January 2017 Archives

Video from the USGS’s Hawaiian Volcano Observatory - starts off with a still photo and some narration but gets really good really quick (20 seconds or so):

Lighter longer

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Starting to really notice the return of sunlight as we move into spring. Last December's Solstice had sunset at 4:16PM with a day length of 8:15:44

Today, the sun set at 5:07PM - I noticed this as we had full sun at 5:00PM and a month ago, it was dark. Day length is now 9:26:28 - more than one hour added in about 40 days.

Nice to know that although this winter is kicking ass, its days are numbered and spring is around the corner. Data from here: Time and Date

A New Type of 3 AM Phone Call

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Posted at Ricochet:

Rrrrrrrrrrrr-ing.

Good Morning, Trump Hysteria Hotline, may I help you?

“This man… who is not my president… is driving me crazy!”

I see. Let me ask you a few questions so that I may direct you to a counselor with the proper credentials. Do you admit that Donald Trump is the President of the United States?

(Sigh.) “Yes. He is president.”

Are you an American citizen?

(Angerly) “Yes… I am a citizen.”

So, intellectually you realize that he is your president?

(Exasperated) “Yessssss.”

See, we’re making progress. Now, are you a Republican, Democrat or Independent? The level of service you require is determined by your answer.

“Democrat”

Let me transfer you…

Rrrrrrrrrrrrr-ing!

Suicide Prevention Hotline, please hold, all of our operators are busy right now…

Cute and so true...

A great ruling from a local court

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From the UK Guardian of all places:

Judge in environmental activist's trial says climate change is matter of debate
A Washington state judge has sparked outrage for remarks questioning the existence of climate change and the role of humans in global warming.

During the high-profile trial of Ken Ward, a climate activist facing 30 years in prison for shutting down an oil pipeline, Judge Michael E Rickert said: “I don’t know what everybody’s beliefs are on [climate change], but I know that there’s tremendous controversy over the fact whether it even exists. And even if people believe that it does or it doesn’t, the extent of what we’re doing to ourselves and our climate and our planet, there’s great controversy over that.”

The Skagit County judge made the comments on 24 January while addressing Ward’s request to present a “necessity defense” in court, meaning he would argue that the grave threat of climate change justified civil disobedience.

Bad move on Ward's part - the "necessity defense" can be invoked if doing an action will prevent a certain loss of life or property. It does not apply to something that is up for debate. Yes, the temperatures have been getting warmer over time (except for the last 19 years - the warming has stalled). The idea that human action has caused this warming is not proven. We are situated right between one ice age and the next one - some measure of warming is very natural. What concerns me is that the sun is incredibly quiet and we could be headed for another 30-50 year cycle of colder than normal temperatures.

Ward's comment:

“I thought it was shocking and deeply worrisome for my case,” said Ward, 60, of Corbett, Oregon, who temporarily shut off the safety valve of the TransMountain pipeline in Skagit County. “We are in the late stages of global collapse, and to have someone who is presumably as knowledgeable and aware as a judge should be blithely dismissing the biggest problem facing the world is chilling.”

Talk about clueless ninny. We are nowhere near any kind of collapse except when you examine some of the more apocalyptic computer models. These models posit positive regulatory feedback regarding water vapor and temperature. Suffice to say, this model has been thoroughly debunked and sent packing. If it gets too warm, we have rain and thunder storms to cool things off. The regulatory feedback is negative

A perfect example of punching back twice as hard. These ninnies are disrupting people's lives and they need to be taught that actions have consequences. The data that they are basing their actions on is highly flawed - classic case of argumentum ad verecundiam - a logical fallacy.

Any violence erupts in the streets?

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We know who to blame - Hillary's running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). From CNS News:

Sen. Kaine: Dems Must Fight, Fight, Fight -- in Congress, Courts, Streets, Online, at Ballot Box
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Hillary Clinton's former running mate, says Democrats "are so excited that the American public is energized to speak out against the abuses of this administration," and he believes it will work to their advantage.

Unh - Senator Kaine? That would be less than 50% of the American public. A bit more:

"What we've got to do is fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box; and now there's the momentum to be able to do this," Kaine told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday.

OK - any violence in the streets? That is your doing Senator.

Clowns...

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Great image:

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Dinner bell

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Timer just beeped at me - got Meatloaf and mashed potatoes ready to serve. Dogs are fed and a bottle of wine is sitting on the counter - settle in for the evening.

Looks like he might be in for a wee bit of legal problems. From the Wall Street Journal:

Prosecutors Weigh Child-Pornography Charges Against Anthony Weiner
Federal prosecutors are weighing bringing child-pornography charges against former Rep. Anthony Weiner over sexually explicit exchanges he allegedly had with a 15-year-old girl, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Weiner, a New York Democrat, is being investigated by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which seized his electronic devices, including a laptop and a cellphone, as part of the probe.

He used to be a rising star until he got caught with his dick in the wrong place. He made a very public apology and then proceeded to get caught again. He will have a lot of fun in prison - I hear that convicts do not like child molesters at all (here and here). Good riddance... Makes me wonder what Huma ever saw in him.

He looks like a great choice. Young but has a bucket-load of experience and currently sits on the 10th Circuit.  Tyler O'Neil has a nice writeup at PJ Media:

5 Things You Should Know About Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump nominated appellate judge Neil Gorsuch to serve on the Supreme Court. Trump fulfilled his pledge to select a nominee "in the mold of Antonin Scalia," for Gorsuch seems cut from exactly the same cloth.

Like Scalia, Gorsuch is both a textualist and an originalist — he interprets legal provisions as their words were originally understood, and not according to doctrines like the "Living Constitution." This is important, and points to how he will rule on pivotal cases if confirmed by the Senate.

1. Young but well qualified
Gorsuch, at the age of 49, would be the youngest Supreme Court Justice in 30 years (since Clarence Thomas was confirmed at age 43). But this relative youth does not translate to inexperience.

Gorsuch attended Columbia University and Harvard Law School, and then he clerked for Washington, D.C. Circuit Court judge David Sentelle. He also clerked for Supreme Court Justices Byron White and Anthony Kennedy in the years 1993 and 1994. Following these clerkships, he studied for a doctorate of philosophy at Oxford University under the legal philosopher John Finnis.

Next, he spent ten years at a law firm in Washington, D.C. and then worked for the Justice Department under President George W. Bush. Bush nominated him to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, where he has served ever since. This court covers Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Gorsuch was confirmed quickly and without controversy.

Seems like a great choice - the other four items at the site are worth reading as well. The Democrats are going to try to Bork him but he should get in - they just do not have enough people to block his appointment.

Be Safe out there

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The Seattle Office of Emergency Management just uploaded a great new brochure (PDF File) and website with a lot of good links.

The standard suggestion was for people to accumulate three days of food, water, any medicines, toothbrush, pet food, stuff to keep yourself entertained (books, a deck of cards, etc...) a radio and some flashlights with batteries. Reality rears its ugly head and that recommendation is now a minimum of two weeks with even more if you live in a rural area.

The good news is that you do not have to do this all at once - when you are grocery shopping, buy a couple extra cans of tuna or beans. If you are buying bulk dry beans or rice, make sure you have enough water to rehydrate them and fuel to cook them - sometimes canned food is best.

Remember, it is not IF, it is WHEN

The afternoon of working at home morphed into another run into town. Forgot a couple things for the music-room wiring and have another project at the store to do.

Before I left, I spread 100 pounds of de-icer on the dangerous parts of my driveway. Came home to find there was still thick ice over most of the drive - this is the winter from Hell and we have snow forecast for Friday. I still have another 50 pounds of the stuff for tomorrow morning. Forecast is for clear and cold though so not holding my breath...

Fixing dinner (Costco meatloaf and mashed potatoes - yummy!) Got to wait 60 minutes until it bakes though - do a salad and a glass or two of wine.

Coffee, overdue bills and stuff...

Heading out for coffee. Got a stack of bills that are overdue so spending some "quality time" in my office paying them. Been using GnuCash and really like it a lot more than QuickBooks. Working on some projects at home later this afternoon. Get the canopy put back on Thunderbunny on Thursday.

Say Buh-bye - California

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Looks like California is looking to leave our Republic - one way or another. From the Los Angeles CBS affiliate:

Calif. To Consider Enacting Statewide Sanctuary
California may prohibit local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, creating a border-to-border sanctuary in the nation’s largest state as legislative Democrats ramp up their efforts to battle President Donald Trump’s migration policies.

The legislation is scheduled for its first public hearing Tuesday as the Senate rushes to enact measures that Democratic lawmakers say would protect immigrants from the crackdown that the Republican president has promised.

They are going to find out that there is a big difference between virtue signalling and actually taking your lips off the Federal teat. Should be fun to watch the meltdown. But hey, they can always launch their own damn satellite...

Seeing Red

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It's Russians all the way down. This bit of fear-mongering from The Daily Caller:

Intelligence Report: Anti-Fracking Enviros Are Funded By Vladimir Putin
President Vladimir Putin’s Russia is funding and supporting anti-hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, environmental activists, according to an intelligence community report.

The Russian government, which relies heavily on selling oil to other countries for revenue is concerned “about the impact of fracking and U.S. natural gas production on the global energy market,” according to the intelligence report. The intelligence community points out that RT, the country’s government-funded international media outlet, ran 62 different anti-fracking stories of dubious legitimacy in 2015.

Unreal - talk about making mountains out of molehills. The title of the referenced report is:  Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution and it talks about the website Russia Today and how it is popular with western readers. Big deal, they write well and cover politics from a different angle - I read it couple times/week myself.

The only reference to fracking in this 25-page "intelligence report" (and I use the term loosely) is this:

RT runs anti-fracking programming, highlighting environmental issues and the impacts on public health. This is likely reflective of the Russian Government's concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom's profitability (5 October).

The Daily Caller has nothing and they know it - this is another example of Fake News writ large. They are gambling that very few people will actually click through to the "intelligence report" and read through the 25 pages of abject drivel. There is absolutely zero mention of "62 different anti-fracking stories".

The bit at the top about It's Russians all the way down comes from this: Turtles all the way down - click and read. It's fun.

Making a perfect example of voter fraud

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From Associated Press:

AP: Trump's voter fraud expert registered in 3 states
A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in multiple states during the 2016 presidential election, the Associated Press has learned.

Gregg Phillips, whose unsubstantiated claim that the election was marred by 3 million illegal votes was tweeted by the president, was listed on the rolls in Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, according to voting records and election officials in those states. He voted only in Alabama in November, records show.

In a post earlier this month, Phillips described "an amazing effort" by volunteers tied to True the Vote, an organization whose board he sits on, who he said found "thousands of duplicate records and registrations of dead people."

To be clear the guy has lived in each of the three states and:

At the time of November's presidential election, Phillips' status was "inactive" in Mississippi and suspended in Texas. Officials in both states told the AP that Phillips could have voted, however, by producing identification and updating his address at the polls.

He could have filed for an absentee ballot for the other two states - that would have been illegal. The primary issue with voter fraud is those states that allow you to register on the same date as the election - it is too easy to stuff the ballot box with fake people and there is no way to check this before the ballots are counted.

The people in the IT Department

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Ab. So. Lutely. Nails. It. - From BoingBoing - click for full-size:

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Great shot and chaser from Maggie's Farm:

I remember back in the old days, public conversations between liberals and conservatives usually went something like this:

1. liberal: says something
2. conservative: responds
3. liberal: you're a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
4a. conservative: I am not a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
4b. conservative attempts to give evidence for statement 4a.
5. liberal: not good enough
6. Go to step 3

The new, Trump-era "honey badger conservative" playbook appears to be this:

1. conservative: says something
2. liberal: you're a racist | sexist | bigot | pejorative du jour
3. conservative: fuck you.

These certainly are fun times.
(As I sit back in my chair and savor another drop of the finest spirit in the world - distilled from snowflake tears)

Great call - his Executive Order signed last Saturday - from Associated Press:

Trump sets 5-year and lifetime lobbying ban for officials
President Donald Trump acted Saturday to fulfill a key portion of his pledge to "drain the swamp" in Washington, banning administration officials from ever lobbying the U.S. on behalf of a foreign government and imposing a separate five-year ban on other lobbying.

I would ban lobbying altogether but that would be a little much for the D.C. crowd - hit them too hard in the wallet.

Fascism - a two-fer

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Saw on the web:

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Back home again

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Stopped for a bite to eat in town and had a couple pints and read for a bit.

Thunderbunny looks just like a new truck again - they (Diehl Ford Body Shop) did an amazing job in the reconstruction. Plus, while it was in the shop, I had them take care of a couple other minor dings and dents that I had accumulated. Since they were already painting and beating on it, it was only another couple hundred to get these taken care of. I am planning to keep this truck for at least another 10-15 years so might as well keep it in tip-top shape.

Nothing much today

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Heading in to town to pick up Thunderbunny - the body shop said that she will be done late today so running a couple of errands first.

Had a small earthquake late last night - I was asleep but it was 3.1 Mag so I would have felt it had I been awake.

Will see how the driveway is this morning - it got down to just below 32°F last night - 40.8°F right now. Last evening it was ice-rink slippery.

More posting later this evening.

A fun time was had by all

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Spent a little more time on the air checking into two other networks. Surfing for a bit and then to bed.

The pot roast was really good - worth the wait.

The driveway is a mixed bag - parts are melting out nicely. There are large patches of gravel exposed and on Friday, I spent a couple hours with a weed burner torching out two drainage channels near the gate (the drive is level until the last 20 feet before you hit the main road, it is a two-foot rise for that part). The problem is that parts of it are re-freezing at night and are ice-rink slick. Thank God for my trekking poles! Today was the worst ever - I cannot stand in some places without sliding downhill and my service loaner came in tonight and proceeded to slide sideways for another two feet coming to rest just short of a fence. See what it is like tomorrow.

Off to the meeting

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Once a month, our water board holds a meeting - been president for over five years (they keep electing me!) and I like short meetings so it never lasts more than 30 minutes or so.

The pot roast did not have enough time to cook so I have it in the oven on low and will munch on it during the ham radio net.

More later...

We know that President Trump's immigration ban is simply the enforcement of a law that Obama signed into effect in 2015 and that Obama also blocked immigrants from Syria for nine months without an eyebrow being raised by the media. And who can forget Bill Clinton's excellent handling of the Elián González case.

Things just got more interesting - from The Real News Network:

Before Obama Left Office, He Gave Domestic Agencies Warrantless Access to NSA Surveillance
One of the last acts of the Obama Administration was the establishment of new rules. Permitting the National Security Agency, or NSA, to share massive amounts of data with 16 other government agencies. Former CIA officer, and NSA contractor, turned whistleblower, Edward Snowden, reacted to the news by tweeting, "As he hands the White House to Trump, Obama just unchained NSA from basic limits on passing raw intercepts to others."

Much more at the site - the post is a transcript of an interview.

Back home again

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Mission accomplished - heading in tomorrow to pick up Thunderbunny from the body shop but that will just be a quick in 'n out.

Fixing some Costco pot roast - Morton's brand beef - I am boiling some water to heat it up (sealed in a boil-bag) and will then oven cook it in a pot with some baby potatoes, onions and carrots. Yummy for a cold rainy night.

Water board meeting in 90 minutes and ham radio net at 1900

Nothing much today

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Coffee, water board meeting and ham radio network.

Doing a short run into town to pick up a couple things from one of the box stores, Harbor Freight, the supermarket and Costco then back home. I was in town Friday but things got too busy to take care of these second-tier needs. Quick surf of the web while I eat my breakfast and then more posting in a couple of hours.

Last of the spaghetti for dinner

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and watched two more episodes of A Series of Unfortunate Events - very humorous and the actors are having way too much fun on the set. Surf for a bit - busy day tomorrow and Monday.

Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data

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The title of a class to be taught at the University of Washington, Spring Quarter of 2017 and looking into ways of making the lectures broadly available, be it on YouTube or via a more formal MOOC platform.

From the website Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data

The world is awash in bullshit. Politicians are unconstrained by facts. Science is conducted by press release. Higher education rewards bullshit over analytic thought. Startup culture elevates bullshit to high art. Advertisers wink conspiratorially and invite us to join them in seeing through all the bullshit — and take advantage of our lowered guard to bombard us with bullshit of the second order. The majority of administrative activity, whether in private business or the public sphere, seems to be little more than a sophisticated exercise in the combinatorial reassembly of bullshit.

We're sick of it. It's time to do something, and as educators, one constructive thing we know how to do is to teach people. So, the aim of this course is to help students navigate the bullshit-rich modern environment by identifying bullshit, seeing through it, and combating it with effective analysis and argument.

What do we mean, exactly, by the term bullshit? As a first approximation, bullshit is language, statistical figures, data graphics, and other forms of presentation intended to persuade by impressing and overwhelming a reader or listener, with a blatant disregard for truth and logical coherence.

While bullshit may reach its apogee in the political domain, this is not a course on political bullshit. Instead, we will focus on bullshit that comes clad in the trappings of scholarly discourse. Traditionally, such highbrow nonsense has come couched in big words and fancy rhetoric, but more and more we see it presented instead in the guise of big data and fancy algorithms — and these quantitative, statistical, and computational forms of bullshit are those that we will be addressing in the present course.

Of course an advertisement is trying to sell you something, but do you know whether the TED talk you watched last night is also bullshit — and if so, can you explain why? Can you see the problem with the latest New York Times or Washington Post article fawning over some startup's big data analytics? Can you tell when a clinical trial reported in the New England Journal or JAMA is trustworthy, and when it is just a veiled press release for some big pharma company?

Bookmarking the page and will be checking it regularly. There is already a lot of wonderful reading there.

Readers will know that I consider England's Prince Charles to be a moonbat of the highest order. A willful idiot. It seems that President Trump has the same opinion - from The London Daily Mail:

Trump's snub for the Green Prince: US President 'will avoid Charles on state visit to the UK because he wants to escape a lecture on climate change'
Donald Trump’s forthcoming State visit to Britain was hit by a diplomatic row last night after it emerged he wants to avoid Prince Charles because of their dispute over global warming.

The President is understood to have made it clear he does not want talks with the Prince at Clarence House, a regular feature of such visits. Trump is said to fear a meeting will encourage environmentalists to stage protests against him.

Heh...

Just rumor but still - from The Daily Caller:

Report: Hillary Clinton Wants To Launch A Television Talk Show
Hillary Clinton is reportedly considering launching a television talk show so she can stay in the limelight and run for president again in 2020.

After all, it is her turn now.

According to Ed Klein — an author who has been openly critical of the Clinton family — the former presidential candidate is figuring out her next move.

“She’s been talking very seriously about the idea of having her own television show,” Klein said a source told him. “As a TV host, she’d discuss the issues of the day from a progressive point of view, have top guests, interview world leaders and progressive thinkers.”

“It would have to be a show that she and her people completely controlled,” Klein said the source added. “She’s convinced she’d get fabulous ratings in a political climate where there’s so much anger in Democratic circles over Donald Trump’s election.”

“She’s utterly determined not to fade into the background. She intends to stay in the limelight and keep fighting the good fight. She knows Obama is going to be out there fighting too. But frankly, she doesn’t think he’s a great leader or a great fighter, which leaves an opening for her to be the acknowledged leader-in-exile of her party.”

If she got the show, it would be pure catnip to conservatives. Her few rallies provided hours of video clips of her facial tics, stumbling, and having to be manhandled into a vehicles. Imagine what a couple hours each week would provide. I bet ratings would be impressive (low).

Michael Ramirez

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Gets it:

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One week in office

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President Trump on his first week in office:

From Breitbart News:

George Soros-Financed Groups Scheme to Stop Trump’s Temporary Refugee Halt Order
Immigration lawyers from groups financed by billionaire George Soros, a champion of open border policies, were signatories to a lawsuit filed Saturday to block President Donald Trump’s executive order halting visas for 90 days for “immigrants and non-immigrants” from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Iran, and Iraq.

I just wish this guy would just go away. He is a sociopath and his interests are not in line with ours. He is using his money to destabilize america and to drive a wedge between every group of people here. His actions are not altruistic towards the factions he is funding. They are just tools for him to make more money.

The immigration ban - a little update

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A couple of things. First, the ban is only 90 days, not 120 as I had read and posted earlier.

Second, the ban is for people from seven specific nations. Who chose those nations? Barack Obama with the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 - from Seth Frantzman:

OBAMA’S ADMINISTRATION MADE THE “MUSLIM BAN” POSSIBLE AND THE MEDIA WON’T TELL YOU
I was outraged by the ban on refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East. I’ve covered refugees fleeing war in Iraq and Syria over the last two years, meeting families on the road in Greece, Serbia and Macedonia, speaking to poor people in Turkey and Jordan and discussing the hopes and fears of people displaced in Iraq. If you want to ban “terrorists,” these are the last people to hit with a refugee ban. Instead the government should be using the best intelligence possible to find people being radicalized, some of whom have lived in the US their whole lives or who come from countries not affected by the ban, such as Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

Continuing:

Go back and read it again. Do a “ctrl-f” to find “Iraq”. Where is “Iraq” in the order. It’s not there. Only Syria is there. So where are the seven nations? Where is the “Muslim ban”? It turns out this was a form of fake news, or alternative facts. Trump didn’t select seven “Muslim-majority” countries. US President Barack Obama’s administration selected these seven Muslim-majority countries. 

The Department of Homeland Security targeted these seven countries over the last years as countries of concern. In February 2016 “The Department of Homeland Security today announced that it is continuing its implementation of the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 with the addition of Libya, Somalia, and Yemen as three countries of concern, limiting Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals who have traveled to these countries.” It noted “the three additional countries designated today join Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria as countries subject to restrictions for Visa Waiver Program travel for certain individuals.” It was the US policy under Obama to restrict and target people “who have been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).” This was text of the US Customs and Border Protection in 2015 relating to “the Visa Waiver Program and Terrorist Travel Protection Act of 2015“. The link even includes the seven nation list in it: “Iraq, Syria, Iran, SUdan, Somalia or Yemen.”  And the media knew this back in May 2016 when some civil rights groups complained about it. “These restrictions have provoked an outcry from the Iranian-American community, as well as Arab-American and civil-liberties groups, who say the restrictions on dual nationals and certain travelers are discriminatory and could be imposed against American dual nationals.”

Third - Obama instituted a six month stoppage on Iranian refugees in 2011 - from this November 18th, 2015 post at The Federalist:

The Obama Administration Stopped Processing Iraq Refugee Requests For 6 Months In 2011
Although the Obama administration currently refuses to temporarily pause its Syrian refugee resettlement program in the United States, the State Department in 2011 stopped processing Iraq refugee requests for six months after the Federal Bureau of Investigation uncovered evidence that several dozen terrorists from Iraq had infiltrated the United States via the refugee program.

Fake News. No wonder the media is finding themelves to be irrelevant to most of American citizens.

Oh how I wish - Trump Executive Order

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From Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man:

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A bit of earth movement in Peru

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Why I would never buy waterfront property - from Reuters

Dramatic television images showed the moment a colonial-era hotel, collapsed into the swollen waters of Sicra River in the Peruvian town of Lircay, in the district of Angaraes on Thursday (January 26). Civil Defense authorities said it started raining on Wednesday (January 25) afternoon and did not stop for 10 straight hours. The foundations of the three-story tourist hotel La Hacienda, which is built on the river edge, eroded due to the rising waters and collapsed. According to local media, no injuries were reported because all of the guests had been evacuated before it collapsed. Several projects under construction in the town, located in the Huancavelica region, have also been destroyed due to constant rainfall. Damages to other houses, located in the neighborhoods of Pueblo Nuevo and Bellavista, were also reported, with floods in Bellavista affecting the most families, local media reported. Floods were also reported in other parts of the city. Thirty homes were flooded and roads were blocked by landslides. The National Service of Meteorology and Hydrology reported that heavy rains will continue and will increase in the coming months, until April, affecting the center and south of the country.

Coffee and then back home

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Busting out a couple of projects here today. More in an hour or two.

Actions have consequences - federal money

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From Infowars:

SANCTUARY SHERIFF FACES REMOVAL FROM OFFICE FOR AIDING CRIMINAL ILLEGALS
Travis Co. Sheriff Sally Hernandez is facing removal from office after defying Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s call to end “sanctuary city” policies which aid criminal aliens.

Hernandez, whose jurisdiction includes Austin, the capital of Texas, has rejected Abbott’s request to reverse her refusal to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement except in limited circumstances, which Abbott says is hypocritical.

“First, you claim you have no legal power to comply with ICE detainers. That proves too much, of course, because by your own admission, Travis County Sheriff’s Office will honor some ICE detainers, for example when the alien is charged with or convicted of capital murder,” Abbott wrote. “You have the exact same legal authority to honor ICE detainers for capital murder cases as you do for other crimes that you personally deem unworthy of enforcement.”

You can not have two interpretations of the law. Also, in the demonstrable majority of cases, it is not Mexico's best and brightest that are coming over the border. People who want to come over for agricultural work can enroll in the Agricultural Visa program (H-2A) which has been in place since 1986 - 30 years. (More at Dept. of Labor and Homeland Security)

Continuing with Governor Abbott's letter to the Sheriff:

Judging by the letter, Abbott seems more interested in allowing ICE to remove illegals from the streets who were already arrested by Texas officials for committing – not simply reporting – serious crimes.

“For one, these sheriff offices receive grants from the governor’s office and we’re cutting off those grants to any sanctuary city in the State of Texas,” he said on Fox & Friends. “But, however, we are in a legislative session and we’re working on laws that will #1 ban sanctuary cities and #2 remove from office any office holder who promotes sanctuary cities while also imposing criminal penalties as well as financial penalties.”

Good - sanctuary cities is a typical liberal idea. Something that sounds good but does not work well. It is just another case of virtue signaling on a municipal and county-wide basis. It needs to go away. For those illegals that are already here, we have an immigration process in place - provide them with some legal help for this but do not streamline it any more. There are lots of people who came in under their own power, who did not ask for a handout and who completed the requirements for citizenship by themselves. For us to do any less with this new crop is a fscking slap in the face to our beloved new citizens.

From Michael D. Shear and Nicholas Kulish writing the New York Times:

Trump’s Order Blocks Immigrants at Airports, Stoking Fear Around Globe

Hey guys - you forgot to mention that it is Muslim immigrants being blocked. Not everyone, just muslim. Yes, this is profiling - get over it. Israel does this at their airports, want to know how many hijackings they have had in the last 20 years? Zero.

President Trump’s executive order on immigration quickly reverberated through the United States and across the globe on Saturday, slamming the border shut for an Iranian scientist headed to a lab in Boston, an Iraqi who had worked as an interpreter for the United States Army, and a Syrian refugee family headed to a new life in Ohio, among countless others.

Around the nation, security officers at major international gateways had new rules to follow. Humanitarian organizations scrambled to cancel long-planned programs, delivering the bad news to families who were about to travel. Refugees who were airborne on flights when the order was signed were detained at airports.

Reports rapidly surfaced Saturday morning of students attending American universities who were blocked from getting back into the United States from visits abroad. One student said in a Twitter post that he would be unable to study at Yale. Another who attends the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was refused permission to board a plane. Stanford University was reportedly working to help a Sudanese student return to California.

Cry me a river - again, this action was publicized well in advance and is only in place for 120 days. Those people being inconvenienced probably thought that they were such precious little snowflakes that the rules did not apply to them. They will not stop me, I am a student at MIT / Yale / lab technician...

Nice write-up on local Amateur Radio

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Sudden Valley is a large housing development to the southeast of Bellingham. Their local newsletter had a nice post on the use of Ham Radio during the epic snowfall of late December.

The newsletter is only online in PDF format but the story is on the top right of the first page so easy to find. Christmas snow, or how radio cleared the roads

Obama is the gift that keeps on giving - this from The Washington Free Beacon:

Obama Official Issues Ammunition Ban for Federal Lands on Last Day in Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe, an Obama appointee, ordered a new ammunition ban for certain federal lands on Thursday–his last full day in office.

The ban, which took effect immediately, eliminates the use of lead-based ammunition on federal lands like national parks and wildlife refuges, as well as any other land administered by the Fish and Wildlife Service. The ban is expected to have a major impact on much of the hunting that takes place on federal lands across the United States as lead-based ammunition is widely legal and used throughout the country.

Clueless ninny.

And it begins - Hillary

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Could not happen to a nicer person - full six page document (PDF file) can be found here: Clinton emails

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Click to embiggen)

The USA and England

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Rapport seems to be better than ever - from the London Daily Mail:

What a special relationship! Trump gets touchy-feely with Theresa as he declares 'great days lie ahead' and reveals he's meeting the Queen (let's just hope he keeps his hands to himself that day)

Italics mine - come on now. Bias this blatent? Trump may have talked about it, Bill Clinton did it multiple times and Hillary covered for him.

President Donald Trump welcomed his first foreign leader to the White House on Friday, Britain's Theresa May.

The pair bonded over a bust of Winston Churchill in the American president's office and were later seen walking hand-in-hand from down the West Wing Colonnade on their way to a joint press conference.

Trump grabbed May's hand as they approached the cameras, patting it twice, and then letting it go.

May announced at a news conference that the Queen has invited Trump for a state visit to the UK and revealed that the president and first lady had accepted.

Trump and May opened a new chapter in the 'special relationship' between the allied nations as they met today for talks on trade, NATO and the fight against ISIS.

Emphasis mine again - this is amazing news. We have not had a State Visit with the Queen in years. The last Official State Visits were George W. in 2001, Bill Clinton informal in 2000, George H.W. in 1989 and Ronald Reagan 1988. Nixon did an informal meeting in 1970, J.F. Kennedy informal in 1961, Eisenhower an informal visit in 1959. Like I said, a State Visit is a very rare event and heralds a major diplomatic closeness with our best friend.

Back home again

Good meeting - there is another earthquake drill this April so this was the preliminary meetup for planning what parts of Whatcom county will be damaged and how bad (wringing my hands and making an evil Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha sound while grinning).

Crack open a bottle of red and surf the net for a little bit. Trying to shift my sleep schedule around so woke up earlier than usual this morning - want to be asleep in two or three hours.

Off to meeting number one

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No word yet as to when Thunderbunny will be done so I am picking her up on Monday

Back late tonight - dinner in town.

Business as usual in Washington State

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I knew it was bad but I did not realize just how bad - from The Seattle Times:

Washington’s 30-year earthquake drill for the ‘Big One’: Order studies. Ignore them. Repeat.
On Jan. 17, Gov. Jay Inslee strode into an auditorium in Olympia with a message for the new subcabinet he formed to help prepare the state for a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

“The science is clear that we have in our future a megaquake,” Inslee said. “The establishment of the subcabinet is our attempt to marshal the resources of the state to have a coordinated resilience plan.”

But the governor’s rhetoric gave way to some familiar realities in Washington state. The subcabinet has no budget, staff or regulatory authority — and simply creating it took more than three years, internal records show. The dozen state officials assembled onstage were on loan from their day jobs. And the members are responsible for delivering just one product: a draft of their findings by July.

The federal government is doing a lot of real good - FEMA for the states and various programs like CERT for counties and cities but WA State is doing nothing. There is a lot of planning going on through local fire and police districts working with FEMA and CERT - I have been involved in a bunch of these drills for the last couple of years and there is good work being done. Still, without WA State's involvement, our work will be that much harder.

Some more looking at the problems:

Elected officials over the past three decades have repeatedly directed seismic-safety experts to produce such reports, all of which have called for action to reduce threats to public safety and the state’s economy. But time and again, state politicians have largely ignored recommendations that require money or legislation to see them through, an examination by The Seattle Times has found.

As a result, Inslee’s new subcabinet will be grappling with issues raised many times before, but which still pose serious risks to the state’s residents.

Five government reports since 1986 have urged Washington’s lawmakers to mandate seismic evaluations of public schools, where thousands of children attend classes in vulnerable buildings. Evaluations remain optional.

State seismic advisers called on the Legislature in 1991 to require that electric and water utilities analyze their earthquake weaknesses. Washington still has no authority to compel the utilities to act.

And for at least 25 years, seismic committees have advocated more retrofits for state bridges. With nearly $200 million spent on the work, funding for the program has slowed to a trickle, even as 11.3 million vehicles a day drive over almost 500 bridges flagged for strengthening.

And yet, we piss away millions of dollars on renewable energy and climate mitigation. Much more at the site. You should print out several copies of this article and spread them around your neighborhood. I am doing this. We need to light a fire under our legislators - we elected them, they are supposed to represent us. Make them do their job and stop piddling around with ephemeral things like the weather.

From Breitbart:

FLYNN: With David Brock Comparing His Website to Breitbart News, Allies Compare Him to Mugatu

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An unnamed Obama administration official compared “f—ing weird” David Brock in the Daily Beast to Mugatu. Quite unfairly, writer Asawin Suebsaeng did not give Will Ferrell the chance to respond to the calumnious comparison.

The Media Matters founder seeks to make his Shareblue site (please click on the link—they could use the traffic) “the Breitbart of the Left.” But as Breitbart News ranks as the 41st most read website in the United States and Shareblue comes in as the 19,198th, the aspiration comes across more as a delusion—the kind of thing someone who insists “I invented the piano-key necktie” would say.

