November 2011 Archives

Just wunnerful

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Bad enough that we bail out our own "entities too big to fail". Now we are "helping" the Euro. From The Blogmocracy:
Fed to provide more �liquidity� for the Euros
Ben Bernanke who is a fan of 3rd World economics is back it again. Coordinating with other central banks, he plans to create more liquidity to prop up the European financial system. In other words, he is printing money to bail out Europe�s failed Socialist system.
The Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve, and the Swiss National Bank are today announcing coordinated actions to enhance their capacity to provide liquidity support to the global financial system. The purpose of these actions is to ease strains in financial markets and thereby mitigate the effects of such strains on the supply of credit to households and businesses and so help foster economic activity.

These central banks have agreed to lower the pricing on the existing temporary U.S. dollar liquidity swap arrangements by 50 basis points so that the new rate will be the U.S. dollar overnight index swap (OIS) rate plus 50 basis points. This pricing will be applied to all operations conducted from December 5, 2011. The authorization of these swap arrangements has been extended to February 1, 2013. In addition, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank, and the Swiss National Bank will continue to offer three-month tenders until further notice.
Fscking congenital idiots -- not content to pole-ax our own economy, they are also wrecking the rest of the world.

Heh - Obama's approval rating

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From Jammie Wearing Fool:
Blame Bush! Obama�s Approval Now Worse Than Jimmy Carter
President Obama�s slow ride down Gallup�s daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history.

Since March, Obama�s job approval rating has hovered above Carter�s, considered among the 20th century�s worst presidents, but today Obama�s punctured Carter�s dismal job approval line. On their comparison chart, Gallup put Obama�s job approval rating at 43 percent compared to Carter�s 51 percent.

Back in 1979, Carter was far below Obama until the Iran hostage crisis, eerily being duplicated in Tehran today with Iranian protesters storming the British embassy. The early days of the crisis helped Carter�s ratings, though his failure to win the release of captured Americans, coupled with a bad economy, led to his defeat by Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Less than a year to go...

The Plan

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Excellent two-part read from Sean Linnane -- Part One; Part Two. The intro of Part One:
The Warrior always has a plan. I've got a plan. Herman Cain has a plan, and he tells us what it is. If Obama has a plan, he doesn't dare tell us what it is because if he did nobody would vote for him. The Occupiers don't have a plan - their beef is that The Machine is broken and The Dream is dead, but all they want to do about it is break it more. That's not a plan; at least not a plan for success. What the Occupiers have got going falls under the category: "If you're not a part of the Solution you're a part of the Problem."

This is Part I - it is a long post but I encourage you scroll down and read on . . . I came up with The Plan, is doable and it is worthy - when I explained my Plan to a noted author and economist (who shall remain unnamed for the time being) he exclaimed that if I publish it I will become famous. I replied, "I'm already famous, I've got the best kind of fame because I'm famous, but nobody knows who I am . . . S.L.
Go and read it -- talk about speaking truth to power...

Spin - Herman Cain

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The libs are playing dirty -- from Yahoo News:
Herman Cain Gets Out in Front of Report He Had an 'Extended' Affair
This time, Herman Cain isn't waiting an accusers press conference to make news of the latest accusation made against him, going to CNN on Monday afternoon to announce: "This individual is going to accuse me of an affair for an extended period of time." Cain added, "We will respond" when specifics are known. Atlanta's Fox News 5, which is scheduled to run its report at 6 p.m., is teasing the interview with the latest Cain accuser by saying that she had a 13 year affair with the candidate.
If they have facts and physical evidence, why don't they show them. Instead, it is just innuendo and hearsay. Chicago politics writ large...

Once to every man and nation

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Long-time readers will know that the Episcopal Church has veered strongly from the roots I grew up with. It used to have a moral spine and it is now "tolerant" and "accepting" I was thinking about the hymnal used in my church and went online and ordered one -- got it in the mail today. Remembered one of my favorites:
Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, �twixt that darkness and that light.

Then to side with truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and �tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses while the coward stands aside,
Till the multitude make virtue of the faith they had denied.

By the light of burning martyrs, Christ, Thy bleeding feet we track,
Toiling up new Calv�ries ever with the cross that turns not back;
New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

Though the cause of evil prosper, yet the truth alone is strong;
Though her portion be the scaffold, and upon the throne be wrong;
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

-- James R. Low�ell, 1845
Try singing that in an Episcopal Church today and watch the heads explode...

Things going ka-boom

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Heh -- now this is how you wage a war -- from Haaretz:
Report: Explosion rocks Iran city of Isfahan, home to key nuclear facility
An explosion rocked the western Iranian city of Isfahan on Monday, the semi-official Fars news agency reported, adding that the blast was heard in several parts of the city.

According to reports, frightened residents called the fire department after the blast, forcing the city authorities to admit there had been an explosion.
Of course, this never ever happened before. Interesting times...

One down, 242 to go

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Wonderful news -- from The Hill:
Rep. Frank won�t run for reelection
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced Monday that he is not seeking reelection, ending a 32-year career in the House.

Frank, 71, is the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee and the architect, with former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), of the sweeping Wall Street regulatory reform law enacted in 2010.
Of course, he is being hailed as a wise and effective leader -- no mention of this or this or this Don't let the door hit 'ya where the good Lord split 'ya...
Mike at Sipsey Street Irregulars is the person investigating the PATCON scandal that although centered around the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing is still very much in play. We should not forget that he is also the person who broke the Gunwalker story and this is finally getting some traction in the mainstream media. From Mike:
Well whaddaya know. Somebody figured it out. "Behind the fall of Operation Fast and Furious -- Motives, allegiances add to saga intrigue."
The Arizona Republic tries to understand the improbable tale of the Coalition of Willing Lilliputians.

If this story follows previous ones, this will also appear in tomorrow's USA Today. Perhaps they'll find a consistent spelling of my name by then.
The initial story line of Fast and Furious was about outrage -- anger that guns, let out of sight, had been used in crimes. But the backstory of the investigation is one of hidden motives, curious contradictions and strange allegiances, both among those who organized the effort and those who exposed it. . .
Much more at Sipsey Street Irregulars

Climategate 2.0 - a shift in England

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From the London Daily Mail:
Cameron's green guru reveals his doubts over global warming
Steve Hilton, the Prime Minister�s director of strategy and �green guru�, is the latest person to admit to doubts about climate change.

�I�m not sure I believe in it,� he announced at a meeting of the Energy Department, prompting one aide to blurt out: �Did I just hear that correctly?�

According to one witness, Hilton, 41, the man who coined the slogan �Vote Blue and Go Green� and changed the Tory symbol from a Stalinist style torch to an eco friendly tree, said: �Climate change arguments are highly complex.

�My focus has always been more on using green issues to improve the quality of life.�

Hilton famously persuaded David Cameron to go to the Arctic with a pack of huskies to prove that he was determined to combat global warming in his early days as Tory leader.

Now, however, Hilton as become a big fan of former Chancellor Nigel Lawson, a vocal critic of the global warming lobby.

Hilton�s new doubts chime with the Prime Minister�s decision to tone down his previous emphasis on environmental measures to concentrate on stimulating economic growth.
More faster please -- good to see that people are finally seeing the light... Hat tip to Anthony for the link.

Go forth little guy!!!

From NASA:

MSL Spacecraft in Excellent Health
A signal from NASA's Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft, including the new Curiosity rover, was received by officials on the ground shortly after spacecraft separation. The spacecraft is flying free and headed for Mars after separation from the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that started it on its journey to the Red Planet. Liftoff was on time at 10:02 a.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

"Our spacecraft is in excellent health and it's on its way to Mars," said Pete Theisinger, Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. He thanked the launch team, United Launch Alliance, NASA's Launch Services Program and NASA's Kennedy Space Center for their help getting MSL into space.

"We are ready to go for landing on the surface of Mars, and we couldn't be happier," said John Grotzinger, Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist from the California Institute of Technology. "I think this mission will be a great one. It is an important next step in NASA's overall goal to address the issue of life in the universe."

MSL is about the size of a passenger mini-van. Should be some fun data after it sets up shop...


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Was running errands in town today -- the worst of which was dumping out the rotten meat from when the chest freezer failed last week. Most of the meat had been cryovacced so with all the thanksgiving festivities, I just left it in the garage -- no danger of leakage. The meat that was wrapped in butcher paper, I transfered to another freezer until today. What prompted the "Ouch!" title was that while my initial estimate was just under 100 pounds, the butchers bill at the town dump was just over 300 pounds. This is organically raised pig and grass-fed beef. Tasty tasty stuff... There was a freezer alarm but it was plugged into the same circuit as the freezer itself and when the freezer went down, it tripped the breaker for that circuit. Reconfigured my other freezers this morning. Dealing with a water issue tomorrow and then Lulu and son come out for a week.

More on PATCON

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Last Wednesday, Mike wrote a bit of a teaser about PATCON and how it is still something that deserves our attention. Yesterday, he released a lot more information including the source materials for the Newsweek article that was so heavily edited. Check out: SSI Exclusive: Hiding mass murder behind "national security." What Newsweak & the FBI didn't want you to know about PATCON and the OKC Bombing.
"What was it, specifically," I was asked later in numerous emails and phone calls, "that Tina Brown cut out?" From sources I had a pretty good idea, not all of which I put in the first article. But that was only based on trusted but secondhand sources.

Well, now I can answer that question. Sipsey Street has obtained a copy of the unedited article written by R.M. Schneiderman.

It was -- as originally written -- a great story, an important, game-changing story, a story that couold have made the career and reputation of Ross Schneiderman for the rest of his life. It had been several months in the making, sources say, as Schneiderman and his immediate editor John Solomon put it together and almost instantly ran into resistance from editors higher up the Newsweek food chain including, ultimately, Tina Brown.

When the editors were finished, most of the startling revelations of what John Matthews and Jesse Trentadue had to say were in Tina Brown's waste basket. Nestled beside them, amid waste paper and used Starbucks' latte cups, was the golden opportunity of Ross Schneiderman's career.

