June 2019 Archives

Project Veritas and Google

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I love Project Veritas. They will issue a report damning to some progressive organization. Said organization issues a very public rebuttal. They deny it and say it was taken out of context. Project Veritas returns with several weeks worth of further reports covering the same organization and driving its little pointy head into the ground. They first caught the public eye when they did this to ACORN. ACORN is now no longer - they lost their funding and disbanded.

Recently, they have been looking at Google - first with this from yesterday

And now, today - Project Veritas:

BREAKING: New Google Document Leaked Describing Shapiro, Prager, as ‘nazis using the dogwhistles’
Project Veritas has obtained a newly leaked document from Google that appears to show a Google employee and member of Google “transparency-and-ethics” group calling conservative and libertarian commentators, including Dennis Prager and Ben Shapiro, “nazis.”  Project Veritas received this document after the release of its investigation into Google through the “Be Brave” campaign at VeritasTips@protonmail.com.

Project Veritas has copies of the email as well as videos. One thing I love about them is that they do not go public until every single I is dotted and every single T is crossed. When they say something, they are 100% credible and they have the source materials to back it up.

Like I said yesterday, there are a lot of other search engines out there. DuckDuckGo has a really nice plug-in for Chrome (sigh - I know).

From Nature Biotechnology:

Engineered toxin–intein antimicrobials can selectively target and kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria in mixed populations
Targeted killing of pathogenic bacteria without harming beneficial members of host microbiota holds promise as a strategy to cure disease and limit both antimicrobial-related dysbiosis and development of antimicrobial resistance. We engineer toxins that are split by inteins and deliver them by conjugation into a mixed population of bacteria. Our toxin–intein antimicrobial is only activated in bacteria that harbor specific transcription factors. We apply our antimicrobial to specifically target and kill antibiotic-resistant Vibrio cholerae present in mixed populations. We find that 100% of antibiotic-resistant V. cholerae receiving the plasmid are killed. Escape mutants were extremely rare. We show that conjugation and specific killing of targeted bacteria occurs in the microbiota of zebrafish and crustacean larvae, which are natural hosts for Vibrio spp. Toxins split with inteins could form the basis of precision antimicrobials to target pathogens that are antibiotic resistant.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria is getting to be a real problem. Our arsenal is shrinking. Had MRSA a number of years ago - not fun.

This looks really bad - stupid decision from someone who didn't think of what it would look like to the general public.
From Austin's The Texas Tribune:

People want to donate diapers and toys to children at Border Patrol facilities in Texas. They’re being turned away.
On Sunday, Austin Savage and five of his friends huddled into an SUV and went to an El Paso Target, loading up on diapers, wipes, soaps and toys.

About $340 later, the group headed to a Border Patrol facility holding migrant children in nearby Clint with the goal of donating their goods. Savage said he and his friends had read an article from The New York Times detailing chaos, sickness and filth in the overcrowded facility, and they wanted to help.

But when they arrived, they found that the lobby was closed. The few Border Patrol agents — Savage said there were between eight and 10 of them — moving in and out of a parking facility ignored them.

For a while, the group stood there dumbfounded about what to do next. Ultimately, they decided to pack up and head home. Savage said he wasn’t completely surprised by the rejection; before he left, the group spotted a discarded plastic bag near the lobby door holding toothpaste and soap that had a note attached to it: “I heard y’all need soap + toothpaste for kids.”

Austin is Texas' only really liberal city so of course this comment:

“A good friend of mine is an immigration attorney, and he warned us that we were going to get rejected,” Savage said. “We were aware of that, but it’s just the idea of doing something as opposed to passively allowing this to occur.”

Typical liberal - feeling justified that they did something that sounded good instead of actually doing good. This gesture pampered their egos and is a perfect example of virtue signalling.

There is a legal basis for their inability to accept donations:

An official with Border Patrol did not respond to a request for comment, but Theresa Brown, a former policy advisor for U.S. Customs and Border Protections, said there’s a legal reason why Border Patrol and other government agencies aren’t accepting donations from do-gooders.

Under the Antideficiency Act, the government can’t spend any money or accept any donations other than what Congress has allocated to it. The theory behind not accepting donations, Brown said, is so that the government isn’t beholden to private-sector entities for what should be appropriated government actions.

“It’s partially a constitutional thing about Congress controlling the purse and only being able to spend money that Congress gives, but it’s also about ethics,” she said, “Without a change in law, DHS, CPB and Border Patrol cannot accept those private donations.”

This bit of stupidity was enacted February 1st, 2006 - right in the middle of G.W. Bush's tenure. I think that an Executive Order would be a really good idea and really good optics for President Trump.

Boeing 737 MAX

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Seems to be getting back on its feet. This video from Seattle's KING 5 News:

Putting their money CEO and Chief Engineers where their mouth is.

They have so many 737's waiting for retrofit that they are parking them on the employees parking lots:

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Heading out

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Coffee, post office and library. Back home to do some yard work and then to the farm later this afternoon.

Seems that we are getting close to another lever - from The Washington Post:

Chinese bank involved in probe on North Korean sanctions and money laundering faces financial ‘death penalty’
A U.S. judge has found three large Chinese banks in contempt for refusing to comply with subpoenas in an investigation into North Korean sanctions violations. The order triggers for the first time a provision that could cut off one of China’s largest banks from the U.S. financial system at the demand of the U.S. attorney general or treasury secretary.

The three banks are not identified, but details in court rulings align with a 2017 civil forfeiture action in which the Justice Department alleged that China’s state-owned Bank of Communications, China Merchants Bank and Shanghai Pudong Development Bank worked with a Hong Kong front company accused of laundering more than $100 million for North Korea’s sanctioned, state-run Foreign Trade Bank.

The bank at risk of losing access to U.S. dollars, the lifeblood of international finance, appears to be SPDB, China’s ninth-largest bank by assets, whose roughly $900 billion makes it comparable in size to Goldman Sachs. Matching details include SPDB’s ownership structure, limited U.S. presence and alleged conduct with the other banks.

A lot more at the site - we 'kinda' knew that China had been supporting the Nork regieme but this is the first serious action against real proof that we have done. All international trade is done in US Dollars so pulling the plug on the banks would be a crushing blow to them and to China in general.

Nice to see people in our government with actual leadership and initiative. Kicking the can down the road is no way to govern a nation...

About that global warming

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From Connecticut's The Stamford Advocate:

Colorado's snowpack is 40 times normal after rare summer solstice dump
On summer's opening day, up to 20 inches of snow buried the high terrain of the Colorado Rockies, boosting the state's snowpack to extraordinary levels for the time of year.

The solstice flakes marked a continuation of a snowy stretch that began in January and February and lingered through spring. Even before the solstice snow, The Denver Post wrote, the state's snowpack was "in virtually every numerical sense . . . off the charts." At the time, the snowpack was 751 percent above normal.

Due to the new snow Friday into the weekend, the Natural Resources Conservation Service reported that the state's snowpack ballooned to 4,121 percent above normal as of Monday. This number is so high because ordinarily very little snow is left by late June, and cold temperatures late into the spring helped preserve what fell earlier.

Not only extra snow but also a pronounced lack of... wait for it... warming.

Mexico is stepping up to the plate

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Good news from Yahoo/Agence France Presse:

Mexico deploys 15,000 troops to US border to slow migration
Mexico has deployed nearly 15,000 soldiers and National Guardsmen to its border with the United States, the army chief said Monday -- admitting they are detaining migrants who try to cross, after the policy triggered backlash.

Under pressure from US President Donald Trump to slow the surge of Central Americans crossing the border, Mexico promised earlier this month to reinforce its southern border with 6,000 National Guardsmen, but had not previously disclosed the extent of the crackdown on its northern border.

"We have a total deployment, between the National Guard and army units, of 14,000, almost 15,000 men in the north of the country," Defense Minister Luis Cresencio Sandoval said at a press conference alongside President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Looks like President Trump's little trade war is working wonderfully. Threaten to put a 5% tariff on Mexican exports and mountains get moved the next day. It works.

Single point of failure

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From an engineering standpoint, a single point of failure is something to avoid at all costs. This is one point, where if there is a failure, the entire system goes down and fails. Adding redundancy to a system minimizes the potential for this and is frequently done with large server farms - even to the point of getting multiple electrical substations feeding from different sections of the power grid. Downtime is not good.

An excellent example of this happened in Japan with a hapless slug - from CNN:

Small slug throws Japan's high-speed rail into chaos
A single, small slug has been blamed for a massive power failure that brought part of Japan's high-speed rail network to a standstill last month.

An estimated 12,000 passengers were delayed on May 30, after power was cut on lines operated by rail company JR Kitakyushu, in the country's southern Kyushu region.

The outage occurred during peak commuter time, at 9.40 a.m, forcing the company to cancel a total of 26 trains.
Japan is famous for its large network of efficient high-speed trains, which run the length of the country and carry thousands of passengers every day.

During a later inspection of the network's electrical equipment, the company's engineers discovered a dead slug, measuring about 2 to 3 centimeters (0.7 to 1.1 inches) long.

The timing on Japanese trains is legendary - there are so many different lines that making connections can be screwed up by a couple minutes delay. If a train is off-time, they will issue a very abject and genuine apology.

Stupid criminal

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Sounds like a classy citizen - from Birmingham Alabama:

Skull found in yard belongs to man electrocuted while stealing electricity, sheriff says
A skull found in the front yard of a Calhoun County home early Friday has been identified as the resident who authorities say died while trying to steal power.

Sheriff Matthew Wade identified the victim as 56-year-old Randall Stephens. He was released from the Calhoun County Jail on May 16, where he had been behind bars since October 2018 on drug and gun charges. At the time of his arrest last year, the sheriff said, Stephens was receiving power by illegal means.

The rest of Mr. Stevens was found about 1,000 feet away at the bottom of a ladder leaning against a power pole. I am guessing that that his skull had been some critter's chew-toy. Electrocution is not a good way to go - hurts all the time you are dying.

From whistleblower Project Veritas:

Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent “Trump situation” in 2020 on Hidden Cam
Project Veritas has released a new report on Google which includes undercover video of a Senior Google Executive, leaked documents, and testimony from a Google insider. The report appears to show Google’s plans to affect the outcome of the 2020 elections and “prevent” the next “Trump situation.”

The report includes undercover footage of longtime Google employee and Head of Responsible Innovation, Jen Gennai saying:

“Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that.”

Said Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe:

“This is the third tech insider who has bravely stepped forward to expose the secrets of Silicon Valley. These new documents, supported by undercover video, raise questions of Google’s neutrality and the role they see themselves fulfilling in the 2020 elections.”

Ho. Li. Crap - that is straight out of 18 U.S. Code § 2381

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

Fits perfectly - subverting the democratic process is giving aid and comfort to our enemies within.

Not as if Google is the only search engine out there. I use DuckDuckGo Here is a big list of alternatives

So true - quote of the day

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"There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people."
--Adam Smith

Been fooling around with these and the Arduino small computers. Raspberry Pi just released their Model 4

Only $35 for the basic version - specs look really really sweet.

Back to the island

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UPDATE BELOW

Still no internet at the farm. Planning on spending a few days next week up there as nothing is happening down here that needs my attention. Figure it out then.

Surf a bit and then to bed.

UPDATE: Nothing catches my eye so watch a couple of YouTubes and then to bed.

Heading out

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Coffee and then to the Field Day for a couple hours on the air. Up to the farm tonight.

Bringing down materials to make a better antenna for my wspr beacon. Got a contact in Virginia earlier today so even with a crappy antenna, it is working well.

Whole lotta shaking going on

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Off the coast of Oregon - shallow too, only 10km deep:

Eight quakes ranging from 3.2 to 5.4 Mag.

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This is right where the Cascadia Subduction Zone is located and is the origin of the 9 Mag quakes that happen every 300 to 500 years. Last one was January 26th, 1700. There is a wonderful book that covers this event: The orphan tsunami of 1700—Japanese clues to a parent earthquake in North America. Part detective story, part history and lots of science. Available for free download.

When the big one happens again, we are screwed. Camano Island actually fares really well because we are behind Whidby Island so the tsunami will only be a couple of feet high. The coast will be toast.

Just took another hit - from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:

Paternity suit in state lists Joe Biden’s son, 49
An Arkansas woman is suing the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, alleging that he is the father of her baby.

Thus far, she’s been unable to serve him with the papers, her attorney said.

Lunden Alexis Roberts filed a petition for paternity and child support against Robert Hunter Biden in Independence County on May 28, days after Hunter Biden reportedly married another woman in California.

The two-page suit states that Roberts and Hunter Biden “were in a relationship” and that “Baby Doe” was born in August 2018 “as a result of that relationship.”

And this is not the first for Hunter - from MSN:

Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, recently married a Los Angeles woman named Melissa Cohen, the bride’s mother confirms.

News reports on Wednesday revealed the surprising nuptials of 49-year-old Hunter, whose love life has previously been the subject of tabloid-worthy drama: In 2017 he divorced his wife of more than 20 years, Kathleen Biden, after a messy split in which she accused him of blowing money on drugs and strip clubs. Soon after, the Biden family acknowledged he was dating Hallie Biden, the widow of his late brother, Beau.

And CNN reported on August 25th, 2015:

Hunter Biden denies link to Ashley Madison
The son of Vice President Joe Biden denied Tuesday that he had an account on Ashley Madison, despite an email address discovered on the hacked cheating website that matches one he used.

The lawyer and business executive said in a statement that he did not create the account that appears on the site.

Ashley Madison is a dating site for adulterers - their server was breached in July 2015. This is on top of Joe Biden's sending business from China to Hunter's own company - pay to play writ large. Just like Crooked Hillary.

Great news on the astronomy front

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From the website for the Thirty Meter Telescope:

Notice to Proceed Issued for TMT on Maunakea
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) has issued a notice to proceed (NTP) to the University of Hawaii for the Thirty Meter Telescope on Maunakea. The NTP is a formal communication indicating that all pre-construction conditions and mitigation measures specifically required as a condition of the Conservation District Use Permit (CDUP) have been met. With the NTP, TMT can proceed with construction.

Henry Yang, Chair, TMT International Observatory Board of Governors, issued the following statement in response to the news:

“TMT is pleased and grateful that the notice to proceed has been issued by the Department of Land and Natural Resources to the University of Hawaii. We remain committed to being good stewards of Maunakea, and to honoring and respecting the culture and traditions of Hawaii. It has been a long process to get to this point. We are deeply grateful to our many friends and community supporters for their advice and for their encouragement and support of the TMT project over the years.”

Wonderful news - everyone had their hands out for a shakedown and it took about five years to settle. Now we can begin with some real science. The TMT is a joint collaboration between the USA, Canada, China, India and Japan. This is a huge project.

Understanding socialism

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Foud this on the web:

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Happy Solstice

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Longest day of the year. Heading out for coffee in a bit - help to set up for field day which is tomorrow. Up to the farm tomorrow afternoon.

Off to dinner and meeting

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The local ham radio group has its monthly meeting tonight. Had a late lunch so not super hungry - getting a burrito at the local Mexican place.

Feeling a bit tired so early evening.

From gCaptain:

Renewable Energy Sector Hails New York State’s New Climate Plan
Investors, developers and users of renewable energy at an industry conference in New York this week were buzzing about the state’s ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

“New York is leading a path forward with public policy that signals to the capital markets and developers to deploy projects to achieve its ambitious goals,” Susan Nickey, managing director at Hannon Armstrong Sustainable Infrastructure Capital Inc , said on Wednesday. New York state lawmakers passed the legislation early Thursday morning.

If Governor Andrew Cuomo signs the bill into law as expected, New York would become the second U.S. state to aim for a carbon-neutral economy. California Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order last year to make that state carbon-neutral by 2045.

