August 2018 Archives

Great news from Baton Rouge station WBRZ:

Louisiana bars banks from $600M deal because of gun policies
Louisiana officials have blocked two of the nation's largest banks from involvement in a $600 million road financing plan because they have policies restricting gun sales by their commercial customers.

In a narrow 7-6 vote, the State Bond Commission refused to allow Citigroup and Bank of America to participate in the interstate highway financing work.

The effort to ban the banking giants from the road deal was led by Attorney General Jeff Landry and Treasurer John Schroder and opposed by Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration.

Those pushing to exclude Bank of America and Citigroup from the financial work said by enacting firearm restriction policies for their corporate customers, the banks were violating Second Amendment rights.

Good - stand up to the bullies and they will back down. Very glad that I am not banking with either of these banks. Switched to a local credit union back in 2008 when the corporate meltdown happened and have been happy ever since.

Art show

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Just wow!  This area is not only beautiful, it has attracted a lot of amazing artists who live here and use the natural beauty as inspiration for their work. There are two artists associations: Camano Arts Association and the Stanwood-Camano Arts Guild. I had lived in Seattle for a number of years and became familiar with a lot of the local artists work - the stuff I saw today is of the same quality. Really wonderful.

Looking forward to becoming a member of this community.

Off for the day

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Coffee, post office, get some breakfast and then two art shows. Back to the farm tonight.

Another week of packing up stuff and shedding the hoard.

Interesting times - North Korea

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Looks like President Trump's work is coming to fruition - from FOX News:

China's Xi to make first official visit to Pyongyang for North Korea's 70th anniversary
Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit North Korea next month, accepting Kim Jong Un's invitation to attend the country's 70th anniversary of its founding, a report said Friday.

Xi's visit to Pyongyang would be his first to the North Korean capital since 2012 when he took power, Reuters reported, citing Singapore's Straits Times.

Baby steps for sure but there is so much to overcome and these steps are very much in the right direction. Chalk another win up for President Trump - this is not a matter of the right time, this is a matter of the right leadership. A great leader does not need to be a popular one.

And that is it for the night

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Feeling a little sleepy so spending some time on YouTube and then to bed.

Two large art shows in Stanwood tomorrow so will visit those and then head back to the farm. I have given myself the deadline of December 31st to have it all cleared out. That is 136 days so should be a fairly easy target to hit. Do some needed maintenence on the property January through March and then put it on the market.

Anyone wanna buy a farm?

Good catch - from Zero Hedge:

Mexico Seizes Record 50 Tons Of Meth From Superlab
After locating a massive drug laboratory near the town of Alcoyonqui, in Culiacán, Sinaloa, personnel of the Secretariat of the Navy seized 50 tons of methamphetamine, allegedly from the Sinaloa Cartel, in the most significant drug bust of this kind in the history of Mexico.

According to Sin Embargo News, the Secretariat of the Navy (Semar) said the synthetic drug was discovered in a rustic laboratory and two separate underground bunkers. The military operation, which began on Thursday evening, involved roughly 50 troops. It was only until Friday morning was the size of the cache realized.

A military source said the camp, of about 500 square meters, was operated by the Sinaloa Cartel. The laboratories were divided into four sections for the preparation of chemical precursor or base, rest, reactors, and cooling. Within the rural compound, there was a building for at least 30 people, but military personnel did not find anyone during the operation.

Emphasis mine - someone in the military leaked news of the raid. SImple as that. A bit more:

The meth superlab in Mexico is very disturbing because ultimately it will end up in America’s inner cities and rural towns. The Centers for Disease Control estimates drug overdose deaths based on a current flow of mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System has just reached a record of 71,568 Americans in 2017.

That is a 6.6 percent jump in overdose deaths over 2016 and represents a rapid deterioration of America’s inner core: The middle class.

Not just opioids. We need a wall now. This lab is gone but the chemists and suppliers are still out there and they are building a newer and bigger and better lab right now.

A couple of photos from today

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Meeting the local amateur radio operators and they are universally turning out to be a well educated fun group of people. Today's potluck picnic was no exception. Here are some photos of the event:

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The event sprawled out over a fairly large area - probably about 50 people there.

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Lots of food - people brought their choice of protein to grill and also a side dish. I brought a good potato salad which Costco has started carrying recently and some hot dogs for me and whomever wanted any too.

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There were a lot of radios in operation here - the guy on the right was setting up a digital station with a Linux netbook and a handheld walkie-talkie and the woman on the left was using a standard 2 Meter handheld to reach out to the island repeater.

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The venue was a really nice small park on the south end of the island. Little stage for music and movies. Great store and deli next door.

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Here is the pond - it is a natural spring and has been stocked with fish. It has also been a popular place for pet goldfish when the owner gets 'tired' of them. Aparently some of them are quite large.

All in all, a delightful summer day spent with good people.

Getting late - time for YouTube

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Heading over there for a while... Long but fun day tomorrow.

Another goblin meets his maker - a real charmer. From FOX News:

North Carolina kids fatally shoot man abusing their mother, police say
Two North Carolina children got ahold of a gun and fatally shot a man police said was assaulting and strangling their mother.

During the attack, Steven Kelley, 46, said he was going to cut the throat of Chandra Nierman, his girlfriend, and kill everyone in the home, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said.

Police said Nierman’s 12-year-old son obtained a gun, and her 15-year-old daughter used it to shoot Kelley in the chest twice.

Nierman’s 16-year-old daughter was injured in the shooting after a bullet grazed her leg. She’s since been released from the hospital, according to police. Nierman also “suffered significant bruises and contusions from the assault,” police said.

Sounds like the guy was a wonderful upstanding citizen:

Kelley was a convicted felon who had two active domestic violence protection orders against him from women in Indiana and Ohio, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office said.

He also assaulted Nierman just days before his death, police said. Then, investigators said, he fired a gun inside the house multiple times “to threaten and terrorize Nierman.”

Police said they found multiple guns in the house and on Kelley’s body that belonged to him.

Authorities have said that no charges will be filed against the children as the shooting is considered “justified.”

Great news. Being a convicted felon meant that he was not allowed to posess guns of any kind. The Mom was a bit off  for dating this guy in the first place but it is good that the daughter stepped in to protect her.

Back home - busy day

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See what the internet faeries bring to me. Had a bite to eat at a local restaurant. The island amateur radio group is having an annual summer picnic tomorrow so heading out for that. Really liking this club - they are doing a lot of interesting stuff and some great people.

Got the bills in the mail and did some filing - fun stuff but now my desk is (relatively) clear.

Out for coffee and home to pay bills

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At the island today - had a great ham radio meeting last night and they are doing a picnic Saturday so staying here for that.

Paying some bills today plus running a couple of errands - maybe mow the lawn. Domestic bliss...

Never try to out-negotiate President Trump. From Breitbart:

China Buckles, Sends Trade Delegation to Washington to Seek End of Trade War
China and the U.S. are set to resume trade talks for the first time since June.

A meeting between the two countries, which would be between lower-level officials than earlier talks, would mark a breach in the standoff that has arisen since talks broke down in the spring. U.S. officials have repeatedly said they were open to new talks but insisted that China had walked away rather than offer serious reform.

It still is not clear if China’s delegation will carry with it a reform offer serious enough to stave off the Trump administration’s threat of former tariffs. The U.S. side will be lead by Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass.

Game Set Match in two months? Sounds like a win to me.

Great news from ABC News:

FDA approves first generic EpiPen
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic version of the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr auto injector for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions.

The approval is part of the FDA's "longstanding commitment" to providing access to low-cost generic alternatives, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement.

"This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option, as well as another approved product to help protect against potential drug shortages," the commissioner said.

It is unclear how much the generic product -- manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals -- will cost. In August 2016, Mylan Pharmaceuticals was criticized for raising the price of a two-pack of EpiPens to $600.

The price of two EpiPens was about $100 in 2009. The brand name version is by far the most popular epinephrine auto-injector on the market.

It will be interesting to follow Mylan's stock prices in the next day or two. A 50ml bottle of Veterinary Epinephrine sells for $24. A standard adult EpiPen dispenses 0.3ml so your $24 will buy about  166 doses at just under 15¢ per dose. The Veterinary grades are just as good as human doses. Someone with a prized racehorse or bull is not going to be putting crap into their animal.

The deep state has a "firewall"

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And we just found out about it. From investigative reporter Sara Carter:

EXCLUSIVE: New Texts Reveal Steele Anxious Over Comey Testimony, Hopes “Firewalls Will Hold”
In March, 2017, two days before former FBI Director James Comey testified to lawmakers that the bureau had an open counterintelligence investigation into President Trump’s campaign, former British spy Christopher Steele sent an urgent message to Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr hoping that “important firewalls will hold” when Comey testified.