However, sources tell Sipsey Street, that the FBI, the Obama DOJ and the White House were all reportedly quite happy -- as well they should be.

Until now.
Fasten your seatbelts as this is quite the ride with more to come...


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Heading into town to Lulu's house to spend Thanksgiving with her and her son. The last couple of years have been quite the ride but things are turning around and I am thankful for everything. Back online Friday -- God bless everyone.

Unclear on the concept - governmental overreach

I love this guy -- from the San Jose Mercury News:
Federal agents say 88-year-old Saratoga man's invention is being used by meth labs
Eighty-eight-year-old retired metallurgist Bob Wallace is a self-described tinkerer, but he hardly thinks of himself as the Thomas Edison of the illegal drug world.

He has nothing to hide. His product is packaged by hand in a cluttered Saratoga garage. It's stored in a garden shed in the backyard. The whole operation is guarded by an aged, congenial dog named Buddy.

But federal and state drug enforcement agents are coming down hard on Wallace's humble homemade solution, which he concocted to help backpackers purify water.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and state regulators say druggies can use the single ingredient in his "Polar Pure" water purifier -- iodine -- to make crystal meth.

Wallace says federal and state agents have effectively put him out of business, because authorities won't clear the way for him to buy or sell the iodine he needs for his purification bottles. He has been rejected for a state permit by the Department of Justice and is scheduled to appeal his case before an administrative judge in Sacramento next month.

Meanwhile, the exasperated Stanford University-educated engineer and his 85-year-old girlfriend said the government -- in its zeal to clamp down on meth labs -- has instead stopped hikers, flood victims and others from protecting themselves against a bad case of the runs.
A bit more:
Wallace and his partner, Marjorie Ottenberg, came up with the idea about 30 years ago as they planned to scale the Popocat�petl volcano in Mexico.

Hoping to avoid Montezuma's revenge, Ottenberg, a chemist by trade, read an article in Backpacker magazine about two doctors who had been infected with Giardia and recommended treating water with crystalline iodine.

"We knew the water was questionable down there, so we stole their idea," Wallace said with an unapologetic grin.

So in 1983, the couple began selling their brown bottles with a small sprinkling of iodine crystals -- about a quarter of an ounce -- in the bottom.

Polar Pure was an instant, if modest, hit among backpackers and world travelers. It was effective, light and never expired, unlike many other products. One bottle can disinfect about 2,000 quarts of water.

But about four years ago, the DEA began to look closely at the product, even citing it in a position paper, and suggested that it was being used by cranksters as well as campers.
A little bit more:
In May, his Oklahoma distributor -- warned by the DEA -- said he could no longer send Wallace iodine.

For Wallace to comply, the state Department of Justice fingerprinted the couple and told Wallace he needed to show them such things as a solid security system for his product. Wallace sent a photograph of Buddy sitting on the front porch.

"These guys don't go for my humor," Wallace said. "Cops are the most humorless knotheads on the planet." Even so, Marco Campagna, Wallace's lawyer, promised to strengthen security and make other improvements to allay the government's concerns.
The polar pure website is here: polar pure The design is very clever. As one commenter said:
Heroin addicts use spoons to liquefy their product, the feds should ban those next.
There are so many other sources for iodine out there -- many of your food-grade sanitizers, antiseptic soaps, etc... Crystallize it out and you are ready to roll.

An interesting little scandal - PATCON

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Seems the FBI has some 'splainin to do... From Sipsey Street Irregulars:
SSI EXCLUSIVE: The "Patriot Conspiracy" fix at Newsweak. Tina Brown guts a story to protect Democrats & the FBI. "PATCON will get you killed."
"Can we write this story without even mentioning FBI complicity, PATCON, the Clinton Administration, Waco and Oklahoma City?" The answer, it seems, was 'yes.'

Going into this weekend, I knew these three things to be certain.

1. Newsweek had a story about a paid confidential informant enlisted under PATCON, an FBI program that spanned many years, including the years that Ruby Ridge, Waco and the Oklahoma City Bombing happened. PATCON is shorthand for "Patriot Conspiracy."

2. I also knew from sources, living and dead, that PATCON was the worst scandal that the FBI ever perpetrated. PATCON could sink the FBI, perhaps permanently, and along with the Gunwalker Scandal, totally discredit the teflon coating that the Bureau has excreted around its corrupt core and thoroughly debunk the myth that the FBI is anything but an agency of arsonists posing as firemen.

3. Finally, I knew that Newsweek would run the story tomorrow. I have been hinting about this story for weeks, and now it was about to happen.

The only thing was, I heard yesterday, that there was a better than even chance that as a result of intervention by Tina Brown, Newsweek's editor, there might not even be any mention of PATCON, Waco or Oklahoma City -- no mention, in fact, of a lot of things.
Lots more at the site with links and references. Mike is the guy who broke the Project Gunwalker scandal at BATF which might be the downfall of US Attorney General Eric Holder. Next month or two should be very interesting -- some threads that need to be woven together. PATCON started back in the 1990's but a lot of the players are in high political office and still active.

Packing heat

From the UK Daily Mail:

You can't buy that lime... it could be classed as a weapon: Shock for chef shopping at Asda
A chef was stunned to find she was almost banned from buying two limes from a supermarket - because they could be classed as a weapon.

Marisa Zoccolan, 31, popped into the new Asda supermarket close to her home in Wallsend, North Tyneside, to pick up some groceries, including the citrus fruits.

But when she tried to pay for them at the self-service checkout, the message 'amount exceeded, authorisation required' flashed up.

An assistant then came over and told her that more than one lime was deemed a weapon - because the citric acid could be squirted in someone's eye.

Marisa, a self-employed caterer said: 'I thought they were taking the pip, but the assistant told me the same applied to lemons.

Nanny statism at its best...

Google wises up re: cheap energy

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Google wakes up and smells the cappuccino -- from Reuters:
Google quits plans to make cheap renewable energy
Google Inc has abandoned an ambitious project to make renewable energy cheaper than coal, the latest target of Chief Executive Larry Page's moves to focus the Internet giant on fewer efforts.

Google said on Tuesday that it was pulling the plug on seven projects, including Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal as well as a Wikipedia-like online encyclopedia service known as Knol.
A bit more:
In 2009, the company's so-called Green Energy Czar, Bill Weihl, told Reuters that he expected to demonstrate within a few years working technology that could produce renewable energy at a cheaper price than coal.

"It is even odds, more or less," Weihl said at the time. "In three years, we could have multiple megawatts of plants out there."

A Google spokesman said that Weihl had left Google earlier this month.
If wishes were fishes... Once again, there is no cheap renewable source of energy. There are some excellent nuclear options that are being willfully ignored and we have the option to become independent of foreign oil but this regime chooses to not do this.

Climategate 2.0

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Been spending yesterday and today poking through the 5,292 emails and 23 documents. Anthony Watts and his readers have been doing a thorough job of analyzing them -- his blog post (with 780+ comments) can be found here: Climategate 2.0 emails � They�re real and they�re spectacular!

A life well lived - RIP Anne McCaffrey

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From Del Rey Publishers:
Del Rey has received the following message from Anne McCaffrey�s family. We extend our greatest condolences to them in their time of loss, as well as many, many thank-yous for all that Anne McCaffrey has meant to Ballantine Books since we published Restoree, her first novel, in 1967, followed by Dragonflight in 1968:
Anne McCaffrey ended a long and enormously successful life early Monday evening, November 21st, at her home in County Wicklow, Ireland. Surrounded by the reassuring presence of family and close friends, her passing was swift and without suffering. We, her children, are hugely comforted by the outpouring of sympathy flowing now from all over the world. Our mother�s talent was known to countless fans. Yet her greatest gift to us all has to have been her enormous heart. That she was able to touch so many with her tender and loving heart is the greatest source of pride we will forever enjoy. Words cannot express how grateful we are to the universe of her admirers, whose heartfelt condolences beguile us in our grief, which pales beside the joy we know Anne McCaffrey brought to so many people.
She will be missed...

Some interesting poll data

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Obama had a lot of support from the Blue Collar union workforce. These days? Not so much -- from CNN:
CNN Poll: Blue collar Democrats' support for Obama drops
Although President Barack Obama's overall approval rating remains steady, his standing among Democrats, and in particular among blue-collar Democrats, appears to have dropped, according to a new national survey.

According to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday, 44% of Americans say they approve of the job the president's doing in the White House, with 54% saying they disapprove of how Obama is handling his duties. The president's approval rating has hovered in the same mid-40's range since June in CNN surveys.

But the poll indicates that there has been some change when Democrats are asked whether they want to see their party renominate Obama, with 26% of Democrats saying that they would prefer the party to nominate another Democrat for president next year, up from 18% in October.
Writing on the wall...

Quote of the day - Dr. Philip Jones

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�I�ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process�
UPDATE: Dr. David Tolleris:
The point is not that the scientists disagree among themselves but that they publicly proclaim from the rooftops that the science is settled and anyone who questions them is a bone-headed denier oil-lobby funded hooligan.
Making a big bowl of popcorn -- this is better than the original release...

Climategate 2.0 update

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Interesting to see the spread of reporting on the emails. Discover Magazine:
Climategate 2: More ado about nothing. Again.
Geez, this again? Seriously?

Two years ago, someone hacked into a University of East Anglia server and anonymously posted thousands of emails from climate scientists. Quickly dubbed "Climategate", global warming deniers jumped on this, trying to show that these scientists were engaging in fraudulent activities. However, it was clear to anyone familiar with how research is done that this was complete and utter bilge; the scientists were not trying to hide anything, were not trying to trick anyone, and were not trying to falsely exaggerate the dangers of climate change.
And FOX News:
Climategate 2.0? More Emails Leaked From Climate Researchers
A new batch of emails purportedly stolen from the servers at the University of East Anglia were posted online Tuesday, echoing the 2009 data breach dubbed "Climategate" that turned the world's attention to the internal debates among scientists hoping to determine whether man's actions are warming the planet.

