February 2019 Archives

Stacking the deck - CNN and Bernie

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The left are eating themselves - from Tyler at Zero Hedge:

Did CNN Ambush Bernie Sanders With Political Operatives Disguised As Everyday People?
CNN has been accused of ambushing Bernie Sanders and tricking viewers by passing off Democratic political operatives as everyday people during a Monday evening town hall as part of his campaign for the 2020 election. Internet sleuths looked into the backgrounds of those asking Sanders various questions - most of which could be considered fair game to ask a presidential candidate, only to find that there was more than meets the eye as noted by Paste Magazine

For example, Sanders was asked a tough question about allegations of sexual harassment on his 2016 campaign by "American University Student" Shadi Nasab. What CNN didn't mention is that she's also an intern for a large D.C. lobbying firm, Cassidy & Associates. 

Another question came from Tara Ebersole, a humble "Former Biology Professor" according to CNN. She's also the chair of the Baltimore County Democratic Party according to her LinkedIn page. What's more, Ebersole's husband is a Maryland state delegate, and was on Hillary Clinton's leadership council in 2016. 

Abena McAllister was labeled by CNN as a "Mother of Two," but failed to mention that she's also the Charles County Democratic Central Committee Chair

"Maryland Voter" Michelle Gregory is yet another 'everyday person' who turns out to be politically active as the chair of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus

There are several more examples - as nearly everyone who asked Bernie a question is linked to some type of Democratic activism.

One explanation for why so many political operatives asked Bernie question might be that political activists are more likely to choose to participate in a Bernie Sanders town hall. That said, CNN made it appear as though these were 'everyday voters' - not people people involved in politics themselves.

The Democrats don't want Bernie running - he would take away a lot of votes from any other candidate - be a shoe-in for President Trump's second term of office.

UPDATE at the bottom:
From Breitbart:

Exclusive–California Refused 5.6K Requests to Turn over Criminal Illegal Aliens to Federal Officials
In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) Executive Director Dale Wilcox revealed that within a 27-month period, the state of California had failed to honor about 5,600 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers which are the holds ICE agents file to local jails and police to request that an illegal alien be turned over to them for arrest and deportation.

Of these 5,600 failed ICE detainers, more than 3,400 were lodged against an illegal alien who had been classified “level 1” and “level 2” offenders — meaning that these illegal aliens had been charged with crimes like homicide, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, drugs, and fraud.

“The bottom line is, sanctuary cities are neither humane or compassionate,” Wilcox told Breitbart News Tonight. “They’re dangerous policies that cost Americans lives … what will it take for these anti-borders politicians to wake up and put the safety and security of their citizens, their legal residents before the interests of criminal aliens.”

Rapidly becoming a 3rd world shithole. The rich don't care - they are above it all. The poor don't care - they get all sorts of free stuff from the democrats. The people in the middle are moving out in droves.

UPDATE: Moving out in droves - from San Francisco station KRON:

Bay Area residents ditching high cost of living and moving away
Whether it's traffic, the lack of affordable housing, high taxes or all of the above, a growing number of Bay Area home owners are cashing in and moving out.

They are trying to escape the high cost living here says Windemere Silicon Valley President Myron Von Raesfeld.

“That quality of life that was once prevalent here in the Bay Area for everybody has slowly over time has passed up the lower and middle class people and pushed them out,” Von Raesfeld.

Von Raesfeld has found a niche, advising people who are moving on. He recently helped the owners of a 40-year old bungalow in Santa Clara relocate to Texas where they bought this brand new home about 40 miles outside of Austin.

KRON4’s Rob Fladeboe spoke with Michelle and Michael Rakow via skype. “We wound up selling out and taking the money and paying off the house and buying something elsewhere the cost of living is much less expensive.”

A new study by redfin shows about 24-percent of online searches in the Bay Area are looking for a home out of state.

And the U Haul index bears this out - from a few minutes ago:



It costs 2.3 times more as the demand for trucks in San Francisco is that much higher. U Haul spends a lot of money running the trucks back to SF.

Talk about clueless - from Jordanian news outlet Al Bawaba:

Ex-PM Malki Divulges Hot Secrets of How US Supported ISIS to Gain Power in Iraq
Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has for the first time divulged explosive secrets about how the United States supported ISIS and intentionally allowed the Takfiri terror outfit to gain power in Iraq so that Washington could creep back into the Arab country.

Maliki, who served as PM between 2006 and 2014, told a local TV station on Sunday that the administration of former US President Barack Obama had played a key role in the creation of ISIS by allowing the terrorist group to overrun Iraqi territories.

According to the former premier, in 2013, the US provided Iraq with intelligence and aerial imagery pinpointing ISIS militants who had lined up behind Iraqi borders in Syria in large groups, waiting to cross into Iraq after what they thought was going to be the imminent fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Much more at the site. It is unbelievable that this was allowed to happen - our governmental checks and ballances should have kicked in. Obama will go down as the worst, most corrupt President in history.

Great camoflauge

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Great horned owl in its native habitat:


A comparison - two men:

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From Ars Technica:

PG&E: It’s likely our equipment was “ignition point” for deadly Camp Fire
In a statement on Thursday, California utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) told investors that it would take a $10.5 billion charge related to the deadly Camp Fire that burned through Northern California in November of last year.

"Although the cause of the 2018 Camp Fire is still under investigation, based on the information currently known to the company and reported to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and other agencies, the company believes it is probable that its equipment will be determined to be an ignition point of the 2018 Camp Fire," PG&E told investors.

The utility goes on to state that its Caribou-Palermo 115 kilovolt (kV) transmission line deenergized approximately 15 minutes before a PG&E employee observed a fire in the vicinity of a tower on the line. In addition, "a suspension insulator supporting a transposition jumper had separated from an arm" on the tower in question.

What is it with socialist states and deferred infrastructure maintenance?

Graft - California and Labor Unions

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This suit should be interesting to follow - from Reason:

Developer Sues Labor Groups Over Use of California Environmental Laws To Stop Construction
A property developer in California is taking two labor unions to court, accusing them of abusing the state's oppressive environmental review processes in order to get union workers hired on projects.

The project:

This is infill development, eliminating actual blight (a commercial building that has been abandoned for decades), bringing more housing to a heavily Latino community with a median household income of around $46,000. This is the kind of development everybody should support. It's even next to a planned mass transit rail line extension.

And the suit:

What on earth does the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters and the local chapter of the Laborers Union of North America have to do with evaluating the air quality of construction projects? The lawsuit from Icon argues that the union isn't really terribly concerned about traffic density. It's all about the money. Icon is accusing the two unions involved of violating federal racketeering and antitrust laws. Icon claims that the union's environmental challenge is happening because the developers declined to sign an agreement to use only union labor.

Graft pure and simple. The unions buy the politicians on the City Council.
The article links to a story in the Los Angeles Times:

In the months leading up to a City Council vote, the two unions warned that the project would have negative effects on traffic, air quality and other issues. Yet behind the scenes, union officials offered to drop their environmental challenge if the Icon Co. agreed to hire only unionized construction workers, the developer's lawsuit states.

The project was approved regardless of the unions protest - it added 600 apartments and there is a serious shortage of housing. I hope there is a decisive victory for Icon - the unions have become too politically powerful in the last 20 years. They are now an arm of the state - protecting workers rights is just a sideline for them now.

Seven years ago - Trayvon Martin

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Seven years ago, George Zimmerman defended himself against a violent attack and the media pushed a narrative that was completely incongruous with the facts. Bill Whittle did an excellent video outlining the reality:

William A. Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has a lot more:

Seven years after Trayvon Martin shooting, the falsehoods, propaganda and misinformation are worse than ever
Seven years ago George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in lawful self-defense, as Martin beat Zimmerman to a bloody pulp Mixed Martial Arts style. Martin died of a single shot.

The eyewitness and forensic evidence introduced at trial corroborated Zimmerman’s account of being sucker punched in the nose, something Martin had bragged in text messages, kept from the jury, was his preferred method of starting fights. An eyewitness witnessed the beating, and the forensics were completely consistent with Zimmerman’s account.

Zimmerman did not have to rely on the Stand Your Ground law because SYG only addresses the duty to retreat, something Zimmerman could not do because he was pinned to the ground on his back with his head being smashed.

Much more at the site. The bias in today's media is unreal.

The weather in Arizona

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Setting records - from the Flagstaff, AZ FOX News affiliate:

Winter storm brings record snowfall to parts of Arizona
A winter storm sweeping across the Southwest has set records in Arizona with heavy snowfall in the high country and significant rain in the desert.

Flagstaff on Thursday had a new single-day snowfall record of 35.9 inches at the airport, breaking the city's previous mark of 31.0 inches set in 1915.

What global warming?

Typical - spend all the money on hot-ticket items and fail to maintain the core infrastructure. From Bloomberg:

America’s Cities Are Running on Software From the ’80s
The only place in San Francisco still pricing real estate like it’s the 1980s is the city assessor’s office. Its property tax system dates back to the dawn of the floppy disk. City employees appraising the market work with software that runs on a dead programming language and can’t be used with a mouse. Assessors are prone to make mistakes when using the vintage software because it can’t display all the basic information for a given property on one screen. The staffers have to open and exit several menus to input stuff as simple as addresses. To put it mildly, the setup “doesn’t reflect business needs now,” says the city’s assessor, Carmen Chu.

San Francisco rarely conjures images of creaky, decades-old technology, but that’s what’s running a key swath of its government, as well as those of cities across the U.S. Politicians can often score relatively easy wins with constituents by borrowing money to pay for new roads and bridges, but the digital equivalents of such infrastructure projects generally don’t draw the same enthusiasm. “Modernizing technology is not a top issue that typically comes to mind when you talk to taxpayers and constituents on the street,” Chu says. It took her office almost four years to secure $36 million for updated assessors’ hardware and software that can, among other things, give priority to cases in which delays may prove costly. The design requirements are due to be finalized this summer.

And the "update" will come in two years late, way over budget and will not be as functional as the old software. Been around these systems for too long to know differently. When I had my first computer store, I sold a lot to the University and to the State. Dropped them as although they paid full retail, it routinely took them more than 60 days to cut a check and I grew tired of dealing with the bureaucracy.

Out for coffee

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Heading out for the usual - planning to get to Maple Falls later today. Couple of things to do here first.

Interesting times

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Stuff happening with North Korea and in Canada. Looks like Trudeau might be heading out - major corruption scandal just breaking and fat-boy Kim tried to get the sanctions dropped and President Trump said no.

More as things come to light...

Smart phones - a rant

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Great rant at American Institute for Economic Research:

Don’t Blame Technology, Blame Yourself
An older woman and her middle-aged son were at a public restaurant for Thanksgiving. He spent the whole of the dinner flipping through his phone, without uttering a word. She did her best to maintain her dignity while looking past him and trying to pretend that this is what life is like. This tragic scene lasted until they paid the bill and left.

The scene was relayed to me by a senior in college who explains how her generation is figuring out the right and wrong ways to use new technology, correcting for the errors of their parents, who somehow allowed their lives to be drained by the newness of it all.

Zak Tebbal drew the perfect cartoon for how our relationship to our smartphones has changed over the last 10 years.


Sadly so true - I will be out for a bite to eat or a beer and see couples both on their phones or one and the other one staring out into space. These things have their use but they should not be a constant distraction. What really gets me is seeing kids in a store plugged into their tablet watching cartoons. This is a cheap and effective way to keep little junior quiet but it is having a profound effect on their future mental development.

Out for a bit

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The beef stew was really good today too. I was in Mt. Vernon today so picked up another of those small loaves. Really tasty but a bit pricey. Costco has good classic baguettes and they freeze well. Think I'll go back to these.

Heading out for a beer or two.

Cold weather

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A lot of it going around these days:

Brundage Mountain sees record snowfall in February, topping four feet in the last week

Record snowfall hammers Central Oregon - Biggest February snowstorm in 118 years

More roof collapses add urgency to Quebec's warning to building owners

How cold is it? Phoenix shatters 122-year-old temperature record

And that Las Vegas dusting?

CNN reported it as a dusting:

The hottest show in Las Vegas right now is the snow
Oh, the things you can do in Sin City. You can gamble, hit up an all-you-can eat buffet or catch a show.

But, this month at least, the best show just might be outside.

A winter storm working its way through the Southwest dusted Las Vegas with half an inch of snow Wednesday, a record for this date, according to the National Weather Service.

The video is showing a lot more than a half inch. Wonder if the media is starting to get worried about the global warming narrative...

Just wow - gymnastics through the years

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Great video:

Interesting - Amazon

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From GeekWire:

Amazon backs out of massive Seattle office tower as questions swirl about growth plans
Amazon has placed a high-profile Seattle office project on the sublease market, signaling plans to scale down its growth in its hometown.

A marketing flier obtained by GeekWire confirms that the tech giant is seeking new tenants for its office space in Rainier Square, a building under construction that will one day be the city’s second-tallest skyscraper. Amazon had leased all 30 floors of office space in the building. After weeks of rumors, the listing was made official over the weekend, according to real estate brokers familiar with the marketing efforts. Amazon will make all of the office space it leased in Rainier Square available to other companies.

The skyscraper project, once an emblem of Amazon’s ambitions in Seattle’s urban core, now becomes a symbol of its uncertain future in its hometown. The move follows Amazon’s decision to back out of its HQ2 project in New York City after opposition there, amid signs that the company will focus its Seattle-area growth in nearby Bellevue, Wash.

Interesting - the article points to another article about how Amazon was not pleased with the head tax designed to fund free shit for homeless people. I bet that Bellevue does not have this head tax.

WTF - snow

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Went out to unpack the Highlander and it was snowing. Very lightly and it was not sticking but seriously WTF?

Oregon is digging out from their massive snowfall - 18,300 customers without power.

Two headlines from the New York Times

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ShotThe $15 Minimum Wage Is Here. Why We Need $33 an Hour.

ChaserAfter Winning a $15 Minimum Wage, Fast Food Workers Now Battle Unfair Firings

The actual minimum wage is $0.00 - it is the job of the employee to improve themselves to the point where they bring value to the employer. Anything else distorts the economics of the business.

And I am back

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Stopped off at the YMCA and worked out for 90 minutes - been slacking in that regard and I always feel so much better a couple days after doing a strenious drill. Planning to start on free weights for strength building but want to take a class for that first. Easier to learn good habits than to have to get rid of bad ones.

Saw that Alita Battle Angel was playing at the local theater - definitely want to catch that on the big screen. Directed by Robert Rodriguez, written by James Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis with sound track by Tom Holkenborg (who is one of my favorite contemporary composers and he has a great YouTube channel).

Mt. Vernon for a little bit

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Buying some shelving at Lowe's - looked at Home Depot and Lowe's had the better design. Working at home today - heading up to MF tomorrow. Sticky Island Syndrome strikes again...

Happy International Polar Bear Day

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From the website:

PBI's International Polar Bear Day is February 27th!
Every year, this global event draws attention to the challenges polar bears face in a warming Arctic—and how we each can help.

Sea ice loss from climate change is the single biggest threat to polar bears. No matter where you live or what you do, you can play a role in turning this around.

Using less energy produced by carbon-based fuels reduces our carbon emissions and can slow and even stop global warming, in turn saving the sea ice that polar bears require to efficiently hunt their seal prey. Without sea ice, polar bears will decline in range and numbers, making them vulnerable to extinction in the future.

But it’s not just about polar bears. The recent U.N. report on climate change outlines devastating impacts for people—from droughts to floods to massive storms—unless we greatly reduce carbon emissions.

Sigh - turns out to be yet another non-scientific advocacy group shilling for the anthropogenic global warming crowd. The arctic ice is at record levels and the polar bears are doing wonderfully - there is zero need to "save them". From two years ago - the Global Warming Policy Foundation:

On the occasion of International Polar Bear Day, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is calling on the U.S. Administration to re-assess the ‘endangered species’ status of polar bears.

On May 15, 2008, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The listing is based on the assumption that loss of sea ice threatens and will likely continue to threaten polar bear habitat.

In a GWPF video released today, Dr Susan Crockford, a Canadian wildlife expert, documents the latest findings about rising polar bear numbers.

In 2005, the official global polar bear estimate was about 22,500.

Since 2005, however, the estimated global polar bear population has risen by more than 30% to about 30,000 bears, far and away the highest estimate in more than 50 years.

The arctic ice cap is larger than usual this year and is still growing.

We have Fake News. We also have Fake Science. Both are driven by agenda and narrative and have nothing to do with truth or reality. All of the scare-mongering is spewed by people using tweaked computer models for their numbers. These simpletons do not go outside and take a measurement.

Heading out for coffee and breakfast

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Up to Mt. Vernon to buy some shelving for a project here. Probably head to M.F. tomorrow instead of today.

Coffee, post office and library first.

Another vandalism by idiots

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Shows what caliber of intellect we are dealing with - from the Raleigh, NC CBS affiliate:

Confederate monument vandals take aim at wrong Lee statue in Dunn
DUNN, N.C. (WNCN) -- The controversy surrounding Confederate monuments has resulted in the vandalism of statues across the South.

“Never even thought it would affect us in any way at all,” said Mark Johnson, Curator of the General William C. Lee Airborne Museum in Dunn.

Johnson thought for sure a statue of General William C. Lee would be safe from the chaos.

“This is a hometown grown boy here that turned out to be an international hero of World War II so to come and try to destroy his statue is just an insult to everybody,” said Johnson.

Police say someone doused the statue in some kind of a flammable liquid and set it on fire.

“I think it was a big mistake,” said Johnson. “Why would you do something like this? It really just irritates people.”

Johnson thinks the vandals wanted to make a statement about slavery and racism and he thinks the vandals could use a history lesson.

“I was surprised that anybody would do that to this museum statue,” Johnson said. “This is not a Civil War museum and this is not Robert E. Lee. This is General William C. Lee from United States Army Airborne from World War II, so I was hurt and surprised that somebody would actually do this.”

Talk about a special kind of stupid. The progressives beclown themselves.

The Tube of You

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A lot of good welding and fabrication sites out there. Learning a lot.

Record number of jobs - it just keeps getting better and better. The press release from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles:

FCA to Expand Production Capacity in Michigan to Grow Core Brands, Electrify Jeep® Vehicles
$4.5 Billion to Build New Assembly Plant in Detroit and Add Production at Five Existing Michigan Facilities, Creating Nearly 6,500 Jobs

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU / MTA: FCA) confirmed today plans to invest a total of $4.5 billion in five of its existing Michigan plants, and to work with the city of Detroit and state of Michigan on building a new assembly plant within city limits. The move would increase capacity to meet growing demand for its Jeep® and Ram brands, including production of two new Jeep branded white space products as well as electrified models. The proposed projects would create nearly 6,500 new jobs. 

The plant actions detailed in today’s announcement represent the next steps in a U.S. manufacturing realignment FCA began in 2016. In response to a shift in consumer demand toward SUVs and trucks, the Company discontinued compact car production and retooled plants in Illinois, Ohio and Michigan to make full use of available capacity to expand the Jeep and Ram brands. Those actions have resulted in the recent launches of the award-winning all-new Jeep Wrangler and all-new Ram 1500, and the introduction of the newest member of the Jeep family, the all-new Jeep Gladiator, at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

It was under the previous president's tenure that Chrysler sunk so low that they were bought out by Italian company Fiat. From the 2016 Presidential Debates:

The difference between narrative and real leadership. 2020 will be fun to watch - the Democrats have nobody. Again, if John F. Kennedy were running today, I would vote for him in a heartbeat. Today, the Overton Window has shifted too far.

Back home - a global warming two-fer

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Yum! - Beef Stew

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Came out really well. Meat was fork tender and luscious. Made a bunch so I will get a few more dinners out of it. I was at the food coop today and noticed that their bakery does small bread loaves. Think of a quarter baguette. Nice and crusty. Some Kerrygold butter and I was in heaven. Stuffed but happy.

Heading out for a beer or two - back later.

Time to fix dinner

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The chuck steak should be done by now - getting ready to fix a big pot of beef stew.

Planning to head up to MF tomorrow - another load of stuff and look in on the critters.

As the mask slips - Democrats

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Disgusting. Several states have recently passed laws allowing legal abortions as late as birth. Yes. You did read that correctly.

Our House of Representatives put forward H.R. 4712 to counter the worst of these laws:

H.R.4712 - Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
This bill amends the federal criminal code to require any health care practitioner who is present when a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion to: (1) exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to any other child born alive at the same gestational age, and (2) ensure that such child is immediately admitted to a hospital. The term "born alive" means the complete expulsion or extraction from his or her mother, at any stage of development, who after such expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut.

And it prompted this - from FOX News:

Dems block 'born alive' bill to provide medical care to infants who survive failed abortions
Senate Democrats on Monday blocked a Republican bill that would have threatened prison time for doctors who don't try saving the life of infants born alive during failed abortions, leading conservatives to wonder openly whether Democrats were embracing "infanticide" to appeal to left-wing voters.

All prominent Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls in the Senate voted down the measure, including Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. The final vote was 53-44 to end Democratic delaying tactics -- seven votes short of the 60 needed.

Three Democrats joined Republicans to support the bill -- Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Doug Jones of Alabama. Three Republicans did not vote, apparently because of scheduling issues and plane flight delays -- including Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

Democrats advocating murder? I can see a case for retroactive birth control. Talk about being craven and amoral.

Great quote

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"They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent.
They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world
into a gigantic post office."
--Ludwig von Mises

Trouble at the top - Bernie

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Looks like some troubled waters - from NBC News:

The chief strategist of the Vermont independent's 2016 campaign and two other aides cited creative differences as they parted ways.
In a major shake-up to Bernie Sanders' just-launched presidential bid, some of his top strategists have left the campaign.

Tad Devine, Mark Longabaugh and Julian Mulvey, partners in a political consulting firm who all played leading roles in Sanders' 2016 campaign for the White House, are parting ways with the senator, citing creative differences.

"The entire firm has stepped away. We're leaving the campaign," Longabaugh told NBC News on Tuesday. "We just didn't have a meeting of the minds."

Difficult to have a meeting of the minds when one party has a very confused one. Muddled thought is not leadership.

No surprise there - urban mental health

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No brainer article at The London Times:

Growing up near green spaces is linked to better mental health
Children who grow up in greener surroundings have a greatly reduced risk of developing mental illnesses later in life, research suggests.

A study that tracked almost a million people found that those who were raised among the lowest levels of green space were as much as 55 per cent more likely to develop disorders such as substance abuse, stress-related illnesses and schizophrenia.

Also interesting:

The link to good mental health was just as strong for those who lived in green areas of cities as for those who grew up deep in the countryside.

I grew up in a very urban part of Pittsburgh, PA but spent a lot of time in nearby parks and we vacationed in Colorado every other year. For me, being in the country (or farmland) is very grounding and peaceful. I was up in Mt. Vernon earlier today and instead of taking the freeway back home, I took a country road that I like - it was gorgeous and not that much slower as the limit is 55 and most people were driving at 60MPH.

Interesting too that the homeless flock to cities. In Maple Falls, we may get one or two "crispy" people trying to put down roots each year but they never last more than a month or so.

MAGA Hats - Crazy Detector

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Make America Great Again hats cause interesting behaviour - here and here for two examples and there are a lot more out there. Here is one more with some delightful unintended consequences. First, from Boston, MA 25 News:

Woman arrested for assaulting man wearing MAGA hat on Cape Cod
A woman on Cape Cod is facing charges for assaulting a man wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat.

Rosiane Santos, 41, of Falmouth was charged with disorderly conduct and assault and battery.

Santos told police she was upset the man was wearing the hat in a Mexican restaurant.

The man wearing the hat, 23-year-old Bryton Turner of Mashpee, was so annoyed with the woman's antics that he pulled out his phone and started recording her.

The incident occurred last Friday at the "Casa Vallarta" Mexican restaurant in Falmouth.

A bit more - Macaro is a bartender at the restaurant:

As Falmouth police officers were escorting Santos out of the restaurant, Macarao said she took another swipe at Turner.

"I couldn’t imagine somebody just coming up and hitting them when there’s cops right here," Macarao said.

"She just tried to grab my hat in front of four officers, not smart," Turner said.

And the unintended consequences - from Boston Magazine:

Woman who Knocked MAGA Hat off Falmouth Man’s Head Facing Deportation
Rosiane Santos was arrested for assault after harassing 23-year-old Bryton Turner at a Mexican restaurant.

A bit more:

ICE announced Tuesday it has begun deportation proceedings against Rosiane Santos, 41, who was seen on video knocking a red-and-white “Make America Great Again” hat off the head of 23-year-old Bryton Turner on Friday, February 15 at the restaurant Casa Vallarta. She is from Brazil and is in the country illegally, the agency says.

“Santos is currently facing local charges for assault and other offenses. She is presently in ICE custody and has been entered into removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts,” says ICE spokesman John Mohan has said in a statement to CBS Boston.

Just goes to show, they are sending their best and brightest. Crazy Detector? From Reddit r/The_Donald:

Easiest way to diagnose TDS; wear a hat

And three of the comments:

But it's not a hat, it's a crazy detector.

MAGA hats are the new glasses from "They Live."
Wearing the hat shows you exactly who is diseased with TDS.

We came here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and we're all out of bubble gum.

So true - amazing how people are so easily triggered.

Out for a bit

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Coffee, post office, library, some errands and then working at home.

Got the chuck steak in the Sous Vide so beef stew for dinner tonight.

Fun times in Oregon

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First, from USA Today:

Nearly 200 Amtrak passengers stranded for over 24 hours on Oregon train
An Amtrak train that hit a down tree in Oregon stranded 183 passengers for more than 24 hours.

The train, headed to Los Angeles from Seattle, stopped in Oakridge, Oregon, around 6:20 p.m. Sunday. By Monday night, passengers remained stuck inside the train as heavy snow and road closures in the area reportedly made it difficult to get to them.

Amtrak chief operating officer Scot Naparstek told USA TODAY in a statement that the company worked with local resources to rescue the passengers, who were in route to Eugene, Oregon, on Tuesday morning. The company said no one was injured.

Meanwhile - from Oregon Public Broadcasting:

Record-Breaking Snow In Central Oregon; Eugene Sees 8.5 Inches
Monday was a record-breaking snow day in Central Oregon, as winter storm systems closed schools and businesses on both sides of the Cascades, including the Redmond airport.

The National Weather Service recorded 12.5 inches falling on Bend over a 24-hour period. That broke a century-old record for February, as flurries continued accumulating Monday afternoon. It was the fifth snowiest winter day in Bend since record-keeping started in 1901.

Prineville also got a superlative 24-hour dump, with 9.9 inches breaking the previous record of 1.5 inches for Feb. 25 snowfall, set in 1924. Monday marked the second highest single day accumulation for a single day in February in the town’s history.

Shades of the Donner Party - wonder if they will eat the vegans first.

More global warming

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Clickable headlines:

Where is the supposed warming? Meanwhile - from Spaceweather:

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 26 days
2019 total: 40 days (70%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)

Sunspots are an indication of solar output - the more spots, the warmer the sun.

Got nuffin

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Back in a few...

Well crap - RIP Mark Hollis

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From The Guardian:

Mark Hollis, lead singer of Talk Talk, dies at age 64, reports say
Figures from the world of music have paid tribute to Mark Hollis, frontman of the band Talk Talk, after it was reported that he had died at the age of 64.

With Hollis as its singer and creative mastermind, the group made a name with 1980s hit singles such as It’s My LifeTodayTalk Talk and Life’s What You Make It. They progressed to albums like Spirit of Eden, which was hailed as a “masterpiece,” and Laughing Stock.

His cousin-in-law Anthony Costello tweeted on Monday: “RIP Mark Hollis. Cousin-in-law. Wonderful husband and father. Fascinating and principled man. Retired from the music business 20 years ago but an indefinable musical icon.”

I have a bunch of their music already ripped onto the hard drive. Really liked them. 64 is way to young.

Back home again

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The video cables came in this afternoon. When running DaVinci Resolve, there is the option for a third display - this shows the final video as it is being edited. I have a nice television up on the wall so figured that would be a perfect display to use. Got a 20 foot display-port to HDMI cable from Amazon. Got two similar 10 foot ones too as my existing 6 foot cables were too short to be able to put the media computer on the floor. It takes a lot of real estate on my Dad's old writing desk so I will now be able to move it off the top and onto the floor.

It clouded over and the light is pretty flat so I didn't go out shooting. Oh well...

Spaced out on getting the chuck steak into the Sous Vide cooker so will do beef stew tomorrow. Heading out for some pasta tonight in a little bit.

Got all the paperwork and bills taken care of - taxes next. Got that paperwork separated and set aside so it shouldn't be too arduous. Using TurboTax this year but looking for alternatives. Using GnuCash for bookkeeping.

Great news on the climate front

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From The Washington Post:

White House to set up panel to counter climate change consensus, officials say
The White House plans to create an ad hoc group of select federal scientists to reassess the government’s analysis of climate science and counter conclusions that the continued burning of fossil fuels is harming the planet, according to three senior administration officials.

The National Security Council initiative would include scientists who question the severity of climate impacts and the extent to which humans contribute to the problem, according to these individuals, who asked for anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

The group would not be subject to the same level of public disclosure as a formal advisory committee.

The move would represent the Trump administration’s most forceful effort to date to challenge the scientific consensus that greenhouse gas emissions are helping drive global warming and that the world could face dire consequences unless countries curb their carbon output over the next few decades.

The idea of a new working group, which top administration officials discussed Friday in the White House Situation Room, represents a modified version of an earlier plan to establish a federal advisory panel on climate and national security. That plan — championed by William Happer, an NSC senior director and a physicist who has challenged the idea that carbon dioxide could damage the planet — would have created an independent federal advisory committee.

This is wonderful news. There is no consensus in science - the idea that all these scientists agree is preposterous. The whole concept of science is that theories are subject to dissection and analysis until proven. The core tenet of global warming - the hockey stick chart has been proven to be a fabrication. Its creator - Michael Mann - took one of his major critics to court and was found in contempt for not releasing core data to the court. This data was gathered with public funds (National Science Foundation grant) and was therefore legally in the public domain.