The text message from Steele, who compiled the infamous unverified dossier on Trump, was sent on March 18, 2017, to Ohr and obtained by SaraACarter.com from a government source, familiar with the ongoing investigation.

Ohr was demoted twice by the Department of Justice for not disclosing that his wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS, the now-embattled research firm which paid Steele for the documents. Ohr has been deposed for questioning by the House Judiciary Committee and is expected to speak to lawmakers behind closed doors on Aug. 28.

Sara quotes the texts and explains who's who. This is something that needs to be reported on a wide basis. I think the weeks leading up to the midterms are going to see all hell breaking loose on all the right people.

RIP - Aretha Franklin

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What a voice. From her hometown newspaper - The Detroit Free Press:

Aretha Franklin dies at 76: Detroit star transformed American music
Aretha Franklin, whose impassioned, riveting voice made her a titan of American music, has died, her niece, Sabrina Owens, confirmed to the Free Press. She was 76.

She died at 9:50 a.m. surrounded by family at her home in Detroit.

A family statement released by her publicist Gwendolyn Quinn said "Franklin's official cause of death was due to advance pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin's oncologist, Dr. Philip Phillip of Karmanos Cancer Institute" in Detroit.

The family added: "In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart. We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family."

Always loved that restaurant scene from Blues Brothers:

Great cameos of Matt 'Guitar' Murphy as the husband and saxophone solo by Blue Lou Marini

And I got nothing

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Nothing catches my eye on the internet. Communist John Brennan got his security clearence yanked - great news. Another deep-state flunky looses his position.

Not just me - the smoke

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I knew that the smoke last year was really bad and I was thinking that this year was even worse. Turns out I am right. From Cliff Mass:

Seattle's Worst 24h Air Quality on Record
Air quality in western Washington is very poor right now.

Incredibly, in central Puget Sound it is probably the worst in the nearly two-decade observing record of the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency for any time of the year.

I have been here a long time and I have never seen anything this bad.

Very pervasive. It will be good when our government starts managing our wildlands properly.

And I'm back again

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Busy day with a couple more in the pipeline. Heading to the island tomorrow - meeting at 7:00PM and then back to the farm.

Surf for a bit...

Out the door

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Not much posting today - heading to the condo to do more sorting.

More spew later this evening.

And that is it for the night

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Nothing really catches my eye - head over to YouTube for a bit and then to bed. Long day tomorrow too.

Photographer Oleg Volk was visiting Europe recently and did an interesting photo essay of the homes and office there. He comes to a conclusion that is totally logical.

Because of all of the photos, I am not going to excerpt but just go here and read - worth your while: 

How safe is your area?
A simple visual indicator of crime levels.

Back home - long day

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Moving is a stone bi*ch - couple that to my deciding to use this time to finally clear out my parent's things, I am busier than I can remember. Lots of driving too.

At least I am now settled in at the farm and have a bottle of good red wine in front of me - that and whatever the internet pixies bring in for me.

Away from the computer for the day

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Working at the condo getting ready for the estate sale. Back to the farm sometime around 8PM or so.

Needless to say, minimal posting.

From John Lott writing at FOX News:

Here's the real reason Democrats are so scared about Kavanaugh joining the Supreme Court
Democrats are getting hysterical about the prospect of Judge Brett Kavanaugh being seated on the Supreme Court. Most of their hyperventilating is nonsense.

In a desperate attempt to block Kavanaugh’s confirmation by the Senate, the Democrats are making wild claims that abortion would be banned, people would be dying in the streets, and the president would gain immunity from investigation and prosecution if Kavanaugh joins the nation’s highest court.

Time for a reality check. Let’s all take a deep breath and look at the facts about the judge who President Trump has nominated to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy.

And the reason:

The Democrats fear the fact that Kavanaugh is very smart, very articulate and very persuasive. So while he isn’t going to roll back liberals past victories, it means that he will prevent their future ones by being able to convince other justices at times to come around to his viewpoint and side with him on some decisions.

And judges who can write powerfully worded decisions – as Kavanaugh has proven he can – are more likely to be cited in other judges’ decisions, which grants them even wider influence.

As a result, Kavanaugh would pose a threat to Democrats who believe the Constitution can be twisted like a pretzel to justify their belief in Big Government, with a heavy regulatory hand reigning supreme over individual constitutional rights.

Consequently, Democratic will do whatever they can to keep Kavanaugh off the high court.

Much more at the article - John has a lot of backup for his thesis.

Are they really that stupid?

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From Gallup:

Democrats More Positive About Socialism Than Capitalism
 For the first time in Gallup's measurement over the past decade, Democrats have a more positive image of socialism than they do of capitalism. Attitudes toward socialism among Democrats have not changed materially since 2010, with 57% today having a positive view. The major change among Democrats has been a less upbeat attitude toward capitalism, dropping to 47% positive this year -- lower than in any of the three previous measures. Republicans remain much more positive about capitalism than about socialism, with little sustained change in their views of either since 2010.

And the numbers:

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Sickening - do they not read their history?

This could be a Nobel and fame and fortune if it is real and reproducible - from Cornell University:

Evidence for Superconductivity at Ambient Temperature and Pressure in Nanostructures
Despite being a low temperature phenomenon till date, superconductivity has found numerous applications in diverse fields of medicine, science and engineering. The great scientific interest in the phenomenon as well as its practical utility has motivated extensive efforts to discover and understand new superconductors. We report the observation of superconductivity at ambient temperature and pressure conditions in films and pellets of a nanostructured material that is composed of silver particles embedded into a gold matrix.

Ho. Li. Crap. If this pans out, a lot of things will be changed.

Senator Fauxcahontas - racist

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From the Worcester, MA Telegram:

Police chiefs, headed by Dudley’s Wojnar, blast Sen. Warren for remark on ‘racist’ criminal-justice system
Police chiefs in Massachusetts have responded angrily to a remark by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren that the American criminal justice system is “racist ... front to back.”

Ms. Warren, a potential Democratic presidential candidate, was speaking before an audience at historically black Dillard University in New Orleans Aug. 3 when she delivered what she called “the hard truth about our criminal justice system: It’s racist ... I mean, front to back.”

Ms. Warren cited disproportionate arrests of African-Americans for petty drug possession; an overloaded public defender system; and state laws that keep convicted felons from voting even after their sentences are complete.

The Massachusetts senator’s remarks drew a strongly worded response from the president of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, Dudley Police Chief Steven J. Wojnar.

“Labeling the entire criminal justice profession as ‘racist’ spreads false and damaging information about our members,” Chief Wojnar wrote in an Aug. 7 letter to Ms. Warren.

“When our elected officials make generalized and inflammatory statements about our entire profession, without any information to back their position, it creates further hostility toward our officers and can damage the positive relationships with our residents that we have worked long and hard to establish,” the chief continues.

This is not to say that there is not racist police officers but they are a huge minority. Senator Warren addressed the entire criminal justice system  and not individual members. She is practicing Identity Politics and is pandering to her ideological base.

Speaking truth to power - Russia

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Judge Jeanine Pirro is spot on:

Gun control in the news

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Just perfect. From The Federalist:

Former Gun Control Candidate Charged With Shooting Her Campaign Treasurer
Kellie Collins, a former congressional candidate in Georgia’s 10th District, was charged with the murder of her former campaign treasurer, Curtis Cain. The allegations of murder follow Collins’ advocacy for “responsible” gun control laws during her campaign. WSB-TV reports that she argued for stricter legislation “to protect the community.”

Police found Cain’s body in Collins’s apartment with a gunshot wound. Cain did not come in to work last Tuesday, prompting deputies to check in on him. Police estimated that he was dead for roughly a week.

Collins turned herself in to police on Saturday, shortly after the body was found. The two were reportedly living together and may have been married.

Again, it is the person - not the gun.

Our quiet sun - sunspots

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Sunspots make for a good proxy of solar output. They are visible with modest equipment and the more active the sun is, the more sunspots dod its surface. Here is the data from the last couple of years - the number of days are days without any visible sunspots:

2018 total: 131 days (58%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)

We are heading into a period of global cooling. This last happened during the Maunder Minimum (1645 to 1715) - sunspots were exceedingly rare at that time too. Lots more information at the Maunder Minimum link.

