March 2016 Archives

That is it for tonight

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Lots to do tomorrow so heading upstairs to bed. Got stuff to do on Saturday as well.

Tomorrow is also April Fools Day - a lot of geek websites like to pull a prank or two so looking forward to these.

Commonly known as white nose syndrome. From our local paper - The Bellingham Herald:

Disease that has decimated bats found in Washington for first time
White-nose syndrome, a fungal disease that has killed more than six million bats in North America, has been found in Washington state — the first time it has jumped to the western half of the U.S.

“This is somewhat of a game changer,” said Jeremy Coleman, national white-nose syndrome coordinator, on Thursday, March 31. “It was found with kind of an advanced stage of the disease. That does suggest that the fungus has probably been present” for a year or more.

Coleman, with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, was among the state and federal officials who announced that the disease had been found in a little brown bat earlier in March in Washington state. They said the case, with the syndrome’s presence so far confirmed in just one bat, raised many questions for which researchers are trying to find answers.

And this disease is a bad one:

It can kill up to 100 percent of all bats in a hibernating colony. Little brown bats, which had been among the most common bats in North America, have been hit hard by white-nose syndrome elsewhere.

With Washington included, the disease has spread to 28 states and five Canadian provinces.

Here is a map of the outbreaks - you can see why the WA State outbreak is so troubling:

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Image from the White Nose Syndrome website.

I love bats - very cool little critters.

First there was the excoriating article in Granma

Now this - from Breitbart:

Cuban State Media: ‘Negro’ Obama ‘Incited Rebellion and Disorder’
The article is titled "Negro, ¿Tu Eres Sueco?" which roughly translates to “Black Man, Are You Dumb?” (The idiom “pretend to be a Swede” means to play dumb, hence the title is literally asking, “Are you Swedish?”) The author, who is black, goes on to condemn President Obama for meeting with Cuban pro-democracy activists and “subtly” suggesting that the Cuban Revolution needed to change. “Obama came, saw, but unfortunately, with the pretend gesture of lending a hand, tried to conquer,” Elias Argudín writes.

“[Obama] chose to criticize and subtly suggest … incitations to rebellion and disorder, without caring that he was on foreign ground. Without a doubt, Obama overplayed his hand,” he continues. “The least I can say is, Virulo-style: ‘Negro, are you dumb?'”

Virulo is a white pro-Revolution comedian.

Obama's legacy is not looking that good these days.

Another probe in Massachusetts

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Dry run for something:

An insider tells it like it is - from Investor's Business Daily:

Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare
Fraud: While the global warming alarmists have done a good job of spreading fright, they haven’t been so good at hiding their real motivation. Yet another one has slipped up and revealed the catalyst driving the climate scare.

And the real push behind all the hype:

Have doubts? Then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

So-called Watermelon environmentalists - green on the outside, bright red on the inside. Communism has always failed spectacularly but there are still people hungry for the power at the top that it brings. Living large on the backs of the struggling workers.

Much more at the site - links to interviews and quotes from other people.

And on to plan B tomorrow

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Could not get Sam the Mule picked up - Buttercup was straining too hard for me to attempt a direct lift.

Plan B is to take a sheet of plywood, fasten two hooks to the corners along one long edge, roll Sam over onto the plywood and sled him over to his gravesite. I will not have as much control in terms of lowering him gently into the earth but he is not here to feel the thud.

Don't ask me about Plan C...

Went out for a couple ciders and ran into some friends at the restaurant. Surf for a bit and then to bed - have a pastry delivery for the store and then the well guy is coming over at 11:00 to do some digging.

Offline for a while

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Jon came and dug a nice grave for Sam but his excavator doesn't have any way to lift. I will be spending the next hour or so with a couple nylon tow straps and some meditation on Newton's Three Laws - see what happens... I would put Sam at around 1,100 pounds.

Well guy also called back today and is coming out tomorrow to work on the pump. Been so long without water I will marvel every time I turn the tap. Plastic buckets and creek water get old after a while.

Hillary - the investigation

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The first line of this article says it all - from Time Magazine:

Inside the FBI Investigation of Hillary Clinton’s E-Mail
FBI director Jim Comey first investigated the Clintons 20 years ago

Much more at the site - she is dirty and needs to be put away for a long long time.

Seriously - what the fsck?

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Why are we doing this - what are Obama and Kerry thinking? From the Beeb:

US to increase military presence in eastern Europe
The US is boosting its troop presence in eastern Europe in response to an "aggressive Russia", the military says.

An extra armoured brigade is being deployed, meaning a total of three will be there on a continuous basis.

The BBC's diplomatic correspondent says it is the most significant US reinforcement of Nato since tensions flared over Russian action in Ukraine.

WTF? NATO was founded in 1949 to counterbalance the Communist USSR - the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. That union disolved in December of 1991. Socialism never works in the long term - you always run out of other people's money.

Why are we still acting as though Russia was our enemy - they are an amazing potential friend and ally.

One step closer - water

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Michael, my new well guy, came out and diagnosed the problem. Going to bring a backhoe out in a few days and hopefully get things back online.

He kind of chuckled when I described my issues with my old well guy - some people just get tired of their business and do not really make an effort anymore...

Doing a quick run into town to process some more stuff from the condo and then back home. Finishing off the firehall radio installation tomorrow - got it up and running but had to jury rig a few pieces of hardware - coming back and replacing with the correct stuff...

Life in paradise

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Got down to 34.2°F last night - warming up for summer. Current (and high) temp is 64.6° - reaching 70° today?

Off for shower, coffee and then back to meet well guy at 11:00AM - got a call in to two local backhoe people for Sam's grave. If I do not get a call back today, I will rent one from Hardware Sales and do it myself. Sam deserves a nice grave facing East. Really loved that guy and miss him a lot.

The Clinton 'fix'

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I would not mind voting for Bernie if my only other choice was The Donald. Seems that Bill's wife is locking in her spot on the ballot because - well, it is her turn dammit. After all, she has done so much - can anyone name her accomplishments? Anyone? Anyone?  Bueller?

From the Washington, DC CBS affiliate:

Bernie Sanders May Be Off DC Ballot After Democratic Party Filing
Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' name is not on the primary ballot in Washington, D.C., after the D.C. Democratic Party submitted registration paperwork a day late and a voter filed a challenge, News4 has learned.

D.C. party officials called the problem a minor administrative dispute.

The Sanders’ campaign, as well as Hillary Clinton's campaign, each submitted registration fees of $2,500 on time earlier this month in advance of the June 14 Democratic primary.

But D.C. Democrats did not email the candidates' registration information to the D.C. Board of Elections until a day after the registration deadline of March

Yeah - and the dog ate my homework.

Nice weather here but...

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Got up to 69.6°F this afternoon but winter is not done with us yet - the East Coast is in for some more punishment.

From Joe Bastardi at Weatherbell's twitter account:

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Crap but that looks cold...

Well crap - RIP Sam the Mule

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I knew that Rocky and Sam were old but I didn't expect one of them to go so soon.

I was away yesterday putting the radio station in the firehall and came home around 6:00PM - the two of them came up to the kitchen door for their nightly treat - a couple carrots each.

Had someone working at the house this morning, repairing the tires on Buttercup the Tractor and he left around noon. As I was walking up to open the gate for him, I noticed that Rocky was acting a bit strange - just standing halfway in the barn door looking at me. After I closed the gate for the tire guy, I walked over and found Sam lying dead. Rocky came over - it was almost as if he was asking me to fix his friend. I can do a lot of things but the reanimation of a much loved mule is - sadly - not one of them.

Heading out for a burger at Graham's in Glacier.

The 2016 election - rigged for Hillary

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Two things in the news:

LEWANDOWSKI PROSECUTOR OUTED AS HILLARY SUPPORTER

If Bernie Sanders wins the New York Democratic primary, some superdelegates vow to back Hillary Clinton anyway

I thought those a**holes were supposed to represent US - not the other way around. Time to clean house.

Well well well

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Just got a call-back from the well guy - he is coming out tomorrow AM!

I love the smell of napalm progress in the morning.

This is fscked - from Business Insider:

The Supreme Court just handed a major victory to America's unions
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday split 4-4 on a conservative legal challenge to a vital source of funds for organized labor, affirming a lower-court ruling that allowed California to force non-union workers to pay fees to public-employee unions.

The court, shorthanded after the Feb. 13 death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia and evenly divided with four liberal and four conservative members, left intact a 1977 legal precedent that allowed such fees, which add up to millions of dollars a year for unions.

Which means that the unions can continue to plow these millions into political contributions - in direct violation of Federal Statutes. This decision is so wrong. Unions had their place but they have failed to evolve and are now hurting the american worker.

Excoriation

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Excoriation - great word. From Vocabulary.com:

Excoriation comes from the Latin roots ex, meaning off, and corium, meaning skin. The medical meaning of excoriation refers to a place where your skin is scraped or abraded. If you fall off your bicycle, you may get excoriations on your hands and knees. The idea of excoriation as severe censure comes from this medical definition. If you give someone a harsh lecture, you have verbally whipped and abraded that person, perhaps leaving mental scrapes and scratches.

Barry recently traveled to Cuba as part of his presidential 'legacy'. From Cassy Fiano:

Obama made a speech in which he uses the most sweetened words to express: “It is time, now, to forget the past, leave the past behind, let us look to the future together, a future of hope. And it won’t be easy, there will be challenges and we must give it time; but my stay here gives me more hope in what we can do together as friends, as family, as neighbors, together.”

Fidel had these words to say - from Cuba's official propaganda media outlet Granma:

Brother Obama
We don’t need the empire to give us anything. Our efforts will be legal and peaceful, because our commitment is to peace and fraternity among all human beings who live on this planet.

Now that is going to leave a mark! I have heard that Barry has quite the temper (here, here, here and here). I would not want to have been in throwing range when he read this...

Warming up a bit

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Didn't get quite as cold last night - only down to 32.0°F but it's only 9:45AM and already up to 60.1°F - spring is in the air!

Tire guy is here so heading out for shower, coffee and tracking down the well guy.

An odd comment

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Had a comment from a reader - the post was the one about Crony Capitalism and the comment was the following:

Dave - lose those extra apostrophes. Makes you look not as smart as you really are

I am sorry but I have looked over that post several times and I only see

WHOOPS! - Dick, you are 100% correct - the title of the post has been corrected. Many thanks! 

Another early day

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Got a call a few minutes ago from the tire person - they are on their way to fix the slow leak in Buttercup's tires.

Woke up feeling very stiff and with a sore throat - see how this pans out...

What the hell? North Korea

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Sure, they rattle their swords all the time but this takes it up to eleven. From the South Korean Yonhap News Agency:

Pyongyang ready for pre-emptive nuclear strike: North's dop diplomat
North Korea is ready to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike in response to what it claims is provocation by South Korea and the U.S., Pyongyang's top diplomat said Monday.

"In response to the US frenzied hysteria for unleashing a nuclear war, we have fully transferred our army from the form of military response to the form of delivering a pre-emptive strike and we state resolutely about the readiness to deliver a pre-emptive nuclear strike," North Korea's Foreign Minister Lee Su-yong said.

"In a word, the Korean peninsula faces the dilemma: a thermonuclear war or peace," he said.

North Korea has recently stepped up its military ante apparently to show off the progress it has made in upgrading its nuclear and missile capabilities as well as in advancing the striking power of its multiple rocket launchers and other long-range artillery systems.

We are a bit between a rock and a hard place on this. We could station a ship in international waters and knock down all of their missile launches - even the 'peaceful' space exploration ones. The only concern is that they might do a Plan B run-around and sneak a dirty bomb into one of our harbors in a shipping container. Making a five mile long radioactive plume in downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco would not be a good thing.

The problem is that these a**holes are being funded by the Chinese and the Arabs. Quietly and under the table of course but still, if you follow the money, this is what is happening. Of course, this current administration will not do anything to anger our bestest buddies in the Middle East and we owe too much money to the Chinese to risk ruffling their feathers so we are screwed.

Thanks Barry - and Hillary and J.F. Kerry - some pretty mad diplomacy skills guys. (SET SARC=OFF)

Wasn't this settled back in 1982 - remember it distinctly. England won - end of story. From the UK Guardian:

Falkland Islands lie in Argentinian waters, UN commission rules
Argentina’s government is celebrating a decision by a UN commission to expand its maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean by 35% to include the disputed Falkland islands and beyond.

The Argentine foreign ministry said its waters had increased by 1.7 million square km (0.66 million square miles) and the decision will be key in its dispute with Britain over the islands. Argentina lost a brief, bloody 1982 war with Britain after Argentinian troops seized the South Atlantic archipelago that Latin Americans call the Malvinas.

Sigh - here we go again. UN Delenda Est.

Crony capitalism at its finest worst

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From the Los Angeles Times:

Despite the Porter Ranch disaster, the top executive over SoCal Gas is getting an enormous bonus
Given that the Porter Ranch gas leak ranks as the worst such leak in U.S. history, with the potential to measurably damage the climate, and forcing thousands of families out of their homes, you'll be glad to know that Debra L. Reed, chairman and CEO of the gas company's parent firm, Sempra Energy, has been docked part of her pay because of the episode.

But you may be appalled to hear that her penalty comes to all of $130,000, and that she's still getting a $3.17-million bonus. That's the largest bonus she's received since becoming CEO of Sempra in 2011 and adding the title of chairman in 2012, according to the company's proxy statement, dated last Friday. It brings her total compensation for 2015 to $16.1 million, meaning that her executive penalty for presiding over an elemental corporate fiasco comes to about eight tenths of 1% of her pay.

Others on Reed's management team also have been docked, according to the proxy. They are President Mark A. Snell, Executive V.P Steven D. Davis, CFO Joseph A. Householder and General Counsel Martha B. Wyrsch. Altogether, they're being deprived of about $157,000, but they're still getting about $3.9 million in bonuses, combined.

Good lord. There is a huge difference between the crony capitalism we see today and free-market capitalism which this nation was founded on and to which we desperately need to return. These people need to have their bonuses revoked - they did nothing to protect their customers and the environment.

Stiff as a board

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Do not know if this is another symptom of something I felt this morning (flu?) or just spending a gorgeous day running up and down a ladder installing 70 pounds of antenna and mast. I am stiff as a board. It was OK when I came home and fixed dinner but standing up after eating?  Boy howdy!!!

Got two asperins in my belly and opening a bottle of wine - that should dull the edge and we will see what tomorrow brings. Got the guy coming to fix Buttercup's tires (slow leak) and tracking down the new well guy. Got the heat pump cranked up high - nice and warm today but feeling a bit of a chill.

Something big crashed into Jupiter earlier this month. From Sky and Telescope:

Another Impact on Jupiter?
Right now amateur and professional planet watchers around the world are trying to pin down the specifics of an apparent impact on Jupiter back on March 17th. Only within the past few days have two videos emerged showing a brief flash of light right on the edge of Jupiter's disk, near the boundary of the planet's bright Equatorial Zone and its tawny North Equatorial Belt.

Austrian amateur Gerrit Kernbauer posted the first video of the event. "I was observing and filming Jupiter with my Skywatcher Newton 200/1000 Telescope [an 8-inch f/5 reflector]," he recalls. "The seeing was not the best, so I hesitated to process the videos. Nevertheless, 10 days later I looked through the videos and I found this strange light spot that appeared for less than one second on the edge of the planetary disc." Kernbauer calculates the time of the flash as 00:18:33 Universal Time on the 17th.

Two days later, Irish observer John McKeon posted his own record of the flash. McKeon was using an 11-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and ASI120MM camera. Crucially, he also used a near-infrared filter to reduce the planet's brightness. He was making a 3½-hour-long time-lapse video of Jupiter and its moons, "with a happy coincidence of the impact in the second-to-last capture of the night." McKeon pegs the flash's time at 00:17:45 UT, a 48-second difference from Kernbauer's estimate.

Animations at the site - they're heeeere!

Probing - always probing

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A dress rehersal or seeing what our response would be? From Breitbart:

FBI Probing 17 Armed Middle Eastern Men ‘Chanting ‘Allahu-Akbar Type Stuff’ in CA Desert
The FBI is now investigating a group of 17 Middle Eastern men camping in the Mojave Desert who were briefly detained on Easter Sunday, then released, after a 911 phone call was made to the Victor Valley Sheriff’s Station alleging that they had fired over 100 shots in the area.

“They were up all night chanting ‘Allah akbar’-type stuff,” an unidentified police officer was heard saying on an audio recording from a police scanner that was posted online.

(Update: The area is near several military installations, including Edwards Air Force Base.)

According to the local newspaper Victorville Daily Press, a witness hiking in the Deep Creek Hot Springs region that same day described what he saw:

I was about 50 feet away from the hot tub and saw them fire about six to eight shots. I could see them near the hot tubs talking and shooting. I said, “I’m out of here, these guys are crazy,” and decided to leave. As I started heading up the trail I could see them shooting through the canyons. They were shooting toward the hills where people were camping.

Officials say the men were cooperative as they were detained and searched after a helicopter was able to locate them from up above. On Monday, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jodi Miller reportedly said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that none of the men “interviewed yesterday were identified as terrorists” and noted that they were cooperative with deputies.

They are not terrorists - yet. There are a lot of people coming in to this country that we do not have any idea who they are. Do not forget that ISIS stole passport making equipment in one of their raids. These mokes could be highly trained terrorists doing a little male bonding out in the countryside before launching an attack. They could have been probing our people to see what we would do.

On the air

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Made my first radio contact from the firehall this afternoon at around 4:30. Still a good bit to do - I need to get some different nuts for the UniStrut I am using to hold the mast as well as get my crimper kit back from the person I loaned it to. I had to drag a 100' coil of half-inch thick antenna wire down there when I only needed 20 feet or so. Cutting a custom cable and adding the fittings on the end requires my @#$% crimper kit!!! (They are done with it and I will be picking it up Thursday.) Also need to get a grommet for the countertop for where the wires go from the transceiver to the head unit and mic. That will make the install look really professional.

Something big happened around 2:00PM this afternoon - a call came in on the radio and everybody bailed out of the firehall. I stopped at the store and there had been a loud bang and the power went out over a wide area for about 45 minutes. Probably a squirrel - they climb on power poles and arc across the transformer bushings.

Speaking truth to power

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From Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge:

Top German Journalist Admits Mainstream Media Is Completely Fake: "We All Lie For The CIA"
With the increasing propaganda wars, we thought a reminder of just how naive many Westerners are when it comes to their news-feed. As Arjun Walia, of GlobalResearch.ca, notes, Dr. Ulfkotte went on public television stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also adding that noncompliance with these orders would result in him losing his job.

He recently made an appearance on RT news to share these facts:

I’ve been a journalist for about 25 years, and I was educated to lie, to betray, and not to tell the truth to the public.

But seeing right now within the last months how the German and American media tries to bring war to the people in Europe, to bring war to Russia — this is a point of no return and I’m going to stand up and say it is not right what I have done in the past, to manipulate people, to make propaganda against Russia, and it is not right what my colleagues do and have done in the past because they are bribed to betray the people, not only in Germany, all over Europe.

This is my 'surprised' face...

Loading up the truck

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Picked up a bad dent in the tailgate sometime between last night and this morning when I noticed it. No note and I did not hit anything. More pissed off about the no note than by the cost to fix it.

Loading up the truck for the ham radio install this afternoon - meeting up at 1:00PM and want this to go as smoothly as possible. Needless to say, pictures will be taken...

Great day for it - temp is already 58.5°F - was down to 25.5°F last night - woke up to frost on the ground.

And I am off

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Critters fed, heading out for shower and coffee and back home to pick up the tools and parts for the radio install. I am loaning them one of mine until BERT becomes a federal non-profit and then we will apply for a grant to get a new station. Baby steps. Should be fun - going to be a nice day for working outside today!

Up early today

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Long day today so getting an early start. Woke up feeling something crawling around my immune system. Hope to hell it is not the flu that has been going around.

News you can use - Sulfuric Acid

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Reminds me of the old nursery rhyme

Little Willie was a chemist
Little Willie is no more
For what he thought was H2O
Was H2SO4

The 2016 election cycle

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Best idea yet:

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Truth in Advertising - distilled spirits

A bit of a shocker - surprised that this is not labeled better - from The Daily Beast:

Your ‘Craft’ Rye Whiskey Is Probably From a Factory Distillery in Indiana
Read the promotional materials for the Rancho de Los Luceros Destilaría and you form an image of a supremely artisanal effort. The distillery creates “small batch heirloom spirits handcrafted in New Mexico.” Each batch of their rye whiskies, vodka, and gin is “individual and unique,” and “each bottle is hand bottled and hand marked with batch and bottle number.”