For President Trump to set up an independent ad hoc group of scientists not slaves at the AGW plantation is much needed. More people die from cold than from heat and everything points to a coming cold period.

Ho Li Crap - measles

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Major outbreak in Madagascar - from USA Today:

900 people died of measles in Madagascar outbreak. Could that happen in the U.S.?
As public health officials monitor a measles outbreak in Washington state, the World Health Organization says a separate measles epidemic in Madagascar has killed more than 900 people.

Since the outbreak began in September, the country in East Africa has seen more than 68,000 cases of the highly infectious disease, according to WHO. The organization says 553 people have died and an additional 373 are suspected to have died because of the measles. Babies are most at risk.

Could something like that happen in the U.S.? WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said the high death toll and number of infections has been blamed on a low immunization rate, less than 60 percent, for measles across the island. In the U.S., more than 90 percent of Americans do get recommended immunizations, according to CDC data. So, an outbreak of that size in America would be rare, but health officials are concerned that measles cases could increase with a growing anti-vaccination trend.

Not vaccinating your children is the worst kind of child abuse possible.

A change of career - Weiner

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From the London Daily Mail:

EXCLUSIVE: It's Weedergate! Anthony Weiner ditches politics for the marijuana business, telling potential investors 'the sexual stuff shouldn't matter' days after his release from prison
Anthony Weiner is swapping politics for the marijuana business and told a potential investor to downplay his 'sexual stuff', DailyMail.com has learned exclusively.

The convicted sex offender, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to sexting a 15-year-old girl after DailyMail.com exposed his sexual correspondence with the teen, was pictured on Friday having a breakfast meeting in downtown Manhattan.

Weiner, casually dressed and wearing his favorite Mets baseball cap, chatted for around 30 minutes with an unidentified man at Peet's Coffee in Union Square, just steps from his former luxury apartment building.

A bit more:

The source told DailyMail.com: 'Weiner said how his ''sexual stuff'' shouldn't matter and how he could be in the background, behind-the-scenes.'

The source also said Weiner mentioned 'talking to people in Colorado and California' and 'Chinese manufacturing'.

'It then became obvious that Weiner was talking about a weed-related business,' the insider said.

'Weiner said, ''I don't know anything about hydroponics, distributing.''

Change is good - I really wonder what he is bringing to the table though. He has no political connections any more and his name is a joke to the general public.

As it develops - Venezuela

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From Yahoo / Agence France-Presse:

Venezuela's Guaido meets Pence in anti-Maduro strategy talks
United States Vice President Mike Pence told Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido that Donald Trump supports him "100 percent" as the pair met regional allies on Monday to thrash out a strategy to remove Nicolas Maduro from power after the failed attempt to ship in humanitarian aid.

The meeting comes after four people were killed and hundreds injured as Guaido supporters clashed with Venezuelan security forces on the borders with Colombia and Brazil over the weekend.

The Lima group met in Bogota vowing "to find a peaceful solution," Peru's Foreign Affairs Minister Hugo de Zela said, despite Guaido's previous call to consider "all measures" to free Venezuela's population.

Remove him and take his money - Maduro is spectacularly wealthy.

Done with lunch - to work

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Paperwork and bills. Do this while ripping CDs - each CD takes about ten minutes to rip so it's a nice work flow - hear the beep from the computer, get up and change the CD, walk around for a little bit and then back to the desk until the next beep.

As the pendulum swings back - Pro Life

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Nice article from CNS News:

Poll: Dramatic Shift to Pro-Life Side Among Democrats and Young People
A new, national survey on the heels of legislation in New York and Virginia to allow abortion up to the moment of birth shows a major shift to the pro-life side among Democrats and young people, according to the Marist College for Public Opinion and the Knights of Columbus. 

The Feb. 12-17 survey revealed that in just one month, the number of Democrats who identified as pro-life shifted from 20% to 34%. Also, the number of Democrats identifying as "pro-choice" fell from 75% to 61%. That's a 14-percentage point swing in only four weeks. 

For Americans age 45 and younger, the shift was from 28% identifying as pro-life four weeks ago to 47% today; the percentage of young people who said they were "pro-choice" fell from 65% to 48%.

These young people are not stupid, they have just been fed a load of codswallop from social sites and their school system and the media.

Another "hate crime"

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Sick - from The Detroit News:

Jackson gay rights leader accused of burning down own home
When the home of Nikki Joly burned down in 2017, killing five pets, the FBI investigated it as a hate crime.

After all, the transgender man and gay rights activist had received threats after having a banner year in this conservative town.

In the prior six months, he helped open the city’s first gay community center, organized the first gay festival and, after 18 years of failed attempts, helped lead a bruising battle for an ordinance that prohibits discrimination against gays.

For his efforts, a local paper named him the Citizen of the Year.

Aaaand wait for it:

Authorities later determined the fire was intentionally set, but the person they arrested came as a shock to both supporters and opponents of the gay rights movement. It was the citizen of the year — Nikki Joly.

What makes this especially heinous is that Joly did not own the house - it was a rental and that  two German Shepherds and three cats were in the house and died when the fire was set.

Cute cartoon

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Found over at Bayou Renaissance Man:


Back again

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Dropped off six CDs and picked up 11 more to rip. The video cables were not in yet - sometimes the mail doesn't get sorted until 3:00PM so I will swing by then.

Gorgeous day today and tomorrow is supposed to be just as nice. Not a cloud in the sky. Looks like we might get some good light so I will put the cameras in the car when I go out later this afternoon - drive around on another Wild Goose Chase.

Doing some laundry and cleaning up around here - got some paperwork to do as well. Putter in the garage for a while too. Want to build a stand for my heat treating furnace.

Heading out for a bit

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Library opens in a few minutes. Getting some coffee and checking the post office (got some video cables due from Amazon). Got a load of laundry running - spending today working at home.

Thawing out a chuck steak - feels like a good day for beef stew. I'll sous vide the chuck for a couple of hours first so it will be nice and tender.

Bill Maher on red / blue states

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Clueless - from Newsweek:

Bill Maher ridiculed red state voters in a segment about Amazon’s HQ2 locations, saying that the rich and educated people of America live in blue states.

“That’s why red state voters are so pissed off. They don’t hate us, they want to be us,” the Real Time host said on Friday night. “They want to go the party. It’s like we’re the British royal family and they’re Meghan Markle’s dad.”

Then why are people fleeing places like California, Illinois and New York? A bit more:

"We have chef Wolfgang Puck, they have Chef Boyardee"

Chef Ettore Boiardi was actually quite the big deal - from InfoGalactic:

Ettore followed his brother Paolo to the kitchen of the Plaza Hotel in New York City, working his way up to head chef. While working at The Greenbrier hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, he directed the catering for the reception of President Woodrow Wilson's 1915 wedding. He also supervised the preparation of the homecoming meal served by Woodrow Wilson at the White House for 2,000 returning World War I soldiers. His entrepreneurial skill became polished and well known when he opened his first restaurant, Il Giardino d'Italia, whose name translates as "The Garden of Italy", at East 9th Street and Woodland Avenue in Cleveland, in 1926. The patrons of Il Giardino d'Italia frequently asked for samples and recipes of his spaghetti sauce, so he filled cleaned milk bottles.

Sure, his name has morphed into an example of mediocre processed food but he started out just as famous as Wolfgang Puck and his name has been a household presence for 93 years. Let's see if Mr. Puck has that kind of longevity...

Great news for workers but the left are scrambling to deal with it - from FOX News:

Loads of American workers are dropping out of unions – Now liberals have a new plan to save left's cash cow
Government labor unions are losing dues-paying members at an unprecedented rate, which is good news for workers and bad news for liberal coffers. The mass exodus is forcing leaders on the left to address a serious problem: Their decades of financial backing from fat cat union bosses may be coming to an end.

Thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark right-to-work ruling last June (Janus v. AFSCME) and the Freedom Foundation’s efforts to inform public employees of the court’s decision, more than 40,000 union members on the West Coast have defected during the past six months alone. Now that government workers have a choice to leave their unions, they are fleeing in droves.

The sharp decline in membership probably explains why union leaders have hatched a scheme in Oregon that they hope will become a playbook for the rest of the nation.

What Oregon is proposing:

The measure would replace Oregon’s existing agency fee laws by creating a slush fund from which state and local government would pay the equivalent of each employee’s monthly dues directly to the union.

While Janus stops governments from requiring employees to make payments to unions out of their own pockets, HB-2643 proponents insist it doesn’t prevent state and local governments from supporting unions instead.

Rather than paying a state employee a salary of $50,000, for example, from which $1,000 in agency fees would be deducted, the bill proposes to simply alter the arrangement on paper so that the employee’s revised salary is $49,000, with the state diverting the remaining $1,000 to the union itself.

This underhanded scheme allows unions to keep lining their pockets and writing checks at liberal fundraisers.

Great - make the labor union an arm of the State. Rather than giving the employee a choice, they are screwing them out of their wages and giving the union bosses more political power.

Unions definitely had their place in history and were a major force for good. They grew complacent and failed to adapt and are now simply arms of the Democratic party. A force for political power and not workers rights. They do negotiate wonderful pensions for their rank and file but in most cases, the pension funds are not managed well and are seriously underfunded. Screwing over the workers once again.

An interesting launch - Beresheet

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From C|Net:

Thirty-million-page backup of humanity headed to moon aboard Israeli lander
On Thursday night, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carried an Israeli-made spacecraft named Beresheet beyond the grasp of Earth's gravity and sent it on its way to the surface of the moon. On board Beresheet is a specially designed disc encoded with a 30-million-page archive of human civilization built to last billions of years into the future.

The backup for humanity has been dubbed "The Lunar Library" by its creator, the Arch Mission Foundation (AMF).

"The idea is to place enough backups in enough places around the solar system, on an ongoing basis, that our precious knowledge and biological heritage can never be lost," the nonprofit's co-founder Nova Spivack told me via email.

The AMF also placed a small test archive on Elon Musk's red Tesla Roadster that was launched in the direction of Mars aboard the first Falcon Heavy demonstration mission last year. That archive consisted of Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy encoded in a disc made of quartz silica glass made to last millions of years as the Roadster orbits the sun. The AMF has also placed a solid-state copy of Wikipedia on board a cubesat from SpaceChain in low-Earth orbit.

Interesting idea - do they know something the rest of us do not? Hmmmm???

BTW - Beresheet is the first word in the Torah and is loosely translated as In The Beginning

Faith in question

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I was brought up in the Episcopal Church and have seen it turn away from me over the years. I am religious but not church-going as the church has lost its moral compass and its backbone. This article is the true face of the Church of England these days - from the Gateway Pundit:

London Police Arrest Black Christian and Take His Bible for Preaching “Jesus Is On the Way”; Accuse Him of Racism and Islamophobia
Video from London shows a black street preacher being arrested for breach of the peace for telling passersby that “Jesus is on the way.” The video was posted to Twitter Saturday by the London based Eye on Antisemitism which said they filmed the arrest Saturday afternoon outside Southgate station. The group noted police told him he was accused of Islamophobia, which is not seen on the video, and accused him of being racist, which is on the video.

The preacher, a black man who is reportedly Nigerian, is seen being confronted by police who order him to leave. The man, who is holding a Bible, tells the two officers he will not leave as people must know that “Jesus is on the way.” One of the officers tells the man, “nobody wants to listen to that, they want you to go away.” The preacher tells the officer, “You will listen when you’re dead.”

The officer moves to handcuff the man while the other officer rips the Bible from the preacher’s hand. When the preacher pleads, “Do not take my Bible,” the officer tells him, “You should have thought of that before being racist.”

But - there is hope yet. These words from Dr. Jerry P. Kulah, Dean of Gbarnga School of Theology, United Methodist University in Liberia - he is speaking at the Reform and Renewal Coalition Breakfast at the United Methodist Church Special General Conference Session in St. Louis, Missouri, Saturday, 23 February 2019:

Brothers and sister of The United Methodist Church from all around the world, I humbly greet you in the strong name of Jesus Christ!

We thank God for all who have participated in observing a sacred season of fasting and prayer as we have prepared for this special General Conference session. And we praise God there are thousands upon thousands still on bended knees interceding on our behalf as we make a defining decision regarding the future of The United Methodist Church.

As Dr. Kulah warms to his subject:

As I understand it, the plans before us seek to find a lasting solution to the long debate over our church’s sexual ethics, its teachings on marriage, and it ordination standards.

This debate and the numerous acts of defiance have brought the United Methodist Church to a crossroads (Jeremiah 6:16).

One plans invites the people called United Methodists to take a road in opposition to the Bible and two thousand years of Christian teachings. Going down that road would divide the church. Those advocating for the One Church Plan would have us take that road.

Another road invites us to reaffirm Christian teachings rooted in Scripture and the church’s rich traditions.

Jeremiah is a great reference for this choice (King James Version):

Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.

In fact, all of Jeremiah 6 and 7 (here and here)... About reaffirming Christian teachings rooted in Scripture:

Friends, please hear me, we Africans are not afraid of our sisters and brothers who identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, questioning, or queer. We love them and we hope the best for them. But we know of no compelling arguments for forsaking our church’s understanding of Scripture and the teachings of the church universal.

And then please hear me when I say as graciously as I can: we Africans are not children in need of western enlightenment when it comes to the church’s sexual ethics. We do not need to hear a progressive U.S. bishop lecture us about our need to “grow up.”

Let me assure you, we Africans, whether we have liked it or not, have had to engage in this debate for many years now. We stand with the global church, not a culturally liberal, church elite, in the U.S.

We stand with our Filipino friends! We stand with our sisters and brothers in Europe and Russia! And yes, we stand with our allies in America.

We stand with farmers in Zambia, tech workers in Nairobi, Sunday School teachers in Nigeria, biblical scholars in Liberia, pastors in the Congo, United Methodist Women in Cote d’Ivoire, and thousands of other United Methodists all across Africa who have heard no compelling reasons for changing our sexual ethics, our teachings on marriage, and our ordination standards!

We are grounded in God’s word and the gracious and clear teachings of our church. On that we will not yield! We will not take a road that leads us from the truth! We will take the road that leads to the making of disciples of Jesus Christ for transformation of the world!

I hope and pray, for your sake, that you will walk down that road with us. We would warmly welcome you as our traveling companions, but if you choose another road, we Africans cannot go with you.

Just wow - talk about speaking truth to power. There are some of Dr. Kulah's writings on the internet - going to spend some time reading.

Just wonderful - measles

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The idiot parents who fall for the anti-vax propaganda. From the Independent:

Measles returned to Costa Rica after five years by French family who had not had vaccinations
An unvaccinated French boy is suspected of having reintroduced measles to Costa Rica after the Central American country had been free of the disease for five years.

It is unclear why the five-year-old French tourist had never received a measles jab, but the arrival of the highly contagious, potentially deadly disease in a country that has been measles-free since 2014 is likely to increase anxiety about the effects of the worldwide anti-vaccine movement.

The reintroduction of measles to Costa Rica comes a month after the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned that “vaccine hesitancy” is in the top 10 of the worst health threats facing humanity in 2019.

Costa Rica’s health ministry said the French five-year-old had arrived in the country with his parents on 18 February.

The Costa Rica Star reported that the boy and his mother had not been vaccinated. The parents were said to have consulted a private doctor in Costa Rica about their son’s “rash”, and confirmed that other children who had attended the boy’s school in France had come down with measles.

And some numbers:

The WHO has said that despite the availability of a safe and cost-effective vaccine, there were 110,000 measles deaths globally in 2017, mostly among children under the age of five.

Every single one of those deaths was unnecessary. The pitiful ignorance of some people and the craven sociopathy of those people who promote antivaxxing is beyond belief.

About yesterday's snow forecast

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A day or so late and headed to the South - from Cliff Mass:

Snow Heads to Oregon, While Western WA Enjoys Cold/Dry/Windy Conditions
It is now snowing from Vancouver, Washington down to southern Oregon, as a low center moves across the southern part of the state. The infrared satellite picture around 7 AM Monday shows the situation, with a plume of moisture moving northeastward across Oregon and then into southeast Washington.


The forecast for Oregon:

Snow will not get near Puget Sound, but central Oregon will be buried.  Here is last nights UW WRF model forecast for total snowfall for the 48 h ending 4 PM Tuesday. In Washington, Walla Walla will get a piece of it, but the real action will be south of Salem.   You will not want to go to Eugene, which will resemble Siberia before this over.

And the good news (for Oregonians):

This snowfall is really a gift from the weather gods for Oregon.  A month ago, there was substantially below-normal snow pack over the Oregon Cascades.  By the time it is over, Oregon will have a normal snowpack.  Very good news for water resources, fish, and the ski industry.

All we get is a Frasier River outflow of high winds and much colder than normal temps. Really looking forward to spring.

Back home for the night

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Nothing on the internet - YouTube for a bit and then an early bedtime.

Soup came out really well

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A dollar's worth of dried peas with some carrots, onions, celery and 15 minutes under pressure. Lots of fresh-ground black pepper on top and it was a cheap and yummy meal.

Heading out for a beer or two and then back home.

Got some stuff to deal with here Monday and Tuesday but taking the van to Maple Falls for a few days after that.

Just what everyone needs - tactical spork

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Good Lord but the word "Tactical" is getting waaay overused these days - everything is tactical this / tactical that.

From Amazon comes the Ka-Bar Tactical Spork:


On sale for $5.27 with free shipping so it might be worth getting two or three for the vehicle emergency kits.
But Tactical? Come on and gimme a break...

Great speech - he is the adult in the room for this story:

I am so not watching the Oscars tonight

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If I wanted to watch political theater, I would tune in CNN.

Gun control

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An interesting look at the problem:


And of course, rather than do effective crime management, they turn around and do stupid stuff like this.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Cook County board votes to permanently dismantle gang database
The Cook County Board voted to destroy the county’s gang database Thursday, setting legal steps and guidelines to make sure the database can’t be restarted.

The vote was the death knell for the contentious database, also called the Regional Gang Intelligence Database. Last month, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office announced it had “terminated” the database, a decision that came after no other law enforcement agency agreed to host it.

The ordinance, which takes effect immediately, prohibits the Cook County Sheriff’s Office from maintaining, re-creating or sharing information on the database. It also mandates the sheriff’s office to “enact the final destruction” of the tool.

And of course, not mentioned in the article is the reason why they wanted this deleted. 95% of the more than 25,000 entries were black or hispanic. Can't be racist now can we...

Trade Wars work - China

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Canada renegotiated their trade deal with us.
Mexico renegotiated their trade deal with us.
Now it is China's turn.

Trade wars work - a little discomfort for a short while but a long term benefit.

Arctic Ice is a lot larger than the last couple of years and it is still growing. From Watts Up With That:

Strong Arctic sea-ice growth this year
February is not over, and Arctic sea-ice extent is already over half a million square kilometers higher than last year at this day.

The growing season has not ended, and 2019 Arctic sea-ice extent is already higher than the previous four years and six out of the last 14 years.

Javier has a chart and some numbers and concludes with this little gem:

Stay tuned for the March results but the “Arctic melting pause” is alive and kicking 12 years later. It started the year Al Gore said Arctic sea-ice was doomed. Talk about timing.

Heh... Meanwhile, our sun has no spots, has been spotless for 24 days - from Spaceweather:

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 24 days
2019 total: 38 days (69%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)

That is a massive decrease.

The title? Tiny Tim of course: The Icecaps are Melting from 1967.

Great session today

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The teacher for the Photography session (The Art of Photographing Birds) was local photographer Karen Ulvestad.

Really wonderful work and I learned a lot. I have been shooting since grade school and processing my own B&W and Color prints so I knew the basic stuff but she taught me a lot about lighting for birds as well as post-processing to bring out the best realistic detail (post-processing is the computer analog to working in the darkroom). She encouraged questions so a lot of great information was passed around.

I did not find out who these two people were but they were downstairs with a gorgeous Horned Owl and Harris Hawk. The Harris Hawk is a working bird, he is hired out to discourage other birds from nesting in sensitive areas (the local refineries are a major client). Really sweet temperaments on both of them.



The owl was right by the window so I got a lot better light.

Anyway, going to fix some split pea soup for dinner (about 20 minutes in the Instant Pot - love that thing).

From Reuters:

'Chilling the atmosphere': North Korea media condemns U.S. Democrats ahead of summit
North Korea’s state media criticized U.S. Democrats and American intelligence officials on Sunday for “chilling the atmosphere” ahead of leader Kim Jong Un’s second summit with President Donald Trump this week.

Obama could have opened the same negotiations if he had been a real leader instead of a divisive narcissist. More:

KCNA later issued a commentary arguing that if Trump listened to skeptics at home, he could face a “shattered dream” and “miss the rare historic opportunity” to improve relations with North Korea.

“The Democratic Party of the U.S. and other opponents to the negotiations move overtly and covertly to disrupt them as supported by scepticism backed by all sorts of groundless stories and misinformation even at such a crucial moment as now,” said the commentary, which was released under the name Jong Hyon.

Trump’s opponents would bear the responsibility if the summit failed to achieve results, which would leave the U.S. people exposed to “security threats”, it said.

Good times - this is what real leadership looks like.

And here we go again - Snow

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From the National Weather Service:


* WHAT...One to three inches of snow can be expected in moderate to occasionally heavy snow showers through early this afternoon.

* WHERE...Admiralty Inlet Area, including Port Townsend away from the water, Quilcene, areas around the Hood Canal Bridge and the Kitsap Peninsula north of Bremerton, the lowlands of eastern  Jefferson County, the Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca lowlands, including Port Angeles, Sequim, and Blyn south of highway 101, and Western Strait of Juan de Fuca lowlands, including Sekiu, Clallam Bay, and Joyce away from the immediate coastline.

* WHEN...Until 2 PM PST this afternoon.

Doing my happy dance - NOT

And that's all I got for tonight.

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YouTube and bed - got even more CDs to digitize from the library this afternoon. Building up quite the collection as I am going back and getting more disks from each of the artists.

The Facebook SDK

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An SDK is a Software Development Kit. A set of tools used to build an application. Turns out that Facebook has an SDK for making mobile phone apps and it has a wee bit of a security issue - from BoingBoing:

Mobile apps built with Facebook's SDK secretly shovel mountains of personal information into the Zuckermouth
If you need to build an app quickly and easily, you might decide to use Facebook's SDK, which has lots of bells and whistles, including easy integration of Facebook ads in your app's UI.

The quid pro quo is that your app will send all your users' sensitive data to Facebook, and Facebook stores that data forever and uses it in every conceivable way.

I have not been active on Facebook in about a year and am seriously thinking of disconnecting from it entirely. It is a cute application for local events and people but there is too much dark shit going on under the surface for me to feel secure. A bit more:

Notably, none of these apps' privacy disclosures mention Facebook. When called by the Wall Street Journal, the companies behind the apps had a variety of responses, from denial to lying to shock and horror. Facebook -- predictably -- blamed the app vendors for not understanding that the apps they built would spy on their users on Facebook's behalf. Apple and Google -- who distribute these apps -- threw up their hands and blamed everyone except themselves (of course).

Of course they are going to point the finger somewhere else. I mean nobody actually READS the fine print do they?

Back home again

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The Snow Goose festival was a lot of fun. They had a couple people from the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center and they brought four birds of prey to show and tell. Great Horned Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Turkey Vulture (who was just the sweetest dear you could imagine - buckets of personality) and a Golden Eagle - huge bird. I mean HUGE!

The festival combined a bunch of exhibits from various Audubon groups and a bunch of plant and habitat groups as well as about 15 artists working in different media all featuring birds and wildlife. A fun time. There is a photography clinic tomorrow morning that I am planning to attend.

Went out to the food coop for groceries and had dinner and am now in for the evening.

The Second Amendment - a meme

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Spot on:


Great marketing idea - Walther

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From Shooting Illustrated:

Walther Launches 30-Day Trial Period for Handgun Purchases
Walther’s new “Shoot it. Love it. Buy it.” program applies to the purchase of any new PPQ between Feb. 15 and June 30, 2019, and provides enthusiasts two cost-free methods to give the company’s flagship handgun a test drive before making a final ownership decision.

First, a 30-day, money-back guarantee applies—regardless where the new PPQ was purchased—allowing new PPQ owners who don’t fall in love with the handgun within that timeframe to simply visit ShootItLoveItBuyIt.com and initiate a “return your gun” process. Walther will provide a shipping label to have it sent back. Once the gun has been received by Walther, and inspected, the company will issue a check for full reimbursement of the PPQ purchase price, including tax.

In addition, a “Try Before You Buy” program has been launched at select Walther dealers across the United States. That allows enthusiasts a 30-day trial period of the PPQ for no money down. Prospective owners simply visit ShootItLoveItBuyIt.com and apply for a voucher. To ensure the validity of the credit card entered, Walther will pre-authorize it for $1,000. No charge will appear on the account at this time or through the 30-day trial period.

Wonderful idea - beats playing with it at the gun store or seeing if your local range has one for rent.

Quite the nice haul - methamphetamine

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From the U.S. Customs and Border Protection - Department of Homeland Security:

CBP Field Operations Officers Seize Over $12 Million in Methamphetamine at Pharr International Bridge
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge hit the drug-smuggling organizations hard this weekend with a substantial interception of hard narcotics, seizing $12,700,000 worth of methamphetamine.

“This was an outstanding interception our officers accomplished this weekend,” said Port Director David Gonzalez, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “Our officers’ astute sense of awareness and tenacity is unparalleled and truly commendable.”

On Feb. 16, CBP officers working at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility encountered a 42-year-old male Mexican citizen with a commercial shipment of frozen strawberries arriving from Mexico. CBP referred the shipment for further inspection and with the use of all available tools and resources, officers discovered 350 packages of alleged methamphetamine concealed within the trailer. CBP OFO seized 906 pounds of methamphetamine (411 kg) along with the tractor/trailer.

Great work guys!

Bernie backpedals - Venezuela

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Bernie is a big fan of Venezuela - living socialism. But he is backpedaling on the conditions there - from Breitbart:

Bernie Sanders Admits Socialist Venezuela in ‘Serious Humanitarian Crisis’
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has admitted that the socialist country of Venezuela is experiencing a “serious humanitarian crisis” and has called on the Maduro regime to stop using violence against those attempting to bring aid into the country.

Over recent days, leading Florida Democrats have been criticizing Sanders’ more sympathetic stance toward the far-left regime after Sanders had said he did not recognize opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the country’s legitimate president and had refused to label Maduro a “dictator.”

However, Sanders appeared to take a harsher stance against Maduro on Saturday afternoon, when he admitted that the country was experiencing a “serious humanitarian crisis,” and he called on the regime to stop attacking civilians attempting to transfer aid into the country, which the U.S. and other regional contributors had provided.

Bernie is a useful idiot. Willfully blind to reality.

Well that was a bust - auction

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The vice (similar to this one) I was looking at went for $70. Ones in similar condition (used and abused) usually sell for around $40 at blacksmith events and that is the maximum I was willing to pay. A set of number stamps went for $45 and you can buy them new for $8.

Picked up a bunch more CDs and am back home cleaning out the car and ripping audio disks. There is an event at the Snow Goose festival at 3:00PM that I want to see and then heading out to get some groceries and a bite to eat.

And I am outta here (for a bit)

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Coffee, post office, library and an auction.

There is an auction house in town and their sales are Saturday at Noon. Did a preview yesterday and there are some blacksmith tools on the docket for today. See how the bidding goes.

This is also the weekend for the Snow Goose Festival so will be checking in on that. Still want to shoot some video of them but the light has not been good - saw a great swarm of then when driving to Seattle yesterday. Planning to stay here for a few more days so maybe get some good weather. To the farm for a couple of days later this week. Got taxes and bills to take care of first.

Major milestone for energy exports - LNG

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Great news from The Tennessee Star:

Trump Admin Ecstatic with Late-Night Deal That Broke Deadlock Over Natural Gas Exports
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) broke a two-year partisan deadlock Thursday night to approve a liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in Louisiana.

Top Department of Energy (DOE) officials said this was a major breakthrough that will alleviate a growing problem for U.S. energy producers — a lack of export infrastructure.

“We have been promoting US energy around the world and today’s decision by the FERC is a very important one,” DOE Deputy Secretary Dan Brouillette told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.

And a bit more:

Once complete, Calcasieu Pass terminal will export up 12 million metric tons of LNG a year. Brouillette said the project already has buyers, including in Europe, waiting for American natural gas.

Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling spurred an oil and natural gas boom over the past decade, making the U.S. the world’s top hydrocarbon producer. However, a limiting factor on oil and gas is the lack of export terminals and pipelines.

And do not forget VP Joe Biden's famous three letter word J. O. B. S.

Russia provides the bulk of LNG to Europe and this is one of their primary sources of cash flow. Offer an alternative and we pull their fangs a bit. Level the playing field.

From Phys Org:

Navy files for patent on room-temperature superconductor
A scientist working for the U.S. Navy has filed for a patent on a room-temperature superconductor, representing a potential paradigm shift in energy transmission and computer systems.

Salvatore Cezar Pais is listed as the inventor on the Navy's patent application made public by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday.

The application claims that a room-temperature superconductor can be built using a wire with an insulator core and an aluminum PZT (lead zirconate titanate) coating deposited by vacuum evaporation with a thickness of the London penetration depth and polarized after deposition.

An electromagnetic coil is circumferentially positioned around the coating such that when the coil is activated with a pulsed current, a non-linear vibration is induced, enabling room temperature superconductivity.

The major problem is how strong the material is - superconducting magnets are used to create very intense magnetic fields (think medical imaging) and the internal forces on these magnets are huge. Still... Baby Steps.

