May 2017 Archives

And that is it for the night

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Switching over to YouTube to see what is there - nothing scheduled for tomorrow. Got some paperwork to do for this upcoming Field Day - food permit and press releases to all the local media outlets.

Here is the latest airplane from his company - Scaled Composites:

Stratolaunch Systems, a Paul G. Allen project, will build a mobile launch system with three primary components, a carrier aircraft, a multi-stage booster, and a state-of-the-art mating and integration system.

The Stratolaunch carrier aircraft, currently in development by Scaled, will be the largest aircraft ever flown. The airlaunch system will provide orbital access to space with greater safety, cost-effectiveness, and flexibility.

Uses an airplane with the worlds longest wingspan to lift the rocket to above 90% of the Earth's atmosphere making for much simpler, lighter and cheaper rocket requirements. More at Stratolaunch Systems including this photo of the beast:

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I would love to see one of those puppies flying overhead... Brings to mind a reclusive billionaire building a weird plane. Wonder if this will eventually wind up in McMinnville next to the Spruce Goose.

Fun:

Finished fixing the cast iron drainpipe at the store - here is what I found:

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My guess is that someone shoved something back and whacked the pipe causing a hairline crack - age and corrosion let it to grow to the point that it started leaking onto the floor of the back storage room. It just puddled on the floor - nothing was contaminated and we carefully sanitized everything. The pipe was in direct contact with some copper water lines and also was held in place with some galvanized strapping - both great candidates for corrosion and electrolysis.

Drove over to a neighboring town to have some Chicken Mole for dinner. Just had one beer (but it came in a 32oxz. bottle - huge!).

Had my lunch and now time to get to work.

More in a few hours...

From Variety:

CNN Fires Kathy Griffin From New Year’s Show After Donald Trump Beheading Stunt
CNN has fired Kathy Griffin from their annual New Year’s Eve program, which she cohosted with anchor Anderson Cooper.

The network made the announcement via Twitter Wednesday morning.

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Don't let the door hit 'ya where the good Lord split 'ya...

Rather than filtering communications through the dismal swamp of the State Department, he is going direct - from USA Today:

Trump hands out his cellphone number, urges leaders to call him
President Donald Trump has been handing out his cellphone number to world leaders and urging them to call him directly, an unusual invitation that breaks diplomatic protocol and is raising concerns about the security and secrecy of the U.S. commander in chief’s communications.

Trump has urged leaders of Canada and Mexico to reach him on his cellphone, according to former and current U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the practice. Of the two, only Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken advantage of the offer so far, the officials said.

Trump also exchanged numbers with French President Emmanuel Macron when the two spoke immediately following Macron’s victory earlier this month, according to a French official, who would not comment on whether Macron intended to use the line.

All the officials demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal the conversations. Neither the White House nor Trudeau’s office responded to requests for comment.

Keeps the leakers out of the loop too - brilliant!

Why yes, I do live in the country

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Spotted in a community about eight miles due East of here:

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I would not live anyplace else...

Our community will be hosting another CERT class in July so planning stuff for that. We are also looking at getting additional training for CERT graduates - amateur radio and personal radio communications, basic chainsaw operations, basic fire fighting, first aid, etc...

Getting a quick bite to eat and then gathering tools to take back to the store to fix a cracked pipe.

Nothing much today

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Meeting and working at the store. Nothing catches my eye on the internet.

Quote of the month

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From Ol' Remus at the Woodpile Report - talking about kids in college and their safe spaces, micro-agressions, diversity, whatever...

Many of these kids will be Alt-Right in ten years or so. How many depends on how stern a teacher reality is to be.
Said differently, when the host dies and these fatted parasites free-fall into reality, some will have an epiphany, the rest will be eaten alive or just crawl off and die.

Beautifully put.

The mainstream media just released the memo linking President Trump to the Russians:

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So sad, too bad. From GotNews:

BREAKING: Desperate To Stay Solvent, Metropolitan Republican Club’s Anti-Trump Board Struggles To Sell Event Tickets
New York City’s Metropolitan Republican Club took in only $330 at its door at a club event last week, far below typical $1,000 to $2,000 nightly takes in years past, according to a report compiled by Met Club Secretary Ambrose Benkert. The club has fallen on hard times after working against President Donald J. Trump throughout the general election.

“I think if [club board leadership] would have read the writing on the wall a little bit better—that this is the era of Trump—then they could have avoided a lot of this trouble,” says Allan Stevo. Stevo was among presidential loyalists on the club board before unpatriotic members purged the loyalists in January.

Adds Stevo, “Sadly, with all of this infighting, some of the enthusiasm has been zapped from the club.”

Time for another purge only this time, to reverse the changes of the first one. #maga

She posted an image of her holding what looks like the severed and bloody head of President Trump. And then, when a whole bunch of people complained, she issued an apology. From the London Daily Mail (and of course, none of the US mainstream media are covering this):

'I went too far': Kathy Griffin apologizes for posting a video of Trump's 'severed head' on social media after Secret Service suggests she will be investigated for threatening the president
Kathy Griffin has apologized for posting a photo of President Trump's severed head after furious backlash - including from Chelsea Clinton - and the Secret Service tweeted suggested she may be investigated over the stunt.

The controversial comedian tweeted 'I am sorry. I went too far. I was wrong' after Griffin was seen slowly raising Trump's head during a photoshoot with infamous photographer Tyler Shields. She also posted a video promising to remove the offending image.

But the apology was not enough to stop an army of critics, both Trump supporters and Democrats from attacking Griffin on social media for the outrageous stunt.

Her long-time New Years Eve co-host Anderson Cooper said he was 'appalled' by the photo shoot, which he described as 'clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.'

Meanwhile, the Secret Service - while not citing the video or image - chose this tome to remind its followers on Twitter that the agency monitors social media and took any threats against the president very seriously.

And President Turmp's son got in the act:

President Trump's eldest son Donald Jr. also got in on the act, attacking Griffin for posing with a severed fake head resembling his father, saying it was 'disgusting but not surprising.

'This is the left today. They consider this acceptable,' he tweeted. 'Imagine a conservative did this to Obama as POTUS?'

'It's sad that the left today would rather see America suffer and fail than to see it succeed with @realDonaldTrump at the helm. #maga'

Here is the image - click to see it full-size:

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Disgusting - I hope that her career takes a significant hit from this. For more on her act, read this: VILE: Anti-Trump @KathyGriffin Celebrated With “Suck It Jesus” In 2007, Sexually Assaulted @CNN Co-Host In 2013 - Lots of links to corroborating sources and video.

Very clever idea - Plykea

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They are based in England and only ship to the UK now but they are planning an office in San Francisco. Check out Plykea

From their website:

At Plykea we manufacture premium quality doors, drawer fronts, cover panels and worktops, specifically designed to fit IKEA’s latest range of Metod kitchen cabinets. Using the latest CNC machinery each item is precision cut to ensure it fits as perfectly as any original IKEA door or drawer front. We then hand finish everything we make first by sanding any wooden faces or edges, then applying several coats of clear hard wax oil to create a finish that is both beautiful and durable.

So you buy the base cabinets from Ikea and then use these people to modify the drawer fronts and countertops - very high quality and very clever idea.  They just do the kitchen counters for now but intend to start on other furniture later this year. Everything is cut to order using CNC so you can add modifications to their existing designs.

Back home again

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Stopped off for dinner at a brewpub - they do decent beef stew and it has been that kind of day. Bowl of that and two pints of stout and I am a happy camper.

Unpack the truck and surf for a bit - got a 1:00 PM meeting at the local resource center tomorrow and then doing a bit of plumbing at the store (cracked cast-iron drainpipe - replacing with thick-wall ABS).

Weather is forecast to remain cloudy and wet for the next four days or so - raining lightly, got about a tenth of an inch for all day.

Woke up to light rain and overcast - cloud deck is down to the 1,500 foot level. Heading into town later today. Meeting and some plumbing tomorrow and the rest of the week should be spent working at home. Of course, out for coffee first.

But it was not that bad - just a chix breast grilled and topped with some thin sweet clear pineapple sort of sauce.

There was no soy, ginger, vinegar, or pepper that I could taste. Huli means turn in Hawiian - you turn the chicken on the grill. Grill and smoke each side and then, just before it is done, baste with a sweet pineapple and ginger sauce with some peppers and turn again to thicken and set the glaze  - here is one recipe: Huli Huli Chicken Recipe

Back home - surf a bit and then to bed. Got some stormy weather forecast to move in tonight. T-Storms either tonight or tomorrow or both. Summer was nice while it lasted. Grrrr....

Senator John McCain is saying that Vladimir Putin a bigger threat than Islamic State. So how about our President's secret outreach to the Russians. From Bloomberg - December 31st, 2014:

Inside Obama’s Secret Outreach to Russia
President Barack Obama's administration has been working behind the scenes for months to forge a new working relationship with Russia, despite the fact that Russian President Vladimir Putin has shown little interest in repairing relations with Washington or halting his aggression in neighboring Ukraine.

This month, Obama's National Security Council finished an extensive and comprehensive review of U.S policy toward Russia that included dozens of meetings and input from the State Department, Defense Department and several other agencies, according to three senior administration officials. At the end of the sometimes-contentious process, Obama made a decision to continue to look for ways to work with Russia on a host of bilateral and international issues while also offering Putin a way out of the stalemate over the crisis in Ukraine.

“I don’t think that anybody at this point is under the impression that a wholesale reset of our relationship is possible at this time, but we might as well test out what they are actually willing to do,” a senior administration official told me. “Our theory of this all along has been, let's see what’s there. Regardless of the likelihood of success.”

Leading the charge has been Secretary of State John Kerry. This fall, Kerry even proposed going to Moscow and meeting with Putin directly. The negotiations over Kerry’s trip got to the point of scheduling, but ultimately were scuttled because there was little prospect of demonstrable progress.

In a separate attempt at outreach, the White House turned to an old friend of Putin’s for help. The White House called on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to discuss having him call Putin directly, according to two officials. It’s unclear whether Kissinger actually made the call. The White House and Kissinger both refused to comment for this column.

Come on people - when President Trump tries a little diplomacy, he gets yelled at. Two and a half years ago, Obama was doing the same damn thing and it was silence from the Peanut Gallery.

Media Bias? I think so...

Out for dinner - Graham's again

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Do not feel like cooking again and they just posted on FB that they are doing Huli Huli Chicken so having dinner there again.

Heading out in an hour or so - want to reach a logical resting place in a project I am working on.

Signed up for a training session on Digital Mobile Radio in three weeks. Looks like a lot of fun - allows for more channels of radio in the same band as analog plus some nice features like trunking. Two radios can connect over the internet so I could use my hand-held rig to talk to my local repeater and have that repeater trunk to another repeater in Texas or wherever I wanted..

Busted for a DUI - from TMZ:

TIGER WOODS BUSTED FOR DUI ... 'Arrogant' During Arrest
Tiger Woods has been arrested on DUI charges in Jupiter, Florida.

The golfer was stopped by cops early Monday morning for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He was taken in around 3 AM and released from Palm Beach County Jail at 10:50 AM.
You'll recall ... when Tiger and then wife Elin Nordegren got into their blowout fight back in 2009, he hit a tree while allegedly driving under the influence of Ambien. He was not charged with DUI at the time.

Story developing ...

The guy is only 41 but he looks really rough around the edges - his mug shot:

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Makes me wonder about all of his sponsorships - they might forgive one isolated hot mess but a history of them?
From Forbes:

Another Endorsement Earnings Bogey For Tiger Woods With DUI Arrest
A picture is worth a thousand words.

And if that picture happens to be a Tiger Woods mugshot post-DUI arrest, it will almost assuredly cost Tiger Woods millions in current and future endorsement earnings.

According to an ESPN report, Woods was arrested for driving under the influence early Monday near his home in Jupiter, FL. He was released on his own recognizance at 10:50 a.m. ET after spending several hours in jail. He was booked at 7:18 a.m.

Most immediately, my thoughts are:

    • How quickly will companies drop Tiger as a corporate spokesperson?
    • How much money will this cost a guy who has already lost millions in endorsement earnings due to his highly publicized infidelity?
    • Will Nike continue to stand by Tiger?

He recently had back surgery so he is not able to compete on the golf course. I wonder what his financial outlook is like - did he save anything or did it just go out as fast as it came in.

The devil is in the details

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History being rewritten at CNN - from Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch:

CNN rewrites history to claim that Islam was part of America’s founding
“While Muslims were present at America’s founding, Islam — as a coherent, self-conscious religious and political civilization — was not.”

Wait for it...

Yes, and those Muslims who were present at America’s founding were here because other Muslims had sold them to non-Muslims as slaves, either because the Muslim slave traders didn’t realize that they were Muslims, or because they belonged to a sect that the slave traders considered heretical.

Someone does not know their history. It was war with the Muslims that caused our new nation to develop its Navy. I find it laughable when some pompous black person takes a Muslim name or even goes so far as to convert to Islam. His ancestors were rounded up by Muslims, death-marched to the shore by Muslims, and sold by Muslims (about 20% to North America, 70% to South America and the Caribbean). If I was of African decent, I would have nothing whatsoever to do with anyone of Muslim persuasion let alone consider changing my name or faith.

Nick Offerman's Common Sense

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Great set of videos from Vanity Fair:

How to Unite Our Divided Country

How Fake News Changes Us

Just the two so far but this should be a fun series.

Memorial Day

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Spending a quiet day working at home today. There are some veterans services in town but do not feel like driving that far although it is a gorgeous day today.

Out for coffee and then back home to take care of a couple projects - getting the radio room set back up again after yesterday's event.

This sums it up:

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Back home again

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Burger and two pints of cheap beer. Graham's has a horrible cider on tap - hopped and flavored and it is not selling at all so they are going to be stuck wtih that keg for a long long time. Why take perfectly good cider and muck it up like that.

Surf for a bit and then early bedtime.

Decided against a nap - going out for an early burger or steak and to sleep by about 9:00PM or so.

Chicago

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A great Mad Dog quote

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From Breitbart:

Mattis: Nothing Keeps Me Awake at Night, I Keep Other People Awake at Night
Sunday on CBS’s “Face The Nation,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis was asked what keeps him up at night.

Mattis replied, “Nothing, I keep other people awake at night.”

Perfect answer.

The government of El Salvador has their panties in a bunch - they thought they could give their gang members a ride to the USA and we would put them on the dole. From The Washington Post:

Trump wants to deport MS-13 gang members. El Salvador is dreading their return.
The Trump administration’s push to deport more Central American gang members has alarmed officials here who fear that the returning gangsters could exacerbate violence in one of the deadliest countries in the hemisphere.

This year the U.S. government has deported 398 gang members to this country, compared with 534 in all of 2016, according to Salvadoran government statistics. This sharp increase in the rate of gang deportations — and the prospect of more gang roundups in the United States — has prompted Salvadoran authorities to hold emergency meetings and propose new legislation to monitor suspected criminals who are being sent home.

“This clearly affects El Salvador. We already have a climate of violence in the country that we are combating,” said Héctor Antonio Rodríguez, the director of the country’s immigration agency. “If gang members return, of course this worries us.”

You can see the bias right there - the Post's owner is Jeff Bezos and I love Amazon but he is a flaming progressive. Those gang members were already IN El Salvador before they moved to the USA. It is not like we are dumping some new population on an unsuspecting country. They had the problem originally - a result of failed policing - and we are just returning them to their own country.

Back home from the race

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Had 308 people come though the gate - there was one broken wrist at the very beginning and a bunch of flat tires but nothing otherwise eventful. Nine people didn't finish the bicycle course for one reason or the other.

Gorgeous day - got up to 86.4°F this afternoon and it is now cooling off at 80.1°F - supposed to have some precip move in Wednesday but we will see...

Surf for a bit and maybe take a nap - had to get up very early.

Off to the races

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Ski to Sea is today - heading out to the wonderful small town of Everson and setting up my radio.

Back sometime around 1500 (03:00PM) - looks like it is going to be gorgeous weather.

Arkancide again?

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People who stand in the way of the Clintons (and by extension, Democrats) sometimes find themselves committing suicide in very unusual ways. From The Gateway Pundit:

Federal Prosecutor Investigating Fraud Found Dead in Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s District
Brandon J. Whisenant, Jr.’s body was found Wednesday by a random individual. The police are attempting to determine if Whisenant’s death was a “homicide, suicide, or something else.”

More on Arkancide in general can be found here: The Clinton Body Count

Anyone remember Tim Kane? Hillary's VP running mate? Anyone remember Hillary? From Breitbart:

Tim Kaine’s Son Faces Criminal Charges After Joining Masked, Violent Anti-Trump Riot
Linwood Michael Kaine, a son of former 2016 Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, faces criminal charges for allegedly joining in an anti-Trump riot to attack supporters of President Donald Trump in March in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Throw the book at him - the sooner that Antifa realize that the justice system will prosecute if they throw a tantrum, the sooner we can restore intelligent discourse.

From Breitbart:

Rex Tillerson Declines to Host Ramadan Celebration at State Department
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declined to host an event to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, ending a bipartisan tradition of marking the occasion for nearly 20 years, Reuters has revealed.

A bit more - the history:

The tradition of hosting a Ramadan event was initiated by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright under Bill Clinton and has been repeated yearly by every administration since. The department also marks the Hindu festival of Diwali, while the White House hosts events at Christmas and Easter as well as during the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Good - we needed to send the message that the Islamists will not be welcomed until they clean up their act and come down hard on the evil in their ranks. 

Loaded up and ready to roll

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Got everything packed up and ready to roll. These events are a lot more than just a grab and go scenario - I will be using two different radio sets as well as a laptop for data logging. Running off a car battery that is solar charged.

Got a gawdawful alarm set for tomorrow morning so surf for a little bit and then head upstairs. What with all the highway congestion, I will not be able to visit my favorite espresso place for a coffee - have to settle for a place in Everson.

That is it for a couple of hours

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Packing up the truck for tomorrow and off to the pre-race meeting.

More this evening.

From The Intercept:

$25 MILLION OIL TANKER GIFTED TO ERDOGAN’S FAMILY IS JUST ONE OF MANY REVELATIONS IN THE MALTA FILES
WHAT’S THE PERFECT GIFT for a world leader who has everything? How about secretly buying a $25 million oil tanker for his family? That’s what Azeri billionaire Mübariz Mansimov did for Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the increasingly authoritarian Turkish president, back in 2008. The discovery, published Friday by the Black Sea, El Mundo and other outlets, is the result of a monthslong project by the European Investigative Collaboration network.

Mansimov became a Turkish citizen two years earlier and adopted a Turkish name, Mübariz Gurbanoglu, allegedly at Erdogan’s suggestion. After the deal was struck, his business dealings in Turkey took off, including lucrative contracts with state firms.

A bit more - this is huge:

The paper trail for this tangled web of transactions begins in the Malta Files, an investigation led by the EIC, based on a leaked cache of 150,000 documents from a Malta-based provider of legal, financial and corporate services, as well as a scraped version of the Malta Public Register of companies. In total, more than 50,000 companies are included. The project brought together 49 journalists from 13 media organizations in 16 countries, including The Intercept Brasil, L’Espresso, Le Soir, NRC, Der Spiegel, the Romanian Centre for Investigative Journalism / TheBlackSea.eu, Mediapart, Politiken, NewsWeek Serbia, El Mundo, Expresso, Dagens Nyheter, Malta Today, and Agência Sportlight.

Malta, a Mediterranean archipelago with less than half a million residents, boasts the lowest effective corporate tax rate in the European Union and has become a preferred destination for tax avoidance in the EU. Malta Files reporting has also exposed offshoring schemes of the Italian mafia, a Russian billionaire’s payday loan empireTurkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirimsoccer stars, and yacht-owning European oligarchs, among others.

While the international webs of interlocking companies and owners are often quite convoluted, the gist of the main scheme is easy to follow: The French corporate tax rate is 33.33 percent; in Malta, the effective rate for the overseas activities of foreign-owned companies is only 5 percent; taking advantage of the open border policies afforded to EU member states, a Parisian firm can open a subsidiary in Malta, declare profits under that subsidiary, pay 5 percent to the Maltese government, and repatriate the rest of the profits back home tax-free, legally stiffing France of any revenues. Malta gets money for nothing, the firm saves 85 percent on its tax bill, and the French taxpayers lose out on millions.

This is why so many people want to simplify the tax code - keep things rational and eliminate all loopholes.
Panama Papers? Read here, here, here, and hereArthur Laffer was right.

Good riddance - Prenda Law

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They got their day in court. From Engadget:

Copyright troll lawyer is finally disbarred for fraud
illegal to download copyrighted files from file-sharing sites, it is also against the law to extort downloaders. John L. Steele, a Chicago lawyer who pled guilty to perjury, fraud and money laundering resulting from alleged "honeypot" schemes, has just been disbarred by an Illinois court. Both Steele and his law partner, Paul Hasmeier, were indicted last March for uploading porn videos that they acquired through sham companies in the West Indies and then suing whomever downloaded them, resulting in a staggering $6 million in settlement fees. That's quite a honeypot.

According to the Cook County Record, Steele's law firm, Prenda, would use court subpoenas to find out who had downloaded the pornographic content -- some of which they filmed themselves -- and then allegedly pressure the downloaders for settlement money in exchange for dropping the suit. Profiting from such extortions without disclosure is what led to a US district judge sanctioning Steele and Hasmeier in 2013, as well as passing the case along to the FBI. Hasmeier's case is still pending, though his law license was suspended in 2016.

Heh - have fun appealing this one...

Good job Poland!

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Leadership by actually seeing what is happening and not just virtue signaling and following the approved narrative. From The Gateway Pundit:

Poland Stands Up to EU on Forced Quotas: We’re Not Taking Your Migrants – Your Blackmail Won’t Work On Us
Strong words, Wednesday, from Poland’s conservative prime minister, Beata Szydło, in reaction to EU threats to force her country to accept migrants or face massive fines.

‘’Poland will not submit to any blackmail on the part of the European Union’’, Szydło stated during a parliamentary debate, adding that her Central European nation would not be participating in the ‘’madness of the Brussels elites.’’

Referencing the Islamist suicide bombing which killed 22, mainly children, and injured dozens more at a pop concert in Manchester this week, the Catholic prime minister said she had the courage to call out the EU’s political elites on their ‘’folly’’.

Two Polish citizens were amongst those killed on Monday night’s atrocity in Manchester.

‘’Where are you going, Europe? Get up off your knees. Get out of your lethargy. Otherwise you will be crying every day for your children’’, she warned, stating that Poland had no intention of accepting Brussels-imposed migrants.

England exited the EU to great financial and cultural reward, time for Poland to follow suit. Delete the Brussels ruling class - they are not relevant in this world.

No good ideas? No victory.

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That simple. The Democrats have no good ideas to offer and people are sick of the spending. From The New York Times:

Liberals Wanted a Fight in Montana. Democratic Leaders Saw a Lost Cause.
The Democratic defeat in a hard-fought special House election in Montana on Thursday highlighted the practical limitations on liberal opposition to President Trump and exposed a deepening rift between cautious party leaders, who want to pick their shots in battling for control of Congress in 2018, and more militant grass-roots activists who want to fight the Republicans everywhere.

Rob Quist, the Democratic nominee in Montana, staked his campaign on the Republican health care bill, but he still lost by six percentage points, even after his Republican opponent for the state’s lone House seat, Greg Gianforte, was charged with assaulting a reporter on the eve of the election.

The Dems need to go back and read that Fred Reed rant I posted a couple hours ago. The smart ones might learn something.

Well crap - RIP Gregg Allman

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From Billboard:

Gregg Allman, Soulful Trailblazer of Southern Rock, Dies at 69
Gregg Allman, the soulful singer-songwriter and rock n' blues pioneer who founded The Allman Brothers Band with his late brother, Duane, and composed such classics as "Midnight Rider," "Melissa" and the epic concert jam "Whipping Post," has died at age 69, Billboard has learned. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010.

He "passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia," according to a statement on Gregg Allman's official website, noting that the family planned to release a statement soon. "Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul. Playing music lifted him up and kept him going during the toughest of times."

Gregg’s longtime manager and close friend Michael Lehman said, “I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard. His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him.”

