August 2019 Archives

And that is it for the night

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Early morning so feeling tired.

An interesting milestone - aviation

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From Flight Global:

RETROSPECTIVE: The centenary of international air services
In a year that marks so many important aviation anniversaries, the month of August has possibly the most significant of them all. For on 25 August 1919, a small British-built biplane took off from heathland close to where London Heathrow is today, beginning the first-ever daily international passenger air service.

Flight covered the historic inauguration in its 28 August edition under the rather innocuous headline “The London-Paris Air Service”, reporting that it was organised by “Messrs. Aircraft Transport and Travel, Ltd. Two Airco machines set out from this side and one machine from Paris.”

While other passenger air services had been flown before, aviation historians point to the Aircraft Transport and Travel (AT&T) operation between Hounslow Heath and Le Bourget as the true beginning of international flights, as it marked the first daily international passenger, mail and passenger service. None of the previous flights had combined all these.

Only 100 years and we have gone from this:

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To the Moon and around the world. Tip of the hat to Peter Grant at Bayou Renaissance Man for the link.

The Democrats push for open borders

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Classical Cloward-Piven strategy. Overwhelm the system and when it stumbles, use that moment of chaos to push your own narrative into power. We are not only getting the best and brightest from these countries, we are getting the disease-ridden. From The New York Post:

Mumps sickens hundreds of detained migrants in 19 states
Mumps has swept through 57 immigration detention facilities in 19 states since September, according to the first US government report on the outbreaks in the overloaded immigration system.

The virus sickened 898 adult migrants and 33 detention center staffers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its report Thursday.

Nasty stuff. And how long before it spreads to the general population? The Democrats own this. They are the only ones pushing for open borders. Looking forward to Ebola in 3... 2... 1... Again, the Democrats own this.

And back for the evening

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The car show was a lot of fun. Smaller but some really interesting vehicles from a wide gamut. Seven photos:

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Gorgeous 1935 Auburn touring car - the company did not survive the Great Depression and went bankrupt in 1937. Want one of these? Be prepared to spend at least $100K up to $500K depending on condition. There are some replicas being sold but they start at $50K on up. I love the Art Deco styling. Simply elegant. A sexy beast.

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Two friends (husband and wife) collect odd bits of militaria - vehicles, etc... Here is some of their fleet. A half-ton at the back right (it brought in the tent). The tent for the band. There is a reconnaissance vehicle hidden behind the generator trailer (you can see two antennae - whip on the left, stovepipe on the right) and then the generator trailer (power for the band). Over this fall, I will be working with them to restore the three radios on the reconnaissance vehicle and get them on the air. These are Viet Nam era so should be pretty simple to work on and can be tuned to operate on amateur radio frequencies.

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There was a really good blues band. Fun music, fun times. And yes, the cute waitress was working today. Had fun chatting with her.

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Trip down memory lane - we had one of these when I was in grade school. A Rambler American for sale for only $4,700. Didn't get it but it rekindled some fond memories of long vacations with my Mom and Dad.

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This last one was just pure testosterone. A drag racer. They started with a clapped out (daylight through the holes in the floor) Chevy Nova, put about 550 horses into it. No muffler. No exhaust system to speak of. If you look at the far left of the photo at the support for the steering column, you will see two orange spots. Those are the ear plugs. You need them. Two more on the blue bonnet for the shift lever.

All in all, a fun day. The wood shop sale was a bust. No wood scraps and the stuff was overpriced. There was a nice jointer but I can use my router table for the same task. No need for a dedicated piece of equipment taking up floor space. The guy's shop was based around a large Shopsmith setup. I used to own one for about two years and sold it as it was too cumbersome to use. The basic idea is a good one - a substantial base with a power unit and then the various tools attach to the base. The problem is that you can only use one tool at a time and a lot of times, you need to alternate between several tools before finishing your task so swapping back and forth is tiresome. It is a mediocre alternative to two or three simple dedicated stationary tools.

Also did some grocery shopping, got some gas. Had a light dinner (Thai) and two pints at my local.

Out the door

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Garage sale at 9:00AM

Got a car show later this morning.

More in a bit...

Got nothing tonight

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Do a cursory trot around YouTube but feeling tired so heading to bed soon. That third pint of beer did me in. Becoming a lightweight in my dotage...

Back home for the night

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Visited a couple yard sales but didn't see anything that caught my eye. There is this advertisement from the Crab Cracker (a local "what's up" bi-weekly newsletter)

GARAGE / YARD / ESTATE SALES
Garage Sale - August 31, 9am-4pm - TOOLS!! 40+ years of woodworking tools. Scroll saw, compound miter saw, router, sanders, jigsaw, sawzall, grinder, compressor, dremel and more. Lots of accessories, etc. Too many items to list. One day only. 1020 Rocky Point Drive, Camano Island.

Definitely hitting that tomorrow - before coffee if need be. Got the alarm set. I am set up well for the big tools but always on the lookout for cutoffs of interesting woods (incorporate into my metal work and as knife handles) as well as files (great high-carbon steel for knives) and dull and worn saw blades (same thing)

Had Chinese for dinner. Went out for three!!! pints of beer - the cute waitress was working tonight and we chatted for a while but it was pretty busy so didn't get any in-depth conversations. She is working tomorrow.

Surf for a bit and then to bed.

Out for a bit

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Been doing some paperwork (end of month bills, etc...) and heading out for coffee and a couple of errands.

Cool day today so taking the pups with me. Was raining earlier - love the sound.

Planning to do a bit of yard sailing. Farmer's market later this afternoon.

Tried it for a few years a long time ago but never really liked it. From FOX News:

Surgeon General deems cannabis completely unsafe for pregnant women, teens
The Surgeon General says no amount of marijuana is safe for adolescent and pregnant women.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar joined FOX Business on Thursday to discuss the risks associated with pot use by pregnant women and young people. He said one of the major consequences has to do with brain development.

“A critical factor in brain development is this cannabinoid receptor,” Azar told Stuart Varney on Thursday. “And what happens with marijuana is it actually binds to that cannabinoid receptor. And that's where we get a lot of the pleasure-seeking behaviors that we have.”

And crucially:

Azar said that it can block and slow neural and brain development in young people and in utero babies and lead to impaired IQ, early onset of psychosis, including schizophrenia, and reductions in attention and increased levels of depression.

Nice little shopping list there... Explains a lot about today's society.

This looks really good

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Good news - looking at Vaping

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I have zero problem with people vaping but I am really concerned that we do not know what possible dangers there might be with the chemicals used. Glycol is benign as a liquid. We simply do not know enough about its physiological properties as a vapor. Or as a liquid when condensed onto lung tissue. From CNBC:

US health officials investigating 215 possible cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping
U.S. health officials are investigating 215 possible cases of severe lung disease associated with vaping across 25 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said in a joint statement Friday.