Damn straight skippy. We are talking about serious government subsidies, minimal accountability and massive profits to be made by these people. Our tax dollars at work. I can hear them salivating from 2,600 miles away. Haven't had a rice bowl this big since the Obama shovel-ready jobs fiasco in 2010 - anyone remember Solyndra?

Quite the drug bust - cocaine

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From gCaptain:

MSC Gayane Cocaine Bust: Affidavit Details High-Seas Rendezvous’ and Crew’s Effort to Conceal Drugs
New details are coming in about the massive cocaine bust in the Port of Philadelphia earlier this week, revealing an elaborate scheme involving members of the ship’s crew who used the ship’s crane to load the drugs during high-seas rendezvous’s with small boats.

This week’s cocaine bust on board the MSC Gayane Packer Marine Terminal in Philadelphia has blown up into one of the largest drug busts in U.S. history.

Authorities boarded the ship on Monday where they discovered some 16.5 tons of cocaine, worth an estimated street value of more than $1 billion, hidden inside shipping containers. While there, they arrested two of the ship’s crewmembers, Forofaavae Tiasaga, an able seaman, and Ivan Durasevic, the Second Mate, who admitted to their roles in the scheme in interviews with authorities. The details of the interviews were contained in a criminal complaint which included an affidavit by Homeland Security Special Agent Eric Mooney.

The affidavit revealed that Durasevic and Tiasaga, along with three other crew members, stood to be paid about $50,000 each for their respective roles in helping load and hide the drugs. It also showed that the ship was met by multiple small boats on at least two separate occasions during the ship’s previous voyage, and the drugs were loaded using the ship’s crane.

Only $50K? Amazed that these people would take this kind of risk for that amount.
Also, no mention of what tipped off the popo in Philadelphia.

Unreal - from Vanity Fair:

TRUMP DEALS FINAL DEATH BLOW TO THE PLANET
In the 476 months that he’s been in office, Donald Trump has made it abundantly clear that he would like the earth to die in a fire—literally. In that time he has abandoned the Paris climate agreement; unveiled a proposal to freeze rules on planet-warming pollution from cars and trucks; claimed wind turbines aren’t a viable source of energy because the sound they make “causes cancer”; and hired a guy who believes carbon dioxide has been demonized like “Jews under Hitler” to discredit the findings of 13 federal agencies that increased levels of CO2 pose a national emergency. But it was only today that his pièce de résistance, when it comes to letting climate change really rip, was officially put into place.

Where to start... 476 months? 476/12 = 39.66 years.
Trump never said: "earth to die in a fire"
None of the Paris climate agreement signatories have followed the proscriptions
Dr. Happer's "Jews under Hitler" quote is a fabrication - first published in the NY Times, never redacted.
The 13 federal agencies are affiliated with NASA and the NWS - both have become heavily politicized and need to be cleaned out.

One little bit more from the article:

On Wednesday, the administration officially replaced Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan with an alternative it cooked up called the Affordable Clean Energy rule.

The Clean Power Plan never went into effect. The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stay on its implementation in 2016.

Madness in New York State - climate

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The stupid is strong with these people - from The New York Times:

New York to Approve One of the World’s Most Ambitious Climate Plans
New York lawmakers have agreed to pass a sweeping climate plan that calls for the state to all but eliminate its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, envisioning an era when gas-guzzling cars, oil-burning heaters and furnaces would be phased out, and all of the state’s electricity would come from carbon-free sources.

Under an agreement reached this week between legislative leaders and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act would require the state to slash its planet-warming pollution 85 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, and offset the remaining 15 percent, possibly through measures to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

This is so stupid - it burns! There is no carbon-free source of energy with the exception of Nuclear - clean and safe nuclear. The basic designs of the reactors in use today were sketched out on cocktail napkins over 60 years ago. There are newer and much much safer technologies out there. Wind and solar are not baseload - they vary with the weather and clouds. For every 1,000MW of wind turbines out there, there is also a 1,000MW natural gas turbine generator running on hot-standby.

As for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? They are seriously proposing to remove plant food from the environment? CO2 is one of the key ingredients of photosynthesis - No CO2, no plants.

No mention is made if they will also ban outside sources of electricity and some high-carbon materials (beef, steel, etc...)

I love capitalism - iPhone privacy

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Heh - make something evil such as the level of iPhone surveillance and the market responds. Meet Guardian:

Introducing Guardian Firewall for iOS
Starting over 2 years ago, we embarked on an ambitious mission: Build a tool that allows any electronic device owner in the world to take back control of their digital privacy. This tool needed to be incredibly easy to use, straightforward, and must allow a user to “set it and forget it” if they did not want to apply any customizations.

We could have cut plenty of corners and shipped an acceptable tool. Instead we took our time and did things right, putting together the most powerful tool and dataset we were capable of building. Why? Because we are working towards a broader set of goals: Make surveillance capitalism an untenable business model. Degrade the quality of shadow profiles maintained on every user of an internet connected device. Methodically expose every bad actor we can find. The electronic devices you bought and own should not be snitching on you at regular intervals. Something has gone very wrong, and the course must be corrected to prevent pervasive data collection from becoming an acceptable norm. It’s time for war. No stone will be left unturned.

Waiting for the Android release...

A very nice article at the Stanwood-Camano News:

Emergency communications trailer placed on Camano; Amateur Radio Field Day is June 22
Camano Island now will be safer in a disaster situation. Island County Department of Emergency Management (DEM) has stationed a mobile emergency communications trailer on Camano Island.

The multi-use trailer provides communications capability for the fire department and other Island County agencies, as well as the Amateur Radio Emergency Service, according to Sue Ryan, Stanwood Camano Amateur Radio Club president.

The public can stop by to check out the trailer during Amateur Radio Field Day on June 22 at Tyee Farms (see below), the Mabana Fire Station Open House on June 29 or the Terry’s Corner Fire Station Open House on Sept. 14.

We have been waiting for this for almost a year - turned out way better than we were initially expecting:

The trailer is 28-feet long, fully self-contained and stocked with a VHF/UHF dual band radio, HF radio, CEMNET radio and antennas, along with a Packet and Winlink computer with VHF/UHF radio.

Amateur Radio ARES volunteers and county officials will staff the unit, which can be moved anywhere it is needed. Ryan said its generator can be set up in minutes to provide power under any conditions.

For now, the trailer will be used for weekly emergency communications drills and community events such as Amateur Radio Field Day, National Night Out and Camano Community Center Car Show, among other events.

During any emergency, such as the frigid February conditions that limited travel on Camano, communications are extremely important to everyone on the island.

“This trailer will ensure information about conditions here on Camano can get to the DEM immediately and information about the situation will get back to Camano Island, so we can better handle the situation,” Ryan said. “When all else fails, amateur radio won’t!”

CEMNET is the state-wide network that I participate in on Tuesday. Winlink is a very cool protocol for sending email over the air. It is error correcting so if the roads are out and Mr. Smith is running out of a specific medication, we can get that information to the hospital with knowing that the spelling will be accurate and zero chance of error. Winlink also can use standard FEMA communications forms so after the event, it will be easy to build a timeline of what happened.

Here are Larry and Rhonda at last years field day:

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Rhonda is using Winlink - the laptop connects to the radio through a USB audio adapter.

Now this looks really good - music

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From The Open University and the BBC:

How technology changed music: Nick Mason presents BBC World Service series
A new landmark nine-part OU/BBC series on the BBC World Service, A History of Music in Technology continues on Saturday mornings, through to June 22nd.

Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason presents the series, charting the history of music and technology and exploring the world of legendary artists, producers, engineers and inventors. The series shines a light on game-changing innovations including the synthesizer, electric guitar, samplers, drum machines and the recording studio itself.

Check it out over the next couple of days.

Heh - great photo

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Someone had a great idea and executed it perfectly:

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Had a hankering for falafel and the only garbanzo beans I have are dry so picked up a box of falafel mix at the store. That, some naan and a salad and that will be dinner tonight.

Clouding over and rain is forecast for tomorrow - spending a few more days on-island than planned. Got the meeting on Thursday and the world-wide amateur radio field day is Saturday so helping to set up for that Friday. Been involved with this event for the last five or six years and it is a lot of fun. Great practice too.

So true - quote of the day

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"Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good."
--Thomas Sowell

Whoops - off by a day

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Amateur radio group meets on Thursday, not today. Farm on Friday through the weekend.

Doing some laundry and a dump run later today. Doing another tranche of sorting through Mom and Dad's paperwork.
Library and coffee in about an hour (library opens at 10AM).

I had written about the rally yesterday - this is where President Trump announced that he is running for prez in 2020. There were over 100,000 ticket requests for a venue that seats 20,000. People were waiting in line 48 hours before it opened. At one time, the crowd got a bit rowdy regarding their opinion about CNN - from the Media Research Group:

Thin Skin: CNN Cuts Away from Trump Rally After Crowd Chants ‘CNN Sucks!’
The liberal media often suggest President Trump was the one with thin skin; just look at how they lionize Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s jabs at him. But during Tuesday’s Anderson Cooper 360, CNN proved themselves to be the ones with thinner skin when they cut away from Trump’s 2020 campaign launch rally in Orlando, Florida after the crowd started chanting “CNN sucks”.

Two pull-quotes:

"Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage," Trump adds. "They want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it. Not acceptable. It's not going to happen."

"They went after my family, my business, my finances, my employees, almost everyone that I have ever known or worked with, but they are really going after you. That's what it is all about. It's not about us. It's about you. They tried to erase your vote, erase your legacy of the greatest campaign and the greatest election probably in the history of our country."

Some photos and links to coverage here: Maggie's Farm.

The Mullis Center

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Been following this here and here - they Got Woke and were preventing members of the American Legion from reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before their senior meals.

When the story broke, I would imagine that they started getting push-back. Here is one Letter to the Editor. They pulled their website - in fact, they nuked it from low earth orbit - nothing there, not even a registered DNS entry but the internet is forever and through the Wayback Machine we find a snapshot of its website from 11 April, 2019. They did not crawl the links but from the home page, we can see that Gail Leschine-Seitz is their Senior Services Specialist.

Linkedin has her education:

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To paraphrase Obi-Wan: "Antioch University - you will never find a more wretched hive of liberalism and political correctness"

Good news - opening public lands

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From the Washington Examiner:

'Git-R-Done': Trump opens 1.4 million federal acres to hunters, anglers
President Trump isn’t much of an outdoorsman, aside from golf.

But maybe more than any president since Teddy Roosevelt, he understands the importance of others getting outside to boat, hunt, fish, shoot, and hike and their demands for access to federal lands and waterways.

“He’s basically said, ‘Git-R-Done,'” said Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, who is spearheading the opening of 1.4 million acres and elimination of 7,500 regulations limiting access.

“The president fundamentally gets that hunters and anglers are the true conservationists in our society. He understands that history and that we need to act in efforts to expand hunting and fishing while at the same time being respectful of private land rights, respectful of state law,” added Bernhardt.

All the early environmentalists were hunters, campers and fishermen who wanted to preserve our range of lands for hunting, camping and fishing. Overdevelopment (open pit mining, clearcut logging, etc.) was a bad thing - raping the earth. From John Muir to Teddy Roosevelt. It is the current crop of so-called environmentalists who have lost touch with nature and want to regulate and control it from a Lobbyist's office on K Street. Gang Green.

Hmmm - something screwy here

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Earlier today I linked to a story regarding a senior center on San Juan Island (about 40 miles from me as the crow flies) not allowing members of the American Legion to salute our Flag.

Just for the hell of it, I Googled their website URL and went there, only to find this:

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Very odd that the website would redirect to another commercial entity entirely and get their 404.
Looked up the address at ARIN and got this:

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ARIN is the central database for the USA which stores what website is stored on whose server or IP Address. For it to return: "No results found." means that someone totally yanked the plug for the whole thing and that Cirque Du Soliel just happened to be the next website being hosted by that server. Many websites (including this one and all of my others are hosted on a single server that also hosts several hundred other sites).

They did not just redact their site, they yanked it out by the roots. It will be interesting to follow this.

Great news - Illegal Immigrants

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From Reuters:

Trump says U.S. agency will begin removing millions of illegal immigrants
President Donald Trump said on Monday that U.S. authorities would begin next week removing millions of immigrants who are in the United States illegally.

“Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States,” Trump tweeted, referring to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. “They will be removed as fast as they come in,” he said. He did not offer specifics.

Again, these are not the best and brightest. About 20% of our inmates are illegal aliens.

I have not done one of these in four months - here are all the crimes committed in the last two weeks - each headline links to the original story:

I could go on but you get the overall idea... I still wonder what Chuck and Nancy are getting to keep the border open. How much are the cartels paying them.

Do not forget that Obama's ICE deleted 12 years of their speeches, testimonies, writings just after President Trump won the election and it was clear that Hillary did not.

We got Maui

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Running the WSPR beacon and got a ping from Maui - this is the furthest yet. 4,265 km or 2,650 miles.

Still running a crappy antenna - will get the stuff to build a good one when I am up at the farm Thursday.

Local stupidity - San Juan Island

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Looks like someone Got Woke in San Juan Island - from Seattle station KIRO:

Am. Legion members say senior center compares Pledge of Allegiance with Nazism
Drama is unfolding faster than a flag at the Mullis Community Senior Center in Friday Harbor due to a new restriction on saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

Recently, the Mullis Community Senior Center Board of Directors decided — without speaking to center members, allegedly — to remove the traditional prayer and Pledge of Allegiance before lunch, other than on a few specific days when the pledge would still be allowed. The senior center is funded by San Juan County.

“They wrote a new rule into their house rules stating that nobody could do this without the first prior coordination through them, so they took it upon themselves simply as their board and rewrote the rules for the senior center,” American Legion Post 163 Commander Daven Holzer explained.

A group of seniors decided to start saying the pledge on their own about 15 minutes before the meal. They did not make anyone join them who did not wish to, but wanted to still take the chance to salute the symbol of the nation.

And when the Veterans said the Pledge anyway:

The next day, however, Holzer said that he received a less-than-appreciative phone call from the director of the senior center.

“She just didn’t understand how it was right that I should come storming and barging in there, dictating how they’re doing things,” he said.

In the meantime, the flag no longer stands in the main gathering space of the center. Holzer said that American Legion members have been threatened, harassed, and kicked out of the building.

And of course, as when dealing with liberals, Godwin's Law happens:

When Holzer confronted senior center staff asking how it could restrict people’s constitutional rights, he said that the response was, “You think that the people of Nazi Germany enjoyed saying, ‘Heil Hitler?'”

This is not about God and Country - that is a different Pledge and God is not mentions in the Pledge of Allegience:

Additionally, Holzer and American Legion Post 163 Sergeant-at-Arms Shannon Plummer said, a senior center staff member allegedly assaulted a senior saying the pledge.

While the American Legion’s motto is, “For God and country,” Holzer and Plummer understood the church and state argument for removing the prayer from a government-funded senior center.

What they did not understand was how citizens could be forbidden from reciting words that mean a great deal to them. Just as it would be unconstitutional to force someone to say the pledge, they said, it is equally unconstitutional to force them not to.

Needless to say:

The Mullis Community Senior Center had not yet responded to requests for comment at press time. The story will be updated if and when a response is received.

Glad I live in Island County. One of my groups meets in the building that houses the senior center and there is an American Flag prominently displayed in the lobby.

And that is it - tired

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Running a couple of errands tomorrow, a meeting Wednesday and to the farm for a couple of days Thursday.

Hitting the rack for now.

Just wow - the Olds Elevator

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Why didn't someone think of this before - counter-intuitive but perfectly logical (it has to be - it works):

Website here: OLDS Elevator - a new conveyor for bulk materials

I love that they have been operating as a family business in a small town in Australia since 1918. Much of their equipment is still steam driven.

