September 2018 Archives

And that is it for tonight

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Got a belly full of pasta from a local restaurant, the anti-itch meds are kicking in nicely so staying away from the keyboard and just watching some mindless drivel over on YouTube.

Heading to the farm tomorrow after picking up a med refill and then spending the next couple of days carting tools to the condo for the great tool garage sale of 2018. Got a fun retro Point Of Sale system set up (it runs under MS-DOS) and have an account with Square so I will be able to take credit cards. Looking at doing about one sale/month. Tools, then technology, photography, music and electronics and then culinary and household. Fun to lighten my load.

Back to work

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Finished lunch, surfed a bit now it's time to get back to the pile of paperwork.

The braying of the left - Sexual Assault

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An interesting perspective at The Lid:

Hypocritical Liberals Cry Bullsh*t When Kellyanne Conway Says She’s A Sexual Assault Victim
The liberal rule that any woman claiming sexual assault must be believed immediately even if there is no corroborating witness or evidence was first announced in September 2015 at an Iowa Press conference. It was announced by Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton who said, “Today I want to send a message to every survivor of sexual assault,” Clinton said. “Don’t let anyone silence your voice. You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed, and we’re with you.” She even put it up on her campaign site.  The one exception to Hillary’s rule was victims assaulted by her husband, former President Bubba Clinton.

During the recent Kavanaugh hearings Senator Kamala “Thank You Planned Parenthood Funding My Campaign” HarrisSenator “Stolen Valor” BlumenthalSenator Mazie “Shut Up Men” Hirono,  my Senator Kirsten “the idiot flip-flopper” Gillibrand, and too many other liberals to name in one column, followed that rule announced by Hillary three years earlier. They denounced Kavanaugh as guilty before the Judge, or Ms. Ford testified. And they added a second exception. If a woman was assaulted by Keith Ellison, well she doesn’t count.

Enter Kellyanne Conway who said this on a CNN interview:

I feel very empathetic, frankly, for victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment and rape. I’m a victim of sexual assault.

Watching the video, it seemed as Kellyanne Conway was being truthful and didn’t want to talk about her sexual assault. Just before she says it she puts her head down looking very uncomfortable.  I don’t know Ms. Conway except for her TV appearances, but this is the first time I’ve seen her without a smile on her face.

What follows is a collection of some of the most vile tweets I have seen in a long long time. These are ad hominem attacks - the people posting those tweets have nothing of substance so they drag Ms. Conway's name through the mud. What happened to the much vaunted concept of tolerance and diversity.

Listening to the people - politics

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Politicians need to remember that they are supposed to be working for their constituents and these constituents are the ones who put them in office in the first place. From Breitbart:

Poll: Josh Hawley Takes Lead Over Claire McCaskill After She Announces Opposition to Kavanaugh
A new poll released by The Missouri Scout on Saturday shows that Republican challenger Josh Hawley has taken a two point lead over Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) in the Missouri Senate race just days after she announced she will be voting against the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Hawley leads McCaskill by a margin of 48 percent to 46 percent in the poll conducted by Missouri Scout over two days, from Wednesday, September 26 to Thursday, September 27.

McCaskill announced her opposition to Kavanaugh on September 19. The second day of the poll was conducted on the same day Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of attempting to sexually assault her 36 years ago at a time and place she cannot recall and with no corroborating witnesses or evidence, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

McCaskill has been in office for eleven years - time for a new face in the Senate...

About that global warming

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It's from all the greenhouse gasses that we, as an industralized people, are pumping out into the atmosphere. Our sun is a fixed star and has nothing to do with the upcoming global warming cooling. From Dr. Tony Philips at NASA's Space Weather website:

The Chill of Solar Minimum
The sun is entering one of the deepest Solar Minima of the Space Age. Sunspots have been absent for most of 2018, and the sun’s ultraviolet output has sharply dropped. New research shows that Earth’s upper atmosphere is responding.

“We see a cooling trend,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”

Quite the nip in the air here - thinking of building a fire to warm the house up a bit. I have a heat pump running in my new DaveCave so it is nice and comfortable up there but down in the main room where I am working, there is a definite chill in the air. Plus, I can use it to get rid of the papers I am tossing.

On the island for one more day

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Got all of my Mom's paperwork down here - spending today sorting through them. Got two big folding tables set up in the bay window overlooking the ocean. Got some tunes cranked up on the stereo and plowing through the mess.

Up to the farm tomorrow to bring in another load of tools for the first garage sale.

Another early night

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That anti-itch medicine is working great. The staph infection is going away without my unconciously scratching at night and reinfecting other areas (that and I have my fingernails pared down to the bare nubs and am sleeping with gloves on). The only downside is that I am sleeping ten hours/night. That and it is affecting my ability to spell and think.

Off to YouTube land for some mindless entertainment and then an early sleep.

The new internet

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The core design of the internet is for it to be able to route around damage. A node goes down? Traffic is passed along different nodes. No packets are lost. Looks like the inventor of the World Wide Web is looking to route around the damage being caused by Facebook, Google, etc... From Fast Company:

Exclusive: Tim Berners-Lee tells us his radical new plan to upend the World Wide Web
Last week, Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, asked me to come and see a project he has been working on almost as long as the web itself. It’s a crisp autumn day in Boston, where Berners-Lee works out of an office above a boxing gym. After politely offering me a cup of coffee, he leads us into a sparse conference room. At one end of a long table is a battered laptop covered with stickers. Here, on this computer, he is working on a plan to radically alter how all of us live and work on the web.

“The intent is world domination,” Berners-Lee says with a wry smile. The British-born scientist is known for his dry sense of humor. But in this case, he is not joking.

This week, Berners-Lee will launch Inrupt, a startup that he has been building, in stealth mode, for the past nine months. Backed by Glasswing Ventures, its mission is to turbocharge a broader movement afoot, among developers around the world, to decentralize the web and take back power from the forces that have profited from centralizing it. In other words, it’s game on for Facebook, Google, Amazon. For years now, Berners-Lee and other internet activists have been dreaming of a digital utopia where individuals control their own data and the internet remains free and open. But for Berners-Lee, the time for dreaming is over.

“We have to do it now,” he says, displaying an intensity and urgency that is uncharacteristic for this soft-spoken academic. “It’s a historical moment.” Ever since revelations emerged that Facebook had allowed people’s data to be misused by political operatives, Berners-Lee has felt an imperative to get this digital idyll into the real world. In a post published this weekend, Berners-Lee explains that he is taking a sabbatical from MIT to work full time on Inrupt. The company will be the first major commercial venture built off of Solid, a decentralized web platform he and others at MIT have spent years building.

Looks interesting - much more at the article and at the inrupt website.

Just say no - from Voice of Europe:

Unelected EU chief aims to ‘kill off populist politics’ as it is ‘a threat to democracies’
Unelected economic affairs chief of the EU, Pierre Moscovici, claims that “more progress in European integration” is what is needed to end populism, which as he describes it, is “a major threat for our democracies, for liberal democracies, for the rule of law and for European values”.

“Having a eurozone budget is absolutely decisive if we want to address the populist challenge, the burning question of inequalities,” he said in an interview with news outlet Euractiv.

His goal is for the EU to end national sovereignty over finance with the creation of the “eurozone budget” killing off populist politics within the euro region. Moscovici’s said after a talk at New York’s European American Chamber of Commerce that “the European crisis is no more an economic crisis.

Yeah - you did not elect me but I want you to give me control over your national finances and policy making and you will be better off for this. Worked sucessfully so many times before, why would anyone oppose such a clear-headed scheme. Trust me.

Crap - Indonesia's tsunami warning system

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Failed big-time - I hope that heads will roll on this. From Yahoo/Reuters:

Indonesia tsunami sensors missed huge waves: official
Indonesia's geophysics agency lifted a tsunami warning 34 minutes after it was first issued following a major earthquake that sent huge waves crashing into the northeastern coast of Sulawesi island, killing hundreds and leaving thousands more homeless.

The 7.5 magnitude quake and tsunami, which hit the city of Palu about 1,500 km (940 miles) from Jakarta and further along the coastline, killed at least 384 people. Officials said on Saturday the death toll was likely to rise.

Hundreds of people had gathered for a festival on the beach in Palu on Friday when waves as high as six metres (18 feet) smashed onshore at dusk, sweeping many to their death.

The geophysics agency (BMKG) faced criticism on Saturday on social media, with many questioning if the tsunami warning was lifted too soon.

Sounds like they had a complete failure understanding the physics of a tsunami in the open ocean:

He said the closest tide gauge, which measures changes in sea level, only recorded an "insignificant", six-centimetre (2.5 inches) wave and did not account for the giant waves near Palu.

No word on where this tide gauge was located but in the open ocean, a 2.5" tsunami is something to be genuinely feared. This is not just a ripple on the surface, this is the entire column of water moving in one direction. When this volume of water approaches the shallows of the shoreline, only then does it become the massive wave of the classical tsunami. Ships at sea have withstood tsunamis with only minor shaking.

Very classy - Maxine Waters

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From Tyler at Zero Hedge - lots of links to corroborating data:

Did Maxine Waters' Office Doxx GOP Senators During Kavanaugh Testimony?
The personal information of Republican Senators Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch was posted to Wikipedia Thursday during the hearing of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The information, which included home addresses and phone numbers, was posted to the senators' respective Wikipedia pages where users are allowed to made edits - all of which are logged by Wikipedia and include the editor's IP address.

As a result of the information being made public, Sen. Hatch's wife "has been receiving calls nonstop ON HER BIRTHDAY and their home address was made public," according to Caleb Hull, director of content at the Republican technology firm Targeted Victory.

The IP address used to "doxx" the Senators was quickly traced back to the House of Representatives...

Digital evidence is pretty strong that it was Waters' office that did this. A bit more about the wonderful Maxine:

Waters has come under fire for advocating that her Democratic followers form into mobs and physically confront members of the Trump administration if they see them in public.

The Democratic rep - who doesn't live in the district she represents and paid her daughter $750,000 for Democratic fundraising activities, said to a crowd at a "Keep Families Together" rally on Saturday: "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere."

Typical Democrat - nothing of substance to offer so it is all hype and rhetoric. Ideas so good they must be mandatory.

And that is it for the night

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The anti-itch medication is effective but it numbs my brain too much to focus. Time to do a few videos and go to bed.

Just wow - Senator Lindsey Graham

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Great riot act from Senator Graham at the Kavanaugh hearing:

Back home - long day

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Moving tools for the garage sale - amazing the amount of crap that I have amassed - a truly impressive horde. It was fun but now it is time to do other things.

The science is settled - the BBC

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Looks like the Beeb has swallowed the Blue Pill. From The Global Warming Policy Forum:

BBC FREEZES OUT CLIMATE SCEPTICS
The BBC has told staff they no longer need to invite climate-change deniers on to its programmes, suggesting that allowing them to speak was like letting someone deny last week’s football scores.

It has also asked all editorial staff to take a course on how to report on climate change and said that its coverage of the topic “is wrong too often”.

New BBC editorial policy on climate change states: “To achieve impartiality you do not need to include outright deniers of climate change in BBC coverage, in the same way you would not have someone denying that Manchester United won 2-0 last Saturday. The referee has spoken.”

A bit more:

Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs, emailed its journalists this week asking them to book a place on a one-hour course that “covers the latest science, policy, research and misconceptions to challenge, giving you confidence to cover [climate change] accurately and knowledgeably”.

The email — leaked to the website Carbon Brief, which seeks to raise awareness of the threat of climate change — referred staff to a “crib sheet” that includes the new policy.

The policy says: “Climate change has been a difficult subject for the BBC, and we get coverage of it wrong too often. The climate science community is clear that humans have changed the climate, but specifically how is more difficult to evidence.” A section entitled “What’s the BBC’s position” says that “man-made climate change exists: if the science proves it we should report it.”

They are going to look pretty silly when the effects of our lower solar activity start hitting home this winter.

Heading out to the condo

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Got the van loaded up - heading into the condo and unload. Feels good to be getting rid of the clutter.

Spending the next few nights at the farm.

Voter fraud - Los Angeles

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Does not surprise me - from The Wichita Eagle:

L.A. homeless were paid $1 to forge signatures on California ballot measure petition, cops say
Food. Cigarettes. A dollar bill, or even less.

That’s what Los Angeles Police Officer Deon Joseph says individuals offer homeless people in exchange for forged signatures on California state ballot measures on Skid Row, an area of the city known for its tent encampments, KABC reports.

“It’s been going on for years,” Joseph told the TV station. “They say, ‘Hey, you want to make a quick buck?’”

Last week, Los Angeles police arrested three people on Skid Row on felony election fraud charges after they were caught paying $1 or less to homeless people for forging signatures on a petition to get a measure on the California state ballot, Capt. Marc Reina said in a Tweet on Friday. Reina posted photos showing signature-gathering and the exchange of cash.

“They come in and they target the homeless population because they can get so many,” Reina said in a phone interview, explaining that there are hundreds and hundreds of people living on the streets. “When you see those tables and lines of people down the sidewalks it gets conspicuous, and we’re able to take action.”

The democrats cannot win based on their ideas and platform. They have to cheat.