The conditions in Puerto Rico

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They are still in horrible condition ten months after Hurricane Maria - the problem is corruption, not the supply chain. From The New York Times:

Containers of Hurricane Donations Found Rotting in Puerto Rico Parking Lot
At least 10 trailers full of food, water and baby supplies donated for victims of Hurricane Maria were left to rot at a state elections office in Puerto Rico, where they broke open and became infested by rats.

Radio Isla, a local radio station, posted a video Friday showing cases of beans, water, Tylenol and other goods covered in rat and lizard droppings.

The Puerto Rico elections commission offices had been used as a collection center for goods donated from around the country for victims of the devastating hurricane that struck the island last year. For weeks, hurricane survivors lacked running water and electricity. Widespread power failures and a severe diesel shortage kept stores, restaurants and banks closed, making it difficult for people to purchase groceries.

This is just one example. You get the officials that you elect - they need a President Trump of their own. I have been there a couple of times - gorgeous country and really nice people.

Finally - Strzok is fired

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Took them long enough - from FOX News:

FBI fires Peter Strzok, months after anti-Trump texts revealed
FBI official Peter Strzok, who played a lead role in both the Russian meddling and Hillary Clinton email probes but became a political lightning rod after the revelation of anti-Trump text messages, has been fired.

Strzok attorney Aitan Goelman said in a statement Monday that his client, a 21-year FBI veteran, was fired Friday afternoon, claiming this was a departure from standard practice and politically motivated. Goelman said bureau Deputy Director David Bowdich “overruled” the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility to remove him.

President Trump responded with this tweet:

Strzok is guilty of several felonies - when will he be arrested?

Another day, another 2¢

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At the farm for the next couple of days. Heading out for coffee, the store and back to pack.

I hate moving. I love the new place but...

Whole lotta shakin' going on - Alaska

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Big cluster of small earthquakes in Northeast Alaska today - from the U.S. Geological Service:

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This looks interesting - Air Help

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From their website:

Claim compensation for your flight delay or cancellation
Flight delays happen, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept them. You may be entitled to as much as $700 in compensation if your flight has been delayed, canceled or overbooked within the last three years.

They take 25% of whatever compensation you receive and you do not have to lift a finger.

The state is going into debt to counter a theory. From Santa Barbara, CA station KEYT:

California first to sign Green Bond Pledge to fight climate change
California finance officials are taking greener steps to battle climate change blamed by many for the state's chronic, devastating wildfires.

California is the first state to sign the Green Bond Pledge that creates a bond market to finance eco-friendly, carbon-free infrastructure improvement projects.

California is facing an estimated $400 billion funding gap over the next 10 years for infrastructure improvements.

The Green Bond Market is seen as a financing tool for alternative, carbon-free and environmentally friendly infrastructure and capital improvement projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

"We know that our wildfires are becoming faster, they're becoming more intense", said California Treasurer John Chiang who signed the Green Bond Pledge on Tuesday, "we need to make sure we come up with the proper financing to build infrastructure so that Californians can protect themselves."

$400 billion funding gap and they want to shuttle this money to "green" causes? How about paving the roads - driven on I-5 recently? I did a few years ago and it is one big pothole.

The wildfires are not becoming faster - they are a direct result of poor management. Management by sound-bite and not management by science. Here is a great video on the problem:

Nothing like sticking it to the taxpayer while funding something that has no real effect - it only sounds good on television. There is great evidence that we are heading into a period of cooling similar to the little ice age or Maunder Minimum.

Now this is interesting - corn

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From The Atlantic:

The Wonder Plant That Could Slash Fertilizer Use
For thousands of years, people from Sierra Mixe, a mountainous region in southern Mexico, have been cultivating an unusual variety of giant corn. They grow the crop on soils that are poor in nitrogen—an essential nutrient—and they barely use any additional fertilizer. And yet, their corn towers over conventional varieties, reaching heights of more than 16 feet.

A team of researchers led by Alan Bennett from UC Davis has shown that the secret of the corn’s success lies in its aerial roots—necklaces of finger-sized, rhubarb-red tubes that encircle the stem. These roots drip with a thick, clear, glistening mucus that’s loaded with bacteria. Thanks to these microbes, the corn can fertilize itself by pulling nitrogen directly from the surrounding air.

The Sierra Mixe corn takes eight months to mature—too long to make it commercially useful. But if its remarkable ability could be bred into conventional corn, which matures in just three months, it would be an agricultural game changer.

What a wonderful example of mutualism - the bacteria get their own little environment and the corn plant gets its nitrogen. They did this ethically too - nice touch:

Crucially, the Davis team involved the Sierra Mixe community throughout their research. They also established legal agreements with the Mexican government to ensure that any benefits from their research—and its subsequent commercialization—would be shared with the community, under the auspices of the Nagoya Protocol, an international framework intended to thwart bio-piracy. Alejandra Barrios, the director of biosafety and biodiversity at Mexico’s environmental agency, repeatedly praised the approach on Twitter, calling it “great work” and a “win-win solution.”

This discovery has wide-ranging inmplications for other crops as well. Nitrogen is a key element for plant growth (along with CO2)

A bit of a haircut - President Trump

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Every little bit helps - from Market Watch:

Trump proposes clawing back $15 billion in federal spending in single-largest ‘rescission’ package
President Trump will propose cutting $15.4 billion in federal spending on Tuesday, relying on a rarely used executive budget power to ease deficit concerns raised by conservative Republicans.

And a bit more:

Describing the proposed cuts as the single-largest so-called rescission proposal in U.S. history, a White House official said more than 30 programs would be cut overall if Congress approves the measure. The cuts also include a $4 billion reduction in a loan program intended to improve vehicle technology that officials said has not been used since 2011.

And the proposal recommends clawing back $107 million from a “technical assistance” fund in the Hurricane Sandy recovery package approved by Congress in 2013, more than $250 million in unspent money from the Ebola virus outbreak and unspent funds for Medicare and Medicaid pilot programs in the Affordable Care Act.

As usual, the liberals are whining that their rice bowls are being taken away:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, indicated in a statement Monday night that her party would push back. “These Republican rescissions show the hypocrisy of a GOP Congress that insists on tight budgets for children and families while handing enormous, unpaid-for giveaways to corporations and the wealthiest,” Pelosi said.

The people served by these organizations are still going to get help. What this rescission does is to cut back on the administrative side of these bureaucracies. Make them accountable and efficient. People like Pelosi want bloat - this allows them to have more power and to give more people government jobs.

A bit of rain

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Near Camano Island the valleys are very broad and flat. We got about a half of an inch of rain this afternoon (and some thunder and lightning too!) - this precipitation is reflected in the flow of the Stillaguamish River:

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This was the gauge near Arlington, WA will a good ten miles before the river reaches the ocean. I will take a look tomorrow at the Stanwood data to see what it shows.

A shift in popular culture - the Media

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Seems like all aspects of media are going through some rough changes. From The New York Post:

The September Issue is dead
In years gone by, the September issue was the Super Bowl of fashion magazines.

Fat with ads and glossy shoots cherry-picking the best looks of fall — the most important season in the fashion calendar — the annual issue heralded the pinnacle of a magazine’s influence and success.

Days before the issue hit newsstands, usually in early August, executives from Vogue, InStyle, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Glamour and W would brag about the thickness of their telephone book-sized glossies. They’d boast of the “thud” the issues made when dropped on a coffee table. The louder the thud, the more powerful the magazine.

Now that thud is more of a whimper.

“The September issue means nothing anymore,” said Sam Shahid, founder of branding, advertising and design agency Shahid & Company. “You used to hold that magazine in your hand. It takes you to a place — that’s what a magazine used to do. Now they are all doing the same thing. There’s no imagination there. It’s just pure product, it’s pleasing the advertiser.”

Looks like print media is on the way out. These things are often cycles so who knows, it may come back to life in another 20 years or so. Hey - check out this new thing. It's called Paper!

Thunder and lightning! Oh my!

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Great resource for tracking thunderstorms - Lightning Maps - the data comes from this fascinating project.

The rain is just dumping here and saw a couple of lightning flashes.

From The Daily Caller via Twitter:

A great resource for radio - Intercept

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A great website if you want to find local police, fire and emergency service frequencies. Perfectly legal to monitor, you just cannot transmit. This site ties into the FCC main database so you can also get frequencies for commercial business radio, school districts, highway and construction. Amazing what is out there.

Check out Intercept

Got him - great news

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The little turd was hiding in Cuba but we extradited his a** and he is standing trial. From The Seattle Times:

Ecosabotage suspect linked to Olympia arson arrested in Cuba after 12 years on run
After more than a decade as a fugitive, a former Seattle resident has been taken into federal custody to face criminal charges that he joined in ecosabotage attacks in Washington, Oregon, and California.

