February 2017 Archives

The Speech

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Tried to watch President Trump's speech but the video is not streaming well at all. Do not know if this is anything to do with the East coast's network problems. I'll try again tomorrow.

Environmentalism gone too far - bread

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This is just nuts - from The Beeb:

Bread's environmental costs are counted
The environmental impact of producing a loaf of bread has been analysed in depth from the farm to the shop shelf.

The biggest single factor is the use of fertiliser to grow wheat, which accounts for 43% of greenhouse gas emissions, say experts.

Emissions arise from energy needed to make ammonium nitrate fertiliser and from nitrous oxide released when it is broken down in the soil.

Around 12 million loaves are sold each day in the UK.

Consumers need to be more aware of the environmental costs of their food, say researchers at the University of Sheffield.

A bit more:

Lead researcher Dr Liam Goucher said that in every loaf there is embodied global warming resulting from the fertiliser farmers use to increase their wheat harvest.

I think that Dr. Goucher has too much time and money on his hands if he is fooling around with tripe like this. Maybe he would be ripe for a budget cut - after all, running the lights and heading in his lab probably outputs a lot of CO2 as well - what is his lab's carbon footprint? But wait, there's more:

Prof Peter Horton, a co-researcher on the study, added: "With over 100 million tonnes of fertiliser used globally each year to support agricultural production this is a massive problem, but environmental impact is not costed within the system and so there are currently no real incentives to reduce our reliance on fertiliser."

What a maroon - your proposal is for people to starve? Also, it is a well documented fact that crop yields per acre have increased 4% to 7% from 1980 to 2006 solely due to the increase in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide. From Nature: How much has the increase in atmospheric CO2 directly affected past soybean production?, from The National Academies Press: Effects of Increasing Carbon Dioxide Levels and Climate Change on Plant Growth, Evapotranspiration, and Water Resources 

Something that people fail to grasp is that CO2 is plant food - without it, there would be no photosynthesis and therefore, no plant life.

An interesting development - heart health

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From the Bangor, Maine Bangor Daily News:

Scientists at MDI Biological Laboratory discover a tiny molecule that may be able to heal a damaged heart
MDI Biological Laboratory in Mount Desert Island, Maine has been awarded a patent on a tiny molecule called MSI-1436.

This is a big deal for two reasons:

    1. It’s a first for MDI.
    2. It paves the way for a possible drug that would repair and regenerate damaged heart tissue.

Tissue regeneration
Our bodies already have a remarkable ability to repair and regenerate damaged tissue. Think of how skin heals after a cut or surgery, how torn muscles repair themselves, how you could lose a huge portion of your liver and it would be able to regenerate itself, how broken bones knit.

Unfortunately, other tissues, such as the spinal cord, brain, and heart, do a poor job of regeneration. When a person has a heart attack, for instance, scar tissue forms in the damaged area and it can no longer function like it’s supposed to.

“Basically,” explained MDI President, Kevin Strange, Ph.D., “the current standard of treatment for a heart attack, assuming you survive it, is you in effect spend the rest of your life being treated with drugs and other sorts of approaches to try and prevent a secondary heart attack and to try and prevent heart failure. If you go into heart failure that’s kind of it unless you can get a transplant.”

Or … unless a drug was available that could activate your heart to repair itself. That’s the promise of MSI-1436. MDIBL scientist Voot P. Yin, Ph.D., said it was a eureka moment when he realized its potential.

They are planning to take it to market:

Testing that theory will take several years and likely millions of dollars. Getting the patent on the molecule is a major step toward doing clinical studies in humans. MDI, which is a non-profit lab, also moved ahead and created a for-profit spin-off called Novo Biosciences to develop MSI-1436 as a regenerative medicine therapy.

And it has already been through some human clinical trials:

“This drug has already made it through all of that early toxicity testing,” said Dr. Strange, “and it’s also been in what are called FDA Phase 1a and 1b clinical trials. It was initially being tested as an anti-obesity and type 2 diabetes drug and what they showed is that the drug was quite well tolerated by patients.”

Very cool - faster please!

Now that is a budget cut - EPA

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I knew that President Trump was planning to cut the Environmental Protection Agency's budget but I did not know it would be this much - very happy! From The Daily Caller:

Trump Pushes For Massive Budget, Staff Cuts At EPA
President Donald Trump will ask Congress to cut the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget 24 percent, or nearly $2 billion, according to sources familiar with the budget plans.

The White House sent draft budget plans to agency heads Monday, detailing billions of dollars in cuts to a wide range of federal programs. Cuts to EPA and other agencies will fund a $54 billion increase in defense spending.

A source informed of the budget plans told E&E News Trump will push for a nearly $2 billion cut to EPA’s $8.1 billion budget. A source told Politico Trump also “proposed reducing EPA’s 15,000-strong workforce to 12,000, a level not seen since the mid-1980s.”

That is a great start. Their original mandate was very good - the US had serious pollution problems. They did not stop once these had been cleaned up and they extended themselves into every aspect of people's lives. Time to dial them back to their core commitments.

From Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville blog:

Margaritaville Holdings and Minto Communities Announce Partnership
Margaritaville Holdings and Minto Communities today announced a partnership that will develop new active adult communities in some of the nation’s most popular destinations. The first location of the all-new residential concept will open in Daytona Beach, Florida (see renderings below). The Sales Center at LATITUDE MARGARITAVILLE, Daytona Beach has already broken ground and is slated to open in Fall 2017.

“We are excited to partner with Minto and believe this relationship will redefine lifestyle destination living in Daytona Beach,” said John Cohlan, chief executive officer of Margaritaville. “With Minto’s expertise in creating master planned developments and Margaritaville’s inherent ability to deliver fun and escapism, Latitude Margaritaville has the exact coordinates for those looking to live the Margaritaville lifestyle as they grow older, but not up.”

Featuring world-class amenities and design, LATITUDE MARGARITAVILLE, Daytona Beach will reflect Margaritaville’s authentic, “no worries,” tropical vibe, offering an immersive brand experience. Current plans call for walkable neighborhoods and a Town Center featuring a fitness center with an aerobics studio, indoor lap pool, spa, and group fitness classes; indoor and outdoor dining with signature Margaritaville food and beverage concepts, as well as others; arts and learning programs for residents and guests; and a resort pool area with beach entry. In true Margaritaville fashion, music will also play an important part in the community, with a band shell for live entertainment in the Town Center. A private beachfront club with breathtaking views and beachfront amenities will be set on the Atlantic Ocean, which residents can access via a continuous loop shuttle service.

Houses start at $200K - the project website is here Latitude Margaritaville. I am not a "planned retirement community" kind of guy but this would be a great idea for some people.

Robot Cat

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Cute video:

A commercial:

You can get a great deal on a Ultra Performance 20 MHz 386SX computer with 640K memory, super VGA (640X480 resolution) and an 85mB hard drive for only $1,299

That was a screaming deal back then - only 25 years ago.

Nothing much here

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Starting to snow lightly but the air temp is 40.8°F so it should not be staying around for long. It did get down to 17.4°F last night though. Most of the winter weather is to our South.

Coffee and then work at home today. Dullsville and I love it.

From Jim Goad writing at Taki's Magazine:

What’s So Bad About Globalism?
As far as I can tell, globalism is a scheme concocted by the rich to destroy the working and middle classes through worldwide financial imperialism.

I have a strong hunch that globalism is also a plot hatched to obliterate indigenous cultures and real human differences under the deceptive ruses of “multiculturalism” and “diversity.”

This is why I’m confused whenever I hear someone say they hate “the rich,” oppose “imperialism,” and support “the working class” while being an unquestioning cheerleader for open borders and global government.

Like Marxism’s pipe dreams about an eventual and irreversible dictatorship of the proletariat, the most seductive hook about globalism is the idea that it’s inevitable. Technology has made us an increasingly interconnected planet, and therefore the only logical and moral thing to do is establish a benevolent global governmental authority with the power to tax and imprison and torture and abuse.

But communism proved to be far from inevitable. After peaking last century, it has retreated from much of the globe. I’d like to think the same is true about the one-world-government schemes that underpin what is cheerily referred to as “globalism.”

A lot at the site including this paragraph that illustrates the severe cognitive dissonance of the regressive left:

Those who constantly slam “the rich” while naively embracing globalism and every attendant butterfly-chasing PC delusion fail to realize that almost without exception, global finance, global media, and global corporate culture are solidly behind this daffy, one-world movement of free trade, open borders, and PC thought-policing. The charitable foundations and the think tanks and the NGOs have all signed up for this mission that purportedly will uplift the masses and bring the rich to heel, yet very few people seem to find this even remotely suspicious. “The rich” are backing a movement that superficially demonizes “the rich” yet only makes them richer, but if you say anything about it, you’re a Nazi.

There are over 340 comments to this essay - worth reading too.

The cost of raising the minimum wage

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From Ohio's The Columbus Dispatch:

Wendy’s to install ordering kiosks in 1,000 stores this year
Last year, the kiosks were coming. It didn't take them long to get here.

Wendy's plans to install self-ordering kiosks in 1,000 of its stores — about 16 percent of its locations — by the end of the year.

And the reason:

Trimm said the kiosks accomplish two purposes: They give younger customers an ordering experience that they prefer, and they reduce labor costs.

A typical store would get three kiosks for about $15,000. Trimm estimated the payback on those machines would be less than two years, thanks to labor savings and increased sales. Customers still could order at the counter.

And some numbers:

"Last year was tough — 5 percent wage inflation," said Bob Wright, Wendy's chief operating officer, during his presentation to investors and analysts last week. He added that the company expects wages to rise 4 percent in 2017. "But the real question is what are we doing about it?"

Wright noted that over the past two years, Wendy's has figured out how to eliminate 31 hours of labor per week from its restaurants and is now working to use technology, such as kiosks, to increase efficiency.

As labor prices rise, something has to give. Profit margins are minimal in fast food and if they raised the sale price of their food, they would see a reduction in sales.

Talking about snow - Reykjavík, Iceland

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The snow is not just here - from Iceland Review Online:

Record Snow in Reykjavík
When the residents of Reykjavík woke up yesterday morning, their cars were gone. Upon closer inspection, they could be detected under the thickest blanket of snow to cover the capital since 1937, or 51 cm (20 in). The record from January 18, 1937, is 55 cm. This was also the largest snow accumulation on record for February in the capital area.

Church ministers in many churches in Reykjavík had to cancel mass, because no one would have been able to attend. Skiers, who have been deprived of snow most of the winter, were on cloud nine. Children were delighted to get a chance to go sledding, make snowmen and play in the snow. Teenagers with a driver’s license, known to sleep in every Sunday, miraculously jumped out of bed long before noon, eager to test their driving skills in the deep snow. Mothers who ventured for a ride with their young drivers had their nerves tested as the vehicles took some unexpected turns.

We could use some global warming about now...

Horsing around

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The farrier just left - Rocky is in great shape for his age - a little arthritis but nothing unexpected. We had been overfeeding him and he was about 400 pounds overweight - he still has a hundred pounds to lose but he is doing a lot better.

Snow is really coming down now - there is a good six inches on the ground.

Seattle is getting hammered - from Cliff Mass:

Surprise Snowstorm in Seattle
3:30PM Update
THUNDERSNOW HAS HIT SEATTLE!
As predicted, a strong convergence zone has formed over Puget Sound, producing heavy precipitation and lightning.

The heavy precipitation is driving the freezing/snow levels towards the surface and there is mixed rain/snow here at the UW. Did you notice how the snow was associated with the heaviest precipitation? Hopefully, the lightning won't get near the overturned truck on I5 loaded with butane....

It was quite a surprise for many as heavy snow started falling in Seattle around 6:30 AM this morning. The National Weather Service did talk about the potential for rain and snow showers, but the this morning the snow was quite substantial with .5-2.5 inches around Seattle and neighboring communities.

Sign me up - trip to the Moon

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A very interesting press release from SpaceX:

SPACEX TO SEND PRIVATELY CREWED DRAGON SPACECRAFT BEYOND THE MOON NEXT YEAR
We are excited to announce that SpaceX has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon late next year. They have already paid a significant deposit to do a moon mission. Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration. We expect to conduct health and fitness tests, as well as begin initial training later this year. Other flight teams have also expressed strong interest and we expect more to follow. Additional information will be released about the flight teams, contingent upon their approval and confirmation of the health and fitness test results.

No word on who the two are - this will be interesting to follow.

From the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

Manulife revealed as bank fined $1.15M for violating anti-money laundering reporting rules
The head of Canada's financial crime watchdog agency is second-guessing his decision last year to withhold the name of a bank — which CBC Investigates has identified as Manulife Bank of Canada — fined $1.15 million for not reporting hundreds of transactions it was obligated to report under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act.

And a bit more - protecting the guilty and getting called out for it:

"In exercising my discretion to withhold the name of the bank, I understand that it may not have met public expectations in relation to openness and transparency," FINTRAC director Gérald Cossette told CBC News in a written statement last week.

He's now promising a review of FINTRAC's penalty policies.

CBC News sources confirmed the case involves Manulife Bank and its failure to report 1,174 international electronic money transfers, 45 cash transactions involving at least $10,000 each, as well as one suspicious transaction.

And what caused the investigation:

FINTRAC was first alerted to the problems after auditing the bank's records in 2014 and determining it failed to report a suspicious transaction in 2012 involving Andrew Strempler, who'd run into serious — and high-profile — legal troubles in the U.S.

Originally from Winnipeg, Strempler made headlines that year when he was arrested and imprisoned in the U.S. for running a mail-order pharmacy, contrary to U.S. laws protecting patented drugs.

During the audit, FINTRAC discovered a wide range of other violations at Manulife Bank, including its failure to report 1,174 international wire transfers of $10,000 or more involving other clients, as well as a general lack of anti-money-laundering safeguards and policies.

Somebody got greedy and they got their fingers burned...

Good news from France

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Looks like the pendulum is swinging back - from The London Daily Mail:

Support for Marine Le Pen hits record high in new poll as former French prime ministers admit she could be elected because of rising anti-establishment resentment
Far-Right candidate Marine Le Pen has hit a record high in a new poll as France's former leaders have admitted she could become the country's president.

The Kantar poll currently has the National Front party leader at 45 percent in a second round contest against conservative candidate Francois Fillon.

Her popularity drops to 42 percent against centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, who is currently favourite to win.

The average citizen does not like to be "nudged" by some nanny-state elitist. The unelected rulers in Brussels have zero clue as to what the people are going through - they live in a self-reinforcing bubble. Time to dismantle the European Union and restore the nations to their original sovereign status.

Some traffic problems South of here

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Would not want to be driving in King County today. From The Seattle Times:

Semitruck carrying propane rolls over on I-5 in Seattle, shuts down freeway
All lanes of Interstate 5 were shut down Monday morning after a semitruck carrying propane rolled over, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. The freeway is closed between Interstate 90 and the West Seattle bridge. WSDOT previously reported the truck was carrying butane.

A spokesman for WSDOT said there is still no estimate of when the freeway may reopen.

“Drivers should plan for a rough afternoon commute,” said spokesman Marquise Allen. He asked motorists to delay or cancel any trips into Seattle planned for this afternoon. “It’s a standstill out there.”

20170227-i5.jpg

Interstate 5 is the major North/South route for this area - it goes from Vancouver, B.C. down to Tijuana, Mexico - this will impact any truck shipping for the West coast.

And, from the WA State Department of Transportation:

Snoqualmie Pass Road & Weather Conditions
Snow and slush on the roadway. Collision on I-90 westbound at milepost 52, Snoqualmie Pass summit, is blocking the westbound lanes. Westbound traffic is stopped at milepost 106.

And of course, I-90 is the main East/West route. Like I said, I would not want to be driving in King County today...

Our local roads are snow-covered but very drivable - made it out for coffee and to the store and post office without any problem. The NWS has snow through tomorrow, TWC has rain coming in tomorrow - we will see...

More snow on the ground

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Snowing pretty hard now - 31.5°F now and it got down to 20.3°F last night. Working at home but heading out for coffee shortly. Got the farrier coming out this afternoon to give Rocky his mani-pedi. Got another person coming out to look at a saddle and need to get bird food out to the feeders - they have all been picked clean.

Back in an hour or so. 

Trump Time

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One of my favorite writers is Willis Eschenbach - I first became aware of him over at Anthony's but he recently started up his own blog and I have been following it with some interest. One day ago, he posted this about President Trump's work schedule:

The Scariest Number Isn’t Hours Spent Golfing
In Alaska, the summers are short. If you want to get anything done during those few months you need to work long hours. When I was a younger man, in Alaska sometimes on a job we’d work what’s called “six-tens”. This meant six ten-hour days per week, for a total of sixty hours. It was long, sometimes exhausting labor, but heck, I was a young man suffering from chronic testosterone poisoning. That meant I either didn’t mind the long hours … or I damn well wasn’t going to let my workmates know the times when I did mind the long hours. It was just part of the life we led—suck it up, buttercup.

I was reminded of this when I saw the Washington Post article full of what they seem to think are some scary numbers.

The WaPo article pointed out, for example, that in his first month President Trump spent twenty-five hours golfing. But they didn’t mention the scariest number, maybe they didn’t notice it.

Many media articles thought it was frightening that he spent more time playing golf than on his intelligence briefings. There was much angst expressed by the talking heads on this accord. But none of those articles said one word about the scariest number.

This story was picked up and regurgitated by several other media sources (including Hillary Clinton) and Willis talks about them. Willis then talks about the scariest number:

The scariest number, the number that should be setting the Democrats hair on fire but isn’t, is the following:

Over the first month of his Presidency, Donald Trump worked an average of 64 hours per week … I thought we were electing a carrot-topped President Geezer, and instead we got freakin’ President T. Energizer Bunny! He’s my age, seventy, and that joker is working six tens plus an extra half day each week on putting his agenda into practice, and he still fits in six hours a week of golf?

Dang, dawg, go for it!

Kinda puts Hillary’s whining about golf in a different light, huh?

Gotta say, folks … if a man is working sixty-four hours a week on getting the job done, on my planet he can golf as much as he damn well pleases. This is doubly true considering that part of the six hours per week was when he was golfing with the Prime Minister of Japan. Although I didn’t count it in his work hours, that is assuredly a part of his job, and a very important one. Discussions on a golf course are often very productive for reasons of framing that I detailed here under the heading “Never discuss your relationship with someone unless you’re walking with them.”

If I were a Democrat, 64 is the number that would be causing me to lose sleep. When most Democrats are just arriving at work, the President has already put in an hour or two implementing his agenda and undermining the Democratic agenda.

No wonder there is so much push-back from the regressive left. No wonder they are flummoxed. I love it!

Back home again and no radio tonight

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Radio room is a bit torn up so didn't do the net tonight. Water board meeting went well. Nothing much planned for tomorrow - have a couple of things that need to be done at the store but we have snow forecast so see how that goes.

Australia and alt.energy

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South Australia and the island of Tasmania have gone all-in for alternative energy and they are paying the price for it. For some background go here and here for the most recent troubles. For Tasmania go here and read.

Today's post comes from the UK Guardian:

Coca-Cola to close South Australia factory with loss of nearly 200 jobs
Coca-Cola Amatil has announced the closure of its South Australia factory in the latest employment blow to hit the state.

Around 180 workers will lose their jobs when the bottling operation in the inner-city Adelaide suburb of Thebarton closes in 2019.

South Australia has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country – 6.4% – and will this year see the closure of the Holden car factory in Elizabeth with the loss of around 1,000 jobs.

Coca Cola boss Alison Watkins said it had reviewed its supply chain to maintain “competitiveness in the market” and decided it was not viable to update the Thebarton factory.

But the defence minister, Christopher Pyne, said on Wednesday the company was leaving his home state because of high business costs and concerns about the reliability of the power supply.

We can’t keep going on as a high-tax, highly expensive place to do business with the highest electricity prices in the country and the most unreliable electricity supply in the country and this is where the rubber starts to hit the road for businesses,” Pyne told FiveAA radio.

The Labor premier, Jay Weatherill, has been fiercely criticised by the Coalition for closing down the state’s last coal-fired power station.

Emphasis mine. The article goes on to say that Coca-Cola is not leaving Australia, it will be expanding production at other Australian plants. It is leaving the state of South Australia specifically because of the high energy cost and the unreliable supply.

It is possible to burn coal cleanly, the enviros do not like it and unfortunately, they have the upper hand at this time. The only way that any form of alternative energy will be profitable at a reasonable price is with very large government subsidies - these subsidies come directly from our taxpayer dollars or from Government Debt.

Shot: From the Hartford Courant:

Malloy Tells Local Leaders They Don't Have To Enforce Federal Immigration Law
As President Donald Trump moves forward with a campaign promise to crack down on undocumented immigrants, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is reminding school and law enforcement leaders that they don't have to enforce federal immigration laws.

The governor's administration sent memos to school superintendents and chiefs of police this week with recommendations on how they should respond to requests from the Department of Homeland Security and how they should interact with agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

And just two days later:

Chaser: From the Hartford, CT FOX affiliate:

ICE confirms Bridgeport murder and Amber Alert suspect was previously deported
The Bridgeport man accused of killing his girlfriend and sparking an Amber Alert when he took off with their 6-year-old daughter, was previously deported, immigration officials said.

"Oscar Obedio Hernandez, a citizen of El Salvador, was issued a Final Order of Removal by an immigration judge on Oct. 29, 2013," said spokesman Shawn Neudauer. "He was removed from the United States by ICE officers in Hartford, CT on Nov. 27, 2013. He has prior felony convictions from 2002 for assault and threatening, as well as several misdemeanor convictions. ICE has placed an immigration detainer with the Bridgeport (Connecticut) Police Department.”

So true

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From a facebook post:

20170226-healer.jpg

An idea - being prepared

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When a disaster happens, it would be really good to have records of important documents - drivers licenses, leases or bills of sale, certificates of birth, marriage, etc..., bank account numbers, etc...

Take a photo of them and save them in the cloud or on a thumb drive - you can buy encrypted drives for about $20.

From the FEMA YouTube channel

Coming soon to a driveway near you

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And timekeeping just gets more and more accurate - from Physics World:

Optical clocks hit the road
Two independent groups of physicists in Germany and China have built portable optical clocks that are more accurate than the best caesium devices. They say that their instruments could be used to compare the timekeeping of different optical clocks distributed across the globe, and so take us closer to an overhaul of the SI definition of the second. They also reckon their compact clocks could be used by geodesists to determine the height difference between two widely spaced points on the Earth's surface.

All atomic clocks rely on counting the oscillations of an electromagnetic wave with a frequency that is locked to that of a known atomic transition. Traditional atomic clocks use a microwave transition in caesium-133 to fix the output of a crystal oscillator, whereas optical clocks use much higher optical frequencies generated when a monochromatic laser beam interacts with various species of trapped ions or with clouds of cold atoms. These clocks now have accuracies and stabilities that are nearly two orders of magnitude higher than those of the best caesium devices – at levels of a few parts in 1018 rather than 1 part in 1016.

Very cool - I have a very accurate clock here but it is only good to 1013 - still a couple thousand times better than your household clock or good watch. Accurate to one second in two hundred years.

Out for coffee

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Working at home - got a water board meeting tonight. Our annual general meeting is this coming Saturday so there is a bit of prep-work to be done. Ham radio network later.

Making spaghetti (and garlic bread) for an early dinner.

More in about an hour...

Fake News - The New York Times

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President Trump's CPAC speech was wonderful.

One of the things he said was the following:

We are also going to save countless American lives. As we speak today, immigration offers [officers] are finding the gang members, the drug dealers and the criminal aliens and throwing them the hell out of our country.

Here is what The New York Times wrote:

His speech also included a promise to throw undocumented immigrants “the hell out of the country” and a recitation of his law-and-order campaign promises.

Much more with links and screen-captures can be found at Gateway Pundit.

Snowflakes of a different sort - DAPL

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Talk about cognitive dissonance. They lost big time but they believe that "we won" - from The Daily Caller:

Dakota Protesters Declare Victory As Pipeline’s Construction Nears Completion
Activists evicted from various Dakota Access Pipeline protest campsites in North Dakota are claiming victory even as the highly-contested oil project nears completion.

Protesters believe they can take what they learned from the so-called anti-DAPL demonstrations and apply them to other areas of the country where pipelines are being constructed. They also believe their efforts successfully brought the oil project to the public’s attention.

Meanwhile, the adults are spending their time cleaning up the trash that these little children left behind. They packed it in - they certainly had the resources to pack it back out again.

More here: Cleanup Of Pipeline Protest Site To Take Weeks

Snow again

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Woke up this morning to six inches on the ground. A lot of it has melted now - it is 40.3°F outside but it got down to 31.5°F last night. More forecast to arrive tonight/Monday.

Meanwhile, to our North, the Vancouver Sun is predicting doom and gloom:

Climate change predicted to transform Vancouver into San Diego, but at a heavy cost
A major climate-change study predicts temperatures in Metro Vancouver will exceed those of present-day Southern California in the coming decades.

Frost and ice will become virtually a thing of the past, heating bills will drop, and farm crops will flourish virtually year-round in the Fraser Valley.

That’s the good news.

On the down side — and there is plenty of it — the region can expect: air-conditioning costs to soar; worsening smog and associated health problems; increased forest fires and water shortages; summer droughts followed by severe fall rain events; and an influx of invasive species threatening forests and agriculture.

And the report:

A new 70-page study, Climate Projections for Metro Vancouver, predicts changes in temperature and precipitation that will affect everything from sewage pipes to ski hills in the 2050s — just 33 years distant — and 2080s. Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium, based at the University of Victoria, assisted in the report.

The report’s author, Jeff Carmichael, division manager of utilities research and innovation for Metro Vancouver, said the findings are meant to help the region and its member municipalities plan for the future while doing their own part to reduce greenhouse gases.

It is common for municipalities now to have staff specifically devoted to climate-change issues.

Talk about a waste of time - did they analyze what would happen if we enter into a period of extended cooling? Bet not.

Some bullet points on "clean" energy

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A look at some pesky numbers from Michael Shellenberger at Environmental Progress - these bullet-points are distilled from the graphs at the site:

    • USA has shut down nuclear plants prematurely because of lower natural gas costs - this has increased emissions of CO2 and air pollution
    • Overall energy costs have increased in the USA which correlate with lower nuclear energy mix
    • Germany has 6 times more carbon intensive energy than France
    • Germany shutdown nuclear energy and now is even more reliant on coal and fossil fuel
    • France uses 80% nuclear power for electricity
    • France has half the cost of electricity compared to Germany
    • The global decline in nuclear power (-7.5% of energy mix) has not been replaced by solar and wind (4.5%)
    • The global decline in nuclear (most of Japan nuclear shutdown, Germany shutdown, some early shutdowns in USA and Europe) has not been made up by the build in China and Asia and appears like future Europe and USA shutdowns (150 GW) will made up by new nuclear in China and India and Asia through 2030.

The only real option is nuclear and with technologies like LFTR, the waste only needs to be sequestered for around 300 years. The added plus is that the LFTR reactors can also burn conventional nuclear waste as fuel so the long term (30,000 year) storage problem is eliminated. The LFTR design is walk-away safe - accidents like Fukushima can not happen. They also operate at atmospheric pressure - there is no need for an expansive containment vessel and the associated equipment. Uranium (conventional reactors) is about as common (and expensive as Platinum. Thorium is one of the most common rare earths in the crust. Cheap as dirt.

Winter Wonderland

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Had the last of the Chinese food for dinner, watched a few episodes of Gotham, went outside to pee and discovered a half-inch of fresh snow on the ground. More forecast to come through Monday. Round three...

Reproducibility in Science

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Great editorial in Investor's Business Daily:

Is Global Warming Science Just A Fraud?
Climate Change: We're often told by advocates of climate change that the "science is settled." But in fact, "science" itself is in a deep crisis over making claims it can't back up, especially about climate.

As BBC News Science Correspondent Tom Feilden noted last week, "Science is facing a 'reproducibility crisis' where more than two-thirds of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist's experiments, research suggests." This isn't just his journalistic opinion, but the conclusion of the University of Virginia's Center for Open Science, which estimates that roughly 70% of all studies can't be reproduced.

And this includes the field of climate change, by the way. It's a disaster. Being able to reproduce others' experiments or findings from models is at the very heart of science. Yet, radical climate change advocates would have us spend 2% of global GDP, or roughly $1.5 trillion a year, to forestall a minuscule amount of anticipated warming based on dubious modeling and experiments.