The agencies said they need more information to understand whether there’s a relationship between specific products or substances and the reported illnesses. As of now, it does not appear the cases are linked to one particular product, the agencies said, noting that in “many” of the cases, patients reported using THC or CBD, compounds found in cannabis.

“Even though cases appear similar, it is not clear if these cases have a common cause or if they are different diseases with similar presentations, which is why our ongoing investigation is critical,” CDC Director Robert Redfield and acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless said in a joint statement.

Good - I like that they are calling for more information and research. Not an outright ban. More here and here.

Great news from CBS News:

Investigators seize enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people in massive drug bust
Law enforcement officers in Virginia have seized enough fentanyl to kill 14 million people, busting a massive three-state drug ring as part of what they called "Operation Cookout." Thirty-five suspects were arrested, and four others are on the run.

"This opioid crisis is not an issue that is happening someplace else, or to someone else. It's happening right here in Norfolk," said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

In total, authorities seized over 30 kilograms of fentanyl, 30 kilograms of heroin, five kilograms of cocaine and over $700,000. It's the largest drug takedown in Virginia in 15 years. They also seized roughly 24 firearms, including an AK-47.

"We're not talking about $500 and $600 deals, we're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars," Terwilliger said. "You know, $20,000 in the trunk of somebody's car in a gym bag, you know, behind a local restaurant."

Terwilliger said the bust spanned three states and that one of the 39 people charged ordered fentanyl from Shanghai and had it delivered to Virginia through the mail.

"The last thing we want is for the U.S. Postal Service to become the nation's largest drug dealer," he added.

It has never been the Doctors. It has never been the drug companies. It is this shit.

It is China. There is your opioid crisis.

Heh - a dog toy

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I want one of these - cute (and yes, a spall chucker would have been good) Sweet looking Rottie:

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Brilliant design - Hydro Mobile

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Was at a vendor today and saw this at a nearby construction site. Great idea. They are expanding a structure (concrete Tilt-up warehouse) but using CMU's instead of a cast wall:

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The beauty of this system is that you can lower it so a forklift can deliver pallets of new CMUs and then raise it to working height. I love (first photo) that the place where the workers stand is a couple feet below where the blocks are stacked - the masons do not have to lift from ground level. Much easier on the back.

The whole thing is modular so you can configure it for whatever work you are doing. Plus, it can be expanded to fit the size of the job. Made by these people: Hydro-Mobile.

Michael Ramirez gets it - not Doctors over-prescribing, it's Fentanyl coming across our Southern border from China.

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The best and brightest - some numbers

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The illegal immigrants coming in to our nation are not the best and brightest from those countries. The numbers prove it.

From the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs:

64% OF ALL FEDERAL ARRESTS IN 2018 WERE OF NON-U.S. CITIZENS
In 2018, 64% of all federal arrests were of non-U.S. citizens, the Bureau of Justice Statistics announced today. In comparison, 37% of all federal arrests in 1998 were of non-U.S. citizens. Federal arrests of non-U.S. citizens more than tripled from 1998 to 2018 (rising 234%), while federal arrests of U.S. citizens rose 10%.

While non-U.S. citizens make up 7% of the U.S. population (per the U.S. Census Bureau for 2017), they accounted for 15% of all federal arrests and 15% of prosecutions in U.S. district court for non-immigration crimes in 2018. Non-U.S. citizens accounted for 24% of all federal drug arrests and 25% of all federal property arrests, including 28% of all federal fraud arrests.

My surprised face...  (NOT!)

Put down any beverages you might be consuming. This is priceless. From the UK Sun:

JIHADI KARMA ISIS fighter killed by drone bomb he was operating after it ran low on battery and flew back
An ISIS terrorist blew himself up when the drone bomb he was operating ran low on battery — and flew back.

The idiotic killer was targeting allied forces after the Battle for Mosul in northern Iraq.

He had customised his weapon to carry plastic explosive and planned to detonate it by troops based in the city.

But his plan backfired because he had forgotten to sufficiently charge the device.

Civilian drones — as weaponised by ISIS — automatically 'boomerang' back to their point of launch when they start to run out of power.

They are programmed to return to prevent owners losing their machines.

And considering that he was probably one of the smart ones (they let him drive the drone after all), this lowered the overall IQ of their pool of fighters to somewhere around 60 or so. If it was even that high to begin with. Interbreeding will do that.

Great quote - Milton Friedman

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"The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another."

Milton Friedman was an economist. Won the Nobel Prize for it - he was that good. Big fan of Capitalism.

That last link for Capitalism has a great quote:

"As socialists, we are opponents of the Jews, because we see in the Hebrews the incarnation of capitalism, of the misuse of the nation’s goods." -- Joseph Goebbels

A nation does not have "goods". A nation has people. People have "goods". Yes, the Nazi's were pure and totally socialist. Their very name is: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or National-Socialist German Workers' Party
'Nuff said...

Joe Biden tells another one

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The guy is a walking gaffemeister. From the Connecticut Post:

As he campaigns for president, Joe Biden tells a moving but false war story
Joe Biden painted a vivid scene for the 400 people packed into a college meeting hall. A four-star general had asked the then-vice president to travel to Kunar province in Afghanistan, a dangerous foray into "godforsaken country," to recognize the remarkable heroism of a Navy captain.

Some told him it was too risky, but Biden said he brushed off their concerns. "We can lose a vice president," he said. "We can't lose many more of these kids. Not a joke."

The Navy captain, Biden recalled Friday night, had rappelled down a 60-foot ravine under fire and retrieved the body of an American comrade, carrying him on his back. Now the general wanted Biden to pin a Silver Star on the American hero who, despite his bravery, felt like a failure.

Shot:

"This is the God's truth," Biden had said as he told the story. "My word as a Biden."

Chaser:

Except almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect. Based on interviews with more than a dozen U.S. troops, their commanders and Biden campaign officials, it appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened.

Gee - now where have we had politicians make up stories like this before. Oh. Right. Hillary. Business Insider:

Here's the story behind Hillary Clinton's claim about landing under 'sniper fire' in Bosnia
A false claim that Hillary Clinton made while campaigning for president in 2008 is coming back to haunt her in the 2016 election cycle.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said in a speech at George Washington University in March 2008 that she landed "under sniper fire" during a 1996 trip to Bosnia. The war ended in 1995, but tensions within the country were still high.

"There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base," she said in 2008.

The Washington Post debunked this claim days after Clinton made it.

Why do they lie so much - they should know that we can fact-check their asses within minutes of making a claim like this. Just not very bright I guess...

Puttering around the house today

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Got some stuff to do here today and tomorrow. Heading out for coffee in a little bit.