A bit more:

“I hope Hillary truly understands now how bat$#!+ crazy David Brock is,” Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden told John Podesta in an email exposed by WikiLeaks last summer. The Daily Caller reported in 2012 of a paranoid Brock hiring armed guards to protect him from potential assassins, with this supersecret service allegedly whisking him off a Washington, D.C., roof for fear of invisible Lee Harvey Oswalds lurking in nearby windowsills. In 2002, the Drudge Report alleged that Brock “suffered a breakdown last summer and was committed to the psychiatric ward of Sibley Hospital in Northwest Washington.” A source, alleging delusions and paranoia, told Drudge, “He spent time in the ‘The Quiet Room,’ there was just a mattress on the floor, and he had some books. He was so tired and stressed.”

And this was Hillary's chief strategist. Talk about out of touch.

Shades of Person of Interest

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The premise behind the show Person of Interest is that there is a large AI who has all of the feeds from all of the surveillance cameras in New York City. The AI was developed to stop terrorism (which it does well) but the story arc is all of the irrelevant (non-terror related) data it gathers - potential murderers or victims and the protagonists find these people and help them.

We just moved a little farther from fiction and a little closer to fact - from Vocativ:

Memo: New York Called For Face Recognition Cameras At Bridges, Tunnels
The state of New York has privately asked surveillance companies to pitch a vast camera system that would scan and identify people who drive in and out of New York City, according to a December memo obtained by Vocativ.

The call for private companies to submit plans is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s major infrastructure package, which he introduced in October. Though much of the related proposals would be indisputably welcome to most New Yorkers — renovating airports and improving public transportation — a little-noticed detail included installing cameras to “test emerging facial recognition software and equipment.”

From the Memo:

The Authority is interested in implementing a Facial Detection System, in a free-flow highway environment, where vehicle movement is unimpeded at highway speeds as well as bumper-to-bumper traffic, and license plate images are taken and matched to occupants of the vehicles (via license plate number) with Facial Detection and Recognition methods from a gantry-based or road-side monitoring location.

Pretty heavy-duty implementation. There are ways to counter the face recognition - glasses and hats that break up the structure of the face work well. The various Electronic Freedom groups are going to have a field day.

Off for the day

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Heading out for coffee and then to the office to take care of some bills. Have a meeting at the store at 3:00PM and then in to town to see about Thunderbunny and then a 6:00PM meeting.

Nothing much today

Better check first - from The Daily Caller:

Libs Who Want To Move To Canada Blocked By Its Strict Immigration Policies
Liberals seeking to move to Canada because they are unhappy with the election results are finding that Canada won’t take them because its immigration policies exclude those who won’t contribute to the economy.

I guess your Masters Degree in post-modernist underwater basket weaving doesn't have any real market value. Canada already has enough ironic baristas and burger flippers.

By the company you keep

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Presented without comment - from The Daily Caller:

Women’s March Featured Speaker Who Kidnapped And Tortured A Man
The Women’s March on Washington last week featured as a speaker convicted felon Donna Hylton who, along with several others, kidnapped a man and then tortured him to death.

Hylton’s name is listed on the Women’s March website alongside prominent liberals like Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, actress Gloria Steinem, filmmaker Michael Moore and CNN commentator Van Jones.

Hylton, along with three men and three other women, kidnapped 62-year-old real-estate broker Thomas Vigliarolo and held him for ransom, before eventually killing him. As noted in a 1995 Psychology Today article, when asked about forcibly sodomizing the victim with a three foot steel pole, one of Hylton’s accomplices replied: “He was a homo anyway.”

Such charming people.

Gotham was a bit dark for Lulu's taste - I can watch it while she is in town. We settled on Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events - great fun. The casting and set design are excellent and it looks like everyone had way too much fun playing their roles. Season One is out now - looking forward to Season Two.

Two meetings tomorrow plus Thunderbunny (my truck) may be ready for pickup tomorrow as well.

Happy 317th Birthday - Big One

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On this date in 1700, the Cascadia Subduction Zone ripped apart causing a Magnitude 9 earthquake and a major tsunami which devastated our coastline but which also caused damage and flooding in Japan. Geologic record shows that these quakes happen every 300 to 500 years so we are technically overdue.

From The Seattle Times:

Last ‘Big One’ happened 317 years ago today in the Pacific Northwest — and we’re still woefully unprepared
On this date 317 years ago, the “Big One” shook the Pacific Northwest. A magnitude 9 megaquake struck off the Pacific coast, splitting tideflats, collapsing hillsides and dropping shorelines by several feet.

Then the tsunami hit.

“Beaches where hundreds of thousands of tourists now fly kites and race three-wheelers on sunny days were swallowed by waves no man or beast could outrun. Uprooted trees became battering rams. Caught up in the icy water, people flailed desperately for anything to grab onto, anything to keep them afloat. Entire villages were swept away in a matter of moments,” wrote Seattle Times reporter Sandi Doughton in her book, “Full Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest.”

Today, about 5.4 million people in Washington live in areas that would be endangered by a megaquake. FEMA projects 9,400 Washingtonians would die if a megaquake and tsunami struck.

No time like the present to get prepared. Fortunately, the cities of Seattle and Vancouver are well shielded from the bulk of the tsunami but our coastal towns will be overwhelmed. Further inland, the quake will be more of a Mag 5 - some structural damage, chimneys down, windows broken, etc... Still - people need to start preparing now - three weeks of food, water, medications, pet food, flashlights, books, etc... It is not IF it is WHEN

Why God gave us necks

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I am in the process of rewiring my music synthesizer setup and found a great place for cheap Chinese-made audio cables. (Monoprice) I need close to a hundred of them and it would take me 15 minutes to prep and wire each one plus the connectors are about $4 per pair. I can buy these cables pre-made from Monoprice - a USA -based company who deals with Chinese manufacturers - and I pay just under $4 each. I did a small order a few weeks ago and was impressed by the quality. Today, I spent some time unbagging a much larger order.

Why did God give us necks?

As a place to hang patch cords of course.

Any synthesist will know that.

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No trace of intelligent life

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Great Star Trek mashup - hat tip to Ace of Spades for the link:

Great news from all over - a three-fer

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From the D.C. Clothesline (airing out America's dirty laundry):

‘Stop Operation Soros’ – Massive Movement to Overthrow Soros Takes Off in Macedonia
Only a week after Hungary announced plans to purge all NGO groups funded by globalist progressive mega-donor George Soros, a new global initiative – Stop Operation Soros (SOS) – dedicated to the countering the influential political/social engineering the billionaire activist is now engaged in across the globe through his Open Society Foundations, was announced in Macedonia.

During a press conference last week, SOS founders called on all “free-minded citizens,” regardless of race, ethnicity or religion, to “fight against one-mindedness in the civil sector, which is devised and led by George Soros,” the Vecer newspaper reported.

From the Associated Press:

SOCIALIST UTOPIA A HARD SELL AS FRANCE SWINGS RIGHT
... Where Hamon sees 750 euros ($800) per month for all liberating the French and their creative forces, and cushioning them from an automated future of fewer jobs for humans, Gisquet and Larcher see just another state handout that France neither needs nor can afford.

"That's the problem with the left. They are far too utopian," said Gisquet. "They make promises they can't keep. That's intolerable."

And from The New York Times:

Trump Strategist Steve Bannon Says Media Should ‘Keep Its Mouth Shut’
Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief White House strategist, laced into the American press during an interview on Wednesday evening, arguing that news organizations had been “humiliated” by an election outcome few anticipated, and repeatedly describing the media as “the opposition party” of the current administration.

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while,” Mr. Bannon said during a telephone call.

“I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

So true - I think that we are seeing a world-wide recovery. A step back from the abyss of centralized government and a return to ideas that work and not just ideas that sound good.

Heh:

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Time for them to ride off into the sunset - from the New York Times:

Trump Prepares Orders Aiming at Global Funding and Treaties
The Trump administration is preparing executive orders that would clear the way to drastically reduce the United States’ role in the United Nations and other international organizations, as well as begin a process to review and potentially abrogate certain forms of multilateral treaties.

The first of the two draft orders, titled “Auditing and Reducing U.S. Funding of International Organizations” and obtained by The New York Times, calls for terminating funding for any United Nations agency or other international body that meets any one of several criteria.

Those criteria include organizations that give full membership to the Palestinian Authority or Palestine Liberation Organization, or support programs that fund abortion or any activity that circumvents sanctions against Iran or North Korea. The draft order also calls for terminating funding for any organization that “is controlled or substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism” or is blamed for the persecution of marginalized groups or any other systematic violation of human rights.

The order calls for then enacting “at least a 40 percent overall decrease” in remaining United States funding toward international organizations.

And this is just the first Executive Order - here is the Second:

The second executive order, “Moratorium on New Multilateral Treaties,” calls for a review of all current and pending treaties with more than one other nation. It asks for recommendations on which negotiations or treaties the United States should leave.

The order says this review applies only to multilateral treaties that are not “directly related to national security, extradition or international trade,” but it is unclear what falls outside these restrictions.

For example, the Paris climate agreement or other environmental treaties deal with trade issues but could potentially fall under this order.

And this is not without prescident - from the NY Times, October 31, 2011:

Unesco Accepts Palestinians as Full Members
Palestine became the 195th full member of Unesco on Monday, as the United Nations organization defied a mandated cutoff of American funds under federal legislation from the 1990s. The vote of Unesco’s full membership was 107 to 14, with 52 abstentions.

The step will cost the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization one-quarter of its yearly budget — the 22 percent contributed by the United States (about $70 million) plus another 3 percent contributed by Israel. Victoria Nuland, a State Department spokeswoman, said that American contributions to Unesco, including $60 million scheduled for this month, would not be paid.

Emphasis mine - that was firmly under Barry's watch. The nation of Palestine is a complete fabrication by the old Soviet Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopanosti

The United Nations headquarters is sitting on some very nice riverfront property in downtown Manhattan. Make some really nice apartments or a luxury hotel. Just sayin'

From Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit:

CNN Quietly Releases Updated Pic Showing Trump’s Inaugural Crowd Size Greater than Obama’s 2009 Inaugural Crowd
As we pointed out throughout the months leading up to the election, crowd size matters.  President Trump was crushing Hillary Clinton in number of rallies and number of participants at his rallies when compared to Clinton.

These numbers, in part, led to us projecting a Trump win and probable landslide and we were correct. Trump did win in an electoral landslide. Nevertheless, the numbers at the rallies were significantly different between the two candidates and the one with the larger number of participants won the election. (Note Deroy Murdock reported on our rally observations last week).

The media remained silent on the crowd size numbers when it was clear that Trump was crushing Hillary in this area. But late last week the media finally reported that crowd size does matter. CNN (Fake News) reported that President Trump’s crowd size was much smaller than President Obama’s crowd size in 2009, and CNN provided two pictures to show the difference.

However, the pictures in the article show the crowd size for Obama when he was speaking during his 2009 inauguration with the crowd from Trump’s inauguration approximately 3 hours before Trump spoke.

CNN’s report was another of their ‘Fake News’ lies. The photos used in their post were not comparing apples to apples and President Trump’s Press Secretary pointed this out on Saturday in a special press conference. Trump’s crowd was huge and every bit as big as Obama’s crowd in 2009. Also, in CNN’s article they say that Obama had 1.8 million people in 2009. This is now refuted and is more likely closer to 800,000.

Later CNN’s report was proven false by their own reporting. CNN released a gigapixel of President Trump’s Inauguration and the areas they show as empty in their article from their January 21st report were filled to the brim in their more recent picture which was taken at the time of Trump’s speech during the Inauguration ceremony.

Heh - what a difference a couple of hours makes. There have also been reports of "demonstrators" blocking the entrances to the Capitol Mall so there were many people who had tickets to attend but were prevented from entering because of the protests.

Off for coffee, store and back home

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Some stuff for a couple of projects are trickling in from Amazon, etc... APRS for a couple of my radios, some wiring in the music room and some lighting (LED strips around the windows) for the store. Tomorrow is going to be busy with my truck body work being finished and two meetings.

Back in an hour or two.

Life in Chicago

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From the Chicago, Il NBC affiliate:

6 Shot at Memorial For Victim of Chicago Gun Violence
Six people, including a 12-year-old girl, were shot Wednesday night on Chicago's South Side during a memorial for a victim of a previous act of gun violence, police said.

The shootings occurred about 8:16 p.m. in the city’s Greater Grand Crossing community in a "business establishment" on the 500 block of East 75th Street, Chicago police said.

Community activist Jedidiah Brown told reporters that "the opposition" to those attending the memorial came through an alley before opening fire on the group of mourners. He added that the mother of the person being memorialized was also among the victims, though police have not confirmed that information.

There is an excellent website for keeping track of Chicago violence: Hey Jackass! - Illustrating Chicago Values

The current stats:

January to Date
Shot & Killed: 45
Shot & Wounded: 219
Total Shot: 264

The joys of life under Democratic rule - these are the shootings in just 26 days.

A wonderful lyric essay on Day 1

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From Daniel Greenfield writing at Sultan Knish - just click on the link and read the whole thing, this is just the briefest of excerpts:

Day 1
In the first days of 2017, Washington D.C. was empty. It was a city holding its breath. Secret Service police officers in balaclavas waited at the White House as a black SUV carrying departing staffers passed. It had not been so long ago that they came into the city as if they owned it and the entire country. Now the same men and women who ran and ruined the lives of millions were scrolling through job postings on their smartphones. They watched Obama speak from faded screens at sports bars and they cried.

They knew it was coming. Day 1.

The parties and the protests are underway. Hundreds of thousands of Americans and anti-Americans have converged on the city: Tea Party housewives from Milwaukee suburbs and snarling Marxists from the ANSWER coalition, small businessmen from Houston and Berkeley. J20ers outshouting the schizophrenic homeless panhandlers at Union Station.

Go and read the whole thing - Daniel is at the top of his form.

The first major winter storm hit the Pacific Northwest December 14th through the 17th. It was bad here - my pipes froze for ten days and these storms laid down the first of the ice that is still in my driveway today. The skiing was great at Mt. Baker but the rest of Whatcom County was greatly encumbered.

For all that we had here, Oregon was much harder hit with flooding and severe storm damage.

From today's FEMA Website:

President Trump Declares Major Disaster for Oregon
Release date: January 25, 2017
Release Number: HQ-17-004
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the state of Oregon to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the area affected by a severe storm and flooding during the period of December 14-17, 2016.

Federal funding is available to state, tribal, and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by a severe storm and flooding in Josephine and Lane counties.

Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

This should have been declared within the first week after the storm abated, not over one month later. The last line about "available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures" is very good as this allows for immediate funding for infrastructure repair and they will figure out how to pay for it later. Stabilizing highways against earth movement, checking bridges, power lines, etc... This way, things are beefed up in the event another storm comes along.

Dinnertime - ham and bean soup

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Used some of last night's Hempler Ham to make a bean soup. I use a pressure cooker so it only takes 20 minutes to go from dry beans to finished soup. Technology is wonderful.

Now we have to figure out what to watch next - Person of Interest was a real roller-coaster for the last couple episodes. Probably catch season two and three of Gotham. Season one was wonderfully done.

I love it when things just work

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Put in the new power supply, plugged it in and everything booted up as normal. Good for another five years.

Obama's legacy - Education

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Failed. From The Washington Post:

Obama administration spent billions to fix failing schools, and it didn’t work
One of the Obama administration’s signature efforts in education, which pumped billions of federal dollars into overhauling the nation’s worst schools, failed to produce meaningful results, according to a federal analysis.

Test scores, graduation rates and college enrollment were no different in schools that received money through the School Improvement Grants program — the largest federal investment ever targeted to failing schools — than in schools that did not.

The Education Department published the findings on the website of its research division on Wednesday, hours before President Obama’s political appointees walked out the door.

“We’re talking about millions of kids who are assigned to these failing schools, and we just spent several billion dollars promising them things were going to get better,” said Andy Smarick, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute who has long been skeptical that the Obama administration’s strategy would work. “Think of what all that money could have been spent on instead.”

This comes from doing what sounds good as opposed to doing what works well. It seems to be a big problem for liberals to tell the difference between the two.

UPDATE: Just noticed that this article was published June 21st, 2013. Still 100% relevant though - the IRS and Welfare-to-Illegals swamp needs to be drained now more than ever.

From CNS News:

IRS Sent $46,378,040 in Refunds to 23,994 ‘Unauthorized’ Aliens at 1 Atlanta Address
The Internal Revenue Service sent 23,994 tax refunds worth a combined $46,378,040 to “unauthorized” alien workers who all used the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

That was not the only Atlanta address theoretically used by thousands of “unauthorized” alien workers receiving millions in federal tax refunds in 2011. In fact, according to a TIGTA audit report published last year, four of the top ten addresses to which the IRS sent thousands of tax refunds to “unauthorized” aliens were in Atlanta.

The IRS sent 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,164,976 to unauthorized alien workers at a second Atlanta address; 3,608 worth $2,691,448 to a third; and 2,386 worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.

Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list for singular addresses that were theoretically used simultaneously by thousands of unauthorized alien workers, included an address in Oxnard, Calif, where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,874; an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212; an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608; an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302; an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027; and an address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,877.

A bit more:

The IRS has long known it was giving these numbers to illegal aliens, and thus facilitating their ability to work illegally in the United States. For example, the Treasury Inspector General’s Semiannual Report to Congress published on Oct. 29, 1999—nearly fourteen years ago—specifically drew attention to this problem.

Emphasis mine - they knew about it but did nothing. These people are not elected and if they screw up, there is no accountability. If they do something horrible, they will be removed from their current position but then, after a few months, they will be quietly put in some other position frequently with a raise in pay and benefits. Cleaning out entrenched crap like this is one of the primary reasons I voted from Trump. Hillary would have just continued and accelerated the sclerosis.

Working on a couple of projects

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The computer I use in the radio room died a few days ago - bad power supply. Picked up four from Amazon so I will have some spares for future problems. The current crop of machines I am using are five year old Dells and this seems to be a tender spot for them - this is the third one to go out on me.

Also, I received some cables for the synthesizer. This will help get the signals from the synth in and out of the computer without having a bunch of wires snaking over the floor. Get this installed in the next day or two. Truck is supposed to be back from the body shop Friday. I have two meetings on Friday so we will see how everything schedules out...

From TMZ:

MARY TYLER MOORE DEAD AT 80
Mary Tyler Moore -- the television icon who charmed America with comedic brilliance and charisma on her hugely successful '70s show -- died in a Connecticut hospital ... TMZ has learned.

MTM's longtime rep, Mara Buxbaum, issued a statement to TMZ saying, "Today, beloved icon, Mary Tyler Moore, passed away at the age of 80 in the company of friends and her loving husband of over 33 years, Dr. S. Robert Levine."

"A groundbreaking actress, producer, and passionate advocate for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Mary will be remembered as a fearless visionary who turned the world on with her smile."

Watched many an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show while growing up. She was a classic.

Clueless Kerry

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A few days before President Trump's inaguration, Sec. State John Kerry was in Vietnam demonstrating once again just how clueless he is - from Bridget Johnson writing at PJ Media:

Kerry Says Repressive Vietnam 'Embracing' Freedom
A day after President Obama made it harder for Cubans fleeing the communist regime to find refuge in the United States, Secretary of State John Kerry was in another communist regime's capital -- lauding the growing economic relationship with Vietnam while giving the country credit for moving forward on human rights issues.

That's despite an Amnesty International report published this summer detailing Vietnam's crackdown on dissidents, democracy activists, bloggers and others, ranging from official harassment to secretive imprisonment and torture.

"Severe restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly" persist, the human rights organization notes in their country overview, while media the judiciary, political bodies and religious institutions are under strict state control.

Amnesty International's report can be found here: Inside Viet Nam's secretive and torturous world of 'prisons within prisons'

Kerry is a braying ninny. Hopelessly out of touch and determined to stay that way.

An email

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Joe at Fat in Indiana received this email from his brother:

Dear Hollywood celebrities: It’s time to wake up now. Get this! The only reason you exist is for my entertainment. Some of you are beautiful. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes. Some of you are so convincing that you scare the stuffing out of me. And others are so funny you can make me laugh uncontrollably. But you all have one thing in common. You only exist and have a place in my world to entertain me. That’s it. Nothing else!

You make your living pretending to be someone else. You play dress-up like a 5-year-old. Your world is a make-believe world—it is not real; it doesn't exist. You live for the camera while the rest of us live in the real world. Your entire existence depends on my patronage. I crank the organ grinder, and you dance.

Therefore, I don't care where you stand on issues. Honestly, your opinion means nothing to me. Just because you had a lead role in a movie about prostitution doesn't mean you know what it’s like to be a prostitute. Your view matters far less to me than that of a someone living in Timbuktu. Believe me or not, the hard truth is that you aren't real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer, and you cease to exist. Once I am done with you, I go back to the real world until I want you to entertain me again.

I don't care that you think BP executives deserve the death penalty. I don't care what you think about the environment. I don't care if you believe fracking is bad. I don't care if you call for more gun control. I don't care if you believe in catastrophic, human-induced global warming. And I couldn't care less that you supported Hillary for President. By the way, she lost!!

Get back into your bubble. I'll let you know when I'm in the mood for something pretty or scary or funny. And one other thing. What was all that “I'll leave the country if Donald Trump wins”? Don't you know how stupid that made you sound? What did you think my reaction was going to be? Oooh! I better not vote for Trump or we'll lose Whoopi Goldberg? Al Sharpton? Amy Schemer? Rosie O’Donnell? Leave. Good riddance. I don't care! And don't let the door hit you in the keister on your way out. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Even scare me. But realize this: the only words of yours that matter are scripted — just like your pathetic, little lives. I may agree with some of you from time to time, but in the final analysis, it doesn't matter. In my world, you exist solely for my entertainment.

So, shut your mouth and dance, monkey, DANCE!

Talk about speaking truth to power monkeys.

Coffee and store

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Working at home today - out for coffee and to check in at the store.

Day #3 - President Trump

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From The Washington Post:

Trump to sign executive orders enabling construction of proposed border wall and targeting sanctuary cities
President Trump plans to sign executive orders Wednesday enabling construction of his proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and targeting cities where local leaders refuse to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation, according to White House officials familiar with the decisions.

The actions, part of a multi-day focus on immigration, are among an array of sweeping and immediate changes to the nation’s immigration system under consideration by the new president. The moves represent Trump’s first effort to deliver on perhaps the signature issue that drove his presidential campaign: his belief that illegal immigration is out of control and threatening the country’s safety and security.

Trump’s immigration blitz this week is widely seen inside the White House as a victory for the self-described populist wing of his inner circle — which includes chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions and top policy adviser Stephen Miller.

Heh - even if he only accomplishes half of what he sets out to do, he will be one of the most effective Presidents ever. Quite the contrast from the previous regime...

Pyramid scam from 2013-2014 on the East Coast. From the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts:

Agents Seize Approximately $20 Million and Arrest Brazilian National in Scheme to Launder TelexFree Funds
Approximately $20 million in cash hidden inside a box spring in a Westborough, Mass. apartment, was seized late yesterday, and a Brazilian man was arrested in connection with conspiring to launder proceeds of the massive TelexFree pyramid scheme.

Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha, 28, was charged in a criminal complaint with one count of conspiring to commit money laundering. Rocha was detained following an appearance today before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Judith G. Dein.

According to the complaint, in April 2014, federal agents searched the headquarters of TelexFree, Inc., in Marlborough, Mass. Later that day, Carlos Wanzeler, one of the founders of the company, allegedly fled to Brazil, his native country, where he has remained. Wanzeler and TelexFree co-founder James Merrill were indicted in July 2014 on charges that they operated TelexFree as a massive pyramid scheme. Merrill pleaded guilty to those charges in October 2016 and is awaiting sentencing.

The complaint alleges that an intermediary working on Wanzeler’s behalf contacted an associate for help transferring millions of dollars of TelexFree money – still hidden in the greater Boston area – from the United States to Brazil. The associate, who subsequently became a cooperating witness for the government, allegedly arranged with Wanzeler’s nephew in Brazil to launder the cash through Hong Kong, convert it to Brazilian reals, and transfer it to Brazilian accounts.

I remember when this was being promoted and could not understand why anyone would buy into such an obvious scam. At least the MagicJack works kinda...

The Boston Globe has a photo of the box spring in question:

20170124-telexfree.jpg

Just wow - Person of Interest

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When the producers chose to run the show out to its logical end, they did it with bells on. An amazing end to an amazing series. There was a little teaser so they could come back with a different crew sometime down the road but I do not see that happening.

If you like (and are very familiar with) computers, networking, security, and hacking, this is an excellent series to watch. The shows are strongly chronological so you do need to start at the beginning.

I am not holding my breath for a new series but a movie would be nice - I would even pay full price for a ticket to the theater (and buy some popcorn and a sugary drink).

Securing the borders - Trump

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Good first move on his part - from Reuters:

Exclusive: Trump expected to sign executive orders on immigration
U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign several executive orders on Wednesday restricting immigration from Syria and six other Middle Eastern or African countries, according to several congressional aides and immigration experts briefed on the matter.

In addition to Syria, Trump's orders are expected to temporarily restrict access to the United States for most refugees. Another order will block visas from being issued to those from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said the aides and experts, who asked not to be identified.

The restrictions on refugees are likely to include a multi-month ban on admissions from all countries until the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security can make the vetting process more rigorous.

Very good move - we have known for a long time that ISIS has the capacity to print official passports from many middle-east nations. They have raided Embassies and stolen the paper stock and the machines. We need to know who is coming in through our borders.

Dinner time

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Got a Hempler's Ham heating up - doing some bow-tie pasta stir-fried with broccoli and lots of olive oil, fresh black pepper, and garlic for the side dish.

Watching the last three episodes of Person of Interest tonight. Great show - caught and held our interest through five seasons.

From United Press International:

New gut microbe study may lead to potential autism treatment
Researchers at Arizona State University have found improved autism symptoms in participants who were given medications to treat gut microbes.

The research team of scientists from Arizona State, Northern Arizona University, Ohio State University and the University of Minnesota, studied 18 people ages 7 to 16 with autism spectrum disorders for 10 weeks.

Study participants were given a treatment of antibiotics, a bowel cleanse, and daily fecal microbial transplants over an eight-week period.

The study showed an average of 80 percent improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms common in people with autism and a 20 to 25 percent improvement in certain autism behaviors including social skills and sleep habits.

That is interesting and entirely believable. I have known a couple families with autistic children and they all seemed to have strange diets - mostly vegetarian. That would make a lot of sense regarding internal flora. BTW, I am not saying a vegetarian diet is a bad one, these people had strange ideas about what was good and what was not good to eat.

A new approach to Education

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Charter Schools are good but they are subject to the same bureaucratic meddling from governments that public schools are. Here is a private school started by a Libertarian businessman which charges one quarter what regular private schools charge and the kids get a better education:

Thales Academy from Infogalactic, the Academy website

Have two meetings on Friday but this week is turning out to be a quiet one. Working at home on some projects.

Got down to 22.1°F last night and we had some snowfall earlier this morning - nothing sticking though. Temp is currently 36.3°F so I will see how much of the ice has melted in the driveway.

Back in a couple of hours...

The Trump Effect - Climate

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From E&E News - The essential news for energy & environment professionals:

CDC quietly cancels long-planned climate summit
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly and abruptly canceled a major climate change summit scheduled for next month shortly after Donald Trump was elected president, according to emails sent to those scheduled to speak and obtained by E&E News.

The Climate and Health Summit was scheduled to be held in Atlanta, where the CDC is headquartered, in February. Agency leaders did not directly address why the summit was canceled and instead forwarded an email sent to participants indicating it may be rescheduled.

"We are currently exploring options so that the Summit may take place later in the year," CDC officials wrote.

Trump has made no secret of his opposition to climate change policy. He has called climate change a "hoax," and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the president believes warming is "a bunch of bunk." One of the Trump administration's first moves yesterday was to replace the Obama administration whitehouse.gov site with issue platforms — the first of which vows to dismantle "harmful and unnecessary" climate change policies.

Time to get real science back in favor again. Junk science has been in the spotlight for way too long. Climate Change is just as bad as Lysenkoism - both were politically correct, both had top-level government support, both were abject junk science and both caused people to die - one by starvation, the other by freezing because fuel was too expensive for them to afford.

Massachusetts is a very liberal progressive state. This is one of the reasons I moved out - high taxes and unfriendly to businesses. Great story from Breitbart:

Poll: ‘Liberal Lion’ Elizabeth Warren Less Popular Than GOP Governor
Recent polling has found that Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who is seen as the Democratic Party’s “liberal lion,” is far less popular than the state’s Republican Gov. Charlie Baker (R-MA).

Even though Massachusetts went to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 General Election, a poll conducted by WBUR found that only 44 percent of voters think Warren deserves reelection, compared with 51 percent who think Baker deserves reelection.

You might remember the big uproar when Warren claimed native ancestory to gain access to Harvard Law as a minority student. She has been called Fauxcahontas for this. When you lie about something as easily checked as this, what other lies are you telling...

From our local fishwrap- The Bellingham Herald:

Trump acts to advance Keystone XL, Dakota Access pipelines
President Donald Trump signed executive actions Tuesday to advance construction of the huge Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, moving aggressively to overhaul America's energy policy and dealing a swift blow to Barack Obama's legacy on climate change.

Trump told reporters at the White House the pipelines will be subject to conditions being negotiated by U.S. officials — including a requirement that the pipe itself be manufactured in America.

"From now on we are going to start making pipelines in the United States," Trump said from the Oval Office.

On Keystone, the memorandum by Trump invites the pipeline builder, TransCanada, to resubmit its application to the State Department for a presidential permit to construct and operate the pipeline.

Right now, the oil is being transported by train much to the profit of Warren Buffett who is Obama's BFF. This is probably why Barry kicked the decision down the road as W.B. was a major contributor to Obama's campaign. Pipelines are a lot safer and cheaper to run - the cost of delivered energy will be lower.

Iran, 1979, protesting the mandatory wearing of the hijab. That was effective - not. Iran is now a misogynist hellhole.

20170123-womens-march.jpg

How many of yesterday's marchers from Bellingham or Seattle or Washington DC would be willing to go over there, get out onto the streets and march for women's freedom?

Old Order? Meet New Order

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Marxist Angela has her knickers in a twist. From the UK Independent:

Merkel advisors say Germany has 'given up' on Donald Trump acting like a President
Germany is concerned that it is being left on the sidelines by Donald Trump, with senior advisers unable to open communication channels with the new administration.

The Merkel government is insisting the US honours existing trade agreements amid fears the country is in for “a rough ride” from President Trump, who has said the UK will be “at the front of the queue” for new deals.

And, according to reports in German media, advisors to the Chancellor have "given up" hoping that the new President will act in a statesmanlike manner.

“None of us here believe that anymore,” one of the Chancellor’s advisers told Handelsblatt. “The Americans, and the world, will get the Trump they elected.”

Emphasis mine - I am reminded of the line from The Princess Bride: "You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means"

Merkel is a Globalist. Trump is not. England voted for the BREXIT. The United States of America voted for President Trump. Each vote signifies a return to Independence.

Angela Merkel is Germany's Chancellor. She ran as a conservative but her history is one of ardent Marxism - read the second half of this post from last July for just a taste.

UPDATE at bottom:

Great - rub it in their fscking faces. From Ricochet:

In First WH Briefing, Spicer Upsets Media Pecking Order
The major media have warned that Donald Trump would wage a war on the First Amendment. His quick draw to call out bad reporting, boot disruptive journalists, and mock fake news were obvious signs that the freedom of the press would hang by a squib during the Trump administration.

And, lo, it came to pass Monday that all their fears were realized. Did the new President sent red-hatted mobs to smash printing presses and hijack the cable news to run non-stop ads for Trump Steaks? Even worse. In his first official White House press briefing, Sean Spicer called on reporters from the wrong side of the tracks.

Apparently, in an unwritten rule precious only to careerist Beltway journos, the Press Secretary calls on an Associated Press reporter first then follows with questions to other large media companies. For the first time, Spicer chose less storied agencies for the first handful of questions. Did he blacklist journalists from CNN, the New York Times, etc? No, he got to them a few minutes later. In fact, Spicer stayed as long as the reporters wanted, answering questions for well over an hour.

What so appalled the press was that Spicer upset the media’s caste system. After calling on the New York Post, he went to CBN (Christian cable network), Univision (Spanish-language channel), Fox Business Network, and American Urban Radio Networks (African-American focused service). He also announced the creation of “Skype seats” that will allow reporters who live 50 miles or more from Washington DC to ask questions.

Opening questions to journalists outside of the Acela corridor seems like a big win for the First Amendment and the freedom of the press. More diverse questions and voices are sure to result. It seems the only casualties are the egos of reporters for traditional media.

I love it. Everybody got their chance to ask a question and nobody was left out. All that happened is that the order got changed and that the media could not mentally handle it. If this is giving you cognitive problems, maybe you might need to send some smarter journalists - ones who actually do their job in a fair and unmedicated unbiased manner.

UPDATE: The previous White House Press Conference protocol was that the Press Secretary would offer the first question to Associated Press.

Here is Josh Boak and Jill Colvin from Associated Press:

SCORECARD: BULK OF TRUMP'S "DAY ONE" PROMISES UNFULFILLED
As a candidate, Donald Trump set a sweeping "Day One" agenda.

As of Monday evening, the vast majority of his promises had gone unfulfilled.