Loading up the van for the first of the big garage sales. I signed up with Square to take credit cards - $50 for the readers and a couple percent haircut on each transaction. I went looking for some point of sale software so I could record the transactions as well as allow people the option of a reciept for their purchases.

Found a great free application - Dale Harris runs the Keyhut website and has written a full-function POS that runs great. In MS-DOS. Fortunatly, DOSbox is a free program that opens up an MS-DOS window under the 64-bit operating systems of today. The POS software runs perfectly. Have not tried it with a receipt printer yet but it offers the capacity so not expecting any problem.

At the farm - gorgeous weather

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Really nice out so heading out to load up the van with tools for the garage sale.

More later this evening.

Out for coffee and then points North

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To the farm for a couple of days - loading up the condo for the tool sale.

More later this evening...

From the Pew Research Center via Don Surber:

Partisans Remain Sharply Divided in Their Attitudes About the News Media
After a year of continued tension between President Donald Trump and the news media, the partisan divides in attitudes toward the news media that widened in the wake of the 2016 presidential election remain stark, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of survey data of 5,035 U.S. adults collected between Feb. 22 and March 4, 2018.

Hmmmm - and it took them six months to collate the data and release it?

About one-in-five Americans (21%) have a lot of trust in the information that they get from national news organizations. Slightly more have a lot of trust in information from local news organizations (28%). Fewer Americans (13%) express this level of trust in the information they get from family and friends, and a mere 4% say they trust the information they see on social media a lot. These numbers are mostly unchanged since 2016.

That seems about right - it's all about following the narrative and not actual journalism. Bread and circuses.

One last post

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Tip 'o the hat to Grouchy Old Cripple - a reader sent him this:

20180925-trump.jpg

So true it gives me goose bumps...

That is it for the night

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One of the new meds (anti-itch) is making me very sleepy. Early night.

Buy it now - BaoFeng

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Interested in ham radio? There is a brand being imported from China that is a really decent rig for a very low price. I am speaking of BaoFeng - specifically their older UV-5R ($25) or the new version, the BF-F8HP ($63). The newer unit has more power (eight watts instead of five) and more features. You will also need to spring for the bigger antenna ($17) and maybe a larger battery ($17). You will also need to pick up a programming cable ($21) but if you are in any kind of ham radio group, probably someone out there already has one you can borrow. Hams are good like that. Free programming software here: CHIRP

The upshot is that for about $100, you can get a much superior system to one that would have cost $500 ten years ago. The rapid march of technology is not just about computers and televisions...

The reason for urging you to buy now? From the Federal Communications Comission:

TWO-WAY VHF/UHF RADIOS MAY NOT BE IMPORTED, ADVERTISED, OR SOLD IN THE UNITED STATES UNLESS THEY COMPLY WITH THE COMMISSION’S RULES
The Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has observed that a growing number of conventional retailers and websites advertise and sell low-cost, two-way VHF/UHF radios that do not comply with the FCC’s rules. Such devices are used primarily for short-distance, two-way voice communications and are frequently imported into the United States. These radios must be authorized by the FCC prior to being imported, advertised, sold, or operated in the United States.

Many of these radios violate one or more FCC technical requirements. For example, some can be modified to transmit on public safety and other land mobile channels for which they are not authorized, while others are capable of prohibited wideband operations. Such radios are illegal, and many have the potential to negatively affect public safety, aviation, and other operations by Federal, state, and local agencies, as well as private users. Because these devices must be, but have not been, authorized by the FCC, the devices may not be imported into the United States, retailers may not advertise or sell them, and no one may use them. Rather, these devices may only be imported, advertised, sold, or used only if the FCC first has approved them under its equipment authorization process (or unless the devices operate exclusively on frequencies reserved for amateur licensees or they are intended for use exclusively by the federal government). Moreover, with only very limited exceptions, after being authorized, the devices may not be modified. Anyone importing, advertising or selling such noncompliant devices should stop.

Yeah - they can operate outside the legal ham radio frequencies. The nice thing for emergency communications is that we can monitor the police and fire and rescue bands. In the event of a full-on emergency situation, that is a very good thing to do and we, as licensed radio operators, have taken the training for FEMA's ICS protocols. The problem that the FCC is seeing are clueless yahoos buying these rigs and using them for family communication without bothering to learn what is right and what is not. They are disrupting public service communications - not a good thing.

Anyway, if you are interested, a great resource for getting licensed can be found at QRZ

Busy day today

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Had to drive to Burlington to pick up some prescriptions (still having problems with the staph skin infection) and also stopped at a Mormon food store. They are very much into preparedness and sell one gallon (#10) cans packed with various beans and dehydrated food. Spent $110 and came away with about 60 days of boring but very nutritious food. By using the #10 cans, the food is shelf-stable for 30 years. Prices are really reasonable. Nice people too.

Heading to the farm bright and early tomorrow morning.

And that is it for the night

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Heading back to the farm tomorrow - more packing of tools for the garage sale. Just got set up on Square for taking credit cards so people will be able to buy more. Their new reader is pretty spiffy for $50

A great idea - Gun Sanctuaries

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We have sanctuary cities where national laws dealing with illegal immigration are not enforced. How about gun ownership?

From the Effingham, Illinois Effingham Daily News:

Gun 'sanctuaries' spreading across Illinois
The resolution declaring Effingham County a sanctuary for guns has started a statewide trend of opposition to legislation directed toward firearms. But it remains to be seen if it has any real effect in Springfield.

So far, 30 Illinois counties have passed "firearms sanctuary" resolutions that oppose bills before the state legislature and declare that the counties will not enforce laws that infringe on the Second Amendment. The resolutions have not been tested by any new laws, but it appears the resolutions would not affect how law enforcement operates.

Illinois State Police officials say they will still enforce gun laws, regardless of a local resolution.

Illinois has some of the most draconian gun laws in the nation but it also has some of the highest incidents of gun violence. Chicago takes the cake with these numbers for 2018 to date: Total Shot: 2268 and Total Homicides: 424

On the air

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Spent a delightful 45 minute on the radio with our local ham radio group. Worked on several frequencies and modes. Always good to practice operating with other people.

From Gallup:

Republican Party Favorability Highest in Seven Years
Forty-five percent of Americans now have a favorable view of the Republican Party, a nine-point gain from last September's 36%. It is the party's most positive image since it registered 47% in January 2011, shortly after taking control of the House in the 2010 midterm elections. Forty-four percent give the Democratic Party a favorable rating.

Heh - a couple years of good leadership will do that. Pity no-one in recent times tried that and I am talking to both parties.

Great band doing a great song - Update

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Weezer doing Toto's Africa:

And that is actually Weird Al Yankovic singing lead, not Rivers Cuomo

UPDATE: Just found this version from Postmodern Jukebox

And she has come forward - Judge Kavanaugh

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From the New Yorker:

Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh’s College Years
As Senate Republicans press for a swift vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. The claim dates to the 1983-84 academic school year, when Kavanaugh was a freshman at Yale University. The offices of at least four Democratic senators have received information about the allegation, and at least two have begun investigating it. Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote. The Democratic Senate offices reviewing the allegations believe that they merit further investigation. “This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. It should be fully investigated,” Senator Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, said. An aide in one of the other Senate offices added, “These allegations seem credible, and we’re taking them very seriously. If established, they’re clearly disqualifying.”

The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.

Emphasis mine - there you have it. A fabricated memory. Dr. Elizabeth Loftus? Dr. Loftus to the white courtesy phone please.

And nothing catches my eyes tonight

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There seems to be another accuser speaking out against Judge Brett Kavanaugh - of course this is a total fabrication. People who went to college with the Justice have been coming to his support saying that he never did such a thing.

Anyway, time for some YouTube and then to bed. Spending tomorrow down on the island getting my ham radio equipment set up (putting my big 2 Meter antenna together and mounting it on a tripod) as there is a radio network tomorrow evening and I want to check in.

Back up to Maple Falls Tuesday - stopping by the Mormon Church on the way up. They sell cans of food to anyone interested. Get a couple weeks of rice and beans, etc. for backup if something happens. Their prices are really good.

The party of peace

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Collected by John Lott:

More threats of violence by the left against Republicans this week
1) "Police are on scene of a mass shooting threat at a MAGA event at the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC" DailyMail.com, September 11, 2018

2) "Cops: Castro Valley man tried to stab congressional candidate Rudy Peters with switchblade after ‘disparaging' GOP" San Francisco Chronicle, September 11, 2018

3) "SECRET SERVICE SO, CAROLE COOK ... What'd You Mean by 'Where's John Wilkes Booth When You Need Him?'," TMZ, September 11, 2018

4) "'Threats of Rape and Strangling' Force D.C. McAllister Into Hiding After Anti-Abortion Tweet," PJ Media, September 11, 2018

5) "A Republican Party office in Wyoming was set on fire just two days after opening, and police believe it was intentional." Daily Caller, September 6, 2018

6) Two days after @chucktodd says to 'Fight Back' Against Fox News, truck rams into Dallas Fox Affiliate. "Dallas Fox News affiliate rammed by truck," Washington Times, September 5, 2018

And they are just getting started with the Kavanaugh confirmations - go here and read:  Hordes Of Bussed-In Protesters Prepare For DC Disruption Ahead Of Kavanaugh Confirmation

The left has nothing positive, they cannot offer any kind of measured logical dialog on any subject. Their ideas are so good they must be made mandatory.

Quote of the day

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From British philosopher and sociologist, Herbert Spencer:

"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."

On the island again

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Turned out to be a gorgeous day after all that rain. Dropped a load off at the condo and brought a few things down here - tools for a couple of projects and a little more ham radio stuff. The local group has a Monday night network and I want to sign in tomorrow.

Stopped off on my way down - the washer down here stopped agitating a few loads ago. Looked online and new gearboxes are available but they are almost $300 and plus, it is major surgery to replace. Got a decent deal on a new pair.

Back to Maple Falls for a few days to load up more tools for the garage sale. I have a lot of stuff but am making good work of thinning the horde.

On the road again

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Heading to Bellingham to drop off the first load of tools for the garage sale.

I have a lot of surplus and duplicate stuff - good to be downsizing!

A bit of excitement in our local waters

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Yours? No. Mine. From CNN:

Authorities detonate mysterious mine floating in Puget Sound
It's a really unusual day when state authorities have to call the Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.

But when there's what looks like a mine floating in a bay not far from a marina, that's what you do.

While people on land were told to stay inside, the Coast Guard on Tuesday set up a safety zone and Navy divers went into Port Orchard Bay in Puget Sound in Washington to lasso the big, round, rusted object with metal prongs bobbing in the water.

"Upon initial inspection, the unidentified moored mine was found to have decades of marine growth," the Navy said.

The mine broke loose from its anchor, spokeswoman Sheila Murray said.

The crew towed the mine away for hours while authorities tried to keep residents and news helicopters circling the area away.

They asked residents to take shelter in their homes, keep their pets inside and avoid the beaches.

Just after 8 p.m. local time, the decades-old mine was detonated, sending water rushing up into the air.

It was safer to detonate the mine far from the shore, the Navy said.

The US Coast Guard had established a 1,500-yard safety zone around the unexploded ordnance, Coast Guard spokeswoman Ali Flockerzi said.

The object was discovered by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

This is from August 29th - just found out about it now.

Heading out for the day

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Coffee, stop in to the store for a little bit and then back home to start loading up the van for the first garage sale.

Starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel :-)

Aaand it's dinner time

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Heading out to a local about eight miles away for a chicken burger and a couple pints of cider.

Starting to sprinkle - Monday through Thursday are actually looking really good with sunny skies to will be up here then to do more garage sale packing and moving stuff.

The rain let up

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Time to get my ass to work. Clearing stuff out of the barn and loading it into the van for the tool garage sale.

Now this gave me goosebumps

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Looks like I will be watching more than just YouTube videos next year:

Time to take action - President Trump

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Glad to hear this - from Newsmax:

Trump Promises to Rid Justice Dept. of 'Lingering Stench'
President Donald Trump has issued an ominous warning about the Justice Department and the FBI, promising further firings to get rid of a "lingering stench" following reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed secretly recording the president.

Trump, speaking at a rally in Missouri Friday, did not explicitly mention the Rosenstein furor, which was first reported by The New York Times and confirmed by The Associated Press.

But Trump lashed out against what he sees as anti-Trump bias in the Justice Department, touting the firings he has orchestrated, unnerving many in federal law enforcement and sparking fears about the future of the special counsel's Russia probe, which Rosenstein oversees.

"You've seen what happened in the FBI and the Department of Justice. The bad ones, they're all gone. They're all gone," Trump said. "But there is a lingering stench and we're going to get rid of that, too."

Reminds me of this quote: You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy

Lest we forget

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Wishing everbody a happy Hobbit Day

Great news - Iran and President Trump

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Great news from The Jerusalem Post:

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S IRAN SANCTIONS WORKING
When President Donald Trump announced in May that he would abandon the Obama-era nuclear pact with Iran and impose new sanctions on the terror-supporting state, the reaction from the Liberal Left was as one might expect—horror. Pronouncements of gloom and doom were prolific. Trump’s move was called “misguided” by Mr. Obama. Senator Bob Menendez, D-N.J called the action a risk to “US national security, recklessly upending foundational partnerships with key US allies in Europe and gambling with Israel's security.”