Red sky in the morning...

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...Sailor take warning:

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Cliff Mass has more:

Unstable Sky
When I looked out this morning around 6:15 AM at the beautiful sunrise, I could see it. The potential for showers and thunderstorms was there.

Below are images from the Space Needle Pano cam at 6:10 and 6:20 AM. Not only was the sunset beautiful, but the colors changed radically in ten minutes from red to yellow.

But look at the clouds. There is a deck of mid-level clouds that are broken into lots of puffy, individual elements. This is sign of instability--the tendency to convect--in the middle atmosphere. And often precedes convection (e.g., thunderstorms) in our area.

Forecast is for cooler weather for the next week or so.

I feel the earth move

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Did a wee bit of digging and turns out that we have been having a lot of very small quakes. Not large enough to trigger the alert system I subscribe to but large enough to get noticed. From Oregon Public Radio:

Thousands Of Tremors Hit Northwest, But Don't Necessarily Signal The Big One
Did you feel the ground move this week? Not likely, even though a wave of small tremors was spreading under people’s feet in the coastal Pacific Northwest.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network has detected more than 4,500 tremors over the past two weeks deep beneath the Olympic Peninsula and southern Vancouver Island and from another swarm stretching from Eugene to the Siskiyou Mountains.

It’s a phenomenon called “episodic tremor and slip” or “slow slip.” Humans can’t feel it, but seismologists have discovered this happens along Cascadia’s tectonic plate boundary on a regular basis — every 14 months or so in the case of Puget Sound and on a different cycle in Oregon and northern California.

The key question for seismic network director Harold Tobin at the University of Washington (UW) is whether the current slow slip has implications for the feared Big One, a large Cascadia earthquake.

And what keeps me awake at night:

The last full rip of the Cascadia Subduction Zone happened in January 1700. The exact date and destructive power was determined from buried forests along the Pacific Northwest coast and an “orphan tsunami” that washed ashore in Japan. Geologists digging in coastal marshes and offshore canyon bottoms have also found evidence of earlier great earthquakes and tsunamis. The inferred timeline of those events gives a recurrence interval between Cascadia megaquakes of roughly every 300 to 600 years, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

Fortunatley, Camano Island is well sheltered by the other San Juan islands, Whidbey in particular. FEMA shows us as getting a gradual five foot surge but that will be it.

Classical reference in the post title

Two lists - some excellent information

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As a budding videographer, I found this interesting:

24 Life Lessons for Filmmakers from Werner Herzog

And for fun - watching television:

The 50 Best TV Shows to Binge-Watch

Lots of good stuff in each list.

Good morning - here is your earthquake

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Just came in over the transom - from the USGS Earthquake website. From the NWS National Tsunami Warning Center

No tsunami expected. I will be looking at the water level today but not expecting to see anything. My feet are still dry.

Bears

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I love bears - would get one for a pet if it was legal. Ran into this photo of a proud mom and three bundles of trouble:

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Too cute by far. Love the body language. Very distinct personalities.

Trolling

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President Trump is an excellent troll when he wants to be. This twitter exchange. Senator Gillibrand:

And President Trump's comeback:

The Force is strong in that one...

Nice find - Norman coins

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From around 1000AD - from the Beeb:

Detectorists find huge Chew Valley Norman coin hoard
A huge hoard of silver coins dating back to the aftermath of the Battle of Hastings could be declared as treasure.

The 2,528 silver coins were found in the Chew Valley, north-east Somerset, by a group of metal detectorists.

Lisa Grace and Adam Staples, who unearthed the bulk of the hoard, said: "We've been dreaming of this for 15 years but it's finally come true."

The British Museum said it was the second largest find of Norman coins ever in the UK.

Quite the treasure. There is a delightful three-season TV show about detecting. Well worth watching for some off-beat British humor. Check out Detectorists.

Fun evening

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Our little group came in fourth out of about 20 other groups. A lot of fun. Knew one of the people already, met two others for the first time but they were a lot of fun.

Surf for a bit and then an early-ish bedtime.

From the USGS Earthquake Hazards website.

No word beyond this initial report. This is close to where the Tōhoku earthquake happened in 2011 - this is the one that took out the Fukushima reactor.

Fake News in the news - MSNBC

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One of their reporters stepped on his own pee-pee last night and is carefully backing away. From Zero Hedge:

MSNBC Anchor Cowers Away From Lies About Trump-Russia Ties
Just minutes after headlines hit last night that Deutsche Bank confirmed it had tax returns that had been subpoena'd by US lawmakers probing the finances of President Trump and his family, MSNBC's Larry McDonald immediately tweeted:

"A source close to Deutsche Bank says Trump’s tax returns show he pays very little income tax and, more importantly, that his loans have Russian co-signers.

If true, that explains every kind word Trump has ever said about Russia and Putin."

This 'triggered' everyone on the left as the MSNBC anchor appeared to have the 'smoking gun' that so many leftists had hoped for after Mueller's total failure.

Additionally, on his Tuesday night show, O'Donnell told colleague Rachel Maddow that:

...a "single source close to Deutsche Bank has told me that the Trump - Donald Trump’s loan documents there show that he has co-signers. That’s how he was able to obtain those loans. And that the co-signers are Russian oligarchs.”

O'Donnell then said, "That would explain, it seems to me, every kind word Donald Trump has ever said about Russia and Vladimir Putin, if true, and I stress the 'if true' part of this.”

Of course, McDonald offered no proof or sourcing other than anonymous, prompting President Trump's personal attorney to threaten that legal proceedings could be pursued if there's no retraction or apology for stating that "Russian oligarchs" co-signed loans to Trump.

And that was yesterday. Today?

And, of course, people are pushing back. Much more at the site - wonderful stuff. Larry who?

Done for the day

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A bit sweaty so taking a shower and getting dressed for tonight. Meeting up with some friends for trivia in an hour. Should be fun and nice to be included.

Surf for a bit first.

We lost a hero yesterday - Jessi Combs

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From Autoblog:

Jessi Combs, race driver and TV and Autoblog host, dies in jet car accident
Jessi Combs, a well-known racer, fabricator, and host of automotive TV shows including Autoblog's "The List" video series, died yesterday while attempting to beat her own land-speed record on the dry lake bed of the Alvord Desert in Oregon. She was 39 years old.

Combs initially set a four-wheeled vehicle record of 398 miles per hour in October 2013 driving the North American Eagle Supersonic Speed Challenger. She had hit speeds of over 483 mph in subsequent followup runs as recently as last year, but mechanical issues kept those attempts out of the official record books. Just three days ago in an Instagram post, Combs indicated she was aiming for 619 mph in the jet-powered vehicle.

