March 2019 Archives

Fallout from the Mueller report

| No Comments

Chris Matthews - excerpted from this transcript of his broadcast - Breitbart:

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Why was there never an interrogation of this president? We were told for weeks by experts you cannot deal with an obstruction of justice charge or investigation without getting to motive. You don’t get to motive until you hear from the person himself who’s being targeted, a subject of the investigation. How can they let Trump off the hook? So far tonight, so far tonight, we have no reason to believe Trump is going to be charged by rhetoric in the document itself, in the Mueller report, he will not be charged with obstruction or of collusion, without ever having to sit down with the special counsel and answer his damn questions. How can that happen?

Good Lord...  What a whiny little bitch.

Look. I get it. Orange Man is bad. My problem is that you are clueless and out of touch so go back to your family and STFU for a while. Take a Chill Pill or something. Pandering to your elite buddies will only get you so far.

Loaded up and out the door

| No Comments

In to Bellingham, Costco (human, cat and dog food) and back to the farm.

Out the door

| No Comments

Coffee and the store for a little bit then finishing packing the van for the condo. Got a load of laundry started here.

Look up tonight

| No Comments

Chance of aurora borealis - from Cliff Mass:

Potential Aurora Tonight!
One of the most extraordinary natural sights to behold is the aurora borealis and tonight and early Sunday morning, you might have a chance to see one in our region.

On Wednesday, there was a massive solar flare, followed by a coronal mass ejection (CME), on the sun. It takes a few days for electrons and protons associated with the CME to reach the earth's atmosphere, and in fact, it has JUST ARRIVED. This is evident from the latest planetary K index (a measure of the disturbance of Earth's magnetic field) form the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center.

Forecast is for partly cloudy so we will see...

Learning from history - not

| No Comments

George Santayana said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
And then, there is this attributed to Mark Twain: "History Does Not Repeat Itself, But It Rhymes"
Anyway, here is something from Ed Driscoll writing at Instapundit that caught my eye:

Shot:

Infectious diseases—some that ravaged populations in the Middle Ages—are resurging in California and around the country, and are hitting homeless populations especially hard.

Los Angeles recently experienced an outbreak of typhus—a disease spread by infected fleas on rats and other animals—in downtown streets. Officials briefly closed part of City Hall after reporting that rodents had invaded the building.

* * * * * * * *

The diseases sometimes get the “medieval” moniker because people in that era lived in squalid conditions without clean water or sewage treatment, said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, a professor of medicine and public health at UCLA.

— “’Medieval’ Diseases Flare as Unsanitary Living Conditions Proliferate,” Scientific American, March 15th.

Chaser:

In 1968, in San Francisco, I came across a curious footnote to the hippie movement. At the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic there were doctors who were treating diseases no living doctor had ever encountered before, diseases that had disappeared so long ago they had never even picked up Latin names, diseases such as the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scroll, the rot. And how was it that they had now returned? It had to do with the fact that thousands of young men and women had migrated to San Francisco to live communally in what I think history will record as one of the most extraordinary religious fevers of all time.

The hippies sought nothing less than to sweep aside all codes and restraints of the past and start out from zero. At one point the novelist Ken Kesey, leader of a commune called the Merry Pranksters, organized a pilgrimage to Stonehenge with the idea of returning to Anglo-Saxon civilization’s point zero, which he figured was Stonehenge, and heading out all over again to do it better. Among the codes and restraints that people in the communes swept aside—quite purposely—were those that said you shouldn’t use other people’s toothbrushes or sleep on other people’s mattresses without changing the sheets or, as was more likely, without using any sheets at all, or that you and five other people shouldn’t drink from the same bottle of Shasta or take tokes from the same cigarette. And now, in 1968, they were relearning . . . the laws of hygiene . . . by getting the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush, the scroff, the rot. This process, namely the relearning—following a Promethean and unprecedented start from zero—seems to me to be the leitmotif of the twenty-first century in America.

—Tom Wolfe, from his 1987 essay “The Great Relearning,” included in his 2000 anthology, Hooking Up. 

Ed also links to this article; the thesis of which, I think, is a very good idea: We Shut Down State Mental Hospitals. Some People Want to Bring Them Back

Makes my morning a much happier one to hear this. A couple of clickable headlines:

This could not be happening to a more deserving group of people.

And back for the evening

| No Comments

Nothing much on the net. YouTube and a full day of packing and moving tomorrow.

And it is already up on SCRIBD

| No Comments

Report from the Special Counsel Investigation into Russian Interference During and Before the 2016 Presidential Election

69 pages of powerful and clear writing. It is more than I expected from Mueller.

Heading out for a bite

| No Comments

Bite to eat - don't know where yet.

Got some people from the Humane Society coming to take my critters - I was going to post them on Craigslist but realized that the Humane Society will do a lot better job of screening the new owners. It was wonderful sharing the farm with them (and the chickens and ducks and goats and Sam the Mule) but since I am moving, it is best to get them relocated in early spring so they have time to adapt to their new quarters before next winter hits.

Back after dinner and a couple pints. Been working in the DaveCave - camera and music stuff. To the condo tomorrow.

There's gold in them thar hills

| No Comments

Interesting story about America's other gold rush - from Appalachian Magazine:

200+ Years Ago: The Carolina Gold Rush
When one thinks of an American goldrush, the thoughts of dusty prospectors racing west to the deserts of California or the icy mountains of Alaska typically aren’t far behind.

Though it is true that California’s 49ers took part in America’s most well known gold rush, the truth is a half-century earlier, the newly birthed nation was captivated by the prospect of gold being buried in the foothills of North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains.

The story begins in 1799 when a 12-year-old boy, was shooting fish with a bow and arrow in a stream near what would become Charlotte, North Carolina.

Wonderful story - I had no idea this happened. We had quite the gold rush here in the Cascade mountains - the Appalachian's were just as mineral rich, just a lot older and more eroded. I live about 50 miles from an active gold mine.

Great article on citogenesis at the Theory, Evolution, and Games Group (great website for math nerds):

Danger of motivatiogenesis in interdisciplinary work
Randall Munroe has a nice old xkcd on citogenesis: the way factoids get created from bad checking of sources. But let me summarize the process without direct reference to Wikipedia:

1. Somebody makes up a factoid and writes it somewhere without citation.
2. Another person then uses the factoid in passing in a more authoritative work, maybe sighting the point in 1 or not.
3. Further work inherits the citation from 2, without verifying its source, further enhancing the legitimacy of the factoid.
4. The cycle repeats.

Soon, everybody knows this factoid and yet there is no ground truth to back it up. I’m sure we can all think of some popular examples. Social media certainly seems to make this sort of loop easier.

Randall's cartoon can be found here and it is so true. This is how Global Warming got a foothold even though the actual measured data do not add up. All the "scare quotes" come from tweaked computer models.

Object of Desire

| No Comments

I want one of these machines:

20190322-machine.gif

Gorgeous CGI - I love the kinematics on that spring in the middle of the linkage. The ever-so-slight camera shake and jerkiness is just icing on a wonderful cake.

From NBC News:

Mueller submits report on Trump investigation to AG Barr
Special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday wrapped up his nearly two-year investigation into Donald Trump and Russia and sent his report to Attorney General William Barr.

No details of Mueller's findings have been released, but Barr said he may be able to brief congressional leaders on the report as soon as this weekend.

"I am reviewing this report and anticipate that I may be in a position to advise you of the Special Counsel's principal conclusions as soon as this weekend," Barr wrote in a letter on Friday to a group of lawmakers on the House and Senate judiciary committees.

I wonder just how much money was spent on this nothingburger. If you want to look at collusion with the Russians, you need look no further than the Clinton Foundation.

At the farm

| No Comments

Went directly up without stopping in Belliongham. Things are fine here - stopped in at the store for a little bit. Ready to start loading crap for the condo (and the dumpster).

Points north

| No Comments

Load up the truck and out of here.

All that snow - river levels rising

| No Comments

A very graphic look at two local rivers - nothing as bad as what is happening now in Nebraska but still:

20190322-stilly.png

20190322-nooksack.png

Larger than normal amounts of snow followed by warmer than normal weather.
No worries, just something to keep an eye on.

Killed by Google

| No Comments

Google is famous notorious for buying technology, running with it for a little while and then killing it off. Here is a website devoted to this app-icide: Killed by Google

Back home for a little bit

| No Comments

Got some paperwork to do here and then heading up to the Bellingham condo and then the farm.

Next project here will be ripping all my DVDs - not as many as music CDs but still quite a few. I am using the wonderful (and free and open source) Handbrake with the sooper seekret libdvdcss.dll add-on. A nice how-to here.

Paperwork, surf for a little bit and then on the road again. Swing by the auction house on my way out.

Out the door

| No Comments

The usual - got nine more disks to return to the library.

Heading up to the farm today - got a bunch of stuff there to do. No meetings next week so spending a bit of time up there packing.

Back here for a few hours first - auction preview later today.

Heading out for a bit

| No Comments

Library, storage locker (getting and putting) and another check at the post office - expecting something.
Bite to eat and then a 7:00PM meeting.

Been digitizing my music CDs. A week ago I discovered that Exact Audio Copy will run multiple instances without any problem so ordered three more CD readers. I am now ripping four disks at once. Speeds things up a lot - I am now at 15,421 individual tunes. Fortunately, the end is in sight - I only have a couple boxes of disks left to process.

A two-fer - first from US News and World Report:

Health Officials Warn of Measles Exposure
HEALTH OFFICIALS IN Los Angeles County are warning about possible exposure to measles amid a spike in cases elsewhere in the country in recent months.

In late December, one person who was sick with the highly contagious viral infection visited several stores and restaurants in Malibu, Pasadena and Santa Monica while contagious, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Officials said there is no remaining risk in those areas, but people who may have been near the infected person should watch for any symptoms of the illness, which is spread through cough or sneeze and causes fever, red eyes and a rash. Most people who haven't been immunized will get measles if they are exposed to the virus, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said.

And this blast of truth from Scientific American:

Opting Out of Vaccines Should Opt You Out of American Society
The ongoing measles outbreaks across the United States and Europe prove definitively that our personal choices affect everybody around us. Although you have a right to your own body, your choice to willfully be sick ends where another’s right to be healthy begins. For that reason, people who “opt out” of vaccines should be opted out of American society.

This is America, the Land of the Free. That freedom, however, doesn’t mean “I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.” When we choose to live in a society, there are certain obligations—both moral and legal—to which we are bound. You cannot inflict harm or infringe on the rights and liberties of those around you.

So true - some little snowflakes out there need to be hit with the cluebat. And this great comparison:

Finally, your moral and legal obligations to the safety of others can even curtail combinations of your rights. Even though consuming alcohol and driving are both legal activities, they are not legal when performed together. Nearly 11,000 people die every year because people choose to exercise their “rights” inappropriately.

The exact same reasoning applies to vaccination. There is no moral difference between a drunk driver and a willfully unvaccinated person. Both are selfishly, recklessly and knowingly putting the lives of everyone they encounter at risk. Their behavior endangers the health, safety and livelihood of the innocent bystanders who happen to have the misfortune of being in their path.

And your argument is?

I'll be Bach

| No Comments

Happy 334th Birthday. Love his music. Studied piano as a kid and switched to organ when my feet could reach the pedals. Bach was always one of my favorites to play. A favorite piece is BWV 564 - his Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C major especially the middle Adagio section - simply sublime. One of my absolute favorite pieces of music. The Adagio begins at 5:05 if you do not want to listen to the whole piece, at least do yourself a favor and scroll to it.

The Toccata is nice and thunderous especially with the doubled bass notes and the Fugue is a wild romp of a thing -  a lot of fun to play.

And I am out for the usual

| No Comments

Coffee, post office and a couple of errands. Ham Radio group meeting tonight and then up to the farm for a few days.

Craft beer - Super Eight

| No Comments

Now this is interesting - from Dogfish Brewery:

SuperEight
We have a saying here at Dogfish Head, ‘Analog beer for the digital age.’ Whether it’s a blissfully inefficient brewing process, high-quality (and often obscure) ingredients, or simply the handcrafted care that goes into the making of an off-centered ale, you’ll find it’s at the heart of everything we do.

That same spirit can be found in our latest collaboration with the analog creators at Kodak. They’re bold. They’re storytellers. And well, they’re our kind of people. Which is why we’ve teamed up with them to ‘develop’ a one-of-a-kind partnership that’s full of creative chemistry.

It all started when Dogfish founder & CEO Sam Calagione learned during a Kodak podcast that if the pH of a beer is low enough, it just might be able to develop their Super 8 film. Challenge accepted.

Insert SuperEIGHT (the beer). This sessionable super gose is brewed with eight heroic ingredients: prickly pear, mango, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, elderberry, kiwi juices, toasted quinoa and an ample addition of red Hawaiian sea salt! Okay, so technically that's nine, but it 'gose' without say that there's going to be salt. These unique ingredients give this beer a vibrant red color, with delicious flavors of berries and watermelon, along with a tart - yet refreshing - finish.

But that’s not all … it also effectively develops Kodak’s Super 8 film. From the can to the stop bath, there’s a whole lot of science and alternative processing that takes place to bring the imagery to life. And it’s so totally worth it.

There are a lot of unusual developers for film. Coffee for one - you need Vitamin C to lower the pH but it works.

The electoral college - keep it

| No Comments

Democrats claim that it is outmoded. They want to elect a president based on the popular vote. The problem is that our Constitution defines America as a Federation of States. The States are independent and not subservient to the Federal Government. The role of the Federal Government is actually quite minimal.

The Electoral College makes each state have equal say in the election of the President. The problem with using a popular vote is that the large population centers tend to be run by Democrats. Here is a graphic that makes this very clear:

20190321-electoral.jpg

Take that - Kale Lovers

| No Comments

Much prefer chard to Kale - even Collards is better. From CNBC News:

Kale is now one of the most pesticide-contaminated vegetables
Often touted for being highly nutritious, kale has joined the list of 11 other fruits and vegetables known to be “dirty,” according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group.

The watchdog group publishes its “Dirty Dozen” list annually, in which it ranks the 12 produce items that contain the highest amount of pesticide residues. The group analyzes data from the Department of Agriculture’s regular produce testing to determine the list.

And what did they find?

More than 92 percent of kale had residue from at least two pesticides after washing and peeling the appropriate vegetables, according to the report. Some had up to 18. Almost 60 percent of the kale samples showed residual Dacthal, a pesticide that is known as a possible human carcinogen.

What to eat?

The group releases its “Clean Fifteen” list as well, highlighting the 15 produce items with the least amount of pesticide residue detected. It includes avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, frozen sweet peas, onions, papayas, eggplants, asparagus, kiwis, cabbages, cauliflower, cantaloupes, broccoli, mushrooms and honeydew melons.

I love all of these except for eggplant. Never liked eggplant.

Dumb and Dumber - Joe Biden

| No Comments

This is downright silly - from Axios:

Scoop: Biden advisers debate Stacey Abrams as out-of-the-gate VP choice
Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.

Yeah - she is popular with the low-information voter but not exactly VP caliber. And then there is the taint of voter fraud: here, here, here, here - I could go on but you get the idea...

The last day of really great weather

| No Comments

Got cooler weather forecast for the foreseeable future - cloudy with some showers. I applied moss killer to the lawn here so that will get it watered in and working. Loads of pollen out. Costco makes a really nice allergy medicine.

Another day in paradise

| No Comments

Working on stuff here - meeting tomorrow so spending the two days on the island and then to the farm for a few days.

The dogs are still enjoying their new bones - constant gnawing sounds...

Planning to make some Brazilian Feijoada  (but with just the bacon for protein) for dinner tonight (and tomorrow). Picked up some thick cut smoked bacon when I got their bones.

Surf for a bit and then back to work.

Internet whack-a-doodles - Orroville

| No Comments

Yesterday morning, I posted an article critical of the repairs at the Oroville dam. American Thinker is generally a decent media source so their posting lent it some credence. The two issues pointed to in that article are water flowing through the closed spillway valves and the fact that FEMA is denying a significant tranche of the money for the repair and the new construction.

Reader GJ pointed me to this great new video from Juan Browne:

I have been following Juan's channel for a while - great videos. Anyway, Juan comments that the spillway valves never had any seals in them, they leaked originally and will always leak. This is by design and is not a sign of damage. Juan commented that there were a whole lot of Internet Whack-a-doodles claiming that this was a sign that the dam was failing. Point taken (grin).

Juan also commented that FEMA will credit 75% of construction monies if the failure was a true natural disaster. In the case of this dam, it was highly deferred maintenance and lack of attention to developing problems (forensic report here). Typical California management - in this case FEMA does not pay.

Bryant, WA sustained a Magnitude 2.9 earthquake earlier this afternoon. Rattle the plates in the cupboard but no structural damage.

And back again

| No Comments

Did some yard work, ran up to Mt. Vernon to Costco, the food coop, Lowes and had dinner at the buffet. Two pints at a local. Started talking with someone I have seen several times. There is a house in town with a great collection of military vehicles and this woman was talking about how she and her husband (both ex-military) own a number of things. Yep - same house. Connections.

Radio network went really well - not perfect attendance but conditions were good and we did a couple of drills. Good training for when the excrement actually does hit the rotary air mover.

Got up to 76°F this afternoon and down to 48°F last night - woo hoo!!!

Up early so calling it a short night - quick surf and YouTube and then to bed.

Some interesting research - from the National Bureau of Economic Research:

Do Minimum Wage Increases Reduce Crime?
An April 2016 Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) report advocated raising the minimum wage to deter crime. This recommendation rests on the assumption that minimum wage hikes increase the returns to legitimate labor market work while generating minimal adverse employment effects. This study comprehensively assesses the impact of minimum wages on crime using data from the 1998-2016 Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS), and National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY). Our results provide no evidence that minimum wage increases reduce crime. Instead, we find that raising the minimum wage increases property crime arrests among those ages 16-to-24, with an estimated elasticity of 0.2. This result is strongest in counties with over 100,000 residents and persists when we use longitudinal data to isolate workers for whom minimum wages bind. Our estimates suggest that a $15 Federal minimum wage could generate criminal externality costs of nearly $2.4 billion.

Emphases mine - the whole paper is paywalled but I'm going to get it through our local library. Very interesting and shows that every action has unintended consequences - some good and some not so good.

Nice people - anti-vaxxers

| No Comments

I guess that seals the deal - anti-vaccination equals mental illness. From CNN:

Her son died. And then anti-vaxers attacked her
Not long ago, a 4-year-old boy died of the flu. His mother, under doctor's orders, watched his two little brothers like a hawk, terrified they might get sick and die, too.

Grieving and frightened, just days after her son's death she checked her Facebook page hoping to read messages of comfort from family and friends.

Instead, she found dozens of hateful comments: You're a terrible mother. You killed your child. You deserved what happened to your son. This is all fake - your child doesn't exist.

And the people behind this outpouring of goodwill:

Interviews with mothers who've lost children and with those who spy on anti-vaccination groups, reveal a tactic employed by anti-vaxers: When a child dies, members of the group sometimes encourage each other to go on that parent's Facebook page. The anti-vaxers then post messages telling the parents they're lying and their child never existed, or that the parent murdered them, or that vaccines killed the child, or some combination of all of those.

Nothing is considered too cruel. Just days after their children died, mothers say anti-vaxers on social media called them whores, the c-word and baby killers.

The mother in the Midwest, who wants to remain anonymous, isn't alone.

Jill Promoli, who lives outside Toronto, lost her son to flu. She believes the anti-vaxers are trying to silence the very people who can make the strongest argument for vaccinations: those whose children died of vaccine-preventable illnesses.

Mentally ill. Nothing else explains the pathology of character.

Back home again

| No Comments

Stopped off at Del-Fox Meats and got a bag of bones. The pups are downstairs gnawing away.

Digging out the pruning shears and get to work.

Out for a little bit

| No Comments

Check on a few things and drop a bunch of music CDs off at the library.

Culling the herd - the media

| No Comments

Use 'em or lose them. A great idea - from the Washington Examiner:

White House diktat could revoke hundreds of reporters' press passes
Hundreds of journalists risk losing their White House press pass under a newly announced White House policy, though most would still be able to cover the West Wing.

The policy, included in a weekend email to reporters by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, would limit the number of people who can easily breeze past Secret Service to cover the White House in person on a moment's notice.

Sanders wrote that annual renewal processes for the badge, known as a "hard pass," would include reviewing of electronic records to ensure reporters visited the White House on 50 percent of days — something few do.

"A hard pass will not be renewed for any journalist whose badge-in records show that he or she was not present in the complex for at least 90 days in the 180-day window prior to expiration of the pass," Sanders said, claiming discretion to exempt "senior journalists serving as bureau chiefs or in a similar capacity" and "to review special circumstances, such as maternity leave."

Makes absolute sense to me - there is a work-around and they will allow for special cases. This is not shutting the media out, this is streamlining the security process and keeping things open for active media and dropping the inactive media.

Edward Abbey - a quote

| No Comments

Great quote - found over on Terrierman's Daily Dose (a daily read for me):

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

True words of wisdom.

Obamacare - the aftermath

| No Comments

Why do progressives always screw things up? From National Public Radio:

Why The Promise Of Electronic Health Records Has Gone Unfulfilled
A decade ago, the U.S. government claimed that ditching paper medical charts for electronic records would make health care better, safer and cheaper.

Ten years and $36 billion later, the digital revolution has gone awry, an investigation by Kaiser Health News and Fortune magazine has found.

Veteran reporters Fred Schulte of KHN and Erika Fry of Fortune spent months digging into what has happened as a result. (You can read the cover story here.)

Here are five takeaways from the investigation.

Progressives always go for the narrative and they never back up their stories with facts or accountability. When someone calls them on this, they deflect. Low-information voters don't bother fact checking and they get their "free" government stuff so they continue to vote for these policies.

There used to be a stiff bar to entry to be able to vote in this nation. Part of me wants to bring this back.

Excellent story from the Washington Examiner:

‘Damn socialism, why are you chasing me?’ Chinese-Americans see ghost of communism in Democrats’ leftward turn
When Saga Zhou first moved to the United States from China in 2009, she steered clear of politics. The Communist Party rules supreme in China, so most Chinese immigrants bring a built-in aversion to political involvement.

But Zhou’s interest in politics was piqued as she began to see the American Left embracing policies that reminded her of those she’d fled in China.

And a bit more:

As Democrats embrace policies such as so-called "Medicare for all," “free” college, 70 percent tax rates, the "Green New Deal," and late-term abortion, Republicans see an opportunity to frame the 2020 election as a referendum on socialism.

President Trump now includes a riff on the “dangers of socialism” in most of his speeches, including in last month’s State of the Union. “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country,” he told Congress and the nation.

And this - people who have lived under socialism have zero desire to return to it:

The Republican Party’s anti-communism has long attracted many Cubans, Vietnamese, Eastern Europeans, and other immigrants who fled communist countries during the Cold War.

The pendulum will swing back but it is rough going for now and we will have a mountain of debt to deal with if the Democrats get their way. They are buying votes with our tax dollars.

What's another $100 Trillion more

| No Comments

These people are downright crazy - from Grabien News:

SEN. WARREN PITCHES MORE THAN $100 TRILLION IN NEW SPENDING DURING BRIEF CNN TOWNHALL
Sen. Warren believes she knows the way into Americans’ hearts: Lots of government spending.

In her CNN townhall Monday night, Sen. Warren responded to almost every question with a proposed new government program.