Predictions included: Oil prices would rise dramatically and crush the US economy, and/or the allies who continued to support the Iranian regime would maintain trade practices giving Iran a sense of security and entitlement. Its nuclear program would be resurrected (had it ever died), and the entire world would be at risk. (When was it not?)

To the horror of President Trump’s detractors, thus far, none of these dire predictions have come to pass. Instead, like rats leaving a sinking ship, other countries have bailed on the deal with Iran. Oil prices have seen little variation, a sign of the president’s success and one the Democrats in Congress don’t wish to concede.

I ask you: Why in heaven’s name should the United States obsess over providing sanction relief for Iran? It is a Fascist state and Ground Zero for world terror. It funds and fuels the revolution in Syria, the terrorist organization Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, the Mahdi Army in Iraq, and Shi’a extremists worldwide.

And one exxample of the effect the sanctions (or threat thereof) are having:

For instance, Iranian oil shipments to South Korea, France, Austria, Japan, Greece and Spain have cut down on oil imports from Iran this year. Another 71 countries have plans to distance themselves from Iran. India had expressed its intention to halt buys from Iran, and has taken one step further—that of blocking payments to Iran for purchases of crude oil. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has tightened the screws on Iran with his statement: “Purchases of Iranian crude will go to zero from every country or sanctions will be imposed.”

Never willing to retreat, Iran continues to produce oil and is storing it, not on land, but in tankers in the Persian Gulf just off its coastline. It will continue to be hampered, though, because international purchases are conducted in U.S. dollars which only serve to reinforce President Trump’s sanctions.

All Iran has to do is to denounce terrorism and allow free elections and the sanctions will fade away. Time for the overthrow of a brutal dictatorship.

Now this is interesting - prime numbers

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I am a bit of a numbers nerd and this is a really fascinating development - from Motherboard:

Researchers Discover a Pattern to the Seemingly Random Distribution of Prime Numbers
Often known as “the building blocks of mathematics,” prime numbers have fascinated mathematicians for centuries due to their highly unpredictable and seemingly random nature. However, a team of researchers at Princeton University have recently discovered a strange pattern in the primes’ chaos. Their novel modelling techniques revealed a surprising similarity between primes and certain naturally occurring crystalline materials, a similarity that may carry significant implications for physics and materials science.

What are primes?
Prime numbers are integers (whole numbers) that can only be divided by themselves or the number 1, and they appear along the number line in a highly erratic way.

They begin as 2, 3, 5, 7, 11 and continue to appear intermittently all the way to infinity. However, the further along the number line you go, the more random the distribution of primes appears to be. The lack of any obvious pattern was best summarized by British mathematician R.C. Vaughan: “It is evident that the primes are randomly distributed but, unfortunately, we do not know what ‘random’ means.”

This is going to impact several diciplines as well as making it a lot easier to discover new primes - now we are using a brute force approach. Primes are very useful for cryptography. Link to the oroginal paper is here:  Uncovering multiscale order in the prime numbers via scattering

Another day, another pile of boxes

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Heading out for coffee, a bite to eat and then points north.

More later this evening...

And that is it for me for tonight

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Back from dinner, nothing catches my eye so off to watch some videos.

Heading up to the farm tomorrow to start packing for the garage sales. Looking forward to them - will be fun!

An upcoming project

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Been brushing up on my C++ coding skills and planning a project for the next year. I want to wire the Camano Island house for media and other things (printers, weather station, security cameras, etc...)

Just ran into the openHAB platform - looks really really good! Runs on a lot of platforms - Windows, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi and it has support for a whole bunch (ie: 1,400 and counting) of devices. Open source so if yours is not there, write it, upload it and we are now at 1,401.

Three headlines

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Each is a clickable link to the original article:

Rosenstein is our Deputy Attorney General. Since Jeff Sessions missing (in)action, it is Rosenstein that does the job. When he was caught about being a member of the deep state, his handlers spun it as just a joke between friends. A bit of humor. A bagatelle.

When they reference the 25th Amendment they are specifically talking about Section 4

Section 4.
Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

So if the President has been determined to be off his rocker, the VP takes over. I do not think that the Democrats have thought their actions through - they are having a bad time now? Imagine what they would be dealing with under President Pense. He would rain down righteous fire and brimstone onto their sorry asses. It would be fun to see.

Good - put up or shut up

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And this from The Daily Caller:

KAVANAUGH ACCUSER’S LAWYER CAUGHT ON CAMERA: ‘WE ARE GOING TO RESIST’
Katz is representing Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who claims Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in the 1980s while the two were in high school.

The lawyer has numerous ties to the resistance against Trump, and was caught on camera at a protest in February 2017 after Jeff Sessions was confirmed as the administration’s attorney general.

“We are going to fight back,” she told a reporter. “We are going to resist. We will not be silenced.”

Katz was identified only as a “protester” by ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

The whole thing is dirty with a side of sour grapes.

Sucks to be you - Dr. Brian Wansink

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From Vox:

A top Cornell food researcher has had 13 studies retracted. That’s a lot.
It’s every scientist’s worst nightmare: six papers retracted in a single day, complete with a press release to help the world’s science reporters disseminate and discuss the news.

That’s exactly what happened Wednesday at the journal network JAMA, and to the Cornell researcher Brian Wansink.

Wansink has been the director of Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab. For years, he has been known as a “world-renowned eating behavior expert.”

On Thursday, Cornell announced that a faculty committee found Wansink “committed academic misconduct,” and that he would retire from the university on June 30, 2019. In the meantime, Wansink “has been removed from all teaching and research,” Cornell University provost Michael Kotlikoff said in a statement. Wansink will spend his remaining time at the university cooperating in an “ongoing review of his prior research.”

Sheesh - JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) is the Mt. Everest of medical journals. A bit more about him:

Even if you’ve never heard of Wansink, you’re probably familiar with his ideas. His studies, cited more than 20,000 times, are about how our environment shapes how we think about food, and what we end up consuming. He’s one of the reasons Big Food companies started offering smaller snack packaging, in 100 calorie portions. He once led the USDA committee on dietary guidelines and influenced public policy. He helped Google and the US Army implement programs to encourage healthy eating.

And some of his "findings"

Thirteen of Wansink’s studies have now been retracted, including the six pulled from JAMA Wednesday. Among them: studies suggesting people who grocery shop hungry buy more calories; that preordering lunch can help you choose healthier food; and that serving people out of large bowls encourage them to serve themselves larger portions.

Quite a lot more at the article - they go into the problems with the papers - specifically p-hacking the statistics to yield results that were what the researcher wanted to find. Another example of this is Dr. Mann's (in)famous "hockey stick" graph of global temperatures. He finally released his math after more than a decade and to nobody's great surprise, you can feed random numbers into his analysis and generate hockey sticks.

Anyway, good riddance to bad science and he did the honorable thing by stepping down.

Quite the find - Galileo Galilei

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From Nature:

Discovery of Galileo’s long-lost letter shows he edited his heretical ideas to fool the Inquisition
It had been hiding in plain sight. The original letter — long thought lost — in which Galileo Galilei first set down his arguments against the church’s doctrine that the Sun orbits the Earth has been discovered in a misdated library catalogue in London. Its unearthing and analysis expose critical new details about the saga that led to the astronomer’s condemnation for heresy in 1633.

The seven-page letter, written to a friend on 21 December 1613 and signed “G.G.”, provides the strongest evidence yet that, at the start of his battle with the religious authorities, Galileo actively engaged in damage control and tried to spread a toned-down version of his claims.

Many copies of the letter were made, and two differing versions exist — one that was sent to the Inquisition in Rome and another with less inflammatory language. But because the original letter was assumed to be lost, it wasn’t clear whether incensed clergymen had doctored the letter to strengthen their case for heresy — something Galileo complained about to friends — or whether Galileo wrote the strong version, then decided to soften his own words.

And the letter's hiding place?

The letter has been in the Royal Society’s possession for at least 250 years, but escaped the notice of historians. It was rediscovered in the library there by Salvatore Ricciardo, a postdoctoral science historian at the University of Bergamo in Italy, who visited on 2 August for a different purpose, and then browsed the online catalogue.

“I thought, ‘I can’t believe that I have discovered the letter that virtually all Galileo scholars thought to be hopelessly lost,’” says Ricciardo. “It seemed even more incredible because the letter was not in an obscure library, but in the Royal Society library.”

Heh - I bet an army of people are fossicking around the library looking for any other letters of note. Interesting to see if anything else like this turns up...

Great story from Willis Eschenbach

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Willis has lived a wonderful life and occasionally posts stories on his blog: Skating Under The Ice Today, he writes about his time in Alaska in the mid-1960's:

Bars In Alaska
My first encounter with a bar in Alaska was when I went there in 1965 at age eighteen to make my fortune … riiight.

Along the way to not making my fortune in Alaska, I got my first job playing with a bar band. Of course, I was too young to drink and it was illegal for me to be in the bar at all, but nobody seemed to care … so why should I?

In Sitka, I got a gig as the rhythm guitarist and lead singer, complete with electric guitar, in a bar band which was usually composed entirely of what used to be called “Indians”. Columbus wanted to believe he’d gotten to India, so he called the locals “Indians”. This led to centuries of confusion, where people had to continually be asking “You mean Indian with a dot or Indian with a feather?” So they decided to change their name. Fair enough.

It’s not politically correct to call them Indians now, I know. These days, I’m a reformed cowboy, so I use a more modern name which reflects their actual heritage. I call them “Early Asian Immigrants”, to distinguish them from the “Later Melanin-Deficient Immigrants”. I don’t generally use the term “Native Americans”, though, unless a man insists on it. According to science, they’re no more native to the Americas than any human is, and that’s not native at all.

A really fun couple of stories.

Well damn - not aliens after all

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From El Paso station KTSM:

Child pornography reason behind Sunspot Observatory closure, according to court documents
A federal search warrant reveals that Sunspot Solar Observatory was shut down as FBI agents conducted computer forensic searches for child pornography.

The source of child pornography was traced to an IP address used at the observatory and a source within the building observed a computer with "not good" images on it, the warrant states.

An investigation by the FBI revealed that a janitor is the main suspect in the search, however he has not been charged with a crime even though his name is on the warrant.

The warrant states the suspect would use the observatory Wifi and a personal laptop to download the child pornography.

That is downright sick. From what I understand, people incarcerated for child pornography do not do very well among the prison population. Even criminals have a sense for what is right and what is wrong.

Slow walking - delay delay delay

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The Democrats do not have anything on Judge Brett Kavanaugh so they are delaying as long as possible hoping that they can extend the confirmation hearings until after the November mid-terms. If they regain control of congress, they can then sucessfully Bork Judge Kavanaugh's confirmation. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Kavanaugh accuser's offer to testify about alleged sexual assault puts key Republicans in a bind
After days of silence about whether she would appear, California professor Christine Blasey Ford told the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday that she is willing to testify next week about her allegations of a decades-old sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Emphasis mine - she was supposed to testify last Monday - three days ago and now they are trying to delay until next week. What happens there? Also, she carries a grudge, Kavanaugh's Mom ruled against her parents in a legal matter.

She has nothing. The Democrats have nothing. Hence, their only strategy is to obfuscate and delay.

Museum Day - very cool

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Great idea - from The Smithsonian:

Over 1,500 Museums Across the U.S. Will Open Their Doors for Free This Saturday
On Saturday, September 22, more than 1,500 museums will open their doors for free as part of Museum Day. Organized by Smithsonian magazine, the annual event includes free admission to museums and cultural institutions in all 50 states. Participating museums range from large, popular institutions like the Zoo Miami to quirky and fascinating specialty museums, like the National Barber Museum in Canal Winchester, Ohio. Visitors are allowed to download one ticket per email address, and each ticket provides free general admission for two people.

Great idea - couple museums in the local area so I might check out one of them.

Great meeting tonight

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They do the procedural stuff first and then a member or visitor will do a 30-45 minute presentation. Tonight's covered stuff I already knew a bit about but really fleshed in some details so I enjoyed it a lot. Had over 40 people there. Finally starting to connect people's names and faces to their on-air call signs.

Doing a hop and a skip around the internet to see if anything happened - probably spend the rest of the evening looking at videos.

Paid some bills, brought the accounts up to date and now heading out for a bite to eat and the ham radio meeting.

More much later if I don't get distracted by YouTube...

And I am back on the island again

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Back to the condo to pick up another load and picked up a very nice check from the people who ran the estate sale - more than I had thought.

Now that the condo is empty, I will be bringing things in from the farm and staging themed garage sales. Brewing (have a fairly large SABCO RIMS system (an older version of their Brew-Magic) and about 30 Cornelius kegs as well as the usual fermentation vessels, incubator for yeast culturing, kegerator and jockey box and a five gallon crab cooker still.

I will also do a tool sale with all my surplus tools and blacksmithing, machining and welding equipment. Using this time to sell my older and unused stuff and will use the proceeds to buy modern equipment - there has been quite the revolution in welding units using solid state circuitry to control the arc. Much lighter and more stable.