Her family said in a statement that "Jessi's most notable dream was to become the fastest woman on Earth" and that "she left this earth driving faster than any other woman in history."

She spent her life pushing boundaries and died doing what she loved. A true American Hero.

If you have something to hide. From Breitbart:

FEC Complaint Accuses Ilhan Omar of Breaking Law to Fund Alleged Affair
A complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Wednesday alleges freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) illegally used campaign money to help carry on an extramarital affair with a Democrat consultant whose firm she paid tens of thousands of dollars.

Federal campaign finance records show that Omar’s campaign has paid nearly $230,000 since 2018 to the E. Street Group, a political strategy firm of which the lawmaker’s alleged married lover, Tim Mynett, is a partner of. On Tuesday, Mynett’s wife, Dr. Beth Jordan Mynett, filed for divorce in a D.C.-area court, alleging her spouse confessed to having an affair with Omar in April, the same month FEC documents show that the lawmaker’s campaign began issuing payments to E. Street Group for “travel expenses.” According to FEC filings, the Minnesota Democrat campaign made eight payments totaling $21,547 to E. Street Group for travel costs between April and June. The divorce filings, first reported by the New York Post, also states Tim Mynett made a “shocking declaration of love” for the Minnesota Democrat to his wife and left her soon after.

Much more at the site. She is dirty. Crooked. Wants to be another Hillary but is not bright enough.

In the country of her birth, she would be buried partially upright and then stoned to death.

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And back home again

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Turned out to be quite the warm day despite the forecast. Got the pups hanging out in the garage - working on the media room. Installing some better lights in a closet. Taking out a bare bulb in a tiny fixture and replacing it with a ceiling-mounted electrical outlet so I can plug in two LED shop lights. This will be where some computers for the house as well as the security equipment will live so I like a lot of light if I am doing work. Smaller task lighting for normal operations but want the ability to throw lots of lumens whenever I want.

Out the door for a bit

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Trivia tonight - couple people I know invited me and it sounds like fun.

Heading out for the usual morning stuff - working at home today.

Coolish day today so bringing the pups with me.

And of course - Dorian

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President Trump has already approved an Emergency Declaration. From OAN News:

White House Approves Puerto Rico Emergency Declaration Ahead Of Tropical Storm Dorian
President Trump has signed off on an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian making landfall in the island territory. The White House released a statement Tuesday evening, saying the president has approved federal assistance to help with emergency response efforts.

From President Trump's twitter feed:

Back to the OAN News report:

This comes as the tropical storm is forecast to turn into a Category One hurricane as it makes its way toward the Caribbean. Heavy rain could reportedly cause life-threatening floods in its path. The storm is expected to make landfall in Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon.

Forecasters warned Dorian is expected to be very close to the strength of a hurricane as it approaches Florida later this week.

The good news is that it will only be a Cat 1 storm, unlike previous hurricanes. The Emergency Declaration is already in place unlike Katrina which made landfall as a Cat 3 hurricane in 2005. New Orleans mayor Nagin "froze" and did not ask President Bush for the Emergency Declaration until three days after landfall.

The good news is that this changed the way we handle disasters like this and now, the president does not have to be asked before troops and supplies can be sent in from out of state.  This was a Constitutional states rights issue - do not want the Federal government to send troops into a state on the pretext of aid.

FEMA is a lot better too - great training for civilians.

This is turning out to be a very weak hurricane season - cooling climate does that.

Tropical storm Dorian

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Over Puerto Rico and gathering strength. From The Weather Channel:

Dorian Striking Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands; Hurricane Threat Grows For Southeast U.S.
Tropical Storm Dorian is now striking the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the first storm there since 2017's Hurricane Maria, and is an increasing danger to the Southeast U.S., including Florida, over the Labor Day holiday weekend.

Dorian's center is now moving over St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Heavy rain is now lashing St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands. Outer rainbands are already pushing into Puerto Rico, according to NWS Doppler radar from San Juan.

And from the Orlando, Florida FOX affiliate:

NHC: Tropical Storm Dorian could reach Florida as a Cat 3 hurricane this weekend
Tropical Storm Dorian is approaching the U.S. Virgin Islands and is expected to strengthen to a Category 3 hurricane before making landfall on the east coast of Florida on Labor Day, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

And, from the National Hurricane Center - the cone:

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This is what progressives do - it's all about the narrative and nothing about accountability and gathering the facts before acting on something. From the Washington Examiner:

Baltimore gave bad toilets to poor people in order to save the planet
Baltimore really cares about the planet.

It cares so much, in fact, that it installed water-efficient toilets for its Poe Homes public housing complex. The only problem is that even after a recent water main break was restored, water pressure was so low that the toilets wouldn’t flush. Forced into practicality, Baltimore spent nearly $189,000 to replace the eco-friendly toilets with traditional ones from Home Depot. So much for saving the planet.

The environmental debacle, which was reported by the Baltimore Sun earlier this month, illustrates a common problem among virtue-signaling companies and cities in America: First, you make an eco-friendly move. Then, you realize it actually harms people. Finally, you walk back the decision and end up expending way more resources than should’ve been necessary in the first place.

A bit more - they cite some other examples of this - making decisions based on narrative instead of fact. This example is one I really agree with:

Does this remind anyone of paper straws? The issue isn’t just about empty virtue-signaling leading to impracticality, either. It’s also reminiscent of another trend: elites using environmental concerns to dismiss the concerns of the poor.

Yeah - paper straws. Based on the careful research of nine year old boy. More here, here, here, and here.

The wonderful Penn and Teller had an excellent show on recycling:

Facts, not narrative.

Off to watch some videos

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Nothing caught my eye on the web.

About that global warming

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No US warming since 2005. From Real Clear Energy:

Climate Alarmists Foiled: No U.S. Warming Since 2005
When American climate alarmists claim to have witnessed the effects of global warming, they must be referring to a time beyond 14 years ago. That is because there has been no warming in the United States since at least 2005, according to updated data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In January 2005, NOAA began recording temperatures at its newly built U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN). USCRN includes 114 pristinely maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states. NOAA selected locations that were far away from urban and land-development impacts that might artificially taint temperature readings.

Prior to the USCRN going online, alarmists and skeptics sparred over the accuracy of reported temperature data. With most preexisting temperature stations located in or near urban settings that are subject to false temperature signals and create their own microclimates that change over time, government officials performed many often-controversial adjustments to the raw temperature data. Skeptics of an asserted climate crisis pointed out that most of the reported warming in the United States was non-existent in the raw temperature data, but was added to the record by government officials. 

The USCRN has eliminated the need to rely on, and adjust the data from, outdated temperature stations. Strikingly, as shown in the graph below, USCRN temperature stations show no warming since 2005 when the network went online. If anything, U.S. temperatures are now slightly cooler than they were 14 years ago.