His website is unreachable - probably swamped with traffic. Try here in a few days: Gregg Allman

The Mainstream Media - Fred Reed

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A great and spot on rant from Fred Reed:

Notes of a Reformed News Weasel: Understanding the Vacuity
Do you wonder why the legacy media are such puzzled otherworldly twits? Why, for example, they had no idea what was happening in the recent election? Why they seem to know so very little about America or much of anything else?

Some thoughts from a guy who spent a career in the racket:

Ask journalists when they were last in a truck stop on an Interstate, last in Boone, North Carolina or Barstow, California or any of thousands of such towns across the country. Ask whether they were in the military, whether they have ever talked to a cop or an ambulance crewman or a fireman. Ask whether they have a Mexican friend, when they last ate in a restaurant where a majority of the customers were black. Whether they know an enlisted man, or anyone in the armed services. Whether they have hitchhiked overnight, baited a hook, hunted, or fired a rifle. Whether they have ever worked washing dishes, harvesting crops, driving a delivery truck. Whether they have a blue-collar friend. Know what the Texas Two-Step is, have been in a biker bar.

Now do you see why Trump surprised them?

And he is just getting warmed up. Much more at the site.

Another gorgeous day in paradise

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Heading out for coffee and to check at the store and then back home to pack up the truck for tomorrow's race.

There will be a team of four people situated about five miles from my station - they will be watching for the bicyclists and reading off the bib numbers to me. I will then copy and verify (read back) the numbers and then announce them over the PA System so that the next leg of the race (canoes in the Nooksack River) can get prepared. This is my fifth year doing this so I have it dialed in. A fun event as a lot of people dress up in funny costumes and it is very much a party atmosphere.

Bill Whittle on Bill Nye

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From Daniel Greenfield writing at Front Page Magazine:

THE BIG MONEY BEHIND FAKE NEWS
What really powers the media’s fake news scandal machine

Fake news is profitable.

The New York Times hit piece on the Comey memo earned the paper its most concurrent readers per second. Pretty good for a piece about a piece of paper that the leftist paper had never even seen and which was, supposedly, described to it by one of Comey’s associates.

But that didn’t stop it from racking up over 6 million views.

Media fake news isn’t just an agenda. It’s enormously profitable. Hit pieces powered by anonymous sources bring in over 100,000 readers in an age when live is king. For individual reporters, finding a source, real or fake, that can back up the left’s Trump conspiracy theories can put them on the map.

The Comey story comes from Michael Schmidt who made a name by supposedly finding documents relating to media claims of a “Haditha Massacre” in a Baghdad junkyard where “an attendant was burning them as fuel to cook a dinner of smoked carp.” It was dashing and also very convenient.

The claims didn’t hold up in court. Most of the Marine heroes who were dragged through the mud over Haditha had their cases dropped. One case dragged out and ultimately came out to very little. But the New York Times cashed in. And Schmidt did much better out of it than Cpl. Stephen Tatum.

And it's not just the Times - Jeff Bezos' blog (The Washington Post) is just as guilty. The liberals do not care that the news is fake as long as it fits their narrative.

The Washington Post has racked up viral hit fake news stories backed by anonymous sources. And it’s paying off. The Post claimed a traffic increase of 50% at the end of last year with a 75% increase in new subscribers. The official line is that Jeff Bezos has transformed the Post’s digital strategy. The reality was conveyed by its new anti-Trump slogan. “Democracy dies in darkness.” The silly slogan was an exercise in branding. It announced that this was the paper of choice for “researched” attacks on Trump.

Now the Post has hit $100 million in digital revenues and added hundreds of thousands of digital subscribers. All of this is quite a change from a few years ago when the Post was losing $50 million a year and Baron was talking about shrinking the newsroom.

We need to keep shining the light in the dark corners and to squish what scurries out. The more peole get educated, the better off we all are.

Feeling a little bitter are we?

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From The Hill:

Clinton compares Trump to Nixon, saying presidency 'would eventually end in disgrace'
Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivered a subtle jab at President Trump's ongoing conflict with the Justice Department during a commencement speech at Wellesley College on Friday by drawing a comparison between him and former President Nixon. 

You have got to be kidding. Why is she still relevant?

Make an example of him - Antifa

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Self-righteous bastards each and every one of them. From San Francisco's East Bay Times:

Bay Area college professor used U-shaped bike lock in beating, police say
A former Diablo Valley College professor was arrested Wednesday in connection with the use of a bike lock in the beating of three people during a rally for President Donald Trump last month, police said Thursday.

Eric Clanton remained in custody in lieu of $200,000 bail at Berkeley Jail on Thursday and is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Friday at Oakland’s Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse. He was arrested on three counts of suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon that isn’t a firearm and assault causing great bodily injury.

In a statement Thursday, police acknowledged that video of the incident, captured by onlookers and posted on social media, helped them identify Clanton as the suspect behind “several violent assaults” that happened April 15 during the demonstration at Civic Center Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

A bit more:

Conservative websites celebrated the arrest as a victory against so-called anti-fascist groups. Conservative groups of Trump supporters fought with anti-Trump protesters — self-described as anti-fascists or “antifa” — during the rally.

Minor comment - in every case I have read or watched, the conservatives always let the antifa assholes land the first punch. It is a matter of the moral high ground that the Conservatives do not initiate a fight. As soon as that first punch lands though, all bets are off and in most cases, it is the antifa snowflakes who cave in.

Back home at the farm

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Finished the shopping run - uneventful. Did a couple of errands too including picking up ten pounds of dry ice. I am doing a complete 48-hour defrost of the fridge to see if that fixes it. The freezer works fine but the refrigeration part is at room temperature. Have the freezer contents sitting in a cooler and keeping my fingers crossed.

Picked up a Costco chicken for tonight's dinner - that and a pot of rice.

Doing the shopping run for the store today - back in the late afternoon...

The usual dinner

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Left-over tacos, two episodes of Agents of Shield and then surf for a bit.

Getting up early tomorrow as I am doing the buying run for the store. Refrigerator is still not working - freezer is holding temp just fine. I vacuumed off the condenser coils and will see if that does anything. Compressor is running fine. I remember when fridges used to last twenty years or more - the new ones are built like crap and cost way too much money - $1,000 for a basic unit.

Got two in Minnesota

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Sccumbags - from the Minneapolis, Mn CBS affiliate WCCO:

Growing Concern Over Brothers Arrested With Guns, Bomb-Making Materials
There are growing concerns about the arrest of two brothers with ties to the Middle East who authorities say had an arsenal with bomb-making materials, guns and ammunition in their car.

Twenty-seven-year-old Abdullah Alrifahe and 26-year-old Majid Alrifahe were arrested on May 11 in north Minneapolis.

Those darned Buddhists again. A bit more:

A good Samaritan confronted the men about littering from their car.

The man, who asked that his name not be used for fear of his safety, said the brothers jumped out of their car, moved aggressively toward him and used the N-word. He then called police.

Inside the brothers’ car, police found a loaded AK-47, another rifle, a handgun, a grenade, large amounts of ammunition, and what would later be identified as bomb-making materials, including a drone.

Abdullah Alrifahe had recently been released from jail after serving time for a weapons conviction. He is now facing a single felony weapons charge.

His brother, Majid, has been released from jail and is facing a low-level misdemeanor charges, including disorderly conduct.

The good Samaritan is outraged the charges aren’t more serious.

“For what they found in their car, that is way too light,” he said.

Misdemeanor? They have bomb-making supplies in their car and the moke gets a misdemeanor - unreal. They need to be locked away from society for the next 50 years.

The joys of being an adult

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The refrigerator just conked out and I got a call from the store that a water pipe is leaking. Fun stuff...

Looks like a great movie

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More here: No Safe Spaces

Just wonderful - Las Vegas

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From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

‘Credible’ Islamic State propaganda video features short clip of Las Vegas Strip
A legitimate Islamic State group propaganda video posted on social media last week features brief footage of the Las Vegas Strip while calling for lone-wolf terrorist attacks, and Las Vegas police are treating it as a credible threat.

Looks like Obama's immegration policies are bearing fruit.

Who she? From USA Today:

IRS officials say lives at risk in tea party bias case
Details about tea party bias claims against the IRS could remain secret because current and former agency officials say their lives are in danger if they publicly testify about the case.

Lois Lerner and Holly Paz both have argued in recent court filings that the threat to their lives outweighs the public's right to hear their testimony about how IRS employees in Cincinnati and Washington, D.C., handled applications for tax-exempt status from tea party groups.

They recently filed evidence to support their claim under seal in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. Though that evidence has not been made public, court records indicate it relates to death threats and other harassment the women say they endured after their names were connected to the bias claims against the IRS several years ago.

Death Threats? From the TEA Party? This boggles the mind. As is the case with 99.999% of hate crimes out there, this will prove to have been self-inflicted or nonexistent. They knew they broke the law and acted unethically, they are no trying to weasel out of it any way they can.

Do not forget your towel!

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Another morning in paradise

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Heading out for coffee and paying bills. Working at home today - solar panel and music racks. Starting to move the electronics bench from the DaveCave into the Radio Room. Fun stuff.

Weather is perfect - mid 60's and clear skies. Supposed to be gorgeous for this Sunday's race.

Time to switch over to YouTube for a while.

Spending tomorrow at home - doing the shopping run for the store on Friday. My employee has a project he wants to finish so I am stepping in for the run.

The swamp is getting nervous

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On the run - from Breitbart:

Advertisers Bow to Activist Left, Begin Pulling Ads from Hannity
A number of companies have pulled ads from Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show Hannity after he pledged to continue investigating circumstances surrounding the death of murdered DNC employee Seth Rich.

Companies including Cars.com, Peloton, and Leesa Sleep have all given in to pressure to cease advertising on the show over Hannity’s pursuit of now retracted claims made by Fox News that murdered DNC employee Seth Rich had contact with Wikileaks before his death.

On Tuesday evening, Hannity invited internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom onto his show to discuss his claim that Seth Rich had provided Wikileaks with internal Democratic party emails.

However, after Rich’s family sent a letter to Fox demanding that Hannity not host KimDotcom, the appearance was cancelled, with Hannity saying he made the decision “out of respect for the family’s wishes.”

“I totally and completely understand how upset and how hard this is on this family, especially over the recent coverage of Seth’s death,” he said. “I’ve been communicating with them. I got a very heartfelt note. I also sent them a heartfelt note back.”

“However, out of respect for the family’s wishes, for now, I am not discussing this matter at this time,” Hannity continued, although he later contended that he had “retracted nothing” and would continue to “try to get to the truth.”

Things must be getting hot for the denizens of the swamp when they start doing this sort of Cultural Mau Mau-ing. We have all the time in the world and the truth will come out. It will be fun to see Podesta et. al. squirming on a witness stand.

Early dinner and meeting tonight

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Beef tacos for dinner tonight - was trying out my new tortilla press but could not get the tortillas to come out right - back to store-bought.

Planning meeting at 7:00PM for next month's Field Day (PDF) - last year was a lot of fun and we should be better organized for our second annual one. I am doing the food for the event.

Weiner - talk about Mr. Lucky

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Anthony Weiner's book deal just got yanked - from The Washington Free Beacon:

Weiner’s Book Deal Terminated After Guilty Plea
Former Rep. Anthony Weiner's (D., N.Y.) book deal has been terminated after he pleaded guilty on Friday to federal obscenity charges, ending a federal investigation into his relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

It was revealed in 2016 that Weiner, 52, had been sexting with the underage girl. Federal investigators probing the case seized Weiner's laptop and emails to his wife, top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin, which led former FBI Director James Comey to publicly re-open an investigation into Clinton's own private email server that ended shortly before Clinton's presidential loss.

Abedin had been separated with the former congressman for nine months before she filed for divorce the day he pleaded guilty.

But Weiner is not only losing his wife: his book deal with Foundry Literary + Media has also been severed, Page Six reported Tuesday. Foundry reportedly held onto the option of honoring the book deal with Weiner, but this was aborted after he tearfully testified to sending explicit messages to a North Carolina teen.

Heh - sucks to be you. I am amazed that he made it this far in politics but he is a Democrat after all.

Perfect - Manchester bombing

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This just sums it up better than anyone I have seen today:

20170524-satan.jpg

Coffee, store and working at home. Meeting later tonight.

Weather has cooled off and it is overcast with showers forecast. Sunny later this week. Spraying the weeds.

Two big reads

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Things are starting to unravel in the Swamp. Here are two rather long articles that are worth reading:

Caught On Tape: Wasserman Schultz Threatens Police Chief For Investigating Her IT Staff's Crimes

Opinion/analysis on Comey and draining the swamp

Like I said, long reads but very worth your time.

Good news from Washington State

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Act out at a protest tantrum, you deserve to be identified and prosecuted. From The Seattle Times:

Wearing masks, hoods at protests could become crime under new bill
Protesters wearing masks or hoods during demonstrations could be charged with a crime, if one GOP state senator has his way.

The bill by state Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, arrives as similar laws are being considered in other states, including Georgia, Missouri and Montana.

SB 5941 would make it illegal for someone to stand on a sidewalk, road or any public ground with their face covered, unless that person was exempted for religious or myriad other reasons spelled out in the bill.

And the reason for this bills genesis:

Introduced Monday, Honeyford’s proposal is aimed at “a small but dangerous group of individuals who conceal their identities while committing illegal acts under the guise of political protest,” SB 5941 says.

Honeyford said he first considered such legislation after Seattle’s tumultuous 1999 World Trade Organization protests.

But recent May Day demonstrations in Portland and Olympia prompted him to draft the bill, which would make it a gross misdemeanor to wear a mask or hood. Several demonstrators wore masks at those protests, where violence erupted.

Cue the Peanut Gallery:

The exemptions show the bill is designed to target protesters, which is unconstitutional, argued Elisabeth Smith with the ACLU of Washington.

“The First Amendment actually protects people’s right to wear a mask in public” at demonstrations, said Smith, a legislative director for the organization.

“It’s clear that the impetus is to criminalize protest behavior,” Smith added.

Elisabeth - here is the text of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

First of all, you are addressing the wrong venue as stated by the Tenth Amendment:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The bill is being brought before the Washington State Congress and only concerns WA State Citizens.

Second, I take this line from the First Amendment:

...the right of the people peaceably to assemble...

Those people acting out did not arrive at the tantrum to peaceably assemble - they came with the intent to do harm to property and people. Elisabeth, you are doing the legal equivalent of flinging poo on the walls and hoping that some of it sticks.

This is a good bill and it will go a long way to reduce the damage from these tantrums. Sure, let them do their thing but they should know that they will be held personally responsible for their actions and there will be people recording their activities.

Want to peaceably assemble? Try it - you might find that you get more traction over the other 99.999% of us citizens trying to get on with our lives...

Back home again

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Good meeting this afternoon, ran some errands and had a Costco hot-dog for dinner. Came home and passed some linemen working on a downed power line. The house had been without electricity for a couple of hours. Had some strong winds come through just after I left for town and a branch came off a tree.

Looks like Anacortes and Blaine took the brunt of the wind - about 1,000 people still without power in Anacortes and 500 in Blaine. 82 seperate incidents listed as still being open with Puget Sound Energy. Maple Falls still shows 144 out.

Cliff Mass has the details:

Major Marine Push Occurring Right Now
8 PM UPDATE

This is really turning into a very unusual (and strong) onshore push event. Over 10,000 customers have lost power in Western Washington (see PSE map)

The wind gusts were amazing...several locations in the central and eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca got to 50-60 mph--even southward into Puget Sound.  Exposed area in the Cascades gusted to 60-80 mph.

And the forecast for tomorrow:

Tomorrow will be much cooler day, with temperatures falling back into the mid-60s.  But don't get rid of your sunscreen and shorts yet...the ridge of high pressure will rebuild later this week and temperatures will quickly surge into the 70s and low 80s by this weekend.

Good - planning to do some spraying in the garden. This will be perfect weather for that activity.

Announcement from Kim Dotcom

He promised a statement on Tuesday and here it is - from his website:

#SETHRICH WAS A HERO
I KNOW THAT SETH RICH WAS INVOLVED IN THE DNC LEAK
I know this because in late 2014 a person contacted me about helping me to start a branch of the Internet Party in the United States. He called himself Panda. I now know that Panda was Seth Rich.

Panda advised me that he was working on voter analytics tools and other technologies that the Internet Party may find helpful.

I communicated with Panda on a number of topics including corruption and the influence of corporate money in politics.

I was referring to what I knew when I did an interview with Bloomberg in New Zealand in May 2015. In that interview I hinted that Julian Assange and Wikileaks would release information about Hillary Clinton in the upcoming election.

The Rich family has reached out to me to ask that I be sensitive to their loss in my public comments. That request is entirely reasonable.

I have consulted with my lawyers. I accept that my full statement should be provided to the authorities and I am prepared to do that so that there can be a full investigation. My lawyers will speak with the authorities regarding the proper process.

If my evidence is required to be given in the United States I would be prepared to do so if appropriate arrangements are made. I would need a guarantee from Special Counsel Mueller, on behalf of the United States, of safe passage from New Zealand to the United States and back. In the coming days we will be communicating with the appropriate authorities to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, I will make no further comment.

Looks like the drainage line for the swamp just got a lot bigger. More. Faster. Please.

From CBS News:

Manchester bomber identified: Latest in terror investigation
Police on Tuesday identified the man who blew himself up the previous night at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, as 22-year-old Salman Abedi. CBS News confirmed Abedi was known to British authorities prior to the attack.

In a generic statement posted online, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) claimed responsibility for Abedi's suicide bomb attack, which left 22 people dead, including children, at one of the entrances to the Manchester Arena.

Treacherous scum - they need to be wiped off the face of this Earth.

Up and at 'em

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Another gorgeous day today - had a neighbor come over to borrow a propane weed torch - the weeds have taken over this year what with the extended wet spring.

Heading out for coffee and then in to town for a 4:00PM meeting and to run some errands.

Horrible death and destruction. I hope that the perps find themselves in the same spot as the 9/11 hijackers - from The Onion:

Hijackers Surprised To Find Selves In Hell
JAHANNEM, OUTER DARKNESS—The hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon expressed confusion and surprise Monday to find themselves in the lowest plane of Na'ar, Islam's Hell.

"I was promised I would spend eternity in Paradise, being fed honeyed cakes by 67 virgins in a tree-lined garden, if only I would fly the airplane into one of the Twin Towers," said Mohammed Atta, one of the hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11, between attempts to vomit up the wasps, hornets, and live coals infesting his stomach. "But instead, I am fed the boiling feces of traitors by malicious, laughing Ifrit. Is this to be my reward for destroying the enemies of my faith?"

The rest of Atta's words turned to raw-throated shrieks, as a tusked, asp-tongued demon burst his eyeballs and drank the fluid that ran down his face.

According to Hell sources, the 19 eternally damned terrorists have struggled to understand why they have been subjected to soul-withering, infernal torture ever since their Sept. 11 arrival.

"There was a tumultuous conflagration of burning steel and fuel at our gates, and from it stepped forth these hijackers, the blessed name of the Lord already turning to molten brass on their accursed lips," said Iblis The Thrice-Damned, the cacodemon charged with conscripting new arrivals into the ranks of the forgotten. "Indeed, I do not know what they were expecting, but they certainly didn't seem prepared to be skewered from eye socket to bunghole and then placed on a spit so that their flesh could be roasted by the searing gale of flatus which issues forth from the haunches of Asmoday."

As they say, this is just getting started. Fun too - read a bit about Islam (got to know what you are talking about) and this is the pantheon of their Hell and they are welcome to it in all of its effulgent glory.

Unreal - President Trump

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I am amazed that no other American President has done this - from the New York Post:

Trump becomes first sitting US president to visit Western Wall
President Trump visited the Western Wall on Monday, the first stop at the Jewish holy site by a sitting American commander-in-chief.

​The president was accompanied by first lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner​ – both observant Jews – ​but walked alone to the wall, where he paused for about a minute with his hand on the ancient stones.

After a moment,​ Trump, wearing a black skull cap, pulled a slip of paper from his jacket pocket and placed it in a niche in the ​limestone ​wall.

The Wailing Wall is such a central and sacred part of Jewish culture, I find it really strange that no other American President has visited it before.

I love it, this guy is unstoppable. Next up is The Vatican. Interesting that his first overseas trip is to the seats of the three Abramahamic Religions of this world and that he and his family are being straight-up class acts all the way. No groveling but tons of mutual respect for the people and the cultures. Hippies may hate but I think we got ourselves a good one here...

Health care - a plan

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This is going to be a long slog for people to read but this is one of the best and most intelligent health care plans that I have run across. Saves a lot of money and gives great (and affordable) care to everyone.

Some people are going to have their rice bowls taken away - lobbyists, hospital administrators (we have way to many high-paid administrators and too few actual Doctors), the drug sales representatives and those individuals who will not institute lifestyle changes (cutting carbohydrates for diabetics) and depend on everyone else to compensate for their inaction..

From Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker - Part One:

The Bill To Permanently Fix Health Care For All
Let's lay out the parameters for a bill, a fairly-modest update to my two previous missives on this point here and here (note the dates) and which can be easily turned into formal legislative language:

    • All providers must post, in their offices and on a public web site without any requirement to sign in or otherwise identify oneself to access it, a full and complete price list which shall apply to every person.  This instantly allows customers to compare pricing between providers for services and products in the medical realm.
    • All customers must be billed for actual charges at the same price on a direct basis at the time the service or product is rendered to them. This immediately and permanently decouples "insurance" from the provision of care.  The current system of an "explanation of benefits" that often features a "negotiated discount" of some 90% is nothing other than an extortion racket and is arguably felonious -- threatening to bankrupt someone if they don't buy your "insurance" through a threat to charge them ten times as much certainly appears to be a criminal enterprise and, given that more than one entity is involved, looks like it meets the definition of Racketeering.  Insurance coverage may well cover some, part or none of a given bill, and nothing prevents an insurer from telling you in advance of your visit how much they will pay (if anything) for a given procedure or drug.  Indeed you should demand that information from them and use it as part of choosing where to obtain treatment but the bill still has to be rendered to you, you have to be the one to file the claim and everyone must pay the same price to the same provider for the same kind and quantity of product or service.
    • For a bill to be valid and collectible it must be affirmatively consented to in writing, with a disclosure of the actual price to be charged from the above schedule for each item to be provided whether good or service, prior to the service being performed or the good furnished, subject only to the emergency exception below.  A bill that is increased, has items added to it after consent is obtained, which contains any open-ended promise to pay without an actual price listed for each service or good prior to customer consent or is issued with no consent at all (including having a customer sign a consent form while under the influence of drugs the facility gave them as occurs in virtually every instance today while you're being wheeled into the OR) is deemed fraudulent and void. This instantly stops "drive-by" doctor charges in hospitals as just one example.  It also prevents charging $20 for an aspirin; nobody would tolerate being billed by the square for toilet paper in a hotel!  Hospitals will of course squawk that they cannot operate like this as they "can't" figure out what is required until after-the-fact but that's false; nothing prevents them from advertising "Appendectomy: $2,000" and that being the soup-to-nuts price.  In fact that's exactly what the Surgery Center of Oklahoma does today so quite-clearly it both can and does work.  In addition this change will permanently and immediately put a stop to the ridiculous practice of defensive medicine (read below for the explanation.)  You would never accept a gas station that only displays the cost of your gasoline after you pumped it and varied that price based on who your car insurance was bought from or a grocery store that had no prices posted at all and only gave you a total after your groceries were taken out of the store and the transaction could not be refused.
    • No event caused by or a consequence of treatment can be billed to the customer.  This instantly aligns the interest of the customer in not having such an adverse complication (e.g. MRSA, etc) with the medical provider.  As it stands right now hospitals actually have an incentive for you to have a complication since they make more money if you do.  If you call me to fix your roof and I drop my ladder causing it to crash through your picture window I get to pay for the glass I broke through my ineptness.  The same must apply to medical providers. For those who claim hospitals and similar can't adopt such a model I point to the OKC surgery center, which does exactly this -- and has a lower complication rate (gee, I wonder why when they have to eat it if they cause it....)

Much more at the site - plan on spending 30 minutes reading through this and following the links.

And Part Two:

Implementation Of Permanent Health Reform

Again, these are two long and dense articles but they are incredibly well thought out and would be a shining beacon to other nations seeking to implement a national form of healthcare.

