Nigel Farage's Speech from yesterday

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Just found a video of it - excellent:

It is so wonderful to see people waking up around the world - time for us to do this.

About those Epi-Pens

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Another interesting bit from U.S. Uncut:

Big Pharma’s dirty secret: EpiPen was developed entirely with taxpayer money
While Mylan Pharmaceuticals is cashing in on the EpiPen price hikes, the inventor of the life-saving device, who made it for the public, died in obscurity.

Sheldon Kaplan, who was an engineer for NASA before inventing the EpiPen, lived a humble, middle-class lifestyle. His surviving family members say he was never paid royalties for the device he invented, and never became famous for designing a product now used by millions.

“He was not famous; he was not wealthy,” Kaplan’s 42-year-old son Michael told the Tampa Bay Times. “And I don’t think he would’ve liked to be. I don’t think he expected that.”

After working at NASA, Kaplan started working for Survival Technology, Incorporated in Bethesda, Maryland. Kaplan sought to create a device intended to quickly inject a user suffering from anaphylaxis — a potentially fatal allergic reaction — with an emergency dose of epinephrine. EpiPens are a lifesaver for anyone allergic to common foods, like peanuts, shellfish, and eggs. Before the EpiPen was invented, anaphylactic shock had to be treated by drawing epinephrine from a bottle with a syringe, which was too time-consuming.

In 1973, when Kaplan was finalizing the design concept for the EpiPen, he was approached by the U.S. Department of Defense, which was looking for a device that could quickly inject an easily deliverable antidote for nerve gas. Kaplan’s design was for a device that a person could easily stick into one’s thigh, prompting a spring-loaded mechanism to push a needle containing life-saving medicine into the user’s bloodstream.

And it gets better - a lot better:

However, for Mylan Pharmaceuticals, which cornered the patent on the EpiPen in 2007, the life-saving device has made billions for the company. According to Bloomberg, a package of two EpiPens costs $415 in the US after insurance discounts. Comparatively, in France, two EpiPens cost just $85 USD. Mylan CEO Heather Bresch’s salary increased by 671 percent after hiking the price of the EpiPen by 461 percent over the past nine years.

Before her hire as CEO, Bresch — daughter of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) — was Mylan’s chief lobbyist. In November of 2013, a bill requiring all public schools to carry EpiPens for students with food allergies was signed into law by President Barack Obama. Over the following three years, as schools nationwide bought EpiPens by the truckload, Mylan implemented double-digit price hikes for the EpiPen every other quarter.

Despite the price hikes, Mylan moved to further maximize its profit margins by engaging in a shady corporate accounting trick known as a tax inversion. In 2014, Mylan reincorporated in the Netherlands to lower its effective tax rate, despite its operational headquarters remaining in Pennsylvania. Despite even her own father saying Mylan’s inversion should be illegal, Bresch defended the inversion in an interview with the New York Times.

All that is wrong with this nation and crony capitalism is summed up here in a few paragraphs. Epinephrine is shelf stable for about three years and dirt cheap to buy - about two dollars for a dose. I fully understand that the company has to make money and there is the cost of product insurance to be covered in case some yahoo pokes their eye out and sues. Still, there is no reason why this should not cost well under $100.

A little bit too close for my liking

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From The Bellingham Herald:

Brush fire burns about 10 acres near Sumas
A brush fire east of Sumas burned about 10 acres on the side of Vedder Mountain Thursday afternoon, Aug. 25.

The fire began near the intersection of Reese Hill and Frost roads in north Whatcom County, said John Gargett, deputy director of emergency management with the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office. Gargett said he believed the fire started at about 1:30 p.m.

“It’s still too early to tell, although it appears that a tree fell across a power line” near the intersection and started the fire, Gargett said at about 4:30 p.m.

About ten miles from me and in a direct path. The grass is slightly crunchy so I turned off the electric fence a week ago. It can cause a small arc when it hits grass and the grass is dry enough now to where it could catch fire. Got to think of everything...

I get it - a dark single-malt is not for everyone. If you do not like it, drink something else - do not demand that the dark single-malt be re-blended for your own insipid tastes.

From Bloomberg:

Whiskey's Next Wave Is Lighter, Mellower, Made for Millennials
On a warm evening in June, the thirsty crowd milling about a Brooklyn event space might have gladly sipped glasses of white wine, or crisp gin & tonics. Instead, all held drams of golden whisky in their hand.