Much more at the site - links to data, etc... The people running around with their hair on fire are reacting to the output from computer models that have been tweaked to give a specific output. If you look at the actual recorded data, we are just fine. Getting a bit colder in fact; which lines up with the sun's output being abnormally low. Maybe they will bring back the River Thames frost fairs - you know, when London's River Thames froze over in winter. They would put shacks up and sell food, have puppet shows, ice skate. Lots of fun.

I have said before and will say again. I will believe that we have a climate emergency when the people who are telling us that we have a climate emergency start acting like we have a climate emergency. Witness Obama's new $14 million dollar beach house.

Quote of the Month

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"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our responsibility for the future."
-- John F. Kennedy

If he were running in 2020, I would vote for him in a heartbeat. So would a lot of other people. Landslide.

The Democrat party has become unhinged.

Good meeting

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We are planning the first of an annual event for November. This organization is very well... organised.

Had miso soup and egg rolls at a local Thai kitchen first and two beers after. Cute waitress was not working tonight :(

Picked up a couple days food at the farmer's market. One of the farms that I really like - the people there are interested in real alternative energy. Intensive conservation and careful use of commercially generated power. This is where real conservation can be done. Solar power and wind turbines are an energy rat-hole.

With conservation, you get all the benefits of economies of scale. A big central power plant is going to be more efficient, much less polluting and cheaper to run than thousands of backyard solar installations and windmills.

Suck it up hippies - a big coal-burning or nuclear power plant is the best thing for our environment.

Anyway, I have been having fun discussions with these people and they were really interested in my eBike.

Got a date for trivia at my other local tomorrow evening. The island has tentacles that keep me here.

He developed a vaccine for Yellow Fever and won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951. When asked what he would do with the money -- approximately $32,000 -- that came with his Nobel Prize, Theiler replied that he would buy a case of Scotch and watch the Brooklyn Dodgers play baseball.

Nice biography of a great man here: Max Theiler (1899–1972): Creator of the yellow fever vaccine

Hang out there for a bit, check the library (expecting a couple of books) get a bite to eat and then a meeting at 6:00PM.

Beer or two after - back in a couple of hours.

This is going to get more and more families to move out of the city. From the New York Post:

School diversity panel wants city to scrap gifted programs
A school-diversity panel created by Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to junk the gifted-and-talented programs and other forms of academic screening in city schools.

Arguing that such programs perpetuate racial inequality because they’re comprised mostly of white and Asian students, the School Diversity Advisory Group called on de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza to ditch the current G&T system, according to recommendations released Monday.

The panel also recommended tossing academic admissions screening for middle schools and most high schools.

I wish I was a U Haul representative in New York City - I would be making money hand over fist.

More dirt on the Clintons

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The whole family is crooked. From The Hill:

The road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces
August in Washington can be the political equivalent of an elephant graveyard: One good rain can wash away the dirt and expose the bones of scandals past.

And this August did not disappoint. Thanks to the relentless investigative work of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), we are learning that the Hillary Clinton email case may not really be settled.

A staff memo updating the two senators’ long-running probe discloses that the FBI — the version run in 2016 by the now-disgraced and fired James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok — failed to pursue access to “highly classified” evidence that could have resolved important questions.

The failure to look at the evidence back in 2016 occurred even though the agents believed access to the sensitive evidence was “necessary” to complete the investigation into Clinton’s improper transmission of classified emails — some top-secret — on her unsecure private email server, the memos show.

To make matters worse, the Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) has known about that decision since at least 2018, thanks to the work of the DOJ’s internal watchdog, Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz, who provided DOJ leaders and Congress with a classified appendix explaining what happened.

This fall will be interesting - a lot of threads coming together.

Farmer's market too. Taking the pups with me this morning so driving. A bit stiff from yesterday's eBike ride.

Working at home for a bit - finish off laundry and paperwork.

America's opioid problem

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Hint - it is China and our open borders. Not prescription abuse. China is at war with us on this. Some clickable headlines:

How much money are Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi getting from the Chinese drug-lords and the Mexican cartels to keep obstructing any enforcement of border security. That is the only plausible answer that comes to mind.

Again, this is not prescription abuse. Prescription abuse happens here but the quantity is minimal. It is below the threshold for statistical noise. The problem is the highly placed Chinese criminals exporting to the Mexican cartels. This is 95+% of America's opioid problem.

Cleaning out the crap

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Great court decision - from Legal Insurrection:

Court declares Obama’s EPA “Waters of the United States Rule” unlawful
Back in 2015, we covered the Obama administration’s far-reaching Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule and the pushback it received at the time.  States’ suits are making their way through the courts, and there is good news to report!

U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood has handed a victory to the state of Georgia and nine other states that sued the federal government (and to the rest of the nation) by declaring that the  WOTUS Rule is unlawful.

Wood stated that the rule, which was intended to provide better protection of the nation’s water, violated the Clean Water Act and the Administrative Procedure Act, and she remanded it back to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers for further work.

She wrote that while the agencies have authority to interpret the phrase “waters of the United States,” that authority isn’t limitless, and therefore their decisions in doing so do not fall under what’s called Chevron deference, a matter of case law in which — for lack of a better phrase — the tie goes to the agency.

Legal Insurrection readers may recall that implementation of the rule led to a Wyoming farmer being fined $37,500 a day for constructing a stock pond on his own property.

Good - get these useless feel-good regulations off the books and into the dustbin of history where they belong.

And that is it - YouTube

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The internets are not being fruitful - downright barren.

Heading to see what the YouTube fairies drug in.

The island has its tentacles out. I can not escape. Resistance is futile.

Got an email scheduling a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The burrito was good. The beers were nice and cold and talked with a couple people I know. Picked up six more music CDs from the library so starting to rip them after I finish email and get another load of laundry going.

Island = 99,999 Farm = 0

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Getting a bit late and on a roll with paperwork, bills and organizing the house. Heading out in a little bit to pick up some stuff at the library and get a burrito and two beers for a light dinner.

Two meetings tomorrow - aim for the farm on Wednesday.

Yikes - Chinese Fentanyl bust

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From the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Be sure to visit the ONDCP twitter site to read all the replies to this tweet. This is an act of war.

This is not the future I signed up for

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Looks like Silicon Valley is going totalitarian - from Breitbart:

Fast Company: Silicon Valley Is Building a Communist-style ‘Social Credit’ System
Fast Company has caught on to what Breitbart News has been highlighting for some time: that the Big Tech Masters of the Universe are developing systems to monitor and regulate personal behavior that closely resemble China’s totalitarian “social credit” system.

The “social credit” system assigns all Chinese citizens a “social credit score.” A citizen’s score drops if he engages in a range of disfavored activities, ranging from littering to supporting political dissidents.