Gee - maybe if they actually did something to earn his trust, they might get to have the first question. Instead, they led with some narrative instead of the truth. Crap like this, I would expect to see in a kindergarten or grade school, not on a national forum. Now, they do not get to file their story first. They have to wait untill a bunch of other unwashed hoi polloi media wannabe's get their talking points in first. They actually have to wait in line. The hurtz!!!!!!11111eleventy!11111

George Soros - a closer look

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Great article at the always excellent City Journal:

Connoisseur of Chaos
When the dust was cleared and the debris swept away, he stood revealed as Hillary Clinton’s most generous billionaire donor. Yet his name rarely surfaced during the presidential campaign—and that’s generally the way he likes it. Dark Money, Jane Mayer’s book about covert political funding, refers to the Koch brothers more than 300 times in its excoriation of the “radical right” but mentions progressive icon George Soros just six times; three are footnotes.

One of the planet’s richest men, his past marred with crimes and misdemeanors, the 86-year-old billionaire skates on. More than a decade ago, he moved his financial headquarters to Curaçao, a tax-free haven in the Caribbean designed for monied hypocrites who talk one game and play another. The place is not bulletproof; on occasion, Soros has been accused—and even convicted—of insider trading. A French court found him guilty of that crime and levied a fine of $2.3 million. In the parlance of the billionaires’ club, that was small change. Investigative journalists, a dwindling cadre, show little interest in him. They prefer to scrutinize safer, softer targets.

If they took even a cursory look, though, they would see that Soros’s global reach and influence far outstrip those of the Koch brothers or other liberal bogeymen—and that underlying it all is a vision both dystopian and opportunistic. “The main obstacle to a stable and just world order,” Soros has declared, “is the United States.” Ergo, that constitutional republic must be weakened and its allies degraded. The Sorosian world order—one of open borders and global governance, antithetical to the ideals and experience of the West—could then assume command.
George Soros has been an escape artist since his adolescence in Budapest, when Nazi occupiers gave him his first life lessons. Until then, the Schwartz family lived in a large house, located on an island in the Danube. György’s mother, Elizabeth, was the daughter of affluent silk merchants. His father, Tivadar, was a prominent lawyer and eccentric; in good weather, he commuted to his office by rowboat.

Much more at the site - this guy is absolute evil personified - actually no. Just a garden variety sociopath starting from when he was a teenager. Common enough.

Good news from the EPA

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Trump picked two very good people from Washington to be on the EPA Transition Team. From The Seattle Times:

Trump administration taps two Washington state legislators to help reshape EPA
Two longtime Republican state legislators from Washington state have been tapped by President Donald Trump to help reshape the Environmental Protection Agency.

Former state Sen. Don Benton, of Vancouver, and state Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, are among 10 officials who joined the EPA over the weekend as part of a transition effort.

Senator Eriksen is going to retain his Senate seat as the Republicans hold a 25 to 24 majority. He will divide his time between here and D.C. A bit more:

Ericksen said he doesn’t want to live in Washington, D.C., but is interested in a local role, such as administrator for the EPA’s Region 10, which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska.

Trump has nominated Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general, as EPA administrator, a sharp critic of the EPA under the Obama administration who is expected to make major changes in an agency with wide-ranging responsibilities for enforcing clean water, clean air, pesticide and other major environmental regulations.

A climate change skeptic and an ally of the oil and gas industry, Pruitt joined a multistate lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s plans to limit emissions from coal-fired power plants and was a sharp critic of EPA regulation.

Good - the EPA did their job when they were founded but like any bureaucracy, they have greatly expanded their scope in order to gather political power and they are now out of control. The people of the EPA are unelected - top officials are appointed but there is no external oversight and no accountability for poor decisions. Time for them to be throttled back about 40% and for them to be returned to their original task - pollution.

This is getting old. It is now 31.3°F outside and the forecast is for five nights of sub-freezing weather. Clear with some cloudiness so a lot of radiation cooling. The driveway is still slick as snot with a couple of inches of ice in parts. There are patches of gravel peeking through but not enough to not need four-wheel drive to get out. Been having to use my trekking poles to walk from the car to the gate without wiping out.

Toying with the idea of laying out black plastic over the ice to speed melting. Might try that tomorrow morning.

Travis County is home to the city of Austin and is one of the few liberal counties in Texas. From Kemberlee Kaye writing at Legal Insurrection:

Texas Governor Abbott Threatens to Cut Travis County Funding Over Sanctuary City Directive
The immigration battle is heating up in Texas.

Just last Friday, “the newly elected sheriff, who campaigned on the issue, announced Friday that her department would reduce its cooperation with federal immigration authorities when they request an inmate be flagged for possible deportation. Her office said it would still continue to hold people charged with very serious crimes, such as capital murder.”

Monday, calling her directive “dangerous” and “shortsighted”, Governor Greg Abbott sent a letter to Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez threatening to cut state funding if she persisted in her refusal to enforce federal immigration laws. Travis county is one of the state’s few liberal vestiges and home of state capitol, Austin.

The arbitrary enforcement led Abbott to remind Hernandez that her actions betrayed her, “oath and the residents of Travis County”. “I, too, have taken an oath to, “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of Texas.” And my primary duty as Governor is to ensure the safety and security of Texans,” he wrote.

“You offer two justifications for your actions, but both are frivolous. First, you claim you have no legal power to comply with ICE detainers. That proves too much, of course, because by your own admission, TCSO will honor some ICE detainers — for example, when the alien is charged with or convicted of capital murder. You have the exact same legal authority to honor ICE detainers for capital murder cases as you do for other crimes that you personally deem unworthy of enforcement. Second, you claim that TCSO should focus on “public safety,” while the federal government focuses on immigration enforcement. That ignores, of course, that the individuals subject to ICE detainers pose grave threats to public safety. The whole point of ICE’s detainer program is to ensure that the worst of the worst do not walk free and further jeopardize public safety.

Indeed, the potential impact of this public safety program is staggering. Since 2011, over 200,000 undocumented aliens have been booked into Texas jails. These undocumented aliens were charged with more than 559,000 criminal offenses. According to Texas Department Public Safety, those included 1,132 homicide charges; 66,687 assault charges; 16,304 burglary charges; 66,289 drug charges; 682 kidnapping charges; 39,689 theft charges; 43,723 obstructing police charges; 3,677 robbery charges; 5,903 sexual assault charges; and 8,375 weapons charges. Of the total undocumented aliens arrested in that time frame, over 139,000, or 66 percent, were identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as being in the United States illegally at the time of a previous arrest

Nothing like a good dose of numbers to drive home a point. Another case of narrative versus fact. Rhetoric v/s Dialectic. Much more at the site.

Fun in California - cap and trade

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Looks like the State of California is in for some interesting legal proceedings - from the Los Angeles Times:

The immediate threat to California's climate-change fight isn't Trump, it's this
With President Trump in the Oval Office, California officials are bracing for the possibility that the new administration will undermine the state’s landmark policies on climate change. But the more immediate threat isn’t coming from Washington; it lies in a lawsuit that has been slowly winding its way through state courts.

The 4-year-old legal challenge pursued by the California Chamber of Commerce and a collection of business interests argues that the cap-and-trade program represents an unconstitutional tax. The system, intended to create a financial incentive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, requires companies to purchase permits to pollute.

The problem?

The result was cap and trade, which auctioned off its first permits in 2012. Revenue from the auctions, which has ranged from hundreds of millions of dollars to nearly $2 billion a year, is then spent by lawmakers on initiatives intended to further reduce emissions. One of those projects is the $68-billion bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

All of this activity, state officials argue, falls within the government’s authority to regulate industry.

Opponents disagree, noting that the state is collecting revenue through a program that wasn’t created with a two-thirds vote in both houses of the Legislature, the threshold needed to approve taxes. 

Should be interesting to see the outcome. Doing some simple math, they would need to run the cap and trade scam for 34 years to pay for just the budgeted price of the bullet train. This is especially interesting in that without an inch of track being laid, the initial run is already $3.6 Billion over-budget and seven years behind schedule. No wonder businesses and people are fleeing the state.

Problems with Western Union

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Back in 2014, I opened a UPS/FedEX shipping and receiving business in my small town. I closed it after one year - not enough business to pay for my time.

I also did copies and printing and became an agent for Western Union - sending and receiving money across the world. I researched the company and really came to like them. They were very focused on money laundering and had a lot of auditing procedures in place to detect any 'fishy' operations. They pre-date the telephone system and at one time, had the option to purchase all of the Bell patents which would have given them a monopoly on telecommunications. They declined. Oops!

Now it seems that there is some rot at the core - sad to see. From Forbes:

Western Union Slammed For Aiding Crooks, Agrees To Pay $586 Million
Money transfer giant Western Union has agreed to pay $586 million in connection with its failure to prevent criminals from moving ill-gotten money using its platform, according to federal authorities.

In a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission on Thursday, authorities describe insufficient or poorly enforced policies that resulted in the funneling of hundreds of millions of dollars in proceeds from illegal gambling, fraud and drug and human trafficking.

Western Union admitted to criminal violations including its willful failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program and aiding and abetting wire fraud.

“Western Union owes a responsibility to American consumers to guard against fraud, but instead the company looked the other way, and its system facilitated scammers and rip-offs,” says FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

Authorities say that employees allowed or aided and abetted fraudsters in processing illicit proceeds and that the company knew about it. However, rather than firing them, Western Union allowed the employees to continue working for the company and even paid them bonuses.

More at the site - I do hope that they are able to dig the rot out and prevent it from coming back. WU is a good company and I loved working with them.

A bit of a cold snap

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Was very clear last night so temps got down to 23.7° - NWS had it for 34°F, The Weather Channel had it for 28°F

Heading out for coffee and check in at the store.

President Trump's first Monday in office

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I had noted three days ago that something was happening with the clocks on board the new constellation of navigation satellites that Europe was putting in orbit. Spaceflight 101 has a bit more:

ESA studies multiple Atomic Clock Failures on Galileo Navigation Satellites
The European Space Agency is studying a potentially serious problem with the atomic clocks that drive Europe’s Galileo Navigation Satellites and have shown an alarming failure rate across the early phase of the satellite constellation.

European government officials decided to postpone the next Galileo satellite launch by three months from August to a tentative target of November to provide sufficient time for engineers to look into atomic-clock failures on orbiting satellites. ESA and industry specialists are now working to uncover multiple systemic issues with Galileo’s onboard systems that already caused ten clocks to stop operating on orbiting satellites.

What caught my eye in this article was this:

Particularly worrying is that both types of clocks are affected – six Hydrogen Masers and three of the Rubidium devices are currently out of commission. The issue is further complicated by the fact that clock failures occurred on two different satellite platforms, one built by Airbus and Thales Alenia as part of the In-Orbit Validation (IOV) satellite series and the other by OHB Systems that is the prime contractor for the operational Galileo satellites.

The idea that the same failure could occur on two completely different platforms is troubling. The clocks are single-sourced (a bad idea for anything as complex as this) but they seem to be well designed:

The common denominator between the different types of clocks and satellite buses is SpectraTime, a Swiss firm that provides both atomic clocks for the Galileo constellation. SpectraTime, ESA and the satellite manufacturers are currently in the process of working through an extensive fault tree, but work already revealed that the design of both clock types is sound and the fault is likely within an auxiliary piece of equipment that causes clocks to fail when operated in a certain way, possibly with several contributing factors.

At least we have our GPS still ticking along and the Russian Glonass is not bad either. A lot of recent receivers can use both seats of birds so navigation and timing are greatly improved for everyone.

Get a grip people - shooting in Seattle

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From The Daily Caller:

Milo Protester Shoots Suspected Conservative, No Charges After He Points To ‘Racism’
A man who shot someone outside a speech at the University of Washington (UW) by conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos said his victim was a “white supremacist,” and police let the shooter go, even as the victim is hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.

In what appears to be a case of mistaken identity by the “anti-racism” vigilante, the shooting victim later turned out to be a supporter of Bernie Sanders.

The moke turned himself in:

The shooter turned himself in Friday night after police put out a lookout, but he was released without charges “after telling investigators he fired in self-defense during a campus protest,” the Seattle Times reported. The lookout described the suspect as an Asian man in his fifties.

Released without charges? What were the police thinking - the victim is still in the hospital with a life-threatening injury and the perp walks? And it was not just the one person:

The department said it “seized wooden dowels, homemade shields, flares, hammers, and other items from masked individuals” from protesters who were irate that a conservative was speaking on campus. Progressives have tried to physically prevent people from hearing his ideas on numerous campuses.

Peace, love, and diversity - ideas so great they must be mandatory. Talk about cognitive dissonance. Sucks to be a progressive these days - don't know what talking head to listen to.

Fingers of steel

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Better watch out there - you could bust a knuckle...

Artificial Intelligence

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The two main actors in Person of Interest are two advanced Artificial Intelligences which have access to all of the networked surveillance cameras and equipment in the Metropolitan New York City area.

It is only fitting that this story should surface today - from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA:

CMU AI Is Tough Poker Player
As the "Brains vs. Artificial Intelligence: Upping the Ante" poker competition nears its halfway point, Carnegie Mellon University's AI program, Libratus, is opening a lead over its human opponents — four of the world's best professional poker players.

One of the pros, Jimmy Chou, said he and his colleagues initially underestimated Libratus, but have come to regard it as one tough player.

"The bot gets better and better every day," Chou said. "It's like a tougher version of us."

A bit more:

Brains vs. AI, which began Jan. 11 at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, pits Chou and three other leading players — Dong Kim, Jason Les and Daniel McAulay — against Libratus in a 20-day contest in which they will play 120,000 hands of Heads-Up, No-Limit Texas Hold'em poker. All four pros specialize in this two-player, unlimited bid form of Texas Hold'em and are considered among the world's top players of the game.

While the pros are fighting for humanity's pride — and shares of a $200,000 prize purse — Carnegie Mellon researchers are hoping their computer program will establish a new benchmark for artificial intelligence by besting some of the world's most talented players.

The choice of Poker:

Libratus is being used in this contest to play poker, an imperfect information game that requires the AI to bluff and correctly interpret misleading information to win. Ultimately programs like Libratus also could be used to negotiate business deals, set military strategy or plan a course of medical treatment — all cases that involve complicated decisions based on imperfect information.

And the track record:

In the first Brains vs. AI contest in 2015, four leading pros amassed more chips than the AI, called Claudico. But in the latest contest, Libratus had amassed a lead of $459,154 in chips in the 49,240 hands played by the end of Day Nine.

Here is the website for the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the Casino tournament site: BRAINS vs. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE RE-MATCH!

Whoops - Person of Interest

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Turns out that Season Five has 13 episodes and not eight as I had thought. We were waiting for things to wrap up so I paused it and did a quick Google search.

Excellent show!

An interesting arrest

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Curious - from The Washington Times:

Police: Arrested activist featured in Project Veritas inauguration video
DisruptJ20 protesters dismissed as a joke an undercover Project Veritas video showing activists supposedly planning to shut down Thursday night’s DeploraBall by setting off smoke bombs or the sprinkler system — but D.C. police weren’t buying it.

The 34-year-old man arrested Thursday night for conspiracy to commit assault at the event was among the activists featured in the undercover video released this week, according to court documents made public on Friday.

Scott Ryan Charney was one of the three men caught on camera discussing plans to set off fire alarms and spray Butyric acid — an ingredient commonly used in stink bombs — at the National Press Club, where the party for Donald Trump supporters was held Thursday night. In the Project Veritas video, Mr. Charney is identified as Scott Green, the documents state.

Project Veritas this week publicly released an undercover video taken Dec. 18 that shows three men associated with the D.C. Antifascist Coalition and DisruptJ20 group discussing plans to disrupt the DeploraBall.

After the release of the video, DisruptJ20 organizers said the activists in the undercover video figured out the Project Veritas investigator was a plant and “gave him false information about … what they felt was the most humorous red herring available: a false plot to use stink bombs at an event called the Deploraball with the so-called ‘Alt-Right.’”

And the upshot:

Police were looking for the two other men, identified as Luke Kuhn and Colin Dunn in the video, but officials said they have not been taken into custody.

Mr. Charney was arraigned on the charges in D.C. Superior Court Friday, as President Trump was being sworn into office.

Heh - good. Teach these little snowflakes a lesson.

Surf's up - Monterey Bay

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From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Big waves pounded NorCal coast Saturday: Record breakers in Monterey Bay
As a swell moved in from the west, big waves pounded the Northern California coast on Saturday.

The National Weather Service (NOAA) buoys recorded waves from 20 to 30-plus feet between Cape San Martin to the south and Point Arena to the north.

Monterey Bay recorded the largest waves it has seen in 30 years with the swell reaching 34.12 feet at one point. The previous record was 32.8 feet in 2008.

(There is a great short video that I tried to embed and cannot. Visit the site to view)

That would be fun to see - wonder if any of this is hitting further up north - Oregon or Washington coast. I love big waves when I am safely on shore with a hot mug of coffee in hand.

Punching back twice as hard - Madonna

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Now I need to wipe my latte off my keyboard. From Kristinn Taylor writing at The Gateway Pundit:

Secret Service ‘Aware’ of Madonna’s ‘Blow Up White House’ Comment
A spokesman for the Secret Service told The Gateway Pundit the agency is aware of the comment by aging pop star Madonna made at a large liberal women’s protest against President Donald Trump held in Washington, D.C., Saturday, that she has “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” The spokesman said an investigation would be opened but that the decision to prosecute rests with the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Make these people understand that their actions have consequences. The left has continued to push the envelope - it is time for law enforcement to start pushing back. No martyrs, just a month or two of jail-time would make them think twice before acting out like a two-year old again. If they get busted for the same thing again, six months in the pokey with the full understanding that if they escalate, the jail-time will escalate right back at them.

George Soros in the news again

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Soros likes to stir things up so he can profit off the financial instability. From the New York Times:

Billionaire George Soros has ties to more than 50 ‘partners’ of the Women’s March on Washington
In the pre-dawn darkness of today’s presidential inauguration day, I faced a choice, as a lifelong liberal feminist who voted for Donald Trump for president: lace up my pink Nike sneakers to step forward and take the DC Metro into the nation’s capital for the inauguration of America’s new president, or wait and go tomorrow to the after-party, dubbed the “Women’s March on Washington”?

The Guardian has touted the “Women’s March on Washington” as a “spontaneous” action for women’s rights. Another liberal media outlet, Vox, talks about the “huge, spontaneous groundswell” behind the march. On its website, organizers of the march are promoting their work as “a grassroots effort” with “independent” organizers. Even my local yoga studio, Beloved Yoga, is renting a bus and offering seats for $35. The march’s manifesto says magnificently, “The Rise of the Woman = The Rise of the Nation.”

It’s an idea that I, a liberal feminist, would embrace. But I know — and most of America knows — that the organizers of the march haven’t put into their manifesto: the march really isn’t a “women’s march.” It’s a march for women who are anti-Trump.

As someone who voted for Trump, I don’t feel welcome, nor do many other women who reject the liberal identity-politics that is the core underpinnings of the march, so far, making white women feel unwelcomenixing women who oppose abortion and hijacking the agenda.

The author decides to follow the money and has her eyes opened:

Following the money, I poured through documents of billionaire George Soros and his Open Society philanthropy, because I wondered: What is the link between one of Hillary Clinton’s largest donors and the “Women’s March”?

I found out: plenty.

By my draft research, which I’m opening up for crowd-sourcing on GoogleDocs, Soros has funded, or has close relationships with, at least 56 of the march’s “partners,” including “key partners” Planned Parenthood, which opposes Trump’s anti-abortion policy, and the National Resource Defense Council, which opposes Trump’s environmental policies. The other Soros ties with “Women’s March” organizations include the partisan MoveOn.org (which was fiercely pro-Clinton), the National Action Network (which has a former executive director lauded by Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett as “a leader of tomorrow” as a march co-chair and another official as “the head of logistics”). Other Soros grantees who are “partners” in the march are the American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Constitutional Rights, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. March organizers and the organizations identified here haven’t yet returned queries for comment.

This is just the tip of the iceberg - the author: Asra Q. Nomani has done her homework and dug up a nest of vipers.

Punching back twice as hard - rioters

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This will send a message. I am sure that these charges will be bargained down but for them to start with this is great. From the Dallas/Fort Worth CBS affiliate:

Many Arrested Inauguration Day Protesters Will Face Felony Rioting Charges, Prosecutors Say
Most of the approximately 230 protesters arrested on Inauguration Day will be charged with felony rioting, federal prosecutors said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The office said most of those arrested will be released without having to post bail and must return to court in February.

A first group of 10 men appeared in Superior Court just before 3 p.m., and their lawyer entered a not guilty plea on their behalf. A judge released all of them on the condition they not get re-arrested in the District of Columbia.

Interim D.C. police chief Peter Newsham said Friday that 217 people were being charged with rioting.

Actions have consequences and it is time that these precious little snowflakes learned this.

Bart Simpson on Cable News

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Prescient:

20170122-bart.jpg

Late morning

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Got on a roll last night in the radio room so stayed up past my bedtime - slept in this morning.

Coffee, check in at the store and back home. Ham radio net tonight - making spaghetti for dinner.

...and then to bed.

We have three more episodes of Person of Interest and are both highly bummed at reaching the end. Sure, there are a lot of other series out there but this one was really good - got us sucked in.

It was noted that after both Obama inaugurations, the Parks Department had to deal with hundreds of tons of trash left behind by the revelers. From the Washington Post Jamuary 22nd, 2009:

The Trash Was Historic, Too
The day after America's biggest yard party was all about the cleanup.

Washington trash trucks hauled away at least 130 tons of garbage after the inauguration of President Obama, with more to go. National Park Service workers picked up almost 100 tons on the Mall and near the White House.

And:

"More than any Fourth of July, more than any event we've seen," Park Service spokesman William Line said.

Fast forward to today's women's protest - from The American Mirror:

VIDEO: Trump supporter cleans up trash left behind at Women’s March
It turns out the real environmentalists are supporters of Donald Trump.

Trump backers helped to clean up trash from the National Mall after piles of it were left behind by feminists, multi-millionaire celebrities and girly men opposed to the new president.

Here, a man wearing a white “Make America Great Again” hat could be seen picking up discarded signs and other garbage left behind by the agitators.

Meanwhile, protesters left hundreds, if not thousands, of anti-Trump signs outside his hotel.

Lots of pictures and a video - here is just one:

20170121-trash.jpg

What I would love to see but have not yet been able to find online is the state of the Capital Mall after Trump's inauguration. I attended his rally in Lynden last year and people were very conscientious about using the trash cans. The only litter was left over from the 200 or so protesters who drove up from Seattle for the event. They left a lot of signs and coffee cups, water bottles, meal wrappers, etc...

The fact that the Trump Trash is not in the news means that it was a non-issue. The revelers respected the event and left the Mall in great condition.

Dinner time

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Was working in the RadioRoom© for the last couple hours - organizing and triaging stuff. I have an electronics workbench set up in the DaveCave© that I want to move in here but the room is small so I need to be careful about what I keep and how stuff is stored and organized. People who know me will know that this is not a strong suit so it will be good training - got to start sometime.

Heating up some left-over beef stew and making some more of the par-baked bread. Time for a glass of wine. Or, among the liberals I know, whine.

Speaking truth to power

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Shades of the ancient joke regarding how all the non-conformists look alike - from Iowahawk:

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When you have 500,000 people gathered there will always be some outliers but still, they should not be those people behind the microphones. From The London Daily Mail:

Ashley Judd and Madonna go low at women's march: Singer says she wants to BLOW UP the White House in F-word-filled speech as actress says 'Hitler' Trump has 'wet dreams' about Ivanka
Tempers ran high as more than half a million marchers took to Washington D.C. on Saturday to oppose Donald Trump's new presidency - with both Madonna and Ashley Judd spewing lewd rants against the new President.

The Hollywood actress and the pop star departed from the general spirit of inclusivity and calls for mutual respect with personal attacks not only on Trump but also his family, including daughter Ivanka.

They say well-behaved women rarely make history, and Judd clearly took that quote to heart as she recited a poem written by a 19-year-old from Tennessee.

More at the site including the relevant lines from this "poem" - this is beneath dignity. It is one thing to criticize and slander someone holding public office. Their spouses are also fair game. We have never had a time when the media has declared open season on the children. Even during the G.W. Bush's daughters 'wild years', comments were far and few between and those events (DUI arrests, etc.) happened several years before his election.

Dr. Susan Berry has an observation at Breitbart:

Anti-Trump Marchers ‘Mostly White’ Women Who Need ‘Therapy’ After Clinton Loss
The tens of thousands of women marching in the anti-Trump Women’s March on Washington demonstration in Washington, D.C., Saturday are “mostly white” and experiencing “therapy” for their anxiety over Hillary Clinton’s election loss to Donald Trump in November, the Washington Post reports.

According to the Post:

Marchers — mostly women and mostly white — said they came to take the most public possible stand against Trump, a candidate and now president whom they said routinely insults women and the issues they care about. But the gathering also provided therapy for many, the balm of immersing themselves in a like-minded sea of citizens who had shared their anxiety and disappointment after Democrat Hillary Clinton’s historic bid for the presidency ended in defeat.

Nice to see the left accepting their defeat with such humility and grace. Also nice to see them offering constructive criticism - ideas on how to Make America Even Greater Together.

Off for coffee and check in at the store

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See what is happening in the real world... Back in an hour or two.

Winnie's back home

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From The Washington Times:

President Trump returns bust of Churchill to Oval Office
Winston Churchill is back in the Oval Office.

On his first day in office, President Trump brought back a bust of the legendary British prime minister to the West Wing, after President Obama had removed it. Mr. Obama replaced it with a bust of Martin Luther King Jr.

Reporters who were summoned to the Oval Office Friday night to witness Mr. Trump signing an executive order noticed the Churchill bust had been returned to the Oval Office.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson had speculated that Mr. Obama removed Churchill’s bust in part because he is “part-Kenyan,” and was motivated by anti-colonial feelings. Mr. Obama refuted that, saying he had moved the bust to a place of prominence in his private office in the White House residence.

Not to demean Dr. King's legacy at all but I believe that Winston Churchill had the greater effect on world good than Dr. King. Churchill was one of the dozen people who turned World War Two around and won it for the allies. His memory deserves to be cherished. Besides, Dr. King has a very large (and Chinese made) monument on the Mall.

OK - I lied - just this one more

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From an email:

Leftoid protestors used to have a veneer of coolness (way back), until the internet thunderdome exposed them all as androgynous fatty crybaby loser fugs. They’re like a mass catfish operation on normie society; you think you’re reading about scary revolutionaries and then a phone camera catches them blubbering in the middle of the street as cheetos tumble out of their chin folds and you’re not sure if they pee sitting or standing.

Would not be so funny if it did not hit so hard and with such accuracy.

Just one more bit of snark

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This is cute:

Our neighbors to the North

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Now this is just screaming bonkers - from the Vancouver Sun:

Opinion: Trump's name on tower damages children's health
We are writing to our fellow citizens to address an urgent public-health matter in Vancouver. In a matter of days, the Trump Tower will open.

With the public display of the Trump name, we will be seen as condoning the ridicule of the disabled, and condoning sexism, xenophobia and bigotry.

In spite of a significant effort on the part of our mayor, Gregor Robertson, to have the name Trump removed, it hasn’t been possible.

We are now turning to the public to recognize that the presence of the name under current conditions is a matter of public health that will affect the youngest and most vulnerable in our community. We believe the name represents a socially contagious condition that endangers the health and well-being of our children and youth. At this point this is a matter of public health, not politics.

As physicians we work everyday to address children’s trauma and improve mental health in ways that fosters a healthy social and physical environment regardless of race, gender or developmental ability. This directly conflicts with the prominently displayed Trump name, which serves to promote a prominent and influential role model who openly mocks and humiliates individuals with disabilities, boasts of repeatedly subjecting women to sexual groping of breasts and genitals, refers to immigrant groups as “rapists and murderers” and characterizes religious minorities as “terrorists.”

Is it just me or am I seeing a really strong case of projection. The two authors are  claiming that licensing Trump's name for the tower will be enough to cause problems with the health and well-being of our children and youth. How about that the two authors are a little bit unhinged themselves and are indulging in a nice bout of the vapors over Trump's election and inauguration as the 45th President of the United States. Talk about someone whose elevator does not go to the top floor. And they go on:

We believe that the Trump name displayed on such a prominent building in central Vancouver communicates an acceptance of racism, hatred, sexism, climate-change denial and acceptance of use of nuclear weapons, all of which are critical determinants of the health and future of children and youth. Leaving the Trump name in prominent public view will give open permission and encouragement for others in our community to act similarly and foster similar anti-social beliefs. We have every reason to believe that this powerful symbol will foster hatred inimical to the values of Canada and of Vancouver. We fear that the Trump building will become a symbol of hatred and detract from our efforts to ensure healthy development for all our children.

What a load of codswallop. Utter bilge. I am planning a trip to Ikea in the next couple of weeks to buy a table for my new photo and video computer - might be fun to have lunch at the tower. See what good business management looks like close up. Laugh at any snowflakes.

Came in over the transom - Hillary

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I love it!

20170120-hillary.jpg

It would be fun to buy a couple just to stash in the closet for ten years or so. Bring them out on Halloween - remember how close we came to disaster? Ooooooooo - now that is scary!!!

Obama working yesterday - light bulbs

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Obama's Department of Energy just banned a bunch of light bulbs yesterday evening.Fropm the Washington Examiner:

With midnight regulation, Obama Energy Department just outlawed your three-way bulb
In the last full day of the Obama administration, the Department of Energy just issued a final rule that will outlaw even more light bulbs.

The 2007 light bulb ban in effect outlawed most incandescent light bulbs by imposing efficiency standards on ordinary light bulbs. Congress exempted a few types of light bulbs, including bug lights, three-way bulbs, "rough service lamps," and some decorative bulbs, such as globe-shaped bulbs.

A bit more:

Three-way bulbs, which have two different filaments and thus three different brightnesses, are currently exempted. DOE just ruled that they now need to be covered. The Department's reasoning: "DOE expects these sales will likely increase since these lamps could be used as replacements for other regulated lamp types." In other words: People might start buying these bulbs because they want regular light bulbs rather than expensive LEDs or crappy fluorescents.

DOE also spiked the exemption for globe-shaped bulbs. Many manufacturers make, and many retailers sell, globe-shaped bulbs that met the standards, but consumers were left with the option to buy globe-shaped bulbs of the old type. That couldn't stand.

This rule doesn't go into effect for three years, but it could lead pretty quickly to domestic bulb makers ceasing production.

A few bulb types are still exempt, including bug lights and oven lights.

Christ on a corn dog - I will buy the kinds of light bulb that I want to buy. There are some places where an LED bulb is best. There are also places where a halogen or regular incandescent bulb is best. I want to be able to pick and choose. I do not need some nanny-statist trying to tell me what is best for me.

Dinner was good

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There is a reason this shows up frequently at the farm. Cheap, lots of leftovers and tasty. Make soup from the carcass.

Watched two more episodes of Season Five of Person of Interest - only a few more to go. Really well-written show and very accurate when it portrays computer hacking and software development.

Surf for a bit and then to bed...

Obama's selfies

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Heh - from Oleg Atbashian at The People's Cube:

20170120-barry.jpg

More images at the link.

Fixing dinner

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Stopped at Costco and picked up a roti chicken - doing that with a pot of rice and some stir-fried bok choy. A staple but one we do not get tired of. A can of cranberry sauce and some salsa and we have a good dinner.

Feeling a bit tired - probably not too much posting tonight unless something extraordinary happens on the intarwebs.

Back home again

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I went to the yard sale looking for two items and found both of them in great shape.

First was a Triplett 630-A multimeter. These date back to the 1950's and were the go-to standard for benchtop multimeters. I sold mine when I moved from Boston to Seattle and always regretted it. They require an odd 30 volt battery but there are workarounds using three 9-volt radio batteries (27 volts is close enough).

Second was a Heathkit HD-1250 solid-state dip meter. You use plug-in coils to provide a wide range of frequencies from 1 million cycles per second or Megahertz all the way up to 250 MHz. 90% of the amateur radio frequencies lay within this range. The frequency is generated by a simple oscillator and when the unit is brought near to something that is resonant on the same frequency, power is transferred. I can rock the tuning dial back and forth, notice where the peak power transfer is and that is the resonant frequency of the object I am testing. I already have something that does this automatically for antennas but it only works for fully completed antenna systems and not for individual components. If I need to make a coil for a given frequency, I can calculate what I need, wind about 10% more turns and then gradually use wire clippers to nibble the coil down to my desired frequency. Not something I will be using every day but when you do need it, it is invaluable.

All in all, a great score. Ran into a bunch of friends at the event - probably about 20 people picking over a very large pile of junk collectibles. The museum is an amazing resource for Bellingham and an incredible collection of electricity, radio and television history.

And I am outta here

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Heading in to town for the amateur radio yard sale. Should be fun. More in a couple of hours.

Something happening in Space

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Curious - from the BEEB:

Galileo satellites experiencing multiple clock failures
The onboard atomic clocks that drive the satellite-navigation signals on Europe's Galileo network have been failing at an alarming rate.

Across the 18 satellites now in orbit, nine clocks have stopped operating.

Three are traditional rubidium devices; six are the more precise hydrogen maser instruments that were designed to give Galileo superior performance to the American GPS network.

Galileo was declared up and running in December.

However, it is still short of the number of satellites considered to represent a fully functioning constellation, and a decision must now be made about whether to suspend the launch of further spacecraft while the issue is investigated.