Ennio Morricone tells all

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Ennio Morricone is one of my favorite composers and at age 90, he has come out with a book - from The Guardian:

Ennio Morricone settles old scores with ‘simplistic’ directors
As one of cinema’s greatest composers, he has written the music for hundreds of films, including classics such as A Fistful of Dollars and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, recreating the wild west of Sergio Leone’s imagination with a soundscape of haunting whistles and cracking whips.

But, after a lifetime’s career in both Hollywood and European cinema, Ennio Morricone is now settling scores of a different kind. In a book based on extensive interviews with the famously private man, he attacks film-makers who, he says, fail to understand the power of music to heighten emotions – and some fellow composers for enabling them to regard a soundtrack as merely “something that plays in the background”.

“There are times … when you get to the recording stage without having the slightest clue as to the director’s expectations,” he says in the book, Ennio Morricone: In His Own Words. Now 90, he recalls the US filmmaker and Halloween director John Carpenter commissioning him to write the score for The Thing: “He hardly said a word.” Don Siegel wanted Morricone’s music for the 1970 western Two Mules for Sister Sara, starring Shirley MacLaine and Clint Eastwood, but “we didn’t communicate much,” he says.

The composer remembers that his fellow Italian Franco Zeffirelli asked for music “devoid of themes, a music of moods and atmospheres”, but “when the music was ready … said, ‘You didn’t write any themes.’”

Available for pre-order at Amazon.

Eighteen minutes of pure gold:

I would love to hear the Democrats reaction. It will be interesting to see the voting demographics in 2020.

Nice bridge Rahm - Chicago

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Construction in a democratic paradise - from the Chicago, Il CBS affiliate:

Navy Pier Flyover Already Showing Signs Of Damage Two Months After First Section Opened
Less than two months after the first section of the Navy Pier Flyover opened along the lakefront, the long-delayed pedestrian and bicycle bridge already is showing surprising signs of wear and tear.

The much-anticipated project has taken longer to build than the Golden Gate Bridge, and it’s still not finished. But the section that opened in December already is showing signs of trouble before the rest of the project is completed.

A shiny new bridge that lifts cyclists and runners over traffic on Grand Avenue and Illinois Street opened a few days before Christmas.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the project would “stand the test of time,” but less than two months later, sections of the trail have cracked, markers denoting the different sections for runners and cyclists have faded, lane dividers are missing, and rusted nails are protruding in spots.

The Golden Gate's main span is 4,200 feet long. It was built ahead of schedule (took them four years) and $1.3 Million under budget.

The Flyover Bridge has taken five years so far and is not expected to be completed for another year at the earliest. The cost is expected to be well over $60 Million. It is 1,750 feet long.

Tell me again how well run the City of Chicago is... The last Republican Mayor - William Hale Thompson - left office in 1931 and in true Chicago tradition, he was very corrupt (it was his tenure that saw the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre). This is a torch that the Democrat Mayors have proudly held high through the years to today.

Our sun is entering a very quiet period. Clickable links to full stories:

And there is also this - Clark County is where Las Vegas is located:

Heading out for a couple of hours

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Down to Seattle for an early dinner and then back home.

Cute - Kentucky Fried Chicken

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Fun video and yes, they have moved the secret recipe to this place: Bahnhof Data Center

Quite the trip - from the Washington Examiner:

Democrats took $60,000 junket to attend Beyonce concert in South Africa
Five members of the Congressional Black Caucus took an official three-day trip to South Africa to be feted as VIPs at a Beyonce and Jay Z concert, according to congressional disclosure records.

The stated purpose of the $60,000 trip in December was to attend the “Global Citizen Mandela 100” concert, the stated purpose of which was to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the late Nelson Mandela and raise awareness of global poverty. The extravaganza was headlined by Beyonce, Jay Z, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, and Chris Martin.

Democratic Reps. Gregory Meeks, Barbara Lee, Bobby Rush, Terri Sewell, and Hank Johnson attended the event with VIP backstage passes. Also at the concert was Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS coordinator and special representative for Global Health Diplomacy.

Representative Johnson is the moke who seriously wondered if Guam might "tip over" (link to 2 minute video).

Something up?

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I live about 20 miles from the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Last couple of days it has been nothing but jets flying overhead. Wonder if this is a training excercise or is something developing...

RIP - Ross Lowell

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Ross Lowell? From Digital Photography Review:

Ross Lowell, founder of Lowel-Light and the creator of gaffer tape, dead at 92
Photographer, cinematographer, Lowel-Light founder and creator of gaffer tape Ross Lowell died on February 15 at the age of 92, according to PDN. Lowell lived in Pound Ridge, New York, at the time of his passing, leaving behind his wife Marilyn Shapiro-Lowell and four children.

Over the course of his long career, Lowell pioneered numerous lighting solutions for photography and cinematography, ultimately registering more than 25 patents, founding lighting company Lowel-Light and publishing the book Matter of Light & Depth. Among Lowell's inventions is gaffer tape, a type of cotton cloth tape popularly used during production and staging work.

From the mid-1960s through 1985, Lowell also shot, directed, wrote and produced multiple documentaries and short films, including Oscar-nominated Oh Brother, My Brother. Lowell received multiple awards during his career, including a Technical Achievement Academy Award, the John Grierson Gold Medal and Lightfair Technical Innovation Award.

Quite the career - gaffer tape is kinda like duct tape except it does not leave a residue if left stuck for more than a day or two. It also comes in a broad pallate of colors to make it blend in on a set. Great stuff!

Just wonderful - potential for more snow

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Cliff Mass:

Increasing Chances for Light Snow During the Next Week
When you have gasoline and matches laying about, there is always the chance the two might join forces to produce a fire.

During the next week, two critical ingredients for lowland snow will be in our neighborhood: cold air and occasional weather disturbances coming from a variety of directions. Will they combine to provide some low-level snow?

THAT is the question. And I believe the probability of at least some light snow is becoming more probable, particularly away from the water.

But we are running out of time for a significant lowland snow event. As shown below for Sea Tac Airport, extreme daily snowfall (blue lines) really declines after the first week of March. Average temperatures are slowly warming now and the sun is rapidly gaining strength.

I for one am ready for some nice warm weather. Yesterday was great - sunny at temps in the 45's. Today is cold and cloudy.

If you have enough money, you can get away with anything. Not so fast - from the Miami Herald:

Federal prosecutors broke law in Jeffrey Epstein case, judge rules
Federal prosecutors, under former Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, broke the law when they concealed a plea agreement from more than 30 underage victims who had been sexually abused by wealthy New York hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

While the decision marks a victory for crime victims, the federal judge, Kenneth A. Marra, stopped short of overturning Epstein’s plea deal, or issuing an order resolving the case. He instead gave federal prosecutors 15 days to confer with Epstein’s victims and their attorneys to come up with a settlement.

And of course - from FOX News - May 13, 2016:

Flight logs show Bill Clinton flew on sex offender's jet much more than previously known
Former President Bill Clinton was a much more frequent flyer on a registered sex offender’s infamous jet than previously reported, with flight logs showing the former president taking at least 26 trips aboard the “Lolita Express” -- even apparently ditching his Secret Service detail for at least five of the flights, according to records obtained by FoxNews.com.

Clinton’s presence aboard Jeffrey Epstein’s Boeing 727 on 11 occasions has been reported, but flight logs show the number is more than double that, and trips between 2001 and 2003 included extended junkets around the world with Epstein and fellow passengers identified on manifests by their initials or first names, including “Tatiana.” The tricked-out jet earned its Nabakov-inspired nickname because it was reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.

Disgusting but it does fit right in with the morals on display from the Democrat party.

Up and at 'em

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Nice nap - heading down to Seattle for an early dinner so working here for the day. Heading out for coffee in a few.

At least there is plenty to eat

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From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Multiple-vehicle crash near Donner Pass creates traffic nightmare on I-80 heading to Truckee
Traffic was still at a standstill or barely moving on eastbound I-80 following a multiple-vehicle crash near Donner Pass on Saturday morning that stopped eastbound traffic heading towards Truckee.

The Placer sheriff's Twitter account tweeted out a video at 8:25 a.m. showing traffic completely stopped on I-80 along with the following text: "Current view along EB I80 just before Applegate: traffic at a complete standstill. Please stay home and avoid traveling to the Sierra unless you absolutely have to."

Title? Here: Donner Party

The true minimum wage is $0.00/hour - you have to provide value to your employer. From the San Francisco Chronicle:

At this fast food drive through, the person taking your order might not be a person at all
The drive through window is often considered the most harrowing assignment inside a fast-food restaurant.

A nonstop whirlwind of multitasking, the gig involves organizing multiple orders, communicating with the kitchen, counting money and negotiating with an endless stream of customers who range from polite and coherent to angry and inebriated -- all for a minimum wage reward.

If that juggling act wasn't hard enough, a giant timer hangs in many drive through kitchens, adding urgency to each task, former workers say.

Though the drive through gantlet has broken many a fast food worker, the newest employee at Good Times Burgers & Frozen Custard in Denver will not be feeling the heat anytime soon. That's because she's an artificially intelligent voice assistant -- emotion-free and immune to stress -- with the ability to operate a drive through window without fatigue, bathroom breaks or compensation.

Be careful what you ask for. I have seen Costco rolling out ordering kiosks for their food court. Fewer people working behind the counter.

Schedule change

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Not heading to Seattle this morning so back to bed to sleep in for a bit.

Seriously WTF

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This is unreal - from FOX News:

Democrats reject push to alert ICE when illegal immigrants fail firearm background checks
Democrats this week approved legislation to require background checks for essentially all sales and transfers of firearms -- but rejected GOP-led efforts to amend the legislation to alert law enforcement authorities when gun buyers, including illegal immigrants, fail those background checks.

The House Judiciary Committee voted in favor of the bill 23-15, in a strict party-line vote, sending it to the House floor. If approved by the full House, the bill would be the most significant gun-control legislation approved by either chamber of Congress in at least a decade -- although it stands little chance of passage in the Senate, where Republicans command a slim majority.

First of all, commercial sales of guns are already regulated. Anyone who purchases a gun - either at a store or at a gun show - is required to fill out an ATF Form 4473. This has been the case since 1968. The seller calls this in to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and it is entered into their database. The sale is either allowed or rejected. The only way around this is either a single sale, person to person. Family members, friends, etc... The other way is to buy a gun illegally from a criminal.

All the legislation in the world will not stop this last kind of transaction because - well - CRIMINAL

It is worth noting that the majority of gun violence is perpetrated with these kinds of guns. Chicago has had 232 shootings and 43 homicides this year alone. 90% of these are with illegal guns - black on black gang killings.

What they are proposing will let the illegal alien turn to criminal gun dealers if their attempt to purchase a gun legally fails. Would it be much better if ICE were alerted that this person, here illegally, was trying to obtain a gun?

The next poor citizen who is murdered by an illegal with a gun purchased illegally - their death will have been at the hands of Pelosi and Schumer. How much are the cartels paying them to keep the border open?

And I am back

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Good meeting - very active club with lots of side projects and classes and self-directed training. I am into emergency communications and ham radio has a very rich tradition in EmCom.

Long day today and tomorrow so getting a bit of an early bedtime - quick surf first and 45 minutes of video.

Epic PWNage - the Trump 404 page

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When you mistype a URL for a web page and there is nothing there on the server, the server will respond by displaying what is called a 404 page letting you know that there was nothing to be found there and that your URL is probably wrong.

President Trump's 404 is hilarious - here is the direct link to it.


At home for a little longer

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My other meetings begin at 6:00PM. The radio group begins at 7:00PM - just checked as I was heading out.

Also, my plans for tomorrow's dinner will have to be changed - sitting here looking at an empty poke container. Got 0.89 pounds in my belly - it was so good...

Makes perfect sense - the Greens are so wrapped up in renewables that they will hate anything that eliminates the need for this costly and unreliable non-base load form of energy. From Forbes:

The Real Reason They Hate Nuclear Is Because It Means We Don't Need Renewables
Why is it that, from the U.S. and Canada to Spain and France, it is progressives and socialists who say they care deeply about the climate, not conservative climate skeptics, who are seeking to shut down nuclear plants?

After all, the two greatest successes when it comes to nuclear energy are Sweden and France, two nations held up by democratic socialists for decades as models of the kind of societies they want.

It is only nuclear energy, not solar and wind, that has radically and rapidly decarbonized energy supplies while increasing wages and growing societal wealth.

And it is only nuclear that has, by powering high-speed trains everywhere from France to Japan to China, decarbonized transportation, which is the source of about one-third of the emissions humankind creates.

And the reason:

The Unconscious Appeal of Renewables
Ordinary people tell pollsters they want renewables for the same reason they buy products labeled “natural”: they are in the grip of an unconscious appeal-to-nature fallacy.

The appeal-to-nature fallacy is the mistaken belief that the world can be divided into “natural” and “unnatural” things, and that the former are better, safer, or cleaner than the latter.

In reality, solar farms require hundreds of times more land, an order of magnitude more mining for materials, and create hundreds of times more waste, than do nuclear plants.

And wind farms kill hundreds of thousands of threatened and endangered birds, may make the hoary bat go extinct, and kill more people than nuclear plants.

But because of our positive feelings toward sunlight, water and wind, which we view as more natural than uranium, many people unconsciously assume renewables are better for the environment.

Time for the Adults in the room to step up and start building molten salt reactors. Cheap, safe and will burn old nuclear waste from our existing reactors as fuel. Get rid of that problem.

And I am back

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Uneventful but productive trip to Maple Falls, Bellingham and back home. The Bellingham Costco does a really nice Ahi Poke Wednesday through Saturday so picked up some of that for dinner tonight and tomorrow. Already made a pilgrimage to Hal's Drive-In in Sedro Woolley for lunch so feeling pretty full - the poke will be a nice protein top-off.

Down to Seattle tomorrow and ham radio meeting tonight in a bit less than an hour.

Out for the day

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Coffee, post office, Maple Falls, Bellingham, dinner, ham radio meeting and then back home. Whew!

Looks like a concentrated push to drive everyone out of the state - from California Political Review:

Sacramento Democrats to Raise GAS TAX AGAIN!!!
SB 1 caused gas taxes to go up 12 cent a gallon last year, 7 cents a gallon on July 1, 2019.  Cap and Trade is going to cause gas taxes to go up by as much as 72 cents a gallon on January 1, 2020.  Now the Sacramento Democrats want a “oil severance tax”—which means a possible ten cent a gallon increase as well.  Can you afford to get to work or visit family?

And of course, none of that is going to infrastructure - I-5 is in horrible condition. Bridges are unsafe.

Kamala Harris' Dad is ticked off - Jamaca

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From Jamaca Global Online:

Professor Donald Harris Kamala Harris’ Jamaican father, has vigorously dissociated himself from statements made on the New York Breakfast Club radio show earlier this week attributing her support for smoking marijuana to her Jamaican heritage. Professor Harris has issued a statement to jamaicaglobalonline.com in which he declares:

“My dear departed grandmothers(whose extraordinary legacy I described in a recent essay on this website), as well as my deceased parents , must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics. Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty.”

She says whatever she thinks will advance her agenda and is more than happy to toss family members under the bus. And she thinks she has what it takes to lead this Nation?

Here is Professor Harris' information at The History of Economic Thought

And that is it for the evening

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Long day tomorrow and Friday so early bedtime.

Yikes - expensive mistake

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From Anand Tech (TSMC is the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company - they are a fab house for many smaller chip manufacturers):

TSMC’s Fab 14B Photoresist Material Incident: $550 Million in Lost Revenue
TSMC on Friday revealed more details regarding an incident with a photoresist material at its Fab 14B earlier this year. The contaminated chemical damaged wafers on TSMC’s 12 nm and 16 nm lines, and the company now expects the full impact of the event to reduce their revenue by a whopping $550 million in the first quarter.

TSMC said that a batch of photoresist it used included a specific element which was abnormally treated, creating a foreign polymer in the photoresist. The problem was detected late when the wafer yeilds were lower than expected. As it turns out, consequences of the photoresist incident at Fab 14B were more serious than initially calculated by TSMC. There are media reports claiming that between 10,000 and 30,000 wafers were affected and had to be scrapped, but TSMC has never confirmed either of the numbers.

That is also going to hurt the chip makers who will have to wait for their product.
$550 million in the first quarter is a brutal loss.

Heading out for a bit

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Dump run, library, bite to eat and a couple of beers. Heading to Bellingham tomorrow, back to the island for a ham radio meeting and then down to Seattle Friday.

Sour Grapes

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Heh - from Axios:

NYT publisher calls Trump's attacks on the press "dangerous"
New York Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger responded to President Trump's persistent attacks on the press, calling the phrase "enemy of the people," "dangerous" on Wednesday.

"In demonizing the free press as the enemy, simply for performing its role of asking difficult questions and bringing uncomfortable information to light, President Trump is retreating from a distinctly American principle. ... The phrase 'enemy of the people' is not just false, it’s dangerous. It has an ugly history of being wielded by dictators and tyrants who sought to control public information."

Driving the news: Trump singled out a NYT-reported story about him on Twitter Wednesday, calling it false. 

Hey Arthur - the press IS the enemy of We The People and until you and your minions return to professional journalism, we will continue to label you as we see fit. Your job is to report the facts. Your job is not to set the narrative.

The gift that keeps on giving - AOC

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Long and very interesting bit of investigative writing by Luke Thompson at Medium:

The Congresswoman Loves the Swamp
Last Friday, my mentions died for your sins. I posted a screen grab of Riley Roberts’s House Microsoft Outlook card, including his official house.gov email address, office phone number, and his designation as “Staff”. Roberts is the boyfriend of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Congresswoman was upset.

Throwing caution to the wind, she stormed into my mentions, asserting this was just a way to give Mr. Roberts access to her official calendar.

Luke does a bit of digging, notices tha Ocasio-Cortez' boyfriend is getting paid by her PAC

So I went to the FEC, did a little searching, and discovered that, lo and behold, there’s more to the story.

AOCs Chief of Staff is Saikat Chakrabarti - a bit more:

At the beginning of 2017, Chakrabarti created Brand New Congress, an organization dedicated to shaking things up in Democratic primaries. It’s a rather ingenious organization, but one that dwells in a legal gray-area as far as campaign finance law is concerned. It facilitates campaigns on shoestring budgets by providing a single clearinghouse for campaign services, generally filed under the banner of “strategic consulting”. But, as a result, it limits the meaningfulness of FEC disclosures by those campaigns. Additionally, it means that Brand New Congress, unlike most PACs, spends most of its budget on overhead and makes relatively few actual contributions to candidates.

Brand New Congress is actually two entities - a PAC and an LLC. LLCs do not have to disclose campaign contributions.

This is only the smallest of excerpts - Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a typical socialist. OK for her and her friends to pocket gobs of money but everyone else is going to eat beans for the rest of their lives. But they have free college.

Go and read the whole thing: The Congresswoman Loves the Swamp

From FOX News:

ISIS wife from Alabama will not be admitted to the US, Pompeo says
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that an Alabama woman who joined ISIS but now wants to return home with the 18-month-old son she had with her ISIS husband will not be admitted back into the United States, saying she is not a U.S. citizen.

“Ms. Hoda Muthana is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the United States,” Pompeo said in a statement. “She does not have any legal basis, no valid U.S. passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the United States. We continue to strongly advise all U.S. citizens not to travel to Syria.”

She wrote this in 2015:

“Americans wake up! Men and women altogether. You have much to do while you live under our greatest enemy, enough of your sleeping!” she once wrote, according to The Guardian. “Go on drivebys, and spill all of their blood, or rent a big truck and drive all over them. Veterans, Patriots, Memorial, etc day … Kill them.”

She committed treason:

18 U.S. Code § 2381. Treason
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

Great news - Nuclear Reactors

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Hopeful story at Grist:

Next-gen Nukes
Back in 2009, Simon Irish, an investment manager in New York, found the kind of opportunity that he thought could transform the world while — in the process — transforming dollars into riches.

Irish saw that countries around the globe needed to build a boggling amount of clean-power projects to replace their fossil fuel infrastructure, while also providing enough energy for rising demand from China, India, and other rapidly growing countries. He realized that it would be very hard for renewables, which depend on the wind blowing and the sun shining, to do everything. And he knew that nuclear power, the only existing form of clean energy that could fill the gaps, was too expensive to compete with oil and gas.

But then, at a conference in 2011, he met an engineer with an innovative design for a nuclear reactor cooled by molten salt. If it worked, Irish figured, it could not only solve the problems with aging nuclear power, but also provide a realistic path to dropping fossil fuels.

“The question was, ‘Can we do better than the conventional reactors that were commercialized 60 years ago?” Irish recalled. “And the answer was, ‘Absolutely.’”

A bit about the technology (Irish started a company "Terrestrial Energy" which is trying to get a salt reactor online before 2030):

Terrestrial is far from alone. Dozens of nuclear startups are popping up around the country, aiming to solve the well-known problems with nuclear power — radioactive waste, meltdowns, weapons proliferation, and high costs.

There are reactors that burn nuclear waste. There are reactors designed to destroy isotopes that could be made into weapons. There are small reactors that could be built inexpensively in factories. So many ideas!

Good news indeed. These reactors can not melt down - they are walk-away safe.

Now that is a tailwind - 801MPH

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From The Washington Post:

Flight reaches 801 mph as a furious jet stream packs record-breaking speeds
Tuesday is a nice day across the Northeast. Temperatures near 40 in New York, light winds out of the north at 5 mph to 10 mph, and wall-to-wall sunshine sound like a tranquil day — especially by February standards. But high up in the atmosphere, it’s a different story.

The jet stream, the high-altitude air current along which storms travel, is furious. The river of air was clocked at more than 230 mph over Long Island on Monday. That measure comes from the 250 millibar pressure level, meaning it was at a height above 75 percent of the atmosphere’s mass. It sets the record for the fastest 250 millibar wind speed ever recorded over New York and, probably, the country.

And the flight in question:

A Virgin Atlantic flight from Los Angeles to London peaked at a whopping 801 mph Monday evening 35,000 feet over Pennsylvania. “[N]ever ever seen this kind of tailwind in my life as a commercial pilot,” tweeted Peter James, a jet captain.

It appears that’s a record for the Boeing 787-9 twin jet, which in the past has flown at speeds up to 776 mph. The ordinary cruising speed of a Dreamliner is 561 mph, with a maximum propulsion of 587 mph. Any speed gained on top of that is thanks to Mother Nature’s helpful boost.

Very cool.

And it is back in favor again - Vitamin D

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About a month ago, research offered that Vitamin D was not a substitute for getting sunlight. Now, a study is showing that it has other benefits. From Baltimore, MD station WBAL:

Vitamin D may have even more benefits than previously known
Vitamin D, often called "the sunshine vitamin," is considered essential to good health.

Researchers focusing on the consequences of vitamin D deficiency have found it is connected with an alarming number of health issues, such as osteoporosis, certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases.


"A new study, just came out this year, showed vitamin D, adequate levels of vitamin D, can reduce your risk of diabetes. They found that vitamin D supplementation basically made insulin work better, and if insulin works better, blood sugar goes down and your risk of diabetes goes (down)," Doyle said.

Interesting to see what comes of this.

As 2020 starts up - feminism

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Great post at Powerline:

The race for the Democratic presidential nomination has barely commenced, but already Margaret Sullivan, the Washington Post’s media columnist, is whining about “sexist” coverage of female candidates. As evidence she mentions the “mocking” of Kirsten Gillibrand’s uncertainty about how to eat fried chicken.

However, candidates of both genders are routinely mocked when they eat “down home” food in an uptown manner. It happened to Donald Trump and John Kasich in 2016 and Mitt Romney in 2012. Sullivan ignores this history.

Sullivan notes that Kamala Harris’ “long-ago love life has been parsed.” I assume she’s referring to the story of her affair with Willie Brown, the then-married California power broker who got Harris appointed to two commissions.

Sullivan offers no explanation as to why this story should be off-limits. Instead, she conceals the reason why it shouldn’t be — the fact that the “love life” in question involved the most powerful figure in Bay Area, and arguably California, politics.

Is there any reason to believe that, if a male politician’s rise had been aided by a powerful female lover, the media would ignore it? Certainly not if the male politician were a Republican.

Emphasis mine - so true. The Democrats have nothing concrete to run on so they resort to whining and pushing narratives. This is going to be a fun election cycle to watch - better stock up on the popcorn...

A letter from two Representatives

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From Dr. Mark Green (R-Tn) and Chip Roy (R-Tx) to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:

Dear Secretary Pompeo

We write to urge the Department of State to consider designating many of the world's most violent drug cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs).

Under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), Congress can give the State Department the authority to designate certain organizations as FTOs. To be designated as an FTO, an organization must 1) be a foreign organization, 2) engage in or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorism and 3) threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national defense , foreign relations or economic interests of the United States.

Much more at the site - a great start in putting these goblins out of business.

Yesterday, President Trump launched a global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality.
Today, Mathew Rodriguez writes at Out Magazine:

Trump’s Plan to Decriminalize Homosexuality Is an Old Racist Tactic
The Trump administration is set to launch a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality in dozens of nations where anti-gay laws are still on the books, NBC News reported Monday. While on its surface, the move looks like an atypically benevolent decision by the Trump administration, the details of the campaign belie a different story. Rather than actually being about helping queer people around the world, the campaign looks more like another instance of the right using queer people as a pawn to amass power and enact its own agenda.

What you are looking at is Trump Derangement Syndrome. An irrational hatred that precludes any sort of rational thinking. The very idea that someone who you oppose could actually do something good and beneficial triggers a state of cognitive dissonance and your only response is to lash out and call him a racist.

President Trump is actually doing something good. Mr. Rodriguez is fomenting hate.

In March 1989 I was sitting at the Cafe Allegro in Seattle and a friend of mine came in with a printout, handed it to me and said that this looks really interesting. It was Sir Tim's paper on Hypertext and the Web. From ZD Net:

CERN's world-first browser reborn: Now you can browse like it's 1990
A team at Switzerland-based research center CERN has rebuilt WorldWideWeb, the world's first browser created in 1990 for its researchers.   

The WorldWideWeb browser was built by Sir Tim Berners-Lee in 1990 on a NeXT machine, following his March 1989 proposal for a 'Mesh' or global hypertext system for CERN that he would later call the World Wide Web.

The WorldWideWeb browser simulator is now available online to view in a modern browser. For anyone curious to know how to use it, the developers have provided written instructions and a video demo.

Opening a webpage in the browser involves selecting 'Document' from the menu, then selecting 'Open from full document reference', and typing in a URL such as http://w3c.org. Once inside a document, navigation requires double-clicking links.

Really fun times.

They never change - Bernie Sanders

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Short video clip - really shows who he is:

And it is YouTube

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Never did the dump run today but got the van pretty full - tomorrow.

Classic Trump - from Breitbart:

Trump Takes Back $1 Billion from California; Gavin Newsom Complains: ‘Political Retribution’
The Trump administration announced Tuesday that it was canceling a federal grant to California worth nearly $1 billion after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the cancelation of the state’s high-speed rail project last week.

Newsom used his “State of the State” address Feb. 12 to cancel the San Francisco-to-Los Angeles project, saying it “would cost too much and, respectfully, would take too long” to complete.

However, he told legislators he wanted to complete the portion of the bullet train under construction in the rural Central Valley, lest the state lose federal dollars granted to California by President Barack Obama as part of the 2009 stimulus: “I am not interested in sending $3.5 billion in federal funding that was allocated to this project back to Donald Trump,” Newsom said.

The president had other ideas, and took to Twitter to demand that California return the money. Newsom rejected that demand, insisting: “This is CA’s money, allocated by Congress for this project. We’re not giving it back.”

But on Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) sent a letter to the California High-Speed Rail Authority, informing it that it was terminating its agreement with the state and therefore would refuse to provide the state with $928,620,000 allocated to the high-speed rail project.

The FRA listed several factors informing its decision, including the likelihood that the high-speed rail would not be completed by 2022, as contemplated by the original agreement. The state’s high-speed rail authority had also failed, according to the FRA, to provide “timely and satisfactory financial reports” to the federal government.

The rail project is dead - you need to return the unused assets and not try to fold them into some other budget.

And it begins - Covington

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Heh - from FOX News:

Covington High student's legal team sues Washington Post
Attorneys representing the Kentucky high school student involved in a confrontation that went viral on social media last month announced Tuesday that they were suing The Washington Post for $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Kentucky, accused The Post of practicing "a modern-day form of McCarthyism" by targeting Nicholas Sandmann and "using its vast financial resources to enter the bully pulpit by publishing a series of false and defamatory print and online articles ... to smear a young boy who was in its view an acceptable casualty in their war against the president."

$250M - that is going to leave a mark. Pour encourager les autres

The guy keeps looking better and better - from The Washington Examiner:

Howard Schultz digs in, says 'radical left' Democrat can't beat Trump
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rejected Democratic complaints that his Independent 2020 campaign will guarantee President Trump's re-election, and said Democrats themselves will guarantee a Trump victory by nominating a "radical left" nominee.

"The stakes are too high to cross our fingers and hope the Democratic Party nominates a moderate who can win over enough independents and disaffected Republicans, and even fellow Democrats, to defeat Trump next year," Schultz wrote in a blog post Monday. "That any opponent can oust Trump, no matter how far to the radical left they are, is a fallacy."

“Those so concerned about a centrist independent being a spoiler should perhaps ask another question: Will the eventual Democratic nominee be the party’s own version of a spoiler?” Schultz wrote.

Sounds like a Classical Democrat and not the shrieking harpies of today's party. Even if he does not win, his ideas might cause the Overton Window to slide back 40 years - a welcome thing.

Very cool - human rights

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Real action, not virtue signaling. From NBC News:

Trump administration launches global effort to end criminalization of homosexuality
The Trump administration is launching a global campaign to end the criminalization of homosexuality in dozens of nations where it's still illegal to be gay, U.S. officials tell NBC News, a bid aimed in part at denouncing Iran over its human rights record.

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin. The U.S. embassy is flying in LGBT activists from across Europe for a strategy dinner to plan to push for decriminalization in places that still outlaw homosexuality — mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa and the Caribbean.