In an initial court appearance Friday in U.S. District Court in Portland, Joseph Dibee pleaded not guilty to charges that he helped set fire in 1997 to an Oregon meatpacking plant and was ordered detained as a flight risk.

He also faces federal charges in Western Washington for his alleged role in planning a June 21, 1998, arson attack at a U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service facility in Olympia.

Dibee, in an indictment filed in 2006, was accused of being part of a group of 12 people linked to a string of Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front arson and other attacks between 1995 and 2001 that caused more than $45 million in damages.

Members called themselves “The Family,” and their targets included the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture that was destroyed by arson on May 21, 2001, according to the Justice Department.

The Center for Urban Horticulture fire destroyed a lovely library and also wiped out one fourth of the worlds supply of a very rare plant being propagated at the lab.

Excellent rant by Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish:

Rename America
Austin’s Equity Office has recommended renaming the Texas city because of Stephen F. Austin's alleged views on slavery. But why stop at just renaming Austin when Amerigo Vespucci took and sold slaves.

Austin, Texas is named after Stephen F. Austin, but America is named after Amerigo Vespucci.

New York City has been on its own anti-history binge, demoting the statue of the ‘Father of Gynecology’ and tearing out plaques memorializing Robert E. Lee attached to a tree that he had once planted, but it’s got bigger problems. The city is named after King James II whose Royal African Company branded thousands of slaves with DY for the Duke of York.

And New York’s problems don’t end there. Its Bronx borough is named after Jonas Bronck, who was likely killed in an Indian raid. Queens is named after the wife of King Charles II (James’ brother) whose husband was also quite active in the slave trade. New York is full of places named after Charlie and his relatives, like Richmond County, and the city and the state would both have to be renamed.

Even Berkeley, CA for cryin' out loud:

But back in California, its leftist city has an even bigger problem. Berkeley is named after the Irish empiricist George Berkeley. Berkeley was not only a slave owner, but a vigorous advocate for the enslavement of Africans and Indians. His name has touched off controversy at Yale and UC Berkeley.

Read the whole thing to see the absurdity of the left's passion for sanitizing the past. Multiple drink alert though.

Feeling the heat - fake news update

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Just ran into this little gem - it seems that We The People are getting very tired of fake news. From the Media Research Center:

New Poll: 72% of Americans Think ‘It Should Be Easier to Sue’ Media Who Knowingly Publish Fake News
A recent Axios/SurveyMonkey poll found that an overwhelming majority of Americans (72%) believe the news media knowingly and intentionally report "fake, false or purposely misleading" news stories, MRCTV reported.

new Ipsos poll went a step further and found that the same large percentage of Americans (72%) believe “it should be easier to sue reporters who knowingly publish false information.”

The poll also found that nearly one-third of Americans agree with President Trump that the news media are “the enemy of the American people.”

Heh - making America great again. One person at a time.

Feeling the heat - fake news

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Seems like they are feeling the heat and lashing out - from Yahoo/Associated Press:

Newspaper calls for war of words against Trump media attacks
A Boston newspaper is proposing a coordinated editorial response from publications across the U.S. to President Donald Trump's frequent attacks on the news media.

"We are not the enemy of the people," said Marjorie Pritchard, deputy managing editor for the editorial page of The Boston Globe, referring to a characterization of journalists that Trump has used in the past. The president, who contends he has largely been covered unfairly by the press, also employs the term "fake news" often when describing the media.

The Globe has reached out to editorial boards nationwide to write and publish editorials on Aug. 16 denouncing what the newspaper called a "dirty war against the free press."

As of Friday, Pritchard said about 70 outlets had committed to editorials so far, with the list expected to grow. The publications ranged from large metropolitan dailies, such as the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald and Denver Post, to small weekly papers with circulations as low as 4,000.

Perfect - reinforce just how irrelevant you are. Really show the public what a crybaby the mainstream media has become. Make yourself even smaller. These idiots are doing everything in their power to keep holding on to their power but, like the emperors new clothes, the masses are not buying it any more.

More of the same

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Waiting for someone to come by and pick up a couple of refrigerators and a freezer. These were left by the previous owners of the island house and are surplus to my needs. The guy is involved with a program that teaches appliance repair - they will use these in the classroom, sell them or cannibalize them for parts to repair other units. Nice to see them getting a new life instead of being consigned to a landfill.

Back to the farm today for another round of packing.

Looks like the tariffs are working - from CNBC/Reuters:

Chinese leadership is facing a rare backlash for its handling of the US trade dispute
A growing trade war with the United States is causing rifts within China's Communist Party, with some critics saying that an overly nationalistic Chinese stance may have hardened the U.S. position, according to four sources close to the government.

President Xi Jinping still has a firm grip on power, but an unusual surge of criticism about economic policy and how the government has handled the trade war has revealed rare cracks in the ruling Communist Party.

A backlash is being felt at the highest levels of the government, possibly hitting a close aide to Xi, his ideology chief and strategist Wang Huning, according to two sources familiar with discussions in leadership circles.

Heh... Say what you like about his personal behaviour, President Trump is doing great things for the United States.

Nice article on Iceberg Lettuce at The New Yorker - includes an interesting recipe for pickled hearts which I will have to try:

It’s Time to Admit That Iceberg Is a Superior Lettuce
There are many categories of salad snob—the ingredient minimalists, the chop evangelists, the dressing-goes-in-the-bowl-first brigade—but perhaps the most vocal, and the most misguided, are those dedicated to the denigration of iceberg lettuce. To its detractors, iceberg is the avatar of commodity gastronomy—“the polyester of lettuces” is a popular gibe. The influential Times food editor Craig Claiborne famously loathed it. “It is omnipresent,” Alice Waters, goddess of the farmer’s market, sniffed in a 2001 interview. “It doesn’t have a season,” she said. “It doesn’t have a sense of place.” The only thing iceberg really has going for it is durability, this line of thinking goes—it’s a lettuce for growers, shippers, warehousers, and sellers, not a lettuce for eaters. But, like its glacial namesake, iceberg lettuce has a lot more going on beneath the surface. For starters, it’s far from flavorless: focus your palate as you take a bite and notice a clean sweetness blooming beneath the watery crunch, deepening, in the pale ruffle of the inner leaves and stems, to a toasty bitterness, with whispers of caraway and coriander seeds.

Some fun writing.

A curious omission - ICE

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From the San Mateo Daily Journal:

Authorities say they've busted large Mexico-to-US drug ring
Nearly two dozen people were arrested Wednesday and charged with using small aircraft to smuggle heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine over the U.S. border at the behest of one of Mexico's most notorious drug cartels, authorities said.

The arrests of 22 suspects come on the heels of a nearly three-year investigation into three drug trafficking organizations that authorities say were working on behalf of the Sinaloa cartel. The groups, which received the drugs from the cartel in northern Mexico, would then stash them in soup cans, inside hidden compartments in cars and used small aircraft — though authorities wouldn't say whether they were manned or drones — to transport the drugs over the border, officials said.

"More than seizing the drugs and the money, this investigation was able to identify the top level Mexico-based traffickers who directed the transactions and who thought they were using secure communications to commit the crimes," said Tracy Wilkison, the first assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles.

Authorities seized 850 pounds (385 kilograms) of methamphetamine, nearly a ton (907 kilograms) of cocaine, 93 pounds (42 kilograms) of heroin, almost 50 pounds (23 kilograms) of marijuana and $1.42 million.

That is a major bust - congratulations to the arresting officers. Curious omission though - no mention of the agencies involved in this operation. Fortunately, other news sources do mention who - from Los Angeles station KTLA:

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, IRS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States Department of Homeland Security as well as several local law enforcement agencies were involved in the raids Wednesday.

Emphasis mine - what with all the public pressure to disband ICE, it is not politic to point out that ICE does a lot more than just deporting people who are in our country illegally. A lot more. They are a force for good - for law and for order.
Tip of the hat to Don Surber for the two links.

Another busy day today

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Heading out for coffee, post office and then back home to work here for a while. The prescriptions are supposed to be at Costco sometime in the afternoon so heading up to Maple Falls later today and stopping by to pick them up.

The Skagit County Fair is running this weekend so planning to swing by there on my way North.

And that is it for the evening

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Busy day today - busy day tomorrow too. Watching some YouTube videos and then to bed.

Had a pesky staph infection a few weeks ago and it came back with a vengence two days ago. Picking up some meds for it tomorrow. Costco was out of stock.