I bet some engineers are changing their underwear frequently. Reliability is something that is essential for satellite construction. These clocks should have been tested to within an inch of their lives. To have more than one or two of them fail is unreal.

It is now official

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Donald Trump was sworn in a America's 45th president.

Should be an interesting eight years.

I really like that in his speech, Trump referred to himself three times while he referred to We The People 45 times. In Obama's farewell speech, he referred to himself 90 times. Big difference.

Nothing much today

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Heading into town tomorrow - our local radio and electricity museum is having a private sale of duplicate / surplus items for the local amateur radio club. Not looking to load up but there are a couple items that have nostalgic value and if they are for sale, they will be following me home tomorrow. Forecast is for Partly Cloudy so should be a nice day.

Surfing for a bit and then upstairs to bed in an hour or so.

Sour grapes - George Soros

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Everybody's favorite sociopath - as a teenager, he helped the Nazi's round up his Jewish friends - he claimed to be a Christian. (transcript and 14 minute YouTube interview of Soros admitting this). From Zero Hedge:

"He Is Going To Fail": Georges Soros Slams "Would Be Dictator" Trump
Billionaire investor George Soros spoke to Bloomberg TV in Davos, and said the euphoria among stock investors since the victory of President-elect Donald Trump will end as uncertainty takes over.

In an interview that may have been even gloomier than his last address to Davos in January 2016, when he said he was short the market, predicted a Chinese hard landing, and said the Fed's hike was a mistake, on Thursday Soros unleashed the hate, saying America has elected a "would-be dictator" as president, the European Union is disintegrating, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May won’t last long as her nation prepares to secede from the EU, and China is poised to become an even more repressive society.

Talking his book, Soros said that 'Uncertainty is at a peak, and actually uncertainty is the enemy of long-term investment," said the chairman of Soros Fund Management. "I don’t think the markets are going to do very well. Right now they’re still celebrating. But when reality comes, it will prevail."

A possible reason for the sour grapes:

As a reminder, the WSJ reported last week that Soros lost nearly $1 billion as a result of the stock-market rally spurred by Trump’s surprise win in November. Soros became more pessimistic immediately after Trump’s election. But stocks rallied on expectations that Trump’s policies will boost corporate earnings and the overall economy.

Soros lives in a bubble - all the elites do. Our voting for We The People blindsided them. They consider themselves so be highly educated and very intelligent (there is a difference and yes, they are #1 and no they are not #2) and their cognitive dissonance is driving them batty.

We are seeing a classic case of projection from Soros - it is he who thinks that he would make a good dictator. He considers himself to be one of the wisest people in the room and therefore knows what needs to be done to 'nudge' us in the right direction. We do not do nudging very well.

From Breitbart:

Congress Mulls Bill to Strip All Funds from Sanctuary Cities
A bill proposed by a U.S. representative from Pennsylvania will cut off all federal funding to state, county and local jurisdictions with sanctuary policies.

“Not one cent,” Representative Lou Barletta (R-PA) told Breitbart Texas in an interview on Thursday morning. “These mayors, sheriffs, and state leaders are thumbing their noses at federal immigration law. The only way to stop them is to hit them in their pocketbooks.”

He said the leaders of these sanctuary jurisdictions are not just choosing to violate federal law, “they’re bragging about it in press conferences.”

Mayors across the country have been lining up in droves to declare themselves sanctuary cities, Breitbart Texas reported in November 2016. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “Chicago always will be a sanctuary city,” NPR reported. “To all those who are, after Tuesday’s election, very nervous and filled with anxiety … you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago and you are supported in Chicago.” His comments come in the face of the city’s massive crime and murder rates. By the end of the year, Chicago would approach 800 murders by the end of 2016.

Perfect - want to Virtue Signal - fine but do it on your own dime. Want to suckle on the Federal Teat, obey the Federal Laws of the land.

The Democratic Party is imploding

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Time to make a big bowl of popcorn and settle in to watch the fun. From Breitbart:

Democrat Civil War: ‘Anybody Who Gives Money to [David Brock] Is Pissing Down a Rat Hole.’
Some Democrats are fighting against Clinton ally David Brock’s plan to launch his own donor network to fund his efforts to rebuild the left.

Brock’s donor network is seen by some on the left as a challenge to the efforts of Democracy Alliance, an organization launched by billionaire George Soros and other major donors to fund progressive policy initiatives and political causes, Politico reported.

“Anybody who gives money to him is pissing down a rathole,” said John Morgan, a big Clinton donor who is pondering a run for governor in the state of Florida, of Brock’s fundraising efforts.

Brock explained that his donor network is more political than Democracy Alliance, saying that Democracy Alliance has been less of a political organization focused on winning elections and more of an organization focusing on liberal donors’ pet projects.

Heh - complete disarray. Their cognitive dissonance is on full parade as they try to figure out what happened. Each faction is infighting with each other so there is no net work being done to repair or rebuild.

The Gore Effect

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Looks like The Gore Effect is out in full force - from The Hollywood Reporter:

Sundance Braces for Snow and Chilly Weather on Opening Weekend
Below-freezing temperatures arrive with opening night film 'An Inconvenient Sequel' and could mar the planned Women's March on Main.

Park City is bracing for a slew of snow at Sundance Film Festival.

The festival locale sank to below-freezing temperatures ahead of Thursday's opening-night film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Al Gore's climate-change follow-up to 2006's An Inconvenient Truth.

What warming?

Quite the rock

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US Highway 101 near Lake Crescent - from the WA State DOT:

20170119-rock.jpg

Came down yesterday - this is on the Olympic Peninsula. Very familiar with the area - I love Lake Crescent. Beautiful place.

About that global warming - arctic ice

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From The Siberian Times:

Icebreakers make historic Arctic voyage, then get stuck in frozen sea on return journey
Bulk carriers Sinegorsk and Johann Mahmastal made a successful midwinter cargo crossing from Arkhangelsk to Russia's northernmost port of Pevek, Chukotka, escorted by icebreakers Kapitan Dranitsyn and Admiral Makarov.

It was the first such crossing since Soviet times, and the ships delivered supplies for the supplies for the world's first floating heat and power plant to be assembled in Chukotka after a journey lasting from 14 December to 7 January.

The ease of the sailing is seen as a sign that climate warming in the Arctic can open up shopping lanes even in midwinter. But the climate remains unpredictable as the four vessels have discovered on their return route.

They are currently trapped by sudden thick ice around Chukotka's northernmost cape Shelagsky, some 24 nautical miles from Pevek, in some of Russia's most exposed waters.

As for this quote: climate warming in the Arctic can open up shopping lanes even in midwinter - they did not do their homework. From the Vancouver Maritime Museum:

THE ST. ROCH - A TRUE CANADIAN ADVENTURE
Built in British Columbia, named after a parish in Quebec, captained by a Norwegian immigrant, crewed by farm boys from across the country, and helped by the Inuit, the St. Roch was the first vessel to sail the Northwest Passage from west to east (1940-1942), the first to complete the passage in one season (1944), and the first to circumnavigate North America.

Emphasis mine - the ice comes and goes. It is more dependent on wind and currents than absolute temperature. Another example? How about the USS Skate:


USS Skate (SSN-578) Becomes the First Submarine to Surface at the North Pole
USS Skate (SSN-578) hung below the Arctic ice like a matchstick suspended an inch from the ceiling of a large room. A knot of sailors in the control room stared intently at an instrument inscribing patterns of parallel lines on a rolling paper tape. The pattern looked like an upside down mountain range.

“Heavy ice, ten feet,” said one of the sailors.

Suddenly the lines converged into a single narrow bar. “Clear water!” the sailor called out.

On the surface:

Calvert ordered the ballast tanks blown. The roar of high pressure air seemed earsplitting after the tense silence of the last few minutes. Upon surfacing, Calvert ordered the hatch opened, then climbed up to the bridge. The sky was slightly overcast and the damp air felt like an unseasonably warm February day in New England, with the temperature hovering near freezing. The submarine’s black hull stood out in stark relief against the deep blue of the calm lake in which the ship now floated. Beyond the lake, stretching to the horizon in every direction, was the stark white of the permanent polar ice pack. The officer who had climbed to the bridge with Calvert called the skipper’s attention to the port side of the ship. There a full grown polar bear was climbing slowly out of the water and up onto the ice.

The date was 11 August 1958 and the Skate had just become the first submarine to surface at the North Pole.

20170119-skate.jpg

USS Skate (SSN-578) made submarine history on 11 August 1958 when it became
the first submarine to surface at the North Pole.

Want more? Read this post and watch the video: Ship of Fools More here.

About that tech boom

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Sobering news from England's The Register:

Ooops! One in three tech IPOs now trading below their starting price
Around 33 per cent of the technology companies to enter the market in the last ten years are currently valued at a price lower than their IPO mark.

This according to researchers with analytics house Geckoboard, who studied 100 software, hardware, and social networking companies that have undertaken IPOs since 2006. Of those 100 companies, 67 are trading above their IPO valuation and 33 are below.

Among the 33 are Twitter (down 49 per cent), Zynga (down 66 per cent), and Groupon (down 84 per cent). Meanwhile, some the biggest jumps were seen by Facebook (up 249 per cent), VMware (up 95 per cent), and LinkedIn (up 199 per cent).

In general, the Geckoboard report suggests software companies were the safest bet to maintain their value. Gaming, meanwhile, had the lowest number of companies now above their IPO price.

Glad I got in and then got out of tech stocks when I did. I could have ridden MSFT for another year but I tend to be very conservative when it comes to investing. Made enough to be happy.

Spreading deicer and working in the Radio Room

CNN - Fake News

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This is just unreal - CNN's management has zero clue how this will look to most of the people in America. From the New York Post:

Daughter of close Obama adviser will cover DOJ for CNN
CNN has tapped the daughter of President Obama’s closest adviser to cover the Department of Justice, The Post has learned.

Laura Jarrett quietly joined the network in September as a reporter in the network’s Washington bureau.

She came to CNN with no experience in journalism.

Laura's mom Valerie Jarrett was not just an adviser, she was Obama's consigliere - she was the force behind the Presidency. Obama is basically a very weak person. Jarrett was his spine. For CNN to bring her daughter on board really shows their bias. Time for them to sink and go bankrupt.

Tip of the hat to Irons in the Fire for the link.

24 hours to go

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A big liberal meltdown:

It rained last night

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Precip was over 0.6" inches last night. Snow is almost gone from the pasture - we will see what the driveway looks like when I go out for coffee in a few minutes.

Well crap - 2017 has its agenda too

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Two losses in the music world:

Poured over my copies of Keyboard when they hit the newsstand. They were the go-to place for reading about new music/performers/equipment/software.

Here is a 31 minute documentary about William - fun music and a true pioneer:

Life at the farm

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Beef stew came out great. Baked a loaf of par-baked bread and a bottle of wine. Yum. I do the beef stew using V-8 juice as the base - makes for a nice flavor. Watched two episodes of Person of Interest. Season four so we have one short season more to watch - excellent writing and whomever they have doing their geek-fu is doing it correctly - the stuff they show on the screen is 80% accurate with 20% to cover some artistic license.

It is not wise to attract public scrutiny if you are already in the public eye. You might not like what gets uncovered. From Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit:

Uh Oh! Rep. John Lewis Didn’t Pay Taxes On His Nearly $1 Million D.C. Townhouse
Trump-hating Democrat, John Lewis didn’t pay property taxes on his nearly $1 million D.C. townhouse according to the sleuthing done by Got News:

Lewis was in the news recently for saying he doesn’t see President-elect Donald J. Trump as “a legitimate president” because of the #RussianHackers Democratic conspiracy theory.

Public records show he avoided paying property taxes on his DC townhouse at 219 3rd Street SE on Capitol Hill:

That house at 219 3rd Street SE was worth more than $810,000 in 2012 according to Nexis assessment records. It’s a nice fancy townhouse right next to Congress:

Jim has links to the 2010 Notice of Pendancy - no word as to the resolution of the case. Lewic certainly has enough money to pay his bills. Why isn't he?

Go with the flow

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Our local river is quite rapid today - this is not only the half-inch of rain but it is also the warm weather melting out the low-lying snowpack.

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Over a fifteen-fold increase in just two days.

The Democrats are pointing fingers - time to punch back twice as hard - a two-fer. Just links, read the articles:

He is playing fast and loose with taxpayer money. From Politico:

Obama administration cuts second $500M check to Green Climate Fund
The State Department announced Tuesday it is sending a second, $500 million payment to the Green Climate Fund.

The payment is the second from the U.S. to support the fund, which is intended to provide climate adaptation money to developing nations, and serves as the financial mechanism of the Paris climate agreement. The fund is supposed to reach $100 billion by 2020, with both public and private funding from around the world.

Of which less than five percent will reach the intended customers and the other 95% will pay for "studies" and otherwise line the pockets of corrupt kleptocrats.

Time to call the United Nations out for what it is, defund them and turn their Manhattan riverfront property into a nice hotel or condos or something. Do something useful with it. I bet that Zimbabwean President for life Robert Mugabe has some space on his grounds for an office building - here is where he lives:

Back from meeting

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Good meeting - it was with someone who serves as an intermediary between the public utiities and other grant-giving organizations and small business like my grocery store.

Back home again - beef stew for dinner.

Heading out

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The water is still intermittent - ice is breaking up in the pipes and it will flow just fine for a few minutes, throttle back to a trickle and then resume full flow. Had a little under a half-inch of rainfall last night - a lot of the snow is off the ground but the ice in the driveway is still treacherous.

Heading out for coffee and a meeting at 2:00PM

And that is it for the night

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Meeting tomorrow at 1400 - upgrading the lighting at the store and getting a grant from our electric utility to pay for half of it. With the savings, we will pay the rest back in a year.

Water is finally running at full flow and pressure. Keeping it dribbling overnight to keep it that way...

A great campaign slogan

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20170117-maddog.jpg

Shamelessly stolen from Mostly Cajun.

Dumping down rain

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Got about a quarter inch of rain this afternoon - still coming down heavy.

The driveway is passable where I salted it - it turns the ice into a sort of foam that offers traction. Picked up another two bags of de-icer today as more of the driveway needs this. The ice has been compacted through several freeze/thaw cycles and is going to take a while to melt. Long range forecast has at least two weeks of warmer wetter weather.

Mt. Baker was closed yesterday and today - hoping to reopen Thursday. Conditions are really snotty up there.

The coming global warming

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More like ice age - here is the Acropolis in Athens Greece yesterday:

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Very good meeting tonight

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The Mt. Baker Amateur Radio Club - Digital Group met tonight and they have some fun projects lined up. Swiped a brilliant solution for something that had been bugging me. Very electronic/nerdy/radio idea so I will not post it here but it solves a serious problem for just a couple of bucks. Makes the radio setup a lot easier too.

I'll post some photos once I order the parts and build my own.

One Big Assed Mistake America

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O.B.A.M.A. - says it all. In his rush out the door, he is pardoning the wrong guy. From The Seattle Times:

Obama commutes sentence of Chelsea Manning, who leaked Army documents
President Obama on Tuesday largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the army intelligence analyst convicted of an enormous 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted the administration, and made WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures, famous.

The decision by Obama rescued Manning, who twice tried to commit suicide last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at the male military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She has been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.

Now, under the terms of Obama’s commutation announced by the White House on Tuesday, Manning is set to be freed in five months, on May 17 of this year, rather than in 2045.

Wait - wasn't there another leaker? Edward somebody?

In recent days, the White House had signaled that Obama was seriously considering granting Manning’s commutation application, in contrast to a pardon application submitted on behalf of the other large-scale leaker of the era, Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who disclosed archives of top secret surveillance files and is living as a fugitive in Russia.

Asked about the two clemency applications on Friday, the White House spokesman, Joshua Earnest, discussed the “pretty stark difference” between Manning’s case for mercy with Snowden’s. While their offenses were similar, he said, there were “some important differences.”

Yeah - Snowden had the fscking grace to go through the documents and redact names of sensitive assets in the field. Manning just cut and pasted and posted everything he could get his grubby little mits on and he is personally responsible for the horrible torture and deaths of hundreds of our allies in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

The disclosures set off a frantic scramble as Obama administration officials sought to minimize any potential harm, including getting to safety some foreigners in dangerous countries who were identified as having helped American troops or diplomats.

Imagine that Mohammed is a man in his 50's and was helping us monitor ISIS and Taliban movements near his village. 30 people from ISIS drive into the village in a couple trucks asking where he is. They make him sit down in the village square as they round up his family. They murder his grandchildren in front of his sons and daughters. They then murder his sons and daughters. Then his mother and father. Then his wife. Finally, the build a fire under him and burn him to death. That is what the Taliban or ISIS does to people who stand in their way and it is deaths like this that Bradley Manning caused.

Again, Snowden took the time to redact any possible contact information from the data he published and he is getting the really short end of the deal here.

Because Manning is a trannie, he is the darling of the progressives and Obama is playing Pander-Bear to these morons. Virtue signaling all the way out the door. Just to be clear, nothing wrong with wanting a sex change - Walter Wendy Carlos of Switched On Bach fame did a very public transformation. My complaint is that Manning is using this to get his way and this should not be allowed.

We have water - kinda

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Came home from the ham radio meeting, turned on the tap and whoosh! Ran fine for a few minutes and it trickled down to just a slow flow - only an ounce or so per minute. Let it run and it has been oscillating between a good flow and almost nothing - lots of ice in the system breaking up and shifting position as it melts.

It got up to 50.9°F today and is currently 43.7°F and raining heavily so relief is on the way.

Lulu is coming out tomorrow - been way too long without her wonderful company!

Back to town

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Not taking a nap - just not tired enough. Heading in to town for some banking and a ham radio club meeting tonight. No posting for a couple of hours.

This is fun - welcome aboard!

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It is not just bitter clingers and baskets of deplorables who are stocking up on food, water and ammo - from Vocativ:

Liberal Preppers Stock Up On Guns, Food As Trumpocalypse Looms
Colin Waugh bought a shotgun four weeks before November’s election.

An unapologetic liberal, he was no fan of firearms. He had never owned one before. But Waugh, a 31-year-old from Independence, Missouri, couldn’t shake his fears of a Donald Trump presidency — and all of the chaos it could bring. He imagined hate crimes and violence waged by extremists emboldened by the Republican nominee’s brash, divisive rhetoric. He pictured state-sanctioned roundups of Muslims, gays, and outspoken critics.

“I kept asking myself, ‘Do I want to live under tyranny?'” said Waugh, who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and later backed Hillary Clinton. “The answer was absolutely not.”

With Trump now days away from assuming the White House, Waugh’s preparing for the worst. He’s made “bug-out bags” stuffed with ammo, energy bars, and assorted survival gear for his wife and their three cats. He’s begun stowing water and browsing real estate listings in Gunnison County, Colorado, which he’s determined to be a “liberal safe-haven.” Last month, Waugh added a 9mm handgun to his arsenal.

This is the whole Y2K scare all over again. Back in 1999, people thought that civilization would come to a halt because it was found that some computer systems could not handle the date roll-over properly. That was fixed and life went on as usual. It was fun because there were lots of nice generators and guns and prepper gear for sale in late 2000 and early 2001 Cheap!

A bit more:

“We’re tired of being perceived as wusses who won’t survive when shit hits the fan,” said Stacy, a Texas Democrat who recently caught the prepper bug. She spoke with Vocativ on the condition we not publish her last name. “I, for one, don’t like to be thought of as some precious snowflake.”

After years cast as a fringe survival group, preppers entered a kind of golden age during the Obama presidency. A horrific housing crash and the spectacle of Hurricane Sandy helped give rise to reality television shows like Doomsday Preppers and Doomsday Bunker, and fueled a multi-billion dollar survival industry. Branded by some as a foreign-born, gun-grabbing socialist, Obama aroused deep suspicion among the patriot groups, right-wing conservatives, and apocalyptic Christians at the center of the growing movement.

Trump’s provocative posturing and unpredictability is now inspiring a fresh wave of panic on the left. Those who spoke with Vocativ have envisioned scenarios that could lead to military coups led by loyalists of the president-elect and internment camps packed with political opponents, bloody social unrest and an all-out civil or nuclear war. Sound bonkers? Perhaps. But, for many, so was the prospect of a President Trump.

You just go ahead - we will be more than happy to by your stuff off you for pennies on the dollar once prepping is no longer 'hip' or 'cool'. Besides, everyone knows that the real shit-hitting-fan moment will be on  03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038 - any questions? I will be in my bunker.

Back home again from the body shop and...

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... pipe is still frozen solid. It is 48.4°F outside but the soil temp is 32°F - it had been 31°F for the last couple of days so there is some improvement but... The forecast calls for rain later this evening so this will help a lot.

Fixing some lunch, taking a nap then heading back into town for my ham radio digital group meeting and to do some banking for me and for the store.

Still no water at the farm - last night's low temp was 33.6°F and it is now 34.5°F. The forecast for heavy rain has piddled out and is now just light showers - we have had less than 0.2" in the last 24 hours. I was hoping for a good long soak to thaw the pipe out.

Up a bit early to take care of the critters, take a shower at the store, get coffee and take Thunderbunny into the body shop to get the tailgate fixed. There is a ham radio group meeting in town later today so I will probably stay in town for that too. Minimal posting today...

Great news - draining the swamp

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From The Washington Examiner:

Boom: Trump eyes 10% spending cuts, 20% slash of federal workers
Making good on a promise to slash government, President-elect Trump has asked his incoming team to pursue spending and staffing cuts.

Insiders said that the spending reductions in some departments could go as high as 10 percent and staff cuts to 20 percent, numbers that would rock Washington if he follows through.

At least two so-called "landing teams" in Cabinet agencies have relayed the call for cuts as part of their marching orders to shrink the flab in government.

The cuts would target discretionary spending, not mandated programs such as Medicare or Social Security, the sources said.

Wonderful! D.C. is bloated and needs to be cut back. This is going to be an interesting (and fun) eight years.

A grassroots movement

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Yah, riiight. From The Washington Times:

Ads in two dozen cities offer protesters up to $2,500 to agitate at Trump inaugural
Donald Trump may have a point about paid protesters: Job ads running in more than 20 cities offer $2,500 per month for agitators to demonstrate at this week’s presidential inauguration events.

Demand Protest, a San Francisco company that bills itself as the “largest private grassroots support organization in the United States,” posted identical ads Jan. 12 in multiple cities on Backpage.com seeking “operatives.”

“Get paid fighting against Trump!” says the ad.

“We pay people already politically motivated to fight for the things they believe. You were going to take action anyways, why not do so with us!” the ad continues. “We are currently seeking operatives to help send a strong message at upcoming inauguration protests.”

The job offers a monthly retainer of $2,500 plus “our standard per-event pay of $50/hr, as long as you participate in at least 6 events a year,” as well as health, vision and dental insurance for full-time operatives.

These people have absolutely nothing to offer in terms of constructive ideas. They have to pay people to march along with their pitiful little cadre. Bu we know what is best for you peons. We are your cultural elite!

Got a gentle rain falling now

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Falling softly on the land - supposed to get quite stronger by tomorrow. As well as cleaning out the truck this evening, I also spread some de-icer on the worst of the ice in my driveway. The rain will help it melt away. It doesn't completely go away but it turns from rock hard slippery ice into sort of a loose ice 'foam' - a lot better traction for walking on.

Going to watch some YouTube videos and surf for a bit - early bedtime as I need to be up early to get a shower, coffee and drop the truck off.

Actions have consequences - never Trump

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Great little story from The Washington Post:

‘Never Trump’ national-security Republicans fear they have been blacklisted
They are some of the biggest names in the Republican national security firmament, veterans of past GOP administrations who say, if called upon by President-elect Donald Trump, they stand ready to serve their country again.

But their phones aren’t ringing. Their entreaties to Trump Tower in New York have mostly gone unanswered. In Trump world, these establishment all-stars say they are “PNG” — personae non gratae.

Their transgression was signing one or both of two public “Never Trump” letters during the campaign, declaring they would not vote for Trump and calling his candidacy a danger to the nation.

One letter, with 122 names, was published by War on the Rocks, a website devoted to national security commentary, during the primary season in March. The other, with 50 names, including some repeat signatories, was published by the New York Times during the general-election campaign in August.

Now, just days before Trump is sworn in as the nation’s 45th president, the letter signers fear they have been added to another document, this one private — a purported blacklist compiled by Trump’s political advisers.

Heh - again, actions have consequences. You wanted to Virtue Signal, your side lost and now you expect to be given the keys to the castle just for showing up. Washington D.C. is downsizing - you better start looking around for something else to do because once you insult the boss, your employment options are greatly reduced.
Repeat after me: Would you like fries with that?

Thank you England!

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Looks like England can not stand the guy either - from Legal Insurrection

Kerry’s Latest Peace Making Effort Ends with a Pffft
In a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, January 15, 2017, Secretary of State John Kerry assured the prime minister that there would be no further United Nations Security Council action taken against Israel in the wake the Paris peace conference.

And what happened in Paris?

The Paris peace conference was intended to advance the international assault on Israel’s legitimacy, playing up the Palestinian narrative that settlements, not Palestinian intransigence, were mostly responsible for the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It was expected that the final communique from the conference, which would have reiterated the “flagrant violation” language, would have been formalized in a second UNSC resolution.

However British Prime Minister Theresa May stepped up and sent a low level delegation to the conference, which refused to sign on to the final communique. (A spokesman for the government had blasted Kerry’s post resolution speech, in which he tried to justify the abstention, saying that it was wrong to be “focusing on only one issue,” namely the settlements, in seeking peace, when “the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex.” The statement also took Kerry to task for criticizing “the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally.” The statement criticizing Kerry also reiterated that bilateral negotiations were the only way to achieve peace.)

So Kerry was angling for another UN Security Council resolution against Israel and British Prime Minister Theresa May put her foot down. Good! More at the site including the backstory about the large numbers of Israeli "settlements" which are a palestinian fabrication (there are only three being built in the West Bank) - lots more, go and read.

Both Kerry and Obama will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history and will be remembered as the worst of the worst.

Sad story from The Nepali Times by way of The Landslide Blog at the American Geophysical Union:

Future shock – the failure to learn from the 2015 earthquake in Nepal
The Nepali Times had a large piece over the weekend entitled Future Shock, which was driven by National Earthquake day in Nepal.  In an accompanying editorial, the newspaper notes the disastrous failure of Nepal to learn lessons from the earthquake, noting that:

In Kathmandu Valley, the earthquake damage convinced many that cement buildings are safer. A stronger earthquake that lasted longer would have pancaked most concrete structures on 25 April 2015. As our special report in this edition  points out, scientists have warned of much more catastrophic earthquakes in the vicinity of Kathmandu Valley and in Western Nepal. Existing and new buildings are just not capable of withstanding the intensity of shaking we are bound to experience in the Central Himalaya at any time. 

And, most importantly:

We do not intend to spread panic, but the sad fact is that Nepal has squandered the lessons of 2015, and we are woefully unprepared for a disaster sure to come. This doesn’t just mean rehabilitating structures that came down two years ago, but also retrofitting buildings in western Nepal where a Big One is imminent. 

The delayed and ineffective response to 2015 and the lack of serious preparedness is a result of a larger failure of governance. As our report shows, the whole corrupt building permit process has to be overhauled so that safety comes before revenue. We cannot afford to wait for the politics to fix itself, our greatest concern now should be on pre-disaster preparedness and to learn from past experiences.

In my opinion, this hits the nail on the head.  The earthquake left many unstable slopes, and many exceptionally vulnerable people, in the mountainous areas to the north of Kathmandu.  There was an almost total lack of government-led preparedness for the 2016 monsoon, despite warnings that the situation was highly dangerous.  Since then, progress has been slow, even though the 2017 monsoon is just months away.  It is hard not to believe that Nepal is heading for an even greater disaster.

This article is one of a series at The Nepali Times - well worth reading for general disaster planning as well as the political scene in Nepal:

Sad story - the corrupt politicians never think about the consequences of their actions (or in-actions). Sometimes I think the French had it right - set up a guillotine in every town square and watch the bureaucrats become very motivated to do the right thing.

And has the gall to blame Turmp's incoming Treasury Secretary. From Richard Pollock writing at The Daily Caller:

EXCLUSIVE: How Chuck Schumer Caused Bank Collapse Dems Now Blame On Trump’s Treasury Nominee
Senate Democrats — led by senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders — hope to defeat Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, by focusing on his alleged role in the 2008 collapse of California’s IndyMac bank.

Warren has launched a web page on the official United States Senate website that calls Mnuchin, “the foreclosure king” because, as she and left-wing activists charge, he threw thousands of homeowners onto the street after he bought IndyMac. Mnuchin’s Senate confirmation hearing begins Thursday.

But The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group (TheDCNF) has uncovered extensive evidence that the person who triggered IndyMac’s financial crisis, which led to one of the largest bank failures in American history, was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

Schumer's action?

Schumer started a $100 million-a-day run on the bank after he gave reporters a letter on June 26, 2008, addressed to federal regulators saying he was “concerned that IndyMac’s financial deterioration poses significant risks to both taxpayers and borrowers.”

The letter spooked depositors who in the next 11 days withdrew a record $1.3 billion from the bank.

News reports filed at the time squarely place the blame the bank’s failure on Schumer. The Los Angeles Times, for example, reported July 2, 2008, that “the letter stunned some Wall Street analysts, who said Schumer was in effect sealing the lender’s fate by raising the prospect of its failure.”

Schumer’s action was so irresponsible that the federal Office of Thrift Supervision explicitly blamed Schumer for IndyMac’s collapse, saying in a July 11, 2008, press release that “the immediate cause of the closing was a deposit run that began and continued after the public release of a June 26 letter to the OTS and the FDIC from Senator Charles Schumer of New York.”

Much more at the site. The democrats are trying to re-write history. Didn't Stalin like to do this?

Cleaning up the truck

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Heading outside to clean up the truck prior to her going into the body-shop tomorrow. Want to do it while I still have some light and before the rain hits. Back in an hour or so.

The upcoming forecast

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Looks like a fun one - this is from the National Weather Service's web page:

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Our main river - the Nooksack - is running about four times below normal levels. That is due for a change really soon!

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Trump meeting with M.L. King III

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From the London Daily Mail:

Donald Trump PRAYS with Martin Luther King's son to 'heal the nation': President-elect makes peace move after spat with civil rights icon John Lewis
President-elect Donald Trump prayed with the son of Martin Luther King Jr. at Trump Tower Monday, just days after the president-elect went after civil rights icon John Lewis on Twitter as someone who was 'all talk.'

Trump 'prayed with Martin Luther King III & discussed the legacy & work of his father #martinlutherkingday #MLKDAY' tweeted incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicier Monday afternoon.

Spicer included a photograph of Trump flashing a 'thumbs up' and posing next to King in front of a wall of grip-and-grin photos inside Trump's Trump Tower office. Included on Trump's 'me wall' are photos of him with John F. Kennedy Jr. and Ronald Reagan, and a 1990 copy of Playboy Magazine with Trump on the cover.

A source who was at the meeting said it had opened with a prayer about 'healing the nation', the Washington Post reported.

The prayer and reflection came on a day when Trump hailed the 'wonderful things' that King stood for – following a nasty online spat with civil Lewis, who is skipping Trump's inauguration after saying his election was 'not legitimate'.

Oh - and Representative Lewis? You also boycotted the George W. Bush inauguration - from this January 21st, 2001 article at the Washington Post:

"It's kind of gloomy," says Rep. John Conyers, the Michigan Democrat who is dean of the Congressional Black Caucus. He boards the Capitol's underground subway en route to the swearing-in, then pulls a black ribbon from his suit pocket. "I've got a little pin to put on." It's a CBC protest pin. There's a small piece of paper attached: This ribbon represents the fact that the will of the people was not honored in the 2000 presidential election. That's how John Conyers feels about George W. Bush's big moment. "But we've got to keep on fighting," he adds.

Some members of the Black Caucus decided to boycott Inauguration Day; John Lewis, for instance, spent the day in his Atlanta district. He thought it would be hypocritical to attend Bush's swearing-in because he doesn't believe Bush is the true elected president.

Emphasis mine - a bit of a one-trick pony aren't you Mr. Lewis.

From NASA:

Remembering Gene Cernan
Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, died Monday, Jan. 16, surrounded by his family.

Cernan, a Captain in the U.S. Navy, left his mark on the history of exploration by flying three times in space, twice to the moon. He also holds the distinction of being the second American to walk in space and the last human to leave his footprints on the lunar surface.

He was one of 14 astronauts selected by NASA in October 1963. He piloted the Gemini 9 mission with Commander Thomas P. Stafford on a three-day flight in June 1966. Cernan logged more than two hours outside the orbiting capsule.

In May 1969, he was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 10, the first comprehensive lunar-orbital qualification and verification test of the lunar lander. The mission confirmed the performance, stability, and reliability of the Apollo command, service and lunar modules. The mission included a descent to within eight nautical miles of the moon's surface.

In a 2007 interview for NASA's oral histories, Cernan said, "I keep telling Neil Armstrong that we painted that white line in the sky all the way to the Moon down to 47,000 feet so he wouldn't get lost, and all he had to do was land. Made it sort of easy for him."

We lost a real hero.

Back and...

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...still no water at the farm. Got up to 39.4°F this afternoon but cooling down - 35.4°F now. Still keeping the faucet open in the sink - miracles can happen can't they?