Over the course of the 80 minute forum, Sen. Warren endorsed Medicare-for-All, slavery reparations, universal childcare, universal pre-K, “universal pre-pre-K,” the creation of 3 million new federal housing units, increasing infrastructure spending several times, forgiveness of student loan debt, and the Green New Deal.

Add it all up, and it’s more than $100 trillion.

Estimates range on Warren’s proposed spending plans, but the Green New Deal has alone been projected to cost at least $93 trillion; slavery reparations have previously been pegged at upward of $14 trillion; and Warren says her universal child care, universal pre-K, and universal pre-pre-K programs can be done for $3 trillion.

Despite the avalanche of proposed new spending, Warren was cautious about calling for new taxes. After describing her plans for greatly increasing the percentage of GDP spent on infrastructure, she was asked whether a gas tax might be necessary to finance it. Warren responded that she opposes a gas tax because it’s regressive against the poor.

Instead, Sen. Warren said, a single tax on the very wealthy would be enough to pay for “universal child care, universal pre-k, universal pre-pre-K for every child in America” and, she said, the tax would leave “$2 trillion left over.”

Out National Debt is already at $22+ Trillion and getting bigger with each passing second. We are servicing the interest on this debt so things are stable but to propose a 554% increase in the National Debt would ruin us as a nation. We would have to default.

As for increasing the taxes on rich people - they simply do not have enough money to pay for something like this. Essayist Bill Whittle did an excellent expose of the flaws of this kind of thinking - ten minutes of very good information:

Again, advancing the narrative and pesky facts be damned.

Back in a couple of hours

| No Comments

Going to be on the air for a while - fun stuff!

Oh now this is wonderful - Oroville

| 2 Comments

Need to look into this more but the source is a good one - from American Thinker:

Complete failure at Oroville Dam
The $1.1 billion spent to repair Oroville Dam is failing as water is seeping through the rebuilt spillway threatens new mass evacuations over the risk of the dam collapsing.

According to national dam expert Scott Cahill of Watershed Services of Ohio, Oroville Dam is on the same failure track as in 2017, with visible water seepage trickling from the foot of the dam and dozens of points along the dam's principal spillway.  Cahill warns that warming temperatures magnified by precipitation is a growing threat to the dam.

American Thinker reported on March 1 that the Sierra snow pack was at a record 113 inches, but another 44 inches fell in the next 10 days.  With temperatures spiking this week to 75 degrees in the valleys and 41 degrees in the high mountains, dam inflows are running twice the outflows, and the water levels rose from 800 to 839 feet.

As America's tallest earthen dam with a 770-foot face and 901-foot top of the spillway, the lake behind the Oroville Dam can hold 3.5 million acre-feet of water.  Its viability is a crucial element for the effectiveness of California's system of 1,250 flood-control dams.

Sigh... #CALIFORNIA again. Those guys can't do anything right. The problem is that they did this with our tax dollars. If they had done the repairs with their own money, we could sit back, pop open a beer and laugh at their failed state.

Talk about clueless - is France headed for another revolution complete with Madame La Guillotine? From Reuters:

France to ban 'yellow vest' protests if violent groups take part: PM
France’s prime minister said Paris’s police chief had been sacked and that the government would shut down “yellow vest” protests if violent groups were identified among the ranks of “yellow vest” protesters.

President Emmanuel Macron and his government have been forced back on the defensive after rioters ransacked luxury boutiques and torched cafes and a bank on Saturday in the latest flare-up of violence against Macron’s pro-business reforms.

'Scuse me but Macron's "reforms" have been pro crony-capitalism and not pro business. The people at the top are getting more and more while small businesses and the general taxpayer are getting hosed. Macron's plan was to increase the cost of gasoline by 70% through taxes. A licensed driver in France is required to carry a yellow reflective safety vest in their vehicle in case they need to change a tire on a dark road. This is why the gilets jaunes is such a feature of these protests. We are drivers and we protest the increase in fuel tax.

As an aside, I ordered a couple of yellow vests from Amazon when I heard this. Makes perfect sense and under ten bucks each.

And back home for the night

| No Comments

Alarm set for 7:00AM so early bedtime.

Gorgeous day today - temps got up to 72°F and are now at 51°F - 21° shift. Clear skies so it is going to drop a lot more - maybe another tenner.

Looking forward to the radio net tomorrow - up to speed on it so it should be fun. They try to simulate congested radio traffic under less-than-optimal conditions so this is really good practice. Keep a cool head and follow the plan and we do well...

Out for dinner

| No Comments

Had a big lunch so heading out for just a burrito and then to my local for two beers.

Downright warm today - I love it! Planning to spend tomorrow afternoon and Wednesday getting the landscaping in order.

Broke out one of my Hawaiian shirts - first time this year.

So so true - cables

| No Comments

Also saw this on Barry's site:

Wood's Law of Cables
Anyone who has spent any time with a large number of cables will have an innate understanding of the concept of entropy. It was while dealing with a pile of tangled up microphone cables that I postulated this law:

The resting state of a cable is tangled.

I challenge anyone to disprove this.

NAMM Oddities

| No Comments

NAMM is the National Association of Music Merchants and they hold a huge national conference every January (huge = 115K attendants). This is where people who invent new musical equipment go to showcase their project and try to find a marketer. 

A couple months afterwords, Barry Wood compiles the oddest of these and posts them to his website:  NAMM Oddities

Here are four photos - a lot more at the site:

20190318-namm-3K.jpg

Distortion box featuring a 3,000 volt plasma arc.

20190318-namm-bigbass.jpg

Ampeg is well known for bass amplifiers. This cabinet is 11 feet tall!

20190318-namm-uke.jpg

A couple cute Ukuleles

20190318-namm-remo.jpg

Clever idea from Remo - these drum heads snap on the top of your standard five gallon plastic pail.

Nails it - bumper stickers

| No Comments

From Chris Lynch at A Large Regular:

I know that stereotyping is bad but if I see the back of your car has 10 or more bumper stickers and two of them are for Coexist and Bernie Sanders - I'm going to go ahead and assume your home smells like cat piss...

Heh - totally spot on...

This hits home as I have always had a really good idea of where North was. I have not done any double-blind testing but now I might want to. At least sit in an office chair, spin and shut my eyes. From Science News:

People can sense Earth’s magnetic field, brain waves suggest
A new analysis of people’s brain waves when surrounded by different magnetic fields suggests that people have a “sixth sense” for magnetism.
Birds, fish and some other creatures can sense Earth’s magnetic field and use it for navigation (SN: 6/14/14, p. 10). Scientists have long wondered whether humans, too, boast this kind of magnetoreception. Now, by exposing people to an Earth-strength magnetic field pointed in different directions in the lab, researchers from the United States and Japan have discovered distinct brain wave patterns that occur in response to rotating the field in a certain way.

These findings, reported in a study published online March 18 in eNeuro, offer evidence that people do subconsciously respond to Earth’s magnetic field — although it’s not yet clear exactly why or how our brains use this information.

“The first impression when I read the [study] was like, ‘Wow, I cannot believe it!’” says Can Xie, a biophysicist at Peking University in Beijing. Previous tests of human magnetoreception have yielded inconclusive results. This new evidence “is one step forward for the magnetoreception field and probably a big step for the human magnetic sense,” he says. “I do hope we can see replications and further investigations in the near future.”

During the experiment, 26 participants each sat with their eyes closed in a dark, quiet chamber lined with electrical coils. These coils manipulated the magnetic field inside the chamber such that it remained the same strength as Earth’s natural field but could be pointed in any direction. Participants wore an EEG cap that recorded the electrical activity of their brains while the surrounding magnetic field rotated in various directions.

Makes sense - I'll have to check this out.

New York by the numbers

| No Comments

Fun data from the Siena College Research Institute:

2/3 of Voters Say Amazon Cancelling Queens HQ Bad for NY
By a 67-21 percent margin, New Yorkers say that Amazon cancelling its planned second headquarters in Queens was bad for New York. By as nearly as large a margin, 61-30 percent, they support the deal in which Amazon would receive up to $3 billion in state and city incentives and create up to 25,000 jobs if Amazon reconsiders, according to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters released today.

An overwhelming 79 percent of voters say parents should be required to have their children vaccinated before attending school, regardless of the parents’ religious beliefs. Voters continue to support making the two-percent property tax cap permanent, legalizing recreational use of marijuana, and eliminating monetary bail for misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. They are split on congestion pricing, and by a nearly two-to-one margin, they oppose allowing undocumented immigrants to get a New York driver’s license.

Talking about their loss of the second Amazon headquarters (and the 25,000 jobs):

“Who do New Yorkers blame? Well, there’s certainly blame enough to go around. More people think that Amazon, Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, the State Senate, and local Queens activists were villains in this saga than they were heroes. However, voters say the biggest villain was Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Only 12 percent call her hero, while 38 percent label her a villain,” Greenberg said. “Amazon itself was seen as the biggest villain among Democrats, but Republicans and independents had Ocasio-Cortez as far and away the largest villain, followed by the local Queens activists.”

I hope one of Occasional-Cortex's people are reading this - she is going down faster than a lead baloon. Big difference between popularity and leadership.

Much more at the site - an interesting poll and with a sample size of 700, the numbers should be pretty accurate - couple percent error at the most.

Back to the island

| No Comments

Brought down another couple hundred music CDs to rip and then to sell.

Gorgeous weather - sunny and 72°F outside. Looking to do some more yard work tomorrow - there is a raised bed which I will be cleaning out and planting with vegetables. I brought down some blue and blackberry cuttings so will plant these too.

Stopped off at the library as there were ten more CDs waiting for me there. Filling in a lot of holes in my music collection - that plus torrenting (I didn't say that!) some things the library does not have.

Thinking about thawing out a steak and firing up the grille for dinner...

Open Broadcaster Software

| No Comments

Looks interesting - DaVinci Resolve is proving to be perfect for my needs but it does not do screen capture and it needs specific (standard) files for importing video and audio.

Open Broadcaster Software seems to handle screen capture very well and it has a couple outlier file formats that it can process. Be looking at it when I get down there tonight.

Quote of the day

| No Comments

Found over at Kim DuToit's place:

“Vegan is just a polite word for eating disorder.”

So true. Working in my store, I can tell the vegans from everyone else. They simply do not seem healthy. It is amazing the levels of abuse the human body can tolerate without breaking down completely.

Back home again - loading up the van

| No Comments

Stuff for the island. Get the last of the music CDs packed up - rip them and then take them up to Bellingham for the garage sale.

Quick bite to eat first.

Out for a bit

| No Comments

Coffee and then back to the farm to pack stuff for Camano. Down to the island this afternoon - emergency radio network tomorrow morning. Meeting Thursday.

Well crap - RIP Dick Dale

| No Comments

King of the Surf Rock - from Rolling Stone:

Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, Dead at 81
Dick Dale, “the King of the Surf Guitar,” has died at the age of 81.

California Rocker first reported that Dale died Sunday. His bassist Sam Bolle confirmed Dale’s death to the Guardian. No cause of death was revealed, but the guitarist suffered from health issues in recent years. In 2010, Dale said he was battling rectal cancer, and in an interview that went viral, Dale said in 2015 that “I can’t stop touring because I will die” due to medical expenses stemming from cancer treatment, diabetes and renal failure. “I have to raise $3,000 every month to pay for the medical supplies I need to stay alive, and that’s on top of the insurance that I pay for,” Dale said at the time.

As the progenitor of the surf rock genre and an innovator who helped stretch the possibilities of the electric guitar, Dale inspired musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Van Halen, Ry Cooder and the Beach Boys. Dale’s “Miserlou” also notably featured in the opening credits sequence of Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

One of a kind - kept doing what he loved right up to the end. The local library has none of his CDs - checking a torrent site later this afternoon.

And I got nuffin

| No Comments

The cider is kicking in - YouTube and then a nice deep sleep.

And back for the night

| No Comments

Early bedtime tonight as well - surf for a bit and then YouTube.

Gorgeous day today - got up to 64°F this afternoon.

See what happend on the internet...

Out the door

| No Comments

Dropping off the stuff at the Condo. Get an early bite to eat in town (not too hungry - had a big lunch).

Working up a sweat

| No Comments

Came in for a diet coke and a few minutes break. Got the van pretty well loaded and heading into the Condo in a short while. It is 62°F and still climbing.

Glad I am taking my time with this as the more I stare at something, the more I realize that I can do without it (or only three or four of them instead of fourteen - looking at you angle grinders).

Hi ho hi ho

| No Comments

It's off to work I go...

Lowering the voting age to 16

| No Comments

This is priceless - from Grabien:

YOUNG AMERICANS HILARIOUSLY EXPLAIN WHY LOWERING THE VOTING AGE TO 16 IS A TERRIBLE IDEA
On Thursday I posted a clip of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsing an effort from her colleague, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), to lower the voting age to 16.

“I myself personally — I’m not speaking for my caucus, I myself have always been for lowering the voter — the voting age to 16,” Pelosi said during her weekly press conference. “I think it’s really important to capture kids when they’re in high school, when they’re interested in all of this, when they’re learning about government to be able to vote. … But my view is that I would welcome that. But I had been in that position for a long time.”

Since then, young Americans have begun sharing stories of what they were doing as 16-year-olds, and why this doesn’t bode well for this demographic shaping the course of foreign and domestic policy.

Below, please enjoy some of the most hilarious explanations of why Pelosi’s push to again lower the voting age might not be such a hot idea.

What follows is a wonderful collection of tweets - here are a few quotes:

    • when i was 16, my friends and i bought a live lobster, put it on a leash, and walked it around the neighborhood at 2am
    • When I was 16, I sucked a drinking glass to my face for 10 minutes and gave my lower face a giant hickey that took 3 weeks to heal
    • When I was 16 I wore parachute pants
    • When I was 16 I would have given anything to be able to have a tattoo of Axl Rose’s face on my butt cheek
    • I'm 22 and I'm not smart enough to vote.
    • When I was 16 I pierced my own belly button with a thumbtack and was genuinely surprised when it got infected

Much more at the site - Pelosi's idea is that few adults are stupid enough to vote Democrat so they have to dig up votes from the uninformed and impressionable. Instead of coming up with ideas that people will support, they come up with ways to rig the system.

And back again

| No Comments

Ran into a couple friends at the coffee place so sat and caught up for a while. Back home, fix lunch and start packing. Working on the shop today - run into Bellingham with tools and then the DaveCave and music room for a trip back to the island. Doing the radio net Tuesday morning so heading down tomorrow afternoon.

Turning into a gorgeous day - 58°F outside. Turned off the HVAC and have the doors open. Feels wonderful to air out the house.

No green beer here

| No Comments

Not doing anything for St. Patrick's - amateur hour in most pubs.

Out for coffee and to begin my day.

As it thaws

| No Comments

Lots of snow has a definite downside - from Reuters:

Historic floods hit Nebraska after 'bomb cyclone' storm
Large parts of Nebraska and the U.S. Central Plains were underwater on Saturday after a late-winter “bomb cyclone” storm triggered historic flooding along the Missouri and Platte rivers, causing two deaths, tearing apart homes and swallowing roadways.

The National Weather Service predicted dangerous flooding would continue through the weekend in Nebraska and in south and west central Iowa, particularly along the Missouri River.

Some records being set - Mike Wight is a spokesman for the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency:

“We’re looking at 4, 5, 6, 7 feet above the highest it’s ever been,” Wight said.

And it is another day with zero sunspots. Explain that anthropogenic global warming theory again please...

Socialism - an image and an essay

| No Comments

20190317-water.jpg

And this from Lee Edwards at American Thinker:

The God that Failed...Over and Over Again
Why do so many of our university professors argue that socialism is a better way to peace and prosperity than capitalism? Because it is, to them, an article of faith. To admit that socialism has failed -- repeatedly, consistently and abysmally -- for over a century would be, for them, to deny their god.

Theirs are the eyes of faith that cannot see.

Venezuela, once one of the wealthiest countries in Latin American, is now on the brink of economic collapse and political anarchy after two decades of Chavez/Maduro socialism.

Cuba has languished under the Communist Party of Fidel and Raul Castro, who promised free and open elections when they came to power. Sixty years later, Cubans are still waiting.

The Soviets tried for 74 years to build a socialist workers’ paradise, killing millions in the process. Their empire wound up on the ash heap of history, so broke that President Mikhail Gorbachev had to borrow a pen to sign the document dissolving the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Well written - needless to say, visit the site and read the whole thing. It explains a lot about modern "culture".

Heading out for coffee in a few minutes. Back to the farm to move more stuff. Concentrating on stuff for the garage sale today and then moving music stuff down to the island tomorrow.

@TheFarm

| No Comments

There was still a lot of snow and ice on the driveway. Fortunately, my using the tractor to ferry items from the house to the van last Monday broke the ice up so it was able to melt out. The driveway is still very "skiddy" but manageable.

The great news is that I can turn this brass thing and water flows out. Small joys...

Two pints of hard cider at the North Fork so feeling sleepy. Give a cursory glance at email and some YouTube and that is it for the night.

Feeling a little bit sheepish - in my last post I said this:

Waiting for the media machine to back up to a thumb drive so I can have new tunes for driving. Well over 12K individual pieces of music.

Sat there like a big dummy for about 15 minutes before I remembered that I am taking the van which just has a glorious stereophonic FM radio and not the Highlander which can accept a thumb drive loaded with mp3 files. Oh Well... At least I have a second backup.

And I am off to the farm

| No Comments

Got a bunch done here - temp is now 58°F with warmer weather forecast for the next couple of days. It is long overdue.

Get a bite to eat on the way and stop for a pint or two at the North Fork before heading home. Waiting for the media machine to back up to a thumb drive so I can have new tunes for driving. Well over 12K individual pieces of music.

A pithy aphorism falsely attributed to Mark Twain. This caught my eye:

20190316-cuba.jpg

Bizzare story from the London Daily Mail:

Bizarre moment Chelsea Clinton is berated by Muslim NYU students who blame HER for New Zealand mosques attack because she 'incited an Islamophobic mob' against Rep Ilhan Omar
Muslim students have berated Chelsea Clinton at a vigil for the victims of the New Zealand mosques massacre, saying she is to blame for the attack.

Clinton, who is pregnant with her third child, was attending the vigil at New York University on Friday when senior Leen Dweik began castigating her in an astonishing moment caught on video.

'This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you put out into the world,' says Dweik, gesturing to the vigil for the 49 who were killed in Christchurch when a white nationalist shooter stormed two mosques.

'And I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deeply - 49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there,' Dweik continues, jabbing her index finger toward Clinton as other students snap their fingers in apparent approval of her words.

Hey - Omar is an anti-semite. She has said this kind of crap time and time again and the Democrats keep giving her a pass. Clinton called her on it and now the SJWs are saying that Chelsea caused the attack? Talk about not thinking very clearly.

Follow the money - Google

| No Comments

The National Review used to be a decent conservative magazine - now, they are pandering to whomever sends them money. From Breitbart:

Bokhari: Don’t Regulate Google, Says Google-Funded National Review Editor
National Review editor-in-chief Rich Lowry wrote a searing attack on the “right-left pincer” attacking big tech for Politico. The piece fails to mention Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s recent acknowledgment that the National Review Institute, of which National Review is a wholly owned subsidiary, received money from his company.

Last month, the Google CEO confirmed that his company donated money to the National Review Institute, the nonprofit behind National Review (although he offered a confused explanation as to why Google’s transparency report failed to mention the donation, which took place in 2017, until recently).

Yet the National Review’s editor fails to mention the donation is his piece for Politico, bluntly titled “Don’t Break up Big Tech.”

The author goes on to talk about specific Fake News items the National Review has been pushing:

The editor of the Google-funded National Review also reduces conservative concerns about big tech to the fact that they’re “operated by sanctimonious Silicon Valley liberals.” No mention is given to the real examples of tech giants deliberately warping their products and abusing their power to influence American and global politics. These include, in no particular order:

They did it for AT&T and the splinter companies are doing just fine - Google and Facebook are way too large and way overdue for a breakup. Monopolies benefit no-one except their overlords.

From the UK Telegraph:

Japanese scientists take 'significant step' towards bringing the woolly mammoth back to life
With their enormous shaggy torsos and long curved tusks, the imposing creatures last walked on earth during the Ice Age.

Fast forward thousands of years and the woolly mammoth may once again make an appearance on this planet – after Japanese scientists claim to have taken a “significant step” towards bringing the long-extinct animals back to life.

Researchers extracted bone marrow and muscle tissue from the remains of a mammoth named Yuka, who has lain frozen in Siberian permafrost for more than 28,000 years.

As a first step, the team, from Kindai University in Osaka, confirmed the authenticity of Yuka’s extracted tissue samples using whole-genome sequencing techniques.

Scientists then injected cell nuclei from the extinct woolly mammoth’s muscle tissue into mouse cell eggs - resulting in signs of biological activities, according to the study, published by Nature’s on-line journal Scientific Reports.

The paper is here: Nature: Scientific Reports

Signs of biological activities of 28,000-year-old mammoth nuclei in mouse oocytes visualized by live-cell imaging
The 28,000-year-old remains of a woolly mammoth, named ‘Yuka’, were found in Siberian permafrost. Here we recovered the less-damaged nucleus-like structures from the remains and visualised their dynamics in living mouse oocytes after nuclear transfer. Proteomic analyses demonstrated the presence of nuclear components in the remains. Nucleus-like structures found in the tissue homogenate were histone- and lamin-positive by immunostaining. In the reconstructed oocytes, the mammoth nuclei showed the spindle assembly, histone incorporation and partial nuclear formation; however, the full activation of nuclei for cleavage was not confirmed. DNA damage levels, which varied among the nuclei, were comparable to those of frozen-thawed mouse sperm and were reduced in some reconstructed oocytes. Our work provides a platform to evaluate the biological activities of nuclei in extinct animal species.

Sunken treasure ship found?

| No Comments

Now this will be interesting. From FOX News:

Anchor from 'most valuable shipwreck in history' found
An anchor from a treasure-laden 17th-century shipwreck has been found off the coast of the U.K.

SWNS reports that the anchor, believed to be from the Merchant Royal, was brought up in a fishing vessel’s net 20 miles off Land's End, Cornwall. The merchant ship sank in 1641 carrying an estimated $1.5 billion of treasure.

Dubbed “the El Dorado of the seas,” the Merchant Royal was carrying 100,000 pounds of gold and 400 bars of Mexican silver, as well as almost 500,000 pieces of eight (Spanish dollars) and other coins when she sank.

300 feet down so we are talking technical (saturation) diving - a very expensive operation. Still...

An art heist gone right

| No Comments

From The Beeb:

Stolen Bruegel masterpiece was switched with fake in police sting
Police in Italy are unconcerned about the daring theft of a Flemish master's painting - because they had replaced it with a fake a month ago.

The painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger, worth millions, apparently vanished from a church on Wednesday.

Thieves used a hammer to smash open its display case and made off in a car.

Hours later, Italian police revealed they had heard rumours of the planned heist - and installed cameras to catch the thieves in the act.

The painting of the crucifixion had also been replaced with a copy, and the original kept safe and sound, they said.

I love it - good job by the popo. My guess is that the thieves already had a buyer - wonder if the money changed hands already. Interesting to see what happens with that transaction...

Ho. Li. Crap. - automobile accident

| No Comments

Talk about a very lucky driver - from the California Highway Patrol in Modesto:

CHP - Modesto
SR-132 TEMPORARY CLOSED AT PARADISE:
The driver of this Honda was extremely lucky. They actually limboed between these 2 overturned trailers. Luckily, nobody was seriously injured. Please avoid the area. The Modesto Area CHP and Caltrans, District 10 are doing everything possible to open the roadway to the public.