Meanwhile, the federal government spends literally billions of dollars a year on climate change, with virtually none of the money funding scientists who doubt the climate change threat. There is no serious debate. This is a problem for all of science.

And a ray of hope:

It's time for some science Glasnost. New EPA Director Scott Pruitt has called for an open debate on climate science, rather than the name-calling and outright dishonesty of the past. Real science has nothing to fear from more openness and discussion, but everything to fear from more politicized dishonesty.

Good - let us look at the actual measured data and not the output from some computer models. Let us take a look at all of the natural sources of greenhouse gasses instead of trying to cripple our economy by killing carbon dioxide - without which plant life would be impossible.

Senator Pelosi - hypocrite

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She is all in favor of taking in Syrian refugees without properly vetting them first. Oh. Wait.

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Tip of the hat to Denny at Grouchy Old Cripple whose blog is back online after a nasty virus.

Delusional - Hillary

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I just threw up in my mouth a little:

She wouldn't be thinking there is a chance for a 2020 run?

Happens every fourteen months or so - from the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network - Blog:

Next ETS Expected any time now
The next 14-month Magnitude 6+ slow earthquake (Episodic Tremor and Slip) event is expected after a quiet period in Cascadia... or has it been that quiet..  (skip to: Winter 2017 ETS page)

Tremor throughout Cascadia seems to have been relatively quiet over the past four months; only 5,600 tremor locations from the wech-o-meter compared to an average of 15,300 for the six previous four month periods.  In fact the whole past year seems quieter than previous years.

And:

Interactive Tremor Map

And:

Deep Tremor News

From Central Washington University's Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array comes a nice explanation of ETS and what it means to us:

Slow Earthquakes, ETS, and Cascadia
In 2001, CWU researchers with the continuous GPS network Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array discovered periodic slow-slip across the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Previously undetected by seismic networks, these slip events exhibit regular recurrence intervals thus changing current understanding of earthquake behavior. Since this time, definitions for this newly discovered phenomenon have evolved. At first, the term "silent-earthquake" was employed to illustrate the absence of a seismic signature. Subsequent investigations and recent discoveries have led to a change in characterization. Now these slow-slip events are defined as eposodic tremor and slip (ETS).

In short, an ETS is a discreet time interval (episode) of relative tectonic plate movement (slip) coupled with high frequency seismic energy bursts (tremor). ETS usually last for around a few weeks duration as opposed to regular earthquakes where energy is released within seconds to minutes.

During an ETS relative plate motion occurs within a transition region of a subducting lithospheric plate. This transition delineates an area between the upper-locked and lower-slipping interface of a subduction zone. Stress between these two colliding plates builds since differential movement between the two zones is not entirely compensated from ETS displacement. Quick slip across the upper locked portion of a subduction zone occurs in large megathrust earthquakes when accumulated stresses surpass the upper region's locking threshold.

In contrast, the subtle motion caused by ETS is so "slow" it's difficult to record at the surface. One might say "quiet" or possibly "silent" in nature, but definitely important since these events affect lithospheric plate interactions that are responsible for damaging "fast" earthquakes. Will the size of future large-scale megathrust earthquakes be reduced or will the time interval between these earthquakes increase with an ETS? A process with such imposing consequences is hardly "silent" in terms of relevance. In fact an ETS is not silent at all.

A lot more at the site - basically, tension is building and the release will happen with a magnitude 9 unzipping of the zone between these two plates. This happens every 300 to 500 years and the last one happened over 300 years ago. This zone is located off the California, Oregon and Washington coastlines - communities on the coastline will be devestated. Further inland, there will be major damage but not as bad.

Out for coffee - more snow

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It is just dusting down but not sticking. Very light snow off and on all this morning.

Working at home today but got to get my coffee first. Back in an hour...

Slimming down the federal government

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Just what we need - from Americans for Limited Government:

Rogue bureaucrats should inspire Trump civil service reform, 10 to 20 percent reduction of federal workforce
Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the Trump administration to pursue immediate civil service reform:

“By now it should be abundantly clear to the Trump administration that there are Obama administration holdovers in the 1.3 million non-defense, civilian federal workforce who have no other intention than to politically damage the White House. These rogue bureaucrats are not serving the American people, they are serving a political agenda, and frankly, they need not be tolerated. The whole reason the District of Columbia was created without voting rights or representation was so that those who work for the federal government would not wield political power. They are supposed to be neutral. Working for the government is a privilege, not a right, and it’s time that President Trump remind them by removing Obama administration hires, particularly if there is no other way to root out subversive employees.

A lot more at the site - this would be an excellent beginning to cutting back the leviathan and getting a manageable government instead of a partisan slop-trough

Going ahead - the wall

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Good news - from Reuters:

U.S. agency seeks ideas for Trump's proposed border wall
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency said on Friday it will accept proposals next month for the design of a wall to be built near the U.S.-Mexican frontier, a first step in picking vendors for President Donald Trump's proposed border wall.

In a document on the federal government's website for business opportunities, the CPB said it would release a request on or about March 6 asking companies for prototype ideas for a wall to be built near the U.S.-Mexican border.

After reviewing the ideas submitted by vendors, the agency will evaluate and select the best designs by March 20, then issue a request for proposals by March 24 in which vendors would be asked to price out the cost of building the proposed wall.

The document says multiple awards for the barrier are expected by mid-April as part of the process, an aggressive schedule for a government construction project.

"It's going to start soon. Way ahead of schedule, way ahead of schedule," Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.

The sooner we get started, the better. We have several mechanisms set in place for people to immigrate legally. Use them.

Starbucks in the news

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Shot: (Jan. 29, 2017) Starbucks says it will hire 10,000 refugees over the next 5 years in response to Trump's travel ban
Chaser: (February 22, 2017) Starbucks' brand perception has plummeted since it announced plan to hire refugees

I prefer local places for coffee out here or others if I am Bellingham. To buy beans in town or out here.

If Starbucks was serious instead of just looking to Virtue Signal, they should be hiring 10,000 veterans.

A pocket of sanity in a deep blue land

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I love it - we will have to have lunch at the restaurants or something next time we visit. From the Seattle Times:

B.C.’s new Trump tower isn’t getting a polite Canadian welcome
Ready or not, Cascadia — the Trump Organization is planting its flag high atop a tower deep within your borders.

On Tuesday it will formally open the West Coast’s first Trump International Hotel & Tower in Vancouver, B.C., paying little heed to the long-running clamor from unwelcoming natives.

Donald Trump Jr. and his brother Eric will be there to celebrate, although the project’s namesake apparently will be otherwise engaged.

One of the tower’s most outspoken local critics is Vancouver City Council Member Kerry Jang, who says that because of President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric, the building “has become the beacon of racism and the tower of intolerance.”

Awww - poor little butt-hurt liberals. A beacon of racism and the tower of intolerance? Give me a break. I am thinking a classic case of projection.

Go and sob in the corner little one while us men and women will be out there creating jobs and rejuvenating the economy.

Of France - from Russia Today:

Yes we can? Petition launched for Obama 2017 French presidential campaign
A “radical” campaign is underway in France to make Barack Obama the next French president – despite at least one glaring obstacle to the move: he’s not a French citizen.

The political drive is aiming to collect one million voting pledges for the former US president and Nobel prize winner by March 15, and is being pushed with a series of ‘Obama 17’ posters across Paris.

A website dedicated to the cause states that “Barack Obama has the best resume in the world for the job,” and urges radical thinking from the electorate: “To launch this 6th Republic, we wish to strike a blow by electing a foreign President at the head of our beautiful country.”

The statement goes on to explain that this is a fight back against the growth of extreme right parties in the country.

Well... It would get him out of our hair for a while - he would serve as an impetus to break up the EU. Double down on the socialism until there are no more taxpayers left.

Governor Frank Keating of Oklahoma writes in Tulsa World:

Frank Keating: I signed wind industry tax breaks, and I was wrong
In 2001, when I served as governor of Oklahoma, I signed legislation creating the Zero Emissions Tax Credit for industrial wind energy. The tax credit was designed to give a jump-start to a wind industry in its infancy in Oklahoma at the time. It was sold to us as a low-cost way to broaden our already robust energy and economic development program. It was supposed to create jobs and develop a more prosperous future for Oklahoma.

Signing this legislation was simply a mistake. What was promised to cost the state less than $2 million annually when I was in office has soared to $113 million for the 2014 tax year and is expected to cost billions in the future. Wind farms average 10 to 13 permanent jobs, which hardly lives up to the promised employment growth.

Because the tax credits weren’t limited or capped, the Zero Emissions Tax Credit has warped into a scam costing taxpayers millions to the detriment of other publicly funded services. In 2014, the credits became directly refundable, meaning the state writes wind companies checks for 85 percent of the value of each credit. That’s essentially a blank check funded by taxpayers that goes to multibillion-dollar corporations based outside of Oklahoma and mostly located in foreign countries. It’s the worst kind of corporate handout.

Kind of late for Oklahoma but a good warning to other states and counties. It is not about alternative energy, it is about a few people becoming very very rich off taxpayer dollars.

I am not going to post the whole speech or the video, American Power has both in full.

The California State Senate honored Senator Tom Hayden two days prior. Hayden along with Jane Fonda traveled to Hanoi during the height of the Vietnam War and gave significant propeganda value to the Communist Vietnamese. The two of them served as traitors to the United States but they were liberals and Democrats so they got a pass.

Yesterday, California Senator Janet Nguyen, a Vietnam War Refugee stood to read a statement. She was repeatedly interrupted and then physically removed from the Senate Chambers. Here are the opening couple paragraphs of her statement:

Dear Senators and the People:
I and the children of the former South Vietnam soldiers will never forget the support of former Senator Tom Hayden for the Communist government of Vietnam and the oppression by the Communist Government of Vietnam for the people of Vietnam.

After 40 years, the efforts by people like him have hurt the people of Vietnam and have worked to stop the Vietnamese refugees from coming to the United States, a free country. We will always continue to fight for freedom and human rights for the people of Vietnam.

Members, I recognize today in memory of the million of Vietnamese and the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese refugees who died seeking freedom and democracy. I recognize that on Tuesday you had an opportunity to honor Senator Tom Hayden. With all due respect, I would like to offer another historical perspective.

On Tuesday, instead of participating, I chose to step out of the chamber out of respect to his family, his friends and to you. In contrast to your comments on Tuesday, I want to share what Senator Hayden meant to me and to the over 500,000 Vietnamese Americans who call California their home, as well as to the over 1 million Vietnamese Americans across the United States.

The California State Senate should be very much ashamed of themselves and Senator Nguyen needs to run for a Congressional seat in a couple of years. We need more people like her.

Nigel Farage at CPAC

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A wonderful 13 minute stemwinder:

Nigel was leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party and is one of the driving forces behind England's very successful BREXIT

A big Stihl recall

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I will have to check mine tomorrow - from Wildfire Today:

STIHL recalls 100,000 chainsaws
Today the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a recall of 100,000 STIHL chainsaws that are at risk of fire and burn hazards. The saws being recalled are:

    • MS 461
    • MS 461 R
    • MS 461 R Rescue
    • GS 461 Rock Boss.

The first three are used by firefighters. The last two were not included in STIHL’s official recall notice but a company representative we talked to at the STIHL recall office confirmed they are also on the list.

Pinched and leaking fuel lines - free repair at any Stihl dealer (Bellingham is Hardware Sales). More here: Recall Notices

Heh - now that the snow has melted

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Swiped off a facebook post - so true around here:

20170224-poop.jpg

Done with dinner

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Watched two episodes of Season Two of Gotham - well written and great sets and camerawork - they got Noir nailed. The Chinese food was excellent - Lucky Panda on James Street.

Surf for a bit and then to bed - working around the house tomorrow and Sunday.

Poor widdle snowflakes

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Two days ago, I posted about some little snowflake being in shock that they were actually arrested and may be forced to serve jail time.

Now this - from Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man:

It's about time!
I'm delighted to see that over 200 allegedly violent and/or otherwise criminal protesters have been indicted for their actions at demonstrations during President Trump's inauguration.

Called out for individual acts of vandalism, violence and destruction, prosecutors alleged Tuesday that 214 protesters engaged in "black bloc" tactics on Jan. 20 during President Donald Trump's swearing-in, causing damage to vehicles and property. Six police officers were also hurt during the riots as they exchanged flash-bang explosives with protesters hurling rocks and firecrackers at them.
. . .
"Black bloc" protest tactics, which have been used by some protesters for decades, include dressing in black or dark colored clothing while concealing one's face using scarves, masks and sunglasses. Some of the protesters brought with them hammers, crowbars, bricks, rocks, flares and firecrackers.

There's more at the link.

Earlier, alternative news site gotnews.com published the full list of all those arrested during the demonstrations.  I understand some were journalists caught up in the situation, but most will be among those charged today.

I'll be very interested indeed to see whether, and how many, of these people were also active (and violent) in other protests around the country.  One allegedly complained on social media about being abandoned by organizers and paymasters after being arrested (EDITED TO ADD:  You can read it here - thanks, Capt. Tightpants!).  'Useful idiots' is a phrase that comes to mind . . .

Just wonderful - the sweetest wine is made from the tears of Liberals who can not get their way.

Back home again - Chinese food for dinner

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Surf for a bit and then put on a pot of rice and nuke the chinese takeout for dinner. Working at home tomorrow and Sunday.

Off to town - shopping for the store

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My front-of-house manager and her husband are in Canada today seeing a show. Her husband drives the store truck into town twice/week for the buying runs. There are some vendors who will not deliver to our little hamlet so we come in to them.

I am doing the shopping run - coffee first of course.

If Unions benefited the worker...

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Workers would pay their dues voluntarily. From Hot Air:

AFL-CIO cutting staff as union membership declines
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics union membership hit an all-time low in 2016 of just 10.7 percent. That decline has consequences for unions like the AFL-CIO, which Bloomberg reports is dismissing dozens of staff members:

The AFL-CIO is dismissing dozens of staff members as part of a restructuring amid continuing declines in union membership and fresh political threats to labor rights.

“We will have to end support for some programs that don’t go to our core priorities,” said AFL-CIO spokesman Josh Goldstein, who declined to discuss the number of staff affected. “This is about reimagining and realigning our core priorities to best serve our affiliates.”

The affected employees, who include both union members and management, were informed Wednesday and Thursday of the cuts. Three people familiar with the cutback said several dozen jobs were lost.

Bloomberg notes that the AFL-CIO’s federal filings indicate it has around 400 employees, so a loss of several dozen probably represents a decline of around 10 percent.

The union spokesman blamed the downsizing on “well-financed anti-union opposition” but it’s really the result of former members who have been freed up by right-to-work laws to not have union dues taken from their paychecks. Wisconsin saw a decrease of over 100,000 union members after the passage of ACT 10 in 2011. Michigan, which passed a right-to-work law in 2013, lost 20,000 union members between 2015 and last year.

They very much had their time and place but they have failed to adapt. There is a place for some unions - police, fire, industrial but teachers unions, government unions, etc... serve nobody except the union bosses and need to be disbanded.

Hat tip to Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man for the pointer

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle ... I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.

The whole letter is a good read - purely prophetic.

Life in the workers paradise - Chicago

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Shows what Democratic rule will get you - from the Chicago Tribune:

Homicides in Chicago outpacing last year after deadliest day so far in 2017
Homicides are now outpacing last year in Chicago after the city experienced its deadliest day so far this year, according to data kept by the Tribune.

Seven people were shot to death on Wednesday, five of them killed over two hours, including a woman who was eight months pregnant and had already picked out a name for her baby.

That's the most homicides since Christmas Day last year, when eight people were killed in the city.

Homicides had been lagging behind last year, which had been the deadliest in two decades. But by Wednesday evening, the city had recorded its 99th homicide two days earlier than it did last year, according to Tribune data.

And of course, some fools are calling for more and stricter gun laws when Chicago already has some of the most draconian gun laws in all of the states. Liberals go by the story-line. They vote for what sounds good as opposed to what works well. Two completely different ways of thinking.

Chicago's last Republican mayor was William Hale Thompson and he was about as corrupt as they come - even makeing some of today's politicians look good.

USB Made Simple

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The Universal Serial Bus has been around for ten years and it is a perfect example of plug and play. Ubiquitous and it just works for most applications.

Ran into this website that explains how it works on the basic level - if you want to understand how to write applications that use the USB port on an atomic level, this is the site for you.

Check out USB Made Simple

Good riddance - Senator John McCain

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Time to exit the political stage and go home and play with your grandkids. From TruePundit:

EXCLUSIVE: White House Fingers John McCain As Media Leak; Believes U.S. Senator Eavesdropped on Trump’s Classified Phone
This could be the beginning of the end for embattled Sen. John McCain’s life in politics. According to White House officials, McCain is believed to have somehow gained access to the content of President Donald Trump’s private, classified telephone calls with world leaders. And he isn’t keeping quiet about what was talked about either.

An analysis of McCain’s recent public statements by White House officials, coupled with information from intelligence personnel working with the Trump administration, paints a disturbing picture for McCain — or any elected U.S. politician. Officials believe the senator has inside knowledge of a number of President Trump’s telephone conversations, including at least one conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Even more alarming, officials believe McCain is secretly sharing this sensitive information with colleagues and his cabal of friendly mainstream media journalists in a dangerous clandestine campaign to damage Trump’s presidency even before it has a chance to succeed. Trump has been searching for media rats in the Beltway in recent weeks. White House aides are confident they have now outed one of the major leaks plaguing the early days of the Trump presidency. To everyone’s surprise, it is a senior senator supposedly belonging to the same side of the political aisle as the president.

There is no corroborating data to back this up but it sounds very plausible given his access to the White House and the things he has said about President Trump in the recent past.

Just wonderful - from the New York Post:

‘Sanctuary city’ law let gang member walk free from Rikers
An illegal immigrant gang member from El Salvador was allowed to walk free from Rikers Island under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Sanctuary City” law — in defiance of a federal petition to hold him for deportation, officials said Tuesday.

“This man is by his own admission a member of a violent street gang and he was released back into the community,” said Thomas Decker, field office director for the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit in New York. “Honoring a detainer request is not about politics, it is about keeping New York citizens safe.”

Estivan Rafael Marques Velasquez, an admitted member of the notorious MS-13 gang, was released from Rikers Island on Feb. 16 after serving time for disorderly conduct.

ICE officials had requested last May that Velasquez — who was ordered removed by an immigration judge in November 2015 — be turned over to them when he was done serving his sentence, but no one at ICE was alerted to his release.

This will change for the better soon - President Trump is a much needed breath of fresh air and the mainstream media and entrenched deep state are fighting him tooth and nail. By doing so, they are revealing themselves as what they are - enemies of the state. Draining the swamp.

Whole lotta shaking going on

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Last night around 9:00PM there was a mag 4.1 quake near Belfair, Washington on the Olympic Penninsula - about ten miles down so it would have been felt on the surface.

Quiet day around the farm

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Went out for coffee - the snow has finally receded enough that the truck could come in and empty out the dumpster. Been going through a lot of stuff and cleaning house a bit.

Lulu is binge-watching Blue Blood - a good police procedural about a New York City cop family. Did a big pot roast last night so left-overs for tonight.

Work for a bit more and then surf. Organizing wires now - I keep meaning to get the PA system cabling in order but when an event is over, the impetus is to dismantle everything and get it in the truck as fast as possible. Hanging the wires over the balcony to untangle and straighten out. Bought a bunch of Velcro cable ties so will wrap them properly. Also, building a first-aid kit for the store. What we have is a haphazard collection of band-aids - need to get something a little better.

Now this will be fun - Project Veritas

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James O'Keefe just released several hundred hours of audio tape recirded in the CNN newsroom:

And a bit more from Lucian Wintrich writing at Gateway Pundit:

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW=> James O’Keefe to TGP: We Have Operatives at Media Outlets As We Speak
National Harbor, MD: The Gateway Pundit is live at CPAC covering all recent developments, one of which is the much-anticipated undercover audio recorded at CNN headquarters by James O’Keefe and Project Veritas. The video which purports to capture more than just the bias and fake news that we’ve long since covered.

They did an interview:

Lucian Wintrich TGP: It certainly seems that the clips that you have just recently released, proves the bias that we’ve all long since known existed. So do you think that this definitively shows that CNN is blatantly biased, or rather, what would you say that this shows?

O’Keefe: Well, I’d say that it certainly shows how CNN conducts itself as a “news room”. We haven’t even gone through all the tapes. We released 119 hours of audio just today, we’ve only had the time to go through a fraction of it. We’ve released some bits here. Some of the audio is hard to hear, and it’s hard to identify who’s in it, which is why we’re crowd sourcing some of the work like we did with Democracy Partners and Reddit. But, if you were ever curious about the true nature of the CNN news room, this is it. That’s what it’s there to show, how they create their headlines, the objectives they have behind their own reporting, there are even some insights into how they identify journalism and how they see the role of a journalist.

TGP: CNN has already been taking somewhat of a nosedive in viewership with many viewers not returning. Since Trump’s win, they seem to not even be hiding their bias. Do you think this audio might put a final nail in that coffin? Could this shut them down?

O’Keefe: I mean, I don’t think we’re necessary going to shut CNN down, but stranger things have happened. Project Veritas does have some what of a reputation, every time we have previously released undercover audio/video someone does end up fired, someone does end up in jail. I think that this is the begging of the cracks in the damn forming, and I think that this is absolutely a tipping point. It’s the first shots fired, and it provides an incentive for other whistle blowers to come forward within the CNN organization. Our contact at CNN recorded over 240 hours of audio inside the Atlanta headquarters and he was courageous enough to come forward. I definitely think that this will inspire others to similarly come forward.

Much more at the site - this will be fun to watch...

This is a wonderful law

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Sure, there is great potential for abuse but I bet that the people being prosecuted will have multiple sets of evidence gathered against them because the police know this is controversial. From the Arizona Capital Times:

Arizona Senate votes to seize assets of those who plan, participate in protests that turn violent
Claiming people are being paid to riot, Republican state senators voted Wednesday to give police new power to arrest anyone who is involved in a peaceful demonstration that may turn bad — even before anything actually happened.

SB1142 expands the state’s racketeering laws, now aimed at organized crime, to also include rioting. And it redefines what constitutes rioting to include actions that result in damage to the property of others.

People's views pro and con:

Quezada said, though, that everything that constitutes rioting already is a crime, ranging from assault to criminal damage, and those responsible can be individually prosecuted. He said the purpose of this bill appears to be designed to chill the First Amendment rights of people to decide to demonstrate in the first place for fear something could wrong.

But Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, said that chilling effect is aimed at a very specific group of protesters.

“You now have a situation where you have full-time, almost professional agent-provocateurs that attempt to create public disorder,’’ he said.

“A lot of them are ideologues, some of them are anarchists,’’ Kavanagh continued. “But this stuff is all planned.’’

There’s something else: By including rioting in racketeering laws, it actually permits police to arrest those who are planning events. And Kavanagh, a former police officer, said if there are organized groups, “I should certainly hope that our law enforcement people have some undercover people there.’’

“Wouldn’t you rather stop a riot before it starts?’’ Kavanagh asked colleagues during debate. “Do you really want to wait until people are injuring each other, throwing Molotov cocktails, picking up barricades and smashing them through businesses in downtown Phoenix?’’

Senator Kavanagh has it exactly correct. We have seen James O'Keefe's videos where he infiltrated and videoed the people planning the inaugural protests - the three ringleaders were subsequently arrested on this evidence. This is a wonderful law when applied carefully with sufficient evidence.

When the reality hits

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I hope a lot of these morons serve jail time - six months to a year would be great. Not long enough to be a martyr but enough to make them take notice and think of their actions. From Glen at Instapundit:

20170222-antifa.jpg

Such sweet sweet schadenfreude!

California flooding

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Things are bad down there - from San Jose's The Mercury News:

San Jose mayor: Clear ‘failure’ led to record flooding
A day after rescuers boated hundreds of people to safety during San Jose’s worst flooding in decades, city officials Wednesday let many of the 14,000 evacuated residents return home and blamed the sudden breach of Coyote Creek on bad information about its capacity.

The flooding followed a series of heavy rains that filled Anderson Reservoir to capacity. Downstream, Coyote Creek quickly swelled to four feet above flood level, cresting at 14.4 feet around 3 p.m. Tuesday and breaking a 95-year-old record of 12.8 feet set in 1922.

For many, the flooding came with no warning. Mayor Sam Liccardo acknowledged residents should not have first learned of the danger when rescuers arrived by boat to evacuate them. Hundreds remained displaced Wednesday, with the city and Red Cross offering two high schools that are closed for spring break as overnight shelters that drew about 275 people.

Officials have yet to begin assessing damage to the neighborhoods, where the city has already issued health warnings about the dangerously polluted floodwaters, and it may be weeks before life is back to normal for residents in some of the most badly damaged homes.

Three places I would never live - adjacent to any large body of water, especially the coast of Oregon or Washington, near a potential landslide or on a flood plain. These areas may have spectacular scenery but the danger is just too great.

Nancy Pelosi - mental issues?

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I had mentioned it before here, here, here, here, here, and here but over the last eight months (the 'here' links are chronological starting at June 2016), Senator Nancy Pelosi has been showing some marked lapses in cognitive function. Today's example is from The American Mirror:

Pelosi breakdown? Repeats words, tells audience to clap, Kasich ‘gov of Illinois’
Is there something wrong with Nancy Pelosi?

During a Friday appearance before Families USA — the activist group fighting the repeal of Obamacare — Pelosi was seen repeating words, telling the audience when to clap and mistakingly said John Kasich was the governor of Illinois.

There is a highlights video at the site - talk about a trainwreck...

The best and brightest - Keith Ellison

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Keith Ellison is being touted as the next Chairman of the Democratic National Committee - his ties to screwy Louis Farrakahn makes this a very curious decision on the part of the Democrats.

Here he is saying that the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor:

From a magazine that used to be really good - Scientific American:

California Dam Crisis Could Have Been Averted
By now we have all seen the spectacular images of volumes of water crashing down the Oroville Dam spillway in California and blasting upward into the air as they hit an enormous crater in the spillway floor, flooding down the adjacent hillside, threatening people in towns below. Those images reveal a big mistake: failure to update infrastructure to defend against climate change.

The menacing floodwaters last week forced the emergency evacuation of 188,000 residents. Yet the impending disaster came as no surprise to officials in Butte and Plumas counties. The rural counties, which surround Lake Oroville, had challenged the state’s environmental review of dam operations in a 2008 lawsuit, arguing the state "recklessly failed" to properly account for climate change in its long-term dam management plan.

The dam was built in the 1960s when temperatures were cooler and more precipitation was stored in a greater snowpack in the mountains of the Feather River watershed, which drains into Lake Oroville. Today warming temperatures are bringing more rain as well as melting the Sierra Nevada snowpack earlier in the spring. As the counties’ attorneys predicted, among the results is a rush of downhill water much faster than in the past. “We anticipated that this crisis might come about,” says Tony Rossmann, special counsel to Butte County.

So many logical flaws, so little time.

Warm weather does not necessarily bring more rain - warm air holds more water by volume than cool air so if it is warm, there is less chance of rainfall. The real cause was lack of maintenance and it looks like the concrete spillway was not built well to begin with. The dam was built in the 1960's when it was cooler - yes, so cool that the climate scientists were yammering about global cooling - the next ice age. Here is the rainfall data for Los Angeles dating back to 1877 - see for yourself. There are ten years or so of minimal rainfall and then a year or two of well above average. This is called climate and there is nothing unusual in this pattern - it is normal for the Los Angeles area.

Liberal tolerance

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Swiped from Gerard:

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The mainstream media

This will be fun to watch but I am getting sick of eating so many bowls of popcorn - need to find another snack food as things unravel:

And, liberal bias in the media is not a new thing - the New York Times' reporting on Hitler's Holocaust during WW-II - in a nutshell, they did not report it.

150th Anniversary: 1851-2001; Turning Away From the Holocaust
And then there was failure: none greater than the staggering, staining failure of The New York Times to depict Hitler's methodical extermination of the Jews of Europe as a horror beyond all other horrors in World War II -- a Nazi war within the war crying out for illumination.

The annihilation of six million Jews would not for many years become distinctively known as the Holocaust. But its essence became knowable fast enough, from ominous Nazi threats and undisputed eyewitness reports collected by American correspondents, agents and informants. Indeed, a large number of those reports appeared in The Times. But they were mostly buried inside its gray and stolid pages, never featured, analyzed or rendered truly comprehensible.

And they wonder why we do not trust them.