These are the standard selling points of the craft-distilling movement, with its locavore lingo, terroir talk, and handmade hype. But, in the new crowd of micro-distillers, it is now standard for the alcohol being sold to come not from their own distinctive stills, but from a hulking factory in Indiana.

Lawrenceburg, Indiana (not to be confused with bourbon-locale Lawrenceburg, Kentucky) is home to a massive brick complex that cranks out mega-industrial quantities of beverage-grade alcohol. The factory, once a Seagram distillery, has changed hands over the decades and was most recently acquired by food-ingredient corporation MGP. It is now a one-stop shop for marketers who want to bottle their own brands of spirits without having to distill the product themselves. MGP sells them bulk vodka and gin, as well as a large selection of whiskies, including bourbons of varying recipes, wheat whiskey, corn whiskey, and rye. (They also make “food grade industrial alcohol” used in everything from solvents and antiseptics to fungicides.) Their products are well-made, but hardly what one thinks of as artisanal. And yet, much of the whiskey now being sold as the hand-crafted product of micro-distilleries actually comes from this one Indiana factory.

Upstart spirits companies selling juice they didn’t distill rarely advertise the fact. But there are ways to tell: whiskey aged longer than a distillery has been in business is one of the telltale signs that the “distiller” is actually just bottling someone else’s product. KGB Spirits, the company behind the New Mexico “destilaría,” was founded in 2009; but its flagship Ceran St. Vrain straight rye whiskey comes with an age statement of 15 years in the barrel. Or take Breaker bourbon, the “first bourbon produced in Southern California since Prohibition.” The Buellton, California company behind the brand, Ascendant Spirits, wasn’t started until 2013. Yet, they brag their “ultra small batch bourbon” is aged 5 years. So how do you open a distillery one year and have 5- or 15-year-old whiskey to sell the next? Not by making it.

A comprehensive list of distilleries can be found here: The Complete List of American Whiskey Distilleries & Brands and scroll down to Indiana and the entry for Midwest Grain Products Ingredients.

MGPs website can be found here: Midwest Grain Products

Big tip of the hat to Bayou Renaissance Man who turned me on to this.

Perfect idea for college

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From Don Surber:

First 12 weeks of college should be boot camp. Having burly sergeants call you a maggot for three months melts all the snowflake away.

Do not know if you have been following academic life recently but the students are demanding protection from so-called hate speech including such items as a Trump 2016 scrawled onto a campus whiteboard. Surber has it figured out...

Back for the night

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Good meeting and got a lot done at the condo. Spending tomorrow up on a roof installing a ham radio antenna at our local firehall - interoperability is the word when it comes to disaster preparedness...

Surf for a bit and then to bed - gonna be a long one tomorrow - could not ask for nicer weather though - got up to low 60's in town today - farm got to 55.9°F and the weather is forecast to hold for the next four days or so.

Another day week in paradise

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Around this time of year, we usually get a solid week of gorgeous weather - just enough to let us relax and think seriously about planting the garden. Then, we get another couple weeks of freezing rain.

Not falling for it this time around - I will certainly be enjoying the next week of sunshine and clear skies and will be cleaning up the garden beds and getting them ready for the vegetable starts but not planting for another month at least.

Doing the usual shower, coffee and pastery delivery this morning - meeting in town and working at the condo.

And that is it for the night

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Had two good radio nets - the emergency communications one is always fun because whomever is Net Control for that session usually throws in some element of surprise so we have to figure out what it is and deal. Today was the last Sunday of the month so we operate on simplex - single frequency, you talk and say 'over' and a lot of the stations simply can not hear Net Control so you listen for those stations responding to their call and 30 seconds or so later, ask them if they can relay your checkin to Net Control. Needless to say, in my little mountain hamlet, I rely on relay a lot.

The second net is in the oceanside city of Blaine - a lot of people are involved in both nets.

There is an insomniacs net beginning at 11:00PM - I sometimes check in to that one but feeling a bit tired and tomorrow and Tuesday are busy so probably not going to.

Still organizing the garage and the radio room. The radio room is small and I have all of my electronics stuff out in the DaveCave© and want to move it into the house so Lulu can use the DaveCave© for an art studio.

And a happy Easter to everyone!

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Image stolen from The Lonely Libertarian

Reading the riot act

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From the Milwaukee, WI Journal-Sentinel - Police Chief Edward Flynn reads some reporters the riot act. Starts getting real good at 1:10

Walking while texting

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Something to consider:

Donald Trump

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Great observation by Scott Stantis at Prickly City:

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Eating healthy

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Not so much - from Vox:

Fruit juice isn't much better for you than soda. Let's stop pretending otherwise.
One of the biggest public health wins of recent decades has been America's slow shift away from soda.

With more awareness about the very strong correlation between guzzling sweet, fizzy drinks, and obesity and tooth decay, sales of beverages like Coca-Cola and Pepsi have slumped.

But there's pretty good evidence that Americans are still getting hoodwinked by juices and other sugary beverages.

So people are drinking less soda and more juice - only problem is:

Most juices and sports drinks have as much or even more sugar than soda.

Data comes from this paper: Ultra-processed foods and added sugars in the US diet: evidence from a nationally representative cross-sectional study

The religion of peace strikes again

This time Pakistan, at least 69 dead. From the BBC:

Pakistan explosion leaves many dead at Lahore park
At least 69 people have been killed and scores injured in an explosion at a public park in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore, officials say.

The park was crowded with families, some celebrating Easter. Many victims are said to be women and children.

Police told the BBC it appeared to be a suicide bomb. A Pakistan Taliban faction said it carried out the attack.

For more on the religion of peace visit here.

So true

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He is risen

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I was looking to post something but Don Surber said it best:

He is risen.
I do not care if you are Christian, or Jewish, or Hindu, or Muslim, or Buddhist, or some other religion, but please, take today off from the Internet and politics. It is not worth your life.
Happy Easter.

Spending the day @home

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Slept in a bit because of the early day yesterday. Raining softly so got the plants I bought yesterday out to enjoy it. Shower, coffee and then working at home - cleaning out the garage and organizing the radio room.

Emergency communications network tonight - the rest of the week looks gorgeous with clear skies and temps in the mid 60°'s

And to all - a very Happy Easter - reposting this classic:

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How YouTube assigns ID numbers

They use digits 0 through 9, alphabetic upper case letters, lower case letters and a - and a _. Will they ever run out?

Tom Scott explains what is happening - excellent video:

Tom's website is here: Tom Scott - Tom has major Geek-Fu

They tried hitching their wagon to a couple companies but just could not make a go of it. From California's Orange County Register:

Clean-tech firm Quantum Fuel files for bankruptcy protection
A clean-tech maker of natural gas tanks in Lake Forest has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize the company.

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies estimated it has $23 million in assets and about $22 million in debt to hundreds of creditors, according to bankruptcy paperwork filed Tuesday.

The company, which generated $32 million in revenue in 2013, said it employed some 180 workers, according to a Register story in 2014.

Quantum’s history has followed the roller-coaster highs and lows of the clean-tech industry.

The company produces natural gas tanks for 18-wheelers, its second iteration in the industry. Previously, Quantum worked on hydrogen fuel cells for General Motors but lost more than three-quarters of its revenue when General Motors went bankrupt in 2009.

Quantum was also a co-founder of Fisker Automotive, an Orange County-based electric-car maker, before it went bankrupt.

Ouch! Having one partner go under is bad. Two is a death-knell. The only money coming in to these businesses is from government subsidies and this money is our tax dollars re-bundled into 'incentives' by our non-representative government.

It's baaaaack! - Polar Vortex

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Just keeps hanging around. We get all the nice weather (knock on wood) and the Eastern USA gets all the nasty stuff.

From AccuWeather:

Polar vortex to plunge cold into midwestern, eastern US in early April
Arctic air will plunge into much of the central and eastern United States, as the polar vortex shifts its position during early April.

Following a pattern favoring more warm days than cold days into next week, a change will likely bring record cold to parts of the Midwest and East.

Makes me wonder if Al Gore is visiting anywhere in the area. (The Gore Effect)

Loving the long days

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A little after seven o'clock and still plenty of useable light! Got a lot done today. Rain is scheduled to move in tomorrow but it is supposed to be really nice Tuesday and Wednesday which is good as I will be on the roof of our local fire hall installing the antenna for our ham radio station on Tuesday.

Time to fix some dinner - Costco roti chicken with mashed spuds and lots and lots of cranberry sauce. Salad to start.

Not if - when

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Cheery news from Breitbart:

EXCLUSIVE – Top Jihadist Claims Brussels, Paris Are Terror Rehearsals for ‘Big’ Attack Inside U.S.
TEL AVIV – The deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels last week and in Paris last November are dress rehearsals for a coming “big” attack inside the United States, a leading Islamic State-allied militant claimed in an exclusive interview.

Abu al-Ayna al-Ansari, a Salafist movement senior official in the Gaza Strip, made the claim in a pre-recorded, hour-long interview to air in full on Sunday on “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” the popular weekend talk radio program broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM in Philadelphia. Klein doubles as Breitbart’ssenior investigative reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief.

Ansari is a well-known Gazan Salafist jihadist allied with Islamic State ideology. During the interview with Klein, Ansari seemed to be speaking as an actual IS member, repeatedly using the pronoun “we” when referring to IS and even seemingly making declarations on behalf of IS.

Just wonderful... We know that sleeper cells are already in place over here. All it takes is for them to build a couple truck bombs and drive through Wall Street or Times Square. Or the Brooklyn Bridge. Or the Holland Tunnel. Not if - when.

American Fascists

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Bill Whittle knocks it out of the park. Talk about speaking truth to power:

Spot on - have these people not read their history. They should be ashamed.

The current political season

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From Glen McCoy:

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Tip of the hat to Silicon Graybeard for the link...

Sanders wins Washington

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The fix is in for Hillary but Bernie seems to be the victorious one in this race.

His heart is in the right place - he has zero economic sense but his ideas about getting the big money out of government are much needed.

Today was caucus day for Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. Bernie won Alaska and Washington and Hawaii has not reported in as yet.

Back from town

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Got some groundcover at the native plant sale - Kinnikinnick and Coastal Strawberry. That particular strawberry doesn't really set fruit for people (they are tiny) but it is a pretty plant and the birds love it. The Kinnikinnick is an evergreen and sets pretty pink flowers that turn into red berries in fall. We have some tall plants in a front bed and these will offset them nicely. Also picked up a couple Blue Elderberry canes - I like to make herbal tinctures and want to start an actual herb garden so this will be a great start.

Went over to the mineral and gem show - picked up a gorgeous iron meteorite. 33 grams (the same as six 25¢ coins) so it has a nice heft. Also picked up some nice Arizona native copper. Ran into a bunch of people I knew - it was a fun day.

The clouds burned off around 11:00AM and it turned out to be a gorgeous day - finishing putting Buttercup back together. I wanted to install a 12 volt socket so I didn't have to run a jumper cable every time I wanted to run my sprayer or anything else. Making up the cable and permanently mounting it before I put the front of the hood back on. Do it right.

Nothing planned for this evening - been spending too much time drinking pints of cider so tapering back on that a little bit. $11/night ($4 + $4 + $3 tip) adds up - four grand per year if done every night...

Up early today

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Want to get a good start at the native plant sale this morning. Grace is outside keeping all the critters in line - get some feed out to them in a few minutes - coffee and then into town.

Back this afternoon.

Got down to 33.8°F last night - we are starting to get nice weather but winter still has a few tricks up her sleve...

From an email - spot on:

You know what Ted Cruz’s wife is going to look like in 20 years?

Heidi Cruz. Just older.

You know what Donald Trump’s wife is going to look like in 20 years?

Who knows? She hasn’t been born yet.

All the heat from the very large El Niño has to go somewhere - from the National Weather Service:

Mar 25, 2016 Day 2 Fire Weather Outlook
Critical fire weather area for much of central/southern New Mexico and portions of far south-eastern Arizona and far west Texas

Portions of the desert southwest into the southern rockies and southern high plains - the elevated area has been expanded northward into a larger portion of eastern AZ and slightly north-eastward into more of the southern high plains of eastern New Mexico. Additionally, latest short-term model guidance has increased confidence in critical fire weather conditions occurring across west-central and east-central/south-eastern New Mexico as well as far south-eastern Arizona. The critical delineation has therefore been expanded to encompass these regions. High-end critical conditions appear probable across portions of the lower elevations of central New Mexico where winds of 25-35 mph with higher gusts and relative humidity values near/below 10 percent will combine with dry to very dry fine fuels. However...the lack of an even drier/warmer forecast low-level airmass currently precludes an extremely critical area at this time. Otherwise...the overall forecast scenario described in the previous discussion below remains valid.

Hope La Niña kicks in later this year to cool things back down and bring rain (and SNOW!!!) to the Pacific Northwest. Just one of the many cycles of nature.

As the great Margaret Thatcher once said:

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.”

Case in point - EU Government subsidies for 'Clean Energy' - from JoNova:

Renewables industry collapsing in Europe — still a $329 billion subsidised global cash cow
The EU has led the way to convert to “clean energy”. But the subsidies  ran out.  Investment in Europe in renewables is plummeting

Europe’s once world-beating clean technology industry has fallen into a rapid decline, with investment in low-carbon energy last year plummeting to its lowest level in a decade.

Michael Liebreich, chairman of the BNEF board, said the global financial crisis and its aftermath were to blame only in part. “Europe’s failure to respond [to the crisis was a factor and] global investors, scared about the survival of the euro, had plenty of reason to hesitate about putting money into euro-dominated clean energy projects,” he said.

What bad luck – it’s nearly, almost, really competitive. Any day now:

Liebreich … “The tragedy is that Europe lost its renewable energy mojo just as costs were plummeting to the point where green power is fully competitive without subsidies in more and more parts of the world.”

Shame investors are too stupid to see how renewables are going to make lots of money. Only governments have that kind of vision, right?

And of course, absolutely zero mention of the new crop of reactors. The reactors that blew up - Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima had their initial designs sketched out on cocktail napkins over 60 years ago. There are a lot of newer designs that are intrinsically safe (they can not melt down), are more efficient, can burn the waste from 'conventional' reactors and the waste from these new reactors only needs to be sequestered for a few hundred years - not the 3,000 to 12,000 years for conventional cores.

Pretty clever machine - it will be interesting to see version 2.0. The feature set is really well thought out.

Almost impossible to excerpt - just go here and read. Bring a bowl of popcorn and a few cold ones - this is funnier than s*it...

From Awesome Shit my Drill Sergeant Said:

OVERPROTECTIVE “NEW ARMY MOM” RUINS SON’S MILITARY LIFE AFTER COMPLAINING TO THE WRONG PEOPLE
So our friends over at 5Bravo have a history of posting hilarious exchanges between their page admins and people that message the page who are usually made and offended about one thing or another. While always good for a laugh or six, this one takes the cake for one of the greatest things I have ever seen on the internet. Be sure to visit the link and give their page a like.

Apparently her son is one of the only ones who doesn’t have a Combat Patch, and in true helicopter, “everyone gets a trophy”, new age touchy feely crap parenting approach she feels this isn’t fair because he will “feel left out”. She is determined to go all the way to the top to give someone a piece of her mind so her poor little baby doesn’t get his feelings hurt. She definitely picked the wrong people to get snippy with, and her precious son will be the one to pay the price.

This will definitely be an awkward Thanksgiving family dinner this year. Read on, and spread the word.

And Part Two can be found here.

Multiple drink alert...

Working in the radio room and then an early bedtime - the plant sale is from 9:00AM to 2:00PM and it is first-come, first-served. Want to get a bunch of ground cover.

Jagadish Shukla in the news again

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And not in a good way. Back story here and here. From Anthony:

Climate scientist Shukla investigation deepens

Science Agency Eyes Climate Change Professor’s Use of Millions From Taxpayers 3/23/16
The National Science Foundation’s inspector general appears poised to look into Jagadish Shukla’s management of federal grant money, much of it from the science agency itself.

The science agency has its own rules and guidelines governing grants, which would be applicable to the millions Shukla, 71, received from the agency.

“The longstanding cozy relationship between [government] grant-makers and grantees makes them blind to even the most obvious conflict of interest,” Bonner Cohen, a scholar with a free-market think tank in Washington, told The Daily Signal.

Shukla, a professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., led the charge by 20 college professors to urge a federal investigation aimed at scientific skeptics who differ with their views on climate change.

At the same time, Shukla, his wife, and his research center were awash in taxpayers’ money, according to an internal audit by the university on which The Daily Signal previously reported.

http://dailysignal.com/2016/03/23/science-agency-eyes-climate-change-professors-use-of-millions-from-taxpayers/

Heh - Streisand Effect writ large - at 71 years old I do not know if he will do jail time but he certainly is most deserving of ten years or so. This is our money handed to him by government and he has misspent it on bad science... I want a refund!

Ted responds

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The National Enquirer hit piece? Here is Ted's response:

Strong and to the point - this is going to leave a mark...

Back from town

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Two bags of trash and two boxes of books to donate to our local library. Supposed to be a really nice day tomorrow - planning to go to the plant sale and the rock show.

From Oil Price:

As SunEdison Tanks, Is Rest Of Solar Going With It?
SunEdison, one of the giants in solar power globally, may file for bankruptcy protection, as the solar industry gambles on its future, struggling to compete with low oil and gas prices while simultaneously trying to capitalize on what looks like a rosier long-term future.

The company is at the moment negotiating with creditors that gave it a $725-million second-lien loan in January. What is reportedly being negotiated is a debtor-in-possession deal, which is effectively bankruptcy protection, which would mean relinquishing control of its assets to creditors.

What necessitated the negotiations is SunEdison’s failure to provide lenders with its financial statement for the last quarter of 2015, which was a condition set out in the loan agreement. If it does not release its fourth-quarter report by the end of this month, it will be in technical default on more than one loan, an analyst told Bloomberg, and will face charges of some $1.4 billion.

I have said time and again, alt.energy is not feasible for mainstream baseload. Even with large government subsidies (ie: our tax dollars), they cannot compete with traditional energy sources. For every wind turbine out there, there is the equivalent gas turbine generator running on hot-standby for when the wind shifts. Solar simply does not work unless you adopt an energy-starved lifestyle. Our government is handing out billions of our dollars in subsidies to prop up these companies that offer nothing usable.

A note to potential suicide bombers

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From The National Enquirer:

SHOCKING CLAIMS: Pervy Ted Cruz Caught Cheating — With 5 Secret Mistresses!
Presidential candidate Ted Cruz is trying to survive an explosive “dirt file” on the finger-wagging conservative senator!

And the new issue of The National ENQUIRER — on newsstands now — reveals how the reports say the staunch Republican is hiding FIVE different mistresses!

The National Enquirer is 'just' a tabloid but they have broken some major stories in the past.

Image editing software - NIK

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Google purchased the NIK Photo company back in 2012 - they are now offering their tools for free. The tools plug in to Adobe Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom and offer adjustments for tone, color, sharpness, monochrome and HDR. Great stuff and the price is right.

Google NIC website

Article about the offer at DP Review

Pants on fire - Hillary

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More emails surface - from The Hill:

Lost emails from Clinton server discovered
Conservative legal watchdogs have discovered new emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server dating back to the first days of her tenure as secretary of State.

The previously undisclosed February 2009 emails (PDF file) between Clinton from her then-chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, raise new questions about the scope of emails from Clinton’s early days in office that were not handed over to the State Department for recordkeeping and may have been lost entirely.

Clinton’s presidential campaign has previously claimed that the former top diplomat did not use her personal "clintonemail.com" account before March 2009, weeks after she was sworn in as secretary of State.

But on Thursday, the watchdog group Judicial Watch released one message from Feb. 13, 2009, in which Mills communicated with Clinton on the account to discuss the National Security Agency’s (NSA) efforts to produce a secure BlackBerry device for her to use as secretary of State.

The gift that keeps on giving. She doesn't even try to keep track of her lies...

Cool technology - boom

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From Bloomberg:

This Aerospace Company Wants to Bring Supersonic Civilian Travel Back
If you’re ever stuck on a plane pining for the glory days of air travel, hop on YouTube and search for “the Concorde.” Among the results are a bunch of firsthand accounts of people sipping Champagne and scarfing down caviar on one of the bygone supersonic jets while they travel at 1,300 miles an hour. Try to appreciate the joy on their faces, or at least remember that they paid as much as $20,000 round trip, while you’re crammed into a middle seat with nothing but a dollop of hummus and a few overpriced crackers to get you through the next few hours.