Thunderbunny looks really funny without her canopy - always had canopies on my trucks so just odd to see the regular bed. She goes in to the body-shop tomorrow morning and I come back home with a service loaner.

Supposed to rain a lot tonight - should help thaw out the pipes. Just checked and the soil temperature is 31.0°F - frozen solid. When I win the lottery, I am running new water pipe from the well-house and running a heating cable alongside it.

Off for coffee and town

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Back in a couple of hours.

While John Lewis is sputtering about Trump not being his President, Dr. Martin Luther King's son is meeting with Trump. From ABC:

Trump to Meet With Martin Luther King Jr.'s Son Today
President-elect Donald Trump is expected to meet with Martin Luther King Jr.'s son to discuss the civil rights leader's legacy.

Trump's incoming press secretary, Sean Spicer, announced on Twitter that the president-elect is meeting with Martin Luther King III today, the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

Lewis is demonstrating grandstanding. Trump is demonstrating leadership.

Trump's new allies

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A biker gang - 200,000 strong. From Breitbart:

Pro-Trump Bikers Plan to Form a ‘Wall’ Against Violent Protesters at Inauguration
Thousands of bikers are planning to come to Washington D.C. for Trump’s inauguration in support of the president-elect.

Chris Cox organized a rally for his group of more than 5,000 “Bikers for Trump” that will include “musical performances and speakers,” but he also said they will “stand up to dangerous protesters,” the Daily Mail reported.

“In the event that we are needed, we will form a wall of meat,” he told Fox & Friends. “We’ll be shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and we’ll be toe-to-toe with anyone who’s going to break through police barriers,” he said.

Cox said the group is non-violent and the bikers will only step in if protesters become violent, “assaulting women, spitting on them, and throwing things at them.”

Cox started “Bikers for Trump” in 2015, and he says the group has grown to about 200,000 members.

I would love to see the interaction between the precious little snowflakes and the bikers. One is real, one lives in a bubble. The videos should be a lot of fun.

Hope for today

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Already at 31.1°F now - turns out the low of 24.7°F was as low as it got last night. Forecast is for 38°F (NWS) and 40°F (TWC) see who gets it closest. Both are forecasting heavy afternoon showers. We will see when the pipes thaw out - this is getting old.

In to town to get the canopy off my truck in preperation for it going into the auto-body shop tomorrow. Be driving a loaner for two weeks while it is being fixed.

Oh - this is perfect timing

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From Breitbart:

EXCLUSIVE: Bill Clinton Sex Assault Accusers To Anti-Trump Women’s Marchers: ‘Shame On All Of You’
Bill Clinton’s famous sex assault accusers Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey are strongly criticizing the upcoming Women’s March on Washington, a celebrity-endorsed event planned for the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.

The march has been described by the news media as a female protest against Trump, with reports that hundreds of thousands might attend.

The mission statement for the march claims that the gathering is meant to send a message “that women’s rights are human rights” and pledges to fight against those who have demonized “survivors of sexual assault.”

Speaking to Breitbart News, Broaddrick had strong words for the march organizers:

I am a survivor of sexual assault. I am one of the people you are supposedly marching for. I was raped by Bill Clinton. Did you hear me? I am one of many that Bill Clinton assaulted. Where were you ladies when I was hurting and scared? This past year, I once again told about my horrific encounter with Bill Clinton.

Where were you? You were silent because of your support for Hillary Clinton. Shame on you; all of you. I can finally move forward because your candidate, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Clinton, my abuser, no longer matter.

Willey stated, “Donald Trump has ‘demonized’ victims of sexual assault? How so? Exactly what do they call what Bill and Hillary did to us? They are the king and queen of demonization and defamation. Where were they when we needed them? I’ll be sure to look for them at the inauguration. I’m looking forward to looking them in the eye.”

Speaking truth to power. Unsubstantiated claims versus real and horrible assaults.

And, of course, the left's favorite sociopath sugar daddy is funding this

Only in California

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Governor Jerry Brown's newest toy is a bullet train. Without one inch of track being laid, it is already $3.6 Billion over budget and seven years behind schedule. From Legal Insurrection:

California bullet train blasts through budget projections
A report obtained by The Los Angeles Times confirms my concerns about the project’s fiscal drain on our state. The review shows that this monstrosity will cost $3.6 billion more than original budget projection.

A confidential Federal Railroad Administration risk analysis, obtained by The Times, projects that building bridges, viaducts, trenches and track from Merced to Shafter, just north of Bakersfield, could cost $9.5 billion to $10 billion, compared with the original budget of $6.4 billion.

The federal document outlines far-reaching management problems: significant delays in environmental planning, lags in processing invoices for federal grants and continuing failures to acquire needed property.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority originally anticipated completing the Central Valley track by this year, but the federal risk analysis estimates that that won’t happen until 2024, placing the project seven years behind schedule.

Even more disturbing is that the estimated overrun is merely for the easiest leg of the track to be constructed. I shudder to think about how many more taxpayer dollars will be squandered to build the entire system.

Legal Insurrection has been covering this boondoggle since 2012 - here are three previous reports:

It will be interesting to see what happens when Trump is sworn in - there is a good chunk of Federal money involved:

The Federal Railroad Administration is tracking the project because it has extended $3.5 billion in two grants to help build the Central Valley segment. The administration has an obligation to ensure that the state complies with the terms, including a requirement that the state has the funding to match the federal grants.

The railroad administration’s analysis shows that the state authority could lose $220 million in one of the federal grants this year if it cannot submit paperwork by June 30, to meet the Sept. 30 deadline of the Obama administration’s stimulus act.

They want to build their choo choo train? Fine. Do it themselves without Federal (our tax dollars) money. Or they can put up a satellite or something...

About that European cold snap

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In my post about the Black Sea freezing, mention was made of the Fountains of Rome freezing over - from the Australian Broadcasting Company:

Europe's harsh winter blamed for more than a dozen deaths in three countries
Heavy snowfall and below-freezing temperatures have swept across Europe causing more than a dozen deaths, as well as grounding flights and crippling ferries in Italy and Turkey.

The cold conditions in Poland have killed at least 10 people in the past few days, according to officials who said temperatures in some areas had dropped below -20 degrees Celsius on Saturday.

Widespread too:

With no indications of a let up, some schools were ordered to stay closed on Monday in southern Italy, because of snow up to one metre high, the ANSA news agency reported.

The chill did not spare sunny Rome either, with the fountains in St Peter's Square freezing over.

Temperatures dropped to -7 degrees in Greece's second largest city of Thessaloniki, and -10 degrees was expected on Sunday, according to the Norwegian Meteorological Institute.

Several Greek islands, otherwise known for their sunny and warm weather, were blanketed in snow with freezing temperatures.

The Lonely Planet also has some information as well as a lot of good photos - it is unusually cold over there.

Is this what we have to look forward to for the next fifty years or so? The sun is very quiet - Planetary K Index hasn't crept up above 2 for the last couple of weeks. 10.7cm flux is flat-lining.

Fixing up some leftover vegetables with some ramen. Doing a salad too - taste buds are working just fine after the flu.

Temps are down to 24.7°F - National Weather Service is forecasting 28°F and The Weather Channel is plugging for 26°F - both wrong although I do get cooler nighttime temps than either of them predict. I blame the Fraser River Outflow (more here).

Pipes better thaw out soon or it is time to switch to Red Solo Cups and paper plates.

Talk about freezing - the Black Sea

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From Robert Felix writing at Ice Age Now:

Black Sea Freezes For First Time in 62 Years – Video
12 Jan 2017 – “The last time the sea in the Bulgarian resort of Burgas was covered with ice was in 1954. Throughout the entire 20th century ice paralyzed this part of the Black Sea  area only 3 times.”

The Balkan country is experiencing extreme cold. In some areas, the air temperature dropped to -29 C (-20 F).“This winter is strong for many countries in Europe. In Italy, the famous Roman fountains display a frozen waterfall, it is snowing in Montenegro, and in Belgium the rails of the train have frozen.

The article is here - the text courtesy of Google Translate

Still no water at the farm. The air temp got all the way up to 36.7°F today but it is now 3:00PM and 34.7°F so cooling off for the night. I had hoped the pipes would thaw out but no such luck.

Tomorrow is supposed to reach 40°F with rain and the moving water will greatly help the pipes to thaw. Just for giggles, I stepped outside and took a soil reading. 31.0°F and frozen solid. Snow was at 32.0°F so there is some melting going on but specific heat is keeping right at 32.0°F until something happens to overcome that temp - either large amounts of external heat or the water all melts.

Next election cycle, it will be good to remember this little list - from The Wall Street Journal:

More Democratic Legislators Plan on Sitting Out Trump’s Swearing-In
The number of Democratic lawmakers planning to skip Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony Friday is growing, with more joining in the boycott after the president-elect took to Twitter over the weekend to rebuke civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.) for saying Mr. Trump wasn’t a “legitimate president.”

And the list:

Other lawmakers who have said they wouldn’t attend inaugural events are Rep. Katherine Clark (D., Mass.), Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D., Wash.), Rep. Jared Huffman (D., Calif.), Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D., Calif.), Rep. Lacy Clay (D., Mo.), Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.) Rep. Adam Smith, (D., Wash)., Rep. Barbara Lee (D, Calif.), Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D, Ariz.), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D., Ore.), Rep. José E. Serrano (D., N.Y.), Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D., N.Y.), Rep. Mark Takano (D., Calif.), Rep. Yvette Clarke (D., N.Y.), Rep. Judy Chu (D., Calif.), Rep. Jerry Nadler (D., N.Y.) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D., N.Y.)

So now you know who not to vote for in 2020 - why would you elect someone who willfully refuses to work with the duly elected President and who is incapable of working across the aisle.

I like this - from Bloomberg:

Trump Team May Move West Wing Briefings to Expand Capacity
The incoming Trump administration is considering moving White House press briefings out of the West Wing to accommodate more than the “Washington media elite,” President-elect Donald Trump’s press secretary said.

“This is about greater accessibility, more people in the process,” Sean Spicer said Sunday on Fox News Channel’s “Media Buzz.” Involving more people, including bloggers and others who aren’t from the mainstream media, “should be seen as a welcome change,” he said.

This is perfect - the more people involved in the reporting, the less of an opportunity the mainstream media has to insert their biases.

The progressive job market - an update

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I wrote about this a couple hours ago and just ran into a prime example - from The Daily Caller:

Heads Are Finally Beginning To Roll At The Clinton Foundation
The Clinton Foundation announced it’s laying off 22 staffers on the Clinton Global Initiative, keeping with a plan to deal with the negative spotlight put on the organization during former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

The layoffs will take effect April 15, the Clinton Foundation said in a filing with the New York Department of Labor Thursday, citing the discontinuation of the Clinton Global Initiative. The move is part of a plan put in motion ahead of the presidential election in order to offset a storm of criticism regarding pay-to-play allegations during Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state.

The Clinton Foundation is the poster child for corrupt politics in Washington. I wonder if any of the foreign contributors are asking for their money back. I also wonder what Bill and Hillary's speaking schedule looks like for the next year and what their honorarium is for a speech.

Still no water at the farm

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It is nice and warm today 34.7°F air temp but the pipe from the well to the house is still frozen solid. Hope it will thaw out soon.

Cleaning out the truck in preparation for it going into the autobody shop Tuesday. Breaking for some lunch (Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup and two cans of Mountain Dew Throwback - original formula with cane sugar. Big difference in taste.).

The end of the cold but at what price

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The forecast is for warming but with a lot of rain. Things do not look good for Mt. Baker skiing either - from the National Weather Service:

Heavy rain Monday night through Wednesday could drive some Western Washington rivers above flood stage. Rainfall totals of 5 to 8 inches are possible in the Olympic Mountains during that 48-hour period, with 4 to 7 inches possible in the Cascades. The snow level will be 7000 to 8500 feet Monday night through Tuesday night, then fall to around 6000 feet Wednesday as precipitation begins to decrease.

These rainfall amounts -- if they occur -- could result in some flooding on the more flood-prone rivers flowing out of the Olympics and Cascades,and the Chehalis River in southwest Washington. Western Washington rivers are running low currently, but the rain will cause them to rise quickly and flooding could possibly begin Tuesday or Wednesday.

And it is not just the rain - the additional snow-melt will be significant. We will see...

A wonderful long essay - just an excerpt from Richard Fernandez writing at PJ Media:

The reason "populism" has been such a catastrophe for the Left is it leaves them with no comparative advantages. They're not hard enough to return to the sword and they've run out of Other People's Money.  Perhaps that once great historical project will be memorialized by what the New Republic called David Brock's "creepy letter" to Bernie Sanders craving forgiveness in exchange for a job. "Today, Brock published a letter to Bernie Sanders, imploring for a unified front against Trump. He states, 'I will do all I can to fight the Trump Administration, but I need help from those in the position to resist through our democratic institutions.'"

It's come to that. Give me a job and I'll say anything.  In this hope of employment Brock joins thousands of progressives who find there's "a vastly smaller job market for their skills" in 2017.

The job market is about to get even more crowded for Washington Democrats, as thousands of Obama appointees join the hundreds of Clinton campaign staffers looking for employment.

There’s rarely been less demand for their services.

For the Left the future is not turning out the way they hoped.  They have failed to transition to 'a high-skill, low-carbon knowledge economy'. The millennials would understand.

The progressives killed themselves - the dinosaur is dead. Its tail is still twitching but the body is corrupt and rotting from the inside out. A wonderful thing too - after 100 years of marxism, communism, socialism. After 100's of millions of people killed for these ideas, to see the ideas finally run to ground and shown for what they are - abject failure.

Pot meet kettle - Canadian Prime Minister

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Great excoriating article at The Toronto Sun:

Trudeau’s cheap talk on climate change
If you want to understand the impact of climate change polices on ordinary Canadians and how detached our political leaders are from what they are doing by imposing them, think of this every time they say “carbon pricing.”

Think of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flying in on the Aga Khan’s helicopter to the billionaire’s private island in the Bahamas, part of his greenhouse-gas spewing winter holiday with his family and Liberal friends.

Then think of him returning to Canada to hear a tearful mother and grandmother on his “meet the people” damage control tour in Peterborough Friday tell him her skyrocketing electricity and fuel bills have driven her into energy poverty.

This even though, partially disabled, she said she works 15 hours a day and makes almost $50,000 a year.

That, in a nutshell, is the issue, because it suggests Trudeau doesn’t think he has to change his lifestyle to fight climate change, but ordinary Canadians do.

And driving it home:

Think of the United Nations’ never-ending global warming roadshow that seems determined, on the public’s dime, to invade every tourist mecca, five-star hotel and Michelin restaurant on Earth, spewing the very greenhouse gases the UN says are endangering the planet.

Never mind what these hypocrites say about saving humanity.

Ask yourself whether they act like people who really believe the Earth faces an imminent, existential threat from the overconsumption of fossil fuel energy.

Don’t their actions suggest their real attitude is “energy poverty for thee, but not for me”?

Exactly - if this were a real problem, these "leaders" would be huddled in their homes using Skype to communicate. Instead, they are living large on our dime. And remember, warming is not a bad thing - more people die from cold than from heat.

Another day of frozen pipes

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Heading out to the store to take a shower and then off for coffee and back home.

It is already 27.7°F outside so hopeful that things will thaw out today. Feeling a lot better too - still hacking up chunks of lung tissue but the fever is gone and my body feels a lot better - no muscle aches. Brain is mostly back online too - much less dependent on spell check...

More in a couple of hours.

The Flu season - pretty serious

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Looks like it's not just me and Lulu - from The Bellingham Herald:

Flu death toll in Washington state at 46, none in Whatcom County
The number of deaths caused by the flu in Washington state has climbed to 46 as the flu continued its grip on the state, according to information released Friday.

None of the deaths were in Whatcom County, which also has seen a spike in the number of people sickened by the flu during a season that hit hard and about a month early.

The deaths were for the flu season as of Jan. 7.

Illness kept students out of school and outbreaks occurred at long-term care facilities in Whatcom County.

Flu remained at epidemic levels in the state and was straining hospitals in Western Washington.

“We are seeing a lot of influenza and other respiratory infections in our medical offices, ED (emergency department/room) and hospital, and it is too early to tell if influenza has reached its peak,” said Greg Stern, Whatcom County health officer.

A lot of people out here have come down with it - nasty. Anecdotally, there seems to be zero difference between those vaccinated and not. They have to forecast the particular strain of flu over six months in advance and sometimes they get it right and sometimes they get it wrong and the vaccine is minimally effective.

Now this could be interesting

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From Politico:

Peter Thiel considering bid for California governor
Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire and outspoken Donald Trump supporter, is considering a 2018 bid for California governor, according to three Republicans familiar with his thinking.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, has been discussing a prospective bid with a small circle of advisers, including Rob Morrow, who has emerged as his political consigliere.

Morrow has worked at Clarium Capital, the San Francisco-based investment management firm and hedge fund that Thiel started.

Those who have been in touch with the 49-year-old entrepreneur are skeptical that he’ll enter the race. He is a deeply private figure, and California is unfriendly territory for a Republican – particularly a pro-Trump one. The president-elect won just over 30 percent of the vote there.

But they add that Thiel has conspicuously yet to rule out a bid and that those around him continue to discuss it.

It would be worth his tossing his hat into the ring just to see the hippies heads exploding in righteous indignation. Same thing as I would love to see Trump's son Don Jr. run for NYC mayor if Hillary tries to run for that position. Punch back twice as hard!

Good morning - a great meme

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Swiped from Bayou Renaissance Man who reminds us of H. L. Mencken's famous definition of puritanism: "The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."

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Ran into town again today - we are revamping the window lighting at the store and I ordered some LED strip lights. I ordered them first from AliBaba and they are supposed to be shipping from China but that was two months ago and nothing. Talk about a slow boat!

This time I ordered from AliBaba's competition - BangGood. This company also ships from China but they also maintain a warehouse in California. I ordered some more strip lights (only a few percent more in cost) and they arrived in a little over one week. Good packaging and the stuff seems to be good quality. Picked up a couple things today to facilitate wiring them for the store.

Still no water at the house but it did get up to 32°F this afternoon - now at 21.7°F and cooling back down.

Back in a few hours

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Got hay out to the critters, truck warmed up and now heading out for a shower, coffee, check the mail and then back home to work on some stuff.

Already a balmy 20.3°F this morning. Hoping that things thaw out soon.

Resting on his laurels

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Georgia Representative John Lewis was very active in the civil rights protests in the 1960's and got his political office on these creds but he has done little since. He has been agitating against the outcome of this election and considers Trump to not be the President Elect. President Trump called him out on this - from Breitbart:

President-elect Donald Trump said Saturday that Democratic Georgia Rep. John Lewis should pay more attention to the crime plaguing his district than bellyache over the election results.

“Congressman John Lewis should spend more time on fixing and helping his district, which is in horrible shape and falling apart (not to mention crime infested) rather than falsely complaining about the election results,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “All talk, talk, talk – no action or results. Sad!”

Here is a quote from Rep. Lewis:

“I think the Russians participated in having this man get elected, and they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. I don’t plan to attend the Inauguration,” he said. “I think there was a conspiracy on the part of the Russians, and others, that helped him get elected. That’s not right. That’s not fair. That’s not the open, democratic process.”

Let us not forget back in April of 2010 when members of the Congressional Black Caucus were walking near a group of Tea Party protesters, Rep. Lewis stated that someone shouted the N_____ word. Andrew Breitbart turned around and offered an award of $100,000 to anyone who could produce video footage of the event. The result? (crickets)
Rep. Lewis has done nothing for his constituents for thirty years.

Well crap - water out again

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It was in the high 20's last night and I had the water trickling in the kitchen sink. Woke up this morning to find that another cold snap had moved through, that it got down to 10.4°F last night and that the pipe from the well was frozen solid again. The weather is foecast to hit 38°F this afternoon and to get even warmer Sunday through Tuesday so it shouldn't be as bad as December;s freeze (three weeks) but still...

Heading over to the store to use the shower there and then coffee and back home.

And that is it for the night

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Check a couple of YouTube channels and up to bed.

Talk about yellow journalism

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This is just delightful - I love it when President Trump has some fun at the expense of the mainstream media - from The New York Post:

Drug testing floated for White House press corps
One proposal on dealing with the media that was pitched to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team calls for drug testing the White House press corps.

Trump’s attacks on the mainstream media were a cornerstone of his campaign and last week he called BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage,” but forcing reporters to undergo random drug tests would provoke a media meltdown.

His Press Secretary said this:

Sean Spicer, who was spokesman for the Republican National Committee, is Trump’s press secretary, and told me, “I support whatever security measures are recommended by the Secret Service.”

“Journalists who are at the White House more than one day per week should be subject to drug screenings to occur no more than twice a year at random times,” the memo states. “Refusal to comply should exclude them from credentialing entirely.”

The job applicant also proposed taking away the right of the White House Correspondents’ Association to control reporters’ seating arrangements in the press briefing room.

The current system favors TV networks and certain newspapers at the expense of more ideologically diverse Web sites, bloggers and podcasters.

The Trump administration, the candidate wrote, “should clear a path to communicate more directly with the people and end White House press practices that serve no useful purpose other than feeding the beast.”

Makes perfect sense - many of these people have been there for ever. So much of what they say are things that they think we want or need to hear. Wrong. Dead. Wrong. We are adults and we can make up our own minds.

Audio Cables

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I do electronic music and one bane of this hobby is that you never have enough patch cords. You are always trying to link something to something else and having to unplug another module to free up a spare cable.

On an EM email list, Monoprice was mentioned as having good stuff at a reasonable price. I second that - just recieved 50 patch cords of various length today and they seem really well made - gold plated connectors, braided fabric covers and generous heat shrink to secure the plugs. Planning a studio re-wiring job in the next two months and will be buying from them instead of making my own - they are that cheap and that good.

Yum!

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Dinner was good - it is nice to have an appetite agin and for the food to actually taste like food. Big change from the last ten days.

Dogs got scraps and are happy.

Heading out for dinner

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A local restaurant does prime rib every Friday and Saturday night. They have been having some quality control issues but I will give them another try tonight - craving protein.

More in a couple of hours.

One of the main goals of radio experimentation is to see how much data you can transmit reliably over a very narrow bandwidth channel. There is also a lot of work being done on slow data transmission using ultra-low power over very long distances (they guy who spearheaded this was the same guy who developed the radio system for the Voyager satellite - Joe Taylor K1JT)

One holy grail is to be able to digitize speech (which otherwise takes a very large bandwidth) and find a way to transmit the binary digits and reconstitute it on the receiving end. There are a couple systems that work really well but they are commercial and proprietary and $$$. Australian David Rowe just figured out the holy grail and is making it open source and free.

Check out CODEC 2 700C

Codec 2 700C
My endeavor to produce a digital voice mode that competes with SSB continues. For a big chunk of 2016 I took a break from this work as I was gainfully employed on a commercial HF modem project. However since December I have once again been working on a 700 bit/s codec. The goal is voice quality roughly the same as the current 1300 bit/s mode. This can then be mated with the coherent PSK modem, and possibly the 4FSK modem for trials over HF channels.

I am not going to quote any more - you can read more at his website. Sufice to saw, this is really interesting and I will be playing around with it as soon as I get a couple other projects banged out. And, oh yes, it runs on Raspberry Pi computers. Perfect for portable work. David's About page is here.

Living in dreamland

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The Clinton's simply do not get that they lost because they were out of touch with America. From Breitbart:

Fmr Clinton Spox: There Are Developments That ‘Call Into Question The Legitimacy’ of Trump’s Win ‘Every Day’
On Friday’s broadcast of CNN’s “New Day,” former Clinton campaign Press Secretary Brian Fallon stated, “Every day there are new developments, new shoes dropping, so to speak, that call into question the legitimacy of his [President-Elect Donald Trump’s] win.”

Fallon said, “Every day there are new developments, new shoes dropping, so to speak, that call into question the legitimacy of his win. First it was with respect to Russian interference. They tried to deny — the Trump folks did, that Russia was behind this, now they’ve been forced to admit that. Then they tried to say that it was not for the purposes of trying to help Donald Trump, they were just trying to sow confusion and they were targeting both sides. And now, folks in the government have concluded that it was actually to try to tip the election Donald Trump’s way. And now, with respect to the FBI, we see that Jim Comey’s actions are sufficiently questionable that the internal watchdog at DOJ thinks that they merit an independent review. So, I think Donald Trump is just trying to cling to whatever legitimacy still is in effect here.”

Hey Brian - they have medications for your delusional state. That he is using CNN to broadcast this tripe only serves to drive it home. These people are seriously out of touch with reality.

And watch the clown show - from Reuters:

Protests will aim to disrupt Trump inauguration: organizers
Thousands of demonstrators are expected to turn out in Washington next week for protests aiming to "shut down" the inauguration of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president, organizers said on Thursday.

Protesters will attempt to close down 12 security checkpoints at the U.S. Capitol, where Trump will take the oath of office on Jan. 20, and along the 2.5-mile (4-km) parade route down Pennsylvania Avenue, according to leaders of a group called DisruptJ20.

"We want to shut down the inauguration," organizer David Thurston told a news conference. "We want to see a seething rebellion develop in this city and across the country."

A representative of the Trump transition team could not be immediately reached for comment, nor could a spokesman for the District of Columbia police.

I know nothing about the organization and planning of this event but I am willing to bet that there will be a lot more than the usual forces out there keeping the peace. This will be fun to see.

Sit back in my recliner (leather of course) and drink the distilled nectar of snowflake tears - nothing sweeter.

Back home again

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Had a couple things that needed taking care of so was in town for a few hours this morning.

Back home again - it actually got up to 30.4°F this afternoon - back down to 27.3°F with overcast skies.

Got some fixings for beef stew for tomorrow's dinner - need protein!

Off to town today

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Turns out the farrier is coming to do Rocky's mani-pedi but I just spoke with him and will leave his pay and a halter for him to use.

Heading out for coffee, take care of some paperwork at the store and in to town for a couple of hours. Lulu is out to the farm tomorrow!!!

Still coughing up a lot of crud from my lungs but feeling better - only 99°F so not as bad as yesterday.

More later today...

Heat wave

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Woke up to a balmy 16.0°Fwith a low of 8.2°F last night - warming up a bit. It is overcast and supposed to warm up to above freezing for a few days with rain Monday and Tuesday. Inversion again as the morning Ski report shows 23°F at Mt. Baker at 2,500 elevation.

And that is it for the night

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Been watching some YouTube videos - antenna design and blacksmithing, welding (TIG) and machining. Feeling a bit sleepy so upstairs to bed.

Change in plans

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Didn't feel like hanging out here so went out for a burger and two pints of beer.

Back home, fed the dogs, took an AlkaSeltzer PM and cracked open a bottle of wine.

At 7PM yesterday, the air temp was 15.1°F - now, at 7:50PM today, it is 12.7°F. Gorgeous sky - this would be a night to have a large telescope in the back yard - lots of stars out and the skyglow from Abbotsford is barely visible. Get about five of those nights per year so not going to happen anytime soon...

Interesting information

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We go up to Vancouver couple times/year and to get to Vancouver, we go over the new Port Mann Bridge. Gorgeous bit of engineering - very beautiful and functional.

20170112-pmann.jpg

Image swiped from here.

Here is a short video on how they clean off accumulated snow and ice build-up. Very clever.

Heh - Michael Ramirez on Meryl Streep

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20170112-streep.jpg

From his website: Michael Ramirez

Cooling down

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Got up to a whopping 26.4°F today - it is now 23.9°F and cooling off for the evening. Sky is clear so it will be another cold one tonight.

Doing some chicken noodle soup for dinner tonight - maybe a salad if I feel like it.

A musical in-joke

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Not out of the woods yet

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Was feeling a little bit warm. Checked the thermostat and it was 72 - normal.

Took my temp and it was 101°F - still sick I guess...

Feeling better - just took aspirin this morning, no DayQuil or other such medication. Just an odd temperature spike.

Empathy and Meryl Streep

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A long wonderful essay on empathy by Bulldog at Maggie's Farm:

Has Lack of Empathy Been Pathologized?
I am not delving into the psychology of empathy. I'm not trained in it, and I don't know enough to make a statement from that position.  I can, however, write about its effect on my own experiences, from my own therapy, and from a recent event which sparked a challenging debate.

That event was Meryl Streep's Golden Globes acceptance speech.  I watched about 5 minutes of it, then left.  Because I can, and I chose to.  While I agreed with a bit, there was far more there than I was interested in hearing.  To begin with, I don't watch award shows, I happened to switch it on at just that moment and thought I'd like to see her receive her award.  If I am going to watch an awards show, I want to be entertained, not lectured.  I turned it off.  I did read the text the next day when the brouhaha around it began.  Mainly because New York, the center of 'if you disagreed with her, you're insane and wrong and must have something wrong with you' began to show its ugliness.  In other words, "Hillary lost and WE STILL HAVE NO CLUE HOW AND WHY IT HAPPENED SO WE MUST LASH OUT!"  Meryl was offered a moment to lash out, and she did.  Following some kind of empathic tribal code, her supporters rushed to demonize anyone who didn't 'feel' the same way Meryl did.

Before rejecting what Meryl had to say, I'll point out what I agreed with.  I do agree Trump needs to show more decorum, and engage better behavior, if he wants to be a good president.  He is thin-skinned and often disrespectful.  It's unbecoming.  I also agree the press does need to pay attention to what is happening and remain vigilant, and maintain its proper role as the Fourth Estate - a role it has given up in the last 20-odd years, unless a Republican is in office.  I agree the press and foreigners play an important role in society.  I agree we need to be civil toward each other, and not act like bullies.  If these simple statements were made, I'd have said "Nice speech."

But she said so much more.  The issue isn't just that she said more, but also where she said it from, and how she positioned herself in saying it.  I was left to think "Just who the hell does this person think they are?  They can't really be serious. How can she represent so many positions?"  Turns out she can't, but believes she can.

One more taste:

In other words, Meryl's lack of empathy was astounding.  Her inability to understand why others did not vote as she did leads her to make odd accusations and create false memes to help herself cope.  In her speech she exhibited everything that is wrong with Democrats right now.  A complete misunderstanding of what empathy is, and what it's meant to be used for.  For them, empathy is only understanding how they feel - they really don't give a damn how you feel.  Which is fine by me, because when it comes to politics, I don't let my feelings get in the way.  I need facts, not feelings.  Call me a heartless bastard, but using empathy to create a moral high ground from which to pass judgement on those you deem lacking empathy?  That is new to me.  It's uniquely fascistic, but I've seen this become more common.  It is frequently used in the workplace to chastise managers who try to get more out of Millenials.  We're simply not being "empathetic" about who they are.

Well worth reading the entire thing. The writing at Maggie's Farm is always excellent - a daily read for me.

Now it seems that Fiat/Chrysler was caught doing this too. From Yahoo/Reuters:

EPA accuses Fiat Chrysler of excess diesel emissions
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV of illegally using hidden software to allow excess diesel emissions to go undetected, the result of a probe that stemmed from regulators' investigation of rival Volkswagen AG.

FCA shares plummeted as the maximum fine is about $4.6 billion. The EPA action affects 104,000 U.S. trucks and SUVs sold since 2014, about one-sixth the vehicles in the Volkswagen case.

The EPA and California Air Resources Board told Fiat Chrysler it believes its undeclared auxiliary emissions control software allowed vehicles to generate excess pollution in violation of the law and each issued notices of violation.

Oopsie - this would indicate collusion between companies. I wonder who makes the controller computers for the TDI vehicles - is the same company making all of them? Software? The problem:

Regulators said FCA failed to disclose engine management software in 104,000 U.S. 2014-2016 Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Ram 1500 trucks with 3.0-liter diesel engines. The undisclosed software results in increased emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).

And the ridiculous thing is that they could eliminate the NOx problem by adding a urea system to the exhaust. My truck has this - I fill up on Diesel Exhaust Fluid every couple thousand miles and it injects drops of this into the hot exhaust. The ammonia in the urea forms with any NOx to produce water vapor and nitrogen gas. This way, you can run the diesel engine at peak efficiency instead of having to run it very lean to minimize NOx production. NOx produces smog and is irritating to mucus membranes - lungs, eyes, etc....

Dog beers - Snoopy

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Good point! A tee shirt design from BRIK

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Back home and it is up to 21.4°F

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Warming up well - the inversion layer must have dissipated. I did not see any wood smoke from my neighbors - smoke is a good tell-tale for an inversion layer.

A photo of Saturn's moon Mimas

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From BoingBoing:

NASA claims this image taken by the Cassini probe depicts Saturn's moon Mimas with the distinctive Herschel Crater, but we know better.From NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

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Warming up nicely

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Hour and a half later and it has risen from 7.3°F to 12.7°F - got the truck warming up and finishing off some stuff here.

Out for coffee and see what the world brings. Have a ham radio club meeting tonight but planning to bail - still feel under the weather and it is a 60 mile round trip.

Fake news again

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Social Justice warriors always lie - from the Baltimore, MD CBS affiliate:

Police Charge Student For Threat Made At Arundel High School
The Anne Arundel County Police Department has charged a 14-year-old girl with a juvenile citation for sending a threatening tweet related to Arundel High School.

Police began their investigation after Arundel High School officials told them about a suspicious Twitter account.

The account, named @KoolkidsKlanKkk, reportedly sent out a tweet that read, “We’re planning to attack tomorrow”.

This account used similar language to a racial petition that had been passed around Anne Arundel High School by the “Kool Kids Klan”.