The event was to celebrate the introduction of Toki, a new offering from Japanese whisky maker Suntory, with gentle almond and grapefruit accents and no age statement. It’s just one of a growing number of what we're dubbing “whisper whiskies”—pale-hued, refreshing spirits with a deliberately light, mellow flavor profile, offering an antidote to bold bourbons and brooding, smoky Scotches.

These whiskies span fresh, grassy bottlings from Ireland (Kinahan’s, Tullamore D.E.W.) to heathered Scotches without peat (Compass Box Enlightenment) to Japanese (Toki, Kikori) and American whiskies made with a lighter hand on the oak. All are ideal for drinking during the warm-weather months and into the crisper days of autumn.

They interview a New York City owner of two whiskey bars - Flavien Desoulin:

“They’re kids, and kids like candies. It’s got to be sweet, super-fruity, and light in the body. They don’t want to think about it too much—that’s their attention span. It’s got to seduce them quick, they’re not looking for depth.”

Looks like he knows his market. I wish the kids would take the time to develop the appreciation for the deeper stuff - there are some amazing flavor profiles to be enjoyed in a decent single-malt. Still - all the more for the rest of us...

Facts versus feelings

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I have always been a numbers guy. This comment at Gerard's nails the difference:

For the age 60 and above, the early Boomers and their parents, facts remain very important and feelings, while important, are thought not very reliable. Emotions are to be controlled and overcome, they are not to be a guide.

For post-Boomers, especially those born after 1980 or so, feelings are predominant, and the younger of that group the more important feelings are. This is also the cohort that was raised in the thick of the self-esteem movement, being told they are special (you know, just like everyone else). They received praise and rewards just for showing up (participation trophies, anyone?).

They are very, very heavily into social signaling by where they live and where they vacation and by what their children do. They absolutely dominate their kids, who typically have little choice in what activities they will do and when.

The younger sets of this group, born after the early 90s, have also learned (having been actually taught) that the cult of victimhood is the most important status of all. They are on high alert for reasons to be offended and when they are, it is for slights, real or imagined, that mystify the 60 cohort.

Victimhood demands recompense so there is no hope of forgiveness unless the offender crawls on his belly like a cold reptile to beg for it. But forgiveness is never unconditional. The hatchet may be buried, but the handle protrudes skyward so it can be easy to recover.

It is very much an honor-shame dynamic where all interactions are zero-sum. Where they are on the totem pole if always of concern and they are acutely aware of who is above or below. And woe betide those whom they think are below.

I think of it as the 'Veruca Salt' generation. They are demand oriented. Their magical thinking is that merely because they want something, it should be granted. They react strongly negatively to being asked for facts and logic to support their contention because in their minds, 'I feel very strongly about this so why are you asking for facts?' "

Veruca Salt? Here.

Inquiring minds want to know

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Just the gift for the naturalist in your family:


From Amazon:

Nasco SB49923 Life form Replica, Bucket of Scat
A collection of various Life form, Scat Replicas contained in one bucket! Ideal for nature studies and animal identification projects. Use independently or with animal tracks to better identify wildlife signs in nature. Each replica is a scat of a common North American animal.

A little over a pound of plastic poop. Hat tip to the Terrierman

The destruction that is Communism

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Great sample for an experiment - East and West Germany. From Germany's news in English - The Local:

Former East to lag behind West for years to come: study
Twenty-six years after reunification, eastern Germany remains economically anaemic with little prospect of catching up with the rest of the country by 2030, a study published on Wednesday said.

Of the eastern states, only "Saxony and Brandenburg will reach the level of overall average German growth" between 2015 and 2030, wrote Joachim Ragnitz of the Ifo economic think-tank.

The remaining federal states formed from the former territory of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) - Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Thuringia, and Saxony-Anhalt - will by contrast reckon with "in parts  extremely low growth rates".

Their infrastructure is not as good, factories are behind the times and the educational system is poor. Communism treats all citizens the same so individuality and entrepreneurship are stamped out. 26 years later, they are still a basket case.

Great song:

Offended? Suck it up buttercup.

Tip of the hat to Firehand for the link.

Back home again - hot!

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Low 90's in town, glad I am back. Chugging down an ice-cold beer and unpacking the car.

Needed to get a couple of things from the hardware store (a new pin for my trailor hitch - old one is on the road somewhere) and the Makita salesperson was having a tent sale. There is a particular kind of angle-grinder that I use a lot when welding and blacksmithing and I usually wait until Harbor Freight has them on sale for $15 and I buy a couple of them. They will last for a while and I toss them out. The Makita guy was selling the same kind of angle grinders for about 60% off their list price and he gave me a coupon for $10 off because I bought two of them. Sweet score - these are actually repairable when I do wear out the bearings.