Citizens whose score drops low enough can find themselves subject to strict punishment, including bans from the use of public transport, exclusion from top jobs, and prohibitions on their children attending top-rated schools.

This may sound alien and Orwellian, but as Fast Company notes, Silicon Valley is bringing a version of this grim reality to America.

Via Fast Company:

Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

The articles goes on to note a range of ways in which western citizens are being systematically rated, and in some cases excluded, by corporate America. These include insurance companies scanning the social media feeds of applicants, an app called “PatronScan,” that logs the face and name of troublesome bar and restaurant clientele, and the growing tendency of services like Airbnb, Uber, and WhatsApp to ban users for arbitrary reasons.

More at the site. This is pure evil. Glad I do not live in a city anymore. I like my privacy.

From Voice of America:

Trump: 'Really Good Chance' He Will Meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday "there's a really good chance" he would meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the coming weeks to try to negotiate a new deal to curb Tehran's nuclear weapons program to replace the 2015 international deal that Trump withdrew from last year.

Trump, speaking at the end of the G-7 summit of top world leaders in France, said, "I think Iran is going to want to meet."

Pulling Iran's fangs would be an incredible coup. He would not be hinting at a meeting if the groundwork for this was not already nailed down.

Not surprised - they are evil. From Powerline:

PSYCHOLOGIST: GOOGLE GENERATED AT LEAST 2.6 MILLION VOTES FOR HILLARY
Dr. Robert Epstein is a psychologist, professor, and author. He’s the former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today.

Dr. Epstein is a liberal Democrat. In testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee (see below), he described himself as a “vocal public supporter” of Hillary Clinton. He said that to characterize him as not a Republican and not a conservative is “an understatement.”

Epstein testified that in the 2016 election, Google generated a minimum of 2.6 million votes for Clinton through deceptive manipulation of search results. He warned that if, in 2020, companies like Google and Facebook all support the same presidential candidate (as surely they will) they could affect up to 15 million votes, e.g. by “go vote” reminders sent only to those believed to be Democrats.

Here is about six minutes of Dr. Epstein being grilled by Senator Cruz during a Judiciary Committee Meeting.

Yet another case for using DuckDuckGo and the Brave browser instead of Google and Chrome.

I do use gMail and some Google Docs but that is it.

Public shootings and mental health

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Heh - the New York Times

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From Slate:

At the New York Times, Bedbugs
While staffers at the New York Times headquarters already suffer the indignity of having to go to work every day in Times Square, the injustices apparently do not stop there. At noon on Monday, the Times sent out the following email to its New York employees:

Dear Colleagues,

During an extermination sweep of the newsroom over the weekend, we discovered evidence of bedbugs in a wellness room (02E4-253) on the second floor, a couch on the third floor and a booth on the fourth floor. These specific areas were then swept by professionals and found to be otherwise clean. In an abundance of caution, the second-floor room has been temporarily closed, the booth has been blocked off and the couch has been removed to be treated and professionally cleaned.

Additionally, evidence of possible bedbug activity was found in a few personal lockers on the third floor. Individuals associated with those lockers have been contacted and treatment is underway.

We continue to monitor the situation and, as a precaution, we intend to sweep all New York Times-occupied floors. We will provide updates as they become available.

If you have any questions, please contact Pat Whelan from Facilities at [redacted].

Building Operations

They are the editorial staff - that would explain a lot.

Making medical care cheaper

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Two simple things would cut costs substantially. From Market Watch:

The U.S. can slash health-care costs 75% with 2 fundamental changes — and without ‘Medicare for All’
As the Democratic presidential candidates argue about “Medicare for All” versus a “public option,” two simple policy changes could slash U.S. health-care costs by 75% while increasing access and improving the quality of care.

These policies have been proven to work by ingenious companies like Whole Foods and innovative governments like the state of Indiana and Singapore. If they were rolled out nationally, the United States would save $2.4 trillion per year across individuals, businesses, and the government.

The first policy—price tags—is a necessary prerequisite for competition and efficiency. Under our current system, it’s nearly impossible for people with health insurance to find out in advance what anything covered by their insurance will end up costing. Patients have no way to comparison shop for procedures covered by insurance, and providers are under little pressure to lower costs.

The article cites LASIK eye surgery which is not covered by medical insurance. Because of this, the clinics have to publish their prices and competition has cut the price by quite a lot.

The second item is creating a Health Savings Account - a great idea and is working well for the State of Indiana:

Those changes resulted in 35% lower health-care spending than when the same employees were enrolled in traditional health insurance. Even better, the study found that employees enrolled in the deductible security plan were going in for mammograms, annual check ups, and other forms or preventive medicine at the same rate as when they were enrolled in traditional insurance. Thus, these cost savings are real and not due to people delaying necessary care in order to hoard their HSA balances.

Of course, the lobbyists in DC do not want this so it will never happen. I thought that our elected officials were supposed to listen to their constituents.

Trade wars work - here is the end game

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From FOX News:

China announces it seeks 'calm' end to trade war, as markets tank and currency hits 11-year flatline
China signaled Monday it is now seeking a "calm" end to its ongoing trade war with the U.S. and President Trump voiced optimism about a deal, as Asian markets crumbled and China's currency plummeted to an 11-year low following the latest tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese goods announced last Friday by the Trump administration.

"I think we're going to have a deal," Trump told reporters.

Trump said Monday that officials from China called U.S. officials and expressed interest to "get back to the table,” The Wall Street Journal reported. He called the discussions a “very positive development.”

“They want to make a deal. That’s a great thing,” he said.

And meanwhile, you can still buy a 50" television for $180

20190826-television.JPG

Most of us are saying "What trade war?"

Two Princes

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Quite the contrast - from England's The Sun:

BUDGET ROYALS William, Kate & kids take £73 FlyBe flight to Balmoral – after Harry and Meghan took four private jets in 11 days
KATE and Wills took their family on a budget £73-a-head FlyBe plane to Balmoral - days after Harry and Meghan took four gas-guzzling private jet trips in 11 days.

Celebrity friends of "eco warrior" Meghan have been forced to defend the former actress - claiming she couldn't get commercial flights due to the "security risk".

But down-to-earth Kate and William travelled with the budget airline from Norwich International Airport to Aberdeen Airport this morning at around 8.50am.

The total cost for the family of five would have been just £365, while Harry and Meghan's private Cessna jet - paid for by Sir Elton John - costs around £20,000 to hire.

Poor widdle Meghan. God forbid she should have to mingle with commoners.

Remembering history

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Been reading The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator - a bit dry but really good. The author is a historian and looks at our history with an examination of mosquito-borne pathogens. Really interesting as an invading army un-acclimated to malaria could suffer an 80% casualty rate with those remaining alive severely weakened and unable to work.