Great quote

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“It’s the half-educated, as usual, who’s the enemy. He always is.
The Wise Men and the shepherds both knelt in Bethlehem.”
Robert Hugh Benson, The Dawn of All

So true in today's political arena.

Unleashing the dragon - InfoWars

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The coordinated ban of InfoWars by Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube is not having the effect that the technology elites were intending. From The London Daily Mail:

EXCLUSIVE: 'Thank you Apple, Facebook and YouTube!' Alex Jones claims 5.6 million people have subscribed to Infowars newsletter in 48 hours as he calls 'bull***t' on tech giants who have blocked the conspiracy theorist's content
Infowars motor mouth Alex Jones has issued a 'never surrender' battle cry to his army of alt-right followers after a string of tech giants hammered him over his controversial views.

And underfire Jones - accused of spreading bile and hatred as America’s leading conspiracy theorist - says he isn't taking the attack lying down.

In an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com he launched an expletive laden rant claiming the Democratic Party staged the 'desperate' onslaught and says he's a 'sacrificial lamb' who has been likened to Hitler for the purposes of a wider attack on free speech.

What's more he claims the publicity surrounding the action taken by the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Apple - who have blocked his content and removed his channels - has gained him millions of subscribers - not lost him followers.

Jones claims 5.6 million people have subscribed to the Infowars newsletter and free podcast in the past 48 hours.

They were looking to silence him. They just made him louder - much much louder.

President Trump is doing a very clever thing to bring down the costs of medicine and health care. He is allowing for competition. A couple of headlines with links:

By making the prices available to the insurers and the customers, he is allowing for competition. People and insurance providers can now shop around and get the best service for the best price. If a hospital wants to get more business (they are, after all, in it for the money), they will have to cut costs, trim the fat and lower their prices. Right now there is no incentive for drug companies or hospitals to cut their prices so they are gouging.

The details are coming out and it seems that the school system seriously mismanaged the shooter. From the South Florida Sun-Sentinal:

Here's what Broward schools knew about Parkland shooter — details revealed by mistake
In the year leading up to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killer Nikolas Cruz was stripped of the therapeutic services disabled students need, leaving him to navigate his schooling as a regular student despite mounds of evidence that he wasn’t.

When he asked to return to a special education campus, school officials fumbled his request.

Those conclusions were revealed Friday in a consultant’s report commissioned by the Broward public school system. Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer ordered that the report be released publicly, but with nearly two-thirds of the content blacked out.

The school district said the alterations were needed to comply with the shooter’s privacy rights, but the method the district used to conceal the text failed. The blacked-out text became visible when pasted into another computer file.

The school system did things by the book - almost. And the goblin was having problems at age three:

The consultant found that the district largely followed the laws, providing special education to the shooter starting when he was 3 years old and had already been kicked out of day care. But “two specific instances were identified,” the report says, where school officials did not follow the requirements of Florida statute or federal laws governing students with disabilities.

The goblin in school at age five:

“He often crawls on the floor or ground, pounces on another student, makes seemingly animal-like growling sounds and grimaces while holding his hands in a paw-like manner.”

Much more at the site - the system failed big-time.

National Night Out - two events

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Went to two of these - the first one was in the town of Stanwood and they had about 500 people show up to meet the Police, Fire and Aid crews and oogle the equipment.

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An overall view of the crowd but this is less than 25% of the people - the event was spread over a large area. Love the Dalmatian Bouncy Castle.

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A bomb robot

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Fun old Ford Galaxie 500 police interceptor.

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Here is the event that was held close to my house - about 30 people showed up. Among the exhibitors was our local Amateur Radio organization and the Camano Island preparedness group. I have been getting to know people in both groups so spent about an hour chatting with them. Good people.

The Ladies Aid was started in 1908 with the intent of serving the growing needs of Utsalady. The ladies’ goal was simple: they wanted to improve the quality of life for their children and the families of their community.

On the island for a day

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Meeting some engineers tomorrow. Tonight is National Night Out so attending the local chapter to meet some like-minded people. Quite an active ham radio / emergency communications / preparedness community here - glad to see.

Great dinner

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The baguette was not quite as crunchy as I like but it was good and everything else was incredible. Shoveled everything into my face and proceeded to drizzle the last of the balsamic reduction over the last of the diced 'maters and ate them with a spoon for desert.

I really like the Costco baguettes - next time I will use them. Heading to Camano island tomorrow afternoon - meeting with some engineers. Maybe fix that for dinner.

Calling it quits early - surf for a bit, wait for it to cool down so I can use the tractor to take some garbage bags to the dumpster and then surf for a while. Early bedtime as I need to be in Bellingham in the morning to get the windshield replaced.

From Breitbart News:

Midterm Meddling: Facebook Blocks Republican Candidate’s Ad
Facebook has banned Republican congressional candidate Elizabeth Heng’s campaign video ad about communist crimes that led her family to flee Cambodia for the U.S., claiming the platform doesn’t allow “shocking, disrespectful, or sensational” content.

Elizabeth Heng, who is running for California’s 16th congressional district seat, made the video about her parent’s escape from mass-murder by the Khmer Rouge communists in the 1970s.

Elizabeth's statement:

“It is unbelievable that Facebook could have such blatant disregard for the history that so many people, including my own parents, have lived through,” declared Heng in a statement. “I’m sure it is shocking for some people to hear about this kind of injustice, but this is reality. This is why I wake up every single day with the fight and determination to have a voice and make a difference in my community.”

“Neither Facebook nor any other company in the tech industry get to silence our stories,” she continued. “We’ve seen it over and over again with Republican candidates and organizations.”

Here is the video in question:

Powerful stuff. She is up against an entrenched Democrat. Should be interesting as the Central Valley has a lot of Asian immigrants and is fairly conservative outside of the urban areas. Her website is here:  Elizabeth Heng

Fixing dinner tonight

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Doing a modified Bruschetta - I picked up a parbaked baguette yesterday so will finish that and then top it with tapenade (Kalamata olives, marinated artichoke hearts and a bit of anchovy paste) diced up local (greenhouse grown) tomatoes (salted to draw off the water), fresh local grown basil, garlic and some reduced balsamic vinegar. Top with some sliced salami and prosciutto crudo and each slice is a slice of summer heaven. It is very warm today (got to a bit over 90°F today) so dining on the deck. Serve with an ice cold lager.

More guns, less crime - an example

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A recent example of how a trained and licensed armed citizen can halt gun violence. From Orlando, Florida station WFTV:

Police: Armed bystander takes down gunman at Titusville back-to-school event
An armed bystander shot a man who opened fire on a back-to-school event at a Titusville park after a fistfight, police said.

The shooting occurred at Isaac Campbell Park on South Street shortly after 5:20 p.m. when the shooter, whom police have not identified, returned to the park after a fistfight and began firing, investigators said.

A bystander, who was licensed to a carry a firearm, shot the gunman, police said. He was taken to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, police said. 

The bystander who shot the man waited for officers and was cooperative with the investigation, police said.

“We are extremely grateful that nobody else was injured in this incident,” said Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson. “This suspect opened fire at a crowded public park, this could have been so much worse."

A flyer posted on Facebook and Instagram said a back to school event called "Peace in the City" was going on at the park at the time of the shooting.

Peace in the City indeed. A tragedy avoided by a law abiding citizen.

Alex Jones and his InfoWars enterprise is a well-known conspiracy theorist. Every so often, he comes up with something true and interesting but most of his output is fun but solidly in the fake news category.

Well, it seems that he got some attention at high levels - from technology website CNet:

Apple, Facebook, YouTube, Spotify ban Infowars: A conspiracy theorist's dream?
In a move presaged by weeks of mounting pressure, Apple, Facebook, Google's YouTube and Spotify cracked down on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his Infowars media empire, removing wide swathes of content or terminating his accounts entirely. All the actions seemed to happen within 24 hours.

Was it a long-overdue crackdown or a conspiracy of censorship? That depends on who you ask. The truth -- wait, does that still exist? -- is probably neither. But in a hyper-divisive era, the opaque manner that tech companies enforce their community standards leaves them open to being villainized by both sides, even those straining at opposite ends of a political tug-of-war.

I thought that Orwell's 1984 was a cautionary tale and not an instruction manual. The timing is curious - all gone within 24 hours. Must have angered the deep state. And, of course, Facebook doesn't touch Antifa or Screwy-Louis Farrakahn.

From Buffalo, NY's The Buffalo News:

Four of NYS Thruway's costly wind turbines stand idle. Why?
Tens of thousands of people every day drive past the towering wind turbines posted at four Thruway exits between Eden and the Pennsylvania state line.