The farrier came today so Rocky got his mani-pedi and is looking stylin'.

Fixing some white chili for dinner tonight - did a bunch of shredded chicken breast in the pressure cooker (use a tub of salsa for the cooking liquid - very nice taste) for tacos and re-purposing the remaining meet for the chili.

Got nothing this morning

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Heading out for coffee and then to the store for a while - pay some bills. Quick run into town after that.

Hey Tyler!

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An oldie but a goodie:

Downright bizarre - $99,999,999.99

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From reporter Claudia Rosett at the The New York Sun:

Riddle of $1.3 Billion for Iran Might Relate to 13 Outlays Of Exactly $99,999,999.99
Congressional investigators trying to uncover the trail of $1.3 billion in payments to Iran might want to focus on 13 large, identical sums that Treasury paid to the State Department under the generic heading of settling “Foreign Claims.”

The 13 payments when added to the $400 million that the administration now concedes it shipped to the Iranian regime in foreign cash would bring the payout to the $1.7 billion that President Obama and Secretary Kerry announced on January 17. That total was to settle a dispute pending for decades before the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal in at The Hague.

The $400 million that was not ransom?

Last week, the State Department finally confirmed that the January 17 cash shipment was used as “leverage” to ensure Iran’s release that same day of four American prisoners — fueling questions about whether the Obama administration, despite its denials, had paid ransom.

And the other payments to Iran - not directly to Iran but made through the State Department with the blessings of Loretta Lynch - our Attorney General

The 13 payments that may explain what happened are found in an online database maintained by the Judgment Fund. A search for “Iran” since the beginning of this year turns up nothing. But a search for claims in which the defendant is the State Department turns up 13 payments for $99,999,999.99.

They were all made on the same day, all sharing the same file and control reference numbers, all certified by the U.S. Attorney General, but each assigned a different identification number. They add up to $1,299,999,999.87, or 13 cents less than the $1.3 billion Messrs. Obama and Kerry announced in January.

Together with a 14th payment of just over $10 million, the grand total paid out by Treasury from the Judgment Fund on that single day, January 19, for claims pertaining to the State Department, comes to roughly $1.31 billion.

I am betting that there was some reporting trigger set at $100 million and they wanted to avoid setting it off. Maybe automatic reporting to Congress.

Has been - Cher

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Her fifteen minutes were up a long time ago. Invoking Godwin's Law is not a good way to win hearts and minds.From Breitbart:

Cher Compares ‘F*cking Idiot’ Donald Trump to Hitler at Clinton Fundraiser
Pop icon Cher lit into Donald Trump on Sunday, comparing the Republican presidential nominee to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and calling him a slew of vulgar names during a fundraiser for Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Always classy:

“I just think he’s a f*cking idiot,” Cher said, to wildly enthusiastic applause. “I was thinking despots — Stalin, Hitler — even though they said the same things, we’re going to make Germany great again, and it was at a time when the Deutsch mark I think was at 25 cents,” she continued. “And also look at Brexit, these people just screwed themselves so badly because they were angry and they didn’t think things could get worse.”

Who is the idiot - post Brexit England is doing just fine judging from several metrics. From the UK Guardian:

UK economic indicators defy Brexit fears
Britain appears to be bouncing back from the post-Brexit panic in better shape than expected, after a string of indicators showed growth across the manufacturing sector, the building industry and in consumer spending.

A survey of manufacturers reported a rise in exports to their highest level in two years. Persimmon, Britain’s biggest housebuilder, said customers were flocking back to view new build homes. And grocers enjoyed a 0.3% rise in sales in the 12 weeks to 14 August, the best performance since March.

Cher lives in a mansion in Hollywood surrounded by her people - she probably has never read a conservative website (I real liberal ones all the time - I want all the news). She obviously thinks that Hillary is the right thing for America and her blatant corruption doesn't rate the blink of an eye. She is clueless - a braying ninny.

Oops - the British Olympic Team

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From Sports Book Nation:

The entire British Olympic team arrived back in England with the same red suitcase
Great Britain had an amazingly successful Olympics. A record medal haul, a nation of adoring fans welcoming Olympians home as heroes. There was just one problem — baggage claim.

Great Britain’s athletes weren’t just given official Olympic attire, they got special Olympic baggage too. Baggage that matched. Heading to one of the world’s busiest airports. With everyone arriving at the same time.

