Public awareness about firearms is growing. People are learning and this group has members from all political spectra. Even Bill Maher - from Breitbart:

Maher: A Lot of Liberals Talk About Gun Control, But ‘Don’t Know Sh*t’ About Guns,’ Gun Control Pushes ‘A Little Bit Elitist’ and ‘Racist’
HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher criticized liberals “who don’t know sh*t about guns” for speaking about gun control and criticized recent gun control pushes as “a little bit elitist and a little bit racist,” on Friday.

Maher said, “[D]oes it really matter if we are banning certain guns? Because, I see that the liberals, they talk about guns — now, I’m not a gun expert, but I see a lot of people talking about guns who don’t know sh*t about guns. I know a little about — it’s like when the pope talks about vaginas, you know. And that’s when the conservatives stop listening. Like, I know a lot of them think that AR-15. ‘AR’ stands for ‘assault rifle.’ It doesn’t. and it’s not an assault rifle. It’s not an automatic weapon. Those are illegal. There are a lot of weapons they’re not even talking about banning that basically do the same thing as an AR-15, because you have to squeeze each round.”

Congratulations Bill - my only nit is that fully automatic weapons are fully legal to own in the USA - they must have been manufactured on or before 1968 and this scarcity puts the buy-in price around $30K on up.

Great news from the court system

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Yesterday, I heard that the Supreme Court struck down Obama's immigration plans. Now this - from the New York Times:

Obama Fracking Rule Is Struck Down by Court
A federal judge on Tuesday night struck down an Obama administration regulation on the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, for oil and gas on public lands, a blow to President Obama’s muscular stand on the extraction of fossil fuels on government lands.

A bit more:

Judge Scott W. Skavdahl of Federal District Court in Wyoming ruled that the Interior Department lacked the authority from Congress to issue the regulation, and also noted that fracking was already subject to other regulations under state and federal law.

The decision comes amid a heated political debate over fracking, which involves the injection of water, gravel and chemicals underground to extract oil and gas. The technology has produced an oil and gas boom in the United States, but environmentalists say fracking can contaminate groundwater and lead to the leaking of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

The blocked rule would not have affected most fracking operations in the United States, since it would have applied only to fracking on federal lands. The vast majority of fracking in the United States — almost 90 percent — is done on state and private land and is governed by state and local regulations. The rule was unlikely to have stopped most new fracking on public lands, although oil and gas companies complained that it could have slowed operations by creating burdensome paperwork.

This is a very good ruling. Most of the people who do not like fracking are unaware of the history or the scale. Fracking is not a new technology - it has been done sucessfully since 1862. The reason it was not widespread at that time is that there were other wells that produced without the added expense. Now that the low hanging fruit has been harvested, we are revisiting this technology. As for scale, most groundwater happens in the first two hundred feet. Most oil and gas wells are more than 5,000 feet deep - the idea that you are going to routinley contaminate drinking water is absurd. Yes, there are cases where methane does contaminate drinking water and these instances have been trumpeted to the media as examples of fracking contamination but they are just natural seeps and have nothing to do with the extraction happening nearby.

We need to stop Barry's plan:

How to be happy

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Six rules - from Tastefully Offensive:

20160624-dog.jpg

Got most everything ready though - going to be busy tomorrow. They want me to bring my PA system so that means announcing and bringing some tunes. Doing photography of the event and working the radios from time to time. I am bringing my portable base station and will demo that to anyone interested in Ham Radio as a hobby.

Oh yes, I will also be cooking and serving about 50 dinners and breakfasts.

Like I said, busy. My time at the event starts around 1:00 or so so plenty of time tomorrow to do a last minute scramble.

Time to have a glass or two of wine and surf the internet for a couple hours.