Good meeting tonight

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I somehow got elected to the board of one of the groups I am involved with on the island. Tonight was my first board meeting - they have good people and are well funded (a non-profit). The terms is four years so it should be a lot of fun.

Joke of the day

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From Grouchy Old Cripple:

An assistant to Nancy Pelosi told her she had a fantastic dream last night. “There was a humongous parade in Washington celebrating Pelosi. Millions lined the parade route, cheering when Nancy went past. Bands were playing; children were throwing confetti into the air; there were balloons everywhere. It was the biggest celebration Washington had ever seen.”

Nancy was very impressed and said, “That’s really great! By the way, how did I look in your dream? Was my hair okay?”

Her assistant said, “I couldn’t tell, the casket was closed.

A bit of Arkancide in Egypt

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Works for the Clintons - no reason for other people not to do it too. From Breitbart:

Report: Former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi ‘Collapses and Dies’ in Court
Ousted Egyptian president and Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi collapsed and died in court during a trial on Monday, according to state television and members of his family.

The 67-year-old Morsi had just addressed the court, speaking from the glass cage he is kept in during sessions and warning that he had “many secrets” he could reveal, said a judicial official, per the Associated Press. A few minutes afterward, he collapsed, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

State TV said Morsi died before he could be taken to the hospital.

Emphasis mine - wonder what they used...

Must be nice - spending time in a $60,000/week villa in the South of France - from the London Daily Mail:

Presidential week in Provence: Obamas arrive in south of France on private jet for vacation at $60,000-a-week, 18th century farmhouse - just days after Sasha graduated from high school
Former US president Barack Obama and his family arrived in Avignon in the south of France for a week's holiday just days after they were pictured celebrating daughter Sasha's graduation from high school.

The Obamas are reportedly staying at a luxurious 18th century farmhouse on Bathelasse island, near the Provencal city.

Barack, 57, his wife Michelle, 55, and their two daughters Sasha, 18, and Malia, 20, will relax at the palatial Le Mas des Poiriers, rented at 55,000 euros for the week, according to a report by Le Parisien.

I hate to think of how much of my tax money is being spent on this self-centered jackass. Donors are probably paying for the villa and the chartered jet but the Secret Service detail is funded by you and me. Lots of pictures at the site - here is one:

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Must be nice...

Iran & Uranium

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Iran is lurching more towards being a belligerent nuclear power - from Associated Press:

Iran speeds up uranium enrichment as Mideast tensions mount
Iran will surpass the uranium-stockpile limit set by its nuclear deal in the next 10 days, an official said Monday, raising pressure on Europeans trying to save the accord a year after the U.S. withdrawal lit the fuse for the heightened tensions now between Tehran and Washington.

Hours later, the Pentagon announced it was sending about 1,000 additional American troops to the Middle East to bolster security in the region in the face of what U.S. officials said is a growing threat from Iran.

The announcement by Iran’s nuclear agency marked yet another deadline set by Tehran. President Hassan Rouhani already has warned Europe that a new deal needs to be in place by July 7 or the Islamic Republic would increase its enrichment of uranium.

Atomic energy spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi suggested that Iran’s enrichment could reach up to 20%, just a step away from weapons-grade levels.

I keep wondering what Iran's exit strategy is - surely they must know that other nations will not allow them to get the bomb. Israel did this with Iraq's nuclear dreams back in 1981.

President Trump stages a rally

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From Florida's Click Orlando:

President Trump supporters line up 40 hours before Orlando rally
More than 40 hours before President Donald Trump will announce his re-election bid in Orlando, supporters started lining up outside the Amway Center.

Eight Trump supporters started camping out Monday morning, with the first one showing up at 2:30 a.m. The rally is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

And some numbers:

Trump tweeted Monday that the rally "looks to be setting records," with more than 100,000 ticket requests. The Amway Center seats 20,000.

"We are building large movie screens outside to take care of everybody," Trump tweeted.

The Democrats can stick their heads in the sand all they want - Trump speaks for a lot of people.

Out for the day

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Coffee &c.

Got a meeting tonight and another one on Wednesday - farm on Thursday for a few days.

Heh - welding

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Been doing a lot of welding recently - getting my skill level up. Loving TIG. Found this over at Kim DuToit's site:

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Classical projection - California

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From The Hill:

California governor says Republican Party is headed 'into the waste bin of history'
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in an interview published Monday said the Republican Party is headed for the “waste bin of history.”

In an interview with Politico, Newsom compared national Republicans to the GOP in California in the 1990s.

California Republicans were once a force, but have seen their power disappear over the last two decades.

Washington Republicans will "go the same direction — into the waste bin of history, the way Republicans of the '90s have gone. That’s exactly what will happen to this crop of national Republicans,” Newsom told Politico.

I would call this a classical example of Projection:

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

Nails it.

About that Memphis police shooting

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Otherwise known as suicide by police. What actually happened from Second City Cop:

Memphis
Just so we have this straight:

    • named offender in a Mississippi shooting flees to Tennessee
    • makes a video saying how he's not going down without a fight
    • is tracked down by US Marshals - not Memphis PD
    • rams numerous law enforcement vehicles
    • exits car with a gun
    • is sent to meet his maker - Satan we're assuming

And the Memphis "community" decides to riot over this piece of shit, injuring two dozen officers?

Story here.

The media calls them "rowdy protesters" and are attempting to bury any extensive national coverage of the entire incident.

Just another day in the life of the perpetually aggrieved. Heaven help they should actually do something with their lives.

Our government workers

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Entitled government union workers do not like this change. From The Hill:

Federal employees turn their backs on Agriculture secretary after relocation plans announced
Members of the American Federation of Government Employees turned their backs on Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Thursday, apparently over plans to relocate them from Washington to the Kansas City area.

Perdue announced Thursday that two of the Department of Agriculture’s research agencies, the Economic Research Service (ERS) and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will be relocated to be closer to major farming regions, according to Politico.

While Perdue has justified the relocation as a way to improve customer service and save taxpayers up to $20 million per year, some ERS employees have said it is a political move, according to the publication.

Agriculture journalist Jerry Hagstrom has this photo at his Twitter feed:

These people are employees of the Federal Government and are supposed to be working for We The People, not living large in Washington D.C. I trust that the lack of respect they are showing their boss will be discussed during their next performance review...

The Oberlin College lawsuit

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There is a very good precis of the Oberlin College lawsuit at The Unwanted Blog:

Some good news: A useful legal precedent
In short: in 2016, on the day after the Presidential election, someone shoplifted some booze from Gibson’s Bakery in Oberlin, Ohio. The proprietor gave chase, caught the thief and the cops showed up and arrested the thief and two of his friends, all of whom eventually pleaded guilty to various crimes. THE END. Right? Well, no.

Keep in mind, this was Current Year Clown World, the thief is of a Protected Class and the bakery in question was right across the street from a Liberal Arts College (Oberlin College, appropriately). So, naturally, students began protesting outside the bakery, claiming that it was a racist establishment because it had the audacity to try to prevent a black person from stealing. Up till this point… well, it’s a nuisance, but whatreyagonnado. But things very quickly got more interesting when the college administration decided to get involved. The college cancelled business contracts it had with the bakery, but, more importantly, issued emails that defamed the business and continued the allegation that the place was racist. There were also apparently efforts by the administration to provide assistance to the protestors, including the printing of libelous fliers, suspending classes to allow the outrage mob to do their thing, and giving them free food and drinks. In this age of wokeness, none of this is really all that surprising anymore. College administrations are bending over backwards – and, often enough, forwards – to try to appease the outrage mobs that colleges and universities seem to be breeding grounds for these days.

But something a little different happened: the bakery sued the college for libel. Something a lot different happened: the jury agreed with the bakery happened. Something wonderful happened: the jury awarded the bakery $11 MILLION on compensatory damages and more than $33 MILLION in punitive damages. Ohio law only allows punitive damages to be twice what the compensatory damages are, so the total will likely be restricted to $33 million.

Heh - once again, Get Woke, Go Broke writ large for all to see.

Just wonderful - ebola

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And it starts. From Reuters:

WHO likely to declare Ebola an international emergency: experts
The World Health Organization (WHO) should and is likely to declare an international emergency over the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo that has now spread to Uganda, experts said as a WHO advisory panel met on Friday.

Nasty disease.

Interesting background story - Iran

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Looks like they got taken by Russia - from Oil Price:

How Iran Was Swindled Out Of $3.2 Trillion
Underlying the one-year anniversary in mid-August of the signing of the ‘Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea’ is one of the greatest oil industry swindles in recent years. When representatives of the five Caspian littoral states meet on the 11th and 12th of August, Iran intends to seek some redress from Russia on Moscow’s manoeuvring last August. The Islamic Republic believes that it was robbed of its historical rights in the Caspian, conned out of a US$50 billion per year income, and left without Russia’s support against the re-imposition of U.S. sanctions.

Little of any apparent consequence was decided last August when the five Caspian littoral states – Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan – signed the ‘Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea’. The limited publicity that surrounded the signing stated only that the agreement stipulated that relations between the littoral states would be based on the broad principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity, equality among members, and the non-use of threat of force.

It refrained from specifically going into details about share allocations in the Caspian Sea resource and talked only vaguely about giving the area ‘a special legal status’. However, a senior oil and gas industry source who works closely with Iran’s Petroleum Ministry told OilPrice.com that there was a secret second part to the deal that has proven explosive for the perennially fractious relations between the Caspian states.

At stake is the massive Caspian Sea hydrocarbons resources prize that has been fought over since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991 resulted in three additional partners – Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan - to the original partnership of Russia and Iran. Prior to the fracturing of the USSR into its constituent independent states, Iran and the USSR had struck the original agreement in 1921 to split all ‘fishing rights’ in the Caspian area 50-50. This was amended in 1924 to include ‘any and all resources recovered’, meaning in practical terms that all hydrocarbons resources would be shared equally between Russia and Iran. “Iran should have said back then that Russia should have shared its Caspian stake with the three former USSR states, but it [Iran] was content to wait for the official legal dispute to be settled,” underlined the Iran source.

A long and fascinating article. I bet that if Iran was not such a nasty actor sponsoring islamic terrorism all through the world, they would have a much larger voice at this table. I wonder if this will be used as a lever to get them to change their tactics.

Slept in

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Back on the island - dinner engagement tonight.

Coffee and usual routine first...

A nice metric - money

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From Bloomberg:

The DNC Has Spent More Money Than It’s Raised This Year
The Democratic National Committee has a money problem. And that could hurt its nominee’s chances of beating President Donald Trump in 2020.

In the first four months of 2019, the party spent more than it raised and added $3 million in new debt. In the same period, its Republican counterpart was stockpiling cash.

They have nothing that us normals want so they have to fall back on constant drumming of their narrative through the complicit media.

Rep. Ilhan Omar in the news again

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From the Minneapolis, MN Star Tribune:

Ilhan Omar's credibility takes another hit
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is back in the news again, and not in a good way. The former state representative who won a seat in Congress last fall continues to be dogged by past missteps, this time eight violations of Minnesota campaign-finance law that will cost her nearly $3,500 in reimbursements and civil penalties.

So complex were the allegations that the state Campaign Finance Board spent nearly a year assessing the case, deposing staff people and former staff people, along with Omar herself. The investigation was broadened in October — just a month before her election to Congress — to look more deeply into the allegations. Board Executive Director Jeff Sigurdson said that between six and eight people were deposed separately.

In an October 2018 editorial, we called on Omar to more fully explain her travel and other expenses. We noted that the allegations “suggest a pattern of carelessness and/or self-dealing with legally restricted funds. Neither conclusion inspires the confidence voters deserve to have in someone they send to the U.S. House to represent them.”

It is even more disturbing, therefore, to learn that among the board’s latest findings was a troubling discovery that is far beyond its jurisdiction, but worthy of greater scrutiny nevertheless. Omar, for two years running, filed joint tax returns with a man she was living with but not legally married to. Complicating matters further, she was legally married to another man at the time.

What makes this really interesting is that the Star Tribune is a very liberal newspaper. For them to call her out like this shows that people are getting really tired of her.

Happy Birthday - Donald John Trump

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Born this day in 1946 - best wishes and many many more. Happy Birthday Mr. President.

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About time - measles

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From Buzzfeed:

New York Ended Its Religious Exemption For Vaccines After The Worst Measles Outbreaks In Decades
New York will no longer allow parents to refuse vaccinations for their children because of religious reasons after the state became the center of the worst measles outbreak in decades.

The state legislature approved a bill Thursday that will require all children attending school or daycare to receive vaccinations, unless they could not be safely vaccinated because of a medical issue. Gov. Andrew Cuomo immediately signed it into law.

“I understand freedom of religion. We all do. We respect it. I’ve heard the anti-vaxxers’ theory, but I believe both are overwhelmed by the public health risk,” Cuomo told reporters Wednesday.

The state has recorded 854 cases of measles since September in outbreaks centered in Orthodox Jewish communities in New York City and Rockland County. Health officials in both areas have called the outbreaks a crisis that risks the safety of the public — particularly infants, pregnant women, elderly people, and those with compromised immune systems, such as patients with cancer.

Great news. You can sustain a small population of unvaxinated people when the majority of people are protected - this is called herd immunity When it tips beyond the 5% to 7% threshold for measles, the disease will spread. It was eliminated in 2000 but the influx of illegal immigrants are bringing a host of old-world pests into our civil population. Waiting for Ebola to surface.

Quite the climb - El Capitan

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From Outside Magazine:

A 10-Year-Old Just Climbed the Nose
Selah Schneiter, 10, is small for her age, weighing just 55 pounds and standing four foot two. She loves math and playing guitar and is “silly and plays make believe,” says her mom, Joy.

She is also the youngest documented person ever to climb the 3,000-foot Nose route on Yosemite’s El Capitan. Selah topped out the famous line at 5:45 p.m. on June 12 after a five-day push with her dad, Mike, and his friend Mark Regier.

“I was scared just sometimes,” she said at the top. “I thought it was really fun.”

Quite the haul - 31 seperate pitches.

He writes well and thinks things out. Despite being a liberal, I like his viewpoints. From Associated Press:

Ronan Farrow looks at media crowd and says he sees liars
The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow sure knows how to get a media crowd buzzing.

The Pulitzer Prize winner accepted a Mirror Award for media reporting from Syracuse University on Thursday for his stories on sexual misconduct at CBS, including allegations that toppled the corporation’s former leader, Leslie Moonves.

Like other award winners, he saluted fellow journalists and industry leaders at the Manhattan luncheon for bravery in producing stories that keep the media honest and transparent — even at the cost of burning bridges and losing job opportunities.

At the same time, he said “I can see people who have lied to protect power.”

Heh - their house of cards is collapsing.

Oil tanker explosion - Iran update

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From Reuters:

Unexploded device spotted on one of attacked oil tankers -U.S. source
An unexploded device, believed to be a limpet mine, was spotted on the side of one of two oil tankers attacked on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman, a U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

If confirmed, then the method of attack would be the same as the one that the United States believes was used last month when four other tankers were struck off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. The United States believes Iran was likely responsible for those attacks, a charge Tehran denies.

It will be interesting to see who made the mine. Great that it did not explode - this will yield a wealth of information.

Congress agreed to eliminate earmarks a couple years ago but they are creeping into the tent under a different guise. From The Washington Free Beacon:

Watchdog Exposes $15.3 Billion in Congressional Waste
Congress has stealthily packed $15.3 billion worth of earmarks into its 2019 fiscal year budgets despite its moratorium on the practice, according to a new report.

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW), a Washington, D.C.-based taxpayer-watchdog group, released its annual ‘Pig Book' that tracks wasteful spending within the halls of Congress. Sens. Rand Paul (R., Ken.), Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) and Reps. Ted Budd (R., N.C.), Tim Burchett (R., Tenn), Bill Flores (R., Texas), and Tom McClintock (R,.Calif.) joined CAGW's president, Tom Schatz, Wednesday at the Phoenix Park Hotel in D.C. for an event on their findings and the state of earmark reform.