20190316-chp.jpg

A very lucky driver... Tip of the hat to Peter Grant for the link.

Good times in France - not

| No Comments

Looks like the people are revolting in France - some clickable headlines:

At some point in time, the Macron government has to realize that the French Citizens are sick and tired of being taxed and not being represented. The US had a similar problem 243 years ago and we rose up and did not stand down. The French Citizens are doing the same thing now.

Back home again

| No Comments

Fixing some lunch and doing a bit more yard work today - probably get in a dump run too. Picked up three more music CDs from the library so those are currently spinning their little hearts out on the media computer.

Heading out in a little bit

| No Comments

Library opens at 11AM today and have a bunch of music CDs to return. Coffee and post office too and then up to the farm.

Forecast for Maple Falls looks really good - finally be able to get some work done up there.

20190316-mf.jpg

Got a radio net on Tuesday morning so will need to be back down here for that.

Heat wave

| No Comments

Got up to 56°F yesterday - from Cliff Mass:

March Heat Wave
Can you imagine temperatures in the upper 60s to lower 70s here around Puget Sound?

You won't have to --such temperatures will be widespread around western Washington on Monday and Tuesday.

The last day to get above 60 was January 11th (61 was the max). We will smash that number on Sunday.

Taking the van up to the farm today - should be a lot less snow on the ground.

Bad Mu Shu

| No Comments

Decided on Chinese for dinner tonight. There is a local restaurant that had a grease fire and closed for a few months. I had eaten there before and liked it so went there for dinner tonight.

The place was about half full and I ordered. I waited about 20 minutes - a table near me was seated after I came in and they were served. I asked my waitress if the dinner was already being worked on otherwise I would leave. She went to check and said that it was almost done.

I was served a minute or two later but instead of Mu Shu Pork, I was given a plate heaping with almost raw onions, napa cabbage, pork and grease. No seasonings. Nothing else. Whomever was cooking had NOT been preparing my dish and they slapped this together in 30 seconds. Not the way to run a restaurant. I paid and left it there - didn't even eat one serving as it just tasted off.

I will try that place again some weeknight or for a weekday lunch but I will be giving it a month or two to get "Old Uncle Chen" out of the kitchen and to find someone who can actually cook (and is up to speed with production cooking). This is a skill that can be learned - not rocket science.

The beers at The Crow's Nest were nice and cold and wet.

It's Miller Coors Light time

| No Comments

Going to head out for a bite to eat and a pint or two of beer.

Been drinking light beers recently, I put in my time with the high-hops and high-gravity beers but they do not taste good to me these days and I like being able to have a couple without feeling too intoxicated.

Lest we forget - NZ massacre

| No Comments

The NZ massacre was unconscionable and the mokes who did this need to be put away forever. Still...

Here is the list of the last 30 days of Islamist terrorist acts against people of other religions. The total is as follows:

List of Killings in the Name of Islam: Last 30 Days
This is part of the list of killings in the name of Islam maintained by TheReligionofPeace.com. Most of these incidents are terror attacks. A handful are honor killings or Sharia executions.

During this time period, there were 110 Islamic attacks in 21 countries, in which 738 people were killed and 782 injured.

And this is the butcher's bill for only 30 days. Religion of Peace? Not at all.

Some sobering numbers - social media

| No Comments

From WebMd:

Do Social Media Hurt Mental Health of US Young?
Young Americans may be more vulnerable to depression, distress and suicidal thoughts or attempts than their parents' generation, and social media might be fueling that troubling trend.

So claims a review of a decade's worth of data on roughly 200,000 teens between the ages of 12 and 17, and 400,000 young adults over 18.

Investigators found that beginning in the mid-2000s, those under the age of 26 started reporting a huge rise in symptoms related to all three mental health problems. The spikes ranged from about 55 to 70 percent. No such jump was seen among adults over the age of 26.

A bit more - Twenge is Dr. Jean Twenge from University of California at San Diego

Instead, Twenge thinks the likely culprit is the explosive rise of social media over the past 10 years. The result, she said, is that "the way teens and young adults spend their leisure time has fundamentally changed."

They "spend less time with their friends in person, and less time sleeping, and more time on digital media," Twenge noted. "The decline in sleep time may be especially important, as not getting enough sleep is a major risk factor for depression and suicidal thoughts."

What's more, digital media is "something that happens to them every day, for hours at a time," she said. "So, it makes sense it would have the largest impact on their mental health."

And that impact hasn't been good.

I see this all the time in restaurants and bars - people glued to their phones instead of talking to others. I have not logged into Facebook for months and am planning to delete the account. One less thing to deal with.

Methamphetamine in the news

| No Comments

From the Leesburg, VA Daily Commercial:

Cops: Woman hid drugs in her pants
A Sorrento woman who was arrested for driving with a suspended license got another set of charges Tuesday after the arresting deputy discovered a strange bulge in her pants.

Theresa Barker, 39, was charged with possession of methamphetamine and paraphernalia after the deputy searching her spotted a bulge near her crotch that would turn out to be a bag of drugs.

Barker was initially pulled over around 1:30 p.m. for an expired tag. The deputy discovered she also didn’t have a license, which was suspended for failing to pay off tickets and cancelled when she never renewed it.

What really got me was the mugshot:

20190315-meth.jpg

Seriously, she is 39? I would have put her at 59 at the youngest. She is a poster child for chronic methamphetamine abuse. Tip of the hat to Kenny Lane for the link.

Report from Harvard University - from Yahoo / The Telegraph:

Harvard University uncovers DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration
Humans may one day have the ability to regrow limbs after scientists at Harvard University uncovered the DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration.

Some animals can achieve extraordinary feats of repair, such as salamanders which grow back legs, or geckos which can shed their tails to escape predators and then form new ones in just two months.

Planarian worms, jellyfish, and sea anemones go even further, actually regenerating their entire bodies after being cut in half.

Now scientists have discovered that that in worms, a section of non-coding or ‘junk’ DNA controls the activation of a ‘master control gene’ called early growth response (EGR) which acts like a power switch, turning regeneration on or off.

Here is the link to the original paper from Science:

Hofstenia miamia, commonly called the three-banded panther worm, is a small flatworm that can be found along the shores of the Caribbean and other warm waters. It is known for its impressive regenerative capabilities, including the ability to regenerate any body part within a few days of amputation. Previous reports identified some of the molecular signals used to coordinate regeneration (1), although the specific genes and gene networks that regulate this response were unknown. On page 1191 of this issue, Gehrke et al. (2) developed an impressive collection of genomic resources for the species, including extensive DNA, RNA, and chromatin accessibility data to promote H. miamia as a new model system for studying regeneration. Using these data, they identify early growth response (Egr), which encodes a candidate pioneer transcription factor responsible for regulating the molecular regenerating response to wounding.

Really big if it turns out to work in people.

Done for the day

| No Comments

Staying on island tonight and getting to the farm tomorrow.

Get to work 'ya bum!

| No Comments

Out to do yardwork - enough lollygagging (the more recent definition dammit).

A great choice - head of the FDA

| No Comments

From Next Big Future:

Aging Expert Heading FDA Could be Good for Antiaging Projects
In April, aging research expert Norman E. (Ned) Sharpless, MD will become the acting commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Sharpless is a 2003 Paul B. Beeson Emerging Leaders Career Development Award in Aging scholar. Ned served on AFAR’s National Scientific Advisory Council from 2005-2011 and chaired the Selection Committee of the Glenn/AFAR Postdoctoral Program for Transnational Research on Aging program in 2015 and 2016. For over 30 years, AFAR has supported the science of healthier aging.

Great call (from my perspective of 68 orbits around our sun).

From Tyler at Zero Hedge:

Trump Signs First Ever Veto Upholding Border Emergency Declaration
President Trump has vetoed the Senate resolution, his first since taking office.

"Today I am vetoing this resolution. Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it," said Trump from the oval office, sourrounded by law enforcement and 'angel moms.'

During the Oval Office ceremony, Trump said that if the "dangerous" and "reckless" resolution became law, it would put American lives at risk.

The bill will next move to the House for a vote later this month on overriding Trump's veto - however leaders lack the 2/3 support of the chamber required to overcome the veto.

For those keeping track of presidential vetoes at home:

Bill Clinton 36
George W. Bush 12
Barack Obama 12
Donald Trump 1

Good - push back against Pelosi, Schumer, etc...

Scientific Glassblowing

| No Comments

Great article and video about Gayle Price

And from The Wellcome Collection:

The art of scientific glassblowing
Wearing a knee-length white lab coat and wraparound shades, her long hair clipped back, Gayle Price adjusts the amount of gas and oxygen flowing into her burner. It has the look of a blowtorch, but one fixed in place and with six different outlets. The wavering orange flame that’s shooting out of it becomes fierce blue and sharp as a pin, its dull roar now a hiss.

Holding a 1.5-metre-long glass rod in one hand – hollow, with a 7 mm diameter – and a much shorter, thicker solid metal rod in the other, she starts heating the glass in the flame. As it glows and softens, she begins coiling it evenly around the metal. Her movements are quick but rhythmic. She works by eye alone.

Gayle hasn’t always worked with glass for a living, but she now can’t see herself doing anything else. She studied photography at school, then trained as a painter and decorator. After that she worked as a bouncer in Glasgow for a couple of years, but found night shifts increasingly tough.

When I was growing up, my Dad taught at the University of Pittsburgh and I would go in on weekends when he worked. I always loved to see the various labs and glassblowing was something that always fascinated me. Played around with it but nothing like what this woman is doing. Exquisite stuff!

Gorgeous day today - temps up to 52°F already.

Spending a couple of hours working in the yard and then heading up to the farm for a day or two. Got some phone calls to make but cell service is down.

Been busy ripping my music CDs - already over 12,000 individual songs:

20190315-tunes.jpgAnd hundreds more disks to go...

A few things of interest at the auction but they were all later in the sale - no desire to hang around until they came up for bid.

Out the door

| No Comments

The usual Friday routine - coffee, post office, breakfast and then preview tomorrow's auction.

Planning to head up to the farm later today.

Our prayers go out to New Zealand

| No Comments

A major public shooting - again, it is not the gun, it is the mental health of the shooters. Had they not had a gun, they would have used something else - a bomb, gas, a vehicle. This is not the action of a mentally healthy person.

From Associated Press:

Mosque shootings kill 49; white racist claims responsibility
At least 49 people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshippers attending Friday prayers in an attack broadcast in horrifying, live video by an immigrant-hating white nationalist wielding at least two rifles.

One man was arrested and charged with murder, and two other armed suspects were taken into custody while police tried to determine what role they played.

“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, noting that many of the victims could be migrants or refugees.

No, all of the victims are immigrants. NZ has no indigenous Muslim population. There is a very very interesting bit buried way at the bottom of this report from the New Zealand Herald:

A second shooting happened at a mosque in the Linwood area of the city.

One Friday prayer goer returned fire with a rifle or shotgun.

Witnesses said they heard multiple gunshots around 1.45pm.

A well known Muslim local chased the shooters and fired two shots at them as they sped off.

He was heard telling police officers he was firing in "self defence".

"They were in a silver Subaru," he told police.

Mark Nichols, manager of Premium Tyres and Auto in Linwood, said he a gunman ran past his shop around 45 minutes ago.

He heard five gunshots, and he believed the activity was centred around the nearby Linwood Masjid mosque.

The article is multiple pages long and the story of the armed defense stopping another massacre does not show up until very close to the end.

A total of five shots and the armed defender fired twice. This means that the shooter was only able to fire three times before a legal gun owner was able to put a stop to their plans. A legal gun owner, attending the services at the mosque was able to stop a planned massacre. This is in stark comparison to the other mosque where nobody had any means of self defense and 49 of their congregants were brutally murdered by a madman.

I am reminded of this passage from Ecclesiastes 9:3

This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.

I agree with John Lott - "More guns, Less crime". This is proven statistically. Situations with a public shooting will show that these always happen in gun-free zones.

And I am outta here for the evening

| No Comments

The meeting lasts until 9:00PM so I will head straight to YouTube when I get home.

And this is my surprised face - NOT!

| No Comments

Two articles that caught my eye. First, from The New York Times:

Your Environment Is Cleaner. Your Immune System Has Never Been So Unprepared
Should your children pick their noses? Should your children eat dirt? Maybe: Your body needs to know what immune challenges lurk in the immediate environment.

Should you use antibacterial soap or hand sanitizers? No. Are we taking too many antibiotics? Yes.

“I tell people, when they drop food on the floor, please pick it up and eat it,” said Dr. Meg Lemon, a dermatologist in Denver who treats people with allergies and autoimmune disorders.

A bit more:

She’s referring, with a facetious touch, to the fact our immune system can become disrupted if it doesn’t have regular interactions with the natural world.

“Our immune system needs a job,” Dr. Lemon said. “We evolved over millions of years to have our immune systems under constant assault. Now they don’t have anything to do.”

She isn’t alone. Leading physicians and immunologists are reconsidering the antiseptic, at times hysterical, ways in which we interact with our environment.

I keep clean and follow Health Department standards when preparing and storing food but I know so many people who are germ-phobic to the point of irrationality.

Next up is this from United Press International:

Exercise may cut long-term mortality in older adults, study says
Working out more can help the body and mind, which can ultimately help to extend a person's life, a new study says.

About 65 percent of people with an average age of 72 showed cognitive frailty, according to findings published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Cognitive frailty, the condition of being both mentally impaired and physically frail but without dementia symptoms, puts people at a greater risk of death than having either of the symptoms separately.

The good news is that physical activity reduces the risk of cognitive frailty by 35 percent, the research says.

Very happy I joined the YMCA - it is a major shift in my habits to go there and work out for 90 minutes but I feel so much better after I do.

What it says on the box: 3D Printers in Libraries

One in Lynden, one in Seattle and a couple nearby (the penninsula, Tacoma, etc...)

Southern Poverty Law Center just fired its founder - from Evi L. Blogerlady:

Southern Poverty Law Center Fires Its Founder Morris Dees: Serial Sexual Harrasment
The Schadenfreude meter just spiked. I am no fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center or Morris Dees. In my opinion they are both inherently corrupt and dishonest. How is some supposed charity allowed to park half a billion dollars (much of it off shore). Not only is Morris Dees (allegedly) grabby when it comes to taking cash, he is also grabby when taking liberties with the ladies.

AoSHQ: Update: Morris Dees fired for multiple inappropriate touching of women

Breitbart: SPLC Founder Morris Dees Fired, Possible Misconduct

Blazing Cat Fur: Morris Dees fired from SPLC

Could not happen to a nicer organization. Rotten from the core outwards.

The troubles are just starting - from The Weather Channel:

Hundreds Evacuated in Historic Flooding in Nebraska, Iowa as Swollen Waterways Threaten Dams, Levees
Flooding from heavy rain and a melting snowpack is threatening towns across the Midwest, swelling waterways to historic levels in places, compromising flood protections and triggering evacuations for hundreds of residents in Nebraska and Iowa.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Thursday signed an emergency disaster proclamation that allows state resources to be used in response to flooding in the state. Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts had issued an Emergency Declaration on Tuesday.

Just before 11 a.m. Thursday, the residents of Hornick in western Iowa were ordered to evacuate immediately because of a levee breach on the West Fork of the Little Sioux River.

"They gave us about 10 minutes, so you just grab the things you need the most," Catie Newman told the Des Moines Register.

The increase of cold weather and snowfall has a lot of repercussions beyond just the immediate weather.

And home again

| No Comments

Did a run up to Bellingham to drop off about 160 CDs that I had digitized as well as some more tools that I can get along without - I will be selling these at the yard sale this spring.

I ordered two more hummingbird feeders and they came in this morning - boil some nectar when I fix dinner tonight so that it will be cool tomorrow. Also, as I was driving in, I saw a pair of doves eating the seeds that had fallen to the ground from the big feeder. First time seeing these - think that they were Eurasian Collared-Doves. An invasive species recent to the Pacific Northwest - the little black band on the back of the neck is distinctive.

Picked up some soup for dinner at the coop - build a salad and toast a frozen piece of baguette. Got a meeting at 7PM.

Out for the usual

| No Comments

Coffee and post office. Meeting tonight and then to the farm for a day or two.

Radio network next Tuesday.

It has to be Portland - the stupidity is unreal. From Law Blogger Jonathan Turley:

NAACP Declares Portland Earthquake Warnings To Be Racist
There is a bizarre controversy in Portland, Oregon after the city began to put up notices on buildings that it deemed unsafe for possible earthquakes. The city is trying to prepare for “the big one” — a massive earthquake that is now overdue. It is identifying older buildings susceptible to collapse with public signs. However, it is facing a challenge from the NAACP of Portland which has declared the signs to be the embodiment of “white supremacy” and racism. There is also a challenge for building owners.

The NAACP declared that the policy to warn the public “exacerbates a long history of systemic and structural betrayals of trust and policies of displacement, demolition, and dispossession predicated on classism, racism, and white supremacy.” The reason is that many of the older buildings are owned by African Americans that that the posted warnings will make it difficult for them to rent space or sell the property.

Rev. E.D. Mondaine, a pastor at Celebration Tabernacle Church in north Portland and president of the Portland NAACP chapter declared that “We will no longer allow the same principles that have driven us out again. We will no longer allow these things that have driven us from our community.”

Given the projected 50 percent chance of a massive earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon coast in the next 50 years, one would think that the racist act would be not to warn occupants of the danger. Otherwise, these buildings will remain until they are likely to collapse on the occupants.

The new law requires the posting of the signs and the filing of a record of compliance. The warning reads “This is an unreinforced masonry building. Unreinforced masonry buildings may be unsafe in the event of a major earthquake.”

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a very big deal - history of major earthquakes about every 400-500 years and the last one was January, 1700, just over 300 years ago. The coastal cities will be toast. All we are talking about is a sign on each building warning people of the possibility. I thought education was a good thing. The Rev. is just another fscking self-serving activist looking to get in front of the cameras.

From the Center for Immigration Studies:

63% of Non-Citizen Households Access Welfare Programs
Compared to 35% of native households

Their findings:

    • In 2014, 63 percent of households headed by a non-citizen reported that they used at least one welfare program, compared to 35 percent of native-headed households.
    • Welfare use drops to 58 percent for non-citizen households and 30 percent for native households if cash payments from the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are not counted as welfare. EITC recipients pay no federal income tax. Like other welfare, the EITC is a means-tested, anti-poverty program, but unlike other programs one has to work to receive it.
    • Compared to native households, non-citizen households have much higher use of food programs (45 percent vs. 21 percent for natives) and Medicaid (50 percent vs. 23 percent for natives).
    • Including the EITC, 31 percent of non-citizen-headed households receive cash welfare, compared to 19 percent of native households. If the EITC is not included, then cash receipt by non-citizen households is slightly lower than natives (6 percent vs. 8 percent).

Much more at the site - we are paying for these programs with our tax dollars. The Democrats are pushing these programs as this gives them a reliable stream of votes.

Talk about computational horsepower - from Wired:

Google just smashed the world record for calculating digits of pi
Pi just got bigger. Google’s Compute Engine has calculated the most digits of pi ever, setting a new world record.

Emma Haruka Iwao, who works in high performance computing and programming language communities at Google, used infrastructure powered by Google Cloud to calculate 31.4 trillion digits of pi. The previous world record was set by Peter Trueb in 2016, who calculated the digits of pi to 22.4 trillion digits. This is the first time that a publicly available cloud software has been used for a pi calculation of this magnitude.

And the machine she used?

In September of 2018, Iwao started to consider how the process of calculating even more digits of pi would work technically. Something which came up quickly was the amount of data that would be necessary to carry out the calculations, and store them – 170 terabytes of data, which wouldn’t be easily hosted by a piece of hardware. Rather than building a whole new machine Iwao used Google Cloud.

Iwao used 25 virtual machines to carry out those calculations. “But instead of clicking that virtual machine button 25 times, I automated it,” she explains. “You can do it in a couple of minutes, but if you needed that many computers, it could take days just to get the next ones set up.” Iwao ran y-cruncher on those 25 virtual machines, continuously, for 121 days.

And the benefits of this excercise:

While it may seem like a niche hobby, pi is often used by developers and programmers to test the performance of new hardware. Its uses can even stretch further than just cloud computing, into areas like healthcare. “There are a lot of applications that require a lot of complex computing resources, like weather forecasts, and actually, this proves that the cloud is capable of handling those calculations,” says Iwao.

Very cool!

And we are back to zero - sunspots

| No Comments

From Spaceweather:

20190314-sun.jpg

Happy Pi Day

| No Comments

Ways to celebrate can be found at Pi Day - some retailers are offering special Pi deals

A little chip off of my favorite number: 3

Ten facts:

Also Albert Einstein's birthday (March 14, 1879) and Steven Hawking's death day (March 14, 2018)

Alan Parsons is playing two dates here next April and the shows are already completely sold out. Had hoped to get a couple tickets but no go. Been listening to a lot of his stuff yesterday and today:

Here is one of his lesser known songs - no video, just the song but it gives you an idea of his compositional and arrangement skills. Closer to Heaven from Gaudi - gorgeous stuff.

Lyrics here: Closer to Heaven.

And it is YouTube

| No Comments

Woke up a bit early and feeling a bit tired from working out today.

From Colorado Spring's The Gazzette:

More than 1,000 drivers stranded in Colorado Springs area, Gov. Polis declares state of emergency as bomb cyclone paralyzes Front Range
Snow driven by winds approaching 100 mph shut down schools, highways, air travel and businesses in the Pikes Peak region Wednesday and left more than 1,000 stranded in their cars awaiting rescue.

The rapidly intensifying storm — known as a bomb cyclone — caused whiteout conditions for drivers caught in its fury and prompted the governor to call out the National Guard and El Paso County to declare an emergency.

Officials pleaded with people to stay home and off the roads.

"The more people on the road, the higher likelihood of crashes happening today," the Colorado State Patrol warned on Twitter. "We are giving you complete permission, 100 percent guaranteed, no questions asked to STAY HOME TODAY."

This winter is one for the history books and there is every indication that this is the start of a trend that may last decades.

Does not surprise me one bit. From National Public Radio:

Speaker Pelosi Revokes Vice President Pence's House Office Space
The speaker giveth, and the speaker taketh away.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has reclaimed office space her predecessor, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., awarded to Vice President Pence.

Republicans gave Pence, a former House member, a first-floor bonus office in the U.S. Capitol shortly after President Trump was inaugurated in 2017.

The vice president rarely used the space, but it was a symbolic gesture of the warm relationship Pence enjoyed with Ryan and the House GOP. The vice president serves as the president of the U.S. Senate and historically has been provided an office on the Senate side of the Capitol, which is where Pence more regularly holds court when he visits Congress.

A placard above the door identifying it as Pence's House office was quietly removed in recent weeks. A House Democratic aide confirmed to NPR that the space will be reassigned. "Room assignments are reviewed and changed at the beginning of every Congress," the aide said.

San Fran Nan is channeling her inner two-year-old. Talk about content of character.
It will be interesting to see who gets the space.

And I am back for the night

| No Comments

Didn't get what I was looking for at Costco - have something better at the farm and I can make do until my next trip up there. Speakers for the media machine.

College admissions scandal

| No Comments

Been listening to this story develop over the radio. They are invoking the RICO Act and the guy running the program is admitting everything.