Also a technology sale - old camera stuff, optical stuff (lenses, microscopes, etc...) electronics (oscilloscopes, test equipment, computer parts), synthesizer and electronic music - clearing out the old stuff I no longer use or that I have upgraded. I have some gorgeous Tektronix scopes but I also have a great little Rigol that has better bandwidth and talks to a computer.

And finally a culinary sale with the last of the household kitchen plus a food trailer, commercial kitchen wares and various outdoor burners and griddles.

It feels so good to be getting rid of all of this (and the money doesn't hurt either)...

Heading out for coffee

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And the usual - spending today going through old paperwork. Ham radio meeting tonight - thought it was yesterday. Got my internal calander off by one day...

Number three is out - Project Veritas

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From their website:

The Deep State Unmasked: Federal Employee Admits to Breaking Rules Every Day
Project Veritas has released the next in a series of undercover reports which unmask the Deep State. This report features a Government Accountability Office (GAO) employee and self-proclaimed Communist actively engaged in potentially illegal political activity. Natarajan Subramanian is a government auditor for the GAO and a member of the Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America (Metro DC DSA).

Metro DC DSA is a socialist group that works to advance progressive issues in the Metropolitan DC area. Subramanian’s political activism may directly violate federal statutes as well as the “Yellow Book” rules which apply specifically to government auditors.

O'Keefe usually has a bunch of these videos in the can before he starts releasing them. It will be fun to see the future ones.

Project Veritas releases a second video

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A couple of days after the first video was released, a second one is out:

Deep State Unmasked: Leaks at HHS; DOJ Official Resists “From Inside,” DOJ: “These allegations are deeply concerning…referred to Inspector General.”
Project Veritas has released the second installment in an undercover video series unmasking the deep state. The first report in this series featured Stuart Karaffa, who admitted to engaging in political activism on behalf of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) while working at the Department of State. The Department of State issued a response to the video stating that they are investigating the matter.

Today’s video features Department of Justice paralegal Allison Hrabar reportedly using government-owned software and computers to push a socialist agenda. Also featured is Jessica Schubel, the former Chief of Staff for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the last Obama administration.

Both Schubel and Hrabar make admissions revealing that federal employees appear to be using their positions inside our government to resist or slow the Trump administration’s policies. It appears some laws have been broken in the process.

This is big.

From Bloomberg:

FBI, DOJ Plan Redactions Despite Trump’s Document Order
President Donald Trump has demanded the “immediate declassification” of sensitive materials about the Russia investigation, but the agencies responsible are expected to propose redactions that would keep some information secret, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department, FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence are going through a methodical review and can’t offer a timeline for finishing, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the sensitive matter.

This is my surprised face. NOT! The deep state is slow-walking this until the November mid-terms hoping for a Democrat majority in Congress. This whole thing will just fade away if that happens. A bit more - and yes, Crooked Hillary is deep in the middle of it:

Trump and his supporters have repeatedly attacked the FBI and Justice Department for relying partly on a dossier on Trump compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele in order to get the warrant on Page. They contend that Justice and FBI officials didn’t fully disclose that Steele was paid in part by Trump’s rival in the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton.

Some people need to spend some serious time in jail - these actions are criminal and corrupt.

Funny thing about retirement.  Spent much of the day at the Condo boxing up the penultimate load of my Mom and Dad's papers. One more file cabinet to go. Sorting them on the island - have a bay window with a gorgeous view of the ocean. Keeps me in a nice head-space when dealing with the mounds of paper.

Got all sorts of mundane stuff from 1960's on up and nestled in them are the occasional letter from someone famous or cool photo or $100 bill so I need to be methodical.

Got some good tunes playing, a nice view to look at and taking my time. Start putting some of this on eBay next.

And that is it for the night

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YouTube and bed. Took a couple Benedril to cut the itching from the skin infection so feeling nice and drowsy.

Now that the back-story came out, the accuser of Judge Kavanaugh is back-pedaling as fast as she can. Two headlines with links:

I really hope that DiFi's little bit of theater at the confirmation hearing blows up in her face at the mid-terms.

On the island for a few days

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Brought down another load of Mom's papers to go through. The Estate Sale went really well with about 95% of the items selling. No word on the final tally but looking forward to a nice fat check in a few days.

The staph infection came roaring back two days ago - spend this afternoon at the walk-in clinic for another course of antibiotics. Stronger and longer this time. Been dealing with this since the end of July and this is just going on too long.

See what the internet faeries have to offer tonight...

Back at the farm

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Pouring down rain - excellent as it has been incredibly dry this summer but lousy as I was planning to work loading up the van with stuff for the garage sale. Oh well - I have a rain coat and pants, just don't like it.

grumble...

Aaaand it is off to the Tube of You...

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That is it for tonight - tired and busy day tomorrow

Quite the back-story in fact - a case of sour grapes. From MEDIAite:

Brett Kavanaugh’s Mother Presided Over Foreclosure Case Involving Accuser’s Parents
The woman behind the letter accusing Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, has naturally been herself the subject of much news since her name was made public on Sunday. Among reports coming out, Fox News Channel’s Laura Ingraham tweeted a story a short time ago that says Ford’s parents were defendants in a case that was presided over by Brett Kavanaugh’s mother, of whom he has spoken at length during confirmation hearings.

Judge Martha G. Kavanaugh was the judge for a foreclosure case in 1996 in Maryland, according to the site, which contains mostly embedded tweets from a single Twitter user but also two screenshots from Maryland’s case search site.

Those shots outline a case involving Ralph and Paula Blasey, Christine Ford’s parents, that was presided over by Judge Kavanaugh.

Ingraham tweeted the story on Monday without follow-up. The suggestion of promotion this story, of course, is that recent allegations of sexual misconduct may be some sort of revenge play by Dr. Ford. There is no evidence yet that the past foreclosure decision had any impact on allegations, but we can be certain to hear more about it in the coming days.

Emphasis mine - indeed... Sour grapes writ large. Potential case of libel in the offing...

Spending a day or two at the farm

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Boxing stuff up and loading the van - getting ready for a trip to the island. The Ham Radio group has a meeting this Wednesday so planning to be there for that.

More spew this evening - heading into Bellingham.

The internet is empty

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Just the usual rhetoric and fake news. Time for some videos - see if anyone posted any more content.

At the farm for the evening

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Driving into Bellingham to clean up with the estate sale people (it went really well) and then spending the next few days up here boxing stuff up to take to the island. The new (to me) van drives like a... truck but it is solid, in great shape and will serve me well for this move.

Surf for a bit and then to bed. Been driving a lot these last couple of months - 15K miles - it all adds up.

On the road today

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Usual routine - coffee, post office, dump, the condo to check on the remains of the Estate Sale and then to Maple Falls for a few days. More boxing and maybe a few runs down to Camano with the new van.

Lest we forget - Typhoon Mangkhut

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Hurricane Florence is not the only big storm on our planet. Typhoon Mangkhut is dealing devastation to the Philippines and China. Three headlines with links:

Prayers going out to these poor people. The casinos will be fine - they were built to withstand this sort of weather. The people who make their living on the water - fishing, transport - not so much. Rebuilding will take a long time. President Trump's fault of course...

And we still do not know - solar telescope

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I first posted about its mysterious closing on the 12th of this month. Science is reporting yesterday that they still do not know what prompted the closing:

Remote solar observatory remains closed after mysterious evacuation
Nobody is quite sure what’s going on at the Sunspot Solar Observatory in New Mexico, which was quickly and mysteriously evacuated on 6 September amid reports of a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe, and has remained closed. The manager of the mountaintop site, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), today released a statement saying the observatory “will remain closed until further notice due to an ongoing security concern.”

In the wake of the shutdown, Otero County Sheriff Benny House told the Alamogordo Daily News: “The FBI were up there. What their purpose was nobody will say.” Facility employees are similarly in the dark. “We have absolutely no idea what is going on,” says Alisdair Davey, a data center scientist at the National Solar Observatory (NSO). “As in truly nothing, which in itself is just weird.” Messages left with the FBI field office in Albuquerque were not returned.

The writer concludes with this:

While the actual nature of the security issue remains unresolved, the tight-lipped nature of the authorities is only driving more interest. “The mystery is more intriguing than what the ultimate explanation is likely to be,” Aftergood says.

True that!

With all the money they are throwing at their homeless issue and their crumblinng infrastructure, it is nice to see that California has enough cash on hand to do something like this - from the Los Angeles Times:

'We’re launching our own damn satellite' — Gov. Jerry Brown says California will go to space to fight climate change
Gov. Moonbeam is finally sending California into space.

Jerry Brown closed his climate summit in San Francisco on Friday with a dramatic announcement: California will launch its own satellite into orbit to track and monitor the formation of pollutants that cause climate change.

“With science still under attack and the climate threat growing, we’re launching our own damn satellite,” Brown said in prepared remarks. “This groundbreaking initiative will help governments, businesses and landowners pinpoint — and stop — destructive emissions with unprecedented precision, on a scale that’s never been done before.”

Emphasis mine - that sounds a little too ominous for my liking. Pinpoint and stop? Shades of Orwell.

Hurricane Florence - fake news

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Two great examples of fake news on the Hurricane Florence reporting. From Anthony Watts

First:

Hilarious! @weatherchannel reporter fakes intensity of #HurricaneFlorence wind – gets caught
You can’t make this stuff up. The Weather Channel typically sends a reporter to hurricane landfalls to file live reports. Hurricane Florence is no exception. However, in this case although it appears in the video the reporter can barely stand up in the wind, but when the camera zooms out, his fakery is revealed.

Funny video - the reporter is standing, leaning to one side braced with all his strength and in the background, two guys are talking a pleasent stroll unaffected by the wind. Scroll down for the second video - much better quality

And Second:

Another #fakenews video @CNN Anderson Cooper hypes #HurricaneFlorence flooding – meanwhile firefighters spoof TV news
Yesterday we reported on the hilarious antics of Mike Seidel of The Weather Channel in his performance trying to stand up in wind while others strolled casually by in the background. That video has gone viral. Here’s another example of how media tries to make the storm look worse than it actually was.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper was reporting live on the scene on a flooded road. And for effect, he stands in a ditch at the side of the road, about 3 feet lower.

A couple of still photos taken from a different perspective shows what they were doing. Be sure to scroll down to watch the firefighter video - they had a lot of fun with this...

James O'Keefe got his start with a series of undercover videos exposing the epic level of corruption at the government subsidized agency ACORN back in 2009. There were claims that these videos were "heavily edited" to take things out of context. O'Keefe proved them wrong by releasing all of the video footage - the "finished" five minute videos as well as the hours of raw shoot.

It will be interesting to see what he has in the can this time: ANNOUNCING: Deep State Unmasked Investigation

Busy day today

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Spent it getting ready to install laminate flooring in the DaveCave and getting a new air filter for the van - bunch of other stuff too. Library, groceries, some stuff at WalMart - that kind of thing.

Had a burrito and a beer for dinner and now home for the night - heading up to the Estate Sale tomorrow afternoon to see what is left.

And that is it for today

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Estate sale is going well - tired so watching some video and then early bedtime.

Great visualization of storm surge

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Socialism in the news

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People who think (and I use that word loosely) that Socialism is really cool and needs to be implemented in the United States would do well to look at Venezuela - a nation that went from being a food exporter to a food importer, a nation with the largest known reserves of oil but it cannot run it's own refineries, a nation in the end game of socialism. From Bloomberg:

Venezuela Raises Minimum Wage 3,000% and Lots of Workers Get Fired
Venezuelan workers who earned a pittance are now earning a slightly larger pittance, thanks to a big increase in the minimum wage. What they may not have are jobs.

Starting this week, 7 million employees are guaranteed 1,800 bolivars a month -- worth about $20 at the black-market rate. President Nicolas Maduro intended the mandate as political boost, but it’s having the opposite effect as companies, already hit by Venezuela’s epic economic contraction, tell workers they can’t afford to keep them.

While there have been many similar moves in the past, never has one been so disruptive, arriving amid hyperinflation, depression and devaluation. Some employers are restructuring costs, rejiggering pay scales and negotiating settlements with workers. Others are simply dismissing people. Much of the action happens secretively as companies try to avoid punishment by the government, which has been jailing those it believes are flouting the rules.

Florence in the news

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Downgraded to a tropical storm but wtill wreaking havoc with about 600,000 people without electricity.

And of course, President Trump is to blame for it all - from Grabien News:

MEDIA POLITICIZE FLORENCE, BLAME TRUMP FOR STORMS, PREDICT MASS DEATH
Hurricane Florence is now bearing down on North Carolina, and the media is looking to score political points.

On MSNBC, host Chris Hayes invited meteorologist Eric Holthaus on to argue global warming is making hurricanes worse, and that President Trump is to blame.

"We have a president that is denying the impacts of, you know, this hurricane season last year and this year and actively making the problem worse by, you know, not addressing this root cause of worsening storms,” Holthaus told to a nodding Hayes.

On CNN, political analyst John Avlon, in a segment titled "Reality Check," suggested Trump is at fault for Hurricane Florence, and that his climate policies could kill up to 80,000 people per decade.