“It is concerning that, in the 21st century, some 70 countries continue to have laws that criminalize LGBTI status or conduct,” said a U.S. official involved in organizing the event.

Outstanding. The problem is not the Jussie Smolletts in the USA, it is those nations that still persecute and murder gay people for the "crime" of being gay. 2010 US Census data puts homosexuality of any stripe at about 3.5% of the US population. No reason for that number to be different worldwide - gays need rights just as much as straights.

A bit more from Grenell:

“This is not the first time the Iranian regime has put a gay man to death with the usual outrageous claims of prostitution, kidnapping, or even pedophilia. And it sadly won’t be the last time,” Grenell wrote. “Barbaric public executions are all too common in a country where consensual homosexual relationships are criminalized and punishable by flogging and death.”

He added that “politicians, the U.N., democratic governments, diplomats and good people everywhere should speak up — and loudly.”


Out for a couple hours

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Library, dinner and a couple of beers. More later.

Saw this:


Brilliant design for a picnic table

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Very clever idea:


Talk about a stupid move - Smollett

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He sure screwed up - from Page Six:

Jussie Smollett’s ‘Empire’ scenes cut after attack controversy
Scenes featuring Jussie Smollett on the hit TV show “Empire” have been drastically cut amid the whirlwind of controversy surrounding his alleged hate attack, according to a report Tuesday.

The actor, who plays gay singer-songwriter Jamal Lyon on the show, was supposed to have nine scenes and a big musical performance in the second-to-last episode of Season 5, production sources told TMZ.

But five scenes and the musical number have been axed.

Smollett’s character is also no longer the focus of his remaining four scenes, which will now feature an ensemble of characters.

Actions have consequences. MAGA

RIP - Karl Lagerfeld

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Not at all into the fashion world but I always liked his style. From Vogue:

Legendary Designer Karl Lagerfeld Has Died
Karl Lagerfeld, one of the most prolific and widely popular designers of the 20th and 21st centuries, has died in Paris. He was 85.

Lagerfeld was creative director of Chanel, the French house founded by Gabrielle Chanel, for an era-defining, age-defying 36 years. Upon assuming the reins in 1983, Lagerfeld swiftly revived Chanel, reinterpreting the house founder’s iconic tweed skirtsuits, little black dresses, and quilted handbags. He did it via the lens of hip-hop one season and California surfer chicks the next—he was a pop culture savant—without ever forgetting what the revolutionary Coco stood for: independence, freedom, and modernity.

He had a good run and now the angels will get some spiffy new robes.

Fun and games

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Been using my media computer to rip the rest of my music CDs and the keyboard stopped working. It got very very s...l...o...w....... and would miss characters if I typed them too fast.

I have a really nice keyboard in a carton somewhere so didn't feel like spending another $120 $170 + tax (Yikes - that price went up in two years!!!) so a quick trip out to WalMart and I picked up a really decent mechanical keyboard for $36. Nice feel to it.

Back home for the day - stopped at the library too and picked up another tranche of the music CDs I had ordered there - filling out my collection.

May I have a large container of coffee

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Heading out for my daily cuppa.

If you count the letters in the title, it will give you the first couple digits of Pi - 3.1415926

Back home to finish loading up the van and finally do the dump run.

Look up tonight

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Got a Snow Moon rising. Here are the names for the Full Moons throughout the year. Here is why tonight's moon is special - from NASA's Space Weather:

SUPER SNOW MOON:There's a full Moon tonight--the biggest and brightest of 2019. According to folklore, it's the "Snow Moon." According to science, it's a Super Snow Moon, inflated in size and luminosity because it occurs on the nearside of the Moon's orbit.

Full moons vary in size because the Moon's orbit is not a circle, it's an ellipse: diagram. One side of the Moon's orbit, called "perigee," is 50,000 km closer to Earth than the other side, "apogee." Today's "supermoon" becomes full just 6 hours away from perigee, a coincidence that makes it almost 8% wider and 16% brighter than an average full Moon. 

But will we be able to tell the difference just by looking? A 16% difference in brightness can easily be masked by clouds or the glare of urban lights.  Also, there are no rulers floating in the sky to measure lunar diameters. Hanging high overhead with no reference points to provide a sense of scale, one full Moon looks much like any other. They're all beautiful. Monitor the realtime gallery for photos.

Just for the record, here is her New Green Deal hosted by the Wayback Machine. She deleted these files from her website as soon as the inevitable backlash arose but the internet is forever.

Green New Deal FAQ

RESOLUTION: Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.

Pure crazy-talk...

A bit of history - global warming

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A look back to 1899 from Electroverse:

The “Great Arctic Outbreak of February 1899” as it became known, is one of the most widespread North American cold snaps in recorded history. It was described in a 1988 academic article as “a benchmark with which to compare similar events.”

The amount of magnetic flux that rises up to the Sun’s surface varies within a solar cycle. Near the minimum of the cycle it is rare to see sunspots on the Sun, and the spots that do appear are very small and short-lived. During the maximum there are many sunspots visible.

The strength of each cycle overall also varies.

The “Great Arctic Outbreak of February 1899” occurred during the solar minimum between ‘weak’ solar cycles 13 and 14 — these were the previous comparably weak cycles to the one we’ve just experienced, cycle 24.

More at the site - said it before and will say it again. Our sun is a variable star and it is the prime driver for our climate. The idea that our industrial output has a major influence on our climate is pure fscking hubris. We do not have that much effect - our planet is huge and we do not occupy that much of its surface. About 5% overall (counting the 70% ocean coverage).

About that global warming - a two-fer

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First, from Weather.com:

Las Vegas Gets Snow For Second Time This February
Residents of Las Vegas saw snow on Sunday night for the second time this month and the third time overall this winter.

A trace of snow was officially reported at McCarran International Airport late Sunday, but other parts of the valley saw a dusting to an inch or two of snow.

Vegas never gets snow - it is in a desert. Second - from the Los Angeles Times:

Rare L.A. mega-storm could overwhelm dam and flood dozens of cities, experts say
Scientists call it California’s “other big one,” and they say it could cause three times as much damage as a major earthquake ripping along the San Andreas Fault.

Although it might sound absurd to those who still recall five years of withering drought and mandatory water restrictions, researchers and engineers warn that California may be due for rain of biblical proportions — or what experts call an ARkStorm.

This rare mega-storm — which some say is rendered all the more inevitable due to climate change — would last for weeks and send more than 1.5 million people fleeing as floodwaters inundated cities and formed lakes in the Central Valley and Mojave Desert, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Officials estimate the structural and economic damage from an ARkStorm (for Atmospheric River 1,000) would amount to more than $725 billion statewide.

Of course, there is the obligatory reference to "climate change".
Glad to know that the State of California has been very diligent in maintaining its infrastructure. Oh. Wait...

Everyone's favorite crazy uncle weighs in again:

Bernie Sanders enters 2020 presidential race: 'Complete the revolution'
Bernie Sanders is campaigning for president again, officially entering the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential field on Tuesday with a vow to finish what he started in his last race for the White House.

"Together, you and I and our 2016 campaign began the political revolution. Now, it is time to complete that revolution and implement the vision that we fought for," Sanders said in an email to supporters and a video announcing his candidacy.

Thank you Bernie! Helping to keep the adults in power since 1991. He has all sorts of 'positions' but what has he actually done? Nada. No significant legislation, no legacy. He is just a very vocal gadfly.

Victor Davis Hanson at his best - writing at American Greatness:

Autopsy of a Dead Coup
The illegal effort to destroy the 2016 Trump campaign by Hillary Clinton campaign’s use of funds to create, disseminate among court media, and then salt among high Obama administration officials, a fabricated, opposition smear dossier failed.

So has the second special prosecutor phase of the coup to abort the Trump presidency failed. There are many elements to what in time likely will become recognized as the greatest scandal in American political history, marking the first occasion in which U.S. government bureaucrats sought to overturn an election and to remove a sitting U.S. president.

Preparing the Battlefield
No palace coup can take place without the perception of popular anger at a president.

The deep state is by nature cowardly. It does not move unless it feels it can disguise its subterranean efforts or that, if revealed, those efforts will be seen as popular and necessary—as expressed in tell-all book titles such as fired FBI Directors James Comey’s Higher Loyalty or in disgraced Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s psychodramatic The Threat.

In candidate and President Trump’s case that prepping of the battlefield translated into a coordinated effort among the media, political progressives and celebrities to so demonize Trump that his imminent removal likely would appear a relief to the people. Anything was justified that led to that end.

A thoughtful and wonderful read - this stuff really happened. We were this close to becoming an instrument of the deep state. If Hillary had won, the USA as she was conceived would have faded into the sunset.

Watched President Trump's speech last night - 33:19 minutes of incredible power:

And that is it for the evening

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Full day tomorrow - never got around to the planned dump run and the van is pretty full. A lot of recycling and old paperwork. Some scraps from a couple of projects in the garage (built stands for the welder and the grinder and building one for a metal saw) - all on casters so they can be wheeled around as needed.

Off to YouTube and then bed.

And the memes keep rolling in

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Great pushback

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That manager called it correctly. From The Daily Caller:

A Vans store employee at the Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, Kansas was terminated after saying “f*ck you” to a 14-year-old customer who wore a red MAGA hat into the store.

The incident occurred on Sunday and its aftermath was recorded and posted to social media. In a video, the teenager’s mother confronts the employee, then takes the issue up with the store manager.

Good - when you work for someone, you are THEIR personal representative and the face of their business. You do not get to express your own viewpoints and telling a random customer whom you do not know - especially one 14 years old - to F*** You is grounds for immediate termination in my book. No excuses.

Just a basic burger but it was good

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Extra pickles and no cheese - just the way I like it.

Time to surf for a bit and burn more CDs - brought a bunch more down from the farm today. The Highlander was pretty cramped for the critters.

Back in a couple of hours

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Burger and a couple pints are calling me.

No big surprise there - from The Hollywood Reporter:

Box Office: Winter 2019 Revenue Hits 8-Year Low in U.S.
Captain Marvel can't arrive in theaters soon enough.

That's the refrain across Hollywood — and on Wall Street — as industry observers grapple with a downturn at the North American box office following a record-shattering 2018. Revenue for the first seven weeks of 2019 has hit an eight-year low, capped by what looks to be the worst Presidents Day weekend in 15 years.

January was down more than 15 percent from the prior year sans a breakout hit or a carryover holiday hit such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Greatest Showman last year, or a Star Wars pic the three previous years. Revenue for January 2019 came in at roughly $812 million, the lowest since 2011.

They keep remaking classic films but making them politically correct. This may satisfy a very small and very vocal minority but the great majority of us want our characters to remain true to their original form.

Faster please - medicine

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From Yahoo / Agence France Presse:

'Killer' cells raise hope of universal flu vaccine
Scientists said Monday they had discovered immune cells that can fight all known flu viruses in what was hailed as an "extraordinary breakthrough" that could lead to a universal, one-shot vaccine against the killer disease.

Influenza epidemics, largely seasonal, kill hundreds of thousands of people each year, according to the World Health Organization.

Due to its mutating strains, vaccine formulas must be regularly updated and only offer limited protection currently.

Researchers in Australia said that "killer T cells" -- found in over half the world's population -- had shown in testing to be effective in fighting all common flu varieties.

This means the cells could potentially be used to develop an all-encompassing flu shot that did not need to be changed annually, and even be effective in people who don't naturally possess them.

Here is the home page for the organization in question: The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

Here is their own press release: ‘Killer’ immune cells provide solution to elusive universal flu vaccine

And here is the paper at Nature: Human CD8+ T cell cross-reactivity across influenza A, B and C viruses

Flu is a killer - lost a good friend to it last winter..

Back on the island again

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Took the Highlander again - too much ice on the ground to be sure with the van. I have been snowbound there before and it is not convenient... Brought back one of my keyboards, the music computer and a couple of speakers - the muse has been singing to me. Critters are fine - put out some more hay for them and checked the stock tanks.

Heading out for a burger and a couple of pints - quick surf first.

Heading out in a bit

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Coffee and then a dump run - up to Maple Falls later this afternoon.

Triggered - MAGA

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Talk about being a widdle snowflake - from Bowling Green, KY station WNKY:

Man accused of pulling gun on couple wearing MAGA hats
A Tennessee man is charged with first-degree wanton endangerment after witnesses told police he pulled a gun on a man who was wearing Make America Great Again hat inside Sam’s Club.

The hat is associated with President Donald Trump’s campaign for office.

James Phillips, 57, of Cottontown, Tenn., is accused of pulling a gun on the man inside the store Saturday after making an obscene gesture with his finger, according to his arrest citation.

Phillips, who was wearing a veterans cap, told police he made the gesture at the man and a woman with him because of the MAGA hats they were wearing, according to his citation. The man then confronted Phillips inside the store and an argument began.

That man then made the same obscene gesture to Phillips, according to the citation. At that point, witnesses told police Phillips pointed a gun at the man.

Got to be a mental health issue - if Phillips is actually a Vet, maybe PTSD. Of all the states, President Trump is having the best effect in the "flyover" states. Life in Kentucky is a lot better since he took office - better employment, better economy, etc...

Very interesting - the border

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Sounds plausible - a lot of fun if it is true:

And this meme seems to be closer and closer to reality every day:


The joys of not thinking something through to its final conclusion - from The Federalist:

How The Green New Deal Would Exploit Poverty-Stricken People Across The Globe
Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal resolution mentions the words “indigenous peoples” six times, with an emphasis on the “historic oppression” these communities have experienced throughout history.

Ironically, Ocasio-Cortez and co-sponsoring Sen. Ed Markey are apparently oblivious to the plight of indigenous communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Argentina, Bolivia, and China that suffer daily from the mining of cobalt, lithium, nickel, and other metals essential to electric car batteries.

In reality, the Green New Deal would decimate the communities Democrats claim to respect, while creating a dangerous amount of pollution and needless death throughout the globe.

Electric Vehicles Create Environmental Problems
Currently, approximately 5 percent of total car sales in the United States are electric, and Democrats plan on “overhauling transportation systems in the United States” to primarily electric cars and high-speed rails. However, the batteries in electric vehicles (EV) rely on extracting cobalt, lithium, and other metals to ensure this energy source functions safely. According to Financial Times, “metals account for about 25 per cent of the battery cost” and one market analyst states “There will be no EV industry without DRC cobalt.”

Yeah - that bad. Ironically, we have abundent reserves of rare earth minerals in the USA but have not been able to mine them because of environmental activists. The funny thing is that if we did mine these, we would be doing it in a much more environmentally safe manner than any other mine in any other country. The Global environmental impact would be a lot lower.

Pot - a two-fer

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Everyone seems to think that marijuana is the best thing since sliced bread - here are two alternate views.

First - from Malcom Gladwell writing at The New Yorker:

Is Marijuana as Safe as We Think?
A few years ago, the National Academy of Medicine convened a panel of sixteen leading medical experts to analyze the scientific literature on cannabis. The report they prepared, which came out in January of 2017, runs to four hundred and sixty-eight pages. It contains no bombshells or surprises, which perhaps explains why it went largely unnoticed. It simply stated, over and over again, that a drug North Americans have become enthusiastic about remains a mystery.

For example, smoking pot is widely supposed to diminish the nausea associated with chemotherapy. But, the panel pointed out, “there are no good-quality randomized trials investigating this option.” We have evidence for marijuana as a treatment for pain, but “very little is known about the efficacy, dose, routes of administration, or side effects of commonly used and commercially available cannabis products in the United States.” The caveats continue. Is it good for epilepsy? “Insufficient evidence.” Tourette’s syndrome? Limited evidence. A.L.S., Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s? Insufficient evidence. Irritable-bowel syndrome? Insufficient evidence. Dementia and glaucoma? Probably not. Anxiety? Maybe. Depression? Probably not.

Then come Chapters 5 through 13, the heart of the report, which concern marijuana’s potential risks. The haze of uncertainty continues. Does the use of cannabis increase the likelihood of fatal car accidents? Yes. By how much? Unclear. Does it affect motivation and cognition? Hard to say, but probably. Does it affect employment prospects? Probably. Will it impair academic achievement? Limited evidence. This goes on for pages.

Second - from Alex Berenson writing at Imprimis:

Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence
Seventy miles northwest of New York City is a hospital that looks like a prison, its drab brick buildings wrapped in layers of fencing and barbed wire. This grim facility is called the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Institute. It’s one of three places the state of New York sends the criminally mentally ill—defendants judged not guilty by reason of insanity.

Until recently, my wife Jackie ­— Dr. Jacqueline Berenson — was a senior psychiatrist there. Many of Mid-Hudson’s 300 patients are killers and arsonists. At least one is a cannibal. Most have been diagnosed with psychotic disorders like schizophrenia that provoked them to violence against family members or strangers.

A couple of years ago, Jackie was telling me about a patient. In passing, she said something like, Of course he’d been smoking pot his whole life.

Of course? I said.

Yes, they all smoke.

So marijuana causes schizophrenia?

I was surprised, to say the least. I tended to be a libertarian on drugs. Years before, I’d covered the pharmaceutical industry for The New York Times. I was aware of the claims about marijuana as medicine, and I’d watched the slow spread of legalized cannabis without much interest.

Jackie would have been within her rights to say, I know what I’m talking about, unlike you. Instead she offered something neutral like, I think that’s what the big studies say. You should read them.

Much more at both sites - usedd to smoke a bit when I was in my 20's but stopped as it was not "enhancing" anything - it was an energy drain and I did not like the psychological effects. Marijuana seems to have been re-incarnated as some kind of "magic medicine" good for all that ails a person. Not true and more research needs to be done.

Strange phenomena around the USA in the last two months - a tranche of clickable headlines:

Very curious. This next item I would take with a grain of salt as there are no links to source materials but here we go.
From Above Top Secret (this post is from 2013 so not related to the current spate of booms):

"Canon Booms" Heard And Felt For 2-3 Years Prior To 1811-1812 New Madrid Earthquakes
There has been speculation recently that the loud boom sounds and vibrations being reported around the USA could be related to the New Madrid fault zone. So I decided to look at some of the accounts from the survivors of the 1811-1812 New Madrid series of earthquakes, which supposedly included 4 mega quakes, 3 major quakes, and thousands of minor quakes.

What I found is that several people wrote accounts of hearing what they described as loud booms that sounded like cannon blasts for up to 2-3 years (depending on the location) before the earthquakes happened. The descriptions talk about these loud booms often being accompanied by vibration and shaking sensations. The accounts describe these loud "cannon booms" as happening also right before the earthquakes happened.

They describe hearing the same loud booms they had been hearing for up to 3 years right before the big earthquakes hit. The only difference was that the sound booms right before the quakes hit were louder than the previous booms that had been happening for the previous 2-3 years.

New Madrid? From InfoGalactic:

1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes
The 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes were an intense intraplate earthquake series beginning with an initial earthquake of moment magnitude (7.5 -7.9) on December 16, 1811 followed by a moment magnitude 7.4 aftershock on the same day. They remain the most powerful earthquakes to hit the contiguous United States east of the Rocky Mountains in recorded history. They, as well as the seismic zone of their occurrence, were named for the Mississippi River town of New Madrid, then part of the Louisiana Territory, now within Missouri.

There are estimates that the earthquakes were felt strongly over roughly 130,000 square kilometers (50,000 sq mi), and moderately across nearly 3 million square kilometers (1 million square miles). The 1906 San Francisco earthquake, by comparison, was felt moderately over roughly 16,000 km2 (6,200 sq mi).

Interesting times...

From the Los Angeles Times:

Albuquerque’s $133-million electric bus system is going nowhere fast
Shortly after being elected in 2017, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller stood on one of the passenger platforms for ART, the city’s ambitious new $133-million all-electric bus line that cuts through a 10-mile stretch of the city.

“Drivers waved and cheered, ‘Congrats to the new mayor!’ ‘I voted for you!’ ‘Go get ’em!’ ” said Keller. “And then in the next breath, they would lay on the horn and give the giant ART sign the middle finger out the car window.”

Civic leaders had initially pitched Albuquerque Rapid Transit as a way to revitalize the city’s former stretch of Route 66 and make the community a national leader in sustainable mass transit. Instead, the ART project resulted in parts of what’s now Central Avenue being ripped up to host dedicated lanes for the electric buses, which are currently out of commission and have so many problems that Keller freely calls them “a bit of a lemon.”

Another "Gang Green" fever dream crashing on the wall of numbers. Does not work. Besides, in that area, electricity is generated by coal burning at Four Corners - even if those buses ran, they would be coal burning.

Spent about 90 minutes at the gym - alternating between cardio (rowing and treadmill) and the machines. I will feel it tomorrow but it felt really good today. Went out for Mexican food and then a couple pints at the local.

Building quite the collection

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Doing some paperwork and ripping more CDs from my collection. Planning on selling them in one of the garage sales so want to get this done. Only about a third of the way through and here is what we are looking at:


Heading out to the gym in a few and then up to MF

Los Angeles and Typhus

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Getting worse - from the Los Angeles Times:

Long before City Hall rats, L.A. has struggled with the rise of typhus
Los Angeles officials this month called for an investigation into a vermin infestation at City Hall, after at least one city employee was diagnosed with typhus, a disease spread by rodents.

The rat problem has focused attention on typhus over the last several weeks. But cases of the disease have actually been increasing in California for more than a decade.

Thirteen people in the state were diagnosed with typhus in 2008, compared with 167 last year. More than 95% of the people falling sick in California are in Los Angeles and Orange counties, according to state health data.

Wonder how long it will be before Yersinia pestis rears its ugly head. It can be treated with common antibiotics but a very prompt diagnosis is required to get mortality down below 40%. Highly contageous too - wonderful stuff. Symptoms are very flu-like at the beginning and since the flu is a virus, antibiotics do not have any effect - people will not be inclined to take them for flu symptoms. By the time the buboes show up, it is too late. Not good at all.

Not a big fan of dense populations - just one reason.

High speed trains - Europe and the USA

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The progressives are in love with the European system of high-speed railroads and want to implement them here despite the cost and low ridership. Warren Meyer writes at Coyote Blog and offers some real numbers:

A Reminder: Why the US Rail System Is At Least as Good As the European System if You Care About Energy Use
In an article about the French railroad SNCF, Randal O'Toole makes a point I have screamed to the world for years:

Meanwhile, French trains carry less than 11 percent of freight, as more than 86 percent of freight is transported on highways. Those numbers are in sharp contrast to the U.S., where at least a third of freight goes by rail and less than 40 percent goes by truck (and I suspect a bad model has erroneously exaggerated the role of trucks).

American railroads are a model of capitalism, one of the least-subsidized forms of transportation in the world. They are profitable and do far more for the national economy than Europe’s socialized railroads, which mainly serve narrow elites.

Most of the intellectual elites and nearly all the global warming alarmists deride the US for not having the supposedly superior rail system that France and Germany have.  They are blinded by the vision of admittedly beautiful high speed trains, and have frittered away billions of dollars trying to pursue various high speed rail visions in the US.

Warren then comes up with some actual numbers:

First, consider the last time you were on a passenger train. Add up the weight of all the folks in your car. Do you think they weighed more or less than the car itself? Unless you were packed into a subway train with Japanese sumo wrestlers, the answer is that the weight of the car dwarfs that of the passengers it is carrying. The average Amtrak passenger car apparently weighs about 65 tons (my guess is a high speed rail car weighs more). The capacity of a coach is 70-80 passengers, which at an average adult weight of 140 pounds yields a maximum passenger weight per car of 5.6 tons. This means that just 8% of the fuel in a passenger train is being used to move people -- the rest goes into moving the train itself.

Now consider a freight train. The typical car weight 25-30 tons empty and can carry between 70 and 120 tons of cargo. This means that 70-80% of the fuel in a freight train is being used to move the cargo.

Now you have to take me on faith on one statement -- it is really hard, in fact close to impossible, to optimize a rail system for both passengers and freight. In the extreme of high speed rail, passenger trains required separate dedicated tracks. Most rail systems, even when they serve both sorts of traffic, generally prioritize one or the other. So, if you wanted to save energy and had to pick, which would you choose -- focusing on freight or focusing on passengers? Oh and by the way, if you want to make it more personal, throw in a consideration of which you would rather have next to you on crowded roads, another car or another freight truck?

A lot more at the site and some interesting comments.

From Vanderleun who offers several more such truths at this link:


Interesting - measurement

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From Science:

You know kilo, mega, and giga. Is the metric system ready for ronna and quecca?
Fresh from redefining the kilogram and other fundamental measures, the guardians of the metric system have set their sights on another upgrade: new prefixes for outrageously large and small numbers.

A proposal lodged with the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in Paris recommends new names—ronna and quecca—as prefixes for 1027 and 1030, respectively. They would be joined by their microscopic counterparts, ronto for 10−27, and quecto for 10−30. If approved, the new terms could be formally introduced in 2022. They would be the first prefixes added since 1991.

The planned update responds to the massive growth in global data storage, which by the early 2030s is forecast to reach 1 yottabyte (1024)—the top of the existing scale. Without new prefixes, computer scientists will have no way to officially talk about what comes next. At the other end of the scale, quantum physicists have measured atomic forces as small as 42 yoctonewtons. Much smaller and they run out of metrological road.

A fun time to be alive - the science of measurement keeps breaking boundaries. Back when I was in college, I was interested in bio-luminescence and back then (don't ask), detecting a single photon was a black art requiring chilled equipment and electrically shielded room. Now, it can be done on a desktop with a $30 sensor at room temperature.

It seems that the two accomplices are singing their little hearts out - more from yesterday's news item from Robert Stacy McCain:

Report: Nigerian Brothers ‘Flipped,’ Help Cops in Jussie Smollett ‘Hate Crime’ Hoax
Gateway Pundit notes that the local CWB Chicago news site has produced outstanding coverage of the Jussie Smollett story. Their latest report indicates that Nigerian brothers Abimbola “Abel” Osundairo and Olabinjo “Ola” Osundairo were released by cops Friday after two days of interrogation because they are cooperating with the investigation, which is now focused directly at Smollett himself:

CWBChicago has learned that federal investigators sat in as Chicago police interrogated the Osundario brothers for two days after the men were taken into custody at O’Hare airport on Wednesday evening. The Osundiros flew into the airport minutes earlier, returning from a trip to Nigeria that began hours after Smollett reported being attacked.

The brothers, who have a relationship with Smollett and served as extras on his TV show, saw their status with police evolve from “potential persons of interest” to “potential suspects” to being “unable to leave” custody because investigators had “probable cause that they were involved in a crime” to being set free in the course of 48 hours.

A lot more at the site and Robert concludes with this:

That “hate letter” was sent through the U.S. Postal Service, and I’m sure there’s a federal law that could make that a felony. Everything we’ve learned so far points toward Smollett attempting to stage a hoax that would make it seem he was attacked by Trump supporters. and you can bet money the Chicago FBI is under heavy pressure to solve this case. You see, this is not just a Chicago police case. Maybe the cops (or their Democrat bosses at City Hall) don’t want to bring any charges against Jussie, but because this was investigated by the feds as a potential “hate crime,” it’s not up to Chicago P.D. Lying to an FBI agent? You can go to prison for that. Obstruction of justice in a federal investigation? Witness tampering? Attempting to destroy evidence? Yeah, the feds have lots of ways to send you to prison, if they want to, and I’m thinking our new Attorney General William Barr might want to see maximum prosecution in a case like this.

Mr. Smollett brought this upon himself with his little act of virtue signalling. I am betting some kind of plea deal but he will never work in the media business again.

And of course, because it fit the narrative, Hollywood went bonkers:

15 Celebrities Who Blamed Trump, Deplorables for Hoax Attack on Jussie Smollett

Back from coffee

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And breakfast. Doing a couple of things around the house and then up to MF this afternoon. Refilled the bird feeders - lil' buggers are eating me out of house and home ☺

Probably hit the gym in a couple hours - have not been there in a week and really feel it. Need to get back in the habit.

Time for coffee

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Heading out for coffee and breakfast. Planning to drive up to Maple Falls later today - do another couple of loads into the condo with the van.

Economic fun in New York state

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The Amazon pull-out was not the only news item this week - from the New York Post:

Worse than Amazon: Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion just went bust
Amazon’s pullout Thursday wasn’t even the worst economic development news for Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week: Just two days earlier, his economic development czar basically admitted that the gov’s signature Buffalo Billion is a . . . Buffalo Bust.

In testimony Tuesday, Empire State Development boss Howard Zemsky tried to put a positive spin on it, but he acknowledged that Cuomo’s gamble of $750 million in taxpayer funds on a Buffalo solar panel plant has bombed: On its current course, there’s zero sign it can host anything like the promised number of jobs.

More at the article - it closes with these two paragraphs:

And this waste is just a fraction of what’s gone on with the gov’s Andy Land projects. Last year, The Post cited $10 billion in such Cuomo handouts, such as $600 million for a computer chip firm that never opened.

The gov pretends that his deals can make up for New York’s high taxes and burdensome regulations — but the repeated failures of his projects show the opposite.

Emphasis mine - Albert Einstein's quote comes to mind: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”

Must be nice to have an army of taxpayers footing the bill for your pipe dreams.

Well crap - RIP W.E.B. Griffin

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Good writer of military fiction - always lilked his stuff. From Publisher's Weekly:

W.E.B. Griffin, Military Man and Writer, Dies at 89
W.E.B. Griffin, the prolific author of nearly 250 books, nearly 160 of which were military fiction, died on February 12, his publisher, Putnam, confirmed. He was 89.

Griffin, né William E. Butterworth III, entered the U.S. Army in 1946, was assigned to the Army of Occupation in Germany, and later recalled to active duty in the Korean War, in 1951. Griffin was the recipient of the 1991 Brigadier General Robert L. Dening Memorial Distinguished Service Award of the U.S. Marine Corps and the 1999 Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, and was a vested member of the Order of St. George of the U.S. Armor Association and the Order of St. Andrew of the U.S. Army Aviation Association.