Athletes arrived just after 5 a.m. local time. Their bodies were telling them it was 1 a.m. because of the time difference to Rio. Bleary eyed, the athletes needed to try and work together in an effort to find which red bag in a sea of red bags was theirs.

Judging from three athletes’ timelines, it took roughly two hours for the problem to get sorted out. Many of them finally emerged from baggage claim to meet the public around 7 a.m.



This does not bode well - Iran

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From the US Naval Institute:

Video: Destroyer USS Nitze Harassed by Iranian Patrol Boats
The following is Aug. 23, 2016 video of guided missile destroyer USS Nitze (DDG-94) harassed by four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) patrol boats.

The destroyer was in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz when four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Navy high-speed patrol boats came at the ship without responding to hails or warning flares fired from Nitze, according to a video of the incident provided to USNI News.

The Nitze was operating in international waters. Time for another round of golf.

One more from the article I just quoted:

Think I'm being alarmist? Well, think about this—off Queensland, more than nine-tenths of the Great Barrier Reef has just been bleached. Perhaps a quarter of it has died and likely won't come back.

And from the North Queensland Cairns News:

Great Barrier Reef in near pristine condition: dive boat operators
The healthy Great Barrier Reef deniers have been caught out lying about coral bleaching and the near-pristine condition of the world’s best coral icon.

Dive boat operators who visit the reef almost on a daily basis taking thousands of tourists on diving expeditions have been telling authorities for several years there is nothing wrong with the reef.

They have warned lying so-called conservation bodies such as the WWF, Wilderness Society, CAFNEC, the National Coral Bleaching Taskforce and the Australian Conservation Foundation their misleading campaigns would harm the Far North tourism trade.

Tourist operators have advised the State Government that coral bleaching is a natural and annual event that can affect small sections of the reef.

Spirit of Freedom dive boat owner Chris Eade told the Cairns Post that reports of coral bleaching along 93 per cent of the 2300 klm reef had damaged the reputation of the $5 billion tourism industry.

“Scientists had written off the entire northern section as a complete white-out,” Mr Eade said.

“We expected the worst, but it is in tremendous condition, most of it pristine, the rest in full recovery.”

“It shows the resilience of the reef.”

The reef has been around a lot longer than any of us. It will continue to abide just fine.

This really shows the difference between those who participate in the echo chamber and who parrot the company line and those who are actually out in the field making observations.

Climate Change - a cry from down under

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From Bob Beale writing at the Australian Broadcasting Company:

What will it take for us to pay attention to climate change?
Australia's coastline has seen massive changes in the past six months, 2015 was recorded as the hottest year on record, and 2016 is shaping up to be even hotter. Former Sydney Morning Herald journalist Bob Beale laments that nobody seems to be taking any notice.

A couple paragraphs to set things up and then this:

No, really, what the heckedy-heck does it take to make us truly sit up and notice the massive changes going on in the natural world around us? It's a travesty that so many people are fixated by staring at their so-called smart phones in a search for imaginary Pokémon creatures, while the real plants and animals of the world are turning up their toes in their billions.

To quote Eric Worrall's wonderful observation:

Perhaps if “massive changes” were actually happening, people would listen. Fantasising that the climate apocalypse is already upon us, when it is completely obvious to normal people that nothing bad is happening, simply undermines the already tattered credibility of climate advocates, and opens a widening gulf between deep greens and the people they hope to influence.

Eric is speaking truth to power. The actual data simply do not support the output of any of the computer models. This fallacy of Anthropogenic Global Warming is a cruel hoax foisted on us by marxists and one-world-government types who want to limit our productivity in the name of Gaia. Communism failed spectacularly so they have re-trenched and are using the environmental movement as a shield for their actions.

Hillary lies - emails prove it

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Another tranche of Hillary emails is out and this one is interesting - from Wikileaks:

Diane Reynolds is an alias for Chelsea Clinton. Here is Hillary to Chelsea the day of the Benghazi attacks:


And of course, that next day Hillary was all about the YouTube video (here and here)

Pants on fire...

And another one bites the dust

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From Canada's CBC:

Wind turbine collapse investigated in Nova Scotia
An 80-metre wind turbine has collapsed in Nova Scotia, prompting an investigation by Enercon, the device's manufacturer.

According to company officials, no one was injured when the turbine fell Aug. 17 at the Point Tupper Wind Farm. Nova Scotia's Department of Energy confirms they are aware of the collapse.