Is Trump "complicit in this storm?" asked Alisyn Camerota in the segment introduction.

"His policies have been tearing down our defenses to climate change, which is often a blame for extreme weather," Avlon answered. "On the same day Trump was discussing Florence, his EPA proposed rolling back restrictions on emissions of methane. That's just the latest environmental policy targeted by the Trump Administration."

Avlon rattled off a series of Obama-era environmental regulations the Trump Administration is rolling back -- including pulling out of the Paris climate accord — and then boldly predicted a death toll in the thousands.

"It is so bad according to two Harvard scientists, it could lead to 80,000 unnecessary deaths every decade," Avlon said. "Warmer water means more intense storms. When President Trump called Hurricane Florence tremendously wet, he was on to something."

In the Washington Post, the paper editorialized that Trump is "complicit" in Hurricane Florence's anticipated destruction.

"When it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit," the editors wrote. "He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks. It is hard to attribute any single weather event to climate change. But there is no reasonable doubt that humans are priming the Earth’s systems to produce disasters."

The article goes on to quote some lunacy from MSNBC and closes with Bill Nye being Bill Nye. All hype and alarmism with 100% science-free content.

Clueless and out of touch - from Investors Business Daily:

Kerry Should Be Prosecuted For Illegal Iran Meetings
Recent comments by former Democratic presidential candidate, Secretary of State and Senator John Kerry lead to one inevitable conclusion: Making Kerry America's top diplomat was a huge error.

Kerry has been seen a lot lately, largely because he's flogging a book, "Every Day Is Extra," seemingly everywhere in the media. He's doing lots of live interviews, some of them quite telling.

In one, for instance, he calls President Donald Trump's time in office a matter of "life and death," and suggests that he would "bring a case against Donald Trump for the lives that will be lost" due to his presidency. Lives lost to what? Some foreign war? Failure to protect us from terrorism?

Nope. Global warming. A purely hypothetical threat.

And then there is this:

But far worse is his admission that he met "three or four times" with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif since Kerry left office. He admits talking about Trump's decision to exit the foolish Iran nuclear deal that Kerry helped craft, and other issues as well. And he didn't deny that he encouraged Iran to simply wait for Trump to leave office and a Democrat to come before taking any major actions.

Treason pure and simple. But J. F. Kerry is one of their so they let him get away with it.

Lots of people

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Went to the Estate Sale this morning when it opened at 10AM. My Mom and Dad's condo is in an over-55 housing development. I never saw so many cars in there - their condo was packed with people hauling stuff out. The sale is going to run for two more days - see what is left...

Ran some errands, got a fresh oil change in the new (to me) van and back on the island getting ready to lay some laminate flooring in the new DaveCave (the attic over the garage where I have been camping out).

I got nothin'

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Nothing happening out in the real world. Tired today - woke up early, was busy and busy day tomorrow too.

YouTube and then bed.

Solving the "trailer problem"

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A few months ago, I purchased a nice aluminum flatbed trailer to help with the construction and moving. Unfortunately, about a week after I bought it, I was on the freeway with it unloaded and it suddenly went into uncontrolled oscillation and decoupled from my car. Thank God that there were some County Police who were already on the scene - pulling over a suspected DUI. They directed traffic and got me on my way (they also issued a citation). No one was hurt, no damage was done to any vehicle.

This really soured me on trailers but the Highlander does not have a lot of cargo space and it was taking me three trips for every single trailer trip. I Googled around and a local dealership had a used Ford (I love Fords) Econoline E250 for sale - 2012 with 23K miles on it. Perfect condition. I picked it up today - bare bones tradesman's van - perfect for what I need.

Since it was used, I will use it for the six months or so and then sell it for what I paid for it. WIN/WIN

Oh yes, I got it for a steal - it had been on the lot for a while and they were very happy to move it. Even negotiated them down a couple $K. From my 20's to 40's, I had always had a van so this is a kind-of fun return to my mis-spent youth...

On island - big day tomorrow

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Tomorrow is the first day of the Estate Sale - went there today and it looks gorgeous. The person in charge did a wonderful job of staging it. Planning to go to the opening day tomorrow and snoop :)

Off for the day

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Coffee, post office, store and then to Bellingham to preview the estate sale. Meeting on Camano island later tonight.

Nothing much happening in the real world - Florence is now a CAT2 hurricane but still a very powerful storm so prayers going out to the people in the Carolinas.

More spew this afternoon.

That is it for me for this evening.

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Full day tomorrow and then the estate sale. Watch a bit of YouTube and then to bed.

A great endorsement for Europe

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From France24:

Dalai Lama says 'Europe belongs to Europeans'
The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, said Wednesday that "Europe belongs to the Europeans" and that refugees should return to their native countries to rebuild them.

Speaking at a conference in Sweden's third-largest city of Malmo, home to a large immigrant population, the Dalai Lama -- who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 -- said Europe was "morally responsible" for helping "a refugee really facing danger against their life".

"Receive them, help them, educate them... but ultimately they should develop their own country," said the 83-year-old Tibetan who fled the capital Lhasa in fear of his life after China poured troops into the region to crush an uprising.

"I think Europe belongs to the Europeans," he said, adding they should make clear to refugees that "they ultimately should rebuild their own country".

Very wise thoughts.

Curious - an observatory

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Curious news - from CNet:

Mysterious observatory evacuation stirs alien conspiracy theories
Reports that a Blackhawk helicopter and federal agents swooped in and inexplicably evacuated a remote part of New Mexico, including a prominent solar observatory, has some corners of the internet predictably atwitter about a possible alien coverup.

FBI agents showed up at the Sunspot solar observatory in tiny Sunspot, New Mexico, on Friday and shut down the facility, evacuating the local area, including the Sunspot post office.

"There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers, but nobody would tell us anything," Otero County Sheriff Benny House told the Alamogordo Daily News. "I don't know why the FBI would get involved so quick and not tell us anything."

Five days later, the observatory's website confirms the entire facility is closed to both staff and the public until further notice.

Odd coming on the heels of this story. Hope they are not bringing a cookbook...

And here's the video (20 seconds):

Back at the farm for a few days

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The estate sale is this weekend - Friday through Sunday - so want to be around for that.

Packing up more stuff for a later tool sale at the condo which I will be doing myself. Shedding a lot of the hoard. Keeping the stuff that is relevant to me and ditching the stuff that was "interesting" but that I never did anything with. Feels wonderful.

Quiet morning

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Nothing much happening in the real world. Heading out for coffee and post office and then to the pharmacy and to Bellingham to get an oil change on the Highlander (love that car!) The Estate sale is Friday, Saturday and Sunday so spending the time in Bellingham for that. Getting rid of my Mom and Dad's stuff as well as a lot of my own horde. Feels good!

More spew later tonight.

And YouTube it is...

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That's all folks...

...nonexistent. The Carolina's have been hit hard before, several times in recorded history. From the Memphis, TN FOX affiliate and Associated Press:

Florence could rival North Carolina's 1954 'benchmark storm'
The last time the midsection of the East Coast stared down a hurricane like this, Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were newlyweds.

Hurricane Florence could inflict the hardest hurricane punch North Carolina has seen in more than 60 years, with rain and wind of more than 130 mph (209 kph).

North Carolina has been hit by only one other Category 4 storm since reliable record keeping began in the 1850s. That was Hurricane Hazel in 1954. Hurricane Hugo made landfall in South Carolina as a Category 4 hurricane in 1989.

Knowing the history doesn't lighten the impact of what will be a very large disaster for many tens of thousands of people. The problem here is that people have become complacent and have built nice houses with oceanfront views and now they will be paying the price.

This is not a result of climate change and actually, everything points to an extended period of cooling in the future. We will be seeing more news stores like this one from the San Francisco Chronicle:

Freak storm slams South Africa: Photos of giraffes walking in snow go viral

Saw my MD and really like him - reminds me a lot of Dr. Gregory House (from the TV show) before he had the infarction in his leg and got cynical. Very sharp - in his 30's and very smart. Good clinic too - a lot more resources than the first one I went to. In the words of our President: Everett Clinic? You're Fired!

Planning to switch to him as my Primary Care Provider. Never really liked the PCP I had in Sumas - nice to get some who is a go-getter.

What with Hurrican Florence poised to wipe out significant parts of the Carolinas, it is good to remember that disasters are not a matter of IF but a matter of WHEN

Our local newspaper has a nice write-up - from the Stanwood Camano News:

Disaster resilience depends on being ready; Camano group can help
When disaster happens, communities come together. Emergency management staff, first responders and other professionals are the framework of disaster response, but the coordinated actions of trained residents can save many more lives and reduce suffering.

This is particularly true in places that face the prospect of large-scale disasters, whether earthquakes, volcano eruptions, landslides, wild fires or floods, according to Sue Ryan, Camano Preparedness Group program director. Camano Island also faces the possibility of being cut off from the mainland for weeks, she said.

“When a major earthquake strikes in our area, the need for first responders will immediately far exceed available resources. When that happens, we will be our own first responders,” Ryan said. “This is why we encourage people to get trained and be involved. It could take days to weeks before real help could arrive.”

Some good points - I have been meeting with these people and they are really clear headed and have a great grasp of what is needed.

So true - writing code

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I have been playing with a Software Defined Radio recently and using the Raspberry Pi - canned programs are fine but I want to brush up on my C++ and write my own. This cartoon really brings home programming logic:

20180911-code.jpg

John Bolton on the ICC

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The International Criminal Court is a typical Nongovernmental Organization/Global Governmental wet dream that sounds good but is subject to zero oversight and has become corrupt in its short life. Needless to say, the United States did not sign on to this organization. We are a soverign nation after all. From the InfoGalactic link above:

The seven countries that voted against the treaty were China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, the United States, and Yemen

National Security Adviser John Bolton had this to say in a speech yesterday - excerpted from PJ Media:

Bolton Vows to Not Cooperate with International Criminal Court, Threatens Sanctions
National Security Advisor John Bolton threatened sanctions against the International Criminal Court, which Bolton opposed long before joining the Trump administration, and hailed the State Department announcement that the D.C. office of the Palestine Liberation Organization would be shut down.

Speaking at a Federalist Society event at the Mayflower Hotel this morning, Bolton slammed the Hague-based ICC as an effort by "self-styled 'global governance' advocates" to override national sovereignty through its investigations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Three excerpts - this:

"Today, on the eve of Sept. 11, I want to deliver a clear and unambiguous message on behalf of the president of the United States. The United States will use any means necessary to protect our citizens and those of our allies from unjust prosecution by this illegitimate court," Bolton continued. "We will not cooperate with the ICC. We will provide no assistance to the ICC. We will not join the ICC. We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us."

And this comment on our friend and ally Israel:

"The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel. And, today, reflecting congressional concerns with Palestinian attempts to prompt an ICC investigation of Israel, the State Department will announce the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization office here in Washington, D.C. As President Reagan recognized in this context, the executive has 'the right to decide the kind of foreign relations, if any, the United States will maintain,' and the Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel," he said. "The United States supports a direct and robust peace process, and we will not allow the ICC, or any other organization, to constrain Israel’s right to self-defense."

And he closed with this:

Steering back to the ICC, Bolton wrapped up his address by vowing that "if the court comes after us, Israel or other U.S. allies, we will not sit quietly."

"We will negotiate even more binding, bilateral agreements to prohibit nations from surrendering U.S. persons to the ICC. And we will ensure that those we have already entered are honored by our counterpart governments," he said. "We will respond against the ICC and its personnel to the extent permitted by U.S. law. We will ban its judges and prosecutors from entering the United States. We will sanction their funds in the U.S. financial system, and, we will prosecute them in the U.S. criminal system. We will do the same for any company or state that assists an ICC investigation of Americans."

"We will take note if any countries cooperate with ICC investigations of the United States and its allies, and we will remember that cooperation when setting U.S. foreign assistance, military assistance, and intelligence sharing levels," Bolton added. "We will consider taking steps in the UN Security Council to constrain the Court’s sweeping powers, including ensuring that the ICC does not exercise jurisdiction over Americans and the nationals of our allies that have not ratified the Rome Statute."

I am so glad that the stars aligned in the heavens and we got President Trump instead of Crooked Hillary.

Out the door

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Going out for coffee, post office, the dump and then a Dr's appointment. Quiet day - seventeen years ago today, an event happened that cleared the scales from my eyes and changed me from a Seattle liberal to a strong libertarian.

The idea that we need to understand and forgive those people who committed this heinous act was what pierced my self-imposed veil of willful stupidity. These barbarians (in every sense of the word) declared war on us a long time ago - they say this in public but we continue to fail to act, to allow them entry into our Nation illegally.

Thank God that we now have a President and an administration with the balls to push back.

ET?

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Someone is phoning home - from Breakthrough Listen:

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE HELPS BREAKTHROUGH LISTEN FIND NEW FAST RADIO BURSTS
Machine learning algorithm also helping Listen search for new kinds of candidate signals from extraterrestrial intelligence.

San Francisco – September 10, 2018 – Breakthrough Listen – the astronomical program searching for signs of intelligent life in the Universe – has applied machine learning techniques to detect 72 new fast radio bursts (FRBs) emanating from the "repeater" FRB 121102.

Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are bright pulses of radio emission, just milliseconds in duration, thought to originate from distant galaxies. Most FRBs have been witnessed during just a single outburst. In contrast, FRB 121102 is the only one to date known to emit repeated bursts, including 21 detected during Breakthrough Listen observations made in 2017 with the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) in West Virginia.

No regular pattern. The signal starts and stops. Up until now, the only fast radio bursts we have seen have been isolated events. Now we are seeing one source sending out multiple signals. Fascinating.

Breakthrough Listen is a serious SETI program - finally using some of the larger radio telescopes - from their web site:

LISTEN
Breakthrough Listen is the largest ever scientific research program aimed at finding evidence of civilizations beyond Earth. The scope and power of the search are on an unprecedented scale:

The program includes a survey of the 1,000,000 closest stars to Earth. It scans the center of our galaxy and the entire galactic plane. Beyond the Milky Way, it listens for messages from the 100 closest galaxies to ours.

The instruments used are among the world’s most powerful. They are 50 times more sensitive than existing telescopes dedicated to the search for intelligence.

The radio surveys cover 10 times more of the sky than previous programs. They also cover at least 5 times more of the radio spectrum – and do it 100 times faster. They are sensitive enough to hear a common aircraft radar transmitting to us from any of the 1000 nearest stars.

We are also carrying out the deepest and broadest ever search for optical laser transmissions. These spectroscopic searches are 1000 times more effective at finding laser signals than ordinary visible light surveys. They could detect a 100 watt laser (the energy of a normal household bulb) from 25 trillion miles away.

Listen combines these instruments with innovative software and data analysis techniques.

The initiative will span 10 years and commit a total of $100,000,000.

Very cool - these are the same people who gave the $3M prize to Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell - she discovered Pulsars and her supervisor at the University of Cambridge, Antony Hewish got the Nobel Prize for it. He built the telescope but did not discover the pulsar.

Be careful what you wish for - Google

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Unexpected consequences - from Breitbart:

‘Silent Donation’: Corporate Emails Reveal Google Executives’ Efforts to Turn Out Latino Voters Who They Thought Would Vote for Clinton
An email chain among senior Google executives from the day after the 2016 presidential election reveals the company tried to influence the 2016 United States presidential election on behalf of one candidate, Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.

In the emails, a Google executive describes efforts to pay for free rides for a certain sect of the population to the polls–a get-out-the-vote for Hispanic voters operation–and how these efforts were because she thought it would help Hillary Clinton win the general election in 2016. She also used the term “silent donation” to describe Google’s contribution to the effort to elect Clinton president.

The main email, headlined, “Election results and the Latino vote,” was sent on Nov. 9, 2016—the day after Clinton’s loss to Trump in the 2016 presidential election—by Eliana Murillo, Google’s Multicultural Marketing department head.

The four page email begins with Murillo claiming she and others at Google were engaged in non-partisan activities not designed to help any one candidate or another—only to undercut her own commentary in later passages in the emails by openly admitting the entire effort to boost Latino turnout using Google products with official company resources was to elect Clinton over Trump.

The critical miscalculation, Murillo wrote in a stunning admission in the email, was that Latino voters backed Trump by higher margins than any experts had forecast in the lead-up to the election. Trump’s 29 percent among Hispanics nationally blew prognosticators away, and he hit even higher numbers—about 31 percent—in the key battleground state of Florida, Murillo admitted.

The article has the pertinent parts of the email and mentions this:

If Murillo had ended her email there, this probably would not amount to the level of a national news story. But she did not: She went on for another several paragraphs on the first page and an extra three pages to admit the openly partisan intent of Google’s actions, including a remarkable in-writing confirmation that at least one of Google’s actions amounted to a “silent donation”—something that could raise Federal Election Commission (FEC) red flags if authorities decide to launch an official investigation into this matter, now that these emails have been publicly revealed.

Long article but well worth reading to see the bias in our social media providers. I wonder if Ms. Murillo is still employed...

An interesting list

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From AV Club:

Game of Game Of Thrones thrones: 43 big upcoming fantasy and sci-fi shows
Since debuting in April 2011, HBO’s Game Of Thrones has slowly become the defining television phenomenon of this decade, dominating the pop culture conversation in a way no other show has since the glory days of The Sopranos. It was one of a number of shows angling to step into the mob drama’s place, along with Boardwalk EmpireMad MenSons Of AnarchyJustified, and House Of Cards. HBO initially sold its adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy epic as “The Sopranos in Middle-earth,” hoping to transplant David Chase’s deeply American saga of violence, sex, family, and power to a sprawling, Tolkien-esque fantasy world. It managed to fulfill those expectations and then some, surpassing Sopranos viewership mid-way through its fourth season. Today it’s gone far beyond that: “Khaleesi” was a more popular name for baby girls in 2017 than “Brittany.”

But winter is coming. As Game Of Thrones heads into its final, six-episode season—slated to premiere sometime in 2019—it leaves a gaping hole in the television landscape. Everyone from Apple to FX has pined, sometimes publicly, for their “own Game Of Thrones,” and the model is clear: Find a nerd-culture tome, and throw money at it. Amazon has pledged to invest $1 billion on its prize-horse, a Lord Of The Rings prequel, but, as you’ll see below, this is a race with a lot of horses. There are dozens of such projects in the works, and even more if you factor in the game, film, and comic adaptations drawn in Thrones’ image, not to mention HBO’s own in-house heirs. And, while there has been no shortage of shows heavily inspired by Thrones in recent years, the sheer surplus of these upcoming projects means that at least a few of these will go on to be good. For lovers of fantasy and sci-fi, not to mention prestige television, this is an inherently exciting thing. But who among these contenders can truly claim Game Of Thrones’ throne? If we’ve learned anything from seven seasons, it’s this: Don’t count out a dark horse.

Looks like a lot of great programming ahead even if only a fraction of these ever get done.

Down on the island for a day

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Dr's appt tomorrow (persistant staph skin infection) and then heading up to Bellingham to get the Toyota in for an oil change. Got a bite on the road and bellying up to the computer for an hour or so of surfing and the Tube of You.

Planetary K Index is still fairly high - great chance of Aurora if the skies would ever clear up.

Look up tonight - chance of aurora

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Good chance of an aurora display tonight - the Planetary K Index is quite high - solar wind.

20180910-k-index.gif

When it gets to six or above, we have a really good chance of Aurora at these latitudes. Of course, it is socked in with low clouds and rainfall...

From FOX News:

DNC says Papadopoulos tipster and key figure in Russia case might be dead
Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese professor believed to have played a key role in igniting the Russia probe, vanished from public eye after his name began surfacing in news stories.

Now, lawyers for the Democratic National Committee say it is possible Mifsud is dead.

In a filing in the U.S. Southern District of New York, the DNC said Mifsud “is missing and may be deceased.” The lawyers said they will “monitor news sources” for any indication of Mifsud’s whereabouts and “will attempt service on Mifsud if and when he is found alive.”

The filing came as the DNC is suing Mifsud and others as part of its lawsuit accusing Trump officials of conspiring with Russia in the 2016 election.

The DNC’s lawyers did not elaborate in the filing on why they believe Mifsud may be dead. But a committee spokeswoman said lawyers haven’t been able to locate him, unlike other defendants in the lawsuit.

Arkancide? 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."

Hold on to your hats - Hurricane Florence

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This is going to be an expensive storm - sustained winds are now 140MPH - up from 115 from this morning.

An interesting chart - 20 years

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From Mark Perry at the American Enterprise Institute:

The CD ‘chart of the century’ makes the rounds at the Federal Reserve

20180910-cost.jpg

Over the last 12 years, I’ve probably created and posted more than 3,000 graphics on CD, Twitter, and Facebook including charts/graphs, tables, figures, maps and Venn diagrams. Of all of those graphics, I don’t think any single one has ever gotten more attention, links, re-Tweets, re-posts, and mentions than the one above (and previous versions), which has been referred to as “the Chart of the Century.” 

And, to make this interesting, here is the underlying reason for the spike in prices:

The greater (lower) the degree of government involvement in the provision of a good or service the greater (lower) the price increases (decreases) over time, e.g., hospital and medical costs, college tuition, childcare with both large degrees of government funding/regulation and large price increases vs. software, electronics, toys, cars and clothing with both relatively less government funding/regulation and falling prices. 

So true - the prices that are going up are highly regulated businesses while the prices that have been falling are highly deregulated and capitalism and competition is allowed to work.

From the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration - sustained wind speeds at 115MPH

20180910-Florence.jpg

Good news this morning - President Trump

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Making some progress on peace in the middle-east. From Associated Press:

TrIf you study your history,ump closing Palestinian mission in pro-Israel move
President Donald Trump is closing the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s mission in Washington, the latest U.S. blow against the Palestinians and an international court during the stalled Mideast peace process.

What a wonderful way to start the day! If you read your history, you will find that there never was a palestinian state - these people are the Hashemite tribe from Jordan. The person who organized the current palestinian state was an Egyptian named Yasser Arafat who spent nine years in Moscow being groomed for his role. The Russians were worried that the USA might take over the middle-east and they were very dependent on ME oil at that time.

Aaaand - I got nuffin'

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Not much catches my eye. Tired, heading over for a bit of YouTube and then to bed. Got a lot of boxes to shift and driving to do tomorrow and Tuesday and Wednesday and...

You get my drift.

Shake rattle and roll - small quake

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Checking into the USGS earthquake website and saw that we had a small quake about 80 miles to our West in Sequim, WA. 3.3Mag but 23.1km deep so not much surface activity.

And it starts - declassifying documents

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From Zero Hedge:

Trump To Declassify Bruce Ohr, Carter Page Documents As Early As This Week
President Trump is expected to declassify documents connected to the Obama administration's surveillance of the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election, according to Axios, citing allies of the president who say it could happen as soon as this week.

Specifically mentioned are documents concerning former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as well as the "investigative activities of Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr" - who was demoted twice for lying about his extensive relationship  with Christopher Steele - the former MI6 spy who assembled the sham "Steele Dossier" used by the FBI in a FISA surveillance application to spy on Page.

Much more at the site including the background history. The days leading up to the mid-terms are going to be interesting. Time for a big bowl of popcorn and watch a master at work.

Another long day

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Drove about 300 miles today and hauled a lot of furniture to the estate sale.

Full belly - time to open a bottle of red wine and surf for a bit...

An interesting hotel in Japan - Henn na

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Means weird. BBC Click's Spencer Kelly travels to Sasebo, Nagasaki to find out more.

Video dates from 2015 - it would be interesting to see the upgrades. Hotel's English language website: Henn na Hotel

Back to the island

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The ocean keeps drawing me here. Should have moved here 15 years ago. Love it.

Took another load of my parent's  personal papers and photographs from the Condo down to here to sort through and toss. Lots of telephone bills, household paperwork and the occasional $20 bill or $100 or stock certificate scattered within. Taking the time to go through everything.

Heading back to the farm to borrow the store van - the person running the estate sale nearly passed out when I told her that I was bringing six of the original Space Needle restaurant chairs. No use to me - they are actually very uncomfortable to sit in (don't want the customers lingering over their overpriced bad meals) and not my style when it comes to design.

Surf for a bit and then to bed.

That's all folks!

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Heading over to YouTube for a while - longish day tomorrow.

A wonderful outcome - GoFundMe

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From FOX News:

Homeless veteran will get the $400,000 owed to him from GoFundMe campaign
Johnny Bobbitt Jr., a homeless Philadelphia ex-Marine, will get the money owed to him from a GoFundMe campaign that raised more than $400,000 for him, his attorney Chris Fallon tells CNN.

“We reached an agreement today with GoFundMe and they have agreed to make sure he will be made whole,” Fallon says.

In a statement, the company said it would back the money raised:

“…Our platform is backed by the GoFundMe Guarantee, which means that in the rare case that GoFundMe, law enforcement or a user finds campaigns are misused, donors and beneficiaries are protected.”

In case you had not heard:

A couple, Kate McClure and Mark D’Amico, started the campaign after McClure ran out of gas and became stranded last October, and Bobbitt helped her out with his last $20.

The page was titled “Paying it Forward,” and the response was incredible: 14,347 people donated $402,706 over the course of 10 months.

Since then, the money has been in dispute, and Bobbitt is suing the couple, accusing them of fraud. Bobbitt’s attorney says his client has only seen about $75,000 of that money and should have gotten about $300,000 more after GoFundMe’s fees.

The couple has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, but a court order deadline for them to hand over the cash has passed.

They spent and gambled all the money away. Disgusting. Glad that GoFundMe stepped up to the plate.

Some experimental airplanes have reached this high but here, we are talking about an unpowered glider. From NBC News:

Experimental glider smashes record for high-altitude flight
Riding the wind above the Andes Mountains, an experimental glider has set a world record for high-altitude flight.

On Sept. 2, the sleek Perlan 2 glider carried two pilots to 76,100 feet, or more than 14 miles, over the El Calafate region in southern Argentina. That’s the highest altitude ever reached by humans aboard an unpowered fixed-wing aircraft, and one of the highest altitudes reached by an aircraft of any description. Only spy planes and specialized balloons have flown higher.