From Bloomberg:

World’s 400 Richest People Lose $127 Billion on Brexit
The world’s 400 richest people lost $127.4 billion Friday as global equity markets reeled from the news that British voters elected to leave the European Union. The billionaires lost 3.2 percent of their total net worth, bringing the combined sum to $3.9 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The biggest decline belonged to Europe’s richest person, Amancio Ortega, who lost more than $6 billion, while nine others dropped more than $1 billion, including Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the wealthiest person in the U.K.

I am reminded of this wonderful diagram from the folks at Neuter the Debt:

20160620-debt.jpg

We need to keep things in perspective...

Back home again - packing

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No spew for a while. I am home and getting ready for tomorrows dinner.

Congratulations to England for voting to separate from the EU - this is a monumental decision and when England soars as she will, it will serve as a beacon to all the other nations enrolled in this socialist exercise.

"Europe is the result of plans. It is, in fact, a classic Utopian project, a monument to the vanity of intellectuals, a program whose inevitable destiny is failure: only the scale of the final damage done is in doubt."
-Margaret Thatcher

Bellingham or bust

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Heading into town today for the perishable food for the field day tomorrow. Feeding fifty people.

Here is the page for the event: WECG Field Day Event

Should be a lot of fun and the weather is starting to turn around.

Voters in the UK have chosen sovereignty over slavery - they have chosen to leave the Europen Union.

It will be a rocky six months but they will emerge stronger and better off.

Welcome home friends!

What people do up here - logging

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Logging is just another kind of farming except it takes 40 years for your next harvest. Here is a fun newsreel about logging in Oregon back in the 1950's:

As for riding the flume, I am reminded of that wonderful National Film Board of Canada animation of The Log Driver's Waltz

Song: The Log Driver's Waltz by Wade Hemsworth, performed by Kate and Anna McGarrigle. National Film Board of Canada. Animation by John Weldon.

Changing demographics

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Interesting numbers - from McClatchy News:

Minority babies outnumber whites among US infants
White babies are now outnumbered by minority babies, according to new population estimates from the Census Bureau.

In 2015, racial and ethnic minorities made up 50.2 percent of babies under a year old. That year, there were 1,995,102 minority babies born, just slightly more than the 1,982,936 white babies born.

The 2015 data was released Thursday, as was updated data for previous years. These new figures show that in 2013, minority babies also outnumbered non-Hispanic white babies by about 1,000 births. In 2014, white babies were outnumbered by about 16,000.

If I remember correctly, Blacks are in the majority of minorities at around 13% with Hispanics and others coming in at a lower percentage. For the total combined output to top the output of caucasian people is quite the demographic shift for our nation.

Great bit of news from PJ Media:

You'll Never Guess What 'Bigoted' Fried Chicken Democrats Ordered for Their Sit-In
On Wednesday morning, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives (normally a very grown-up organization) held a temper tantrum about gun control. Their brave "civil-rights-style" "sit-in" lasted until Thursday evening, when it became clear that their childish tactics were ineffective. But perhaps more interesting is where these champions of liberal progressivism turned to sustain them during their fight against the injustice of American gun ownership.

Those Democrats turned to Chick-fil-A, the very same fast food restaurant that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio urged New Yorkers to boycott last month. De Blasio called the restaurant "anti-gay" in part because President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Dan Cathy made comments critical of gay marriage in 2012, and gave money to conservative organizations such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.

TMZ has the video:

One of the commenters asked if they had watermelon for dessert. Priceless... These are the people we are supposed to look up to - we put them in office to serve us, not play temper tantrums if they do not get their way.

And by the way, this is of interest - from Heat Street:

26 of the Democrats Who Participated in the Gun Control Sit-In Own Guns
Congressional Democrats ended their 25-hour sit-in on the House floor this afternoon, failing to force a vote on two pieces of gun legislation. The controversial sit-in included 26 Democratic lawmakers who themselves own guns, Heat Street learned after examining 2013 USA Today data on congressional firearms ownership. The participants also included 12 more Democrats in Congress who either didn’t respond to USA Today’s gun survey or declined to say whether or not they possessed a firearm.