More here, here, here for starters. More here. This is big.

And I am outta here

| No Comments

Library, gym, Costco (return something and buy something else), a bite to eat, a pint or two and then back home.

Got two loads of laundry done and sorted through five boxes of papers.

The winter that never ended

| No Comments

The weather keeps getting better and better - from The Weather Channel:

Winter Storm Ulmer 'Bombs' Out, Becomes 'Bomb Cyclone'
A massive Plains storm became a bomb cyclone today, has already set new preliminary all-time low pressure records in a few locations, and will produce blizzard conditions and damaging winds into Thursday.

Meteorologists refer to a strengthening low as "bombing out" or undergoing bombogenesis if its minimum surface pressure drops by at least 24 millibars in 24 hours or less.

In Winter Storm Ulmer's case, its central pressure dropped from 994 millibars around 8 p.m. MDT Tuesday night, estimated by NOAA Weather Prediction Center meteorologist David Roth, to 970 millibars at 9 a.m. MDT Wednesday, meeting bombogenesis criteria in just over half the time.

This bomb cyclone has already tied or set three preliminary, unofficial all-time low pressure records in three locations.

Pueblo, Colorado, already set their preliminary, unofficial all-time record low pressure early Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service. Colorado state climatologist Russ Schumacher tweeted it was the lowest pressure on record there since at least 1950.

Roth, who tracks U.S. pressure records, also noted low pressure records were tied in Alamosa, Colorado, and smashed in Clayton, New Mexico.

Much more at the site. Wonder where Al Gore is now.

Socialism - the end game

| No Comments

20190313-socialism.jpg

Blowing out candles

| No Comments

Mitt Romney was presented with a birthday cake and his technique for blowing out the candles received a lot of WTF and criticism.

Turns out, he was going about it exactly right - from USA Today, August 3rd, 2017:

Blowing out birthday candles increases bacteria on cake — by a lot
Those colorful candles burning brightly atop a birthday cake may look lovely, but apparently blowing them out has some pretty disgusting side effects, researchers say.

A study in the Journal of Food Research determined that blowing out candles over that sweet icing surface resulted in 1,400% more bacteria compared to icing spared the puff.

The study was titled "Bacterial Transfer Associated with Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake," so you don't have to read far to get the idea. But testing involved eating pizza, so the authors aren't total party poopers.

"Preliminary tests of blowing on nutrient agar indicated that bioaerosols in human breath expelled from the mouth may be a source of bacteria transferred to cake surfaces," says the abstract in lingo seldom heard at birthday parties. Nutrient agar, to the uninitiated, is stuff used to cultivate microbes.

Score one for the Mittens - wonder if he still has all of those binders...

Do not forget - tomorrow is Pi Day

| No Comments

Tomorrow is 03/14 - the first digits of Pi (3.14159...)

Ways to celebrate can be found at Pi Day - some retailers are offering special Pi deals

Cute cartoon

| No Comments

Found on the internet:

20190312-robot.jpg

Measles in the news - a three-fer

| No Comments

First - glad to see someone with a pair of brass ones. From the New York City CBS affiliate:

NY Judge Rules Against Anti-Vax Parents, Says Students Can’t Return To School During Measles Outbreak
A federal judge has ruled against a group of local parents who are refusing to vaccinate their children.

More than 40 students have been banned from a private school during the Rockland County measles outbreak. On Tuesday, the judge said he would not lift that ban.

Those students and their families were in a courtroom instead of a classroom, fighting an order to stay away from fellow students due to the high risk they could contract and spread the measles.

Good - I still think that we should bring back the Pillory - perfect punishment for these willfully ignorant parents.

Second, the outbreak is growing - from The Hill:

CDC reports 228 measles cases in 12 states
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 228 cases of measles in 12 states so far this year.

The CDC has identified six outbreaks, which it defines as three or mores cases, in New York, Washington, Texas, Illinois and California.

The cases are linked to unvaccinated American travelers bringing measles back into the U.S. from other countries where large measles outbreaks are occurring, such as Israel and Ukraine, the CDC says.

Surprised that Israel is having problems - they are too intellegent for crap like anti-vaxxing. Ahhh - the ultra-orthodox

Finally, from the Los Angeles Times:

Officials warn of measles exposure at LAX
Travelers at Los Angeles International Airport may have been exposed to measles late last month, health officials said Tuesday.

A passenger who had a layover at LAX on Feb. 21 was diagnosed with measles, a highly contagious illness that spreads through coughing or sneezing. People who were in Terminal B and Delta Terminal 3 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. that day may have been exposed, health officials said.

Another reason to avoid air travel like the... plague...

Any way they can - Mexicans

| No Comments

Would not have thought that the numbers would be so high - from the Washington Examiner:

More than half of all illegal immigrants arrested at the US-Canada border are Mexican
More than half of the illegal immigrants arrested last year as they traveled from Canada to the U.S. were Mexican citizens, according to newly released government data.

A total of 4,316 noncitizens were arrested at the northern U.S. border in fiscal 2018, and 2,245 of those were Mexican citizens. Mexican nationals are able to fly to Canada without a visa.

Total arrests at the northern border jumped 43 percent between 2017 and 2018, and reached the highest level in eight years. In 2017, 3,027 were arrested.

The people trying to cross the Southern border are paying coyotes a lot of money to be transported and guided. A plane ticket and hotel lodging is a lot cheaper.

Good news - Planned Parenthood

| No Comments

From Legal Insurrection:

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Ohio Law Defunding Planned Parenthood
Following the truly horrific 2015 revelations that Planned Parenthood was harvesting baby parts and haggling over baby brains for profit, Republican governors across the nation moved to ban taxpayer funding to Planned Parenthood. In February 2016, then-Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law a bill that restricted state funding to Planned Parenthood.

While a lower court had previously blocked the state from stripping $1.5 million in funding from the nation’s top abortion provider, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that Ohio can indeed defund Planned Parenthood.

The Hill reports:

A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that Ohio is able to defund Planned Parenthood clinics because they perform abortions.

Eleven judges on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an Ohio law prohibiting state health department funding from going to any provider who offers “non-therapeutic abortions” does not violate the Constitution, “because the affiliates do not have a due process right to perform abortions.”

The court ruled 11-6 that the ban does not pose an undue burden on a woman’s right to an abortion. Women have a right to an abortion, but Planned Parenthood affiliates do not have a constitutional right to perform abortions, the court said.

“Private organizations do not have a constitutional right to obtain governmental funding to support their activities,” Judge Jeffrey Sutton wrote for the majority. “The State also may choose not to subsidize constitutionally protected activities. Just as it has no obligation to provide a platform for an individual’s free speech … it has no obligation to pay for a woman’s abortion.”

If anyone has any remaining doubt about President’s Trump’s judicial legacy, this ruling may help bolster their confidence in this very important aspect of his presidency.

Good. I harbor no ill-will toward Planned Parenthood (althought its founder was quite the racist) but their funding should come from private sources or sources in the community - the city, county, etc... Not the Federal government. There is nothing in our Constitution that allows for it. For anyone or for any organization.

And back home again

| No Comments

Meeting tomorrow (Preparedness Group) and then see how the snow in Maple Falls is doing. Up for a few days of sorting and packing if I can get the van into the driveway.

Working at home - laundry, puttering in the garage, sorting paperwork, listening to music and ripping CDs.

Heading out for a while

| No Comments

Coffee, library opens at 10AM. Breakfast.

Working at home today - head out to the YMCA a bit later.

An earthquake in Hawaii

| No Comments

Mag 5.5 on Big Island - more information from the U.S. Geological Survey

Shallow so it was most definitely felt - from Big Island Video News:

Magnitude 5.5 Earthquake Jolts Hawaii Island
A Magnitude 5.5 earthquake struck the south flank of Kīlauea Volcano on Hawaiʻi Island at 12:55 a.m. HST early Wednesday morning.

The earthquake occurred at a depth of 6.3 km and was felt all across the Big Island. It was felt strongest in Volcano Village.

For a short time, the USGS website also measured the earthquake at a possible Magnitude 4.8, but later appeared to confirm a Magnitude 5.3 measurement. The strength of the quake was later revised to a 5.5.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which said the earthquake struck “in the Hilina region of Kīlauea Volcano,” reported that no tsunami is expected after the event. “However, some areas may have experienced strong shaking,” the PTWC said.

Two tweets - the deep state

| No Comments

Looks like things are starting to unravel for Hillary &co.

Draining the swamp - one step at a time.

Michael who?

| No Comments

Their fifteen minutes are over - thank heavens. From the Los Angeles Times:

Stormy Daniels and lawyer Michael Avenatti part ways
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels in two unsuccessful lawsuits against President Trump, is no longer representing the pornographic film actress.

Daniels, who is under court order to pay Trump $293,000 in legal fees and sanctions for one of the dismissed lawsuits, said she has retained Clark Brewster of Oklahoma as her personal lawyer “to review all legal matters involving me.”

And buried in the penultimate paragraph:

While the two lawsuits produced no courtroom victory for Avenatti, they did turn him into a celebrity. He was a constant presence on cable news for months and traveled around the country exploring a potential run for president.

See how long that fame lasts. The current news cycle is measured in days - journalists have the attention span of a... Oh look!!! A Squirrel!!!

...trying to get justice for the common man.  From The Washington Free Beacon:

Southern Poverty Surpasses Half Billion in Assets; $121 Million Now Offshore
The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-left nonprofit known for its "hate group" designations, has surpassed a half billion dollars in total assets and now has $121 million parked offshore, according to the group's most recent financial statements.

The SPLC, which is based in Montgomery, Ala., has not publicly posted its most recent financial statements on its website. However, the organization applied for renewal in the state of California days ago and submitted a number of documents pertaining to its financial standing including its most recent audited statement and tax forms for calendar year 2018, which covers Nov. 1, 2017 to Oct. 31, 2018.

The devil is in the details - I bet they have a lot more stashed away. Foundations are a great way to stash money as the public front is 501(c)3 so tax deductible and the private front can provide all sorts of benefits for the foundation members. Room and board, limousines and jets, etc... Just look at Hillary.

From The Centers for Disease Control:

2018-2019 Influenza Season Week 9 ending March 2, 2019
Influenza activity remains elevated in the United States. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, influenza A(H3N2), and influenza B viruses continue to co-circulate. 

Much more at the site. We may be heading into Spring but the flu is still with us.

Great news - Italy

| No Comments

From The Beeb:

Italy bans unvaccinated children from school
Italian children have been told not to turn up to school unless they can prove they have been properly vaccinated.

The deadline follows months of national debate over compulsory vaccination.

Parents risk being fined up to €500 (£425; $560) if they send their unvaccinated children to school. Children under six can be turned away.

I wish the school administrators in Oregon and Washington had balls like this. No need to infect your classmates just because you have willfully stupid parents.

They tried to virtue signal but discovered that people who buy guns and other sporting goods outnumber people who hang out on social media. Now, they are going full retard and if there is one thing to remember, never go full retard.
From The Wall Street Journal:

Dick’s Sporting Goods to Remove Guns From 125 Stores
Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. said Tuesday it will stop selling firearms at 125 of its stores, further pulling back from the business after the retailer decided last year to tighten its policies around gun sales.

Dick’s has struggled with declining sales since its CEO Ed Stack made a public decision to stop selling guns to buyers under 21 and take assault-style weapons out of all stores after a fatal school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

Classic case of Get Woke, Go Broke:

Get Woke, Go Broke
Get Woke, Go Broke is a phrase coined by the internationally bestselling author John Ringo to express the opinion that when organizations "get woke" to politically correct actions, those same actions usually result in a massive loss of income.

Schadenfreude.

Well crap - they sold out both dates

| No Comments

I saw that Alan Parsons was playing at a local casino on April 12th and 13th. Seeing that this is about a month away, I went to the website to buy a couple tickets. They are all sold out!

Damn. 

Greenpeace lies and is caught out

| No Comments

Two tweets and two links:

The internet is forever - from the Internet Archive - November 19, 2002:

The founders of Greenpeace
In October, 1969 the US Atomic Energy Commission exploded a nuclear bomb on the tiny island of Amchitka, located near Alaska, in one of the most earthquake-prone regions in the world.

Many feared the blast would result in an earthquake. Five years earlier, a quake that killed 115 Alaskans had sent waves crashing on to the beaches as far away as Japan.

On the day of the blast, 10,000 protestors blocked the major US-Canadian border crossing, unfurling a banner that read: "Don't Make a Wave. It's Your Fault if Our Fault Goes". The US ignored the protests, and promptly announced plans for another test in 1971.

In 1970, the Don't Make A Wave Committee was established; its sole objective was to stop the second test. The committee's founders and first members included:

• Paul Cote, a law student at the University of British Columbia
• Jim Bohlen, a former deep-sea diver and radar operator in the US Navy
• Irving Stowe, a Quaker and Yale-educated lawyer
Patrick Moore, ecology student at the University of British Columbia
• Bill Darnell, a social worker

Darnell came up with the dynamic combination of words to bound together the group's concern for the planet and opposition to nuclear arms. The committee was renamed Greenpeace.

Emphasis mine - Dr. Moore was also on board for the Amchitka voyage.

The second link is from Anthony Watts:

Greenpeace disappears a founder, much like 'The Commissar Vanishes' in Soviet Russia
On our Friday Funny, which pointed out that Dr. Michael Mann labeled Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore as a “garden variety troll”, we thought it was funny that Dr. Mann couldn’t make the connection to who he was labeling.  But then, something funny happened on the way to the forum; we discovered that Greenpeace had been actively erasing Dr. Moore from their history page.

It’s just like the famous communist propaganda photo series The Commissar Vanishes

Again - keep pushing that narrative. We don't need facts, we just need something to keep the proles on the plantation.

Life in California

| No Comments

Must be nice for some people - from the Los Angeles Times:

While you sit in traffic, these tollway consultants charge the public $185 an hour for reading news
The warnings have been ominous for motorists winding their way to and from San Diego along a busy stretch of Interstate 5 in South Orange County — a future of crushing gridlock unless something drastic is done.

Transportation planners have been trying to sell skeptical residents for more than a decade on an extension of the Highway 241 toll road to help ease traffic.

To win public support for the extension or an alternative solution, the toll road agency has turned to consulting firms to wage a multimillion-dollar public outreach campaign.

But that spending is sparking questions about how the public agency is using the money.

And how much is being spent?

Billing records reviewed by The Times show a consultant at one firm was paid for working 28 hours in a single day.

Another consulting firm received nearly $230,000 for more than 1,300 hours spent reading “emails of news from transportation stories; evaluate reporter perspectives” at up to $185 an hour, the records show. Meanwhile, the authority paid yet another consultant more than $3,000 a month to compile news stories at $90 an hour, according to the bills.

Some digital media experts questioned a $380,000 budget in one year to produce content for two small websites and social media accounts for the tollway authority, as well as marketing to specific audiences, saying such work should cost far less.

Hell. I would do that work for only $170/hr. This is what happens when you get appointed public-sector bureaucrats with no accountability. There is no price for failure.

Putting on the screws - Venezuela

| No Comments

Good news - we imposed additional sanctions on January 28th of this year - from Reuters:

Exclusive: Citgo, Valero try to return Venezuelan oil following sanctions: document
The top U.S. buyers of Venezuelan oil are in the unusual position of trying to return millions of barrels of crude they need but cannot accept because of U.S. sanctions on the South American nation and its state-run energy firm PDVSA.

PDVSA’s U.S. refining subsidiary Citgo Petroleum Corp and Valero Energy are proposing to return 2 million barrels of crude loaded before sanctions, while a third U.S. oil company, Chevron Corp, has sought so far unsuccessfully to legally pay for 4.3 million barrels, according to an internal PDVSA document seen by Reuters.

In effect, more than 6 million barrels of Venezuelan crude remain in limbo as a result of U.S. sanctions imposed on Jan. 28 by Washington in an effort to oust President Nicolas Maduro. The United States and dozens of other nations recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation’s legitimate leader.

To comply with U.S. sanctions, Valero, Citgo and others are not allowed to pay PDVSA. Guaido’s administration has yet to establish its own bank accounts to receive proceeds from oil sales to U.S. customers, leaving those shipments stranded.

Maduro needs to leave and let Venezuela rebuild from its disastrous flirtation with socialism. The family is worth billions of US dollars - they can afford to live very nicely somewhere else.

Cute picture

| No Comments

Wait for it:

20190312-cat.jpg

(hint - look for the cat)

Moron - gun control

| No Comments

Talk about stupid - from Newsweek:

WOMAN CAUGHT TEXTING THREAT TO NRA AND REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER GETS THROWN OUT OF GUN HEARING
A woman was removed from a Connecticut gun hearing Monday after another attendee noticed her sending text messages threatening to shoot National Rifle Association (NRA) members and a state lawmaker.

The Monday Hartford meeting on gun control proposals intended to discuss safe storage laws, open-carry permits and plans to regulate "ghost" 3D-printed guns in the state of Connecticut. But an unidentified woman was spotted texting with someone what appeared to be a threat.

"If I had a gun, I'd blow away Sampson and a large group of NRA..." reads the woman's text, according to a photo. The previous text message the woman is responding to in the surreptitious picture also makes reference to Republican state Senator Rob Sampson, of Wolcott.

Which, once again, shows that gun control is actually a national mental health problem. It is not the guns, it is the people. Owning a spoon does not guarantee that I will become fat.

This is wonderful - Remain in Light

| No Comments

From Angélique Kidjo:

Global pop star and 3-time Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo has partnered with super producer Jeff Bhasker (Rihanna, Kanye West, Harry Styles, Bruno Mars, Drake, Jay-Z) to create 'Remain In Light'
A new project that finds the Benin-born artist reclaiming rock for Africa, bringing the Talking Heads' landmark 1980 album full circle.  The record is a track-by-track re-imagination of the original, considered to be one of the greatest albums of the ‘80s and deeply influenced by music from West Africa, notably Fela Kuti's afrobeat.  With her version of 'Remain In Light’ (out June 8/Kravenworks Records), Angélique celebrates the genius of Talking Heads, Brian Eno and the touchstones that made the original so revered and injects it with her euphoric singing, explosive percussion, horn orchestrations, and select lyrics performed in languages from her home country.

Looks like a lot of fun - here is the music video for Born under Punches:

She is touring but the closest venue is Boise, Idaho.

Climate change denier deniers - Apple

| 1 Comment

Apple goes full SJW on an iPhone app that is skeptical about the current orthodoxy of man made global warming.
From The Daily Signal:

Geologist Accuses Apple of Political Bias in Removing App Countering Climate Alarmism
Political figures who support the so-called Green New Deal and other proposals to restrict carbon dioxide emissions are up against some “inconvenient facts” that Americans may access immediately through a smartphone application, a geologist and author says.

But there’s one big problem.

The app, called Inconvenient Facts, is available only to Android users through the Google Play Store. Since March 4, users of Apple’s iPhone no longer can access the app through the tech giant’s App Store.

Why is that?

Gregory Wrightstone, a geologist with more than three decades of experience, told The Daily Signal in an interview that he has his own opinion about what may have transpired inside Apple.

Wrightstone is the author of the book “Inconvenient Facts: The Science That Al Gore Doesn’t Want You to Know,” which served as the basis for the information available from the app.

He notes that former Vice President Al Gore, a leading proponent of the view that mankind’s activities propel dangerous climate change, is a board member of Apple.

Of course - the political narrative must be preserved and amplified at all costs. Can't have the proles seeing any cracks in the wall.

Downloading the app and will check it out. My library doesn't have it yet but I pre-reserved a copy (big waiting list). It is available at Amazon and is #297 in the Best Sellers list and #4 in Science and Mathematics.

This damned winter cold

| No Comments

A two-fer - first from our own Cliff Mass:

Record-Breaking Cold in Eastern Washington
The cold that has been experienced in eastern WA since early February has been totally amazing. And unlike western WA they have had little relief the past week.

You will not believe the minimum temperatures this morning. Yakima got down to 7°F, with a number of locations around Ellensburg dropped to 2-3F.

Such temperatures are unusual this late in the season, as shown below at several sites in northeast Oregon and southeast WA.  Some of the daily low temperature records were smashed by 5-8F.  That is significant.

And it is not just the Pacific Northwest, from Texas' Laredo Morning Times:

Montana just endured one of the nation's most exceptional cold spells on record
There's a kind of cold that's legitimately dangerous. It can causes frostbite in minutes to unexposed skin. In parts of the Lower 48 states, such extreme cold is not uncommon, for a few days to at most a week.

But over the entire month of February and even into March, such exceptional, life-threatening cold never departed parts of Montana. Temperatures averaging 20 to 30 degrees below normal gripped huge areas in the state, as well as parts of the Dakotas.

These places are normally cold but this chill was unlike anything seen in the contiguous United States in decades, for both its intensity and its duration.

The February temperature departures from normal were stunning. Several major climate locations averaged 27 to 28 degrees below normal, which were the most extreme in the Lower 48 for a full month since January 1969, according to Alaska-based climatologist Brian Brettschneider.

Great Falls, Montana, was at the heart of it. The mercury didn't rise above zero on 11 days and dropped to zero or below on 24 nights. Only the first day of the month topped freezing. Its average February temperature finished 27.5 degrees below normal.

The punishing and unrelenting cold continued into March. On March 3, the low temperature tanked to a bone-chilling minus-32 in Great Falls. Combined with a high of minus-8, the day finished a whopping 50 degrees below normal. The city concluded its longest stretch on record below freezing on March 7.

Meanwhile, our sun is still very very quiet. One small sunspot cluster (AR2734) but it is fading and heading over the rim of the sun.

And back home again

| No Comments

Fix lunch and digitize music CDs - the library actually had nineteen for me, not seventeen. Something to do while eating a sammich. Some cable-wrap tape came in from Amazon - kind of like Velcro - really nice for organizing cables. Reusable and the cable bundle is very flexible unlike wrapping in Velcro.

Using this with the media machine on my Dad's old writing table. Installing an under-desk keyboard tray today (picked up from UW Surplus Sales for $5 - a nice Steelcase which retails new for over $100).

Japan has plans - the Moon

| No Comments

They plan to send people to the moon. Toyota is building their rover. From EnGadget:

Japan's moon rover will be made by Toyota
Toyota is going to the moon. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has teamed up with the carmaker to build a pressurized self-driving rover that will land on the lunar surface in 2029. The six-wheeled transporter will be able to carry two humans for a distance of 10,000 kilometers using solar power and Toyota's fuel cell technology. The rover will be about the size of two minibuses, with 13 square meters of habitable space, and the astronauts on board will be able to take their suits off inside the vehicle as they explore. It will land on the moon before the human expedition arrives, and travel independently to meet them.

Here is a short video - watch your volume as there is loud percussion:

Very cool - I love my Highlander.

Heading out

| No Comments

Just the usual today - Maple Falls got hit with about five inches of new snow yesterday. Very glad I decided to bail. Got a cooler spell for a few days and then supposed to get a lot warmer (into the 60's) by Monday - figure that the snow will have melted by then and the water will be thawed out again.

Got a bunch more CDs from home and 17 new ones waiting for me at the library so I will be busy here. I am also learning DaVinci Resolve. If you want to do video editing, this is the way to go hands down. It is the best and there is a limited free version that is fully functional. I decided to ante up the $300 for the full version as there were some significant advantages (speed of rendering, additional libraries). Considering that the Adobe Premier is $21/month for life and DaVinci Resolve is a one-time purchase of $300 with free upgrades for life, that is a no brainer. The DaVinci Resolve has more features. The parent company - Blackmagic Design - makes their money selling hardware.