Or perhaps find some solace in this: A Denver startup called Boom Technology plans to bring supersonic passenger travel back, and to bring it to the masses … ish. While the finished product is years away, on March 23, Boom will unveil its design for a 40-seat plane that can fly 1,451 mph (Mach 2.2). At that speed, a New York-to-London flight would take about 3 hours and 24 minutes. Blake Scholl, Boom’s founder and chief executive officer, says round-trip tickets will cost $5,000. “The idea is for a plane that goes faster than any other passenger plane built before, but for the same price as business class,” he says.

A bit more:

According to the simulations, Boom’s design is quieter and 30 percent more efficient than the Concorde was. Its 40 seats will be split into two single-seat rows, so everybody has a window and an aisle. To reduce weight, the seats are of the standard domestic first-class variety, so no laydown beds. To cut flight time, Boom’s plane will cruise at 60,000 feet, where passengers will be able to see the curvature of the earth, while going 2.6 times faster than other passenger planes. Scholl says about 500 routes fit the craft’s market, including a five-hour trip from San Francisco to Tokyo and a six-hour flight from Los Angeles to Sydney.

Looks really interesting - I would fly just for the novelty of seeing the Earth at that high an altitude.

A day consumed by locusts

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Not really, it just got very late and I have not done anything of consequence. Got the battery in Buttercup and called the tire company to schedule them coming out to fix the slow leaks. Straightened up the Radio Room and got some of my parts stored in plastic bins. Started raining pretty hard so puttered around indoors for the rest of the day.

Went out for two pints of cider - some local friends were having a rally for Bernie Sanders. Don't have the heart to tell them that the fix is in and the nomination will be for the Hildebeast.

Surf for a bit and then to bed - I slept in very late this morning so want to do an early bedtime to not bugger up my sleep schedule. Probably taking a melatonin tablet would be a good thing...

From The Atlantic:

The Amateur Radio Operators Preparing for the Worst
There’s a sense of urgency in the air at a Virginia nuclear power plant. Everything within at least a five-mile radius is at immediate risk due to a critical meltdown. One of the emergency responders opens the envelope she’s holding, scans its contents, and announces the bad news: “We just lost 911 and the cell towers are overloaded.”

There are some groans, but the team of amateur radio operators knew this was a possibility, and they’re prepared. They have their radios at the ready to coordinate evacuations, making sure that no shelters are overwhelmed and that evacuees arrive at the right locations. Two detach themselves from the rest and make their way over to the lead coordinator. They’re acting as the points of contact for all emergency services, which means they’re responsible for relaying information about everything from fires to urgent medical care to illegal activities.

It’s no small task, especially when there’s a nuclear meltdown in the background, but this isn’t the first time these radio operators have tackled a problem of this scale: Similar disasters happen every two years, after all. This time, it’s an earthquake that caused a cooling tower to fail. Sometimes it’s a terrorist attack, or perhaps a hurricane. Fortunately, none of these are real disasters: They’re Simulated Emergency Tests (SET), mock disasters that radio-operator groups use to show the typical emergency players—police, the Red Cross, FEMA—that when the worst happens, these hobbyists can be an essential part of the response.

Read the whole thing - great overview of what we do as well as a bit of history.

Working at home today

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Putting the new battery  in Buttercup, making a bunch of phone calls and generally working around the house today.

More posting later.

The Clinton machine - vote fraud

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Vote fraud writ large - just like Obama. From The Wall Street Journal:

Hillary Clinton on Bernie Sanders: He Gets the Crowds, I Get the Votes
Bernie Sanders may have more people at his rallies—like, a lot more– but Hillary Clinton wants you to know she’s gotten more votes.

Speaking ahead of election results in three states Tuesday, the Democratic front-runner voiced a boastful note about her dominance in presidential race. She also sounded a bit peeved at the months-long commentary that holds that Mr. Sanders’s support is more enthusiastic.

“I totally respect the passion of my opponent’s supporters, absolutely respect it,” she told backers at a union hall here. “And here’s what I want you to know. I have, as of now, gotten more votes than anybody else, including Donald Trump. I have gotten 2.6 million more votes than Bernie Sanders.”

She didn’t end it there. “I have a bigger lead in pledged delegates, the ones you win from people voting, than Barack Obama had at this time in 2008,” she said, concluding, “So we are on the path to the nomination and I want Washington (state) to be part of how we get there.”

Those votes are not from We The People, those votes are paid for - corruption and political machinery. I would expect nothing less from the Democrat machine - Sanders is just a place-holder.

From the always excellent gCaptain:

Ship Photos of the Day – USS Conestoga Found!
NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) and the U.S. Navy announced on Wednesday the discovery of the wreck of USS Conestoga in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary in California, solving one of the greatest maritime mysteries ever in U.S. Navy history.

The Conestoga and its 56 crew vanished without a trace after sailing from San Francisco Bay on March 25, 1921 on a voyage to Tutuila, American Samoa via Pearl Harbor, but when the ship never arrived many questions over where, when, and how the ship went down were left unanswered.

The shipwreck was actually first documented in 2009, but it took investigators two years and a second survey in October 2015 to confirm the wreck as the Conestoga.

More at the National Marine Sanctuaries website. God rest their souls.

Two events that I am looking forward to:

First - WHATCOM CONSERVATION DISTRICT'S 23rd ANNUAL NATIVE PLANT SALE

Native plants - looking to get a bunch of groundcover for the beds near the house plus some trees to border the road - get a little privacy.

Second - MT. BAKER ROCK AND GEM CLUB'S 2016 Gem and Mineral Show

I am a rock guy from way back - not active in this club but usually get out to see their show.

Ted Cruz speaking truth to power

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I really like him - he would be an amazing President:

From Jason Weisberger writing at BoingBoing:

Anti-Vaxxers successfully bring back measles and whooping cough
A new report says anti-vaxxers are responsible for the rise in two infectious diseases we'd nearly eliminated from the United States.

Researchers at Emory and Johns Hopkins Universities have determined, through a National Institute of Health review, that the rise in measles is directly attributable to vaccine refusal, and that it is helping whooping cough to spread, too.

Not to forget that Doctor Andrew Wakefield - the physician and clinical researcher who discovered the link between vaccinations and autism is now just Andy. His medical license was striped for fraud.

Way to go stupid Luddites! Is there anyway we could bill these morons for the increased medical bills they directly caused?

The Israelis certainly have an impetus to unlock the San Barnardino iPhone. From the Israeli website Yediot and Google Translate:

An Israeli company helped the FBI crack the iPhone
The FBI uses the services of the company Slbriit Petah Tikvah an attempt to break the terrorist's locked iPhone San Bernardino. Industry sources estimate familiar with the matter.

If Slbriit be able to break into the bomber's iPhone, the FBI did not have the help of Apple, as he claimed so far, which would give a very dramatic twist to the affair which generated these days a great public outcry in the US, and the center of the struggle between Apple FBI Islands on the background experience to break into the iPhone. Mslbriit did not respond.

Slbriit, considered one of the world's leading companies in the field of forensics (Fornzikh) mobile devices, collaborating for years with the intelligence bodies, security and law enforcement in the world. The company provides FBI decoding equipment under contract with the feds it is a signatory to 2013.

Very cool - Apple's security efforts gets a major black eye.

This happened about three years ago - Israeli F-15 loses one wing.

The Utah ballot process

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From writer Pirate Monkey:

UTAH CAUCUS: First hand insider report - Incompetence, Manipulation, and Ballot Stuffing!!!
Just got back from my caucus... My head is still spinning.

Check in was slow but reasonably controlled. Super-long lines. I've never seen turnout like this.

Got my credentials, but no presidential ballot. They said those would be delivered to our caucus room.

Got to my caucus room. I counted about 120 people there (no idea how many were actually registered and credentialed).

We elected Precinct Officers, State Delegates, and County Delegates - the typical incompetence and ignorance of the rules you'd expect to see from volunteers, but all went somewhat smooth.

...Then came the Presidential Ballot.

Someone shows up with a stack of probably 250 ballots. The precinct chair splits them up, and starts handing stacks of them out and tells people "take one and pass it down".

No checking credentials, IDs, NOTHING.

I'm sitting at the end of a row and people start handing me stacks of extras. I literally had over 50 ballots in my hand.

[link to i.imgur.com (secure)]

We were told to mark our vote and place our ballot in a tin can. They then asked for a volunteer to hold the can. At this point, most people filed out the door.

I cast ONE vote, then stuck around to see what would happen with the votes.

About 15 minutes later, with only about 10 or so people milling around, someone walks in the room with an envelopes STUFFED full of "absentee" ballots - some envelopes having 2-5+ ballots.

I raised a question and said, "isn't there an absentee process already in place? Didn't people have to register for that last week?" and was told "Oh no, this is completely normal".

As I've mentioned in other threads, I was in Party leadership for 6 years and no, this is absolutely not normal.

I then asked if I could observe the vote count, and I was told my observations where not needed and to leave the area while the ballots were being counted.

I left the room (things were already a complete Charlie Foxtrot at this point) and wandered over to my friends precinct caucus to see if it was just as much a cluster.

His caucus was just getting to the presidential ballot, and as I walked in the door I was handed ANOTHER BALLOT.

Again, no credential check, no ID check, NOTHING.

No, I didn't vote again...

I went back to my precinct and they had the results:
74% Cruz
14% Trump
11% Kasich

Now just imagine this kind of outright incompetence/manipulation happening in 2000 precincts across the state.

As I left the building, I started overhearing results coming back from other precincts... Overwhelmingly numbers for Cruz... Like 70-90% or more. (In one precinct Cruz got around 100, Trump had 2, Kasich 0)

Bottom line... They basically are going to post whatever the hell numbers they want.

There were no apparent controls, no credential checks, no ID checks, and ballots being handed around like napkins.

UTAH RESULTS ARE A COMPLETE SHAM

And no word yet about the online voting process (Soros again)

An interesting list - from Dr. Rich Sweir:

Trump under attack by 187 organizations directly funded by George Soros
There have been many articles written about George Soros and his collectivist activism. Soros is a business magnate, investor, philanthropist, and author who is of Jewish-Hungarian ancestry and holds dual citizenship. He is chairman of Soros Fund Management. Discover the Networks has published a comprehensive list of organizations funded by Soros and his Open Society Institute.

A bit more:

You may learn more about Soros and his causes from these two articles:

And the list:

  1. Advancement Project: This organization works to organize “communities of color” into politically cohesive units while disseminating its leftist worldviews and values as broadly as possible by way of a sophisticated communications department.
  2. Air America Radio: Now defunct, this was a self-identified “liberal” radio network.
  3. All of Us or None: This organization seeks to change voting laws — which vary from state to state — so as to allow ex-inmates, parolees, and even current inmates to cast their ballots in political elections.
  4. Alliance for Justice: Best known for its activism vis a vis the appointment of federal judges, this group consistently depicts Republican judicial nominees as “extremists.”
  5. America Coming Together: Soros played a major role in creating this group, whose purpose was to coordinate and organize pro-Democrat voter-mobilization programs.

That is just the first five - there are 182 more to go...

If you read anything about his history, the guy is a sociopath and pure evil.

Interesting news from the IRS

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From The Conservative Treehouse:

Why Did The IRS Give The Dept. of Justice Twenty One CD-ROM’s?….
In October 2015 the DOJ announced it was dropping the investigation into the IRS, Lois Lerner, and the unlawful sharing of taxpayer data in the IRS targeting investigation surrounding True The Vote et al.

As a direct consequence of the DOJ decision, congressional inquiry into the IRS targeting matter seemingly dropped from the radar.

However, if you draw a line from the original intent of the entire enterprise, the post-2010 mid-term “shellacking”/”secret research project“, forward to the 2016 election cycle an interested observer might still be left asking:

“why did the IRS, through Lois Lerner, deliver the 1+ million pages of tax filings, to include the entire donor list of Tea Party and patriot groups, through 21 CD-ROMs and not by electronic data transfer. Information that was specifically sent to Eric Holder and the U.S. Department of Justice”?

Good question - if the data was sent electronically in an email, it could be subpoenaed - this way, it is deniable or the dog ate them. I do not care who gets elected President as long as they clean house from top to bottom.

That is it for the night

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Off to bed - nothing much of interest in the internet and yes, I did read all the way through to the very end.

Probably about ten years off but an amazing glimpse of the future - drone cargo ships. Makes a lot of sense actually.

From the very excellent gCaptain website.

What a headline

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This guy must have lived an interesting (if short) life - from the London Daily Mail:

Man, 27, who was arrested for having sex with a stranger on a Las Vegas Ferris wheel is murdered in a carjacking while driving his stripper fiancée home from work

Can not get more bizarre than that...

Back from town

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Started raining pretty hard so bailed for town, did some more shopping, found out which tire company had a calcium pump and ate a monster burrito for a 3:00PM 'lunch'

Calcium Pump - Buttercup has a slow leak in two of her tires. Agricultural tires are filled with water to give extra weight and traction (it is called a 'tractor' for a reason). The water is mixed with CaCl2 - calcium chloride - for anti-freeze and for yet more weight. This needs to be pumped into the tire through the schrader valve.

Just came back from two pints of cider at my local - time to read the internet and then to bed.

I am subscribed to the White House email list and an email came in about an hour ago: President Obama on the attacks in Brussels:

Here is a screen-cap of the whole thing - I kid you not. Shades of the empty chair

20160321-obama.jpg

Click to embiggen in all its cromulent glory...

Big yellow round thing in the sky

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Been seeing this for the last hour or so - it confuses my simple brain but I like it. Nice and warm.

I vaguely remember something like this from last year - it came in April and left in September.

Working at home today

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Weather seems to be cooperating so off for shower and coffee and then back home to work on some projects.

More later.

Open borders - a good thing

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Hillary likes them and open borders are certainly working great in Europe. From the Associated Press:

AT LEAST 31 DEAD IN BOMBINGS OF BRUSSELS AIRPORT, METRO
Bombs exploded at the Brussels airport and one of the city's metro stations Tuesday, killing at least 31 people and wounding dozens, as a European capital was again locked down amid heightened security threats.

The two airport blasts, at least one of them blamed on a suicide bomber, left behind a chaotic scene of splattered blood in the departure lounge as windows were blown out, ceilings collapsed and travelers streamed out of the smoky building.

About an hour later, another bomb exploded on a rush-hour subway train near the European Union headquarters. Terrified passengers had to evacuate through darkened tunnels to safety.

The Common Market worked. The European Union simply does not. Time to get rid of the open borders and the centralized government and go back to individual sovereignty and small decentralized governance.

Ho Li Crap - printable magnets

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Check out Polymagnets - from Destin at Smarter Every Day. Good stuff starts at 2:00

The company can be found here: Polymagnets

This is seriously awesome technology. I kind of think I know what they are doing but to be able to do it with this level of precision is amazing. You can buy their magnets on their website for under $4.00 - going to get a couple of them. Times like this I wish my Dad was still alive - would have loved to have shown them to him and let him try to figure out what was going on...

Heh - doughnut thing

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From the ever wonderful Miss Cellania

2084
Set 100 years after George Orwell’s 1984, this dystopian scenario is, once again, about Big Brother and the state bending people into obedient sheep. But when you try to take away everyone’s free will with the power of fear, you’ll occasionally run into someone who’s not even smart enough to be afraid.

Well crap - RIP Andy Grove

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Co-founder of Intel:

Andrew S. Grove 1936 – 2016
Intel announced that the company’s former CEO and Chairman Andrew S. Grove passed away today at the age of 79.

Present at Intel’s 1968 founding with Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, Andy Grove became Intel’s President in 1979 and CEO in 1987. He served as Chairman of the Board from 1997 to 2005. Both during his time at Intel and in retirement, Grove was one of the most influential figures in technology and business, writing best-selling books and widely cited articles, and speaking out on an array of prominent public issues.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of former Intel Chairman and CEO Andy Grove,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “Andy made the impossible happen, time and again, and inspired generations of technologists, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.”

From the Washington Free Beacon:

Iran Threatens to Walk Away From Nuke Deal After New Missile Test
Iran on Tuesday again threatened to walk away from the nuclear agreement reached last year with global powers, hours after the country breached international agreements by test-firing ballistic missiles.

Iran’s most recent ballistic missile test, which violates current U.N. Security Council resolutions, comes a day after the international community’s nuclear watchdog organization disclosed that it is prohibited by the nuclear agreement from publicly reporting on potential violations by Iran.

Iranian leaders now say that they are poised to walk away from the deal if the United States and other global powers fail to advance the Islamic Republic’s “national interests.”

That John Kerry guy sure is a great diplomat (in the Neville Chamberlain mold). What a freekin' putz. He fell for it. Don't they teach history in school anymore?

Always seems to go that way - picked up a new battery for Buttercup, got a new ground cable (the old one was pretty well frayed through - that could have contributed to the problems starting as there would be a large voltage drop across the remaining wires). Got a "new" laptop for the water board - the needs are very modest so I got a ruggedised DELL with a new backup battery for $260. Got some more plastic storage cases for my growing collection of radio connectors and parts - standardizing on one case size so they fit well on the shelves of the radio room.

Sorted through the condo some more and got another trash bag for the dumpster, swung by Costco for two bottles of wine, some 'maters, olive oil and dog food.

Working at home tomorrow if it is reasonably dry otherwise, into town to finish off the shopping.

Was noticing coming back that the berry farms are starting to seriously leaf out. Harbinger of spring!

Fascinating eight minute video on the creation of the first stored-program computer in 1948. They had a 50th anniversary in 1998 and built a replica of it (the original was canabilized for parts for suceeding versions). A bit of computing history:

Morning at the farm

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Got feed out to the critters and heading in for a shower and to pick up pastries for the store.

Spending today in town working at the condo and getting a couple things including a new battery for Buttercup the tractor.

More posting this evening...

Visited a couple networks after my WECG one - fun stuff and meeting a lot of great people.

Battery update: There are two ways to remove the battery from Buttercup. The easy way (non-intuitive) and the really really hard way (looks to be the easiest). After some serious language, I remembered the non-intuitive easy way and was able to extract it. The front comes off in either two pieces (headlights and grille) or one depending on which set of two bolts you remove from the bottom. Removing the one piece allows the front to slip over the framework that holds the front bucket in place. Removing the bottom piece first allows you to remove it and free the battery - almost. If the framework was a half inch further away, this would be the easy way. Sigh...

Let us hope that in five years I will remember - finally - to go the non-intuitive route and save myself the extra 30 minutes.

An oldie but goodie (April 2011) - what with Bernie talking about taxing the rich, here are the actual numbers we are dealing with:

The numbers came from this post by Iowahawk: Feed Your Family on $10 Billion a Day

Taking the battery out of Buttercup - it lasted five years but will not hold a charge so time for a new one.

My only gripe is that I have to take off a lot of the sheet metal hood to get at the battery - this could have been located better but, considering that I have only needed to change the battery once before, this is not too bad.

Get her back up and running tomorrow - she runs fine now but I have to jump-start her every time.

Lots of really bad shit out there - from the London Daily Mail:

Rise of the synthetic-high zombies: Cops across Florida called to 'horror-movie style scenes' where groups of people are left slumped and stupefied after taking 'spice'
Authorities in several Florida cities have seen an increase in emergency calls related to people being slumped over in a stupefied state, as they have overdosed on the dangerous drug known as spice, or synthetic marijuana.

Police in Tampa say that more people than ever before are overdosing on the drug, as investigators in Clearwater say they've received dozens of calls for people who have had to be rushed to the hospital because of suspected spice use.

WTVT reported that Tampa medical and law enforcement professionals warned last week about the dangerous uptick in overdoses that is possibly linked to a bad batch of spice that's being sold.

The pictures look pretty grim - more at the site:

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Not a good way to go through life...

From Breitbart:

Soros Board Member Chairs Firm Running Online Voting for Tuesday’s Utah Caucuses
Smartmatic Group, an electronic voting firm whose worldwide headquarters is located in the United Kingdom, will be running the online balloting process in the Utah Republican Open Caucuses on Tuesday.

The chairman of Smartmatic’s board, Lord Mark Malloch-Brown, currently serves on the board of George Soros’s Open Society Foundation and has close ties to the billionaire.

The Wall Street Journal dubbed the Republican party’s online adventure on Tuesday as “one of the biggest online votes conducted so far in the U.S.” and the “largest experiment with online presidential voting since 2004, when Michigan allowed Democrats to vote in a party caucus via the Internet.”