Fscking hypocrites - every one of them.

RIP Dr. Ralph Stanley - from his Grandson Nathan Stanley's facebook page:

"My heart is broken into pieces. My papaw, my dad, and the greatest man in the world, Dr. Ralph Stanley has went home to be with Jesus just a few minutes ago. He went peacefully in his sleep due to a long, horrible battle with Skin Cancer. I feel so lost and so alone right now. He was my world, and he was my everything. He was always there for me no matter what. I just cannot get a grip on this. My Papaw was loved by millions of fans from all around the world, and he loved all of you. If he was singing snd on sage, he was happy. That's why I did so much to make it possible for him to travel in the last two years. Because he wanted to. Please keep me and my family in your prayers. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to face in my life. The only thing that gives me peace, is knowing he is in paradise and I'll see my best friend again. I love you papaw with all of my heart. As long as I live and breathe, your legacy will never die. You will forever be in my heart."

He was amazing - great musician and wonderful person.
Here is a wonderful hour-long documentary: The Life & Times of Ralph Stanley

Say hi to Spot

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Brought to us by the folks at Boston Dynamics:

65 pounds with optional arm, runs for 90 minutes per charge.

Artist Point open

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Opened this afternoon but still about 18-20 feet of snow up there. Great photo from Andy Sahlfeld:

20160623-artist.jpg

Just an excerpt from this article at the San Jose Mercury News:

California's skyrocketing housing costs, taxes prompt exodus of residents

And the money quote:

During the 12 months ending June 30, the number of people leaving California for another state exceeded by 61,100 the number who moved here from elsewhere in the U.S., according to state Finance Department statistics. The so-called "net outward migration" was the largest since 2011, when 63,300 more people fled California than entered.

An interesting metric is looking at U-Haul rental prices from San Francisco to Dallas Texas. It is about $2K from SF to Dallas but only $1K from Dallas to SF - they don'y have enough trucks in SF so they charge market price...

Back home again

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Got all but two of the errands run but heading into town again tomorrow to pick up the perishables (frozen food, hot and ham buns, etc...).

Woke up a bit early today by design - want to swing my sleep schedule around to summer time - get up earlier in the morning so as to catch the light.

Had a burger at Five Guys - they are now serving milk shakes which was my only real gripe about them.

Raining down buckets - it was nice this afternoon but wet tonight. I thought about getting a pint or two but parked, got out of the truck, turned around and came home. Too much stuff to do to prep for the field day.

Egg on face - Trump's lies

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A number of people were calling Donald Trump a liar because of a line in yesterday's speech. I quoted a bit from an article in Slate yesterday but there were two paragraphs that I did not quote:

The point is not that this is true; as political analyst David Gergen said on CNN, the speech was slanderous. But the lies in the speech, many taken from Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash, were not obviously self-refuting. At one point, Trump said, citing Schweizer, “Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium holdings to Russia, while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.” This has been debunked many times over, including by FactCheck.org.

To explain why it’s not true, though, you have to go into details about Clinton’s role on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which approved the sale of a Canadian-based energy company with American mining stakes to Russia’s nuclear energy agency.

Turns out, David Gergen was trying to blow smoke up our collective asses. From Breitbart:

CNN’s Clinton Cash ‘Fact-Check’ Ends in Embarrassment for Cristina Alesci and Laurie Frankel
CNN Money’s “fact-checkers” Cristina Alesci and Laurie Frankel ended up with egg on their faces on Wednesday after they rated as “false” a well-established and proven Clinton Cash fact involving Hillary Clinton’s State Dept. approving the transfer of 20 percent of U.S. uranium to the Russian government, as nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.

Under the guise of “fact-checking” Donald Trump’s Wednesday speech, Alesci and Frankel purported to verify whether “Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20% of America’s uranium holdings to Russia while nine investors in the deal funneled $145 million to the Clinton Foundation.”