Dueling forecasts

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I love it - showdown between the National Weather Service and The Weather Channel (founded by John Coleman - a professional meterologist who is an Anthropogenic Global Warming skeptic!).

In this corner, NWS:

20170522-nws.jpg

And in this corner (rotated to fit the page a bit better), the Weather Channel:

20170522-twc.jpg

Given my druthers, I am going with The Weather Channel.

Some test equipment

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Readers will know that I have been doing electronics for a long time - here are some basic pieces of test equipment as found on Facebook:

20170522-equipment.jpg

Back home again - 12 hour day.

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Very tired - was up quite early this morning to get Thunderbunny in to the dealer by 8:00AM - she didn't get out until around 3:00PM. Hung out at my parent's old condo sorting through boxes of stuff - found a couple really great treasures. No internet at the condo - brought a laptop and tried to leach a nearby WiFi connection but they were all pretty well secured. Looked up the phone numbers for my two immediate neighbors but those didn't work - phone numbers are usually a default for many installations.

Picked up some Chinese food on the way home so dinner and television, some surfing and an early bedtime. Meetings tomorrow and Wednesday but nothing that calls for a 6:00AM alarm clock.

Off to town

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Up early to get the truck in for her 60,000 mile checkup.

My go-to coffee place is not open yet so getting one when I get to Bellingham. Spending the day at my parent's condo sorting through stuff. Got meetings tomorrow and Wednesday as well as doing the store shopping run on Friday so a busy week.

Had the usual tasty dinner and watched some TV - Lulu is upstairs and I am watching some YouTube videos and planning an early bedtime. I have to drop the truck off at 8:00AM so have the alarm set for 6:30 - got to get coffee first.

Not addicted, can give up any time.

A really cute little Coyote pup was playing in the pasture a few minutes ago - the llamas were nonchalant - whatever dude...

20,000 wasps

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I noticed that my fly-control wasps were starting to hatch so I spread them around the property. In four weeks, we should be mostly fly-free - nature, red in tooth and claw.

From The Sydney Morning Herald:

'Fast-moving clouds': How CS Energy's Kogan Creek Solar Boost project failed
It was supposed to supply cheaper, greener energy to up to 5000 homes but after six years and tens of millions of dollars, a cutting-edge solar energy project has produced nothing other than a large taxpayer-funded pile of scrap.

Three thousand solar panels sit unused on a concrete pad after the pioneering Kogan Creek Solar Boost project was shelved due to rusting pipes and "rapidly moving clouds".

The idea was invented by a local person:

The plan had been to use thousands of mirrors to focus solar energy to pre-heat steam used to drive power-generating turbines. The technology's inventor, Australian scientist Dr David Mills, in 2014 received an Order Of Australia for his work on solar power from the Abbott government.

But CS Energy scrapped the unfinished scheme last year, blaming "technical and contractual problems". It won't reveal exactly how much it cost, but recorded a $70 million impairment in its 2016 accounts because of the scheme.

And the money?

Half that amount came from the Queensland Government's Carbon Reduction Program.

Commonwealth body the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) was to put up an additional $35 million in funding, although it told Fairfax Media it ended up handing over only $6.4 million.

All of these "funds" come straight from taxpayer dollars. Calling them this fund or that fund puts a very thin veneer around that fact. Much more at the site - a perfect fustercluck. Goes to show that alt.energy can never compete on a level playing field. If the technology was so good, we would have plants springing up all over. The only way these can operate is through heavy taxpayer subsidies.

Early Late dinner today

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Neither of us was really hungry so dinner is all fixed but we will eat after the meeting. I am president of the water board so I usually gallop through the meetings - they seldom last more than 20-40 minutes. Water board meeting tonight so planning to eat around 5:00PM or so.

The flank steak came out fork tender and really tasty - I do a whole onion coarsely chopped, 1/3 can of chilies in adobo, half a tub of medium salsa and some hot pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Splash in a half-cup of water and pressure cook for 30 minutes. Do a couple of those with chopped onions, guacamole, refried beans and shredded lettuce and that is dinner. Top off with a nice cold beer or two.

Getting Thunderbunny ready for her time at the shop tomorrow - it is her 60,000 mile checkup and this takes all day.

We hit 80 today

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80.2°F to be specific - loving this weather!

National Weather Service has showers moving in on Tuesday and wet through next weekend. The Weather Channel is forecasting morning showers on Wednesday and a return to sunny weather on Thurday through Tuesday the 30th.

Doing radio for the Ski to Sea race on the 28th so hoping that The Weather Channel is the correct forecast - they have generally been a lot better than the NWS.

Specifically, the World Health Organization. From Yahoo/Associated Press:

AP Exclusive: Strapped UN health agency spends big on travel
The World Health Organization routinely spends about $200 million a year on travel — far more than what it doles out to fight some of the biggest problems in public health including AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press.

As the cash-strapped U.N. health agency pleads for more money to fund its responses to health crises worldwide, it has also been struggling to get its own travel costs under control. Despite introducing new rules to try to curb its expansive travel budget, senior officials have complained internally that U.N. staffers are breaking the rules by booking perks like business class airplane tickets and rooms in five-star hotels.

Last year, WHO spent about $71 million on AIDS and hepatitis. On malaria, it spent $61 million. And to slow tuberculosis, WHO invested $59 million. Still, some health programs do get exceptional funding — the agency spends about $450 million trying to wipe out polio every year.

On a recent trip to Guinea, where WHO director-general Dr. Margaret Chan praised health workers in West Africa for triumphing over Ebola, Chan stayed in the biggest presidential suite at the Palm Camayenne hotel in Conakry. The suite has an advertised price of 900 euros ($1,008) a night.

Typical bureaucratic mind-set. If we don't spend the money, our budget for next year will be cut.

Things are starting to unravel in the Seth Rich murder case.

From Newt Gingrich:

Newt Gingrch: People talk about was their influence from Russia? Does this mean they are going to look at the $500,000 paid to Bill Clinton? Does that mean they are going to look at the uranium deal that gave Russia 20% of the uranium while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State? …At the same time we have this very strange story now. This young man who worked for the Democratic National Committee who apparently was assassinated at 4 in the morning after having giving Wikileaks something like 53,000 emails and 17,000 attachments. Nobody’s investigating that. And what does that tell you about what is going on?

And then these two tweets from Kim Dotcom:

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Kim has every right to be very very pissed at the Democrats

Talk about mismanagement - heads need to roll. From The Washington Post:

At the Pentagon, overpriced fuel sparks allegations — and denials — of a slush fund
The Pentagon has generated almost $6 billion over the past seven years by charging the armed forces excessive prices for fuel and has used the money — called the “bishop’s fund” by some critics — to bolster mismanaged or underfunded military programs, documents show.

Since 2015, the Defense Department has tapped surpluses from its fuel accounts for $80 million to train Syrian rebels, $450 million to shore up a prescription-drug program riddled with fraud and $1.4 billion to cover unanticipated expenses from the war in Afghanistan, according to military accounting records.

The Pentagon has amassed the extra cash by billing the armed forces for fuel at rates often much higher — sometimes $1 per gallon or more — than what commercial airlines paid for jet fuel on the open market.

Under a bureaucracy that dates to World War II, the Defense Department purchases all of its fuel centrally and then resells it at a fixed price to the Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps and other customers, who pay for it out of their own budgets. The system is intended to reduce duplication and promote efficiency.

The Defense Department is the largest single consumer of fuel in the world. Each year, it buys about 100 million barrels, or 4.2 billion gallons, of refined petroleum for its aircraft, warships, tanks and other machines.

The practice of exploiting fuel revenue to plug unrelated gaps in the defense budget has escalated in recent years, prompting allegations — and official denials — that the accounts are being used as a slush fund.

Pentagon officials defended the arrangement.

This is NOT General Mattis' happy face. I would love to see a video of the people responsible being reamed out. Expand my vocabulary. Official denials indeed.

Just wow - President Trump

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He was on fire today - a speech to the Saudis from the London Daily Mail:

'Your soul will be fully condemned!' Trump's Saudi speech warns terrorists their days are numbered as he implores Arab leaders to stamp out 'Islamic terror groups' and 'drive them out of your places of worship'
Donald Trump insisted in a speech addressing global 'Islamic extremism' that Muslim leaders must scare would-be terrorists into submission, warning them about the impact suicide bombings will have on their immortal souls.

'Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory – piety to evil will bring you no dignity,' Trump said in a sumptuous Saudi ballroom that put Mar-a-Lago to shame.

'If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and your soul will be fully condemned,' he said.

'Heroes don't kill innocents,' a confident Trump declared at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh. 'They save them.'

Compare and contrast to Obama's 2009 apology tour. What we are seeing here is actual leadership. Kind of refreshing isn't it?

Swampy McSwamperson

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George Soros in the news again - from the Washington Examiner:

FEC boss who tried to muzzle Drudge now on Soros payroll
The former chairwoman of the Federal Election Commission, who famously eyed regulating the politics of conservative outlets like the Drudge Report, has joined an advocacy group funded by George Soros and run by his son.

Ann Ravel is the first fellow listed with the California advocacy group New America.

Her fellowship began in March and pays a $30,000 stipend.

Follow the money.

The swamp which needs to be drained

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Here is a perfect example - talk about out of touch and being classy - from Cristina Laila writing at The Gateway Pundit:

PHOTO=> NANCY PELOSI PICTURED LAUGHING as California Democrats Chant “F*ck Donald Trump!”
The classless Democrats gathered in Sacramento for a state convention on Saturday. CA Dem Chairman, John Burton held up his middle fingers while encouraging the crowd to scream ‘F*** Donald Trump!’ while House Minority leader, Nancy Pelosi laughed in the background.

This is the Democrat leadership, folks. It’s nothing but disrespect for the President of the United States who was elected in an electoral college landslide. This is why the left loss and will continue to lose.

Pelosi later spoke at the event so this was not a case of mistaken identity. Let us not forget that it is us - middle America - that is the target of these raised fingers. Vote these morons out of office.

Looks like another gorgeous day today - heading out for coffee and checking in at the store and then working at home on two projects. Water board meeting tonight and ham radio net.

Doing beef tacos for dinner - flank steak, 20 minutes in the pressure cooker with a tub of salsa and it is pull-apart tender.

Switching over to YouTube

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Nothing much on the internet tonight so heading over to YouTube to see if there is anything of interest over there...

From Defense One:

New Tactics, Quicker Decisions Are Helping to ‘Annihilate’ ISIS, Pentagon Says
President Donald Trump’s new war plan for the Islamic State is working well, said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.

In their first joint appearance since Trump took office, the Pentagon leaders characterized ISIS as a shadow of its former self and doomed to lose all of its territory. They credited looser restrictions on generals and a shift to surround-and-annihilate tactics.

Trump came into office this year pledging a new approach, promising to hit ISIS faster and harder, threatening to fire top U.S. commanders, and demanding a new war plan on his desk within 60 days. What’s new isn’t the strategy — the U.S. is still executing the Obama-era “by, with, through” approach in which direct assaults are conducted by local partner forces. But less than four months after Trump took office, Mattis said the operational and tactical difference has been clear.

“He made the decision. We took the decision and executed it for an accelerated campaign,” Mattis said. “No longer will we have slow decision cycles because Washington, D.C., has to authorize tactical movements on the ground.”

And by the looks of it, the Saudis will have skin in the game when we sell them billions of dollars of US made ordnance. Plus the repair and maintenence parts. And upgrades. They will be paying us money for the next 30 years. Win/Win

Lulu is out for a week or so so we had our usual dinner and watched two episodes of Agents of SHIELD

Working at home tomorrow - keyboard stands and solar panel box plus spraying for weeds. Nuke 'em 'till they glow! Forecast is up to 80°F tomorrow - been a long time...

A limerick

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From the book of face:

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He will be visiting Israel on this trip - from The Times of Israel:

Saudi FM: Trump can broker Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and we’ll help
Saudi Arabia is confident in US President Donald Trump’s abilities to conclude a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians and Riyadh is prepared to help, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Saturday evening, during a press conference with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Jubeir spoke of the “kingdom’s optimism that President Trump, with a new approach and determination, can bring a conclusion to this long conflict. He certainly has the vision, and we believe he has the strength and the decisiveness. And the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands prepared to work with the United States in order to bring about peace between Israelis and Palestinians and Israelis and Arabs.”

The Saudi FM said he was speaking on behalf of the king following an earlier meeting between the US President and the Saudi monarch.

Jubeir said Saudi Arabia stresses the “importance of working toward peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

This will be interesting to see - the pre-1967 borders should not be on the table. The Saudi's have previously been supporting "Palestine" - it will be interesting if they switch sides here.

An interesting comparison

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Two leaders - President Trump is in Saudi Arabia and met with the King. From The American Mirror:

GREAT AGAIN: Unlike Obama, Trump doesn’t bow to Saudi king
What a difference an election can make for the respect American leaders have for our country.

There were two very different outcomes when two American presidents greeted the king of Saudi Arabia.

All eyes were on President Trump today as he arrived in the country for his first foreign trip.

Video shows the president stepping off the plane and greeting King Salman:

Trump stood up straight as Salman appeared to bow slightly.

Trump’s posture stands in stark difference to President Obama’s in the early days of his presidency.

Cameras captured Obama bowing to King Abdullah, contorting nearly to a 90-degree angle in what many called a moment of American weakness:

Melania wasn't wearing a burqa either. The King even shook hands with her. This is one of the best examples of leadership and lack thereof in the public eye.

The bees knees

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Finally got around to getting some orchard mason bees this spring and set up a nesting box for them. Was sitting on the back deck a short while ago and noticed a lot of activity - very cool! Bees on some flowers as well as crawling in and out of their nest box. Have to set up a camera and see if I can get some videos.

Back home again - Welding Rodeo

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It was a fraction of it's past glory. The sculptures were awesome as always but the organization was seriously lacking. I asked and they said that some of the organizers were not able to do it this year. My guess is that the faculty had organised it before and handed it off to some students this year. Do not know if the welding program includes classes in Project Management but they should. There used to be ten or fifteen outside vendors demonstrating new welding toys tools but there was only one this year.

Took some photos and will uploaded later tonight - got to unpack the truck.

This time for reals - welding rodeo

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Heading out for coffee and to the welding rodeo.

Tried going there the last two days and it turns out that they moved it from Friday and Saturday to just Saturday only.

Gorgeous day this morning - cloudless and sunny but not too warm. Got a couple of days of this too - forecast is for more overcast and wet later this week - doing radio for the Ski to Sea race so bringing the pop-up canopy for that.

Good - shut it down for a while

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From The Hill:

Dems: Trump budget is recipe for shutdown
House Democratic leaders are warning Republicans that President Trump’s 2018 budget is a recipe for a government shutdown.

Trump has yet to unveil his finalized budget blueprint for next year, but an initial outline released in March — dubbed a “skinny budget” — proposed a $54 billion increase in defense spending, accompanied by offsetting cuts to domestic programs favored by the Democrats.

Time to call their bluff - we need to curb spending. At least with President Trump in office, the shutdown will not be done selectivly to cause public pain like Obama's 2013 shutdown.

Not like we haven't had shutdowns before...

Indeed - Venezuela

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I truly think that communism is a form of mental illness or a belief system for those sporting an IQ less than 60 - nothing else explains its continuance. From The Washington Free Beacon:

Victims of Communism Memorial Group Tells Networks to Stop Whitewashing Crimes of Socialist Venezuela
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is asking major news networks to bring attention to the violent tactics being used by the Socialist regime in Venezuela.

Media attention on Venezuela has been sparse, as the country is on the brink, with a food shortage, an inflation rate as high as 800 percent, and violent crackdowns and the detention of thousands of protesters who oppose President Nicolas Maduro.

Four more people were killed yesterday, adding to the more than 40 dead and 750 injured since protests began in March.

Marion Smith, the executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, sent letters to the heads of CBS, NBC, and ABC on Tuesday asking the networks to adequately cover the violence and failures of the socialist country, which he says is closer than ever to becoming a communist regime.

"Venezuela has descended into complete and utter chaos as a result of a brutal, socialist government whose citizens are starving under its tightening grip every day," said Smith. "Make no mistake, this is a humanitarian disaster and socialist policies are to blame."

Smith said Venezuela's Marxist experiment began in 1999 and has transformed the Latin American country from one of the most prosperous in the region into a nation that has no access to toilet paper.

"With each passing year, what was once one of the most prosperous countries in Latin America became poorer and poorer," Smith said. "What was once a free country became repressive. Those who tried to reform the failing policies of the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela were brutally repressed, imprisoned, and even murdered."

Maduro is an absolute nut-case. He only cares about his glorious revolution and he does not see what pain he is bringing to his citizens. My only hope is that whomever has the courage to separate his head from his body returns Venezuela to a republic and does not try to institute themselves as yet another president for life.

Great quote on Communism

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"If communism is the wave of the future, why do you still need walls to keep people in and armies of secret police to keep them quiet?"
-- Ronald Reagan

The man had a point...

From The Daily Caller:

Trey Gowdy Stops Just Short Of Calling Collusion On The Clintons And The DOJ
Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said on Fox News Tuesday night that the Clintons’ “entanglements” with the Department of Justice run much deeper than the average viewer may know.

On Fox News’ “The Story,” Gowdy cryptically told host Martha McCallum that he believes “history will be much kinder to Jim Comey in that July press conference than the Democrats were.”

“I think he had access to information that, because he is a stand-up guy he’s not gonna disseminate classified information (though God knows everybody else is)…so all your viewers see is this meeting on the tarmac,” he explained.

That would be Bill Clinton's June 27, 2016 meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch
The details can be found here: New York Post.

This is unreal - from Sky News:

HP laptops secretly recording user keystrokes
Security researchers have discovered that a feature installed in a number of HP laptops is recording all of the keystrokes that the laptop users make.

In capturing everything users press on their keyboards the software is recording sensitive information, and by saving that information in an easily accessible file the researchers claim that it is potentially exposing users' passwords to attackers.

According to the Swiss cybersecurity group behind the research, Modzero, the feature wasn't designed to spy on users - but it was implemented in such a way that it records everything users type.

This means that from the moment a user logs into Windows on affected HP laptops, every key they press, including to enter passphrases for online banking and email accounts, is recorded and stored.

Got an HP laptop? Visit these links: How-to Geek and ZDNet

Tip of the hat to Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man for the links.

Cooked Wiener - Part Two

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It is official - from the New York Post:

Huma Abedin finally files for divorce from Anthony Weiner
Huma Abedin — repeatedly humiliated by disgraced sext-a-holic hubby Anthony Weiner — finally sued for divorce Friday.

Abedin’s lawyers filed the papers, captioned “Anonymous vs. Anonymous,” in Manhattan Supreme Court just hours after a weepy Weiner walked into nearby federal court — still wearing his wedding ring — and pleaded guilty to sexting with a minor.

Abedin had originally filed for an uncontested divorce, but then soon amended her papers to say “contested” — suggesting that Weiner decided at the last minute not to sign on the dotted line.

Now, the two will likely face a long, costly court battle, experts predicted.

I am amazed that she stayed with him for so long. The article says that they have a five year old son - that is going to be rough.

From Associated Press:

Weiner pleads guilty in sexting case, could go to prison
Former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, whose penchant for sexting strangers ended his political career and sparked a probe that upended the presidential race, pleaded guilty Friday to a sex charge, tearfully apologizing for communications with a 15-year-old girl that he said destroyed his “life’s dream in public service.”

Weiner, who could go to prison, pleaded guilty to a single count of transmitting obscene material to a minor. He admitted exchanging online messages with the girl beginning in January 2015 and “sharing explicit images and encouraging her to engage in sexually explicit conduct.”

Talk about a weiner being cooked...

Turns out they switched from doing it Friday and Saturday to Saturday only. Heading back out there tomorrow afternoon to check it out.

Picked up some more hardware for the solar panel box as well as the beginnings of a mount for my new GoPro clone. I want to video some of the things I have been doing so this should be a fun project.

Fixing some hot dogs and kraut for dinner - trying to keep the carbs down to a minimum.

Nothing much today

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Coffee, store and off to town for Welding Rodeo - back home late afternoon.

Weather is high overcast - supposed to be sunny tomorrow for a good week / ten days.

From The Daily Caller:

George Soros Still Quietly Buying District Attorneys’ Seats
George Soros has all but bought another district attorney’s seat.

The left-wing billionaire turned the Philadelphia district attorney’s race on its head by giving $1.45 million to fund a super PAC in support of his preferred candidate, Larry Krasner. Krasner, a progressive lawyer who has never worked as a prosecutor, sailed to an easy victory in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. Because Philadelphia is a Democratic stronghold, Krasner’s primary victory all but guarantees him to win the general election in November.

The influx of money from Soros gave Krasner a significant leg up over his opposition. Despite splitting votes with six other candidates, Krasner, who was not a favorite to win before Soros’ investment, finished 18 points ahead of the second-place finisher. As one Philadelphia Inquirer writer put it after the billionaire’s investment: “Soros changed the game.”

More at the site - what really gets me is that it takes so little money to buy an election or politician. $1.45 million is pocket change to someone like Soros.

Heh - Bill and Donald

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From Mostly Cajun:

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The Dark Crystal returns

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The original was a movie by Jim Henson - amazing vision and creativity.

Netflix just announced that they have ten episodes in development for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance - a prequel to the original.

I loved the original - it will be interesting to see how the new ones hold up.

Back home again

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Got the plywood for the solar panel project - knock that out this weekend. Supposed to be really nice weather so I can work outside - going to be making a lot of sawdust. The Welding Rodeo was not open to the public today - they were setting up. Head in tomorrow or Saturday.

Got a bite to eat in town. Time to surf the web and see what Fake News is out there. People usually dump a lot of stuff to the media on Thursday and Friday so it get's ignored over the weekend and forgotten by Monday. Crack open a bottle of red and see what is out there.

Got nothing for now

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Don't see anything of interest on the internet - same old fake news everywhere. Russians and Comey memos. All fake.

Heading out for coffee and then in to town to check out the Welding Rodeo and to get some plywood and hardware for the solar panel project.

This is just unreal - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under investigation by the Ethics Committee for an expensive Christmas vacation he took on the taxpayer dime. This was to the private island of Muslim Billionaire Aga Khan. From the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

Justin Trudeau's trip to Aga Khan's Bahamas island cost more than $127K
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's controversial family vacation to a private island in the Bahamas owned by the Aga Khan cost Canadian taxpayers more than $127,000, including thousands of dollars in per diems for government employees who also made the trip.

According to documents tabled in the House of Commons, overtime and shift differentials alone for the RCMP officers who accompanied him cost $18,735. The force paid another $53,253 in travel, accommodation and per diem costs.

A bit more:

Trudeau has come under fire in the House of Commons for taking the trip over the Christmas holidays and for his office's initial refusal to disclose where he was vacationing.

More here, here, here, here, here, and here. Quite the little scandal, eh? Trudeau rode into office with the claim of bringing in the most transparent administration ever (now where have we heard that before: here, here, and here to start). Last Wednesday's video of a question and answer session in Canadian Parliament shows what he means by that. The video is 19 minutes long but you can get the basic idea in about four or five minutes:

The Canadian Parliament is bilingual - the woman's voice is the Francophone translator.

The nations of the Middle East have always been isolated from each other - never combining forces to form a political front. Part of this is that a hundred years ago, the individual tribes were at each others throats competing for scant resources. The discovery of oil has shifted them away from being from nomads but not changed their cultural makeup. President Trump is going to be doing something very interesting. From The Washington Post:

Trump to unveil plans for an ‘Arab NATO’ in Saudi Arabia
When President Trump arrives in Riyadh this week, he will lay out his vision for a new regional security architecture White House officials call an “Arab NATO,” to guide the fight against terrorism and push back against Iran. As a cornerstone of the plan, Trump will also announce one of the largest arms-sales deals in history.

Behind the scenes, the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have been conducting extensive negotiations, led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The discussions began shortly after the presidential election, when Mohammed, known in Washington as “MBS,” sent a delegation to meet with Kushner and other Trump officials at Trump Tower.

After years of disillusionment with the Obama administration, the Saudi leadership was eager to do business. “They were willing to make a bet on Trump and on America,” a senior White House official said.