Excerpts from the emails posted on climate skeptic websites are certainly eye-opening:
<1939> Thorne/MetO: Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest.

<3066> Thorne: I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it, which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.

<4755> Overpeck: The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what�s included and what is left out.
The leak comes less than a week before the latest United Nations meeting intended to control carbon emissions and monitor the world's climate -- a fact underscored in a document that accompanied the leaked emails.
"Today�s decisions should be based on all the information we can get, not on hiding the decline," the anonymous document states, a reference to a comment from the first batch of emails that became a rallying point for climate skeptics.
The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit -- a key center of climate study and the source of the leaked emails -- immediately issued a statement blasting the release and its timing.
Quite the difference between stonewalling and actual facts. The ZIP file has about 5,000 emails (the original FOIA2011 had 1,073) and there are a bunch more hidden behind a password. Anthony has a great discussion and 320+ comments: Watts Up With That

Climategate 2011

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Another block of emails were leaked early this morning. Looks really damning to the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming crowd. UPDATE: A bunch of files are password protected but this shouldn't take long to crack. The plaintext stuff is amazing -- Climategate 1.0 was stunning. This is so much better.

Amazing Grace

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A lot of my time recently has been spent with my five-month old Shiloh Shepherd Grace. This pup is the best I have ever worked with -- already proficient on about ten verbal commands and hand gestures (duration is still an issue and will remain so for another couple of months - this is a puppy). I spent some time tonight playing with her -- she dotes on beef marrow bones. To check things out, I let her chew on a new one for a few minutes and then asked her if I could have it. She gave it to me without a moment's hesitation. She has been a member of my household for less than three weeks -- this level of confidence and trust is downright amazing. Amazing Grace indeed! Looking forward to the next fifteen years.

No posting today

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Was in town running some errands and picked up a really nice little trailer off Craigslist. Had a bite to eat in town and just got back. Surf for a bit but don't know if I'll be posting anything -- tired.

Interesting news on the dental front

From the Los Angeles branch of CBS:

UCLA-Developed Mouthwash A "Smart Bomb" Against Cavities?
It's one of the most common conditions affecting over nearly half of children in the United States but now a mouthwash concocted by a UCLA microbiologist may render cavities and tooth decay a thing of the past.

The innovation developed by Wenyuan Shi, chairman of the UCLA School of Dentistry's oral biology section, acts as a sort of "smart bomb" against harmful bacteria like, S. mutans, a main cause of cavities and tooth decay.

"With this new antimicrobial technology, we have the prospect of actually wiping out tooth decay in our lifetime," he said.

A successful clinical study involving a dozen people found that those who rinsed with the UCLA-developed mouthwash just once over a four-day testing period experienced a near-complete elimination of the S. mutans bacteria.

There is a long path from Press Release to Product and it will be interesting to see if the bacteria will form a resistance. Still -- has the potential to be very very cool...

Making money the old fashioned way - Kerry

Got a copy of Breitbart News editor Peter Schweizer's new book on order: Throw Them All Out A small peek from Breitbart's Big Government:
EXCLUSIVE DOCUMENTS: The Kerrys' Curious Stock Trades has obtained records of Massachusetts Democrat Senator John Kerry and his wife Teresa Heinz's stock portfolios that show almost perfectly timed pharmaceutical stock trades during the Obamacare debate, which fattened their already enormous personal fortune.
Some details:
Sen. John Kerry's position on the powerful Senate Finance Committee's Health Subcommittee gives him direct access to critical information regarding health care policy. In July 2009, pharmaceutical industry representatives met with key members of Congress to flesh out the Obamacare bill. Then, in November 2009, with the bill�s passage was looking more likely, the Kerrys' portfolios reflect a drug stock buying spree.

First, $750,000 worth of stock in drug maker Teva Pharmaceuticals was added to their portfolios at around $50 a share. Once Obamacare passed, the value of the stock rose to $62 per share. Subsequently, in 2010, a portion of Teva holdings was dumped from the Kerry portfolio, resulting in tens of thousands of dollars in capital gains (exact profits are unclear because politicians are only required to report ranges, not exact dollar amounts).

Next, at least $200,000 of stock in medical device manufacturer ResMed was purchased in the $20 to $25 per share range. After Obamacare passed, ResMed jumped to $34, an increase of as much as 71%. "ResMed was a winner in the health care reform legislation" as Reuters declared "thanks in part to John Kerry's efforts," says Schweizer. The reason: earlier versions of the Obamacare bill would have slapped companies like ResMed with an "industry fee" tax. Kerry opposed the higher taxes on medical device companies and helped delay the taxes until 2013.

Next, between $250,000 and $500,000 worth Thermo Fisher Scientific were added to the Kerry family portfolios at around $35 per share. After Obamacare's passage, the stock skyrocketed to more than $50 a share.

Even as their portfolios reflected aggressive purchasing of drug company stocks, Sen. Kerry was dumping investments in health insurance companies. At the end of June 2009, all United Health shares were unloaded from their portfolios. Their Wellpoint stocks were also sold. Six weeks later, he then introduced an amendment to tax generous health care plans, a move sure to hurt companies like United Health and Wellpoint.
And this is the guy who had a 76' yacht built in New Zealand (how about those American jobs!) and then registered it in Rhode Island to skip paying the MA state sales and excise taxes ($437,000 sales and annual $70,000 for the tabs). A few days after this came to light, he said that the sales tax would be paid promptly. Three months later? Nothing. He also put on a lavish fund-raiser even though he was not up for re-election last November. With all his money, he is still putting the squeeze on people. Be sure to read the 130+ comments -- a plethora of delightful snark.

Behaving badly

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Like little children who don't get what they want. From CNS News:
Occupy Oakland Calls For Shutdown Of ALL West Coast Ports
Vandalism, violence, burning and shutting down the nation�s fifth busiest port weren�t enough for Occupy Oakland. On Friday, the General Assembly for the group voted unanimously for �a coordinated shutdown of ports on the entire West Coast on December 12."

According to a statement from Occupy Oakland, this move is in �response to coordinated attacks on the occupations and attacks on workers across the nation.� �We call on each West Coast occupation to organize a mass mobilization to shut down its local port.�

Occupy Los Angeles had already called for action against one shipper at that port, stating, �occupation will take place at at least one facility owned by SSA Marine, a shipping company belonging to Goldman Sachs, (coordinated with a possible port shut down by the port truck drivers).�
Where do these morons think their iPads come from? iPad fairy? Hope that none of them get run over by a forklift -- they do not need the leverage of another martyr like R. (pancake) Corrie. With this weather, water hoses would be a good way to go and I hope that someone films it. Wouldn't hurt for these people to have an impromptu bath either...

Wind Power

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Don Surber has some interesting facts on just how viable wind power is. From Don's blog at the UK Daily Mail:
14,000 abandoned wind turbines
As Jimi Hendrix may have put it: �And the wind cries bankrupt��

Minnesotans for Global Warming report that in the last 30 years, the United States has had 14,000 wind turbines abandoned. Apparently, once the subsidies and the wind run out, these 20-story high Cuisinarts are de-bladed and retired. This means more bats and migratory birds will live.

From Minnesotans for Global Warming: �The symbol of Green renewable energy, our savior from the non existent problem of Global Warming, abandoned wind farms are starting to litter the planet as globally governments cut the subsidies taxes that consumers pay for the privilege of having a very expensive power source that does not work every day for various reasons like it�s too cold or the wind speed is too high.�

Andrew Walden of American Thinker explored nearly 2 years ago the demise of the 37-turbine wind farm at Kamaoa Wind Farm in Hawaii: �Built in 1985, at the end of the boom, Kamaoa soon suffered from lack of maintenance. In 1994, the site lease was purchased by Redwood City, CA-based Apollo Energy. Cannibalizing parts from the original 37 turbines, Apollo personnel kept the declining facility going with outdated equipment. But even in a place where wind-shaped trees grow sideways, maintenance issues were overwhelming. By 2004 Kamaoa accounts began to show up on a Hawaii State Department of Finance list of unclaimed properties. In 2006, transmission was finally cut off by Hawaii Electric Company.California�s wind farms � then comprising about 80% of the world�s wind generation capacity � ceased to generate much more quickly than Kamaoa. In the best wind spots on earth, over 14,000 turbines were simply abandoned. Spinning, post-industrial junk which generates nothing but bird kills.�

When an honest history of this period in the United States is written, it will no be kind to the corporate cronyism that preyed upon public ignorance of earth science to create a crisis -- global warming -� to exploit and loot the Treasury.
Commenter Roger says it:
Wind power is impractical with current technology. Visit south Point on the Big Island of Hawaii and you will find the remnants of a large wind farm. The wind blows constantly at this location and Hawaii has one of the highest electricity costs in the country. If wind power cannot e profitable here why would anyone think it is practical anywhere.
Indeed -- wind and solar do not yield one kW of power given the energy they take to build, the traditional plants that need to be kept on hot-standby to cover changes in wind strength and the overall cost to the economy of the huge subsidies. If this were a level playing field, they would simply not work and there is no huge improvement in efficiency "just around the corner" -- the blades and the generators are already running at 70-90%efficiency (when the wind is blowing at optimal speed) and there is little or nothing that can improve on this cost effectively. Double the already high cost for a 2% increase in power? Didn't think so...

Back home again

Went to an amazing concert last night. The Whatcom Symphony Orchestra performed several works for Orchestra and Pipe Organ -- the one I was interested in was the Camille Saint-Sa�ns Symphony #3 which is hands down, my very favorite piece of music. The organ in question was the Wurlitzer instrument at the Mt. Baker theater -- an original installation from the 1930's and lovingly maintained and in fine voice. This was the fourth time I have heard this piece live and last night was the second best rendition I have heard -- best was about 45 years ago with my organ teacher performing with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and me sitting in the organ loft as a teenager. Now dealing with some more water issues and getting the stock tank heaters set up for the critters (and getting hay out too -- snow on the ground so forage is done for the season). Jen is coming over to pick up the last of her stuff so posting will be minimal for the next couple of hours...