Must have made quite the noise coming down - when these fail, they fail spectacularly:


Obama's Potemkin Village

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An interesting letter from a Breitbart reader who is black and lives in Baton Rouge - where Obama visited after umpteen rounds of golf.

Letter from a Black American: Barack Obama’s Lousiana Photo-Op Hides the Real Devastation
Breitbart News is in contact with a self-described “lifelong resident of Zachary, a Baton Rouge suburb, and a black man” who’s laid out the truth about economic conditions that Louisiana residents are facing.

The author writes about the various regions hit by the flooding and that some of them are very conservative and would not welcome an Obama visit. Obama's handlers chose a relatively affluent 45% black neighborhood which had not been hit that hard. Here is where it gets interesting - Barry's "photo op"

Pres. Obama chose Zachary; a black middle class subdivision. He visited the Castle Place subdivision. It took a big hit, but it is one part of the city of Zachary. Overall, Zachary as a city was at the bottom of the list in terms of damage but as I wrote in my first letter, this is a peaceful middle-class town. It’s the place least likely to produce anything to disrupta photo-op.

Now it’s getting strange….

Obama went and visited a shelter here in Zachary that wasn’t operational until somewhere between yesterday and today. That shelter in Zachary that he visited wasn’t in the same neighborhood as he walked and visited. The shelter was in Zachary, but across town.


Why would the city of Zachary open a shelter the day before opening schools were back up, marshaling a ton of resources away from a supposed shelter? Why would Obama visit a shelter that has hastily been put together in a neighborhood, though flooded, was the only neighborhood flooded in a city that was fully functional, aside from the school, through this entire process?

This author is resonating with a lot of people - there are over 1,500 comments to his post. His previous letter is a great read as well.

From Sky News:

Nigel Farage To Tell 'Brexit Story' At Trump Rally In Mississippi
The Republican presidential nominee is due to campaign on Wednesday evening in Jackson, Mississippi, as Mr Farage visits the southern US state.

Mr Farage is expected to talk about how the "anti-establishment beat the establishment" to bring about Brexit.

Brexit is turning out quite well for the UK - unemployment is down and the economy is up. We will see the long-term results. I wish that Daniel Hannan would also speak at a Trump rally. These two are leading voices in England's conservative movement.

Fun with time

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I am a time-nut and have a couple highly accurate clocks - no atomic ones as yet but mine are still accurate to a second or two every year or two. Here is an interesting development in Europe, from Physics World:

Optical link connects atomic clocks over 1400 km of fibre
The time kept by atomic clocks in France and Germany has been compared for the first time using a new 1400 km optical-fibre link between labs in Paris and Braunschweig. Hailed as the first comparison of its kind made across an international border, the link has already shown that two of the most precise optical atomic clocks in Europe agree to within 5 × 10–17.

The clock I have at home is accurate to 6.8 x 10-13 so this is four orders of magnitude better - quite the jump. When you get this accurate, other things begin to rear their heads:

If they were side by side, the clocks would tick at exactly the same frequency. However, there is a 25 m difference in the elevation between the two locations, which means that the Earth's gravitational field is not the same for both clocks – causing them to tick at slightly different frequencies. This gravitational redshift was confirmed by the link, which can detect differences in elevation as small as 5 m.

And this net is being expanded:

The optical clock at PTB Braunschweig is already linked to the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics (MPQ) in Garching near Munich. This is done via a 920 km pair of optical fibres, and researchers at the MPQ plan to use the clock signal to make extremely precise spectroscopy measurements. A further expansion of this network would provide researchers in other labs in Europe with access to high-precision clock signals.

Very cool - not only useful for in-lab applications where high precision timing is needed, it can also be used to synchronize interferometers for astronomical and terrestrial observation.

As for timing at different elevation, one of the core things Einstein came up with. Local scientist Tom VanBaak did a wonderful demonstration of this effect in 2005 driving up to Paradise Lodge at Mt. Ranier - the website is here: Project GREAT: General Relativity Einstein/Essen Anniversary Test. The television producers for GENIUS with Stephen Hawking asked him to repeat this experiment in 2016 - here is the website from that expedition to the 9100 foot summit of Mt Lemmon, near Tucson, Arizona: GENIUS by Stephen Hawking, Relativity by Einstein, Time dilation by cesium clocks.

A parable

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The cultural elites versus the rest of us.
Something they need to have brought to their attention.
With tar and feathers if needed.

Curious goings on in Germany

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First, the German people were told to stockpile food and water.