Very clever idea - make each Arab nation have some skin in the game. NATO members pay about 2% of their relative GDP to fund it. The Arab nations could fund their own NATO with the coins they find under their sofa cushions. We seem to actually have some intelligent foreign policy being done - what a breath of fresh air.

Oh Yes!

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Yet another thing that Global Warming is causing - a glacier in the arctic is getting bigger. From the London Daily Mail:

Satellites spot surging glacier in the Arctic moving at 13 metres a DAY for the first time since the 1930s
Dramatic new images from ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites reveal the Arctic’s Negribreen glacier is speeding up.

According to the space agency, the recent ‘surge’ saw the glacier’s ice surface speed jump from 1 meter to 13 meters a day this past winter.

The phenomenon is thought to be linked to changes in heat or water at the bottom of a glacier, and scientists say the effect observed at Negribreen is now steadily increasing.

The glacier was retreating from 1930 to 2016 - now it is advancing.

Jerry Brown is showing his true colors - from Breitbart:

Jerry Brown: California Taxpayers are ‘Freeloaders’
California Governor Jerry Brown referred to taxpayers as “freeloaders” last week for objecting to his new gas tax and car fee hikes.

“The freeloaders — I’ve had enough of them … They have a president that doesn’t tell the truth and they’re following suit,” he said. Brown was speaking in Orange County, defending State Assembly newcomer Josh Newman (D-Fullerton), who is facing a recall effort after voting for Brown’s new transportation taxes in April.

The new tax raises existing gas taxes — already among the highest in the nation — by 12 cents per gallon, with higher taxes on diesel, and slaps car owners with higher annual registration fees. Critics have pointed out that the burden of the tax falls most heavily on middle-class Californians.

The Orange County Register, which covered Brown’s remarks, adds that Brown is sparing no effort to keep Newman in office. “He’ll have whatever he needs,” the Register quotes the governor as saying.

Kira Davis writing at RedState amplifies this:

The 1,000,000 citizens in Los Angeles county alone who collect food stamps provided by taxpayers are not freeloaders. The millions of illegal immigrants being harbored in California’s sanctuary cities to the cost of taxpayers are not freeloaders. Illegal immigrants being provided “free” legal help by the state on the backs of taxpayers are not freeloaders. The bloodsuckers in the Sacramento legislature who get paid $178 a day in per diem funds on top of their bloated salaries just for walking in the door to their job every day are not freeloaders.

No, you – the burdened, law-abiding taxpayer are the freeloader for simply asking the government of California be more fiscally responsible with the money they already have instead of stealing more of your money without your consent to pay for programs that are already funded but have been raided for pet projects and personal enrichment.

And Jerry - how many people are moving out of California and fleeing to states like Texas, Virginia, Florida or Nevada?

Done for the day - taking a break

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Knocked out a couple smaller projects. Still have the music room keyboard stands to do but part of that work needs to be done outside (cutting and painting the unistrut) so I am waiting a few days until I get some dry weather. Took some photos of the old stand so it will go up on Craigslist later this evening.

Wanting to cut down on carbohydrate intake so made some tuna salad for a late lunch/early dinner. Been eating too much pasta and my wasteline shows it.

A breath of fresh air - Oregon

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From gCaptain:

Oregon County Overwhelmingly Rejects Measure to Block LNG Export Terminal
A coastal Oregon county overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure aimed at blocking a proposed natural gas terminal dealing a blow to what was the latest in a series of efforts to thwart energy projects across the Pacific Northwest.

The measure, had it passed, would have banned transport of fossil fuels not intended for local use through Coos County, located about 200 miles (322 kms) south of Portland.

Around 76 percent of votes were cast against the measure, with 24 percent in favor, according to unofficial results posted on the Coos County government website late Tuesday.

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of Gang Green activity in these parts:

Last year, the Lummi Nation Native American tribe and environmental groups blocked an export terminal in Northwest Washington state that would have moved Montana and Wyoming coal to markets in Asia.

In January, Washington State denied a permit for a coal export terminal in the city of Longview, citing concerns about the financial viability of the project.

In February, bowing to pressure from activists, Seattle’s city council voted to divest approximately $3 billion from Wells Fargo, citing concerns over the bank’s support of the North Dakota Access Pipeline, among other factors.

All of these bad for business, bad for local employment and the environmental "concerns" are ludicrous. This is not anything new - Cherry Point is currently the home of an aluminum plant and a refinery. They were proposing to develop a sea terminal for shipping coal to China and Australia and this was shut down by the environmentalists. The only problem is that back in 1999, the environmentalists received huge concessions from the developers with the understanding that Cherry Point would be permitted to become a multi-use heavy industry site. The PDF document can be found here. The signatories are Pacific International Terminals (the developers), Whatcom County, the State of Washington Departments of Ecology, Department of Fish and Wildlife, the North Cascade Audubon Society, People for Puget Sound, the League of Women Voters, Ocean Advocates, and Washington Environmental Council. All these people signed off on the agreement and now they want to re-write history and take it back.

Further development would have been a goldmine for our County and our State - with just the aluminum plant and the refinery, Cherry Point either directly or indirectly hires 11% of the Whatcom county labor force and they contribute over $200 Million dollars in tax revenues. Let us hope that this can be revisited at a later date - my gut reaction is that the Lummi Indians were not in the original agreement and they weren't offered enough money with this new one. It is all about the Benjamins - want to understand some strange political transaction? Follow the money.

Dirty Hillary

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Heh - from Stilton Jarlsberg:

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Perry Metzger has some excellent advice at Samizdata:

How not to be a victim of computer malware
For my friends who don’t know much about computers:

I do computer security work professionally. People always ask in the wake of yet another internet attack “what should I do to protect myself.”

The advice is always the same. Do what computer professionals do. Don’t do what you imagine computer professionals do, because you’re probably wrong.

    1. Always run the latest version of the OS and software.
    2. When security updates appear for your operating system or software, apply them as soon as possible, meaning that day. Configure your system to automatically apply updates if possible.
    3. Back up your computer frequently. Since normal humans cannot remember to do that, get software and/or a service to do it for you.
    4. Don’t use the same password with two different services, period. Since you cannot remember hundreds of different passwords, use a password safe, and remember only the password for it.
    5. If a web site offers two factor authentication (that is, you can set it up so it both requires a password and a code your phone generates), turn that on.

Every professional security person does those things.

If you ignore my advice, you’re going to get screwed one day, period. You might still get screwed even if you do follow my advice because the world is dangerous, but I can guarantee you’ll get screwed if you don’t.

Every organization that got infected recently by the ransomware worm was ignoring (1) and (2). Their suffering was avoidable. Do you want to suffer like them? Those that forgot (3) are really suffering because they have no way to recover. Why do you want to suffer? Every day, people get badly, badly screwed because the password that they use everywhere gets stolen and it is de facto impossible to remember every place you use it. Why set yourself up to suffer?

As to the question “who would attack me? No one is going to attack my computer, I’m unimportant”, the answer is that it isn’t individuals doing the attacks, it’s machines that are programmed to try to attack other machines by the hundreds of millions. You’re not being personally targeted, but that hardly matters when everyone on earth is being attacked. Your obscurity will not protect you. Even if you think there is nothing for the attacker to gain by taking over your machine, they’ll want it anyway, so they can set up a botnet to send spam from it, or use it to bring down other people’s web sites, or to take over yet more people’s machines.

Much more at the site - be sure to look through the comments - lots of good stuff there too.

Total fabrication here - from the New York Times:

Comey Memo Says Trump Asked Him to End Flynn Investigation
President Trump asked the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, to shut down the federal investigation into Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, in an Oval Office meeting in February, according to a memo Mr. Comey wrote shortly after the meeting.

“I hope you can let this go,” the president told Mr. Comey, according to the memo.

The documentation of Mr. Trump’s request is the clearest evidence that the president has tried to directly influence the Justice Department and F.B.I. investigation into links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. Late Tuesday, Representative Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, demanded that the F.B.I. turn over all “memoranda, notes, summaries and recordings” of discussions between Mr. Trump and Mr. Comey.

The artiicle then goes on for 27 more paragraphs.

If this was Real News, the Times would have published a photo of the memo or included a link to a PDF of the document. No photo? No memo. End of story.

More Fake News from the New York Times.

Great news - Japan

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From World Nuclear News:

Japanese reactor restarts after lifting of injunction
Kansai Electric Power Company announced today that it had restarted unit 4 of its Takahama nuclear power plant in Fukui prefecture. The reactor - which together with unit 3 has been offline since March 2016 - is expected to re-enter commercial operation next month.

The company said the 830 MWe (net) pressurized water reactor (PWR) was restarted at 3.00pm today and is expected to achieve criticality tomorrow. Kansai plans to resume electricity generation at Takahama 4 and reconnect it to the grid on 22 May "as the final stage of the periodic outage inspection following various types of tests". It added that "full-scale operation" of the unit will resume in mid-June after the completion of the comprehensive inspection performed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA).

I really wish these were Thorium reactors but still - cheap, zero carbon and safer than coal - what's not to love?

Back home - time to get working

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Bak home after the store and the feed store (was low on bird food and time to give Rocky a wormer)

Working on a couple fun projects at home - heading into town tomorrow for the solar panel project and the welding rodeo. Thunderbunny goes in the shop on Monday for an all-day mani-pedi (she turned 60,000 miles - just getting warmed up) and then a Search and Rescue meeting on Wednesday with Ski to Sea that following Sunday. I thought retirement was a time to kick back and do whatever I wanted to.

Wait.

I am doing just that and busier than ever...

A nice lazy morning

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Got the critters taken care of, had breakfast and now heading out for coffee and stopping in at the store.

Planning to work at home today - music room, radio room and general de-cluttering. Gearing up for another project too - I have two solar panels for my radio station and looking to enclose them in a portable carrying case.

Off to YouTube land

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Watch a couple and then to bed - long day tomorrow working at home.

From The Federalist:

Obama Ordered The U.S. Intelligence Community To Share Intel With Cuba
Just a month before the 2016 election, President Barack Obama signed a policy directive ordering the U.S. intelligence community to share sensitive U.S. intelligence with Cuba’s communist government, despite the fact that one of the top U.S. intelligence official had branded Cuba as one of America’s biggest espionage threats. The presidential policy directive, which was issued as part of the Obama administration’s efforts to normalize U.S. relations with the Castro regime, required the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to “exchange information on mutual threats with Cuban counterparts.”

Don't believe me? Click on the two links embedded in the article - the first one takes you to the official B. Obama White House archives to his Presidential Policy Directive. The second link takes you to a five-page PDF of James Clapper's speech to the Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing – IC’s Worldwide Threat Assessment. This is treasonous but there was nothing from the media.

Now this looks like fun

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New series on Fox: The Orville

Iceland? Seriously WTF?

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I backpacked through Iceland a long time ago and had a wonderful time - the people were very friendly and really great. Now this - from Frontpage Magazine:

ICELANDIC LEFTIST POISONS ROBERT SPENCER
Last Thursday, I gave a lecture on the jihad threat at the Grand Hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland. Shortly thereafter, a young Icelandic Leftist registered his disapproval of what I said by poisoning me.

It happened after the event, when my security chief, the organizers of the event, and Jihad Watch writer Christine Williams, who had also been invited to speak, went with me to a local restaurant to celebrate the success of the evening.

At this crowded Reykjavik establishment, I was quickly recognized. A young Icelander called me by name, shook my hand, and said he was a big fan. Shortly after that, another citizen of that famously genteel and courteous land also called me by name, shook my hand, and said “F**k you.”

We took that marvelous Icelandic greeting as a cue to leave. But the damage had already been done. About fifteen minutes later, when I got back in my hotel room, I began to feel numbness in my face, hands, and feet. I began trembling and vomiting. My heart was racing dangerously. I spent the night in a Reykjavik hospital.

What had happened quickly became clear, and was soon confirmed by a hospital test: one of these local Icelanders who had approached me (probably the one who said he was a big fan, as he was much closer to me than the “F**k you” guy) had dropped drugs into my drink. I wasn’t and am not on any other medication, and so there wasn’t any other explanation of how these things had gotten into my bloodstream.

The restaurant had a video system and they know who it is - and this about the Icelandic media:

I should have seen it coming. After all, my visit had triggered a firestorm of abuse in the Icelandic press, all based on American Leftist talking points. Every story about my visit had the same elements: the notice that the SPLC claims that I purvey “hate speech,” which is a subjective judgment used to shut down dissent from the establishment line; the fact that I am banned from Britain, with no mention of the key detail that I was banned for saying that Islam has doctrines of violence (which is like being banned for saying water is wet) and for the crime of supporting Israel; and the false claim that I incited the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik to kill (in reality, I’m no more responsible for Breivik’s murders than the Beatles are for Charles Manson’s). After the event, one article even featured a big photo of Breivik, but quoted nary a thing I said that evening.

Not a single Icelandic media outlet that ran a story about my coming or about the event itself contacted me for comment, much less for rebuttal to the charges they made against me. One TV station did air an interview with me in which the interviewer refused to believe that I did not feel responsible for the Breivik murders, and asked me about them again and again. 

After the event, articles in the Icelandic press included quotes from the 50 protesters, but none included even a single quotation or description of anything we had actually said. None quoted any of the 500 brave Icelanders who braved the hatred of the politically correct elites to come to the Grand Hotel to hear me and Ms. Williams – a staggeringly large number in a country of 300,000 people. 

How about some tolerance and hospitality

Disgusting. Iceland should be ashamed of themselves.

From Space.com:

SpaceX Launches Super-Heavy Communications Satellite
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center here today (May 15) with a communications satellite that will complete Inmarsat's fifth-generation broadband network.

The 23-story-tall booster soared off its seaside launch pad, which once hosted NASA's space shuttles and Apollo moon rockets, at 7:21 p.m. EDT (2321 GMT). It was the sixth of more than 20 missions SpaceX plans to fly this year.

Perched on top of the two-stage rocket was the 13,400-lb. (6,100 kilograms) Inmarsat-5 F4 communications satellite, the heaviest spacecraft yet to be delivered by a Falcon booster into a geostationary transfer orbit some 22,300 miles (35,800 km) above Earth.

Delivering 13,400 pounds to geosynchronous is some incredible heavy lifting. It took all of the rocket's fuel so they were not able to land back on Earth. They seem to be running a good business:

SpaceX, which has now flown the Falcon 9 six times successfully since the launch pad accident, has a backlog of more than 70 missions, worth more than $10 billion. Inmarsat has an option for another future flight with SpaceX.

Beats having to beg rides from the Russians. NASA did get us to the moon as well as developing some incredible technologies but it is time to get big government out of the picture and privatize the space industry. Bring competition into the mix.

Quote of the month

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"Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad."
-- Henry Kissinger

Title says it all - just got back so unpacking the truck and settling in for the night. Check email, surf and maybe a YouTube video or three.

Another case of Arkancide

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From the website:

Arkancide is the unfortunate habit of potential witnesses to the Clintons' dirty dealings in Arkansas suddenly deciding to shoot themselves twice in the back of the head. Police and Coroners in Arkansas, notably Fahmy Malak who answered to Governor Bill Clinton, automatically described these shootings as "suicides."

After Bill Clinton became President the phenomenon spilled over to Washington D.C. when Hillary Clinton's ex-lover Vincent Foster was "Arkancided."

This story is developing - from FOX News:

Family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich blasts detective over report of WikiLeaks link
The family of the Democratic National Committee staffer who was gunned down on July 10 on a Washington, D.C., blasted reports that he was a source of thousands of emails leaked to WikiLeaks.

Rod Wheeler, a retired Washington homicide detective and Fox News contributor hired by a third party to investigate the case made the WikiLeaks claim, which was corroborated by a federal investigator who spoke to Fox News.

A bit more:

An FBI forensic report of Rich's computer -- generated within 96 hours after Rich's murder -- showed he made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time, the federal source told Fox News.

These would be the email leaks that damaged Crooked Hillary's chance for the White House. More from The London Daily Mail:

Did he or didn't he? Murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich 'had WikiLeaks links' according to private investigator - but the victim's family have dismissed the PI's claims as 'fake evidence'
The family of murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich has gone head-to-head with a private investigator after he claimed Rich was in contact with WikiLeaks before he was gunned down last year.

Rich, 27, was shot dead in the city's affluent Bloomingdale neighborhood in the early hours of July 10 in what police claim was a 'botched robbery'.

It had been suggested that Rich was behind the mammoth leak of tens of thousands of DNC emails in the run up to the presidential election - a claim his father has denied.

Does not surprise me...

Cold and wet this morning

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Got a dusting of snow on Black Mountain right at the 2,000 foot level - the Ski Area (Heather Meadows) got 18". Got down to 39.9°F here last night with 0.3" of rain in the last 24 hours. The forecast is saying that this is the last of the extended wet - we are supposed to get a good chunk of dry and sunny weather in the next couple of days.

Heading in to town shortly to run a couple of errands and then my Digital Group meeting tonight.

Dinner was good and the dogs loved the extra left-overs - cleaned their plates.

Been surfing for a bit but nothing catches my eye. Got a full day ahead of me tomorrow so calling it an early night - watch some YouTube videos and head upstairs.

Seattle station KING is doing a live event to get people prepared for the next big one to hit Puget Sound. Here is some footage from the 2001 Nisqually event:

From KING5:

Learn how to be as prepared as possible during a special presentation "SHAKE ALERT: Are you ready for the next big earthquake?" Interact with a live panel discussion about earthquake readiness on Monday at 7:30 p.m. KING 5's Lori Matsukawa and Glenn Farley have been researching earthquake preparedness from the Washington coast to the coast of Japan. They'll be joined by Bill Steele, Director of Outreach & Communications from the University of Washington's Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. You can join the conversation live on king5.com or the KING 5 Facebook page. Use the hashtag #ShakeAlert on Twitter to send questions during the live presentation.

Start getting ready now with this helpful list of resources shared by agencies across the Pacific Northwest: 

KING 5 earthquake coverage: 

Special thanks to the following agencies for sharing critical resources about earthquake readiness: University of Washington Pacific Seismic NetworkWashington State Emergency ManagementAmerican Red CrossUniversity of OregonOregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, the Southern California Earthquake Center, and Caltech

This is an excellent collection of links and reference materials.

Dinner time

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Got a couple of things done and getting ready to fix dinner - the last of the spaghetti sauce and a salad.

Been raining off and on - just under a tenth inch for this afternoon. Got a nice stretch of warm dry weather up for later this week - we will see how that turns out once we get closer.

Hillary raising money again

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Do as I say and not as I do - from Need To Know:

Hillary Clinton Launches Unlimited ‘Dark Money’ Group
The failed presidential candidate bemoaned “dark money” on the campaign trail, but now she’s launching a new 501(c)(4).

There is a huge difference between a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4) corporation. Contributions to a (c)(4) are not tax exempt to the donor but they do not have to be itemized in the corporate IRS filings. A business or an individual can contribute to a (c)(4) anonymously. More:

Two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton officially launched a new organization on Monday, “Onward Together,” with the stated goal of “advancing the vision that earned nearly 66 million votes in the last election.” Put more bluntly, the group’s mission is to advance Clinton’s agenda, which was unable to defeat Donald Trump.

But buried on the donation page is this nugget:

Contributions or gifts to Onward Together, a 501(c)(4) organization, are not tax deductible as charitable contributions or as business deductions.

OK - now let's segue back to October 2015:

By listing itself as a 501(c)(4), Clinton is able to take so-called “dark money,” or money from donors who legally do not have to be disclosed, in unlimited amounts.

In October 2015, during a town hall meeting in Iowa, Clinton called 501(c)(4) groups “unaccountable dark money,” and even used the left’s favorite boogey-men, the Koch brothers, as an example of a group that operates this kind of organization.

Link to video of the event here: Clinton wanted to get 'Dark Money' out of Politics

Like I said at the opening: Do as I say and not as I do

May take a while - check out this twisted relationship from The Gateway Pundit:

Report: Comey’s Brother Works for the Law Firm That Handles Clinton Foundation’s Taxes
Comey served as general counsel at Lockheed Martin until 2010 when he departed with over $6 million to show for it. That same year Lockheed Martin became a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and “won 17 contracts from the U.S. State Department, which was led by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” Big League Politics reports.

Comey just so happened to have joined the board of the British bank HSBC Holdings in 2013, which just so happens to be a Clinton Foundation partner.

Noting all of this, one of the most important conflicts of interest is Comey’s brother Peter Comey’s role at the Washington law firm DLA Piper, where he serves as “Senior Director of Real Estate Operations for the Americas”.

And DLA Piper's position in this whole mess?

DLA Piper is one of the top ten all-time career campaign donors for Hillary Clinton. On top of this, DLA Piper also happens to do the Clinton Foundation’s taxes. DLA Piper performed the 2015 audit of the Foundation when the scandal first broke.

Republicans and Democrats both - the swamp needs to be drained. Those honest politicians will still have their jobs after we are done so why worry? You ARE honest aren't you?

Another day at the farm

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Heading out for coffee in a few minutes and to sign paychecks at the store. We have a rubber stamp for this but it fell apart. Got a new one ordered and will pick up later this week.

Going to the post office as I am expecting 20,000 wasps in the mail. These are from Spalding Labs and they are fly predators - the wasps lay their eggs in fly maggots which hatch out and use the maggot for food. I start with 20,000 in spring and then do refresher doses every two months - knocks the flies down to almost zero. The bugs are tiny (about the diameter of sewing thread and about 1/8" long) with no sting and they do not bother animals.

Working at home today - heading into town tomorrow for a meeting (Amateur Radio digital group) and a couple of errands.

Rain forecast for the next few days and they are still looking for a cold front to move in - snow level down to 3,500 feet.

No way to go through life - from Got News:

BREAKING: #PovertyPimp Trump Conspiracy Theorist Maxine Waters Held Over $200,000 in Russia-Linked Funds in 2015
California Democrat Representative Maxine Waters held $200,000 in Russia-linked retirement accounts in 2015, even while she hypocritically calls for President Donald J. Trump’s impeachment over his financial connections to Russia, according to her most recently available House financial disclosure documents.

Waters’s cash-grabbing shamelessness has never known bounds. In 2012, she barely squeaked through a three-year House Ethics Committee investigation after abusing her position to funnel $12 million in bailout money to her husband’s bank.

Her Russian investments will surprise no one in her district, where impromptu signs declaring the congresswoman a “poverty pimp” and a race baiter have been popping up for years.

Pot meet kettle...

President Trump and the Police

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Our President is spot on here - from the Washington Examiner:

Trump to light White House in blue Monday night to honor fallen police officers
President Trump will light the White House in blue on Monday night to honor fallen police officers, after his visit to Capitol Hill to memorialize officers killed in the line of duty.

"In humble appreciation of our hard-working law enforcement officers, Melania and I will light the White House in blue on May 15," Trump announced in a statement released shortly before his Capitol appearance.

Trump has frequently spoken about the need to protect police from targeted acts of violence, and said during his candidacy that he would be the "law and order candidate."

Send a message out to all the dindus out there that killing a cop is no longer "cool" - this is an act that Barry would never have even thought of let alone implement.

Horrific times - Syria

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Turns out that President (for life) Assad is worse than thought - much much worse. From The London Daily Mail:

Syria has executed thousands of prisoners - mostly civilians opposed to the government - and burned the dead bodies in a giant crematorium, US administration claims
The Syrian government has been accused of carrying out mass killings of thousands of prisoners by the US government - which released satellite images to prove it.

The Trump administration claims the bodies of those killed were burned in a large crematorium attached to the Saydnaya prison complex outside the Syrian capital of Damascus.

The allegation matches an Amnesty International report released in February which claimed up to 13,000 people - mostly civilians opposed to the government - have been hanged in secret at the prison.

Stuart Jones, the acting US assistant secretary for Near Eastern Affairs, said Syrian President Bashar Assad's government 'has sunk to a new level of depravity' as he revealed the photographs.

Much more including satellite photos at the site. This is a crime against humanity and Syria needs to be shunned - cut off from the world. Overseas assets frozen. I am not a supporter of regime change - this violates everything that our Constitution stands for but in this case (and North Korea), I would welcome it.

An hour or two of YouTube

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Been watching YouTube most evenings - here are a couple of my favorite channels in no particular order:

Some great stuff there.