Minimal posting next day or two

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Heading into town for a few days.

Nice work if you can get it - the Kennedys

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From Wynton Hall writing at Breitbart's Big Government:
Robert Kennedy, Jr.�s �Green� Company Scored $1.4 Billion Taxpayer Bailout
President John F. Kennedy�s nephew, Robert Kennedy, Jr., netted a $1.4 billion bailout for his company, BrightSource, through a loan guarantee issued by a former employee-turned Department of Energy official.

It�s just one more in a string of eye-opening revelations by investigative journalist and Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer in his explosive new book, Throw Them All Out.

The details of how BrightSource managed to land its ten-figure taxpayer bailout have yet to emerge fully. However, one clue might be found in the person of Sanjay Wagle.

Wagle was one of the principals in Kennedy�s firm who raised money for Barack Obama�s 2008 presidential campaign. When Obama won the White House, Wagle was installed at the Department of Energy (DOE), advising on energy grants.

From an objective vantage point, investing taxpayer monies in BrightSource was a risky proposition at the time. In 2010, BrightSource, whose largest shareholder is Kennedy�s VantagePoint Partners, was up to its eyes in $1.8 billion of debt obligations and had lost $71.6 million on its paltry $13.5 million of revenue.

Even before BrightSource rattled its tin cup in front of Obama�s DOE, the company made it known publicly that its survival hinged on successfully completing the Ivanpah Solar Electrical System, which would become the largest solar plant in the world, on federal lands in California.
Makes Tamany Hall or the Chicago Machine look like chump change.

Our tax dollars at work

From The Detroit News:

U.S. boosts estimate of auto bailout losses to $23.6B
The Treasury Department dramatically boosted its estimate of losses from its $85 billion auto industry bailout by more than $9 billion in the face of General Motors Co.'s steep stock decline.

In its monthly report to Congress, the Treasury Department now says it expects to lose $23.6 billion, up from its previous estimate of $14.33 billion.

The Treasury now pegs the cost of the bailout of GM, Chrysler Group LLC and the auto finance companies at $79.6 billion. It no longer includes $5 billion it set aside to guarantee payments to auto suppliers in 2009.

This was our money that was wasted -- this is the primary reason I went with a Ford truck instead of another Dodge. I am very happy with my choice and will continue buying Fords.

White stuff comin' down

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And it is sticking! First snowfall of the year - Mt. Baker is opening this Friday. Supposed to be another strong La Ni�a year so increased cold and precipitation is forecast.

Smart dog

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I have an older Brittney male -- Finnegan. I got a four month old Shiloh Shepherd named Grace two weeks ago. Grace is whip smart. Case in point -- they had both been fed and let outside for the evening. I gave them each a beef shank bone for a nighttime treat. Grace chewed the marrow out of hers first and then started to pace around and paw at the door -- the sign that she needed to go out. I got up to let her out. Finnegan rose to follow and when he was outside, Grace immediately turned around, went back into the house and grabbed Finnegan's bone. Needless to say, Grace is now outside and her bone is sitting on the counter. Finnegan has been reunited with his bone and I will let Grace back in in a few minutes. Gonna be a handful over the next year but going to be an incredible companion for the next fifteen or so.

Busy day today

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Had the truck into the shop for some maintenance and dealing with other stuff in town so posting will be minimal tonight. One of the downsides of country living is that there are some failure modes that don't crop up in "civilized" living. A big chest freezer failed a few days ago -- was in the garage yesterday and the air smelt a bit 'off'. This is about 80 pounds of grass-fed beef and organically raised pork that is now going to the transfer station as offal tomorrow. I will be getting some freezer alarms in a few days as there are three other freezers that are fortunately still running fine. This one was the oldest and was about 20-30 years old at least. It had always worked just fine so never thought that it would fail at some point...

Obamacare going to the Supremes

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Cool news from CNBC:
Healthcare Law's Fate Now In Supreme Court's Hands
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide the fate of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, with an election-year ruling due by July on the U.S. healthcare system's biggest overhaul in nearly 50 years.
A bit more:
At the heart of the legal battle is whether Congress overstepped its powers by requiring that all Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, a provision known as the individual mandate.
We should be looking at what Rick Perry did in Texas. Allow for competition across state lines and institute tort reform. These are the two items that gave Texas very affordable health care for all of its citizens -- the government does not have to get involved here...

Oil politics

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We simply cannot be this self-centered and stupid but... From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Foreign money pours into American oil, gas fields
Foreign investment poured into American gas and oil shale fields through three quarters of 2011, amounting to $24.5 billion of the total $39.9 billion in deals, according to figures released to the Tribune Review.

And that 61 percent share from overseas money shows little evidence of cooling off, said Steve Haffner, a partner in the Pittsburgh office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC. The giant accounting firm only calculated deals worth $50 million or more.

On Nov. 3, Chesapeake Energy Corp. announced a $2.14 billion letter of intent to develop a substantial part of its Utica shale formation holdings in eastern Ohio to an unnamed foreign company.

At the same time foreigners are investing in American shale projects, six U.S. terminal ports are seeking federal approval to begin exporting liquefied natural gas from those locations. One, at Sabine Pass, La., has been approved.

Most of those in the business of plotting long-term U.S. energy policy have been caught flat-footed by the rapid development of fracking and new shale gas being discovered across the country -- including the Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania, said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, at a hearing last week in Washington.

"Most of them have missed what would turn out to be the most important development of all," she said.
By the time we get a coherent energy policy, our own oil fields will be owned by the Chinese. And our neighbors to the North? From United Press International:
China wants our crude, Canada says
Canada expects strong interest in its heavy crude oil reserves from China after the U.S. government balked on a major oil pipeline project, the government said.

The U.S. State Department last week said it was reviewing alternate routes for the planned Keystone XL pipeline to avoid environmentally sensitive territory in Nebraska. That decision could move final approval, originally expected at the end of this year, to after the 2012 presidential elections in the United States.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said during a meeting with Asian trading partners in Hawaii that the State Department's decision highlighted the importance of working closer with the Chinese.

"This does underscore the necessity of Canada making sure that we are able to access Asia markets for our energy products," he was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying. "And that will be an important priority of our government going forward."

The Canadian government said a heavy crude oil pipeline would get built to carry oil from tar sands projects in Alberta province one way or the other. The direction of that pipeline would depend on the end consumer.
Harper is saying: "You guys can't be this stupid." And Obama is saying: "Yes we CAN!" Less than one year to the 2012 elections and some interesting conservative candidates showing up...

The other Penn State investigation

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An interesting post on the other Penn State investigation that happened in 2009-10 From Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit:
Penn State President Fired
On the same day that Nature published yet another editorial repudiating public examination of the conduct of academic institutions, Penn State President Graham Spanier was fired from his $813,000/year job for failing to ensure that a proper investigation was carried out in respect to pedophilia allegations in Penn State�s hugely profitable football program. The story is receiving massive coverage in North America because the iconic Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno, was also fired today.

CA readers are aware of Spanier�s failure to ensure proper investigation of Climategate emails and his untrue puffs about the ineffective Penn State Inquiry Committee, reported at CA here and by the the Penn State Collegian as follows:
Graham Spanier addressed the inquiry and the panel�s work during the Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 22. Penn State President Spanier is quoted as saying:

�I know they�ve taken the time and spent hundreds of hours studying documents and interviewing people and looking at issues from all sides,� Spanier said.
Spanier�s claims were totally untrue. Not only did the Inquiry Committee fail to �look at issues from all sides�, they didn�t even interview or take evidence from critics � as they were required to do under the applicable Penn State policy. As I reported at CA at the time:
The only interviews mentioned in the report (aside from Mann) are with Gerry North and Donald Kennedy, editor of Science. [Since they are required to provide a transcript or summary of all interviews, I presume that the Inquiry did not carry out any other interviews.] What does Donald Kennedy know about the matter? These two hardly constitute �looking at issues from all sides�. [A CA reader observed below that "North [at a Rice University event] admitted that he had not read any of the EAU e-mails and did not even know that software files were included in the release.�] They didn�t even talk to Wegman. Contrary to Spanier�s claim, they did not make the slightest effort to talk to any critic or even neutral observer.
Although State Senator Piccola had written to Penn State President Spanier asking him to ensure that �the university must deploy its fullest resources to conduct an investigation of this case�, the Inquiry Committee decided that the investigation committee should not investigate three of the four charges �synthesized� by the inquiry committee and, as a result, despite the request of Piccola and others, no investigation was ever carried out Penn State on any of the key issues e.g the �trick� to hide the decline�, Mann�s role in the email deletion enterprise organised by Phil Jones or the failure to report adverse data which the House Energy and Commerce Committee had asked about (but not investigated by the NAS panel, whose terms of reference were sabotaged by Ralph Cicerone, President of NAS).
Much more at the site -- it will be interesting to see if the Freedom of Information Act requests will be acted on now that Mann's guard-dog is gone. Requests for Mann's hockey-stick data were being stonewalled, even though Mann's research was publicly funded and therefore available by law to anyone who wants it. The next year or so will be interesting for quite a few reasons...

Gene Simmons on Capitalism

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Gene Simmons (yes, THAT Gene Simmons) gave a lecture to students at the London Business School. From the UK Sun:
'Debt crisis like fat people blaming bakers'
The first thing I would do if I was the benevolent dictator of planet Earth would be to fire all politicians � who are basically university lecturers in positions of power.

They might be able to quote the existential philosophers but that doesn't mean they know how to run businesses.

Countries are businesses � they have imports and exports and you want your exports to be higher than your imports so you can have a profit.

You want to make sure that whatever money you give out to your population is money that you can afford to send out.

Countries are a house of cards � and when the bottom few cards fall down they all topple over. Look at Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

If businessmen ran the country, this wouldn't happen. Richard Branson would make a great PM. He's more qualified.

Government makes money by taxing and spending.

It's so simple. If you spend more than you tax, you're out of business. MPs don't know what they're talking about.