“The biggest impression is, it's a long ways down from up here,” one of the pilots, Jim Payne, said after the record-setting flight, which was one in a series of test flights sponsored by aerospace giant Airbus. “The horizon starts to have a curvature in it and the sky is getting darker as we climb. … It's a fantastic experience, once in a lifetime.”

The record eclipses one set during a previous Perlan 2 flight over El Calafate on Aug. 28, which reached an altitude of 65,600 feet.

But the recent outing, which took about five hours, wasn’t just about establishing bragging rights. Ed Warnock, the aerospace engineer who heads the Perlan Project, a Beaverton, Oregon-based nonprofit that designed and built the $3 million glider, said data collected by the glider would help provide a better understanding of high-altitude air currents. That could help commercial pilots avoid dangerous but invisible regions of turbulence.

Very cool - here is the website for The Perlan Project They are going to try for 90,000 in a few days and then, new wings and 100,000.

Got a bite to eat and turned around and headed back to the island home. Kind of late in the day and the Island Emergency Service people are doing an open house tomorrow from 10AM to 2PM so going to that, meeting more of the people and volunteering there.

Surf for a bit and then Youtube and to bed.

Heading out - points North

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There is a big farmer's market here from 2 to 6PM - heading out to catch that and then up to Maple Falls for a few days.

More spew later.

Another day of fun and games

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Heading out to load up some garbage in the car, get coffee, post office, dump and visit the county office to ask about a groundwater issue and then return a library book.

Island life is pretty wonderful as all of these are within two miles of each other and about three miles from my home.

And that is it for me for tonight

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Drove a bit over 300 miles today - shuttling vehicles and running errands. Plus meeting with some people and scheduling appointments. Busy and no signs of relief.

It is all going to a good situation though so there are zero complaints (a few grumbles but no complaints).

YouTube and bed.

Well crap - RIP Burt Reynolds

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From The Hollywood Reporter:

Burt Reynolds, Movie Star Who Played It for Grins, Dies at 82
Burt Reynolds, the charismatic star of such films as Deliverance, The Longest Yard and Smokey and the Bandit who set out to have as much fun as possible on and off the screen — and wildly succeeded — has died. He was 82.

Reynolds, who received an Oscar nomination when he portrayed porn director Jack Horner in Paul Thomas Anderson's Boogie Nights (1997) and was the No. 1 box-office attraction for a five-year stretch starting in the late 1970s, died Thursday morning at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida, his manager, Erik Kritzer, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The cause of death was cardiopulmonary arrest.

Always with a wink, Reynolds shined in many action films (often doing his own stunts) and in such romantic comedies as Starting Over (1979) opposite Jill Clayburgh and Candice Bergen; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) with Dolly Parton; Best Friends (1982) with Goldie Hawn; and, quite aptly, The Man Who Loved Women (1983) with Julie Andrews.

An American icon.

Not a big InfoWars fan but...

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This action is playing right into their narrative:

I think that this will backfire on Twitter - the cat is out of the bag and now a lot of people are going to be looking at Alex's website. If Twitter had just kept it's head down, this would have blown over. Instead, they decided to virtue signal and now people know them for what they are, an arm of the deep state.

Finally - Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

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Great news - from Live Science:

Scientist Robbed of Nobel in 1974 Finally Wins $3 Million Physics Prize — And Gives It Away
Jocelyn Bell Burnell is responsible for one of the most important astrophysics discoveries of the 20th century: the radio pulsar. The discovery, which she made as graduate student, earned a Nobel Prize in 1974. And it could one day form the basis of a "galactic positioning system" for navigating outside our solar system.

But Bell Burnell didn't collect the Nobel. Instead, as NPR reported, the award went to her supervisor at the University of Cambridge, Antony Hewish — who had built the necessary radio telescope with her but didn't discover the pulsar.

Now, 34 years later, Bell Burnell has recieved the much heftier Breakthrough Prize for the same discovery, and for her scientific leadership in the years since. In 1974, the Nobel comittee gave away about $124,000 to winners (about $620,000 adjusted for inflation). Hewish would have recieved half of that, after splitting the prize with another radio astronomer who won the same year. The Breakthrough Prize, funded by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Ma Huateng, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki, comes with a prize of $3 million, making it the largest scientific award in the world. [The 18 Biggest Unsolved Mysteries in Physics ]

Bell Burnell told the BBC that she plans to give the money away, setting up a scholarship to support women and ethnic minorities interested in science.

"I don't want or need the money myself, and it seemed to me that this was perhaps the best use I could put to it," she said in her BBC interview, adding that she believes unconscious bias keeps such groups out of science and that the fact of her own status as an outsider at Cambridge helped her make her universe-unlocking discovery.

A very classy lady! Nice that she was finally recognized for her work.

Don't mess with an auctioneer

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A wonderful reaction. The proceedings were interrupted by an alt-right "personality" who would not STFU and kept talking over everyone. Congressman Billy Long came up with the perfect distraction:

Mr. Long was a commercial auctioneer before entering politics. FOX News has more:

Rep. Billy Long, an auctioneer, drowns out protester shouting at Twitter's Jack Dorsey during hearing
Rep. Billy Long, R-Mo., on Wednesday drowned out a protester who was shouting at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey by using an auction call.

Laura Loomer, a far-right activist, was heard shouting pleas at President Trump "because Jack Dorsey is trying to influence the election, to sway the election, to [inaudible] Democrats steal the election."

"That is why he is censoring and shadow banning conservatives," she added.

After Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., repeatedly called for Loomer to stand down in the hearing room, or else risk her removal, Loomer continued — which is when Long stepped in with a fast-talking auctioneer chant to drown her out.

Long chanted for a few minutes as Capitol Police worked to remove Loomer from the House Committee on Energy and Commerce panel.

"I yield back," Long joked to audible laughter, as the protester was escorted from the room.

Perfect.

Another day, another 100 boxes

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Driving back up to the farm to return the store van so it can be used on Friday's shopping run. Spending today dealing with building permits and groundwater issues and then boxing up more stuff. After the van gets back tomorrow, I will load it up again with some furniture including six of the original Space Needle restaurant chairs from the Worlds Fair. Bringing those into the estate sale.

Feels wonderful getting rid of this stuff - can not believe I had been holding on to so much for so long.

And that is it for tonight

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Had a meeting earlier this evening. Dinner and a run to the storage locker and it was a full day. Back to the farm tomorrow.

Serious corporate overreach - JS Bach

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Unreal - from Boingboing:

The future is here today: you can't play Bach on Youtube because Sony says they own his compositions
James Rhodes, a pianist, performed a Bach composition for his Youtube channel, but it didn't stay up -- Youtube's Content ID system pulled it down and accused him of copyright infringement because Sony Music Global had claimed that they owned 47 seconds' worth of his personal performance of a song whose composer has been dead for 300 years.

This is a glimpse of the near future. In one week, the European Parliament will vote on a proposal to force all online services to implement Content ID-style censorship, but not just for videos -- for audio, text, stills, code, everything.

Just last week, German music professor Ulrich Kaiser posted his research on automated censorship of classical music, in which he found that it was nearly impossible to post anything by composers like Bartok, Schubert, Puccini and Wagner, because companies large and small have fraudulently laid claim to their whole catalogs.

Europeans have one week to contact their MEPs to head off this catastrophe.

Stop what you're doing and contact two friends in the EU right now and send them to Save Your Internet -- before it's too late.

Good news from Congress - tax cuts

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From the Washington Examiner:

Paul Ryan: House will vote this month to make individual tax cuts permanent
The House will vote this month on a bill to make permanent the individual tax cuts enacted in December, Republican leaders said Wednesday.

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will not wait for the post-election “lame duck” session to take up the measure, despite opposition from some Republicans who oppose a provision capping state tax deductions.

A bit more:

“We will make those tax cuts permanent,” Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said. Under the law signed by President Trump in December, the cuts are set to expire at the end of 2025.

Bit by bit the deep state is unraveled and starved for money. Wonderful to hear its screams fade away.

Poor Japan

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First the storm and now this - from the Express:

Japan earthquake: Sapporo ROCKED by 6.7 earthquake - landslide traps people in homes
The Magnitude 6.7 quake struck 70 miles south of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The tremor triggered a landslide which covered homes in the rural town of Atsumi trapping residents inside.

People in Sapporo were woken up by strong shaking shortly after 7pm BST (3am Thursday local time) as the earth moved for around 20 seconds.

Japanese TV showed damaged buildings and quoted police as saying some people had been trapped in collapsed structures.

A very bad week for a wonderful nation.

On the island again

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Took the store van and brought my big printer down from the farm - the thing weighs 134 pounds and is 35" wide by 30" deep so it was fun getting it through a narrow doorway. I was planning on bringing my color copier too but there was no room in the van - time to borrow a trailer.

Time for a little break (ice cold diet coke - it's warm out today) and then load up the van with stuff to go into the storage locker.

Aaaand that is it for me tonight

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A couple of YouTubes and then bed. Long day tomorrow. Starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel but not sure if that is the sun or an oncoming train.

Well that didn't take long - Steve Bannon

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It took eight hours to be precise. From Dominic Green writing at Spectator:

Who’s afraid of Steve Bannon?
The New Yorker’s cancellation of Steve Bannon’s appearance at the New Yorker Ideas Festival shows that the New Yorker has no idea what it is doing. Not because it invited Bannon to be interviewed on stage by New Yorker editor David Remnick, but because Remnick reneged on the invitation only eight hours later, and because the reneging was so hasty that it cannot be presented as a thoughtful statement of journalistic principle. It looks more like the result of panic and fear, the emotions that Steve Bannon, by his own admission, exploited so successfully in 2016.

Dominic covers what some of the other participants thought about Bannon's invite and then writes about what we missed by dis-inviting him:

We don’t yet know whether Bannon was only the man for an hour that came and went, or whether his ideas and strategies have lasting purchase on American politics. Getting him on stage in New York might have helped to answer that question. David Remnick is not a stuffed shirt like Anderson Cooper. He’s a proper journalist of the old school. Bannon clearly isn’t stupid, either. He was crucial to outplaying the Clinton machine, perhaps the most successful operation in modern American politics.

Remnick would have given Bannon a serious intellectual testing. Bannon would have worked on Remnick’s blind spots, too. It would have been fascinating, in the way of Ali v. Frazier or Frost v. Nixon or Vidal v. Mailer. If all those bouts seem like ancient history, it is because they are. There isn’t enough serious, open engagement in American politics, and this had the potential to become a classic.After the cancellation, much tweeting was made about how the New Yorker, by inviting Bannon to its Ideas Festival, was ‘normalising’ or ‘mainstreaming’ various forms of extremism. This suggests that many on the left have yet to understand the nature of the shifts taking place around them. The mainstream is not the New Yorker (circulation in 2017: 1.23 million). The mainstream is the massive and raging torrent of social media (circulation frenzied and constant).

So true - this would have been a fascinating thing to watch. So sad that the left stomp out any narrative that doesn't agree with theirs. I welcome new ideas and if I find hard truths that disagree with my narrative, I verify from multiple sources and change my narrative. 9/11 was a big volte-face for me - used to be very liberal and am now very libertarian.

To quote Andrew Wilkow: Liberalism: Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

A clever idea - The Skim Reaper

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Credit Card skimmers are devices added to Credit Card readers that allow malicious types to read the magnetic stripe on a users card as well as record their keystrokes to get the PIN.

Someone finally came up with a card that can be inserted into a suspect reader - it will detect if there are more than one read heads. From the 2018 Usenix Security Symposium:

Fear the Reaper: Characterization and Fast Detection of Card Skimmers
Payment card fraud results in billions of dollars in losses annually. Adversaries increasingly acquire card data using skimmers, which are attached to legitimate payment devices including point of sale terminals, gas pumps, and ATMs. Detecting such devices can be difficult, and while many experts offer advice in doing so, there exists no large-scale characterization of skimmer technology to support such defenses. In this paper, we perform the first such study based on skimmers recovered by the NYPD's Financial Crimes Task Force over a 16 month period. After systematizing these devices, we develop the Skim Reaper, a detector which takes advantage of the physical properties and constraints necessary for many skimmers to steal card data. Our analysis shows the Skim Reaper effectively detects 100% of devices supplied by the NYPD. In so doing, we provide the first robust and portable mechanism for detecting card skimmers.

The paper goes in to a lot of detail - a very elegant hack to cure a very serious problem.

Prayers going out to Japan

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From the London Daily Mail:

Typhoon Jebi smashes Japan: Giant waves and 135mph winds rock the country as train station roof COLLAPSES during the worst storm in 25 years and a MILLION are told to evacuate
A powerful typhoon slammed into western Japan on Tuesday, killing at least nine people and injuring scores of people as more than a million people were told to evacuate amid the worst storm to hit the country in 25 years.

Typhoon Jebi, reportedly the strongest typhoon to make landfall in Japan since 1993, headed north across the main island of Honshu toward the Sea of Japan.

Giant waves and winds of up to 135mph lashed the country, inundating the region's main international airport and blowing a tanker into a bridge, disrupting land and air travel and leaving thousands stranded.