Francesco Schettino? From Reuters:

Top Italian court upholds conviction of Costa Concordia captain
The former captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner was sentenced to 16 years in prison on Friday by Italy's highest court for his role in the 2012 shipwreck, which killed 32 people off the Tuscan holiday island of Giglio.

Francesco Schettino was originally found guilty in 2015 of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his passengers. Friday's ruling marked the end of the appeals process, with the court upholding the initial verdict.

A bit more:

The Costa Concordia was carrying more than 4,200 passengers and crew, when it hit rocks off Giglio on a chill January night, tearing a hole in its side and eventually keeling over.

Schettino was lambasted by the Italian media and branded "Captain Coward" for leaving the stricken ship while a chaotic night-time rescue operation was in full flow. Critics accused him of bringing shame to the whole country through his actions.

He departed from the course and sailed close to the island because one of his crewmembers was born there. Ran into some rocks and the rest is history. Here is a great 90 second time-lapse of the parbuckling and refloating of the ship:

Tip of the watch cap to gCaptain for both links

Heh - spot on

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Today's Dilbert was absolutely wonderful - nails it:

20170514-dilbert.jpg

Click on it to embiggen...

I hear he makes films or something. Checkout the 180° shift in two of his tweets - 6 November, 2016 and 9 May, 2017:

20170514-mmoore.jpg

Perfect example of toeing the line to fit the narrative. Can't be bothered with facts or history. He also lies about his history and stiffs the workers he hires - here, here, and here.

Tip of the hat to the Deplorable Don Surber for the link.

Done with radio net - busy day

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Did some personal paperwork at the store and then a quick run into town. I needed to get some additional hardware for the Unistrut brackets. Planning on spending tomorrow working on that.

Radio network was uneventful - sometimes the net controller interjects some surprise but today it was just routine.

Been showering off and on today - about 0.05 inches for the last couple of hours so not much accumulation.

Another day of sloth

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And I am lovin' it - slept in, checked on the critters (delivering carrots and birdseed), had breakfast and now heading out for coffee and the store after a quick trip around the web.

Got a radio net tonight so heading back and working on a couple of projects at home today.

Off to Youtube land

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Seeing what is new on some of the Youtube channels I have been following.

Nothing much happening on the internet tonight.

Fat-boy Kim is just asking for it - from the London Daily Mail:

Kim Jong-Un fires ANOTHER ballistic missile that lands 60 miles from RUSSIA - after months of threatening Trump with nuclear war and days after a new president took office in South Korea
Kim Jong-Un has fired a ballistic missile 500 miles into the Sea of Japan in the latest show of force amid tensions with the US.

The launch took place in a region named Kusong located northwest of the capital, Pyongyang, where the North previously test-launched an intermediate-range missile it is believed to be developing.

A US official told CNN the missile landed in water 60 miles south of Russia's Vladivostok region, home of the Russian Pacific Fleet.

More at the site. Everyone is watching, Kim is facing some economic powerhouses with China, Japan, Russia and the United States (with a hawk for President). Is he trying a Mouse that Roared scenario?

The New York Times - unreal

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Their readership is certainly biased. They hire a conservative columnist and their readers throw a tantrum. From Politico:

New York Times publisher sends personal appeal to those who canceled over Bret Stephens
New York Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. is making a personal appeal to subscribers who canceled because the paper hired Bret Stephens, a conservative columnist who has questioned some of the science behind the theory of climate change and the dangers it poses.

In an email sent Friday afternoon and obtained by POLITICO, Sulzberger addresses subscribers who specifically mentioned the hiring of Stephens as a reason that they ended their subscriptions.

“Our customer care team shared with me that your reason for unsubscribing from The New York Times included our decision to hire Bret Stephens as an Opinion columnist. I wanted to provide a bit more context,” the email begins.

Stephens, who left The Wall Street Journal to join the Times, is also well known as a Pulitzer Prize-winning conservative writer who has written strongly against President Donald Trump, often engaging in public battles during the campaign with the likes of Fox News anchor Sean Hannity. His first column for the Times last month argued that climate data create the misleading impression that we know what global warming’s impact will be, leading to reader complaints, some canceled subscriptions and a public editor column.

Sounds like Stephens would have been perfect there but they can't have him because he does not follow the narrative. Can't have any pesky numbers interfering with The Truth!

I love reading different opinions - this is how you learn new stuff.

Talk about making a statement and having it backfire - from The Daily Caller:

EPA Science Advisers Resign After Trump Dismisses Top Board Member
Two advisers on the EPA’s science advisory board resigned Friday “in protest” after the Trump administration dismissed the group’s co-chairman.

“It is with certain regret and concern — and in protest — that we submit our resignations as members” on the Board of Scientific Counselors, scientists Peter Meyer and Carlos Martin wrote in a letter.

Their decision to leave the board comes shortly after EPA head Scott Pruitt jettisoned five academics from a scientific advisory board the Trump administration believes is a rubber stamp for many of the climate rules crafted during the Obama-era. He intends on replacing the deposed scientists with representatives from industries the EPA is responsible for regulating.

Martin explained his decision on Twitter, telling his followers that he “just resigned from EPA subcommittee to protest removal of [Robert Richardson] @ecotrope & Courtney Flint,” who headed the board. “Painful professional decision.”

EPA officials are convinced the departure of Courtney Flint and Robert Richardson was political, and not a matter of shaking up the board.

Damn straight it is political and that is the problem. The EPA was practicing agenda-driven politics and not science. Had these people actually done their jobs, there would have been zero issue and they would still be at the EPA. They did not - they functioned as political hacks and are now paying for it. I hope they enjoy their new careers at McDonald's - would you like fries with that?

Back home again

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Went into town to pick up a length of Unistrut for my StandTastic keyboard stands, got some plants for the store flower pots and some stuff from Costco - chicken, prosciutto, light bulbs, cat food, and wine. The basic food groups. Got a burger at Graham's in Glacier.

Glass or two of wine, surf for a bit, watch some YouTube videos and then to bed. Life is good!

Coffee time!

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Done some stuff at home and heading out for coffee and stop in at the store. Got another 0.17 inches of rain last night for a total of half and inch over the last 48 hours. Got this update to our Special Weather Statement at 4:00AM this morning:

...UNSEASONABLY COLD AND UNSETTLED CONDITIONS IN THE MOUNTAINSTHROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK...
Those venturing into the mountains or traveling through the higher
passes should plan for possible wintry conditions this weekend
into early next week. The main snow level will be around 3500 4000
feet but may fluctuate with heavier showers. Total snow
accumulation today through Sunday could be up to 7 to 9 inches.

An occluded front will arrive on Monday, followed by a cold upper
level low on Tuesday. These systems could bring more significant
precipitation to the mountains. Those planning activities or
travel through the mountains should monitor forecasts closely over
the next several days.

Just wonderful - anyone want to move to Arizona?

Now that is some recoil

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Check out this pistol:

More info at Wide Open Spaces

Rain in the news

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Been raining off and on this evening. Got another tenth of an inch for 0.3" in the last 24 hours. Pretty soggy out there. Had three hailstorms move through - lots of little squalls. And then, at 4:40PM, the National Weather Service dropped this little item:

...UNSEASONABLY COLD AND UNSETTLED CONDITIONS IN THE MOUNTAINS THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK...
Those venturing into the mountains or traveling through the higher
passes should plan for possible wintry conditions this weekend
into early next week. The main snow level will be around 4000
feet but may fluctuate with heavier showers. Initially through
Saturday night, accumulations will be relatively light and mainly
above the passes.

Another system will arrive on Sunday, followed by potentially
stronger low pressure system Monday into Tuesday. These systems
may bringing more significant precipitation to the mountains.
Snow accumulations in the mountains could reach 3 to 5 inches
above 4500 feet on Sunday. Even higher amounts could fall with the
next system by late Monday into Tuesday. Those planning activities
or travel through the mountains should monitor forecasts closely
over the next several days.

And this is all the while that our Department of Trabnsportation is digging out the mountain passes trying to get them open for the summer. Here is a current photo from the WSDOT of the gate leading to Artist Point at the end of the Mt. Baker Highway - this is how much snow is left:

20170512-artistpoint.jpg

500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci sketched out the design for a piano-like instrument but instead of plucking (harpsichord) or striking (piano) the strings, they are pressed into contact with rotating wheels covered in rosin and horsehair creating a bowed string sound. Polish musician and instrument builder Sławomir Zubrzycki spent three years and 5,000 hours building one. It sounds gorgeous:

Sławomir has a Youtube channel with this instrument and others. ClassicFM did a nice write-up on this instrument last September.

Storage Lockers

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I am on an electronic music email list and one of the members was spending a few months in-between houses and was asking people about renting a storage locker to house his music equipment. One of the list members had this to say:

Usually these storage locker business, at least in the States, have extra-curricular activities in the evening after the lights are off and they are ostensibly closed.  Various cultists will meet in the basements and preform rituals. I found it interesting to observe some of these after a hard day of moving gear. Then in the morning they clean up the residue of candle wax, blood, and contraception and clear out...leaving no trace behind. I offered them use of my modular but found that they tended to like LA synthesis and FM instead, which was surprising. One has to be careful about this though, as the various storage locker companies belong to different sects, which have been locked in mortal warfare since ancient times.

Someone has been reading the Illuminati a little bit too much...

Make sure you always update your Windows - it's free and can be automatic:

From The Intercept:

LEAKED NSA MALWARE IS HELPING HIJACK COMPUTERS AROUND THE WORLD
In mid-April, an arsenal of powerful software tools apparently designed by the NSA to infect and control Windows computers was leaked by an entity known only as the “Shadow Brokers.” Not even a whole month later, the hypothetical threat that criminals would use the tools against the general public has become real, and tens of thousands of computers worldwide are now crippled by an unknown party demanding ransom.

The malware worm taking over the computers goes by the names “WannaCry” or “Wanna Decryptor.” It spreads from machine to machine silently and remains invisible to users until it unveils itself as so-called ransomware, telling users that all their files have been encrypted with a key known only to the attacker and that they will be locked out until they pay $300 to an anonymous party using the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. At this point, one’s computer would be rendered useless for anything other than paying said ransom. The price rises to $600 after a few days; after seven days, if no ransom is paid, the hacker (or hackers) will make the data permanently inaccessible (WannaCry victims will have a handy countdown clock to see exactly how much time they have left).

Ransomware is not new; for victims, such an attack is normally a colossal headache. But today’s vicious outbreak has spread ransomware on a massive scale, hitting not just home computers but reportedly health care, communications infrastructure, logistics, and government entities.

Reuters said that “hospitals across England reported the cyberattack was causing huge problems to their services and the public in areas affected were being advised to only seek medical care for emergencies,” and that “the attack had affected X-ray imaging systems, pathology test results, phone systems and patient administration systems.”

The worm has also reportedly reached universities, a major Spanish telecom, FedEx, and the Russian Interior Ministry. In total, researchers have detected WannaCry infections in over 57,000 computers across over 70 countries (and counting — these things move extremely quickly).

The patch to eliminate this was issued by Microsoft in March - be sure to run Windows Update on a regular basis.. This ransomware does not need any action on your part to install, it can install itself in the background without you being aware of any untoward activity on your machine.

Do regular backups of your data on a drive that otherwise remains disconnected from your computer.

Poor widdle arabs - from The Daily Caller:

Saudi Arabia Whines US Has Too Much Control Over World’s Oil
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has asked the U.S. to stop producing so much oil, according to a report Thursday.

OPEC’s report blames the U.S. in particular because hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has greatly increased American oil production. The new production has led a lengthy period of very low oil prices. OPEC claims raising global oil prices will “require the collective efforts of all oil producers” and should be done “not only for the benefit of the individual countries, but also for the general prosperity of the world economy.”

New American oil production is undermining OPEC’s efforts to keep global prices between $50 and $60 per barrel, with current prices hovering around $47 a barrel.

“I think [OPEC] are now acutely aware that they don’t have the kind of influence they used to have 10 years ago, and that shale is now the swing producer in the market,” Tom Pugh, commodities economist at Capital Economics, told CNN Money.

The question that bears asking is what has Saudi Arabia done for the world? The USA routinely spends billions of dollars on foreign aid - what do the Arabs do? Why should we give a rats ass what they think - they are trying to monopolize the cost of energy. Let them learn about free market capitalism. It was cheap energy that drove the industrial revolution and makes our lives what they are today. It is cheap energy that drives down poverty in third-world nations and helps elevate them into first world power.

Great advertisement from Australia - good anthracite coal is over 95% pure carbon. If you are stuck burning something to make power, a modern coal plant is your best option by far.

President Trump signed an executive order forming a commission to examine and stamp out voter fraud - here is an article from 2008 showing the problem. Considering that this is CNN doing the reporting, this is just the tip of the iceberg:

Thousands of voter registration forms faked, officials say
More than 2,000 voter registration forms filed in northern Indiana's Lake County by a liberal activist group this week have turned out to be bogus, election officials said Thursday.

The group -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN -- already faces allegations of filing fraudulent voter registrations in Nevada and faces investigations in other states.

And in Lake County, home to the long-depressed steel town of Gary, the bipartisan Elections Board has stopped processing a stack of about 5,000 applications delivered just before the October 6 registration deadline after the first 2,100 turned out to be phony.

"All the signatures looked exactly the same," Ruthann Hoagland, a Republican on the board. "Everything on the card filled out looks exactly the same."

The forms included registrations submitted in the names of the dead -- and in one case, the name of a fast-food restaurant, Jimmy Johns. Sally LaSota, a Democrat on the board, called the forms fraudulent and said whoever filed them broke the law.

ACORN was the group taken down by multiple undercover videos in their offices aiding and abetting outright fraud against various government agencies. ACORN as an agency was defunded but the people themselves are still out there and still pulling the same crap.

Our Point of Sale system uses cheap touch screens for the registers and they rely on optical scanning to function. One of them stopped working while I was there but fortunately, it was a simple fix - a can of dust-off. There is an array of infrared LEDs just in front of the screen. These are individually cycled on and off a couple hundred times/second and when a fingertip blocks the beam, that position is known and passed to the mouse port of the computer. There was too much crud on the bezel of the display.

The UPS pixies were kind to me today - I had back-ordered some music keyboard stands a couple months ago and they finally arrived. Regular keyboard stands stick out from the wall and take up a lot of floor space. These puppies bolt directly to the wall - nothing touches the floor.

Nothing much happening today

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Nothing catches my eye on the intarwebs so heading out for coffee and working at home today. Checking in at the store first though.

Two fun memes

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Ran into these two while surfing this morning:

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From autoblog:

Brand-new Ford Fusions used to smuggle marijuana from Mexico
The war on drugs is never ending, with smugglers finding new and creative ways to bring their goods across the border. New 2017 Ford Fusions shipped from Mexico had their spare tires swapped for packages of marijuana, not only making their way to dealer lots but onto the driveway of an 86-year-old Minnesota man. According to Alpha News, more than 1,100 pounds of marijuana were recovered from 22 vehicles, most of which traveled north on the same train car.

The drugs were found between February and March of this year. A contractor for Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad tipped off authorities after discovering drugs in two cars. The contractor was inspecting the Fusions before loading them onto a transport headed to dealerships. Thirteen other cars, all from the same railcar, had already made their way to dealer lots. Each car had 40 to 60 pounds of marijuana in the trunk. In March, another Minnesota dealer found another seven Fusions packed with drugs.

Somebody slipped up on the recieving end.

From the Detroit Free Press:

Feds nab 1,378 in record gang sweep; 20 came from Michigan
Calling it a record sweep, the federal government announced today the arrests of 1,378 people who were targeted in a six-week-long operation that took down some of the nation's most dangerous gang members, from alleged drug dealers and killers to alleged human smugglers and sex traffickers, the government said.

Of the total arrested, two-thirds were U.S. citizens, one-third were foreign nationals from 21 countries in South and Central America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.

A good start - this is a bit like playing whack-a-mole in that for every gang banger taken off the street, another one will show up but still, these are the leading edge of the drug cartels and cutting into their profits is always a good thing. This is unfortunatley a real manifestation of the stupidity of the war on drugs.

Prohibition did not work for alcohol, it only caused crime to spike to high levels. Why should things be any different with drugs. Legalize everything and provide safe clean places for injections. This has not happened so I wonder who is being paid off.

We have been practicing with one digital format but there is another one that has several features not found in Winlink. This is called fldigi and it has a lot of very cool bits. So much to learn and having a wonderful time doing it.

Warming up some of the bean soup and settling down for an hour or two of surfing and a glass or two of red wine. Nothing scheduled for tomorrow - it will be raining so will be working at the store and at home.

Off to the RACES

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Heading out to my radio meeting. The group is the Whatcom Emergency Communications Group or WECG. We are technically a branch of the Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service hence off to the RACES

I lost track of time so will have dinner when I get back - ham and bean soup.

From the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network's blog:

Earthquake swarm NE of Bremerton
The Seattle Fault Zone runs West to East right through downtown Seattle and has the potential of being the source of a large (M6+) earthquake. It was therefore quite exciting when a small earthquake (Ml=3.3) happened right below the Seattle Fault Zone near Bremerton last week and was followed by aftershocks, and then again by a Ml=3.4 earthquake and another Ml=3.6 earthquake last night (as I am writing this our prototype Early Warning App is telling me another earthquake just happened, it is 10:57PDT on the 11th, this one turns out to be near Whidbey Island instead).

Rather than call it a mainshock-aftershock pattern, we can now call it a swarm, which basically means a cluster of earthquakes close in space and time that doesn't have an obvious mainshock. Swarms of small earthquakes are not unusual in our region. In fact, I found at least 6 more PNSN blog posts about swarms in WA or OR (links at the bottom of this post). However, this swarm is interesting in that it might be related to the Seattle Fault Zone.

See the mapview below for locations of the earthquakes in this swarm. Important to know is that the smallest dots on the map are probably not in the correct location. These earthquakes are so small that they are not well-recorded on all the nearby seismometers, which makes it difficult to locate them well. We are quite convinced that these ocurred in the same area as the bigger ones (except for one, but more about that later) because their waveforms look similar to the bigger ones on those seismometers that did see all of them.

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The joys of living in a very geologically active area.

From The Washington Times:

The Latest: Former Rep. Brown found guilty in charity scam
Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown has been found guilty of taking money from a charity that was purported to be giving scholarships to poor students.

The jury’s verdict on Thursday came after prosecutors accused the 70-year-old Brown of using hundreds of thousands of dollars from the One Door for Education Foundation for lavish parties, trips and shopping excursions.

She was found guilty on 18 of the 22 counts against her, including lying on tax and financial disclosure forms.

Brown, a Democrat who represented the Florida district that included Jacksonville since 1993, had pleaded not guilty to all charges including fraud.

Brown’s former chief of staff, Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, and One Door’s president pleaded guilty after their federal indictments for misusing the charity’s funds, and testified against Brown.

Simmons said Brown ordered him to take cash and checks from One Door’s account that was put into the congresswoman’s personal accounts.

Still pleading not guilty even though her consigliere testified against her. Delusional or just not that smart; or both. It never fails to surprise me that these mokes do not have any kind of exit strategy. Run a scam like this and you will get caught - it may take ten years but you will get caught.

Good news - voter fraud

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From FOX News:

Trump signs executive order launching voter fraud commission
President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday to launch a commission to review alleged voter fraud, a White House official confirmed to Fox News, after months of claiming voter fraud in the 2016 presidential election.

The order, titled “Presidential Commission on Election Integrity,” would establish a bipartisan commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, to review alleged voter fraud and suppression. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has investigated voter fraud in Kansas, will serve as vice chair.

"The commission will also include individuals with knowledge and experience in election management and voter integrity," White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders said on Thursday at the White House daily press briefing. "The commission will review policies and practices that enhance or undermine confidence in elections and identify system vulnerabilities."

Good - it was not just the 2016 election that suffered from voter fraud, 2012, 2008, 2004 - it's turtles all the way down. The democrats have nothing to run on so they cheat. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

About those illegal immigrants

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Another example of someone who should have had the book thrown at them - from CNN:

Cops: DUI suspect who struck a family returning from Disneyland had been deported 15 times
A mother, father and their 6-year-old son were returning from a trip to Disneyland when, according to the survivors' family, a man in a pickup truck turned a corner, smashed into their car and sped off.

The suspect, Constantino Banda-Acosta, was a man that border agents say had been deported 15 times over the span of 15 years.

In a statement provided to CNN, ICE confirmed that Banda-Acosta "has been repatriated to Mexico at least 15 times since 2002, most recently in January 2017."

He -- and another man arrested in connection with the crash -- were both "Mexican nationals in the country illegally," the statement said.

Again, I have zero problem with people who want to legally emigrate to the USA - this is still the land of opportunity. Those people that come in illegally and who sponge off the system need to be stopped.

A skier fell into a 60' crevasse recording all the while:

From Bloomberg:

Record Cold Nights Cause Spring Pinch for Nordic Power
Nordic power prices soared as record cold weather in parts of the region delayed the seasonal melting of snow into water needed to generate electricity.

The coldest night on record dating back to 1859 this week helped electricity prices on Wednesday jump 34 percent so far in May from a year earlier and they are headed for the highest average level for the month since 2013 on the Nord Pool AS exchange in Oslo. The unseasonably cold weather is also driving up demand for the commodity.

”It’s what we call a spring pinch,” Sigbjorn Seland, chief analyst at StormGeo’s Nena Analysis in Oslo, said by phone. ”Unusually high spot prices and very low inflows due to the cold.”

Gee - if only they had some nuclear reactors to provide backup electricity...

Back home again - new toys

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I have been having a lot of fun with the Raspberry Pi computers and Amazon was running a screaming deal on some Arduino boards so picked up four of them. The Pi is an actual computer running Linux (although it can run older versions of Windows just fine - 95 and 98. Only one Gig of system memory). You program it in a high-level language (C) or any of the scripting languages (Lua or Python).

The Arduino is a microcontroller - it does not use an operating system and you must use its own high-level language to create your programs. The advantage is that there are tons of pre-built applications that you can swipe and edit to fit your own needs. Lots of libraries for controlling lights, input (both on/off and variable), motors, sensors, etc...

Fun stuff to do now that I can't go and play outside. We are now at two tenths of an inch of rainfall in the last ten hours.

Meeting with one of my managers and then back home - radio meeting tonight.

More spew in an hour or so...

Back to what passes for normal

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It has been raining off and on this morning (tenth of an inch accumulation) but it just started really dumping down a few minutes ago. Life in paradise - the year without a summer?

Forecast is for more of same through next Wednesday, a couple of days of partly cloudy and then back to rain again. They just re-upped the Special Weather Statement:

...COOLER AND WETTER CONDITIONS IN THE MOUNTAINS TODAY THROUGH THE WEEKEND...
Those venturing into the mountains or traveling through the higher
passes should plan for possible wintry conditions today through
the weekend.

An upper level low will bring cool and unstable conditions to
Western Washington. Snow levels will drop to near 5000 feet today
and then fall to around 4000 feet tonight and Friday. Elevations
above around 4000 feet could pick up a few inches of snow through
Friday.

This cool and showery pattern will continue into early next week
as another upper level low tracks through the Pacific Northwest.
Continue to monitor the forecast for the latest details.

Sooooo frickin' tired of this - do not get me wrong, I love it here but still...

Our quiet sun

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We have had a record five months of low sunspot counts - from Spaceweather:

THE SUN IS BLANK:
Today the sun is blank--no sunspots. The disk of our star is completely featureless.

This is the 31st day in 2017 that the sun has been without spots. Cumulatively, it adds up to an entire month of spotlessness--and it's only May. For comparison, the sun was blank on 32 days in the whole of 2016. The accelerating pace of spotless suns is a sign that Solar Minimum is approaching.

Solar Minimum is yin to the yang of Solar Maximum, a natural part of the sun's ~11 year sunspot cycle. Contrary to popular belief, Solar Minimum is not boring ...only different. It brings a time of enhanced cosmic rays, pink auroras, a collapsing ionosphere and accumulating space junk. With action like that, who needs sunspots? Stay tuned for more blank suns.