Much more at the site with links to the hard data to back up the facts.

From the Associated Press:

OBAMA IMMIGRATION PLAN BLOCKED BY 4-4 TIE AT SUPREME COURT
The Supreme Court deadlocked Thursday on President Barack Obama's immigration plan that sought to shield millions living in the U.S. illegally from deportation, effectively killing the plan for the rest of his presidency.

The outcome underscores that the direction of U.S. immigration policy will be determined in large part by this fall's presidential election, a campaign in which immigration already has played an outsized role.

People who would have benefited from Obama's plan face no imminent threat of deportation because Congress has provided money to deal with only a small percentage of people who live in the country illegally, and the president retains ample discretion to decide whom to deport. But Obama's effort to expand that protection to many others is effectively stymied.

The issue is not legitimate immigration. The issue is that we are letting anyone come in - we have no idea who these peole are and some of them have already proven themselves to be terrorists and murderers.

Heading off to town today

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Buying the non-frozen stuff for this weekend's field day. Raining now and showers forecast through Friday but the actual days - Saturday and Sunday - look nice and clear.

Back in a couple hours...

Up to bed

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Tired - didn't get to the end of the internet but came pretty close.

More tomorrow...

Trump gets serious

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Donald Trump delivered an excellent speech this morning - nailing Crooked Hillary to the wall.
From Slate (note - Slate has a pronounced liberal bias - it must have physically pained the author to write this):

Trump’s Speech About Hillary Was Terrifyingly Effective
Donald Trump’s Wednesday morning speech about Hillary Clinton’s record is probably the most unnervingly effective one he has ever given. In a momentary display of discipline, he read from a teleprompter with virtually no ad-libbing, avoiding digs at Bill Clinton’s infidelity or conspiracy theories about Vince Foster’s suicide. Standing in a low-ceilinged conference room bedecked with square chandeliers in the Trump SoHo, a lawsuit-plagued hotel and condo development, Trump spoke for 40 minutes without saying anything overtly sexist. Instead, he aimed straight at Clinton’s most-serious weaknesses, describing her as a venal tool of the establishment. “Hillary Clinton gave China millions of our best jobs and effectively let China completely rebuild itself,” he said. “In return, Hillary Clinton got rich!” He added, “She gets rich making you poor,” and called her possibly “the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.”

He was having fun these last couple of months - now, it is time to get serious and he is doing just that. What Slate chose not to mention is that Trump also laid out what he would do in the first 100 days of his presidency. He has some good advisers working for him - Trump's goals are achievable and have substance.

Jeff Dunham pranks Walter

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Submitted for your enjoyment:

Rebuilding the Coco Palms Resort

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Very cool - Hyatt is rebuilding one of Kauai's iconic hotels. From Honolulu station KHON:

Blessing marks rebirth of Kauai’s Coco Palms Resort
It’s a day many thought would never come.

A blessing Thursday marked the rebirth of Coco Palms Resort on Kauai.

The resort, located on Kuhio Highway in Wailua, has been closed since Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

Three years ago, two men from Oahu formed Coco Palms Hui to bring the resort back to life.

During the blessing, they were surrounded by dozens of people, including Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.

“This is a special day, my grandma, my aunties, a lot of people who worked here and brought life to this place,” Carvalho said.

The developers are vowing to bring its legendary past into its new life.

“We want to learn from all of that, and we want to be able to translate that to modern times for future generations, that same sense of ohana,” said Tyler Greene of Coco Palms Hui.

This is from about eight months ago but it is news to me. They are planning on reopening sometime in 2017. The main structures are to be gutted and new insides built, the small cabins are not up to code for flooding so they are going to be demolished and rebuilt. The fish ponds and coconut grove are on the National Register so they are staying where they are. The Coco Palms has a huge history predating the Resort - it was the ancestral home of Kauaʻi's aliʻi since the 13th century, the area encompassing the Coco Palms Resort was the home of Kauaʻi's last reigning queen, Queen Deborah Kapule, in the mid-19th century.