They list a couple of examples - a perfect example of what should not be happening. The title? This quote:

A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
--Everett Dirksen (bio)

Mark Levin's latest book is Unfreedom of the Press. He excoriates the mainstream media and specifically, in chapter six, he takes the New York Times to the woodshed for their history of many distortions and outright inaccurate reporting.

The book came out on May 21st and was an Amazon Best Seller almost immediately. It was not listed at the NYT for several weeks. Now this has to grind their gears:

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This is the voice of We The People. This is the voice of numbers, not narrative.

A two-fer - first, from ABC News:

Federal watchdog recommends Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway be 'removed from service'
A federal watchdog agency recommended on Thursday that White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway be “removed from service” citing repeated violations on a law that bans federal employees from political activity.

The Office of Special Counsel, an independent federal agency that investigates wrongdoing by government employees, found that Conway “violated the Hatch Act on numerous occasions by disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.” 

And, from our most transparent and scandal-free administration ever - from PJ Media:

FLASHBACK: Two Obama-Era Officials Violated Hatch Act But Weren't Removed from Office
The U.S. Office of the Special Counsel has recommended the removal of White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway over violations of the Hatch Act.

The OSC wrote that her “violations, if left unpunished, would send a message to all federal employees that they need not abide by the Hatch Act’s restrictions. Her actions thus erode the principal foundation of our democratic system — the rule of law.”

This isn't the first time a White House or cabinet official violated the Hatch Act. It happened several times in the Obama administration but the OSC didn't recommend the removal of the official.

In 2012, the OSC said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius made “extemporaneous partisan remarks” in her official capacity in violation of the Hatch Act. Sebelius acknowledged her remarks were a "mistake" and she was not removed from her position due to the violation.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who is now a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, violated the Hatch Act in 2016 by praising then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in an interview at his HUD office, but President Obama did not remove him from his position.

But Sebelius and Castro were good Party Apparatchiks so they are allowed some leeway.

From Medical Express:

Two hours a week is key dose of nature for health and wellbeing
Spending at least two hours a week in nature may be a crucial threshold for promoting health and wellbeing, according to a new large-scale study.

Research led by the University of Exeter, published in Scientific Reports and funded by NIHR, found that people who spend at least 120 minutes in nature a week are significantly more likely to report good health and higher psychological wellbeing than those who don't visit nature at all during an average week. However, no such benefits were found for people who visited natural settings such as town parks, woodlands, country parks and beaches for less than 120 minutes a week.

Makes perfect sense - moving out of Seattle was a great boost to my emotional state and physical health. Living in a city is stressful - I would never move back.

Iran in the news

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We should just nuke it and be done with the terrorism it sponsors. Diplomacy (witness the Kerry/Obama Iran 'deal') has been tried and it did not work. From gCaptain:

U.S. Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks in Gulf of Oman
Two oil tankers were attacked on Thursday and left adrift in the Gulf of Oman, driving up oil prices and stoking fears of a new confrontation between Iran and the United States, which blamed Tehran for the incident.

“It is the assessment of the United States government that the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for the attacks that occurred in the Gulf of Oman today,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in a brief appearance without providing hard evidence to back up the U.S. stance.

“This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication,” Pompeo said.

Washington accused Tehran of being behind a similar attack on May 12 on four tankers in the same area, a vital shipping route through which much of the world’s oil passes.

And to think that Obama's Iran deal would have allowed them to continue processing Uranium. They want nukes. They should get nukes but on the recieving end, not the originating end.

Well that changed quickly - burn ban

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Nice to see Island County being proactive - even though spring was wetter and cooler than normal, the weather seems to have turned the corner and they just issued a burn ban.

Out the door

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Heading out for coffee and stuff. Dump run later today and then to the farm for two days.

The Obama Administration - scandals

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Ten to start - from PJ Media:

Biden Claims There Wasn’t A ‘Hint of a Scandal’ During the Obama/Biden Administration, Here are Ten
On Tuesday, former Vice President Joe Biden channeled his inner Barack Obama by falsely claiming that their administration was scandal-free."Know what I was most proud of? For eight years, there wasn't one single hint of a scandal or a lie."

The scandals of the Obama-Biden administration have been well-documented, but also well-covered-up by the media. They refused to give the scandals of the Obama-Biden administration the coverage they deserved when they happened, and they refused to challenge Obama when he repeatedly made claims of having a scandal-free administration and they certainly aren't going to challenge Biden echoing those same claims. I will, however, because unfortunately, too many people believe the myth of the scandal-free presidency of Barack Obama. So, here are just ten scandals of the Obama-Administration that Sleepy Joe is apparently proud of.

The scandals are bad enough. What gets me was the continuous piss-poor management and appointment of inept hacks.

Immigration - some history

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When you lose your history, you lose the strength of your culture. One hallmark of tyrants is that they always try to re-write history - the Obama administration is a case in point. From the Sunlight Foundation:

Removal of ICE Speeches Collection Demonstrates Weaknesses in Federal Agencies’ Archiving Practices
In the dying minutes of the Obama administration’s final term, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) removed from its website a collection of almost 200 speeches and testimonies delivered by agency leadership dating back to 2004. With a couple of clicks of a mouse, access to a federal government web resource containing 12 years of primary source materials on ICE’s history was lost. In our most recent report, the Web Integrity Project (WIP) documents the removal of this collection.

As our report details, a collection of 190 transcripts of speeches and testimonies hosted on the ICE website’s “Speeches and Testimonies” page was removed between the early afternoon of January 18 and late evening on January 19, 2017. (Compare the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine captures from January 18, 2017 and on January 19, 2017.) The transcripts were of speeches and testimony delivered between 2004 and  2017 by high-ranking ICE officials, including the director of the agency and directors of ICE sub-units. Most contained prepared remarks submitted to congressional committees, often on controversial topics like the standard of medical treatment for detainees, treatment of unaccompanied children, sanctuary cities, drug trafficking, and E-Verify.

Testimony from Thomas Homan, who was appointed Acting Director of ICE by President Trump soon after inauguration in January 2017, featured prominently in the removed collection. In one removed transcript — a February 2016 statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the “Unaccompanied Children Crisis” — then-Executive Associate Director of Enforcement and Removal Operations Homan detailed how ICE contracted out to “effectuate” the transportation of “UC” and enumerated the “important steps” that the administration had taken to “deter illegal immigration.” In another removed transcript from May 2016, Homan detailed how local jurisdictions “limiting or declining cooperation with ICE” put “the public at risk.” It is not inconceivable that an outgoing Democratic administration might want to avoid preserving these public stances for future scrutiny.

A transparent and scandal-free administration. Yeah and I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Just progressives and Democrats doing what they do best. They have nothing to offer so they have to lie and cheat to keep their power. It is not about serving their constituents.

And we hit 90°F today

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91°F to be exact. The pups spent the day in the garage flat on the cool concrete floor gnawing on some fresh bones I got when I was out for my usual morning run. Went out later to pick up some stuff from the library and get a burrito - had a large late lunch so not very hungry.

Sticky Island Syndrome so here tonight and farm tomorrow. Have a dinner engagement Saturday and a meeting on Monday so only one evening at the farm but I have a lot of things packed up so will get a good run of stuff down here.

We need one on the island. Don Williams' dad retired from the corporate world and then bought an ice cream truck. Don still has the music box that came from his truck:

The company is still in business (since 1957): Nichols Electronics Company Their fanciest unit (32 songs) is $225

If you have the chance, there is a wonderful movie about two ice cream families in Glasgow called Comfort and Joy

And it begins - the moon

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Almost twenty years later than portrayed in the movie but still, better late than never (but better never late).
From Baylor University:

Mass Anomaly Detected Under the Moon’s Largest Crater
A mysterious large mass of material has been discovered beneath the largest crater in our solar system — the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken basin.

“Imagine taking a pile of metal five times larger than the Big Island of Hawaii and burying it underground. That’s roughly how much unexpected mass we detected,” said lead author Peter B. James, Ph.D., assistant professor of planetary geophysics in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences.

The crater itself is oval-shaped, as wide as 2,000 kilometers — roughly the distance between Waco, Texas, and Washington, D.C. — and several miles deep. Despite its size, it cannot be seen from Earth because it is on the far side of the Moon.

The study — ”Deep Structure of the Lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin” — is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

Different crater and, like I said, 18 years later but still - it could be the beginning of something wonderful:

The truth is out there...

Heat wave

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Got up to almost 90F today - got the heat pump running early this morning so the loft is comfortable. Too hot to do anything outside. Been organizing and labeling the pantry - using five and two gallon pails with Gamma Lids for stuff like rice, beans, sugar, TVP, oatmeal, etc... Ball makes a really cute miniature canning jar which I am using for seasonings - looks just like their 16oz jars just tiny and adorable. One piece lid but it seems to seal alright.

Just wonderful - Ebola

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It has made its way from the Congo to Uganda - from the World Health Organization:

Confirmation of case of ebola virus disease in Uganda
The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) have confirmed a case of Ebola Virus Disease in Uganda. Although there have been numerous previous alerts, this is the first confirmed case in Uganda during the Ebola outbreak on-going in neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The confirmed case is a 5-year-old child from the Democratic Republic of the Congo who travelled with his family on 9th June 2019. The child and his family entered the country through Bwera Border post and sought medical care at Kagando hospital where health workers identified Ebola as a possible cause of illness. The child was transferred to Bwera Ebola Treatment Unit for management. The confirmation was made today by the Uganda Virus Institute (UVRI). The child is under care and receiving supportive treatment at Bwera ETU, and contacts are being monitored.

This was published yesterday - segue to today. From NBC News:

New Ebola cases in Uganda raise fears of further spread
Uganda announced two more cases of Ebola on Wednesday - a grandmother and a three-year-old boy, confirming that a deadly outbreak has spread for the first time beyond the Democratic Republic of Congo.

And more:

A five-year-old boy who had crossed into Uganda from Congo died late on Tuesday, said Uganda's health minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, and his family were now being monitored in isolation.

So that means that he was in the late stages of infection, highly contageous while not displaying any symptoms.

The two new victims were the boy's brother and grandmother, the Ugandan health ministry said. His grandfather had recently died of Ebola.

"This epidemic is in a truly frightening phase and shows no sign of stopping," said Jeremy Farrar, an infectious disease specialist and director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity, which is involved in fighting Ebola.

All it takes is for one person to fly to Mexico, get hauled across the border and bussed into a sanctuary city. Two weeks later, it explodes.

Fake News - the reality

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An interesting observation over at Vox Day:

No one wants Fake News
The media appears to have finally converged itself into a corner:

The mass migration of advertising to U.S. technology giants such as Facebook, Google and Amazon has hammered revenues while more than half the world’s population now has access to news via an internet connection.

But will people actually pay for news?

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism said in its annual Digital News Report that most people would not pay for online news and that there had been only a small increase in the proportion of people willing to do so in the last six years.

Even among those who do pay, there is “subscription fatigue” - many are tired of being asked to pay for so many different subscriptions. Many will opt for films or music rather than pay for news. So some media companies will fail.

“Much of the population is perfectly happy with the news that they can access for free and even amongst those who are willing to pay, the majority are only willing to sign up for one subscription,” Rasmus Kleis Nielsen, director of the Reuters Institute, said by telephone.

“A lot of the public is really alienated from a lot of the journalism that they see - they don’t find it particularly trustworthy, they don’t find it particularly relevant and they don’t find it leaves them in a better place.”

Why would anyone pay to be told what isn't true? The advertising model propped up the mainstream media and allowed it to fold, spindle, and otherwise mutilate the truth because there was no direct link between the news consumer and the news provider. Now that Google and Facebook have broken the advertising model, and Amazon has taught people to go direct to the source, the ABCNNBCBS cabal is discovering that they don't actually have any real fans.

People will pay for quality content. People will pay for truthful content. Unauthorized is proof of that. But they won't pay to be insulted, mocked, despised, and deceived.

Be sure to visit Vox's site to read the comments - some trenchant observations there...

She was speaking the wrong truth - didn't fit the narrative. From France24:

France's Le Pen to go on trial for tweeting gruesome IS images
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has been ordered to stand trial for tweeting pictures of Islamic State atrocities, a judicial source told AFP on Wednesday.

Le Pen shared the gruesome images in December 2015, a few weeks after IS jihadists killed 130 people in attacks in Paris.

A judge in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre ordered that the National Rally leader stand trial on charges of circulating "violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity" and that can be viewed by a minor.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros ($85,000).

Last year, an investigative magistrate called for Le Pen to undergo psychiatric tests in connection with the IS tweets.

The progressives are casting a willful blind-spot to the fact that islamists hate the west and they are here only to get free shit from the government and to prosecute islam's war with the infidel. Isis uses photos for recruitment - terror porn. Le Pen published these in a public forum and the progressives are running around with their hair on fire. She is sun-lighting their cognitive dissonance and their reaction shows just how much they are bothered by this.

Quote of the day

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Great one from an American master:

"If everybody was satisfied with himself there would be no heroes."
--Mark Twain

WSPR - getting out there

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Got as far as San Diego, CA today - 1115 miles as the crow flies.

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Microsoft screws up big-time

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I bet the manager who signed off on this decision is already out the door. From omg! ubuntu! (a linux news website):

CERN Ditches Microsoft to ‘Take Back Control’ with Open Source Software
CERN is best known for pushing the boundaries of science and understanding, but the famed research outfit’s next major experiment will be with open-source software.

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, and also known as home of the Large Hadron Collider, has announced plans to migrate away from Microsoft products and on to open-source solutions where possible.

Why? Increases in Microsoft license fees.

Microsoft recently revoked the organisations status as an academic institution, instead pricing access to its services on users. This bumps the cost of various software licenses 10x, which is just too much for CERN’s budget.

Very stupid decision on many levels. Bad publicity - the "cool factor" of CERN is off the charts. This move looks bad to geeks around the world. Bad decision - CERN is an academic institution. Sure, it gets government money but the experiments were designed by Physicists working at various Universities around the world. Bad management - this is going to cut into the bottom line of MSFT - yanking the rug out from under CERN might prompt other large organizations to re-consider their "investment" in MSFT products. Bad optics - this makes MSFT look to be a corporate bully. The world of Open Source Software has matured - a LOT - in the last ten years. There are very viable replacements for every Microsoft product except maybe for their gaming platform. These replacements are free and the source code is published so tweaks or modifications can be made to better suit a particular environment.

Bad Microsoft. No biscuit.

Representing the news these days

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Sadly, so true - swiped from Magie's Farm:

20190612-diverse.jpg

Unseasonably warm weather today

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Supposed to get pretty hot today - heading up to the farm for a few days. I do have a meeting tonight but bagging it.

Coffee first and then work at the house for a bit - head up this afternoon.

Common sense in Texas - lemonade

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From The Texas Tribune:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signs bill declaring children's lemonade stands legal
Great news, children of Texas: Your unlicensed lemonade stands soon won’t be criminal enterprises.

Gov. Greg Abbott late Monday signed a bill that prohibits cities and neighborhood associations from enacting rules that block or regulate children trying to sell nonalcoholic drinks like lemonade on private property. The law targets local health codes and neighborhood rules that intentionally or unintentionally ban the stands or require permits for them to operate.

Support for such a law in Texas began to grow in 2015, when police in the East Texas town of Overton reportedly shut down a lemonade stand by two young siblings who were trying to earn money to buy a Father's Day present.

The bill, authored by state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, passed unanimously in both chambers. Abbott signed the bill in a video he posted on Twitter.

Nice to see common sense representation of the constituents. Sorely missing in so many legislative bodies. Nancy and Chuck - I'm talking to you. Just sayin'.