But no matter how windy the day might be, those two-blade turbines stand motionless.

Just a few years after the New York State Thruway Authority spent about $5 million on five turbines, four of them stand dormant. And a spokesperson indicated the Thruway Authority does not know when they will become operational again.

"They are currently offline waiting for replacement parts and/or maintenance," spokesperson Jennifer Givner wrote in an email.

And the timeline and the source:

But between October 2017 and January 2018, all of them except for the turbine at the Westfield interchange were taken offline. Givner said she did not know how much energy the turbines generated while they were operational.

The four inoperable turbines were manufactured by a French company, Vergnet, which declared itself insolvent a year ago.

So they failed in less than one year and now the parts are unavailable. What's more, the turbines were manufactured by a French company so the profit and the jobs went out of the United States.

The Environmental Protection Agency just owned up to it. From The Daily Caller:

EPA RELEASED A LONG-DELAYED REPORT SHOWING ETHANOL HURTS THE ENVIRONMENT
An extensive report from the Environmental Protection Agency found that including ethanol into the U.S. gas supply is wreaking havoc on the atmosphere and soil.

In a study titled “Biofuels and the Environment: The Second Triennial Report to Congress,” the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that ethanol derived from corn and soybeans is causing serious harm to the environment. Water, soil and air quality were all found to be adversely affected by biofuel mandates.

“Evidence since enactment of [the Energy Independence and Security Act] suggests an increase in acreage planted with soybeans and corn, with strong indications from observed changes in land use that some of this increase is a consequence of increased biofuel production,” read a portion of the 159-page report.

A bit more:

“[A]ir quality modeling suggests that production and use of ethanol as fuel to displace gasoline is likely to increase such air pollutants as PM2.5, ozone, and SOx in some locations,” read a section of the report pertaining to air quality. While traditional gasoline contains more CO2, ethanol-based fuels have more nitrogen oxides (NOx), which can be more harmful to human health. NOx can exacerbate asthma by causing inflammation of the respiratory airwaves, with long-term exposure resulting in decreased lung function.

Long delayed?

The EPA study, published on June 29, came after a long delay. Federal law calls for the EPA to conduct a study on the Renewable Fuel Standard every three years, but the government was four years late this go-around. The agency’s previous ethanol study was published in 2011.

Ethanol in fuel is a scam delivered to us by the corn lobby. It is especially bad on small engines - lawnmowers, string trimmers, generators, etc... Those engines only last 200 hours or so running on E10 where they basically run forever on full gasoline. Ethanol absorbes water from the air and eats up gaskets and hoses. Great stuff in a wine glass but not in an engine...

A classical case of projection - Iran

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Liberals tend to suffer from psychological projection  a lot - from Infogalactic:

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a person who is habitually rude may constantly accuse other people of being rude. It incorporates blame shifting.

Today's example comes from Yahoo/Agence France Presse:

Iran FM says Trump, Bin Salman, Netanyahu are 'isolated'
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday that the leaders of the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel were isolated in their hostility to Iran.

"Today, the entire world has declared they are not in line with US policies against Iran," Zarif said in a speech, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

"Talk to anyone, anywhere in the world and they will tell you that (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu, (US President Donald) Trump and (Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed) bin Salman are isolated, not Iran," he said.

Talk about channeling their inner Baghdad Bob

Breaking up the logjam

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The Democrats are stalling on releasing the documents pertaining to President Trump's campaign hoping that the Democrats will retake the House and Senate in the mid-term elections and that this whole issue will then simply go away. Not going to happen. From Tyler at Zero Hedge:

Trump To Override Rosenstein, Declassify Remaining DOJ FISA Docs: Report
After months of dribbling out incomplete document requests made by frustrated GOP lawmakers, President Trump may be about to override Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and use his presidential authority to declassify several caches of information related to the DOJ/FBI's ongoing Trump-Russia counterintelligence operation, according to former IBD Bureau Chief Paul Sperry.

Sperry tweeted on Sunday that President Trump may declassify: 20 redacted pages of a June, 2017 FISA renewal, "and possibly" 63 pages of emails and notes between "Ohr & Steele," and FD-302 summaries of 12 interviews - In reference to twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr and/or his wife Nellie, both of whom were working with opposition research firm Fusion GPS to investigate Trump.

As the tumbling dominoes pick up speed... The next couple of months will be really interesting (and fun to watch).

More guns - less crime

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Perfect example of this at Texas Tech University - from Lubbock, Texas station KAMC:

Texas Tech police say the campus carry law makes Tech safer
Campus carry has been law in Texas for two years now, and Texas Tech police say the law makes the university a safer place.

They say the policy even deters potential active shooters from attempting a mass shooting situation.

“I believe it makes the campus a safer place, to live, learn and educate,” said Amy Ivey, a lieutenant at the Texas Tech Police Department.

Tech police say in a potential active shooter situation, someone might be able to stop it if they are armed.

And of course, anyone who wants to carry on campus has to go through extensive training:

Students, faculty and staff must go through active shooter training.

“We actually do a hands-on part where we barricade doors, we show you how to go hands-on with weapons, how to defend yourself and also a truncated training on how to stop the bleed, so that way, all of our faculty, staff and students are prepared if an event does happen here on campus,” Ivey said.

The reaction from one of the students:

“I do feel safe knowing that there are people that will act upon,” said Tech student Cody Wheeler. “If they have their concealed carry, and they see something going, they'll feel the need to go step in.”

An excellent editorial on the wisdom of gun-free zones can be found in this 2015 piece by John Lott at The Detroit News:

Criminals target gun-free zones
Would you post a sign announcing that your home is a gun-free zone? Would you feel safer? Criminals don’t obey these signs. In fact, to criminals, gun-free zones look like easy targets.

So why do we put up these signs in other places? The Michigan state Senate is considering whether to lift the ban on permitted concealed handguns on school or university property. Gun control advocates can’t point to any problems with permit holders carrying gun in those places, but it hasn’t stopped them from pushing a new law.

Since at least 1950, all but two public mass shootings in America have taken place where general citizens are banned from carrying guns. In Europe, every mass public shooting has occurred in a gun-free zone. And Europe has been host to three of the six worst K-12 school shootings and by far the worst mass public shooting perpetrated by a single individual.

This information from the murderers:

What might be surprising is how killers often openly talk about their desire to attack where guns are banned. The suspected Charleston killer’s first choice was to target the College of Charleston, but he chose the church instead because there were armed guards at the college.

The Aurora, Colorado, movie theater killer, James Holmes, was considering both attacking an airport and a movie theater, but he said he turned down the airport option because he was concerned about their “substantial security.” Out of seven theaters showing the “Batman” movie premiere within 20 minutes of the suspect’s apartment, only one banned permitted concealed handguns, and that is the one he attacked.

Or take a couple of cases from last year. Elliot Rodger, who shot to death three people in Santa Barbara, Calif., explained his own choice. In his 141-page “Manifesto,” Rodger turned down targets because he worried that someone with a gun would cut short his killing spree.

And just think of those poor innocent bystanders:

Those advocating gun-free zones argue that permit holders will accidentally shoot bystanders, or that arriving police will shoot the permit holders. At colleges, fears are raised that students will get drunk and misuse guns.

Out of the innumerable cases in which concealed carry holders have stopped shootings in malls, churches, schools, universities and busy downtowns, no permit holder has ever shot a bystander. Nor in these cases have the police ever accidentally shot a permit holder.

The truth is out there. The more trained people have permits to carry guns, the lower the crime rate.

Big earthquake there.From FOX News:

At least 82 killed after 6.9 magnitude earthquake strikes Indonesia's Lombok Island, near Bali
A strong earthquake near the popular tourist mecca of Bali killed at least 82 people and wounded hundreds more, damaging buildings in the area as people were seen running into the streets screaming.

It happened just one week after another quake in the same region killed more than a dozen people.

6.9 is serious building damage - the quake was shallow: 19 miles. No tsunami danger.

From Reuters:

Russia tasks Hollywood actor Seagal with improving U.S. ties
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday it had made U.S. actor Steven Seagal its special representative for Russian-U.S. humanitarian ties, a role it said was meant to deepen cultural, art and youth ties between the two countries.

President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to U.S. actor Steven Seagal in 2016, saying he hoped it would serve as a symbol of how fractious ties between Moscow and Washington were starting to improve.

Since then, U.S.-Russia relations have only got worse however with U.S. intelligence agencies accusing Moscow of interfering in Donald Trump’s White House run, an allegation Russia denies. The two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine.