Vitamin D supplements - now even better for you

I take 5,000U every morning - big difference. From New Scientist:

Vitamin D supplements may prevent millions of winter infections
If everyone took vitamin D supplements, more than 3 million fewer people in the UK would have respiratory infections like colds or flu every year. That’s according to a new analysis of data from nearly 11,000 people.

Vitamin D is known to be important for bone and muscle health. Last year, Public Health England stated that people are not generally getting the recommended 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day from sunlight in winter. But whether vitamin D supplements can help has been a hot topic, with some arguing that benefits of taking these are uncertain.

The latest study pulled together data from 25 clinical trials, conducted in 14 countries. It concluded that supplements can help prevent acute respiratory tract infections, particularly among those who are deficient in vitamin D.

The most common respiratory tract infection is the common cold, but others include bronchitis, pneumonia, and infections of the sinuses or ears. At least 70 per cent of the population gets one or more respiratory infection in any given year.

But the study found that vitamin D supplements can cut the proportion of people getting such infections by 12 per cent. “Daily or weekly vitamin D supplements will mean 3.25 million fewer people would get at least one acute respiratory infection a year,” says Adrian Martineau, at Queen Mary, University of London, who led the study.

Interesting - I regularly take D, some baby aspirin and some multivitamins.

Time to replace the top management - from Associated Press:

AP Exclusive: Drugs vanish at some VA hospitals
Federal authorities are stepping up investigations at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers due to a sharp increase in opioid theft, missing prescriptions or unauthorized drug use by VA employees since 2009, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.

Doctors, nurses or pharmacy staff at federal hospitals — the vast majority within the VA system — siphoned away controlled substances for their own use or street sales, or drugs intended for patients simply disappeared.

Aggravating the problem is that some VA hospitals have been lax in tracking drug supplies. Congressional auditors said spot checks found four VA hospitals skipped monthly inspections of drug stocks or missed other requirements. Investigators said that signals problems for VA's entire network of more than 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics, coming after auditor warnings about lax oversight dating back to at least 2009.

"Drug theft is an area of concern," Jeffrey Hughes, the VA's acting assistant inspector general for investigations, told AP. He said the monthly inspections could help the VA uncover potential discrepancies and root out crime.

Problem began in 2009 - Hmmmm. That is what weak leadership will do for you.

Our tax dollars at work

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From The Washington Free Beacon:

Feds Paid $1 Billion in Social Security Benefits to Individuals Without a SSN
The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to individuals who did not have a Social Security Number (SSN), according to a new audit.

The agency’s inspector general found errors in the government’s documentation for representative payees, otherwise known as individuals who receive retirement or disability payments on behalf of another person who is incapable of managing the benefits themselves.

The audit released Friday found thousands of cases where there was no SSN on file.

Over the last decade, the agency paid $1 billion to 22,426 representative payees who "did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application."

“Furthermore, unless it takes corrective action, we estimate SSA will pay about $182.5 million in benefits, annually, to representative payees who do not have an SSN or paper application supporting their selection,” the inspector general said.

Another swamp that needs draining. It is the corporate culture that fosters corruption like this - the individual government workers have no oversight and are not held responsible for any errors they make.

Coffee and working at home

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Nothing much else - had a couple of very busy days and now have a couple of easy ones. Back in an hour or so.

Had a very light dusting of snow last night but it is gone now.

Two good lists - prepping

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It is not IF, it is WHEN - the fecal matter is going to hit the air mover at some time in the future. In the Pacific Northwest, we are overdue for a very large off-shore earthquake. Where I live is in the foothills of an active volcano and this area is subject to earth movement. There is also a local faultline that produced a series of MAG5 earthquakes as recently as 1990.

A good two-fer from Happy Preppers:

You do not have to do this all at once. When you are shopping, pick up an extra can or two of tuna or beans or... Make sure to rotate through the food - first in, first out (FIFO). If you get dried foods - dry beans, rice, etc... be aware that you will need water to rehydrate this and fuel to cook it - sometime canned is a lot better.

Draining the swamp - State Department

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Time for another bowl of popcorn - from The Last Refuge:

Secretary Rex Tillerson Begins Deconstructing 7th Floor “Shadow Government” at Dept of State…
The term “shadow government” is not a construct of critics; it’s actually the term the professional bureaucrats within the 7th floor of the Washington DC based Department of State gave to themselves.

The career political operatives who reign within the State Department openly view themselves as a distinctly separate state governing authority, with no attachment to the policies or objectives of the United States presidency or any mere elected official therein.

For years this group has considered themselves “the untouchables”.

They live a life of high financed indulgence including: massive expense accounts, chartered airline travel, swanky cocktail parties, expense chauffeurs to take their kids to private school, seasonally designed home decor – appointed by only the very best interior designers, personal security to keep the commoners away, tickets to the best venues and reserved seating at elite DC restaurants.

With first rights to the budget expenditures, the 7th floor group finds no indulgence too extravagant for their intellectual elitism. They demand nothing but the finest because they are the most worthy of the DC professionally privileged – who are more equal than others; and after all, their jobs require them to host and visit like-minded diplomats, and celebrities with exclusive tastes from around the world.

Today, this elite crew collectively choked on their crust-less triangle sandwiches.

Why? Fired - almost every last one of them. The schadenfreude is such sweet joy!

The inmates are running the asylum

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And it is a local story too - from The Daily Caller:

College Writing Center Declares American Grammar A ‘Racist,’ ‘Unjust Language Structure’
An “antiracist” poster in a college writing center insists American grammar is “racist” and an “unjust language structure,” promising to prioritize rhetoric over “grammatical ‘correctness.'”

The poster, written by the director, staff, and tutors of the University of Washington, Tacoma’s Writing Center, states “racism is the normal condition of things,” declaring that it permeates rules, systems, expectations, in courses, school and society.

Christ on a Corn Dog - remember Ebonics from 1996? Thought not. The students should sue to get their tuition refunded - the U-Dub is setting them up for a big-time fail once they graduate and try to find work in the real world. Writing in dialect is fine to make a point but the little snowflakes should be able to diagram a sentence and be intimately familiar with Strunk and White (not that kind of white dammit!)

Back home again - great meeting

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It was a great meeting - all three groups (General, Digital and Repeater) meet on a given Tuesday evening in the Ferndale public library and they have a large screen and video projector so someone can come in and show to everyone what they are doing. Makes learning a software package a lot easier. Tonight, we worked on Xastir - from the website:

Xastir APRS Program
Xastir provides mapping, tracking, messaging, weather, weather alerts, and Search & Rescue features over radio or internet and runs on a variety of platforms. Xastir is an open source software project maintained by Developers and Contributors from all over the globe, provided free under the GNU General Public License. From its early beginnings, Xastir has evolved into a very robust client with a rich feature set that rivals other APRS clients.

Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) (also known as "Automatic Position Reporting System") is an amateur radio based digital communication system for real-time exchange of digital information to users on the network. APRS was originally developed by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR more than 20 years ago. It has since evolved into a robust system of interconnected networks. Xastir is a computer application that provides client access to this network using the APRS protocol

This program is really deep - lots of configuration options so it was good to have someone familiar with it walk us through on the big screen. I purchased three of the interfaces to work on my base station, my walkie-talkie and a third for any future projects (it was a group buy so we got a killer price for the hardware interface).

Lulu is coming out tomorrow afternoon for a few days so tomorrow will be spent clearing off the dining room table and picking up socks - my new Shepard Bear loves to pick my socks off the floor and walk around with them. I have yet to find one that he has chewed up, he just likes the smell of my feet. Go figure?

An interesting look at the Federal agency that regulates and licenses dams - from Frank Gaffney writing at Breitbart:

GAFFNEY: Whom to Blame for Oroville — and How President Trump Can Fix It
The forecast is for more rain around the Oroville Dam – and potential disaster for hundreds of thousands of Californians living downstream from its poorly designed emergency spillway.

Many bear responsibility for the real prospect of a catastrophic failure of that spillway. But ultimately, the buck stops with an obscure government agency 3,000 miles away: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

FERC has known about systemic defects of the Oroville Dam for over a decade. In fact, back in 2005, this dam was supposed to be relicensed for fifty-years. But objections were heard from various citizen groups. They warned about soil-erosion at the emergency spillway giving rise to the potential for its catastrophic failure during high water conditions like those now present. Their calls for the spillway to be reinforced with concrete were ignored by the FERC which, instead, began granting annual one-year operating licenses in 2007.

And a closer look at FERC:

Unfortunately, this catastrophe-in-the-making in California is just one example of FERC’s shortcomings. The agency is overwhelmed by its extensive regulatory responsibilities and it is often captured by regulated interests. Consider the following contributing factors:

    • FERC is charged with overseeing far more than the nation’s dams. Each year, the agency processes over 1,000 orders for, among other things, electric utilities, natural gas pipelines, and hydroelectric facilities, with limited time for any individual matter, no matter how important.
    • FERC routinely adjudicates complex technical matters, yet many FERC commissioners in recent years have been lawyers, congressional staffers or lobbyists.
    • In addition, and especially of late, the five ostensibly “independent” FERC Commissioners have taken advantage of a “revolving door” between their official positions and well-paid jobs at entities they regulate – or the law firms or lobbying shops that serve them. For example, former FERC Commissioner Phillip Moeller left the commission to be a lobbyist at the Edison Electric Institute; former Commissioner Tony Clark left to become a counsel at a law firm serving utilities. (For more evidence of such inherent conflicts of interest, see here and here.)
    • Given this sweetheart-deal dynamic, it should come as no surprise that FERC has earned a reputation for serving as a “rubber stamp” for industry interests.

Politics and not engineering...

Nothing much to report - busy day

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Working at home this morning - out for coffee, paying bills, a meeting at the store and then heading in to town to do some banking and a meeting there (Amateur Radio digital group).

Minimal spew today - some when I get home again around 10PM or so.

Weather is gorgeous - high 40's and sunny.

Work - wages and nations

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Willis Eschenbach is one of the more fascinating people on the web - would love to sit down to dinner with him sometime. He posted an essay about Mexican labor and really nails it. From his website:

Work Americans Won’t Do
I keep hearing that the reason that we need workers from Mexico and Central America to pick our crops is because working in the fields is “work that Americans won’t do”. I say that that sentence is chopped off in midstream.

How do I know that’s only half a sentence? Because that was the first work I ever did. I worked summers all through high school. My first job was in 1961, when I was 13 years old and weighed about 120 pounds (55 kg) soaking wet.

I just looked it up, and at the time, the Federal minimum wage in current dollars was $8.12 per hour. The California minimum wage was $9.34 per hour. Interesting, not a lot different from today.

In current money, on my first job I made two dollars and forty-four cents an hour. I worked ten hours a day, bucking hay in the fields. It was totally illegal for me to be doing the work for several reasons. First, I was too young to be working at all. Then I wasn’t being paid overtime for over eight hours per day. Plus I wasn’t making minimum wage. I thought then, and still think, that those laws were asinine. I was overjoyed to have a job. I said screw the laws, and I took every penny I earned home and gave it to my single mother.

Read the whole thing and the comments as well. Good stuff and explains a lot.

Coming home - Ancient One

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AKA the Kennewick Man - finally - from The Seattle Times:

‘A wrong had finally been righted’: Tribes bury remains of ancient ancestor known as Kennewick Man
In the high desert of the Columbia Plateau, more than 200 people gathered early Saturday to lay the Ancient One to rest, returning his 9,000-year-old remains to an undisclosed location not far from the Columbia River.

There was a feeling of finality and catharsis for those who had fought for 20 years to reclaim and repatriate the remains of an ancient ancestor who came to be called Kennewick Man, said Chuck Sams, communications director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

There was also sadness in remembering those who didn’t live to see the Ancient One’s reburial, but also a sense of accomplishment in seeing him returned after two decades of court battles and scientific studies, Sams said.

Scientists who had argued that Kennewick Man was not an ancestor of the Columbia Plateau tribes were proved wrong, and the return of the Ancient One’s remains “validated what we said all along — Kennewick Man had been one of our own,” he said.

Very cool - the remains were found in 1996 in the bank of a river by two guys looking for a better view of the hydroplane races. The remains were being uncovered by gradual erosion and would have washed away and never been known if not for the work of the archaeologists. Now, they have been studied and then, 20 years later, revered and laid to rest. 40 years from now when I am done with my body, I do not give a shit about what happens to it - burn it and scatter the ashes on my farm. Other people have different ideas and this is part of what makes our human condition so wonderfully "interesting".

Technology in filmmaking

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Great video from Vox and The Beeb - part one of three:

Fun time to be alive!

And another one bites the dust - Nestle

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From Investors Business Daily:

Another Big Company Departs California — Will Last One To Leave Shut The Lights?
Nestle USA is moving its headquarters from Glendale, Calif., a pocket suburb just miles from downtown Los Angeles, to Rosslyn, Va., near Washington, D.C., and taking 1,200 California jobs with it. Why? As many companies have found, California is an awful place to do business.

The $26-billion-a-year food conglomerate is discreet, of course, about its reasons, citing a desire to be closer to its core customers and other bland corporate pabulum. But the fact is, Nestle and its corporate brethren in California that actually make things are overtaxed and overregulated, and elected officials treat them not as honored members of the community but as rapacious pirates.

A Glendale official, for instance, blithely insisted Nestle's departure was no big deal, but rather an "opportunity." Some opportunity.

A great metric of the movement from one area to another is the cost of renting a U Haul truck:

20170220-ca-dc.jpg

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The $629 difference is because more people are leaving Glendale for DC than are moving the other way. U Haul has to pay drivers to move the vehicles back to California so it incentivizes the movers with lower prices.

Now this is interesting

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The levels are not high enough to be dangerous and it has a half-life of about eight days but still. From The Barents Observer:

Radioactive Iodine over Europe first measured in Finnmark
A trace of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin was in January detected over large areas in Europe. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection is a proof of a rather recent release.

Where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery.

The air filter station at Svanhovd was the first to measure small amounts of the radioactive Ionide-131 in the second week of January. The station is located a few hundred metres from Norway’s border to Russia’s Kola Peninsula in the north.

Soon, the same Iodine-131 isotope was measured in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. Within the next two weeks, traces of radioactivity, although in tiny amounts, were measured in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain.

And taking a look-see for ourselves - from The Aviationist:

U.S. Air Force deploys WC-135 nuclear sniffer aircraft to UK as spike of radioactive Iodine levels is detected in Europe
On Feb. 17, 2017, U.S. Air Force WC-135C Constant Phoenix Nuclear explosion “sniffer,” serial number 62-3582, using radio callsign “Cobra 55” deployed to RAF Mildenhall, UK.

As we have already reported the WC-135 is a derivative of the Boeing C-135 transport and support plane. Two of these aircraft are in service today out of the ten examples operated since 1963. The aircraft are flown by flight crews from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron from Offutt Air Force Base while mission crews are staffed by Detachment 1 from the Air Force Technical Applications Center.

The WC-135, known as the “sniffer” or “weather bird” by its crews, can carry up to 33 personnel. However, crew compliments are kept to a minimum during mission flights in order to lessen levels of radioactive exposure.

Effluent gasses are gathered by two scoops on the sides of the fuselage, which in turn trap fallout particles on filters. The mission crews have the ability to analyze the fallout residue in real-time, helping to confirm the presence of nuclear fallout and possibly determine the characteristics of the warhead involved: that’s why the aircraft is important to confirm the type of explosion of today’s test.

Did Russia have some reactor problems with one of their subs or surface vessels? That would be a logical explanation. Sounds like a loss of coolant with containment vessel breach to me - pretty serious...

Back home - long day

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Bunch of stuff today and a bit more tomorrow - just got back from Bellingham and had dinner at Graham's in Glacier.

Surf for a bit...

Shutting it down for the night

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Two tunes though - been on a real Joe Bonamassa kick recently:

And these folks from Mongolia - masters of overtone singing (really hard to do - I have tried!) - Altai:

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

The Oroville Dam - a two-fer

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Two excellent resources for the dam geek in all of us.

First, this post at Watts Up With That:

Storm: 10 trillion gallons over next 7 days for CA #LakeOroville watershed to get massive amounts of rain
Last week, I said that up to a foot of rain could be seen in the Lake Oroville watershed due to a series of “supersoaker storms” coming through. Now, the largest of the storms is bearing down. Dr. Ryan Maue of WeatherBell says there’s going to be an unbelievable “10 trillion gallons” in the next 7 days as more storms come through.

Be sure to follow the comments section - a lot of boots on the ground observations.

Second, from the excellent Engineering forum - Metabunk.org - the postings start on February 8th, 2017 and continue for 31 pages. Page 24 is of interest as  someone dug through the original construction plans and found that there were only a few core samples taken where the concrete spillway was sited - the construction people had no idea what kind of soil it was sitting on. Also, photos of large broken concrete slabs with no visible rebar - a cardinal sin for a home backyard deck let alone a structure like this.

YES! Wonderful decision from Congress

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From E&E News:

Lawmakers eye shifting climate research from NASA
Lawmakers are remaking NASA in order to leave parts of the agency's earth science program untouched but remove its climate change research.

It's still unclear exactly how lawmakers plan to transform NASA's mission, but Republicans and Trump administration officials have said they want the agency to focus on deep-space missions and away from climate change research, which is a part of its Earth Sciences Division. That has created uncertainty about the fate of the Earth Sciences Division, which accounts for about $2 billion of NASA's $20 billion budget.

At a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing yesterday, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said he wants a "rebalancing" of NASA's mission. The lawmaker told E&E News he wants the agency to reprioritize its mission because the Obama administration cut space exploration funds.

Great news - the job of NASA is to get stuff into space. It is the job of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Organization to monitor our weather. A small group at NASA grabbed the torch and ran with it for twenty years - I wrote about them in the last half of this post: Drinking a glass of the finest wine - renewable energy

People keep thinking that carbon is bad - it is not. Carbon and Carbon Dioxide is essential for life on Earth. Without it, there would be no photosynthesis and no plants. The authors go off the rails a bit with this paragraph:

A 2008 paper by James Hansen [PDF], former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the world’s foremost experts on climate change, showed the true gravity of the situation. In it, Hansen set out to determine what level of atmospheric CO2 society should aim for “if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted.” His climate models showed that exceeding 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere would likely have catastrophic effects.

That would be the same James Hansen who was fired from the GISS and replaced by Gavin Schmidt. Hansen was coming up with all sorts of crackpot ideas and the media picked up on them because NASA. The GISS occupies a two floors of a building in downtown New York City near Colombia University. They have about 25 permanent scientists, about 30 visiting scientists and about 50 interns. For them to be the USA's climate authority is absurd.

Time to pass the torch back to NOAA and get NASA back to what it does best. Right now, we have to hitch a ride from the Russians every time we want to send someone up to the ISS.

Whoops - change in dinner plans

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The left-over spaghetti sauce had some dots of mold on the surface - diced up an onion and a bunch of garlic and making a quick marinara.

Dogs are fed and happily gnawing on some big beef shank bones I gave them two days ago.

From the National Weather Service:

201 PM PST Sun Feb 19 2017
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM PST THIS EVENING...
The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for snow...which is in effect until 10 PM PST this evening.

    • SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...6 to 11 inches are likely through this evening.
    • SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS...The volcanoes will receive the highest amounts. Less will fall in the highway passes.
    • TIMING...Most snow will fall this afternoon and evening.
    • MAIN IMPACT...Travel will be affected.

From Associated Press:

FLOOD FEARS RENEWED AS ANOTHER STORM AIMS FOR CALIFORNIA
Residents returning to homes damaged by flooding should be prepared to evacuate again as yet another powerful Pacific storm takes aim at Northern California, officials warned Sunday.

The San Joaquin River was reaching flood stage, and residents of Manteca were told to be ready to evacuate in case it hit dangerous levels.

Meanwhile, the water level was decreasing at Lake Oroville dam, where a damaged spillway had raised major flood concerns.

Water was also receding in the farm community of Maxwell, where dozens of people sought higher ground after creeks topped their banks and inundated houses on Friday, said Colusa County Assistant Sheriff Jim Saso said.

Nothing unusual - a couple years of drought and then whammo - this site has rainfall data for Los Angeles dating back to 1877

If I was into panning for gold, I bet that now would be an excellent time to visit some streams - a lot of the streambeds have been washed over and new gold exposed.

Ho. Li. Crap - meet Eli Bouchard

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The guy is nine years old:

A long day but a lot of fun

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The class was excellent - it started with the generic Red Cross CPR training with practice dummies but then went on to cover general first aid with subjects like wounds, trauma to brain and spine, stabilizing sprains and broken bones, burns, frostbite etc.. Everything needed in Search and Rescue operations to stabilize the patient until they can be evacuated. I want to work with them doing radio at their base camps in this area. This class was a prerequisite. Husband and wife teaching team and they had a lot of fun running the class. A lot of information to process.

There are some very fun amateur radio technologies being developed here - a bunch of the actual search people have ham radio licenses and they are exploring the technology for digital error-free communication and automatic position reporting - a $30 BaoFeng UV-5R Two Way Radio, another $120 of electronics and you have a very small package that fits in your backpack and reports your position to within 30 feet or so.

Did not sleep well last night so calling it an early bedtime - want to stay up until at least 8:00PM so as to reset my sleep schedule to something a bit more normal. Surf for a few hours and have the last of the spaghetti sauce for dinner.

Fun fun fun

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Finishing off breakfast, made a sandwich for lunch and got a couple cans of Mountain Dew (Throwback - cane sugar and original formula) in a lunch cooler. Check in on the critters (Rocky the horse and the three llamas) on my way out.

Coffee place opens in 20 minutes, class starts at 9:00AM - I am on a roll

A potential for caution - Flu

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Maybe nothing but... From the AAAS magazine Science:

Bird flu strain taking a toll on humans
An avian influenza virus that emerged in 2013 is suddenly spreading widely in China, causing a sharp spike in human infections and deaths. Last month alone it sickened 192 people, killing 79, according to an announcement this week by China's National Health and Family Planning Commission in Beijing.

The surge in human cases is cause for alarm, says Guan Yi, an expert in emerging viral diseases at the University of Hong Kong in China. "We are facing the largest pandemic threat in the last 100 years," he says.

As of 16 January, the cumulative toll from H7N9 was 918 laboratory-confirmed human infections and 359 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Despite its high mortality rate, H7N9 had gotten less attention of late than two other new strains—H5N8 and H5N6—that have spread swiftly, killing or forcing authorities to cull millions of poultry. But so far, H5N8 has apparently not infected people; H5N6 has caused 14 human infections and six deaths.

We had a pandemic in 1918 that killed about 5% of the population. Something like this is not out of the ordinary and can happen again. Medical technology has gotten better but viruses are notoriously tricky to deal with.

Early night tonight - class tomorrow

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Set the alarm for 6:00AM - a bit masochistic for me but I want to get to the class on time and have time to take care of the critters and get coffee and make a sandwich for lunch - all day affair.

Should be fun - looking forward to it. A good skill to gain.

Betsy DeVos in the news

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There are enough people wanting to harm her that she is being guarded by the US Marshals Service - from The Washington Post:

Betsy DeVos being guarded by U.S. Marshals Service
The U.S. Marshals Service says it is providing security for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after a handful of protesters prevented her from entering a D.C. middle school.

The move is unusual for the Education Department, which typically has a team of civil servants guarding the secretary, and for the marshals, law enforcement officers who are generally responsible for protecting federal judges, transporting prisoners, apprehending fugitives and protecting witnesses.

The last Cabinet member protected by marshals was a director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said Lynzey Donahue, a spokeswoman for the Marshals Service. That office ceased to be a Cabinet-level position in 2009.

So let me get this straight - Ms. DeVos is going after the Education Cartel and needs the same level of protection that the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy needs while going after the Drug Cartels? That explains a lot about the state of Education in the United States. The Teachers Union needs to just go away - it is not doing any good and is just a political arm of the left. The bottom 10% of teachers need to be fired. This is an investment in our children and should not be made into a political football.

Dinnertime - Costco Chicken

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Finished with the chores, laundry is in the dryer. Picked up a Costco Chicken yesterday so doing a pot of rice and a salad and that will be dinner. Got to feed the dogs first - they are giving me the stink-eye

A little list

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A bunch of illegal immigrants were rounded up recently (about 680 people nationwide). People protested. What they did not know is that all but two (the two were mistaken identity and released) of these people were criminals.  John Binder writing at Breitbart has a list of the 41 people from New York City - here are just the first five:

    1. A 31-year-old El Salvador national with a criminal conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and self-admitted MS-13 gang member. He was arrested in New Hyde Park, NY.
    2. A 49-year-old Jamaican national with a criminal conviction for first degree sexual assault of a victim under the age of 11. Convicted of sexual assault carnal abuse. He was arrested in Bronx, NY.
    3. A 60-year-old Mexican national with a criminal convicted for first degree sexual assault of a victim under the age of 11 and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested in Staten Island, NY.
    4. A 23-year-old Guyana national with a conviction of rape. He was arrested in Richmond Hill, NY.
    5. A 29-year-old Guatemala national convicted of rape. He was arrested in Bronx, NY.

Fine upstanding citizens - all of them.

Fake news in court

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Great story from Law Newz:

Hospital CEO Wins Major Court Victory After Accusing CNN of False Reporting
Those who accuse CNN and other mainstream media outlets of “fake news” will probably revel in a recent decision by a federal judge in Atlanta, Georgia. While Judge Orinda Evans didn’t all out declare that CNN was peddling in falsehoods, she did take aim at the network in an initial judgment in favor of a former hospital CEO who sued CNN accusing them of purposely skewing statistics to reflect poorly on a West Palm Beach hospital. Judge Evans didn’t mince words in her 18-page order allowing the case to move forward, and dismissing CNN’s attempt to get it thrown out of court.

Case particulars and more at the site - this needs to happen often.

Cloud cuckoo land - the regressive left

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Only they would elevate someone who was fired for insubordination - from Legal Insurrection:

Fired Acting AG Sally Yates now “a symbol of the anti-Trump resistance”
Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, fired for insubordination after she told DOJ not to defend Trump’s immigration Executive Order, is being held up as a new hero by the left for defying Trump over his executive order on refugees and immigration.

She attended an event on race in Atlanta this week and got a standing ovation.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:

Sally Yates gets hero’s welcome at Atlanta race panel discussion:
Sally Yates in 2020?

That was the hot half-joking question Wednesday night as the former acting attorney general made one of her first public appearances — at the Carter Presidential Library — since being fired by President Donald Trump for refusing to impose his controversial refugee ban.

Cloud cuckoo land? From Infogalactic:

Cloud cuckoo land
Cloud Cuckoo Land refers to a state of absurdly over-optimistic fantasy or an unrealistically idealistic state where everything is perfect. Someone who is said to "live in cloud cuckoo land" is a person who thinks that things that are completely impossible might happen, rather than understanding how things really are.

These poor people are isolated in a bubble of their own making - they think they have the one true solution and the rest of the world is evil. When their solution fails, they just double-down and say that they just did not try hard enough (or that not enough money was spent - this is the default setting).

Now this is cool - Pixar

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Pixar just released a bunch of free training materials through the Kahn Academy.

Check out Pixar in a Box - lots of stuff there.

Heh - Ivanka Trump

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Gerard provides this meme and a link to a great story:

20170218-ivanka.jpg

From the New York City FOX News affiliate:

Ivanka Trump brand tops Amazon Best Sellers list
First Daughter Ivanka Trump could be getting the last laugh at brick and mortar stores that have dropped her brand of clothing, shoes, perfumes and more.

On Friday morning, Ivanka Trump Eau de Parfum Spray For Women, 3.4 Fluid Ounce and the roller ball version of the perfume were number one and two top selling perfumes on Amazon's Best Sellers list.

This is wonderful - the fake news sites can spew all they want to but numbers do not lie.

A two-fer - first from AutoBlog:

Find out which bridges near you are 'structurally deficient'
America's road network isn't in amazing shape. A new report from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) confirms a massive problem. The organization's report takes a look at the condition of bridges in the US, and finds that nationwide, just over nine percent of the country's bridges are "structurally deficient."

ARTBA's website also has a map that shows how many bridges in each state are in need of repair or replacement. It even provides locations of each bridge when you click on a state, in case you're interested in seeing whether the bridge you cross on the way to work is sound or deficient. According to the map, there are 23 states where more than 9 percent of the bridges are structurally deficient. On the flip side, citizens of Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Washington D.C. can take pride that less than 5 percent of each location's bridges are in the deficient category.