Butterworth, a bestselling author many times over under a handful of pseudonyms, has more than 50 million copies of books under the Griffin name in print in more than 10 languages, including, his publisher said, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, and Hungarian. As Griffin, he was the author of 61 novels in seven series. Under different pseudonyms, Butterworth wrote a number of other books for both adults and children, including 12 of the 13 M*A*S*H novels.

"Known for his historical accuracy, richly drawn characters, thrilling adventure, crackling wit, and astute aptitude for the heart and mind of a military hero, Griffin delighted readers for decades with his electrifying novels about the military, police, spies, and counterspies," the publisher wrote in its tribute to the author. "We at Putnam are saddened to share the news of W.E.B. Griffin’s passing," a representative of the publisher added, calling the author "a decades-long bestselling author, decorated military man, and one of the bedrocks of G.P. Putnam’s Sons."

Quite the life. He will be missed.

China's real estate bubble

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Things are going to get interesting soon - from BoingBoing:

Signs that China's real-estate bubble will burst and take the economy with it
China's real-estate bubble is the largest in human history, and despite years of warning signs, it has grown and grown, spilling over into the rest of the world.

It's hard to overstate just how crazy China's real-estate market is: 25% of the country's GDP comes from construction, and 80% of the nation's wealth is in domestic property holdings. That's $65T, nearly double the size of the economies of every G7 nation combined.

The market has been kept afloat through China's massive "shadow banking" system, itself such a systemic risk that the Chinese government has been forced to crack down on it. Now, China's massive, blue-chip property developers have had their debt downrated to CCC and are struggling to issue new bonds -- Moody's rates the debt of 51 out of 61 Chinese property companies as "junk."

Central planning is really working out for them. Capitalism would have limited the size of this bubble.

Happy happy joy joy - snow in the offing

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From Cliff Mass:

The Potential for More Lowland Snow
Don't run out to the supermarket yet. But don't put away your snow shovels or snow boots. We are about to go into a cooler period, with the potential for snow reaching sea level, and near certainty of the snow level dropping down to 500-1000 ft.

Cooler air, capable of supporting lowland snow is going to move in this weekend--not as cold as last week, but cold enough. To illustrate this, here is the sea-level pressure and low-level temperature analysis for 4 AM this morning. Blue is cold, purple is colder, and you don't even want to think about white. Light blue is cold enough for lowland snow. Western WA is now too warm for snow, and in fact it is raining.

I am sooo ready for spring - got a bunch of projects to work on down here - getting the house leveled, siding, etc...
Happy happy joy joy? Here.

Meme of the day - immigrants

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And that is it for the night

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Nothing out there that catches my eye - heading up to MF tomorrow for a few days. Almost done packing up the stuff for the first garage sale. Bringing the van so will see how the snow is.

Wheels are coming off his story - from CNN of all places:

Police sources: New evidence suggests Jussie Smollett orchestrated attack
Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollet paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month.

The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of "new evidence."

The sources told CNN the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Heh - when you are a liberal public figure and CNN doubts your narrative? Toast... Hope he enjoyed his fifteen minutes of fame. He will probably be a star in the Chicago stage and media industry but never Hollywood, never again. Not trustworthy.

That was then - April  02, 2018 Los Angeles Times:

The Sierra Nevada snowpack will be 64% smaller by the end of this century. We need to prepare now
Although recent storms have dumped heavy snow across the Sierra Nevada, Monday’s snowpack measurement will almost certainly show that it is still well below average. Last week, the Sierra-wide reading put the total snowpack at 15.8 inches of water content, or 43% below normal.

Here’s an even more sobering reality. According to our new research, such spring snow measurements will be considered far above average in the decades to come.

We have just completed detailed projections of the Sierra Nevada’s future climate. Our findings tell the story of a snowpack on life support. If greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, by the end of this century, the Sierra snowpack in a typical April will be 64% smaller than it was at the end of the 20th century.

And this is now - from February 15, 2019 Yahoo / Associated Press:

Snow too thick to plow keeps skiers from California resorts
Winter weather enveloping California's mountains for a fourth straight day Friday kept skiers from hitting the slopes at the start of the Presidents Day holiday weekend, with snow so deep that plows could not tackle it and cities scrambled to find places to pile it.

Several routes to the ski mecca of Lake Tahoe shut down, including about 70 miles (110 kilometers) of Interstate 80 from Colfax, California, to the Nevada state line.

The 'Climate Scientists' adjust their models to give one very specific kind of forecast all the while Nature deals out some very different numbers. From NASA's SpaceWeather site:

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 16 days
2019 total: 30 days (64%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)
2014 total: 1 day (<1%)
2013 total: 0 days (0%)
2012 total: 0 days (0%)
2011 total: 2 days (<1%)

Sunspots are a great proxy for solar output. The fewer sunspots, the lower the output. We are entering into a period of very low solar activity. Gonna get really cold for a long long time.

From The Guardian:

Trump: Shinzo Abe nominated me for Nobel peace prize
Donald Trump has claimed that Japan’s prime minister nominated him for the Nobel peace prize for his work to open up a dialogue with North Korea. At a White House event to discuss his proposed border wall, Trump touched on his upcoming summit with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam.

The president said early exchanges with Kim were filled with “fire and fury”, but since their first meeting last year the two had established a good relationship. He said: “[Shinzo Abe] gave me the most beautiful copy of a letter that he sent to the people who give out a thing called the Nobel prize.

“He said ‘I have nominated you, respectfully, on behalf of Japan. I am asking them to give you the Nobel peace prize.”’

The South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, who has also credited Trump with starting negotiations with North Korea, has reportedly endorsed him for the prize as well

Makes a lot more sense than Obama's Nobel. Trump actually accomplished peace. Compare and contrast to this quote from President Obama at The Washington Times 11/04/2013:

Obama brag, in new book: I’m ‘really good at killing people’ 
President Obama was overheard bragging to administration aides about his ability to kill people with drones, a new book about the 2012 campaign season that’s due for release on Tuesday claimed.

The president’s specific words: I’m “really good at killing people,” authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann write in “Double Down: Game Change 2012,” The Daily Mail reported. They get their claim from a Washington Post report that buries the statement as a brief anecdote in an article, in which the president is described as speaking to aides about the drone program and then making the claim.

One is over his head and the other is a leader.

Back home - long day

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Very glad I left an extra hour earlier this morning as the rain really slowed traffic down. From Smokey Point through Everett and a bit north of Northgate I-5 was as slow as 40MPH with visibility very curtailed - a couple of car lengths at best.

Not so bad heading back North. Had dinner and now back home again. See what the internet faeries brought in for me to look at.

Out the door

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Coffee and then heading down to Seattle for some stuff. Back to the island tonight.

And - YouTube

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Heading off for some watching and then bedtime.

Wall? Solved.

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Eaton Rapids Joe is a daily read for me. Great writing and fun observations. Today was short so here it is in full:

Knives cut both ways

Imagine toxic waste being securely stored in Conex containers stacked three-or-four-high on a concrete pad fifty feet from the southern border of the United States.

Considering the amount of toxic waste generated in the US, the stack would be approximately 1954.6 miles long before November 3, 2020.

In 2016 the EPA budget was $8.6 Billion. The beautiful thing about Conex containers is that private enterprise will gladly fill and park those containers wherever Trump wants them as long as it gets the EPA off their back.

Don't screw with the EPA, baby. There is no profit in it.

The problem of the wall has just been solved. Plus, we get a wonderful managed toxic waste storage solution.

Judicial Watch - more goods on Hillary

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Keep chipping away at the deep state - from Judicial Watch:

Judicial Watch: Docs Reveal FBI Cover Up of ‘Chart’ of Potential Violations of Law by Hillary Clinton
Judicial Watch announced today it received 186 pages of records from the Department of Justice that include emails documenting an evident cover up of a chart of potential violations of law by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Judicial Watch obtained the records through a January 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ failed respond to a December 4, 2017 FOIA request Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)). Judicial Watch is seeking all communications between FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page.

The newly obtained emails came in response to a May 21 order by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to the FBI to begin processing 13,000 pages of records exchanged exclusively between Strzok and Page between February 1, 2015, and December 2017. The FBI may not complete review and production of all the Strzok-Page communications until at least 2020.

Needless to say, there is much much more at the website. This is not media bias. These are people who are using the Freedom of Information Act to get otherwise hidden documents from our FBI. Documents that We The People have every right to see as it was our taxpayer dollars which paid for their creation.

Now this could be interesting

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From New Atlas:

New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood
A team of Canadian scientists has developed a fascinating new experimental drug that is purported to result in rapid improvements to both mood and memory following extensive animal testing. It's hoped the drug will move to human trials within the next two years.

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a key neurotransmitter, and when altered it can play a role in the development of everything from psychiatric conditions to cognitive degeneration. Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax or Valium, are a class of drugs well known to function by modulating the brain's GABA systems.

This new research describes the development of several new molecules that are structurally based on benzodiazepines, but with small tweaks to enhance their ability to specifically target certain brain areas. The goal was to create a new therapeutic agent that can effectively combat age-related mood and memory alterations caused by disruptions in the GABA systems.

"Currently there are no medications to treat cognitive symptoms such as memory loss that occur in depression, other mental illnesses and aging," says Etienne Sibille, from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and lead scientist on the new research.

If this pans out, they should just put it in the water systems like we do with Chlorine and Fluorine. Overall improvement to society.

And back home

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Surf for a bit and then down to Seattle tomorrow.


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No time to make anything - getting a big bowl of pasta and then a couple beers at one of my other locals.

My primary local had someone get very sick (an ambulance was called) there last night just before I came in. The symptoms sounded a lot like norovirus so staying the hell away from there for a week.

Back in a couple...

Illegal aliens in the news

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Here's a new one to add to yesterday's list - from Jacksonville, Florida News4Jax:

K-9 helps make drug bust on I-75, troopers say
Roughly $120,000 worth of meth and heroin was seized during a traffic stop Tuesday in Columbia County, authorities said.

Troopers said Edwin Ismael Martinez, 23, and Alejandro Angeles-Morales, 25, both of North Carolina, are now facing charges of possession and trafficking in methamphetamine and heroin, drug smuggling, and possession of drug equipment.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, if it had not been for K-9 Rogue, the narcotics would have been delivered somewhere in Florida.

"We're certainly pleased with the outcome of the traffic stop and what they were able to take away from these individuals and keep it off the street," FHP spokesman Lt. Patrick Riordan told News4Jax on Wednesday.

It is not until much later in the article that the fact they are in the USA illegaly is ever mentioned. How many lives were they destroying before they finally got caught.

And back to the island

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Very glad I went up - the critters are OK on food. They got nice and fat over the summer so they have really good reserves but the stock tanks were nearly empty.

Put out some more hay and cleaned and refilled the two tanks. Planning to head back up beginning of next week. The driveway was fine for the Highlander but it would have been impossible for the van - the van is older and just rear-wheel drive. There was about six inches of really crusty snow on the ground with an inch or so of very slick ice underneath.

Heading to Seattle tomorrow for some stuff.

Out the door

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Coffee and post office - looking at heading up to Maple Falls later this afternoon. Couple of projects down here first.

Snow is melting nicely - it's 42°F now and very light rain.

Build that wall

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From the Tucson, AZ ABC affiliate:

Fentanyl deaths from 'Mexican oxy' pills hit Arizona hard
Aaron Francisco Chavez swallowed at least one of the sky blue pills at a Halloween party before falling asleep forever.

He became yet another victim killed by a flood of illicit fentanyl smuggled from Mexico into the Southwest -- a profitable new business for drug gangs that has pushed the synthetic opioid to the top spot for fatal U.S. overdoses.

Three others at the party in Tucson also took the pills nicknamed "Mexican oxy" and police flagged down by partygoers saved them by administering naloxone overdose reversal medication. But the treatment came too late for Chavez, who died at age 19.

The overall problem

The Sinaloa cartel's ability to ramp up its own production of fentanyl and label it oxycodone shows the group's business acumen and why it remains among the world's top criminal organizations, despite the conviction in New York this week of cartel kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, Coleman said.

"If they see a market for their stuff, they'll make it and bring it up," he said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fentanyl is now the drug involved in the most fatal overdoses in the U.S., with fatalities from synthetic opioids including fentanyl jumping more than 45 percent from 2016 to 2017, when they accounted for some 28,000 of about 70,000 overdose deaths of all kinds.

Building a wall will not stop this but it will severely curtail it. Wall now.

How much money are Schumer and Pelosi getting from the cartels? That is the only reason for their resistance.

Up early

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Something set the dogs off so I woke up. Nothing that I could see outside - maybe a squirrel or something.

Coffee and post office in about an hour.

Off to YouTube

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Planning to head up to Maple Falls tomorrow - check the snow level first.

Time to watch a couple videos...

Aaaaand - another fake hate crime

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Hillary Clinton won 83.7% of the votes in the city of Chicago in the 2016 election. Any fool wearing a MAGA hat outside at 2:00AM would have the stuffing pounded out of them. From the Chicago ABC affiliate:

Sources: Police investigating whether Jussie Smollett staged attack with help of others, allegedly being written off 'Empire'
Chicago police confirmed Thursday that detectives are talking to two persons of interest in connection with the alleged attack on "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett.

Multiple sources have told ABC7 Eyewitness News that police are investigating whether Smollett and the two men staged the attack allegedly because Smollett was being written off of "Empire."

A source familiar with the investigation told the ABC7 I-Team that Smollett failed to appear for an interview with detectives earlier Thursday, but has since spoken with police.

Fake hate crimes? Very much a thing - here is the canonical database of them Fake Hate Crimes

Here are a few articles in the media:

There is even a book: Hate Crime Hoax: The Left's Campaign to Sell a Fake Race War

The left has nothing to run on so they have to fabricate these stories to back up their pathetic narratives. These attacks always turn out to be hoaxes.

Vox Day had this to say:

A society that rewards victimhood is always going to produce victims, even if the victims have to take the trouble to victimize themselves.

Wise words...

Back from dinner

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The burrito hit the spot. Headed over to my favorite local - tonight is Karaoke night and there are some really good singers.

There was an aid car speeding in the other lane and I get there and the whole bar area was cordoned off and the owner and bartender were wiping everything down. I asked if it was projectile vomiting. It was. Classic symptom for Norovirus.

I bailed out of there - did not even take a seat. Had it once - you don't die, you just wish you would. Highly contagious.

The crew was using chlorine solution to clean and they had everyone in the other side of the room so things should be OK.

Started to rain pretty heavily while I was eating - this is the last front of the series but this one is warm with snow levels around 2,000 feet. It is 39°F outside - got up to 47°F this afternoon.

The preper meeting was called off today - pockets of Camano Island are still frozen in - lots of trees and shade on the roads.

The State is God to communists

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Case in point - available for sale:


Heading out for a bit

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Dropping the CDs off at the library, swing by the post office (waiting for the fairy lights from Amazon - using these to warm the hummingbird feeder) and then out for a burrito. Still somewhat full from breakfast so just getting a light dinner.

Beer or two after that.

Both are from Zero Hedge

AOC Celebrates "Defeat" Of World's Richest Man's "Worker Exploitation" As Amazon Abandons NY

"Their Careers Are Over:" Real Estate Brokers Furious At Politicians For Shock Amazon Withdrawal

As AOC learns that actions have consequences. She and her ilk were meddling in a business matter and caused the principal to bail out. The lost jobs means less city revenue, less appartments rented, less people eating out, less people buying clothes, cars, computers, etc... The overall loss to the city is much larger than what Amazon was going to recieve in tax credits. 125,000 direct hires.


Crimes committed by illegal aliens

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Been a while since I did one of these posts - here are all the crimes committed in the last two weeks - each headline links to the original story:

14 days so far in February - 16 crimes. A lot of the articles don't mention the immigration status until after a couple of paragraphs but all of these goblins are here illegally.

The Democrats own this problem free and clear.

In her dreams - Sen. Pelosi

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Shows just how delusional she is - from The Hill:

Pelosi warns GOP: Next president could declare national emergency on guns
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday issued a warning to Republicans poised to support President Trump's decision to declare a national emergency at the southern border: the next Democratic president, she said, could do the same on guns.

"A Democratic president can declare emergencies, as well," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "So the precedent that the president is setting here is something that should be met with great unease and dismay by the Republicans."

Pelosi noted that Thursday marked the one-year anniversary of the shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 students and faculty dead. She argued that the real national emergency is not illegal border crossings, but gun violence in the U.S.

Hey Nancy - the next Presidential election is in 2020 and President Trump is going to win that by a huge margin. I bet that 2024 will be a Republican sweep as well - Pence or someone else just as conservative.

What was that about counting your chickens?

Back home again

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Went for breakfast and then stopped at the library for a couple more CDs and a book. Went to the local thrift store - was looking for a mug warmer as I am drinking a lot of tea these days. This plugs in and sits on the desk keeping my tea mug nice and warm.

Got a fire going downstairs and will work down there in 30 minutes or so. It is 41°F outside - definitely warming up for a day or two. Quick trot around the internets...

Heading out for coffee

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Working at home today - got a bunch of bills to pay, doing some laundry, puttering in the garage. Basic stuff.

Not out of the woods yet - the weather

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Looks like an extended cold snap - from Cliff Mass:

Will This Be The Coldest February in Sea-Tac History?
We have already broken one major record: Seattle-Tacoma Airport had its snowiest February since record keeping began during the late 1940s: 20.2 inches. Impressive.

But I think there is an excellent chance we will break another record, this time for cold.

Specifically, I think there is a very good change that Sea-Tac Airport will experience the coldest February on record as well....and that is really a very impressive record.

Hold your horses, some of you might exclaim! We are only half way through the month! Who knows what will happen?

Cliff looks at several forecasts and points to this (from NOAA/NWS) due around the end of this month:


Cliff's comments:

The NOAA/NWS Climate Prediction Center, which tries to bring in multiple types of guidance, is going an amazing cold anomaly for the last week of the month (see below). I am getting chilled just looking at it.

Brrrrrr...  And then we have this little bundle of joy to welcome this spring - from the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center:

Synopsis: Weak El Nino conditions are present and are expected to continue through the Northern Hemisphere spring 2019 (~55% chance).

El Nino conditions formed during January 2019, based on the presence of above-average sea surface temperatures (SSTs) across most of the equatorial Pacific Ocean and corresponding changes in the overlying atmospheric circulation. The weekly Nino indices remained above average during the month, although decreasing in the Nino-3 and Nino-3.4 regions. However, the Nino-4 region remained elevated, with a value of +0.8°C in early February. Positive subsurface temperature anomalies (averaged across 180°-100°W) increased in the last couple weeks, in association with a downwelling Kelvin wave that contributed to above-average temperatures in the central Pacific. Compared to last month, the region of enhanced equatorial convection expanded near the Date Line, while anomalies remained weak over Indonesia. Low-level wind anomalies became westerly across the western Pacific Ocean, while upper-level wind anomalies were mostly westerly over the eastern Pacific. The equatorial Southern Oscillation index was negative (-0.6 standard deviations). Overall, these features are consistent with borderline, weak El Nino conditions.

In plain English - excerpted from InfoGalactic:

Winters, during the El Niño effect, are warmer and drier than average in the Northwest, northern Midwest, and upper Northeast United States, so those regions experience reduced snowfalls. Meanwhile, significantly wetter winters are present in northwest Mexico and the southwest United States, including central and southern California, while both cooler and wetter than average winters in northeast Mexico and the Southeastern United States (including the Tidewater region of Virginia) occur during the El Niño phase of the oscillation.

We have already had enough snow to fill our snowpack so agricultural water for this summer is fine. Also, this is being called a mild El Niño so its effects will be minimized - not like the huge one in 2010.

Global Warming Cooling anyone?

Airbus is a European company and is very heavily subsidized by the trolls in Brussels. From Bloomberg:

Airbus Will Stop Making the World’s Largest Passenger Jet
Airbus SE decided to stop making the A380 double-decker after a dozen years in service, burying a prestige project that won the hearts of passengers and politicians but never the broad support of airlines that instead preferred smaller, more fuel-efficient aircraft.

Production of the jumbo jet will end by 2021, after the A380’s biggest customer, Emirates, and a handful of remaining buyers receive their last orders. The Gulf carrier will pare down its current A380 order to 14 from 53. Emirates said separately it would purchase 70 smaller A330neo and A350 widebodies listed at $21.4 billion before customary discounts.

“Today’s announcement is painful for us and the A380 communities worldwide” Airbus Chief Executive Office Tom Enders said in a statement. Airbus said as many as 3,500 jobs are affected by the decision.

While the A380 has struggled for years to match its popular appeal with a robust order book, the radical move to cancel the plane outright marks a watershed moment for civil aviation. The A380 was always more than an aircraft, albeit a very large one. Rather, it was the manifestation of Europe’s collaborative drive and the continent’s industrial ambitions. For Airbus, the airliner sought to create a commanding counterweight to Boeing Co., promising unparalleled space and luxury for increasingly congested airports and the skies above.

The A380's first commercial flight was in 2007 - eleven years ago. The Boeing 747 had it's first commercial flight in 1969 and is still being manufactured today - fifty years of production.

Airbus decided to build a monster airplane but they forgot to ask their customers if this was something THEY wanted. Subsidies from the EU kept this project afloat but eventually, reality reared its ugly head and they are forced to pull the plug. Another instance of hard data trumping an idealistic narrative.

Tell me again how centralized government is so much better than raw capitalism.

Heh - Covington Catholic students sue

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From PJ Media:

Covington Catholic Teen's Lawyers Intend to Sue Native American Activist Nathan Phillips
Lawyers for Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann intend to sue the Native American activist who got the ball rolling on the agenda-driven smear campaign against their client and the rest of the Covington boys.

L. Lin Wood, an Atlanta-based attorney who specializes in aggressive defamation suits against the media, told LifeSiteNews on Friday that Nathan Phillips’ “lies and false accusations” against Sandmann and the other Covington students are “well documented” and he will be sued. He confirmed to PJ Media on Twitter Wednesday that he intends to sue Phillips.

Wood explained in a tweet last week that a sworn deposition from Phillips would "prove invaluable in obtaining justice" for his client.

Heh - Phillips is a left-wing activist who lied about his military service and does nothing but stir up trouble. Time to make his little shake-down scam go away. Glad to see these kids punching back twice as hard.

This person does not exist

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Fascinating website - from Inverse:

This Person Does Not Exist Is the Best One-Off Website of 2019
At a glance, the images featured on the website This Person Does Not Existmight seem like random high school portraits or vaguely inadvisable LinkedIn headshots. But every single photo on the site has been created by using a special kind of artificial intelligence algorithm called generative adversarial networks(GANs).

Every time the site is refreshed, a shockingly realistic — but totally fake —picture of a person’s face appears. Uber software engineer Phillip Wang created the page to demonstrate what GANs are capable of, and then posted it to the public Facebook group “Artificial Intelligence & Deep Learning” on Tuesday.

The underlying code that made this possible, titled StyleGAN, was written by Nvidia and featured in a paper that has yet to be peer-reviewed. This exact type of neural network has the potential to revolutionize video game and 3D-modeling technology, but, as with almost any kind of technology, it could also be used for more sinister purposes. Deepfakes, or computer-generated images superimposed on existing pictures or videos, can be used to push fake news narratives or other hoaxes. That’s precisely why Wang chose to create the mesmerizing but also chilling website.

Here is the link to the website: This Person Does Not Exist

Sometimes you get odd results - it seems to have problems with ears and jewlrey.

Tip of the hat to James Gurney for the link. Fun stuff.

Got nothing - YouTube

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A bit tired and ready for bed. 45 minutes of YouTube and then off to the arms of Morpheus.

Working on island tomorrow - meeting later that night. Planning to spend a couple of days in Maple Falls over the weekend - got a bunch more stuff to move down.

Time for a pint or two

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Dinner was good - pasta was a bit overcooked but the soup was really flavorful. Baguette hit the spot. Been using Kerrygold butter instead of the Costco generic - noticeably better taste and I do not go through that much so very affordable.

Heading out for a pint or two - read a bit.

Lest we forget - Russian Collusion

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As the Meuller report winds down (nothing there to report), here is a trip down memory lane regarding Hillary Clinton and her collusion with the Russians - these are headlines that link to the articles:

I could keep going on but you get the picture. She needs to go to jail. That this is being swept under the rug is a perfect manifestation of the deep state.

Quote of the day

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"No one will really understand politics until they understand that politicians are not trying to solve our problems. They are trying to solve their own problems - of which getting elected and re-elected are number one and number two."
--Thomas Sowell

Back home again

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Was in Bellingham for a couple of hours - about ready for the first of the garage sales.

Swung by the food coop and picked up a pint of Minestrone Soup and a half-baguette for dinner - sitting down to that now.

No better road

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Like it says, there is a GOOD RD and a BEST RD - no BETTER RD (and I checked Google Maps).

Utsalady is on the North end of Camano Island - the word is Native for "place for berries"

Out for coffee

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Post office and Breakfast and then up to Bellingham, maybe Maple Falls for a day.

Meeting down here tomorrow evening - preparedness group.

Not having a good day - bank robber

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Talk about instant karma  - from Central Maine:

Fleeing Waterville bank robber slips, spills money, gun in front of special agent, police say
It was a scene right out of a bank heist movie.

A lone man brandishing a handgun walked into Bangor Savings Bank on Tuesday morning on upper Main Street, robbed the bank and fled; but no one could have predicted what happened next.

He ran across four lanes of traffic on Main Street and into the Ming Lee restaurant parking lot, slipped on the ice and found himself face-to-face with a special agent for the Maine State Police Computer Crimes Task Force who just happened to be parked in the right place at the right time.

“When he fell, the money and the gun he had stashed in his jacket pocket spilled onto the parking lot, and the money was swept across the parking lot by the wind,” police Chief Joseph Massey said later. “Members of the public tried to scoop it up.”

The state police special agent, Glenn Lang, had no idea a bank had just been robbed but was suspicious. He got out of his vehicle, tackled the man and took him into custody just about the time city police responded to the report of a bank robbery.


Perfect reply - Bernie Sanders

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Perfect comeback to a stupid question:


And I am back

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Got to talking with a guy about my age who is a builder and had studied Norwegian literature and traveled over there in his youth. I had read a lot of the old Icelandic sagas and eddas and had backpacked through there for a couple of months in my youth. Some fun stories were swapped.

A bit tired (and full of spaghetti and beer) so YouTube and bed.

Heading out for dinner

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Spaced out on making the soup for dinner - heading out for a big bowl of pasta and a couple pints of beer.

Illegal aliens - big meth bust

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It is not the brightest and best that are coming here - from Conservative Review:

‘Huge and sophisticated’ operation: Mexican cartel meth lab busted in Atlanta suburb
When you observe illegal aliens pouring over our border, guess who is coming among them? The biggest experts in trafficking, producing, and cooking the deadliest drugs for the most dangerous Mexican cartels. That is the gist of the conversation I had with Robert Murphy, special agent in charge of Atlanta’s DEA office, after his successful bust of what he called a “huge and sophisticated” meth lab run by agents of the Cartel New Generation Jalisco (CNGJ) in an affluent suburb of the Atlanta metro area.

About 72,000 people died in America in 2017 from drugs, mainly illicit drugs brought in by the Mexican cartels. But now, with meth growing in popularity among all the cartels, they are cooking it on our soil, using networks of illegal aliens brought in for that purpose. In this case, the DEA busted up a highly sophisticated meth lab run exclusively by Mexican nationals in six locations in and around the Atlanta metro area. All but one of those arrested were in the country illegally, according to Agent Murphy.

“This has been a long-term investigation,” said Murphy, who has spent 28 years in law enforcement and now runs all DEA operations in the southeast. “We knew they were in the process of making a major cook and it was going to hit the streets. We had no idea we were going to find the size and sophistication of what we found.

They are transporting the chemical precursors across the border - if captured, no proof of intent - then they cook it at some lab far away from the border. The author - Daniel Horowitz - offers this:

Thus, once again, we see that the drug problem is not an internal problem with health care and pain medication; it’s being driven by the open border and fueled by criminal alien networks working for the cartels because we don’t fully enforce our laws internally.

This is just the tip of the iceberg - remember that huge Fentanyl bust February 1st, 2019 - less than two weeks ago:

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized enough fentanyl to kill over 50 million people from a truck that was trying to cross the southern border into the United States.

If we stop this flow, our drug problem would dry up and blow away. Wonder if the cartels are paying off Shumer and Pelosi - their actions certainly point to that. Only thing that explains it.

Very clever move - Senator McConnell

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From The Hill:

McConnell to set up vote on Ocasio-Cortez's 'Green New Deal'
The Senate will hold a vote on the Green New Deal, an environmental and energy plan touted by progressives, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday.

McConnell told reporters after a meeting of the Senate Republican caucus that he has “great interest” in the plan, which would spell an end for coal, a key economic driver in McConnell’s home state of Kentucky, while promising new jobs for out-of-work miners and other workers.

“We’ll give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal,” McConnell said.

McConnell did not say when the vote would happen. McConnell spokesman Don Stewart said the vote has not been scheduled.

Wonderful move - this will force everyone to state on record where they are on this pipe dream. The 2020 election cycle is not that far away and AOC is innumerate - her plan is just a word salad of socialist and communist ideas.

A bit more:

The deal has no chance of passing the Senate, where it will need 51 votes and faces united opposition from Republicans, who hold 53 of the chamber’s 100 seats.

But it will force Senate Democrats, including a slew of 2020 presidential candidates, to vote on the proposal — potentially providing votes for McConnell and the GOP to exploit politically.

“It’s astonishing to see this many presidential candidates moving so far to the left on a position that is going to raise energy costs for families, hurt jobs in America and really provide almost a government takeover of many of the industries in our country,” said Sen. John Barrasso (Wyo.), chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee and a member of GOP leadership.