Talk about a sense of entitlement - from The Bellingham Herald:

Washington lawmakers press case that public records law doesn’t apply to them
Attorneys representing the Washington state Legislature on Tuesday urged the state Supreme Court to overturn part of a trial court decision that said legislators must release records to the public under a broad definition that covers state departments and other elected officials.

In 2017, a coalition of media organizations led by the Associated Press and including The News Tribune filed a lawsuit alleging lawmakers were violating state law by not disclosing records to the public such as emails, work calendars and sexual harassment complaints.

Last year, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Lanese ruled that the open records law applies to individual lawmakers and their offices. The Legislature appealed that decision. The media coalition filed a cross-appeal, arguing that Lanese also should have ruled that the administrative offices of the House and the Senate are subject to the broad disclosure requirements in the state’s public records law.

Hey legislators - you were elected to public office by your constituents and you are a servant of same. You work for us, not the other way around. You do not get to hide behind a desk. You are accountable for your actions. Get it? Now stop sniveling and get back to working for us.

Arkancide - Linda Collins-Smith

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On the fifth of this month, I posted about the murder of Linda Collins-Smith - a former Arkansas State Senator. (here and here). An Arkansas judge sealed the police records which is highly unusual.

Now this from CD Media:

Breaking: Murdered Arkansas Former GOP State Senator Believed She Was Closing In On Child Trafficking Ring In Arkansas State Government
Former Republican Arkansas state Senator Linda Collins-Smith, who was found murdered in her home this week in Pocahontas, Arkansas, believed she was closing in on a child-trafficking ring working from within the Arkansas state government.

A verified source close to Collins-Smith told CD Media that she was about to go public with incriminating information on sitting judges in Arkansas, who were involved in taking children from poor women via the Department of Human Services (child protective services) in Arkansas and selling them to wealthy individuals. The source also disclosed that Collins-Smith believed the perpetrators were using illegal aliens to facilitate the crimes which included murdering the mothers of the stolen children.

In another ominous twist to the story, former Oklahoma state Sen. Jonathan Nichols was found murdered in his home in Norman, Oklahoma yesterday. Our source believes the two murders are connected.

As they say in the media - developing...

Arkancide? The trail of suspicious corpses following the Clintons are sufficient and unusual such that the term Arkancide is in popular use and a website was developed. I am so glad that harpy did not get into the White House. She is toxic.

A tale of two parties - a two-fer

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Representative Ilhan Omar is the gift that keeps on giving but nobody on the left seems to be calling her on it.

From her Twitter account:

And, from Associated Press:

Rep. Omar filed joint tax returns before she married husband
Minnesota campaign finance officials said last week that U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar misused campaign funds in violation of state rules. They also revealed that she had filed joint tax returns with her husband years before they were legally married and at a time when she was married to another man.

The revelation put the freshman representative under more scrutiny from critics who have taken issue with her marital past. One tax expert said that if there is no criminal intent and the issue has been corrected, she’s unlikely to face any criminal consequences.

And the money shot:

Omar has so far kept her tax returns private. While she has called for President Donald Trump to release his tax returns, her campaign did not acknowledge the AP’s request to release hers. Her campaign also did not answer a question about whether there might be issues with other tax returns prior to Omar’s marriage to Hirsi in 2018.

A bit of a double standard - dont'cha think...

This is a duck

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Great idea for emergency communications - here is a ten minute video of it in action:

It is the brain-child of these people: Project Owl

Absolutely brilliant and cheap resource for emergency communication in the time of a disaster. emailed some links to the local EMS people - see if there is any interest for an island network.

Busy day today - Bellingham

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Ran up to B'ham to get some stuff. The local ACE Hardware is really really good but it is no replacement for Hardware Sales and also needed to return something to the camera store.

Warm today so having a cold dinner - big salad with charcuterie and olive oil and lemon juice emulsified with a little mayo for the dressing. Also finished off the last of some tabouleh that I made a couple days ago. Candy bar for dessert.

Heading out in a few for a couple pints and read for a while.

Now this is interesting - blood

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From nature - microbiology:

An enzymatic pathway in the human gut microbiome that converts A to universal O type blood
Access to efficient enzymes that can convert A and B type red blood cells to ‘universal’ donor O would greatly increase the supply of blood for transfusions. Here we report the functional metagenomic screening of the human gut microbiome for enzymes that can remove the cognate A and B type sugar antigens. Among the genes encoded in our library of 19,500 expressed fosmids bearing gut bacterial DNA, we identify an enzyme pair from the obligate anaerobe Flavonifractor plautii that work in concert to efficiently convert the A antigen to the H antigen of O type blood, via a galactosamine intermediate. The X-ray structure of the N-acetylgalactosamine deacetylase reveals the active site and mechanism of the founding member of an esterase family. The galactosaminidase expands activities within the CAZy family GH36. Their ability to completely convert A to O of the same rhesus type at very low enzyme concentrations in whole blood will simplify their incorporation into blood transfusion practice, broadening blood supply.

Faster please...

Social media - Yelp

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An interesting story about the dark side of Yelp - from business website The Hustle:

The restaurant owner who asked for 1-star Yelp reviews
In 2014, chef Davide Cerretini advertised a special that would forever change his fate: Anyone who left his restaurant a 1-star review on Yelp would get 25% off a pizza.

See, his Bay Area-based Italian joint, Botto Bistro, was at a crossroads. Like many small businesses, it was enslaved to the whims of online reviewers, whose public dispatches could make or break its reputation.

He’d had enough: It was time to pry the stars from the “cold, grubby hands of Yelpers” and take control of his own destiny.

But the move would set Cerretini at the center of a long-standing battle between Yelp and disgruntled business owners — a battle including cries of “extortion,” review manipulation, and predatory advertising tactics.

The reason for his strategy:

By the time Botto Bistro opened its doors in 2009, Yelp boasted some 26m unique visitors per month. And whether intentionally or not, the platform had entrenched itself as the controller of every small business’s online reputation — and fate.

In the months after Botto Bistro’s grand opening, Cerretini began receiving dozens of calls from Yelp salespeople, who implored him to buy ads.

According to Cerretini, when he rebuffed these offers, he’d often notice that freshly posted 5-star reviews would be removed from his page — often no less than 24 hours after getting off the phone with a Yelp rep.

“I came from Italy, and know exactly what mafia extortion looks like,” he says. “Yelp was manipulating reviews and hoping I would pay a protection fee. I didn’t come to America and work for 25 years to be extorted by some idiot in Silicon Valley.”

And the upshot:

Soon, he came to a realization: “What if I don’t give a shit about reputation? What if I take away their power by actually making it worse?”

One morning in September of 2014, he placed a simple sign in front of Botto Bistro: Give us a one star review on Yelp and get 25% off any pizza! Hate us on Yelp. (The discount was later increased to 50%.)

Much more at the site - an amazing story. Classic case of the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz Yelp.

While tracking my contacts through WSPR, I noticed that one station was far and above the others when it came to picking my small signal. It was in the central California coastline and had an unusual call sign: KPH. Most receiving stations had three to ten contacts but KPH has 63 so far.

I exercised my Google-fu and came up with this place: The Maritime Radio Historical Society

KPH History
KPH provided reliable service to ships at sea from the early days of radio. This service is what most people think of today when recalling the great radio installations at Bolinas, Point Reyes and Marshall, California. But in fact KPH was the poor cousin to the point-to-point service that operated mainly under the call KET. From the beginning until its last days KPH was always struggling for funding and facilities, often relegated to using transmitters and antennas no longer needed by the point-to-point service. But the KPH maritime service outlasted not only the point-to-point service but the satellite service that replaced it!

As well as:

Who We Are
Let's be honest... We're a bunch of radio squirrels. And very lucky radio squirrels at that. We inhereted the last remaining Morse code coast station in North America. It was off the air but it was an intact time capsule.

We made the restoration of KPH to operational status our life's work. That was back in 1999 - the year the last commercial Morse code message in the U.S. was supposedly sent.

Through the trust and vision of the Point Reyes National Seashore we were given permission to begin our project of restoration, documentation and operation. And we've never looked back.

As True Believers in the importance of our maritime radio heritage we have tried to research and document every aspect of the field. Our area of specialization is the coast stations, ships and companies of the west coast of the United States. But anything to do with maritime radio anywhere in the world is of interest to us.

Dedicated MRHS volunteers are busy with the preservation, restoration and repair of the historic artifacts with which we have been entrusted. That work is the foundation on which the real goal of our project rests. That goal is to assure that the culture, techniques and traditions of the men and women who came before us are not forgotten. We feel that the best way to achieve that goal is through actual on the air operations.

A very fun project and an awesome fortune that they would be able to step in and take this historic site over. Their antenna farm is unreal in its scope. No wonder they pick me up with such reliability. They could pick up a gnat fart on the East Coast. The transmitting power of the early ship-board stations was very low so it makes sense that they put their money into the shore stations. If you have the misfortune to need to call SOS, you really want to be heard.

They also have a regular ham radio station and have scheduled operating hours - I will have to try to reach them when I have my big station set up down here.

A tweet from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

Visit the account at Twitter to read the entire thread. These are not our best and brightest.

A headline - New York

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California - a two-fer

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Two related stories - first, from National Review:

California to Provide Full Health Benefits to Illegal Immigrants under Age 26
California governor Gavin Newsom has finalized a deal with the state’s Democrat-controlled legislature to provide full health benefits to low-income illegal immigrants under the age of 26.

Newsom’s office released an outline of the state’s 2020 budget Sunday night that calls for $98 million in new annual spending to make some 90,000 previously uninsured illegal immigrants eligible for the state’s Medicaid program, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The new spending will be offset by a fine on uninsured Californians similar to the “individual mandate” imposed at the federal level under Obamacare and subsequently reversed by the Trump administration.

And the second story describes what statists like Newsom are trying to accomplish - the Cloward-Piven strategy.
From Tom Blumer writing at PJ Media:

Cloward-Piven Everywhere
The Obama administration-driven calamity at this nation's southern border is no naiveté-caused accident. Instead, it's the latest manifestation of what clear-eyed observers must recognize is just one of many concerted attempts to overwhelm this nation's institutions and its social, psychological and physical infrastructure for the apparent purpose of leaving it permanently weakened and fundamentally changed.

Conscious or not — and I would argue in most cases that it is quite conscious — what we're seeing is a comprehensive application of the left's long-championed Cloward-Piven strategy.

The folklore behind the strategy claims that its enunciation by Richard A. Cloward and Frances Fox Piven "only" involved collapsing the welfare system to create a political climate receptive to the idea of a "guaranteed annual income," and — presto! — "an end to poverty."

The idea advanced in the couple's May 1966 column in The Nation was to have those whom they saw as naively self-reliant recognize that they were legally entitled to receive benefits and to have them apply for public assistance en masse. This would "produce bureaucratic disruption in welfare agencies and fiscal disruption in local and state governments," thus requiring a federal solution which would, in their fevered minds, "eliminate poverty by the outright redistribution of income."

There simply is not enough money to do this - Bill Whittle has an excellent video on the topic:

These people have no clue as to simple economics. They are innumerate.

Talk about invasive

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From The Washington Times:

Robert Mueller exploited cellphone GPS to track Trump associates
Robert Mueller says he was able to pinpoint security company executive Erik Prince’s precise location for several hours in January 2017 by matching his mobile phone signal to a cell site near Trump Tower in New York City.

The special counsel’s report discloses the use of this investigative technique, by which police determine a suspect’s location via a cellphone’s GPS signal.

The Prince narrative is one instance in unredacted sections of the report in which Mr. Mueller’s team explicitly discloses cellphone tracking. It raises the question of whether the FBI applied the process to other investigative subjects — a phone’s GPS signal can disclose its exact location within a few feet. One of the first requests the FBI makes when confronting subjects is to ask for their electronic devices.

Aren't you supposed to have a warrant to get that kind of data? Are these people above the law?

Heh - from The Western Journal:

One Year After ‘Red Hen’ Refused To Serve Her, Sarah Sanders Dines with the Queen of England
On June 22, 2018, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was kicked out of the Lexington, Virginia, restaurant Red Hen because of her affiliation with President Donald Trump.

On Monday night, Sanders got the last laugh as she dined with the Queen of England.

The press secretary joined Trump and his family at a State Banquet hosted at Buckingham Palace. Over 170 individuals attended the gathering.

Like I said in the title...

A rough sketch - business card

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Looking at logo and business card layout - still a long way to go but starting to get there:

20190609-cif.JPG

Next up - refine the type and the relative sizes of the crow and the anvil. Still very much in the "play" mode...

And yes, I was able to register crowislandforge.com as well as nwblacksmith.com so all set for domain names.

Puttering around the house

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Laundry, getting ready for the dump run, have yet to do the lawn but that is planned. Picked up the bathroom. I had purchased a new shower curtain and toilet seat so putting those in today too. Paperwork and filing. Busy with stuff...

From the station:

WBTV to end each broadcast day with the national anthem
North and South Carolinians are proud of our country, and of the men and women who serve or have served.

WBTV will soon join with our sister Gray Television stations across the nation to end each broadcast day by playing the National Anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Up until television stations went to 24-hour operations in the 1980s, playing the anthem was traditionally how American television stations went off the air and returned back to the airwaves the following morning.

They broadcast 24/7 but:

WBTV will air the National Anthem shortly before 4 a.m. each day, which signifies the switch to a new broadcast day. We will also feature the national anthem during our newscast on the 4th of July.

The Gray Television stations network comprises 34 individual stations. Some of these are popguns: KXJB in Valley City, ND runs at 2 Kilowatts, but a large number of them are full-power 1,000 KW and one: WSWG in Valdosta, GA runs at a blistering 1,700 KW.

I remember growing up that all of the stations would do this. Returning to this tradition is a very nice touch.

We The People - California

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Sounds like the citizens of California are sick of this shit as well - from the Los Angeles Times:

California’s Legislature is less popular than Trump with the state’s voters, poll finds
The heavily Democratic state Legislature is less popular among California voters than President Trump.

That’s not a typo.

It’s a poll finding released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

Even less popular than the Legislature and Trump is Congress.

Why is Congress held in such low esteem, even though the recently reinstalled House speaker is California Democrat Nancy Pelosi?

“Because they’re not getting anything done. It’s that simple,” says Mark Baldassare, the PPIC president and pollster.

Heh - so true. All they are doing is virtue signalling. Some numbers - they talk about the Legislature - this is the CA State Leg. not the US Congress:

Democratic voters approve of the Legislature by nearly 2 to 1 and Republicans disapprove by almost 8 to 1. Nothing shocking there. The key measurement came from the rapidly growing contingent of independent voters, who outnumber registered Republicans. Their grade of the Legislature was 32% approval, 55% disapproval.

Trump’s job approval rating was slightly higher than the Legislature’s at 38%. His disapproval was also higher: 60%. But Trump’s overall rating ticked up slightly since January.

Not Congress’ marks. It’s got a pathetic 22% approval, 73% disapproval.

Wince - that is going to leave a mark...  Love it. Be out of touch, promote the progressive narrative instead of doing their fscking job. No wonder voters are pissed off.

Back home again

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Headed south to Sylvana and had a bite to eat at Willow & Jim’s Country Cafe. Stuffed.

Surf for a bit and then mow the lawn. Need to do a dump run as well.

Off for a bit - coffee, etc...

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Forecast is for cloudy skies but no precip - perfect for yard work and a dump run so that is on my slate for today.

WSPR is cranking away with 13 unique contacts - that one in Alaska is still the farthest away at 1,300 miles. Most are in the 500-800 mile range. A lot in California and Oregon. Looking forward to setting up a better antenna when I get back from the farm. I have a BuddiPole and will set that up but they are more temporary for working events and such. Not intended to be set up and left outside. The original designer (Budd) has put plans for a DIY version on the internet (his son started and is running the manufacturing company that makes the commercial versions). It is built out of CPVC plumbing pipe and house wire so cheap and easy to build. Make one specifically tuned for the frequencies that WSPR uses.