Which begs the question, what happened to the one trillion dollars that Obama spent to upgrade our nation's infrastructure - this second post by Christina Hoff Sommers in The Weekly Standard explains it all - the spending was politically driven, not fact or data driven:

No Country for Burly Men
A "man-cession." That's what some economists are starting to call it. Of the 5.7 million jobs Americans lost between December 2007 and May 2009, nearly 80 percent had been held by men. Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan, characterizes the recession as a "downturn" for women but a "catastrophe" for men.

And what happened:

Last November, President-elect Obama addressed the devastation in the construction and manufacturing industries by proposing an ambitious New Deal-like program to rebuild the nation's infrastructure. He called for a two-year "shovel ready" stimulus program to modernize roads, bridges, schools, electrical grids, public transportation, and dams and made reinvigorating the hardest-hit sectors of the economy the goal of the legislation that would become the recovery act.

Women's groups were appalled. Grids? Dams? Opinion pieces immediately appeared in major newspapers with titles like "Where are the New Jobs for Women?" and "The Macho Stimulus Plan." A group of "notable feminist economists" circulated a petition that quickly garnered more than 600 signatures, calling on the president-elect to add projects in health, child care, education, and social services and to "institute apprenticeships" to train women for "at least one third" of the infrastructure jobs. At the same time, more than 1,000 feminist historians signed an open letter urging Obama not to favor a "heavily male-dominated field" like construction: "We need to rebuild not only concrete and steel bridges but also human bridges." As soon as these groups became aware of each other, they formed an anti-stimulus plan action group called WEAVE-- Women's Equality Adds Value to the Economy.

So much money wasted and we have so little to show for it.

Sometimes it is hard to grasp the reality of large numbers. To understand how large one trillion dollars is, take it and spend ten thousand dollars each day. You would run out of money in 273,972 years. That big. Spend ten thousand dollars every minute, you would exhaust your money in 190 years.

Our National Debt is $19,976,716,000,000 - it was around $10 trillion when Obama took office.

After the deluge - California

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California is cleaning up after the monster storm - from the Los Angeles Times:

Cleanup begins after powerful storm slams Southern California
Cleanup was beginning across Southern California on Saturday after a storm that forecasters billed as the most powerful in years caused flooding on multiple freeways, triggered dramatic mudslides and downed hundreds of trees and power lines.

The storm was moving out Saturday morning after dumping record rain in some areas and leaving havoc in its wake.

Thousands of Los Angeles County residents remained without power early Saturday, while road crews scrambled to repair sinkholes throughout the area, including one in Studio City that swallowed two vehicles Friday night. No one was injured in the incident.

Four fatalities known so far. The Times is also maintaining a Live Updates page with streaming news reports.

Still sliding all over the place and four-wheel drive is essential but today was the second day I was able to pull the truck all the way up to the house without having to 'commute' on the tractor.

Taking care of a bunch of stuff today - dividing the pulled pork into portions and vacuum seal it for freezing, doing some wiring on a project (radio room). The radio installation at the local firehall was damaged in the storm - snow and ice falling off the roof knocked the antenna over so will have to redo it when everything melts out. - prepping the coaxial cable for this. Laundry too.

Surf for a bit and then to work.

Nothing much today - working at home

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Got a couple of projects to work on.

Heading out for coffee, post office and store - back in an hour or so.

So much for melting snow

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Gorgeous clear night - temp is down to 28.8°F and will probably get another ten degrees cooler. Rain is supposed to move in either tonight or tomorrow but no sign of it now.

Heading upstiars in a while - about halfway through reading the internet. Want to get up early for Sunday's class - starts at 0900. Feeling fairly tired despite sleeping in the last three days.

About those borders

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Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) is one of the worst of the latin street gangs - from Washington DC station WUSA-9:

Gang recruiting seen as early as elementary school
It starts early. WUSA9 learned Thursday, gang leaders are recruiting new members in a disturbing place: Elementary Schools.

“Oh grade-school. They're recruiting in grade-school but generally 5th grade and on,” said Northern Virginia Regional Task Force Director Jay Lanham.

It may feel like they're babies, but 5th grade and on, the time kids are starting to find themselves, has become a prime target age for MS-13 gang recruiting especially, according to Lanham.

His team is aiding the investigation into the gang-related murder of 15-year-old Alexandra Reyes-Rivas, the Montgomery County teen found dead in Springfield, Va. this past weekend.

Secure the borders and stamp crap like this out.

The guy is unstoppable - from Breitbart:

New York Times; The Left Is Alarmed by Donald Trump’s Reach for Union Voters
Union leaders and progressives are increasingly worried that President Donald Trump will bring a large number of private-sector union members — and some union leaders — into his populist Republican Party, according to the New York Times.

Some unions, even if traditionally Democratic, have aims that align with Mr. Trump’s stated priorities: building infrastructure, rewriting trade agreements, blocking an exodus of jobs. But union leaders are in many cases scrambling to get in step with members who responded to his pro-worker rhetoric — and to tap into that energy.

More at the site - good to see them running scared.

Fun toy - assault trombone

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Tip of the hat to Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man for the link. I'll have to make one of these for the farm - I have a bunch of compressed air storage tanks - that would be a great source. Find an old truck horn somewhere.

Fake News - a two-fer

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Two primo examples of Fake News from the mainstream media.

First, from The Daily Beast:

Homeland Security on AP’s National Guard: ‘Absolutely Incorrect’
The Department of Homeland Security is roundly condemning an Associated Press story that broke Friday morning about considering the use of the National Guard to “round up” undocumented immigrants. The DHS says that isn’t true, and—contra the AP’s reporting—that DHS Secretary John Kelly didn’t write the draft memo.

Second, from the New York Post:

Bogus Times scoops on Trump, Russia are recycled propaganda
Take a deep breath and realize how precious little substance there is in all the breathless reporting about supposed skulduggery by President Trump, his team and the Russian government. If the nation’s lucky, the coming congressional probes — and whatever surfaces from the apparent ongoing FBI investigation — may one day provide some clarity.

Hostile, hysterical reporting based on anonymous leaks provides no hard facts — just “narratives” that could come out of a creative writing class.

Take Wednesday’s breathless New York Times story, “Trump Aides Had Contact With Russian Intelligence” — which was remarkable for containing the same facts the Times reported back in October as “Investigating Donald Trump, FBI Sees No Clear Link to Russia.”

Fake news - the worst of the worst. No wonder Trump's popularity is soaring. The regressive left and the media represent a very small number of people - a few percent of the general population.

From The Hill:

Senate confirms Pruitt to lead EPA
The Senate voted Friday to confirm Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ushering in what are likely to be dramatic changes to the agency.

The 52-46 vote was almost along party lines. All Republicans except Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) voted for Pruitt, while all Democrats except Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) voted against him.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) did not vote due to a military conference he is attending in Germany. Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) also did not vote.

I love it - Pruitt is currently serving as Oklahoma’s attorney general. He knows the West and he knows the law. A bit more:

Trump promised to roll back Obama’s entire climate change agenda, including the Clean Power Plan, which sets carbon dioxide limits for power plants. He also pledged to repeal the EPA’s Clean Water Rule, which asserts federal power over small waterways like ponds and streams.

Trump said any new regulations will be judged on whether they benefit workers, and he would refocus the EPA’s mission on clean air and water.

At his confirmation hearing, Pruitt promised to take seriously the EPA’s mission, but also to improve cooperation with states and regulated parties.

“Regulators are supposed to make things regular, to fairly and equitably enforce the rules and not pick winners and losers,” Pruitt told senators.

Good - get the EPA back to its core competencies and stop with the regulation overreach by unelected officials with no checks and balances. This has gone on for way too long.

That soft popping sound you hear is environmentalist's heads exploding. I love it.

What a flaming ass-hat - John McCain

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I respect him for his service in the Vietnam War but he really needs to get off the world stage - from The Washington Post:

John McCain just systematically dismantled Donald Trump’s entire worldview
John McCain is increasingly mad as hell about President Trump. And on Friday, he went after Trump — hard.

During a speech at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, the Republican senator from Arizona delivered a pointed and striking point-by-point takedown of Trump's worldview and brand of nationalism. McCain didn't mention Trump's name once, but he didn't have to.

A bit more:

In his speech, McCain suggested the Western world is uniquely imperiled this year — even more so than when Barack Obama was president — and proceeded to question whether it will even survive.

“In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism; not this year,” McCain said. “If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now.”

A lot more at the site. Regardless of how they feel towards each other, that should be kept private or on Twitter - not as a keynote address to a group of global leaders. I can see where the two of them would have animosity - McCain is a RINO in the worst sense where Trump is a man of his word and completely upfront about how he feels.

Good meetup

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Had fun this afternoon. Good food, good people.

Unpack the truck and surf for a while.

Minimal posting today

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Got the critters taken care of - heading out for coffee and checking in at the store.

Got the pulled pork in the slow cooker heating up for tonight's pot-luck. At home for a few more hours but heading in to town this afternoon.

Glad I do not live near the Oroville Dam

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From the Los Angeles Times:

Strongest storm in years taking aim at Southern California
The storm is expected to dump up to 6 inches of rain on Los Angeles County beaches and valleys and 5 to 10 inches on south-facing foothills and coastal mountain slopes, according to the National Weather Service .  A flash flood watch has been issued for Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties from Friday morning through Saturday morning.

And this bit of optimism from the San Francisco Chronicle:

If California dam failed, people likely stuck
Communities just downstream of California's Lake Oroville dam would not receive adequate warning or time for evacuations if the 770-foot-tall dam itself — rather than its spillways — were to abruptly fail, the state water agency that operates the nation's tallest dam repeatedly advised federal regulators a half-decade ago.

The state Department of Water Resources informed federal dam regulators that local emergency officials "do not believe there is enough time to perform evacuations in the communities immediately downstream of the dam during a sudden failure," according to a Feb. 8, 2011, letter reviewed by The Associated Press.

Absent "significant" advance warning, emergency responders instead would likely withdraw to safer ground and prepare for victims, said the same letter by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees safety of hydroelectric dams, in a summary of the state's conclusions.

How many billions of dollars spent on entitlement programs for illegal immigrants and what spent on infrastructure?

Skid steer gymnastics

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I have mucked around with bulldozers, backhoes and skid steers and love working with my tractor. This guy is amazing:

The machine is 100% stock, no modifications or weights. Hydraulic over hydraulic controls for better response. He estimates about 7,000 hours of practice.

His website is here: Black Sheep Skid - Ho. Li. Crap

Classic regressive behavior - from Chicago, IL station WTTW:

CPS Chief Sends Child to Private School
Chicago Tonight has learned that the new head of the Chicago Public Schools, Forrest Claypool, sends his child to Francis W. Parker, an exclusive, private school in Lincoln Park. Claypool likely would have made the decision to enroll his child months before Mayor Rahm Emanuel tapped him to take over the ailing school system. The CPS Board of Education approved Claypool's appointment to the top job in late July. Parker's deadline for incoming high school students to confirm their enrollment is in March.

Chicago Tonight has reached out to Claypool’s office for comment and has not yet received a response.

During a Sept. 3 press conference regarding the controversy over Dyett High School, a reporter asked if Claypool believes it's relevant for CPS parents to know where his children attend school. "No," he responded. "As I said before, my kids have gone to both public and private school."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel faced similar questions during his first term. His three children have attended the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in Hyde Park, as do those of CPS Board Vice-President Jesse Ruiz. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan also sent his children to the Lab School when he ran CPS, and reportedly will again when his family returns from Washington, D.C. The children of President Barack Obama currently attend the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson's daughter attends Mark Skinner Elementary School, a Level 1 – or top-rated – CPS school.

We would see a lot of improvement if we made these officials send their children through the same meatgrinder that the other 90% of us have to rely on. There would be a huge improvement in education if we could fire the 10% of the teachers - the worst. Get rid of the unions, they have no place in a public school system.

Seattle and rainfall

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Not doing so well - from The Seattle Times - February 9, 2017:

Millions of gallons of wastewater dumping into Puget Sound after heavy rainfall
Millions of gallons of untreated wastewater and stormwater began dumping into Puget Sound Thursday after high tides and heavy rains overwhelmed a King County wastewater-treatment center in Seattle.

Flooding at West Point Treatment Plant in Magnolia’s Discovery Park caused damage that apparently fried an electrical circuit and triggered a system shutdown, a spokesman said.

That has caused the county to operate the facility much of Thursday in “emergency bypass mode” — dumping untreated effluent directly into Puget Sound.

Officials were still calculating how much untreated wastewater had flowed into Puget Sound. Doug Williams, a spokesman for the county’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks, estimated more than 150 million to 200 million gallons, with that number likely to grow.

And now, The Seattle Times - today:

Officials say damage to sewage plant in Discovery Park is catastrophic
King County has stopped dumping raw sewage into Puget Sound from its crippled West Point treatment plant for now — but the county will likely start dumping again when rainy weather returns.

Beaches at Discovery Park are closed because of the risk to public health from raw sewage pumped from the plant into the Sound, with no date yet for reopening. “We are here for the health of the environment, and for public health, and right now, we are compromising that,” said Mark Isaacson, director of King County’s wastewater treatment division.

And a bit more - the extent of the damage:

But the plant was already flooded by then, with a barrage of some 15 million gallons of water barreling through it, powerful enough to buckle and break down 25-foot-high garage doors, mangle equipment, and leave a fur of untreated sewage 12 feet up the walls. Cavernous rooms filled with pumps and other equipment were flooded to the ceiling and steeped in muck.

This is what happens when you defer maintenence and system upgrades and spend the money on handouts and virtue signalling.

How an archaeologist shovels snow

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From the book of face - click to embiggen:

20170216-archaeology.jpg

Out for dinner

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Heading out to the beautiful hamlet of Glacier for some dinner. Do not feel like cooking and it's only ten miles away.

The pork butt just came out of the smoker and put it in the oven to finish - chill it down and shred tomorrow. Make some BBQ sauce tonight.

California summed up in one meme

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From The Federalist:

20170216-california.jpg

More at the site - lots of links.

A look at President Trump

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Dilbert creator Scott Adams has a good insight on President Trump and why some people are not able to "get" him:

How to Evaluate a President
Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Mark Zuckerberg. Richard Branson. What do they all have in common, aside from wealth?

They all succeeded without the right kind of prior experience. Apparently they knew how to figure out what they needed once they started. I’ll bet they are all systems-thinkers, not goal-thinkers.

If you see the world in terms of goals, you might think President Trump has failed at every important goal so far. He didn’t get what he wanted on immigration. He hasn’t gotten his Supreme Court nomination confirmed. He hasn’t replaced Obamacare. He hasn’t defeated ISIS. He hasn’t done a lot of things he said he would do. He even had to fire General Flynn. President Trump is a big ol’ failure when it comes to goals.

Maybe that’s because Trump just started on the job. Success generally comes after you start. If you think success comes before you start, the world probably looks confusing to you.

A bit more:

Trump seems to be a systems thinker. I doubt he knew he would jump from real estate developer, to author, to reality TV star, to president. At least not in that order. Instead, he systematically accumulated money, persuasion skills, and personal connections until he had lots of options. Being president was one of them.

Now the world watches as an entrepreneurial systems-thinker with no government experience takes over the White House and tries to learn on the job. How did you expect that to go?

I expected some broken dishes, some firings, some chaos, and some rookie mistakes. We got all of that. But I also expect a systems-thinker to tame the chaos over time as he learns on the job. For example, the leaks will stop as soon as Trump fires the right people. He’ll figure out which meetings he can skip. He’ll know who to trust. He’ll learn where all the buttons and levers are. It’s a process.

Great analogy. Everyone is expecting another politician, not a sucessful businessman.

A result of the heavy rains

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Earth movement - the brunt of the rainstorm hit south of here - from The Bellingham Herald:

Mudslides close roads in 3 cities, westbound I-90 in Issaquah
Heavy rains caused two mudslides early Thursday, forcing the closure of a Puyallup road and the westbound lanes of Interstate 90 in Issaquah.

The landslide in Puyallup occurred just after 6 a.m. in the 3400 block of East Pioneer Way near Shaw Road. Police advised drivers to avoid the area.

The road is expected to reopen after 1 p.m.

Shortly before 5 a.m., a large mudslide washed over I-90 and blocked all lanes east of Sunset Way. There is no estimated time to reopen them.

Troopers said several vehicles were disabled but no one was injured.

They now have a single lane of I-90 open and are still cleaning debris. The railroad tracks are also covered by a slide - a popular commuter train has stopped service. From SoundTransit:

Update:Sounder north line canceled due to a mudslide
Sound Transit sent this bulletin at 02/16/2017 05:59 AM PST
Update: Special bus service along with regularly scheduled bus service is below.

The joys of country living - I was outside bringing the garbage can back to the house and 50% of the driveway is down to gravel and mud but the other 50% is still slick ice.

Our new Science Advisor

Not definite yet but he sounds great - from Eric Worral writing at Anthony's:

William Happer on Climate Science: “They’re glassy-eyed and they chant”
Professor William Happer, who has been tipped as front runner to replace John Holdren as the Whitehouse Science Advisor, has described climate scientists as a glassy eyed cult.

Trump’s likely science adviser calls climate scientists ‘glassy-eyed cult’

William Happer, frontrunner for job of providing mainstream scientific opinion to officials, backs crackdown on federal scientists’ freedom to speak out

The man tipped as frontrunner for the role of science adviser to Donald Trump has described climate scientists as “a glassy-eyed cult” in the throes of a form of collective madness.

William Happer, an eminent physicist at Princeton University, met Trump last month to discuss the post and says that if he were offered the job he would take it. Happer is highly regarded in the academic community, but many would view his appointment as a further blow to the prospects of concerted international action on climate change.

“There’s a whole area of climate so-called science that is really more like a cult,” Happer told the Guardian. “It’s like Hare Krishna or something like that. They’re glassy-eyed and they chant. It will potentially harm the image of all science.”

A bit harsh to the Krishnas but otherwise spot on.

Got nothing this morning

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Take care of the critters and then out for coffee. Working on some stuff here today.

Got the pork butt in the smoker for tomorrow's potluck.

The next front is moving through

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Winds up to 30 and 40 miles per hour. The air temp has risen ten degrees in the last two hours - 39°F when I got home and 49.2°F now. National Weather Service is calling for flooding and heavy rain but I think that the rain in Seattle is what they were looking at. We will see.

Great news - two arrests

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From Cristina Laila writing at Gateway Pundit:

Update: Two Members Of #DisruptJ20 Exposed By Project Veritas Undercover Videos Have Been Arrested
Project Veritas released a series of undercover videos exposing members of #DisruptJ20 and their plot to use violence to disrupt Donald Trump’s inauguration. Today James O’keefe announced that his lawyers have confirmed that two of the men from the undercover videos have been arrested.

James O’Keefe took to Twitter to announce the arrests of Paul “Luke” Kuhn and Colin Dunn.

Let these arrests be a warning to other violent leftists. Obama is no longer President. We are a nation of laws and your criminal behavior will no longer be tolerated.

Good - act out and you will pay the price. James O'Keefe has done some wonderful work - the Abortion clinics, taking down A.C.O.R.N. on corruption charges, etc...

Oroville - a few updates

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Now this would be wonderful - H.R.861

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I do not know if this will ever land on President Trump's desk but it sure would be nice - from congress.gov:

H.R.861 - To terminate the Environmental Protection Agency

Return environmental controls to the various states. For items like pollution crossing state borders, let Interior or some other agency handle this. The EPA bureaucracy is too entrenched and bloated to reform it - get rid of it entirely and build something different.

So they have to fiddle even more with the voting process to rig it in their favor. From The Hill:

With party in trouble, Dems hit voting laws
With their ranks decimated at statehouses and in Congress, Democrats are organizing around a redistricting push and opposition to changes to voting laws as ways to prevent Republican lawmakers from turning their party’s current power into a permanent advantage.

While honing an economic message that will help Democrats reconnect with the blue-collar voters who deserted them in 2016 remains a priority, top Democrats and rising party stars are busy organizing several expensive undertakings to combat what they view as structural electoral disadvantages.

Former President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder are overseeing the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), which aims to redraw the congressional district maps that currently tilt heavily in favor of Republicans.

Former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander (D), who narrowly lost his bid for the Senate in 2016, has launched a new nonprofit called Let America Vote, a messaging and grassroots advocacy organization meant to “expose the true motivations” behind the Republican push for stricter voting laws.

That launch comes several weeks after Priorities USA, the super PAC that spent more than $190 million supporting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, rebranded itself as the “nation’s largest funder of voting rights lawsuits.”

You must show identification when buying booze, when getting on an airplane, even attending a Hillary Clinton rally. Why not show identification when voting.

Dodged the bullet - rainfall

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The pineapple express I was looking at went further to the South than was initially forecast. We were forecast to have three to seven inches of rain but only had a little over 0.4"

From The Seattle Times:

More rain on way, as Seattle may be headed to wet-weather record
Seattle has seen more than three times the normal amount of rain for February — and the month is only half over.

A big, juicy air mass stretching to Hawaii has Seattle in for a soaking, with more rain on the way.

Normal rainfall through Tuesday would be 1.82 inches, but Seattle has soaked up 5.71 inches through Tuesday, with even more rain pouring down overnight and Wednesday, said Dustin Guy, of the National Weather Service in Seattle.

I have not checked conditions in California - will do so in a few minutes. The dogs are giving me the stink-eye...

I am totally in favor of what the labor unions did in the 1900's but they have failed to adapt to changing times and they have become a political power more than a force of good for the average worker. The Boeing employees in South Carolina agree - from The Seattle Times:

Boeing’s South Carolina workers resoundingly defeat union
Nearly eight years after production workers at Boeing’s 787 manufacturing plant in South Carolina ousted the Machinists union, a much enlarged workforce voted decisively Wednesday to keep the union out.

The result was a blowout.

Out of the approximately 3,000 workers eligible to vote in North Charleston, 2,828 cast ballots, with 74 percent voting against the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

The labor climate in South Carolina:

The odds were always stacked against the IAM in South Carolina, a state that is politically and legally hostile to unions. It has the lowest percentage of union members of any state in the United States, 2.6 percent of employed workers.

And with membership not mandatory in a unionized workplace in a “right-to-work” state, the rate of union membership is even lower, just 1.6 percent.

National average is about 5%. I can see a place for unionization in some places - fire, police, hospitals, etc... but not schools, not government and definitely not industry.

Got stuck on a project and went into town for some parts. Grabbed a bite to eat and hit Costco. Just got back - getting the dogs fed, trash out to the curb and stuff in from the truck. Driveway is still a sheet of ice - parts have melted down to the dirt but the rest is slick wet ice - the tractor skids all over the place and there is no way I would be able to get the truck out. I am parking it by the highway and commuting with Buttercup.

Our local CERT group is having a pot-luck Friday so will be doing some smoked pork brisket tomorrow - about eight hours on the smoker gives a really nice flavor. Do a whole butt and portion out and freeze the rest. Salting it down after I get the other stuff taken care of. Saturday I will be at Search and Rescue all day for a First Aid class. Getting a bit more involved with SAR - not going out on searches but helping out at the base camp doing communications and data logging. With all the ski and hiking activity out here, SAR gets called up on a regular basis and they need the warm bodies.

Back in an hour or so

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Heading out for coffee and check in at the store.

Back in an hour or two...

Meanwhile, over in England

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Nigel Farage is one of my favorite politicians - great speaker:

Great - I love this. From Associated Press:

Pentagon boss to NATO nations: Increase military spending
In an ultimatum to America's allies, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told fellow NATO members Wednesday to increase military spending by year's end or risk seeing the U.S. curtail its defense support — a stark threat given Europe's deep unease already over U.S.-Russian relations.

Echoing President Donald Trump's demands for NATO countries to assume greater self-defense responsibility, Mattis said Washington will "moderate its commitment" to the alliance if countries fail to fall in line. He didn't offer details, but the pressure is sure to be felt, particularly by governments in Europe's eastern reaches that feel threatened by Russian expansionism.

I love it! Europe is frittering its money away on social programs and letting us carry the weight on defense. Time to adjust to what it should be.

Want to play the hacker?

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Become a soooper hacker without having to learn code.

Go to this website: hackertyper and just start typing random shit. You key in gibberish, the website displays authentic code in a perfect green on black color scheme.

Off for coffee and working at home today

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The atmospheric river seems to have turned South today - we have had some rain but only 0.2" accumulation so far - not the several inches that were forecast. Still, the signature curve is very much that of a pineapple express - the discharge in cu feet per second of our local river:

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This is indicating 17K cu ft/second - the Oroville dam is having to discharge at 100,000 cubic feet per second - 5.8 times as much water and our local river is a big one. A lot of water moving there.

Driveway is still slick as snot - there was a lot of ice buildup. Still have to park the truck at the head and commute with Buttercup my tractor.

These idiots are forcing our children to eat crap just so they can virtue signal. First it was EX-FLOTUS Michelle's food that nobody wanted to eat and now this from The Daily Caller:

California Schools Cut Meat, Cheese From Lunches To Fight Global Warming
Oakland schools partnered with the environmental group Friends of the Earth (FOE) to fight global warming by making student lunches climate-friendly.

FOE gave kids a lunch menu designed to eliminate foods it says are “unsustainable for our planet.” The new menu features far less meat and more plant-based food. Any meat or cheese the school did use came from “pastured, organic dairy cows.” The student’s lunch menu went from beef hot dogs and pepperoni pizza to vegan stir fry tofu and vegan tostadas. The new FOE-approved menu served meat and cheese less frequently and reduced the portion sizes.

And a bit more:

The district and FOE claimed the lunch program was healthier than before, but only on the basis that food from plants is typically healthier than meat. The study justifies its health claims by stating average poultry consumption fell. FOE did not undertake an actual study into whether or not the lunches improved student health.

A bunch of pretty bullshits all in a row - meat protein is very healthy, it is the quantity you need to watch out for. Of course the regressive activists at Friends of the Earth did not undertake an actual study - they are innumerate - unable to reason and to apply simple numerical concepts.

What a bunch of maroons...

Senator Pelosi gets punkd with fake tweet

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This is delightful - first the New York Times publishes some fake news. From Newsbusters:

Fake News: NY Times Journalist Touts Bogus Mike Flynn Twitter Account
In another round of fake news, the New York Times on Tuesday quoted from a bogus Twitter account purporting to be from Mike Flynn, the general who resigned on Monday night as National Security Adviser. In an article, the Times used a quote from “@GenMikeFlynn” asserting, “But if a scapegoat is what's needed for this Administration to continue to take this great nation forward, I am proud to do my duty.” 

This is a fake quote from a fake Twitter account. Appearing on CBS This MorningTimes journalist David Sanger pushed the tweet: “[Flynn] said himself in a Tweet this morning, that while he was responsible, there are others who are responsible, too.” 

And Senator Blinky fell for it in front of the television cameras. From Gateway Pundit:

VIDEO: Crazy Nancy Pelosi Falls For FAKE Mike Flynn Tweet
On Tuesday the New York Times circulated fake news by reporting a tweet from a fake twitter account claiming to by Michael Flynn.

And today:

Nancy Pelosi fell for the fake tweet when she quoted it at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.

These idiots are beclowning themselves left and right. Fun to watch - just wish these were not our elected representatives. Term limits would be a wonderful idea to knock the dumb ones out of office. 12 years is enough.

Barry is trying to salvage what little there is of his "legacy" by doing anything and everything to take down or otherwise discredit the Presidency of Donald Trump. From Paul Sperry writing at the New York Post:

How Obama is scheming to sabotage Trump’s presidency
When former President Barack Obama said he was “heartened” by anti-Trump protests, he was sending a message of approval to his troops. Troops? Yes, Obama has an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000 — who will fight his Republican successor at every turn of his historic presidency. And Obama will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.

In what’s shaping up to be a highly unusual post-presidency, Obama isn’t just staying behind in Washington. He’s working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular “America First” agenda.

He’s doing it through a network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing for Action. Normally you’d expect an organization set up to support a politician and his agenda to close up shop after that candidate leaves office, but not Obama’s OFA. Rather, it’s gearing up for battle, with a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country.

And they were smart when they organised:

Registered as a 501(c)(4), it doesn’t have to disclose its donors, but they’ve been generous. OFA has raised more than $40 million in contributions and grants since evolving from Obama’s campaign organization Obama for America in 2013.

If they had organised as a 501(c)(3) (the most common kind of non-profit), they would have been required to list donors and they would not be able to engage in political activities. And this is downright curious:

Obama will be overseeing it all from a shadow White House located within two miles of Trump. It features a mansion, which he’s fortifying with construction of a tall brick perimeter, and a nearby taxpayer-funded office with his own chief of staff and press secretary. Michelle Obama will also open an office there, along with the Obama Foundation.