And we created this miserable economic state. It's like fat people who think it's the bakery's fault they got fat.

No, you kept going in there and you kept eating cake. It's not the bakery's responsibility to tell you to slow down.

Banks shouldn't have to tell you not to borrow so much.
He goes on for a bit -- pure gold -- and then closes with a few words about his previous gig -- frontman for the band KISS:
Kiss are the only business-savvy band about and I make no apologies for that.

We sell everything from condoms to caskets � we'll get you coming and we'll get you going.

We outsell The Beatles and Elvis put together.

People say things like: "Oh, you make so much money. What do you need any more for?"

Well, actually, b*tch, I never asked for your opinion. I'll let you know when I have enough money.
Heh -- tell it! I had posted about Mr. Simmons' current occupation before here and here.

New doings at the White House

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Looks like Chu may be on his way out. Good riddance -- may have won the Nobel Prize for physics but he doesn't know anything about From ABC News:
White House Email: 'Coming Storm' Over Solyndra 'And Other Inside DOE Deals'
New internal White House emails reveal that a scathing critique of Energy Secretary Steven Chu by a former Obama political advisor was widely circulated at the highest levels of the administration.

The Feb. 25, 2011 email that sparked the deliberations landed on West Wing desks just as the solar energy firm Solyndra was starting to show outward signs of financial trouble. It was sent by Dan Carol, a former Obama campaign staffer and clean energy advocate who was described by Obama's then-Chief of Staff Pete Rouse as someone whose views "reflect the President's general philosophy on energy policy."

Carol's four-page proposal to restructure the Energy Department included the blunt recommendation that Chu be fired, and that his leadership team also be replaced, calling it time for "serious changes, even if they are uncomfortable to make."
A bit more:
The Carol email and the internal deliberations that it spawned became public late Friday along with 135 pages of other internal documents that the White House sent to Congress. The document dump was the latest attempt by the Obama administration to respond -- on its own terms -- to a subpoena for all materials that reference the Solyndra loan in any way. It also comes less than a week before Chu is scheduled to testify before a House Energy and Commerce investigative subcommittee about the Solyndra loan.
When will these people realize that there is no free lunch out there. The energy densities of batteries prohibit their use in a vehicle with a usable range and basic chemistry prohibits anything more than an incremental gain -- a breakthrough will not happen. Meanwhile, they are ignoring alternative forms of nuclear energy that yield all the power we need with minimal waste.

Business as usual - a twofer

Must be nice to deal with the Federal government after kicking in a few coins to the right peeps. From the New York Times:

A Gold Rush of Subsidies in Clean Energy Search
Halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, on a former cattle ranch and gypsum mine, NRG Energy is building an engineering marvel: a compound of nearly a million solar panels that will produce enough electricity to power about 100,000 homes.

The project is also a marvel in another, less obvious way: Taxpayers and ratepayers are providing subsidies worth almost as much as the entire $1.6 billion cost of the project. Similar subsidy packages have been given to 15 other solar- and wind-power electric plants since 2009.

The government support -- which includes loan guarantees, cash grants and contracts that require electric customers to pay higher rates -- largely eliminated the risk to the private investors and almost guaranteed them large profits for years to come. The beneficiaries include financial firms like Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, conglomerates like General Electric, utilities like Exelon and NRG -- even Google.

A great deal of attention has been focused on Solyndra, a start-up that received $528 million in federal loans to develop cutting-edge solar technology before it went bankrupt, but nearly 90 percent of the $16 billion in clean-energy loans guaranteed by the federal government since 2009 went to subsidize these lower-risk power plants, which in many cases were backed by big companies with vast resources.

And from the Los Angeles Times:

Cost, need questioned in $433-million smallpox drug deal
Over the last year, the Obama administration has aggressively pushed a $433-million plan to buy an experimental smallpox drug, despite uncertainty over whether it is needed or will work.

Senior officials have taken unusual steps to secure the contract for New York-based Siga Technologies Inc., whose controlling shareholder is billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, one of the world's richest men and a longtime Democratic Party donor.

When Siga complained that contracting specialists at the Department of Health and Human Services were resisting the company's financial demands, senior officials replaced the government's lead negotiator for the deal, interviews and documents show.

When Siga was in danger of losing its grip on the contract a year ago, the officials blocked other firms from competing.

Siga was awarded the final contract in May through a "sole-source" procurement in which it was the only company asked to submit a proposal. The contract calls for Siga to deliver 1.7 million doses of the drug for the nation's biodefense stockpile. The price of approximately $255 per dose is well above what the government's specialists had earlier said was reasonable, according to internal documents and interviews.

Our tax dollars at work... Interesting to note that Siga is in a bit of legal hot-water over this drug:

SIGA Technologies crashes; Obligated to share ST-246 profits with PharmAthene
Here is a big story between warring companies in a very substantial court ruling in PharmAthene's favor. PIP filed the lawsuit against SIGA Technologies Inc. in December 2006, citing PIP's interest in ST-246, an orally available smallpox antiviral drug candidate.

SIGA, a company specializing in the development of pharmaceutical agents to fight biowarfare pathogens, today announced that the Delaware Court of Chancery has issued its post-trial opinion in the litigation commenced by PIP in 2006. The Court denied PIP's contention that a draft license term sheet attached to the parties' 2006 merger agreement was a binding license and denied the company's request for specific performance of the alleged license.

However, the Court ruled in PIP's favor on its claims for promissory estoppel and breach of the duty to negotiate a license agreement. The Court, after acknowledging that PIP did not establish a right to any traditional form of relief on these claims, awarded to PIP an 'equitable payment stream' consisting of 50% of the net profits that SIGA achieves from the next ten years of sales of ST-246, its smallpox drug, after the first $40 million of net profits goes entirely to SIGA.

SIGA's stock price has tanked from around $14 in June to just under $3 today...


Was reading about the Occupy Wall Street crowd and this 2005 essay from Bill Whittle came to mind -- Tribes.

Just an excerpt -- Bill wrote this in the aftermath of Katrina:

What kind of money could Barbara and Martin and Tim and Susan and Gwenneth and George and Steven and Viggo and Linda and Harvey and Brad and Angelina and Ben and all the rest - how much could they really put together, if they actually believed what they say - not to mention the cash available to the Malodorous Michigan Manatee of Mendacity? What kind of check could they write? $500 million would be less than 10% of their combined wealth. That money could take every poor person in LA county and put them into much nicer apartments than the one I live in. They could, at a stroke, shame the President, the Congress, and the evil NeoCon warmongers by putting every displaced person in New Orleans in a Marriott for a year. They claim this is the kind of better human they have evolved into.

Why don't they do it?

They don't do it because that Tribe worships the golden statue of themselves, that's why. A church-going pharmacist in Des Moines would be ashamed of herself for giving only 10% of her modest salary. But Sean Penn can take himself, an entourage and a personal photographer - that's three or four people in a four-person boat - and show us all how incredibly big and down-home he is by sailing off a few feet to rescue people, before the boat sinks from the incompetence of failing to put in the drainage plug. He wore a very nice white flak vest, instead of the pass' orange life preserver, because getting shot at is a lot more macho looking, if a million or so times less likely, than drowning because you went out into the water with a lead vest rather than a life vest. It's a scene in the trailer that runs incessantly in their heads: In a world run by evil corporations, a rebel who plays by his own rules starts a deadly game of cat and mouse with an all-powerful conspiracy in this searing portrait of extraordinary courage in a life under siege, starring - me!

I was actually ready to publicly commend the guy, until I heard about the personal photographer. If he wanted to help people -  and that's all - he could have paid for that boat, and a few hundred others, manned them with reasonably competent recreational boaters, and sent out a flotilla. But no. It's not about having people saved. It's about something else entirely. It's about having people saved by Sean Penn. That's when I realized that whether it's the Murderous Regime in Iraq, or the Murderous Regime in Iran, or the Murderous Storm in Louisiana - ultimately, it's all about Sean Penn. Peace Be Upon Him.

But thank God we have people like him, and the rest of that vain, useless, smug, self-centered, incompetent, insecure and thoroughly broken Tribe to point out the error of our ways.

I hate those sons of bitches with all of my heart. And the fact that so much of our society has come to worship these shallow, egomaniacal dolts says a lot about where we are, and none of it is good.

As for the Malodorous Michigan Manatee of Mendacity, Andrew Breitbart just came up with photos of Moore's new vacation home:

Exclusive Photos: Michael Moore's Massive Michigan Vacation Mansion Beyond 99 Percent's Wildest Dreams
Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore has been touring Occupy Wall Street demonstrations across the country - including some of the most violent, such as Occupy Oakland - urging activists to continue their fight against the wealthy �one percent' of Americans.

Initially, Moore tried to deny that his massive wealth made him a member of that one percent. Even when forced to admit the obvious, Moore suggested that he was not always among the one percent, based on his income: "Other years, like last year, I don't have a job (no movie, no book) and so I make a lot less."

The fact is that Moore is so wealthy that he does not need to worry about his income. According to public tax records, Moore owns a massive vacation home on Torch Lake, Michigan - one of the most elite communities in the United States - in addition to his posh Manhattan residence.

Through an independent source, Big Hollywood has obtained exclusive photographs of the house matching the address of Moore's waterfront mansion. It is the kind of luxurious summer home that 99 percent of Americans can only dream of owning.

Quite the spiffy digs...

Mark Steyn on Occupy Oakland protests

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Wonderful stuff -- be sure to visit and read the entire thing. From the Orange County Register:
Mark Steyn: Occupiers part of grand alliance against the productive
Way back in 1968, after the riots at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, Mayor Daley declared that his forces were there to "preserve disorder." I believe that was one of Hizzoner's famous malapropisms. Forty-three years later, Jean Quan, mayor of Oakland, and the Oakland City Council have made "preserving disorder" the official municipal policy. On Wednesday, the "Occupy Oakland" occupiers rampaged through the city, shutting down the nation's fifth-busiest port, forcing stores to close, terrorizing those residents foolish enough to commit the reactionary crime of "shopping," destroying ATMs, spraying the Christ the Light Cathedral with the insightful observation "F**k", etc. And how did the Oakland City Council react? The following day they considered a resolution to express their support for "Occupy Oakland" and to call on the city administration to "collaborate with protesters."