Anyway, out for coffee - back in a bit.

From The Daily Caller:

NATIONAL PARK QUIETLY REMOVED WARNING THAT GLACIERS ‘WILL ALL BE GONE’ BY 2020 AFTER YEARS OF HEAVY SNOWFALL
The National Park Service (NPS) quietly removed a visitor center sign saying the glaciers at Glacier National Park would disappear by 2020 due to climate change.

As it turns out, higher-than-average snowfall in recent years upended computer model projections from the early 2000s that NPS based its claim glaciers “will all be gone by the year 2020,” federal officials said.

“Glacier retreat in Glacier National Park speeds up and slows down with fluctuations in the local climate,” the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which monitors Glacier National Park, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“Those signs were based on the observation prior to 2010 that glaciers were shrinking more quickly than a computer model predicted they would,” USGS said. “Subsequently, larger than average snowfall over several winters slowed down that retreat rate and the 2020 date used in the NPS display does not apply anymore.”

There is yet another example of using a computer model instead of just walking outside and doing some measurements. We are entering a cooling period and need to plan for that.

They may be shutting their doors. From hackaday:

MAKER MEDIA CEASES OPERATIONS
Over the years we’ve had the dubious honor of bidding farewell to numerous companies that held a special place in the hearts of hackers and makers. We’ve borne witness to the demise of Radio Shack, TechShop, and PrintrBot, and even shed a tear or two when Toys “R” Us shut their doors. But as much as it hurt to see those companies go, nothing quite compares to this. Today we’ve learned that Maker Media has ceased operations.

Between the first issue of Make magazine in 2005 and the inaugural Maker Faire a year later, Maker Media deftly cultured the public face of the “maker movement” for over a decade. They didn’t create maker culture, but there’s no question that they put a spotlight on this part of the larger tech world. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the shuttering of Maker Media could have far reaching consequences that we won’t fully understand for years.

While this news will surely come as a crushing blow to many in the community, Maker Media founder and CEO Dale Dougherty says they’re still trying to put the pieces together. “I started the magazine and I’m committed to keeping that going because it means something to a lot of people and means something to me.” At this point, Dale tells us that Maker Media is officially in a state of insolvency. This is an important distinction, and means that the company still has a chance to right the ship before being forced to declare outright bankruptcy.

In layman’s terms, the fate of Make magazine and Maker Faire is currently uncertain. The intent is to restructure the organization and rehire enough people to keep the brand alive, but it may take rethinking their business model entirely. While they aren’t looking to crowdsource the resurrection of Make, Dale said he believes the answer may ultimately come from the community’s willingness to financially support them, “my question is can we perhaps rely on the community to offer support for what we’re doing in ways we have not asked for in the past.” Ideas currently being discussed include the sort of annual membership and pledge drives used by public broadcasting.

Not surprising. It started out with a lot of really interesting content and I would get them religiously. The level of content started declining to where it was one major project and a lot of puff pieces and the price of this magazine rose to almost $20. $20 for a frikking magazine. I think not. Sad to see it go but they lost their mojo and are paying the price.

From San Antonio, Texas station KENS5:

'Parle vous français?' City searches for French speakers as hundreds of Congolese asylum-seekers head to SA
Roughly 350 migrants from the Congo are expected to arrive in San Antonio in the coming days leaving the city scrambling for French-speaking volunteers.

"We didn't get a heads up," Interim Assistant City Manager Dr. Collen Bridger told KEN 5 on Thursday.

Bridger said the Congolese migrants began to arrive in town on Tuesday. They told Migrant Resource Center workers, they traveled with a group of about 350 migrants through Ecuador to the southern border.

I still want to know who is funding this? We are talking at least $10K per person to get them from the Congo over to Ecuador and then over land, through Mexico and to our border. A bit more:

The city opened up the Frank Garrett Center to house the Congolese migrants for the weekend, but after that, they're not sure where they'll house them especially since they don't know how long some of them will be here.

"The plan was 350 of them would travel from San Antonio to Portland. When we reached out to Portland Maine they said, 'Please don't send us any more. We're already stretched way beyond our capacity," Bridger said.

"So we're working with them [the migrants] now to identify other cities throughout the United States where they can go and begin their asylum seeking process."

Yikes - Portland is close to Seattle and the rest of the Pacific Northwest - two very dense population centers with large rapid transit systems. You can be without symptoms for as long as two weeks but still be highly contagious. This is a serious health problem and nothing is being done. Every person who comes into unprotected contact with these illegals stands a chance of contracting ebola. 50% fatal even with the best of care and there are only 35 hospitals able to do this.

Back home

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CERT class was very good and the prime rib at the American Legion hall was a treat. Had a couple $3 pints there so home for the evening. The pups enjoyed their trimmings - it was gone in a couple of seconds but they were wagging their tails for a couple minutes after. They are downstairs gnawing on some bones and very happy.

So far, the longest WSPR contact has been 1,300 miles away in Alaska - again, really crappy antenna. Looking forward to setting up a decent one. The computing overhead for the database logging is pretty minimal so there are versions of this software that run on a $35 Raspberry Pi - looking at setting up a stand-alone appliance to handle the beacon and the receiver.

Weather looking good for tomorrow and the yard needs mowing seriously. Do that tomorrow and then to the farm for a few days. Also need to do some paperwork tomorrow.

WSPR

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What I had alluded to in an earlier post was WSPR - an interesting amateur radio mode of operation. WSPR stands for Weak Signal Propegation Reporter and is an outgrowth of Joe Taylor's incredible (he won a Nobel Prize for it) work with low power radio signalling for the two Voyager spaceships launched a bit more than 40 years ago.

V'ger had very limited electrical power on board so they had to use as minimal transmission power as possible. The trade-off was very slow speed (the images and data would take several hours each to send).

Fast forward to today - a WSPR beacon uses 0.2 watts to send. A hand-held radio uses about five watts. A desktop radio uses from 20 to 100 watts. I have a 600 watt amplifier for my desktop set. There is a guy in Sweden who makes very inexpensive WSPR beacons and I bought one of them. Some amateur radio operators are also running WSPR receivers connected to the internet so when they pick up the signal from a beacon, they will post that data to a centralized website.

This data is then available to view.

The advantage is that now that our sun is in a very quiet mood, long-distance radio communications is a lot more sporadic event and running a WSPR beacon will tell me which frequencies are carrying the farthest. Here is a sample output map:

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This is from a couple of hours operation. Also, the antenna I am using is absolutely sub-optimal. A length of wire hanging out my window. When I am up at the farm this week, I will bring a better antenna to use. I am also looking at building a WSPR reciever in the next month or so - get in on the fun...

More here, here, here and here

It was scheduled to be a one-hour seminar but it ran out to two. Very interested and interactive audience - lots of boaters. Jack covered how tides are formed and what causes the outliers - highs and lows. Talked about Amphidromic Points and the interaction of the tides with the land masses.

Eating a sandwich for lunch and have the CERT training at 2:00PM. Prime rib dinner tonight at the Veterans Hall.

Heading out in a few minutes

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10:00AM class on tides and currents. Coffee first.

Got a new toy which I will write about later - one word: WSPR (and here)

From our President:

The whole thread is available here: I am pleased to inform

This is called leadership. We welcome immegrants but they must come here legally and assimilate into American society.

And the universe did not implode

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From AV Club:

Jack Black and Jack White meet, at last
Fulfilling the prophecy laid down lo these many years ago—presumably nine seconds after the very first Twitter account was formed—musicians Jack Black and Jack White have finally provided the world with photographic proof that they have, in fact, met. Sharing the haunted looks of men who’ve had to field a lifetime’s worth of “Wouldn’t it be funny if you and Jack ____ hung out?” jokes in the span of a few short years, the pair (and Kyle Gass, spared the hell of their collective shared-namery) met up while Tenacious D and The Raconteurs were both on their respective European tours recently, with the encounter immortalized forever in the annals of Instagram.

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Cracking a safe

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Fun story out of Vermilion, Alberta - from the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

Safe sealed for 40 years until museum visitor spins the dial
What was locked inside the safe was a 40-year mystery.

The combination had defeated locksmiths and befuddled former employees at the hotel it once occupied.

That was till two weeks ago.

That's when the safe was opened by an unwitting visitor to the Vermilion, Alta., museum, where the safe sits in the basement.

"I had moved on to the next item on the tour when he just went down on knees and started playing with the dial," recalled Tom Kibblewhite, a longtime volunteer at the town museum.

"It couldn't have been more than two minutes, he tried the handle and the safe opened," Kibblewhite said in an interview Monday with CBC Radio's Edmonton AM. "I was in total shock. And he was too.

"I asked him if he was a professional safecracker. He said, 'No, I'm a machinist. I work in Fort McMurray.'"

The one-ton safe came from the town's old Brunswick Hotel which closed in the 1970s.

Hidden treasure? Not so lucky:

Alas, there was no valuable treasure inside the safe, just a few documents from its final days inside the old hotel. There was a dusty pad full of restaurant orders and a forgotten payslip from 1977.

"It listed 4½ hours at time and a half, seven hours of straight time and $42 deducted for meals and it came to a total payout of $9 and some cents."

Fun story though - more at the site.

From Outside Magazine:

The Weirdest Stories We've Ever Told
Weird” is an ill-defined term. Does it mean uncanny? Gross? Extraordinary? Supernatural? Here at Outside, it means all of the above. Our editors came together to find some of our weirdest stories from the archive. The result: a collection that ranges from spooky middle-of-the-night bigfoot hunts to an investigation into mysterious shrunken heads.

Looks like some fun reading...

Two more days on the island

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An event today and two classes tomorrow - one on local tides and currents in the morning and a CERT refresher at 2PM. The last prime rib dinner of the season is tomorrow night at the Legion Hall (Second Saturday). This resumes next September.

Spent today yard-sailing (didn't get anything) as well as running some errands. Surf for a bit and then pasta for dinner - picked up another bunch of CDs and burning them while I surf.

Well crap - RIP Mac Rebennack

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Mac Rebennack? Otherwise known as Dr. John. From the New York Times:

Dr. John, of Voodoo Beads, Feathers and New Orleans Sound, Dies at 77
Mac Rebennack, the pianist, singer, songwriter and producer better known as Dr. John, who embodied the New Orleans sound for generations of music fans, died on Thursday. He was 77.

A family statement released by his publicist said the cause was a heart attack. The statement did not say where he died. He had been living in recent years on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain, La.

Mr. Rebennack belonged to the pantheon of New Orleans keyboard wizards that includes Professor Longhair, James Booker, Huey (Piano) Smith and Fats Domino. What distinguished him from his peers was the showmanship of his public persona.

Onstage as Dr. John, he adorned himself with snakeskin, beads and colorful feathers, and his shows blended Mardi Gras bonhomie with voodoo mystery.

He recorded more than 30 albums, including jazz projects (“Bluesiana Triangle,” 1990, with the drummer Art Blakey and the saxophonist David Newman), solo piano records (“Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack,” 1981) and his version of Afropop (“Locked Down,” 2012). His 1989 album of standards, “In a Sentimental Mood,” earned him the first of six Grammy Awards, for his duet with Rickie Lee Jones on “Makin’ Whoopee!”

Saw him a bunch of times in Boston and Seattle. Always put on a great show - got a bunch of his music digitised and listen to it every so often.

Found it - the dining room table

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Apologies for the crappy image but here is the table I scored today:

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Broyhill Artisan Ridge - discontinued now but originally retailed for $2,160 - I think I got a good deal...

Back to work

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Done with lunch.

Time to unload the chairs and move some stuff around the room to make space for the table. I am still sorting through my parent's documents (it goes in surges) so clearing off the folding tables and will be using the new table for this. Much better as it is a lot larger.

Also, my bee feeders (got two of them) came in today so will make some nectar for them. The hummingbird feeders are getting low so will make a big batch for everybody.

Great deal - table

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It is a modern table with veneer finish but solid wood underneath and really well constructed. Designed in the Arts and Crafts style so right up my alley. Six matching chairs and two leaves (it goes out to nine feet long) A really great deal. Have the chairs and leaves with me now and returning this afternoon to get the table itself.

The fun thing is that the name on the email was very familiar - the husband and wife are local potters and I shot their studio on the arts tour. Even funner is that they bought the table from a local photographer who was also on the studio tour. Keeping it in the family...

Breaking for lunch first - turned out to be a nice day but supposed to rain later this afternoon.

Out for a little bit

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Heading out to look at the table.

A reminder - D Day

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Saw this on the web - really makes the point:

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Out for coffee

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Overcast and cooler - rained last night and the forecast is for more. A couple weeks ago, I killed off a patch of grass in the yard. Planning to plant some wildflowers - will do that today. Do some other yardwork too. Heading out at noon to look at a dining room table - already have one but the photos in the ad looked really nice - sell the old one and do an upgrade.

Just wow - talk about a well written decision. The Democrats must be spitting tacks as this will cut into the Mexican cartels' revenue and those sweet campaign contributions will dry up if the wall gets built. (Can you think of any other reason why they are stalling so much?) From Conservative Review:

Judge denies Democrats standing to sue against border wall construction
“The Court declines to take sides in this fight between the House and the President.”

If more judges would think as Judge Trevor McFadden wrote yesterday in a memorandum denying House Democrats’ standing to sue Trump’s border wall, we’d have a semblance of a republic left.

Yesterday, in direct contradiction of a California judge’s ruling last week, Judge Trevor McFadden of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia ruled that House Democrats have no standing to sue the Trump administration over using defense funding for a border wall. He did not write on the merits of whether the president interpreted the statutes correctly or not. That does not matter. The judiciary does not stand above the other two branches and is not the final arbiter of political disputes. It decides cases or controversies and grants relief to specific plaintiffs with legitimate standing before a court. In this case, “the Constitution grants the House no standing to litigate these claims,” according to Judge McFadden.

In the 24-page ruling in U.S. House of Representatives v. Steven Mnuchin, McFadden noted that more broadly, “Intervening in a contest between the House and President over the border wall would entangle the Court ‘in a power contest nearly at the height of its political tension’ and would ‘risk damaging the public confidence that is vital to the functioning of the Judicial Branch.’”

The opinion is a wonderful piece of writing - here are the first three paragraphs:

Few ideas are more central to the American political tradition than the doctrine of separation of powers. Our Founders emerged from the Revolution determined to establish a government incapable of repeating the tyranny from which the Thirteen Colonies escaped. They did so by splitting power aross three branches of the federal government and by providing each the tools required to preserve control over its functions. The “great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department,” James Madison explained, “consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others.” The Federalist No. 51.

This is a case about whether one chamber of Congress has the “constitutional means” to conscript the Judiciary in a political turf war with the President over the implementation of legislation. The U.S. House of Representatives seeks to enjoin the Secretaries and Departments of the Treasury, Defense, Homeland Security, and the Interior (collectively, the “Administration”) from spending certain funds to build a wall along our southern border. The House argues that this expenditure would violate the Appropriations Clause of the Constitution and usurp Congress’s authority. This harm, the House suggests, constitutes an “institutional injury” supporting Article III standing.

The Administration disagrees.

It is not what the Dems want but this is what the Constitution dictates. I love it. Sounds like they need a refresher course in the law - specifically Title 5, Section 3331 of the United States Code. It reads:

“I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

This is what an elected Representative to Congress swears as their Oath of Office - that includes all enemies, foreign and domestic

And that is it for the evening

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Tired - watch a couple YouTubes and then to bed.

Great meeting tonight

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Had a lot of fun - really good food and wonderful people. A lot of fun to see my work up on the big screen.