It will be interesting to look at the results - go to the Smartmatic website and look at Malloch-Brown's biography and you see nuggets like these:

Mark served as Deputy Secretary-General and Chief of Staff of the UN under Kofi Annan. For six years before that he was Administrator of the UNDP, leading the UN’s development efforts around the world. He was later Minister of State in the Foreign Office, covering Africa and Asia, and was a member of Gordon Brown’s cabinet.

Ah yes, the oil-for-food scandal in which Kofi's son (Kojo) was neck deep. More:

Other positions have included vice-chairman of George Soros’s Investment Funds, as well as his Open Society Institute, a Vice-President at the World Bank and the lead international partner at Sawyer Miller, a political consulting firm. He also has served as Vice-Chairman of the World Economic Forum. He began his career as a journalist at The Economist.

Like I said, Utah will be interesting to watch. It is a very conservative state and there are some wonderful statistical tricks to see if an election was rigged or not.

Irony - food safety in Norway

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From the ever wonderful Barfblog:

Irony can be ironic: 113 sick after public health conference in Norway
Thanks to a barfblog.com fan in Norway who provided the article and translation:

More than 100 participants at the health- and quality-registration conference were ill after eating from a lunch buffet at Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo on Thursday 10 March. The Norwegian institute of public health (FHI) was co-hosting the conference together with the Norwegian directorate of health.

One-hundred and thirteen people came down with symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea. The Norwegian food safety authority has collected samples of food from the buffet and patient samples, while FHI sent out a survey to all the participants (399 of 600 have replied to the survey) but they still cannot confirm whether it was a virus or foodborne pathogen.

Egg on faces - wonder how many heads will roll at the hotel. Not a good thing...

Some people from New Zealand are doing a mid-range SDR - Software Defined Radio. Here is the Kickstarter page: KiwiSDR: BeagleBone Software-defined Radio (SDR) with GPS

Been playing around with a different design of SDR - this one is made by SDR Play and is a complete general purpose receiver spanning from 100KHz through 2GHz. A lot of fun for $150.

The KiwiSDR has the advantage that you run it through a HTML5 web browser and up to four people can log in remotely and operate independently. Might have to take a look at the bank balance and kick in for the kit. Having a GPS reciever (for time data - not position data) means that you can do accurate location of transmitters with more than two of these recievers.

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Matthew 21 if you are interested...

The EPS is starting to parody itself - from Reason:

EPA Putting Red Light on Amateur Car Racing
A "power grab" by the Environmental Protection Agency threatens to crash America's amateur car-racing industry without putting so much as a dent in climate change, warns the chairman of the House Space, Science and Technology Committee.

The EPA's move to regulate emissions on non-road racing vehicles contradicted agency administrator Gina McCarthy's earlier testimony that the EPA did not have authority over non-road race cars and motorcycles.

EPA officials said they are "clarifying" emissions law, yet the Clean Air Act has long exempted non-road vehicles used in competition. The agency has not made a similar move against NASCAR or other professional race circuits.

"The EPA cannot assume powers that Congress hasn't given," Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, said at an Oversight Subcommittee hearing Tuesday. Smith accused the agency of "unlawful regulation (conducted) without proper notice."

Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), introduced a bipartisan bill, HR 4715, to block the EPA's action. Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar is among the co-sponsors.

A perfect cantidate for an 80% funding cut. They were sorely needed when they were initially formed but they have done their work, the air is a lot cleaner, rivers no longer catch on fire so it is time for them to quietly go away and stop with the overreach and empire-building.

Ownership in America

Our resources are being gutted. Remember that the Soviets own the majority of our Uranium mines thanks to a deal brokered by Hillery when she was Secretary of State?

Now it's the Saudis and the Chinese - a two-fer:

First - China acquiring USA one company at a time

What’s the best way for a country like China to exert its influence over the U.S. economy? Acquire American-owned companies like Chinese-owned Haier just did when they purchased General Electric’s (GE) appliance business for $5.4 billion.

And do not forget that GE's Medical Imaging department is also a wholly Chinese company

Second - Largest U.S. refinery now belongs to Saudi Arabia

Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco appear to be getting a divorce, breaking up their joint venture in U.S.-based refining assets.

The two companies joined together to create Motiva Enterprises LLC in 1998, a 50-50 joint venture that operated three refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. But Shell and Saudi Aramco have seen their interests head in different directions. "It is now time for the partners to pursue their independent downstream goals," said Abdulrahman Al-Wuhaib, a senior vice president of Saudi Aramco’s downstream unit.

We don't need to be invaded - we are being chiseled away bit by bit. I do not like multi-nationalism or central world government - too easy for kleptocrats to amass huge piles of money and power all the while We the People are getting screwed over.

Spring Equinox

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Today is the first day of spring - seen a number of harbingers. Nice to know that Spring and Summer are coming - it has been a long winter.

Working at home today - Water Board meeting tonight and then emergency communications radio network.

That is it for the night - tired

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Too tired to read the internet. Now that is saying something!

Release the CRACUNS

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CRACUNS? Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System - very cool technologies:

More from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

Now this would be interesting

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From E.M. Smith at Musings from the Chiefio:

Can Organizations Opposed To Trump Be Sued For Damages?
One of my general concerns is when a legal precedent is set “for a good cause” that is so wide it can later be used for the exact opposite causes. An “end justified the means” effect that then means the “means” can be used for other “ends”.

In this case, I’m thinking of the Southern Poverty Law center “take down” of the KKK. In that case, they put forward the then novel idea that an organization can be held responsible for the actions of the members individually. That is now “settled law”. The KKK lost, their headquarters was sold off and the group essentially forced to disband. The Left loves this ruling.

Yet now we have a couple of groups such as Black Lives Matter and MoveOn.org that are clearly and actively recruiting people to disrupt Trump rallies and deny fundamental rights to his supporters. Freedom of assembly. Freedom of speech. Etc.

Furthermore, it wouldn’t take Trump to have “standing”. ALL those folks in Arizona currently stuck in a traffic jam have “standing” to sue for loss of time, gasoline, liberties and rights, endangerment (and if any have kids with them “Child Endangerment” as Arizona Sun without water can be life threatening). I’d further speculate that the “organizers” could be held liable for all the excess Police Costs involved. There is ample precedent for “recovery” of police costs from things like folks setting forest fires, even accidentally, or rescue costs even if you didn’t ask to be rescued and someone ELSE decided you needed it. To me, it looks like blocking a road with cars sideways is clearly a violation of law. Are not illegal acts subject to prosecution and suit?

They would shriek to the high heavens - it would be a delight to see them being held responsible for their actions for once.

Time to turn all the lights on

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From the Seattle station KIRO - Jesse Jones writes:

Seattle goes dark for Earth Hour 2016
Thousands of locations across the globe will go dark for about an hour on Saturday to raise awareness for the impact of energy use on climate change.

The effort is summed up in a movement called the ‘Earth Hour’ campaign, organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

The group is urging local families and organizations to turn out their lights and refrain from using any unnecessary electronics from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., local time.

The WWF calls it a ‘commitment to the planet’.

commitment to the planet? Give me a break. The planet is doing fantastically well. The very idea that we have the power to dramatically alter it is pure fscking hubris. The Earth is huge and most people have zero conception of just how huge it is. You could take the entire Earth's population, move them to Texas and the population density would be one third that of New York's Manhattan.

Feeling tired tonight otherwise I would go out to the shop and fire up the welder for a while.

And the gloves come off - Trump

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This is going to leave a mark (from here):

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Is this the best they can do?

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Talk about painful - here is Hillary's latest campaign video:

Conceptually, the idea is cute but watching it is like listening to a dental drill. And what is with the big paper-mâché puppet heads? The idea was cute back in the 1960's but surely people could have come up with something new by this time...

Tasmania is an island 150 miles off the South East coast of Australia. From The Marcus Review:

Tasmania’s Energy Scandal
Tasmania has provided yet another example of what happens when you let the lunatics run the asylum for too long. This time, it has run out of electricity to the point of needing 200 temporary diesel generators – at a start up cost of $44 million, plus operating costs of $22 million per month.

As you’ll soon see, these costs are merely the steam emanating from the hot pile of dung shoveled up in this scandal – whose key players include a greedy government owned hydroelectric operator, an inept State government and Australia’s most socialistic Prime Minister in history.

Even if you’re not Tasmanian, you should care about this: it’s your money that’s paying for it.

There is an electrical cable that runs from Tasmania to the Australian continent. To set the story:

In August 2010, Australia provided Julia Gillard with the means to introduce a carbon tax – which she cheerfully did. Among many other things, Gillard’s scheme made hydroelectricity artificially more price competitive in the energy market. In turn, Tasmania’s government owned hydroelectricity operator (Hydro Tasmania) became positively giddy with excitement… and greed.

And then, to profit from this, Tasmania's government drained their reservoirs selling off all of their stored water. In the middle of a drought. Read the whole thing - it just gets stupider and stupider.

A perfect example of a bureaucracy at work.

In the pay of Big Oil

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Who? The Oil companies themselves - it is called diversification. If oil prices go down, the market share for carbon indulgences skyrockets. From Carbon Pulse:

Ex-Morgan Stanley carbon trading head joins Shell
A former London-based head of emissions trading at US investment bank Morgan Stanley has joined the trading arm of oil major Shell, Carbon Pulse has learned.

Dougal Corden joined the firm’s London-based carbon team this month and will focus on cross-commodity options, according to a well-placed source.

All in bed together:

He was head of emissions and cross-commodity options at Noble Group between 2014 and 2015, after leaving Morgan Stanley as an executive director of commodities in the summer of 2013 following an almost seven-year stint.

Prior to that, Corden was an environmental products trader at Shell rival BP.

The Global Warming swindle is very profitable to a small group of people and they are vested in keeping this swindle going for as long as possible. Us taxpayers are just collateral damage.

Quite the day for nearby earthquakes

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Got the little one this morning and now this - from Canada's CBC News:

5.2 magnitude earthquake detected off Vancouver Island
A 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the west coast of Vancouver Island, near Port Hardy, Friday around 3:38 p.m. PT.

Earthquake Canada says the earthquake was not felt, and no tsunami was expected.

It struck in the Explorer plate in the north end of the Cascadia subduction zone. The Cascadia subduction zone is the one that is overdue for a large quake. A lot of radio operators are participating in a program called Cascadia Rising this June to test our communications in a time of disaster.

Skynet? Is this you?

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From the IEEE Spectrum:

What’s Frying the Electrical Systems on BART Trains?
It’s an engineering mystery. Last month, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains traveling east under the San Francisco Bay began failing due to damage to electrical propulsion equipment. The problem dramatically escalated, and on Monday, 29 February alone, 40 cars went down. By the end of that week, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, BART had 80 cars out of service for repairs. Frustrated commuters packed into the remaining, working cars on shorter than usual trains.

At the time, BART engineers said the evidence pointed to some kind of power surge, but couldn’t identify the cause, leading media to call the mysterious cause the “tube gremlin.”

Skynet? Here

Shaking things up a bit - Trump

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I would much prefer Ted Cruz as our next President but Donald is unsettling all the right people. From Huffington Post:

Donald Trump’s Working-Class Appeal Is Starting To Freak Out Labor Unions
Over the course of five weeks, Working America, the non-union affiliate of the AFL-CIO labor federation, did extensive canvassing in union-dense, blue-collar areas of Pittsburgh and Cleveland. They called it a “front porch focus group.” The idea was simply to listen — to let likely 2016 voters sound off about their thoughts and concerns headed into the presidential election.

What they discovered, among other things, was a lot of support for Donald Trump, the GOP front-runner. For months, this enthusiastic backing of the obnoxious billionaire had generally baffled the chattering class — not to mention the GOP and Democratic establishment. But to Working America canvassers, it made plenty of sense.

And of course, all the usual characters are acting up:

High-ranking labor officials are becoming increasingly outspoken in their warnings about the Republican front-runner. Earlier this week, Terry O’Sullivan, head of the powerful Laborers’ International Union of North America, attacked Trump as a “racist, sexist, prejudiced billionaire bully.” The members of O’Sullivan’s union tend to work in construction, the sort of demographic for which Trump’s economic message can resonate. 

At an AFL-CIO executive council meeting last month, officials vowed to start digging in more aggressively on the records of the Republican field — and Trump in particular. The federation has since launched a digital ad campaign, while its president, Richard Trumka, has traveled across the country to deliver speeches in union halls and talk individually to union members. He has called Trump an anti-American “bigot” who’s full of “baloney and bluster.”

The Union hierarchy is afraid of losing its power - they collect dues from the workers and use this money to campaign for specific (progressive) candidates who, when elected, cut the unions sweetheart deals on taxes and overlook such illegalities as engaging in political activity (those pesky Federal Statutes again). They very much had their place in American history but they have failed to adapt to modern times and are now dinosaurs serving no other purpose except to keep their officers wealthy and politically powerful.

Hillary just being herself

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Makes one wonder about all the curious deaths surrounding that family.

Hope you like working in the dark - from Bloomberg:

Venezuela to Shut Down for a Week to Cope With Electricity Crisis
Venezuela is shutting down for a week as the government struggles with a deepening electricity crisis.

President Nicolas Maduro gave everyone an extra three days off work next week, extending the two-day Easter holiday, according to a statement in the Official Gazette published late Tuesday. Maduro had originally said over the weekend that the extended holiday would only apply to state employees.

The government has rationed electricity and water supplies across the country for months and urged citizens to avoid waste as Venezuela endures a prolonged drought that has slashed output at hydroelectric dams. The ruling socialists have blamed the shortage on the El Nino weather phenomena and “sabotage” by their political foes, while critics cite a lack of maintenance and poor planning.

My bet is on lack of maintenance and poor planning. When they nationalized the grid, they tossed out the independent corporations that built and were maintaining their power plants and grid. And of course, this is the first time that anything like this has ever happened:

Venezuela has long suffered rolling blackouts that cripple public services and leave citizens in the dark for days at a time. The extended break seeks to further ease demand on Venezuela’s strained power grid and follows a forced reduction of hours at shopping malls and public institutions.

If Clinton gets elected, this is where we will be in ten years.

Buttercup's battery is shot. I was able to jump-start her but she definitely needs a new one. This one is five years old so par for the course...

Moved a bunch of wood and then did a quick trip into town to check on some stuff and get some things. Sorting a bunch of books for donation to our local library - Mom and Dad had a lot of great reference books as well as travel guides so those should be a good fit for our community.

Fixing a salad for dinner and heating up some of the Costco turkey breast with lots of cranberry sauce - I could live off the stuff. Took some photos for posting later tonight.

Got up to 55.3°F today - warming up and I saw a major harbinger of spring. There is a local produce truck-stand in Bellingham called Youngstock's (more here) and I saw people setting up today. This means that they are only a few weeks away from opening for business. They close in fall, sell Christmas trees and then close again for a couple months.

Color me surprised - not...

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Amazing news from the Associated Press:

US GOV'T SETS RECORD FOR FAILURES TO FIND FILES WHEN ASKED
The Obama administration set a record for the number of times its federal employees told disappointed citizens, journalists and others that despite searching they couldn't find a single page requested under the Freedom of Information Act, according to a new Associated Press analysis of government data.

In more than one in six cases, or 129,825 times, government searchers said they came up empty-handed last year. Such cases contributed to an alarming measurement: People who asked for records under the law received censored files or nothing in 77 percent of requests, also a record. In the first full year after President Barack Obama's election, that figure was only 65 percent of cases.

Truely this is the most transparent administration in history

Got the bastard

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Took 126 days but they found him - from the London Daily Mail:

'We got him!': Dramatic moment police caught the world's most wanted terrorist as ISIS fugitive behind Paris massacre is shot in leg after commandos use grenades to storm Brussels hideout
The world's most wanted man, a prime suspect in the Paris terrorist attacks, has been wounded and captured in a dramatic police raid in Brussels.

Salah Abdeslam was shot in the leg by police commandos following a four-month international manhunt and has been arrested in the district of Molenbeek in the Belgian capital.

The country's minister for asylum and migration, Theo Francken, confirmed the capture this afternoon announcing: 'We got him'.

I hope his last meal is a ham sandwich.

The NSA (National Security Agency) is a large secretive governmental organization that deals with security issues. From the Observer:

Hillary Has an NSA Problem
For a year now, Hillary Clinton’s misuse of email during her tenure as Secretary of State has hung like a dark cloud over her presidential campaign. As I told you months ago, EmailGate isn’t going away, despite the best efforts of Team Clinton to make it disappear. Instead, the scandal has gotten worse, with never-ending revelations of apparent misconduct by Ms. Clinton and her staff. At this point, EmailGate may be the only thing standing between Hillary and the White House this November.

Specifically, the Federal Bureau of Investigation examination of EmailGate, pursuant to provisions of the Espionage Act, poses a major threat to Ms. Clinton’s presidential aspirations. However, even if the FBI recommends prosecution of her or members of her inner circle for mishandling of classified information—which is something the politically unconnected routinely do face prosecution for—it’s by no means certain that the Department of Justice will follow the FBI’s lead.

And of course, Hillary is too politically connected for the FBI and the DOJ to prosecute her but something is brewing on the horizon:

Neither is the FBI the only powerful Federal agency that Hillary Clinton needs to worry about as she plots her path to the White House between scandals and leaks. For years, she has been on the bad side of the National Security Agency, America’s most important intelligence agency, as revealed by just-released State Department documents obtained by Judicial Watch under the Freedom of Information Act.

A bit more:

The documents, though redacted, detail a bureaucratic showdown between Ms. Clinton and NSA at the outset of her tenure at Foggy Bottom. The new Secretary of State, who had gotten “hooked” on her Blackberry during her failed 2008 presidential bid, according to a top State Department security official, wanted to use that Blackberry anywhere she went.

That, however, was impossible, since Secretary Clinton’s main office space at Foggy Bottom was actually a Secure Compartment Information Facility, called a SCIF (pronounced “skiff”) by insiders. A SCIF is required for handling any Top Secret-plus information. In most Washington, D.C., offices with a SCIF, which has to be certified as fully secure from human or technical penetration, that’s where you check Top Secret email, read intelligence reports, and conduct classified meetings that must be held inside such protected spaces.

But personal electronic devices—your cellphone, your Blackberry—can never be brought into a SCIF. They represent a serious technical threat that is actually employed by many intelligence agencies worldwide. Though few Americans realize it, taking remote control over a handheld device, then using it to record conversations, is surprisingly easy for any competent spy service. Your smartphone is a sophisticated surveillance device—on you, the user—that also happens to provide phone service and Internet access.

Lots more at the site - this is a very in-depth article. Hillary could have used terminals provided for unsecure email in her office but she continued to use her Blackberry against all orders.

Coooold again last night

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Got a bit lower - 25.1°F

The good seeing lasted about an hour - went out a bit later and there was high haze and turbulance with lots of light pollution from Abbotsford. This is why I do not own a large telescope...

Take care of the critters and then off for coffee and picking up the pasteries for the store. Working at home today.

Had a small (2.7Mag) earthquake in central WA about an hour ago - closest town is Entiat. There is a faultline there and this was the site of a major quake in 1872 with enough earth movement to dam the Columbia River for a while. More on the faultline here.

Another nippy night

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Already down to 31.5°F and dropping fast.

Drop-dead gorgeous outside - very clear skies and good seeing - no twinkling of the stars. If I owned a decent telescope up here, this is one of the three or four nights I would actually be able to use it this year.

Back from town - condo and art show

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Back from town - got another garbage bag full of crap for the dumpster and got the last of the suitcases dropped off at Goodwill. I brought them to the store yesterday and gave away the good ones to workers and customers. Picked up 25 fence posts to keep Rocky and Sam out of the landscaping - they love to nibble the tender shoots.

The Lynden Craft and Antique Show was the same people as usual - I did get something nice for Lulu as she was sick during her birthday and we really haven't celebrated that yet. There was one booth with some metalworking but it was just CNC plasma cut yard art with no embellishment or craft. I need to start stepping up my game here as those pieces were selling for $60 to $150 for basically $10 worth of plate steel and the use of a $6K machine. I also picked up a nice copper Repoussé Saw Whet owl. Bears are my spirit animal but owls are a close second.

Long day tomorrow as it will be nice weather and I want to clean up the fallen tree branches. There are some branches still partly attached to the main body of the tree so I picked up two more 25' lengths of chain so I can choke it and then be far away when I use Buttercup to pull the branch down. Get a tree person in this fall to clean up after the leaves have fallen.