Critical to the fight is rebuilding the ravaged Democratic Party. Obama hopes to install his former civil rights chief Tom Perez at the helm of the Democratic National Committee.

Building a wall is he? Wonder if he and Hillary shared ideas on setting up the foundation. This is just childish. They have no good ideas so they try to force their marxism on everyone. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory. It is like dealing with a bunch of six year olds...

Happy St. Valentine's Day to everyone!

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Especially to my Lulu - it has been a wonderful six years and looking forward to another 30 or so - at least!

Back from the radio meeting

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Went well - some good people in this group. Driveway is still slicker than snot - it has been raining for a few hours - the little buddy from a few posts ago is scheduled to arrive later tonight. The forecast calls for anywhere from two to seven inches of rain and the Northwest Avalanche Center is calling for high warnings basically everywhere:

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Local forecast

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Yep - it is going to get wet - from the National Weather Service:

HYDROLOGIC OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SEATTLE WA
1055 AM PST Tue Feb 14 2017

...Flooding Possible Wednesday to Thursday for Rivers Flowing Off
of the North Cascades...

Rivers flowing off of the North Cascades are expected to rise
starting early Wednesday morning as a storm system brings heavy
rain to western Washington beginning Tuesday evening. With snow
levels at 7000 - 9000 feet, the storm is expected to produce 3 to
7 inches of rain over the North Cascades. If this amount of rain
falls, rises on the rivers in northwest Washington will have the
possibility of exceeding flood stage but at this time are expected
to stay below.

About time - felony rioting

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From NBC News:

More Than 100 Inauguration Day Protesters Indicted on Rioting Charges
A grand jury has indicted more than 100 Inauguration Day protesters on rioting charges in Washington, D.C. In total, 209 people have now been indicted.

The indictment, handed up D.C. Superior Court on Wednesday, charged 146 additional protesters with felony rioting — meaning they face a fine of up to $25,000 and a maximum of 10 years in prison.

Good - make the little snowflakes realize that their acting out has consequences. They were not residents of D.C. - they traveled to D.C. specifically for this riot and they came with the intent of rioting. They need to pay for their conscious decision.

Say hello to our little buddy

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We have lived through the snowpocalypse, now it is rain:

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Aimed more at California and Oregon than here but who knows - scheduled to hit sometime tomorrow (Wednesday) From Cliff Mass:

The West Coast Will Face An Extraordinarily Wet Period
Northern California is experiencing its wettest winter on record, with reservoirs full, the ground saturated, and many of the rivers at or near flood stage.

Oroville Dam, northeast of Sacramento, is on the brink of failure and downstream residents have been warned to evacuate. Water is being released through the emergency spillway in a desperate attempt to save the dam.

During the past two weeks, immense amounts of precipitation has fallen over the West Coast (see image), with some locations in the Sierra and coastal mountains getting more than 20 inches of water.

A bit more:

Folks, it is not over yet. Although a ridge of high pressure temporarily has dried things out the last few days, the fire hose of rain will be returning on Wednesday.

Here is the forecast precipitation total for the next 9-days from the U.S. GFS model. Nearly all of the Cascades, Sierras, and coastal mountains will get 5-10 inches of additional precipitation. This includes the last hold-out from serious wetting, the mountains behind Santa Barbara.

And more to come.

Another day, another frozen wasteland

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Heading out shortly - got critters taken care of and truck and tractor are warming up. Doing a much-needed dump run into town for a ham radio meeting tonight. Need to get suet cakes for the birds - they are hungry!

Fixing breakfast (Bob's Red Mill steel cut oatmeal with fresh blueberries) and then heading out for coffee and the day. Surf for a bit while eating.

Long day tomorrow so checking a couple of YouTube sites and heading off to bed.

DIY Printer Repair

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Looks legit to me:

I can not imagine what it must have been like to live in that house. From Breitbart:

Son of Jerry Sandusky arrested on child sex, porn charges
The son of disgraced former Penn State University football coach Jerry Sandusky has been arrested and charged with child sexual solicitation and child porn charges, authorities said Monday.

Jeffrey Sandusky was arrested and charged Monday with several counts, including solicitation of statutory sexual assault, solicitation of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a person less than 16 years old, and solicitation of child pornography.

Sandusky, 41, is one of Jerry Sandusky’s six adopted children.

Good Lord - my prayers go out to the victims. Something like that is not anything you can just sweep under the mental rug and forget about. Castration with a rusty saw blade would be a good place to start... What really gets me is that the initial investigation started last November - you would think that the son would learn from the example made of his father.

Joy Villa sells records

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I posted yesterday about Joy Villa and the wonderful gown she wore to last night's Grammy Awards. It seems a lot of other people were curious enough to check out her music. Here is a screen-cap of the Amazon.com Best Sellers list:

20170213-joyvilla.jpg

Not too shabby - number one spot for downloaded Album and number three spot for downloaded Song.  I wonder how the media will report this? They will not, that is their problem and why people are tuning them out.

The recent spate of ICE raids

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Are not just random targeting - from CNS News:

ICE Nabs Slew of Sexual Offenders in Nationwide Sweep
Last week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a series of targeted enforcement operations across the country. These operations targeted public safety threats, such as convicted criminal aliens and gang members, as well as individuals who have violated our nation’s immigration laws, including those who illegally re-entered the country after being removed and immigration fugitives ordered removed by federal immigration judges.

ICE officers in the Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio and New York City areas of responsibility arrested more than 680 individuals who pose a threat to public safety, border security or the integrity of our nation’s immigration system.

Approximately 75 percent of those arrested are criminal aliens, convicted of crimes including a range of sexual offenses:

    • Homicide,
    • Aggravated sexual abuse,
    • Sexual assault of a minor,
    • Lewd and lascivious acts with a child,
    • Indecent liberties with a minor,
    • Drug trafficking,
    • Battery,
    • Assault,
    • DUI (Driving Under the Influence of a controlled substance), and
    • Weapons charges.

Monday, Dept. of Homeland Security Sec. John F. Kelly applauded all those who contributed to the enforcement sweep for their bravery and dedication.

Good - let the good intelligent ones come here, assimilate into the American way of life and become citizens. The career criminals need to be shown that America is not a safe haven for their activities. Congratulations to President Trump for continuing to honor his campaign promises.

Orroville Dam update

A two-fer - first from San Jose, CA's The Mercury News:

Oroville Dam: Feds and state officials ignored warnings 12 years ago
More than a decade ago, federal and state officials and some of California’s largest water agencies rejected concerns that the massive earthen spillway at Oroville Dam — at risk of collapse Sunday night and prompting the evacuation of 185,000 people — could erode during heavy winter rains and cause a catastrophe.

Three environmental groups — the Friends of the River, the Sierra Club and the South Yuba Citizens League — filed a motion with the federal government on Oct. 17, 2005, as part of Oroville Dam’s relicensing process, urging federal officials to require that the dam’s emergency spillway be armored with concrete, rather than remain as an earthen hillside.

Much more at the site - it all boils down to politics and money. Over 3,000 comments - lots of good ones.

Second, from the Los Angeles Times:

Here's the nightmare scenario at Oroville Dam that officials are fighting to prevent
Any dam engineer would be terrified of this nightmare scenario — the possible collapse of a retaining wall in California’s second largest reservoir.

That’s the prospect officials faced when they ordered more than 100,000 people evacuated downstream of the nation’s tallest dam Sunday.

It occurred insidiously: a pocket of erosion that crept ever closer to a low concrete wall that was supposed to be the last, best defense against disaster.

The threatened concrete structure, called a weir, was designed as an emergency escape route of sorts for rapidly rising waters at swollen Lake Oroville. By allowing some water to spill over its shoulders, the concrete wall would relieve tremendous pressure building on Oroville Dam itself, which is located nearby.

And there is another big storm heading their way - expected to hit sometime this weekend.

Back home again - dinner on the road.

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Small in errands but large in driving - over 160 miles today. Stoped for Mexican food on the way home - I had a couple of bad meals at this restaurant in the recent past but I drove by tonight and saw a lot of vehicles in the parking lot - especially for a monday. Dinner tonight was really good.

Another drive into town tomorrow - finish a couple of errands, do a much overdue dump run and then Mt. Baker Amateur Radio club meeting at 1900.

The store needs milk - the last 24 hour power outage caused the dairy cooler to get above critical temp so we are out of moo-juice. Doing some banking too and have an amateur radio meeting tomorrow evening so two trips into town this week.

Driveway is still impassable for the truck so using the tractor to "commute" between the top and the bottom.

Surf for a little bit and then heading out.

From the Walnut Creek, CA East Bay Times:

Gov. Jerry Brown asks potential nemesis — President Trump — for aid
In December, Gov. Jerry Brown asserted California’s independence and blasted President Donald Trump for dismissing climate change.

On Friday, the governor turned to his potential nemesis for help — specifically, asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to declare a major disaster after the state was hammered by storms, floods and mudslides.

The request could be an early test of relations between the Democrats who run the nation’s largest state and the new Republican administration.
If California’s request is rejected, however, it might be difficult to pin it on a frosty relationship between the governor and the president, said Larry Gerston, professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State. “It’s an easy claim to make, but a hard one to prove,” he said.

FEMA considers many factors for disaster relief, including the severity of damage and cost, Gerston said. “It’s a very discretionary call by the president,” he said.

Naaaa - being that petty is a liberal move. Trump would never fall into that trap. There would be strings attached though - especially when CA has someone like Xavier Becerra as Attorney General. From Breitbart:

California AG Vows to Fight Trump over Federal Funds
California’s highest law enforcement official, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, echoed Golden State Democrats in their promise to wage battle against President Donald Trump to retain sanctuary policies that harbor illegal aliens in the state.

These poor saps are still operating as though President Trump were a Politician. He is not. He is a Businessman. Big Difference. Governor Brown needs something from the Federal Government. He will get it but there will be a good measure of Quid pro quo happening here. If anyone can help alleviate conditions in Oroville and the rest of the state it is FEMA - they have grown into an amazing organization. An example of what can happen when a branch of government is managed well.

UPDATE at the bottom - the dress' designer

From The Hollywood Reporter:

GRAMMY AWARDS: A PRO-TRUMP STATEMENT ON THE RED CARPET
Scandalous dresses on the Grammys red carpet aren’t what they used to be. It wasn't deep cleavage or a thigh-high leg slit that had tongues wagging about singer Joyce Villa on Sunday night. It was her red, white and blue gown emblazoned with “Make America Great Again” in front, and “Trump” across the train.

It’s a controversial statement coming from an artist in an industry that’s largely in opposition to the new president’s social policies, not to mention from a woman who identifies as bi-racial.

20170212-joyvilla.jpg

Nice music and great voice - Vagabonds:

Her YouTube channel is here: Joy Villa 
Her website here: Joy Villa

UPDATE - from Gateway Pundit:

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Designer Of Make America Great Again Dress Is A PRO-TRUMP IMMIGRANT
On Sunday night Joy Villa stunned the world when she showed up to the Grammy’s wearing a Make America Great Again dress.

The Gateway Pundit was contacted by Andre Soriano, the man who designed the dress, for an exclusive interview.

Andre Soriano immigrated from the Philippines to the United States when he was only 16 years old to pursue a better life and to pursue his dreams of working in the fashion industry. Andre now owns his own highly successful business named Andre Soriano based out of California.

And not to belabor the point, that would be LEGAL immigrant.

From the ChicoER News:

Emergency spillway could fail; evacuations ordered
Evacuations were ordered Sunday afternoon after erosion raised fears the emergency spillway at Oroville Dam could fail.

An evacuation information center has been set up to answer questions: 530-872-5951.

The Department of Water Resources said about 3 p.m. Sunday a headcut appeared in the soil downhill from the emergency spillway, and appeared to be spreading upward toward the structure.

If the spillway structure were undercut by the enlarging hole, it could fail, and the water behind that barrier would come down the hill into the Diversion Pool and down the Feather River.

With that possibility, and “an abundance of caution,” Sheriff Kory Honea ordered the evacuation of downtown Oroville and other low-lying areas downstream. Yuba and Sutter counties followed suit.

The bridges across the Feather River between Marysville and Yuba City were closed.

The dams regular spillway was built 50 years ago and failed during normal operation. It will be some time until the actual cause is determined. The Oroville Dam is the tallest dam in the United States.

The ChicoER also published this damning editorial:

Editorial: Oroville Dam crisis a failure on many levels
History was made in Butte County this week, and it isn’t the good kind of history either.

A 50-year-old spillway broke in the middle on Tuesday next to Oroville Dam and the modern equivalent of hydraulic mining happened Saturday when water topped the north side of the dam face and down an emergency spillway.

To call it an emergency spillway is to vastly oversell it. It is not a structure. It is a ravine that until this week was filled with trees, rocks and dirt.

Once dam operators figured out that the lake’s inflow was more than the crumbling spillway would allow as an outflow, crews scrambled to clear a path for the water from the inevitable overflow.

Using rocks and cement, they tried to steer a path away from the damaged spillway.

The overflow started Saturday morning just after 8 a.m. By 11 a.m., the stream was large. With tributaries still running high from last week’s storms, the inflow to the lake was 84,000 cubic-feet per second. The spillway could only handle 55,000 cfs.

Getting to the point:

For the state, Lake Oroville is a source of cheap power and cheap water for people downstream. From Butte County’s point of view, it has been a draw on resources, from lost property taxes to money spent on public safety and infrastructure. For too long, our area has received the worst end of this deal.

The reservoir’s water and power have been a cash cow for the state and obviously the state didn’t reinvest on inspections, maintenance and contingency plans.

The DWR can argue all day that this was an unforeseen and unpreventable act of nature, but that has to be part of the lesson. When you have a spillway (and a dam) that’s a half-century old, you’d better pay attention to the maintenance.

Much more at the site - the state of California was making a lot of money from the electrical power generation and potable water sales but they were not reinvesting this revenue back into upgrades and maintenence. Now the butcher's bill has come due - the next six months or so will be interesting.

Here is a somewhat dystopian video:

Idiots - from Page Six:

Grammys producer wants stars to be political during speeches
In a fraught moment of political protest across the country, the live mic at televised award shows has become a potent weapon.

As such, Grammy Awards producer Ken Ehrlich has a message for those who will take the stage on Sunday’s ceremony: Bring it on.

Ehrlich has no reservations about political messages or anti-President Trump statements flying during CBS’ three and a half hour Grammycast. Artists expressing passionate opinions about real-life issues are the stuff of memorable moments, he said.

Boooooring... If I watch a show like The Grammys, it is because I want to be entertained by professional musicians showing us what they can do in a live venue. Their pathetic virtue signaling has absolutely zero interest to me. I am reminded of this epic rant:

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!

So true and yet, these poor people are so oblivious, they actually think their personal opinions matter to me.

Clever idea for long meetings, etc...

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I love it!

More here: Bella Vita

Tip of the hat to Delish for the link.

Home again - long day

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Slept in - it was wonderful. Tended to the critters, got coffee and did a quick run into town. Water board meeting (our Annual General Meeting is March 4th so we need to prepare the budget for 2017 - we do this with two extra meetings in February). It got up to a balmy 43.5°F this afternoon but the driveway is still solid ice and slush. Park the truck at the top by the gate and use the tractor to ferry myself and any cargo back to the house. Very clear night so due to get very cold. Ham radio net was a good one - there were no big athletic or media events on television so most of the members checked in.

Longer town run tomorrow - banking, Hardware Sales for a couple of projects, return something to Harbor Freight (out-of-the-box broken). Ham radio club meeting on Tuesday.

Back to some semblance of normalcy

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Heading out to feed the critters, get some coffee and then in to town for a couple of brief errands - dry dog food, some groceries (things that my store doesn't carry - bok choy, etc...) and Costco.

I will be riding Buttercup the tractor up to the head of the driveway where I parked my truck as there is still a huge amount of snow and ice on the ground but still, getting back to a somewhat normal schedule (whatever passes for normal here).

Water board meeting tonight and ham radio net so back home early.

And that is it for the night

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Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow and going out for coffee.

As the realization sinks in

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Great article in the New York Times:

A Sense of Dread’ for Civil Servants Shaken by Trump Transition
Across the vast federal bureaucracy, Donald J. Trump’s arrival in the White House has spread anxiety, frustration, fear and resistance among many of the two million nonpolitical civil servants who say they work for the public, not a particular president.

At the Environmental Protection Agency, a group of scientists strategized this past week about how to slow-walk President Trump’s environmental orders without being fired.

At the Treasury Department, civil servants are quietly gathering information about whistle-blower protections as they polish their résumés.

At the United States Digital Service — the youthful cadre of employees who left jobs at Google, Facebook or Microsoft to join the Obama administration — workers are debating how to stop Mr. Trump should he want to use the databases they made more efficient to target specific immigrant groups.

What? Do these people think they have tenure or something? Trump promised he would reduce the size of government - of course this means that jobs and positions will be eliminated. It is not my fault that many of these people have zero marketable skills outside of bureaucracy. They should cash in a chunk of their 401k and take a two-year Welding program. Lots of jobs out there for qualified welders.

His work cut out for him - Trump

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One of President Trump's plans is to rebuild out military - here is an example of what he faces. From Defense News:

Grounded: Nearly two-thirds of US Navy’s strike fighters can’t fly
The U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet strike fighters are the tip of the spear, embodying most of the fierce striking power of the aircraft carrier strike group. But nearly two-thirds of the fleet’s strike fighters can’t fly — grounded because they’re either undergoing maintenance or simply waiting for parts or their turn in line on the aviation depot backlog.

Overall, more than half the Navy’s aircraft are grounded, most because there isn’t enough money to fix them.

Additionally, there isn’t enough money to fix the fleet’s ships, and the backlog of ships needing work continues to grow. Overhauls — “availabilities” in Navy parlance — are being canceled or deferred, and when ships do come in they need longer to refit. Every carrier overall for at least three years has run long, and some submarines are out of service for prolonged periods, as much as four years or more. One submarine, the Boise, has lost its diving certification and can’t operate pending shipyard work.

One of the key reasons is the divisiveness in Congress:

Congress has failed for the ninth straight year to produce a budget before the Oct. 1 start of fiscal 2017, reverting to continuing resolutions that keep money flowing at prior year levels. CRs have numerous caveats, however, and many new projects or plans can’t be funded since they didn’t exist in the prior year. There is widespread agreement that CR funding creates havoc throughout the Pentagon and the industrial base that supports it — often substantially driving costs higher to recover from lengthy delays. Yet, like the proverbial weather that everyone talks about but no one can change, there seems to be little urgency in Congress to return to a more businesslike budget profile. 

Time for them to do this - they are required by law to pass an annual budget but this has been stymied at almost every level by petty partisan infighting. Time to get their shit together and get to work.

The Prime Rib was delicious

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Feeling sleepy so surf for a bit, glass or two of wine and sleep - had to wake up early today to pack and to process contingency plans if Thunderbunny was not able to get onto the main road.

There were some scraps of prime rib left over and my two dogs are hoovering them up with delight.

Back from the memorial

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Very well attended with about 80 people - lots of great stories. Got a coffee first - makes a world of difference - no headache!

Learned my lesson and parked the truck up by the gate - use the tractor to ferry the PA equipment back to the house. Heading out for dinner after that - been cooped up too long, craving a steak.

More in a few hours - sleep in tomorrow.

Cool - more power

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Tried again and was able to claw my way up through the ice and onto the area where I had plowed. Sitting at the store waiting for the Chamber of Commerce to open (10:00AM) so I can borrow their projection screen.

Stopping off for coffee on my way to the memorial - first decent coffee in ten days. There is a place in my town that does an OK coffee but nothing compared to Wake 'n Bakery

That did not go as planned

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Was able to unstick Thunderbunny and drive down to the house but after loading her up, she augured into another patch of ice and is stuck solid.

One of Cecil's daughters is coming to pick me up - they flew in for the service and rented a Jeep so there should be no problem with the top part of the driveway.

This winter stuff is getting very old very quick - I love playing in snow but I want to drive up the mountain to get to it, not have to deal with it on a daily basis down here. Crimping my style...

Heading out to check on Thunderbunny

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See if my truck is still stuck - my friends memorial service is today.

Feel like I am living in a Corb Lund song:

President Trump's personality

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I have been reading Willis Eschenbach for a couple of years. The guy has led a fascinating life and writes about it and writes well. He started off posting at Anthony's but now has a blog of his own.

Today's post is a great insight into the personality of President Trump - stepping on toes, changing his mind, etc... Spot on:

The Building
Lately I’ve been considering why it is that I find it fairly easy to understand President Trump’s actions. Today I realized that we are both builders who are the sons of builders.

My dad, Benson Eschenbach, was an architect, a developer, and a builder. After WWII, he moved the family out to San Diego, California. There, he and a couple of partners developed one of the first architect-designed subdivisions where the houses were not just cookie-cutter boxes. He was instrumental in developing what was called the “San Diego Style” of architecture. Not all architects are builders, but he loved to work with his hands.

Much more at the site - just go and read. It will take about ten minutes - be sure to check out the comments too. Reading this will make a lot of things clear.

A two-fer - first, from the Media Research Center's Newsbusters:

MSNBC’s Tur Suggests Trump Will Be Responsible for ‘Suspicious Deaths’ of Journalists
MSNBC took its fear mongering smears of the Donald Trump administration to a dark new low Monday afternoon when reporter Katy Tur suggested the president’s war with the media would start racking up actual casualties. During an interview with Nebraska Senator Deb Fischer, a Republican, Tur suggested Trump would take a page from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s playbook and start targeting journalists for death.

Second - from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Americans Trust Trump Administration More Than News Media in New Poll
An Emerson College poll found that 49 percent of U.S. voters believe that the Trump administration is “truthful,” while only 39 percent feel that way about the news media. Worse, for the so-called “opposition party,” 53 percent of those surveyed described the media as “untruthful.”

Projection? From Infogalactic:

Psychological projection
Psychological projection, also known as blame shifting, is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unpleasant impulses by denying their existence while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude.

According to some research, the projection of one's negative qualities onto others is a common process in everyday life.

If the shoe fits...

Our school system - Jerry Pournelle

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Writer Jerry Pournelle has a few things to say about the state of the American Public School System and why Mrs. DeVos if the perfect person for the job:

Everyone needs competition, but no one wants any for himself; one reason our schools for two generations or more have been easily mistaken for an act of oppression settled on us by a foreign conqueror. There used to be built in competition: schools were mostly paid for by the people who used them, in small enough school districts that it was actually realistic for competent people – like retired military, or police, or business people or even teachers – to run for them. They were usually depicted in intellectual circles as bombastic idiots whose main objective was to keep costs down – Miss Brooks was always in the right and the Board in the wrong – but even in fiction it generally worked out to the benefit of the students. Not any more. The problems and dissents in today's world ignore the students, and work out to the benefit of the politicians, educrat unions, and teachers with tenure regardless of competence, and everyone knows this. Few politicians send their own children to public schools, especially not to any they actually manage. They know better. Jimmy Carter sent his kids to public schools, as I recall. Never heard of them since, but perhaps I do not pay close attention to such news.

Recently there was drama in the Senate, with the Vice President called to preside over, and cast the deciding vote in, the confirmation of Mrs. DeVos as Secretary of Education. Not a single Democrat voted for her, including New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, when not all that long ago served on the Board of the school choice organization Mrs. DeVos chairs. According to the Wall Street Journal ( The Real Democratic Party) Mr. Cory Booker hopes to run for President, and since it is impossible to raise the money of superdelegate votes for the Democratic Nomination without the support of the Educrat Unions, he went along with the party Line and voted against his one time friend.

The official reason for the extraordinary opposition to Mr. Trump’s non-political nominee is her lack of educational experience. Of course to gain acceptable professional experience you would have to come up through the ranks of the educrats and become one of them – or break your heart in a classroom in a system of education indistinguishable from and act of war against the American people since 1983. I would have thought it obvious that whomever Mr. Trump appointed to Education Secretary it would not be an “experienced professional.” Instead he chose a very wealthy school choice activist; sort of like choosing a community organizer to be President? But perhaps that it too snarky.

Much more at the site - Jerry covers a couple of subjects with each post - well worth checking out every couple of days.

Dinner and that is it for the day

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Talked to the daughter of the man whose memorial service is tomorrow. She rented a 4X4 so if I can't move the truck, I will load everything up in the tractor and meet her at the top of the driveway. It is only the middle of the drive that is so icy - that area gets a lot more shade than the top or bottom.

Doing some leftover tuna noodle "sludge" for dinner and a salad. Yum!

Heh - a successful person always has an ace or two up their sleeve. From The Washington Post:

Trump considers writing ‘brand new’ immigration order
President Trump said Friday that he is considering rewriting his executive order temporarily barring refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country, indicating that the administration may try to quickly restore some aspects of the now-frozen travel ban or replace it with other face-saving measures.

Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One that he would probably wait until Monday or Tuesday to take any action, and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said several options — including taking the case to the Supreme Court — were still on the table.

Trump hinted that the ongoing legal wrangling might move too slowly for his taste, though he thought he would ultimately prevail in court.

This will be fun to watch - the 9th Circuit rejected the law that Obama signed into being in 2015 which Trump was just enforcing. Now the fur flies...

Just wonderful - first it's the F-35 fighter and now this - from Bloomberg:

Lockheed Hit by U.S. Air Force for More GPS III Satellite Flaws
Botched testing by a Lockheed Martin Corp. subcontractor on a key component for the U.S.’s newest Global Positioning System satellites raises new questions about the No. 1 defense contractor’s supervision of the project, according to a top Air Force official.

The mistake by subcontractor Harris Corp. forced another delay in the delivery of the first of 32 planned GPS III satellites until later this month, according to Major General Roger Teague, the Air Force’s chief of space programs. That will make the $528 million satellite 34 months late, according to service data.

Lockheed has a contract to build the first 10 of the satellites designed to provide a more accurate version of the Global Positioning System used for everything from the military’s targeting of terrorists to turn-by-turn directions for civilians’ smartphones. The program’s latest setback may affect a pending Air Force decision on whether to open the final 22 satellites to competition from Lockheed rivals Boeing Co. and Northrop Grumman Corp.

Just wonderful - the problem:

Last year, the Air Force and contractors discovered that Harris hadn’t conducted tests on the components, including how long they would operate without failing, that should have been completed in 2010.

Now, the Air Force says it found that Harris spent June to October of last year doing follow-up testing on the wrong parts instead of samples of the suspect capacitors installed on the first three satellites. Harris “immediately notified Lockheed and the government” after a post-test inspection, Teague said in his message.

And of course, Harris is going to cover the additional cost - not so fast there:

The Air Force will have to pay to replace the suspect capacitors on the second and third satellites. That’s because the satellites are being developed under cost-reimbursement-type contracts, which require the Pentagon to pay for cost increases, the service said.

Stuff like this is why President Trump was elected. None of these people are held accountable when things go wrong. Shades of Europe's Galileo Clock problem: here and here - not anything you can bring back to the garage.

The Democrats are trying their damnedest to block anything President Trump does. From The Washington Free Beacon:

Senate Democrats Set Sights on Puzder
Leading Senate Democrats announced during a Thursday press conference that they will use any means necessary to block the confirmation of Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, called on Puzder to withdraw his nomination. Schumer reiterated that the Democratic Party would serve as a united front against President Trump's nominees after the contentious battle over Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who became the first cabinet appointee to ever require a vice president's tie-breaking vote.

A bit more - the claim:

Puzder is the first career businessman nominated to head the Labor Department since 1981. He is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of the Carl's Jr. and Hardee's franchises. Schumer and Murray spoke alongside a California fast food worker, who accused Puzder of "stealing" from her by not paying her a $15 minimum wage or providing her with paid sick days. She called the nomination "the latest proof of how our economy is rigged."

The reality:

Nearly all Hardee's and Carl's Jr. restaurants are franchises in which small business owners, rather than the parent company, determine work conditions and pay scales. The company has been hit with dozens of unfair labor practice complaints since Puzder was nominated though it denies that it is liable for any of the complaints.

The $15 minimum wage is actually a ploy by the unions - it is not about the poor minimum wage worker at all. When unions negotiate a contract, many times the pay rate is based on a multiple of minimum wage and if that goes up, the unions get more money through higher dues and the union workers get a higher hourly pay rate. This is why they are so opposed to this. What do the unions do with all their money?

Murray and Schumer have been major recipients of union campaign donations over their careers. Murray has received $2.1 million from organized labor during her career, making unions one of her most lucrative support bases, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Schumer, meanwhile, has received $1.3 million from private and public sector unions.