Brilliant - Ted Cruz

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I can not think of any legitimate reason to oppose this - from the office of Senator Ted Cruz

Sen. Cruz Reintroduces EL CHAPO Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) today reintroduced the Ensuring Lawful Collection of Hidden Assets to Provide Order (EL CHAPO) Act. The bill would reserve any amounts forfeited to the U.S. Government as a result of the criminal prosecution of “El Chapo” (formally named Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Lorea) and other drug lords for border security assets and the completion of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Congress has a clear mandate from the American people: secure the border and build the wall,” Sen. Cruz said. “Ensuring the safety and security of Texans is one of my top priorities. Indeed, I have long called for building a wall as a necessary step in defending our border. Fourteen billion dollars will go a long way to secure our southern border, and hinder the illegal flow of drugs, weapons, and individuals. By leveraging any criminally forfeited assets of El Chapo and other murderous drug lords, we can offset the cost of securing our border and make meaningful progress toward delivering on the promises made to the American people.”

Full text of the bill can be read here: El Chapo

I love it too that it is only two pages long plus one cover sheet. Succinct. To the point. No pork or earmarks.

UPDATE below

From the San Francisco ABC affiliate:

Gov. Newsom ending high-speed rail project between SF, LA
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday he's abandoning a plan to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a project with an estimated cost that has ballooned to $77 billion.

"Let's be real," Newsom said in his first State of the State address. "The current project, as planned, would cost too much and respectfully take too long. There's been too little oversight and not enough transparency."

The idea long championed by Newsom's predecessor, Jerry Brown, is years behind schedule. The latest estimate for completion is 2033.

Great news - it costs way too much, it will never get enough riders to pay for its operation and demographics shift - you can re-route an airplane or a bus, not so easy with train tracks. Glad to see a well reasoned decision coming out of the California political machine.

UPDATE: Even the guy who agitated for it is now against it - from Reason:

The Politician Behind California High Speed Rail Now Says It's 'Almost a Crime'
High-speed rail lines began popping up in Europe and Asia in the early 1980s. Passengers were exhilarated by the futuristic trains rocketing between cities on glass-smooth rails at upwards of 200 miles per hour.

With high-profile roll-outs in France and Japan, bullet train mania was underway. And then reality set in.

"The costs of building such projects usually vastly outweigh the benefits," says Baruch Feigenbaum, assistant director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation, the 501(c)(3) that publishes this website. "Rail is more of a nineteenth century technology [and] we don't have to go through these headaches and cost overruns to build a future transportation system."

Supporters, who claim that most high speed rail systems operate at a profit, use accounting tricks like leaving out construction costs and indirect subsidies. If you tabulate the full costs, only two systems in the world operate at a profit, and one breaks even.

But politicians can't resist the ribbon cutting ceremonies and imagery of sleek trains hurtling through the lush countryside. So the projects keep coming.

California's high speed rail line was sold to voters on the bold promise that it will someday whisk passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in under three hours. Nine years later, the project has turned into such a disaster that its biggest political champion is now suing to stop it.

More at the site - a long read but a good one.

Thanks e-cigs

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From the Centers for Disease Control:

Tobacco Use By Youth Is Rising
Tobacco product use among US youth is increasing. More than 1 in 4 high school students and about 1 in 14 middle school students in 2018 had used a tobacco product in the past 30 days. This was a considerable increase from 2017, which was driven by an increase in e-cigarette use. E-cigarette use increased from 11.7% to 20.8% among high school students and from 3.3% to 4.9% among middle school students from 2017 to 2018. No change was found in the use of other tobacco products, including cigarettes, during this time.

Among youth:

    • E-cigarettes are still the most commonly used tobacco product, ahead of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah, and pipes.
    • E-cigarettes are the most commonly used product in combination with other tobacco products.
    • E-cigarette use is highest for boys, whites, and high school students.

Thanks guys. e-cigarettes need to have the same warning labels as any other tobacco product. The "juice" is full of crap that I would not want in my lungs and there is no historical record of what long-term use will cause.

Interesting study - at The Atlantic:

Liberals and Conservatives React in Wildly Different Ways to Repulsive Pictures
Why do we have the political opinions we have? Why do we embrace one outlook toward the world and not another? How and why do our stances change? The answers to questions such as these are of course complex. Most people aren’t reading policy memos to inform every decision. Differences of opinion are shaped by contrasting life experiences: where you live; how you were raised; whether you’re rich or poor, young or old. Emotion comes into the picture, and emotion has a biological basis, at least in part. All of this and more combines into a stew without a fixed recipe, even if many of the ingredients are known.

The study:

In the mid-2000s, a political scientist approached the neuroscientist Read Montague with a radical proposal. He and his colleagues had evidence, he said, that political orientation might be partly inherited, and might be revealed by our physiological reactivity to threats. To test their theory, they wanted Montague, who heads the Human Neuroimaging Laboratory at Virginia Tech, to scan the brains of subjects as they looked at a variety of images—including ones displaying potential contaminants such as mutilated animals, filthy toilets, and faces covered with sores—to see whether neural responses showed any correlation with political ideology. Was he interested?

Montague initially laughed at the idea—for one thing, MRI research requires considerable time and resources—but the team returned with studies to argue their case, and eventually he signed on. When the data began rolling in, any skepticism about the project quickly dissolved. The subjects, 83 in total, were first shown a randomized mixture of neutral and emotionally evocative pictures—this second category contained both positive and negative images—while undergoing brain scans. Then they filled out a questionnaire seeking their views on hot-button political and social issues, in order to classify their general outlook on a spectrum from extremely liberal to extremely conservative. As Montague mapped the neuroimaging data against ideology, he recalls, “my jaw dropped.” The brains of liberals and conservatives reacted in wildly different ways to repulsive pictures: Both groups reacted, but different brain networks were stimulated. Just by looking at the subjects’ neural responses, in fact, Montague could predict with more than 95 percent accuracy whether they were liberal or conservative.

And it starts to get really interesting:

The subjects in the trial were also shown violent imagery (men pointing revolvers directly at the camera, battle scenes, car wrecks) and pleasant pictures (smiling babies, beautiful sunsets, cute bunnies). But it was only the reaction to repulsive things that correlated with ideology. “I was completely flabbergasted by the predictability of the results,” Montague says.

A long and very interesting article. It explains a lot of events in current "culture".

Update on the weather - Cliff Mass

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Dr. Mass has a new post up:

From the Freezer Into The Refrigerator
A typical refrigerator is between 35 and 40F and those represent the kind of high temperatures we will "enjoy" the next few days at the surface over most of the western WA lowlands.

And "refrigerator temperatures" have a lot of implications. First, the snow is only going to melt slowly, which should lessen the threat of urban (or other) flooding. Second, the snow levels are low, so if you are up on high hills or in the foothills, snow fall is not over. And third, such temperatures will keep meteorologists awake at night, worrying that the next weather system could drive the snow level to the surface.

For those interested in yesterday's snowfall totals, check at the end of the blog: in central Puget Sound totals ran from roughly 2.5 to 10 inches. As suspected, the models underplayed the totals due to moving out the cool air too quickly. And the mountains have been hit hard, with roughly 4 feet of new snow during the past two days at Snoqualmie Pass (which is now closed by the way).

And there is a new system heading our way Thursday.

Obama killed steel. Trump brought it back

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This is Don Surber's headline to this post:

No Trumpenfreude today. Sorry. Instead, enjoy the announcement from U.S. Steel that it has resumed construction of a 21st century electric arc furnace steel-making facility at its Tubular Operations in Fairfield, Alabama.

"U. S. Steel previously initiated construction of the EAF in March 2015 and suspended construction in December 2015 due to unfavorable market conditions," the company said.

Obama's socialism versus President Donald John Trump's capitalism. No contest.

U.S. Steel reported, "The investment to complete the EAF, which includes modernization of the existing rounds caster, is expected to be approximately $215 million and add about 150 full-time employees. The EAF will have an annual capacity of 1.6 million tons. Construction is expected to begin immediately and the furnace is expected to produce steel rounds in the second half of 2020."

Huge investment in infrastructure and 150 new well-paying jobs. Plus, all of those trickle-down new jobs too. The new employees are going to buy cars and recreational vehicles - more people will be needed to service and maintain them. New restaurants, new dry cleaners, new grocery stores.

This is called Capitalism and it works very very well. All other forms of government pale by comparison.


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Back home - breakfast hit the spot. Temps ran from 39°F down to 33°F on my drive - ran down to WinCo to get some stuff. I-5 was fine but lots of slippery slush on the local roads. The Island County crew is doing an incredible job on the main roads around and off the island but some of the feeder roads are a bit dicy - saw a couple cars stuck off the side of the road this morning.

Working on some stuff at home and then heading out to the recycling place around 3PM or so.

Coffee time

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Still below freezing but warmer weather is in the forecast.

Heading out for coffee, post office, breakfast, library and then back home to work on stuff. Maybe do a trip to the dump this afternoon. Chewing through my parent's papers.

Thinking of doing some corn chowder for dinner - make some cornbread to go with it. Been watching my carbohydrate intake but sometimes a little backsliding is a real treat.

A little reminder - universities

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A little reminder - socialism

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Great news - the Mexican Cartels

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El Chapo is probably spending life in prison - from The New York Post:

El Chapo found guilty on all counts at trial
A Brooklyn jury on Tuesday found Mexican kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman guilty on all counts.

The panel spent more than five days mulling the drug lord’s fate before convicting him on charges of operating a continuing criminal enterprise, use of firearms and various charges of conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

Guzman, who twice escaped prison in Mexico, now faces up to life behind bars.

The decision follows an 11-week trial with testimony from more than 50 prosecution witnesses — including 14 former associates of Guzman’s who took the stand against him — and a 30-minute, single-witness defense case.

How many lives this man has destroyed. Build the damn wall already.

The two year investigation is turning out to be a giant fizzle - there was no Russian collusion. From ABC News:

Former Trump lawyer slams Mueller probe, maintains president will be cleared: 'Knock it off and get it done'
The veteran criminal defense attorney who headed President Donald Trump's legal team during a crucial stretch of the special counsel investigation believes the entire affair will end in silence from special counsel Robert Mueller, and called the massive two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign “a terrible waste of time.”

“I don't think there'll be a report,” John Dowd told ABC News in a wide-ranging interview for the premiere episode of "The Investigation," a new podcast focused on the probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller. “I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than ‘We're done.’”

And of course, Bungling Bob Mueller is the paragon of investigative analysis - from the Los Angeles Times:

As he investigates Trump's aides, Robert Mueller's record shows surprising flaws
When he was named special counsel in May, Robert S. Mueller III was hailed as the ideal lawman — deeply experienced, strait-laced and nonpartisan — to investigate whether President Trump’s campaign had helped with Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The accolades squared with Mueller’s valor as a Marine rifle platoon commander in Vietnam and his integrity as a federal prosecutor, senior Justice Department official and FBI director from 2001 to 2013 — the longest tenure since J. Edgar Hoover’s. He was praised by former courtroom allies and opponents, and by Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

But at 73, Mueller has a record that shows a man of fallible judgment who can be slow to alter his chosen course. At times, he has intimidated or provoked resentment among subordinates. And his tenacious yet linear approach to evaluating evidence led him to fumble the biggest U.S. terrorism investigation since 9/11.

Much more in the article - they go into his failures in detail. Too much to excerpt here. The guy is a bumbling idiot.

More at The Federalist

Trump rally - some news and a tweet

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President Trump held a rally today in El Paso, Texas emphasizing the border problem. Beto O'Rourke held a rally about a quarter mile away promoting open borders. First, from Grabien News:

TRUMP: “There has never been anything like this in the history of our country. We have to understand that. There has never been. If you would say as an example, that tonight 69,000 people signed up to be here. Now the arena holds 8,000. And thank you, fire department. They got in about 10,000. Thank you, fire department. Appreciate it. But if you want to really see something, go outside. Tens of thousands of people are watching screens outside.

“And we were all challenged by a young man who lost an election to Ted Cruz. And then they said you know what? Hey, you are supposed to win in order to run. By the way, we, I, we, I’m 1 for 1. Think of it. We had one election. We won. Now we’re gonna be 2 for all and everything’s gonna be perfect. But a young man who has got very little going for himself except he has a great first name. He challenged us. So we have let’s say 35,000 people tonight. And he has 200 people, 300 people. Not too good.”

“What I would do is, I would say, that may be the end of this presidential bid.”

Former CIA analyst and NYPD Intel division Buck Sexton tweeted this:

Indeed. Beto is pure loser. Nothing of substance to the guy.

Yikes - Ebola

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From Miami, FL station WPLG:

Nearly 100 children dead from Ebola in Congo as crisis worsens
Nearly 100 children have died since the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo started last year -- and the crisis is gathering pace, with the number of new cases doubling last month, according to charity Save the Children.

A total of 97 children have died from the viral illness since the outbreak began in August, 65 of whom were younger than 5 years old, the group said.

And the number of new cases spiked in January, from around 20 a week to more than 40, according to the charity. In the last three weeks of January alone, there were 120 new cases overall.

Faster on that vaccine please. This disease really scares me.

About that global warming

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From Hawaii's The Maui News:

Winter weather wreaks havoc across county
Snow and ice shut down Haleakala National Park’s Summit District on Sunday, while downpours and strong winds took down power lines and trees, and high surf pushed boats ashore in West and South Maui.

The wintry conditions were brought on by a powerful storm tracking southward toward the Hawaiian Islands, bringing a band of enhanced moisture and predictions of up to 3 inches of snow on the summit of Haleakala, the National Weather Service said.

Shortly after noon on Sunday, the Summit District was closed due to snowy and icy road conditions, as well as power outages throughout the district, park spokesperson Nancy Stimson said. The closure was scheduled to remain in effect through at least 9 a.m. today, and today’s sunrise viewing was also canceled. Maui County officials also warned the public not to drive toward the summit.

Snowfall (except on Mauna Kea) is incredibly uncommon:

The Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area also got some snow — a rare event. Snow reached almost to Olinda in 1903, to Polipoli in 1918 and to a mile below the summit in 1920, according to Jill Engledow, a former Maui News reporter and editor who reviews the newspaper’s archives for the weekly feature “Looking Back Through The Maui News.” 

The words you are thinking of are "Solar Cycle" - we are entering a Grand Minimum and a corresponding couple hundred years of colder than normal weather.

Tales from the Deep State - Antifa

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Does not surprise me a bit - from FOX News:

Antifa activist facing assault charges was tied to Democratic policymakers
What a difference a year made for Joseph Alcoff.

On Monday, the 37-year-old has a court date in connection with charges he’s facing in Philadelphia that include aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation for allegedly being part of an Antifa mob in November that attacked two Marines, Alejandro Godinez and Luis Torres, both Hispanic. Alcoff and two others charged in the attack have pleaded not guilty.

But while Democratic officials are distancing themselves from Alcoff now, until recently he was a well-connected, aspiring political player in Washington who may have even had a hand in key policy proposals.

More at the site - the Dems seem to not care about who they get close to as long as it fits the narrative.

We still haven't heard anything more about the Awan brothers.
Read here,  here,  here,  here,  here,  here,  here,  here,  here,  here,  here,  here and here.

Nothing catches my eye

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Had breakfast this morning and swung by Del Fox Meats and got a bag of dog bones. Got two very happy pups downstairs gnawing away, Refilled the bird feeders - so far I have gone through one and a half 40 pound boxes of Costco bird seed as well as many fillings of the hummingbird feeder. 

I ordered some incandescent fairy lights from Amazon and will implement this idea when they arrive.

Going to head out to the library and the recycling place in a bit. Return a bunch of CDs and pick up some more. Filling in the gaps in my collection.

And California is going to hand it to him - from FOX News:

California governor to reduce National Guard presence at border
California Gov. Gavin Newsom is slated to pull several hundred National Guard troops from the state’s border with Mexico on Monday in an apparent rebuff to President Donald Trump’s characterization of the region being under siege by Central American refugees and migrants, according to reports.

The move comes despite his predecessor’s agreement – along with other past and current border state governors – to send troops to the border at the Trump administration’s request. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown originally approved the mission through the end of March, but qualified that the state’s troops “will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”

Newsom’s plan will require the National Guard to immediately begin withdrawing troops but still give it until the end of March to do so. According to excerpts from his Tuesday State of the State address, he will call the “border emergency” a “manufactured crisis,” and will say that “California will not be part of this political theater.”

The illegals swamp the border and Trump invokes the  National Emergencies Act of 1976 and gets the wall built.
Thanks Governor Newsom!

Heading out for coffee

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Got the car warmed up - heading out for coffee and the post office (same building). Breakfast if the roads are drivable.

Back home to work on stuff here. Cliff Mass is promising an update at 10:00AM

Staying home today

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Not heading to Maple Falls as planned - the new system is arriving this afternoon, not in the evening.

Hunkering down for the day - good day to pay some bills and work on taxes.

Off to YouTube

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Early start tomorrow - want to get up to MF in between the weather systems.

Groundbreaking press release from Intel:

Intel Announces New Class of RealSense Stand-Alone Inside-Out Tracking Camera
Intel today introduced the Intel® RealSense™ Tracking Camera T265, a new class of stand-alone inside-out tracking device that will provide developers with a powerful building block for autonomous devices, delivering high-performance guidance and navigation. The T265 uses proprietary visual inertial odometry simultaneous localization and mapping (V-SLAM) technology with computing at the edge and is key for applications that require a highly accurate and low-latency tracking solution, including robotics, drones, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality.

The thing is about 4.25" by 1 by 0.5 inches and sells for $200. This is going to make things a lot easier for robots and 3D automation. Very cool. They are going to sell a lot of these...

Starting to get some accumulation

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Warmed up a bit - 38°F by the water and 31°F at my local. Snow is starting to really come down with 1.5" of accumulation.

See what happens tomorrow. 32°F outside right now so roads should be interesting

Mother of the year - Anniquta Wright

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From the Lexington, KY Herald Leader:

Mother arrested after 4-year-old passed out at school and tested positive for cocaine
A Clark County mother was arrested after her 4-year-old daughter became unresponsive at school and tested positive for cocaine.

Winchester police were called to Clark Regional Medical Center on Thursday, after the girl became unresponsive at school and was taken to the hospital, court records show. Tests came back positive for cocaine, according to the police citation.

The child’s mother, Anniquta Wright, 31, told police that she let “a friend sell cocaine and crack cocaine at her residence while the kids were there,” according to the police citation. “Wright admitted that the kids would even sit at the table with the friend.”

The friend had been at Wright’s home on Third Street in Winchester until about 3 a.m. Thursday, according to the citation.


No Snow (yet)

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Temps are dropping - down to 26°F from today's high of 34°F. Time to build a small salad and nuke a bowl of soup. Got a bunch of nice Costco dinner rolls in the freezer - think I will run one of them into the toaster oven. Sounds like a good dinner to me.

The Measles outbreak - WA State

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A bunch of headlines that are links to the original article:

Measles update: 51 cases of measles confirmed, 13 suspected in Clark County

Clark County, WA Dept. of Public Health

Measles Cases Mount In Pacific Northwest Outbreak

Washington lawmakers weigh vaccine bill amid outbreak
The bill, HB 1638, would remove parents' ability to claim a personal or philosophical exemption to opt their school-age children out of the MMR vaccines.

And finally (some of the article excerpted) from The Washington Post:

Washington measles outbreak draws crowd to hearing on vaccine law
Anti-vaccine activists packed a public hearing Friday to oppose a bill that would make it harder for families to opt out of vaccination requirements for measles, mumps and rubella amid the state’s worst measles outbreak in more than two decades.

An estimated 700 people, most of them opposed to stricter requirements, lined up before dawn in the cold, toting strollers and hand-lettered signs, to sit in the hearing, which was so crowded that staff opened up additional rooms to accommodate the crowd. Many gathered outside afterward for a rally.

Anti-vaccine activists, including Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a prominent vaccine conspiracy theorist, claimed that health officials are covering up vaccine dangers. Some said their children had been injured or sickened by immunizations. One falsely said the majority of people diagnosed with measles have been vaccinated.

When the Washington state health secretary, John Wiesman, debunked those claims, some members of the audience murmured in disapproval.

Those 700 people should be convicted of child abuse. They are delusional in their willful stupidity.

A picture is worth 1,000 words

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Something about President Trump certainly brings out the loonies on the other side. Klobuchar is running on a global warming / climate change platform and of course, it snowed at her rally:


Which of course, prompted this tweet from our President:

Wonder if Al Gore was anywhere near the event.

Back home again

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Ran up to Bellingam again to bring back the music and photography stuff that had been moved to the condo.

There is another front moving through right now - Cliff Mass is calling for about one inch of snowfall. Tomorrow there is another, much stronger, system moving through. I am planning to go to Maple Falls tomorrow morning to get some more hay out for the critters and to check the stock tanks. See if I can squeeze between the two systems.

Surf for a bit, some of the bacon / bean soup for dinner and then out to another local for a couple of pints. Was there yesterday and saw that they are only charging $2 for a pint of Ranier. I have paid my dues with high-gravity high-IBU brews (for a long time, my favorite was Stone Brewing's Arrogant Bastard) and now I just want something tasty, cold and wet.

Also picked up some Alka Seltzer Plus Cold and Flu medicine - feel something nosing around my immune system.

Nothing much happening here

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Didn't see anything of interest on the internet - heading out for coffee and breakfast.

Working at home today.

Cliff Mass offers this:

Update Sunday:  I will give an updated forecast at 10 AM.  Waiting for the new model runs.  Very difficult forecast.  Minor snowstorm later today (definite) but a complicated, major mess tomorrow.

Quite the way with words...  Fun times...

Off to YouTube for a bit

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That's all I wrote...

We are going to get creamed. From Cliff Mass:

Two Snowstorms Down. The Big One Maybe Yet to Come!
The current snow event is nearly over and it appears that the forecast models did an excellent job.

Here are some of the latest snow accumulations from the National Weather Service (reported at 4:47 AM), noting that many of the reports were made before the storm was over. My house in NE Seattle had 4 inches. The range of snow was roughly 3 to 8 inches--very consistent with the forecasts. And there have been some extreme snowfalls, including a reported 21 inches near Port Angeles.

Being on the North end of the island has its advantages. I got about three inches from the first snowfall and 1.5" last night. There was a network of the emergency communications people this morning and people on the South end of the island had significantly more with one person getting 28" total from both storms. It is going to get cold and stay cold for the next couple of days and then this little bundle of joy shows up on our doorstep:

But then we must talk about the Big Kahuna of snow, comeing in early Tuesday, with a deep low center EXACTLY where it needs to be to give us snow (see sea level pressure forecast for 4 AM Tuesday). Any Northwest meteorologists knows what this means.


The snow total forecast for the 24hr ending 4 PM Tuesday is scary, with 8-12 inches of new snow coming into Puget Sound. HUGE amounts on the Oregon Cascades...we are talking FEET of snow.

Should we worry about this?  Yes. 

I am fully prepped for being snowbound - should be interesting to see what happens. Worst case scenario, I have plenty of propane and firewood, a very cozy bed and a couple of good library books. Radio and camera batteries are all charged up. Plenty of food in the pantry.

Upcoming show - Alan Parsons

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One of my favorite musicians and songwriters. Was driving past the Skagit Valley Casino and saw on their billboard that he is playing there April12th and 13th. Website here: Alan Parsons

You might not know it but you have heard a lot of his music and he was also very active as an engineer and producer. Here is a bit of his biography:

He was fortunate enough to work as assistant engineer on the last two albums by The Beatles and after he qualified as a fully-fledged recording engineer, he went on to work with Paul McCartney and The Hollies among many others. But it was his contribution as engineer on Pink Floyd’s classic The Dark Side Of The Moon that really got him world attention. That soon led to striking successes as a producer – notably with Pilot’s Magic, John Miles’ Highfly and Music and Steve Harley’s (Come Up And See Me) Make Me Smile. He also produced the hugely successful Year Of The Cat album with Al Stewart and two albums with American prog rock band Ambrosia.

In 1975 he met Eric Woolfson who not only became his manager, but joined forces with Alan as a songwriting and performing partner for what became known as The Alan Parsons Project. The APP’s debut album, Tales Of Mystery And Imagination based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe paved the way for a signing to Clive Davis’ newly launched Arista label and a string of hit albums, namely I Robot (1977), Pyramid (1978), The Turn of a Friendly Card (1980), Eye in the Sky (1982), Ammonia Avenue (1984), Vulture Culture (1985), Stereotomy (1986) and Gaudi (1987).

Parsons is also the author of the amazing book / DVD course: Art And Science of Sound Recording which is currently unavailable and sells used for $1,500. It was $80 when I bought my copy about ten years ago. Really well written and timeless.

Half Staff

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Interesting - as I was driving up to Bellingham today, I saw some flags at Half Staff. Checked and there is a website that shows when to fly and for what reason. It covers all the states. Check out halfstaff.org

Today was for John David Dingell Jr.

John David Dingell Jr. (born July 8, 1926) is an American politician who was a member of the United States House of Representatives from December 13, 1955, until January 3, 2015. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He represented Michigan throughout his congressional tenure and most recently served as the representative for Michigan's 12th congressional district.

He began his congressional career representing Michigan's 16th district by succeeding his father, John Dingell Sr., who had held the seat for 22 years. Having served for over 59 years, he has the longest Congressional tenure in U.S. history.

Great news for Guyana - Oil

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Best of luck with their new oil find - from Axios Journal:

Out of nothing, a new petro-state
On the coast of South America, just north of Brazil, lies the obscure and impoverished former British colony of Guyana, distantly remembered for a bizarre mass suicide four decades ago that begot the term "drinking the Kool-Aid."

But today, the discovery of a massive trove of oil off its shores, including two finds just this week, put Guyana on the cusp of becoming one of the world's wealthiest nations, in the league of petro-states like Qatar.

What's worrying the experts:

Guyana seems wholly unprepared for the avalanche of cash coming its way. It's in political turmoil, with no plan in place for how to marshal and distribute the money among a population of just 780,000 people.

The exploration and production deal with ExxonMobil is one of the most one-sided in frontier oil, heavily favoring the company with about a 50-50 split. That makes it rife for future political discontent and local demands for renegotiation. (In the former Soviet Union — arguably a wilder and more costly frontier — the typical split is 80-20, favoring the country.)

"There is no way the explosion of money will be managed properly," says Amy Myers Jaffe, director of energy security at the Council on Foreign Relations. "Here you take this poverty-stricken country and make them Qatar in three years."

Guyana would be looking at $5 Billion in cash every year. They are woefully unprepared for this. I really hope that they are able to deal with it and not morph into some bannana republic.

Back home now

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Since I-5 was completely clear, I ran up to Bellingham today looking for the parts for the media computer and found them!!!

I have been using it but now I can run it with the good keyboard and the monitors I want to use instead of the monitors from the music machine. I do not "touch type" but am reasonable at it and hate mushy keyboards. It will be nice to have my good keyboard hooked up.

Very heavy windstorm in Bellingham around 2:00PM or so but no snow at all today. The part of the driveway that I shoveled out this morning is still bare asphalt.

Feeling a bit tired so surf for a little bit and then to bed. See what tomorrow brings...

Dodged the bullet

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Looks like the storm hit everywhere but here - BC Hydro is reporting over 60K customers without power. PSE is 49K. SnoPUD is a measly 170 households. The winds were up to 30MPH directly out of the north so there was a lot of debris kicked up over the bulkhead and the "beach" is a mess. Should be fine after a couple of tides.

Some fresh snow but only an inch or so - heading out for coffee and post office in a few minutes.

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge? The first person to analyze coffee and to isolate and identify Caffine

From InfoGalactic:

Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge
Friedlieb (or Friedlob, occasionally misnamed as "Friedrich") Ferdinand Runge (born near Hamburg on 8 February 1795, died in Oranienburg on 25 March 1867) was a German analytical chemist.

Runge conducted chemical experiments from a young age, serendipitously identifying the mydriatic effects of belladonna (deadly nightshade) extract.

In 1819, he demonstrated his finding to Goethe, who encouraged him to analyse coffee. A few months later, Runge identified caffeine.

A saint in my pantheon. No relation to the brilliant mathemetician Carl David Tolmé Runge

Off to YouTube

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I may wind up walking to get my coffee - only two miles and the YMCA closed at 10:30AM today and will be closed tomorrow too. I have a pair of snow shoes down here (brought them down the other day). See what the weather Gods bring in the night.

Cliff Mass has nothing new and the electric power issues seem to be pretty minimal with outage numbers about 30% lower than last time I checked (6:30PM)

Been digitizing more of my music CDs as a background task - using the media computer for this.

From The Daily Wire:

SJWs Excoriate Chef Gordon Ramsay For Wanting To Open An ‘Authentic Asian Restaurant’
According to Fox News, Gordon Ramsey stoked the rage of SJWs on social media by announcing his plans to open an Asian restaurant in London this summer. The restaurant, Lucky Cat, would be opening on the site of his soon-to-be-closed restaurant Maze, which lost a reported £3.8 million last year.

"A revolutionary new venture and concept for the group, the restaurant is set to be an authentic Asian Eating House and a vibrant late-night lounge, inspired by the drinking dens of 1930s Tokyo and the Far East," said Ramsay's restaurant group upon announcing the venture. "Just as these nocturnal clubs were once the playground of urban dwellers seeking all things spirited and rebellious, Lucky Cat has woven these notions into the fabric of Lucky Cat, as showcased in everything from the menu concept to the innovative interior design."

But then, the SJWs came out of the woodwork:

These are just two tweets - the link to FOX News has a lot more.

Given what I have seen of him online, I am betting that he has a very low threshold for this kind of kaka. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when these dipshits started throwing their tantrums.

If this sounds familiar, The Daily Wire has the back-story:

The outrage against Gordon Ramsay recalls what happened to two white women, Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly, of Portland, who had to close their burrito stand after leftists accused them of stealing when they explained to Willamette Week about how they became obsessed with tortilla-making after traveling to Mexico.