Do they really think that we are that unobservant? From Politico:

Democrats sound alarm against Trump
Leading liberals and progressive groups are turning their gaze away from the Democratic primary and toward efforts to unite the left against Donald Trump, framing him as a dangerous and unprecedented candidate who poses an existential threat to the progressive movement and the nation.

Ad campaigns are in the works. There are calls for massive voter mobilizations and screeds from leading donors circulating within liberal circles. Major labor groups are organizing their members on the ground in swing states. Within the Democratic Party apparatus, top elected leaders are beginning to speak out both collectively and individually in ways that reach beyond standard presidential-year posturing. The sense of urgency in some corners of the left is high enough that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a progressive icon who has gone to great lengths to avoid being part of the Democratic presidential conversation in 2016, hinted on Monday that she might soon get involved with the effort to stop Trump.

A bit more:

“This is a five-alarm fire for our democracy. A hate-peddling bigot who openly incites violence is the likely presidential nominee of one of our nation’s two major parties,” reads the letter, signed by leaders of groups as varied as MoveOn, the Sierra Club, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Greenpeace. “It is alarming and dangerous. Donald Trump’s candidacy is a threat to the America we love, and we must respond to him and what he is stoking as such.”

Which is why the Sierra Club and Greenpeace have totally jumped the shark. And to remind you, the groups mentioned are all 501(c)3 federal non-profit organizations and are prohibited from any political lobbying or campaigning under Federal Statutes.

I posted about this yesterday - you can demonstrate all you want. You are still a marginal group of whiners being funded by very rich old white dudes.

A great new Win10 utility

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From Ultimate Insider:

GWX Control Panel
This is a free tool that can remove and disable the 'Get Windows 10' notification area icon on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Recent versions can also disable 'Upgrade to Windows 10' behavior in the Windows Update control panel and do much more. See the user guide at the Ultimate Outsider blog.

I tried it and it works great. We will see if MSFT tries anything new bot for now, my machine is nice and nag-free.

Our rulers are clueless idiots

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Yet another example of this - from the Washington Examiner:

State will miss deadline to declare Islamic State Christian genocide
The State Department announced Wednesday that it will miss the congressionally-mandated deadline for deciding whether the murder of Christians in territory controlled by the Islamic State should be deemed a genocide.

In 2015, President Obama signed a provision in the omnibus government funding bill requiring Secretary of State John Kerry to determine by Thursday, March 17 whether the Islamic State's actions legally constitute genocide. But State Department spokesman Mark Toner said Wednesday that Kerry will let that deadline lapse, and ask for more time.

More:

"Given the scope and the breadth of the analysis [Secretary Kerry] is contemplating, he will not have a final decision completed by the congressionally-mandated deadline tomorrow," Toner said.

"This is clearly of the utmost importance to him, as well as Congress, and we expect him to reach a decision very soon," he added. "We don't take lightly the issue of a delay like this."

On Monday, the House unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Obama administration to recognize the Islamic State's actions as genocide.

"scope and the breadth" - give me a fscking break. Kerry is a clueless ninny. A moron and I insult all the wonderful morons out there. There is no in-depth analysis going on here, he is avoiding making a statement that will hurt the poor feelings of those terror-mongers he is so desperately trying to appease.

Got down to 25.2°F last night - glad I didn't have any veges in the garden or they would be mush now - this is a hard time of year because it is so tempting to put stuff in the ground but we always have a couple more cold snaps in store. Have to wait another month before it is safe to plant.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to everyone - I will be studiously avoiding any bars - amateur hour out there.

Heading into town to sort more books - processed about ten percent of the overall collection and there are cartons of books in the storage locker as well.

Glad I run an ad-blocker

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Some nasty stuff out there - from Ars Technica:

Big-name sites hit by rash of malicious ads spreading crypto ransomware [Updated]
Mainstream websites, including those published by The New York Times, the BBC, MSN, and AOL, are falling victim to a new rash of malicious ads that attempt to surreptitiously install crypto ransomware and other malware on the computers of unsuspecting visitors, security firms warned.

The tainted ads may have exposed tens of thousands of people over the past 24 hours alone, according to a blog post published Monday by Trend Micro. The new campaign started last week when "Angler," a toolkit that sells exploits for Adobe Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, and other widely used Internet software, started pushing laced banner ads through a compromised ad network.

And the update:

Update: According to a just-published post from Malwarebytes, a flurry of malvertising appeared over the weekend, almost out of the blue. It hit some of the biggest publishers in the business, including msn.com, nytimes.com, bbc.com, aol.com, my.xfinity.com, nfl.com, realtor.com, theweathernetwork.com, thehill.com, and newsweek.com. Affected networks included those owned by Google, AppNexis, AOL, and Rubicon. The attacks are flowing from two suspicious domains, including trackmytraffic[c],biz and talk915[.]pw.

The ads are also spreading on sites including answers.com, zerohedge.com, and infolinks.com, according to SpiderLabs. Legitimate mainstream sites receive the malware from domain names that are associated with compromised ad networks. The most widely seen domain name in the current campaign is brentsmedia[.]com. Whois records show it was owned by an online marketer until January 1, when the address expired. It was snapped up by its current owner on March 6, a day before the malicious ad onslaught started.

Nasty stuff - I use a different kind of adblocker - the MVP Hosts file available here: Blocking Unwanted Connections with a Hosts File

You need to download the file, extract it and run the small batch file. This will install the hosts file on your system and any attempt to load an advertisement or malware simply gets directed into the ole' bit bucket. Works great and if you want, you can edit the file as new malware sites go online. I also uninstalled Flash as it is a security mess. Most videos use HTML5 and don't need Flash anyway.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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Baby it's cold outside.

The rain clouds blew away this afternoon and tonight is drop-dead clear. Radiation cooling brings us to below freezing - it is now 30°F outside. Glad I didn't plant anything in the garden just yet. The farm is about three to four weeks behind Bellingham.

Not so much - from Canada's National Post:

‘It’s not free’: Canadian health care insurance almost doubles in cost during last decade as average family pays $12K
Canadians may like to believe they have access to free health care, but a new report squashes those illusions.

An average Canadian family pays $12,000 per year for health care insurance and those costs have nearly doubled in the last decade, according to a Fraser Institute report.

“Contrary to the way we find (health care insurance) is characterized, it isn’t free,” Bacchus Barua, co-author of the study said.

The think-tank found that health care insurance costs for all Canadians increased by 48.5 per cent to an estimated $8,205 from $5,527 in the last decade.

Health care insurance costs are also rising 1.6 times faster than the average Canadian income, the report says, leading Barua to have an issue with the system.

“When health care insurance is growing faster than income, it’s an indication you can’t sustain it,” Barua said.

Follow the money:

Barua said many Canadians may believe health care insurance is free because they never see a bill for medical costs and it doesn’t have a dedicated tax.  It is instead funded by general government revenue that is collected from multiple sources such as Employment Insurance, the Canadian Pension Plan, property taxes, sales taxes, and import duties.

The report also suggests that Canadians living in provinces with health care premiums may be inclined to believe that they cover the full cost.

“However, the reality is that these premiums cover just a fraction of the cost of health care and are paid into general revenues from which health care is funded,” the report says.

Makes a lot of sense - until Medicare kicked in, the only insurance I could find was about $900/month despite my being very healthy and having both parents die at extended ages (Dad - 94, Mom - 87). If they deregulated it and let the competition of the open market kick in, costs to end users would tumble.

Linux for Intel chips

Interesting project from Intel - the Clear Linux Project

From their website:

The Clear Linux Project for Intel® Architecture is a distribution built for various Cloud use cases. We want to showcase the best of Intel Architecture technology, from low-level kernel features to complex applications that span across the entire OS stack. We're putting emphasis on Power and Performance optimizations throughout the operating system as a whole.

Clear Linux OS for Intel Architecture is focused on the Cloud. Our aim was not to make yet another general-purpose Linux distribution; sometimes lean-and-fast is better than big-and-universal. So while we include many software components from the OpenStack* Foundation, we chose, for example, not to include a GUI or printing support.

Note - this is for power users. There is no graphic user interface. Looks interesting - something to consider if I need to set up a server. It beats out a lot of the other distributions in most benchmarks.

YouTube channel - Hydraulic Press

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There are some really esoteric YouTube channels out there - I love Joerg Sprave's Slingshot Channel, Cody's Lab is always interesting.

Here is some guy in Eastern Europe with a Hydraulic Press (riffing on the wonderful BlendTec "Will it blend" YouTube channel):

Someone is having way too much fun!

Busy day today

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Got a really late start this morning - could not wake up. Got coffee and headed into town. The bookstore bought one of my three boxes of books. Tomorrow I will go through the ones they did not want and use that to 'filter' the remaining books I bring them. Got a nice $59 from the one box though - not too shabby!

The Lynden Craft and Antique Show runs this next few days - I am picking up a bunch of fence posts to horse-proof some landscaping and will swing by there to check out. Get ideas for projects and blacksmithing.

The latest Trump advertisement

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Gotta love it - he is spot on:

What a bunch of whiners

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From Breitbart:

Anti-Trump Groups Threaten ‘Largest Civil Disobedience Action of the Century’
With little fanfare and almost no news media attention, some of the same radical groups involved in shutting down Donald Trump’s Chicago rally last week are plotting a mass civil disobedience movement to begin next month.

They intend to march across the East Coast in order to spark a “fire that transforms the political climate in America.”

The operation, calling itself Democracy Spring, is threatening “drama in Washington” with the “largest civil disobedience action of the century.” The radicals believe this will result in the arrest of thousands of their own activists.

“We will demand that Congress listen to the People and take immediate action to save our democracy. And we won’t leave until they do — or until they send thousands of us to jail,” the website for Democracy Spring declares, channeling rhetoric from the Occupy movement.

And of course, follow the money:

The group is backed by numerous organizations, including the George Soros-funded groups MoveOn.org, the Institute for Policy Studies, and Demos.

Another bunch of very rich old white males - anyone else see the hypocracy in this?

When the HVAC guy was fixing my furnace, he delivered the invoice on a very slick application for his tablet. I asked and he spent a few minutes showing me some of the features - pretty amazing. It stores the customer data in a cloud and when the home office enters a service ticket, the tech can call it up on their tablet or phone (both apple and Android). Need directions? There's a map function with GPS. Payment through a card reader, all sorts of scheduling options, inventory, job quotes, etc.. This puppy is deep!!!

It costs from $10 to $40/month per user depending on the features you use. There is also an initial setup fee to enter the data into the database.

If you have a business that uses remote technicians dispatched from a central office, check out Field Force's Tracker - good stuff!

UPDATE: It seems that We The People are speaking up - more below:

From DNA info/My Chicago:

Chicago Police Hid Mics, Destroyed Dashcams To Block Audio, Records Show
Why are so many police dashcam videos silent?

Chicago Police Department officers stashed microphones in their squad car glove boxes. They pulled out batteries. Microphone antennas got busted or went missing. And sometimes, dashcam systems didn’t have any microphones at all, DNAinfo Chicago has learned.

Police officials last month blamed the absence of audio in 80 percent of dashcam videos on officer error and “intentional destruction.”

A DNAinfo Chicago review of more than 1,800 police maintenance logs sheds light on the no-sound syndrome plaguing Police Department videos — including its most notorious dashcam case.

Maintenance records of the squad car used by Jason Van Dyke, who shot and killed Laquan McDonald, and his partner, Joseph Walsh, show monthslong delays for two dashcam repairs, including a long wait to fix “intentional damage.”

To Protect and Serve. This is disgusting and it needs a thorough housecleaning starting with the chief.

More:

On June 17, 2014, police technicians reported fixing a dashcam wiring issue in police vehicle No. 6412, the squad shared by Van Dyke and Walsh, about three months after it was reported broken, records show.

A day later, the same vehicle's dashcam system was reported busted again. It took until Oct. 8, 2014, to complete repairs of what technicians deemed “intentional damage,” according to reports.

Just 12 days later, on Oct. 20, 2014, dashcam video recorded from squad car No. 6412 on the night Van Dyke shot and killed McDonald did not record audio. The video that went viral showing Van Dyke killing Laquan was taken from a different squad car, but it, too, had no audio.

And on Nov. 21, 2014, a review of 10 videos downloaded from Van Dyke's squad car dashcam determined it was “apparent … that personnel have failed to sync the MICs [sic],” police records show.

Van Dyke has been charged with first-degree murder in Laquan's shooting. And Walsh, who filed reports backing up Van Dyke’s version of events that didn’t jibe with the video of the shooting, has been placed on desk duty as criminal and disciplinary investigations continue.

With all the Mike Brown bullshit, the cops need a clean record of all of their actions and not just a pick and choose when it suits them. They may not have an elected position but they are servants of the public and need to act that way.

UPDATE - from BuzzFeed:

Embattled Chicago Prosecutor Loses Tough Primary Focused On Police Accountability
Embattled Chicago prosecutor Anita Alvarez, who came under intense public scrutiny after city officials waited 400 days to release video of a police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, was defeated in a tough primary election Tuesday.

With more than 85% of Chicago’s precincts reporting Tuesday night, challenger Kim Foxx was leading Alvarez by 18 points, and the Associated Press called the race.

In an election that centered on police accountability in Chicago, Alvarez, the two-time incumbent Cook County State’s Attorney, faced challenges for the city’s top prosecutor job from Foxx and Donna More, both female prosecutors.

I love that people are starting to wake up...

And good riddance - Marco Rubio

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He had some great qualities but he was too much of a go-along to get-along RINO to be a good president. Ted Cruz (or even Donald Trump) are who we need right now.

From the Miami, Florida CBS affiliate:

Marco Rubio Suspends Campaign After Losing Florida Primary
“I want to congratulate Donald Trump on a big victory in Florida.” With those words, Marco Rubio opened his speech to supporters in Miami Tuesday night after learning Trump won the GOP primary in Rubio’s home state.

“While it is not God’s plan that I be President in 2016 or maybe ever, and while today while today my campaign is suspended, the fact that I’ve even come this far is event of how special America truly is and all the reason more while we must do all that we can to ensure that this nation remains a special place. I ask the people do not give in to the fear, do not give in to the frustration.”

With those words, Marco Rubio’s quest for the White House came to an end.  Inside a packed lobby at Florida International University’s arena, Miami’s native son sounded like he left it all on the court.

Let us hope that he sees the error of his ways and becomes a strong voice for conservatism in the Senate.

Met with the HVAC repair person and he got the furnace running fine - the assembly for the pilot light had failed. No pilot, no flame, no heat...

Got another bag of trash for the dumpster and dug out all of their suitcases - already given away four of them plus a briefcase. Got about five left to give away or donate to goodwill. Much better to have them go to people I know than just an anonymous drop-off. Lots of memories there.

I am at the store now - had a huge burrito for lunch and am too full to eat dinner so heading out for a couple pints of cider and then home.

Fun and games - condo

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Was noticing that the condo felt a little cool yesterday. I normally keep the furnace ticking over at around 55°F to keep things from freezing. Ran it up to 90°F for an hour and no change. Took off the panel and did not see any flame although the igniter was ticking every minute or so.

Got a service rep coming in this afternoon to look at it. Off to coffee and then town.

About those gun free zones

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Great news from Seattle - from FOX News:

Customer with concealed carry permit fatally shoots ax-wielding attacker at 7-Eleven
A customer at a 7-Eleven store outside Seattle shot and killed a masked man who attacked a clerk with an ax early Sunday.

Investigators said the shooting happened at the store in White Center at approximately 5:45 a.m. local time. Witnesses said the man entered the store and swung a hatchet toward the customer before turning his attention to the clerk.

As the assailant attacked, the customer pulled out a pistol and fired, hitting the suspect. The clerk suffered minor injuries to his stomach and the suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

The customer who shot the suspect is described as a 60-year-old Seattle man who visits the store every morning to get coffee. His name was not immediately released.

Authorities said the man who shot the attacker had a concealed carry permit and likely would not face charges as a result of his action.

"This could have been a lot worse,” King County Sheriff’s Sergeant Cindi West told KCPQ. “The clerk could be the one laying there dead on the floor right now.”

The motive for the assault was not clear. Investigators said the ax-wielding man remained silent throughout the assault. The assailant's identity was not immediately revealed, and authorities described him only as a man in his 40s.

The assailant was obviously bent on inflicting serious injury and the clerk was wounded. Imagine if the customer was not armed - what would have happened? The plan fact is, more guns = less crime. An armed society is a polite society.

Pi Day

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Got goosebumps - Hallelujah Chorus

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The story - from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir website:

A video produced by the Church in cooperation with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir features the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square in large virtual choir. Singers from all over the world submitted videos singing their vocal part of Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus. These were then compiled together with a performance of Choir and Orchestra to make an amazing virtual choir. These videos are part of the way we are lifting up our voices to say what “Hallelujah” means: Praise Ye, the Lord! at this Eastertime.

Back from town - Condo and meeting

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Condo is coming along - got another two trashbags and some more books sorted. Village Books (the buyer) takes about a week to inventory and price books brought in for sale so I am getting another couple of cartons ready for when they call me.

Meeting was about the Cascadia Rising drill (here, here and here). By taking part in this drill, we will rehearse the organization and logistics of responding - each in our own area of expertise. Fun stuff and it will come in handy one of these days...

Could not get to sleep last night - was wide awake at 3:00AM so took a couple Benedryl - got a good sleep but was narked out all morning. Early bedtime here.

Happy Pi Day

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20160314-piday.jpg

Hillary - Obama all over again

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Remember Barry's "electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket"?

Here is Hillary promising to put a lot of Coal Miners and Coal Companies out of business:

She is saying that green energy will replace the jobs but green energy always fails when the government subsidies are removed. It is not able to stand alone on its two feet.

Those two are cut from the same ideological cloth...

As the storm passes

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Got some good gusts and the lights flickered a couple of times but the power stayed on and there was no damage here. Someone commented earlier that the weak trees had already been culled by last Thursday's storm.

Was on for the radio net except they switched to a mode of operation that does not reach me out here. Need to build a larger antenna and put it up on the roof...

Long day tomorrow - in town working at the condo and then a meeting at 7:00PM

One of the largest cracks in the facade of the whole Anthropogenic Global Warming scam is Sea Level. They say it is rising from the melting ice. I say no - the ice is not melting enough to cause the rise and also, inconveniently, the rise is happening at different rates at different points on the planet. Something else must be at the heart.

My thought was tectonics - the plates that make up our continents are in constant motion relative to one another - some are riding up on others that are diving down.

From Dr. Mireia Altimira writing at Mapping Ignorance:

Mantle convective flow determines the depth of the ocean
The depth of the ocean is directly related to the behavior of the tectonic plates. Studies conducted so far have assumed that the sea floor depth depends solely on its age. However, these results do not match the experimental measurements.

The work developed by Adam and Vidal shows that the convective flow of the underlying viscous mantle plays a strong role on the plates’ movement and, therefore, on the sea-floor depth.

 The paper by Adam and Vidal can be found here: Mantle Flow Drives the Subsidence of Oceanic Plates

Big tip of the hat to Musings from the Chiefio for the link.

Quote of the month

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Nothing can excuse a general who takes advantage of the knowledge acquired in the service of his country, to deliver up her frontier and her towns to foreginers. This is a crime reprobated by every principle of religion, morality, and honor.
--Napoleon Bonaparte's Military Maxims

That is Maxim #71 - remind anyone of a certain president? Barry? Anyone?

Say hello to Echo Voyager

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Some very cool technology coming from Boeing:

WTF? Hellfire missiles

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From The Oregonian:

Bomb-sniffing dog discovers 2 Hellfire missiles bound for Portland
Serbia's authorities are investigating reports that a cargo package bound for Portland contained two missiles with explosive warheads on a passenger flight from Lebanon.

N1 television said the package with two guided armor-piercing missiles was discovered Saturday by a sniffer dog after an Air Serbia flight from Beirut landed at a Belgrade airport.

Serbian media say documents listed the final destination for the AGM-114 Hellfire missiles as Portland. The American-made projectiles can be fired from air, sea or ground platforms against multiple targets.

There is a serious hole in our security if something like this can even start. Take down an airplane.

Global Warming in perspective

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Here is a real look at Global Warming from 1880 to 2010:

20160313-warming.jpg

Enough said... Tip of the hat to Powerline.

A perfect example of why we need to level the playing field for all businesses. From USA Today:

27 giant profitable companies paid no taxes
Death and taxes are supposed to be two certainties of life. But a few companies have at least escaped the taxes part.