The Russian Foreign Ministry likened Seagal’s new role to that of a U.N. goodwill ambassador and said that the actor, who is known for his martial arts prowess, would receive no salary.

“It’s a case of people’s diplomacy intersecting with traditional diplomacy,” the ministry said.

Seagal, who sometimes appears on Russian state TV to talk about his views and career, was cited by Kremlin-backed TV station RT as welcoming the appointment.

Cool - the strangest alliences sometimes happen. Take a look at Jeff Baxter for instance - from his Infoglactic entry:

Jeffrey Allen "Skunk" Baxter (born December 13, 1948) is an American guitarist, known for his stints in the rock bands Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers during the 1970s and Spirit in the 1980s. More recently, he has been working as a defense consultant and chairs a Congressional Advisory Board on missile defense.

Portland used to be a great city but it has gone beyond weird and has just turned nasty. From the Wall Street Journal:

Anarchy Breaks Out in Portland, With the Mayor’s Blessing
Along the trolley tracks behind the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office, a biohazard cleanup crew works under police protection. It finds used needles and buckets of human waste simmering in nearly 100-degree heat. The smell of urine and feces fills the block. For more than five weeks, as many as 200 people had occupied the site to demand ICE’s immediate abolition. They’re gone now, but a community is left reeling. Thirty-eight days of government-sanctioned anarchy will do that.

A mob surrounded ICE’s office in Southwest Portland June 19. They barricaded the exits and blocked the driveway. They sent “guards” to patrol the doors, trapping workers inside. At night they laid on the street, stopping traffic at a critical junction near a hospital. Police stayed away. “At this time I am denying your request for additional resources,” the Portland Police Bureau’s deputy chief, Robert Day, wrote to federal officers pleading for help. Hours later, the remaining ICE workers were finally evacuated by a small federal police team. The facility shut down for more than a week.

And this:

Where were the police? Ordered away by Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler, who doubles as police commissioner. “I do not want the @PortlandPolice to be engaged or sucked into a conflict, particularly from a federal agency that I believe is on the wrong track,” he tweeted. “If [ICE is] looking for a bailout from this mayor, they are looking in the wrong place.”

And there was this seperate event last Saturday -from The Gateway Pundit:

BEATINGS AND BLOOD IN PORTLAND=> Trump Supporter Clubbed – Blood Gushing From Head (VIDEO)
Far left communists of “antifa” clashed with the Trump-supporting Patriot Prayer in Portland, Oregon Saturday. Though the groups have clashed several times over the last year and a half, the August 4th edition is shaping up to be like none other, as both groups are upping the ante.

Christina's post is mostly links to various tweets and videos. The brutality of these National Socialists is stunning - has nobody studied their history?

Drove up from Camano Island - had breakfast at one of my favorites, puttered around for a couple of hours and then proceeded North stopping at Costco for gas and a hot dog. At the farm for the next couple of nights.

Loved his character. From Hollywood Reporter:

Patrick Stewart to Reprise 'Star Trek' Role in New CBS All Access Series
Patrick Stewart is boldly going where he has been before.

As has been rumored for months, the actor has officially signed on to star in a new Star Trek series for CBS All Access in which he will reprise his role as Jean-Luc Picard. The new series will not be a reboot of The Next Generation but instead is being described as an exploration of the next chapter of Picard's life. Additional details about the new series, including its title, episode count or a premiere date, are being kept under wraps. The creative team for the newest Star Trek series includes Alex Kurtzman, who serves as showrunner on CBS All Access' Discovery and whose recent overall deal with CBS Television Studios included marching orders to expand the beloved and global franchise.

Very cool!

The end game of socalism

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A couple of headlines - they link to the stories:

Naaaa Nicky - it is not Colombia. It is not 'financiers' in the US. It is the failure of socalism - the end game and your citizens have had enough. SImply that - they have had enough of your incompetent management.

Venezuela used to be the richest nation in South America. It has excellent crop lands and used to export food. Now it has to import food. It has the world's largest known reserve of oil but, since Maduro nationalized the oil business, the ability to pump and refine oil seems to have slipped through their fingers.

The Vezuelan Bolivar used to be about four to one with the US Dollar. Take a look - this is what socialism brings:

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You spend everything and then, when you run out, you run the printing presses and spend that not knowing that this act will cause inflation. We are seeing the results of inflation on the order of what happened in the Wiemar Republic before WW-II.

From The Outline:

THE BOOMING BUSINESS OF LUXURY CHICKEN DIAPERS
Julie Baker never intended to become a figurehead of the luxury chicken-diaper industry. Before she launched her brand Pampered Poultry in 2010, she had never even heard of chicken diapers.

Around 10 years ago, Baker was raising chickens with her daughter on their small farm in Claremont, New Hampshire when she first saw a YouTube video of a chicken wearing what looked to be an upside-down apron that stretched across its backside. The diaper, so to speak, was used to catch chicken poop so the birds wouldn’t leave droppings everywhere (chickens do not urinate separately from defecation. Their urine is technically in their excrement). “I'm like, ‘Oh my goodness, I so need to do that,’” Baker said. Baker’s daughter liked to bring her favorite chicken, an Old English hen named Abigail, inside their house, and because chickens poop close to a dozen times per day, Baker needed a better system for managing Abigail’s excrement.

So she began sewing Abigail diapers out of cotton fabric, and soon other poultry owners asked if Baker could make diapers for their chickens, too. Baker, who was homeschooling her daughter at the time, decided to turn the task into an assignment — she and her daughter would launch an online store. Not because she thought anyone would visit, but because she thought it would be an informative experience.

Then Baker started getting orders. Lots of them. Though at first she was mainly selling to her friends who attended poultry shows — to the true chicken die-hards who also like to enter their birds into pseudo-relay-races — in the last few years she’s noticed a shift in her customer base. Even people without deep connections to the poultry world want her diapers so they can take their chickens indoors (and post stylish photos on Instagram). Baker currently sells 500 to 1,000 diapers, which retail for $18 apiece, each month. “There's not a single state that I don't ship to,” Baker said.

And here's a photo:

20180804-chicken.jpg

Chickens have great personalities - some of them are really friendly with humans, others are a**holes and just want to be left alone. I have raised Buff Orpington hens and love the breed (and the eggs). Would love to try a Barnevelder or two - also supposed to be a good producer and very friendly.

Never underestimate a businessman. President Trump seems to be winning the trade war with China after only a few weeks. From India's Focus World News:

Chinese Economy: China Dethroned By Japan As World’s Second Biggest Stock Market
NEW DELHI: China just lost its ranking as the world’s number two stock market.

After a Thursday slump, Chinese equities were worth $6.09 trillion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with $6.17 trillion in Japan. The US has the world’s largest stock market at just over $31 trillion.

China’s stock market overtook Japan’s in late 2014, then soared to an all-time high of more than $10 trillion in June 2015. Chinese equities and the nation’s currency have taken a beating this year amid a trade spat with the US, a government-led campaign to cut debt and a slowing economy.

“Losing the ranking to Japan is the damage caused by the trade war,” said Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp. in Hong Kong. “The Japan equity gauge is relatively more stable around the current level but China’s market cap has slumped from its peak this year.”

Much of their GDP is based on export. Curtail that and they will come to heel very soon. Make America Great Again!!!

Island getaway

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Loaded up the car with some tools I need at the Island home. Down here for the night and back to the farm tomorrow.

Coffee first but packing more stuff.

Off to YouTube land

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Feeling a bit sleepy so it is off to YouTube land for a little while. Jar or two of red wine and then to bed.

People unclear on the process

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Talk about clueless - from the Cleveland, Ohio FOX Affiliate:

Cuyahoga County judge orders man’s mouth taped shut during sentencing
It was an unusual sight in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday.

Franklyn Williams, 32, is accused of three armed robberies in Richmond Heights and Euclid.

During his sentencing hearing, Williams would not stop talking, despite more than a dozen warnings from Judge John Russo over the course of about 30 minutes. Williams even interrupted his own attorneys.

Russo handled the situation by ordering deputies to tape the defendant's mouth shut.

Six deputies stood around Williams as one applied the red tape, but he continued to speak. The judge instructed deputies to put another piece of tape over his mouth in order for proceedings to continue.

Eventually, Judge Russo sentenced Williams to 24 years in prison.

The goblin has quite the list of priors. 24 years should shut him up for a while.

The best and brightest for sure. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Feinstein had a Chinese spy connection she didn’t know about — her driver
A staffer in U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s San Francisco office was fired a few years back after being linked to Chinese spying in the Bay Area.