Get woke, go broke

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Not that much into comics although there is some excellent work out there (I did buy and loved Five Fists of Science when it came out in 2006 - Nikola Tesla is one of my idols and love that Edison and Marconi are portrayed as the villans they are). Looks like one publisher recently started promoting social justice and their sales dropped into the bucket. From Bounding Into Comics:

Rumor: DC Comics to Shut Down Vertigo Comics
A new rumor indicates DC Comics will shut down their Vertigo Comics imprint.

The rumor comes from Rich Johnston and Bleeding Cool who notes he “has been informed by a number of sources.” He also states that the shuttering of the iconic comic imprint has “come from on high rather rapidly.”

About the origin:

Vertigo Comics was founded in 1993 by Karen Berger and focused on the horror and fantasy genres with comics targeted toward a more adult audience that featured violence, drug abuse, sexuality, nudity, profanity, and other controversial topics. It would eventually house crime, social commentary, and other genres.

The imprint saw success in a number of now famous comic book series including Sandman, Preacher, Y: The Last Man, 100 Bullets, Animal Man, V for Vendetta, American Vampire, Fables, DMZ, Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, iZombie, and Hellblazer.

Many of the Vertigo Comics titles have been adapted into live-action television and films with Bill Willingham’s Fables series seeing a successful video game adaptation in The Wolf Among Us from Telltale Games.

Vertigo Comics TV series include Constantine, iZombie, Lucier, and Preacher. A Y: The Last Man series is currently in development. As for films they include Constantine, A History of Violence, V for Vendetta, The Fountain, The Losers, and the upcoming adaptation of The Kitchen.

Some major titles there - good bonafides. And their downfall?

While Vertigo Comics has a storied past, it’s current incarnation is anything but. DC Comics announced a relaunch of the imprint under Senior Editor Mark Doyle in 2018 that featured a number of extremely controversial creative teams including Zoe Quinn, Robbi Rodriguez, Ramon Villalobos, Eric Esquivel, Rob Sheridan, and Richard Pace among others.

Did these changes hurt the sales much?

And while the creators themselves were making controversial statements, their books were not selling. Quinn’s first issue of Goddess Mode only shipped 17,471 copies. The second issue shipped 8,116. It wouldn’t get any prettier.

Esquivel and Villalobos’ Border Town would only ship 15,259 copies of the first issue. The second issue shipped 8,847. You can already see the trend forming.

Hex Wives by Ben Blacker and Mirka Andolfo would only 17,158 copies of issue one. The second issue shipped 9,869.

Sheridan’s High Level #1 shipped 16,824 copies. The second issue shipped 8,155 copies.

American Carnage would only ship 12,891 units for its first issue. The second issue only shipped 7,434 units.

Like they say: Get Woke, Go Broke. Social Justice is toxic for the bottem line.

Heading out for the evening

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The party starts at 6:00PM but showing up a bit early to help set up tables, etc...

Should be fun - the photos I took in May will be running all the time as a background slide show.

Two different generations

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In memory of D Day - 75 years ago today. From Michael Ramirez:

20190605-ramirez.JPG

As things develop - Arkancide

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From the Arkansas ABC affiliate KATV:

Arkansas judge seals police records in killing of former senator Linda Collins-Smith
A judge has sealed investigative files in the killing of former Arkansas senator Linda Collins-Smith.

The Randolph County prosecuting attorney's office announced Wednesday that Circuit Judge Harold Erwin had sealed documents and statements obtained by police.

The Randolph County sheriff's office said it will issue a "brief statement" on the case Wednesday.

Sealing the documents? A bit odd for an open murder investigation.

Great quote

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"There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people.
For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs."
--Thomas Sowell

A target-rich opportunity

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This will be interesting to see - from the Washington Examiner:

Democrats plan Capitol Hill event to put Trump's mental health under fire
Democrats are planning to host a Capitol Hill event featuring psychiatrists who will warn that President Trump is unfit for office based on his mental health.

The event will be led by Dr. Bandy Lee, a Yale School of Medicine psychiatrist and editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, a book that argues psychiatrists have a responsibility to warn the public when a president is dangerous. The position is controversial because psychiatric associations urge members never to diagnose patients they haven't personally evaluated, saying it undermines the scientific rigor of the profession.

This was never about the practice of Psychiatry, this is about virtue signalling and maintaining the Orange Man Bad narrative.

An unsurprising poll

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From Pew Research Center:

Many Americans Say Made-Up News Is a Critical Problem That Needs To Be Fixed
Many Americans say the creation and spread of made-up news and information is causing significant harm to the nation and needs to be stopped, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 6,127 U.S. adults conducted between Feb. 19 and March 4, 2019, on the Center’s American Trends Panel.

Indeed, more Americans view made-up news as a very big problem for the country than identify terrorism, illegal immigration, racism and sexism that way. Additionally, nearly seven-in-ten U.S. adults (68%) say made-up news and information greatly impacts Americans’ confidence in government institutions, and roughly half (54%) say it is having a major impact on our confidence in each other.

U.S. adults blame political leaders and activists far more than journalists for the creation of made-up news intended to mislead the public. But they believe it is primarily the responsibility of journalists to fix the problem. And they think the issue will get worse in the foreseeable future.

The lsat paragraph really talks to me - the politicians are spewing narrative and the journalists are just going along with it. They are not doing their fscking job and asking hard questions. It will be interesting to see if they turn it around.

Arkancide

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There have been a trail of 'suicides' surounding the Clinton family - enough that the term Arkancide has been coined and a website put online. This twitter thread points to another one:

This is just the primary tweet - click on this link to go to the actual Twitter thread as people are posting links to additional information. Curious - it will be interesting to see if the FBI investigates.

House smells like bacon

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Got the beans simmering. Making a double batch of this recipe: The Best Barbecue Beans Recipe

Trying this cole slaw out: Sweet Hot Mustard Slaw

These need to simmer for an hour before transferring to the oven for four hours so surf for a bit and run a load of laundry.

Awwwww

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Ran into this little guy on the internet - talk about cute:

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A meme from China

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Regarding Huawei phones:

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Another day in paradise

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Cool and overcast. The beans bulked up nicely so start cooking them when I get back from coffee and post office.

Dump run this afternoon. Farm tomorrow (probably)

And that is it for me tonight

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Early morning so tired. Couple of YouTubes and bedtime.

Fun meeting tomorrow - pot luck. I am bringing some baked beans and cole slaw - got the bean soaking and the cabbage sitting with salt and draining (makes the texture a lot better)

The Mueller Report

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One of Mueller's witnesses has a little problem. From Ace of Spades:

Key Mueller Witness Arrested for Child Pornography... Again
The company Mueller and Weissmann keep.

George Aref Nader, who was a key witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, was arrested on child pornography charges Monday in New York, federal prosecutors announced Monday.

Nader was arrested upon arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport for "transporting visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct."
He previously pleaded guilty to the same charge in 1991, the Justice Department said.

If convicted, he faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years.

The Mueller report mentions Nader in nearly four dozen footnotes, including references to his interviews with special counsel investigators, and other materials, like his emails and text messages...

More at the site including this tidbit:

George Nader, a key Mueller witness who was just arrested on child porn charges, was represented by Kathryn Ruemmler, Obama's top White House lawyer for three years. Mueller failed in his report to mention Nader's child porn rap sheet going back to 1985.

And Karl Denninger offers these observations at The Market Ticker:

He was arrested Monday (6/3/2019.)

He was caught on January 17th 2018.

The same day he started "cooperating" with Mueller and ultimately testified before the Grand Jury.

Was his testimony truthful?

It certainly appears it was coerced (facing 15 years of hard time, especially as a second offense for the same thing, and for child porn at that) has a funny way of coercing people to say whatever you want them to say, and I bet the Grand Jury wasn't told that he had been caught with child pornography and then "magically" decided to cooperate.

RIGHT MULLER?

After all, that's how Grand Juries work.  You don't get any exculpatory evidence introduced to one, and in addition there is no cross-examination.

The Mueller report extensively cites him, specifically related to a meeting in January 2017 regarding a banker with ties to Putin.

Does this mean he was lying? Not necessarily.

But it certainly goes to credibility; his testimony was hardly "freely given."

Straight out of the politburo playbook - the people running the high levels of this Nation are hardline communist party hacks. They do not say so but their actions belie their motives.

Time to fix dinner

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Using the meat from yesterday's Carne Asada to make tacos. Got the beans soaking for tomorrow's baked beans. Out for two beers later.

Heh - from Climate Depot:

Australian government pays Al Gore $320k to conduct climate training as rare snowfall hits
Aussie Alan Jones: Taxpayers will fork out more than $320,000 for the Climate Week conference, where form US vice president Al Gore will “communicate the urgency of the climate crisis”.“It is not believable,” says Alan Jones, “that the Queensland government can be so awash with money as to bring this hypocrite Al Gore to Australia for a conference.“When so many important instruments of government are underfunded, when farmers can’t feed their cattle in Queensland, and $320,000 goes to waste on this shonk.”

Jo Nova: Fittingly, The Gore effect strikes again. Snow fell in Queensland.

20190604-au.png

Gore Effect? Here: Gore Effect

Our sun is very very quiet and this is getting noticed by the public media.

If you build it, they will come

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Provide free shit to people who do not like working and you will drain the rest of the nation. Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle are doing the rest of this nation a great big favor. From Los Angeles station KTLA:

Number of Homeless People Jumps 12% Across L.A. County to Nearly 59,000
The number of homeless people counted across Los Angeles County jumped 12% over the past year to nearly 59,000, with more young and old residents and families on the streets, officials said Tuesday.

The majority of the homeless were found within the city of Los Angeles, which saw a 16% increase to 36,300, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority said in presenting January's annual count to the county Board of Supervisors.

The people running these cities are not addressing the core problems - mental health, entitlement and just basic laziness.

Just wonderful - two plagues

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Two horrible plagues have intersected like some Venn Diagram from hell. From Reuters:

Islamic State claims deadly attack in east Congo's Ebola zone
Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a deadly overnight attack in an area of eastern Congo hit by an Ebola epidemic, although its account of the violence differed from local reports.

The deputy mayor of Beni in the eastern Democratic of Congo said 13 civilians were killed late on Monday in an attack by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) - a group thought to be linked to Islamic State.

"The victims were killed by bullets and others by bladed weapons," Mayor Modeste Bakwanamaha told Reuters.

In a statement on the messaging website Telegram, Islamic State said it was behind the attack. It said it had targeted the Congolese army in Beni, killing or wounding 25 people.

The bloodshed added to widespread insecurity that has hampered efforts to contain the second-worst Ebola epidemic on record. The number of cases hit 2,000 this week as the rate of infection accelerated.

All these pig-lovers need to do is infect a couple Somali 'refugees', wait a week for them to become contagious and then put them on a flight to the USA. Instant epidemic.

Great quote

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From the master:

"No matter where or what, there are makers, takers, and fakers."
--Robert Heinlein

Great news - the wheels of justice etc... from the South Florida Sun Sentinel:

Ex-school deputy Scot Peterson arrested on charges of neglect of duty in Parkland massacre
Scot Peterson, the school security officer branded a coward for his inaction during the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, has been arrested for neglect of duty, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony announced Tuesday.

Peterson, 56, had been nationally heckled and vilified for failing to confront the former student who gunned down and killed 17 students and staff at the Parkland school on Feb. 14, 2018.

From one of the parents: "He should rot, that’s how I feel"

Absolutely.

Good riddance

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This moke has spent too much time in the public forum - from FOX News:

California state bar moves to suspend Avenatti's law license, saying he poses 'substantial threat of harm to clients or the public'
The California State Bar, which oversees discipline for all California-licensed attorneys, issued a "consumer alert" Monday evening concerning Michael Avenatti, saying it was moving to suspend him from the practice of law because his alleged conduct "poses a substantial threat of harm to clients or the public."

The sudden development further accentuated Avenatti's dramatic public fall from grace -- he was once celebrated in liberal media circles as a potential challenger to President Trump -- as he faces numerous federal criminal charges in both California and New York courts for allegedly trying to blackmail the clothing giant Nike, impersonating a client, misappropriating client funds for personal purchases, and related matters.

His fifteen minutes are well over. Next?

Cool library - BBC Sound Effects

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The Beeb has put 16,000 sound effects up for download at this link: BBC Sound Effects

Free for personal, educational or research purposes. Commercial license is just $5 per clip.

Happy Killdozer Day

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Today is the fifteenth aniversary of Marvin Heemeyer's rampage. From Infogalactic:

Marvin John Heemeyer (October 28, 1951 – June 4, 2004) was an American welder and an automobile muffler repair shop owner most known for his rampage with a modified bulldozer. Outraged over the outcome of a zoning dispute, he armored a Komatsu D355A bulldozer with layers of steel and concrete and used it on June 4, 2004 to demolish the town hall, the former mayor's house, and other buildings in Granby, Colorado. The rampage ended when the bulldozer got stuck in the basement of a Gambles store he was in the process of destroying. Heemeyer then killed himself with a handgun.

Heemeyer had been feuding with Granby officials, particularly over fines for violating city ordinances and a zoning dispute regarding a concrete factory constructed opposite his muffler shop.

And the Killdozer?

In 2001, the zoning commission and the town's trustees approved the construction of a cement manufacturing plant. Heemeyer appealed the decisions unsuccessfully. For many years, Heemeyer had used the adjacent property as a way to get to his muffler shop. The plan for the cement plant blocked that access. In addition to the frustration engendered by this dispute over access, Heemeyer was fined $2,500 by the Granby government for various violations, including "junk cars on the property and not being hooked up to the sewer line".

Notes found by investigators after the incident indicate that the primary motivation for the bulldozer rampage was his fight to stop a concrete plant from being built near his shop. These notes indicated that he held grudges over the zoning approval. "I was always willing to be reasonable until I had to be unreasonable", he wrote. "Sometimes reasonable men must do unreasonable things."

Words to live by - more:

The machine used in the incident was a Komatsu D355A bulldozer[9] fitted with makeshift armor plating covering the cabin, engine and parts of the tracks. In places this armor was over 1 foot (30 cm) thick, consisting of 5000-psi Quikrete concrete mix sandwiched between sheets of tool steel (acquired from an automotive dealer in Denver), to make ad-hoc composite armor. This made the machine impervious to small arms fire and resistant to explosives: indeed three external explosions and more than 200 rounds of ammunition fired at the bulldozer had no effect on it.

For visibility the bulldozer was fitted with several video cameras linked to two monitors mounted on the vehicle's dashboard; the cameras were protected on the outside by 3-inch (76 mm) shields of bullet-resistant plastic. Onboard fans and an air conditioner were used to keep Heemeyer cool while driving, and compressed-air nozzles were fitted to blow dust away from the video cameras. He had made three gun-ports, fitted for a .50 caliber sniper rifle, a .308 semi-automatic, and a .22 long rifle, all fitted with a half-inch-thick steel plate. Heemeyer apparently had no intention of leaving the cabin once he entered it. Authorities speculated he may have used a homemade crane – found in his garage – to lower the armor hull over the dozer and himself. "Once he tipped that lid shut, he knew he wasn't getting out", Daly said. Investigators searched the garage where they believe Heemeyer built the vehicle and found cement and armor steel.

Afterwards the modified bulldozer came to be known as "Killdozer", although only Heemeyer was killed in the event by a self-inflicted gun shot.

On June 4, 2004, Heemeyer drove his armored bulldozer through the wall of his former business, the concrete plant, the Town Hall, the office of the local newspaper that editorialized against him, the home of a former judge's widow, and a hardware store owned by another man Heemeyer named in a lawsuit, as well as others. Owners of all the buildings that were damaged had some connection to Heemeyer's disputes

Quite the bit of American History.