Sunspots are a great proxy for solar output - the fewer sunspots, the cooler our Sun is. The solar output is measured directly by the Dominion Observatory in Penticton, British Columbia - here is their chart for 2000 through 2017 - it says NOAA/SWPC but the data is gathered from Dominion:

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Time to buy a good winter coat and stock up on firewood...

Back from the meeting

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One more to go tomorrow and that is it for meetings for the this week - got a digital group radio meeting next Tuesday and then the Welding Rodeo that weekend.

Forming a CERT team out here that can deploy in case of an emergency - we have about fifty people who have been through CERT training; now, I just have to rope them into a critical mass and get them organised.

Surf for a bit and then hopefully better sleep than last night.

President Trump tweets

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Speaking truth to power:

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Pot meet kettle - Comey

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The Democrats are all up in arms over President Trump's firing of the FBI director. They fail to remember - from Katie Pavlich at Town Hall:

10 Times Democrats Slammed James Comey, Called For His Firing
A number of Democrats in Washington D.C. this morning are expressing outrage over President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey. But it wasn't long ago that many of them called Comey unfit for public office, said they lacked confidence in his ability to lead the Bureau and called for his firing.

1. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

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And nine more instances complete with clickable links so you can read the source materials. The word you are looking for is hypocrite.

We had a small cluster of quakes in Puget Sound on May 3rd. The same fault just had another one - from the USGS. It was 24.5 km deep so not much surface movement.

A slow start to the day

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Did not sleep well last night - didn't fall asleep until around 5:00AM so slept in.

Heading out for the usual coffee and then working at the store for a little bit. At home the rest of the day and then a BERT meeting tonight at 6:30PM

Our nice forecast got taken away from us this morning. National Weater Service is saying Mostly Cloudy with a high of 70°F, The Weather Channel is saying a few showers with a high of 67°F - it is raining lightly and the temp is 67.3°F although it did get up to 75°F earlier this morning. Both are wrong.

Yikes - who ordered this?

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Just saw this bundle of hope and joy - from National Weather Service:

...COOLER AND WETTER CONDITIONS IN THE MOUNTAINS THURSDAY THROUGH
THE WEEKEND...

Hikers, backpackers and campers should plan for cool and showery
conditions if traveling into the Olympics and Cascades Thursday
through the weekend.

An upper level low will shift inland bringing cool and unstable
conditions to Western Washington, a big change from the warm and
dry weather early this week. Snow levels will hover near 8000
feet then drop to around 3000 to 4000 feet Thursday night into
Friday as the cooler air mass moves inland. With wet and unstable
conditions, expect a mix of rain and low-elevation snow showers
in the mountains along with a chance of thunderstorms in the
Cascades.

This cool and showery pattern may continue into early next week
as another upper level low tracks over the Pacific Northwest.
Continue to monitor the forecast for the latest details.

Happy happy joy joy...

The Clinton's have one (although it is a bit tarnished and shop-worn). Now I read that Obama has one too. A foundation. From the London Times:

Obama rests his head in Tuscan villa after sell‑out €3m speech
Barack Obama’s post-presidential holidays are officially over but from the look of his new working routine it’s hard to tell the difference.

Yesterday he arrived in Milan on a private jet and headed straight for the Park Hyatt hotel, where the presidential suite will set you back €8,400 (£7,100) a night. The former US president is in Italy’s business capital to deliver a sold-out speech today. Some 3,500 people have paid €850 each for a ticket, raising nearly €3 million for the Obama Foundation, which was set up to carry on his project of “renewal and global progress”.

That would be about 3.2 Million US dollars. Not too shabby for a day's work and I bet he didn't have to cough up the scratch for the airplane or the hotel room. My question is what does he have to offer? At least Crooked Hillary had political connections and it was easy to follow the deals that went down after the contributions to the Clinton Foundation were made. Barry? Not so much.

Took him long enough - from The New York Times:

F.B.I. Director James Comey Is Fired by Trump
President Trump on Tuesday fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, abruptly terminating the top official leading a criminal investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s advisers colluded with the Russian government to steer the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

The stunning development in Mr. Trump’s presidency raised the specter of political interference by a sitting president into an existing investigation by the nation’s leading law enforcement agency. It immediately ignited Democratic calls for a special counsel to lead the Russia inquiry.

Mr. Trump explained the firing by citing Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, even though the president was widely seen to have benefited politically from that inquiry and had once praised Mr. Comey for his “guts” in his pursuit of Mrs. Clinton during the campaign.

Yeah - that old Fake News trope keep resurfacing - the Russians hacked the election. What nobody can tell me is what they actually did and how they did it.

Lest we forget, here is a list of ten FBI scandals that happened on Comey's watch:

    1. Before he bombed the Boston Marathon, the FBI interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev but let him go. Russia sent the Obama Administration a second warning, but the FBI opted against investigating him again.
    2. Shortly after the NSA scandal exploded in 2013, the FBI was exposed conducting its own data mining on innocent Americans; the agency, Bloomberg reported, retains that material for decades (even if no wrongdoing is found).
    3. The FBI had possession of emails sent by Nidal Hasan saying he wanted to kill his fellow soldiers to protect the Taliban -- but didn't intervene, leading many critics to argue the tragedy that resulted in the death of 31 Americans at Fort Hood could have been prevented. 
    4. During the Obama Administration, the FBI claimed that two private jets were being used primarily for counterterrorism, when in fact they were mostly being used for Eric Holder and Robert Mueller's business and personal travel. 

Six more at the link - cleaning house is a good thing and in the case of the FBI, long overdue.

From the United States Department of Energy - Hanford Emergency Operations Center:

HANFORD SITE EMERGENCY
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Richland Operations Office declared an emergency at the Hanford Site at approximately 8:30 a.m. this morning after a cave-in of a 20-foot section of a tunnel that is hundreds of feet long that is used to store contaminated materials. The tunnel is located next to the Plutonium Uranium Extraction Facility, also known as PUREX, which is located in the center of the Hanford Site, in an area known as the 200 East Area. No contamination has been detected following the cave-in. Crews are continuing to survey the area for contamination. Workers are preparing to fill the hole created by the cave-in in order to stabilize the tunnel. All personnel in the vicinity of the PUREX facility were accounted for and there are no reports of injuries.

And something to take note of:

No action is currently required for residents of counties surrounding the Hanford Site.

Don't start taking your Potasium Iodide pills quite yet. There is a lot more at the site including a timeline of events along with the history of the tunnel.

Productive day - we are planning our second annual Amateur Radio Field Day at the end of June so discussed some plans at this meeting. I will be catering the event - last year was a lot of fun and people liked my cooking for some strange reason.

Surf for a bit and then to bed - lots of stuff planned for tomorrow. Forecast is that this will be the last good day for at least ten days so making the most of it. Lulu's nephew Jimmy is out helping so this will make for light work.

Heading in to town to go to Costco, the bank and running a couple of errands. Amateur Radio meeting tonight. Back home around 10:00PM or so. Gorgeous weather out today and supposed to be just as good tomorrow. Rain for Friday and the weekend though.

Where there's smoke - Seattle

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The Seattle mayor's race just got interesting - from The Seattle Times:

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray won’t seek second term: ‘It tears me to pieces to step away’
Mayor Ed Murray ended his campaign for re-election Tuesday — bowing out of a race that not long ago he was expected to win easily, shutting the door on a second term in Seattle’s highest office and aborting a political career that’s spanned decades.

Murray’s decision comes a month after he was sued for alleged child sexual abuse dating to the 1980s and less than a week before the official candidate-filing period begins. The mayor maintains he is innocent and the victim of smears.

“It tears me to pieces to step away,” Murray said in an emotional, sentimental speech at the Alki Beach Bathhouse in the West Seattle neighborhood where he spent part of his youth. “But I believe it is in the best interest of this city that I love.”

Good riddance. It is OK to follow your bliss as an adult but do not mess with kids - it may feel good to you but the long-term damage to them is extreme. Talk about self-centered. Interesting to note that he is still denying the charges - this must mean that there is another charge which has not yet come to light.

I am a numbers person - here is one that amazes me. From NumbersUSA:

IG Report: DHS is Catching Less Than 1% of Visa Overstays
A new report from the Inspector General shows that DHS is catching less than 1% of people who stay in the U.S. after their visas have expired. In 2015 ICE arrested only 3,402 visa overstayers out of the estimated 527,127, or 1 out of every 150 cases.

The report also shows that there is a massive backlog of 1.2 million visa cases that ICE has yet to investigate. The report attributes the low apprehension rate and huge backlog to the agency’s flawed technology. In order to figure out if someone has overstayed their visa ICE officers must use 27 different computer systems.

I knew it was bad but I did not have any idea that it was this eye-wateringly bad. That line about needing to navigate through 27 different computer systems speaks highly of centralized government procurement and the standards to which vendors are held.

Emory University was the home of Professor Michael A. Bellesiles whose anti-2nd amendment book Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture published in 2000 was found to be based on completely fabricated scholorship. Mr. Bellesiles is no longer teaching at Emory University but the cultural bias is still strong at that institution. From The Daily Caller:

University Will Pay ‘100 Percent’ Of Illegal Students’ Financial Needs
Emory University is keen to pay “100 percent of demonstrated financial need for undocumented students (with or without DACA) who are admitted as first-year, first-degree-seeking students,” according to an online description of coming fall program.

As The College Fix reports, the private Atlanta university has given the take care of illegals program the unwieldy name of “Need-Based Financial Aid Program for Undocumented Students, including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) Students” and the information is all available on their website.

There’s money galore for illegals. “All Undocumented Students (with or without DACA) who are admitted as first-year, first-degree-seeking undergraduate students, who have graduated from a U.S. high school, and who are determined by Emory to have financial need, will be awarded Emory financial aid funds to assist them in meeting their demonstrated need,” the website promo declares.

If I were an alumnus, I would withhold any further endowments and send them a serious and heartfelt WTF Guys? This is just plain unreal...

Left-over tacos again (YUM!!!), watched two more episodes of Agents of SHIELD and now working in the radio room for a while. I have an electronics bench set up in the DaveCave(tm) and want to move it into the radio room to keep all electronics stuff in one place. The radio room is a small space so I am going to have to be creative - a fun project...

From William A. Jacobson writing at Legal Insurrection:

Trump begins counter-packing federal courts, Dems can’t stop him thanks to Reid Rule
As we have pointed out repeatedly, Trump has an unprecedented opportunity to nominate a substantial percentage of the federal judiciary.

There are currently over 100 vacancies, and many more are likely to open up, Liberal nightmare: Trump could appoint half federal judiciary. Yet Democrats, so blinded by the light of #TheResistance, appeared oblivious to the approaching Tsunami of Trump lower court nominations.

Today the first waves of the Trump judicial nomination tsunami hit the beaches in D.C.

USA Today reports, Trump names 10 conservatives to federal courts

More at the site - the first ten look really good. 90+ more to go. Senator Harry Reid eliminated the filibuster in 2013 - bet he wishes he could take it back now...

This report from England's Daily Star:

ICE AGE BRITAIN: River Thames will FREEZE OVER on 'this date' – and could kill millions
Experts told Daily Star Online planet Earth is on course for a “Little Ice Age” within the next three years thanks to a cocktail of climate change and low solar activity.

Research shows a natural cooling cycle that occurs every 230 years began in 2014 and will send temperatures plummeting even further by 2019.

Scientists are also expecting a “huge reduction” in solar activity for 33 years between 2020 and 2053 that will cause thermometers to crash.

Both cycles suggest Earth is entering a global cooling cycle that could have devastating consequences for global economy, human life and society as we know it.

They don't tell us who these experts are but the data indicates that this is what is happening. More people die by cold than by heat so this is something to be concerned about. Stock up on firewood at the very least.

It may be quasi legal in Washington State but it is not on the East Coast - from The Seattle Times:

Seattle police officer charged in large-scale pot-smuggling operation
A veteran Seattle police officer has been charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana along with three other people federal agents say were part of a large-scale drug-smuggling operation responsible for delivering at least 100 kilograms of marijuana to the East Coast.

According to a 15-page complaint unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court, Officer Alex Chapackdee — part of a five-member community policing team in the department’s South Precinct — is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana along with Tuan Van Le, Samath Khanhphontgphane and Phi Nguyen in what a federal task force is referring to as the “Tuan Van Le Drug Trafficking Network.”

The complaint alleges that Chapackdee and others were “regularly smuggling large amounts of marijuana from the Western District of Washington to locations on the East Coast, including but not limited to locations in the Baltimore, Maryland, area.”

And the investigation was ongoing:

Chapackdee has been under surveillance since at least 2016, when the local FBI opened a public-corruption case in addition to the drug investigation. The investigation included the placement of a camera hidden on a utility pole outside his Seattle apartment and warrants to monitor his phone calls and track his cellphone signal, allowing the task force to track his trips back east.

Talk about being given enough rope. I hope he goes away for a long long time - this is a blot on the Seattle Police Department's reputation.

Yikes - be careful

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There is a technique using salt water (or Borax disolved in water) and high voltage and current that can create gorgeous patterns on wood. I am planning to try this at some point but all of my electrictronics experience is telling me to be very incredibly careful. A lot of people are doing gorgeous work with this but there have been some horrible accidents too - here is the most recent from the Walla Walla, Washington Union-Bulletin:

Local man electrocuted using dangerous wood art process
A Walla Walla man died from electrocution while attempting a dangerous technique for sculpting wood, authorities said this morning.

Robert Riggers, 47, died outside his home in the 1400 block of East Alder Street sometime Thursday night, according to Walla Walla County Coroner Richard Greenwood.

His death was reported to the Walla Walla Police Department around 3:37 a.m. Friday, according to police spokesman Officer Tim Bennett.

Riggers had been attempting to create a picture frame using a process called fractal Lichtenberg wood burning, Greenwood said. The process involves running an electrical current through a block of wood soaked in salt water, causing it to burn and fracture into unusual patterns.

Riggers, Greenwood said, had likely used the method before, as many pieces found in Riggers’ residence were apparently products of the technique.

While the process can create fascinating art, it is very dangerous, Greenwood warned.

Here is a video of the process - the action starts about one minute in:

I feel truly sorry for Mr. Riggers accident and his death but this is a known dangerous activity and there are safety procedures that can be taken.

Disturbing report from Associated Press (hat tip Gerard):

Indications arctic may become teperate zone
The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulate, at Bergen , Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

Oh. Wait. This was published in the November 2, 1922 edition of The Anchorage Daily Times and The Washington Post – 93 years ago.

20170508-arctic01.jpg

20170508-arctic02.jpg

Weather is not climate - we are headed for an extended period of cooling as our sun is entering a quiet period.

Cutting edge audio

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There is a good-sounding sound system and then, there are the off-the-deep-end audiophiles who think nothing of spending $1,999 for a power cable or a mere $10,000 for 12 meters of ethernet cable (and I'm not even mentioning the $485 Volume Knob made from the finest beech wood)

There is a kind of testing called double-blind which audiophiles detest (here, here, here, and here to start) because their supposed high end gear fails more often than they like. From Infogalactic:

Blind experiment
blind or blinded experiment is an experiment in which information about the test is kept from the participant until after the test. Bias may be intentional or unconscious. If both tester and subject are blinded, the trial is a double-blind experiment.

Blind testing is used wherever items are to be compared without influences from testers' preferences or expectations, for example in clinical trials to evaluate the effectiveness of medicinal drugs and procedures without placebo effect, nocebo effect, observer bias, or conscious deception; and comparative testing of commercial products to objectively assess user preferences without being influenced by branding and other properties not being tested.

Well, some people did a double-blind test with violins and the results are very interesting - from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Listener evaluations of new and Old Italian violins
Old Italian violins are routinely credited with playing qualities supposedly unobtainable in new instruments. These qualities include the ability to project their sound more effectively in a concert hall—despite seeming relatively quiet under the ear of the player—compared with new violins. Although researchers have long tried to explain the “mystery” of Stradivari’s sound, it is only recently that studies have addressed the fundamental assumption of tonal superiority. Results from two studies show that, under blind conditions, experienced violinists tend to prefer playing new violins over Old Italians. Moreover, they are unable to tell new from old at better than chance levels. This study explores the relative merits of Stradivari and new violins from the perspective of listeners in a hall. Projection and preference are taken as the two broadest criteria by which listeners might meaningfully compare violins. Which violins are heard better, and which are preferred? In two separate experiments, three new violins were compared with three by Stradivari. Projection was tested both with and without orchestral accompaniment. Projection and preference were judged simultaneously by dividing listeners into two groups. Results are unambiguous. The new violins projected better than the Stradivaris whether tested with orchestra or without, the new violins were generally preferred by the listeners, and the listeners could not reliably distinguish new from old. The single best-projecting violin was considered the loudest under the ear by players, and on average, violins that were quieter under the ear were found to project less well.

Now this is going to ruffle a few feathers. The full text is behind a paywall but the abstract tells us what we want to know. Technology marches on and the advances that it brings extends to violins as well as everything else.

Quote of the year

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What with all of the fake news and other narratives being spun by the left and their handmaidens, the mainstream media; this bears a mention:

"There is no better means of reducing a fallacious variety of thought to absurdity than to let it live itself out completely."
-- Carl Menger

Carl Menger was a very interesting person - he founded the Austrian School of economics. His thesis: On the Origin of Money torpedoes Karl Marx's central tenet - that there is a fixed pool of capital in the world and that social inequities arrive from this pool being inequitably distributed.

In reality, capital (and its proxy: money) is fungible and can be created and destroyed.

Big book - The Klencke Atlas

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How do you digitize a book that stands 5' 9" tall. The British Library is doing just this and have done a short timelapse for posterity:

No word as to what camera they are using. Here is a description from the British Library: The Klencke Atlas including a prior, much lower resolution scan of its pages.

Van Zandt

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The small town of Van Zandt lies about 10 miles away to the Southwest. It is home to a wonderful store and deli, a couple of churches, it has its own low-power FM radio station and that is about it.

It is also home to a potential large landslide and this has happened before. Here are two blog posts about the landslide and LIDAR

First - from The Landslide Blog:

The Van Zandt landslide: another great example of landslide mapping using LIDAR
I recently came across another great example of the use of LIDAR for mapping landslides in difficult terrain.  The Washington Geological Survey has a wonderful mapping tool online that gives the user the ability to look at a range of geological data.  The Bellingham Herald has a nice article about the LIDAR dataset, which can be accessed through the portal, in which they highlight the example of the Van Zandt landslide on the Nooksack River.  This landslide is located at 48.803, -122.151 if you want to take a look on Google Earth.  Imagery of the location suggests that there might be a landslide here – below is a Google Earth perspective of the site showing a huge scoop out of the ridge and a river that may have been pushed over to the opposite side of the valley.  However, the area between the ridge is densely forested in places, with vegetation of various types covering almost all of the landscape.  It is extremely difficult to map a landslide deposit in these circumstances:

20170507-vz01.jpg

The author - Dave Petley - talks about using topographic maps and direct visualization and then come out with the money shot:

But a LIDAR system fires many pulses of laser energy at the ground in the process of mapping.  Even in a forested area a few of these make it through the vegetation canopy to strike the ground before being reflected back to the instrument.  Whilst the proportion of laser pulses that make this journey is small, the high density of pulses sent by the laser means that these can be used to map the underlying terrain.  So the pulses that have reflected off the tree canopy are removed through processing, leaving just those that reached the ground.  These are then combined to produce a bare earth LIDAR hillshade.  The spatial resolution of this is less good, but the ability to capture the underlying relief is amazing.  Here is the bare earth hillshade for the Van Zandt landslide:

20170507-vz02.jpg

And suddenly the hummocky topography of the landslide deposit is plain to see, and is easily mapped. And what becomes evident from this is that this was another highly mobile landslide with a long runout. Interestingly, a back of the envelope calculation suggests that the H/L ratio for this landslide is about 0.132, close to the supposedly extraordinary mobility value of 0.105 for the Oso landslide.

The Oso landslide in 2014 killed 43 people.

Second, from local geologist Dan McShane's Reading the Washington Landscape:

The Van Zandt Slide Gets Some More Attention
Dave Petley calls attention to the use of LiDAR (light detecting and raging) and the Van Zandt landslide in Whatcom County (agu.org/landslideblog/2017/05/05/lidar/). His post is in part derived from a Bellingham Herald article that covers the recent work of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Division of Geology and Earth Resources (DNRGER). He also gave my blog a nice compliment - I did a short write up on the Van Zandt Landslide (van-zandt-landslide-introduction) a while back after a trip to the slide with Geoff Malick. Goeff is getting near completion of his thesis on the slide.

The DNRGER has developed and recently expanded their geology information map portal https://fortress.wa.gov/dnr/protectiongis/geology/?Theme=wigm. The portal provides geologic maps but has also recently added LiDAR coverage.

I typically do not use the portal very often as I have most of the maps I need and their accompanying pamphlets/booklets. However, a separate portal of really good LiDAR imagery has recently been developed by the DNRGER (http://lidarportal.dnr.wa.gov). This portal does not include as much LiDAR derived imagery as the main geology portal as a lot of LiDAR areas have yet to be added. But the quality of the imagery is sharper and allows one to pick which LiDAR flight to view when there are multiple LiDAR flights available. It also allows turning on or off the bare earth imagery. The site can also be used to download the raw data.

The LIDAR portal is an excellent way to spend a few hours - looking for existing slides in the area. I know of several in one valley over and they show up loud and clear on the map.

Back home again

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Turned out to be a gorgeous day with a couple more in the forecast - rain is on for Thursday though so it is not summer yet...

Putting a couple of chicken breasts in the pressure cooker (four chicken breasts rinsed and patted dry, onion coarsely chopped, one tub of salsa and a can of diced 'maters, season to taste - pressure cook on high for 20 minutes - perfect shredded chicken!) for tacos tonight and then working outside on a couple of projects.

As another day unfolds

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Heading out for coffee and then working at the store for an hour. Doing a bonfire today or tomorrow so bringing the leaf blower back home - makes a big difference. Chicken tacos for dinner tonight.

Well crap - France

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The only good news is that Macron will be better for France than Hillary would have been for the US. From Yahoo / Agence France Presse:

Macron elected French president: estimates
Pro-European centrist Emmanuel Macron resoundingly won France's landmark presidential election, first estimates showed Sunday, heading off a fierce challenge from the far-right in a pivotal vote for the future of the divided country and Europe.

The victory caps an extraordinary rise for the 39-year-old former investment banker, who will become the country's youngest-ever leader.

He has promised to heal a fractured and demoralised country after a vicious campaign that has exposed deep economic and social divisions, as well as tensions around identity and immigration.

Initial estimates showed Macron winning between 65.5 percent and 66.1 percent of ballots ahead of Le Pen on between 33.9 percent and 34.5 percent.

Unknown three years ago, Macron is now poised to become one of Europe's most powerful leaders, bringing with him a hugely ambitious agenda of political and economic reform for France and the European Union.

Two pluses - he is promising reform and he was not a politician. Being an investment banker helps as he has an understanding of economics unlike our liberals who seem to be innumerate.

Computer Graphics

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Every year, the SIGGRAPH (Special Interests Group - Graphics) conference showcases the advances in computer imaging - here is the demo reel for this years conference:

Due out July 21st - website - story: Dunkirk evacuation

Not done yet - Hillary

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Benghazi is not going to go away quietly - from Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch: Court Rules State Department Must Release Clinton Emails Detailing Obama Response to Benghazi
Judicial Watch today announced that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson has ordered the U.S. Department of State to turn over to Judicial Watch “eight identical paragraphs” of previously redact material in two September 13, 2012, Hillary Clinton emails regarding phone calls made by President Barack Obama to Egyptian and Libyan leaders immediately following the terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.  Both emails had the subject line “Quick Summary of POTUS Calls to Presidents of Libya and Egypt” and were among the emails stored on Clinton’s unofficial email server.  Judge Jackson reviewed the documents directly and rejected the government’s contention that the records had been properly withheld under the FOIA B(5) “deliberative process” exemption.

Judge Jackson ruled:  “the two records, even if just barely predecisional, are not deliberative. [The State Department] has pointed to very little to support its characterization of these two records as deliberative, and the Court’s in camera review of the documents reveals that they do not fall within that category.”

The full emails may reveal what former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama knew about the September 11, 2012, terror attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi.