The storm hammered the west coast as it made landfall in the latest severe weather to hit the country this summer following rains, landslides, floods and record-breaking heat that killed hundreds of people.

Some horrible photos and videos at the site. 

Another day, another pile of boxes

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Out the door heading for coffee, post office and then to the condo.

Be really glad when all this is over...

Time for the Tube of You and a little recreational surfing.

Happy birthday eBay

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From the Infogalactic entry for Pierre Omidyar:

In 1995, at the age of 28, Omidyar began to write the original computer code for an online venue to enable the listing of a direct person-to-person auction for collectible items. He created a simple prototype on his personal web page, and on Labor Day, Monday, September 4, 1995, he launched an online service called, Auction Web, which would eventually become the auction site eBay. In May 2003, eBay was successfully sued by Thomas Woolston for patent infringement of online auction software Woolston had invented in the late 1990s. The service was hosted on a website Omidyar had originally created for information on the Ebola virus. The first item sold on the site was a broken laser pointer. Omidyar was astonished that anyone would pay for the device in its broken state, but the buyer assured him that he was deliberately collecting broken laser pointers. Similar surprises followed. The business exploded as correspondents began to register trade goods of an unimaginable variety.

Omidyar incorporated the enterprise; the small fee he collected on each sale financed the expansion of the site. The revenue soon outstripped his salary at General Magic and nine months later, Omidyar decided to dedicate his full attention to his new enterprise.

One of the better Silicon Valley success stories - right place, right idea, right time.

Funding at NIST - an urgent request

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NIST is our National Institute of Standards and Technology - they are now what the National Bureau of Standards used to be - the Federal agency responsible for maintaining all the standards that we use today. Instruments to be calibrated can be sent to them and they will test them against the standards that they maintain - volt, ampere, ohm, pound, yard, second, lumen (light intensity), etc... These are vital to every aspect of our daily life - those self-setting clocks that you can buy get their settings from the two radio stations that NIST runs. I use these signals in my amateur radio work.

Although I am a big believer in cutting wasteful spending, their budget has been cut by 27.8% and one of the products on the chopping block is this radio service.

There are two petitions in to the White House to address this - please go there and sign them.

Maintain funding for NIST stations WWV & WWVH

The Proposed Shutdown of NIST's WWV and WWVH Radio Stations

From the first petition:

NIST station WWV and sister stations are among the oldest radio stations in the United States, having been in continuous operation since May 1920. The station has transmitted the official US Time for nearly 100 years, and is an instrumental part in the telecommunications field, ranging from broadcasting to scientific research and education. Additionally, these stations transmit marine storm warnings from the National Weather Service, GPS satellite health reports, and specific information concerning current solar activity, and radio propagation conditions. These broadcasts are an essential resource to the worldwide communications industry. This petition requests continued funding of these stations be maintained into the 21st century and beyond to ensure future operations.

Dr. Judah Levine is the guy who takes care of the clocks at NIST - he is America's Time Lord - a nice profile:

The petition process is quite nice - it is a White House website - if you get 100,000 signatures in 30 days, the White House will officially respond within 60 days.

Fun at the farm

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Came home to find that my kitchen fridge was at room temperature. Cleaning it out and will do an overmight defrost to see if that helps. The thing is only a few years old. Very annoyed. Not buying Kitchen Aid again.

Dinner time

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Fixing dinner - Bok Choi sauted with toasted sesame oil, crushed ginger, garlic and some oyster sauce. Served over rice. Yummy!

This is just ridiculous - the USA is not anywhere near the top of the plastic pollution heap. We are number 20 on the list and China is by far the worst offender (hard numbers here and here)

20180903-plastic.jpg

Of course, given the source, it is easy to understand the hyperbole - from Mother Jones:

Flushing Your Contacts Does Terrible Things to Our Land and Oceans
For a lot of people, contact lenses are a daily necessity. Market research shows 45 million Americans, about one in eight, wear contacts, meaning the United States alone consumes somewhere between five and 14 billion lenses annually. And now, new research shows all those contact lenses may end up as micro-plastic pollution in our soil, rivers, and oceans.

An estimated 20 percent of contact-lens wearers, studied as part of a 400-person online survey, flush their lenses down the sink or toilet, as opposed to placing them in the trash as industry experts recommend. That amounts to 20 metric tons of plastic, or 20,000 kilograms (about 44,000 pounds), flushed per year—about the weight of a small airplane. The biggest culprit? Daily-use lenses, which occupy about 40 percent of the market.

These people are crazy - there is no other condition that could account for their behaviour. Right out of DSM:

DSM-IV 301.95 Progressive Personality Disorder
A pervasive pattern of progressive political and inter-personal thought and action, rooted in discredited leftist (neo-Marxist) beliefs, beginning in early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by at least five of the following (individual must be at least 18 years of age to qualify for the diagnosis of Progressive Personality Disorder, as many of the criteria are age-appropriate for adolescents). This disorder often coexists with Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

      1. Utopian thinking, e.g. a delusional belief that there exist simple, linear, side effect-free solutions to all social problems.
      2. Lack of historical knowledge and perspective, and repression of personal memories dissonant with this belief system. e.g., the national mood post 9-11, including that of PPD patients, is suppressed in order to avoid conflict with subsequent reversal of beliefs as the PPD delusions were reinstated - hence the downplaying of terrorism as a threat and the obsessive concern for the "rghts" of temporarily feared and hated terrorists. (Note to clinician: please differentiate between mere historical ignorance, e.g., a doctorate in history from an elite university, vs. neurotic or psychotic delusions necessary to sustain these beliefs. )
      3. Anthroplastic delusion, e.g. The delusion that behavioral conditioning performed by the government or some other collective will cure all behavioral and social problems, rooted in denial of fixed human nature. Implicit in this delusion is the idea that human beings are infinitely malleable and subject to behavioral manipulation leading to perfect control and predictability. Free will, personal conscience, and objective morality are denied, devalued or denigrated.

More at Tiny Vital - brilliant satire.

Now this should be fun - Steve Bannon

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From The New York Times:

Steve Bannon Headlines New Yorker Festival
Readers of The New Yorker prize the magazine for its wide-ranging collection of perspectives. From Oct. 5 to 7, The New Yorker Festival, now in its 19th year, will bring some of these voices to venues around New York City.

Political figures feature prominently in this year’s lineup, which includes Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, who will be interviewed by the magazine’s editor, David Remnick, a frequent critic of the administration.

“I have every intention of asking him difficult questions and engaging in a serious and even combative conversation,” Mr. Remnick said in a phone interview.

“The audience itself, by its presence, puts a certain pressure on a conversation that an interview alone doesn’t do,” he added. “You can’t jump on and off the record.”

Bannon is wicked smaht and very articulate. This will be fun to watch. I'll be sure to post YouTube links when the video is put up.

Our government should not be a dynasty

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This is so totally out of touch, it beggars reality. From The Washington Examiner:

Meghan McCain would be a great Senate replacement for her father
Sen. John McCain's passing has left his Senate seat vacant and waiting to be filled by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican. If she's interested in filling that seat, Meghan McCain would deserve immediate support from conservatives.

To be clear, Meghan McCain might not want to be a U.S. senator. And that's fine, no one should ever face pressure to serve in public office unless in the situation of a national emergency. But if McCain is open to replacing her father until a special election can be held in 2020, she would make a great conservative successor to her irreplaceable predecessor.

Ms. McCain is very progressive. The election of President Trump proved the We The People are sick and tired of dynasties both Republican and Democrat.

And that is it for the evening

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Very early start to the day tomorrow so watching a couple YouTube videos and head to an early bedtime...

Holy Christ - here we go again. From NOAA:

20180902-gordon.jpg

New Orleans = Bullseye  May be a fun place but you would never get me to put down roots there.

Happy 159th birthday - The Carrington Event

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From NASA's wonderful Space Weather (a daily read for me)

159 YEARS AGO, A GEOMAGNETIC MEGA-STORM: Picture this: A billion-ton coronal mass ejection (CME) slams into Earth's magnetic field. Campers in the Rocky Mountains wake up in the middle of the night, thinking that the glow they see is sunrise. No, it's the Northern Lights. People in Cuba read their morning paper by the red illumination of aurora borealis. Earth is peppered by particles so energetic, they alter the chemistry of polar ice.

Hard to believe? It really happened--exactly 159 years ago.

As the day unfolded, the gathering storm electrified telegraph lines, shocking technicians and setting their telegraph papers on fire. The "Victorian Internet" was knocked offline. Magnetometers around the world recorded strong disturbances in the planetary magnetic field for more than a week.

The cause of all this was an extraordinary solar flare witnessed the day before by British astronomer Richard Carrington. His sighting on Sept. 1, 1859, marked the discovery of solar flares and foreshadowed a new field of study: space weather. According to a NASA-funded study by the National Academy of Sciences, if a similar "Carrington Event" occurred today, it could cause substantial damage to society's high-tech infrastructure and require years for complete recovery.

Could it happen again? Almost certainly. In a paper published just a few months ago, researchers from the University of Birmingham used Extreme Value Theory to estimate the average time between "Carrington-like flares." Their best answer: ~100 years. In other words, we may be overdue for a really big storm. Read their original research here.

Not only CAN happen, WILL happen. Fortune favors the prepared.

Back on the island

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Put in about 10 hours today sorting crap at the condo. Brought another load of things down to the storage unit on the island. Heading back up to the condo tomorrow early AM to meet with the people staging the sale.

It is so good to be getting rid of all of these accumulations. Ran into a new term the other day: Swedish Death Cleaning. Here is a good article in Country Living:

Everything You Need to Know About 'Swedish Death Cleaning'
You may already know about hygge and lagom — two popular lifestyle trends coined and popularized by the Scandinavians, but have you heard of döstädning?

Döstädning, which means "death cleaning" in English, is a new method of downsizing and organizing from the Swedish author and artist Margareta Magnusson. The approach is designed as an easy way for folks over 50 to purge their homes and organize their possessions in hopes that their children won't be overburdened by their belongings once they pass away, according to The Chronicle. Sure, it sounds morbid, but it's actually a pretty smart idea.

Death cleaning isn't about getting rid of all your stuff, but rather streamlining your life so you're only holding onto what makes you happy. "Death cleaning is not about dusting or mopping up," Magnusson told The Chronicle. "It is about a permanent form of organization that makes your everyday life run more smoothly."

Sounds good to me - should have done this years ago...Number two in line for this book at my local library.

And I am off for the day

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Coffee, post office, condo and then to the farm. More later.

From the Los Angeles Times comes this wonderful bit of schadenfreude:

Democratic leader's call for In-N-Out Burger boycott meets its own resistance
Anthony Grigore is a Democrat. But as he waited Thursday at an In-N-Out Burger in El Segundo for his meal, Grigore made it clear party loyalty would only go so far.

Just hours earlier, the head of the California Democratic Party called for a boycott of the famed burger chain after a public filing revealed that the company had recently donated $25,000 to the state’s Republican Party.

“Eating at In-N-Out is such a standard thing to do across California,” Grigore said, dismissing the boycott idea as a bit silly.

California has emerged as the center of the Democratic resistance since President Trump took office. But this activism might meet its match when it comes to In-N-Out, a California institution that some hold with the same level of esteem as the Golden Gate Bridge and Joshua Tree.

By the end of the day, Democrats were distancing themselves from the idea and Republicans were enjoying a political feast, with some making big lunch orders to show their support for the chain and posting photos on social media.

Attack an institution? You bet it's going to blow up in your face. Talk about being out of touch... Wish that In-N-Out were up here. They make a good burger - better then Five Guys and a lot cheaper.

Magnetic tape data storage

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Yes, really - some fascinating advances being made. From IEEE Spectrum. The author - Mark Lantz - is the manager of the Advanced Tape Technologies at IBM Research Zurich.

Why the Future of Data Storage is (Still) Magnetic Tape
It should come as no surprise that recent advances in big-data analytics and artificial intelligence have created strong incentives for enterprises to amass information about every measurable aspect of their businesses. And financial regulations now require organizations to keep records for much longer periods than they had to in the past. So companies and institutions of all stripes are holding onto more and more.

Studies show [PDF] that the amount of data being recorded is increasing at 30 to 40 percent per year. At the same time, the capacity of modern hard drives, which are used to store most of this, is increasing at less than half that rate. Fortunately, much of this information doesn’t need to be accessed instantly. And for such things, magnetic tape is the perfect solution.

Seriously? Tape? The very idea may evoke images of reels rotating fitfully next to a bulky mainframe in an old movie like Desk Set or Dr. Strangelove. So, a quick reality check: Tape has never gone away!

Indeed, much of the world’s data is still kept on tape, including data for basic science, such as particle physics and radio astronomy, human heritage and national archives, major motion pictures, banking, insurance, oil exploration, and more. There is even a cadre of people (including me, trained in materials science, engineering, or physics) whose job it is to keep improving tape storage.

A long and readable overview of the advancements in data storage. An amazing world we live in.

Also, had completely forgotten about the movie Desk Set - a wonderful comedy directed by Walter Lang and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Don't see it on Netflix but I will try Amazon and see if they have it. Really funny film!

On the road again

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Heading up to Bellingham to work on the condo. More this evening.

October 2018

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