Police worked with Twitter, and were able to identify the person who created the account and sent out the threatening tweet.

Aaaaand wait for it:

That person has been identified as a 14-year-old African American female who attends Arundel High School.

So the moke spreading the racism was black. Figures - this is always the case.

I thought it was cold before

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Woke up to 7.3°F - last night's low was 4.6°F. Both forecasts missed the cold by a good 15°F but both are showing significant warming this coming weekend - temps up to the low 40's and rain. It will be nice to get rid of the solid sheet of ice that is my driveway. Looks like we have quite an inversion as the Mt. Baker snow report shows 18°F at 3,500 feet at 4:49AM

Feeling better today - only slept ten hours last night - my usual is eight so getting there. Fixing breakfast, get hay out to the critters, check the mail and head out for coffee.

I bet that Silver Lake has a nice sheet of ice on its surface - head over there later today if we get some nice light at dusk.

That is it for the night

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Again staying up a bit late to reset my sleep schedule.

The outside air temp was 15.1°F at 7PM, it is now 10:20PM and 9.7°F - there are a lot of other places that are experiencing sub-zero temps but in this neck of the woods, it is ccccold.

More on the Deep State

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Glenn Greenwald has an excellent long essay on what the Deep State is and why it is very important to shine some light onto it's activities. It makes Big Brother look like a petulant six-year old child.

From The Intercept:

The Deep State Goes to War with President-Elect, Using Unverified Claims, as Democrats Cheer
In January, 1961, Dwight Eisenhower delivered his farewell address after serving two terms as U.S. president; the five-star general chose to warn Americans of this specific threat to democracy: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” That warning was issued prior to the decadelong escalation of the Vietnam War, three more decades of Cold War mania, and the post-9/11 era, all of which radically expanded that unelected faction’s power even further.

This is the faction that is now engaged in open warfare against the duly elected and already widely disliked president-elect, Donald Trump. They are using classic Cold War dirty tactics and the defining ingredients of what has until recently been denounced as “Fake News.”

Their most valuable instrument is the U.S. media, much of which reflexively reveres, serves, believes, and sides with hidden intelligence officials. And Democrats, still reeling from their unexpected and traumatic election loss as well as a systemic collapse of their party, seemingly divorced further and further from reason with each passing day, are willing — eager — to embrace any claim, cheer any tactic, align with any villain, regardless of how unsupported, tawdry and damaging those behaviors might be.

This is just the briefest of tastes - go and read the whole thing. Glenn provides links to data, screencaps of documents, tweets, etc... All very neatly packaged and irrefutable. This evil has crept into our nation unbeknownst to us and it is time to shed bright sunlight onto its festering body until it withers and blows away.

Another from the London Daily Mail - I find it interesting that these stories are not being covered by our own media.

'I did what any citizen should do': Sworn Trump enemy John McCain admits HE handed smear dossier to FBI - because he had no idea if it was credible
Sworn Donald Trump enemy John McCain admitted Wednesday that he passed the dossier of claims of a Russian blackmail plot against the president-elect - calling it 'what any citizen should do'.

McCain - a longstanding anti-Trump Republican who had disassociated himself from the candidate's campaign weeks before the election - cast himself as an innocent and concerned member of the public as he justified his move.

He claimed he had no idea whether it was accurate or not - but that he believed the FBI should have it because it was 'sensitive'.

'I did what any citizen should do. I received sensitive information and handed it to the FBI,' he told CNN - the network which broke the story that the document existed. It was then published in full by Buzzfeed.

McCain served honorably in the military and was a Prisoner of War and this needs to be recognized. That being said, he is a mendacious odious little maquette of a man. The sooner he is out of office, the better.

Turnabout is fair play

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Brilliant move on Trump's part - from the London Daily Mail:

Trump conducts his own sting operation to ensnare intelligence briefers – and says he caught them leaking
President-elect Donald Trump, after growing suspicious that intelligence officials were leaking news about their classified briefings with him, says he conducted a sting operation to try to prove top spies were behind the leaks.

Trump revealed the extraordinary scheme to try to entrap the senior spies in a furious press conference where he suggested the intelligence community had been behind salacious and totally unproven allegations against him.

‘I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. First of all, it’s illegal. These are classified and certified meetings and reports,’ Trump said during a press conference at Trump Tower – his first since getting elected.

Then he revealed the details of the stealthy sting he says he conducted on the nation’s senior spooks.

And the trap:

‘So I said, "Maybe it’s my office. Maybe my office." Because I’ve got a lot of people … Maybe it’s them?’

‘What I did, is I said I won’t tell anyone. I’m going to have a meeting, and I won’t tell anybody about my meeting with intelligence,’ Trump continued.

He even shielded one of his closest aides from word of the meeting.

‘Nobody knew – not even Rhona, my executive assistant for years. She didn’t know – I didn’t tell her. Nobody knew,’ Trump continued – drawing laughter from collected family members and staff.

Having set the trap, Trump says the word leaked anyway.

‘The meeting was held. They left, and immediately the word got out that I had a meeting. So, I don’t want that. It’s very unfair to the country. It’s very unfair to our country what’s happening,’ he said.

And of course:

Thomas Barrett, chief of media relations for the Director of National Intelligence, declined to comment on the substance of Trump's alleged sting.

'I’m sorry, we have nothing to offer on this matter,' he told DailyMail.com.

These intellegence people are what we can call the Deep State - the shadow government. Time for them to find new jobs as well. They need to follow the limits set in their charters.

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I did not comment when it happened January 6th but turns out my suspicions were confirmed - from Judicial Watch:

Airport Shooter Converted to Islam, Identified as Aashiq Hammad Years Before Joining Army
The Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter is a Muslim convert who years before joining the U.S. Army took on an Islamic name (Aashiq Hammad), downloaded terrorist propaganda and recorded Islamic religious music online, according to public records dug up by the investigative news site of an award-winning, California journalist. This is pertinent information that the Obama administration apparently wants to keep quiet, bringing up memories of the Benghazi cover up, in which the president and his cohorts knowingly lied to conceal that Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. Special Mission in Libya.

Information is slowly trickling out that links the Ft. Lauderdale Airport shooter to radical Islam while the official story from authorities is that the gunman is a mentally ill, Hispanic Army veteran named Esteban Santiago that became unhinged after a tour in Iraq. Only one mainstream media outlet mentions the possibility of Santiago’s “jihadist identity,” burying it in a piece about New York possibly being his initial target. A paragraph deep in the story mentions that investigators recovered Santiago’s computer from a pawn shop and the FBI is examining it to determine whether he created a “jihadist identity for himself using the name Aashiq Hammad…” The rest of the traditional mainstream media coverage promotes the government rhetoric that omits any ties to terrorism even though early on a photo surfaced of Santiago making an ISIS salute while wearing a keffiyeh, a Palestinian Arab scarf.

The public records uncovered in the days after the massacre suggest Santiago (Hammad) is a radical Islamic terrorist that’s seriously committed to Islam. Besides taking on a Muslim name, he recorded three Islamic religious songs, including the Muslim declaration faith (“there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger”) known as the Shahada. He also posted a thread about downloading propaganda videos from Islamic terrorists on a weapons and explosives forum. The investigative news site that unearthed this disturbing information connected the dots between Santiago, who is of Puerto Rican descent, and Hammad, an identity he created in 2007.

Yet another example of islamic terrorism in our country and the current administration says nothing. What is Barry trying to hide?

Back home again

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Traveling in to town was a nice distraction. Still feel crappy but getting better. Had to take care of a couple of things. Had dinner - food still tastes really off. Metalic.

Garbage day tomorrow so baging up the trash to take out to the curb.

More in 30 minutes or so - got some very hungry dogs giving me the stink-eye

Cold too - got down to 13.6°F last night and it is already down to 15.1°F at 7:00PM - gorgeous out - full moon shining on the snow.

Our new President

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CNN went off on a piece of fake news regarding the secret dossier on Donald Trump that proved to be a fabrication. They ran with it for most of yesterday.

Today, Trump has a press conference and this ensued - from Media-ite:

‘You Are Fake News!’: Trump and CNN’s Jim Acosta Get Into Shouting Match at Presser
During President-elect Donald Trump’s press conference today, Trump took aim at “fake news” regarding the release of an unverified dossier by Buzzfeed, calling them a “failing piece of garbage.” Following that, he ended up getting into an argument with a CNN reporter, who he also called out during the presser over their report on a two-page synopsis they claim was presented to Trump.

With Trump looking to call on other reporters, Jim Acosta yelled out, “Since you are attacking us, can you give us a question?”

“Not you,” Trump said. “Your organization is terrible!”

Acosta pressed on, “You are attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance to ask a question, sir?” Trump countered by telling him “don’t be rude.”

“I’m not going to give you a question,” Trump responded. “I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news!”

I love it - he is going to reform the media. About time someone stood up to these over-inflated pricks. They have lost all sense of what true journalism is about.

Only slept twelve hours today.

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Things are looking up! Still have a lot of muscle ache and congestion but feeling a definite improvement.

Heading out out for coffee and need to go into town for a few things. Ham radio club meeting tomorrow - see how I feel as I bailed on a different meeting yesterday.

My spelling is still horrible - this thing has taken over my brain.

Try this again - up to bed

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See how long I sleep tonight and what I feel like tomorrow.

Temp is down to 19.0°F and it is drop-dead clear - a very gorgeous (if very cold) night. Spot on for The Weather Channel's forecast which is calling for a low of 16°F and already past the National Weather Service which is calling for 'mostly clear' and 20°F. Got the water running in the sink again.

From PJ Media:

'Clock Boy' Loses in Court, Father's Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed
A district court judge in Texas has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Ahmed Mohamed on his own behalf and on behalf of his 15-year-old son, Ahmed Mohamed. They had sued Fox News, Glenn Beck, and the mayor of Irving -- among others -- for defamation in September of 2016.

A year earlier, Ahmed, then a 14-year-old freshman at an Irving, Texas, high school, was arrested, briefly detained by police, and suspended for three days after bringing to school a "cool clock" that looked like a briefcase bomb. Ahmed claimed to have "invented" the easily assembled clock, and that he had brought it to school to show it to his shop teacher.

They were demanding 15 million in November of 2015. He did not actually make this clock - he took an existing Radio Shack alarm clock, unpackaged it and mounted the boards into a pencil box. The folks at ArtVoice found out what model and did the same thing to demonstrate.

And just to make things that much sweeter:

Now that the lawsuit has been dismissed, the AFLC is petitioning the court for lawyer fees and sanctions against Clock Boy's dad.

AFLC is the  American Freedom Law Center - they do good work.

Flu begone!

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I think the worst thing - worse than the barfing, worse than the muscle aches and having to sleep 14 hours is that my sense of taste is really off. Nothing tastes good anymore. There is a slight metalic tang to things and when I add peppers for some heat, it just comes out as even more metalic and sour.

See how it goes tonight and tomorrow.

And this little bit of domestic bliss:

Graphene? That is sooo yesterday

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Meet the new supermaterial - super-graphene. From MIT:

MIT Unveils New Material That’s Strongest and Lightest On Earth
For years, researchers have known that carbon, when arranged in a certain way, can be very strong. Case in point: graphene.

Graphene, which was heretofore, the strongest material known to man, is made from an extremely thin sheet of carbon atoms arranged in two dimensions. But there’s one drawback: while notable for its thinness and unique electrical properties, it’s very difficult to create useful, three-dimensional materials out of graphene.

Now, a team of MIT researchers discovered that taking small flakes of graphene and fusing them following a mesh-like structure not only retains the material’s strength, but the graphene also remains porous. Based on experiments conducted on 3D printed models, researchers have determined that this new material, with its distinct geometry, is actually stronger than graphene – making it 10 times stronger than steel, with only five percent of its density.

Much more at the site. This will take a few years to get to commercial market but still - fascinating. You can tune the response of the material by adjusting its wall thickness. Very interesting.

Fscking hypocrite - two videos - February 2016:

And today:

And we love you too - Melinda Byerley

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What a putz - from Heat Street:

Liberal CEO Slams Middle America: ‘No Educated Person Wants to Live in Sh*thole With Stupid People’
The CEO of a marketing and advertising firm in San Francisco has attacked Middle America in a bizarre rant on Facebook, saying “no educated person wants to live in a shithole with stupid people” and alleging that most residents are racist.

Melinda Byerley, CEO of TimeShareCMO and an apparent Hillary supporter, has posted an innocently titled Facebook post “What middle America can do to get more jobs in their area.” Instead of offering any reasonable solutions, the post turned into a vicious rant against Middle America, demanding “fiber internet” and a commitment “to not being bigots” before she can consider moving there.

She deleted this post and fire-walled her twitter account but fortunately, the internet is forever:

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Talk about living in a bubble. Here is the website for TimeShareCMO

Be sure to check out the 550+ comments

The coming ice age

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Serious. From No Tricks Zone:

Pravda: “Scientists Now Warn Of A New Ice Age” As Temperature Plummets to – 80°F In Russia!
Some impressive winter events have been taking place all across the northern hemisphere lately. Especially eastern and southeastern Europe have been pounded by massive snowfalls and tremendously cold temperatures. Turkey has been buried by heavy snows and extreme temperatures have gripped the entire USA and vast areas of Russia.

Some more:

Warning of an impending ice age
So in the face of all the earlier global warming predictions, it is now only ironic that yesterday the German-language Pravda TV site here published an article warning of an impending ice age. The article cites Yale scientist Wei Liu and a recent paper he published on the “overlooked possibility of a collapsed Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation“. Should the ocean heat conveyor collapse, then there would be “a prominent cooling over the northern North Atlantic and neighboring areas, sea ice increases over the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian seas and to the south of Greenland.”

Note: Pravda is a rebel-type German site, and so could be viewed to be in similar ranks as climate alarmist sites, but with an opposite view. A collapsed AMOC is still speculative.

Useless models
The Pravda report summarizes Liu’s paper as follows:

CO2 has nothing to do with it, rather the influence of the sun is the dominant factor: less sunspots (Climate: solar physicists project global cooling (video)), weakening of the earth’s magnetic field, impact on the jet stream are decisive factors that can quickly lead our climate into an ice age (Scientists: Consensus 2016: the climate models are useless (Video).”

Pravda also describes how some experts say today’s climate models fail to take the known ocean and solar factors in account.

CO2 has minimal impact on global temperatures - in fact, if you look at the plots of global temperatures and atmospheric CO2, you will see that the CO2 lags changes in temperature by 700-800 years. If CO2 were the actual driver, it would lead the temperature changes not lag them by so long.

California's atmospheric river

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Not just one storm but three - they are getting some serious precipitation - from the Los Angeles Times:

Storms are making a dent in California's drought; 7 feet of snow expected in some areas
The third and latest storm to hit the state within a week is expected to inundate rivers in Northern California and flood parts of Napa Valley wine country, while also blanketing the frigid Sierra Nevada in heavy snowfall, according to state officials.

The storm, which is expected to last through Thursday, could dump up to 7 feet of snow across the Sierra, greatly bolstering the state’s snow-water supply. Mountain snowpack on Tuesday measured 135% of the seasonal average, according to the California Department of Water Resources.

This is not global warming, this is weather. Weather patterns do change.

Now this is interesting - George Soros

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Time to take him down a notch or two - from Bloomberg:

Hungary Plans to Crackdown on All Soros-Funded NGOs
Hungary plans to crack down on non-governmental organizations linked to billionaire George Soros now that Donald Trump will occupy the White House, according to the deputy head of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s party.

The European Union member will use “all the tools at its disposal” to “sweep out” NGOs funded by the Hungarian-born financier, which “serve global capitalists and back political correctness over national governments,” Szilard Nemeth, a vice president of the ruling Fidesz party, told reporters on Tuesday. No one answered the phone at the Open Society Institute in Budapest when Bloomberg News called outside business hours.

Could not happen to a nicer sociopath. The guy is scum.

See how things are in the *real world*

Been a hermit for too long - need to see some other faces.

An interesting read from Zero Hedge:

Massive Network Of ISIS Sleeper Cells Spanning United States Uncovered – Training Camps And All
Abstract:
The director of the FBI, James Comey, has stated that ISIS now has a presence in all 50 of the United States:

ABC 7 News Chicago: https://archive.fo/OiEHM

This presence varies in its form from state to state. It exists in the form of smaller cells attached to mosques run by radicalized imams, paramilitary groups operating out of compounds throughout the US, reinforced by veterans and command figures from ISIS’ Syria theater and bolstered by recruits from American minority communities. If all the reports outlined here are in fact found to be true, ISIS has managed to amass a terrifyingly impressive network across the United States that would be capable of wreaking heavy damage in the event of a large-scale terror incident.

I. Training Camps
One of the ways ISIS has established a military presence in the US is by directly franchising out training camps that build operations centers/cells in various parts of the country. Some of these camps are public knowledge although the media has tried to hide them from the public.

At least one established network of paramilitary training camps has been public knowledge since at least the 1980’s. The Jamaat ul-Fuqra, or “Muslims of America” network has run a network of camps estimated in a report from Sean Hannity to be spread across 35 different locations. The report (linked here) showed a number of Islamic jihadist style military training videos filmed at these sites in the United States. News site WND has placed the number of camps at least 22:

WND: http://archive.is/eYGbK

Here is a map showing the location of most of the compounds run by Jamaat ul-Fuqra:

https://i.sli.mg/nmtohh.jpg

Much more at the site - what catches my eye is the number of links to various sources all pointing to the same premise - that these people are here now and operating under cover. And yes, there is a site in WA State although quite south of here.

Went upstairs to get ready for the day and decided to lay down for a short nap. Two hours later...

Twelve hours of sleep last night

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Getting better except that I barfed twice last night and still running a temperature.

Need to pay some bills so heading out for coffee in a while and will be working at my office for an hour or two. People mentioned that this particular flu lingers - I sure hope not. It has been long enough.

Off to bed

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Stayed up a bit later than usual these days - want to get back to my normal sleep schedule and not be waking up at 6:00AM. Time for some more NyQuil and see what dreamland has in store.

The declining Polar Bear population

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Pure bunkum. From The Washington Times:

Polar bear zoologist blasts Obama’s climate alarmism: ‘Sensationalized nonsense’
The Obama administration warned Monday that polar bears may disappear unless something is done about climate change, despite recent research indicating that the bears are actually thriving.

In its final Conservation Management Plan, the Fish and Wildlife Service painted a grim picture for the future of the massive Arctic-dwelling mammal, warning that its fate will be determined “by our willingness and ability to address climate change.”

“The current global polar bear population is estimated to be 26,000,” said the Fish and Wildlife Service. “If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current rates throughout the 21st century, polar bears will likely disappear from much of their present-day range.”

And the actual facts from someone who works in the field:

The announcement prompted pushback from zoologist Susan J. Crockford, founder of the Polar Bear Science website, who blasted the service for igniting a rash of “sensationalized nonsense” by fueling alarmist media reports.

The funny thing is the polar bear populations are not dependent on sea ice - that is a myth. The population is also recovering nicely since hunting by non-Inuit natives was made illegal. The Inuit's follow a strict lottery system - they draw a ticket and have 48 hours to get their bear before that ticket gets drawn again. Annual quota is 48 bears (used to be 60). The lucky winner is allowed to sell his ticket to an outsider but again, the 48 hour rule still applies.

Nancy Pelosi - delusional

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Back on January 3rd, I wondered if Nancy Pelosi's Botox injections might be migrating to her brain.

Today's outburst makes that even more obvious - from Breitbart:

Nancy Pelosi: Obamacare Was ‘Bipartisan’ Legislation
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) now says the process of passing Obamacare in 2010 was “bipartisan,” and that only “tweaks” were made to the healthcare law using the reconciliation budgetary process.

Pelosi’s comments come as Republicans and President-elect Donald Trump begin the process of repealing President Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

Obamacare passed in the House on March 21, 2010 with no Republican votes in favor of it and 34 Democrats voting against it.

Screaming bonkers. Wonder where the guys with the straitjackets are - coming to take her away...

Hope in Venezuela

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From Russia Today:

Venezuelan parliament votes to remove Maduro as president, claims he ‘abandoned’ office
Venezuela’s opposition-controlled parliament has passed a resolution saying President Nicolas Maduro has “abandoned” his post. The vote came despite a warning by the Supreme Court that it violates the Venezuelan Constitution.

A majority of the 106 deputies of the opposition-led National Assembly on Monday voted to adopt a resolution aimed at effectively ousting the Venezuelan president, declaring that he had “abandoned his post” due to his stewardship of the country’s stagnating economy – and calling for snap presidential elections. Prior to the vote conducted at the request of the opposition deputy Juan Pablo Garcia, MPs from Maduro’s own United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) left the room, El Nacional reports.

No word on this from DrudgeReport or Breitbart but Russia Today is usually pretty reliable. I hope that it is not too late to turn the Bolivarian Revolution around. Another socialist fever-dream consigned to the trashbin of history.

Dinner time

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Heating up the last of Saturday's Tuna Sludge. My sense of taste is shot - at least it will be nourishing. Today's coffee was off-tasting and I know the barrista and she makes really good coffee - not her. Dog's dinners first though. Taking my first NyQuil of the day - been doing my own meds plus some aspirin. The NyQuil has stuff that helps me sleep and that is what I need the most now.

Obama's last days - pen and phone

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How I love writing that. Barry just gave a $1.1 billion shoutout to Chicago. From Crain's:

CTA lands $1.1 billion goodbye grant from Obama
City Hall has received the parting gift it wanted from the Obama administration: just under $1.1 billion in federal grants to rebuild a key stretch of the Chicago Transit Authority's Red Line north.

The city and U.S. Department of Transportation officials are scheduled to sign a contract tomorrow known as a full-funding grant agreement, committing the DOT's Federal Transit Agency to provide $957 million in "core capacity" funds and another $125 million in anti-congestion money for the CTA's Phase One Red/Purple Modernization project.

The money will be matched with city property taxes collected by a special transit tax-increment financing district that the City Council in November unanimously voted to establish, covering property one half mile on either side of the Red Line from North Avenue to the city limits.

And not just Chicago:

Just a few days earlier, Los Angeles received an even larger, $1.6 billion core capacity agreement to extend one of its train lines west through the Wilshire Avenue corridor to the UCLA campus.

Just out of curiosity - from Infogalactic: Red Line (CTA):

The route is 23.4 miles (37.7 km) long with a total of 33 stations, from Howard station in Rogers Park on the north side, through the State Street subway and to 95th/Dan Ryan in Roseland on the south side.

And:

It is the busiest line on the "L" system, with an average of 251,813 passengers boarding each weekday in 2012.

So, dividing 1,100,000,000 by 23.4 = $47,008,547 per mile and this is just the Federal money coming from us taxpayers - it does not count the matching money being raised by taxes on Illinois citizens.

No shit Sherlock

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From MSN News:

Federal workers worry about their jobs under Trump
Federal workers nationwide are bracing for reductions in head counts, civil service protections and salaries when President-elect Donald Trump and Congress turn their attention to government spending later this year.

Trump, who ran on a promise to "drain the swamp," has identified hiring freezes at most federal agencies as a top priority for his early days in office. Republican lawmakers, many of whom have long advocated for reducing Washington's workforce, are looking to cut benefits and make it easier to fire poor performers.

The threats and preliminary steps taken by Congress have created anxiety for many of the government's 2.1 million employees.

No wonder - the government has grown without limits. Time to put a halt to it. US population is a little under 325 million. That puts the number of people on a Federal payroll at 0.64%. It needs to be a tenth of this - 0.05% or so would be a nice place to start. One bureaucrat for every 2,000 citizens.
Please note - this does not take State government employees - this is an entirely seperate issue which is just as bloated.

Obamacare

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Great take from Micheal Ramirez:

20170109-ramirez.jpg

Shades of what started eighty years ago - from Yahoo/Agence France Presse:

Another 5,000 Jews quit France for Israel: agency
Another 5,000 French Jews emigrated to Israel last year, figures showed Monday, continuing a trend that has seen tens of thousands quit the country after a series of attacks targeting the community.

The Jewish Agency of Israel issued the update as France marked two years since attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices and on a Jewish supermarket in Paris, where four shoppers were shot dead.

Daniel Benhaim, who heads the Israeli-backed group in France, said that insecurity had been a "catalyst" for many Jews who were already thinking of leaving.

The 5,000 departures in 2016 add to the record 7,900 who left in 2015 and 7,231 in 2014. In total, 40,000 French Jews have emigrated since 2006, according to figures seen by AFP.

"The aliyah (the act of moving to Israel) of French Jews has been significant over the last decade," Benhaim told AFP.

The French Jewish community is the biggest in Europe and is thought to number around 500,000 people.

That is eight percent of the population - this is not a trivial number when you consider that these people are selling off everything and moving to a different nation. I can not imagine what it must be like living over there. This is the practical reaction to the One World Government types meddling in things they know nothing about. And of course, the un-elected pencil-pushers in Brussels have no personal accountability in this issue. Ve Vere Youst Following Orders mein herr...

I love it - a two-fer

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The headlines are all that are needed:

The 'party of Davos' wakes up to the new, new world order

Soros-Backed Fund Glen Point Loses in First Trading Year

What is not to love - sometime, you do not get what you want.

From Dan Abrams' LawNewz

FBI Dumps Another 300 Clinton Email Investigation Documents Without Warning
The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Sunday quietly released another several hundred pages of documents related to its investigation of the former Democratic Party presidential candidate.

Wikileaks sent out a tweet drawing attention to the release about an hour ago, while most of America was likely watching the NFL Wildcard Playoffs or preparing to watch Jimmy Fallon host the 74th Annual Golden Globes Awards.

So far, few media outlets have picked up on the new release, found at the FBI’s Vault website where it provides information about high profile Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) releases.  Wikileaks says the Vault was last updated on January 8 at 22:37 p.m. This is the fifth such release related to Clinton by the Vault. They have not made an official announcement on their website. However, an archive search by LawNewz, shows that the documents were not there as of Saturday.

I have not looked through the documents - my brain is only 30% online but I am sure other bloggers will find the choice tid-bits and publish them for all to see. The idea of her running for NYC mayor is unreal - I would love to see her try. After all, it is her turn.

Back home again for a while

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First impression on stepping outside was that the sun was soooo bright. The day is overcast and even then, the sun was uncomfortable. Eyes are very sensitive to light - another flu symptom.

First time in three days that I have left the confines of the farm. Heading out for coffee, check in at the store and then back home.

More in a couple of hours...

That sure is a fine treaty you negotiated there Mr. Kerry. From Yahoo/Associated Press:

AP Exclusive: Diplomats: Iran to get natural uranium batch
Iran is to receive a huge shipment of natural uranium from Russia to compensate it for exporting tons of reactor coolant, diplomats say, in a move approved by the outgoing U.S. administration and other governments seeking to keep Tehran committed to a landmark nuclear pact.

Two senior diplomats said the transfer recently agreed by the U.S. and five other world powers that negotiated the nuclear deal with Iran foresees delivery of 116 metric tons (nearly 130 tons) of natural uranium. U.N. Security Council approval is needed but a formality, considering five of those powers are permanent Security Council members, they said.

Uranium can be enriched to levels ranging from reactor fuel or medical and research purposes to the core of an atomic bomb. Iran says it has no interest in such weapons and its activities are being closely monitored under the nuclear pact to make sure they remain peaceful.

That is enough for hundreds of small bombs (Hiroshima type) - and we take them at their word?

Has no one heard of Taqiyya.

Fortunately, folks in Russia are not stupid. Each batch of yellowcake has a unique "fingerprint" in the ratio of various isotopes. If a bomb is exploded, measurement of these ratios could point a damning finger back at Iran - a few moments before our bombs arrive.

From National Public Radio:

Iconic Sequoia 'Tunnel Tree' Brought Down By California Storm
A powerful winter storm in California has brought down an ancient tree, carved into a living tunnel more than a century ago.

The "Pioneer Cabin Tree," a sequoia in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, saw horses and cars pass through it over the years. More recently, only hikers were allowed to walk through the massive tree.

Over the weekend, a powerful winter storm slammed into California and Nevada, prompting flooding and mudslides in some regions. The Associated Press reports it might be the biggest storm to hit the region in more than a decade.

On Sunday, a volunteer at the state park reported that Pioneer Cabin had not survived.

"The storm was just too much for it," the Calaveras Big Tree Association wrote on Facebook.

There are still some privatly owned tunnel trees but this was the grandaddy of them all. Nothing lasts forever...

Another 14 hour sleep night

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Woke up around 6:00AM for an hour or so and then went right back to bed. This flu is kicking a** and taking names. Spelling is still abysmal - if it was not for spell check I would have had five typos in this post. I want my brain back!

Do not feel as bad physically as I did yesterday morning - muscle ache is somewhat diminished and at 99°F my temp is somewhat elevated but not where it was two days ago.

I think I might even venture out for coffee this morning...

Fun times in Seattle

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From the Seattle Times:

Power restored after outages hit more than 20,000 in Seattle
Crews restored power to more than 20,000 North Seattle homes Sunday afternoon, nearly three hours after power was lost, forcing the delay of the University of Washington women’s basketball game.

An equipment failure at the University substation was to blame, Seattle City Light tweeted.

Power outages plagued large parts of North Seattle late Sunday morning, beginning around 11:30 a.m.

Parts of Wallingford, Fremont, Montlake, Laurelhurst, Eastlake and Capitol Hill were out of power by noon, according to City Light’s outage map.

That is funny because I know the substation. Used to live a bit north of the area and drove by it every time I went downtown. It was built a few years before I moved up here - it is maybe 20 years old. Strange that it should fail so soon - these things last for 50 years if properly maintained.

Starting to fade

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Time to do some NyQuil PM, surf for a bit more and then head up to sleep. Definitely feel that I didn't get coffee today.

Soup turned out well - the pepper flakes gave it a nice bit of heat which brought up a lot more "stuff" from my lungs.

Wonderful news - patent trolls

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From Computerworld:

A potentially fatal blow against patent trolls
For years, patent trolls have been the best evidence that pure evil exists. And like most evil entities, they are almost impossible to stop. Even a 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision that was highly critical of patent trolls has done little to slow their slimy, reptilian-like existence. But a federal judge on Dec. 19 crafted a novel tactic to curb patent trolls when she slapped a half-million-dollar bill on the lawyers and said that they were personally responsible for paying it, not their client. This could truly be a game-changer. 

This unusual decision could make lawyers hesitate to take patent trolls as clients. Part of the patent-troll economic model is based on lawyers taking a contingency fee, meaning that they take a percentage of whatever money is extracted from victims rather than being paid an hourly fee. This makes the lawyers more of a partner than a traditional contractor, which factored into the judge’s decision. 

The ruling may make lawyers say forget about contingency fees; we want upfront hourly fees. And patent trolls, unwilling or unable to do that, may forgo pursuing the most tenuous lawsuits. As a result, the patent-troll business model starts to crumble. 

A definition:

Let’s start with a definition of a patent troll. A troll is a firm that does two distinct things. First, it purchases lots of patents that it has no intention of using. That is a prerequisite for being a patent troll, but it doesn’t make a company one. The second element is essential: They must take this patent (and the vaguer the patent, the better) and threaten lots of companies that in reality have done nothing wrong. Those companies must either pay license fees or be dragged through the court system at great expense. The troll then offers to sell a license at a deeply discounted price, counting on companies deciding that it would be much easier and cheaper to pay than fight. 

It is funny that one of the most egregious of these entities is in Seattle and was run for a while by Paul Allen of Microsoft - more on Interval Research at The Seattle Times.

Good news - the Churchill statue

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From the UK Telegraph:

Winston Churchill bust set for Oval Office return by Donald Trump
Donald Trump has made no secret of the fact that he intends to rip up Barack Obama's legacy when he takes office - ending the Trans-Pacific Partnership, redrawing Obamacare and loading up Guantanamo with "some bad dudes".

However, one expected action is likely to be less controversial, certainly in Britain: that of restoring the bust of Winston Churchill to the Oval Office.

Mr Trump, who has frequently professed his admiration for Britain's wartime leader, was asked earlier this week whether he was considering returning the bust, sculpted by Jacob Epstein, to the White House.

“I am, indeed, I am,” he said, during an interview at the New York Times, at which he was sitting in front of a picture of Churchill.

Mr Obama replaced the Churchill bust with one of Martin Luther King in the Oval Office in 2009, soon after he took over the presidency, causing outrage on both sides of the Atlantic.

I get it - MLK was a great leader too. But... to send the President's bust of Churchill back to the British Embassy is just a slap in the face to our long and wonderful alliance. There are some things you just do not do.

Climate change - a little history

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From great cartoonist Rick McKee:

20170108-settled.jpg

Click to embiggen

NyQuil is kicking in nicely

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Thank God for modern chemistry. My herbal stuff is great for the base cure but it is nice to put a hold on the coughing and congestion while the other stuff speeds the healing.

alt.energy is very profitible if you know how to game the system. Spanish company Abengoa is a master. From The Green Corruption Files:

Abengoa Alert: New explosive whistleblower Intel reveals that the taxpayer-subsidized California Mojave Solar Plant is a massive green disaster
Last March, as a result of droves of brave whistleblowers, energy columnist Marita Noon and I began to unleash how the Spanish Conglomerate Abengoa, which bagged billions in U.S. green energy stimulus funds for three projects, committed a chain of “atrocities” on American soil.