Following Judge Jackson’s March 20 ruling, the State Department asked the court to reconsider.  The State Department argued that, due to an internal “mistake,” it failed to claim that the emails were classified and, therefore, exempt from production under FOIA Exemption B(1).

In response, Judicial Watch argues that the failure was not a mistake, but instead was part of a deliberate effort by the State Department to protect Clinton and the agency by avoiding identifying emails on Clinton’s unofficial, non-secure email server as classified.

Internal "mistake" my ass. Clinton was Secretary of State at the time and refused to provide the extra security that Ambassador Stevens was asking for. The truth needs to be made public - I am so glad that she is not our president.

CNC machines and beer

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Is there nothing that they can not do?

Lulu came back to the farm today so we watched two episodes of SHIELD over dinner - the writing is really good and excellent special effects. Fun stuff.

Time to surf for a bit and see what is on the Tube of You.

Really nice today and several more forecast - supposed to start raining again Thursday. I have a bunch of stuff that needs doing outside.

This coming week is a busy one for meetings - Ham radio, BERT and WECG

Fixing left-over spaghetti for dinner...

Nice to hear about science being done and not the agenda-driven global warming crap. From Watts Up With That:

Spaceweather protection bill passes the Senate
From the “a single Carrington event can ruin your whole day, er, life” department:

WASHINGTON — The Senate unanimously passed a bill May 2 intended to support space weather research and planning to protect critical infrastructure from solar storms.

The Senate passed, via unanimous consent, the Space Weather Research and Forecasting Act. The bill cleared the Senate Commerce Committee in January, which had approved a similar bill in 2016.

The bill is designed to outline roles and responsibilities for various U.S. government agencies to research, forecast and respond to space weather, which can affect communications, the power grid and other systems. 

Basically replacing the 20-year old solar observing satellites with current technologies. Much overdue.

Progressive sneaky voter tricks

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Just as we had buses full of people being carted around from polling place to polling place on election day (video, search, article) - similar fraud is going on in France. From The Gateway Pundit:

DIRTY TRICKS: French Voters Receive Invalid, Damaged Le Pen Ballots
Reports are emerging of torn – and therefore invalid – Le Pen ballot papers being received by voters ahead of tomorrow’s all important French presidential election. In each case, the ballots of rival candidate, Emmanuel Macron, are intact.

David Rachline, Campaign Director for Marine Le Pen, last night called for vigilance on the part of voters receiving their election material, and for those concerned to notify authorities at polling stations of any damaged ballots.

Millions of packs have been sent out to French households in recent days, containing voting information and ballot papers for Sunday’s election. According to a press statement released by the Le Pen campaign, there have been thousands of reports of invalid ballots being received across such geographically diverse counties as Ardèche, Alliers, Savoie, Loire, Yvelines, Eure-et-Loire, and Hérault – a broad spread across the country.

Videos are being posted and shared on Facebook of registered voters opening their envelopes to reveal the contents – intact ballot papers for Macron, ripped papers in the case of Le Pen.

In other videos, voters are seen opening envelopes only to find that both ballots bear Macron’s name. Rather than an occasional anomaly, the same circumstances have been noted in the voter packs of multiple voters living within the same household.

Le Pen’s campaign has also accused certain mayors of breaking the electoral code by using officially headed notepaper and state resources for mail outs calling on voters to support Macron. Such violation of France’s electoral code, if prosecuted, can lead to a fine of €15,000 ($16,450) and up to one year in jail.

Ours is not the only swamp that needs to be drained. It is heartening to see that We The People are speaking up these days. The pendulum has swung too far to the left - time to restore the government that we originally had.

Wonder if she is off her meds - her fifteen minutes were over a long long time ago. From People Magazine:

‘Onward Together!’ Hillary Clinton, With New Slogan, Will Help Fund The Trump #Resistance
Hillary Clinton is not only out of the woods — she’s ready to resist.

After taking a few months off the national stage following her loss in the 2016 presidential election, Clinton says she’s ready to get back into the nitty gritty of politics — and join #resistance.

Clinton is planning to launch a political group to raise money for progressive-minded groups and organizations, a Democratic source confirms to PEOPLE. The group will be called Onward Together—a nod to her presidential campaign’s slogan, Stronger Together— and will work with those trying to push back on President Donald Trump‘s agenda.

Over the past few weeks, Clinton has been meeting with potential donors and investors, and evaluating groups to fund. Getting back in the political scene has her “fired up,” the source tells PEOPLE.

She needs to get off the public stage and go play with her grandkid. Something. Anything.

President Trump will be visiting the seats of the three Abrahamic religions: the Vatican, Israel, and Saudi Arabia, which is home to Mecca. From the United Arab Emirates' The National:

Trump’s Saudi visit sends ‘clear and powerful message’
The US president Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Saudi Arabia will enhance cooperation between the United States and Muslim countries in the fight against extremism, the kingdom’s foreign minister said.

Describing the visit as historic, Adel Al Jubeir said Mr Trump’s time in Saudi Arabia would include a bilateral summit, a meeting with Arab Gulf leaders and another with leaders of Arab and Muslim countries.

"It’s a clear and powerful message that the US harbours no ill will" toward the Arab and Muslim world, he said.

"It also lays to rest the notion that America is anti-Muslim. It’s a very clear message to the world that the US and the Arab Muslim countries can form a partnership," Mr Al Jubeir said.

"It will lead to, we believe, enhanced cooperation between the US and Arab and Islamic countries in combating terrorism and extremism, and it will change the conversation with regards to America’s relationship with the Arab and Islamic world."

A bit more:

The United States is leading an international coalition against ISIL of which Saudi Arabia is a member, and both countries have voiced concern about Iranian attempts to expand its influence in the Middle East.

Mr Al Jubeir praised the Trump administration’s tougher stance against Iran.

"I don’t think this administration is about rhetoric. I think the administration has taken firm steps in terms of making it clearer to Iran that its behaviour has to change."

Riyadh and Washington had a testier relationship under former Democratic president Barack Obama’s administration, which Saudi Arabia felt placed less importance on the Saudi-US relationship than on securing a nuclear deal with Iran.

Wonderful - I love that the article's author used the word rhetoric to describe Obama's dealings - that is exactly what it was. Dialectic in the original definition is what Trump uses - numbers, knowledge, facts. Obama and the progressives were all about doing things that sounded good regardless of their true consequences.

Getting my inner geek on

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Had a lot of fun at the Linux Fest - attended two seminars (Anonymous Communication via E-Mail and Democratizing Wireless Networks with Software Defined Radios) and saw the exhibitors booths.

A couple of new vendors caught my eye for fun Raspberry Pi projects. Did not see anyone doing anything with radio (except for the second seminar) - a bit of a surprise as there is a very vibrant community in Northwest Washington. Nothing really catches my eye for tomorrow so staying home.

Linuxfest

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Up early this morning and next - the annual LinuxFest is happening in Bellingham.

Two days of Geek heaven!!!

From Carter writing at The Gateway Pundit:

BREAKING: MACRON BUSTED! Lied About Tax Evasion? – 4Chan /pol/ Posts Images from Macron’s Off-Shore Bank Account!
French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron was accused recently of tax evasion.

Macron denied the allegations.

Now, new documents prove he lied about – almost – everything.

Two days ago, an Anon on /pol/ (the 4Chan thread notorious for unmasking Antifa, among other things) uploaded proof of Macron’s tax evasion.

Document 1.
This shows the Macron La Provicence LLC operating agreement

A lot more at the site including this wonderful little waffle:

The media continues to repeat the the line Macron uttered: “I don’t have an account in the Bahamas,” and he’s right!  He has an account in the Cayman Islands.

Making a big bowl of popcorn for this weekend...

The French presidential elections are this weekend and wouldn't ya' know it... From Reuters:

French candidate Macron claims massive hack as emails leaked
Leading French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron's campaign said on Friday it had been the target of a "massive" computer hack that dumped its campaign emails online 1-1/2 days before voters choose between the centrist and his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen.

Macron, who is seen as the frontrunner in an election billed as the most important in France in decades, extended his lead over Le Pen in polls on Friday.

As much as 9 gigabytes of data were posted on a profile called EMLEAKS to Pastebin, a site that allows anonymous document sharing. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for posting the data or if any of it was genuine.

In a statement, Macron's political movement En Marche! (Onwards!) confirmed that it had been hacked.

No word as to the content of said emails. Most likely not a hack, more like a dump from an insider. These usually are and the organization does not want to admit this so they blame hackers from (insert current bogey-man here). And, to whomever did the [CTRL]-C, [CTRL]-V, thank you for keeping things as transparent as possible. Just as Hillary was shown to be totally corrupt and crooked, I am betting that Macron is cut from the same political cloth.

Governor Moonbeam - another tax

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California is getting really absurd - from The San Francisco Chronicle:

California plans for collecting taxes on spaceflight
The earthly convention of paying taxes may soon extend into outer space, if California regulators have anything to say about it.

The state’s Franchise Tax Board is seeking public comment on its proposal for computing taxes on commercial space transportation companies.

The private spaceflight industry remains small, despite grand ambitions to shuttle everything from tourists to 3-D printers into space. But the board says it created the rules to give entrepreneurs the confidence that once their businesses really start to take off, California’s tax code will be ready to handle them.

The rules are designed to apply to any company operating in California that generates at least half the money it takes in from “space transportation” — defined as the movement of people or property 62 miles above the surface of the Earth. That’s the internationally recognized line that separates our planet from the rest of space. It would apply to companies that use California as a launchpad, not California companies launching from other states, like Texas or Florida.

And it gets worse:

According to the proposal, California will collect tax from space transportation companies based on a formula factoring in how often a company launches spacecrafts out of the state, and, most importantly, how far a commercial spacecraft travels from California soil.

Look for new launch facilities to be built in Florida and Texas. One example that has already happened:

At least one company has already been lured away from California for the promise of greater financial incentives — though of a more earthly variety. Moon Express, a company working to mine the moon for natural resources, moved from Mountain View to Florida.

In an email, the company’s CEO and founder, Bob Richards, said the company “relocated from California to Florida in part due to the State of Florida’s progressive economic development incentives designed to attract commercial space companies.

Unreal - what are they smoking and how can I avoid it? It is making them stupid.

Deluge

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Got another two tenths of an inch of rainfall early this afternoon for a total of a bit over half inch for the last 24 hours. River is running really high.

Yesterday's Thunderstorms

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Looks like the bulk of it hit to our south - Cliff Mass has an excellent post-mortem:

Extraordinary Lightning Strikes over the Northwest
This morning, I took a look at the 24-h lightning strike map for the region and my jaw dropped (see the map below). Many hundreds (if not thousands) of lightning strikes hit our region, with southwest WA and the eastern side of Puget Sound country getting more lightning than I have ever seen before in a day. Simply amazing.

20170505-lightning.gif

Why so much lighting for this event? Certainly, the record breaking amounts of atmospheric moisture streaming into the area the previous two days are prime candidates. Large amounts of moisture act like "fuel" for thunderstorms, since as the air rises in the cumulonimbus clouds, the moisture condenses, releasing latent heat, which makes the air more buoyant.

Another measure of the intensity of the thunderstorms yesterday were their heights. Typical thunderstorms around here usually rise to 15,000-20,000 feet at most. Wimpy stuff. But yesterday, several of the storms climbed to over 40,000 ft, as shown by the echo-top radar product shown below.

Cliff also had two other posts about this storm which make for fun reading on this epic weather event - here are links:

#1) - Thunderstorms Have Begun over the Northwest!
#2) - Amazing Day of Lightining

Puget Sound Electric reported upwards of 40,000 people without power at its height yesterday. They are reporting about 130 seperate outages totalling about 4,000 customers that are still out as of this posting.

A quiet day

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There are some coyote pups coming down from the mountain near me so the dogs were barking a lot last night. Time to get out the pellet rifle. Doesn't break the skin but they do know when they have been hit and they stay away.

Had about three tenths of an inch of rain last night - all of it durning that deluge around 8:00PM. Rained for about an hour and then nothing. Back to cool and overcast for today and tomorrow.

Dance monkey, dance

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Celebrities seem to be laboring under the delusion that I am interested in what they have to say. I am not. From Daniel Nussbaum writing at Breitbart:

Celebrities Rage at House Obamacare Repeal: ‘F*ck All Y’all’
Republican leaders and President Donald Trump celebrated a legislative victory Thursday as the House passed the American Health Care Act, which, if it clears the Senate and is signed into law, will repeal former President Obama’s signature achievement, 2010’s Affordable Care Act.

But the reaction was substantially different in Hollywood, as celebrities took to social media Thursday afternoon to voice their displeasure with the new bill and to urge fellow liberals to donate to Democratic politicians ahead of the 2018 midterm elections.

Politically outspoken celebrities including Katy Perry, Amy Schumer, John Legend, George Takei, and Mark Ruffalo all tweeted about the bill, while TV personality Andy Richter called House Republicans “soulless pimps” and comedian Patton Oswalt vowed to make the 2018 midterm election a “dawn-to-dusk nightmare for the GOP.”

“The American people are coming for all of you,” tweeted Beauty and the Beast star Josh Gad.

You are paid to entertain me. You have the great talent to do that. Thinking that your talent also extends to the political or social commentary arena is a perfect example of the Dunning–Kruger effect. I refer to this rant as it sums up my feelings exactly.

Obamacare was the absolute wrong way to go about revamping our healthcare system. We need to open the markets across state lines, institute tort reform to limit frivolous malpractice suits, allow clinics to publicly advertise their prices for various procedures so people can shop around. Instilling an element of competition would drive quality up and cost down.

FromOlympia, WA The Olympian:

Their Mount Rainier erupted, now Colombians sharing lessons
A contingent from Colombia is visiting Pierce County this week to discuss how to best handle the possibility of Mount Rainier or Mount St. Helens erupting.

The group of scientists, emergency managers and first responders have checked out both Washington volcanoes and will hold a community meeting in Orting Thursday night (May 4).

Both countries have experienced deadly volcano eruptions in the past.

Mount St. Helens erupted in May 1980, killing 57 people and destroying hundreds of homes.

In the Andes Mountains of Colombia, Nevado del Ruiz erupted in 1985 and caused lahars that killed more than 23,000 people, injured more than 5,000 and destroyed 5,000 homes.

Nevado del Ruiz is an ice-clad volcano similar to Mount Rainier, which the U.S. Geological Survey dubbed one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world because volcanic mudflows would bury numerous communities in the foothills.

After the Nevado del Ruiz eruption, our US Geological Survey started the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program. From the website:

In response to the tragic 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz Volcano in Colombia, where more than 23,000 people lost their lives, the USGS and the U.S. Agency for International Development's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) established the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) to help prevent crises from becoming disasters. Over 30 successful years, VDAP has deployed scientific teams in response to 30 major crises, provided technical assistance with hundreds of additional volcanic events, and strengthened response capacity in 12 countries.

At the request of governments of affected countries, VDAP helps foreign colleagues monitor volcanic activity, assess hazards, generate eruption forecasts, and develop early warning capabilities, which help get people out of harm's way. Experienced teams of VDAP scientists can rapidly respond to developing crises worldwide. VDAP teams collaborate in the background, providing support to international partners who are the responsible parties for hazard communication. Between crises, VDAP scientists work with counterparts to build and improve volcano monitoring systems and to conduct joint activities to reduce volcanic risk and improve understanding of volcanic hazards.

Read more about the 30 years of VDAP on the OFDA website.

Looks like a great program for the big picture.

And, Columbia is not without its share of other disasters - from the Associated Press two days ago:

Desperation sets in as flood death toll in Colombia tops 200
Townspeople desperately searched their ruined homes and the local hospital for loved ones Sunday after a torrent of water, mud and debris swept through a city in southern Colombia, causing more than 200 deaths, many of them children, and leaving hundreds more missing and injured.

Neighborhoods were left strewn with rocks, wooden planks, tree limbs and brown muck after heavy rain caused the three rivers that surround Mocoa to rise up and surge through the city of 40,000 Friday night and early Saturday as people slept. The deluge smashed houses, tore trees out by the roots and washed cars and trucks away.

Search-and-rescue teams combed through the debris and helped people who had been clawing at huge mounds of mud by hand. Many had little left to search.

“People went to their houses and found nothing but the floor,” said Gilma Diaz, a 42-year-old woman from another town who came to search for a cousin.

And of course, the potential had been identified in 1989:

The danger has grown worse in recent years because of deforestation, which eliminates some protection from runoff, and because many people built their homes close to the water. But the triggering event was rainfall of more than 5 inches (130 millimeters) that began late Friday.

“The rain fell on Mocoa with an intensity and force that was without precedent and devastating,” Santos said. “It rained in two hours what falls in a month in Bogota.”

A 1989 hydrology report for the Agricultural Ministry warned that just such a disaster could happen unless steps were taken to reinforce the riverbanks, channel water away from the town and restore some of the forest. It was not immediately clear why those steps had not been taken.

This shit is serious - it can and will kill you in a heartbeat. We had our own example with the Oso landslide of March 22, 2014

Tag! Your'e it!

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Your moment of awwwwwww...

Back from town and some wheathur

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UPDATE BELOW:

Talk about a bad spell of weather... Started out completely foggy - burned off around 9:00AM or so and we had gorgeous skies and warm temps. Got up to 75.9°F at the farm. It was also very muggy and we could smell wood smoke everywhere. People were burning the downed tree limbs from this winters storms and there was an inversion layer that trapped the smoke. Around 5:00PM, it all broke apart.

I was in downtown Bellingham near the water and could see lightning on Mt. Constitution on Orcas Island - we had quite the thunder and lightning out here too; still going on. The National Weather Service has a short-term forecast for points south of here:

.NOW...
...A Severe Thunderstorm Watch is in effect for Pierce,
Lewis, and Thurston Counties...

Scattered thunderstorms will continue through this evening for
the interior of Western Washington. Some storms may contain hail
or gusty winds.

$$

The Weather Channel has T-Storms and 90% rain with 100% rain for tomorrow clearing up this weekend for four days - time to attack the garden.

UPDATE - got home just in time. It is absolutely dumping rain now - just picked up.

It would have been a life-saver if this system had been installed at Oso - from The Landslide Blog:

Community Slope SAFE
Community Slope SAFE is a landslide early warning system that has been under development for some years by Professor Neil Dixon and colleagues at Loughborough University I have covered this work before – in essence it uses technology to listen to acoustic emissions generated when a landslide moves, and then uses electronics to process that information to provide a warning.  Of course that very simple description hides a great deal of complexity – how to collect the signal and not background noise, and how to interpret that signal as indicating that the slope is on the move, for example.  One aspect of this work has been the development of a low cost system designed to be used in vulnerable communities in less affluent countries, called Community Slope SAFE.  The team have just installed their first system in Malaysia, working with an NGO FHI 360 and various other partners.

Much more here: Slope Alarms

Off to town - coffee first

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Taking care of a couple things that I didn't get to yesterday. Grab some dinner in town.

Weather is gorgeous - sunny and 71.6°F at the house but supposed to shift dramatically tonight with thunderstorms in the forecast and then back to rain and overcast.

And of course...

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May the Fourth be with you...

The news of yesterdays emergency meeting  at Buckingham Palace has an update from the London Daily Mail:

'Sorry to hear you're standing down, sir.' 'Well I can't stand up much longer!' Prince Philip, 95, seals his retirement in typically humorous style as he prepares to end 70 years of royal duties
Prince Philip has taken a typically irreverent view on his own retirement today telling one man who said he was sorry he was standing down: 'Well I can't stand up for much longer'.

The Duke of Edinburgh made himself and a crowd of guests roar with laughter while with the Queen at an Order of Merit service at St James's Palace just an hour after announcing he will end his public royal duties at the age of 95.

A bit more:

His well-earned retirement comes after 70 years dedicated service to Britain and Her Majesty, who has given him her 'full support' to step down.

It was announced at a top secret emergency meeting called by Buckingham Palace and attended by other royals including his daughter Princess Anne.

The difficult decision was made by Philip himself and he will step back just before he and the Queen reach their 70 year platinum wedding anniversary in November. The Queen will continue her public engagements as she has always vowed to serve her country for as long as she lives.

Good news - I dread the day that the Queen dies and Prince Charles ascends to the throne - he will be a disaster for England and the Queen knows it. This is why she made the vow to serve her country for as long as she lives.

I love ambient music* and it seems that it is becoming popular again. From the New York Post:

Is this the most chill music festival ever?
Songs that drone on and on aren’t always a bad thing.

Music lovers are increasingly gravitating toward ambient music — the atmospheric and often repetitive niche genre favored by audio nerds — and attending concerts that go on for many hours.

Adventurous New Yorker concertgoers had the choice of two marathon-length concerts last weekend for tuning in and dropping out: a 10-hour ambient music show in Bushwick, and an even more demanding 24-hour drone-music event held in a reclaimed factory in Hudson, NY.

At 24-Hour Drone, about 300 people camped out on a concrete floor to listen to a full day’s worth of music from nearly 30 performers as varied as Sonic Youth co-founder Lee Ranaldo to the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Choir, which sang Tibetan Buddhist chants.

A bit more - from the organizer of the 24-hour drone event:

“There’s some sort of a 21st-century New Age phenomena going on where the world is burning and politics are f–king evil and people need peace,” Melissa Auf der Maur, co-founder of Basilica Hudson, which put on the 24-Hour Drone event, tells The Post.

“The power of sound to bring frequencies inside and out together is hands down our most ancient force of connectivity,” adds Auf der Maur, who formerly played bass in the rock bands Hole and the Smashing Pumpkins.

While it won’t ever be as popular as, say, Beyoncé, there’s growing interest in the genre.

In January, the amount of ambient music streamed on Spotify reached an all-time high — about 60 percent higher than it was two years ago, according to the company.

* I love a lot of other kinds of music as well - current playlist in the truck is mostly Alan Parsons, Moby, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Traffic, Enya, Dervish.

Democrats were shrieking to the hilltops when some English politicians were saying that Donald Trump would make a good President - now that the shoe is on the other foot? Not so much. From Reuters:

Former U.S. president Obama endorses Macron in French campaign
Former U.S. President Barack Obama endorsed centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron for France's presidential election on Sunday in a video message in which he praised Macron for appealing "to people's hopes and not their fears".

"The French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about," Obama said in the message, distributed by Macron's camp.

Macron "has stood up for liberal values ... He is committed to a better future for the French people. He appeals to people's hopes and not their fears," the former president said.

The Reuters reporter for this article - Adrian Croft - offers this bit of foresight:

Macron is widely seen as the favorite to beat the National Front's Marine Le Pen in Sunday's runoff vote.

It will be interesting to see the results. Le Pen would be harder for the French citizens but better for France in the long run.

Someone is lying very low with a huge bank account - from Reuters:

U.S. has not found "one dollar" of drug lord El Chapo's assets - official
U.S. authorities have not been able to find any trace of ill-gotten assets belonging to jailed drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, Mexico's attorney general said on Wednesday.

Before he was captured last year and extradited to the United States in January to stand trial, Guzman was one of the world's most wanted drug traffickers and believed to have accumulated a fortune from reigning over his Sinaloa Cartel over many years.

"As of today, U.S. authorities have not found not even one dollar of El Chapo's assets," Mexican Attorney General Raul Cervantes said in an interview with top local broadcaster Televisa.

And of course, dealing with these mokes is like playing a game of Whack-A-Mole:

In the same interview, Cervantes said that the relative upstart Jalisco New Generation Cartel is now Mexico's largest criminal organization, eclipsing the country's more familiar criminal syndicates like Sinaloa or the Zetas.

On Tuesday, Mexican security forces arrested Damaso Lopez, who the United States once described as Guzman's "right hand man" but had been locked in a bloody struggle for control of the Sinaloa Cartel against the sons of El Chapo.

Knock one down, two more spring up in their place. This is a problem with the Mexican government and not with the cartels. They will never be serious as long as the crime is exported to the United States.

Quite the cluster of small quakes near Bremerton this morning - biggest one was Mag 3.1 and was felt near Seattle.

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Interesting preparations - China

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From The Korea Times:

'Don't move or I'll shoot' - China teaching Korean to soldiers on N. Korean border
Chinese soldiers stationed along the North Korean border are learning Korean in case North Koreans cross the border to flee any U.S. attacks, according to a Japanese news outlet Tuesday.