That's "collaborate" in the Nazi-occupied France sense: the city's feckless political class are collaborating with anarchists against the taxpayers who maintain them in their sinecures. They're not the only ones. When the rumor spread that the Whole Foods store, of all unlikely corporate villains, had threatened to fire employees who participated in the protest, the Regional President David Lannon took to Facebook: "We totally support our Team Members participating in the General Strike today � rumors are false!" But, despite his "total support", they trashed his store anyway, breaking windows and spray-painting walls. As The Oakland Tribune reported:
"A man who witnessed the Whole Foods attack, but asked not to be identified, said he was in the store buying an organic orange when the crowd arrived."
There's an epitaph for the republic if ever I heard one.
There is a lot more at the site and Mark nails it with this:
I don't "stand with the 99%," and certainly not downwind of them. But I'm all for their "occupation" continuing on its merry way. It usefully clarifies the stakes. At first glance, an alliance of anarchists and government might appear to be somewhat paradoxical. But the formal convergence in Oakland makes explicit the movement's aims: They're anarchists for statism, wild free-spirited youth demanding more and more total government control of every aspect of life � just so long as it respects the fundamental human right to sloth. What's happening in Oakland is a logical exercise in class solidarity: the government class enthusiastically backing the breakdown of civil order is making common cause with the leisured varsity class, the thuggish union class and the criminal class in order to stick it to what's left of the beleaguered productive class. It's a grand alliance of all those societal interests that wish to enjoy in perpetuity a lifestyle they are not willing to earn. Only the criminal class is reasonably upfront about this. The rest � the lifetime legislators, the unions defending lavish and unsustainable benefits, the "scholars" whiling away a somnolent half-decade at Complacency U � are obliged to dress it up a little with some hooey about "social justice" and whatnot.
Go and read the entire thing.

Roubini on Italy

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Fun times for Europe ahead - from Nouriel Roubini:
Why Italy�s Days in the Eurozone May Be Numbered
With interest rates on its sovereign debt surging well above seven per cent, there is a rising risk that Italy may soon lose market access. Given that it is too-big-to-fail but also too-big-to-save, this could lead to a forced restructuring of its public debt of �1,900bn. That would partially address its �stock� problem of large and unsustainable debt but it would not resolve its �flow� problem, a large current account deficit, lack of external competitiveness and a worsening plunge in gross domestic product and economic activity.

To resolve the latter, Italy may, like other periphery countries, need to exit the monetary union and go back to a national currency, thus triggering an effective break-up of the eurozone.

Until recently the argument was being made that Italy and Spain, unlike the clearly insolvent Greece, were illiquid but solvent given austerity and reforms. But once a country that is illiquid loses its market credibility, it takes time � usually a year or so � to restore such credibility with appropriate policy actions. Therefore unless there is a lender of last resort that can buy the sovereign debt while credibility is not yet restored, an illiquid but solvent sovereign may turn out insolvent. In this scenario skeptical investors will push the sovereign spreads to a level where it either loses access to the markets or where the debt dynamic becomes unsustainable.

So Italy and other illiquid, but solvent, sovereigns need a �big bazooka� to prevent the self-fulfilling bad equilibrium of a run on the public debt. The trouble is, however, that there is no credible lender of last resort in the eurozone.
Just a little ray of sunshine. And nobody is willing to pony up the Lira needed to bail them out -- bad return on investment:
Output now is in a vicious free fall. More austerity and reforms � that are necessary for medium-term sustainability � will make this recession worse. Raising taxes, cutting spending and getting rid of inefficient labour and capital during structural reforms have a negative effect on disposable income, jobs, aggregate demand and supply. The recessionary deflation that Germany and the ECB are imposing on Italy and the other periphery countries will make the debt more unsustainable.

And away we go - China

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From the New York Times:
Government Policies Cool China�s Real Estate Boom
China�s nationwide real estate boom became so manic last year that many would-be buyers camped in tents on the sidewalks of this tropical island city to be at the front of the line when condominiums went on sale � even though the condos had not yet been built.

But the real estate market here has cooled so rapidly this autumn that the tents have disappeared and been replaced with 20-foot-long banners on balconies with the phone numbers of speculators desperate to sell. Ads have grown on the Internet for unfinished apartments at up to 28 percent off the price at which developers were selling them a few months ago.

�Last year, when things were good, we had over 100 people a day coming into our office,� said David Zhang, the sales director at the Honor-Link Investment Consultant Company, a real estate brokerage here. �Now we have three or four a day, and no one is buying.�

One of the world�s few remaining real estate bubbles finally seems to be losing air. Real estate transactions have slowed so quickly that in the last two weeks, brokerages across China have laid off thousands of brokers and closed hundreds of offices.
The government is doing what it can to "adjust" the situation but it will be interesting to see what pans out...

The Winter - she is coming

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Looking to get the first serious storm of this winter -- snow level down to 2,000 feet and 5 to 10 inch accumulation. From the National Weather Service:


From Cliff Mass:
The Weather Takes Its Gloves Off--Strong Winds and Mountain Snow
We are now going into a very different, and much more active, weather period--and it starts today!

A strong front is now approaching the Washington coast and it will result in VERY strong winds in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, possible damage (power outages, localized flooding on Whidbey Island), blustery conditions and rain elsewhere, and snow in the mountains. And I don't even want to tell you what the models are suggesting for next weekend.
And he does hint at next weekend in his final paragraph:
And now let me tell you something that I shouldn't. The last few model cycles are suggesting a turn to colder temperatures on Thursday and the potential for lowland snow late Thursday or Friday. Too early to be sure at this don't get too excited yet. I went to a meeting run by Seattle DOT this week on winter weather response...these folks are really girding up for battle. And this year they will have the new UW snow-weather application: SNOWWATCH...which I will describe this week.
Mt Baker has the following:
Update: Friday Nov. 11, 2011 morning
After a brief warmup yesterday, the freezing levels are dropping fast at the mountain and it is currently snowing hard all the way down to White Salmon.

This cooling trend with new snow is consistent with the forecast for this coming weekend and next week; the National Weather Service Forecast Office and Northwest Weather & Avalanche Center are calling for significant winter weather to move down from Alaska and the jet stream to bring a series of winter storms to the North Cascades. Freezing levels should drop below 2,500 feet by Saturday with up to 11 inches of snowfall. This is forecasted to be the beginning of a long period of cool and moist northwesterly flow, bringing below normal temperatures and generally wet conditions (snow in the mountains!) all through next week.

If conditions develop as forecasters are predicting, Mt. Baker could POSSIBLY OPEN AS EARLY AS NEXT THURSDAY, NOV. 17th! Stay tuned here or on our snow report phone line for daily updates.
That is fantastic news for the local community -- August through November is the dead-zone for businesses out here -- no more hikers or campers and no real skiers yet. Our local economy is driven by tourism...

Light posting today

Sitting here drinking gallons of orange juice, playing with Grace (and Finnegan -- mustn't forget him!) and reading about how the Occupy Wall Street camps are falling apart. It is a delicious bit of Schadenfreude how the liberals are painting the TEA Party as being violent but none of the TEA Party events I have participated in have had murder by gunshot, rape, tuberculosis, sepsis, theft and armed robbery. Quite a collection of hope and change there...


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An well researched page by Joe Jackson on the perils of smoking (present but much less than you would suspect) and the dangers of second-hand smoke (statistically nill). Check out Joe Jackson (the guy who did some amazing songs and albums back in the '80s and '90s) -- Joe Jackson and Joe Jackson/smoking Download the 13 page PDF file from here A few years ago, there was an issue with a local (since moved on) person with a hard-on against second-hand smoke. They caused problems in the community -- the case of a reformed ex-smoker becoming a petty tyrant on the subject. Not a smoker myself but I see little wrong with the habit.

Flu blogging- finale

Actually a cold, not the flu but one of the worst I have had in a good five years or more.

Fever broke yesterday evening so on the mend. Spent a couple hours underneath the house fixing a water leak -- the plumber had used galvanized wire to support the copper pipe and this caused electrolysis. In addition, the installer for an earlier WildBlue satellite dish system had fastened the co-ax ground lug right near one of the plumbing couplers (despite the fact that the house's water system came in from plastic pipe and only transitioned to copper several feet into the structure.

eedless to say, even in my diminished state, I had the presence of mind to bring a camera down to take a few photos before I went to work; saved the few feet of pipe in question as well).

That was weak link #1 Weak link #2 happened when the pressure switch that controls the pump motor failed and caused the pressure of the water pipe to spike to over 100 PSI.

Trying to fix this while doped up on decongestants was a lot of fun and repeated trips to the shop and pump-house to get or put a forgotten item...

Flu blogging

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Dinner was homemade roasted chicken/root vegetable soup with a small salad and a side plate of various fermented and pickled vegetables -- cortido, sauerkraut and sushi ginger. Dinner was preceded by Cocktail hour which was dispatched with Hot Toddies -- Johnny Walker Black, local honey, cinnamon bark, cloves, fresh ground nutmeg and lemon juice all steeped in a big mug of hot water. Two were served and pronounced good. We may feel like crap but we are at least civilized about it.
The El Hierro Volcano has been erupting for some time (I first posted about it here) Things are heating up -- Armand Vervaeck and James Daniell have up to the minute reporting at the excellent Earthquake Report website. This is a biggie...

I opened the window

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and in flew Enza Lulu and I both have come down with the flu -- got a fire going, some homemade chicken soup in the crockpot and are spending the next couple of days hunkered down munching on handfuls of Vitamin C. Grace the new puppy is doing really well -- she has responded very well to the bland diet and is wolfing the stuff down.