From Washington State Department of Transportation twitter account:

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This is great news. A few years ago, they were unable to get it open and business at the store was down by a good 15% - it hurt us. Major tourist draw.

Light shows

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Great interview of Bill Ham - one of the absolute pioneers in the 1960's psychedelic light shows that accompanied rock performances. From Collectors Weekly:

Lightman Fantastic: This Artist Drenched '60s Music Lovers in a Psychedelic Dream
When kindly old grandparents beckon their fresh-faced grandchildren into their rock-poster-lined man caves and she sheds, to vape sweet kush and wax nostalgic about the San Francisco music scene of the 1960s, their rambling recollections are often accompanied by the sounds of “Cheap Thrills” or “Aoxomoxoa”—cranked to 11.

Getting high with grandma and grandpa while listening to Big Brother and the Holding Company or the Grateful Dead is actually a fairly good way for curious Millennials to learn about this watershed era of the late 20th century, but loud music and recreational drugs were only part of the story. Just as important, if not more so, were the light shows that accompanied and responded to the sounds. Indeed, for the seriously stoned, the pulsating colors produced by light-show outfits with names like Heavy Water, Little Princess 109, and North American Ibis Alchemical Company were often the main event.

If you never saw one, a San Francisco light show was an immersive ocular experience for audiences and musicians alike. Amid these real-time paintings built from layer upon layer of ephemeral light, performers pushed their instruments to the breaking point, while audiences danced until they dropped. Without the light shows, San Francisco’s fabled music halls, where everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton held court, would have resembled just so many more run-down auditoriums and crumbling former ice rinks. In fact, that’s basically what the Fillmore and Winterland, two of the city’s most famous music venues, were. When illuminated by a light show, though, these decrepit dives were magically transformed into glorious temples of psychedelic iniquity.

Wonderful rambling reminiscence - the author had several days to interview Ham.

I was in high-school in Pittsburgh, PA during that time, spending my weekends at The Rising Tide coffeehouse in the basement of Calvary Church. I was building the sound system from old movie theater parts - several theaters had been condemned and were being demolished. Nabbed a bunch of speakers and amps. The whole idea of a light show intrigued me a lot so a friend and I started playing around with overhead projectors. Was able to get some acetate theater lighting gels (intense color filters) as well as the clock glasses and we had a lot of fun. As I started getting into it, my Dad stepped in - he taught Physics at the University of Pittsburgh and I was able to borrow a lot of optical demonstration pieces over the weekend - stroboscopes, prisms, very large projectors, etc...

This brings back a lot of wonderful memories...

Here is a 31 second sample:

Heading out to Crave'n for a pint or two of cider. Back in an hour or so.

Need to take the trash out too.

The Baltic Dry index

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I have long been a fan of the Baltic Dry index when looking at the worlds economic health. It is the cost to ship bulk goods from one place to another. The better the economy, the more goods get shipped so it serves as a good proxy. Some of my posts: here, here, here and here.

Now this from The New Yorker:

THE SURPRISING RELEVANCE OF THE BALTIC DRY INDEX
On January 11th of this year, online financial circles lit up with dire news. “Commerce between Europe and North America has literally come to a halt,” one blogger wrote. “For the first time in known history, not one cargo ship is in-transit in the North Atlantic between Europe and North America. . . . It is a horrific economic sign; proof that commerce is literally stopped.” Although the Web site that first broadcast this information is prone to hysteria—there are, in fact, many cargo ships on the world’s oceans, in plain sight—more pessimistic market experts, such as Zero Hedge and the Dollar Vigilante, eagerly quoted it for their millions of readers. The story fit neatly into a narrative: the global economy, despite outward signs that it has clawed its way back from recession, is a small step away from an enormous crash.