In short, Abengoa intentionally violated American laws, codes and regulations that range across numerous federal and state government agencies, while on so many levels demonstrating a blatant disregard for our country and our citizens.

After these serious allegations against Abengoa were exposed, my inbox continued to be flooded with inquiries, confirmation as well as additional complaints and incriminating charges (even from South Africa) against this mega company.

The Abengoa transgressions go way beyond what we have reported thus far. In fact, new and explosive whistleblower Intel emerged in regards to the Mojave Solar Plant here in California, which prompted dozens of phone calls and countless hours of investigation over the course of the last two months all leading to a solar plant that at best is a massive “green” disaster. Worse case scenario is that this plant, which is supposed to save us from the “imminent global warming calamity,” is a “ticking time bomb.”

New “informants” (those that worked for ABEINSA EPC and Abengoa Solar, which are both subsidiaries of Abengoa the holding corporation, and/or those that worked at the Mojave Solar project in other capacities), whom have spoken on condition of anonymity, among other serious issues found at this California solar plant that included violating California State Seismic codes, came forward with startling revelations that will be disclosed in today’s blockbuster Green Corruption File.

    • The Mojave Solar Plant doesn’t meet the minimal life safety standard of California Tile 24
    • There was an unreported large toxic spill at the Mojave Solar Plant: “Hundreds of gallons of Heat Transfer Fluid (HTF) was spilled and they just dispersed into the ground“
    • The underground Heat Transfer Fluid tunnels were not ventilated
    • Despite California’s dreadful drought, “the Mojave Solar Plan is using 1,709,985 gallons of water per day”
    • Abengoa continues to abuse America

A favorite of the Obama White House, Abengoa was the second largest recipient of the Department of Energy (DOE) stimulus loans (the DOE’s “Junk Bond Portfolio“). This Spanish company, who is heavily connected to high-profile Democrats, between July 2010 and September 2011, was awarded over $2.8 billion to construct two solar energy complexes in Arizona and California and a biofuel plant in Kansas.

What really grinds my gears is that these alt.energy projects are almost always foreign companies. Here is a Spanish one. The two biggies in wind turbines are Vestas (Danish) and Siemens (German) - wasn't the stimulus supposed to promote local businesses? Back in 2009, there was a big repaving job on our local highway. The pavement was ground up, some magic pixie sauce was added and it was laid back down again. The contractor was from California and the machinery was Canadian. Local jobs - yeah and I have another story for you...

On this day in 1968

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On January 8th, 1968, the television program The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau  premiered. That was it for me - I wanted to be a marine biologist and physical oceanographer: Here is the first episode - Sharks:

If you ever watched the movie A Life Aquatic - the ship they used is a complete replica of the Calypso. Also, I love the Star Trek theme being echoed at 12:26. ST-TOS first aired in 1966 so that phrase was definitely borrowed.

Alas, after a couple of years at Boston University with some sessions at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Lerner Marine Lab on the island of Bimini, I came to the realization that there were 50,000 other people who wanted to be Jacques Cousteau and the probability of good employment was minimal. I lucked in to a nice job at the local public aquarium in Boston and spent five years there - formed my first business after that, ran that for a couple of years and then moved out to Seattle. Boston was a lot of fun but it was getting just too overbuilt, gentrified and expensive.

Make that a two hour nap.

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Feeling a bit better - not as tired. Still have muscle aches and fever but taking some aspirin for that. See how long I can hold off on the cold medicine.

Have some left-over rice from a few days ago so fixing a big pot of chicken rice soup. Add some hot peppers to it to clear the congestion. Also setting a big pot of water on the stove to bump up the humidity - being in the shower was great so bringing that steam to the rest of the house for a while.

Nap time

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Feeling really tired again - heading upstairs for a one hour nap.

...when they lash out at you so hard. From Breitbart:

Fake News Plus Fascism: New York Times Urges Boycott of Breitbart
In two op-ed articles for the New York Times‘ Sunday Review, the Gray Lady attacks Breitbart News and its founder, Andrew Breitbart, and encourages an effort to “destroy” the company by appealing directly to advertisers not to support the website.

One article, “How to Destroy the Business Model of Breitbart and Fake News,” written by someone actually called “Pagan Kennedy” (was “Antichrist Roosevelt” not available?) celebrates the flagging effort of anonymous Twitter trolls who have tried to target and intimidate companies whose ads appear alongside Breitbart News articles, via third party platforms.

These would-be censors of the totalitarian left have decided that since they cannot defeat conservative views and arguments on the merits, they would prefer to eliminate them.

The Times, which prides itself as a guardian of free speech and press freedom, gives its backing to this (unsuccessful) campaign with nearly 2,000 words of space. The article includes instructions on how to join the anti-Breitbart effort, copied verbatim — “Step 1… Step 2…” — from the anonymous activists’ Twitter page.

And Breitbart News, the “biggest fish,” is not the last intended target: the group declares that it “would like to broaden its campaign to take on a menagerie of bad actors.”

A perfect example of ideas so good they have to be mandatory. The progressives have nothing to offer - that is why they have to cheat on elections. An idea: instead of trying to do a Hulk Smash on Breitbart, why don't you set up your own competing website? See who moves over.

An interesting idea - Wolverines

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Specifically, training them to locate and dig out avalanche victims. From Outside Magazine:

Wolverines: The Future of Search and Rescue
The wolverine has a reputation. 

“He is one of the most powerful, thievish, daring, and efficient killing machines known to man,” writes Mark Allardyce in Wolverine: A Look into the Devil’s Eyes. The creature’s English name derives from the word wolver, or “wolf-like.” Its scientific label, Gulo gulo, comes from the Latin for “glutton.” It has been known to eat its victims—which include everything from deer and sheep to full-grown caribou—bones, teeth, and all. The animal has been called the hyena of the north. When you type “Can a wolverine” into Google, the search engine offers “kill a polar bear?” 

It’s no surprise, then, that Mike Miller’s proposal to train wolverines to search for—and help rescue—avalanche survivors has raised some eyebrows around his corner of Alaska, near Anchorage.

Surprising intellegence:

“Anything you can train a dog to do, you can train a wolverine to do, five times quicker,” Miller says.

More at the site. Like bears, you have to bond with them at a very early age. The article talks about bottle-feeding them as kits.

Sounds like a great idea. I once saw one on my farm trotting right along the tree-line by the pasture. Very distinctive ears and gait.

Slept for about five hours when I went to bed, woke up a bit and the rest of the night was spent sleeping for an hour or three and waking up hacking my throat/lungs out.

Still feel like crap with a headache and it feels like I have been run over by a freight train. Also, I was alternatly too hot and too cold - currently at 101°F. Do not know what this is but I certainly do not want to get it again.

No Bueno...

That is it for tonight

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Can barely keep my eyes open. Loaded up with NyQuil PM so feeling the effects and I have a second set of pills to take around 4:00AM when I wake up again.

Still coughing up a storm (and curious pink crap) and have a headache and muscle stiffness. Taking some meds - Elderberry tincture, and about a half-dose of both Astragalus and Gan Mao Ling

Brain is seriously offline - if it was not for spell check, I would have had six typos on this post - this is not like me.

Great elegy for Neon Signs

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It is funny - I have been to Hong Kong a bunch of times about 35-40 years ago and I recognized that this was not only Hong Kong, but I recognized the area - Tsim Sha Tsui and Nathan Road. Spent many an evening closing down Ned Kelley's listening to Ken Bennet and the Kowloon Honkers.

Anyway, ran into this video about how neon signs are made - a fascinating technology. Sadly being replaced with LED but there is room - I bet - for an artisanal revival.

Did a lot of network reconfiguration with the cables in trays about eight feet off the floor. I had a pair of drywall stilts and those worked great but mount and dismount was always a pain. These look perfect for the job. It uses the same sort of gas-lift mechanism that is used to raise and lower office chairs - brilliant hack:

It's those Russian hackers again

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From New York's Staten Island Live:

Staten Islanders to Sanitation: 'Where are the plows?'
If you drove on Staten Island roadways at any point on Saturday, you may have asked: "Where are the plows?'

During what seemed to be an unexpected snowstorm, Staten Island roads remained covered in slush and snow that was quickly turning to ice as Saturday night approached.

On a drive from Grasmere to Silver Lake at 6:30 p.m. not one plow was spotted, and main thoroughfares, like Clove Road, Victory Boulevard and Forest Avenue were slippery and snow covered.

However, the city Sanitation Department said they have full plowing and spreader operations in progress, with 89 salt spreaders and 122 plows out on Staten Island.

Salt spreaders started at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and plows started around 1 to 1:30 p.m., according to Dennis Diggins, First Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Sanitation.

De Blasio making sure that Hillary is able to win his job away from him. After all, it is her turn.

From Rex Murphy writing at the National Post:

Cherish your suffering, Ontario; Premier Wynne’s green gods know of your sacrifice
It cannot have escaped the attention of many that Ontario is most unsettled these days. That its industries are anxious, its debt colossal, its citizens not in a pleasant mood. Ontario is in a lot of pain. But let me assure readers outside Ontario that it has not all been for nothing. There are rewards. They are subtle, intangible, but they are real. Let me explain.

Those who share the faith and endorse the morality of global warming derive very much the same satisfactions that attended fidelity to the less demanding dogmas of earlier and less ambitious creeds. The carbon regime, tax hikes on gasoline, failed or failing long-term contracts, fear and trembling in the manufacturing sector, the gnashing of teeth in poorer (and now colder) households, Ontario Hydro’s ever-swelling levies, the despoliation of rural vistas by towers of whirling, bird-bashing windmills: These, each in itself, and all in combination are the acknowledged costs of the Great Greening.

Those outside the faith, and mere loitering agnostics, see nothing here but a catalogue of burdens. Shackles of an alien god. But to those within the covenant, they are the way stations on the hard and stony path to delicious rewards reserved for the elect. This is the true chemistry of belief. What appear as obstacles to heretics, appear to believers as smooth escalators to a higher state. Accepting, embracing what must be done supplies them with a sense of inner sanction, endows them with that peace of mind which a lesser scripture records, rather churlishly, as passing all understanding.

It has always been thus. Think of those Lenten pilgrims of old scuttling from hamlets all over Europe to visit Jerusalem for a glance at the bone splinters of some of the lesser saints. The “ways [were] deep and the weather sharp” but the end transmuted the journey into something sweet and fine. So it is now.

Much more at the site - Rex does have a way with words.

Reader Doug McLeod from Victoria, British Columbia offered this bit of history:

The one thing the French did far better than the English was when the ruling class had lost touch with the people, they put a guillotine in pretty much every town square and started reminding the elites who they worked for and who supported them. By the time it was over, there was hardly an elite or an aristocrat that could walk through one of those squares without twitching nervously. While I rather doubt that we will suddenly see a flood of guillotine populate squares around Toronto or Ottawa any time soon, its clear that same lesson is once more overdue on this side of the Atlantic.

Pour encourager les autres

Now this would be a lot of fun

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Ths came in over the transom - we know that Hillary is talking about running for mayor of New York City

Someone made the comment that Trump should float it out that his 39 year old son Don Trump Jr. was also considering running for the same office.

That would get a few panties in a bunch...

Cold - this sucks

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Got the house cranked up to 75°F and I am still feeling cold although wearing a sweater. Planning on getting to bed sometime around eight or nine tonight. Get as good a night's sleep as I can - this stuff sucks.

Do not know what to do for dinner so falling back on tuna "sludge" - it's macaroni boiled, drained, and tossed with toasted sesame oil and tuna and some frozen peas (put in with the macaroni during the last three minutes of cooking. Lots of protein, pretty tasty and easy to make. It evolved from the classic tuna casserole - I took out the parts I did not like and fiddled with the balance of the recipe.

Coming soon to a county near you

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I have met the type - this is closer to reality than I care to think about...

Interesting legal precedent

Clever lawyer, scum for a client. From The Register:

FBI let alleged pedo walk free rather than explain how they snared him
In a surprising and worrying move, the FBI has dropped its case against a man accused of downloading child sex abuse images, rather than reveal details about how they caught him.

Jay Michaud, a middle school teacher in Vancouver, Washington, was arrested in July last year after visiting the Playpen, a dark web meeting place tens of thousands of perverts used to swap mountains of vile underage porn.

Unbeknownst to him at the time, the FBI were, for about a fortnight, running the site after taking over its servers, and managed to install a network investigative technique (NIT) on his computer to get his real public IP address and MAC address. The Playpen was hidden in the Tor anonymizing network, and the spyware was needed to unmask suspects – about 1,300 public IP addresses were collected by agents during the operation.

According to the prosecution, a police raid on his home revealed a substantial hoard of pictures and video of child sex abuse on computer equipment. But now, guilty or not, he's now off the hook after the FBI filed a motion to dismiss its own case [PDF] late last month.

Why? Because Michaud's lawyer insisted that the FBI hand over a sample of the NIT code so it could be checked to ensure that it didn't breach the terms of the warrant the FBI obtained to install the malware, and to check that it wouldn't throw up any false positives.

US District Judge Robert Bryan agreed, saying that unless the prosecution turned over the code, he'd have to dismiss the charges. The FBI has since been arguing against that, but has now decided that it's better to drop the case than reveal its techniques.

Not much they can do - bet the local police force will be keeping a very close eye on Michaud for as long as he continues to live in Vancouver. It is one thing to watch porn. Children should be cause for castration or some other penalty - that just crosses the line with me.

But will not - didn't sleep well last night so don't want to screw up my schedule - maybe later.

Fixing a can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup - sometimes the traditional things are the best.

Count me in - the flu

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From The Bellingham Herald:

Flu cases spike in Whatcom County, and more people are likely to get sick
The flu has hit Whatcom County early and hard this winter, and more of it probably is on the way.

“We don’t think we’ve peaked yet,” said Greg Stern, Whatcom County health officer.

The number of cases are spiking here, as they are in the rest of Washington state. Flu illness also was up nationally, as well as in British Columbia and the rest of Canada.

The flu has killed at least 24 people in Washington state so far this season, according to new data released Friday by the Washington State Department of Health. That data goes through Dec. 31.

The deaths occurred in people with underlying health conditions, according to the state data. They ranged in age from 50 to older than 65. None of those deaths was in Whatcom County.

Stern said the flu season started about a month early, and the current strain that is circulating through the state – H3N2 – tends to make people sicker.

Just wonderful. Time to hunker down at the farm, drink plenty of liquids and rest.

Out for coffee and then back home again

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Finished off my breakfast - take care of the critters on my way out. They go through about two bales of hay every day. Need to muck out the barn but it is not that bad and can wait for a few days until I am feeling better. Got the stock tank topped off - getting the heated hose was something I should have done years ago.

Back in about an hour...

Usually, they hit further up North. We usually get one or two of them each Fall through Spring. Up here we call them a Pineapple Express as the storms originate close to the Hawaiian islands. Here is one from November 2014:

20141126-pcpwv.jpg

Well, the one happening today is headed much further south - Northern California. From the Los Angeles Times:

Massive storm system moves into Northern California; flooding, heavy snow forecast
The first band of what forecasters predict will be the region’s most powerful storm in a decade moved into Northern California on Saturday, prompting official warnings of widespread flooding and epic snowfall.

“People are definitely in a state of panic right now,” said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Todd Hammitt. “We’re getting a lot of calls asking if we’re going to be able to deal with everything. It’s the general pandemonium of not knowing what’s coming.”

The epic system — known as an atmospheric river — could dump so much rain and snow that some ski runs and roads will be declared off-limits, with forecasters warning of significant flooding, mudslides and avalanches in the Sierra Nevada.

Up to 12 inches of rain is expected to fall on areas below 8,500 feet beginning Saturday morning, and up to 7 feet of snow could bury higher elevations, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters said the storm was packing the same wallop as one that hit Northern California in 2005, causing $300 million in damage.

Yikes - at least we are familiar with this phenomon. This is uncharted territory for California.

Well this sucks

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Been feeling a bit off the last couple of days and came down with the flu last night. Took a bunch of meds for it but still feel like crap. I can really tell that something is up - I can not spell for shit. Thank God for spall chuckers.

Lulu is running a fever so she is staying back a bit longer.

Neither weather forecast service got it right last evening. They were both predicting some degree of overcast and temps in the low 20°F - it was drop-dead clear and it got down to 9.0°F. I saw the clouds going away so I upped the flow of water in the sink and will keep it running through today. My problem in December was that it got this cold then too but it warmed up doing the day so I turned the water off. There was enough residual cold to freeze the pipes so I was without water for ten days. Both services are predicting highs in the 31°F range with light clouds - we will see. It is 24.6°F right now.

The joys of living in the country - no really! I love it out here. Never live in a city again.

That is it for the evening

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Lulu called and she is coming out tomorrow but she said that she was feeling a bit under the weather. Funny thing, something started nosing around my immune system this afternoon too. Looks like we are spending the next week netflix bingeing and drink hot toddys.

What a maroon

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Talk about stupid criminal - from the San Diego, CA Union Tribune:

San Diego bank robber reveals identity by using ATM card during heist
If only all crimes were so easy to solve.

Alvin Lee Neal robbed a downtown San Diego bank, but before he did he inserted his ATM debit card at the teller window — revealing his name and other personal information.

Neal, 56, was sentenced in San Diego federal court Tuesday to three years and 10 months in prison for the robbery, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Title? From Bugs Bunny

New Years Resolutions from Jeff Dunham

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He's got the whole crew:

An interesting metric - Joe Biden

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By his actions today, Crazy Joe Biden is the most nuanced and rational Democrat in Congress. From Breitbart:

‘It Is Over’: Joe Biden Shuts Down Democrats’ Electoral College Challenge to Trump
Vice President Joe Biden shut down a Democratic challenger to the Electoral College certificate that verifies President-elect Donald Trump’s win on Friday, telling Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) “It is over.”

Jayapal made the objection to the certificate from Georgia during a joint session of Congress held to verify certificates and count Electoral College votes from each state. Biden thrice told Jayapal that her objection to the Georgia certificate held no water, and there was “no debate” that the certificate stands in support of Donald Trump’s 16 electoral votes.

“No debate. There’s no debate,” Biden said. “Sections 15 and 17 of Title 3 of the United States Code require that any objections be presented in writing and signed by both a member of the House of Representatives and a Senator.”

For Biden to play the role of a Senior Statesman, you have to wonder how far the other Democratic congress-critters have sunk. And of course, California is it's own little brand of special:

Towards the end of the joint session, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) asked if any senator would stand with House members to object. No one stood with her.

Ms. Waters has quite the history - here, here, here, here, here and here. Wonder if Trump will look into her long sordid past.

Back home again

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Dinner was good (prime rib dip with fries) and ran into a bunch of friends. One couple just had a baby lamb born two weeks ago so they were all happy about that. The only cider they had on tap was a hopped cider. Well, excuuuuse me! Had a couple pints of Ranier instead.

Time to open a bottle of wine and pour a glass or two - surf's up...

Heading out for dinner

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Do not feel like cooking or re-heating anything. Heading out for a burger and a couple pints of cider.

More in a few hours.

From George Washington (yeah right) writing at Zero Hedge:

The Same Officials Who Pushed the Iraq War Are Now Stirring Up Anti-Russia Hysteria
The main U.S. intelligence official pushing claims that Russia hacked the Democratic party is James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence.

But Clapper was responsible for a lot of the bogus intelligence which led to the Iraq war.  Newsweek reported in 2010:

President Obama’s nomination of Pentagon intelligence chief James Clapper as intelligence czar could reignite the Bush-era debate over how and why agencies overstated Saddam Hussein’s weapons-of-mass-destruction arsenal before the March 2003 invasion of Iraq. Clapper played an important role in that estimate; from 2001 to 2006 he headed the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon unit responsible for interpreting spy-satellite photos and other technically gathered intelligence like air particles and soil samples. And now the conservative Washington Times is reviving the argument, reporting that in Clapper’s judgment the Iraqi dictator evaded the post-invasion WMD search by hiding at least part of the arsenal across the border in shortly before the invasion.

Clapper himself told Congress yesterday that his “fingerprints” were all over the Iraq intelligence estimate.

The architect of the NSA’s global surveillance system (Bill Binney) and a 27-year CIA veteran who chaired National Intelligence Estimates and personally delivered intelligence briefings to both Democratic and Republican presidents and the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Ray McGovern) wrote yesterday:

Mr. Clapper has admitted giving Congress on March 12, 2013, false testimony regarding the extent of NSA collection of data on Americans. Four months later, after the Edward Snowden revelations, Mr. Clapper apologized to the Senate for testimony he admitted was “clearly erroneous.” That he is a survivor was already apparent by the way he landed on his feet after the intelligence debacle on Iraq.

Clapper may be a big fish but there are a couple of other people as well:

Similarly, Newsweek called Lindsey Graham:

One of the biggest cheerleaders for the Iraq War ….

John McCain was another of the main Iraq war boosters.

Now Graham is calling for throwing “rocks, not pebbles” at Russia.

And McCain is alleging that Russia hacked the U.S. … and that it constitutes an act of war.

Like I said, why do we still believe them when they spout these lies. They should be laughed out of Washington.

Just a minute per day

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We are getting just a minute more daylight added per day so the feeling is more psychological than anything but it sure feels great to know that spring is somewhere in the near future. From the excellent website timeanddate:

20170106-daylight.jpg

(Click to embiggen)

The sound of silence

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It sounds strange to be in the house without the water running. It is 23°F outside and TWC is forecasting a low of 23°F so I will probably run some water overnight.

Guns - an explanation

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No further words necessary:

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Swiped from Borepatch

The Fort Lauderdale airport shooter

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I heard about it this morning but did not have time to post - I heard that he had been aprehended but nothing else. Turns out he was known to have had serious mental issues and was travelling with a gun in his checked luggage. From the Miami CBS affiliate:

Police: Suspected Gunman Got Into An Argument During Flight
Federal law enforcement sources said the suspected gunman in a deadly attack at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport got into an argument during his flight from Alaska to Florida.

They’re now investigating whether that’s what set off a shooting rampage that left 5 dead and 8 others wounded.

And waaaaay down almost at the end of this article:

His aunt, according to nj.com, said after a tour of duty in Iraq, he “lost his mind” and was hospitalized at one point for mental health issues.

According to the Associated Press, the Pentagon said he went AWOL several times as a specialist during a stint with the Alaska National Guard and was demoted to private first class. He was given a general discharge, which is different from an honorable discharge.

In November 2016, he walked into an FBI office in Anchorage claiming that he was being forced to fight for ISIS and was sent to a psychiatric hospital, officials revealed.

In 2011 or 2012, he was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations for child porn. Three weapons and a computer were seized, but there was not enough evidence to prosecute, according to law enforcement sources.

So he was known to be unstable and was investigated previously by Homeland Security.

That was the shot - here is the chaser from  Bridget Johnson at PJ Media:

DHS Secretary: Obama Leaving Homeland Security 'Much Stronger'
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said in his term-end memo that despite remaining work to be done "to remove bureaucratic stove pipes and improve the effectiveness of headquarters functions," President Obama "will leave a much stronger DHS than the one we inherited eight years ago."

Johnson is probably a nice enough guy but he is just not that bright. Obama likes to think that he is the smartest person in the room and to maintain that illusion, he surrounds himself with incompetents - Kerry, Hillary, Johnson, Holder... I rest my case.

Plan B

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Glad I checked - I am clearing out some space for my new photo/video computer. I had seen a few desks at Costco and thought that two specific units would fit well together in the space I have allocated for it.

Went in today to check and discovered that the two units are #1) - about a foot too long for the space (and there is no way to hack them to be shorter) and #2) - the table I was planning for the printer and supplies was too narrow to support my printer. I need 30" deep and this is only 24". My initial thought was to weld up a steel frame with some casters and just have the printer free-standing. That is what I am going to do. I will be picking up the first desk (the one for the computer and monitors) sometime next week.

First world problems but still. They would have looked fantastic together - I am peeved...

The Weather Channel

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Seems to be winning the weather wars. They are both failing when it comes to nighttime temperatures - I get ten degrees colder than either of the forecasts but TWC seems to be getting the daytime highs and the precipitation right a lot more than the National Weather Service.

Just right

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For a couple of things

It is starting to get warmer - not that this is going to last, been predicting a hard snowy winter since last spring but a temporary reprieve is nice. Temp is 29.5°F right now - balmy!

The 24-hour steel-cut oatmeal came out perfectly. One part Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats, two parts water and a pinch of salt into a mason jar. Put it in the fridge overnight. When you are done eating, make another one for next morning. Nuke for about 1:30 and top with some brown sugar and fruit.

Harbor Freight is having a sale on small vertical-feed paint guns - these are nice for blacksmithing when filled with water to temper or cool the metal. On sale today for $9 each. Getting a couple.

Picked up a electrically heated hose yesterday - carrying five gallon buckets of water out to the stock tank was just getting old. Worth the $150 - will be using it for many many winters to come.

Check out Ten Bullets:

Ongoing weather wars

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Between the National Weather Service and the for-profit The Weather Channel - NWS had today's high at 30°F, TWC at 32°F - high air temp here today? 32°F

NWS is calling for snow and 26°F, TWC is calling for Cloudy and 21°F - it is now (7:30PM) with a very thin and high overcast and 18.0°F. TWC gets the nod for being closest but neither of them are doing well on nighttime temperatures.

Earth movement in our county

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The ground is always moving in a lot of places in our County. Here is a big rock that came down onto I-5 around Christmas eve. It was found to be loose so the DOT brought in some machinery to help it along. From the WA State Department of Transportation Flickr feed:

20170105-rock.jpg

Said by George Santayana - a wise man.

Here are two such examples

From October 17, 2002 - Carter, Democrats Asked Soviets to Stop Reagan

and March 10, 2015 - Ted Kennedy Secretly Asked The Soviets To Intervene In The 1984 Elections

And once again, all sorts of links pointing to corroborating data - this is not a narrative, this really happened.

Brilliant

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For context, watch this first: Buster the Boxer from the John Lewis department store in London, England:

And then this parody - from JOE.co.uk:

Delightful bit of video.

From The Daily Caller:

Report: Clinton Mulling NYC Mayoral Run
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is “talking about” running for New York City mayor, Newsmax reports.

It has only been 57 days since President-elect Donald Trump defeated Clinton. During the election slog, Clinton, 69, collapsed getting into a Secret Service van, had multiple coughing fits during speeches and seemed to have trouble walking up steps at a rally in Lake Worth, Fla.

“If she ran, she’d win,” a Newsmax source said.

She was a New York senator from 2001 to 2009. During that time, her popularity peaked at 60 percent in 2001 and ping-ponged from as low as 47 percent in December 2002 to 57 percent in 2005 and then back down to 48 percent in May 2008 when she conceded the Democratic nomination to then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Well, on the upside, it would get Komrade De Blasio out of office which is an improvement right there.

I do time-lapse photography but only for periods of an hour or so - cloud movement, sunrises/sunsets, etc... A lot of times, when a new building is going up, the owners will want a time-lapse video of the process spanning several months. From Digital Photography Review:

Enlaps Tikee time-lapse camera packs two lenses and a solar panel
Tikee by French company Enlaps aims to simplify time-lapse photography by combining a 4.5W solar panel, wireless connectivity and a pair of lenses into a single capture device. The device itself is described as completely self-sufficient, weatherproof and accessible via a Web application.

The idea behind Enlaps is that long duration time-lapse photography can be difficult depending on location due to potential power source and weather issues. Tikee and its more sophisticated counterpart, Tikee Pro, solve this by providing everything necessary for time-lapse photography in a single wireless and weatherproof product.

Very clever - they do not have to worry about replacing the battery every so often and with the two lenses, you get up to 220° of panoramic vision. $750 for the Standard and $900 for the Pro (adds digital RAW files, GPS and 4G modem) - if I was putting up a building, this would be pocket change for a very wonderful resource.

How not to cache weapons

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I would love to know the backstory - was this a sellers drop for someone to pick up? From the London Daily Mail:

Walker finds two guns in a violin case along Potomac River in Washington D.C. - leading cops to locate even more weapons nearby
A number of weapons, including two guns in a violin case, have been found stashed along the Potomac River in Washington D.C.

U.S. Park Police said a woman walking in the woods near the C&O Canal, which runs along the river, found the case on Wednesday.

When police arrived they found more guns and ammunition stashed in pails and garbage bags nearby.

And where they were found?

'Nobody ever hikes on that side of the canal' where the violin case was found, Saffir said. 'People walk on the towpath.'

She added that the area is 'normally super quiet.'

D.C. has draconian gun laws - Dick Heller was a security guard and was licensed to carry firearms at work. He wanted to have a gun for his home protection but the D.C. authorities said no. He took it all the way to the Supreme Court and won. More: District of Columbia v. Heller

Why would someone be stashing that quantity of weapons - were they planning something for the inauguration? Our friends the Amish Muslims? A bit of a pity they didn't just hang back and see who came to retrieve them...

From The Times of London:

Britain has world’s top economy
Britain ended last year as the strongest of the world’s advanced economies with growth accelerating in the six months after the Brexit vote, it was revealed yesterday.

Business activity hit a 17-month high last month, meaning that the economy grew by 2.2 per cent last year — more than the six other leading nations, including the US, Germany and Japan.

Far from slowing after the referendum in June, as predicted by the Treasury and Bank of England, growth appeared to have improved. GDP grew at 0.3 per cent and 0.6 per cent in the first two quarters of last year, compared with 0.6 per cent and an estimated 0.5 per cent in the final period.

as predicted by the Treasury and Bank of England  - sounds like they need to get some new management over there. The low-level clerks are probably fine but the top-level management seems to not be able to see the forest for the trees. Someone needs to be there who doesn't live in a bubble. The data was there, they just chose to ignore it.

Time for the rest of Europe to follow and let those un-elected bureaucrats in Brussels go back to making chocolate and cheese.

Nobody on the left is telling the truth these days - from The Daily Beast:

The Media’s Favorite ‘Millennial’ Is 55 Years Old
Last week, it happened again. This time it was Forbessmack dab in the headline.

“Millennial Dan Nainan Left Intel To Make His Millions Entertaining Others With Comedy.”

Millennial Dan Nainan has been the go-to millennial in a whole lot of news stories in the past year. He was 35 in an AP story that appeared in the Chicago Tribune about undecided voters on Nov. 6, two days before the election. A few weeks later, he was 35 in a Vocativ story about Obama voters who wound up voting for Donald Trump.

“I think people who felt like an underdog might have identified with Trump more, because he was being picked on so much,” Nainan said. “I felt it was very liberating to vote for him and thumb my nose at everybody.”

A bit of his life's story:

Just ask Forbes. Nainan left his career as a senior engineer at Intel to travel the world and tell jokes. Twenty-eight countries and a Tesla, all by the age of 35.

He’s performed for Donald Trump. He’s met Hillary Clinton. Barack Obama endorsed him in a four-second YouTube video.

And on Sept. 11, 2001, while at Intel, Nainan “was able to watch both towers fall from his corner in Manhattan, NYC,”according to Business Insider in 2011.

“After watching so many people die right in front of him, he realized that he needed a change. He left his job to pursue comedy full time,” Business Insider’s Personal Branding Blog wrote.

Oopsie:

Then, there it is on paper: a Maryland traffic court case from last year. “Failure to display registration card upon demand by police officer.” Daniel Nainan of New York City. Date of birth: May 1961.

Turns out someone even put up a website: ComedianDanNainanIsOver50YearsOldAndHisFollowersAreFake.com

Much more at the site - why does this guy have to lie so much.

Heh - influencing the election

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20170105-putin.jpg

Not unexpected - the Rockefeller family

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Take this with a grain of salt but it does make perfect sense - from The New American:

New Report Exposes Rockefeller Dynasty's Role in “Climate” Scam
An unfathomably wealthy banking and oil dynasty has been hijacking governments, media organs, universities, non-profits, and other power centers to expand its control over the economy and the energy sector in particular, according to a recently released investigation by a watchdog group. That dynasty, of course, is the Rockefeller family. In essence, they have largely created, bankrolled, and weaponized what is known as the “green” movement “as a means to expand their empire over the past three decades,” the report found.

Under the guise of fighting alleged “man-made global-warming,” the Rockefeller family and its billions have been bankrolling everything from “climate” journalism (propaganda) efforts, politicians, and “academia” to politically motivated “investigations” of energy companies and non-profit organizations by government officials. Billionaire extremist George Soros also helped fund the efforts, according to the report by the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog Energy and Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) entitled The Rockefeller Way: The Family’s Covert “Climate Change” Plan.

The billionaires' goal, according to the report, was to crush the oil and gas industry, using government power as the weapon of choice, to ultimately gain greater control over the energy sector once again. “Not surprisingly, the Rockefellers are heavily invested in renewable energy,” the report explains, offering examples. But Rockefellers are no strangers to underhanded machinations to gain market share. Using extremely shady tactics, the report also details how John D. Rockefeller Sr., the founding patriarch of the Rockefeller dynasty, gained a virtual monopoly over the U.S. energy industry by the 1880s — at least until the feds broke it up into smaller companies.

It would be easy to dismiss this as 90% conspiracy theory but the author provides a lot of links and outlines the timetable that the Rockefeller's used. Interesting to see how it dovetails with the growth of the AGW business. There is a lot of money in climate change - interesting to see where it comes from and why.

Sanctuaries about to get interesting.