Showing bias - Google

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Google's supposed corporate Code of Conduct is Don't be evil. It seems that this is slipping -- hence this request from Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That:
A request: +1 Us for Google�s Sake
A week or so ago I found out about Google�s +1 program, which allows anybody to uprate websites that participate, so that users can boost that site�s search rankings.

As has been found recently, Google has staff of people who actively downrate websites based on a number of factors, one of which is according to reports, to downgrade sites that don�t agree with the �consensus� about AGW, or which allow for a diversity of views on the topic.

Because of this, WUWT�s google search rankings have become so repressed that you simply can�t find us when searching on terms like �global warming� or �climate change�.
What follows is documentation and the way to circumvent this. A Google account is needed (gmail or whatever). Talk about blatent... UPDATE: Another example of this bias is reported here: Googlegate?

Occupy Wall Street - an observation

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From Marybeth Hicks at The Washington Times
HICKS: Some belated parental advice to protesters
Call it an occupational hazard, but I can�t look at the Occupy Wall Street protesters without thinking, �Who parented these people?�

As a culture columnist, I�ve commented on the social and political ramifications of the �movement� - now known as �OWS� - whose fairyland agenda can be summarized by one of their placards: �Everything for everybody.�

Thanks to their pipe-dream platform, it�s clear there are people with serious designs on �transformational� change in America who are using the protesters like bedsprings in a brothel.

Yet it�s not my role as a commentator that prompts my parenting question, but rather the fact that I�m the mother of four teens and young adults. There are some crucial life lessons that the protesters� moms clearly have not passed along.

Here, then, are five things the OWS protesters� mothers should have taught their children but obviously didn�t, so I will:
� Life isn�t fair. The concept of justice - that everyone should be treated fairly - is a worthy and worthwhile moral imperative on which our nation was founded. But justice and economic equality are not the same. Or, as Mick Jagger said, �You can�t always get what you want.�
Four more at the site -- a breath of fresh air. You would be doing yourself a disservice to not read the comments...

Learning from the past

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A great analysis from john jay at summer patriot, winter soldier:
this is not meant to be at all reassuring, even in the least little bit ....
in response to the great depression politicians and economists turned to government to stand as the bulwark against economic "cycles," and to protect the public from the harsh realities of periodic downturn. you don't hear much about "economic cycles" anymore, the term having fallen out of fashion, as intrusive government was supposed to have made "cycles" impossible.

the great depression, insofar as i am aware, did not find its causes in government intrusion into or regulation of economy. in fact, to all appearances, for a while it looked as though economic salvation lay in such intrusion. and, it seemed rational, and highly politic, to conclude that government intrusion caused economies to rise out of the depression, and to function at full strength again.

i see no particular parallels in the economic situation now before us, to the circumstances of the 1930's, as regards economics.

i do, however, see almost exact parallels in the current situation in western democracies to those conditions immediately preceding and governing the downfall of the economic system in the soviet union. the soviet union did not fail politically. it simply went broke, it could not meet its obligations, its money became worthless, and the second greatest military power on earth mothballed its fleets, let its intercontinental ballistic missiles rot in their silos, and subjected its officer corp and massive bureaucracies to the indignity of first receiving payment in worthless rubles, then not being paid at all, and then serving essentially for room, board and eats.

the chinese watched this. and they saw the saw fate befalling them. and they turned away from that fate, embraced free market dictates and began a ruthless process of cost cutting, economizing, worker layoffs and modernization to avoid what had happened to the soviet union. it caused much upset and unrest, but the chinese stayed the course to modernization.

as did, essentially the soviets, when they saw what the chinese had accomplished.

the west has essentially followed the two great marxist economic "experiments" which led to absolute rack and ruin down the same path.-- unlimited spending on social welfare, subsidized labor that did not work, cronyism in the bureaucracies, and government regulation of wage scales, production and marketing. the soviets had factories and industries that didn't produce, and industrial plants were the place where workers didn't work and indeed often sat around in drunken stupors.

and, soviet economists learned to lie to cover up the economic malaise.

just as western economists, statisticians and news reporters have learned to lie in order to keep an ignorant public duped, stupefied and largely ignorant of what goes on around them.

let us take, for instance, labor statistics or to be more precise about the matter, the issue of the correct figure of "unemployment," the rate of which is supposed to be an economic bell weather, and hence, worth lying about. the federal government reports, and the mass media dutifully regurgitates that unemployment in the united states is at 9.0 to 9.1 percent, and coming down.


if you use the old way of reporting unemployment, as was used in the 50's & 60's, unemployment hovers around 20% plus, ... , in other words, right around genuine depression levels. anybody with a brain in their head knows this, and knows the knew figure is "adjusted" for this and that reason, but, principally, to "stay" below 10%, a sort of mystic thresh hold.

this is the practice of truth as it was done in the marxist soviet union before its downfall, and it is the practice of labor statisticians in the industrial west now.

in short, the western democracies, having picked up marxism just about the time that the marxist were proving beyond any doubt that it is an absolute economic disaster, has also picked up "the big lie" as a means of governance and public policy.

the west spends as though money means nothing, as did the soviets. the west has moved quite rapidly to centralize its economic planning, and to control the means of production by means of centralized regulation, and the west has adopted the rubric of "a living wage" which is nothing more than the soviet doctrine of having workers in factories who do absolutely nothing in order to prove that the economy is functioning at "full employment, and full production."

and, surprise of all surprises, in fact, we may describe it as the "mother of all surprises," it hasn't worked any better here than in the soviet union, and is leading western society to the exact economic ruin that brought down the soviet union, and made life in the people's republic of china an insufferable hell until they resurrected free markets, supply and demand, and the true profit and loss ledger, from the dust bins of history.

we are not in a great depression.

we are, rather, precisely as were the soviets just before the fall, in a situation in which government intrusion into every facet of life and accompanied by senseless and idiotic bureaucrats have spent the country into near oblivion.

the piper will be paid. it is as simple as that.
Emphasis mine -- what he said. More at the site.

One year to go

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The 2012 election will be held on November 6th, 2012. Counting the days...

Like... So Yesterday

From the Associated Press:
Fed-up consumers planning for 'Bank Transfer Day'
It's moving day for bank customers.

A grassroots movement that sprang to life last month is urging bank customers to close their accounts in favor of credit unions by Saturday.

The spirit behind "Bank Transfer Day" caught fire with the Occupy Wall Street protests around the country and had more than 79,000 supporters on its Facebook page as of Friday. The movement has already helped beat back Bank of America's plan to start charging a $5 debit card fee.

It's not clear to what extent the banking industry's about-face on debit card fees will extinguish the anger driving the movement. But many supporters say their actions are about far more than any single complaint.

"It's too little, too late," said Kristen Christian, the 27-year-old Los Angeles small business owner who started "Bank Transfer Day." She already opened accounts at two credit unions in preparation for cutting ties with Bank of America this weekend.

"Consumers are waking up and seeing that they have options," she said.
I know that back in 2008, many of the Occupy Wall Street 'protesters' were still in their nappies but still... Sheesh... The time to move was back in 2009 after all the bailouts. I moved business accounts, personal accounts and one estate management account from BofA and Chase over to a local Credit Union. I was administering my Mom's estate as well as overseeing my Dad's finances, there were also Jen and my accounts (personal and business). The time to send the message was when the Obama fishhook was being dangled in the banks mouths, not when the hook had been set and the bank gaffed and in the boat. If you catch my drift...

Jesse Ventura in the news

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Can't tell if he is being a pissy little kid or if he is tapping into something bigger than I can see. From Yahoo/Associated Press:
Ventura, miffed by court, says he's off to Mexico
Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura is so upset by the dismissal of his airport security lawsuit that he threatened Friday to apply for dual citizenship so he can spend more time in his beloved Mexico � or run for president of what he labeled "the Fascist States of America."

Ventura, also a former wrestling star, sued the U.S. government in January, alleging that airport scans and pat-downs amounted to unreasonable search and seizure. A district judge threw out his lawsuit Thursday, ruling it should have been filed in a Circuit Court of Appeals.

Ventura has said a titanium hip implanted in him in 2008 sets off metal detectors and that agents previously used hand-held wands to scan his body. He said he was subjected to a body pat-down after an airport metal detector went off last November. Ventura said he hasn't flown since and won't fly commercially again.

Outside the federal courthouse in St. Paul, with a crew from his "Conspiracy Theory" cable TV show filming, Ventura said he hadn't decided whether to continue pressing his lawsuit. He said he wanted to make his case before a jury, not a panel of judges.
Last first - have not seen his conspiracy TV show but read two of his books and they are a fun read but not all that grounded in fact. He is (unfortunately) a big 9/11 troofer while I as a blacksmith can physically demonstrate in under 30 minutes exactly why the buildings came down and why there was zero need for the "steel to melt" -- you just needed temperatures around 600�F. Jesse is tapping into a portion of America and hopefully making a good living from his work. I am just not one of his customers... Titanium Hip -- I have one of those too -- a life changer (for the better) and it does light up the metal detectors like a Christmas tree. You just fscking deal with it. I alert the screeners as I pass through that I have a hip and they clear me through pretty quickly. My real problem is that I travel with a laptop and some high-end camera equipment and when they pull me aside to be wanded or patted, that stuff is left unattended if I am traveling by myself. I have had too many direct and personal reports of personal stuff disappearing (specifically, someone's jewelery, someone else's watch and someone else's laptop). The TSA needs to clean its own house before it deigns to survail ours... And I have stopped flying myself unless I absolutely have to. Last commercial flight was three years ago (Hawaii), every other trip (CA several times, Tennessee, Colorado and Wyoming) was done by car where I could have flown. As for the court system -- you have to follow the #$%^ procedure. Don't jump to the District without going through the Circuit -- the Circuit is a slam-bam panel of Judges. If you had some jurisdictional cause to file in the 9th you would have sailed through. As for the first paragraph -- Jesse, I saw you speak while you were still Governor of Minnesota (book tour in Seattle) and you said that you would never ever run for President. I hope you take your own advice -- you are a great entertainer but you do not have what we need in the political arena these days. This Nation needs honest conservative leaders, not entertainers. Mr. Ventura - please back away from the limelight and let a real man take the stage.