But if sober-minded, mainstream economists were tempted to dismiss this ostensible trade calamity outright, they found that they couldn’t. The index that inspired these warnings, known as the Baltic Dry Index, was until recently viewed as a credible, if obscure, source—one that has accurately signalled prior systemic failures, and one that economists of all stripes have routinely consulted as a trusted proxy for trade activity. Based in London, this gauge reflects the rates that freight carriers charge to haul basic, solid raw materials, such as iron ore, coal, cement, and grain. As a daily composite of the tonnage fees on popular seagoing routes, the B.D.I. essentially mirrors supply and demand at the most elementary level. A decrease usually means that shipping prices and commodities sales are dropping (the latter because shippers are competing over fewer consignments). Shipping is a direct indicator of whether people want goods, and softness in shipping prices is therefore a sign of weakness in manufacturing and construction.

In January, when the B.D.I. surfaced as a heated topic in certain geeky economic corners of the Internet, it had fallen to a record low of 429, an eighty-per-cent decline from December, 2013, and far below its record high, in May, 2008, of 11,793. It continued to plunge for another month, hitting a nadir of 291 on February 12th. The index has rebounded a little since then, but not enough to dampen some concerns raised by its descent. While the catastrophic scenarios offered by the pessimists aren’t quite plausible, the B.D.I.’s dramatic plunge does appear to have indicated a genuinely alarming economic trend about the strength of global trade, with implications for jobs and corporate profits, that many economists had overlooked. Which raises the question: Why did economists color their judgment by discounting the B.D.I. in the first place?

A well-written article - lots more at the site.

Fun times in Olympia

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First the shooting and half-pound of meth and now this - from The Olympian:

4 arrested for allegedly using sports gear shop as a drug front
Four Olympia men were arrested Friday after they allegedly used Score, a used sporting goods shop, as a front to sell and use drugs.

Evan Pederson, 35, Justin Burnam, 35, Arael Field-Borodin, 21, and Damon Wiffen, 23, were booked into the Thurston County jail and appeared Monday before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Erik Price, who found probable cause for drug charges.

The arrest:

About 3 a.m. Friday, two officers noticed a man smoking a cigarette outside of Score, on the 1400 block of State Avenue Northeast. Because of the early hour, the officers stopped by to check why lights were on inside the store.

Through the window, an officer saw three men inside who appeared to be using narcotics and more narcotics and paraphernalia on a desk near them. The officer watched one of the men place something in foil, place a lighter under it, and inhale the smoke through a pipe.

Two of the men left the store and were immediately detained. One of them leaned into the doorway and tried to warn the other men that there were police officers outside.

They displayed the usual level of intellegence:

The officer spotted the business’s owner, Pederson. Pederson purchased the business a few weeks ago.

Officers said Pederson told them that people regularly came by the store to purchase and consume narcotics. He also told them he used heroin daily, the officers reported.

The stupid - it burns! Was probably planning to run a money laundering operation for his drug profits.

A shooting in WA State

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Heard this morning that there was a shooting at a trailer park in Lacey, a small town near the State Capitol of Olympia. Three fatalities and one wounded. The story just got a bit more complex. From The Olympian:

3 dead, 1 injured in shooting near Lacey
Thurston County sheriff’s detectives are investigating an early morning shooting near Lacey that left three people dead and one injured.

Chief Deputy Dave Pearsall identified the victims as a 31-year-old Olympia woman, a 28-year-old Olympia man and a 36-year-old Elma man. He said it is unclear how they knew each other or what their relationship is.

“We don’t know the motive or have a suspect at this time,” Pearsall told reporters about 1 p.m. They also have not found the weapon used.

A 30-year-old man who was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital is a “possible suspect” — but detectives won’t know how the man was involved until he is interviewed, Pearsall said.

And the clincher:

Deputies found a half pound of methamphetamine and two rifles inside the camping trailer.

One hell of a party. From tweaker.org - weights and measures we find that one ounce of meth has a street price of $1,200 - half pound would check in at $9,600. That's enough for a shooting.