According to a Politico Magazine story on Silicon Valley espionage, the Feinstein staffer was suspected of providing political intelligence — but nothing classified — to his handlers, with one former intelligence official telling author Zach Dorfman that the suspected informant was “run” by officials based at the local Chinese Consulate.

A local source who knew about the incident confirmed to us that the FBI showed up at Feinstein’s office in Washington, D.C., about five years ago to alert the then-chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee that her driver was being investigated for possible Chinese spying.

How many phone calls did this guy overhear. This is a perfect example of why there should be term limits for Congress - the party hardliners get stupid and complacent. Feinstein, Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell - these people are all well past their sell-by date. McConnel has quite the China connection himself. His wife is deeply connected.

Dinner time

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Heading out for dinner - local bar about eight miles away. Good people. Got a fun book to read so will be away for about two hours.

Currently reading: 

Chasing the Demon
A Secret History of the Quest for the Sound Barrier, and the Band of American Aces Who Conquered It

Dr. Moore was one of the two original founders of Greenpeace. It used to be a science-based organization. I was a member then but dropped out when they started promoting rhetoric instead of science. Dr. Moore dropped out too - for the same reason.

From Watts Up With That:

Twelve Invisible Eco-Catastrophes and Threats of Doom That are Actually Fake
Some time ago it struck me that the majority of alleged environmental catastrophes and threats are invisible or very remote, thus making it virtually impossible for the average person to validate them through observation. Observations, along with replications of those observations, are the very foundation of the scientific method. Seeing is believing, and seeing the same result again and again under similar circumstances reinforces the belief. Is it possible that activist groups and the media choose to cite supposed catastrophes and threats that are invisible, very remote or both because the majority of people cannot verify them in person and therefore must rely on the activists, the media, and other third parties to tell them the truth? At the conclusion of this essay, the reader may judge. Here’s a list of some of the alleged invisible catastrophes and threats of doom, beginning with one of the former.

Coral reefs around the world are dying
This is only one of the many supposed catastrophes blamed on invisible human CO2 emissions and human-caused climate change. In April 2016 most major media outlets ran a story implying that 93% of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest in the world, was “dead”, “nearly dead”, or “dying”. This was all based on a report that 93% of reefs in the northern section had “some bleaching”. “Some” could be only 1 percent. And bleaching is not death or even dying. It is a normal occurrence during periods of high heat and the coral usually recovers. Of course, as with all species, some are dying and others are being born at any given time.

It is well known that the world’s warmest oceans are in the region of Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Solomon Islands. This area is called the Coral Triangle and it harbors the world’s largest number of coral species and the largest number of reef fish and other reef dwellers. Surely this puts to rest the assertion that the world’s seas are “too hot” for coral reefs due to climate change.

How is the average person in Europe or North America supposed to “see for themselves” what is really occurring? Not only is the reef thousands of miles away from most people and far offshore, it is below the surface of the sea. Hundreds of millions of people were told the reef was doomed when we now know much of the bleached coral has already recovered. But that fact was barely reported in major media outlets. Fake news flies, the real story never gets off the ground.

Dr. Moore also debunks these:

    • Polar bears will become extinct
    • Climate catastrophe is inevitable due an increase in atmospheric CO2 if we don’t end the use of fossil fuels
    • Pesticide residues in our food causes cancer, birth defects, autism, and brain damage
    • Africa’s Oldest Baobab Trees are Dying at an Unprecedented Rate, and Climate Change may be to Blame
    • GMOs will harm us and damage the environment
    • Farmed salmon are full of poisons and they are destroying the wild salmon
    • Nuclear energy is too dangerous and radiation will kill you
    • There is a “sea of plastic” the size of Texas in the North Pacific Gyre north of Hawaii
    • There are a possible 3,000,000 undersea volcanoes doing something unobserved
    • Ocean “Acidification” will kill all the coral reefs and shellfish in the world
    • Climate Change is Killing the Cedars of Lebanon

A long article but a very good one. Dr. Moore posts links to the actual data for each of these claims and they are all bunk.

Great analysis of the plastic drinking straw debate - from the Competitive Enterprise Institute:

Debunking the (Plastic) Straw Man Arguments
Of all the consumer products one might have expected to become a flashpoint for political controversy, the humble plastic drinking straw is an unlikely contender. Leap into the headlines it has, though, with communities like Seattle and San Francisco recently enacting bans on disposable straws. The city council of Santa Barbara, California initially voted for a ban that would have punished restaurant workers with up to six months of jail time for giving out a disposable plastic straw, but city officials agreed to revisit the ordinance when it appeared to also ban the sale of straws at supermarkets.

Fortunately, we can depend on our friends at Reason TV and my colleague Angela Logomasini for some commonsense analysis. As Angela points out in the video above, the case against the plastic straw is exceedingly weak. There aren’t as many plastic straws thrown away as claimed, and only a tiny portion of U.S. straws end up anywhere near the oceans—the vast majority of municipal solid waste in this country ends up either buried in landfills, recycled, or burned up in incinerators, far from any congested sea turtles.  

The vast majority of plastic waste in oceans actually comes not from advanced countries like the U.S. but from countries like China and Indonesia that consume a large volume of plastic products but lack our modern waste collection infrastructure. Much of their plastic waste ends up washed into major river systems that empty into the oceans. A study published last year in the journal Environment Science & Technology by three German researchers found that 90% of the plastic debris found in the world’s oceans is dumped there by just ten of the world’s rivers—none of which are in the Western Hemisphere, much less the United States.

Much more at the site and be sure to click on the many links in the article - they researched this very carefully and present the facts, not some narrative.

Taking a break

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Getting a bit to eat and then back to work. Another long day sorting through crap, tossing stuff out and packing the rest. Feels so good to be downsizing. Very liberating.

Nothing catches my eye on the internet. Same old stuff...

Long day

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Packed and packed some more. Ran out to a neighboring town to look at a photography lens but it was a piece of junk. It was the make and model I wanted (Nikon extreme telephoto) but it had the stuffing beaten out of it. Scratches on the surface of the lens and the focus ring felt like there was grit in it. Probably led a very interesting 'life' but not useable now.

Got a bite to eat in town and now back at the farm for the night.

Points North

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Heading out for coffee, the post office and then to the farm for some time. Still packing and organizing.

He is really representing his constituents. From FOX News:

Dem governor flees to $7M Italian vacation home as political, personal problems mount
His constituents are complaining about the state's crumbling transit system. His own party wants to strip him of gubernatorial powers. The soccer team he owns is living in dire conditions, and one of his sons has been in trouble with the law.

What's a newly elected governor with no experience in elected office to do? He takes a vacation far, far away.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy raised eyebrows last week as he embarked on a swanky 11-day trip to Italy, where he owns a $7 million home he bought during his 23-year stint at Goldman Sachs.

The trip comes just six months after Murphy -- a Democrat and former diplomat under President Barack Obama -- was elected to the top job in the state.

Sounds like he is not doing a very good job of representing his people, his soccer team and his own family. Here is his entry at Infogalactic: Philip D. Murphy:

Philip D. Murphy (born 1957) is an American businessman and the former United States Ambassador to Germany. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 7, 2009. Murphy arrived with his family in Berlin on August 21, 2009. On May 29, 2013, it was announced that Murphy was stepping down.

Born in the Boston, Massachusetts area, Murphy graduated from Harvard University in 1979, where he was President of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals, with an A.B. in Economics and received an M.B.A. in 1983 from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The right schools, the right lifestyle. A bit more:

In all, he spent 23 years at Goldman Sachs and held a variety of top-level positions before becoming a Senior Director of the firm in 2003, a position he held until his retirement in 2006.

After leaving Goldman Sachs, Murphy served from 2006 to 2009 as the National Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

The right career and he is in bed with the right party - of course he should get the governorship. He deserves it. It is his turn.

Just like the Democrat party to judge someone by their narrative instead of by what they actually do. Governor Murphy is not fit to govern.

Very cool tool - ZipLevel

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I had an engineer come out to the house today to see about fixing the drainage problem as well as propping up where the foundation had settled.

He brought out one of the coolest tools I have seen in a long long time. A ZipLevel. It is a case with a hose reel and a box on the end of the hose. Inside the box is a pressure sensor that looks at the relative difference in air pressure between the box and the other end of the hose. Yes. That sensitive.  You zero out the box and can then walk around and the box will display its relative height compared to the zero point. If you get the high precision version, it is accurate to 0.01 inches. Srandard is just 0.1" or 1/8th inch. High precision version sells for about $1,200 with all the accessories.

WIth this, he was able to walk around the house mapping out the high and low points.

20180801-ziplevel.jpg

Never underestimate President Trump

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