Now? From The Local - Germany's news in English:

Govt advice to stockpile food criticized as 'scaremongering'
“By bringing out new plans all the time, the government could completely worry people and even lead them to panic buy,” Dietmar Bartsch, co-leader of Die Linke (The Left Party) told the Rheinische Post on Monday.

The government shouldn’t be adding to the sense of fear on a daily basis, Bartsch added.

Bartsch was responding to Interior Ministry plans published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Sunday, advising people to stockpile food for ten days and water for five days - an estimated two litres per person per day.

The plan, which makes civilian backing of troops a priority while boosting the resilience of buildings and increasing capacity in the healthcare system, is due to be adopted by the government on Wednesday.

The proposal is Germany’s first civil defense strategy since the end of the Cold War.

Gee - the co-leader of The Left Party is advising against self-reliance? Worried that the German citizens will not need to rely on a central government to take care of them at all times.

What makes me wonder is what are people thinking with publishing this call - is Putin up to something? Is there a mass terrorist attack being planned.

The word for today - recidivism

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Recidivism is one of the most fundamental concepts in criminal justice. It refers to a person's relapse into criminal behavior, often after the person receives sanctions or undergoes intervention for a previous crime.

From House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) writing at The Hill:

We can’t afford to give terrorists a one-way ticket back to the battlefield
Last week the Obama Administration approved its largest-ever release of detainees from Guantanamo Bay, sending 15 extremists back into the world.

By now, the pattern has become familiar: the President lets hardened terrorists go free, Congress and the American people express outrage, and the White House ignores the uproar.

But the grave risks of this policy cannot be ignored. The President is giving terrorists a one-way ticket back to the battlefield.

And the numbers:

Nearly 700 inmates have been released from Gitmo, and more than 200 have returned to the fight or are suspected of doing so, according to the Director of National Intelligence.  And that’s just who we know about.

Who we know about is the key phrase here - many of them just drop off the face of this Earth and we will see them again when they commit their next act of terror. We are in a war that was declared on us back in the 1890's and we still refuse to recognize it as such.

Crooked Hillary - pay for play

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While she was Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation racked up some sweet mordita - from The Associated Press:

More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money - either personally or through companies or groups - to the Clinton Foundation. It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.

At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.

Hillary for prison.

From the Washington Examiner:

Debt to reach highest level since 1950 this year
The national debt this year will jump to the highest level since 1950 relative to the size of the economy, the Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday.

The agency projected that the debt held by the public will rise 3 percentage points to 77 percent of U.S. gross domestic product by the end of fiscal year 2016 in September.

Debt has not hit that ratio since 1950, when the government was still in the middle of paying down the debt it incurred paying for World War II.

The National Dept is approaching $20 Trillion Dollars and showing zero signs of slowing down. It was $10.6 Trillion when Obama took office.

Just to get a sense of scale for how large one trillion is, if you had one trillion dollars and spent $1,000 (One Thousand Dollars) each and every second, the money would last for a little over 31 years (31.709)

A Clinton suicide - Vince Foster

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A curious update to the story - from the London Daily Mail:

EXCLUSIVE: Missing:  FBI files linking Hillary Clinton to the 'suicide' of White House counsel Vince Foster have vanished from the National Archives
FBI agents' reports of interviews documenting that Hillary Clinton's stinging humiliation of her friend and mentor Vince Foster in front of White House aides triggered his suicide a week later are missing from where they should be filed at the National Archives, Daily Mail Online has learned exclusively.

On two separate occasions, this author visited the National Archives and Records Service in College Park, Md., to review the reports generated by FBI agents assigned to investigate the 1993 death of Bill Clinton's deputy White House counsel.

And some people think that she would be just fine leading this nation.

No Such Agency - a two-fer

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The NSA has been in the news recently - here are two stories.

First - Softpedia:

Computer Science Professor Gives Failing Grade to Newly Leaked NSA Hacking Tool
Over the past weekend, a person or group named The Shadow Brokers published a set of hacking tools they claim to have stolen from the Equation Group, a name given by security vendors to a cyber-espionage group believed to be linked to the US National Security Agency (NSA).


The most recent person who has taken a look at the code is Stephen Checkoway, who teaches Software Vulnerability Analysis and Advanced Computer Security at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Prof. Checkoway put some hours aside to look at the source code of the BANANAGLEE exploit, which targets Juniper firewalls. The reason he analyzed this exploit is that he's familiar with Juniper devices, being the lead researcher for "A Systematic Analysis of the Juniper Dual EC Incident," a research paper set to be presented in October 2016, at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security.