There are 27 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500, including telecom firm Level 3 Communications (LVLT), airline United Continental (UAL) and automaker General Motors (GM), that reported paying no income tax expense in 2015 despite reporting pre-tax profits, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

We have the highest corporate tax rate of any nation - we need to cut this down to 10% and strip out all the loopholes and exemptions. Federal revenues would skyrocket (Laffer Curve) and businesses would flourish.

It's coming

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Wind is picking up here - starting to gust and the lights flickered a few minutes ago.

It is moving in from the South - Seattle was hit pretty hard - from station KOMO:

1 dead as powerful windstorm slams Western Washington
One person is dead and nearly 250,000 people were in the dark Sunday afternoon as a powerful windstorm slammed Western Washington.

Seattle Fire Department officials said a man died when a tree fell onto their car in the 8500 block of Seward Park Blvd. A passerby saw the crash and rescued a toddler girl from the backseat. That girl was taken to Harborview Medical Center to be treated for minor injuries.

Power is out for many people:

Winds gusting in the 50-60 mph range have already knocked out power to nearly 250,000 people, including over 150,000 PSE customers and 45,000 Seattle City Light customers. Snohomish PUD reported 25,000 in the dark while Grays Harbor PUD reported 10,000 in the dark along the coast as winds hit 60 mph there as well. Power outages were reported in Tacoma PUD and Peninsula Light.

Got the furnace cranked up so if power goes out, the house will remain warm for the night. Our electrical utility has their work cut out for themselves. I have the radio running on battery power for tonights net - see how many others have power...

Defining liberalism

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From an email - this is classic:

Liberalism at its core is rooted in the overwhelming desire for a reality that is different than what exists. Liberalism starts when a person gives themselves permission to construct and maintain an internal reality of their choosing, no matter how much at odds with the outside reality that may be. The external world becomes something to "relate to". The external world is something that imposes itself on where they live and think. The external world thus becomes the place from which to pick and choose the raw materials, the ideas, memes, concepts and such, from which to construct and to decorate their internal reality.

So, to a liberal, reality can be whatever they please for the moment.

The spiritual implications are severe. A liberal never, at least in his own mind, commits sin. Anytime a liberal violates is own rules, he can give himself a pass, a plausible excuse. Since every feature and aspect of his reality only exists because he allowed it there, when a third party objects to any idea a liberal puts voice to, he has objected to a feature of the liberal's own identity. This is why liberals have such quick and such violent reaction to any counter-argument. You have not only disagreed with them, you have nullified a part of their self-identity, you hater!

When a person can never commit sin, they never have to repent nor ask forgiveness, nor ask for propitiation of their sins. Of course, when a person denies their sin, it means the natural spiritual penalties of those sins are still taking their toll on their lives. It is only natural that liberals are deeply troubled people who have no way to escape the natural consequences of their failures. They cannot go to God and ask for forgiveness. And even if they did, God cannot forgive a person who refuses to repent.

So, liberals can never acknowledge that humans are flawed and cannot be made perfect.

In the world of the liberal mind, horrible human failings can just be wished away, or in the case of guns, decreed to be forbidden. Liberals cannot envision that anyone would not obey a government decree, even as they give themselves permission to ignore any government decree that they may object to.

Thus, government must restrict the private use of firearms, but must not restrict a woman from aborting her own unborn child.

It is my theory that a person becomes a liberal in early teens when they give themselves permission to never transition from the play world of children's dreams to the adult world of the hard realities of life. I think one of the components of this failure is that parents fail to continually pull the child into the hard realities of life. Now, as to how parents do this or fail to do this I do not yet know. But if you have children, in your child rearing consider how you can help them to transition from the play world of childhood dreams into the reality of life.

From the Las Vegas Sun:

‘Pawn Stars’ celeb Chumlee arrested during raid, faces drug charges
The man known to millions of cable TV viewers as Chumlee on the reality show "Pawn Stars" was being held late Wednesday in a Las Vegas jail following his arrest on felony weapon and drug charges.

Austin Lee Russell, 33, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on Wednesday. His bail was set at $62,000.

He is facing 19 drug possession charges and one count of possession of a gun by a prohibited person, jail logs show.

The felony gun charge indicates a prior felony conviction. Quite the lifestyle...

The whole world is watching

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Looks like the third week in July in Cleveland, Ohio will be a place to avoid.

From Newsbusters:

'Black Lives Matter': We Will 'Shut Down' GOP Convention If We Can
Shades of 1968 and the Days of Rage? Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors has announced that "any opportunity we have to shut down a Republican convention, we will."

Appearing on today's Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, Cullors also blithely spoke of "the murder of Mike Brown" in Ferguson, MO. Neither of the co-guest hosts sitting in for Harris-Perry, Richard Liu and Janet Mock, challenged Cullors' characterization.  This despite the fact that even Eric Holder's Justice Department found no wrongdoing on the part of the police officer who shot Brown.

The title of this post? From here:

As a reminder - this was in 1968 and the protest was against the Democratic party of John F. Kennedy 
Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country

Google translated from this website (Google translate)

More than a million Monarch butterflies die frozen in Michoacan
Almost half million Monarch butterflies in Michoacan died frozen by the recent snowfall recorded temperatures of 12 degrees below zero, says Homero Gomez Gonzalez, president of the Board of Directors of the El Rosario sanctuary.

However, they have found that many still breathe and fly again as the sun melts the snow.

According to his calculations, three percent of the 50 million butterflies arrived this season to the nature reserve died frozen and buried, after the snow generated by the winter storm reach 11 to 35 centimeters thick.

On the other hand, the official says Lepidoptera have found that many still breathe and fly again as the sun melts the snow.

Getting warmer? The boots on the ground data do not say so.

Nothing much this morning

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Daylight savings so will spend a day or two resetting the circadian clock. Heading out for coffee in a few minutes - got food and treats out to the critters.

Working at home today - into town tomorrow for more work at the condo and a meeting tomorrow evening. Radio net tonight.

Compact Fluorescent bulbs - bye bye

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And good riddance - Bill Whittle, Steven Green and Scott Ott - Trifecta

The Sound of Silence

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Great rendition - going to Google the band and see what else they have:

Disturbed "The Sound Of Silence" (Official Video) from Warner Bros. Records on Vimeo.

Yikes - olive oil shortage

Now this is bad news - I love olive oil and cook with it all the time. From CNN:

Go easy on that dressing! There's an olive oil shortage
Olive oil prices spiked 20% in 2015, after drought and disease devastated a big part of Europe's olive crop, and industry experts are forecasting a similar increase this year.

Global production of the oil dropped by a third last year, data from the International Olive Council show.

Spain, which produces about 40% of the world's olive oil, experienced an unusually hot and dry summer in 2014. That led to the worst harvest in nearly 20 years, farmers say.

And not just the weather:

Millions of olive trees in Italy, which produces 20% of the world's olive oil, have been attacked by a deadly disease.

European officials have ordered a widespread cull in the worst affected areas of southern Italy, in an attempt to contain the outbreak.

My oil of choice is the Costco Greek Extra Virgin - they do have an organic variety but it is blended from various nations and olive oil is not something prone to pesticide carry-over. Tried both and prefer the taste of the Greek. My go-to salad dressing is a freshly squeezed lemon, good sized pinch of sea salt and grind or two of fresh pepper and some olive oil. Bright and yummy - you can drink it straight.

Why do aircraft have swept wings

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An interesting answer - nicely done short video:

Tip of the hat to Popular Mechanics for the link.

From the London Daily Mail:

Chris Matthews at center of new NBC scandal as it emerges guests on his show Hardball gave his wife at least $79k to fund her political campaign
Despite saying last June that he would be 'transparent and fair in our coverage' when his wife announced she was running as a Democrat for the open seat in Maryland's 8th District, it seems MSNBC Hardball host Chris Matthews has gone back on his word.

Guests on his long-running cable-news show - mainly current and former prominent politicians - have contributed at least $79,050 to Kathleen Matthews's campaign - and her husband hasn't uttered a word about the money.

Why am I not surprised. Rules are for thee and not for me...

The FDA on animal poop

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Make it stop - please. From Reason:

The FDA Looks to Crack Down on Manure (Again)
Last week, the FDA announced it would investigate the use of manure and other biological matter.

Manure is animal poop. Rich in nutrients, it's been used by farmers as fertilizer for thousands of years.

But the agency is skeptical of the safety of the practice.

"The FDA is planning to conduct a risk assessment to determine how much consumer health is put at risk by the use of raw manure as fertilizer in growing crops covered by the final [Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)] Produce Safety rule, and what can be done to help prevent people from getting sick," the agency detailed. "Before starting the assessment, the agency wants the help of stakeholders in the produce industry, the animal agriculture industry, academia and members of the public in developing the model for this work."

And this is not their first rodeo:

As I've detailed for years, the FDA's proposed FSMA rules would have forced small farmers "to adopt onerous, expensive, and unnecessary farming practices and procedures" that included "tough new regulations for using organic fertilizer," including compost and manure.

Pushback from small farmers and their supporters around the country forced the FDA to reconsider the worst of the proposed FSMA rules. Reconsider the agency did. And now they're back, beating the same drum.

Of course, the fact something like fertilizing crops with manure has been done a particular way for tens or hundreds or thousands of years doesn't make it safe.

So typical - the government agency proposes something, people out in the field don't think it would be useful and campaign to have it shut down. The government tables the idea for five years and tries to ram it through again. These people are not representing us.

Interesting development - North Korea

From CNN:

First on CNN: U.S. says North Korean submarine missing
The North Korean regime lost contact with one of its submarines earlier this week, three U.S. officials familiar with the latest information told CNN.

The U.S. military had been observing the submarine operate off North Korea's east coast when the vessel stopped, and U.S. spy satellites, aircraft and ships have been secretly watching for days as the North Korean navy searched for the missing sub.

The U.S. is unsure if the missing vessel is adrift under the sea or whether it has sunk, the officials said, but believes it suffered some type of failure during an exercise.

Tensions have heightened on the Korean peninsula following a fourth North Korean nuclear test and joint U.S.-South Korean military drills.

Just wonderful. As if they cannot get any crazier. I really feel sorry for their citizens - it will be amazing when the regime falls and they are allowed to find out that the rest of the world is not as evil as it is now portrayed.

Wind - round two

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Cliff Mass outlines what is in store for us Sunday evening.

Sunday Windstorm
Weather prediction models are pretty much all onboard in predicting the approach of a small, but potent, low pressure center on Sunday afternoon and evening.   Let me show you the latest  WRF model forecasts.  These maps present the predicted pressures (solid lines), winds (little barbs), and temperature.

Fortunatly, the majority of its punch will be to our South but it will be passing overhead Sunday evening so be prepared. In like a lion as they say...

A three-fer.

First - from CNN/Politics:

At rally, Trump lashes out against 'planned attack'; protester tries to rush stage
Donald Trump on Saturday denounced the protests that led him to cancel a scheduled rally the previous night in Chicago, calling them "a planned attack" that was "professionally done."

Second - from The Gateway Pundit:

BREAKING: TERRORIST BILL AYERS PROTESTS DONALD TRUMP IN CHICAGO
Obama buddy and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers was seen protesting Donald Trump in Chicago today.

The link has photos and links to more.

Finally, from Alex Jones:

SOROS FUNDED MOVEON.ORG TAKES CREDIT FOR VIOLENCE IN CHICAGO
Ilya Sheyman, a failed Illinois contender for Congress and the executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, has taken credit for the violence at a canceled Trump event last night in Chicago. He promised similar violence and disruption will occur at future Trump political events leading up to the election.

How ironic that the paymaster for morons.org is a solid member of the 0.001% - a capitalist tool.

From Rolling Stone:

Keith Emerson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer Keyboardist, Dead at 71
Keith Emerson, founding member and keyboardist of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and a prog rock legend, died Friday. He was 71. His bandmate Carl Palmer and the trio's official Facebook confirmed Emerson's death. TMZ reported that police found Emerson with a single gunshot wound to the head, though they could not confirm that Emerson died by suicide. "We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family’s privacy and grief be respected," the band wrote.

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and brother-in-music, Keith Emerson," Palmer wrote in a statement. "Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz. I will always remember his warm smile, good sense of humor, compelling showmanship and dedication to his musical craft. I am very lucky to have known him and to have made the music we did together."

The giants are leaving us one by one. Emerson was an inspiration to my music - he was amazing. Here he is from 2007 at the Moogfest in NYC - introduction by Bob Moog:

Oh Hell No!

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From the Skagit Herald's Skagit Breaking news website:

Another High Wind Warning in Skagit and Whatcom Counties for Sunday March 13th
Skagit County- The details are extremely unclear at this point, but the National Weather Service is forecasting another windstorm on Sunday.  The actual magnitude of the winds, the direction they will be blowing and where they are expected to be the strongest have not been pinned down yet, but western Washington will most certainly affected by Sunday’s storm.

It is likely that the brunt of the storm will hit the coastal counties worst, but Skagit and Whatcom counties may experience winds at least equal and possibly stronger that we saw on Thursday.  This together with weakened trees and structures may result in additional power losses and damages.

Who ordered this?

109 Miles per Hour on Baker

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Ho Li Crap

Well rats - tried to embed the video but it is giving me a security block. Just visit the website link below and watch it there:

From the Mt. Baker snow report website.

Came home after a day in town - two pints of cider at my local and driving home, saw the outside lights in their effulgent glory. Yay!

Dropped three boxes of books to the bookstore and have two bags of trash for the shop dumpster. Progress is being made. I am holding off on getting the eBay computer set up at the condo as I know myself too well and performance will take a hit when there is a blogging machine available... While I was in town, I finally stopped by the local Makerspace - they didn't have much the few times I had been by earlier. Now starting to be worth the membership. Been looking at using a Laser and now they have a nice one.

Got a nice bottle of red open and having a glass or two while checking email and surfing for a bit. Another meeting on Monday for Emergency Communications stuff. Learning this is a lot of fun and a useful skill to have - at yesterdays WECG meeting four people demonstrated their bug-out radio kits including one using a Windows tablet that can send digital messages (emails and attachments) and it fit into a small pouch. Maybe 1/3 cubic foot. Commercial off-the-shelf too so cheap to put together. Fun time to be alive and I plan to keep it that way...

Back later this evening - I will probably grab something to eat in town.

Well now... That was fun

We had a big wind storm move through here last Wednesday night. I lost power around 4:00AM Thursday morning. Had a meeting in town and went by the condo - the stove and microwave were blinking 12:00 so power had been lost there as well.

Coming home from the meeting I saw that power had been restored to the store but as I drove home, things got very very dark. No power at home. I lit some candles, had a couple glasses of wine and finished a book I had been reading. Around midnight I said screw it and drove back to the store and spent the night there.

Did the pastry run to Glacier and then went home to check. As of a few minutes ago, power is still out at the house.Heading into town to sell some books and do some more cleaning. Lost a couple of trees on the property including some large limbs from a cedar right next to my shop. One of the branches grazed the side of the building taking out a window and bending some of the roofing - very lucky!

Photos in a day or two...

Thug life

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Another post that writes itself. No mention if Mr. Herrea was a legal citizen. From Breitbart:

Suspect Puts Gun to Taxi Driver’s Head, Doesn’t See Cop Behind Him
On March 8, a suspect put a gun to the head of a taxi driver and demanded all his money, but failed to notice that the car directly behind the taxi was a police cruiser.

Another of Obama's dreamers fundamentally transforming America.

The science is settled of course - those pesky deniers are making things hard for those of us who want to become very rich and powerful save the world (and pay no attention to that man behind the curtain)..

From Melanie Hunter writing at CNS News:

AG Lynch: DOJ Has Discussed Whether to Pursue Civil Action Against Climate Change Deniers
Attorney General Loretta Lynch acknowledged Wednesday that there have been discussions within the Department of Justice about possibly pursuing civil action against so-called climate change deniers.

“This matter has been discussed. We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action on,” Lynch said at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Justice Department operations.

Ideas so good they must be mandatory...

A good meeting

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Good meeting tonight - we have built a solid core group of people, been in existence for a bit more than one year so now it is time to start growing the base.

We are now in contact with the local School District and in the Fall information packet for students, we will provide individual copies of the FEMA Family Planning Guide (PDF - a great resource for those new to emergency preparation - something to download and print out) as well as other materials specific to our organization and location. Getting the radio station installed in the Fire Hall in a couple weeks - had to build a mount for the antenna.

Sometimes it seems as though we are not making any progress but we look back a couple months and a lot has been done...

Culture shift - France

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An interesting shift in eating habits here - from the UK Telegraph:

'Le burger' now top selling dish in French restaurants, new study reveals
For the guardians of French gastronomy, the prospect of being served something as unsophisticated as a slab of mincemeat with a bap and slice of cheese would long have been considered sacrilegious.

Today, however, the tables have turned. In a culinary revolution, three quarters of French restaurants now sell hamburgers and 80 per cent of these say it has become their top-selling dish, according to a new study.

Gourmands are spinning in their graves.

Jon Snow's sword Longclaw

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The making of - fascinating bit of blacksmithing - great idea for Damascus - the three-core twist.

Rain again

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Settling in for a week of heavy rain. Got a bunch of stuff done outside before it started to today was a productive one.

National Weather Service just released a Winter Weather Advisory for heavy snow and wind.

From West Virginia's Charleston Gazette-Mail:

Agency investigates lawmaker who distributed raw milk to celebrate bill passage
A West Virginia lawmaker who passed out cups of raw milk to celebrate passage of a raw milk-related bill says the unpasteurized beverage had nothing to do with an intestinal virus that plagued a number of House of Delegates members and staffers last weekend.

Heh...

Funny slight of hand

French magician Yann Frisch:

Fun stuff. He has minimal Wikipedia entry.

About that coal burning automobile

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Singapore gets it right - from Road & Track:

Singapore Government Fines Tesla Model S Owner for Excessive Emissions
By most commonly-held definitions, the Tesla Model S is a zero-emissions vehicle—the all-electric vehicle has no tailpipe, and emits no exhaust while driving. That's not a convincing argument for Singapore's Land Transport Authority, however: The agency hit Singapore's first Tesla Model S owner with a tax of S$15,000 (roughly $10,840), ranking his electric sedan in the dirtiest category of high-pollution automobiles.

Channel NewsAsia brings us the story of Joe Nguyen, who has spent several months trying to import a Model S he purchased in Hong Kong. This being the first time the Land Transport Authority tested a Model S, Mr. Nguyen didn't know exactly what to expect. But he certainly didn't anticipate being fined.

How Singapore rates automobiles:

Singapore's government operates a Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS) to encourage its citizens to buy low-pollution vehicles. The cleaner the vehicle, the larger the tax rebate; the greater the emissions, the heavier the surcharge. A car that emits less than 95 grams CO2 per kilometer driven is eligible for S$30,000 in rebates (roughly $21,680); a vehicle that emits more than 230 grams CO2 per kilometer gets hit with a S$30,000 tax. Fines and rebates are added to or deducted from Singapore's annual vehicle registration fees; see the full breakdown here.

Some more:

"As for all electric vehicles, a grid emission factor of 0.5 g CO2/Wh was also applied to the electric energy consumption. This is to account for CO2 emissions during the electricity generation process, even if there are no tail-pipe emissions. The equivalent CO2 emission of Mr Nguyen's car was 222g/km, which is in the CEVS surcharge band," the spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia.

Heh - just because there are no emissions at the automobile, this does not eliminate the fact that generating the electricity generates pollution. That 'ole bogyman CO2.

Free medical care in Portugal

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Let's all move there - from The Portugal News

Doctors charge top nurse for letting euthanasia cat out of basket
The Portuguese medical association is to file charges with the public prosecutor and the health inspectorate against the leader of the nurses association, Ana Rita Cavaco, who said on Saturday that euthanasia was already practiced in Portuguese health service hospitals.

Ms Cavaco said on the radio programme “Em nome da lei”, broadcast by Catholic station Rádio Renascença, that euthanasia “is sometimes practiced in the health service hospitals, with doctors suggesting this solution for some patients”.

A bit more:

Ana Rita Cavaco said on the radio programme that she had seen situations in state hospitals where doctors suggested giving insulin to terminal patients to cause coma and death.

“I have personally witnessed such situations - I don’t need to look for further other examples. I have seen cases where doctors have suggested administering insulin to induce an insulin coma. I am not going to shock anybody as everyone who works in the health service knows these things happen out of sight and sound, so let’s talk about it openly.”