"I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did," said Connelly. "They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins.”

After opening the stand, Kooks Burritos, the business thrived until leftists trolled it into oblivion. Mic.com and The Portland Mercury lead the charge.

"Because of Portland’s underlying racism, the people who rightly own these traditions and cultures that exist are already treated poorly. These appropriating businesses are erasing and exploiting their already marginalized identities for the purpose of profit and praise," accused The Portland Mercury.

Kooks Burritos eventually closed, which the papers called a "victory."

Here is a little thought experiment. For every non-white person who feels offended by Chef Ramsay's "cultural appropriation", let them go one week without television, cell phones, online shopping, driving a car, riding a bus, using a light bulb, using a refrigerator (including heat pumps for climate control), using anything with an electric motor.

These items were all invented by white men. As a member of this class, I feel triggered and angry that you would so heartlessly appropriate these sacred items from my culture and use them for your own wants and needs.

For a much larger list, Fred Reed has an excellent politically uncorrect essay here: Are White Men Gods?

From Spokane, Washington's The Spokesman-Review:

Police raid felon’s hotel room, catch him painting shotgun to look like a toy
Police caught a felon painting a shotgun to look like a toy in a Spokane motel room Monday, according to Spokane Police Department in a news release.

The suspect, Elijah B. Zon, also was in possession of three black-powder guns, methamphetamine, heroin and ammunition.

He was arrested and booked into the Spokane County Jail.

Zon was wanted on an outstanding warrant for possession of a firearm, and police acting on a tip learned he had a weapon, according to the news release. Police entered the room he was renting, at Motel 6 on South Rustle Street, according to the news release.

They found Zon in the middle of painting a double-barreled, sawed-off shotgun green and yellow with an orange tip to resemble a toy, according to the news release. Pictures display a shotgun painted on one side.

This is heinous - disguising a real weapon to look like a plastic toy. Tip of the hat to Peter Grant for the link. Peter says it much better than I was going to:

Police officers of my acquaintance have seen the same thing, although not quite so garish or covering so much of the firearm. It's not uncommon for the tip of the barrel of a criminal's gun to be painted orange, so that the weapon resembles an Airsoft toy. You can imagine the advantage this gives the criminal if his residence is raided by the police. Their automatic assumption used to be that a toy gun was precisely that - a toy - and that it presented no threat. They can't assume that any longer.

Similarly, if you're confronted by a young criminal waving something like that shotgun, you can no longer assume it's a toy. It may be a deadly threat. Certainly, if I see something like that, I'm going to take every precaution to safeguard myself and my wife. Tragically, that may expose real kids, with real toys, to real risk . . . but then, criminals don't care about such niceties.

All it takes is for an innocent to be waving a toy getting shot by a careless cop and the gun grabbers get all the ammunition they need. And all that will do is impact the 99.999% law abiding gun owners out there. It will not impact future criminals.

Dinner came out really good

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A simple soup but filling and really tasty. Cheap doesn't hurt either.

Wind is off and on but no snow as yet. BC Hydro is reporting 3,700+ customers without power. PSE is 2,600 and SnoPUD is 806. The night is still young though and this system is supposed to be active through 4:00PM tomorrow (Saturday)

Heh - New York Times book

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The progressives are eating themselves - the schadenfreude is epic in this story from Vox:

“I made mistakes”: Jill Abramson responds to plagiarism charges around her new book
Jill Abramson’s new book, Merchants of Truth, is a lot of things — a paean to print journalism, a commentary on the digital revolution in news, and a lamentation for what she considers declining journalistic standards.

There are, no doubt, some interesting arguments in the book. But Abramson, who became the first female executive editor of the New York Times in 2011 and remained in that position until she was fired in 2014, has been engulfed in controversy over a series of factual errors and, this week, charges of plagiarism.

On Wednesday, Vice’s Michael Moynihan highlighted a series of passages in Abramson’s book that he says range from ethically questionable to clearly plagiarized. Freelance journalist Ian Frisch also identified seven passages in Abramson’s book that he claims were lifted from a 2014 profile he wrote in a now-defunct magazine, Relapse.

Abramson’s book was already under attack for a host of factual errors, notably about journalist Arielle Duhaime-Ross, who was interviewed by Abramson and appears in the book. In January, Duhaime-Ross highlighted a single paragraph in Abramson’s book that contained at least six errors, including about her professional background and her gender identity.

The irony here is impossible to miss: a book that talks at length about journalistic ethics and praises legacy media titans like the New York Times and the Washington Post while lambasting new media companies like Vice and BuzzFeed for sloppy reporting that is, well, filled with errors and what appears to be very sloppy reporting.

The final paragraph is wonderful. There is a lot more at the site including an interview with Ms. Abramson.

From Law & Crime:

Obama Border Patrol Chief Goes Public–to Support Trump: ‘The Wall Works’
Mark Morgan, the Obama administration chief of the U.S. Border Patrol who was fired one day after President Donald Trump took office, went public on Tuesday with a message that may surprise the White House: he supports Mr. Trump and his efforts to get funding for a border wall.

“I’m here today breaking my silence to tell the American people that the president is correct in what he’s doing,” Morgan said in an interview with the Law & Crime Network. “The wall works.”

When Obama's allies want the wall, it is time to build the wall.

Two interesting scientific papers

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From Elsevier's Journal of Research in Personality Volume 46, Issue 2, April 2012, Pages 127-146

Conservatives are happier than liberals, but why? Political ideology, personality, and life satisfaction
Political conservatives are happier than liberals. We proposed that this happiness gap is accounted for by specific attitude and personality differences associated with positive adjustment and mental health. In contrast, a predominant social psychological explanation of the gap is that conservatives, who are described as fearful, defensive, and low in self-esteem, will rationalize away social inequalities in order to justify the status quo (system justification). In four studies, conservatives expressed greater personal agency (e.g., personal control, responsibility), more positive outlook (e.g., optimism, self-worth), more transcendent moral beliefs (e.g., greater religiosity, greater moral clarity, less tolerance of transgressions), and a generalized belief in fairness, and these differences accounted for the happiness gap. These patterns are consistent with the positive adjustment explanation.

From Sage Publishing's Social Psychological and Personality Science. June 15, 2018

Conservatives Report Greater Meaning in Life Than Liberals
Conservatives report greater life satisfaction than liberals, but this relationship is relatively weak. To date, the evidence is limited to a narrow set of well-being measures that ask participants for a single assessment of their life in general. We address this shortcoming by examining the relationship between political orientation and well-being using measures of life satisfaction, affect, and meaning and purpose in life. Participants completed well-being measures after reflecting on their whole life (Studies 1a, 1b, and 2), at the end of their day (Study 3), and in the present moment (Study 4). Across five studies, conservatives reported greater meaning and purpose in life than liberals at each reporting period. This finding remained significant after adjusting for religiosity and was usually stronger than the relationships involving other well-being measures. Finally, meaning in life was more closely related to social conservatism than economic conservatism.

Makes sense to me - our world view is based on reality. We seek out the truth, the data, the numbers. Liberals seek out the latest news story that amplifies their narrative. Their narrative is force-fed to them by the media. Much nicer to know the real picture - less disturbing.

And the wind has picked up - 15MPH steady with gusts to 20. Temp was 34-36°F most of today, it is now 28°F and dropping rapidly.

BC Hydro is showing just a few outages, same for Snohomish PUD and Puget Sound Energy with scattered outages. Looks like anything that might blow down has already done so in one of the previous storms. Maple Falls is back online.

Time to finish making the soup.

Great article by James Dellingpole at Breitbart:

Delingpole: Green New Deal Is a Revamped Communist Manifesto
A few years ago at the height of the global warming scare I wrote a book which set out to answer one of the key questions of our time: if climate change isn’t really a problem why do so many people act as though it is?
The answer, I discovered, is that environmentalism is just a fashionable mask for the usual leftist obsessions with state control and wealth redistribution.

That’s why I called the book Watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside.

Not everyone who believes in man-made climate change is a full on Commie. Some are merely useful idiots. But whatever reason people may have for supporting the scam – greed, stupidity, virtue-signalling, idiot leftist teachers – the net result is the same: bigger government, higher taxes, more regulation, lower standards of living. Exactly like you’d get under communism, in fact.

So color me completely unshocked by the Green New Deal. It looks like a revamped Communist Manifesto because that’s exactly what it is.

If implemented, the size of government would increase to levels never before seen in a Western economy. The state’s control of everything from wage levels to how businesses are run to your personal freedoms would be total. There’s no mention of gulags or political prisoners or secret police but of course those would inevitably follow because how else would the state have a hope of enforcing measures which freedom loving Americans would naturally resist?

Much more at the site including this bon mot:

And, yes, right now it’s true that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey and the rest of the Democrats pushing this insanity have done Trump 2020 the biggest favor imaginable.

So true - they are out of touch and the consequences of this will bear fruit spectacularly in 2020.

Back home for the next couple of days

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Went out for breakfast and then headed to Costco and the food coop for some supplies.

The mornings snowfall was just the prelude to what is coming in as I type. There was no wind to speak of and now there is a fresh breeze (10MPH or so) coming out of the North - right from the Canadian Yukon via the Fraser River valley. It will be interesting to follow. As I was driving home, I was listening to a Bellingham radio station and the snowfall was just starting there.

The place where I sleep and have my computers is heated with a small heat pump. If the power goes out, I picked up a comforter at Costco plus a bag of dog food. Got some food at the coop.

Built the fire back up so the house is nice and warm-ish. Surf for a bit and then fix some dinner - thawing out some bacon to do bacon bean soup.

Heading out for coffee

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An expedition - the roads should be good, the snow is light and fluffy with no ice build-up. Heading out for coffee and then back home for the next couple of days.

Scattered power outages in the area (here and here) and going to be a lot more by the time this is done. Maple Falls shows four households out at this time.

Downstairs to build a fire before I leave the house.


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Morning's precip is just a warmup - the main event will happen in the evening - 4-6" accumulation. From Cliff Mass:

A Snow Event in Two Acts
Today's snow event will be in two acts, with the first one already begun. Very light snow is now falling over Northwest Washington (locations such as Bellingham and Orcas Island)--something that is confirmed by the 8:30 AM weather radar.

He analyzes several of the latest forecasts and then closes witt this:

Later today I will talk about the next big snow threats... late Sunday/Monday for SW Washington and Oregon and Tuesday for Washington.  Today is just a "warm up" as cold air remains in place for most of the week.   And no, I won't give a name to the upcoming snow events (but the picture below is a hint)


Be afraid. Be very afraid. Planning on camping out down here - not going anywhere soon.

Earlier than forecast

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Last evening's forecast had the snow starting around noon. It started about an hour ago - woke up, no snow. Got done with shower and shave and checked again, got almost an inch of white stuff. Car warming up - heading out for coffee after a quick surf.

And that is it for the night

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Staying down here for the snowstorm - prepped for two weeks of food so will be just fine. Got light, firewood, books to read.

Off to YouTube for a while.

President Obama was on NPR Town Hall saying that in the USA, manufacturing jobs are not coming back and that there is nothing that can be done - here is the 37 second clip:

The complicit media agreed with him. From Forbes March 9th, 2017

Those Jobs Are Never 'Coming Back'
A significant part of Trump’s campaign centered on the angst of the white middle class and the ongoing loss of jobs in the Rust Belt. And that focus gave him his margin of victory.

Trump promised to bring those jobs back, a sentiment that resonated powerfully with the electorate. The problem is — as we’ve talked about previously — that at least 80–90% of manufacturing jobs were lost not to companies moving factories to China or Mexico but to increased automation.

Those Jobs Are Never “Coming Back”
They are gone. And that trend is going to continue and accelerate.

The author of this piece fancies himself an economist - wonder if he is getting much work these days. People usually like to hire people who are right more aften than not. Compare to this article in Forbes October 16th, 2018:

The Trump Manufacturing Jobs Boom: 10 Times Obama's Over 21 Months
The Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, six months into former President Obama’s first term. The economy continued to shed jobs until the following March. Manufacturing was particularly hard hit, with almost 2.3 million manufacturing jobs—some 1 in 6—lost between January 2008 and March 2010.

As is the case during recoveries, jobs bounced back, with seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment expanding almost 12% from March 2010 until January 2017, when President Obama handed over the presidency to Donald Trump.

A bit more - the Town Hall prediction:

At a town hall in June 2016, President Obama famously said that some manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back.” He went on to mock then-candidate Trump by saying he’d need a “magic wand” to make good on this manufacturing job promises.

And the numbers:

In the first 21 months of the Trump presidency, nonfarm employment grew by a seasonally adjusted 2.6%. In the same period, manufacturing employment grew by 3.1%, reversing the trend under Obama when overall employment grew faster than employment in the manufacturing sector.

Comparing the last 21 months of the Obama administration with the first 21 months of Trump’s, shows that under Trump’s watch, more than 10 times the number of manufacturing jobs were added.

Doesn't fit the liberal narrative. Anyway, what prompted this was this announcement today from Ford Automobile:

Ford Motor Company is investing $1 billion in Chicago Assembly and Stamping Plants and adding 500 new jobs as it prepares to launch three highly anticipated new SUVs that go on sale later this year.

The transformation at the plant, which will begin in March, will expand capacity for the production of the all-new Ford Explorer – including the Explorer ST and Explorer Hybrid – the all-new Police Interceptor Utility and the all-new Lincoln Aviator. The work will be completed in the spring. The additional 500 full-time jobs bring total employment at the two plants to approximately 5,800.

With the Chicago investment, Ford is building an all-new body shop and paint shop at Chicago Assembly, and making major modifications to the final assembly area. At Chicago Stamping, the company is adding all-new stamping lines in preparation for the 2020 Ford Explorer, Police Interceptor Utility and Lincoln Aviator. Advanced manufacturing technologies at the plants include a collaborative robot with a camera that inspects electrical connections during the manufacturing process. In addition, several 3D printed tools will be installed to help employees build these vehicles with even higher quality for customers.

And do not forget that these 500 jobs are just the direct hires working at the facility. There are also the people who repair the machinery, the people who supply the raw materials, the lunch counters and restaurants that will open near the plant, the increase in transit riders necessitating new drivers. Trickle down at its finest.

A day at the farm

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Headed up this morning after coffee. There was about 4" of snow left on the ground - put out a couple bales of hay for the critters so they should be fine. Stock tank heater was working although I lost power for some time during the snowfall. My oven and  microwave were asking me to re-set the clocks.

Cliff Mass is watching the weather models and it looks like tomorrow's snow will start falling early afternoon sweeping from the North down through the entire Puget Sound area with about 4-5" accumulation. No updates on the potential for a Tuesday snowmageddon.

Heading out this morning, I swung by the library and borrowed a couple books - keep me occupied if the power goes out. Got plenty of food, candles and LED lamps. COSTCO and WalMart were very crowded. See what happens.

And it's YouTube

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Watch the rest of the SOTU address and then see what has been posted.

Great idea - hummingbird feeders

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I dearly love hummingbirds and always have feeders out for them. I am rewarded by their friendship - they are fearless. I was worried about the cold snap and saw this in the Bellingham Herald:


Freezing weather can keep hummingbirds from feeding. Here’s how to help
Elaina Bailey of Bellingham loves hummingbirds and worried about feeding them as temperatures dropped below freezing this week.

A bird guidebook provided the solution — a string of incandescent lights wrapped around her feeder prevents the nectar from freezing.

“It works perfect down to about 20 degrees,” Bailey said in an interview Wednesday. “Then I break out a heat lamp. I end up with clouds of hungry hummers that will land on me while I’m putting out feeders.”

Whatcom Humane Society’s wildlife rehabilitation center has seen an increase in arrivals of hummingbirds this month and has fielded calls from concerned citizens during the cold snap.

It will be a challenge to find incandescent Christmas lights now but I will look around. Most are LED and these are too efficient to generate the needed heat.

Doing my happy dance - NOT!

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Planning a run up to Maple Falls tomorrow to look for some computer stuff and to check in on the critters. Back down to the island on Friday morning - here is what I am planning to avoid - from Cliff Mass:

A Major Snowstorm Will Hit the Region Starting Late Friday
The weather forecast models are now pretty much on the same page for the next snow event and confidence in the forecast is quite high:   there is going to be a major snow event over much of the Pacific Northwest starting late Friday and continuing into the weekend.

A much larger snow event than occurred on Sunday night/Monday morning of this week.  And one in which snow will be falling on a surface that is now cooled substantially.

I have studied Northwest snowstorms for years and even co-authored a paper on the subject.  What is forecast to occur late Friday and this weekend is absolutely classic.

Cliff looks at a couple prediction models - the EC is generally more accurate but fairly short range. It can only predict a couple days in advance but...

But I fear to tell you what the EC model predicts next.  There is a second snow event on Monday/early Tuesday that doubles the snowfall in some locations.   The accumulated snow through the weekend ending 4 AM Tuesday is shown below.  We are talking over a foot of snow in central Puget Sound.  Two feet in some of the foothills locations. Unbelievable.

Got about two weeks of food here and enough projects to keep me occupied. The garage heater is a catalytic propane heater so it can be run inside with minimal ventilation. Going to be bringing down all my BBQ propane tanks (have four of them - use them for blacksmithing as well as cooking). Got the better part of a cord of firewood stacked under cover so I will be all set. I'll also bring down my propane cooktop - use that on the front deck if I lose electricity. Camping in the city.

Of course, I will make sure that my ham radio rigs are fully charged up. Never know when you might need to get a word out (or do the same for a neighbor).

Fun post - Senator Fauxcahontas

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From the Boston Herald:

Howie Carr: Elizabeth Warren in big trouble now
Stick a fork in cold crab omelette — the fake Indian is all done now.

She speak-um with forked tongue one time too many, and now The Washington Post, of all places, has scalped her. The smoke signals went out last night — as early as 1986 she was lying on a Texas bar application that she was “American Indian.”

Lieawatha admit-um she talk with forked tongue, only she use white-eye language, calling it “furthering confusion.”

No confusion anywhere. You are an utter fraud. Fake Indian, you will have many moons to reflect on your serial lies. Never will you be great white father.

Never live-um in white tee-pee. Heap big fraud since buffalo roam the plain, blue-eyed squaw lie about DNA, to make-um more wampum.

So the Boston Globe story last fall claiming she’d never tried to pass as an honest injun, was as phony as a Kevin Cullen column. But hey, it’s the Globe — right, Mike Barnicle? Jason Blair? Patricia X. Smith? Why do you think the fake Indian went to a fake news rag to print her buffalo excrement?

More at the site - Howie is on a roll. Fun stuff.

Long day today

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The dealership was short-handed today so I didn't get out of there until almost 4:00PM Realy like the place though - it was built about a year ago and has all the latest equipment and gadgets. When you drive into the service bay, you go over a sensor and by the time you get out of the car, a printer has spit out a page with all your car information (VIN, mileage, battery voltage, etc...) as well as a measurement of all four tire treads. Pretty spiffy.

Watched the first 30 minutes of the SOTU address - really good speech and I love watching Nancy Pelosi sitting in back of President Trump with a face like she is sucking lemons. It must really gall her to know that he is right in what he is doing on most stuff.

Surf for a bit....

Heading out for the day

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Coffee and then a 2:00PM appointment with the Toyota dealership.

Sunny day today - already at 29°F but we have another blast forecast for Friday.

Down for another day

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Taking the Toyota in for an oil change and checkup tomorrow at 2PM. Tomorrow night's meeting was canceled because of weather. Taking the Toyota up to MF Thursday for a day - check on the critters and then look around for a couple things for the media computer. Missing the keyboard and power supply for one of the monitors. Sneak up and back down again before the next arctic blast.

Clear tonight but not as clear as last night - 20°F now - see what happens. Got up to 34°F around 4PM. Island County is doing an excellent job of road maintenence. The National Weather Service Seattle Office tweeted this:

Stanwood - Camano school children are having fun (headline is link to original story):

Stanwood-Camano schools will close for third day in a row Wednesday

And with that, it is off to YouTube land.

State of the Union

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Watching it tomorrow - from all accounts it was a good one and he even had the Democrats standing and applauding.

Not just New York - people leaving

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Interesting article from Market Watch:

3 reasons so many people are getting the hell out of the Northeast
More than half of the top 10 U.S. states that people are planning to move out of are in the Northeast, according to data from LendingTree. The states people are looking to escape include New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Delaware and Rhode Island. (The remaining states are scatted throughout the country; the top state people are moving to is Florida, and the top region is the South.)

Other data points to a similar trend: Three states in the Northeast — New Jersey, New York and Connecticut — landed among the top five places from which people are moving out of fastest, according to 2017 data from United Van Lines. (Two more states on the moving company’s list: Illinois and Kansas.) And data from Pew Charitable Trusts suggest that, while people may be all about moving to the South (where the population grew by nearly 1.4 million people from 2014 to 2015) and the West (866,000 more people), population growth in the Northeast is “sluggish."

What's more, of the 25 cities that millennials are moving to, not a single one is in the Northeast, according to data on 2015 migration patterns released this year from personal-finance site SmartAsset. Indeed, it’s such places as Charlotte, N.C.; Seattle; and Oakland, Calif. — those are the top three — that the 20-to-34 set is moving to. New York City saw the biggest loss of millennials, with more than 29,000 going elsewhere.

I talked about the U Haul index last night where it is three times more to rent a 10' box truck to go from NYC to Dallas than it is to go from Dallas to NYC. Just for grins, here are the rates from NYC to Florida. Miami is a fairly liberal town so I am using Jacksonville:



Big difference - 3.7 times more. Very telling.

Oh - and the article's three reasons? High costs, the weather and jobs. A big no-brainer there.

Heading out for dinner

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Getting dinner at the Chinese buffet I like. Nice people and good food (I avoid the sushi and seafood as a matter of course). This is the Chinese New Year so they are going to be celebrating. Year of the Pig (Earth)

Two pints at my local and then back home. Meeting tomorrow night so will probably head to the farm Thursday.

From CNN:

Washington measles outbreak climbs while other states grapple with the disease
This year, Washington state is averaging more than one new measles case a day as officials try to stop the disease's spread.

Since January 1, Clark County Public Health has confirmed 49 cases of measles. In King County, home of Seattle, at least one confirmed case was reported.

A vast majority of those who came down with measles -- 41 -- were not vaccinated against the disease, Clark County officials said. One patient received a vaccination against MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), but the health agency declined to provide more details on that case "to protect the patient's privacy."

Not vaccinating your child is child abuse pure and simple. Simple, cheap and effective.

From the Gulfport, Mississippi Sun Herald:

Government workers busted at PortMiami trying to get on cruise to sell drugs, cops say
Two government contractors from Washington, D.C., were intercepted by federal agents on Sunday as they tried to board a cruise ship with an array of drugs they planned on selling to passengers, police said.

Their downfall, according to police: intercepted emails in which the two discussed their plan on government-issued computers. Police said both men were government contractors, though their arrest reports don’t say which agency employed them.

The Homeland Security special agent who intercepted the emails said their strategy was “to smuggle the narcotics into the ship and distribute it once on board the ship,” according to their arrest reports.

Using government computers to discuss your plans? Talk about epic levels of stupidity.

A great quote - Ayn Rand

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From AZ Quotes:


From Cliff Mass:

Coldest Temperatures in Years and the Next Snowstorm
A number of local observing stations experienced their record low temperatures for the date yesterday and the minimum temperatures this morning were chilling (see below, click to enlarge). Teens were widespread over the region away from the water, and there were single digits north of Bellingham, in the north Cascades and over eastern WA.

At Boeing Field, the low temperate this morning (16°F) was the coldest in at least 5 years.

This is one cold wave that is not going away, with the entire week being far cooler than normal. Ice and snow on non-arterial roadways are not going anywhere fast.

But now the serious stuff.  There is a real chance for a major snow event late Friday into Saturday--one with the potential to drop as much snow, or even more, than the event on Monday morning.  At this point there is substantial discrepancy among the model systems, and thus great uncertainty for the specific amounts and their distribution.

Wonderful. Going to be staying on the island for another week or so. Head up with the Highlander to check on the critters but that will be it.

Al Gore reference? The Gore Effect:

The Gore Effect is an informal and satirical term which alleges a causal relationship between unseasonable cold weather phenomena and global warming activism, with particular emphasis on events attended by former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Al Gore. Usage started when a speech of Al Gore on a global warming rally held in New York City met extremely cold winter weather in January 2004 and according Andrew Bolt after another Gore speech took place on a strikingly cold day in Boston in the same year.

Our TSA - follow the money

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From Judicial Watch:

Billions in TSA 9/11 Security Fees Diverted by Congress for Other Causes
Money to sustain the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) continuously flowed into the government’s coffers via a special security fee collected from every passenger, yet Congress didn’t release the funds during the shutdown. Known as the September 11 Security Fee, air carriers collect $5.60 per one-way trip and $11.20 round trip to help fund the TSA. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reports an average daily air passenger flow of 2.6 million, which translates into $14.5 million per day in TSA fees. That amounts to more than $507 million collected during the 35-day government shutdown yet the agency’s 51,000 employees didn’t get paid, igniting an onslaught of hardship stories in the media. What happened to the money? Why didn’t Congress release it even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claims “Our nation’s leaders have no greater responsibility than ensuring the safety and security of the American people.”

The truth is Congress has for years diverted billions of dollars in September 11 Security Fees and used the money for other causes not related to air security. This predates the recent government shutdown and indicates where the “safety and security of the American people” sits on the congressional list of priorities. In 2001 the TSA fee was $2.50 per passenger, but Congress increased it to the current $5.60 in 2013 and restructured the payment plan so that around $13 billion of the TSA fees would go to “deficit reduction” and other government sectors. Under the revamp, created by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, the revenue collected from passengers gets deposited in the general fund of the U.S. Treasury and a chunk of the money is used for other matters. The original statute enacted after the worst terrorist attack on American soil specifically required that the revenue from the passenger security fee be dedicated to providing civil aviation security services. The Budget Act amended it to require that a portion of money, $12.63 billion generated over 10 years, is deposited in the general fund as “offsetting receipts for the Federal budget.”

Redirecting passenger security fees naturally caused a ruckus in the airline industry, which has repeatedly demanded that Congress stop the practice. Using the TSA’s budget for functions not related to aviation security has caused a multitude of problems, including excessive screening lines and a failure to align TSA staff and equipment with passenger volumes by location, according to the industry’s trade organization, Airlines for America (A4A). In a letter to a U.S. Senator, the group’s president writes that if Congress wants to take constructive and well-justified action, it would immediately put the diverted billions, paid by airline passengers, where it belongs. In Congressional testimony last summer, the group’s senior vice president revealed that in 2017 alone special taxes on airlines and their customers totaled over $24 billion—more than $66 million per day. “Stop the annual practice of diverting passenger security fee revenue,” the airline official, Sharon Pinkerton, told the House Homeland Security Committee.

More deep state tactics - we are paying for the security but not getting it.

Crunch time - the Jewish Capitol

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President Trump is playing hardball:

Stupid criminal

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The smart is not with this kid - from the San Francisco Chronicle:

His first mistake was robbing a bank, police say - his second was allegedly fleeing on an electric scooter
Luca Mangiarano's first alleged mistake was robbing a bank.

His second: using an electric scooter as his getaway vehicle.

Aside from the fact that the Silicon Valley imports top out at about 15 mph, police have begun to realize that they're also something approaching a digital fingerprint on wheels.

Turning a rental scooter on, as regular users know, requires a rider to use an app that contains their phone number, email address and credit card information. You'll probably be unsurprised to learn that these are the kinds of personal details that make it easy for police to track down criminals.

Just over a month after his alleged crime, Mangiarano was arrested and charged with robbery by threat, police said.


Happy 110th Birthday - Bakelite

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The first sucessful plastic. Invented by Leo Henricus Arthur Baekeland

This is not good - Ebola

From The Lancet:

Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: time to sound a global alert?
The epidemic of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the second largest in history after the 2014 west African epidemic. A storm of detrimental factors complicates this event: armed conflict, political instability, and mass displacement. WHO, the DRC Government, and non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners have shown remarkable leadership but are badly stretched. The outbreak remains far from controlled, risking a long-term epidemic with regional, perhaps global, impacts.

The Lancet is paywalled but England's The Daily Star has more:

The current outbreak – first declared just six months ago – is already the world’s second-biggest having killed nearly 1,000 since it began.

And now there are fresh fears the epidemic is set to intensify amid warnings the spread is taking the disease closer to Goma city and has already arrived in the city of Butemba, which is home to millions of people.

The United Nations has scrambled emergency medical teams in Goma to deal with a possibly devastating outbreak in the city, with 2,000 emergency workers stationed there ready to deal with patients.

This disease really scares me - a person can be highly contagious without showing symptoms. Once this hits a large city with a crowded transit system, game over.

Where's Waldo RBG

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Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had surgery in December and has not been seen since. From The American Mirror:

MYSTERY: NO pictures from first Ginsburg ‘public appearance’ since surgery?
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg attended a concert put on by her daughter-in-law at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on Monday, marking her first public appearance since cancer surgery in December.

Attendees at the Notorious RBG in Song described Ginsburg as “glam,” and “resplendent,” and “magnificent,” but you’ll have to take their word for it.

In an era when every person is carrying a camera and isn’t afraid to use it, there wasn’t a single snap of the 85-year-old to be found. Every media story that covered her alleged appearance used file photos.

“What a delight to see RBG tonight at ‘Notorious RBG in Song,’ written & beautifully performed by her daughter-in-law, Patrice Michaels,” Post contributor David Hagedorn posted to Twitter. “She sat in the back, a few rows behind us, looking resplendent. Being hugged & wished a happy birthday by her made a grand night spectacular.”

Hagedorn’s tweet has since disappeared.

Curious - the next Supreme Court nominee will be walking through hell during the confirmation process.


Radio Net

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That was fun - some stations did not check in - bad road conditions out there but still, the idea of the network is to provide emergency communications, not to be convenient.