This is my surprised face...

Got Eclipse?

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From Space:

February Full Moon 2017: When to See the 'Snow Moon' Eclipse
February's Snow Moon will be no ordinary full moon for skywatchers in most parts of the world, as it coincides with a special lunar eclipse that will cast a shadow over the full moon's usual bright, glowing face.

On Friday (Feb. 10), just 10 minutes after the full moon peaks, so will a penumbral lunar eclipse. The moon will spend more than 4 hours coasting through Earth's outer shadow, called the penumbra, and it will appear darker than normal.

While penumbral eclipses can be difficult to see and don't look nearly as dramatic as a total lunar eclipse — in which the moon passes through the darkest, central part of Earth's shadow — Friday's penumbral eclipse will be darker and more noticeable than most lunar eclipses of its kind. That's because the moon will veer so deeply into Earth's penumbral shadow that it will be almost entirely submerged in shade.

It's overcast and rainy here but just in case...

Still stuck in the ice. Shoveled a bunch, spread some more deicer but to no avail. See what happens tomorrow morning.

Better living through chemistry

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Suiting up now to see if the deicer has freed Thunderbunny from the clutches of winter. It has been raining quite a bit and the temp is still above freezing at 37.9°F so there should have been a decent level of thawing. Got up to 47.1°F - a real scorcher!

President Trump's Executive Orders

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Great list over at The White House: Executive Orders

He signed this one yesterday which I like:

Presidential Executive Order on Preventing Violence Against Federal, State, Tribal, and Local Law Enforcement Officers
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. It shall be the policy of the executive branch to:

(a) enforce all Federal laws in order to enhance the protection and safety of Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers, and thereby all Americans;

(b) develop strategies, in a process led by the Department of Justice (Department) and within the boundaries of the Constitution and existing Federal laws, to further enhance the protection and safety of Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers; and

(c) pursue appropriate legislation, consistent with the Constitution's regime of limited and enumerated Federal powers, that will define new Federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing Federal crimes, in order to prevent violence against Federal, State, tribal, and local law enforcement officers.

Basically, you mess with a cop, you are messing with the Federal Government. About time. Blue Lives Matter.

Judicial Watch found out:

Judicial Watch Obtains Eric Holder Contract Documents from California Legislature Regarding Law Firm’s Work in Developing ‘Legal Strategies’ Against Trump Administration
Judicial Watch announced today that on January 12, 2017, it obtained records from the California Legislature Joint Rules Committee revealing that the Legislature will pay the law firm of former Obama U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. $25,000 a month for 40 hours of work each month for providing “legal strategies regarding potential actions of the federal government that may be of concern to the State of California.” The contract precludes any other litigation or advocacy work.

A bit more:

On January 4, California legislative leaders announced that they had hired Holder to assist them in anticipated federal challenges to several state policies such as climate change and immigration.

In a statement, Kevin de Leon, California Senate President Pro Tempore said, “With the upcoming change in administrations, we expect that there will be extraordinary challenges for California in the uncertain times ahead.” The California Attorney General, who represents the State’s interest in court, already has a budget of $190 million.

Instead of blowing all their money on the high-speed rail, they should be taking a careful look at where they are spending their money. I do not think keeping this has-been on retainer ($625/hour!) should be one of their priorities.

From GotNews:

BREAKING: Anti-Trump President Of NYC Metropolitan GOP Club Broke FEC Laws To Donate To Democratic @SenSchumer
Deborah Coughlin, the president of New York City’s elite Metropolitan Republican Club that recently wrongly and forcibly removed all Trump supporters from its board, broke federal campaign finance laws in order to donate thousands of dollars to Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer in 2003.

Schumer has been one of the most anti-Trump Senators since President Donald J. Trump took office in January.

In a story that GotNews broke and that the New York Post has now picked up, a deeper dive into the financials surrounding the scandal-plagued board of New York City’s Metropolitan Republican Club has produced more troubling questions: what are the political views of the people running this New York City GOP club?

Five Trump supporters and long-time club members – Georgia Palmieri, Alain Palmieri, Michael Javelos, Allan Stevo, and Sandra Chase – were wrongly and forcibly removed from the board of the elite Upper East Side club because of their support of President Donald J. Trump by Club President Deborah Coughlin (2015-2017), Secretary Jeff Charles Goolsby, Chairman Ian Walsh Reilly, the son of former club President Robert Morgan III (2006-2012), and former club President Peter Hein (1980-1985).

It is really telling how some people can get away with flagrant violations but other people get the book thrown at them - case in point Dinesh D'Souza who made the same kind of over-the-limit contribution to a candidate for the New York State Senate and was sentenced to eight months of confinement at a correctional center and five years probation.

Betsy DeVos goes to school

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What is it about Democrats blocking people from entering a school? From The Washington Free Beacon:

DeVos Physically Blocked by Protesters From Entering DC School
Newly confirmed Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos was physically blocked from entering a school in Washington, D.C. on Friday by protesters.

Anti-DeVos demonstrators climbed the stairs of the back of the Jefferson Middle School Academy building in southwest D.C. and began to scream and hover around the secretary. DeVos' security team quickly moved in and escorted her back to her car.

And DeVos was very classy in her reaction:

DeVos also addressed the protests directly.

"I respect peaceful protest, and I will not be deterred in executing the vital mission of the Department of Education," the statement said. "No school door in America will be blocked from those seeking to help our nation's school children."

My reference about Democrats blocking school doors can be read here: Stand in the Schoolhouse Door

The Stand in the Schoolhouse Door took place at Foster Auditorium at the University of Alabama on June 11, 1963. George Wallace, the Democratic Governor of Alabama, in a symbolic attempt to keep his inaugural promise of "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" and stop the desegregation of schools, stood at the door of the auditorium to try to block the entry of two black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood.

Yeah, those Democrats.

Illegal voting - make it hurt

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Great news - time to punch back twice as hard - from the Dallas, TX Observer:

Grand Prairie Woman Gets Eight Years for Illegally Voting in Dallas County Elections
Rosa Maria Ortega was sentenced to eight years in prison Thursday after being convicted Thursday of two counts of illegal voting. Ortega, 37, will also pay a $5,000 fine for casting ballots illegally during the 2012 general election and 2014 GOP primary runoff in Dallas County.

Ortega, according to prosecutors, successfully voted five times in elections between 2004 and 2014, despite only being an authorized resident of the United States, rather than a citizen.

Her trouble started after Ortega moved to the Tarrant County portion of Grand Prairie and attempted to change her voter registration. She sent in her voter registration, ticking the box that she was not a U.S. citizen, and received a reply from the county registrar that she could not be registered. Five months later, she sent in another application, this time claiming that she was a citizen.

We need to send strong messages like this - that tampering with our Democracy will not be tolerated. The regressive left has nothing that stands on its own so they have to cheat to win. We must not let them be able to take this route. I have said before that if John F. Kennedy were running, I would vote for him in a heartbeat. Time to bring the Democrat party back to what it used to be.

More dam trouble - California

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Spillway actually, not the dam. From The Landslide Blog:

Oroville Dam: extraordinary erosion, and a crisis, on the spillway
The Oroville Dam in California is the tallest dam in the USA.  with a height of 230 m, this is an earthfill embankment dam built between 1961 and 1968 for the purposes of water supply, hydroelectric power generation and flood control.  After years of drought, California is suffering a series of huge rainstorms – so-called atmospheric rivers – that have rapidly raised the water level in the dam.  To allow flood control, the dam has been undergoing controlled discharges of water through the spillway.

On Tuesday, after such a release water, major damage was noted on the spillway, apparently caused by the failure of the concrete base and then erosion of the underlying substrate.

Over the next few days further discharges of water have been undertaken to test the spillway and to control the water level in the lake.

Unsurprisingly, the condition of the spillway has dramatically deteriorated:

20170210-oroville.jpg

The issue is that if they do not use the spillway, the water level could over-top the dam itself - something it was not designed for. San Francisco station KQED is following the story:

With Oroville Spillway Damage Spreading, Officials Prepare for Reservoir to Overflow
Update, 9:20 a.m. Friday: Two things have changed overnight at Oroville Dam and the giant reservoir behind it.

First: Inflow from the Feather River watershed into Lake Oroville, while still very high, has dropped from its peak levels Thursday.

Second: California Department of Water Resources managers followed through with a plan to ramp up releases down the dam’s wrecked spillway (for their rationale for doing that, see our earlier updates, below).

More at the site.

Quite the flooding in Nevada

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A dam breached and there was a lot of snow runoff - from Salt Lake City station KSL-5 TV:

Yikes - our own river is running about three times average volume but nowhere near flood stage - yet:

20170210-nooksack.png

Now that was fun - truck still stuck

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Spent the morning clearing out a path to the highway but Thunderbunny is still firmly stuck in an ice cave. I put a couple of pounds of de-icer in each tire well and will go out in a couple hours to see if any progress is made. There is a memorial service tomorrow for an old friend and really want to attend.

Temp got up to 47.1°F today - currently 43.0°F - both forecasts were for rain which would go a long way to melt the snow but nothing yet.

Took my tractor out to get coffee, milk, dry dog food and to pick up a couple packages from Amazon - I have stuff shipped to the store as it is more secure.

Fix lunch and surf for a bit...

And it begins - immigration

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From The Washington Post:

Fear spreads in L.A. after immigration ‘raid,’ advocates claim. Officials say arrests are ‘routine.”
The panicked emails and phone calls began streaming in from community members at about 11 a.m. Thursday morning, inundating Los Angeles immigration lawyers with far more cases than usual. Immigrant advocate groups claim that more than 100 people had been taken into custody by federal immigration officials in Southern California Thursday, indicating a “coordinated sweep” in arrests and heightening fears that Donald Trump’s promise to crackdown on deportations had begun to take effect.

Police and immigration officials denied the “raids” and disputed the claim that the arrests were part of a more stringent approach, saying any detentions were simply part of “routine” enforcement activities. But a flurry of calls regarding arrests spurred immigration attorneys into rapid response efforts, and prompted protests on the streets of downtown Los Angeles.

Good - these people can become naturalized citizens if they want. Time to cut the benefits to non-taxpayers; we have enough citizens who need a hand up.

From ice to fire

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Just when I thought it was safe to go out again - from Cliff Mass:

Hold on to your hats! Western Washington winds are about to blow!
A tight, but strong, low center is about to pass north of the Puget Sound region, bringing strong wind gusts that could get as high as 50 mph in exposed locations.

The UW WRF forecast model shows the predicted low at 8 AM (see below), with a large pressure difference on its periphery (solid lines are isobars, lines of constant pressure)

By 1 PM, the low is north of Puget Sound, with the area of large pressure gradient right over western WA.  That means wind.  

Already gusting to 20MPH here. Any tree limbs that have not been brought down by the snow or ice will be brought down by this wind. More power outages... I still have most of the wood bin loaded up so heat is not an issue. Lots of spare batteries for the LED lanterns and a bunch of candles left.

Long cold winter

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Sure could use some of that global warming here. Just got the power back on. Lost it around 6:00AM yesterday. Spent the day with Buttercup the tractor clearing out the driveway as a warm front was moving in and wanted to get the snow moved so things could melt. Did a bunch of work but proceeded to get Buttercup thoroughly stuck in a drift. My truck is also stuck so will spend today trying to get them unstuck. It has been one calendar week since I have been totally snowbound. 

I want coffee so bad...

Nails it

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Gives me hope about the younger generation. All the regressive liberals are stupid entrenched apparatchiks - time to pry them out of their cozy little bubble.

Tip of the hat to Gerard for the link.

Ho. Li. Crap - indoor skydiving

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I knew about this - basically a vertical wind-tunnel that you can fly in. There are now organised competitions - here is the winner of the freestyle competition:

From the ever wonderful Miss Cellania writing at Neatorama:

The Flying Teenager
The 2017 WindGames were held in Spain last weekend for competition in indoor skydiving. The winner of the freestyle category was 14-year-old Kyra Poh of Singapore, who was competing against adults for the first time. Here's her winning performance.

While the acrobatics were amazing, that ending was super-impressive. Poh also won the solo speed category, in which competitors must complete a series of specific moves in the fastest time possible. You can see her solo speed performance here.

I always loved being weightless - did a lot of scuba diving in Boston and on travels to other places. I used to work for a public aquarium that had a large multi-story salt water tank as their central display. The aquarium rented out for events after hours and I was one of the people who would volunteer to dive and put on a show feeding fish, etc... I loved to suspend myself upside down and float down into view from one of the windows and gesture to the people watching that I thought they were upside down and that I was right-side up. Almost all of them 'got it' and we had a lot of fun.

There is one of these places South of Seattle but it is a bit expensive for what you get - $70 for two 60 second flights. I would want to hog the facility and spend an hour or more in there.

Great news - Senator Jeff Sessions

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From the Associated Press:

Senate confirms Sessions for attorney general
The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Sen. Jeff Sessions to be attorney general in the Trump administration despite fierce Democratic opposition to the Alabama Republican over his record on civil rights and immigration.

The 52-47 nearly party-line vote capped weeks of divisive battles over Sessions, an early supporter of President Donald Trump and one of the Senate's most conservative lawmakers. After the vote was announced, Sessions' Republican colleagues applauded the outcome while barely a handful of Democrats did the same.

In a post-vote valedictory speech, Sessions alluded to the bitter partisanship and wished for more collegiality.

"Denigrating people who disagree with us, I think, is not a healthy trend for our body," he said.

Sessions is classy and brilliant - he will be perfect for the position. A lot better than that idiot Eric Holder. Time to clean out the Department of Justice.

Snowing like gangbusters for the last five of hours - NWS has Wintry Mix with temps down to 30°F, TWC has Ice to Rain with temps down to 28°F. I have 25.9°F outside right now.

Both are forecasting heavy rain with temps in the low to mid 40's - see how fast this melts the snow. Next couple of days are warmish too so the prognosis is good.

New England is expecting a taste of what we have been through - Boston is scheduled to get 15" of snow starting tomorrow.

Reheating some spaghetti for dinner - do a salad too.

They have been known to engage in spontaneous combustion - from the South China Morning Post:

Fire breaks out at Chinese factory that makes Samsung Note 7 batteries
A fire broke out in a Chinese factory that makes batteries for Samsung’s explosion-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphones on Wednesday morning.

Samsung SDI Co., a supplier of batteries to the Galaxy Note 7, said a “minor fire” broke out in the plant in suburban Tianjin’s Wuqing district but was quickly put out.

No one was injured in the incident, news portal Sina.com.cn reported.

More on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fires at cNet:

Here's why Samsung Note 7 phones are catching fire
You plug your smartphone into the bedside charger and place it on your nightstand with care.

You wake to find your nightstand in flames, smoke billowing everywhere.

Or maybe your Jeep. Your hotel room. Your entire home.

How could this have happened? Simple: your phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note 7 -- and it's one of over a hundred that have spontaneously burst into flames.

After 35 reported incidents of overheating smartphones worldwide, Samsung made the unprecedented decision to recall every single one of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphones sold. That's said to be 1 million of the 2.5 million that were manufactured. (Since the recall was first announced, the number of explosive Note 7s has nearly quadrupled.)

OUCH! Bad mechanical design that did not leave room for the battery to expand as it worked.

Clearing the highways

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From the Washington State Department of Transportation - here they are working on the Mt. Baker Highway

20170208-wadot.jpg

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people - from Bloomberg:

Chelsea Clinton's Husband Closes His Hedge Fund
Eaglevale Partners, the hedge fund co-founded by Marc Mezvinsky, the son-in-law of Hillary and Bill Clinton, closed in December, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Eaglevale, based in New York, is in the process of returning money to clients, said the person who asked not to be named because the firm is private.

That was the primary hedge fund. There was a secondary fund that closed in May of 2016 - The Daily Caller:

Chelsea Clinton’s Husband Closing Hedge Fund After Losing 90 Percent Of Its Money
Chelsea Clinton’s husband is shutting down a hedge fund he founded after losing 90 percent of investors’ money.

Marc Mezvinsky promoted Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity as a means to bet on, and profit from, a Greek economic recovery. The fund was a spinoff of Eaglevale Partners, a larger hedge fund founded by Mezvinsky and two colleagues from his days working at Goldman Sachs.

Eaglevale Hellenic Opportunity specialized in buying up Greek stocks and government debt, betting the country would finally get its house in order and come roaring back. Mezvinsky argued in 2014 that, despite many signs to the contrary, Greece would soon be on the road to “sustainable recovery” and investors would be able to take advantage.

And the Clinton's own finances are not doing that well - from this December 29, 2016 post at Heat Street:

No Longer Selling Access, the Clinton Foundation Begs for Funds
The Clintons have always claimed their family charitable foundation was able to raise so much money because, deep down, Saudi princes and Ukrainian oligarchs are really concerned about poor children in Haiti.

It will be interesting to see if past Clinton Foundation donors will continue their generous giving in the years to come. Hillary’s shocking defeat in the presidential election means that no member of the Clinton dynasty currently holds, or is running for, a powerful government position.

The donors were donating to get something in return - pay for play. Corruption plain and simple. Nice to see it falling apart. I wonder when Chelsea and Marc's apartment is going on the market.

So much for the forecast

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Rain and icy rain? No, just more snow and lots of it. National Weather Service

1211 PM PST Wed Feb 8 2017
...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM PST

THURSDAY...

    • SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...13 to 25 inches...mainly in the passes and near the crest.
    • Timing...The heaviest snow will fall tonight...turning to rain in the passes Thursday morning. Freezing rain is possible in the passes and near the crest.
    • SNOW LEVEL...The snow level will rise to around 6000 feet... but cold air in Eastern Washington will keep the snow level lower near the crest and in the passes Wednesday night.

Temp is already falling - got up to 28.0°F this afternoon, now down to 25.9°F and falling. I do miss not having my morning coffee and some milk would be nice. Very well set otherwise - plenty of food in the pantry and firewood in the bin on the back porch. I have a generator if I absolutely need it - do not like the noise and reading by candlelight is fine by me.

Flooding in California

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From Sacramento, CA station KCRA:

They need to build some water storage dams but the enviros will not let them. It would greatly reduce the effects of drought and eliminate this flooding. How much property damage do they have to sustain before they bring this option to the table again.

That would be a big fat no...

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Too much work getting Buttercup onto the road so not heading in for milk and coffee today.

Got hay and water out to the critters but the snow is just too deep here and it is starting to snow again. I need to get some snowshoes - it is relatively warm out so I am not freezing, I am just sinking a couple feet into the snow when I try to walk.

Next time there is an event like this, I am parking up by the road and using snowshoes.

And it is official

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From Whatcom County:

Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws Signs Proclamation of Emergency
The northern and eastern communities of Whatcom County have been the most significantly impacted with extended power outages, snow measured in feet, drifting snow and all schools in Whatcom County being closed. The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the East Valley Regional Center at 8251 Kendall Rd, Maple Falls, WA 98266 in response to requests from Whatcom County Fire District #14. The City of Lynden has also proclaimed an emergency in the City.

The East Valley Regional Center is about ten miles from here. We have a lot of our meetings there. It is also the site of a food bank. Amazing resource and really good people.

Oh Joy - another Winter Storm Warning

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This just came in the email:

Winter Storm Warning 

    • Snow Accumulations, 1 or 2 Inches of Snow is Possible today and Into tonight, Particularly in Locations North Of Bellingham.
    • Ice Accumulation of Up to a Half an Inch Is Expected As Freezing Rain Falls this Evening.

Things just keep getting funner and funner...

Not just here - poor growing in Europe

From Watts Up With That:

The New Maunder Minimum? Vegetable Shortages Strike London
The Sun reports that in London, some supermarkets are rationing purchases of vegetables like lettuce, which is in short supply due to Southern European crop failures.

SALAD SHORTAGE What is the 2017 vegetable shortage, which supermarkets are rationing broccoli and lettuce and what’s the cause of the crisis?
Tesco and Sainsbury’s are rationing iceburg lettuces and broccoli as cold weather in the Med causes a vegetable shortage.

Some more:

Read more: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2774614/vegetable-shortage-2017-supermarkets-rationing-broccoli-lettuce-crisis/

Why do I describe this as a possible early taste of Maunder Minimum like conditions? As WUWT has reported, solar activity has been unusually low this cycle, and appears to be trending downwards, leading to predictions we are entering a new solar grand minimum.

While the connection between solar activity and weather is controversial, in Europe, Solar Grand Minima appear to be associated with cold, rainy weather, and growing season difficulties.

Our Sun is a variable star and the regular solar cycles are at an all-time low when looking at the last 200 years or so. We need to address the idea of a 30-50 year period of abnormally low temperatures. This will have an impact on agriculture as well as energy costs. I am sitting here looking at a perfect example of this problem.

Heat wave

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It is now 26.8°F outside - sweltering. Both forecasts are calling for temps above 32 so we should start to see some thawing. Bundling up to head outside in 30 minutes or so. Quick surf around the web first.

Single digits

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Got down to 8.6°F last night - definitely not what was forecast. Currently 19.6°F

Warm rain is forecast but not seeing anything like it - will try to get the truck on the road today.

Fun times - clear skies, cold weather

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There is supposed to be a warm rain moving in but the outside air temperatures are not showing this. Currently 14.5°F outside and falling. My cut-off point for pipe freezing is around 18°F so I have the sink running.

NWS (National Weather Service) is forecasting a low of 26°F and partly cloudy skies. It is drop-dead gorgeous clear out here - a few wispy Cirrus clouds but that is it. The Weather Channel is forecasting an overnight low of 20°F with icefall tomorrow. Ice would actually give me traction so that is not a bad thing. They are also calling for rain and thunder on Thursday with temps of 44°F

Hanging out with the dogs, watching YouTube videos (welding, blacksmithing and demolition). Life is good.

From The Hill:

GOP lawmaker proposes abolishing Department of Education
On the same day the Senate confirmed President Trump’s secretary of Education pick by a historically narrow margin, a House Republican introduced legislation to abolish the entire department Betsy DeVos will lead.

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie’s bill is only a page long, after merely stating the Department of Education would terminate on Dec. 31, 2018.

Massie believes that policymakers at the state and local levels should be responsible for education policy, instead of a federal agency that’s been in place since 1980.

"Unelected bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. should not be in charge of our children's intellectual and moral development. States and local communities are best positioned to shape curricula that meet the needs of their students,” Massie said in a statement.

Absolutely - public education is not mentioned in the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment puts it as being the responsibility of the individual State. This is the way that we were supposed to operate with each state trying out their ideas and if they worked well, other states could implement them. The unelected bureaucrats in Washington have no accountability for their decisions or actions.

Time for a visit - Iceland

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From Iceland Monitor:

Four of Iceland's main volcanoes all preparing for eruption
According to geophysicist Páll Einarsson, four of Iceland's volcanoes are showing increased amounts of activity in preparation for another eruption.

Katla is the most active that it's ever been in four decades. "Katla has been unrestful since this autumn."

The other volcanoes showing increased activity are Hekla, Grímsvötn and Bárðarbunga.

I spent a couple of months over there in 1974 - the year after the Vestmannaeyjar eruption. Gorgeous place, really nice people.

Crap - RIP Hans Rosling

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From the Beeb:

Hans Rosling: Data visionary and educator dies aged 68
Hans Rosling, a Swedish professor of global health and well-known public educator, has died aged 68, his Gapminder foundation has announced.

Mr Rosling was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer a year ago and died in Uppsala, Sweden.

He was known for lively presentations that used data and animation to explain global development in a compelling way.

His Gapminder co-founders said that they would continue to fight for "his dream of a fact-based worldview".

Here he is talking about world poverty, immigration and gumballs:

Dinnertime - left over spaghetti

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Did not feel like driving to the store today. Too much of a bother. I got feed out to the critters and birds. Our local CERT office asked for a spot-check on snow depth away from any buildings. 37"

Time to feed the dogs and then cook some more noodles. Doing a big salad too.

Gorgeous day today - lots of sunshine but air temp never got above 28.9°F - was down to 13.3°F last night.

Feeling very lethargic and slothful today - don't know why.

The rains are on their way

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This just showed up in my in-box:

Winter Storm Watch
The National Weather Service in Seattle has Issued a Winter Storm Watch, Which is in effect from Wednesday Afternoon Through Late Wednesday Night.

    • Snow Accumulations, 10 to 18 Inches, Mainly in the Passes And near the Crest.
    • Timing, the Heaviest Snow will Fall Wednesday Night, Turning to Rain in the Passes Thursday Morning. Freezing Rain is Possible in the Passes and near the Crest.
    • Snow Level, the Snow Level will Rise to around 6000 Feet, But Cold Air in Eastern washington will Keep the Snow Level Lower near the Crest and in the Passes Wednesday Night.

My farm is at 600 feet elevation so hopefully, this will just manifest as rain and wash away the snow.

From the The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

The Met Makes Its Images of Public-Domain Artworks Freely Available through New Open Access Policy
Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today its adoption of a new policy: all images of public-domain artworks in the Museum's collection are now available for free and unrestricted use. This updated policy, known as Open Access, utilizes the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation. This policy change is an update to The Museum’s 2014 Open Access for Scholarly Content (OASC) initiative. The Met’s Open Access policy facilitates the use of more than 375,000 images of public-domain artworks for both scholarly and commercial purposes. The Museum is collaborating with global partners to enable greater access to the collection.

In making the announcement, Mr. Campbell said: "We have been working toward the goal of sharing our images with the public for a number of years. Our comprehensive and diverse museum collection spans 5,000 years of world culture and our core mission is to be open and accessible for all who wish to study and enjoy the works of art in our care. Increasing access to the Museum’s collection and scholarship serves the interests and needs of our 21st-century audiences by offering new resources for creativity, knowledge, and ideas. We thank Creative Commons, an international leader in open access and copyright, for being a partner in this effort.”

The gateways can be found at Creative Commons and at GitHub

Actually really nice - ten hours long:

Halfway tempted to see if I can download just the audio and keep for long road trips or such.

UPDATE: Now that was quick - Listen to YouTube

UPDATE: Took about an hour to download - 1,056,152 KB in size. Plays just fine.

Too much botox - Senator Pelosi

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Getting into her brain - from The Washington Free Beacon:

Nancy Pelosi Says She Can’t Work With ‘President Bush’
A day after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) was drilled by Meet The Press host Chuck Todd on whether her party's leadership was out of touch with the current political climate the nearly three-decade veteran of Congress mistakenly referred to President Donald Trump as "President Bush."

"While its only been a couple of weeks since the inauguration, we've seen nothing that I can work with President Bush on," said Pelosi during a Monday press conference.

Time for the whole lot of them to retire from politics. We need term limits on Congress. 12 years and you are out of there and no cushy lobbying jobs either.

Great news from D.C. - Betsy DeVos

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From The New York Times:

Betsy DeVos Confirmed as Education Secretary; Pence Breaks Tie
The Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos on Tuesday as education secretary, approving the embattled nominee only with the help of a historic tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

The 51-to-50 vote elevates Ms. DeVos — a wealthy donor from Michigan who has devoted much of her life to expanding educational choice through charter schools and vouchers, but has limited experience with the public school system — to be steward of the nation’s schools.

Emphasis mine - I see this as a major asset and not a liability. The entrenched unionized school system has failed our children and it needs to be reformed. We elected President Trump for the very same reason. Here is a chart from Cato Institute that makes things perfectly clear:

cato_education.jpg

There are degenerate people everywhere - check out this from The Daily Caller:

NAACP Head And Convicted Murderer Says He’ll ‘Fire Back’ If We Report On Embezzlement
A high-ranking official convicted of murder threatened to “fire back” if The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group (TheDCNF) reported that a new branch president for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) embezzled during his tenure at a previous nonprofit.

Gerald Hankerson, president of the Alaska, Oregon and Washington State regional NAACP, told TheDCNF he wasn’t “authorizing” the disclosure because it “strikes a blow to the NAACP by indicating that we allow criminals at the leadership.”

The person in question:

TheDCNF reported Thursday that the Anchorage, Alaska, branch of the NAACP in November elected Kevin McGee, who had been convicted of using his previous position as president of a government employees union to steal from, as a court document put it, “the very people he was supposed to represent.” In a victim impact statement, the union called McGee “an opportunistic thief who has shown no remorse.”

Are people so blind that they would hire convicted criminals and give them positions of great power and authority. There were no checks and balances in that organization at all.

Slept in this morning

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Stayed up late last night tending a small fire in case the power went out again. Woke up around 10:00AM but rolled over and went back to sleep for another couple of hours. Delicious - no places to go, nothing planned to do. Still very snowbound.