Portugal has free medical care - this new feature coming to Obamacare in 3... 2... 1... The death panels - remember them?

Democratic National Committee Chair Schultz is our own version of Baghdad Bob (more here)

From The Weekly Standard:

DNC Chair: 'There's No One Facing the Threat of Indictment on Our Side'
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz insisted in an interview last night on Fox News that no Democrat running for president is facing an indictment.

"There's no one facing the threat of indictment on our side," Wasserman Schultz told Fox News's Megyn Kelly.

"There's an open DOJ and FBI investigation into Mrs. Clinton right now," Kelly responded.

"Right," replied Wasserman Schultz. "Let's not be melodramatic."

Kelly said, "Those are the facts."

And the DNC chair laughed.

Talk about being clueless - cognitive dissonance in action.

Trailer - filmed almost entirely on GoPro cameras.

Project website: Hardcore Henry

Spending the day at home

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Heading out for shower and coffee and then back home to work on some stuff. Mucking out the garage and going through my bookshelves.

Have a BERT meeting tonight and then a WECG meeting tomorrow. Will do a recycling run tomorrow as well as take in some books to sell.

More spew later today...

UPDATE - Bellingham Herald has 19 images of the aftermath. Awful. I knew that area very well - lived near there and visited restaurants and shops there frequently.

Huge natural gas explosion in the wee hours of this morning.

Seattle station KING-5 has more:

9 firefighters hurt, 3 businesses destroyed in Seattle explosion
Nine firefighters were injured when an apparent natural gas explosion destroyed several buildings in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood early Wednesday morning.

A gas leak was first reported at 1:04 a.m. The explosion tore through the neighborhood 39 minutes later.

“The windows are blown out for half a block on all sides. So it was a huge explosion. It was extremely loud. It was out of control. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” said one neighbor.

“It felt like the earthquake in 2001,” said another neighbor. “I looked out the window and my neighborhood exploded.”

The firefighters went to Harborview Medical Center with minor injuries mostly involving cuts and abrasions. All nine were released by 8 a.m. The Seattle Fire Department said there were no reports of anyone missing.

I can not imagine what it would be like to get a call that my grocery store had suffered a similar fate. To impact one's livelihood in such sudden and violent means...

Some visitors to the farm

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Grace let herself out about 30 minutes ago and commenced to bark up a storm. Finally hauled my sorry a** out of bed to take a look - this is unusual behavior for her.

There were two coyotes hanging out in the pasture as nonchalant as can be. She would advance and they would back off keeping about 50 feet between them and her but they made zero effort to leave.

I went downstairs and opened the kitchen door and they trotted back into the woods. Going to have to get my rifle out of the safe and keep it handy for the next couple of days. Thinking about cleaning out an old coop and getting a dozen chickens - not a good thing to have the yotes so fearless.

No idea where this originated but presented for your edification:

20160308-gun.jpg

Always classy - President Obama

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From Breitbart comes this:

FLASHBACK: Obama Insulted Nancy Reagan on Day One
President Barack Obama’s decision to skip Nancy Reagan’s funeral in California on Friday in favor of attending the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Texas is not the first time Obama has insulted the former First Lady.

On Nov. 7, 2008, at his very first press conference after winning the election, President-elect Obama cracked a nasty joke at Nancy Reagan’s expense, referring to stories that she consulted an astrologer in the White House.

He is skipping the funeral to attend a fscking music, film and tech show? Hey Barry - do your job this once. The Reagan's had more class in their little toe than you have displayed during your entire time in office... Have fun golfing while you are down there.

Well crap - RIP George Martin

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From The Hollywood Reporter:

George Martin, Producer and Arranger for The Beatles, Dies at 90
George Martin, the “Fifth Beatle” and British treasure who signed the Fab Four to a label contract when no one else would, produced virtually all their songs and introduced lavish arrangements into “Yesterday” and “A Day in the Life,” has died. He was 90.

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr shared the news on Twitter, writing "Peace and love... George will be missed." A Universal Music Group spokesperson confirmed Martin's death, though details are not yet clear.

The producer, executive, arranger, musician and British knight was behind a whopping 23 No. 1 singles in the U.S. and 30 in the U.K.

As the heavenly choir just gets better and better and better...

That light at the end of the tunnel?

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For the Chipotle restaurant chain, that light is an oncoming train... From the Boston, MA CBS affiliate:

Billerica Chipotle Closed After Employee Diagnosed With Norovirus
A Chipotle in Billerica has been shut down temporarily after an employee was diagnosed with norovirus and two others reported similar symptoms.

A bit more:

The Chipotle in Billerica voluntarily closed earlier in the day after four employees called out sick. One of those employees tested positive for norovirus, two others are suspected to have the virus. Cases among customers have not been reported.

Four people sick? That is a lot. Billerica is a suburb of Boston, MA - about 30 miles to the Northwest.

Finally back home. Started on sorting through my Dad's library (the books are in cartons closest to the garage door is the reason I started there). My favorite bookstore buys used books and they prefer to receive them in chunks of a couple boxes at a time so this is perfect. Going through and weeding out my own library as well. Lots of old stuff I do not need to refer to.

One of the MBARC members did a nice presentation on his antenna building - something I want to get into more. One of the antennas he brought in was a Super J-Pole (more here). Looks like a fun couple-day project for when it is raining. Performance is supposed to be really good once you get it tuned up properly. Had dinner at a really nice restaurant - I had always passed it by as it looked like a dive but read a favorable review online and the food was really good. The trick is walk through the really sad-looking dining room, turn right down the hallway and go into the rockin' bar. Lots of people and the food was basic bar food but really well done. Had a BLT sandwich with fries and it was tasty.

Allergies are starting to kick in on schedule - taking the Costco AllerClear which works great but it takes a day or two to 'kick in'. I should be back to normal by Thursday or so but stuffed up for the last couple of days.

Surf for a bit - a glass or three of wine and then to bed.

Now this looks interesting

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From Dinesh D'Souza

Long day today - meetings this week

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Finishing breakfast and heating out to the barn to take care of the critters. Out for a shower and coffee and then into town for more work on the condo.

Meetings this week - Mount Baker Amateur Radio Club tonight, Baker Emergency Resource Team (nice new website) tomorrow and Whatcom Emergency Communications Group on Thursday.

Trying to arrange for a backhoe to come out and do a couple hours of work and not having any luck. My go-to digger just had rotator-cuff surgery and I cannot get anyone else to return my calls. Going to bite the bullet and just rent one for a day and do the work myself...

We have seen videos of these impressive robots before but Boston Dynamics just added a voice module:

From Seattle station KIRO:

Audit: State paying unemployment to people in jail
Many people in county jails are receiving unemployment benefits they're ineligible for, according to a state audit released on Monday.

Washington's auditor's office scrutinized eight county jails and identified 1,911 potential overpayments worth about $656,000 from July 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2014.

People in jail or prison aren't eligible for certain government benefits. To find incarcerated people who received unemployment benefits, the audit looked at jails in King, Pierce, Thurston, Clark, Spokane, Kitsap, Snohomish and Yakima counties, matching records of unemployment benefits to jail records such as Social Security number, last name and date of birth. But the employment department, which distributes unemployment money, can't access some of the confidential jail records necessary to find improper payments, according to a report by the auditor's office.

Why that's... criminal Sounds like the bureaucrats need to spend some quality time in the graybar hotel themselves for not finding this scam. Our tax dollars at work.

From the New York Post:

Chuck Schumer’s already setting up the next mega-bank-bailout
Remember when, after the 2008 financial meltdown, both parties really wanted to end “too big to fail” — it’s just that they couldn’t agree on how to do it? It turns out that neither party really wants this — at least not if that principle interferes with business as usual.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is leading the bipartisan charge to allow banks to take risks they shouldn’t be taking again.

Two years after the 2008 financial crisis, President Obama enacted the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law to stop such a thing from happening ever again. But the law wasn’t enough, Obama said at the bill-signing. “Regulators will have to be vigilant,” he said, and not be fearful of “powerful interest groups.”

It turns out one of those powerful interest groups determined to block change is . . . Congress.

Since the law passed, the Federal Reserve and other regulators have been trying to get the banks to reduce risky lending. One proposed Fed rule would force banks to hold enough “easy-to-sell” investments so that in a crisis, they could sell them to raise enough money to support themselves for 30 days, without having to turn to the government for help.

More at the site but I am retching too hard to cut and paste. This is just unreal. Banks should have absolutely zero ties to investment companies. This is what the Glass–Steagall Act was all about and when Bill Clinton signed the legislation repealing it, that was when our problems started. Chuck the Schmuck needs to keep his effing hands off the financial markets - he is just a tool of the 1%. It is interesting to note that Bernie Sanders wants to reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act. A Sanders presidency would be much better for this nation than a Hillary Clinton presidency...

The Go programming language

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Just got turned onto it - development was started in 2009. It takes your Go code, generates C code and compiles it to run on Linux, Windows or MAC.

I had been looking at LUA for a couple small projects but LUA is a script language much like Java where a Go program will generate executable code - no interpreter needed. Much better performance.

Generating C code means that you can link to the millions of available C libraries out there (high-end math, controlling equipment, vision, audio, etc...)

Go home page and the FAQ

Uncle Bill reads Hillary's new book

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Supposed to be a cautionary tale and not an instruction manual...

Thought so - from Science Alert:

Scientists who found gluten sensitivity evidence have now shown it doesn't exist
In one of the best examples of science working, a researcher who provided key evidence of (non-celiac disease) gluten sensitivity recently published follow-up papers that show the opposite.

The paper came out last year in the journal Gastroenterology. Here’s the backstory that makes us cheer: The study was a follow up on a 2011 experiment in the lab of Peter Gibson at Monash University in Australia. The scientifically sound - but small - study found that gluten-containing diets can cause gastrointestinal distress in people without celiac disease, a well-known autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten. They called this non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Gluten is a protein composite found in wheat, barley, and other grains. It gives bread its chewiness and is often used as a meat substitute: If you’ve ever had 'wheat meat', seitan, or mock duck at a Thai restaurant, that’s gluten.

Gluten is a big industry: 30 percent of people want to eat less gluten. Sales of gluten-free products are estimated to hit $US15 billion by 2016.

Although experts estimate that only 1 percent of Americans - about 3 million people - actually suffer from celiac disease, 18 percent of adults now buy gluten-free foods.

And the second survey?

The subjects cycled through high-gluten, low-gluten, and no-gluten (placebo) diets, without knowing which diet plan they were on at any given time. In the end, all of the treatment diets - even the placebo diet - caused pain, bloating, nausea, and gas to a similar degree. It didn’t matter if the diet contained gluten. (Read more about the study.)

"In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten," Gibson wrote in the paper. A third, larger study published this month has confirmed the findings.

The sheer number of people wanting to avoid gluten has always struck me as some kind of hysteria. I know there is the 1% with Celiac but everyone and their granny were jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon. Of course, this new result will be publicized by the media and the food industry (who are making $15 Billion/year off this fetish) and a general sense of calm and well-being will be restored to the dinner table.

If you believe that, I have a slightly used bridge in Brooklyn, New York that you might be interested in buying. Wonder what the next one will be...

Judge Jeanine Pirro (hat tip Maggie's Farm

I think I am in love...

Look north tonight - UPDATE below

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We are getting hit with something. The Planetary K-Index is a good proxy for aurora prediction and anything over six can be a great chance for people along the Canadian border.

20160306-kindex.gif

The chart is synced to Coordinate Universal Time (Greenwich Mean) and is eight hours ahead of Pacific Standard.

UPDATE - from SolarHam:

Strong Geomagnetic Storm (UPDATED)
A high speed solar wind stream containing extended periods of southward Bz is contributing to an unexpectedly strong geomagnetic storm (Kp6 - Kp7) at higher latitudes. Visible aurora is being reported from many locations across northern Europe and Scandinavia. Sky watchers in Canada, the northern Tier USA and Alaska should be alert once dark outside should the solar wind conditions persist.

Now she was a real First Lady

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RIP Nancy Regan

20160306-nancy.jpg

H.R.C. is a two-dimensional maquette compared to Nancy - not even fit to drink her bongwater.

Great Moments In Socialism

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From the excellent redpanels.com - a new discovery for me.

20160306-minimum.jpg

Spending 45 minutes at the store and then home for the evening. Ham radio net tonight.

Was working at the condo and also visited the home and garden show. A bunch of vendors were selling very overpriced crap (knives, specialty water, kitchen unitaskers) but it was good to see some new ideas. Ran into a couple people I know so that was fun.

Home for a salad, some Costco turkey breast with mashed potatoes and garden peas and lots and lots of cranberry sauce. No such thing as too much cranberry sauce.

Happy Birthday Lulu

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Best birthday wishes my love!!!

An Earthquake of Magnitude 4.7 off the coast - from the USGS

Makes a lot of sense to me - allergies

I had heard this anecdotally for some time - nice to see it codified.

From the New York Times:

More Support for Early Exposure to Peanuts to Prevent Allergies
Evidence is accumulating that food allergies in children might be prevented by feeding peanuts and other allergenic food to infants in their first year of life, researchers reported here Friday.

That finding would challenge the recommendation of the World Health Organization that babies be fed exclusively breast milk for the first six months of life.

“At least as far as peanut is concerned, I would recommend parting from that,” Dr. Gideon Lack, professor of pediatric allergy at King’s College London, said in an interview.

Dr. Lack was the senior author of a study last year that found feeding peanuts to young children starting when they are 4 to 11 months old sharply reduced the risk of their developing peanut allergies.

That upended the conventional wisdom that it is best to avoid introducing peanuts until children are older.

On Friday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which helped pay for that study, issued proposed new guidelines recommending that children at risk of peanut allergies be fed peanuts starting at 4 to 6 months of age, though they should be tested first to make sure they do not already have an allergy.

Makes a lot of sense - our immune and allergy systems are forming in infancy and if they are presented with something new, they can "wire up" a solution. A child that is older has no defense. Not suggesting that a toddler be handed a PB&J sammich but with some judicious testing (patch test), you can see if feeding some creamed PB baby food is a good thing. Nursing exclusively for too long can isolate the kid from the real world. You need to get some infections to build up your immune system.

I am also worried about the constant use of hand sanitizers - these are fine when on the road or visiting a strange place. I also wipe down surfaces at home and at the store during flu season but constant use is not a good thing.

More at the site - this was a fairly well-done study with what appears to be a decent p-value. Tip of the hat to the excellent BarfBlog for the link.

From the London Daily Mail:

David Miliband dragged into Hillary Clinton email scandal after it emerges confidential British intelligence was sent to presidential hopeful's private account
David Miliband was dragged into the Hillary Clinton email scandal today, after it emerged that confidential information which he had provided ended up in her unsecured private account.

Mrs Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for the 2016 presidential election, has come under fire over revelations she had a secret email account as Secretary of State.

She has repeatedly insisted that she did not send or receive any classified information on her private account.

Our nation is in the best of hands - why is this woman not in jail?

From the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science):

Scientists gear up to drill into ‘ground zero’ of the impact that killed the dinosaurs
This month, a drilling platform will rise in the Gulf of Mexico, but it won’t be aiming for oil. Scientists will try to sink a diamond-tipped bit into the heart of Chicxulub crater—the buried remnant of the asteroid impact 66 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs, along with most other life on the planet. They hope that the retrieved rock cores will contain clues to how life came back in the wake of the cataclysm, and whether the crater itself could have been a home for novel microbial life. And by drilling into a circular ridge inside the 180-kilometer-wide crater rim, scientists hope to settle ideas about how such “peak rings,” hallmarks of the largest impact craters, take shape.

“Chicxulub is the only preserved structure with an intact peak ring that we can get to,” says University of Texas, Austin, geophysicist Sean 
Gulick, co–chief scientist for the $10 million project, sponsored by the International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) and the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program. “All the other ones are either on another planet, or they’ve been eroded.”

At the end of March, a specially equipped vessel will sail from the Mexican port of Progreso to a point 30 kilometers offshore. There, in water 17 meters deep, the boat will sink three pylons and raise itself above the waves, creating a stable platform. By 1 April, the team plans to start drilling, quickly churning through 500 meters of limestone that were deposited on the sea floor since the impact. After that, the drillers will extract core samples, in 3-meter-long increments, as they go deeper. For 
2 months, they will work day and night in an attempt to go down another kilometer, looking for changes in rock types, cataloging microfossils, and collecting DNA samples (see figure, below). “We’ve got one shot to try and get this down to 1500 meters,” says David Smith, the IODP operations manager at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, U.K.

Very cool - more at the site. In the 1950's Mexico's oil company Pemex took corings and discovered unusual crystalline formations hinting at a cataclysm. Now we will explore this in detail.

A point to consider

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Back home again

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Started in on the books today. Brought in the two remaining folding tables and set up in the living room. My Dad collected a lot of really rare books on exploration and climbing. I am keeping (and reading) all the maritime and polar regions volumes but need to find a good home for the climbing/mountaineering ones. He collected a lot of crap too - he was fond of this group that would reprint classics whose copyrights had expired. These were visually good looking books but no real value. Got two more bags of trash for the dumpster - things are starting to move along...

Had chinese in town and out to my local where they still didn't have the hard cider I like.

Surf for a bit and depending on weather tomorrow, I may work on the farm or at the condo.

It is Lulu's birthday tomorrow but she (and her son) have been hammered with a flu that has been going around. We will have to have a surrogate birthday celebration in a week.

Meeting over

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Took a bit over one hour - the water board is planning to replace all the meters so people needed to discuss this. The user owns the meter and these are about $200 each.

Heading into town to work on the condo. Turned out to be a gorgeous day!

Long day today - meeting

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Got feed out to the critters.

Off for shower and coffee and then a water board meeting.

Heading back to the farm after that.

Bellingham Technical College is a trade school offering classes in the industrial arts - basically a STEM boot camp. I love the place and have taken a bunch of classes in welding and machining. They just got their accreditation to offer a Bachelor's Degree.

From the Bellingham Herald:

BTC gets OK to offer its first bachelor’s degree
Bellingham Technical College has received approval to offer its first bachelor’s degree.

BTC expects to offer a Bachelor of Applied Science in Operations Management starting in fall 2016.

Graduates with such a degree can find careers in businesses and industries ranging from fisheries to refineries. BTC’s initial focus will be on manufacturing and information technology. Graduates are expected to be on track for higher-level, higher-pay positions such as production managers or operations managers.

The bachelor’s degree will be a two-year degree added on top of an existing associate’s degree or previous bachelor’s degree. Students without those can start from scratch at BTC, earning an associate’s degree and then the bachelor’s.

The technical college received approval for the degree Feb. 4 from the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges.

BTC President Kim Perry called the approval a “landmark moment” for the college and a boost for the community.

Very cool - they do really good work. They also offer classes in the culinary arts - this program caters the school cafeteria so those lunches are awesome...

Cognitive dissonance certainly seems to be manifesting in the District of Columbia - from The Washington Post:

Psychologists and massage therapists are reporting ‘Trump anxiety’ among clients
To the catalogue of anxieties her patients explore during therapy — marriage, children, and careers — psychologist Alison Howard is now listening to a new source of stress: the political rise of Donald Trump.

In recent days, at least two patients have invoked the Republican front-runner, including one who talked at length about being disturbed that Trump can be so divisive and popular at the same time, said Howard, who practices in the District.

Spend so much time surrounded by your groupthink peers and when a contradictory idea comes in from the outside, it can hurt. The link to groupthink is a fascinating read - here are the eight symptoms:

Type I: Overestimations of the group — its power and morality

    1. Illusions of invulnerability creating excessive optimism and encouraging risk taking.
    2. Unquestioned belief in the morality of the group, causing members to ignore the consequences of their actions.

Type II: Closed-mindedness

    1. Rationalizing warnings that might challenge the group's assumptions.
    2. Stereotyping those who are opposed to the group as weak, evil, biased, spiteful, impotent, or stupid.

Type III: Pressures toward uniformity

    1. Self-censorship of ideas that deviate from the apparent group consensus.
    2. Illusions of unanimity among group members, silence is viewed as agreement.
    3. Direct pressure to conform placed on any member who questions the group, couched in terms of "disloyalty"
    4. Mindguards— self-appointed members who shield the group from dissenting information.

Pretty much describes the thinking process of the entire entrenched political system. Time to divert the Potomac and flush the whole place out. Start over.

Happy 100th Birthday Dad

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Yesterday was his 100th birthday. Didn't write about it but spent some time at his gravesite in my yard. The flowering dogwood tree my employees bought me is budding out nicely and sending some new shoots.