Cognitive dissonance in the news

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A two-fer from The Seattle Times:

First - the elites tell us what we need to do:

Regional council warns 5 King County towns they’re growing too fast

Second - rules for thee but not for me:

Downtown Seattle’s building frenzy: 65 projects now in construction

Cognitive dissonance? From Wikipedia:

In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas, or values, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.

Very glad that I bailed out of Seattle when I did. Just getting too crowded.

Back home again

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Stopped off at the site where we will be doing the field day - needed to coordinate with some of the people there. Also stopped at the store.

Fix a bit of dinner (left-over beef stew) and then surf. Woke up early this morning so feeling a bit tired but planning to stay up and reset my sleep schedule.

Time to head home

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Power down the laptop in a few minutes and head back home.

Hillary's emails - a two-fer

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First - from Associated Press:

EMAILS: KEY SECURITY FEATURES DISABLED ON CLINTON'S SERVER
Newly released emails show State Department staffers wrestled in December 2010 over a serious technical problem with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's home email server. They temporarily disabled security features, which left the server more vulnerable to hackers. Weeks later, hackers attacked the server so seriously it was shut down.

The emails were released under court order Wednesday to the conservative legal advocacy group Judicial Watch. The group has sued the State Department over access to public records related to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's service as the nation's top diplomat between 2009 and 2013.

Un-frickin'-real.

Second - from FOX News:

Clinton IT specialist invokes 5th more than 125 times in deposition
Hillary Clinton IT specialist Bryan Pagliano invoked the Fifth more than 125 times during a 90-minute, closed-door deposition Wednesday with the conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, a source with the group told Fox News.

The official said Pagliano was working off an index card and read the same crafted statement each time.

“It was a sad day for government transparency,” the Judicial Watch official said, adding they asked all their questions and Pagliano invoked the Fifth Amendment right not to answer them.

Pagliano was a central figure in the set-up and management of Clinton’s personal server she used exclusively for government business while secretary of state. The State Department inspector general found Clinton violated government rules with that arrangement.

A bit more:

He was deposed as part of Judicial Watch's lawsuit seeking Clinton emails and other records. A federal judge granted discovery, in turn allowing the depositions, which is highly unusual in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The judge cited "reasonable suspicion" Clinton and her aides were trying to avoid federal records law. 

Granting discovery is really big. More:

A federal court agreed to keep sealed Pagliano’s immunity deal struck with the Justice Department in December, citing the sensitivity of the FBI probe and calling it a “criminal” matter.  

Sealing the records is really big too - Hillary must be in deeper kim-chee than we think. Does not surprise me though.

Just as a heads-up - pleading the 5th 125 times in a 90 minute deposition means that Bryan invoked it every 43.2 seconds. He must have been repeating it like a mantra. I would love to know what the questions were...

Safeway blogging

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Done with Thunderbunny - she is in great shape.

Stopping for lunch at the Safeway deli - I will buy a rustic baguette and have the deli department make a sandwich from it. Since I am buying the loaf, they only charge me the $2.00 extra meat fee instead of the $5.95 price for the full sandwich.

Only problem is that I like it with extra pickes and they were good enough to load me up. Took a bite and they were sweet pickles and not dill. Good but not what I was expecting.

Back to the farm after this - sunny today with rain suposed to be moving in so get some gardeining in while I can...

The worlds oldest Twinkie

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It turns 40 this year - from Oddity Central:

World’s Oldest Twinkie Turns 40, Still Refuses to Decompose
In 1976, Roger Bennatti, a chemistry teacher at George Stevens Academy, in Maine, unwrapped a fresh Twinkie and placed it atop a classroom chalkboard so he and his students could see how long it took for it to decompose. 40 years later, that question remains unanswered, because mould simply refuses to grow on the world’s oldest Twinkie.