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There are a lot of so-called sanctuary cities out there - cities where if someone is arrested, their immigration status is not questioned and ICE does not get called in. Schools and churches are doing this too - even Whatcom County is a sanctuary county. This is all well and good but what with all the well-meaning hard workers coming across the Mexican border, there are also a lot of criminals.

Looks like times could get interesting for the Sanctuary Schools - from Breitbart:

Federal Proposal Would Strip Funds from Sanctuary Campuses
A U.S. representative from California has introduced a bill to block Title IV funds to colleges and universities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced the No Funding for Sanctuary Campuses Act in late December to define “sanctuary campus” and create financial penalties for any “institutions of higher education that violates immigration laws.” The bill, H.R. 6530, was co-sponsored by Representatives Tom McClintock (R-CA) and Lou Barletta (R-PA).

“It’s by no means unreasonable to expect the nation’s higher learning institutions to follow the law the same way we expect states and localities to abide by the law,” Hunter told the Washington Examiner in an interview published on Tuesday. “If a school wants federal money, an open declaration that it’s a sanctuary should disqualify it for federal support.

“It’s free to do that, of course, but there should be a consequence in the form of withheld federal funding — it’s that simple,” the California congressman stated.

Heh - I love it. You are free to Virtue Signal all you want but you will be doing it on your own dime.

The oatmeal is good!

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A little too much water and a bit too chewy but I had assembled it last night. I will do another one before I head out for coffee this morning and see if the extra ten hours makes a difference.

Back when i was working a real job in Seattle, this would have been perfect for my morning snack.

Still cold - got down to 10.4°F

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Water is flowing nicely as I left the sink running at a pretty heavy flow rate. NWS is calling for a high of 30°F while The Weather Channel is calling for 32°F - we will see.

Heading outside to take care of the critters, back in for breakfast and then out for coffee and back home again.

Trying overnight oatmeal - one part steel-cut oats, two parts water and pinch of salt in a mason jar and keep in the fridge overnight. Nuke and eat. Will see how that works. Beats spending fifteen minutes cooking it and watching that it doesn't stick.

Off to bed

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Heading upstairs with the dogs - got a cat around here somewhere too.

Rocky the horse and the three llamas - Pancho, Lefty and Willie - are all doing well. Not liking it but their appetites are good and they are drinking a good bit of water every day so they are healthy. The critter barn gives them shelter from the wind and they all have great layers of fur and fat.

Working around the farm tomorrow and then heading into town Friday for a bit. Lulu is coming out Saturday.

Here is the current wind-chill data from the US National Weather Service Grand Forks North Dakota

20170104-nd.jpg

This guy is insufferable

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From Breitbart:

President Obama Awards Himself Distinguished Public Service Medal
On Wednesday, President Obama added another prestigious medal to his Nobel Prize collection when he had Defense Secretary Ash Carter award him with the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service.

Secretary Carter awarded his boss with the medal on January 4 during the Armed Forces Full Honor Farewell Review for the President held at Conmy Hall, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia.

Carter is good people - I would hate to think of what he has to go through dealing with Barry's petulance and narcissism.

From Chicago's FOX affiliate:

4 in custody after mentally disabled man tied up, tortured on Facebook Live
Chicago investigators are questioning four African-Americans after a Facebook Live video shows a group of people torturing a white mentally disabled man while someone yelled "F*** Trump!" and "F*** white people!"

I do not care what race anyone was - this is just heinous and absolutly feral behaviour. LBJ's Great Society has done more to disrupt black lives in America than any other policy. And we still keep it lurching along under terms like "War on Poverty" and the various entitlement programs. We can not just yank the rug out from under them, but we do need to make education and job training a major focus and provide financial incenties for the father to remain with the family he created.

More people living inside a bubble

Only this time, they are betting with (and losing) other people's money - from The Wall Street Journal:

Hedge Fund Horseman Capital Suffered Huge Loss on Trump Victory
The flagship hedge fund at Horseman Capital Management Ltd. was one of the world’s worst-performing hedge funds last year, posting a big loss in the wake of Donald Trump’s U.S. election victory.

London-based Horseman runs about $2 billion in assets. Its main $1.7 billion Global strategy fund lost 24% through Dec. 28, according to numbers sent to investors in an email and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

And their strategy?

Global strategy fund manager Russell Clark had been running huge bets against stocks, according to letters to investors, and was hit by the sharp rally in markets fueled by Mr. Trump’s victory.

The fund’s largest bet was against U.S. stocks, while it was also positioned for eurozone and Japanese stocks to fall, according to the fund’s latest letter to investors.

Last year’s loss, to Dec. 28, is one of the biggest in percentage terms chalked up by a hedge fund in 2016, according to data seen by the Journal. Hedge funds on average were up 2.5% last year to Dec. 29, according to data group HFR. The fund had been a top performer globally in 2015 and during the credit crisis, according to performance numbers seen by the Journal.

Horseman didn’t respond to requests for comment.

didn’t respond to requests for comment - no shit Sherlock. I would be crawling under the rug if I did not see that coming. They should have had a heads up with the Brexit vote. The people outside their boardrooms are fed up and they are making their displeasure known loudly. I wonder if anyone at the firm saw the coming Trump presidency and tried to warn the bubble-dwellers.

Weather wars - tonight

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Kind of fun. As I said earlier today, NWS had it getting up to 29°F today, weather.com up to 31°F - winner? The Weather Channel - it got up to 32.0°F this afternoon. 32.0°F is a very "sticky" temperature as I had mentioned earlier.

Forecast for tonight is NWS at 22°F and The Weather Channel at 17°F - current temperature is 15.8 - winner? The Weather Channel. Both are calling for clear which it is - hence the low temperature.

I am in the wrong business

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In an earlier post, I said that the damage to Thunderbunny would probably be around $3,000 - the quote from the body shop is for $2,804.03. Going to take about ten business days but they have a loaner available.

Got a bite to eat in town and picked up a few things at Costco. Working at home tomorrow and then a memorial service for a good local friend.

Time to feed the critters (both Bear and Grace came into town with me) and then surf for a bit. Bear has discovered that books are great things to chew on. Lost one old one but no real sentimental value. The spine of a photographic "art" book got nibbled on before I caught him. More squeaky toys have been strewn throughout the household.

Back in a few hours

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Heading in to get an estimate for Thunderbunny's damage - maybe get a bite to eat in town but that is uncertain, see how long it takes to get the estimate.

Most do not. Part three (Part One, Part Two) of Kevin Alexander's excellent series at Thrillist:

THERE'S A MASSIVE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY BUBBLE, AND IT'S ABOUT TO BURST
AS SOON AS HE WALKED THROUGH THE DOOR, Matt Semmelhack knew it was over. He'd been away from his San Francisco restaurant AQ for less than a week, but when he got back, it just felt different. It went beyond the usual concerns of the modern restaurateur. "I wasn't worried the lights were properly dim, or the regulars were in the right booths," he says. Instead, Semmelhack was just looking at his staff -- people he hangs out with on weekends, people whose livelihoods he supplies, some of his closest friends -- and all he could see was the money each one of them was costing him, flashing in front of him like a video-game score. "I knew right then," he says, "we had to shut it all down."

Semmelhack is not the only restaurateur looking to duck and cover. The American restaurant business is a bubble, and that bubble is bursting. I've arrived at this conclusion after spending a year traveling around the country and talking to chefs, restaurant owners, and other industry folk for this series. In part one, I talked about how the Good Food Revival Movement™ created colonies of similar, hip restaurants in cities all over the country. In the series' second story, I discussed how a shortage of cooks -- driven by a combination of the restaurant bubble, shifts in immigration, and a surge of millennials -- is permanently altering the way a restaurant's back of the house has to operate in order to survive.

This, the final story, is simple: I want you to understand why America's Golden Age of Restaurants is coming to an end.

So true - Bellingham has a high churn rate when it comes to dining. Lots of franchises and most of these have decent track record but the cool little hole-in-the-wall places are opening and closing all the time. Reading our local business journal is pretty depressing.

How do you make a million dollars in food service? Start with ten million and open a restaurant.

Got coffee and while getting Bear into the back seat, I knocked over the mug spilling a few ounces on my pants.

Went to the store and was backing out of the parking lot when I heard a loud crash. There was a delivery truck (20' box) with a liftgate and I had backed right into the support column for the liftgate. There was a little bit of paint transfer on the liftgate but no damage. Thunderbunny on the other hand:

20170104-truck01.jpg

20170104-truck02.jpg

20170104-truck03.jpg

Entirely my own damned fault - I knew the truck was there and just did not pay close enough attention while backing up. Back home to change my pants (I love the smell of coffee but not on my clothing), clean out the bed of the truck (broken glass) and to take the radio and first aid crates out for safekeeping and then in to town to get a quote. I am betting around $3,000 or so. Money I was not planning to spend but that is why they call it an "accident".

Playing with gasoline and matches

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Obama is throwing a temper tantrum. There is no other word that fits. From the England's The Sun:

US sends special forces to RUSSIAN BORDER as Nato is poised to strike back against Vladimir Putin’s ‘aggression’
Tensions between Washington and the Kremlin have reached Cold War levels amid reports Vladimir Putin is deploying nuke-ready missiles in the Russian province of Kaliningrad – which borders Poland, Belarus and Lithuania.

Why now - why not just wait the 15 days and 21 hours (I love this site) until we get a real leader.

The weather wars - this is fun

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It got down to 10.5°F last night so both forecasts were way off - too high.

NWS has it getting up to 29°F today - outside air temp is already 28.9°F so this is too low. Weather Channel has it for 31°F - more in line with what is actually happening.

Both agencies have it sunny today with clouds moving in tomorrow and precipitation on Friday. We will see...

They both blew it - weather forecasting

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An update to this post from 6:30PM - it is now 11:00PM and 13.1°F - the coldest temps come just before sunrise so we will see what it gets down to.

Bedtime for this kid...

Delusional - only word for it

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Looks like the botox injections must have gone into her brain. I almost feel sorry for her. Almost. From Breitbart:

Pelosi: Can’t Let Our Democracy Be ‘Subverted By the Dark Operations of a Foreign Regime’
During a speech before the House of Representatives on Tuesday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated that we can’t allow our democracy “to be subverted by the dark operations of a foreign regime.”

The only dark operations here were in the Hillary camp. Read the Wikileaks emails.

Trump wields power with a simple tweet

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I love this guy - from The Washington Post:

Trump takes aim at House Republicans, and they run for cover
The Trump effect has landed forcefully on Capitol Hill.

Less than two hours after President-elect Donald Trump criticized House Republicans — in a tweet, of course — for trying to gut an ethics investigative unit on the first day of business in the new Congress, those plans lay in shambles in the Republican conference’s meeting room.

The immediate outcome was to keep intact the independent Office of Congressional Ethics — exactly the status quo that House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and his leadership team had hoped to protect. That result, however, appeared largely to be the result of Trump’s intervention rather than Ryan’s maneuvering.

There was a broader outcome, too: The unruly Republican caucus that has wreaked havoc in the House for the entirety of Ryan’s tenure fell in line. And there were signs, judging from Tuesday’s drama, that they might continue doing so this year.

The Trump Presidency will be studied in history books for many many years. I think that he is just what we needed at this point in time. Hillary would have been an abject disaster.

About that Greenland Ice Sheet

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Growing like gangbusters - from the Danish Meteorological Institute:

Current Surface Mass Budget of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Here you can follow the daily surface mass balance on the Greenland Ice Sheet. The snow and ice model from one of DMI’s climate models is driven every six hours with snowfall, sunlight and other parameters from a research weather model for Greenland, Hirlam-Newsnow. We can thereby calculate the melting energy, refreezing of melt water and sublimation (snow that evaporates without melting first). The result of this is a change in the snow and ice from one day to the next and this change is shown below. All numbers are in water equivalent, that is, the amount of water the snow and ice would correspond to if it was melted.

The model has been updated in 2014 to better account for meltwater refreezing in the snow, and again in 2015 to account for the lower reflectivity of sunlight in bare ice than in snow. The update means that the new maps, values and curves will deviate from the previous ones. Everything shown on this site, however, is calculated with this new model, so that all curves and values are comparable.

Here is a chart that shows the growth and compares it to #1) - the last few years and #2) - the average from 1990 to 2013. Blue is this year:

20170103-greenland.png

Top: The total daily contribution to the surface mass balance from the entire ice sheet (blue line, Gt/day). Bottom: The accumulated surface mass balance from September 1st to now (blue line, Gt) and the season 2011-12 (red) which had very high summer melt in Greenland. For comparison, the mean curve from the period 1990-2013 is shown (dark grey). The same calendar day in each of the 24 years (in the period 1990-2013) will have its own value. These differences from year to year are illustrated by the light grey band. For each calendar day, however, the lowest and highest values of the 24 years have been left out.

More people die from excessive cold than from excessive heat. How much more data like this will people have to see to recognize Anthropogenic Global Warming for the political fraud that it is.

From The Washington Free Beacon:

Congress to Freeze State Department Funds Until U.S. Embassy Moves to Jerusalem
A delegation of Republican senators is moving forward with an effort to freeze some funding to the State Department until the U.S. embassy in Israel is formally moved to Jerusalem, according to new legislation.

The legislation comes as the Obama administration continues to face criticism over its behind-the-scenes effort to forward a United Nations resolution condemning Israel.

A bit more:

The effort is being spearheaded by Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), and Dean Heller (R., Nev.), all of whom support efforts by the incoming Trump administration to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem after years of debate.

“Jerusalem is the eternal and undivided capital of Israel,” Cruz said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s vendetta against the Jewish state has been so vicious that to even utter this simple truth—let alone the reality that Jerusalem is the appropriate venue for the American embassy in Israel—is shocking in some circles.”

“But it is finally time to cut through the double-speak and broken promises and do what Congress said we should do in 1995: formally move our embassy to the capital of our great ally Israel,” Cruz said.

The legislation orders the White House to identify Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which the Obama administration has refused to do. The bill will freeze a significant portion of the State Department’s funding until it completes the relocation.

The depths of the Obama administration's egregiousness:

In the past, the Obama White House has been caught scrubbing captions on official photographs that labeled Jerusalem as part of Israel. The administration also was entangled in a Supreme Court case when it refused to permit an American family to list its child’s birthplace as “Jerusalem, Israel.”

Good - it is time to recognize our friends and allies and to soundly trounce those who would stand in their way. Gutting the State Department's funding is an excellent tactic. Put their balls in a vice and their hearts and minds will soon follow.

Dueling weather forecasting

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I have always used the National Weather Service for short-term forecasting. Sure, it is always off by a bit but I figure that that is just the algorithm they are using and they generally get the big picture correct.

My Front of House manager is also a weather-nut and she turned me on to The Weather Channel's forecasts. She pointed me to a mention that Cliff Mass (local weather guru) made in his blog a few days ago:

The latest weather.com forecast (which is generally excellent) is going for cold and sunny early next week as the cold, arctic air spreads south.  Is there a chance of snow as the cold air moves in?  The answer is yes...but the uncertainties are too large to speculate on that now. 

Last night I looked and the NWS said minimum temp was going to be 17°F and TWC said 14°F.  It was 14°F

Tonight, NWS is forecasting a minimum of 22°F - it is 6:30PM and the outside air temp is 19.4°F - The Weather Channel is forecasting 16°F. We shall see how close they come.

Here is the home page for The Weather Channel so you can set your own location and parameters. I find it great to note that one of the two Weather Channel founders is an outspoken Global Warming skeptic - from Infogalactic: John Coleman

Coleman says he became an "outspoken skeptic" of global warming in 2007 after watching NBC's 'Green is Universal' week, where the studio lights were cut for portions of Sunday Night Football's pre-game and half-time shows.

He has called climate change the "greatest scam in history". He claimed "The polar ice is increasing, not melting away. Polar Bears are increasing in number."

Critics of Coleman have questioned his lack of academic credentials, and note that he has not conducted actual research in the area of climate change.

The other founder was Frank Batten - a newspaper and media magnate. Coleman came to him with the idea, he liked it and it took off.

A bit of a bust north of here

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From The Bellingham Herald:

Canadians recover 68 pounds of meth in bust at Lynden border crossing
A commercial driver was arrested when he tried to smuggle 68 pounds of methamphetamine into Canada through the Lynden border crossing in December, the Canada Border Services Agency announced Tuesday.

The northbound driver was taken into secondary inspection Dec. 11. Canadian border officers on the Aldergrove side of the crossing found a black suitcase in his vehicle, with 68 pounds of meth inside, according to a news release.

He was arrested and turned over to Langley Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Talk about stupid - to have it in a suitcase in his cab. If it was hidden in the cargo, he could at least claim plausible deniability. This way? No.

The cold hand of winter

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Got down to 14.7°F last night - cold by anyone's standards and unusual for this area. Got some snow forecast to move in Friday with rain through the weekend and more snow starting next Tuesday. Fun fun fun.

Critters fed and checked their water (stock tank with an electric heater). Truck is warming up. Finishing off some breakfast and heading out for coffee and doing a town run today.

Getting down there

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Air temp is now 15.4°F - not as bad as the 4.6°F from December 17 but still well below the freezing level (I get concerned when the temp gets down to 18°F) . I had cold water then as I had left the tap running in the kitchen but the feed pipe to the water heater froze in the garage. I now have heat tape and insulation on them so things should be just fine.

The dogs are alternating between being light-speed hyper and industrial-strength napping.

Watching some YouTube videos on blacksmithing, antenna building for ham radio and machine shop techniques - in other words, porn, porn and more porn.

Mariah Carey's New Year's performance

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She blew her lines lip-syncing and blamed it on a faulty monitor - the sound company has been doing this gig for many years and they say everything was running fine. Here is the real reason - the Russian's hacked her:

20170102-mariah.jpg

From The Register:

Trio charged with $4m insider trading by hacking merger lawyers
US prosecutors have charged three Chinese men with making more than $4m (£3.2m) by allegedly trading on information obtained from hacking top merger and acquisition law firms.

The defendants are charged with targeting at least seven top international law firms with offices in New York, which advised companies on corporate mergers and acquisitions.

The men are alleged to have successfully obtained inside information from at least two firms by hacking their networks and servers. Once they obtained access to the law firms’ networks, they targeted email accounts of law firm partners who worked on high-profile M&A transactions.

That information was used to purchase stock in five companies before the public announcements were made. By purchasing shares before the public announcements were made, they made $4m.

In addition, the defendants are alleged to have repeatedly attempted unauthorized access to the networks and servers of five other firms. Between March and September 2015, they attempted to cause unauthorized access on more than 100,000 occasions.

Very clever - go to the source of the information. WHomever thought of this has a good mind albeit a criminal one.

A bit of push-back to that UN vote

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Great - from The Times of Israel:

Congressional Republicans push to condemn anti-settlement UN vote
Republicans in both chambers of Congress are moving quickly to condemn the United Nations for passing a Security Council resolution last week that said Israeli settlements had “no legal validity” and constitute “a flagrant violation under international law.”

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran (R) and Florida Rep. Dennis Ross (R) both indicated that they are planning to introduce separate measures of disapproval over UNSC Resolution 2334 once Capitol Hill lawmakers reconvene next week.

More than 100 Members of Congress have issued statements opposing the resolution, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The resolution, which passed by a vote of 14-0 following a US abstention, calls for a complete end to all construction in areas Israel gained after the 1967 Six Day War, territory that includes the Old City, with the Temple Mount and Western Wall.

Furthermore, the text calls on all states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967.” Israel fears such language will lead to an uptick in boycott and sanctions efforts, and Israeli officials have warned it will provide “a tailwind for terror.”

Good - people need to email their congresscritters and get them on board with this. Doing nothing sends a horrible message. To do this, go here: whoismyrepresentative.com - you will see the list and when you click on the link, you will see a link to their contact website. Good resource.

Taking a break for dinner

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Changed my mind: Heating up some of yesterday's pea soup - came out really well. Microwaving up some Costco roti chicken and making a pot of rice and bok choy for dinner. Do that and a salad.  Been doing a couple projects in the radio room but it's time to slack off for the day...

Temp is down to 22.3°F with drop-dead clear skies - going to be a cold night.

Good news - earth movement

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One of the joys of living on the slopes of an active volcano is the possibility of a lahar - from Infogalactic: 

A lahar is a type of mudflow or debris flow composed of a slurry of pyroclastic material, rocky debris, and water. The material flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley.

Lahars are extremely destructive: they can flow tens of metres per second (22 mph or more), be 140 metres (460 ft) deep, and destroy any structures in their path. Notable lahars include those at Mount Pinatubo and Nevado del Ruiz, the latter of which killed thousands of people.

The Bellingham County Council recently tried to pass some onerous legislation that would have affected our lives out in the country but a large number of concerned citizens showed up and the resolution was tabled. This does not mean that we do not need protection. The real need is for notification. It seems that Mt. Rainier is getting this.
From the Seattle Times:

Mount Rainier to get new digital-warning system for massive mudflows
After the deadly Oso landslide enveloped a neighborhood in 2014, scientists and emergency managers launched a review of how they detect massive mudflows on one of the world’s most dangerous volcanos: Mount Rainier.

“That event (Oso) moved about 8 million cubic meters of mass,” said Scott Heinze, deputy director of Pierce County’s emergency-management department. “The projection for a Mount Rainier lahar is between 250 to 500 million cubic meters of mass — exponentially greater.”

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy pushed for the review, which examined the functionality of the current warning system and also compared it to others around the globe, he said. The sensors, which were installed in the 1990s, monitor fast-moving gushes of mud and debris, or lahars.

Volcanic mudflows — formed by large landslides or suddenly melting snow and ice during eruptions — are considered the mountain’s greatest hazard.

A bit more:

Mount Rainier, which is more than a half-million years old, rumbles with volcanic mudflows every 500 to 1,000 years, Heinze said, adding: “We’re in the window.”

And more:

A computer system at the state emergency-operations center at Camp Murray monitors the lahar-detection sensors, which are in the Carbon and the Puyallup river valleys. If computers detect the rumbling of a lahar, that system alerts 24-hour emergency-monitoring and notification centers, which in turn activate a warning system, according to the USGS.

Good - Mt. Rainier has the greatest risk for a lahar. Mt. Baker does have some risk - there are gas vents on the south slopes which are changing the chemistry of the rock. If this slips, there would be a flow to the south - Baker Lake, Concrete, Highway 20.

About that 97% consensus

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From Forbes:

Peer-Reviewed Survey Finds Majority Of Scientists Skeptical Of Global Warming Crisis
Don’t look now, but maybe a scientific consensus exists concerning global warming after all. Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis, according to a survey reported in the peer-reviewed Organization Studies. By contrast, a strong majority of the 1,077 respondents believe that nature is the primary cause of recent global warming and/or that future global warming will not be a very serious problem.

The survey results show geoscientists (also known as earth scientists) and engineers hold similar views as meteorologists. Two recent surveys of meteorologists (summarized here and here) revealed similar skepticism of alarmist global warming claims.

Heh - people living in a very affluent bubble. Climate research pays very well if you are preaching the correct sermons. The actual data tells a completely different story though.

Guarding the hen house

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Interesting news from The Daily Caller:

Journalists Exposed By WikiLeaks Will Now Cover Trump White House
WikiLeaks’ publication of emails from the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta revealed the close ties between prominent journalists and the Clinton campaign. Many of those same journalists will now be covering the Trump White House.

At least we know their biases - they have been outed on Wikileaks as being in the tank for Clinton, even giving her campaign managers preprints of articles about her for their approval before publication. This will be a fun time to watch them.

Wonder if they have passenger service

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This would be quite the journey - from the UK Telegraph:

China launches freight train to Britain
China launched its first freight train to London on Sunday, according to the China Railway Corporation.

The train will travel from Yiwu West Railway Station in Zhejiang Province, Eastern China to Barking, London, taking 18 days to travel over 7,400 miles.

The route runs through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France, before arriving in London. The UK is the eighth country to be added to the China-Europe service, and London is the 15th city.

It would be especially nice if you could hop off and catch the next one - spend a week in an area.

Making a Korean sword

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Nice short video of a Korean sword master - gorgeous work and he starts with refining his own iron ore:

Another leap second mishap

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A British ISP - from the BBC:

Leap second briefly catches out computer firm
Web firm Cloudflare was briefly caught out by the leap second added to the end of 2016.

A small number of the firm's servers failed to handle the added second properly making them return errors.

The problem meant that the sites of some of its customers were hard to reach in the early hours of 2017.

The second was added to compensate for a slowdown in the earth's rotation and helps to co-ordinate time-keeping among nations that use GMT.

An ISP of all people - bet there were a few red faces around the teapot the next day...

Critters are fed and watered - heading out for coffee and spending some time at the store.

More in an hour or so.

Heh - I am really liking this guy

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From the London Daily Mail:

Trump blasts Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel for record-setting 762 homicides and 4,331 shooting victims in 2016 and says he 'must ask for Federal help' if he can't fix Windy City
Donald Trump used his Twitter bully pulpit on Monday to blast Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel for allowing his city's murder and firearms shooting rates to spiral out of control.

'Chicago murder rate is record setting – 4,331 shooting victims with 762 murders in 2016,' Trump tweeted.

'If Mayor can't do it he must ask for Federal help!'

2016 was one of the most violent years in Chicago history with the most homicides in two decades – more than New York and Los Angeles combined.

Not afraid to call attention when things are not running well. This is 100% required for a business and is swept under the rug when it is a political problem. The next eight years are going to be really interesting.

Not so bad

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Only got down to 20.5°F last night - the forecast was for 17. It is a drop-dead gorgeous day - not a cloud in sight. Thinking of heading up to Baker this afternoon to shoot the sunset. Have not done that in a while.

2016 in retrospective

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And that is it for the night

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My dogs are asleep at my feet - puppies go through growth spurts. Bear has been really skinny but his height and length have been increasing. Now his belly is starting to grow - turning into a nice looking dog and a wonderful companion. It has been about 1.5 months that I have had him and he is about 4X the weight. Very eager to please - time to start doing more than just the basic training. Not Schäferhund, just a good and obedient field dog.

Grace is loving having a buddy along for the ride.

Starting to get seriously fsckingly cold out here - heading upstairs but leaving the water tap running.

See you all tomorrow...

Winter wonderland - I-90 closed

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Interstate 90 is the primary East/West route for WA State - it runs from downtown Boston, MA to downtown Seattle, WA - I know because I have driven the entire length a couple of times.

I-90 is closed for the time being due to the weather. From the WSDOT website:

HIGHEST IMPACT
I-90 Both Directions - Closure on I-90 eastbound at milepost 115 near Kittitas and westbound at milepost 137 near Vantage due to heavy snowfall and blowing and drifting snow.
Last Updated: 1/1/2017 7:09 PM
From milepost 115 to milepost 137

Still overcast but very thin and high - I can see the skyglow from Abbotsford. Temp is down to 28.4°F and the wind is picking up again - that Fraser River outflow.

Fallout from last night's leap second

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Some computer systems cannot handle 61 seconds in a minute which happens when a leap second is inserted. I do not know if this is the case here but it certainly sounds plausible - their IT department should spend some more time with man ntpd.

From the Beeb:

London ambulance service hit by new year fault
Ambulance response times were delayed in London overnight after technical problems hit the control room, the ambulance service has said.

It is understood the computer system crashed, so calls had to be recorded by pen and paper for nearly five hours on one of the busiest nights of the year.

I have been a time-nut well before joining the email list and remember reading about system crashes from the 2008 and 2012 leap seconds. 2015 saw interruptions of around 40 minutes duration with Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Netflix, Amazon, and Apple's music streaming series Beats 1. More here: Infogalactic: Leap second

Definitely a no-go. I will be at Costco Tuesday and will ask their cooks if this was by intent or if someone messed up.

Making a vegetarian split-pea soup for tonight - should only take 20 minutes or so.

Very quiet day - usually get several hundred emails from the lists that I am on but it has been less than fifty. People taking time off.

Heading out to the radio room to work there. Put up some shelving so now organizing my parts and cables and equipment and stuff. When it thaws out, I am going to move my electronics bench from the DaveCave™ into the radio room to get everything electronic in one space. Radio network tonight at 7:00PM

Temp is dropping slowly - it got up to 34.7° and is now 29.8°F. High overcast but supposed to get clear and cold tonight - will be running water in the sink tonight.

Never call attention to yourself with a stupid idea. From the Portland, Maine Press Herald:

Skowhegan propane dealer with anti-Trump message is not licensed to sell fuel
A local propane dealer who said in a recent message that he won’t sell to anyone who voted for President-elect Donald Trump has been delivering and dispensing gas without a state license for at least two years, state officials said this week.

Michael Turner, who operates of Turner LP Gas Service on Canaan Road, left a message for would-be customers on his company’s voice mail, saying “If you voted for Donald Trump for president, I will no longer be delivering your gas. Please find someone else.” That message was left on a Friday, when the weather was bitterly cold. The message goes on to say that the cost of gas remains $110 a bottle, with payment due on delivery.

However, Turner is not licensed to sell gas. According to the Maine Fuel Board, Turner’s propane license expired in 2012. Turner had two licenses, one for delivery and the other for dispensing, which expired in 2012 and 2014, respectively. The board became aware of the issue after the news of Turner’s message was reported by the Portland Press Herald late last week.

Heh - the internet is forever. Turner has removed the offending message but people will remember him for a long long time. Operating without a license is not a good thing - fines and punnishment. I bet that the Maine Department of Revenue is going to be looking at his business tax filings in a few days. Another example of a bubble - Turner thought he could be "funny" and get away with it.

Looking forward to 2017

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From Variety:

KKK Leaders Allege Producers Paid Them to Fake Scenes in Canceled A&E Documentary
The subjects of a TV documentary series about the Ku Klux Klan abruptly canceled last week by A&E allege to Variety that significant portions of what was filmed were fabricated by the producers.

Some KKK leaders divulged that they were paid hundreds of dollars in cash each day of filming to compel them on camera to distort the facts of their lives to fit the documentary’s predetermined narrative: tension between Klan members and relatives of theirs who wanted to get out of the Klan.

The findings are based on an exclusive Variety investigation based on interviews with over two dozen individuals in and around the KKK who cooperated with the documentary in at least six U.S. states.

Originally scheduled to air Jan. 10, “Escaping the KKK: A Documentary Series Exposing Hate in America” was produced by Venice, Calif.-based production company This Is Just a Test.

The KKK leaders who were interviewed by Variety detailed how they were wooed with promises the program would capture the truth about life in the organization; encouraged not to file taxes on cash payments for agreeing to participate in the filming; presented with pre-scripted fictional story scenarios; instructed what to say on camera; asked to misrepresent their actual identities, motivations and relationships with others, and re-enacted camera shoots repeatedly until the production team was satisfied.

The production team even paid for material and equipment to construct and burn wooden crosses and Nazi swastikas, according to multiple sources including Richard Nichols, who is one of the featured subjects of the documentary series as the Grand Dragon of a KKK cell known as the Tennessee White Knights of the Invisible Empire. He also said he was encouraged by a producer to use the epithet “nigger” in interviews.

Does not surprise me at all. Only goes to emphasize the bubble that these people live in.

Our tax dollars at work

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Obama is giving Jamaica $30 million of our tax dollars - from Jamaica's The Gleaner:

Jamaica Gets First Grant Under US Clean Energy Finance Facility
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded the first grant through the Clean Energy Finance Facility for the Caribbean and Central America (CEFF-CCA), to help develop a 37 megawatt solar farm in Westmoreland.

CEFF-CCA will provide support to Rekamniar Capital Limited, the project developer, to partner with independent power producer Neoen on forming the Eight Rivers Energy Company, which will build the solar facility, according to a release from the US embassy in Kingston.

A bit more:

The purpose of the grant is to support selected legal, consulting and engineering costs in late stage project development, it said.

So the engineering companies and lawyers and a couple of well-connected bureaucrats will get their pockets lined and none of this money will be used to any benefit of the people. If they wanted cheap energy, they should build a coal plant or get serious about it and build a small nuke - waste heat from the nuke would be an excellent resource for a desalination plant for clean water.

The other point of interest is that Jamaica has a long history of being hit by hurricanes. Since 2000, Jamaica has been hit by nine full-fledged hurricanes (link to the Jamaican National Library - PDF document) causing massive property damage. I can only imagine what will happen to the solar panels when a CAT 3 or greater flows over them.

What's more, this document (PDF format) from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory indicates that just the cost of the panels for 37 Megawatts will run about $74 million not counting the substation, any energy storage or transmission lines. And this is for USA construction - not hurricane hardened. Obama's donation of $30 million of our taxpayer dollars does nothing to advance the construction of this facility and just makes a few people very rich.

Winter wonderland

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Woke  up this morning to a solid five inches of snow from yesterday's fall. I went to bed with over one inch on the ground so the snow must have picked back up sometime in the wee AM's.

Temp got down to 28.4°F last night - cold but still safe for the water pipes. I'll worry about those later tonight when the cold is forecast to set in.

Critters taken care of, truck warming up. Out for coffee after a brief surf.

Turns out the snow is not just a localized phenomenon - from the San Francisco CBS affiliate KCBS:

I- 5 Grapevine Connecting Southern, Northern California Closed Several Hours Due To Snow
New Year’s Eve was a traffic nightmare for drivers hoping to get to or from Southern California on California’s main artery.

All lanes were closed for several hours in both directions of Interstate 5 in the Grapevine area north of Los Angeles because of snow.

My ex-wife is from that area and we visited many times in all kinds of weather. Snow that far south is unusual.

February 2017

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