Gorgeous clear day today - check on the critters, put out more bird-food (suet cakes and seed on the ground) and see if I can get Buttercup onto the road and to the store for milk and some dry dogfood. Got quite the caffeine headache from missing my daily espresso.

Mt. Baker ski area was thinking of opening today but the large equipment stationed up there to keep Mount Baker Highway open has been moved to the lowlands to deal with the snow - they are now saying Thursday for opening.

Both forecasts are calling for rain and ice tomorrow with heavy rain Thursday. Should either knock the snow out or make things very interesting for driving.

Whoops - do not buy a Visio television

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Unless you like it watching you. From the Federal Trade Commission:

What Vizio was doing behind the TV screen
Consumers have bought more than 11 million internet-connected Vizio televisions since 2010. But according to a complaint filed by the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General, consumers didn’t know that while they were watching their TVs, Vizio was watching them. The lawsuit challenges the company’s tracking practices and offers insights into how established consumer protection principles apply to smart technology.

Starting in 2014, Vizio made TVs that automatically tracked what consumers were watching and transmitted that data back to its servers. Vizio even retrofitted older models by installing its tracking software remotely. All of this, the FTC and AG allege, was done without clearly telling consumers or getting their consent.

Why? Money:

Vizio then turned that mountain of data into cash by selling consumers’ viewing histories to advertisers and others. And let’s be clear: We’re not talking about summary information about national viewing trends. According to the complaint, Vizio got personal. The company provided consumers’ IP addresses to data aggregators, who then matched the address with an individual consumer or household. Vizio’s contracts with third parties prohibited the re-identification of consumers and households by name, but allowed a host of other personal details – for example, sex, age, income, marital status, household size, education, and home ownership.  And Vizio permitted these companies to track and target its consumers across devices.

I can see them wanting to do this for the income but this is an invasion of privacy - the article at the FTC website said that this was all done without the consumer being asked or being aware that anything was going on. Not planning to buy a TV anytime soon but when I do, it will not be a Visio.

Running scared - Berkeley, California

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From San Francisco station KPIX:

Bay Area Conservatives Keep Meetups Secret Fearing For Their Safety
Some East Bay conservatives say they live a secret life. They can never tell anyone what they really feel like in fear of their safety.

Robert Ward is coming out conservative, but in a place he says is risky for those who share his beliefs.

“If you witness what happened in Berkeley, actually they are so violent on top of it. I mean being a conservative in the Bay Area is like being a heretic,” says Ward. “You lead a double life. You can never tell your friends and co-workers.”

Robert says several Bay Area conservatives have secret meet ups like the one KPIX 5 was invited to visit in the East Bay.

Robert had this to say:

“They seem to pride themselves on being diverse, and they are diverse about everything but their ideology,” says Ward. “I hope that in the future when people see Trump isn’t as scary as they think he is and a lot of the good things that happen and the prosperity comes back and the jobs come back, every one calms down a little bit.”

Do not count on it - the marching and rioting have always been run by the fringe and nothing satisfies them. As long as they have their Soros money lining their pockets, they will keep going. This is what defines them.

An interesting look at the rioters

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Lots of people rioting these days - here is an interesting observation from Gavin McInnes writing at Taki's Magazine:

Normalizing Degeneracy
Earlier this week we learned that Micah Rhodes, one of the heads of Portland’s Resistance movement, is a pedophile. He was arrested for political action but then brought into court for sexual charges totally unrelated to anarchy. He’s now facing four counts of second-degree sexual abuse. His comrades can say it’s all a lie based on Micah’s recent political status, but they likely don’t know he’s already a registered sex offender in the area, responsible for first-degree sexual abuse and sodomy. This isn’t the first time he’s anally raped a young teenage boy and girl.

His group is another one of these “antifascist” movements you see with kids wearing masks, smashing Bank of America windows, and punching “Nazis” (anyone who disagrees with them) in the face. They purport to be about equality, but I just had an epiphany and realized they’re actually mentally ill perverts who are at war with normalcy because it exposes them for the freaks they truly are. One of their favorite accusations is we are “normalizing white supremacy.” This sounds like a world where skinheads with swastika tattoos pack your groceries and it’s very confusing if you take it literally, but what it really means is: “Normal” is the worst thing imaginable. If you recognize it as a concept, you’re a Nazi.

Rhodes has been an integral part of fighting Trump and resisting hate in Portland. His people achieve this by standing arm in arm to stop a busful of people going to work (something the police are no longer tolerating). It seems so illogical. Why do you give a shit if someone goes to their retail job to sell shirts? Are you anti-shirt? No. They are anti-normal. If they can create a world where weird is the norm, we won’t be as disgusted when we discover they molest 13-year-old boys. Rhodes isn’t an unusual case with the far left. It’s looking like the guy who punched alleged Nazi Richard Spencer in the face may be an S&M cuckold who lets people defecate on him. Many of my fellow Proud Boys recently had Antifa harassing their employers. We were told many of these irritating busybodies were associated with a band called Pink Mass. These guys are gay necrophiliacs who blow nail-covered dildos and whip each other dressed in leather dog masks. I don’t want their shows to be banned, but the fact that we live in a society where a phone call from them is given credence shows how normalized the abnormal is. Next time your boss says he’s been getting complaints, it’s important to ask, “From whom?” You should be allowed to bartend, sell real estate, and practice law even if GG Allin disapproves of your political beliefs.

Much more at the article - Gavin cites a number of other examples simmering just below the public consciousnesses and closes with this paragraph:

This isn’t a conspiracy. It’s history repeating itself. In the 1920s we had Weimar culture, where intellectuals justified the rampant prostitution of Berlin that had everyone from Grandma to her grandchildren being sold for revolting and elaborate sex acts. In the 1950s and ’60s we had beatniks such as Allen Ginsberg, who later came out as a proud lover of young boys. He even joined NAMBLA! In the 1970s we had more Marxist intellectual sabotage with Michel Foucault, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir fighting hard to lower the age of consent to 13 or 14. Simone and Sartre are portrayed as brilliant revolutionaries, but they were Nazi sympathizers who systematically raped their students. Today we have Epstein and Bean and these Antifa pigs. The one thing they all have in common is duplicity. They pretend to care passionately about justice yet turn a blind eye when it doesn’t suit their narrative. This is because they don’t care about justice. All they care about is self-gratification, and if America has to be burned to the ground to satiate the fire in their loins, they want it to turn to ash. Unfortunately for them this isn’t Rome, and the only thing we’re going to let burn is them.

Things are going to get interesting before they get better. What with the general Democratic butt-hurt at losing the election, we have opened the cages of the monkey-house and given the inmates run of the asylum; all happily funded by George Soros who makes his money by destabilizing cultures. History Does Not Repeat Itself, But It Rhymes

100,000 still without power

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Finding myself to be very lucky indeed. From The Bellingham Herald:

The Latest: About 100,000 remain without power
About 100,000 customers remained without power following a winter storm that swept through the western Washington.

Puget Sound Energy reported about 86,000 customers without electricity as of Monday afternoon and Seattle City Light listed about 10,000.

More than 100 school districts cancelled classes and dozens of flights were cancelled at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after snow and ice blanketed the Puget Sound area. A winter storm watch was in effect through Monday afternoon.

I am still operting under the assumption that I will lose power sometime today - got a bunch of candles and LED lights out, stocked up the wood bin on the porch so firewood is just a few steps away and have a bunch of bottled water in the kitchen. My well pump has a 30 gallon presssure tank so even without power, I can draw ten gallons or so. Got hay out to the critters - am cold and wet. Heading upstairs to change into something dry and fix some spaghetti and a salad for dinner.

The updated versions of both forecasts show some mixed freezing rain Wednesday with warm rain Thursday and Friday. I'll try taking Buttercup out on the highway tomorrow - out of milk and very low on dried dog food.

From the "palestinian" Ma’an News Agency:

Hamas fighter killed in 'accidental explosion'
A Hamas fighter succumbed on Sunday to wounds he sustained a day earlier in an “accidental explosion” in the northern Gaza Strip, the Ministry of Health said.

Gaza Ministry of Health spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra told the Palestinian Information Center that 37-year-old Muhammad Walid al-Quqa died in the hospital on Sunday morning following an "accidental" explosion in al-Sudaniyya in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday evening.

The Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said in a statement that al-Quqa was killed during "preparations" without giving details.

Could not have happened to a nicer person - too bad he didn't have a bunch of his friends hanging out with him at the time. A bit more:

Israeli officials have accused Hamas of "preparing" for another war with Israel and have threatened retaliatory measures against the Gaza Strip as a whole.

The Times of Israel adds that: he was the head of Hamas’s explosives unit

Classic case of Hudna - the western Fake News media translate it as truce or armistice. It is nothing of the kind. From Front Page Magazine:

Hudna: a tactical pause intended only for rearmament, a temporary respite in the war between Islamic forces and non-Islamic forces.

The authoritative Islamic Encyclopedia (London, 1922) defines hudna as a "temporary treaty" which can be approved or abrogated by Islamic religious leaders, depending on whether or not it serves the interests of Islam; a hudna cannot last for more than 10 years.

A lot more at the sites. And they say God has no sense of humor.

I love the Intel drones in the beginning act:

Ham radio fun and games

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One of the big problems with ham radio is that frequently, manufacturers will make a product that emits radio noise on frequencies that we use. This can be fun trying to find the culprits and isolate them. Fluorescent lights seem to be a big one - the electronic ballasts are a problem with some brands.

It turns out that some consumer items are poorly shielded against ham radio transmissions even though the transmitter is operating on a legal frequency and power. Case in point these Circuit Breakers:

From Hack A Day:

HAM RADIO TRIPS CIRCUIT BREAKERS
Arc-fault circuit breakers are a boon for household electrical safety. The garden-variety home electrical fire is usually started by the heat coming from a faulty wire arcing over. But as any radio enthusiast knows, sparks also give off broadband radio noise. Arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) are special circuit breakers that listen for this noise in the power line and trip when they hear it. The problem is that they can be so sensitive that they cut out needlessly.

Our friend [Martin] moved into a new house, and discovered that he could flip the breakers by transmitting on the 20-meter band. “All the lights in the place went out and my rig switched over to battery. I thought it was strange as I was certainly drawing less than 20 A. I reset the breakers and keyed up again. I reset the breakers again and did a [expletive] Google search.”

And of course, it’s a known problem in the Ham community. In particular, one manufacturer has had serious problems misinterpreting intentional radiation, and went to the amateur radio community for help to prototype a new version. [Martin] got sent complimentary Ham-resistant breakers when he called the manufacturer and let them know, so all’s well that ends well.

Mine seem to be just fine but I am not using AFCI breakers. Will have to try one out.

Quite the history - the USS Enterprise

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The USS Enterprise is being decommissioned. From the Navy:

Navy Decommissions "The Big E"
The aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), was decommissioned during a ceremony held in the ship's hangar bay, Feb. 3.

The ceremony not only marked the end the ship's nearly 55-year career, it also served as the very first decommissioning of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

Capt. Todd Beltz, commanding officer of the Enterprise, addressed the ship's company, former commanding officers and distinguished visitors and spoke of where the true spirit of "The Big E" comes from.

"For all that Enterprise represents to this nation, it's the people that bring this ship to life," said Beltz. "So as I stand in this ship that we all care so much about, I feel it's appropriate to underscore the contributions of the thousands of Sailors and individuals that kept this ship alive and made its reputation. We are 'The Big E.'"

Enterprise was the eighth naval vessel to carry the name. It was built by the Newport News Shipbuilding Co. and was christened Sep. 24, 1960, by Mrs. Bertha Irene Franke, wife of former Secretary of the Navy William B. Franke. The ship was put to sea in 1961 and safely steamed more than 1 million nautical miles on nuclear power over its entire career of more than 50 years.

From engadget:

US Navy decommissions the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
It's the end of an era for the US sea power, in more ways than one: the Navy has decommissioned the USS Enterprise (CVN-65), the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. The vessel launched in 1961 and is mainly known for playing a pivotal role in several major incidents and conflicts, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War and the 2003 Iraq War. However, it also served as the quintessential showcase for what nuclear ships could do. Its eight reactors let it run for years at a time, all the while making more room for the aircraft and their fuel.

As you might guess, the decommissioning process (which started when the Enterprise went inactive in 2012) is considerably trickier than it would be for a conventional warship. It wasn't until December 2016 that crews finished extracting nuclear fuel, and the ship will have to be partly dismantled to remove the reactors. They'll be disposed of relatively safely at Hanford Site, home of the world's first plutonium reactor. It's hard to know what the long-term environmental impact of the ship will be -- while there's no question that the radioactive material is dangerous, this isn't the same as shutting down a land-based nuclear power plant.

Whatever you think of the tech, the ship leaves a long legacy on top of its military accomplishments. It proved the viability of nuclear aircraft carriers, leading the US to build the largest such fleet in the world. Also, this definitely isn't the last (real-world) ship to bear the Enterprise name -- the future CVN-80 will build on its predecessor with both more efficient reactors and systems designed for modern combat, where drones and stealth are as important as fighters and bombers. It won't be ready until 2027, but it should reflect many of the lessons learned over the outgoing Enterprise's 55 years of service.

Godspeed - I hope she is opened as a museum somewhere. Even fifty year old tech is still tech and fascinating. The Navel Undersea Museum is a lot of fun and they have some amazing exhibits.

True dat!

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Someone posted this on F.B. today - cannot agree more...

20170206-giraffe.jpg

Great Hyundai ad - Super Bowl

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Best of the Super Bowl ads I have seen:

Still snowing

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Snow is still coming down and sticking. I am well and truly snowed in for the first time since moving here 15 years ago.

Just finished a sandwich for lunch so putting my coat in the dryer to warm it up a bit and then heading out to get hay to the critters and move some firewood from the storage area to the wood bin on the back porch. Only 28.2°F outside so not super cold (got down to 20.1°F last night) but slogging through a couple feet of snow is not fun.

Major props to Lady Gaga

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She did the halftime show for the superbowl and had the chance to make a political statement - she was a Hillary supporter. Instead, she just sang. From Breitbart:

Lady Gaga Steers Clear of Politics in Super Bowl Halftime Show
Lady Gaga played several of her greatest hits and stayed away from making political statements during her performance Sunday night at the Super Bowl LI halftime show.

Opening with an a-capella mash-up of “God Bless America” and “This Land is Your Land” under a flurry of red, white and blue-colored drones, the 30-year-old singer dropped down from the roof into NRG Stadium in Houston and launched into her hit “Poker Face” from atop an elaborate tower structure.

Good move on her part. This did not go unnoticed. Her perofmance can be seen here - cannot embed the video. She was interviewed Saturday and said this:

“I believe in a passion for inclusion,” she said at a press conference in Houston on Saturday. “I believe in the spirit of equality, and the spirit of this country as one of love and compassion and kindness. So my performance will have both those philosophies.”

About those environmental activists

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Why do they always leave such huge piles of trash behind - from The American Mirror:

PHOTOS: Mountains of trash left by ‘environmentalists’ after pipeline protest
People who claim to care about the environment left enough evidence behind at a recent protest site to make others wonder about their sincerity.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall tweeted aerial footage of the Dakota Access protest camp Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota showing fields of trash left after the so-called “environmentalists” abandoned the site.

The footage shows huge front end loaders picking up tents, blankets, refuse, uneaten food, chairs and other items left by activists.

Here is just one photo - the vehicles are from the cleanup crew, everything else is trash that was abandoned when the environmentalists moved on to their next "action"

20170206-trash.jpg

More at the site - disgusting.

The Snowpocalypse

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Looks like we have another couple of days of this shit. Both forecasting agencies are showing rain on Thursday but snow until then: National Weather Service / The Weather Channel

Our main highway is closed due to fallen trees and snow - from the Washington State Department of Transportation:

SR 542 Deming - Both directions of SR 542 at the Coal Creek Bridge (milepost 36) are closed due to downed trees and heavy snow. There is no estimate for when the roadway will reopen.

Mt. Baker Ski area has suspended operations until tomorrow: Snow Report

Heading out with Buttercup the tractor to get hay out to the critters, move some crap around the driveway in preperation for Thursday's rain and load up the wood bin on the back porch, I will probably lose power again and staying warm is a good thing...

Sanctuary for Climate Scientists

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It has come to this - from the UK Guardian:

Emmanuel Macron enjoins uneasy US scientists: 'Move to France'
French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron has called on US scientists, academics and entrepreneurs at odds with Donald Trump’s administration to move to France.

The former economy minister, one of the frontrunners in the upcoming presidential election, urged US-based scientists working on climate change, renewable energy and health issues who were wary of the new political situation to seek refuge across the Atlantic. “I want all those who today embody innovation and excellence in the United States to hear what we say: from now on, from next May, you will have a new homeland – France,” he said on Saturday.

Fine then. Go. We will not try to stop you. I wonder if France is able to offer the sweet sweet grant money that the US Government used to. There used to be many millions of taxpayer dollars for writing papers that propped up the Anthropogenic Global Warming scam for the last 20 years. The party is over, the wheels have fallen off the bus and it is time to think of something else to do. Learn welding - lots of people are hiring and the pay is great.

Here is my post from October 19th, 2015:

Keeping my fingers crossed - things are lining up
Too early to say right now but this year's El Niño is looking a lot like the one of 1997-1998. From Watts Up With That:

NASA: current El Niño ‘appears likely to equal the event of 1997-98’

NASA/GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER
Every two to seven years, an unusually warm pool of water — sometimes two to three degrees Celsius higher than normal develops across the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean to create a natural short-term climate change event. This warm condition, known as El Niño, affects the local aquatic environment, but also spurs extreme weather patterns around the world, from flooding in California to droughts in Australia. This winter, the 2015-16 El Niño event will be better observed from space than any previous El Niño.

This year’s El Niño is already strong and appears likely to equal the event of 1997-98, the strongest El Niño on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization. All 19 of NASA’s current orbiting Earth-observing missions were launched after 1997. In the past two decades, NASA has made tremendous progress in gathering and analyzing data that help researchers understand more about the mechanics and global impacts of El Niño.

Emphasis mine - what happened right after the 1997-1998 El Niño? From NOAA, August 2, 1999:

MT. BAKER HOLDS SNOWFALL RECORD, NOAA REPORTS
It's official – Mt. Baker, Wash., has set a new record for the most snowfall ever measured in the United States in a single season, the Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported today.

The Mt. Baker Ski Area in northwestern Washington State reported 1,140 inches of snowfall for the 1998-99 snowfall season. The figure was scrutinized by the National Climate Extremes Committee, which is responsible for evaluating potential national record-setting extreme events. The committee, composed of experts from NOAA, the American Association of State Climatologists, and a regional expert from the Western Regional Climate Center, made a unanimous recommendation to the director of NOAA's National Climatic Data Center to accept the figure.

"In accepting the validity of the 1,140 inches of snowfall at Mt. Baker, the National Climatic Data Center recognizes that a new record has been set," said Tom Karl, director of the center. "The previous U.S. seasonal snowfall record was 1,122 inches, set during the 1971-1972 snowfall season at Mt. Rainer/Paradise, a station located at 5,500 feet on the slopes of Mt. Rainer, about 150 miles south of Mt. Baker."

There is a lot that can happen between now and 2017 so do not hold your breath but, like I said, things are lining up. The drop in temperatures will help a lot as lately we have been getting enough precipitation but it has been too warm.

Check out the Google Images page: Mt Baker record snowfall

Happy happy joy joy - Cliff Mass

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Cliff posts this wonderful entry:

Increasing Threat of Lowland Snow Later Today and Monday
I don't want to send folks running to their supermarkets or distract from the big game today, but weather forecast models are suggesting increasing chances of lowland snow later today and tomorrow. But there are nuances and uncertainties that are very important to communicate, and I will try to do so here. Then I will run to the store to buy milk, bread and provisions. 😊

Now that was fun

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Got over three feet of snow and power was out for 30 hours. Power just came back - fscking winter wonderland. It is 5:00AM - heading back upstairs to sleep for another couple hours and then out to see what transpired during the zombie snowpocalypse.

Major kudos to the engineers from Puget Sound Electric - they have been working around the clock and having to gracefully deal with grumpy customers.

Snowboarding at Mt. Baker

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Great video - a couple guys from France come over to compete in the 2016 Legendary Banked Slalom

This is a very fun weekend and the video really conveys the energy of the event. Fun too to recognize the area and most of the people. One of the French guys won in the Professional Men category - Mathieu Crepel. He had also won back in 2000 in the Junior category.

Interesting development which will have an impact on everybody - cheaper fertilizers. From the University of Utah:

FLIPPING THE SWITCH ON AMMONIA PRODUCTION - PROCESS GENERATES ELECTRICITY INSTEAD OF CONSUMING ENERGY
Nearly a century ago, German chemist Fritz Haber won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for a process to generate ammonia from hydrogen and nitrogen gases. The process, still in use today, ushered in a revolution in agriculture, but now consumes around one percent of the world’s energy to achieve the high pressures and temperatures that drive the chemical reactions to produce ammonia.

Today, University of Utah chemists publish a different method, using enzymes derived from nature, that generates ammonia at room temperature. As a bonus, the reaction generates a small electrical current. The method is published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition.

Although chemistry and materials science and engineering professor Shelley Minteer and postdoctoral scholar Ross Milton have only been able to produce small quantities of ammonia so far, their method could lead to a less energy-intensive source of the ammonia, used worldwide as a vital fertilizer.

“It’s a spontaneous process, so rather than having to put energy in, it’s actually generating its own electricity,” Minteer says.

Major impact on agriculture if this process is able to scale up to production levels. Imagine making ammonia as well as enough electricity to run an irrigation pump. Makes things a lot easier for the 3rd world farmer.

Link to the paper plus an abstract can be found here: Bioelectrochemical Haber–Bosch Process: An Ammonia-Producing H2/N2 Fuel Cell

Nothing much this evening

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Nothing really catches my eye this evening. Finished a couple small projects (unwrapping the last of the music room patch cables and looking at a new electronics project (photography: Focus Stacking - using one of my Raspberry Pi computers to control the camera and motor driven platform)

Soup came out really tasty - made a bunch so will have for lunch and dinner for a few days. Looking to be snowed in until Thursday at least.

Dogs are a bit stir-crazy - let them out for ten minutes and they are now running around the house chasing each other - time for them to go out again.

Disgusting news from Politico:

Federal workers turn to encryption to thwart Trump
Federal employees worried that President Donald Trump will gut their agencies are creating new email addresses, signing up for encrypted messaging apps and looking for other, protected ways to push back against the new administration’s agenda.

Whether inside the Environmental Protection Agency, within the Foreign Service, on the edges of the Labor Department or beyond, employees are using new technology as well as more old-fashioned approaches — such as private face-to-face meetings — to organize letters, talk strategy, or contact media outlets and other groups to express their dissent.

The goal is to get their message across while not violating any rules covering workplace communications, which can be monitored by the government and could potentially get them fired.

At the EPA, a small group of career employees — numbering less than a dozen so far — are using an encrypted messaging app to discuss what to do if Trump’s political appointees undermine their agency’s mission to protect public health and the environment, flout the law, or delete valuable scientific data that the agency has been collecting for years, sources told POLITICO.

There are only a handful of people using these apps. They need to be terminated right now to nip this in the bud. This is childish behaviour from people who work for us. Do they have something to hide?

Now this is curious

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Their seems to be some worms in the apple. From The Daily Caller:

EXCLUSIVE: House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs Committee Members Compromised By Rogue IT Staff
Three brothers who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers were abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computers without permission.

Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.

A bit more:

The brothers are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.

Jamal handled IT for Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who serves on both the intelligence and foreign affairs panels.

And a bit more (there is a lot at the post):

Jamal did not return a request for comment from TheDCNF at a personal email address, while emails to House addresses in the three men’s names bounced back Friday.

Another man, Omar Awan, is a senior IT specialist for the House’s Chief Administrative Officer. An email to his House address did not bounce back Friday, but did not receive a response.

Abid, Imran and Jamal have all shared a house in Lorton, Virginia, that is owned by Hina R. Alvi. Alvi is a female House IT employee who works for many of the same members as the three brothers, as well as the House Democratic Caucus.

Signs of trouble have long been visible in public records. The Congressional Credit Union repossessed Abid’s car in 2009, and he declared bankruptcy in 2012, facing multiple lawsuits.

Alvi, who did not respond to TheDCNF’s request for comment, has taken multiple second mortgages.

Security-sensitive jobs typically require background checks for credit and legal problems that can create pressures to cash in on access to secret information and documents.

Jamal, who public records suggest is only 22 years old and first began working in the House when he was 20, was paid nearly $160,000 a year, or three times the average House IT staff salary, according to InsideGov, which tracks congressional salaries. Abid was paid $161,000 and Imran $165,000.

Nothing like running a secure system. Prosecute for treason? With all the crap that has been leaked from our government in the last eight years, I would bet that there are some others that need to be flushed out as well.

The students are revolting

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I find it deeply ironic that the regressive left is labeling Trump as Hitler when the people rioting in the streets are paid flunkies of George Soros and the regressive left. The brown-shirts if you will.

Case in point from Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit:

UC Berkeley Thug Who Beat Conservative and Bragged About It Online – Is University Staff Member!
A UC Berkeley rioter and thug who bragged online about beating conservatives outside the Milo Yiannopoulos speech on Wednesday night — works at the university.

Dabney Miller, a staff member at the UC Berkeley, bragged about how he beat conservatives. He posted images of one man he knocked to the ground and pummeled with his fists before someone pulled him away.

Dabney Miller draws a paycheck from the UC Berkeley administration.

On Wednesday Breitbart senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos was scheduled to speak at UC Berkeley – the historical home of the free speech movement.

Violent far left rioters and goons shut the talk down.

The progressive thugs started fires, assaulted women, beat Trump supporters unconscious, raided ATMs, shot off fireworks and destroyed private property.

The internet is forever - even if you try to anonymise your presence, there are always crumb-trails to follow. Sounds like a perfect application for 18 U.S.C. 2385 otherwise known as the Smith Act

18 U.S. Code § 2385 - Advocating overthrow of Government - Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or

&c......

The real threat of ten years behind bars would shut a lot of these snowflakes up for good.

Soros? Here, herehereherehere, and here for a start.

Soup on the stove, dogs fed

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Time for a glass of red wine - got to keep my resveratrol levels up after all. Dinner in about 20 minutes - barley takes a while to cook and I am not using the pressure cooker tonight.

Just wonderful - a turn for the worse

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Just when you think it is going to be kind of crappy, the real shitstorm comes along. From local radio station KGMI:

National Weather Service upgrades high wind, winter weather warnings for Whatcom County
GLACIER, Wash. – As snow and ice continue to pummel northern Whatcom County, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for eastern part of the county, and extended a Winter Weather Advisory for areas closer to the coast.

They also say high winds will pick up later Sunday into Monday.

An earlier Winter Weather Advisory had begun Friday, and it’s now been extended through 4 a.m. Sunday for western Whatcom County.

And we are staring right down the barrel:

They name the Mount Baker Highway as one of the areas of concern.

I probably will loose power at some point - the winds will take down any weak tree branches.

Wonderful story at the London Daily Mail:

Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data
The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.

And the data:

NOAA’s 2015 ‘Pausebuster’ paper was based on two new temperature sets of data – one containing measurements of temperatures at the planet’s surface on land, the other at the surface of the seas.

Both datasets were flawed. This newspaper has learnt that NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.

The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable’.

The paper relied on a preliminary, ‘alpha’ version of the data which was never approved or verified.

Much more at the site - NOAA is ripe with corruption. They are just publishing what people want to hear and not the actual data. no person is being held accountable so they think that they can get away without recrimination. Talk about a swamp needed draining...

Still coming down, still sticking

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Both the National Weather Service and The Weather Channel are forecasting more snow through Thursday and rain after that. Looks like I'll be getting my coffee in Maple Falls for the next couple of days. I prefer Wake 'n Bakery but they are nine miles away - a long tractor drive. I'll go to Mountain Man instead.

The Bellingham Herald explains a little of what is happening out here: Rural Whatcom Co. hit with freezing, windy conditions as weather deteriorates

There are some scattered power outages - it was up to 4,500 people without service earlier today but the crews are working to restore service. I have power at the farm but got the candles and lights out just in case some dodo is out driving and takes out a power pole.

Just got off the phone with Lulu - she is doing beef barley soup. That sounds really good - I will make some for dinner tonight, got all the groceries and some beef in the freezer.