So glad I made the decision to bail when I read the forecast for more snow starting tonight. Very wise choice.

Spent 45 minutes using Buttercup the Tractor to scrape a patch of snow down to bare gravel, pull the van onto that spot and then use Buttercup to run a couple loads of stuff from the house (about 300' from the highway) up to the van to take down to the island. Brought a whole bunch more audio CDs - couple hundred - as well as some foodstuffs.

Right around 6:00PM or so, it started snowing. Changed to rain as I headed South but we got a lot of precip with a lot more on the way.

Stopped off for fish and chips and two pints of beer and finally home for the night. Long day, feeling tired so heading to an early bedtime. Still feeling the DST change - should be back in sync tomorrow.

Oh Hell No - more snow forecast

| No Comments

From The Weather Channel:

Winter Weather Advisory for West Slopes North Cascades and Passes, Washington
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON PDT TUESDAY ABOVE 1500 FEET... * WHAT...SNOW EXPECTED. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS 8 TO 15 INCHES EXPECTED. THE HEAVIEST SNOWFALL WILL OCCUR MONDAY NIGHT. * WHERE...CASCADE MOUNTAINS OF WHATCOM AND SKAGIT COUNTIES, INCLUDING THE MOUNT BAKER SKI AREA. * WHEN...FROM 5 PM TODAY THROUGH NOON PDT TUESDAY. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...TRAVEL ALONG THE MT. BAKER HIGHWAY WILL BE DIFFICULT, ESPECIALLY DURING HEAVIEST SNOWFALL TONIGHT. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. EXPECT SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES, AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. FOR THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS IN WASHINGTON STATE, CALL 5 1 1. &&

Screw it - I am heading out of here. Supposed to be a lot warmer in about a week. I'll come up then. Heading out now with the tractor to dig out the van.

Time to fix some dinner

| No Comments

Was out with the critters - the March 7th snowfall came in at 4" deep over the remanents of the last snowfalls leaving a crust of hard pack over a sheet of ice. Currently 40°F outside so the stuff is melting but that just makes it that more slick. I will be very happy when I sell the farm. It was a lot of fun and a good 20 years but it is time to move to someplace smaller. Like the island...

Going to fix some tuna cassarole for dinner - pasta, tuna, toasted seseme oil and some fresh green peas. Lots of fresh-ground black pepper. Sounds odd but it is really tasty.

The joys of country living

| No Comments

Back at the farm - the newest snowfall has not come close to melting out. I thought it would and the roads are clear and dry heading up but as soon as I pulled into my driveway, I got stuck solid. Driving the van so there is only two-wheel drive with no weight over the rear wheels. Didn't even get ten feet inside the gate.

Take the tractor out tomorrow and try to clear a path...

To top it off, the pipes are frozen solid - no water at all. I have water in plastic totes so I can cook and wash but this is annoying.

Out for coffee, etc...

| No Comments

Slept in a bit as planned - daylight savings and all that.

Up to the farm today - Bellingham first.

To the farm tomorrow

| No Comments

Got a bunch of stuff done here today so heading up to Bellingham and then the farm tomorrow for a few days.

Sleep in a bit (daylight savings) tomorrow and then head up after dropping a bunch of CDs at the library - over 11K individual tunes and counting.

Off to the Tube of You

Some good news - weather

| No Comments

From Cliff Mass:

FINALLY! Springtime Warmth Is Coming to the Northwest
Imagine 60 degree temperatures.

Think about the luxuriant warmth. The ability go outside in a short-sleeve shirt and be comfortable.

The chance to build an honest sweat while working in the garden or going for a run.

You won't have to imagine it soon.

Great news - looking at doing a bunch of work in the garden this year. I was at the food coop yesterday and they had the young salad onions for the first time. I look forward to these as a harbinger of spring. Was very happy to see them.

A big surprise - New York City

| No Comments

From the New York Post:

New York City is edging toward financial disaster, experts warn
New York City is careening closer to all-out financial bankruptcy for the first time since Mayor Abraham Beame ran the city more than 40 years ago, experts say.

As tax-fleeced businesses and individuals flee en masse, and city public spending surges into the stratosphere, financial analysts say Gotham is perilously near total fiscal disaster.

Long-term debt is now more than $81,100 per household, and Mayor de Blasio is ramping up to spend as much as $3 billion more in the new budget than the current $89.2 billion.

And just how bad is it?

But city spending, up some 32 percent since de Blasio took office — triple the rate of inflation — may need to be cut deeper, these analysts add. The city’s long-term pension obligations have escalated, as well, as its workforce has soared by more than 33,000 in the last five years.

Could not happen to a nicer bunch of people - NYC has a lot to offer but good management is not one of them.

Liberal tolerance for other opinions

| No Comments

The Republican headquarters for this area is near where last night's Prime Rib dinner was held. I parked there for the event and noticed this recent development:

20190310-GOP.jpg

Why is it that you never see a vandalized Democrat headquarters. Conservatives would never do such a thing. Democrats have no coherent dialog to offer - their talk is just a narrative authored by the elites and when confronted with opposition, they resort to name-calling and violence.

Betsy Woodruff writing at The Daily Beast:

It Exists: DOJ Finds Letter Ordering Scrutiny of Uranium One, Hillary Clinton
After it claimed no such document existed, the Justice Department just unearthed a letter Matt Whitaker delivered to the Utah U.S. attorney directing a review of how the department handled the Clinton Foundation and the Uranium One issues.

Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote the letter on Nov. 22, 2017 for Utah U.S. Attorney John Huber. Matt Whitaker, who was Sessions’ chief of staff at the time, emailed the letter to Huber that day, writing, “As we discussed.” He also sent Huber a copy of a letter the Justice Department’s Congressional affairs chief sent to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee on Nov. 13 of that year.

The existence of a letter documenting Sessions’ directive that the DOJ revisit probes of Trump’s top political foe is a surprise because a department lawyer said in court last year that senior officials insisted it didn’t exist. The liberal nonprofit American Oversight obtained the letter through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request they filed on Nov. 22, 2017––the same day Whitaker emailed Sessions’ letter to Huber.

Much more at the site - talk about smoking gun. Hillary was Sec. State and recieved a large contribution to the Clinton Foundation. She subsequently approved the sale of 20% of US Uranium resources to the Russian company Rosatom.

Tell me again why she is not in prison?

A couple of years ago

| No Comments

Been sorting through some photographs on the media computer and ran into these from November, 2016;
Grace and an eight month old Bear - back when things were good:

20161113-grace.jpg

20161113-bear01.jpg

Could not ask for dearer friends.

And I am out the door

| No Comments

Coffee, post office (library is closed today) and then back for a couple of hours.

Heading up to the farm for a few days later today.

Clueless - WA State Governor Inslee

| No Comments

Sad to say but we have an idiot running our state and he wants to run our nation - from Breitbart:

Inslee: Combating Climate Change Foremost Duty of the Next President Because the ‘World’s on Fire’
Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA), a 2020 presidential hopeful, said climate change is the most important job for the next president because “the world’s on fire.”

Inslee said, “We are the first generation to feel the sting of climbed change and we’re the last generation that can do something about. We have one shot, that’s the next administration. We have to have this be the primary, first, foremost and paramount duty of the next administration because the world’s on fire and we’ve got to act and we’ve got a climate denier in the White House.”

Not a climate denier - a global warming skeptic. There is a huge difference between these two.
The science was never "settled"

Rotten Tomatoes rating system

| No Comments

Has been taken over by SJWs - from Zero Hedge:

After Rotten Tomates Removes 93% Of Reviews, Captain Marvel Still Sucks
After Rotten Tomatoes removed over 50,000 Captain Marvel reviews, or around 93%, the movie's audience score barely moved - rising from a dismal 32% to a pathetic 36%. 

While the unusually high user rating count was widely reported as the work of sexist, pro-patriarchy "trolls" - Rotten Tomatoes told Hollywood Reporter that the problem was due to a "bug in the post-release functionality for movies that have released into theaters since our product update last week," which "included both pre-release and post-release fan voting."

In short, the movie's "rotten" score isn't necessarily due to overly-aggressive feminist marketing, or star Brie Larson's man-hating comments against white male movie reviewers. The movie simply sucks.

In other words, they got caught fudging the reviews and they are backpedaling as fast as their little social justice warrior feet can pedal. Tyler has screen captures of before and after the alteration. Once again, the internet is forever.

Tyler recommends Alita: Battle Angel - am planning to see it before it leaves the big screen. Big fan of Tom Holkenborg the soundtrack composer.

Back again

| No Comments

Pleasantly stuffed - they do not use prime rib but they use a very good cut of meat - bottom round if I am not mistaken and cooked to perfection.

A bit early for beer so hanging out here for an hour digesting. Picked up 17 more CDs from the library today so starting in on those. Using Exact Audio Copy with LAME for ripping and encoding. Very happy with the results. There will be a band tonight so might stay a little longer depending on what they are playing.

Heading out in a bit

| No Comments

The Prime Rib dinner starts at 4:00PM so checking the mailbox again - sometimes, the mail doesn't get sorted until 3:00PM or later and I am expecting some stuff. Head over to the Legion Post after that.

Got a bunch of moss killer on the grass. Nice to be taking care of a much smaller lawn.

A bit of shaking going on

| No Comments

Nothing major - largest quake is mag 4.8 but there are a lot of them happening along the Cascadian subduction zone:

20190309-quake.jpg

Up for auction through the U.S. General Services Administration:

2EA SCRAP INTAGLIO PRINTING PRESSES
2EA INTAGLIO PRINTING PRESSES, SCRAP, WEIGHT IS APPROX. 150K LBS. TOTAL, WINNING BIDDER IS REQUIRED TO BE R2 OR E-STEWARD CERTIFIED. THIS IS A LARGE SCRAP SALE AND WILL REQUIRE A MINIMUM OF FIVE LARGE MOVING TRUCKS TO REMOVE.

And the auction location:

Property Location and inquiries/questions regarding property inspection and/or removal:
Department Of The Treasury
Bureau Of Engraving & Printing, Wcf
9000 Blue Mound Road
Fort Worth, TX 76131

Current bid is only $10.

Identity politics - liberals

| No Comments

Michael Ramirez nails it:

20190309-ramirez.jpg

Identity Politics - from InfoGalactic:

Identity politics, also called identitarian politics, refers to a set of generally left-wing or redistributionist political positions based on the interests and perspectives of self-identified racial, ethnic, and social groups. Identity politics includes the ways in which member's politics, and search for influence and power, may be shaped by their identity through allied social organizations. Examples include social organizations based on ethnicity, race, religion, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, social class or caste, culture, dialect, disability, education, language, generation, occupation, profession, settlement, urban and rural habitation, and veteran status. Not all members of most groups identify with identity politics.

Divide and conquer. Balkanize your opponent and they lose cohesion and strength. Old communist tactic.

Yay America - Oil Exports

| No Comments

Great news from CNN:

America is set to surpass Saudi Arabia in a 'remarkable' oil milestone
Move over, Saudi Arabia. America is about to steal the kingdom's energy exporting crown.

The United States will surpass Saudi Arabia later this year in exports of oil, natural gas liquids and petroleum products, like gasoline, according to energy research firm Rystad Energy.

That milestone, driven by the transformative shale boom, would make the United States the world's leading exporter of oil and liquids. That has never happened since Saudi Arabia began selling oil overseas in the 1950s, Rystad said in a report Thursday.

"It's nothing short of remarkable," said Ryan Fitzmaurice, energy strategist at Rabobank. "Ten years ago, no one thought it could happen."

That was then:

This (Thank God) is now. More faster please.

Good riddance - ISIS

| No Comments

Digging out the last of the scum - from Yahoo / Angence France Presse:

'Blood up to your knees': defeated IS jihadists still defiant
Defeated but unrepentant, some jihadists limping out of their besieged final bastion in eastern Syria still praise the Islamic State and promise bloody vengeance against its enemies.

The skeletal and disheveled figures shuffling out of the smoldering ashes of the "caliphate" may look like a procession of zombies, but their devotion seems intact.

At an outpost for US-backed forces outside the besieged village of Baghouz, 10 women stand in front of journalists, pointing their index fingers to the sky in a gesture used by IS supporters to proclaim the oneness of God.

They shout in unison: "The Islamic State is here to stay!"

Most refuse to disclose their names or nationalities.

Indistinguishable under their identical black robes, a group of women arriving at the screening point manned by the Syrian Democratic Forces swarm around reporters like hornets.

Some throw rocks at the cameras of those trying to film them, while one screams at a photographer and calls him a pig.

Another grabs the uncovered hair of a female reporter, saying: "Have you not read the Koran, are you not ashamed?"

The end game of cognitive dissonance - they thought they had the moral and cultural high ground and then they were reduced to living on the run. Top it off, they were captured and recorded by women. I seriously doubt that these people can be rehabilitated. Send them to Guantanamo for the rest of their natural lives.

Great news from Reason:

Life-Saving Golden Rice Finally Gets to Poor Farmers Despite Environmentalist Opposition
Golden Rice which has been genetically engineered to have higher levels of the vitamin A precursor beta-carotene is finally about be to approved for planting by poor farmers in Bangladesh. This a big step toward improving the health of some of the poorest people on the planet. Vitamin A deficiency causes blindness in between 250,000 and 500,000 children each year, half of whom die within 12 months, according to the World Health Organization. A study by German researchers in 2014 estimated that activist opposition to the deployment of Golden Rice has resulted in the loss of 1.4 million life-years in just India alone.

Environmentalist ideologues have fought fiercely for two decades to prevent this crop from being offered to poor farmers in developing countries. Among other things, they hired thugs to rip up test fields of the grain at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines.

In 2016, an open letter signed by 100 Nobel Laureates directly called on "Greenpeace to cease and desist in its campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and foods improved through biotechnology in general." The laureates pointed out that "scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than those derived from any other method of production. There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption. Their environmental impacts have been shown repeatedly to be less damaging to the environment, and a boon to global biodiversity."

Good - the jerks who oppose things like this are doing so out of willful ignorance. Genetic manipulation is doing the same as what is done by nature and by selective breeding, just faster and more precise.

And back again

| No Comments

Forecast is for rain Monday and Tuesday so getting some moss killer on the grass today - the rain will soak it in. Wait a week or two and then overtop with some new grass seed. Seeing an increase in bird life around here - more hummingbirds at the feeders and the main seed feeder needs to be refilled every three days. Almost done with my second 40 pound box of seed (Costco). The suet feeders are visited regularly but are not as popular.

Fix some lunch and work outside for a while.

Out for a bit

| No Comments

Coffee, post office and returning a dozen CDs to the library.

Forecast is for a nice day today so working down here and to the farm tomorrow. The local American Legion Post is doing their monthly Prime Rib dinner tonight so going there.

From Legal Insurrection:

British PM Theresa May Holds Summit to Address UK Knife Crime Epidemic
British Prime Minister Theresa May has called an emergency knife-crime summit to deal with the stabbing epidemic raging across the country. The announcement comes after 21 people were stabbed to death in London since the beginning of the year.

“We will only defeat the scourge of violence if we understand and address its complex root causes,” she said.

The UK police chief Sara Thornton called rising knife crime a “national emergency.” There were nearly 40,000 crimes involving knives in England and Wales between January and September 2018, the UK’s Office for National Statistics disclosed. The stabbing incidents were at the highest in a decade, since UK authorities started collecting relevant data.

May’s government is taking drastic measures to get law and order under control. The police have been granted an initial sum of £10 million to fund a “surge” of extra officers to combat knife crime across the UK, according to the newspaper reports.

No surprises there - just criminals being criminals and the mentally ill acting out their fantasies. Also, no word on the ethnicities of the perps but England has a lot of immigrants from Muslim nations. It would be interesting to see the racial breakdown - it is not racist if it is actual hard data.

And that is it for the night

| No Comments

Not a whole lot out there - Friday's are usually quiet news-wise.

YouTube and then to bed. Didn't see anything of interest at the auction preview so not bothering with that tomorrow.

Smollett's little tantrum wasted a lot of valuable Police and FBI time - from the Chicago Sun-Times:

‘Empire’ actor Jussie Smollett indicted on 16 counts of disorderly conduct
A Cook County grand jury has formally indicted Jussie Smollett, heaping 16 felony counts of disorderly conduct on the “Empire” actor for allegedly staging a hoax hate-crime attack on himself in January.

Smollett, who was arrested last month on a criminal complaint with a single count of disorderly conduct, will be arraigned on the new charges on Thursday.

The indictment, which was made public on Friday, cites Smollett with disorderly conduct for each crime he said he had suffered, with separate counts related to statements he made the night of Jan. 29 to a police officer, and then for repeating the same account to a detective the same night. The charges all are Class 4 felonies, the lowest category of felony offense under Illinois law.

He will certainly plea down but I hope he does not walk - he needs to spend a couple months in the slammer just to set an example for other whiny bitches out there contemplating a similar career-killing move. Also, this is just the County Grand Jury - the Federales were also very much involved in this investigation and they have not weighed in yet.

Light pollution

| No Comments

I have been very surprised and happy to note that the light pollution at the island is a lot better (way mo' better!) than the farm in Maple Falls - the farm has a lot of particulates in the air and the city of Abbotsford is about 30 miles to the North.

Randal Munroe has a comic about Light Pollution - be sure to hover your pointer over for the hidden message:

Back home for the night

| No Comments

Ran a couple of errands, had dinner at the Chinese buffet I like and then back home for a couple pints of beer at one of my locals. Surf for a bit. Picked up twelve more music CDs to burn - these take about ten minutes each so surf for a bit, pop in a new CD, surf for a bit more. Was at 10,014 on the 6th, now at 10,399. Building up quite the library...

Out the door for a while

| No Comments

Spending tonight on the island then taking the van up to Maple Falls tomorrow.

Heading out for a trash run, dropping some stuff off at the thrift store, previewing tomorrow's auction, and then up to Lowe's for some carpet for Grace's car ramp. She took to it well but her feet slipped on the wood so getting a carpet runner for some traction. Getting a bite to eat on the road.

Bogus statistics passing as news

| No Comments

Talk about a whopper - from Fortune:

The Average American Uses 3 Rolls of Toilet Paper Each Week—And It's Devastating Forests
A new report on paper use says Americans are flushing away Canadian forests.

Stand.earth and the National Resources Defense Council just released a report describing the “tree-to-toilet” pipeline, concluding that “[t]he consequences for Indigenous Peoples, treasured wildlife, and the global climate are devastating.”

The U.S. consumes more toilet paper than any other country, almost three rolls per person each week. And the brands they choose to use aren’t sustainable, with hardwood trees being pulped to create the soft toilet paper consumers want. Following the United States’ annual use of 141 rolls of toilet paper per capita is Germany with 134 rolls and the United Kingdom with 127. Japanese consumers average 91 rolls annually, while the Chinese average just 49.

This is idiotic to anyone who knows anything about paper and paper production. There are specific requirements for paper pulp and you simply do not go willy-nilly cutting down anything you can. The pulp trees are grown on plantations expressly for paper production. It is a farm, just on a longer scale - the crops are harvested after ten years, not every fall.

The three per week is ludicrous too - I keep a roll of paper around to use as tissues as well a roll in the wall holder for it's original use. I go through maybe a roll every two or three weeks. This number does not pass the "sniff" test.

This is not a scientific report, it is a partisan hit piece disguised as one. Hammer home that narrative.

Mumps in the news - Arizona

| No Comments

More anti-vax stupidity - from AZ Central:

Mumps reports in Chandler draw attention to the other 'M' in childhood vaccine
After two confirmed cases of mumps were found in Chandler, Maricopa County health officials issued a statement reminding people of symptoms to look for from the contagious disease.

"As of right now, we only know of the two confirmed cases at Hamilton High," said Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director of disease control at the Maricopa Department of Public Health.

Sunenshine added that mumps cases in Arizona are relatively uncommon, but there are reports of other outbreaks in other parts of the country.

A nasty disease - if you get it after puberty, there is a good chance that you will become sterile. It hits the glands.

Yikes - Emergency 911 response times

| No Comments

At last night's CPR class, the teacher (he is a fireman and first aider) told us that the response time on the island is about seven minutes and in Seattle, it is about five minutes. Really good. From Detroint, MI station WXYZ:

Duggan calls lengthy 911 delays 'outliers,' but vows to address problems revealed
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan defended the city’s response times for urgent calls to 911 in wake of a 7 Action News investigation, but vowed to address problems revealed by the report.

“We’re taking the reporting seriously, we’re looking at it very carefully,” Duggan said. “I thought Ross Jones’s stories were accurate, and they were. I thought they weren’t fair in the sense that the 13-minute response times are accurate, but there are outliers.”

In a months-long investigation, 7 Action News repeatedly reported that the average response times for the most urgent 911 calls in Detroit hovers between 12 and 13 minutes—a big improvement from years ago.

But that’s not the whole story. Some 3,000 priority 1 calls—including rapes, armed robberies and active shootings—took 30 minutes or more just to get a response last year. Hundreds took an hour or more.

Glad I do not live in that socialist shithole.

Not just measles - tetanus

| No Comments

From the Centers for Disease Control:

Notes from the Field: Tetanus in an Unvaccinated Child — Oregon, 2017
Tetanus is an acute neuromuscular disease caused by the bacterium Clostridium tetani. Bacterial spores found in soil can enter the body through skin disruption, with subsequent onset of clinical illness ranging from 3 to 21 days (usually within 8 days). In 2017, a boy aged 6 years who had received no immunizations sustained a forehead laceration while playing outdoors on a farm; the wound was cleaned and sutured at home. Six days later, he had episodes of crying, jaw clenching, and involuntary upper extremity muscle spasms, followed by arching of the neck and back (opisthotonus) and generalized spasticity. Later that day, at the onset of breathing difficulty, the parents contacted emergency medical services, who air-transported him directly to a tertiary pediatric medical center. The boy subsequently received a diagnosis of tetanus and required approximately 8 weeks of inpatient care, followed by rehabilitation care, before he was able to resume normal activities.

And what happened?

The boy required 57 days of inpatient acute care, including 47 days in the intensive care unit. The inpatient charges totaled $811,929 (excluding air transportation, inpatient rehabilitation, and ambulatory follow-up costs). One month after inpatient rehabilitation, he returned to all normal activities, including running and bicycling. Despite extensive review of the risks and benefits of tetanus vaccination by physicians, the family declined the second dose of DTaP and any other recommended immunizations.

Emphasis mine - the $811K is being paid out of taxpayer dollars. The family declined any other recommended immunizations. What morons.

The almost lost their child and they still think that vaccines are wrong.

Stupid criminal - guns

| No Comments

Looks like someone may be up for a Darwin Award. From the Everett, WA Police Department:

Everett Police investigate shooting at 112th and Evergreen
Everett Police are investigating a shooting that occurred late Thursday evening, March 7, at 112th and Evergreen.

Police were dispatched around 10:30 p.m. Thursday to reports of shots fired outside a BECU at 112th and Evergreen. Responding officers found an adult male with multiple gunshot wounds. They also contacted the alleged shooter, an adult male, on scene.

Initial reports indicate that the two men had arranged to meet so that one could sell the other an iPhone. During the interaction, the intended buyer allegedly pulled a fake gun and attempted to rob the seller. The seller responded by pulling a real gun and shooting the other man several times.

The man who was shot was transported to a local hospital with severe, life-threatening injuries.

