 35 and System 55.

Today, just five days later, someone wrote this on an electronic music email list:

My Moog dealer has told me that all the system 55,35 and system 15's modulars were pre sold before NAMM 
Moog will make another batch of system 15's $2500 deposit required

NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants and their annual show (running now) is where manufacturers go to demonstrate new instruments. There is no word on how many units Moog actually manufactured but for them to sell out so quickly indicates a high demand, even at boutique pricing.

We need a vacation from our vacation

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Taking it easy this morning - still need to unpack the truck but I'll get around to it in an hour or two.

It was a wonderful trip but glad to be back home again...

Big uptick in spam, both Blog comment spam and email - number of attempts?

Blog - 21, email - 348

Number of successful posts?

Blog - ZERO, email - ZERO (all were caught and routed to the spam folder, number of false triggers (valid email flagged as SPAM? ZERO))

You keep knocking but you can't come in - go back to your mommies basement...

Back home again

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It was a wonderful time but very glad to be back home again.

Driving in Vancouver was interesting to say the least. I have a large truck - a Ford F-350 with the long bed and king cab - the largest of each option. Driving downtown was interesting with my mirrors clearing other vehicles with inches to spare. I did not feel it then, but my muscles are stiff as though I worked out.

I revisited Chinatown - my last time there was about fifteen years ago. We were both stoked about eating lunch there but it was out of the zombie apocalypse - the place has really gone downhill and there are junkies walking around everywhere. Don't know if the City of Vancouver is trying to "manage" their junkie problem by concentrating them into one locale but it sure has turned Chinatown and Gastown into a smoking crater. Sad as I remember a lot of good restaurants there and today, we were both concerned about the security of my truck being parked on the street with my camera gear.

Stevestown was a lot of fun - the cannery museum was really well done and we had an amazing dinner at the Blue Canoe. Literally, the best halibut I have ever eaten. The first bite was eye-opening. Simple - let the product speak for itself. Lulu had some mussels and they were just as amazing. I had brought my laptop but the internal WiFi adapter failed to work - do some diagnostics in a few days. It still works great for tethered camera shooting but no internet connectivity :(

I got lost trying to find the first birding place but went to my alternate location out near the Vancouver airport and we saw a lot of eagles, an owl, four or five red-tailed hawks, a lot of sand pipers. Took lots of photos and will post in a day or two.

Finished with a trip to IKEA - bought some stuff for home, for the synthesizer cabinet (some LED strip lighting) and for some rental units (dishware).

Sleep in tomorrow and back to the usual grind...

Off to Canada today

Heading out the door in an hour - Lulu's showing her nephew how to feed the critters and I'm getting extra hay out to the feeders.

Should be fun!

This image sums it up:

 

20150120-sotu.jpg

Off to Canada tomorrow

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Lulu's son and her nephew are out here for a couple of days to take care of the critters. Heading out early tomorrow morning - back Thursday.

Been doing some research on the Vancouver Chinatown and apparently, it is getting less and less Chinese - the people immigrating to Canada these days are moving into an area that is a couple miles from our hotel so we will check out both areas.

Surf for a while and then to bed...

YES! - finally

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It has been well documented that low doses of radiation are not harmful and may actually be beneficial. The "official" word is that any dose of radiation is harmful.

Finally, this is changing - from World Nuclear News:

US House passes low-dose radiation bill
The US Department of Energy (DOE) and National Academy of Sciences have been directed to work together to assess the current status of US and international research on low-dose radiation and to formulate a long-term research agenda under a bill approved by the US House of Representatives.

The Low Dose Radiation Research Act of 2015 (HR 35) directs the two organisations to carry out a research program "to enhance the scientific understanding of and reduce uncertainties associated with the effects of exposure to low dose radiation in order to inform improved risk management methods." The study is to be completed within 18 months.

Get to the truth and stop depending on conjecture...

Synthesis - Suzanne Ciani

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Moog is inviting some well-known synthesizer artists to show off their 'new' modulars.

Suzanne Ciani has always been a favorite of mine - excellent musician and composer - here she is on a System 55:

 

Canada does not stand behind Israel – it stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel

I really wish that Obama had the stones...

Full story at Arutz Sheva/Israel National News:

Canada 'Stands Shoulder to Shoulder with Israel'
John Baird, Canada's foreign minister, who is considered a staunch ally of Israel, met early Monday afternoon with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu welcomed Baird and lauded him as “a great fighter for peace and security, and a great warrior for truth.”

"You have always showed a willingness to fight for what is right, and oppose what is wrong,” Netanyahu lauded his guest. "We are all waging a difficult struggle against the terrorists of radical Islam,” he added. “Israel has been under continuous attack by this evil, and so has Canada, lately. In fact, large parts of the world are suffering from this violent onslaught.”

The Canadians, said Netanyahu, “know who the aggressor is and who is defending himself. You know that Israel is defending itself in a legitimate way against the war crimes of Hamas and other terror organizations.”

The article closes with this:

"Well, our generation's great struggle is against terror, and too often, the state of Israel and the Jews worldwide stand at the front lines of this struggle. As I have said in the past – Canada does not stand behind Israel – it stands shoulder to shoulder with Israel.” 

This is what a clear vision and a strong moral backbone looks like. Not the mealy-mouthed pablum emanating from DC these days. As I have said before, we need some adults in the room - our senior statesmen are infantile. Impotent in the purest definition of the word...

The true poverty numbers

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Obama's State of the Union speech will cover his plan of taxing the rich and redistributing the funds through Federal programs to the Middle Class. This is classic Marxism - there is a fixed pool of capital and the inequities of the world stem from an unequal distribution. Marx seriously screwed up on that - Capital is fungible. It can be created and it can be destroyed.

What brings me to my rant - there is no poverty in the USA. The number of truly poor people is at an absolute minimum. Most "poor" people get subsidized housing. They have a cell phone and a television. Their kitchen has a stove and a refrigerator. They most likely have a car.

To put things into perspective - a family of four people with a gross take-home pay of $36,000/year are members of the 1% when you take into account the rest of the world's population. Want to solve something? Solve that!

Brings this list to mind:

1. America is capitalist and greedy – yet almost half of the population is subsidized.
2. Half of the population is subsidized – yet they think they are victims.
3. They think they are victims – yet their representatives run the government.
4. Their representatives run the government – yet the poor keep getting poorer.
5. The poor keep getting poorer – yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.
6. They have things that people in other countries only dream about – yet politicians (mostly progressive socialists) claim they want America to become more like those other countries.

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