Early on in the book, this caught my eye:

The sanctuary city of Athens was crawling with over 200,000 refugees and their livestock, adding to an already overpopulated city. This overcrowding inside the fortified city walls, when combined with appalling hygiene, a shortage of resources, clean water, and supplies, was an invitation to death by disease.

Within three years, the mysterious disease had killed upwards of 100,000 people, roughly 35% of the Athenian population.

The date for this event? 430 BC

The city of Los Angeles came to mind.

With friends like these - Joe Biden

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Interesting peek behind the curtain at Town Hall:

Why Obama Dropped Biden
One of the more poignant moments of Barack Obama's presidency came at the very end, in January 2017, just days before he left the White House. He awarded Vice President Joe Biden the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Obama spoke at great length about their personal friendship and praised Biden's leadership. In response, Biden said he knew that, no matter what, Obama would always be there for him.

But Biden is no longer useful to Obama so it's under the bus:

You didn't have to love Obama to appreciate that there was something sweet about it. But it was all fake. Obama won't be there for Biden. His internal friendship has ended and didn't make it through the next presidential term. Instead of helping his trusted friend run for the presidency, Obama has refused to endorse Biden. According to some reports, Obama repeatedly urged Biden not to run. "You don't have to do this," he warned Biden. Obama, it turns out, cares about one thing: himself. He is obsessed with his political legacy. Every day that Joe Biden stays on the campaign trail, he detracts from that.

And the reason for that:

The current Democratic Party believes in protecting criminals and even celebrating them. All the energy is with the other candidates and insurgents like Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris. One of these three will likely rise above the rest and take the nomination. That's bad news if you're Obama and all you really care about is your own cherished legacy. Biden is expressively running as a continuation of Obama's agenda. But that agenda has been completely eclipsed by a new radical political agenda. Now, Democrats are demanding single-payer health care, which would be free to illegal immigrants, the ones streaming over our open border with Mexico. Candidates are advocating reparations based on skin color, the abolition of America's history. They want to remake gender relations from the ground up. Obama could be seen as the one who paved the way for all of that. Biden could be seen as the vice president who kept it from happening sooner.

And meanwhile, classical Democrats like Tulsi Gabbard cannot get a word in edgewise. If they ran her, Trump would actually have stiff opposition instead of the clown car wannabes getting the media spotlight.

Breaking for lunch

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Got a good ride in - 20 miles. Battery indicator is showing about 85-90% more in the battery and this is only the primary. I have a second battery in reserve which is still at 100%. Nice wide shoulders on the primary roads so I feel very safe. Got a reflective vest and brain bucket so using my PPE - need to bring safety glasses though. Keep forgetting them.

Breaking for lunch - made a sandwich and having a side of mac salad Hawaiian style.

Nothing on the internet

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Heading out in a few - coffee, post office, thrift store.

Back home for a couple of things and then to the farm.

Time for some videos

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Slow Sunday - nothing much out there. Time to watch a couple videos and head to sleep.

A lot of fun riding the eBike this morning. Did 14 miles again - same route. Still no change on the battery charge indicator - still shows 100% full. Supposed to be a nice day tomorrow so taking it out for coffee again and running one other errand. There is a thrift store that has really really good stuff and I like to swing by there couple times/week. More often than not there is nothing that catches my eye but every so often, I score a great deal. Last thing I got was a gauze umbrella to put over food when eating outside - keeps the flies off. Collapses down to a small size - screamin' deal for only $3...

Trump Derangement Syndrome is strong in this one. From the Washington Examiner:

University psychiatrist: Trump 'may be responsible for many more million deaths' than Hitler, Stalin, and Mao
The former chairman of the Psychiatry Department at Duke University claimed on CNN that President Trump is as bad as the worst dictators of the 20th century, and that his presidency might lead to even more deaths than they did.

While debating the merits of having psychiatrists come out with possible mental health diagnoses on Trump, Dr. Allen Frances said it was an insult to the mentally ill to compare them to him.

Frances, who is against psychiatrists violating the "Goldwater Rule," told CNN doing so will stigmatize people with mental illnesses.

"Well, I think 'medicalizing' politics has three very dire consequences. The first is that it stigmatizes the mentally ill. I’ve known thousands of patients, almost all of them are well-behaved, well-mannered good people. Trump is none of these. Lumping that is a terrible insult to the mentally ill and they have enough problems and stigma as it is."

"Second, calling Trump crazy hides the fact that we’re crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist," Frances went on. "Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, Mao in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were."

Good Lord. I seriously doubt that the guy has ever met the President let alone had him as a patient. The idea that this idiot was the President of a major University's Psychiatry Department is beyond comprehension. All he has to offer is another ad hominem attack on our President. If you do not have anything substantive, fling poo and see if it sticks.

Of course, it would be CNN that broadcast this tripe.

Vox Day said it best:

In academia there is no difference between academia and the real world; in the real world there is.

Done with dinner

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Got two beers with my name on them. Back in a couple of hours...

Instant Karma in Chicago

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Heh - stupid criminal. From Chicago website Block Club:

Golden Gloves Champ Scares Off Bucktown Mugger — With A Right Hook To His Crotch
When a man attacked Claire Quinn in broad daylight in Bucktown last weekend, he likely didn’t know he was messing with a 2019 Golden Gloves champion.

Quinn was walking in the 1600 block of North Damen Avenue Sunday morning at about 10:25 a.m. when a man punched her in the forehead and demanded her phone. She reacted swiftly, with her fists.

“I just kept throwing my right hand to his balls,” Quinn said. “There’s no way to sugar coat that or put it nicely.”

He ran off.

She escaped the attack with a mild concussion and some bruising.

Quinn, who began boxing in 2015, has a 6-0 boxing record for the year. Earlier this year, she won the Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament for her 152-pound weight class.

He will think twice... Probably a career criminal though.

Our quiet Sun

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From NASA's excellent Space Weather website:

A SUMMER WITHOUT SUNSPOTS: Since northern summer began on June 21st, the sun has been blank--that is, without sunspots--88% of the time. The only interruptions have been a handful of tiny quiet sunspots that sometimes disintegrated within hours of forming. The remainder of summer appears set to continue in the same way. Welcome to Solar Minimum!

GEOMAGNETIC STORM FORECAST: Earth is about to be hit by a double-stream of solar wind. The two streams are flowing from holes in the sun's atmosphere.

For that last news item, check the Planetary K-Index every so often. If it is above 6, the chances for aurora in the Pacific Northwest are really good. Always a fun display. Right now it is hovering around 1 and 2 so no luck...