The Yomiuri Shimbun said the soldiers are memorizing phrases such as "Stop" or "Don't move or I'll shoot" in Korean, citing sources familiar with China's People's Liberation Army (PLA).

"The PLA is teaching Korean to soldiers near the North Korean border in case North Korean refugees start flocking into China if a military conflict arises between the U.S. and North Korea," the newspaper said.

The moment the North Korean government is destabilized, there will be a flood of refugees. A united Korea would be an economic powerhouse.

Global Warming - it is the Sun

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Our sun is a variable star and is the key driver for our climate. Not some trace gas in the atmosphere. Here is a list of 20 recent scientific papers shoing this. From NoTricksZone:

A Robust Sun-Climate Connection Increasingly Affirmed By Scientists

(1)  Yndestad and Solheim, 2017
Periods with few sunspots are associated with low solar activity and cold climate periods. Periods with many sunspots are associated with high solar activity and warm climate periods. … Studies that employ cosmogenic isotope data and sunspot data indicate that we are currently leaving a grand activity maximum, which began in approximately 1940 and is now declining (Usoskin et al., 2003; Solanki et al., 2004; Abreu et al., 2008). Because grand maxima  and minima occur on centennial or millennial timescales, they can only be investigated using proxy data, i.e., solar activity reconstructed from 10Be and 14C time-calibrated data. The conclusion is that the activity level of the Modern Maximum (1940–2000) is a relatively rare event, with the previous similarly high levels of solar activity observed 4 and 8 millennia ago (Usoskin et al., 2003). Nineteen grand maxima have been identified by Usoskin et al. (2007) in an 11,000-yr series.”

Below, the trends in Total Solar Irradiance for 1700-2013, which comes from the Yndestad and Solheim (2017) paper cited above, are shown to closely correspond to the temperature trends for the Northern Hemisphere (NH, derived from “the mean of 22 regional reconstructions of instrumental JJA [June-August] temperatures“) as shown in Stoffel et al., 2015.

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And nineteen more at the site as well as a lagniappe of two more addressing this topic: Increased Surface Solar Radiation (Via Reduced Cloud Cover) Explains Post-1980s Warming

Standing up to the bullies

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Great move - from CNS News:

Greek Orthodox Bishop Calls on Turkey's Erdogan to Convert or Face 'Unending Hell' With Muhammed
The Greek Orthodox bishop, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus, sent a lengthy letter to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he detailed some of the differences between Christianity and Islam and called on Erdogan to convert to Orthodoxy or face "eternal and unending" suffering in Hell, along with Muhammed and his followers.

In the letter, Metropolitan Seraphim criticizes Islam and says Muhammed was a "false prophet" and that the Quran is not a "holy" or "sacred" book. He presents examples of where the Quran uses material from the Bible and other religious texts, and he also discusses some of the more controversial aspects of Muhammed's life, including that one of his wives, Aisha, was only nine-years-old when she married the prophet.

Near the end of the letter, Metropolitan Seraphim pleads with President Erdogan and his family to convert to Christianity. He calls on them to "renounce all errors, heresies, and innovations of Islam" and "repent, to weep bitterly, be humble, and believe in Christ, the God-Man, Savior and Redeemer of the world."

Good advice - Islam is a barracks religion, a faith of bullies and tyrants.

Sending our prayers to England

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From the London Daily Mail:

Queen calls her entire household to 'highly unusual' emergency meeting at Buckingham Palace today but mystery surrounds the reason why
Speculation amongst Buckingham Palace staff was rampant last night as the Queen’s most senior aides called her entire household to an emergency meeting today.

Servants from royal residences across the country have been ordered to London and will be addressed this morning by the Lord Chamberlain, the most senior officer of the Royal Household, as well as Her Majesty’s right-hand man, Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt.

Even her longest serving staff were left in the dark about why the meeting was being called but multiple sources said it was ‘highly unusual’ and had sparked fevered talk about an imminent announcement concerning the monarch or her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

I hope that things are well with the Queen and her Husband. The reign of King Charles will be a disaster for England - the man is not fit for the Office.

Fake news in the news again

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No, it was not for laughing, it was for much much more and this article at the Washington Examiner has all the details with links so you can read the source materials yourself:

No, a woman wasn't convicted today simply for laughing during Jeff Session's confirmation hearing

Some push-back - wind power

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Great news from the alt.energy front. Seems like the people in the communities want nothing to do with wind power. From The Daily Caller:

Small Towns Fight Back Against World’s Largest Green Energy Company
Two rural Michigan towns are holding a referendum Tuesday on whether or not to block two of the world’s largest green energy companies from building wind turbines.

The vote could stop the companies DTE Energy and NextEra Energy from building 70 new wind turbines in Huron County. The county already has 550 wind turbines, but residents opposed to more wind turbines hope the referendum will block new turbines.

And why:

Huron County Wind Resistance says the future wind turbines would ruin the county’s rural feel and pose a health risk to residents.

As I have said before, alt.energy is making a few people very very rich:

NextEra made a profit of $21.5 billion between 2008 and 2015 but paid zero federal income taxes on it, according to The New York Times. In fact, the company received a net tax credit of $313 million thanks to government subsidies. The company has a total market capitalization of $62.43 billion. It currently operates 110 wind projects across 20 U.S. states.

Time for them to get off the taxpayer teat. alt.energy is not profitable without large government subsidies and these subsidies come straight out of our pockets.

Life emulates fiction

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From the Las Cruces, Arizona Sun-News:

Ex-science teacher from Las Cruces breaks bad
A former science teacher in New Mexico manufactures methamphetamine. Sound familiar?

The 3rd Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that John W. Gose, who taught science at schools in Las Cruces and El Paso, pleaded guilty to charges that he manufactured and possessed methamphetamine.

Gose, 56, of San Miguel, pleaded guilty to two counts of trafficking methamphetamine by manufacturing and one count each of possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He entered the pleas before state District Judge Fernando R. Macias in 3rd Judicial District Court in Las Cruces.

He should have watched the entire series to see that nobody got out alive.

Seattle's new tunnel

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They are replacing an old elevated highway (State Route 99) with a new underground tunnel. The Washington Department of Transportation just released this video of the final breakthrough today - great job!

More here: Alaskan Way Viaduct

Great news from China

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This is wonderful if real - from The Korea Times:

China issued 'last warning' to N. Korea over nukes: Chinese social media
China has sent a final warning to North Korea over its military provocations, according to unconfirmed rumors spreading widely on Chinese social media Tuesday.

Chinese news outlets have previously said Beijing could turn its back on Pyongyang if the latter conducted a sixth nuclear test. But the rumor that China has given North Korea a final warning has drawn particular interest from Weibo users.

The rumor cited the May issue of Hong Kong monthly news outlet Dong Xiang. It said a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs junior minister invited Park Myung-ho, an official of North Korea, for a meeting.

China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the meeting and asked his junior to read aloud the warning to the North over the nuclear test. The memorandum mentioned that China will condemn strongly, pull back on all economic cooperation and even blockade North Korea if it conducted the test.

A Chinese netizen said: "Maybe the bond between the nations is not that strong as we thought. North Korea is completely surrounded by enemies now."

I love that line: "completely surrounded by enemies" - wonder what is happening in Pyongyang today...

From the United States Department of Justice:

Pursuant to Executive Order on Public Safety, Department of Justice Releases Data on Incarcerated Aliens
President Trump’s Executive Order on Public Safety in the Interior of the United States requires the Department of Justice to collect relevant data and provide quarterly reports on data collection efforts. The data in this release shows a significant prison population of incarcerated aliens.

“Illegal aliens who commit additional crimes in the United States are a threat to public safety and a burden on our criminal justice system,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. “This is why we must secure our borders through a wall and effective law enforcement, and we must strengthen cooperation between federal, state and local governments as we strive to fulfill our sacred duty of protecting and serving the American people.”

And some numbers:

There are 45,493 foreign-born inmates currently in BOP custody, of which 3,939 are U.S. citizens (either naturalized or derivative). Of the remaining 41,554 foreign-born inmates (aliens):

    • Approximately 22,541 (54.2 percent) are aliens for which final immigration orders have been issued for their removal;
    • Approximately 13,886 (33.4 percent) are aliens who are under ICE investigation for possible removal;
    • Approximately 5,101 (12.3 percent) are aliens still pending adjudication (in other words, ICE has charged these aliens as removal cases, but a final disposition has not yet been reached); and
    • Approximately 26 (0.1 percent) are aliens who have been granted relief on the basis of asylum claims.

Close the borders now. We have always had a legitimate path for people who want to legally come to this nation and become citizens. It is these free-loaders who are the problem.

Rocky and me

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Lulu took this photo of me and Rocky while he was getting his mani-pedi yesterday:

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Heading in to town shortly

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Got to pick up some stuff for projects out here. Cooking some nectar for the hummingbirds and eating a very late breakfast - surf for a bit and then gone for a few hours.

From CNS News:

Kansas City Archdiocese Breaks Ties With Girl Scouts, Cites Planned Parenthood, Radical Feminists
Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann announced on May 1 that the Catholic churches in his archdiocese would be transitioning away from the secularist Girl Scouts to the Christian-based American Heritage Girls, citing in part the national Girl Scouts' support for the international Girl Scouts, which is tied to Planned Parenthood, which promotes contraception and abortion.

Archbishop Naumann also noted the Girl Scouts' promotion as role models the eugenicist Margaret Sanger, who founded Planned Parenthood, as well as the radical feminists Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem.

"Our greatest responsibility as a church is to the children and young people in our care," said the archbishop in a May 1 statement. "We have a limited time and number of opportunities to impact the formation of our young people. It is essential that all youth programs at our parishes affirm virtues and values consistent with our Catholic faith."

Margaret Sanger is one of those three ton turds in the punch-bowl that liberals willfully ignore. They would be well served by reading some of the quotes from her own published works - here are a few from this site: In Her Own Words

On blacks, immigrants and indigents:
"...human weeds,' 'reckless breeders,' 'spawning... human beings who never should have been born."  Margaret Sanger, Pivot of Civilization, referring to immigrants and poor people

On the purpose of birth control:
The purpose in promoting birth control was "to create a race of thoroughbreds," she wrote in the Birth Control Review, Nov. 1921 (p. 2)

On the extermination of blacks:
"We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," she said, "if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon

More here and here. A truly nasty piece of work.

Here is the website for American Heritage Girls - founded in 1995 with 40,000 members.
Their male equivalent is Trail Life USA with 25,000 members.

Spaghetti came out great

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Turns out I have to go into town tomorrow - some stuff I had ordered came in to Home Depot and I need to pick up something for our Community Garden.

Surf for a bit and then to bed.

So true

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What goes around, comes around:

20170502-emoji.jpg

Only in San Francisco

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From Business Insider:

San Francisco is considering a once unthinkable measure to offset the threat of job-killing robots
The tech industry collectively face-palmed when Trump's treasury secretary said earlier this year that the threat of robots taking human jobs was "not even on our radar screen."

There is a growing evidence that robots and artificial intelligence could displace huge swaths of the American workforce in the next couple of decades, much sooner than the "50 to 100 more years away" timeline that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he expects.

In San Francisco, where robots already run food deliveries for Yelp's Eat24 and make lattés at a mall coffee kiosk, one politician is working to ensure the city stays ahead of the curve.

Supervisor Jane Kim is exploring a tax on robots as one solution to offset the economic devastation a robot-powered workforce might bring. Companies that use robots to perform tasks previously done by humans would pay the city. Those public funds might be used to help retrain workers who lose their jobs to robots or to finance a basic income initiative.

Geez - talk about nanny-state protectionism. This benefits nobody. How about energizing your business and getting out there and competing in the marketplace. Don't drag everyone down to your moribund level, get out there and win!

Back home again - paperwork

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Spent a couple hours gathering all the 2016 invoices and receipts into their respective folders and closing that year out. Taxes were done but not the final sorting and archiving of the paperwork. Bust this out in the next couple of days. Heading in to town tomorrow for a couple of things including a box of 10X12 manila envelopes.

Working at home today starting with some spaghetti sauce. Makes the house smell really nice.

A nice change - sunny outside

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It has been a long wet and oppressive winter this year - had another tenth of an inch fall yesterday.

Nice and sunny outside now but the rains are forecast to return tomorrow with a four day window of sunny weather starting next Sunday - yea!

Time for coffee - got the farrier coming out later this afternoon for Rockey's mani-pedi

Remember these mokes?

From my February 2017 post - Now this is curious

Their seems to be some worms in the apple. From The Daily Caller:

EXCLUSIVE: House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs Committee Members Compromised By Rogue IT Staff
Three brothers who managed office information technology for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers were abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computers without permission.

Brothers Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.

A bit more:

The brothers are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.

Jamal handled IT for Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who serves on both the intelligence and foreign affairs panels.

Now from yesterday we get this update from Doug Ross:

COURT DOCS: Wasserman Schultz IT Guy Installed Wiretaps, Threatened Kidnappings
A former congressional information technology (IT) aide allegedly threatened to have his stepmother’s Pakistani relatives kidnapped if she talked to U.S. law enforcement authorities, according to court documents obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s (TheDCNF) Investigative Group.

“Imran Awan threatened that he is very powerful and if I ever call the police again, [he] will … kidnap my family members back in Pakistan,” Awan’s stepmother, Samina Gilani, claimed in the documents filed April 14 in Fairfax County, Va., in the case of Americo Financial Life and Annuity Insurance Company v. Abid A. Awan and Samina Ashraf Gilani.

Imran Awan and his brothers Abid and Jamal are under criminal investigation by U.S. Capitol Police on suspicion they abused their administrator-level access to sensitive congressional data, as reported Feb. 4 by TheDCNF.

“Imran Awan did admit to me that my phone is tapped and there are devices installed in my house,” including one Gilani claimed in the court filing to have seen “behind the printer.” She also claimed Imran Awan represents himself in Pakistan as a powerful person in Congress and is given police escorts when he spends time in the country.

Gilani has said she was left homeless after Abid Imran forced her to leave the house she previously shared with her husband. Fairfax County land records show Abid owns two residences.
The three brothers, plus two of their wives, were employed on a shared basis by dozens of Democratic members of the House of Representatives, including members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Homeland Security.

The Awans’ IT jobs gave them access to congressional computer networks, including members’ email accounts. They were also linked with an Iraqi politician who is a fugitive from U.S. authorities and who has been linked to the Hezbollah terrorist group in the Middle East.

Much more at the site - is this the level of operational security that the Democrats under Obama operated with? This is downright pitiful. With crap like this it is no wonder that they have been losing traction in politics - they have nothing to offer except go-along-to-get-along and corruption.

A tale of two cities

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Portland, OR - Police declare riot as protesters set fires in downtown Portland
Seattle, WA - Seattle May Day demonstrators pass ‘peace joint,’ share Pepsi

People need to realize that the violence is very well funded by old rich men who want to destabilize our nation and keep our citizens Balkanized - keeping each group in its own bubble, feeding them with the agitprop they "need" at that moment. Pure politics. It is when you set aside your cultural programming and enjoy the day, you get scenes like what happened today in Seattle.

I rest my case - Bill Nye

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Not that bright, a television entertainer and very serious cognitive bias towards dodgy science:

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Kind of hearkens back to the "dance, monkey, DANCE!" from a few posts ago.

Coming to a head in Nork

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Fat-boy Kim is making more threats. The USA just moved a THAAD missle system in to South Korea. Now China is pissed. From Yahoo News:

THAAD missile defense system initially capable in S.Korea - sources
The U.S. military's THAAD missile defense system in South Korea has reached an initial operating capability to defend against North Korean missiles, U.S. officials said on Monday, forging ahead with the system despite staunch objections from China.

Beijing has opposed activation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), arguing the system's radar could be used to spy into its territory, despite assurances from Washington that THAAD is purely defensive.

The United States is looking for China to use its influence with Pyongyang to rein in its advancing nuclear and missile programs, and it is unclear how Beijing will react to the development.

Heh - the THAAD is good - great kill rate in the latest round of testing and because it relies on kinetic energy to destroy the incoming missle, it is a lot safer than using conventional ordnance.

From Ilya Somin of the The Volokh Conspiracy writing at The Washington Post:

Victims of Communism Day 2017
Today is May Day. Since 2007, I have defended the idea of using this date as an international Victims of Communism Day. I outlined the rationale for this proposal (which was not my original idea) in my very first post on the subject:

May Day began as a holiday for socialists and labor union activists, not just communists. But over time, the date was taken over by the Soviet Union and other communist regimes and used as a propaganda tool to prop up their [authority]. I suggest that we instead use it as a day to commemorate those regimes’ millions of victims. The authoritative Black Book of Communism estimates the total at 80 to 100 million dead, greater than that caused by all other twentieth century tyrannies combined. We appropriately have a Holocaust Memorial Day. It is equally appropriate to commemorate the victims of the twentieth century’s other great totalitarian tyranny. And May Day is the most fitting day to do so….

Our comparative neglect of communist crimes has serious costs. Victims of Communism Day can serve the dual purpose of appropriately commemorating the millions of victims, and diminishing the likelihood that such atrocities will recur. Just as Holocaust Memorial Day and other similar events help sensitize us to the dangers of racism, anti-Semitism, and radical nationalism, so Victims of Communism Day can increase awareness of the dangers of left-wing forms of totalitarianism, and government control of the economy and civil society.

This year is a particularly important time to remember the victims of Communism because of the approaching one hundredth anniversary of the October Revolution – Bolshevik takeover of Russia. The Soviet Union was not the most oppressive communist regime. It probably did not match the even more thoroughgoing totalitarianism of the Khmer Rouge and North Korea. Nor did it kill the most people – a record held by Mao Zedong the Chinese communists. But the Soviet experiment was the principal model for all the later communist states, and it is hard to imagine communists seizing control of so much of the world without it. In addition to the significant material aid that the Soviets provided to communists in other nations, the communist seizure of power in Russia also greatly boosted the ideology’s prospects elsewhere.

Much more at the site - Communism is an evil that keeps rearing its head. It never has worked, it never will work and trying to implement it will only result in tyranny and a rapid decline of that nation - just look at Venezuela for the latest workers paradise augering into the political landscape.

Heh - clueless, utterly clueless

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All it takes is a conservative with a video camera and a wicked sense of humor to bring this on to full display - from Campus Reform:

VIDEO: Students despise Obama policies...when credited to Trump
In anticipation of the 100-day mark of Donald Trump's presidency, Campus Reform asked students at George Mason University to evaluate some of the president's accomplishments.

The students predictably blasted things like the "Apology Tour" and stimulus package, even comparing them to Nazi policies, at least until learning that they were actually accomplished during President Obama's first 100 days.

Someone didn't learn their history very well...

Shot - from the London Daily Mail:

Trump gets a load of hot air: Leonardo DiCaprio and thousands of green warriors brave 90F heat to march in DC and across America on the president's 100th day in office
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio joined thousands of climate change protesters in Washington DC to mark President Donald Trump's 100th day in office.

Chaser - from Ecoist Magazine:

LEONARDO’S “THE BEACH” RUINED THE ISLAND
Leonardo DiCaprio made a great speech about climate change during the Oscars, however, in 2000 he took place in the movie called “The Beach” which was one of the most wasteful and environmentally damaging movies ever. The movie takes place in Phi Phi Islands in Thailand.

According to the script, they needed a clearing on the beach large enough to play football, so they bulldozed a whole heap of the native trees and vegetation. Also to get the right look, they planted so many of non-native palm trees.

They probably thought that film sets and the real environment function the same way, so they did not expect a serious damage and a revenge from Mother Nature. Eventually, when the filming was over and they all left the island , the seasonal storms hit the beach as usual, but this time the sand dunes didn’t have the protection of their natural vegetation. They collapsed immediately and they were washed out to the sea, damaging the fragile coral reef on their way out.

Personal responsibility? Naaa - Leo is all about posturing, virtue signalling and doing whatever he wants. Reminds me of this wonderful 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 - they are just marionettes with a talent for telling a story that someone else wrote for them. The idea that they should dictate anything else makes zero sense...

No word as to the cause yet but this from radio station KGMI

Power outage Monday for Cornwall Park area PSE customers
More than 4,000 Cornwall Park-area Puget Sound Energy Customers were without power for a while Monday.

The lights went out just before 11:30 and power was restored to most customers by 1:00.

The outage darkened traffic signals, causing congestion in areas.

It affected a bunch of stores and the bank I use - a lot more than Cornwall, it hit the Sunset area as well.

Talking about loyalty - the FBI

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Now this will be interesting to see - from the Cause of Action Institute:

CoA Institute Sues for Records on Potential FBI Payment to Democratic Opposition Researcher Who Compiled Infamous Trump Dossier
Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking records relating to the relationship between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) and Christopher Steele, a former British spy who made headlines after he was identified as the lead author of the largely-discredited Trump dossier.

According to a news report, Mr. Steele entered an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the November 2016 election to investigate then-candidate Donald Trump while, at the same time, he was employed by an opposition research firm to collect information for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

CoA Institute President and CEO John Vecchione: “If a former spy who was being paid to do opposition research on a U.S. presidential nominee was also on the FBI’s payroll, there are serious concerns about the agency’s independence. We need to better understand this financial relationship to ensure the FBI was not misusing taxpayer money to interfere in a presidential election on behalf of one of the candidates.”

On March 7, 2017, CoA Institute sent a FOIA request to the FBI seeking access to records into whether the FBI paid money, or had plans to pay, Mr. Steele for any purpose. To date, the FBI has failed to produce any responsive records within the applicable FOIA timeframe.

The full Complaint can be found here.

Wondering why James Comey is still heading up that organization - he was an Obama hack.

Happy Loyalty Day

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May 1st is America's Loyalty Day - from The White House:

President Donald J. Trump Proclaims May 1, 2017, as Loyalty Day
A Proclamation

On Loyalty Day, we recognize and reaffirm our allegiance to the principles upon which our Nation is built. We pledge our dedication to the United States of America and honor its unique heritage, reminding ourselves that we are one Nation, under God, made possible by those who have sacrificed to defend our liberty. We honor our Republic and acknowledge the great responsibility that self-governance demands of each of us.

The United States stands as the world's leader in upholding the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice. Together, and with these fundamental concepts enshrined in our Constitution, our Nation perseveres in the face of those who would seek to harm it.

As one Nation, we will always stand strong against the threats of terrorism and lawlessness. The loyalty of our citizenry sends a clear signal to our allies and enemies that the United States will never yield from our way of life. Through the Department of Defense and other national security agencies, we are working to destroy ISIS, and to secure for all Americans the liberty terrorists seek to extinguish. We humbly thank our brave service members and veterans who have worn our Nation's uniform ‑‑ from the American Revolution to the present day. Their unwavering loyalty and fidelity has made the world a safer, more free, and more just place. We are inspired by their pride in our country's principles, their devotion to our freedom, and their solemn pledge to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

This proclamation got a lot of liberal panties in a bunch. Little do they realize that this is just following a precident set back in 1921 and was codified into law in 1958 (Public Law 85-529).

The most recent problem with them was the death of Simon, a Continental Giant Rabbit who had been transported to a buyer in America but who died on the flight over. The breeder asked for the body and it turns out that United Airlines had cremated Simon without asking her for permission. From the UK Sun:

WHO PUT BUN IN OVEN? United Airlines under fire again as giant bunny’s breeder slams airline for cremating Simon without her consent
THE breeder of Simon the giant rabbit has slammed United Airlines after they cremated him without her consent.

Annette Edwards, 65, had called for a post-mortem but later learned the ten-month-old’s body had been burned on Friday.

The 3ft bunny froze to death last month after bungling ground staff at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport put him in a chiller by accident.

He had been flown there from Heathrow and was destined for a celebrity owner in Ohio.

Talk about a rotten corporate culture and blind stupidity - the handlers did not care to see that this was a live animal.

Paid bills Saturday so need to move some money at the bank so the checks do not bounce. Finally started using GnuCash - took a while to get the check printing to be where I wanted it - like it a lot more than Quicken for what I am dong (basic household finance as well as a couple of investments) Quicken tries to be everything for everybody and there is no way to shut down the modules I do not need.

Lulu is coming out today - I get to hear about her jury duty last week.

August 2017

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