Working at home today - media computer and the garage. Heading out to the Chinese buffet for dinner tonight - their New Year.

Got down to 18°F last night - currently at 22°F.

Early day tomorrow

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Radio network - YouTube and bed.

Drop dead clear skies tonight - gorgeous. With this comes low temps - already down to about 20°F. Coldest before dawn.

Art Laffer is smiling

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Art Laffer is an economist who is known for the Laffer Curve - a look at revenues and tax rates. From InfoGalactic:

In economics, the Laffer curve is a representation of the relationship between rates of taxation and the resulting levels of government revenue. The Laffer curve claims to illustrate the concept of taxable income elasticity—i.e., taxable income will change in response to changes in the rate of taxation. It postulates that no tax revenue will be raised at the extreme tax rates of 0% and 100% and that there must be at least one rate which maximizes government taxation revenue.

The Laffer curve is typically represented as a graph which starts at 0% tax with zero revenue, rises to a maximum rate of revenue at an intermediate rate of taxation, and then falls again to zero revenue at a 100% tax rate.

One implication of the Laffer curve is that increasing tax rates beyond a certain point will be counter-productive for raising further tax revenue.

From the New York Post:

Cuomo announces income tax revenues have dropped by $2.3B
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that state income tax revenues plummeted by $2.3 billion since he introduced his new budget plan last month — a bombshell that will force him to curb spending.

So how is he going to fix it? Raise the taxes some more to get more money? That would really demonstrate the slippery slope of the Laffer Curve. A bit more:

“That’s a $2.3 billion drop in revenues. That’s as serious as a heart attack. This is worse than we had anticipated,” the governor said in Albany.

And he already knows this:

Cuomo said Albany can’t go to the well and tax the wealthy again because that would only worsen the situation, citing “anecdotal” evidence that high-income New Yorkers are already fleeing the state to lower-tax jurisdictions.

 l like the U Haul index - from their website a few moments ago:



Three times more to move from NYC to Dallas - U Haul has so many trucks leaving NYC that they can charge a premium for their rental. So few moving to NYC that they offer a cheap price as an incentive for people to rent their trucks.

A point to remember too is that the elites hire moving companies, they do not drive their own U Haul trucks. This is the diaspora of the middle and lower income brackets. It is not just the rich who are fleeing New York, it is everyone.

No workout today

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Got sidetracked - heading out for a burrito and then two pints.

Heh - Hillary

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Oh Joy - gale warning

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Got this in the mail from weather.com:

Gale Warning for Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands

Mild winter except for this cold event but a lot more wind than normal. The local electricity is fine but there are a lot of scattered outages in Maple Falls - good call on staying down here for the duration. The good news is that the day of the December Solstice was 08:25:27 long (hours, minutes, seconds) and today will be 09:43:08.

Something to know - Death-Cap Mushrooms

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I always use store-bought mushrooms when I cook but this is downright scary - from The Atlantic:

Death-Cap Mushrooms Are Spreading Across North America
Between a sidewalk and a cinder-block wall grew seven mushrooms, each half the size of a doorknob. Their silver-green caps were barely coming up, only a few proud of the ground. Most lay slightly underground, bulging up like land mines. Magnolia bushes provided cover. An abandoned syringe lay on the ground nearby, along with a light assortment of suburban litter.

Paul Kroeger, a wizard of a man with a long, copious, well-combed beard, knelt and dug under one of the sickly colored caps. With a short, curved knife, he pried up the mushroom and pulled it out whole. It was a mushroom known as the death cap, Amanita phalloides. If ingested, severe illness can start as soon as six hours later, but tends to take longer, 36 hours or more. Severe liver damage is usually apparent after 72 hours. Fatality can occur after a week or longer. “Long and slow is a frightening aspect of this type of poisoning,” Kroeger said.

I know some people who forage - sending them the link to this article. The interview happened in Vancouver, BC.

And this:

The Amanita phalloides species accounts for more than 90 percent of mushroom-related poisonings and fatalities worldwide.

Yikes! It first appeared in B.C. in 1997 - a lot more at the article.

Wonderful news - Poland

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From The Firearm Blog:

Polish Ministry of Defense to co-finance new Shooting Ranges
The Polish Ministry of Defense has announced that they will to co-finance the renovation of existing Shooting Ranges, and the building of new ones.

The aim seems to be to increase the organized shooting trainings for young people as well as members of pro-defense organizations and soldiers of the Armed Forces.

Quoted from the announcement: “The strategic goal of the project is to rebuild shooting skills.”

More guns, less crime. Would a criminal try something in a place when they thought there would be another armed person? Of course not. Gun Free Zones are killing fields.

Tip of the hat to Irons in the Fire

More lies - Virginia's Northam

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Virginia's Racist Governor Ralph Northam just got caught out in a lie - from This Ain't Hell on June 28th, 2017

Ralph Northam; Virginia’s gun control Lt Governor
The Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam, doesn’t like guns, more accurately, he doesn’t like that you have guns. He likes to tell his constituents that he grew up on the Eastern shore, so that means that he’s just like you – he hunts, so guns are his friends. But he hasn’t seen a gun control measure in the legislature that he won’t vote for.

A bit more:

His favorite line when talking about gun control is explaining to people that he treated “assault weapon” victims as a doctor in the Army during Desert Storm.

As an Army veteran and a doctor—and an Eastern Shore native who grew up hunting—Ralph knows the damage weapons can do. That’s why he’s been a staunch advocate for commonsense gun safety laws since his time in the state senate.

I witnessed the damage these guns can do firsthand as an Army doctor during the First Gulf War.

But...  Looking at his record, it shows that:

I’m not sure how many wounded soldiers he treated though. He was a child neurologist working at the Army’s Landstuhl Hospital in Germany. The way I understand neurologists, they treat brain diseases not gunshot wounds. It looks like he specialized in child neurology before, during and after the time he was at Landstuhl.

I know that Landstuhl played an important part during the latest wars in the Middle East as the hospital that treated casualties evacuated from Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, etc… At the time of Desert Storm, however, the 97th General Hospital in Frankfort was the primary hospital for evacuated casualties. The 97th closed in June 1992.

It just keeps getting better and better...

Straw ban - idiocy

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Washington D.C. has gone off the deep end. We need less government not more. From Legal Insurrection:

Washington D.C. Now Has an ‘Inspector’ to Enforce the Ban on Plastic Straws
The Department of Energy and Environment in Washington, DC, now has someone to enforce the ban on plastic straws. Will you sleep better tonight knowing this scourge upon society is being dealt with properly?

Fenit Nirappil reports at the Washington Post:

On patrol with the enforcer of D.C.’s plastic-straw ban
Warning letters in hand, Zach Rybarczyk patrolled the food court at Union Station, looking for offenders.

Past Auntie Anne’s, past Johnny Rockets. At Lotus Express, a Chinese food joint, Rybarczyk peeled the wrapper from a red straw and bent the end — the telltale giveaway.


Washington has become the latest city in a nationwide movement to ban plastic straws, and it’s up to Rybarczyk, an inspector for the D.C. Department of Energy and Environment, to enforce the new law.

The straw cop left the rattled cashier at Lotus Express with a warning that if the store was still using plastic straws by July, when a grace period expires, it could be fined up to $800.

This whole thing started with some numbers put out by a nine year old boy. It fit the media narrative so they ran with it. I wonder how many tax-payer dollars go into Mr. Rybarczyk's paycheck. I would be surprised if he was not earning less than $100K. Low level bureaucrats in D.C. routinely earn over $120K

More here, here and here

And now the fun begins

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Went out for breakfast and to run a few errands. Never got above 28 this afternoon - enough direct sunlight to melt the top layer and it will freeze again tonight. Black ice tomorrow morning - perfect. One of the reasons for my being in rotation for the radio drill tomorrow is that I live about two miles away from the fire hall. I can walk it in 30 minutes if I have to.

Got a couple do-dads for the media computer. There was a mad rush to pack everything in the living room and parts for the computer got put into various cardboard boxes. These are scattered between the farm, condo, storage unit and here. Using some different monitors for now. Still, it works and works great - much faster than the old Dell Latitude E6330 I am using down here. DaVinci should be a speed daemon.

Surf for a little while and then out for a workout and a light dinner.


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Got about three inches of snow on the ground here. 27°F Mt. Baker is showing 10"

Wind has been quiet through the night but there is still a gale warning until 4PM today.

Out for coffee and back home to work on the media computer.

Cliff Mass points to another - potentially larger - snowfall in a few days:

Snow Post Mortem and a View to the Next Snowstorm
Well, reality can be sobering. The western Washington snow event is nearly over now...and yes, the models generally underpredicted the snow totals--particularly several days out. But let's look more closely.

The National Weather Service has a constantly updated snow total map (see below) that shows how variable the snow was. Around 2 inches on Bainbridge and near Tacoma, but 2-5 inches in Seattle (I had 4 inches in northeast Seattle). But amounts increased to the east and north, with around 6 inches in Bellevue and Everett, and even more near the Cascade foothills.

Doing my happy dance - NOT!

Back home and nothing catches my eye

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YouTube. Finally got down to 32° and the snowfall has picked up quite a bit. Wind from the North but not as strong as earlier this afternoon. Finish getting the media computer hooked up tomorrow. Radio network Tuesday and then back to the farm depending on the snow up there. The Chinese buffet I like is doing a blowout for their New Year so having dinner there on Tuesday regardless of travel plans.

A little too far - ISIS

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ISIS is supposed to be a pure form of Islam but it is not. It is run by power-hungry sociopaths who consider their followers to be cannon fodder in their war on the west. This is having some repercussions and I bet that this story is just the tip of the iceberg. From NBC News:

Life under ISIS led these Muslims to Christianity
Four years have passed since the Islamic State group's fighters were run out of Kobani, a strategic city on the Syrian-Turkish border, but the militants' violent and extreme interpretation of Islam has left some questioning their faith.

A new church is attracting converts. It is the first local Christian place of worship for decades.

“If ISIS represents Islam, I don’t want to be a Muslim anymore,” Farhad Jasim, 23, who attends the Church of the Brethren, told NBC News. “Their God is not my God.”

Islam is very much overdue for a reformation. Christians used to be pretty nasty people until around the middle 1500's. We turned ourselves around - time for the Muslims to do the same.

Dinner time

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Got the table assembled and the media computer is on it. Using a dual monitor setup so still need to mount the arms for that on the table. Taking a break for dinner (Campbells Beef Barley soup - OK with a lot of fresh-ground black pepper and a float of Chinese hot oil).

Heading out to my local - the game should be over by then so nice and quiet for a couple of pints. Been reading some more of the Nathanial Drinkwater series (historical fiction set in the British Royal Navy in the late 1790's through 1810). Not quite as good as Patrick O'Brian's Captain Jack Aubrey but not bad at all. A very plesent way to spend an evening if there is not anyone to talk with.

The wind has died down a bit and starting to get some more snowfall. See what the next couple of days will bring. Supposed to get about a foot in Maple Falls - already have two inches or so on the ground (email communication). Glad I am staying down here because I would be taking the van and it is horrible on snow - very light weight and only two wheel drive.

Downright chilly

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34°F and wind from the North at 15MPH gusting to 17-20. Good bit of chop on Utsalady Bay (Indian word meaning "land of berries")

Tide is still coming in so it will be interesting to see in an hour or two - especially with this:

Gale Warning for Northern Inland Waters Including The San Juan Islands

Emphasis mine - this could be no bueno if the tide is high when this hits. The waves have about five miles to fetch up along the waters of Skagit Bay. The bulkhead protecting the house is about five feet above mean high tide. Still, there is a good bit of yard between the bulkhead and the house and this place has been here for a long long time.

Back to work

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Done with lunch - time to get the table hauled up to the loft and put together. It will be nice to have the media computer running again - what with all the packing and stuff, it has been offline for a couple of months.

Nancy Pelosi

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Great cartoon from Stilton Jarlsberg - an oldie from 2014 but still very very relevant:


Indoctrination Camps Higher Education

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Great short post from Instapundit:

DISPATCHES FROM THE EDUCATION APOCALYPSEProgressive Hampshire College Reduces Fall 2019 Incoming Freshman Class, Continued Viability in Doubt.

UPDATE (FROM GLENN): If only there had been some kind of warning. I mean, any kind of warning at all.

It's that mean old Get Woke, Go Broke again...

Back from shopping

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Took advantage of Super Bowl Sunday to do some shopping - groceries, housewares and stuff. WinCo was really busy - everyone getting the last of their party stuff. They have a really nice Ahi Poke that I have been craving for the last couple of weeks so munching down on a couple ounces of that as I type. Also doing a sandwich for a late lunch. Maybe some soup and a salad for a light dinner later. All of the other stores were deserted.

Had some mild snow flurries while out - nothing of any real concern. Here is a video from 9:00AM in Lynden, WA - starting to really come down there:

Cliff Mass has an update with the forecast for cold weather to hit Monday. Got a fire started in the fireplace - the wind is gusting.

I will start putting the table together after a quick surf and finish lunch. This Poke broke da mouth.

From November 4th, 2013 Breitbart:

Interview: EW Jackson Calls Handshake Snub 'Insulting'
Virginia Lieutenant Governor candidate Ralph Northam (D-VA) refused to shake hands with his Republican opponent, EW Jackson during an on-air appearance in Hampton Roads, VA last week. 

EW Jackson is black. Racist much?

A long long time ago

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Today marks the 60th anniversary of The Day The Music Died

On February 3, 1959, rock and roll musicians Buddy HollyRitchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, together with the pilot, Roger Peterson. The event later became known as "The Day the Music Died", after singer-songwriter Don McLean so referred to it in his song "American Pie"

Heading out for coffee

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Spending today putting together the table and setting up my media computer. Might go shopping as the stores will be deserted because of the bowl game.

Snow is forecast but it will (hopefully) be nothing like the 30" that Camano Island received ten years ago:

Happy birthday - Henry Heimlich

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Born this day in 1920 - from his Infogalactic entry:

Henry Judah Heimlich (born February 3, 1920) is A Jewish American thoracic surgeon widely credited as the inventor of the Heimlich maneuver, a technique of abdominal thrusts for stopping choking, described inEmergency Medicine in 1974. Other medical inventions include the Micro Trach portable oxygen system for ambulatory patients and the Heimlich Chest Drain Valve, or "flutter valve," which drains blood and air out of the chest cavity.

Saved a lot of lives. His son Peter runs a very strange website trying to tear his father's work down. Wonder what happened to him as a kid...

You guessed it

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The Tube of You

Goodbye alt.energy - California

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Delightful news. alt.energy is not economically feasible without massive taxpayer (and ratepayer) subsidies. From the San Jose Mercury News:

Are California’s solar and wind projects at risk in PG&E bankruptcy?
California has the most far-reaching renewable energy laws in the United States. But this week’s bankruptcy filing by the state’s biggest electric utility, PG&E, is raising major questions about whether the state will be able to meet its ambitious targets for solar, wind and other types of green electricity in the years ahead.

“It’s not just business. The state’s environmental and climate goals are at stake,” said John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, a non-profit group in Sacramento.

“How are we going to finance all of the clean energy initiatives we need?”

Boo hoo John - you are just throwing a tantrum because some bully named real world economics just kicked over your rice bowl. A bit more:

In stacks of court documents, PG&E asked a bankruptcy court to allow it to potentially cancel up to $42 billion in contracts that it signed over the past 15 years to buy electricity from other companies. Seventy-seven percent of those 387 contracts, or 298, commit PG&E to purchase solar, wind or other renewable energy to meet California’s environmental goals, according to its bankruptcy filing.

It sure was nice for a while for these companies - spend gobs of other people's  money, don't really have a reliable baseload product and Virtue Signal to the liberals. What could go wrong?

And it starts - Covington

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Don Surber posted about this article in the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Sandmann lawyer: Letters sent to New York Times, Today Show, 50 others may precede suits
The lawyers representing Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann and his family said Friday they have sent letters to media outlets, individual journalists, celebrities and Catholic organizations as the first step in possible libel and defamation lawsuits.

The list includes 50-plus names of organizations or individuals: from presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren to actress Alyssa Milano; individual journalists including Maggie Haberman, Ana Cabrera and David Brooks; national media outlets like the The New York Times, CNN, GQ and TMZ; and the dioceses of Covington and Lexington as well as the archdioceses of Louisville and Baltimore.

Nick, as well as his school, faced threats from those angered by video showing him, his classmates and Native Americans engaged in a much-debated confrontation. Some of the students wore "Make America Great Again" hats. Some students chanted and performed the tomahawk chop.

The legal counsel representing Nick and his family, Todd McMurtry and experienced libel and defamation lawyer L. Lin Wood of Atlanta, have said they will seek justice for the harm allegedly done to the teen.

Don observes:

I am not a lawyer but it seems as though Sandmann has a good case for libel.

One, what they said about him was untrue. Two, those lies put him in harm's way as there were death threats against him. Three, he is not a public figure. Four, he is a minor. Five, they did damage his reputation.

Great news - the media tried to spin a fake narrative and it backfired. Time to pay the piper.

And back home

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Stayed out a little longer than planned - my main local had a really good band playing tonight so stayed for three pints.

Worked out for about an hour - starting to get in the habbit of this a couple times/week. Not trying to be any kind of body builder but looking to increase cardiac capacity and muscle tone. Really liking the YMCA - huge range of people. Some really fit and some worse than me - gives me hope...

Took some photos of an interesting Emergency Communications antenna array about ten miles from here, continued up to Bellingham with a load of stuff to sell, had dinner on the road and back to the island. Post the photos tomorrow when I get my media computer put together.

The wind is still blowing out of the North - very unusual for this area. Running about 10MPH gusting to 15MPH. The front line is still about 48 hours away.

Heading out for a few hours

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Library was not open yet so heading out to return a bunch of books and CDs and then to Bellingham with a load of more tools that I want to sell. Pick up some hardware for the computer setup - using my media machine on my Dad's old writing table. Since it was sold as a gaming machine it already has a decent graphics card and I brought it up to 32GB of memory so it should scream.

Probably get something to eat on the road.

MeToo - Insurance

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An interesting consequence of this - from BoingBoing:

After #MeToo, whole industries have been blacklisted by insurers for sexual harassment liability coverage
A new report from Betterley Risk Consultants, shared with The Intercept, reveals that many of the world's largest insureres will no longer conside whole industries for "employment practices liability insurance" (EPLI), which covers liability from "sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and other employee claims."

Ten of the 32 largest insurers will no longer write EPLI policies for financial firms (brokers, investment banks, VCs, etc); eight will no longer sell EPLI coverage to entertainment and media companies. Also blacklisted are law firms, car dealerships, and other industries where "superstars" or "celebrities" or "high-billing rainmakers" have historically been able to get away with bad behavior so long as they continued to perform for the firm.

The blacklists mean that insurers that will extend coverage to the affected industry have a seller's market, with customers not able to shop around, and that means much higher prices and deductibles and lower caps on coverage; but more importantly, it requires that the companies seeking insurance demonstrate extensive institutional changes to minimize the risk of claims.

Interesting times. It is good that people are coming forward - non-consensual sex in the workplace should be rooted out and stopped. With power comes responsibility - to violate that is to violate the implicit trust.

Interesting times - the weather

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So far, the storm systems hitting Camano Island have come out of the South. This one will be different. From Cliff Mass:

Increasing Potential for Lowland Snow over Western Washington
We are now close enough to the upcoming snow/cold event that some of our most powerful prediction tools, such as high-resolution ensembles (many forecasts), are now becoming available. And, of course, forecasts become more skillful as we get closer in time.

The bottom line is that it is becoming increasingly likely that light snow will fall over the portions of the lowlands of western WA, including the central Puget Sound region.

And this little gem:

The ensembles are also confident that all hell will break loose in Bellingham, with strong northeasterly winds developing tomorrow and associated very cold temperatures.

My farm lies in a valley that runs North/South and whenever there is a Frasier River outflow, I get winds gusting to 60MPH. If I stick to my plan and go up there, it will be with the van which has lousy snow-handling ability. I must be down here Tuesday morning for the radio network so thinking about staying here through Wednesday. The winds have started and they are coming directly out of the North. Considering that the house here faces the North and is right on the water, I should stay here to watch what happens.

CNN - Fake News

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Whoops - Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam was recently "outed" when a photo from his 1984 Medical School yearbook showed two people of which one was him. One person wearing the KKK robe and hood and the other person in Blackface.

Governor Northam is a Democrat but since the Democrats are not racist (it's the Republicans), this muddies up the narrative. CNN did what any purveyor of fake news would do - they changed his party. From Russia Today:

‘R’ is for... Democrat? CNN labels Virginia governor ‘Republican’ in segment on KKK photo


A Democrat with a racist past? That fact might be too far from the mainstream line for CNN, so they labeled Virginia Governor Ralph Northam a ‘Republican’ when reporting on his apology for a past racist photo.

Northam is under pressure from both Democrats and Republicans to resign after admitting that he is one of two men that appeared in an old photograph, one in blackface and the other dressed in a KKK robe.

He apologized for the photo, unearthed from a 1984 school yearbook this week, saying that it did not reflect the person he is today, and promised to work to regain the public’s trust, but did not indicate any intention to leave office.

When the story was covered on Anderson Cooper’s show on CNN Friday night, the governor’s name was labeled with the letter ‘R’ – which stands for ‘Republican’.

CNN is the propaganda arm of the deep state.

Sleep interrupted

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Was working at the computer (DaVinci Resolve) and started feeling napish around 7:30 - went back to bed and slept for another four hours. Feel great - no clue as to why I woke up so early but see how I feel tonight. Curious.

Showered, shaved and out the door for that essential nectar, the post office and the library.

Early day

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Woke up two hours earlier than my usual time - tried going back to sleep but no luck.

Nothing on the internet - heading out for coffee in a little while.

Looks like quite the bit of weather headed our way.

RIP - Ron Joyce

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Canada is in mourning. Ron Joyce? The co-founder of the Tim Horton's chain. From Canada's Financial Post:

'I've had a helluva ride in life': Ron Joyce, Tim Hortons co-founder, dead at 88
The creation story begins with Ron Joyce as just a child, whose father died when he was three, and whose mother, Grace, a widow at age 23, would move back to her out-of-the-way hometown of Tatamagouche, N.S., with a wee son in tow, and into a tiny house with no running water, no electricity and no insulation.

Grace would remarry and the boy would grow, leaving home at 15 with exactly “zero dollars,” in his pocket, heading west, working in a factory in Ontario, pulling a five-year stint in the navy, becoming a policeman in Hamilton and buying a shop in a fledgling doughnut chain that Tim Horton, a hockey great and future NHL Hall of Famer, started as a pet business project and ran out of his basement.

Joyce, the ex-cop, would learn how to bake from a fella who consulted a Ouija board, and he eventually became Horton’s partner in 1967, growing the doughnut chain into an iconic Canadian brand and adding terms, such as double-double, to the Canadian lexicon.

More at the site - quite the life and he built a really solid business.

Down here for Saturday and then to the farm Sunday

Another epidemic - typhus

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There is not really a good vaccine for Typhus - booster shots are required every 6 to 12 months. Proper sanitation and vermin control are the key elements. Of course, it shows up in California. From the Los Angeles NBC affiliate:

Typhus Epidemic Worsens in Los Angeles
A veteran Los Angeles City Hall official is one of the latest victims of an epidemic of the infectious disease typhus that continues to worsen across LA County.

For months, LA County public health officials have said typhus is mainly hitting the homeless population.

But Deputy City Attorney Liz Greenwood, a veteran prosecutor, tells NBC4 she was diagnosed with typhus in November, after experiencing high fevers and excruciating headaches.

"It felt like somebody was driving railroad stakes through my eyes and out the back of my neck," Greenwood told the I-Team. "Who gets typhus? It's a medieval disease that's caused by trash."

If you didn't blow all your taxpayer dollars on alt.energy, stupid transit ideas and sinking piles of money into the "homeless problem", you could afford to keep the streets clean and the trash picked up.

Well that didn't take long - restaurant

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From the San Francisco CBS affiliate:

San Mateo Restaurant Owner Apologizes For ‘MAGA’ Hat Ban
A restaurant owner in San Mateo has apologized after saying he would ban patrons who wear “Make America Great Again” hats to his establishment.

Kenji Lopez-Alt, chef and partner at Wursthall Restaurant and Bierhaus, said in a statement posted Friday, “Making a public statement without taking my team’s thoughts into consideration was disrespectful and reckless. My goal at Wursthall was for it to be a restaurant where all employees and staff are treated with respect and trust, and by making that public statement without your consent, I failed at that goal.”

“Wursthall will continue, as it always has, to serve all customer (sic) regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual preference, gender orientation, disability, or political opinion — so long as they leave hate, anger, and violence outside of the doors of our restaurant,” the chef went on to say.

Nicely worded. If I lived in the area, I would dine there wearing a button (Trump or MAGA) - something a little more understated than a red hat. I would be a model customer and would tip very well. Get a bunch of people doing that and you can effect some real change. We are not the monsters that Pelosi and Schumer make us out to be.

Back to the island for a day or two

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Ran a full van in to Bellingham, unloaded and then brought my Dad's old writing desk (actually a trestle table) and my media computer down to the island. I use this system for editing photos and will be installing DaVinci Resolve on it tomorrow (sorry Pinnacle).

The table is really beat up and old - Dad's first computer was an S-100 box running CP/M and WordStar (he wrote Physics textbooks). He later moved over to an Apple ][+ with CP/M card and WordStar and then an IBM AT (WordStar again and a really really nice keyboard) and then various Windows boxes that I built for him. It has a 40+ year history of hosting creativity on computers - looking forward to carrying that on for the next 30 years at least. My current media system is a gaming computer that I got through Costco for a very reasonable price - perfect for doing photography and video. I added extra memory so it screams.

Just a short visit this time - I want to start bringing the music stuff down so I will be back at the farm Sunday and then down here Monday late for my Tuesday radio net.

And I am off

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Coffee and then packing.

Time to build that wall - fentanyl

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From The Daily Caller:

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized enough fentanyl to kill over 50 million people from a truck that was trying to cross the southern border into the United States, according to an investigation by “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

“Well, the U.S. border patrol has made the biggest fentanyl bust in history. An enormous amount, enough fentanyl to kill—they estimate—57 million people. That’s more than the combined population of the states of Illinois, New York and Pennsylvania. It’s a lot,” Carlson stated.

“We got our hands on an internal memo from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol that details this bust. The biggest fentanyl seizure in U.S. history,” Fox News Correspondent Hillary Vaughn began. “According to the memo, four days ago in Nogales, Arizona, at the port of entry, CBP officers stopped a tractor-trailer crossing the U.S.-Mexico border into the U.S. with enough fentanyl to kill 57 million people. That’s plenty of fatal dose to wipe out the entire populations of Texas, Arizona and New York state combined.”

We got that one but how many are still getting through. More and more I am inclined to follow the money and believe that this is the case:


Robert Mueller - crooked

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Great article in the Boston Herald:

Howie Carr: Mueller’s hands dirty in old FBI frame-up
Roger Stone keeps talking about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s reprehensible behavior with the FBI in Boston way back when.

But I don’t think he or most people understand how bad Mueller’s actions were – “chilling,” is how a Clinton federal judge in 2006 described the former FBI director’s attempts to cover up a massive frame-up by Boston G-men decades earlier.

Not just Mueller, it was the whole FBI at the time. Really well written article - this is the face of the deep state.

That trade war - China

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Looks like the trade war was won and China is over a barrel - from Bloomberg:

Hundreds More Chinese Companies Just Warned on Profits
The number of Chinese companies warning on earnings is turning into a flood, with no industry spared from worsening demand.

Some 440 firms disclosed on Wednesday -- the day before a deadline to do so -- that their 2018 financial results deteriorated, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Of the more than 2,400 mainland-listed firms that have announced preliminary numbers or issued guidance this season, some 373 said they’ll post a loss, the data show. About 86 percent of those were profitable in 2017.

Damage was widespread: Airlines faced soaring fuel costs and a weak yuan, the equity-market slump hurt brokerages, while China’s economic slowdown and a surge in impairment costs slashed earnings for companies as varied as a bus manufacturer, a maker of refrigerators and an ID-card supplier. Conditions continued to get tougher in January for the smaller firms that form the backbone of the nation’s economy, government figures released Thursday showed.

They need US a lot more than we need THEM.

The people's republic of Chicago

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Life under Democratic rule - from the Chicago Sun-Times:

Viagra, sex acts, use of a luxury farm: Feds detail investigation of Ald. Solis
Retiring Ald. Danny Solis (25th) received sex acts, Viagra, free weekend use of an Indiana farm once owned by Oprah Winfrey and a steady stream of campaign contributions in exchange for shepherding official City Council actions, according to allegations in a federal court affidavit obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.

The allegations are contained in an explosive search warrant application that helps explain why Solis, the powerful chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee, agreed to spend more than two years cooperating in a federal investigation during which he is known to have secretly recorded at least a dozen conversations with Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), the former chairman of the City Council’s Finance Committee.

Although no charges have been filed publicly against Solis, the 2016 affidavit lays out in detail a federal corruption case against the veteran alderman, who was one of the closest City Council allies of Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Emanuel’s predecessor, Richard M. Daley.

It also alleges that among the people recorded as part of the Solis investigation was Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, the longest-serving state House speaker in the country.

The 120-page affidavit shows federal investigators listened in on more than 18,000 conversations on one of Solis’ cellphones over the course of at least a year, while also conducting surveillance of his private meetings and trips to massage parlors.

A lot more at the site - time for a big bowl of popcorn. Two years of recordings - got to be some good stuff there...

154 years ago yesterday - slavery

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On Jan 31, 1865, the United States Congress passed S.J. RES. 16. (P. 531-2) which outlawed slavery.

The voting went as follows: 84 Republicans and 14 Democrats voted in favor. Zero Republicans and 50 Democrats were opposed. Remember this the next time some Democrat politician natters on about how the Republicans are so racist.

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