I miss them both but feel them around me all the time.

Back home - early night

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Spent the day at the condo - got two more bags of trash to go to the dumpster and almost done converting all the lights to LED. Starting to replace the dimmers and switches with Decora units - much nicer looking and not that expensive.

Had a steak in town and was planning to wash it down with a couple pints of cider at my favorite local but they were out. Their only choices for beer were either way to hoppy or way to malty (I had a bud light with my steak and it was just right).

Early bedtime anyway - got the annual general meeting for the water board tomorrow morning. Since I am the president of this august group, I need to be there to run the meeting.

Ted Cruz is my choice. Trump is too malleable.

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Under Democrat rule - Detroit

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The facts are damning - Bill Whittle takes a look at our cities and the criminals who run them:

From James Delingpole writing at Breitbart:

Yale University is to close its Climate & Energy Institute.
With sweet serendipity, the heartbreaking announcement on the university’s website coincides with the news that the institute’s founding head Rajendra Pachauri has been formally charged with sexual harassment.

How different things were in 2009 when the Institute was launched, with great pride and fanfare, by Yale University president Richard C Levin.

YCEI will provide seed grants, support postgraduate study, sponsor conferences and workshops, and foster interdisciplinary research spanning from basic atmospheric science to public policy. Nearly 100 Yale scientists, engineers, physicians, social scientists and policy experts have joined together to launch the enterprise.

In those days, man-made global warming was still very much the fashionable cause of the moment and Pachauri – a former railway engineer, novelist, vegetarian and tantric sex guru – was at the peak of his influence as chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The die-hards are looking for any rationalization for this cut and not finding much:

But one possibility is that no one in their right mind gives a damn about “climate change” in a world where there has been no “global warming” for nearly 19 years – and can certainly think of better ways to spend their money than funding research into a non-existent problem.

The announcement comes only a month after Australia’s leading scientific bureau – the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) – decided to abandon its research into “climate change” with the loss of more than 300 jobs.

Wrote about that on February 3rd of this year. Warms the cockles of my heart to see common sense and real science prevail over marxist narrative and groupthink.

Dr. Levine? He is America's Time Lord. I kid you not.

A nice biography can be found at JILA

Quite the eruption in Ecuador

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From Wired:

Ecuador’s Tungurahua Volcano Is Spewing Ash 4 Miles High
This week has been a quite active one at Tungurahua. The Ecuadoran volcano has produced some impressive explosions that reached as high as ~7 kilometers (23,000 feet) and dusted ash across the region. A few pyroclastic flows have also been generated by this new activity, mostly heading down drainages to the northwest of the volcano. Incandescent blocks have been thrown (see below) up to a kilometer from the active crater. Volcanologists from the Tungurahua Volcano Observatory think that these moderate explosions could go on for a while, although they mention that there is a small chance that this could be precursory activity before a new intrusion of magma that might cause a larger explosive event similar to 2006.

That would be spectacular to see. Great photo:

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Clean bill of health

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The farrier came out to give Rocky and Sam their mani-pedi and gave them a clean bill of health. Rocky is a tad on the heavy side - all the new grass sprouting has a lot of sugar. Sam is doing great. He said to me as he was leaving, "whatever you are doing, keep doing it". Great to hear.

Down at the store now checking on it and then off for dinner and a couple pints of cider.

Who 'ya gonna call

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This looks fun:

From the Belfast, Ireland Telegraph:

Tsunami warning buoys failed as powerful earthquake hit Indonesia
All 22 tsunami warning buoys installed near vulnerable islands failed to work when a powerful earthquake struck off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesian officials said.

The buoys were inoperable because of vandalism or a lack of funds for operation and maintenance, Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

About the buoy network:

German and Indonesian scientists began installing warning buoys off Sumatra island a year after a magnitude-9.1 quake in 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries.

Geezz - vandalism I can see. A tempting target for the lone fishing boat looking for a light or battery. Poor maintenance is unreal - these people are dealing with a system that saves lives. They lost 230K people eleven years ago. Heads need to roll on this one.

About that Greenland Ice melt

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Not from CO2 or global warming. From Anthony Watts:

Another alarmist pillar collapses – Greenland melting due to old soot feedback loops and albedo change – not AGW
From the EARTH INSTITUTE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY and the “we told you so time and again at WUWT” department comes this study which not only explains the “insta-melt” in the Summer of 2012, but the ongoing melting that has been incorrectly blamed on CO2, when instead it’s all about older soot embedded in snow coming around again to enhance melting combined with weather pattern changes..

And what is happening:

The feedback loops work like this: During a warm summer with clear skies and lots of solar radiation pouring in, the surface starts to melt. As the top layers of fresh snow disappear, old impurities, like dust from erosion or soot that blew in years before, begin to appear, darkening the surface. A warm summer can remove enough snow to allow several years of impurities to concentrate at the surface as surrounding snow layers disappear. At the same time, as the snow melts and refreezes, the grains of snow get larger. This is because the meltwater acts like glue, sticking grains together when the surface refreezes. The larger grains create a less reflective surface that allows more solar radiation to be absorbed. The impact of grain size on albedo – the ratio between reflected and incoming solar radiation – is strong in the infrared range, where humans can’t see, but satellite instruments can detect the change.

Historical record:

The study used satellite data to compare summertime changes in Greenland’s albedo from 1981 to 2012. The first decade showed little change, but starting around 1996, the data show that due to darkening, the ice began absorbing about 2 percent more solar radiation per decade. At the same time, summer near-surface temperatures in Greenland increased at a rate of about 0.74?C per decade, allowing more snow to melt and fuel the feedback loops.

This is big - CO2 is the popular whipping boy for all changes in climate and weather. Not so. Carbon Dioxide is the gas of life and carbon is a friendly element in all forms.

Life during wartime - Syria

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From the Beeb:

Syria conflict: Massive power blackout across country
Syria has suffered a massive power blackout across the country due to "unknown reasons", state media said.

Officials were cited as saying power had been cut in all provinces and teams were trying to determine the cause.

The electricity ministry said power was being restored and service would resume by midnight (22:00 GMT), TV reported.

In most parts of war-torn Syria, electricity is already available only two to four hours a day, if at all. However, nationwide blackouts are rare.

And it just gets better:

Earlier on Thursday, Amnesty International said Russian and Syrian government forces appeared to have been deliberately and systematically targeting health facilities in the northern province of Aleppo in the past 12 weeks.

The human rights group reported that it had gathered "compelling evidence" of at least six deliberate attacks on hospitals, medical centres and clinics.

Those poor people - their nation is being used as a proxy battlefield for terrorist thugs and Russians (but I repeat myself).

A potential for disaster in Iraq

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Infrastructure - from England's The Guardian:

Mosul dam engineers warn it could fail at any time, killing 1m people
Iraqi engineers involved in building the Mosul dam 30 years ago have warned that the risk of its imminent collapse and the consequent death toll could be even worse than reported.

They pointed out that pressure on the dam’s compromised structure was building up rapidly as winter snows melted and more water flowed into the reservoir, bringing it up to its maximum capacity, while the sluice gates normally used to relieve that pressure were jammed shut.

The Iraqi engineers also said the failure to replace machinery or assemble a full workforce more than a year after Islamic State temporarily held the dam means that the chasms in the porous rock under the dam were getting bigger and more dangerous every day.

On Wednesday, the Iraqi government announced it had signed a €273m (£210m) contract with an Italian contractor to reinforce and maintain the Mosul dam for 18 months, following talks in New York between the Italian foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, and US and Iraqi officials. Italy has said it plans to send 450 troops to protect the dam site, but it is unclear how long it will take to replace damaged machinery and reassemble the required workforce.

Yikes! A bit more:

Nasrat Adamo, the dam’s former chief engineer who spent most of his professional career shoring it up in the face of fundamental flaws in its construction, said that the structure would only survive with round-the-clock work with teams filling in holes in the porous bedrock under the structure, a process known as grouting. But that level of maintenance, dating back to just after the dam’s construction in 1984, evaporated after the Isis occupation.

“We used to have 300 people working 24 hours in three shifts but very few of these workers have come back. There are perhaps 30 people there now,” Adamo said in a telephone interview from Sweden, where he works as a consultant.

“The machines for grouting have been looted. There is no cement supply. They can do nothing. It is going from bad to worse, and it is urgent. All we can do is hold our hearts.”

At the same time as the bedrock is getting weaker and more porous, the water pressure on the dam is building as spring meltwater flows into the reservoir behind it. Giant gates that would normally be used to ease the pressure by allowing water to run through are stuck.

For all that we consider the infrastructure in the USA to be failing, others have it a lot worse.

The surveillance state in Maryland

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Just wonderful - from The Washington Post:

Devices on public buses in Maryland are listening to private conversations
The Maryland Senate on Tuesday delayed action on a bill that would clamp down on when public buses and trains can record the private conversations of their passengers.

Sen. Robert A. Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings, which unanimously voted for the measure to move to the Senate floor, said he wanted the committee to address an amendment offered by some of those who are concerned about costs associated with the bill.

Actually, I am agreeing with this:

MTA began using recording devices inside some of its buses in 2012, without seeking legislative approval. Nearly 500 of its fleet of 750 buses now have audio recording capabilities. Officials say the devices can capture important information in cases of driver error or an attack or altercation on a bus.

Under the bill, recording devices would have to be installed near a bus or train operators’ seat. The devices would be controlled by the driver and could be activated only in the event of a public-safety incident.

They should go with HD video on a four-hour loop. If something breaks out, they can freeze the video and they will also see the actions that lead up to the event. If nothing happens, the data gets overwritten four hours later. This would be dirt cheap to implement.

Fun times in our little hamlet

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Up and out for coffee before the farrier gets here. Got my priorities.

A particularly nasty piece of work is getting out of jail on the 12th of this month - here is the store from when he was arrested last November - from the Bellingham Herald:

Man suspected of 60 burglaries near Maple Falls, Glacier
A man suspected of more than 60 burglaries could be the reason behind a dramatic spike in break-ins and thefts around Glacier, Maple Falls and Peaceful Valley this year, according to the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office.

Since January deputy sheriffs have taken at least 109 burglary reports — double last year’s number, and more than quadruple the annual figures from 2011, ’12, and ’13 — in the rural communities along Mount Baker Highway, according to the sheriff’s office.

At an Oct. 10 special briefing in front of Whatcom County Council members, Sheriff Bill Elfo said the main suspect is in jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Later, outside of council chambers, the sheriff’s office identified that man as Oleg Grigoryevich Fedchuk, 33. He’s been charged with residential burglary, trafficking in stolen property and possession of stolen property. More charges could be coming, Elfo told the council.

Chance of recidivism is high with this one:

Court records show Fedchuk was first convicted of home burglary at the age of 16. He spent the next eight or so years in and out of Whatcom County Jail, for crimes like unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of stolen property in the first degree and residential burglary.

Then Fedchuk moved away, to live in the Midwest for a few years. He returned to Whatcom County in 2014. Since last November the number of burglaries has skyrocketed in the Maple Falls area, according to the sheriff’s office.

And it's not just Oleg:

Detectives believe at least three other groups of burglars are working in the foothills. One suspect from one of those groups, Benjamin Frank Williams, 32, was arrested but released from jail on $1,000 bond, according to the sheriff’s office. Williams has been charged with burglary of a Silver Lake home and possessing stolen property from other local thefts.

Needless to say, people are banding together and keeping watch. There is a very active block-watch program.

Planning the garden

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I didn't know you could grow bacon from seed - going to have to look for them.

One of our county fire departments:

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Dog trials - New Zealand

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Beautiful:

Professor Shukla? From Bishop Hill:

Outlook bad for Shukla
Remember Jagadish Shukla, the American professor who called for racketeering laws to be used against sceptics? There was considerable interest when it was revealed that Prof Shukla appeared to be working full time for a charity he ran, as well as taking his university salary. This "double dipping" seems to have been brought to the attention of US lawmakers, who have asked auditors to investigate. It's not looking good for Prof Shukla:

According to [House Science Committee Chairman Lamar Smith]’s letter, the audit “appears to reveal that Dr. Shukla engaged in what is referred to as ‘double dipping.’ In other words, he received his full salary at GMU, while working full time at IGES and receiving a full salary there.”

Mr. Smith cites a memo from the school’s internal auditor in claiming that Mr. Shukla appeared to violate the university’s policy on outside employment and paid consulting. The professor received $511,410 in combined compensation from the school and IGES in 2014, according to Mr. Smith, “without ever receiving the appropriate permission from GMU officials.”

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Heh - just deserts. Schadenfreude

From The Washington Post:

Justice Dept. grants immunity to staffer who set up Clinton email server
The Justice Department has granted immunity to a former State Department staffer, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s private email server, as part of a criminal investigation into the possible mishandling of classified information, according to a senior law enforcement official.

The official said the FBI had secured the cooperation of Bryan Pagliano, who worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before setting up the server in her New York home in 2009.

As the FBI looks to wrap up its investigation in the coming months, agents are likely to want to interview Clinton and her senior aides about the decision to use a private server, how it was set up, and whether any of the participants knew they were sending classified information in emails, current and former officials said.

She needs to be behind bars for a long long time. We know that both the Russians and the Chinese hacked her server. In the latest tranche of emails, she talked about where Ambassador Stevens was located a few days before his murder in Benghazi. I wonder if Mr. Pagliano will suffer a fatal accident in the next month or two. It is not unknown for inconvenient people in the Clinton menagerie to die unexpectedly.

Back from town

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The Farrier is coming tomorrow morning so getting to bed a bit early tonight. Ran into a couple of friends at the local so we hung out and talked for an hour or two. Good to connect with people - we see each other in passing a couple times/week but never really sit down and catch up. I love living out here.

Off to town

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Well pump has been ordered but not in yet.

Heading into town to work on the condo for the day. Sorting through paperwork and setting up the eBay computer.

Just wow!

More here

So true...

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Interesting times - China and WWIII

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Things are starting to get a bit spooky. From War Is Boring:

The Pentagon Readies Backup Island in Case of Chinese Missile Onslaught
The United States can no longer count on its Pacific air bases to be safe from missile attack during a war with China. On the contrary, a 2015 paper from the influential RAND Corporation noted that in the worst case scenario, “larger and accurate attacks sustained over time against a less hardened posture could be devastating, causing large losses of aircraft and prolonged airfield closures.”

Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, due to its relative proximity, would be hardest hit. To up the stakes, China in September 2015 publicly revealed its DF-26 ballistic missile, which can strike Andersen Air Force Base in Guam — nearly 3,000 miles away — from the Chinese mainland. Andersen and Kadena are among the U.S. military’s largest and most important overseas bases.

Enter Tinian. The lush, small island near Guam is emerging as one of the Air Force’s backup landing bases. On Feb. 10, the flying branch announced that it selected Tinian as a divert airfield “in the event access to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, or other western Pacific locations is limited or denied.”

In the Pentagon’s 2017 budget request, it asked for $9 million to buy 17.5 acres of land “in support of divert activities and exercise intiatives,” the Saipan Tribune reported. In peacetime, the expanded Tinian airfield will host “up to 12 tanker aircraft and associated support personnel for divert operations,” according to the Air Force.

If the name rings a bell, this is the airstrip where both the Enola Gay and Bockscar took off for their final bombing runs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The most draconian anti-gun laws. Murder capitol of the USA. From the Chicago Tribune:

Homicides in Chicago this year double same period last year
Four homicides over the weekend and two more Monday morning pushed Chicago's homicide count so far this year to double the same period last year.

The city has recorded at least 95 homicides since the first of the year, compared to 47 last year, according to data kept by the  Tribune. The city has also more than doubled the amount of people shot - about 420 this year compared to 193 last year.

Celebrating 85 years of Democratic rule (and Thompson's rule wasn't exactly spotlesss either)...

Spirit animal

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Now that is a big ship!

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From the Puget Sound Business Journal:

After intense training, Puget Sound Pilots steer ship the size of a skyscraper into Elliott Bay
One of the world’s largest ocean carriers – the largest ship to ever call in the Western hemisphere – docked this morning about 8:25 a.m. at Seattle’s Terminal 18. Four Foss tugboats guided it into port.

For the Puget Sound Pilots, this was also a first. The pilots, who have been training to prepare for the ship's arrival, boarded the giant cargo ship in the waters off Ediz Hook in Port Angeles, to pilot the ship into its spot at Terminal 18, the largest container facility in the Pacific Northwest.

The trip in went well. "It's a beautiful ship,, " said Captain David Grobschmit, presidnet of PUget Sound Pilots (PSP) from on board. "Keep bringing 'em in," he said. "The guys (two of the PSP pilots) did an excellent job. Flawless."

He said there were no tense moments. "We're mariners," he said proudly. "We get up there on the bridge and we're at home."

The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, a 1,300-foot ship — longer than the Empire State building and wider than an NFL football field — came into Puget Sound waters about 3 a.m., traveling from China where it is based. The ship first stopped in Long Beach and Oakland before heading up to Seattle.

While the ship is capable of carrying 18,000 20-foot containers, it is carrying 12,877 containers as it heads into port here, having unloaded the rest in the California ports of call.

It was the 200,000 ton mega-container ship’s second voyage since it was built last year. Its inaugural voyage was just a few weeks ago to Los Angeles and Long Beach.

They used a simulator to train for this ship. I have seen photos of these - very realistic.

Dodging the bullet this time

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The forecast high winds hit the Olympic Penninsula and points South. Trees down in Seattle and the Hood Canal bridge closed to high winds. From Seattle station KIRO:

47,000 customers without power as wind advisory in effect for lowlands
A wind advisory is in effect for all the Puget Sound lowland locations and the north and central coast with potential wind gusts over 40 mph.

Sustained wind speeds are expected to be between 20 and 30 mph with the peak period on Tuesday afternoon.

A high wind warning is in effect for Pacific County for even stronger wind gusts.

So far, we have just had bursts of intense rainfall with some gusting up to 30MPH

Now this makes perfect sense

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Punnishment fits the crime - from the London Daily Mail:

Drug dealers will be executed by force-feeding them their own supply under new rules being considered in Indonesia
Drug dealers in Indonesia will be made to eat their own supply until they die if new rules are pushed through.

The country's National Narcotics Agency has suggested the punishment in a desperate bid to tackle growing drugs problems.

The proposal would strengthen already tough laws, which include death by firing squad if citizens are caught drugs trafficking.

Draconian but effective...

Spring in paradise

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National weather service has issued warnings for heavy rain and avalanche.

Just another normal springtime...

Two tales of one city

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A classic case of narrative trumping fact from Seattle - from Bearing Arms:

Shooting of “Deeply Beloved” Rapist Angers Seattle NAACP
On Sunday, a man by the name of Che Taylor was shot and killed in a confrontation with Seattle Police.

How that shooting was characterized by different parties, however, is as different as night and day.

Seattle independent news outlet The Stranger spoke with Seattle-King County NAACP President Gerald Hankerson, and presented a story that portrayed Mr. Taylor as the mostly-innocent victim of racist police officers.

On Sunday, Seattle police shot and killed Che Taylor, a black man from Seattle who was well-known in the community and deeply beloved, Seattle-King County NAACP President Gerald Hankerson said this morning.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he has one of the biggest funerals in Seattle,” he said.

And the facts? From the Seattle Times:

The felon who was fatally shot by two Seattle police officers Sunday reached for a handgun after ignoring commands to show his hands and get on the ground, Seattle police (SPD) said Monday.

Police released graphic dashboard-camera video and a detailed description of the incident, in what appeared to be an effort to quickly provide information on the shooting of the African-American man, identified as 47-year-old Che Andre Taylor.

Taylor, who also has gone by the name Marvin R. Hunter, had a lengthy felony record, including rape, robbery and assault, and he was under supervision by the state Department of Corrections, according to court records and a corrections spokeswoman.

A perfect example of the progressive mind at work - the story line take precedence over the facts. They can not admit that one of their precious snowflakes could be - at heart - an evil person. They have to blame anything else for the outcome. And, oh yeah, Taylor was a convicted felon so was not allowed to carry a firearm. Also, he was carrying six ounces of crack cocaine and black tar heroin. A real choirboy...

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Cobb
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Instapundit
iowahawk
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Neanderpundit
neo-neocon
Power Line
ProfessorBainbridge.com
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Samizdata.net
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Velociworld
Weasel Zippers
WILLisms.com
Wizbang


Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Allah
BigPictureSmallOffice
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
MegaPundit
Masamune
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Publicola
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

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