Back at the farm again

Had a wonderful B'Day celebration -- quiet.

Last night we went out to the Mt. Baker Theater to see the Classic Albums Live presentation of Led Zeppelin II.

This was a recreation of Led Zeppelin's second album, note for note, track for track. Absolutely amazing -- really good musicians and they nailed the sound. Played the 40 minutes or so of the album, took a twenty-minute break and then proceeded to rock for another two hours with four encores. All Led Zeppelin songs. The musicianship of the band was top-notch.

Classic Albums Live is out of Canada and they have been doing this for the last eight years -- they take a bunch of good musicians, dissect a classic rock album and work out how to recreate the sound on stage with no computers or recordings. It is all live.

Other tours include Fleetwood Mac - Rumours, Best of Woodstock, The Beatles - White Album; Let it Be; Help and Hard Days Night (these are separate events); Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here; The Last Waltz to just name a few. Definitely worth seeing if they perform within a 300 mile radius...

Grace (the new puppy) has a bit of an upset stomach so I'm cooking up a batch of bland dogfood (rice, lentils, cottage cheese, hamburger, nutritional yeast and amino acids/tamari) and will transition her to a BARF diet for a while -- she is growing at a fast rate (couple inches longer than when I got her a week ago) so proper nutrition is crucial at this stage of her life.

Quiet day today

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Turned 61 years old today. Funny thing is that I do not feel it -- more like 30 or so. Lulu and I are heading out to dinner later today. Posting will be minimal if any...
A link to the following PDF document is here
Statement of Gregory H. Friedman, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Energy

Before the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
U.S. House of Representatives
A few tidbits - opening statement:
Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
I appreciate the opportunity to testify today at your request on the work of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) concerning the Department of Energy's (Department) implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act). The intent of the Recovery Act was to quickly stimulate the economy and create jobs while fostering an unprecedented level of accountability and transparency.
Department of understatement:
Based on our body of work, we found that the effort by the Department to use Recovery Act funds to stimulate the economy was more challenging than many had originally envisioned. The concept of "shovel ready" projects became a Recovery Act symbol of expeditiously stimulating the economy and creating jobs. In reality, few actual �shovel ready� projects existed. The Department programs which benefitted from the huge influx of Recovery Act funds, as it turned out, required extensive advance planning, organizational enhancements, and additional staffing and training. We found this to be true at the Federal, state, and local levels. As a result, despite a major effort in a high pressure environment, the Department struggled to obligate and expend Recovery Act funds on a timely basis. As noted, the expeditious creation of jobs was a prime goal of the program. The delay in expenditures was not helpful in this regard.
Not quite right:
Weatherization work was often of poor quality. In a recent audit performed at the state level, 9 of the 17 weatherized homes we visited failed inspections because of substandard workmanship;

Other program management issues adversely affected weatherization work. For example, one subrecipient gave preferential treatment to its employees and their relatives for weatherization services over other applicants, thus disadvantaging eligible elderly and handicapped residents;
The Office of Inspector General initiated over 100 investigations associated with the Recovery Act. These involve various schemes, including the submission of false information, claims for unallowable or unauthorized expenses, and other improper uses of Recovery Act funds.
And the new "jobs bill" is more of the same pork-ridden bloat. When has any large government program been effective...

Talk about a career-changing move

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From The Shanghaiist:
Porn video played on Wenzhou LED billboard for 10 minutes, pedestrians dumbstruck
Pedestrians of Oubei Town (瓯北镇) in the city of Wenzhou got an eyeful on Wednesday, when a large LED billboard located at the busiest intersection in town played a pornographic video for a full ten minutes.

Beginning at roughly 9pm, passersby began to notice something was amiss when they noticed the billboard, which normally sells cars, acting particularly raunchy. As the video continued its saucy spectacle, a large crowd of people (luckily no children) gathered in the intersection to watch, have a laugh, and record the evidence using their cellphones for, uhh, later research.

While we secretly hoped the stunt was akin to Andy Dufresne's playing The Marriage of Figaro in Shawshank Redemption, it turns out the "culprit" was just a lonely office worker who didn't realize the computer he was using for his private time was linked to the massive billboard outside.

Celebrating the Religion of Peace

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Fun times in France -- from the UK Telegraph:
French satirical newspaper firebombed after prophet Mohammed announcement
The offices of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo have been destroyed by a petrol bomb, a day after it named the Prophet Mohammed as its �editor-in-chief� for this week�s issue.

The fiercely anti-clerical magazine said the move, which included renaming the publication �Sharia Hebdo�, was intended to "celebrate" the victory of Islamist party Ennhada in Tunisia's election.

Charlie Hedbo's editor-in-chief, known as Charb, told France Info radio: "We no longer have a newspaper. All our equipment has been destroyed or has melted."

No injuries have been reported.

A single Molotov cocktail was thrown at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris�s 20th arrondissement at around 1am. The ensuing fire was rapidly put out, but a large amount of material in the office was destroyed, police said.

�We cannot, today, put together a paper,� said Charb. �But we will do everything possible to do one next week. Whatever happens, we�ll do it. There is no question of giving in,� he said, adding that the magazine is filing a legal complaint against persons unknown.
Good that they are not backing down. Their website was defaced too with the following posted:
Charlie Hebdo's website has also been hacked with a message in English and Turkish cursing the magazine.

The message said: "You keep abusing Islam's almighty Prophet with disgusting and disgraceful cartoons using excuses of freedom of speech.

"Be God's curse upon you!"
I can only imagine how much it must hurt to be that willfully stupid. For more info on Islam in general, visit The Religion of Peace. The numbers for October, 2011:
  • Jihad Attacks: 170
  • Countries: 16
  • Religions: 5
  • Dead Bodies: 652
  • Critically Injured: 1307
The Charlie Hebdo website is here: Charlie Hebdo (no content as yet) Google Translate is here.

Deadly sins

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Gerard may have had some heart problems (MI) but his brain is as sharp as ever. From American Digest:
PEWSLAG: The American Progressive�s Monopoly on the Seven Deadly Sins
If you could pick up the Northwestern US by the southeast corner of Idaho and shake it, everything loose would roll down into Seattle. So many loose bipeds have rolled into town over the years that the city boasts not one angry and twisted little �alternative paper� but two: The Seattle Weekly and The Stranger. Of the two, The Stranger is the stranger, the more angry, and the more spiteful. Strangely, The Stranger -- in this age of Obama and �springtime for progressive Hitlers" -- grows more angry and peevish every week since the November elections. It no longer competes with the Seattle Weekly to see who can be more revolting. It won that dubious contest long ago. These days The Stranger seems to mostly compete with itself; trying every week to put out more slime and bile than the week before. Most weeks, it wins. This week was no exception.

No matter what the standard Democrat/Progressive line may be, it is never quite good enough for The Stranger. This may be because of it�s editor, one Dan Savage by name, a man who seems to live to reveal that for some, when it comes to being intellectually twisted, there really is no bottom. It may be because The Stranger�s infected bloodlines run from from the ancient wheezings of The Daily Worker, down through The East Village Other, and out onto the news stands of Planet Moonbat with classifieds courtesy of The Berkeley Barb. Or it may be because the editor is simply an awful person with a full load of obsessive-compulsive disorders.It�s difficult to know when it comes to this perfect storm of spit, spite, and smut.

All one can know is that, with The Stranger, you see deeper into the soul of today�s post-modern American quisling than any other �alternative� weekly. And what you see is the utter lock this mindset has on what once we called �The Seven Deadly Sins.� It is positive for all of them and takes no medication. Instead, it showcases them in order to effectively infect every freshman class that arrives in Seattle looking for an �education� in how to be fashionably depraved in worn fleece. I read the paper every so often to keep in touch with how dementia, depravity and degradation are progressing in progressive America.

These days it would seem that the 7 deadly sins are now the 7 cardinal virtues of the progressive left. As I shall demonstrate....
There is more and then a list of the sins:
Progressive PRIDE: It�s no accident that this word comes up again and again in their writings. It is essential for the Progressive to internalize extreme amounts of Pride. Pride in the self is the single most important element the freed will needs to move God out of the universe entirely and Self into the center. Once Self is in the center and the feeding of Self the most important element of existence, there is effectively no limit on what the Will can demand for the Self.

We�ve seen how societies based on The Triumph of the Will sweep across the world in the last century. These Self and Will centered social experiments all seem to have the worship of a single man at their center and the word �Socialist� in their name. Their core concept at the apex of their terrible arc is a National or Group Pride in a single individual as an excuse for the most horrible crimes committed on citizens and other innocents. The words �Nazi� and �Communist� both slide nicely into the old slogan, �Say it loud / I ______ and I�m proud.� Wisdom tells us what comes after pride, but wisdom is not a progressive value.
Well worth reading -- he absolutely nails it.
From FOX News:
Republican Senator Calls on Obama to Cancel Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Bonuses
A Republican senator is calling on President Obama to cancel the $12.8 million in bonuses that were approved for 10 executives at the government-seized mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that received a $170 billion taxpayer-funded bailout.

�I am calling on the president of the United States to cancel those bonuses and explain to the American people, the taxpayers who bailed out Freddie and Fannie, why he continues to reward failure,� Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., said at a news conference Tuesday.

The two housing giants have received about $141 billion in taxpayer funds since the government took them over in 2008 during the financial crisis. Sen. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., is pushing a bill to suspend pay packages at Fannie and Freddie and require executives and employees of government-sponsored enterprises to be paid according to the federal pay scale.
Quite the bonus -- all they did was crash the housing market and the people most affected were the lower-income people who were hardest hit. To even consider this after the government bailout shows how out of touch they are...

A quiet day

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Had a nice quiet Samhain -- a couple of Lulu's son's friends came over and went out for a bit. We hunkered down and watched some old movies. At the farm today and tomorrow -- working on some stuff and there is a nice window of good weather.

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