The official shelf-life of a Twinkie – as stated by the company making them nowadays – is only 25 days, but as the famous Twinkie of George Stevens Academy clearly shows, it’s really a lot longer than that. It has been sitting in a glass case for four decades now, and even though it might not be safe to eat, it is looking fantastic for its age. Its shape hasn’t change a bit, and if mould hasn’t grown on it so far, chances are it never will.

Libby Rosemeier, George Stevens Academy’s dean of students, was a student in Roger Bennatti’s class on the day this decades old experiment began. “We were studying the chemistry of food. We went next door to the store, bought Twinkies and we gave them to Mr. Bennatti and [asked him], ‘How many chemicals do you think are in something like this?’” Rosemeier recalls. “He said, ‘Let’s find out and see how long it lasts.’ He opened the Twinkie package, ate one, and put the other one on top of the [chalkboard].” The popular treat remained in his classroom for the next 28 years, until the chemistry teacher retired. From then on, the world’s oldest Twinkie became Rosemeier’s responsibility, and she had her father make a glass case to store it in.

Heh - great story! There is a reason why I do not eat Twinkies or other snack 'food' like this.

Burning Man branches out

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From The Sacramento Bee:

Burning Man group buys Nevada oasis for year-round activities
For a quarter century, Burning Man was a temporary experience. People went to the festival of “radical self-expression” in the Nevada desert and came back talking about their magical weeks.

Earlier this month, the organization that oversees Burning Man took a major step toward becoming a year-round experience by purchasing 3,800 acres in the Black Rock Desert.

The land, known as Fly Ranch, is a desert oasis with a dozen spring-fed pools and a man-made geyser that spews near-boiling water. It sits 21 miles north of Gerlach, Nev., and a few miles from the vast stretch of playa that’s been Burning Man’s home since 1991.

Officials with the nonprofit Burning Man Project said about a dozen unidentified individuals funded the $6.5 million purchase.

This is not a new site for Burning Man

Organizers said they have no plans to move the 70,000-person event to Fly Ranch. It isn’t “suitable for the size and scope” of the current event, which is held in a dry lake bed where thousands camp for the week.

Their website is here: Burning Man

From the Terence Corcoran writing at Canada's Financial Post:

Junk Science Week: Science is on the verge of a nervous breakdown
Welcome to FP Comment’s 18th annual Junk Science Week, dedicated to exposing the scientists, NGOs, activists, politicians, journalists, media outlets, cranks and quacks who manipulate science data to achieve their objectives. Our standard definition over the years has been this: junk science occurs when scientific facts are distorted, risk is exaggerated and the science adapted and warped by politics and ideology to serve another agenda.

Much of our content over the past 18 years has focused less on science itself and more on the NGOs, politicians and others who have found it convenient to use and abuse science as a springboard to political action. It is easy, perhaps too easy, to follow the empty-headed foibles of a media culture that mindlessly recycles reports that bacon may cause heart disease or that cell phones cause cancer. Less easy is dealing with the much bigger problem: the break down of science itself. In The Guardian last week, Jerome Ravetz, considered one of the world’s leading philosophers of science, reviewed what he and many others describe as “the crisis in science.” Ravetz, who has been warning of the emerging internal conflicts in science for decades, sees the crisis is spreading to the general public. “Given the public awareness that science can be low-quality or corrupted, that whole fields can be misdirected for decades (see nutrition, on cholesterol and sugar), and that some basic fields must progress in the absence of any prospect of empirical testing (string theory), the naïve realism of previous generations becomes quite Medieval in its irrelevance to present realities.”

And the topics they will be covering this weeek:

We explore just some of the examples in this year’s Junk Science Week, including the GDP factory myth, sugar scares, the social cost of carbon, the last pesticide Roundup, killer lipstick, and our annual Rubber Duckies awards.

Be sure to read the comments too - some real trolls and some enlightened people.

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Sitting in the car dealer lounge waiting for Thunderbunny to be serviced. Great people - been in business since 1908 so they must be doing something right...

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