From Point A to Point B

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I was able to get Thunderbunny unstuck and pointed straight down the driveway but she kept skidding on the ice and threatened to get even further stuck so I decided to call it quits.

My last trip into town, I picked up 200 pounds of ice-melt so scattered some of that around and will see what happens.

The snow is starting to come down hard and stick. Looks gorgeous but glad I don't have to be anywhere for a few days. Got a couple of projects to keep me occupied.

Heading outside - truck fun

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Heading outside with the tow strap - see if I can dislodge Thunderbunny from the ice patch. Should be pretty straightforward and I need to get it done what with the additional foot or two due later today. It stopped snowing earlier today but it has started up again and is coming down pretty heavily.

Old news - global warming

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Yesterday, I posted about a chilling comment from the executive secretary of the U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change - she said this:

...the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

Turns out that this quote is from the United Nations Regional Information Centre dated February 3rd, 2015

Figueres: First time the world economy is transformed intentionally
The Top UN Climate Change Official is optimistic that a new international treaty will be adopted at Paris Climate Change conference at the end of the year. However the official, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, warns that the fight against climate change is a process and that the necessary transformation of the world economy will not be decided at one conference or in one agreement.

"This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history", Ms Figueres stated at a press conference in Brussels.

"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution. That will not happen overnight and it will not happen at a single conference on climate change, be it COP 15, 21, 40 - you choose the number. It just does not occur like that. It is a process, because of the depth of the transformation."

Rope. Tree. Some assembly required.

She needs to be run out of town, severely mocked and her words ignored. She is mentally ill if she thinks that this form of transformation is a good idea. Socialism has never ever worked - look at the paradise on earth that Venezuela is today.

Says it all

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From a facebook post:

20170204-groundhog.jpg

That did not go as planned

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Spent some time scraping the driveway, fired up the truck and proceeded to slide down sideways on the underlying ice. Stuck there. I took the tractor out for coffee and back home. Fix lunch and then get the tow strap and try to get Thunderbunny un-stuck.

And of course, this little bundle of joy popped up in my inbox:

The National Weather Service in Seattle has Issued a Winter Storm
Warning for the Cascades from Whatcom county Through King County
for Snow, Which is in effect Until 4am PST Sunday. 

  • Snow Accumulations, 12 to 18 Inches of New Snow from Noon Through tonight.
  • Some Affected Locations, Mount Baker Highway, Stevens Pass Snoqualmie Pass.
  • Timing, Through 4am PST Sunday Morning.

Emphasis mine. I get it. It snows here. I went to school in Boston and this is peanuts compared to a New England winter but still...

Pray for my poor soul

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Heading outside to see if I can get out of the driveway. The snow is deep and still coming down with a vengeance.

The dogs are happy - they are bounding through the white stuff and tossing it around. Me? Not so much.

Who ordered this?

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Got about twelve inches of @#$% white stuff on the ground and more coming down and even more snow forecast through Tuesday. Mt. Baker has an inversion again - it was 26.1°F here this morning and 31°F at 3,500 feet - they got 20" of fresh powder so people will be very happy. Precip here amounts to about 0.5" when melted out.

Truck is warming up, checking the critters and see if I can get out for coffee but the rest of today is going to be spent hunkered down at the farm - got a couple of projects to work on so it should be a productive weekend.

Great video on some common conversational phrases and where they came from:

Still snowing hard

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Went out to get something from the truck - got about six inches of snow on the ground and it is coming down heavy. Should be fun tomorrow.

Probably a great time to play hermit for a few days - not going anywhere. The main highway from Bellingham is maintained very well - it is a state road and the Ski Area pumps a lot of tax dollars into the state coffers. My road is maintained by the county and they are stretched thin - usually does not get plowed for a few days and by then, it is nicely compacted and the plowing just removes the nice crunchy snow exposing the underlying sheet of ice. Fun.

Got groceries (fresh produce, etc...) for a few days and a couple projects at home and at the store so I'll be keeping busy.

Tears in the Rain

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Amazing movie shot as a pre-quel to Blade Runner:

From the film's website: Tears in the Rain

In a dystopian Los Angeles future, replicants or genetically engineered humanoids are created to work forced labour on off-world colonies. The latest generation, the Nexus 3 series, begins to display erratic and violent behaviour. Replicants were not designed to experience complex emotions or develop long-term memories. In the wake of corporate scandals of the previous decade, the Tyrell Corporation quietly attempts to remove Nexus 3 from circulation.

John Kampff (Sean Cameron Michael), a senior engineer, heads up the Tyrell Retirement Division. With the primary objectives, detect and remove Replicants, John has suspected Nexus 3 Andy Smith (Russel Savadier) firmly in his sights. As John soon learns, Replicant detection is nearly impossible without specialist equipment. The Voight-Kampff, a polygraph-like machine used by retirement engineers to help in the testing of an individual to learn if they are a replicant, is a distant thought in John Kampff's mind.

Wonderful stuff. Amazing that it was shot with a budget of $1,500

From Investors Business Daily:

U.N. Official Reveals Real Reason Behind Warming Scare
The alarmists keep telling us their concern about global warming is all about man's stewardship of the environment. But we know that's not true. A United Nations official has now confirmed this.

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

"This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution," she said.

Referring to a new international treaty environmentalists hope will be adopted at the Paris climate change conference later this year, she added: "This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history."

The only economic model in the last 150 years that has ever worked at all is capitalism. The evidence is prima facie: From a feudal order that lasted a thousand years, produced zero growth and kept workdays long and lifespans short, the countries that have embraced free-market capitalism have enjoyed a system in which output has increased 70-fold, work days have been halved and lifespans doubled.

Figueres is perhaps the perfect person for the job of transforming "the economic development model" because she's really never seen it work. "If you look at Ms. Figueres' Wikipedia page," notes Cato economist Dan Mitchell: Making the world look at their right hand while they choke developed economies with their left.

The world would be a much better place if all of the meddling Ms. Figueres' would just go away. They contribute nothing but poverty and pain.

Heh - Clock boy gets his comeuppance

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From the Education Action Group Foundation:

‘Clock boy’ defamation case explodes in court — ordered to pay attorney fees
Daily Wire Editor-In-Chief Ben Shapiro did nothing wrong in questioning the motives of Ahmed “Clock Boy” Mohamed, a Muslim student who was detained by police after building a “clock” that resembled a bomb, a Texas court ruled.

A Dallas County District Court judge this week dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed against Shapiro by Mohamed’s father, Mohamed Mohamed, over Shapiro’s comments about the September 2015 incident at MacArthur High School in Irving.

Ahmed Mohamed was only a few weeks into school when the then ninth-grader came to class with what he described as an “invention,” which was basically a disassembled clock that was sloppily reassembled in a pencil box.

Mohamed showed his science teacher, who advised him to put it away. Later in the day, when the clock began beeping in his English class, his teacher took action because she believed it looked like a bomb. Mohamed was detained and questioned by police and briefly charged with possessing a hoax bomb, though the charge was later dismissed.

Mohamed’s politically active father, who has ties to terrorist-sponsoring foreign regimes, then took the boy on a world tour and was photographed with wanted war criminal and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir before visiting the White House at President Obama’s invitation. Obama tweeted support for Ahmed as police investigated the situation.

Emphasis mine - it is always those darned Buddhists. Daddy bit off a bit more than he can chew though:

Mohamed “took the guts out of an old clock, you can see people do it on YouTube. He literally took the guts out of an old clock, the wiring, and he put it inside of a pencil box and proceeded to bring that into the school and this is not the first family incident that has been like this,” Shapiro said. “His sister had an incident in 2009 that was somewhat similar.”

Mohamed eventually moved to Qatar after receiving a full scholarship to attend a school in Doha, but the boy and his father made a special trip back to Texas during the teen’s summer break last year to file a $15 million federal lawsuit against the city of Irving, the school district, and MacArthur High School Principal Daniel Cummings, EAGnews reports.

Mohamed Mohamed followed up with the defamation lawsuit against Shapiro and other conservative commentators.

On Thursday, Shapiro tweeted the court order on his motion to dismiss the case, which was “well taken and should be and is in all respects granted.”

In addition, “Shapiro is entitled to recover his attorneys’ fees, curt costs, and other expenses in bringing his Motion to Dismiss and defending against Plaintiff’s claims,” the order read.

The butt-hurt is strong with this one - good. Punch back twice as hard. I had posted when the story first broke (here and here), Anthony at Art Voice completely reverse engineered Mohamad's "invention" and here is the story about his sister's bomb threat three years prior.

Back home again - still snowing

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Had dinner at the Roadhouse. They do a really nice Prime Rib every Friday and Saturday. Food seems to have improved a bit - their salad lettuce was freshly chopped romaine and not the bagged lettuce mix. You can tell the cheap lettuce mix as the individual pieces are all different sizes from tiny to cover the palm of your hand huge. The stuff is perfectly sanitary and nutritious but it is actually the waste stream from the lettuce processing plant. All the lettuce that falls off the conveyors gets washed, bagged and sold for cheap.

Came home to find the high for today was 29.3°F so no respite from the snow - up to about four inches now and the driveway is slick as snot. I get some traction on the fresh snow but then if I move to fast, the boundary layer gives way and my feet are skidding out from underneath me. Trekking poles are a lifesaver! More snow as well as mixed snow and rain is forecast for the next couple of days - just wunnerful...

The internet was up and down this morning and I came home to find it down too - power cycled the modem and that got things online again. Do not know how much I will be able to surf or post tonight - we will see.

It is dead but parts are still twitching and issuing press releases - from Bloomberg:

Trump Ghost Looms Over EU Summit as Leaders Push Back
U.S. President Donald Trump loomed over a Mediterranean gathering of European leaders, who used the meeting Friday to hit back at the new administration that has upended trans-Atlantic relations by dismissing the European Union’s validity.

“It is unacceptable that there be, through a certain number of statements by the president of the United States, a pressure on what Europe must be or what it must not be,” French President Francois Hollande told reporters Friday at the EU summit in Valletta, Malta.

Valletta, Malta - why are these "meetings" always held in the most posh of tourist destinations. Why are these over-educated ponces not using Skype. I love it that their chief complaint is about President Trump bothering their little sinecure and not what they are doing wrong that is making their world fall apart. It is never their fault - they are too smart to do anything wrong, it is always some outside force that they blame.

I love what our guy said to these 'leaders'

Laying bare the tensions, Ted Malloch, who says he’s been interviewed for the role of U.S. ambassador to the EU, lashed out at the 28-member bloc in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Friday. Following Trump’s lead, he encouraged other member states to hold referendums similar to the U.K., which voted last year to leave the bloc.

The EU “is an overly complex fairly bloated bureaucratic organization,” Malloch said. “Its ambitions have basically overstepped its capabilities, so the question really is what the European member states want to see for that European Union.”

Overly complex - that is putting it mildly. None of the Brussels bureaucrats are elected. Time to admit failure of the grand idea and go back to what works and stop trying to force what "sounds good".

Winter fscking wonderland

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The Weather Channel nailed it and the National Weather Service blew big chunks. I especially love that there were two founders for The Weather ChannelFrank Batten owner of Landmark Media (money and distribution) and Dr. John Coleman (brains) chief meteorologist at ABC owned-and-operated station WLS-TV in Chicago and as a forecaster for Good Morning America. The good Doctor is very vocal in his view that global warming is:

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."

Woke up to two inches of fresh snow on the ground with more coming down. The inversion layer seems to be happening again, Mt. Baker also has two inches and it was 29°F at 7:41AM, we also have two inches and it got down to 21.4°F this morning.

Thunderbunny is idling in my driveway warming up - critters have fresh hay and water and dogs have been fed. Eating a bowl of oatmeal and taking my vitamins - heading out for coffee and see what the day drags in...

Barry's Pen and Phone - the cost to us

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$890 Billion Dollars - from Breitbart:

Study: Obama Issued $890 Billion in Regulations from White House
Former President Obama issued more than $890 billion worth of regulations during his presidency, according to a new study from American Action Forum (AAF).

This number includes $24 million worth of midnight regulations issued in January, more midnight regulations than any lame duck president in history, Breitbart News reported.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued $344 billion worth of regulations during the Obama administration, and implemented the most expensive regulations out of all government agencies, according to the study.

The Department of Energy came in second, issuing $194 billion in regulations over the last eight years.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued $104 billion in regulations as it worked to roll out Obamacare provisions.

Let's see - US Population is about 319 million, 890 Billion divided by equals a $2,789.96 extra expense for every man woman and child and that is just from the added regulations. Not talking about increased taxes or poor economy.

Very clever idea

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If I wasn't switching from woodworking to metalworking and blacksmithing, a set of these saw blades would be showing up at the farm. Brilliant idea and $350 is not a bad price for all that you get:

Fun times ahead - Cliff Mass

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Looks wet in the near future - from Cliff Mass:

Precipitation Returns to the Northwest
The last week has been relatively dry and cool, but the circulation pattern over the West Coast is about to change as high pressure aloft is replaced by moderate, moist southwesterly flow.

Thursday will be the last dry day for Washington, with a line up of increasingly wet storms invading the State starting Friday. The forecast for the 72h precipitation ending 4 PM Sunday says it all: WET, with some of the mountain areas getting 2-5 inches, with more over northern CA.

National Weather Service is predicting heavy rain while The Weather Channel is predicting Snow and Ice trending towards Snow Sunday. The Weather Channel has been a lot more accurate with their forecasts since I have been checking. The only thing they miss is my lower than normal temperatures - I am in a valley that runs North/South and catch Canada's Fraser River outflow when it happens - very cold and windy.

Surf's up

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Had a delicious dinner, two pints of cider from an Eastern Washington cidery and ran into a couple people I knew so a fun evening out.

Back home, surf for a bit and then to bed. See what President Trump is up to.

Also, on a sad note,  good friend and ex-employee is heading down the regressive rabbit-hole. He posted an image of Marx's Das Kapital on his facebook page. I pointed out that Marx made the great mistake of not understanding that capital was fungible - it can be created; it can be destroyed. His central thesis is toast because of this error. I logged in again just now and saw that my comment had been deleted. R.T. was a fun person to talk with as he would debate his ideas. Now, he is just deleting opposing viewpoints. From the Oxford English Dictionary:

bigot
noun
A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions

Dinner time

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Heading out to my local for fish and chips and a couple pints of cider. Back in two hours or so.

Winning the popular vote

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Nice to see this getting some attention finally - from FOX News:

Experts: California voter registration system 'highly susceptible' to fraud
California’s voter registration system is “highly susceptible to being compromised,” because of immigration policies protecting the Golden State’s 2.4 million illegal immigrants, authorities have told Fox News.

The integrity of elections may be compromised by a lack of oversight of non-citizens registering and voting, said Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow for the Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation.

And of course the illegals vote democrat because they get free shit from the party. Some more:

The problem with California is there is no separate verification of citizenship on voter registration, said Charles Bell, Jr., a partner with California-based Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk, LLP, a law firm that specializes in election law. Applicants can check a box affirming they are citizens, and this is not checked against any other government database such as federal immigration records.

Time to clean it up across the USA. You need to have an ID card to get on an airplane, to open a bank account, to buy booze. Why not to vote.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

'Can she eat more kale?' Hordes of liberals want reassurance RBG's health is good
On Tuesday evening, President Donald Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch for deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's long-empty seat. On Wednesday morning, liberals woke up, did the math and realized it was time to be concerned about Ruth Bader Ginsburg's fiber intake. Also bone density. Also exposure to airborne viruses (Madame Justice, what is your flu shot status?), and salmonella, and slippery ice, and also: Has anyone heard how scientists are coming along with a Zika vaccine?

"I'm very interested in this." says Jeanette Bavwidinski, a community organizer in Pennsylvania. "I'm interested in what her daily regimen is. Like, what are you all feeding RBG? Is she getting enough fresh air? Is she walking? Is she staying low-stress? What is she reading? Is she reading low-stress things?"

"Can she eat more kale?" asks Kim Landsbergen, a forest ecologist in Ohio. "Eat more kale, that's all I can say. We love you. Eat more kale.

Heh - amazing what the mindset of the regressive liberal is. Whenever they hit bottom, they keep digging. I would not be surprised if there wasn't an entry in the DSM-IV

UPDATE: Found it - from October 30th, 2015 - DSM-IV 301.95 Progressive Personality Disorder

DSM-IV 301.95 Progressive Personality Disorder
A. A pervasive pattern of progressive political and inter-personal thought and action, rooted in discredited leftist (neo-Marxist) beliefs, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by at least five of the following (individual must be at least 18 years of age to qualify for the diagnosis of Progressive Personality Disorder, as many of the criteria are age-appropriate for adolescents). This disorder often coexists with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    1. Utopian thinking, e.g. a delusional belief that there exist simple, linear, side effect-free solutions to all social problems.
    2. Lack of historical knowledge and perspective, and repression of personal memories dissonant with this belief system. e.g., the national mood post 9-11, including that of PPD patients, is suppressed in order to avoid conflict with subsequent reversal of beliefs as the PPD delusions were reinstated - hence the downplaying of terrorism as a threat and the obsessive concern for the "rghts" of temporarily feared and hated terrorists. (Note to clinician: please differentiate between mere historical ignorance, e.g., a doctorate in history from an elite university, vs. neurotic or psychotic delusions necessary to sustain these beliefs. )
    3. Anthroplastic delusion, e.g. The delusion that behavioral conditioning performed by the government or some other collective will cure all behavioral and social problems, rooted in denial of fixed human nature. Implicit in this delusion is the idea that human beings are infinitely malleable and subject to behavioral manipulation leading to perfect control and predictability. Free will, personal conscience, and objective morality are denied, devalued or denigrated.

Much more at the original site

Got the canopy installed on her today and she looks like a new rig. Bear was a big hit at the canopy store - nice people and great service: Rain-Cap

Life is good. Heading out for coffee and to get the canopy put back on Thunderbunny.

Got two projects at the store and a couple at home to work on for the rest of the week. Snow is still forecast - driveway still a frozen skating rink. I would love to have just one small thermonuclear device - low yield of course (do not want to upset the neighbor's chickens) - and detonate it about 40 feet above my driveway. Get it back to bare gravel again before the next storm-front moves through tomorrow.

That is it for the night - busy tomorrow

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Another run into town tomorrow - this time it is getting the canopy put back on my truck. Got the coal all stacked and the garbage out on the street (collection day tomorrow).

Earlier this morning, I had spread 50 pounds of ice-melt in a single line across the worst part of the driveway and it melted a nice channel this afternoon but it is still slick as snot. It is melting a little bit, leveling out and then re-freezing at night. I hope that the channel will help drain the daytime melt-water so there is less to re-freeze. The dynamics are a bit funny as it seems to be melting more from the bottom than from the top - when I drive over it, it fractures and makes all kinds of cracking noises but the top remains very smooth and slippery. The earth is warming up. Snow is forecast for Friday so looks like we get to start this crap all over again...

And the hits just keep on coming - Iran

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From The Wall Street Journal:

Trump White House Puts Iran ‘On Notice’ After Missile Launch
The White House sharply condemned a recent Iranian ballistic missile test launch and warned of consequences including the possibility of new U.S. sanctions, in a more confrontational approach to Tehran that lays the groundwork for a potential early clash between the two countries.

Calling Iran a “destabilizing influence” in the Middle East, National Security Adviser Mike Flynn declared Wednesday: “As of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.”

It will be interesting to see Iran's reaction.

Good news for California's water

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From the San Jose Mercury News:

Sierra Nevada snowpack is biggest in 22 years — and more snow is on the way
California Gov. Jerry Brown isn’t likely to amend or rescind the state’s emergency drought declaration until April
After a month of huge blizzards and “atmospheric river” storms, the Sierra Nevada snowpack — source of a third of California’s drinking water — is 177 percent of the historic average, the biggest in more than two decades.

A bit more:

In a breathtaking shift for a state that had been mired in five years of punishing drought, 25 feet of new snow has fallen on Heavenly ski resort in South Lake Tahoe since New Year’s Day. Freeways and schools across the Sierra have been closed at times, and firefighters are having trouble finding fire hydrants.

Californian droughts come and go - unfortunately, lop-sided environmental policies have prevented them from building water storage dams that would tide them over. Protecting the Delta Smelt is another stupid thing that needs to be stopped.

From Breitbart:

Pelosi: Sanctuary Cities Make Us ‘Safer,’ ‘Not Disobeying the Law’ – ‘These Are Law-Abiding Citizens’
During a town hall on CNN on Tuesday, House Minority Leader Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) argued that sanctuary city policies make us “safer,” and “in our sanctuary cities, our people are not disobeying the law. These are law-abiding citizens, it enables them to be there without being reported to ICE in case of another crime that they might bear witness to.”

A bit more - a nice come-back:

Later, Pelosi was asked by the mother of a man who was killed by an illegal immigrant, “If you need to go home tonight and line up your babies as you say, and your grandbabies, which one of them could you look in their eyes today, and tell them that they’re expendable, for another foreign person to have an a nicer life? Which one would you like to say, ‘You, my child, are expendable for someone else to come over here and not follow the law and have a nicer life?'”

I continue to wonder if the botox has seeped into her brain. She is playing right into President Trump's Executive Order - from The Hill:

Trump order calls for weekly list of crimes done by undocumented workers
President Trump in the executive orders he signed Tuesday called on the Department of Homeland Security to publish a list each week of the crimes committed by undocumented immigrants.

The order says the Homeland Security Secretary “shall utilize the Declined Detainer Outcome Report or its equivalent and, on a weekly basis, make public a comprehensive list of criminal actions committed by aliens and any jurisdiction that ignored or otherwise failed to honor any detainers with respect to such aliens."

The aim, according to the document, is “to better inform the public regarding the public safety threats associated with sanctuary jurisdictions.”

Heh - a couple weeks of these reports and John Q. Public will be clamoring for faster and more comprehensive action.

Interesting developments - unions

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From the London Daily Mail:

Gov. Walker: White House interested in Wisconsin union law
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that he spoke with Vice President Mike Pence about how the White House can implement on a federal level parts of the Republican governor's contentious policy that all-but eliminated collective bargaining for public sector unions in the state.

President Donald Trump has talked about wanting to weaken collective bargaining protections for federal employees, most of whom can't currently bargain over wages or benefits, to make it easier to hire and fire government workers and base pay on merit rather than tenure. Those changes would require an act of Congress.

Walker severely restricted union power in Wisconsin and is now talking with the Trump administration about "how they may take bits and pieces of what we did" with the union law and civil service reform and "apply it at the national level."

Unions very much had their place in America but they have not adapted to the times and wind up being very expensive for all parties. Public Sector unions especially - teachers, government officials, etc... It is next to impossible to fire bad or delinquent workers, benefits (specifically retirement pensions) outstrip the abilities of the organization to fund - case in point California. It will be an uphill battle but the net outcome will be very good for everyone except the incompetent union employee.

President Trump took a little side trip today - no, not a golf game, something much more important. From Associated Press:

TRUMP MAKES UNANNOUNCED TRIP TO HONOR FALLEN NAVY SEAL
Assuming the somber duties of commander in chief, President Donald Trump made an unannounced trip Wednesday to honor the returning remains of a U.S. Navy SEAL killed in a weekend raid in Yemen.

Chief Special Warfare Operator William "Ryan" Owens, a 36-year-old from Peoria, Illinois, was the first known U.S. combat casualty since Trump took office less than two weeks ago. More than half a dozen militant suspects were also killed in the raid on an al-Qaida compound and three other U.S. service members were wounded.

A bit more:

The president met with Owens' family during a two-hour visit to the base. The sailor's family had requested that Trump's visit and the return of Owens' remains be private.

Former President Barack Obama lifted a ban on media coverage of the casualty returns, though families may still request privacy.

That is leadership - President Trump is our Commander in Chief. This action indicates that he is fully aware of what that job entails.

Things are getting interesting over there - from the San Francisco Chronicle:

SF sues over Trump’s executive order targeting sanctuary cities
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a federal lawsuit against President Trump on Tuesday, calling his executive order that seeks to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities unconstitutional.

The legal action is the first lawsuit from a major sanctuary city under threat from Trump’s executive order that aims to supersede local immigration policy while ratcheting up enforcement.

“Not only is it unconstitutional, it’s un-American,” Herrera said at a City Hall news conference. “It is necessary to defend the people of this city, this state and this country from the wild overreach of a president whose words and actions have thus far shown little respect for our Constitution or the rule of law.”

The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, cites the 10th Amendment of the Constitution that limits the federal government from interfering in powers reserved to states.

You can virtue signal all you want but your argument has no basis in fact. The Tenth Amendment reads:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Short and sweet. Emphasis mine. Unfortunately for the great legal minds in San Francisco, they forgot Article One, Section Eight of the US Constitution which includes the following line:

To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization

It is in the Constitution, President Trump has the authority so get over it.

The reality is sinking in

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Fun bit of schadenfreude at The Hill:

Trump White House clashes with resistant civil servants
Tensions between President Trump and the civil service have spilled out into the open as the bureaucracy’s career employees publicly clash with their chief executive.

Civil servants were always bound to be at odds with the president, who promised to drain the government “swamp.” But now a string of spats with the bureaucracy, culminating Friday with the president’s controversial immigration executive order, has forced that bad blood to become public. After the acting attorney general refused to defend Trump’s order on Monday night, he fired her. Meanwhile, hundreds of State Department diplomats are reportedly signing on to a dissent memo criticizing the policy.

The moves are the latest signals of unease from a civil service facing a 180-degree shift from the previous administration and a new president who repeatedly lambasted the bureaucracy while on the campaign stump.

“I don’t recall any kind of dissent like this happening either in a Democratic or Republican administration — this is clearly unusual,” said Chris Lu, the former deputy secretary of Labor in the Obama administration.

These people are appointed and not elected. All throughout his campaign, Trump said that he was going to reduce the size of the Federal Government and now, the bureaucrats are just waking up to this reality. The smart ones have probably already jumped ship and are working for some university. The stupid ones will be on food stamps and public housing in 3... 2... 1...

Back home from points South

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Picked up 800 pounds of Anthracite coal - good stuff from Tennessee. The coal out here is Bituminous and has a lot of lignite in it. Burns just fine but it kicks off a lot of clinkers. Nice to find a good cheap nearby source - it was only about 12¢/pound.

Now I have to stack it.

Procrastinating by surfing the web, feeding the dogs, getting dinner started (pot of rice to go wtih a Costco chicken), unloading the groceries from the truck, anything but stacking 40 pound sacks of coal...

Saw that there was a Hobby Lobby in the same mall as the coal place (Tractor Supply). Heard about the complaints from the liberals about their displaying their Christian faith. I went in and the place didn't really have anything to offer me - no RC vehicles or drones. It was all crafts. I figured it out after a few minutes - their target customer is a middle-aged woman with pre-teen children. That demographic comprised a good 80% of the people in there. The other 20% was middle-aged women by themselves. Felt like a bull in a china shop.

Points South

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Heading about 50 miles due South of here for a couple of things.

Back later today...

She is talking to opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during PMQ -- a weekly event in which the prime minister stands in Parliament and answers questions.

A fine California whine

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2,300 scientists whine about possible funding cuts. From the Sacramento Bee:

2,300 California scientists write to Trump over climate fears
In response to reports that President Donald Trump would break an international climate agreement, more than 2,300 California scientists have signed an open letter to the White House urging the administration to uphold commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

State scientists have guardedly watched news about Trump’s plans for NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency since his election.

Their fast response to remarks made by a former Trump adviser over the weekend reflected their fears that Trump will reverse climate pacts championed by the Obama administration or make their work more difficult by restricting access to climate data that has been publicly available.

The letter is centered on the Paris climate agreement, a 2015 pact ratified by 127 countries that aims to slow global warming. It commits the U.S. to slashing its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels over the next eight years.

“With this letter, we aim to express the degree to which the scientists and intellectual leaders of our state, speaking for themselves and not on behalf of their respective employers, agree on the facts of climate change,” reads the letter, which was drafted by UC Berkeley associate professor of astronomy Aaron Parsons. “Despite misleading portrayals, there is widespread consensus in the scientific and academic communities that human-caused climate change is real, with consequences that are already being felt.”

It is really funny - when someone with a degree in any other field criticizes the current work in Climate Studies, they are lambasted for not knowing what they are talking about. Here we have an associate professor of astronomy leading the charge for continued funding of their precious little Sinecures.

Ooooooo - the hypocrisy is strong in that one. Cut his funding by 80% - make him work for his living. Dance monkey, DANCE!!!

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