Two offerings from Amazon

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Very interesting - first, from Market Watch:

Amazon is selling entire houses for less than $20,000 — with free shipping
Residential builders have found a new home: Amazon.

20190604-amazon.jpg

Prefabricated and modular housing — with homes prebuilt in factories — is having another moment. From 2013 to 2018, industry revenue grew an annualized 8.6% to nearly $10.5 billion, including growth of 4.1% in 2018 alone, according to research firm IBISWorld.

Previously associated with Dwell and other shelter magazines and websites, these often-tiny homes have now hit Amazon in a big way — and are apparently selling out there. Indeed, multiple news outlets, including real-estate sites Curbed and the Real Dealreported that one 172-square-foot, $7,250 prefab cabin, which the manufacturer claims can be built in eight hours and ships free from Amazon, had sold out. (Reports that the home was back in stock followed, as did some consumer warnings and social snickering.)

The second offering makes a lot of sense - from CDL Life (CDL = Commercial Drivers License):

Amazon’s new freight brokerage platform is reportedly undercutting prices by up to 33%
Amazon has released a trial version of its new digital freight brokerage platform that is threatening to turn the trucking industry on its head.

Amazon has quietly launched the beta version of their freight brokerage platform at freight.amazon.com. The website offers few details about the platform but promises to allow users to “tap into the scale of Amazon as we extend our carrier network to give you best-in-class service at great rates.”

The two Amazon sites are: Tiny house and Amazon Freight
Amazon Freight is just doing full loads for now. Still need to go with traditional brokers for LTL.

Our changing climate

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Colder and wetter - a two-fer:

First from Bloomberg:

The Wettest, Wildest Planting Season U.S. Farmers Can Remember
There has never been a spring planting season like this one. Rivers topped their banks. Levees were breached. Fields filled with water and mud. And it kept raining.

Food is going to get a lot more expensive - corn and grains are used for animal feed too.

Second - Microsoft News:

More weather woes for farmers: ‘There will be a lot of acres not planted'
How best to describe the situation faced by U.S. farmers after continued rain and flooding?

"It's like we are trying to plant on top of a lake!" wrote Nebraska farmer Ed Brummels in a recent Twitter post.

The situation does not look to improve for farmers in the U.S. Corn Belt. AccuWeather is predicting the pattern of rounds of showers and thunderstorms to continue, with storms over part of the flood-stricken areas into midweek. Also, the southern half of the Corn Belt is in the path of downpours expected later this week.

"If you're along the Ohio River and you don't have your corn planted by Wednesday, you may not plant anything additional because you may get three inches of rain between Thursday and Saturday," said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

Corn and soybean planting remain well off pace, according to Monday's U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Crop Progress compared to the average from 2014-18.

The Crop Progress indicated just 67% of corn was planted in 18 key corn-producing states. The 2014-18 average for corn planted by June 2nd is 96%, so planting is off 30.2% in comparison.

Like I said - stock up on stuff while the prices are reasonable.

Fun times in Mexico

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I used to like to visit there but not any more - from Conservative Review:

Mexican government admits 80% of its populated territory is run by cartels, including key border areas
As of last year, the Taliban controlled or contested 46 percent of the districts in Afghanistan’s civil war. That was enough justification for us to keep our military perpetually engaged there in combat. What if you were told that 80 percent of Mexico’s territory is controlled by dangerous cartels, including all of the key smuggling routes at our border, and that the cartels are orchestrating all of the illegal immigration into our territory and bringing their members back and forth across our own border?

Several weeks ago, the Mexican investigative journal Contralínea posted a map of Mexico prepared by the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), showing that 80 percent of the country’s 266 districts recently targeted for enforcement by the Mexican National Guard in a new counter-cartel operation are either controlled (57.5 percent) or disputed (23.3 percent) by the cartels. “Only 53 (19.92 percent) enjoy a low level of violence, which means that control is exercised by the authorities,” reported Contralínea on May 4, citing the data on the color-coded map.

What gets me is why the border between our two nations is not secured - who is paying Chuck and Nancy to have them keep it open by stalling legislation?

That was fun - radio

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We did some good drills today - lots of fun and great preperation for the event of something serious happening.

Having lunch and then get the beans on to soak for tomorrows potluck.

Quick surf...

And that is it for the night

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Got the alarm set for an early and fun morning. Watch 30 minutes of YouTube and then to bed.

Dinner tonight was Carne Asada at my favorite Mexican place - really good and got some leftovers to slice up and make tacos tomorrow night.

Great special effects

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This guy has a career in Hollywood:

Tip of the hat to Van der Leun

Finding a new home - a bear

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Back on May 1st of this year, I posted about a black bear that was sighted a couple miles from my house. It has since been seen all over this area. They caught it last Saturday. From the Stanwood-Camano News:

Wildlife officials capture island-hopping black bear in Mount Vernon
A black bear’s island tour is over.

The fuzzy tourist was captured early Saturday in Mount Vernon after a suspected journey throughout local waters.

“The bear is scheduled to be released, in the wild, on his own recognizance” Mount Vernon police wrote in a news release.

Distinctive markings on the bear prompted Fish and Wildlife officers to believe it was the same bear that had been spotted in Island, San Juan and Skagit counties, and that the bear has been swimming from location to location.

“The bear did, however, refuse to identify himself, so positive identification could not be verified” after Saturday’s capture, police wrote.

Officers with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife worked with Mount Vernon police and fire departments to keep the bear safe after a tranquilizer brought it down from a tree in the 400 block of North 17th Street, according to a news release from police. It was safely caught in a tarp as it slipped from the tree at about 4 a.m. The Mount Vernon Fire Department assisted in the capture.

He enjoyed quite the tour:

The male bear has been spotted on Camano, Whidbey, Fidalgo, Orcas, San Juan, Lopez, Decatur, Blakley, Shaw islands. Local residents, ferry workers and boaters have witnessed and filmed the bear swimming across channels.

Hitting all the tourist spots... I love bears - would have one for a pet if it was legal.

Let's play a game of Bingo

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Here is your card:

20190603-bingo.jpg

Tip of the hat to Kim DuToit whose blog is a daily read for me. Good stuff!

Unraveling the deep state

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One bad actor at a time - from The Washington Times:

How much did the FBI rely on a discredited Trump-Russia dossier?
The public knows that the FBI relied extensively on the Democratic Party-financed dossier, whose list of anti-Trump allegations influenced the bureau’s overall attitude toward the candidate and eventual president.

Now, Attorney General William P. Barr has made it clear he wants to know more: Just how far did the discredited dossier take the FBI into the depths of a nearly three-year Trump investigation?

“What were the standards that were applied? What was the evidence?” Mr. Barr told CBS News, adding that his focus is not on the rank-and-file but on senior FBI leaders.

Dossier writer Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, was a trusted FBI paid informant before Trump-Russia. He pitched his dossier to the FBI in these terms: Donald Trump was a Russia spy, co-conspirator and financier of computer hacking. In other words, a traitor and a criminal.

A good article but there is a major error. Instead of: "the Democratic Party-financed dossier" it should read: "the Clinton Campaign-financed dossier" It was Clinton Foundation money that paid for it. Lock her up.

Island time for a couple of days

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No internet at the farm - actually had to read a book for an hour or two. The power had gone out (stove and microwave needed their clocks reset) - maybe there was a power surge.

Have a radio drill tomorrow morning at the fire and rescue admin building - since it is the first Tuesday of the month, we will be doing much more than just checking in. Fun stuff and really useful when (not if) the shit hits the fan. This particular building is less than two miles from my house so definitely walking distance if everything goes pear-shaped.

Wednesday, one of the groups I belong to is having their bi-annual pot-luck dinner. My last initial has me making a side dish this time (It was an entree last December) so I will be doing my oven-baked beans. Cooking a pot in the oven allows for all-around heating which really promotes the Maillard Reaction - couple hours and it is good enough to eat (I should hope so). Soaking some navy beans tomorrow and spend a couple hours Wednesday preparing. Also doing a cole slaw with honey mustard dressing. I'll thaw out some bacon tonights.

Surf for a little bit and then dinnertime. Drove through Bellingham this afternoon.

I bet El Presidente for life is looking at options for escape right now. From the New York Times:

In a Blow to Maduro, Russia Withdraws Key Defense Support to Venezuela
Russia has withdrawn key defense advisers from Venezuela, an embarrassment for President Nicolás Maduro as Moscow weighs the leader’s political and economic resilience against growing U.S. pressure.

Russian state defense contractor Rostec, which has trained Venezuelan troops and advised on securing arms contracts, has cut its staff in Venezuela to just a few dozen, from about 1,000 at the height of cooperation between Moscow and Caracas several years ago, said a person close to the Russian defense ministry.

Regime change in 3... 2... 1... I really feel sorry for the citizens of Venezuela - they have spent the last 30 years seeing firsthand what socialism is really like.

Useful idiots in the news

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The citizens of San Francisco are innumerate and have no memory of the past. From The Hill:

Hickenlooper booed in San Francisco for denouncing socialism
Democratic activists booed former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) on Saturday after he warned party faithful about the perils of embracing socialism and socialist positions ahead of next year's presidential race.

Hickenlooper, a former governor of a purple state Hillary Clinton won by just 4.9 percentage points in 2016, said Republicans would use the Democratic flirtation with socialism to paint the entire party as outside the mainstream of the political spectrum.

"If we want to beat Donald Trump and achieve big progressive goals, socialism is not the answer," Hickenlooper told delegates to the California Democratic Party convention.

Some delegates, meeting in perhaps the most liberal city in America, booed.

San Francisco is a true shithole of a city and its citizens want to spread this around to the rest of the United States.

Curious - Joe Biden

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From Breitbart:

Biden Present at Russia Collusion Briefing Documented in ‘Odd’ Susan Rice Email
Vice President Joe Biden was documented as being present in the Oval Office for a conversation about the controversial Russia probe between President Obama, disgraced ex-FBI chief James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and other senior officials including Obama’s national security advisor Susan Rice.

In an action characterized as “odd” last year by then-Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Rice memorialized the confab in an email to herself describing Obama as starting “the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities ‘by the book.’”

Grassley, in a letter to Rice, commented: “It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation.”

Grassley noted the unusual timing of the email sent by Rice to herself more than two weeks after the January 5, 2017 White House meeting on the Russia investigation, but mere hours before she vacated the White House for the incoming Trump administration.

The email, Grassley documented, was sent by Rice to herself on Trump’s inauguration day of January 20, 2017.

“If the timestamp is correct, you sent this email to yourself at 12:15 pm, presumably a very short time before you departed the White House for the last time,” Grassley wrote to Rice in a letter seeking clarification on a number of issues regarding the email and the Oval Office briefing at which Biden was documented as being present.

I love that cracks are appearing in the facade of the deep state. Waiting for it to come crashing down. This is a great thing for America - we came way to close to losing our liberty with these tyrant-wannabe's.

Things are starting to crawl out of the woodwork - from Zero Hedge:

"It's All A Fraud": Deceptive Edits Found In Mueller Report
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Saturday called for the immediate release of "all backup and source information" for the Mueller report after internet sleuth @almostjingo (Rosie Memos) discovered that the special counsel's office deceptively edited content which was then cited as evidence of possible obstruction.

"It's all a fraud" tweeted Nunes, replying to a tweet by @JohnWHuber (Undercover Huber), who also posted a comparison between the Mueller report and a newly released transcript of a November 2017 voicemail message left by former Trump lawyer John Dowd, in which he asked former national security adviser Michael Flynn's attorney for a "heads up" if Flynn was planning on saying anything that might damage the president. 

Mueller's team omitted key context suggesting that Dowd was trying to strongarm Flynn and possibly obstruct justice by shaping witness testimony, while the actual voicemail reveals that Dowd was careful not to tread into obstruction territory in what was a friendly and routine call between lawyers. 

More at the site - there are screen caps of the text in the Mueller Report and the text of the source documents. This is only one example that has been released. What will happen if the entire 448 pages are full of the same cherry picked and edited materials. No wonder it took 674 days and $32+ Million dollars. Our tax dollars at work.

A nice perspective from Leslie Eastman at Legal Insurrection:

U.S. plans to refine its way out of potential “rare earths” crisis
There was once a time that the American economy was threatened by OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) because we were an importer of petroleum products.

The Americans got busy, started frackingbuilding pipelines, and developed new technologies. We are now producing “molecules of freedom” in abundance.

Now, after China threatens to cut our supply of rare earth elements essential for certain products, American entrepreneurs are coming to the rescue.

Rare earth elements are used every day. They are metals that are used in everything from cell phones to cars, televisions, military jet engines and medical devices.

However, the tit-for-tat trade Opens a New Window. war between the U.S. and China, Opens a New Window. may present a challenge to the industry which heavily relies on China. The retaliatory tariffs from China on $60 billion worth U.S. goods goes into effect this weekend.

Blue Line Corp., a chemical company based in Texas, is the first and only company outside of China that can process small batches of rare earth. They just partnered with Australian rare earths mining company Lynas to build a processing facility in the U.S.

According to a 2019 minerals commodity summary, approximately 80% of the nation’s rare earth elements and compounds were imported from China.  A view of this situation is summarized by the US Geological Survey:

20190602-rare.jpg

China is going to rue the day they decided to use rare earth minerals as a bargaining chip. They need a reliable flow of hard cash into their economy and that was a major one.

Still on the island

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A nice turn of events persuaded me to spend last night on the island.

Puttering around the house and yard today and heading to the farm later tonight. Having some lunch and surfing for a bit.

We are now beginning Hurricane Season - from Accuweather:

Tropical threat may brew in Gulf of Mexico as Atlantic hurricane season officially begins
The 2019 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway and the southwestern Gulf of Mexico is being monitored for potential tropical activity into early week.

A broad area of unsettled weather located near the west coast of the Yucatan Peninsula will move west-northwestward over the Bay of Campeche this weekend.

Happy happy joy joy...

This is treason in my book - Iran

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Talk about being screwed up - from The Daily Beast:

Team Obama Tells Iran: Don’t Escalate, Don’t Take Trump’s Bait
As the Trump administration sent warplanes and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, a small group of former Obama administration officials reached out to their contacts in the Iranian government, including Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. Their message to Iran: Don’t take Trump’s bait. Stay calm.

Conversations between former Obama officials and Iranian government officials have been ongoing since November 2016. Zarif, who visits the U.S. every year for the U.N. General Assembly in New York, usually meets with lawmakers, think tanks, journalists, and former officials when he is in town.

But the recent round of conversations, which took place over the phone and in person over the last two months, came as lines of communication between the U.S. and Iran, through intermediaries in Europe and elsewhere, deteriorated.

And a bit more:

A Republican congressional aide who works on Iran policy told The Daily Beast the conversations may run counter to the Trump administration’s messaging to the Iranian government.

“It’s not just about what they were saying to the Iranians,” the aide said. “It’s about what they were saying to their political allies back here in the U.S. Their strategy was to divide and isolate the Trump administration just as the Trump administration was trying to re-establish deterrence with Iran. In the current highly partisan political environment, the only safe course is to signal national unity—and they contributed to eroding that at home and abroad.”

This is so wrong - these a**holes are directly countering the efforts of the sitting President. They are undermining his efforts to reign in Iran and stop them from sponsoring terrorism around the world. Logan Act anyone?

Lunchtime

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Taking a break for a bite to eat.

Spent the morning garage-sailing. Glad I did as I picked up this ergonomic keyboard player's chair for $8:

20190601-chair.jpgIt is no longer being manufactured by Proline but the MSRP has got to have been over $150 so great deal. Stopped at a plant sale - nothing of interest as well as a Beer, Brats and Business festival run by the local Chamber of Commerce - nice big turnout for that.

Puttering around here - refilled the hummingbird feeders and watering the plants. Up to the farm later this afternoon/

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