Pull a fake gun, get shot with a real gun. Life sucks when you are stupid.

Delusional - Venezuela's Maduro

| No Comments

From Aljazeera:

Venezuela blackout: Maduro blames US for power outage
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Thursday blamed "American imperialism" for a prolonged power outage which affected most of the South American country.

The embattled president blamed the blackout on "the electrical war announced and directed by American imperialism against our people", he said on Twitter.

Yeah - there is one big switch that controls all of Venezuela's electrical power and we sent people down there to throw it. Goes to show what happens when you nationalize your infrastructure. Decline and decay. Always happened, always will.

From The New York Times:

Measles Outbreak: 1 Student Got 21 Others Sick
Public officials and health experts had given several warnings: Do not allow a student in school if they had not been vaccinated against measles.

Still, during New York City’s largest measles outbreak in a decade, a school in Brooklyn ignored that advice, resulting in one student infecting at least 21 other people with the virus.

The outbreak, at Yeshiva Kehilath Yakov in Williamsburg, is reigniting concerns that too many people in New York’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities are unvaccinated, as well as worries that measles would continue to spread after travelers arrived last fall from parts of Israel and Europe, where the virus was spreading.

City officials said they have struggled to increase vaccination rates in certain communities because of popularity of the widely debunked anti-vaccination movement, with parents declining vaccines for their children in fear that they increase the risk of autism.

And the outbreak has been going on since last fall:

The outbreak in New York began in the fall. Within months, the state had recorded nearly 200 cases. Dr. Barbot said that in New York City 133 cases have been recorded for people ages 6 months to 59 years, and that several people, including children, have been hospitalized. There have been no known fatalities.

Child abuse plain and simple.

A bit of snow on the ground

| No Comments

Melting away - road surfaces are damp but clear. Temp is 41°F at the house. Supposed to be sunny for the next couple of days.

Eating lunch and then working at home for a few hours.

Got some snow left on the ground down at sea level - heading out soon for coffee, post office and library - see how it is in the highlands. A couple hundred people without electricity near Granite Falls / Darrington area as well as North in Whatcom County. 34°F outside right now - got down to 32°F last night.

California utility Pacific Gas and Electric was responsible for the major wildfires last summer. They deferred basic maintenence for twelve years and it was an equipment failure that triggered the blazes. They are facing bankruptcy to try to get out of paying massive claims. And now this - from ABC News:

Bankrupt California utility wants to give $235M in bonuses
Pacific Gas & Electric Corp. sought a judge's approval to pay $235 million in bonuses to thousands of employees despite the California utility's bankruptcy.

The money is intended to provide incentives to workers and will not be distributed if the company doesn't meet safety and financial goals, PG&E said in a court filing Wednesday. It said the bonus program has been restructured with its Chapter 11 case in mind and puts a greater emphasis on safety performance.

"In deliberately designing the plan this way, the debtors are sending a clear message to their workforce that the safety of the communities the debtors serve and of their employees is of paramount concern during the restructuring process and into the future," attorneys for the utility said in court documents.

Talk about poor management - they have to bribe their employees with bonuses for them to comply with safety regulations.

Slouching towards ruin

| No Comments

Just when you think that they can go no lower - from The Washington Times:

House votes in favor of illegal immigrant voting
House Democrats voted Friday to defend localities that allow illegal immigrants to vote in their elections, turning back a GOP attempt to discourage the practice.

The vote marks a stunning reversal from just six months ago, when the chamber — then under GOP control — voted to decry illegal immigrant voting.

And the good news:

The measure would have had no practical effect even if it had passed. Illegal immigrants — and indeed noncitizens as a whole — are not legally able to participate in federal elections.

So this was just one big virtue signal. These people are too full of themselves by far. They believe their own Kool Aid.

I have long seen the hand of Cloward - Piven in the workings of the Democrat party. Overload the system so that you can come in and institute a top-down tyranny. Here is a letter to the editor from California's The Bakersfield Californian:

Letter to the Editor: Cloward-Piven Strategy and the immigration problem
Your contributors’ knowledgeable commentary about Trump’s treading on the Constitution leaves me wondering where they get their information. The left is great - even funny - at quoting the Constitution and the Bible out of context.

There is no question POTUS has the authority to declare an emergency and act on it. He runs afoul of globalists when he obeys his constitutional mandate to protect and defend. Is he to not have the means to deal with the invasion of caravans of people with no capability to assimilate into our culture en masse, nor the ability to deal with the jihadis and MS-13 criminals being gleaned from the crowd?

I’ve long advocated cutting off the head of that snake in the perps who are assembling, guiding, assigning coyotes and attorneys to give the desperate people ways to lie their way into the country. At least Mexico is finally getting the message with all its problems.

We should all be aware of a generations-old tactic the Democrats have used to undermine the Republic - the Cloward-Piven Strategy. In small part and quite revealing: "A strategy to end poverty" advocating increased enrollment in social welfare programs in order to collapse that system and force reforms, leading to a guaranteed annual income ... (That ain’t all!)

Top that with the Senate dragging out Trump appointments, with several hundred yet to be confirmed after more than two years. The Swamp at work - a bipartisan disease.

Here is a link to the full C-P Strategy: https://archive.org/details/Cloward-PivenStrategy1

And more here: Cloward - Piven. Stupid, statist and tyrannical.

Great class - CPR

| No Comments

It was supposed to run until 9:00PM but the eight of us were all here for our two-year renewal so we breezed through the subject matter. Learned a couple of new things - if you see someone down and there is an AED, you need to perform CPR for two minutes before you start using the AED. You need to perfuse enough oxygen into the heart muscles so that it can sustain resumed beating. Also, it turns out that a lot of what is being taught was developed in King County. The survival rate there for a cardiac arrest there is about 20%. For the rest of the states it averages around 5-10%. Our local fire fighters go down to King County for regular training.

We also covered infant and child CPR which was glossed over in my last training.

This was basic resuscitation only - the first aid is now a three day class later this spring. I'll be taking that one too.

Walked out of the fire station to find 3/4 inch of new snow on the ground. The pavement was dry when I went in. It is raining here at sea level but snowing heavily in the highlands. Driving to Maple Falls might be put off until Monday or so. I need to take the van and that does poorly in the snow. See how it is tomorrow morning.

Just checked and North Vancouver Island has 2,600 customers out. Power here is the usual onzies - twozies. Equipment failures, cars hitting poles, etc... See how that develops.

And I am out the door

| No Comments

Hoovered down some soup I bought at the coop and heading out to my class tonight - first aid certificaion renewal.

Back after 9PM so this is it for posting for today.

Measles - a two-fer

| No Comments

First - the Washington State outbreak. From NBC News:

Clark County keeps 800 students out of school due to measles outbreak
In the Washington county that is home to one of the nation’s largest measles outbreaks, the effects go far beyond the 71 confirmed cases.

The Seattle Times reports over 800 students considered exposed to the highly contagious disease in Clark County have been ordered to stay away from classrooms for up to three weeks, disrupting their education.

Since January, field trips, after-school activities and an assembly honoring Martin Luther King Jr. have been canceled or postponed. Some students are doing homework off prepared handouts; others are using school-issued laptops to keep up.

All because some ninny responded to lies on the internet. It fit the narrative. Anti-Vax is child abuse.

Second - Costa Rica. From the UK 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.

We need to bring back the Pillory - very effective. Didn't vaccinate your kid? Spend a week in the pillory (taken out to eat and sleep of course - we are not barbarians after all) being laughed at by your smarter townsfolk.

Great article at Forbes Magazine:

Nuclear Power Always Ready For Extreme Weather
As Polar Vortices, Bomb Cyclones and massive hurricanes pummel America more and more often, nuclear power plants keep on putting out maximum power when all other sources can’t.

For the last month, the Pacific Northwest’s only nuclear power plant has been under a “No Touch” order to help keep the heat on as record cold and snow covered the region. I was stuck in my house for eight days.

As reported by Annette Cary of the Tri-City Herald, the Bonneville Power Administration, which markets the electricity produced at the nuclear plant near Richland, asked Energy Northwest, the operator of the power plant, not to do anything that would prevent the plant from producing 100% power at all times during an unusually cold February across the state that increased the demand for electricity – no maintenance activities, even on its turbine generator and in the transformer yard. Don’t do anything that would stop the reliable and constant power output of nuclear.

“No Touch” is requested by BPA when unusually hot or cold weather increases the demand for electricity, notes Mike Paoli, spokesman for Energy Northwest. Many regional transmission and system operators across the United States ask nuclear plants to keep running during extreme weather because nuclear plants are the least affected by bad weather.

And these reactors are the old designs - first sketched out on cocktail napkins seventy years ago. There are newer designs that have a lot less problems with waste - in fact, they can use conventional nuclear waste as fuel. These designs are also walk-away safe - they can not melt down. If there is a total system failure, they shut themselves down and remain in a stable state. They do not operate at high pressures so no containment vessel is needed - much cheaper to build.

Here is a five minute excerpt on LFTR:

The plucky little rover - Curiosity

| No Comments

Not dead, just sleeping - from NASA:

After a Reset, Curiosity Is Operating Normally
NASA's Curiosity rover is busy making new discoveries on Mars. The rover has been climbing Mount Sharp since 2014 and recently reached a clay region that may offer new clues about the ancient Martian environment's potential to support life.

Curiosity encountered a hurdle last Friday, when a hiccup during boot-up interrupted its planned activities and triggered a protective safe mode. The rover was brought out of this mode on Tuesday, Feb. 19, and is otherwise operating normally, having successfully booted up over 30 times without further issues.

Throughout the weekend, Curiosity was sending and receiving technical data, communicating with the team in order to help them pinpoint the cause of the issue.

"We're still not sure of its exact cause and are gathering the relevant data for analysis," said Steven Lee, Curiosity's deputy project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. JPL leads the Curiosity mission. "The rover experienced a one-time computer reset but has operated normally ever since, which is a good sign," he added. "We're currently working to take a snapshot of its memory to better understand what might have happened."

Very cool - Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012 and was expected to have a two year service life.

Another hate crime - pollen

| No Comments

From Newsweek:

S.C. MAYOR SAYS ‘YELLOW STICKY SUBSTANCE’ ON HER CAR WAS SPRAYED BY VANDALS, POLICE SAY IT’S JUST POLLEN
The mayor of a South Carolina town believed she was the target of a hate crime after cars belonging to her and her husband were dusted with a mysterious, “yellow, sticky substance.”

Local and state police investigated the claims made by Lamar Mayor Darnell Byrd McPherson, who reported that on February 7 at 10 p.m. local time, someone sprayed her 2017 Symphony Silver Hyundai Elantra Sport and her husband’s soft-top 1998 Buick Roadmaster with a residue outside of their home.

The material, she remembered, “got in all of the grooves” of her husband’s gray sedan.

The mayor had recently returned to her home from a meeting in the larger city of Hartsville, about 22 miles north of Lamar.

“My husband went out to the car to get some things out of the garage,” she told Newsweek. “He says, ‘Somebody’s painted your car!’”

A bit more:

Setting in was the deafening fear of an attack.

“I likened it as a hate crime because No. 1, there’s a history in our town of Lamar,” the volunteer mayor of the town with approximately 980 constituents, said.

In the 1970s, racist acts were not uncommon in Lamar, where the mayor said burning crosses was once a pastime.

According to a New York Times article dated March 4, 1970, an estimated 200 vigilante white men wielding ax handles, chains and stones—charged three school buses carrying black children, and prevented them from heading to attend newly segregated schools. Many of the kids were injured by smashed bus window glass.

Once the buses were emptied, the mob tipped two of them over before state police were able to restore order.

Yeah - a history of hate. That act was 50 years ago. The town of Lamar has not had anything like this since then. The citizens of Lamar elected a black mayor who, when seeing tree pollen, calls it a hate crime.

Life in President Trump's America - even the trees are racist.

Solar cooling - from NASA

| No Comments

This article is from a couple of months ago but the cooling has continued so it is more than relevant.
From Dr. Tony Philips writing at Spaceweather Sept. 27, 2018:

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

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

These results come from the SABER instrument onboard NASA’s TIMED satellite. SABER monitors infrared emissions from carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), two substances that play a key role in the energy balance of air 100 to 300 kilometers above our planet’s surface. By measuring the infrared glow of these molecules, SABER can assess the thermal state of gas at the very top of the atmosphere–a layer researchers call “the thermosphere.”

“The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It’s one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet,” explains Mlynczak, who is the associate principal investigator for SABER.

Love it - they are using actual measurements. The usual global warming crap is outputs from partisan computer models. These models have no bearing on reality, they cannot forecast and what is more important, they cannot hindcast.

Long meeting

| No Comments

But a good one - contractor for leveling the foundation. Planning to get one or two more bids but this guy seemed competent. First step in getting this place remodeled.

Heading out for a few errands - returning something at Costco, food coop, harbor freight and welding store. Class tonight.

Eating some lunch...

Back home for the night

| No Comments

Got nothing on the internet so heading off to YouTube for a bit.

Got a 10:00AM meeting with a contractor tomorrow (hence wanting to pick up an alarm clock earlier today - gotta get coffee first) and then the first aid renewal class tonight. Every two years.

Meeting tonight was a good one - noticing that the meetings down here are a lot better run than any meetings in Maple Falls or Bellingham. Efficient, directed and to the point. When I was president of the water board, I used to like to keep the meetings to less than 20 minutes. Want to chat? Do it after the meeting has been adjourned.

And I am out the door

| No Comments

Heading out to the meeting. Dinner was simple, cheap and pretty good. Back in a couple of hours.

Got some snow on the grass but not the pavement. Still coming down although less volume.
Forecast for t-storms tomorrow.

Clueless - from Toronto, Ontario's CTV News:

Obama in Calgary: Climate change chaos making politics more toxic
Former United States president Barack Obama called on global leaders to pay attention to the ways the world is rapidly transforming, urging action on climate change and wealth inequality in speeches in Western Canada on Tuesday.

Obama spoke first to a near-full arena in Calgary, home to several oil and gas company headquarters that are replete with empty office space due to a years-long industry downturn.

Geee - our oil and gas companies are doing really well after we got rid of the progressive President and elected someone who understands capitalism. Canada still has Trudeau at the helm. If they got rid of him, their oil and gas business (all their businesses) would boom.

He got around to global warming climate change

The crowd also clapped when Obama said there is indisputable science that the planet is getting warmer.

"At the current pace that we are on, the scale of tragedy that will consume humanity is something we have not seen in perhaps recorded history if we don't do something about it."

(cough)bullshit(cough) - a bit more:

Rising oceans will displace populations from coastal areas and climate change is also having an effect on the prevalence of insect-borne diseases, he said.

"Moose right now (have) to deal with tick-borne diseases that they didn't have to do 10, 15 years ago," Obama said. "I really like moose. I assume Canadians, you, do too."

So the warmer weather is going to promote the spread of disease? Not so fast.
From Paul Homewood at Not a lot of People Know That:

Paul Reiter’s Damning Assessment Of The IPCC
Prof Paul Reiter, one of the world’s leading experts in malaria, completely debunked this whole scare story in 2005, in a written submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Economic Affairs.

It is an old story, but many won’t be aware of it. It is worth revisiting it, since it revealed just how corrupt and thoroughly bankrupt the science surrounding climate change in general, and the IPCC in particular, had become.

This is his submission:

Memorandum by Professor Paul Reiter, Institut Pasteur; Paris
THE IPCC AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION. EXAMPLE: IMPACTS ON HUMAN HEALTH
INTRODUCTION
1. This evidence is presented to the Select Committee to provide a perspective on the role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in compiling and assessing technical information.

2. I am a specialist in the natural history and biology of mosquitoes, the epidemiology of the diseases they transmit, and strategies for their control. My entire career, more than thirty years, has been devoted to this complex subject. My research has included malaria, filariasis, dengue, yellow fever, St Louis encephalitis and West Nile encephalitis, and has taken me to many countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific. I spent 21 years as a Research Scientist for the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). At present, I am a Professor at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, and am responsible for a new unit of Insects and Infectious Disease.

Dr. Reiter establish his (very major) bona fides and writes this (an excerpt):

7. All this occurred in a period—roughly from the mid-15th century to the early 18th century—that climatologists term the "Little Ice Age". Temperatures were highly variable, but generally much lower than in the period since. In winter, the sea was often frozen for many miles offshore, the King could hold parties on the frozen Thames, there are six records of Eskimos landing their kayaks in Scotland, and the Viking settlements in Iceland and Greenland became extinct.

8. Despite this remarkably cold period, perhaps the coldest since the last major Ice Age, malaria was what we would today call a "serious public health problem" in many parts of the British Isles, and was endemic, sometimes common throughout Europe as far north as the Baltic and northern Russia.

The memorandum is very long but it explains in detail that temperature has little or nothing to do with disease spread. The idea that warming temperatures can influence the coverage of a disease or a creature has no basis in fact.

The memorandum can be found in full here: Memorandum by Professor Paul Reiter

Back again - it is sticking

| No Comments

Still clear where I am at sea level. The post office is about 150' elevation and there is snow on the ground up there. Starting to stick - temp is down to 34°F 

Going to do a simple dinner tonight - another baked potato and a can of soup. The meeting is at 6:00PM so need to head out in 90 minutes.

Temperature is down to 36°F and the snow is still coming down. Not sticking but we will see over the next couple of hours.

Got another bunch of CDs ready for pickup at the library so heading out in 30 minutes or so. Expecting a package so will be swinging by the post office again - some USB extension cables for the media machine. Need to get it off the desktop.

Just checked - got 10,014 individual tunes from about 1,000 albums - I still have a lot of disks to digitize:

20190306-files.jpg

From Patch Media:

Enough Drugs To Kill 10 Million In NJ Rest Stop Fentanyl Bust
Law enforcement authorities say they busted a large-scale fentanyl operation that had enough drugs to kill 10 million people – more than the entire New Jersey population.

And it was uncovered at a rest stop.

Two men were charged this week after the seizure of more than 20 kilograms of fentanyl that they tried to transport into New Jersey. Both made their initial court appearances in Newark federal court on Monday, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced in a press release.

No word as to the immigration status and/or gang affiliation of the perps but they both had hispanic names.

As we age - Grace

| No Comments

My dog Grace is nine years old. The floor on my Highlander is 26" above the pavement and she decided a few days ago that jumping up is too much for her. She will put her forepaws up and I lift her hind legs. She is otherwise in great health and very active but it is still sad to see such a tangible sign of her aging.

Time to build a ramp. Pick up some plywood and carpet tomorrow.

Aaaaaand - we have a sunspot

| No Comments

First sunspot for 33 days - AR2734

Of the 65 days in 2019, 48 have been sunspot-free.

Cold weather coming.

Back home again

| No Comments

Cliff Mass was right (kinda) - he predicted light snowfall at elevations over 500 ft. It is snowing like crazy at sea level. Temps outside were 42°F at 9:00AM and are now at 38°F so who knows what will happen. From our County:

Possible Snow Wednesday into Thursday Morning Will Likely Make Roads Icy.

    • Sanding Trucks / Snow Plows will continue to be out early in the morning focusing on the main roads for commuters.
    • Work will continue as needed throughout the day and through the evening commute.
    • Leave room for the sanders and snow plows. Stay back at least 200 feet and don't pass on the shoulder.
    • Click on the Snow and Ice Link to find out more information

Snow and Ice Control Program

Had a nice breakfast - was sitting at the counter reading and someone came up to a guy two seats away from me and they started talking about ham radio. Small world. I butted into the conversation and we had a great chat.

Stopped off at the local thrift store and picked up an alarm clock (needed one) and a couple nice solid metal baking pans for 50¢ each.

No yard work today - puttering around the house. Build a fire first.

Heading out for a little while

| No Comments

Coffee, post office, library and then breakfast.

Scott Adams on climate change

| No Comments

His podcast here: Episode 439 PART2 Scott Adams: Talking to Dr. Shiva About Climate Change

His talking points:

    • Multi-dimensional problems can’t be reduced to a single variable like CO2
    • People don’t understand math and physics, they’re being bamboozled
      • CO2 doubled already, temp should be up 4 degrees, per models
      • The models are NOT supported by the data
      • Actual temperature increase has only been half degree
    • Scientists are keeping quiet about climate change model problems
      • Climate change is BS, the data confirming BS is overwhelming
      • Grant money ONLY exists for those who believe and promote the climate change hoax

All true - yet another case of narrative over actual numbers.

Sums it up - socalism

| No Comments

Found this on the web:

20190306-socialist.jpg

Nothing happening here

| No Comments

Quiet day today - heading out for coffee in a bit - waiting until the library is open as I have a bunch of CDs to return.

Spending today doing some more yard work and a dump run. Group meeting tonight. Meeting with drainage contractor tomorrow and then first aid class tomorrow evening.

Got this to look forward to - from Cliff Mass:

Potential for Light Snow at Lower Elevations
It is getting very late season for significant lowland snow west of the Cascade crest, although light snow accumulations have occurred infrequently into mid-April. But an upper level low approaching from the west has the potential to produce some light, non-accumulating snow to near sea level, with perhaps some light accumulations about 500 ft.

I feel like this chart:

20190228-alaska.jpg

So true...

Back home and...

| No Comments

I got nuffin. You Tube and then to bed.

Back in two hours or so. Got a good book to read. Meetings tomorrow and Thursday and class Thursday evening.

Recycling - highly overrated

| No Comments

Recycling is a giant tax money rat hole that lets people feel good but does not really do anything. The only standout to this is aluminum cans - these can be recycled into new aluminum cheaply and efficiently. Everything else? Plastic? Paper? Glass? Usually a landfill somewhere.

From The Atlantic:

Is This The End of Recycling?
After decades of earnest public-information campaigns, Americans are finally recycling. Airports, malls, schools, and office buildings across the country have bins for plastic bottles and aluminum cans and newspapers. In some cities, you can be fined if inspectors discover you haven’t recycled appropriately.

But now, much of that carefully sorted recycling is ending up in the trash.

For decades, we were sending the bulk of our recycling to China—tons and tons of it, sent over on ships to be made into goods like shoes and bags and new plastic products. But last year, the country restricted imports of certain recyclables, including mixed paper—magazines, office paper, junk mail—and most plastics. Waste-management companies across the country are telling towns, cities, and counties that there is no longer a market for their recycling. These municipalities have two choices: pay much higher rates to get rid of recycling, or throw it all away.

Most are choosing the latter. “We are doing our best to be environmentally responsible, but we can’t afford it,” said Judie Milner, the city manager of Franklin, New Hampshire. Since 2010, Franklin has offered curbside recycling and encouraged residents to put paper, metal, and plastics in their green bins. When the program launched, Franklin could break even on recycling by selling for $6 a ton. Now, Milner told me, the transfer station is charging the town $125 a ton to recycle, or $68 per ton to incinerate. One-fifth of Franklin’s residents live below the poverty line, and the city government didn’t want to ask them to pay more to recycle, so all those carefully sorted bottles and cans are being burned. Milner hates knowing that Franklin is releasing toxins into the environment, but there’s not much she can do. “Plastic is just not one of the things we have a market for,” she said.

Penn and Teller did an excellent look at recycling:

Like they said - bullshit.

Dinner in a few minutes

| No Comments

Picked up a couple spuds at the coop this afternoon. Got three of them in the toaster oven baking. Have one for dinner tonight and the other two for future meals. Picked up a couple packets of seed - planning a garden this spring - lettuce, chard, some pole beans and sunflowers (I really like sunflowers). More seeds later - need to check the soil out first. I'll be starting them inside and harden them off gradually.