The good Prof's thoughts:

"This is ridiculous," Checkoway writes regarding the random key generation system.


Prof. Checkoway was a little bit more impressed with the process of hiding the attack source through multiple IP redirections, which he called "kinda neat." But the praises stopped there. "[B]oth the code and the crypto are bad. Very bad," he says.

The article goes into a lot more detail.

Second - from TechDirt:

Did The NSA Continue To Stay Silent On Zero-Day Vulnerabilities Even After Discovering It Had Been Hacked?
The NSA's exploit stash is allegedly for sale. As mentioned earlier this week, an individual or a group calling themselves Shadow Brokers claims to be auctioning off parts of the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) toolkit, containing several zero days -- including one in Cisco's (a favorite NSA TAO target) Adaptive Security Appliance which allows for remote code execution.

The thing about these vulnerabilities is that they aren't new. The exploits being hawked by Shadow Brokers date back to 2013, suggesting the agency has been sitting on these exploits for awhile. The fact that companies affected by them don't know about these flaws means the NSA hasn't been passing on this information.

That is not good - if they can find the holes, other people can as well. Who is hacking whom here?

Heh - Pikachu

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What with all the renewed pokemon craze - from The Oatmeal:


Say hello to Seacharger

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From Make Magazine:

Did a Solar-Powered Autonomous Boat Just Cross the Pacific Ocean?
I struggle to descend the stairs leading to the sandy beach at Half Moon Bay, California, awkwardly hefting the 60-pound solar-powered boat SeaCharger atop my shoulder. Amid the numerous “what-the-heck-is-that?!” stares of the beachgoers, I perform some last-minute checks of the boat’s propeller and rudder and then wade out into the knee-high surf and push SeaCharger as hard as I can towards the oncoming waves. Moving at walking speed, the boat makes it through the first several waves without being flipped. Relieved, I make my way back up onto the beach, then turn around and watch my two-and-a-half-year project slowly plodding westward, gradually disappearing in the whitecaps.

An older man who has been watching the entire time approaches me and tells me that he’s sorry that I lost control of my boat and that he’s sure it’ll wash up on the beach somewhere. I assure him that the boat is on autopilot, going exactly where it’s supposed to be going. “And where is that?” he asks. “Hawaii.” The look on his face is priceless.

Indeed, the idea of this tiny, homemade boat surviving 2,400 miles of open ocean to reach Hawaii seems foolishly unrealistic, and I know that more than anybody else. With help from friends, I built the eight-foot-long, autonomous, foam-and-fiberglass, solar-powered SeaCharger in my garage – not to make money or to win a contest, but simply as a challenge. And a challenge it was. What started out as a year-long project turned into 30 months of mistakes, compromises, and start-overs. So for the next couple of hours, I spend my time worrying and fretting, glued to the screen of my phone, waiting for each telemetry report sent by SeaCharger’s satellite modem. When it becomes obvious that the boat is still on track and doing well, I get in my truck and drive home.

41 days and 2,413 miles later, Seacharger pulls in to Mahukona Harbor, Hawaii on July 22nd.

There is a dedicated website for Seacharger here: Seacharger - lots of info and tracking on her way to New Zealand.

Just wonderful - Germany

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Commie Merkel is doing a fantastic job bringing Germany to her knees - from Reuters:

Germany to tell people to stockpile food and water in case of attacks: FAS
For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the German government plans to tell citizens to stockpile food and water in case of an attack or catastrophe, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper reported on Sunday.

Germany is currently on high alert after two Islamist attacks and a shooting rampage by a mentally unstable teenager last month. Berlin announced measures earlier this month to spend considerably more on its police and security forces and to create a special unit to counter cyber crime and terrorism.

"The population will be obliged to hold an individual supply of food for ten days," the newspaper quoted the government's "Concept for Civil Defence" - which has been prepared by the Interior Ministry - as saying.

Maintaining a couple weeks supply of food and water is a good idea all around - you never know what can happen. For the government to come out and say this is necessary shows that something serious is up and the shit is about to hit the fan.

Living up to one's own name

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From The Smoking Gun:

Ohioan, 18, Nabbed On Gun Charges Does Not Appear To Be Wise Or Intelligent
Meet Wise Intelligent Supreme God Allah.

Belying his name, the 18-year-old Ohioan made the imprudent choice Thursday night to be carrying a loaded handgun while a passenger in a car traveling in Akron.

During a police traffic stop, Allah was found with a Hi-Point .380 caliber handgun in the waistband of his pants. The Canton resident was arrested on felony weapons charges, according to Akron Municipal Court records.

