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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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.
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...
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.
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:
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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.
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.
‘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".
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:
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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 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:
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.
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.
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.
A 23-year-old Guyana national with a conviction of rape. He was arrested in Richmond Hill, NY.
A 29-year-old Guatemala national convicted of rape. He was arrested in Bronx, NY.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.”
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.
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.
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:
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.
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 Timeson 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 Morning, Times 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.
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.
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...
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:
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.
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.
We have lived through the snowpocalypse, now it is rain:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Aggravated sexual abuse,
Sexual assault of a minor,
Lewd and lascivious acts with a child,
Indecent liberties with a minor,
DUI (Driving Under the Influence of a controlled substance), and
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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!
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.
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."
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
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).
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."
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.
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:
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1211 PM PST Wed Feb 8 2017 ...WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM PST
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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"
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...
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.
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.
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.
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. 😊
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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
The real threat of ten years behind bars would shut a lot of these snowflakes up for good.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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
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.
‘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.
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".
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...
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).
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.
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.
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
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.
'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
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.
Utopian thinking, e.g. a delusional belief that there exist simple, linear, side effect-free solutions to all social problems.
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. )
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.
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.
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...
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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!!!