Getting more hummingbirds at the feeder so setting out a second one this evening. Running through two quarts of nectar in a couple of days.

CNN in the news - racism

| No Comments

CNN is one of the loudest voices in media saying that conservatives are racist. They love to report stories, even if they are complete fabrications. Got to maintain that narrative after all.

Here is a press release from the National Association of Black Journalists:

NABJ Elevates CNN to Special Media Monitoring List
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 5, 2019) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is concerned about the lack of black representation within the ranks of CNN’s executive news managers and direct reports to CNN President Jeff Zucker. This concern, coupled with Zucker’s refusal to meet with a four-person NABJ delegation, has prompted NABJ to place CNN on a special media monitoring list.

A special team will perform further research and an analysis of CNN’s diversity, inclusion and equity practices, per the NABJ Board’s directive. The special team will also publicly report on identified deficiencies in hiring a diverse workforce in news decision-making capacities at CNN. NABJ is also calling for a civil rights audit that examines the company’s hiring, promotion and compensation practices involving black employees.

Specifically, NABJ is concerned about the findings of preliminary research that reveals the following:

▪ CNN President Jeff Zucker has no black direct reports.
▪ There are no black Executive Producers at CNN.
▪ There are no black Vice Presidents on the news side at CNN.
▪ There are no black Senior Vice Presidents on the news side at CNN.

NABJ received a communication from CNN disputing only one of our research points, saying the assertion that there are not any black vice presidents on the news side is inaccurate. However, when asked to provide the name and position of the individual or individuals involved on the editorial side of news, CNN has yet to provide specifics.

And this is my surprised face.

More global warming - Colorado

| No Comments

From Denver CBS affiliate:

Denver Weather: Coldest Early March Temps In Nearly 60 Years
Arctic cold will grip the eastern half of Colorado today and tonight with some areas seeing the coldest temperatures for early March in nearly 60 years according to the National Weather Service. Many places on the northeast plains fell below zero Sunday morning including Denver International Airport with a low of -6 degrees.

And Spaceweather has us at 33 days without a sunspot - 75% of the whole of 2019

RIP - King Kong Bundy

| No Comments

When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, I tuned into WIIC's Chiller Theater for my weekly saturday night fix of science fiction movies. The host - Chilly Billy Cardille also announced local professional wrestling matches and since I liked his taste in science fiction, I started watching the wrestling shows. Far from being an agressive sport, it was pure theater and a lot of fun.

Segue forward 30 years or so when I moved to Seattle and opened my computer store. I had been building them from parts at first but was looking for a "system" I could sell for people just needing to do basic office stuff. I settled on Vendex - an arm of a Netherlands company but manufactured by Samsung. Very solid system, decent performance and good value.

They hired King Kong Bundy to promote these computers - here is one video:

Sadly, he passed away. From FOX News:

WWE legend King Kong Bundy dies at 61
Former WWE legend King Kong Bundy has died, the wrestling company announced Tuesday. He was 61.

The New Jersey native, whose real name is Christopher Pallies, was known for his enormous stature inside the ring. He was 6-foot-4 and weighed 458 pounds. People called him the “walking condominium.”

Part of his gimmick was having referees count to five, instead of three, when he pinned an opponent to show that there was no way they would get up from his destruction.

Quote of the day

| No Comments

From Economist Ludwig Von Mises

Government is the only institution that can take a valuable commodity like paper, and make it worthless by applying ink.

Von Mises was a chief proponent of the Austrian School of economics which is (in my own mind) the best model for running a modern economy. More here: Mises Institute

Out for a bit

| No Comments

Library and a few errands.

Verbal blackface - Hillary

| No Comments

I am so tired of this fscking harpy. From Grabien:

HILLARY’S SOUTHERN ACCENT MAKES CAMEO IN SELMA: ‘WHEN THAT SPIRIT IS BREATHED INTO THEM!’
Hillary Clinton’s occasional southern accent made a well-timed return Sunday in Selma, Ala., where she spoke at an anniversary event of the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march from Selma to Montgomery.

Clinton — who is known for lapsing into a southern drawl when speaking before southern audiences — occasionally affected a rhetorical tone resembling many of the preachers in attendance.

Speaking to one, she said, “Reverend Green, when those bones get up, and when that spirit is breathed into them, and they start climbing out of that valley, the first place they go is to register to vote!”

Various Democratic lawmakers — including announced 2020 Democratic candidates Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (S-Vt.) — appeared at the Brown Chapel AME Church event, before an annual march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

At the very least, she is being honest by saying that the dead register to vote. A long-standing Democrat tradition. They have nothing of substance to offer so they have to cheat to gain political office.

Here is another example of her verbal blackface:

alt.energy in the news

| No Comments

The rush to develop alternative energy sources is not altruism on the part of the utility companies. It is about sucking up those sweet Benjamins - taxpayer subsidies. From John Hinderaker writing at Powerline:

THE FOLLY OF SOLAR ENERGY
The late January brownout in central Minnesota, during a time of Arctic cold, showed that reliance on “green” energy can be life-threatening. Xcel Energy instructed customers to turn thermostats down to 60 degrees and refrain from using hot water. Xcel went so far as to put some customers up in hotels.

Investigation of the brownout has been informative. The principal problem, given that Minnesota has invested massively in wind energy, was that the wind wasn’t blowing. But there was another problem, too, which came out in testimony before the state’s Public Utilities Commission by an Xcel official. My colleague Isaac Orr explains:

During their testimony, Xcel Energy representatives stated that the company’s solar panels only produced 8 to 10 percent of their potential output because of snow cover.

John talks about subsidies and concludes with this:

It is all about the rate base. Any capital expenditure that goes into a utility’s rate base provides a guaranteed return. Whether the expenditure makes any sense in terms of providing reliable energy is another matter altogether.

We The People are being screwed. No simpler way to say it.

And back again

| No Comments

The radio net was a lot of fun. Some good people out there.

It was a big thing back in the 1990's. It is a big thing now. More marketing than anything else. From Slashdot:

40% of 'AI Startups' in Europe Don't Actually Use AI, Claims Report
Two-fifths of Europe's AI startups do not use any AI programs in their products, according to a report that highlights the hype around the technology. From a report:

Out of 2,830 startups in Europe who were classified as being AI companies, only 1,580 accurately fit that description according to the eye-opening stat on page 99 of a new report from MMC, a London-based venture capital firm. The label, which refers to computer systems that can perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, was simply wrong. 

"We looked at every company, their materials, their product, the website, and product documents," says David Kelnar, head of research for MMC which has $400 million under management and a portfolio of 34 companies. "In 40% of cases we could find no mention of evidence of AI." In such cases, he added, "companies that people assume and think are AI companies are probably not."

Build the hype, go public, sell your shares, quit the company. Lather, rinse, repeat...

He was not so bad as presidents go - he was very aware of public opinion and was able to pivot. This, however, shows the real problem with most politicians - from 1994:

20190305-clinton.jpg

That thing that is missing is called leadership.

Heading out in a little bit - radio

| No Comments

Got an EmComm (Emergency Communications) network this morning. Heading out in about 30 minutes or so. Meetings tomorrow evening and Thursday afternoon and a class Thursday evening (advanced first-aid renewal - every two years)  then up to the farm Friday for a couple of days.

And that is it for me

| No Comments

Early morning tomorrow - radio network.

A blistering letter from the New York State Budget Director regarding the Amazon transaction:

Open Letter From New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica Regarding Amazon
As just about everyone in this state, if not the country, knows by now, Amazon has terminated its plans to bring its second headquarters to New York State. It is a tremendous loss for New Yorkers and I hope that at a minimum, we understand the lessons learned.

In my 23 years in the State Capitol, three as Budget Director, Amazon was the single greatest economic development opportunity we have had. Amazon chose New York and Virginia after a year-long national competition with 234 cities and states vying for the 25,000-40,000 jobs. For a sense of scale, the next largest economic development project the state has completed was for approximately 1,000 jobs. People have been asking me for the past week what killed the Amazon deal. There were several factors.

First, some labor unions attempted to exploit Amazon's New York entry. The RWDSU Union was interested in organizing the Whole Foods grocery store workers, a subsidiary owned by Amazon, and they deployed several 'community based organizations' (which RWDSU funds) to oppose the Amazon transaction as negotiation leverage. It backfired. Initially, Whole Foods grocery stores had nothing to do with this transaction. It is a separate company. While Amazon is not a unionized workforce, Amazon had agreed to union construction and service worker jobs that would have provided 11,000 union positions.

Much more at the site - Mr. Mujica speaks truth to power. The progressives blew it big-time and it unfolded in the public media so next election day, the landscape might change a bit...

Dinnertime

| No Comments

Can of Progresso Vegetable Beef soup and a Costco baguette with Kerrygold butter.

Good, filling and cheap.

Beer or two in a few minutes.

About those sweet potatoes

| No Comments

Great editorial by Jeffrey A. Tucker - Editorial Director for the American Institute for Economic Research.
From The Tennessee Star:

Commentary: Where Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Get Her Sweet Potatoes?
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was trying to explain to me that the world is going to melt, we are all doing to die, and probably we shouldn’t be having any more children, but I was distracted by the dinner she was preparing on camera. She was carefully cutting sweet potatoes before putting them in the oven.

She put salt and pepper on them. Salt was once so rare that it was regarded as money. Ever try to go a day with zero salt? Nothing tastes right. That was the history of humanity for about 150,000 years. Then we figured out how to produce and distribute salt to every table in the world. Now we throw around salt like it is nothing, and even complain that everything is too salty. Nice problem.

Sweet potatoes are not easy to cut, so she was using a large steel knife, made of a substance that only became commercially viable in the late 19th century. It took generations of metallurgists to figure out how to make steel reliably and affordably. Before steel, there were bodies of water you could not cross without a boat because no one knew how to make an iron bridge that wouldn’t sink.

Much more at the site - these idiots have no understanding of how we got to where we are. They have no sense of history and of how lucky they are to be living in these times.

Out the door for a little bit

| No Comments

Got the email that another tranche of CDs are in at the library. Getting close to 10,000 individual tunes on disk.

Gorgeous day today. No idea what to do for dinner. Open a can of soup and thaw a piece of Costco baguette probably...

About those species extinctions

| No Comments

Hint - as much as they want it to be, it is not global warming causing it. From the Ecological Society of America:

Alien versus native species as drivers of recent extinctions
Native plants and animals can rapidly become superabundant and dominate ecosystems, leading to claims that native species are no less likely than alien species to cause environmental damage, including biodiversity loss. We compared how frequently alien and native species have been implicated as drivers of recent extinctions in a comprehensive global database, the 2017 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Alien species were considered to be a contributing cause of 25% of plant extinctions and 33% of animal extinctions, whereas native species were implicated in less than 5% and 3% of plant and animal extinctions, respectively. When listed as a putative driver of recent extinctions, native species were more often associated with other extinction drivers than were alien species. Our results offer additional evidence that the biogeographic origin, and hence evolutionary history, of a species are determining factors of its potential to cause disruptive environmental impacts.

There 'ya go. Knew it all along:

20190304-awiens.jpg

Good news from Virginia

| No Comments

Blocking Michael Bloomberg is always a good thing. From The Washington Times:

Virginia bill blocks Bloomberg from embedding climate lawyers in attorney general's office
Virginia has become the first state to crack down on billionaire Michael R. Bloomberg’s effort to embed within the attorney general’s office privately funded lawyers dedicated to pursuing climate change litigation.

The Republican-controlled General Assembly inserted an amendment in the 2019 biennial budget requiring those working for the attorney general to be state or federal government employees — with certain exceptions — and paid solely with public funds.

Last week’s addition to the $100 billion budget bill, which goes to Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, for his signature, would appear to nix any effort by Attorney General Mark Herring to bring on climate lawyers paid for by the Bloomberg-funded State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at the New York University School of Law.

Nice to see some adults writing the laws - Bloomberg was trying to embed legal activists in the state's Attorney Generals offices.

Cold weather in the midwest

| No Comments

Commentary from David Foster at Chicago Boyz:

Freezing in the Dark
There has been much concern about possible hacking of the power grid by Russia, China, and others.  Here we have a segment from Rachel Maddow, inspired by a threat analysis from the US Intelligence Community.  From the analysis:

China has the ability to launch cyber attacks that cause localized, temporary disruptive effects on critical infrastructure–such as disruption of a natural gas pipeline for days to weeks–in the United States. Russia has the ability to execute cyber attacks in the United States that generate localized, temporary disruptive effects on critical infrastructure.

Maddow:  It’s like negative 50 degrees in the Dakotas right now. What would happen if Russia killed the power today?  What would happen if all the natural gas lines that service Sioux Falls just poof on the coldest day in recent memories?

What would happen?  Nothing good.  These are serious threats, and I doubt that Russia and China are or will continue to be the only entities able to conduct such cyberattacks.  And there is also plenty of risk for non-cyber attacks…physical-world sabotage…which could have similarly malign impact on energy infrastructure.

But we don’t need to wait for a foreign adversary or domestic terrorist organization to cripple our energy infrastructure.  We can quite effectively do it to ourselves.

In late January, it was very cold in Minnesota.  And there wasn’t a lot of wind.  Natural gas, also, was in short supply, as a result of pipeline capacity constraints.  Xcel Energy urged its gas customers to turn down thermostats and water heaters, and to use electric heaters as necessary.  The electricity was coming from primarily coal plants (40 GW) and natural gas plants (about 23 GW)–the gas plants, of course, are also dependent on pipeline capacity.

Also in Minnesota, here’s a large solar farm covered with snow.  Wonder if it’s melted or been swept off yet?  And here’s a cautionary story from Germany, where long, still, and dim winters do not mix well with wind and solar power generation.

Solar and wind in most parts of the US are now small enough in proportion to overall grid capacity that shortfalls can be made up by the other sources.  What happens if they come to represent the majority of the grid’s power capacity–not to mention the exclusive source of capacity, as demanded by some?

It may be feasible to store a few hours of electricity without driving costs out of sight…but what about the situation in which wind and solar are underperforming for several days in a row?  Interconnection of sources and demands over a wide area (geographical diversity) can help, but is by no means a comprehensive solution. So far, the gas, coal, and hydro plants have been there to kick in where necessary.

Almost every day, there are assertions that new solar is cheaper than its fossil-fuel equivalents.  This may be true in some areas if you ignore the need to match supply and demand on an instantaneous basis.  But if the fossil-fuel plants are there to handle only those periods when wind, solar, and limited battery storage aren’t sufficient to meet demand, then the total energy production against which their capital cost is charged will be much lower, and hence, the cost per unit will go up. (See the California Duck Must Die for a nice visual portrayal of how widespread solar adoption has changed the load curve for the other sources.)  In some states with net metering, a home or business owner can sell excess power to the grid when loads are low and buy it back at the same unit price when loads are at their maximum. This becomes especially problematic when “renewables” become a major part of the mix.  Unless incentives are intelligently crafted–unlikely, given politics–“renewable” sources will effectively be subsidized by conventional sources and potentially make the construction and maintenance of those conventional sources impossible.  See If Solar and Wind Are So Cheap, Why Do They Make Electricity So Expensive?

More at the site - global warming is not a climate problem, it is a political power problem. The claim of global warming is used by the ruling elites to keep us under control.

Cold weather in Canada

| No Comments

From Canada's Global News:

Alberta man’s bowl of noodles freezes, suspends fork mid-air in frigid temperatures
An Alberta man has a whole new take on grabbing food from the frozen aisle.

Jonathan Scholes, who lives in Calgary, decided to demonstrate just how frigid it has been this past month by leaving a bowl of hot, boiling noodles outside.

His video showed noodles and a fork suspended in the air, hardened in place at -30 C on Feb. 10.

According to Scholes, it took about 10 to 15 minutes for the noodles to freeze solid.

This past February was one for the record books for many cities across Canada, including Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg.

Here's a screen-grab from the video:

20190304-noodles.jpgThat is cold...

Snowfall in Oregon

| No Comments

Heavy snowfalls caused some buildings to collapse - from the Roseburg, OR The News-Review:

Weight of snow crushes buildings
Tuffie Curtis Jr. of Sutherlin thought losing power in his temporary home at Techbuilt Inc. was a challenge already, until he heard a sound and discovered snow had brought down half of the building.

Techbuilt is one of the most notable buildings to sustain damage from this week’s storms. Others that were damaged include the cafeteria at Douglas High School, greenhouses at Norm Lehne Garden and Orchards and Kruse Farms, and a barn at Blue Heron Vineyards.

“I was there when part of it collapsed on Monday,” Curtis said. “I wasn’t expecting the building to collapse. It scared me when it made that big of a racket.”

Techbuilt, which builds roof trusses, was registered with the Oregon secretary of state’s office in 1991, almost 27 years ago. Curtis and Sutherlin Emergency Manager Dennis Riggs said the building has been around for at least 30 years.

The collapsed building was home to a company that manufactured roof trusses?

“(The trusses) weren’t built by us,” Curtis said. “They held for 30 years.”

That global warming is nasty stuff...

Looks like the Trudeau regieme has a big scandal going on complete with media bias and duplicity.

First - from the Toronto Star:

Newspaper editors, not politicians, determine which op-eds are published
The notion that the office of the prime minister of Canada — or any other politician or public official — could simply “lineup all kinds of people to write op-eds” and expect them to be automatically published in newspapers like the Toronto Star, is both disturbing and laughable.

It cynically suggests that our journalism is a passive process of publishing to appease powerful special interests.

And the meat of the story:

Undoubtedly many Canadian journalists and quite likely, members of the public, were rattled by the allegations this week of former justice minister and attorney-general, Jody Wilson-Raybould, in which she stated that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief of staff, Katie Telford had told Wilson-Raybould’s chief of staff that the PMO would lineup op-eds in support of the then attorney-general coming to a decision to provide a deferred prosecution agreement to SNC-Lavalin. Wilson-Raybould made these statements Wednesday before the House of Commons justice committee examining allegations that she was pressured to politically interfere in criminal charges against the Quebec company.

Second, from Canada's Global News:

COMMENTARY: Don’t worry — opinion writers aren’t for hire
One thing you learn very quickly in political communications is that ordinary people are quick to discount the words of politicians.

Call it the built-up cynicism of a population used to watching politicians go down in balls of scandalous flame. Call it the failure of many politicians to keep their promises. When politicians speak, too many of us now assume shaded truths — if not outright lies — are what’s on offer.

And that goes double for a government caught up in scandal. If Justin Trudeau were to pen an opinion piece in the midst of this SNC-Lavalin mess calling for Canadians to respect our institutions and the rule of law, he would get a discounted reading, at best.

And finally, this from The Globe and Mail:

Look away. There’s no scandal here with SNC-Lavalin
The SNC-Lavalin controversy, if truly a scandal as so many pundits would have us believe, is one of the wimpiest I can recall in more than 40 years as a journalist covering federal and provincial governments.

No one pocketed envelopes of kickback-cash in dimly lit restaurants. No tainted food or blood products were distributed to Canadians. No one died or was physically harmed. Yet the Official Opposition Leader and political commentators are widely calling for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s head because he attempted to influence his then-attorney-general Jody Wilson-Raybould to avoid criminal prosecution of SNC-Lavalin in favour of a deferred prosecution agreement.

Actually, this is a very big scandal but the media bias is preventing knowledge from becoming widespread. The joys of progressive government.

Out the door

| No Comments

Coffee, post office, library and then back home to work.

From Politico:

State lawmakers pushing for laxer vaccine rules despite measles outbreaks
Measles is spreading from New York to Texas to Washington state in the worst outbreak in years, but some state lawmakers want to take the vaccination debate in the opposite direction: Loosening rules covering whether kids get inoculated.

In Oregon, state lawmakers will consider a so-called transparency bill favored by the "vaccine hesitant." New York is simultaneously considering eliminating and expanding exemptions that allow parents to opt out. One bill in Texas would prohibit the state from even tracking exemptions.

"vaccine hesitant" - Christ on a Corn Dog. Let us make that "willfully stupid"

The push to loosen the rules is occurring even as the U.S. has experienced more than 160 measles cases in 10 states since Jan. 1, including 74 in Washington state and Oregon linked to the outbreak in the Pacific Northwest, according to the states and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Child abuse plain and simple.

The environmentalists are murderers

| No Comments

The people who run the environmental groups have no checks and balances and are essentially unhinged. Witness the case of global warming where people continue to push the narrative when the actual data fail to support their claims.

And then, there is this - from BuzzFeed News:

WWF’s Secret War: One Of The World’s Biggest Charities Funds Guards Who Have Tortured And Killed People
Down the road from the crocodile ponds inside Nepal’s renowned Chitwan National Park, in a small clearing shaded by sala trees, sits a jail. Hira Chaudhary went there one summer night with boiled green maize and chicken for her husband, Shikharam, a farmer who had been locked up for two days.

Shikharam was in too much pain to swallow. He crawled toward Hira, his thin body covered in bruises, and told her through sobs that forest rangers were torturing him. “They beat him mercilessly and put saltwater in his nose and mouth,” Hira later told police.

The rangers believed that Shikharam helped his son bury a rhinoceros horn in his backyard. They couldn’t find the horn, but they threw Shikharam in their jail anyway, court documents filed by the prosecution show.

Nine days later, he was dead.

Again, these people have zero accountability, there are no checks and balances and they control the media so stories like this will only have marginal distribution. It's all about the narrative. Much more at the site.

And craze it is - socialism has never worked. From economist Mike Shedlock writing at  Mish Talk:

Ben Bernanke - The Father of Extreme US Socialism
Writer David McWilliams penned an excellent article in the Financial Times: Quantitative Easing was the Father of Millennial Socialism.

McWilliams notes that Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's "cash for trash" QE scheme drove up asset prices and bailed out the baby boomers. The cost of course, was pricing millennials out of the housing market.

Unorthodox policy penalizes the asset poor
What assets do millennials have? Hardly any. Instead they are saddled with mountains of student debt which, thanks to president George W. Bush, could no longer be discharged in bankruptcy.

The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 would have better been called the Debt Slave Act of 2005.

Then, when the Great Financial Crisis hit, the Fed came along bailed out the banks, bailed out the bondholders, bailed out Fannie Mae, and bailed out the asset holders in general, leaving millennials mired in debt unable to afford a house.

Simmering Stew of Anger
The irony in this simmering stew of anger is people blame Trump, not the Fed.

But socialism, even AOC's radical socialism is not about Trump, at least directly.

More at the site - very good analysis of one of the biggest clusterfscks in our economy. Bernanke has managed to keep his name clear of the mud but his policies are what caused the great recession of 2008 and are what is driving the horrendous "real" inflation we are seeing today.

Back home and it is YouTube

| No Comments

Nothing on the internet and feeling a bit sleepy - worked in the yard again today.

Sticky Island Syndrome is in full force - I have the Tuesday ham radio network, a meeting on Wednesday (1st Wed.), and meeting with a drainage contractor on Thursday. Looking at doing a triangle trip tomorrow (here > MF > Bellingham > here) but do not hold your breath...

YouTube for a bit and then to bed. I made a big breakfast this morning so dinner was a vege burrito.

Eaton Rapids Joe is a daily read for me - he writes about interesting things and does engaging fiction.
From today - quoted in full because it is short and defies excerption.

Do not take the Lord's Name in vain
I have been chewing on the third commandment for a few days.

It seems out-of-place in the Big Ten. Don't have false gods; check. Keep Lord's day holy; check. But why would not using the Lord's name in vain rate with those two?