Making his momma proud. What is it with black people adopting muslim names? Don't they know their history - that it was arab slave traders who rounded up African Christian towns, murdered all the old and young and took the rest to sell into slavery. There were far more slaves in South America and Caribbean than were ever in the United States.

A bit of good news - Obamacare

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Voicing a little bit of sarcasm here - from Business Insider:

Obamacare has gone from the president's greatest achievement to a 'slow-motion death spiral'
It has not been a good week for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.

A slew of news, from insurers dropping out to possible fraud among healthcare providers, has all accumulated in a deluge of negative headlines for one of President Obama's signature laws.

In fact, it's gotten so bad that it appears that the whole program itself may be in doubt.

While there are issues, and this past week highlighted many of them, it does appear that there is a long road ahead before we have a definitive understanding of Obamacare's survival, and there's a good chance that it makes it.

It was never a good idea - the supposed 14 million uninsured people was a manufactured number. Many of those were young adults who chose to not pay for insurance. The whole legislation was rammed through after hours (have to pass it so you can see what's in it) and it is basic a totalitarian one-size fits all price fixing scam. If they wanted to make health care affordable, allow for meduical savings plan. Roll out Tricare to everyone. Allow for competition in the marketplace.

Back home safe and sound - it will be good to have my two managers back at the store. Bought a Costco chicken and doing a big pot of rice - eating Hawaiian tonight.

It's Miller time!

Off to town - shopping for the store

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Heading into town in a few minutes - the heat wave has finally broken so things are comfortable again.

More spew around 4:00PM or so...

Island Songs

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Just beautiful - from Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds:

More here: Island Songs

Ólafur's Facebook page is here. Exquisite work.

Alright - one more:

From Portland, OR station KOIN:

Officials: Stouts Creek Fire caused by lawn mower
Officials on Thursday released the cause of Oregon’s biggest wildfire, the Stouts Creek fire.

Officials determined that the fire was human caused. They say a person was moving their lawn on July 30 at a time when mowing was not allowed due to fire danger.

They say the person may be liable for fire suppression costs and damages, which have reached $22.4 million. The fire has burned 23,841 acres as of Thursday.

Ouch. One hell of a bill to have to pay. Still, they caused it and they were mowing when mowing was not allowed.

Serious levels of yum

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The tri-tip came out perfectly - this is now my standard way to prepare it.

  • Salt heavily and let it rest on paper towels for at least four hours in the fridge - this causes it to lose a lot of water and makes the flavor that much more intense.
  • One hour before plating, rinse off and pat dry - sprinkle a bit of salt and sugar - about 30/70. Let it rest at room temp for 20 minutes or so to let the salt and sugar dissolve.
  • Broil under high heat for about four minutes each side. This will vary depending on your oven and the broiler element will cycle on and off so I am talking four minutes of active glowing red, fires of Hell, hot. You want to develop a nice browning on the meat with little bits of char. The sugar will caramelize and help this process a lot.
  • Measure internal temperature - mine is usually around 90-100°F or so. Put into a slow smoker for about 20 minutes until internal temp is where you want it (130°F for me).
  • Rest for ten minutes and cut 1/4" slices against the grain.

An observation - economic depression

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I was following some links down a chain of unrelated topics and ran into this Wikipedia article: Great Depression in Australia - it happened in 1929 and was in part triggered by worldwide downturn that triggered the USA depression of 1929.

So I am reading along  and come on the following:

... Australia, unlike the United States, did not embark on a significant Keynesian program of spending to recover from the Depression. Nevertheless, the Australian recovery began around 1932.

From depression to economic recovery in three years?

For giggles, I looked up the following: Great Depression in the United States

Here it is:

The market crash marked the beginning of a decade of high unemployment, poverty, low profits, deflation, plunging farm incomes, and lost opportunities for economic growth and personal advancement.

Emphasis mine - and the money quote:

The economy reached bottom in the winter of 1932–33; then came four years of very rapid growth until 1937, when the Recession of 1937 brought back 1934 levels of unemployment.

Australia, not implementing any Keynesian programs, was on the road to recovery by 1932. The stimulus that the USA implemented prolonged our downfall and created an economic bubble which ran from 1933 through 1937. The bubble burst (as bubbles must always) and we were back to square one in 1937. The depression did not fully end until 1941.

And people still think that John Maynard Keynes is a genius? It is old-school Austrian economics for me - that works. During a depression (or recession for that matter), the last thing we need is for the Government to spend money.

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