One part of the puzzle is that we don't know God's name. When we say "God" we are using a title, not a name. When asked, he gives us a riddle, "I AM who AM."

Even if we KNEW God's name would our vocal cords be able to say (whales, for instance use frequencies we cannot attain) it or would we live long enough to fully utter it. Surely an infinite God is unlikely to have a simple name like "Sam", although I could be wrong.

Nope, I was missing something.

The something I was missing was my mindless substitution of the word "use" for the word "take".

What if the word "take" was in the sense of a bride taking the groom's name? What if "name" is code for becoming part of a family with expectations of a deep reciprocity of duties, responsibilities and privileges?

"Vain" becomes like the use of "Vanity" in Ecclesiastes Chapter 3. Vain means to act for naught, much like the sowing of grain that falls on thin soil or among weeds.

Seen through that lens, "Do not take the Lord's Name in vain" morphs from a prohibition on letting OMG or GD fall out of our mouths to something that matches the magnitude of the first two commandments.

"Do not take the Lord's Name in vain" might be a prohibition against casually discarding the wisdom God has seen fit to give us via the Bible. It might mean to not identify as a member of the Judeo-Christian family if we have little intention to honor the reciprocal relationship and care for our other family members.

Anyway, that is what I have been chewing on the last few days.

Wise words.

A fun geek story - email

| No Comments

From iBiblio - The case of the 500-mile email

Just a brief excerpt - much more at the site if you are into geek stuff.

I was working in a job running the campus email system some years ago when I got a call from the chairman of the statistics department.

"We're having a problem sending email out of the department."

"What's the problem?" I asked.

"We can't send mail more than 500 miles," the chairman explained.

I choked on my latte. "Come again?"

"We can't send mail farther than 500 miles from here," he repeated. "A little bit more, actually. Call it 520 miles. But no farther."

"Um... Email really doesn't work that way, generally," I said, trying to keep panic out of my voice. One doesn't display panic when speaking to a department chairman, even of a relatively impoverished department like statistics. "What makes you think you can't send mail more than 500 miles?"

"It's not what I *think*," the chairman replied testily. "You see, when we first noticed this happening, a few days ago--"

"You waited a few DAYS?" I interrupted, a tremor tinging my voice. "And you couldn't send email this whole time?"

"We could send email. Just not more than--"

"--500 miles, yes," I finished for him, "I got that. But why didn't you call earlier?"

A great bit of detective work and a fun story.

A video of one of the press conferences:

What is curious is that President Trump reacts and replies to something Mr. Kim says before the translators speak.

From Thomas Wictor writing at Quod Verum:

It’s Alway Great to be Underestimated
Watch this video carefully. What does it tell you?

It tells you that Donald Trump speaks Korean. He TWICE understood Kim Jong-un BEFORE either interpreter spoke.

Clearly Trump learned to speak Korean specifically to deal with North Korea. The New York Times profile from 1984 shows that Trump began thinking of fixing the world in 1969, when his uncle told him about nuclear weapons.

Much more at the site - very interesting... Tip of the hat to Don Surber for the link.

Two articles at the New York Post. The first one goes into a lot of detail on her transportation (hint: lots of CO2 emissions)

Gas-guzzling car rides expose AOC’s hypocrisy amid Green New Deal pledge

Ocasio-Cortez responds to carbon footprint exposé: I’m just ‘living in the world’

Just living in the world? She was voted into office by her constituents. The better part of leadership is setting the example of how you want your followers to act. Hypocrite.

Basic economics - Bernie Sanders

| No Comments

Great comeback to a tweet from Commie Bernie:

20190303-internet.jpg

Tip of the hat to Billlls Idle Mind

Now this is interesting

| No Comments

Not a user but I do like to follow the technology - from New Scientist:

Engineered yeast can brew up the active ingredients in cannabis plants
Genes from the cannabis plant have been added to yeast strains to enable them to make cannabinoids, key chemicals from the plant that have therapeutic value.

The “cannayeasts” should make it possible to turn sugar into pure forms of many different cannabinoids, and to do so more cheaply and with less environmental damage than farming.

“It gives us access to all these rare cannabinoids that might even be better therapeutics,” says Jay Keasling at the University of California, Berkeley, who led the team behind the work.

Our bodies produce cannabinoids to help regulate everything from memory to appetite. Marijuana plants make more than 100 chemicals that can also bind to the cannabinoid receptors in our nervous system.

The main cannabinoid in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is what makes people feel “stoned” when they take cannabis. The next most abundant is cannabidiol (CBD). This helps reduce the symptoms of some forms of epilepsy, and may be useful for treating a few other conditions too. Various forms of CBD, such as e-spliffs, have become fashionable lately, and are claimed to have all kinds of benefits. (CBD is legal in many countries where cannabis remains illegal.)

Yeasts are fascinating little critters - they give us booze and now this.

One year ago today

| No Comments

I entered into a vow of Holy Matrimony with a woman I had gotten to know well 30 years ago. I was dating her sister at the time and really cared for T. We had reconnected through Facebook in 2017. I was incredibly happy and thought that this would be the relationship for the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, a lot can happen in 30 years and people do change. We had become polar opposites.

We started talking about divorce about five months ago and I went to Seattle to sign the papers on 02/22.

I am reminded of this Jimmy Buffett song - written about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:

Out for coffee

| No Comments

Post office and back home to work on stuff. Finish off the yardwork and do some more sorting.

Two headlines - Monroe Doctrine

| No Comments

Monroe Doctrine? From InfoGalactic:

The Monroe Doctrine was a U.S. foreign policy regarding domination of the American continent in 1823. It stated that further efforts by European nations to colonize land or interfere with states in North or South America would be viewed as acts of aggression, requiring U.S. intervention. At the same time, the doctrine noted that the United States would neither interfere with existing European colonies nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries. The Doctrine was issued in 1823 at a time when nearly all Latin American colonies of Spain and Portugal had achieved or were at the point of gaining independence from the Portuguese and Spanish Empires. The United States, working in agreement with Great Britain, wanted to guarantee that no European power would move in.

Sensible.

Shot (from 2013 - John Kerry): Kerry: “The Monroe Doctrine Is Over”

Chaser (from 2019): John Bolton: 'We're not afraid to use the word Monroe Doctrine'

Good news, we finally have some adults in the room.

Out for dinner and a beer or two

| No Comments

Back in a couple of hours.

Tax Refunds and Fake News

| No Comments

Major media outlets were reporting that personal income tax refunds were going to be quite a bit smaller this year because of Orange Man. Orange Man BAD!!! 

Washington Examiner has a completely different story:

Newsrooms that rushed to report tax refunds were smaller this year go silent on IRS data showing refunds have increased
Tax refunds are up from where they were this time last year by 1.3 percent following the fourth week of the 2019 filing season, according to new Internal Revenue Service data.

To be more specific, the average tax refund has increased to $3,143 from $3,103 last February, according to cumulative statistics comparing the 2018 and 2019 filing seasons.

Oddly enough, certain newsrooms have responded to this development with total silence. I say “odd,” because it was just a few weeks ago that these same newsrooms rushed to report that tax refunds were smaller this year, suggesting either implicitly or explicitly that the decrease was tied to the Republican Party’s tax reform bill.

And some examples of these "news" stories:

“Millions of Americans could be stunned as their tax refunds shrink,” read a headline published on Feb. 10 by the Washington Post. The story reported, "Many Americans may confuse their meager refunds as a sign that they paid more in taxes as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Generally, that is not true." On Feb. 14, the Post ran a story titled, “IRS says average tax refund is down nearly 9 percent so far this year.”

The author also cites The New York Times, National Public Radio, Associated Press USA Today, Yahoo, CBS News, and CNN complete with links to their stories.

Talk about a real "pants-on-fire" moment for those media outlets. Narrative versus truth.

Michael Ramirez - North Korea

| No Comments

Michael got it spot on:

20140302-ramirez.jpg

Global warming - a two-fer

| No Comments

This winter is not giving up anytime soon. Two headlines:

March roars in like a lion: Millions to endure coast-to-coast snow, then 'punishing' blast of record cold

Record-Breaking Cold Blast in U.S. Will Roil Power Markets Next Week

The second links to an article in Bloomberg. Renewable energy does not work well during times of extreme weather - just when you need to have more energy for heating or cooling. There is a lot at the article including this sobering graph showing the cost of energy delivered to Sumas, WA - a town on the border with Canada, about 14 miles from Maple Falls:

20190302-power.jpg

If we were using nuclear power, the cost of power would remain relatively constant regardless of what was happening outside. Not the case with solar or wind.

Done for the day

| No Comments

Took a big van load of yard waste to the dump. You have to pay to drop it but it is a lot less than for household trash and they do compost it later.

Heading up north to the Asian Buffet for dinner in a little while - eat there about every week or two. Nice people and decent food. Stop off at Costco and food coop too.

Done with lunch - time to go to work

| No Comments

Gorgeous day so getting the yard in shape for spring. Some pruning and sweeping and drag the lawn mower around.

0.9 acres is a lot better than 30 to maintain. Especially when 40% is occupied by the house and pavement.

Didn't see anything of real interest there today. There was a broadcast radio console that was designed for remote operations but it was from the 1960's, monaural and no way to test it out so I passed. A lot of very collectible baseball memorbilia - autographed balls, etc... but that is not my thing so I didn't bother to register.

There was this piece - I would love to show it to a modern day progressive just to watch their little head explode:

20190302-history.jpgDemocrats were the founders of the Ku Klux Klan. They were the party of the South, especially Southren land owners and they created this "secret" militant arm of the Democrat party to keep the newly freed slaves "in line". Republicans were the party of the North - industrialists, ranchers, farmers, business owners, etc...

Now, they are using identity politics to divide our population into little balkanized social groups. They are using the spectre of racism to shout down anyone who disagrees with them. The media ignores the hate-crime hoaxes and the pitiful black-on-black murder and violence (here, here and here for starters)  that years of Democrat rule in large cities have fostered.

Even just 40 years ago, our Black population faced major discrimination and white on black crime. Now, thanks to the Democratic party, they have been moved onto Welfare and the Democrat Plantation where they are kept disorganized and on the dole - a consistant source of Dem. votes and so disorganized that they can not rise up as one and protest.

It is interesting to look at the Black Radicals of the 1960's: Malcom X was a Republican. Dr. Martin Luther King was a Republican. James Meredith was a Republican.

People these days are forgetting their history and neither the media nor the schools are reminding them.

Knew about this place for a while - it is a collection of communications transmitters for emergency services and state operations located about 20 miles away. It - for some reason - was located in the bottom of a valley. You want antennas to be high up for them to have the best distance but for some reason...

There is something very unusual about this particular site:

20190302-ant01.jpg

Nothing really out of the ordinary apparent here - let us get a little closer with our zoom lens.

20190302-ant02.jpgAn unusual structure for the base. There is a lattice of support structure, a very large black insulator (about three feet tall - these are large towers) and then the actual radiating part of the antenna. The final power amplifiers for the transmitter are also raised about fifteen feet above the ground.

This is carried over to the transmitter and backup power generator - again, about fifteen feet above ground level:

20190302-ant03.jpgAgain, this array is located in a valley bottom - a valley which floods regularly. Many times in spring, this piece of land is under five or ten feet of water. The rest of the valley floor is agricultural land and the farmhouses are built on higher ground.

I have no reason why they built here but they took great pains to be able to be on the air 24/7.

Some local fun

| No Comments

This was the scene a couple of days ago:

20190302-training.jpg

A training session for local Fire and Rescue teams. The school buses had been removed from service by the school district (too many miles for them to be reliable) and the cars were from a local scrap yard. A great opertunity for hands-on training for various pieces of equipment. Constant training is essential to keep your skills sharp. I am doing this coming Tuesday's radio net - every month or so.

Working on the island today

| No Comments

Going to be a nice couple of days in the forecast so getting the yard ready for spring. Mow and clean up. Coffee and breakfast first and then see what is being sold at today's auction.

Sad bit of news, Camano Island's only Pharmacy is closing today after 35 years. From the Stanwood Camano News:

Camano Island's only pharmacy set to close March 2
Mark Phibbs greets customer after customer with his trademark smile and tells them the sad news.

“We held on as long as we could,” he tells one of about 200 customers a day that walks through the doors of Mark’s Camano Pharmacy in the Camano Plaza.

Come 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, Phibbs will close the doors on the only pharmacy on Camano Island, becoming yet another in a long list of independent pharmacies across the nation to shutter in the past decade.

And the reason is a very common one:

A key factor among the many changes in the industry is reimbursement rates for drugs. Insurers often reimburse independent pharmacies less than what they paid for the drugs, or large insurers decide to cut ties with smaller operations entirely, according to the Independent Pharmacy Association.

That means customers are faced with the choice of paying full price at an independent pharmacy or going elsewhere where their insurance will help cover the costs.

The rise in mail-order prescriptions also has taken a toll.

“The saddest part to me is the rise of mail order because of the low price for people, which you can’t blame them, but then they come here for advice, which, of course, I give,” Phibbs said. “But I can’t stay in business just giving advice.”

Big business screwing over the small guy. Mail order too - I ran into that when I opened my computer store. I had a run of about six years of great sales and then Dell opened their (figurative) doors. I would get people come in to talk about a computer they were interested in - I would spend 45 minutes educating them. Then I would not see them again until a few months later when they came in to ask about something on their new Dell computer. I would state that my shop time was $25 (this was in 1985). They would sputter and say that I had been so generous with my time before.

Finally developed a tactic - when someone would come in and start to pump me for information, I would tell them that I had a great two-hour class that covered all of this and it was only $75 and came with a book (PC's for Dummies). Number of people taking the class? Zero. I switched over to desktop publishing, copies and printing and had a great run of another six years before I was hired by MSFT.

Some common sense from California

| No Comments

Nice to see common sense prevail for once - from The Daily Wire:

But Climate Change! Largest California County Bans Mega Solar Farms
If climate change is the dire threat the Left portrays it to be, then the largest county in ultra-left-wing California is definitely not setting the example: Officials from San Bernardino County just killed the construction of a mega solar farm, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"California's largest county has banned the construction of large solar and wind farms on more than 1 million acres of private land, bending to the will of residents who say they don’t want renewable energy projects industrializing their rural desert communities northeast of Los Angeles," the outlet reports.

The ban passed the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors 4-1, putting up a serious barrier for state lawmakers, who passed a law requiring utility companies to produce 60% of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 and 100% from "climate-friendly" sources by 2045. Those measures cannot be enacted without the cooperation of local governments, the populations of which rarely support big solar and wind farms ruining their communities.

About time the govenments started listening to We The People. They are supposed to be working for us, not the highest bidder. Time for nuclear power with modern reactors. alt.energy does not work without huge government subsidies - our tax dollars.

A problem pest - Parrots

| No Comments

An interesting problem with parrots - from New Delhi Television:

"Opium-Addicted" Parrots Affecting Poppy Cultivation In Madhya Pradesh
While scattered rainfall has been affecting poppy cultivation in Madhya Pradesh, the parrots have added to the farmers' woes. The farmers claim they are incurring massive losses due to a group of "opium-addicted" parrots.

Farmers of Neemuch district say that parrot which feed on poppy plants have reduced the final product. Their efforts to reach out to the authorities or use loud speakers have also failed.

Nandkishore, an opium cultivator, has said their multiple requests to the district officials have not been heard.

"One poppy flower gives around 20-25 grams of opium. But a large group of parrots feed on these plants around 30-40 times a day and some even fly away with poppy pods. This affects the produce," he said.

Nandkishore said opium-addicted parrots have turned into a nuisance. "We are already suffering because of uneven rain, and now this. Nobody is listening to our problems. Who will compensate for our losses?" he asked.

No word as to the final destination of the crop - pharmaceuticals or the street and Mr. Nandkishore sounds like a socialist wanting the government to help with the problem (multiple requests to the district officials) and for the government to bail him out financially (Who will compensate for our losses?).

I am assuming that Mr. Nandkishore  got into opium farming voluntarily - he knew the risks going in.

Talking about the weather

| No Comments

Just wonderful - measles

| No Comments

From the Chicago, IL FOX affiliate:

Unvaccinated traveler may have exposed thousands of people to measles at Chicago airport
Travelers passing through Chicago’s Midway International Airport last week may have been exposed to measles.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says an unvaccinated Illinois resident passed through Midway on Feb. 22. Department officials announced Thursday people in the airport between 9 p.m. and midnight may have been exposed.

The infected person sought treatment at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva. Those in the emergency department Feb. 24 and Feb 25 also may have been exposed.

Public health officials say measles is spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes and can also spread through contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.

Those infected by measles may not develop symptoms for weeks.

Emphasis mine - we need to make the vaccination mandatory. There is no scientific reason not to.

North Korea blinks

| No Comments

Flashback to the 1990's

| No Comments

What if Samsung had marketed a foldable phone in the '90's - from BoingBoing:

The creative minds at Squirrel Monkey imagine what the new Galaxy Fold would be like if it had been released in the late 1990s. I don't know what technology they use to make these videos, but they do a perfect job of capturing the look and feel of the era.

Cute!

One whole month - our sun

| No Comments

From NASA's Spaceweather:

A MONTH WITHOUT SUNSPOTS:
There are 28 days in February. This year, all 28 of them were spotless. The sun had no sunspots for the entire month of Feb. 2019. This is how the solar disk looked every day:

20190301-sun.jpg

The last time a full calendar month passed without a sunspot was August 2008. At the time, the sun was in the deepest Solar Minimum of the Space Age. Now a new Solar Minimum is in progress and it is shaping up to be similarly deep. So far this year, the sun has been blank 73% of the time--the same as 2008. 

Solar Minimum is a normal part of the solar cycle. Every ~11 years, sunspot counts drop toward zero. Dark cores that produce solar flares and CMEs vanish from the solar disk, leaving the sun blank for long stretches of time. These minima have been coming and going with regularity since the sunspot cycle was discovered in 1859.

However, not all Solar Minima are alike. The last one in 2008-2009 surprised observers with its depth and side-effects. Sunspot counts dropped to a 100-year low; the sun dimmed by 0.1%; Earth's upper atmosphere collapsed, allowing space junk to accumulate; the pressure of the solar wind flagged while cosmic rays (normally repelled by solar wind) surged to Space Age highs. All these things are happening again.

A brief note - when they say that the sun has dimmed by 0.1%, this is in the visible light part of the spectrum. The ultraviolet and infrared vary by about 3%. This is huge and even the 0.1% change in visible light is larger than all other contributors to the Earth's climate (natural radioactivity, volcanoes, etc...).

The numbers from their website:

Spotless Days
Current Stretch: 29 days
2019 total: 44 days (73%)
2018 total: 221 days (61%)
2017 total: 104 days (28%)
2016 total: 32 days (9%)
2015 total: 0 days (0%)

We are in for some cold weather despite what Al Gore and the other rumor mongers are saying.

Mexico ISIS will build the wall

| No Comments

Here is the money to build the wall - from the Syrian Arab News Agency:

Gold deal between United States and Daesh: Mission accomplished
A few days after reports from local sources in the Syrian al-Jazeera area about the gold deal between the United States and Daesh (ISIS) terrorist organization were published, new information emerged to confirm these reports.

Information suggest that the US occupation forces in the Syrian al-Jazeera area made a deal with Daesh terrorists, by which Washington gets tens of tons of gold that the terror organization had stolen in exchange for providing safe passage for the terrorists and their leaders from the areas in Deir Ezzor where they are located.

And a bit more:

The sources said that tens of tons that Daesh had been keeping in their last hotbed in al-Baghouz area in Deir Ezzor countryside have been handed to the Americans, adding up to other tons of gold that Americans have found in other hideouts for Daesh, making the total amount of gold taken by the Americans to the US around 50 tons, leaving only scraps for the SDF militias that serve them.

Recently, sources said that the area where Daesh leaders and members have barricaded themselves in contains around 40 tons of gold and tens of millions of dollars which had been stolen from various areas in Syria and Iraq by the terror organization.

Very interesting if true. I would want to see this story corroborated by several other news sources before I completely believe it but still...

The gift that keeps on giving - AOC

| No Comments

From Tyler at Zero Hedge:

Ocasio-Cortez Cites Debunked Michael Cohen Testimony In Don Jr. "Gotcha" Fail
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is catching major heat after she tweeted fake news about Donald Trump Jr. being the "second executive involved in criminal conspiracy," a misstatement by Michael Cohen that the Wall Street Journal corrected shortly after it happened.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: "In Case You Missed It: Rep. Khanna got Cohen to testify that Don Jr. is the “second executive involved in criminal conspiracy.”" 

Except as the Wall Street Journal reported hours after Cohen's Wednesday testimony: "Cohen Erroneously Identifies Donald Trump Jr. as Executive Cited by Federal Prosecutors."

You would think that she could hire some people to fact check before she posts anything. This is pure fecklessness on display here. But... The story fit the narrative so she ran with it.

March 2019

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31            

Environment and Climate
AccuWeather
Cliff Mass Weather Blog
Climate Audit
Climate Depot
Green Trust
ICECAP
Jennifer Marohasy
MetaEfficient
Planet Gore
Science and Public Policy Institute
Solar Cycle 24
Space Weather
Space Weather - Canada
the Air Vent
Tom Nelson
Watts Up With That?


Science and Medicine
Derek Lowe
Junk Science
Life in the Fast Lane
Luboš Motl
Medgadget
New Scientist
Next Big Future
PhysOrg.com
Ptak Science Books
Science Blog


Geek Stuff
Ars Technica
Boing Boing
Don Lancaster's Guru's Lair
Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories
FAIL Blog
Hack a Day
Kevin Kelly - Cool Tools
Neatorama
Slashdot: News for nerds
The Register
The Daily WTF
TYWKIWDBI


Comics
Achewood
The Argyle Sweater
Chip Bok
Broadside Cartoons
Day by Day
Dilbert
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
Prickly City
Tundra
User Friendly
Vexarr
What The Duck
Wondermark
xkcd


NO WAI! WTF?¿?¿
Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?


Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog


Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
DIYPhotography
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
PetaPixel
photo.net
Shorpy
Strobist
The Online Photographer


Blogrolling
A Western Heart
AMCGLTD.COM
American Digest
The AnarchAngel
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler
Babalu Blog
Belmont Club
Bayou Renaissance Man
Classical Values
Cobb
Cold Fury
David Limbaugh
Defense Technology
Doug Ross @ Journal
Grouchy Old Cripple
Instapundit
iowahawk
Irons in the Fire
James Lileks
Lowering the Bar
Maggie's Farm
Marginal Revolution
Michael J. Totten
Mostly Cajun
Neanderpundit
neo-neocon
Power Line
ProfessorBainbridge.com
Questions and Observations
Rachel Lucas
Roger L. Simon
Samizdata.net
Sense of Events
Sound Politics
The Strata-Sphere
The Smallest Minority
The Volokh Conspiracy
Tim Blair
Velociworld
Weasel Zippers
WILLisms.com
Wizbang


Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
Bad Eagle
Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Allah
BigPictureSmallOffice
Cox and Forkum
The Diplomad
Priorities & Frivolities
Gut Rumbles
Mean Mr. Mustard 2.0
MegaPundit
Masamune
Neptunus Lex
Other Side of Kim
Publicola
Ramblings' Journal
Sgt. Stryker
shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
Wayne's Online Newsletter

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2019 listed from newest to oldest.

February 2019 is the previous archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Pages

OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.2.9