And the island wins again

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Spending tonight down here - farm on Monday. Had a bunch of errands to run, spent some time at the new property weed whacking and trying to locate survey monuments. The property had a cadastral survey when it was initially platted out but cannot find the corners. Got bids on the shop building so want to get the setback lines nailed in before I start construction.

Finishing off some soup and some ahi poke (picked that up yesterday coming back from the fair). Heading out for two pints at my other local (the one with the cute waitress is closed Sunday evening and Monday all day).

Out for coffee and stuff...

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Heading out for a bit. Dump run and some laundry. Planning to go to the farm later today.

Quote of the year

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Sometimes I look at the Socialist—the intellectual, tract writing type of socialist, with his pullover, his fuzzy hair, and his Marxian quotation—and wonder what the devil his motive really is. It is often difficult to believe it is a love of anybody, especially of the working class, from whom of all people he is most removed. The underlying motive of many Socialists, I believe, is simply a hypertrophied sense of order. The present state of affairs offends them not because it causes misery, still less because it makes freedom impossible, but because it is untidy; what they desire, basically is to reduce the world to something resembling a chessboard.
— George Orwell

Tip of the hat to Vanderleun who also links to this wonderful essay. Go and read. I'll wait.

The hockey stick that will not die

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Climate alarmist Michael Mann just lost another court case - from Powerline:

MICHAEL MANN REFUSES TO PRODUCE DATA, LOSES CASE
Some years ago, Dr. Tim Ball wrote that climate scientist Michael Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn State.” At issue was Mann’s famous “hockey stick” graph that purported to show a sudden and unprecedented 20th century warming trend. The hockey stick featured prominently in the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (2001), but has since been shown to be wrong. The question, in my view, is whether it was an innocent mistake or deliberate fraud on Mann’s part. (Mann, I believe, continues to assert the accuracy of his debunked graph.) Mann sued Ball for libel in 2011. Principia Scientific now reports that the court in British Columbia has dismissed Mann’s lawsuit with prejudice, and assessed costs against him.

What happened was that Dr. Ball asserted a truth defense. He argued that the hockey stick was a deliberate fraud, something that could be proved if one had access to the data and calculations, in particular the R2 regression analysis, underlying it. Mann refused to produce these documents. He was ordered to produce them by the court and given a deadline. He still refused to produce them, so the court dismissed his case.

The rules of discovery provide that a litigant must make available to opposing parties documents that reasonably bear on the issues in the case. Here, it is absurd for Mann to sue Ball for libel, and then refuse to produce the documents that would have helped to show whether Ball’s statement about him–he belongs in the state pen–was true or false. The logical inference is that the R2 regression analysis and other materials, if produced, would have supported Ball’s claim that the hockey stick was a deliberate fraud on Mann’s part.

Mann says that his lawyers are considering an appeal. He can appeal to his heart’s content, but there is not a court in North America that will allow a libel case to proceed where the plaintiff refuses to produce the documents that may show whether the statements made about him were true or false.

Junk science at its finest. This graph is the poster child for stunningly bad science:

20190825-mann.jpg

A mish-mash assemblage of cherry picked data. No representation of the Medieval Warm Period or the Dalton Minimum cold period or the Maunder Minimum cold period or the Spörer Minimum cold period. No hint that we are entering the Modern (Eddy) Minimum - our sun is incredibly quiet.

Obama's new beach house

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Dug up some stories about our previous president. Three clickable headlines from 2015:

And the actual document (PDF) with the numbers: 

Findings from Select Federal Reports: THE NATIONAL SECURITY IMPLICATIONS OF A CHANGING CLIMATE
May 2015

I bring this up because they just bought a $14+ million oceanfront mansion in a very tony part of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Is he some kind of later-day King Canute and trying to stop the waves?

Again, I will believe that this is an emergency when the people who are telling me that this is an emergency start acting like this is an emergency.

Off to YouTube

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Long day so tired. Glass or two of wine and watch some videos. Planning a longer excursion with the eBike tomorrow - weather is supposed to be overcast but no rain. Perfect. Bought some hinges to make a folding ramp for the front steps - make it easier to get in and out of the house.

More guns, less crime - Beto

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Presidential candidate Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke uncovered a bit of truth and then put the wrong spin on it.
From Breitbart:

Beto O’Rourke: ‘America Has More Guns than Human Beings’
As part of his ongoing push for a forced buyback of certain firearms, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke lamented that “America has more guns than human beings.”

Hey Beto you big dummy. Your numbers are absolutely right - there are more guns in private ownership in the US than US citizens. If guns were the problem, we would all know it. The problem is mental illness but it is not "cool" to institutionalize someone for that so we let them self-medicate and walk around.

Greenland for sale - the back story

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The media is ignoring the backstory behind President Trump's interest in acquiring Greenland, currently a colonial outpost of Denmark. From the South China Morning Post:

Was China’s Arctic push behind Donald Trump’s wish to ‘buy’ Greenland?
US President Donald Trump’s reported wish to buy Greenland may have been rejected by Denmark, but it underscores the rapidly rising value of the massive, ice-covered island due to global warming and to China’s drive for an Arctic presence.

The accelerating polar ice melt has left sparsely populated Greenland, a self-governing part of Denmark, astride what are potentially major shipping routes and in the crosshairs of intensifying geopolitical competition between superpowers.
It also has untapped natural resources like oil, minerals and valuable rare earth elements that China, the United States and other major tech economies covet.

A Chinese government-backed group’s offer last year to build three new international airports on Greenland sparked alarms in Copenhagen and Washington.

The Chinese plan was finally nixed in exchange for Danish funding and a pledge of support from the Pentagon.

From The Washington Times:

Buying Greenland: Trump haters mock the idea, but China is paying attention
The moment The Wall Street Journal article appeared revealing President Trump was mulling over the idea of the United States buying Greenland, the autonomous Danish territory in the Atlantic, ankle-biters began to mock the idea.

But this usual panic from the jealous chattering class once again reveals the Democrats and envious Trump haters’ biggest unforced error — constantly underestimating Donald Trump. This requires deliberately maintaining a remarkable ignorance about the economic and national security issues we face as a nation.

One of those issues is the vital importance of Greenland, its horrible mismanagement as the Danish elite virtue signal about their environmentalism, condemning its 55,000 residents to poverty-stricken lives, and the national security risks economic dereliction invite. The incompetence ruining Greenland, in fact, compelled Greenlandic officials to reach out to China as they searched for a Sugar Daddy to fund infrastructure projects.

From Forbes:

Trump Might Want to Buy Greenland But His Nemesis, China, Is There Before Him
The U.S. President, Donald Trump, has reportedly suggested the purchase of Greenland from the Danish Government, but if that's correct he'll find that China has staked out a claim already, and in a commodity the U.S. needs, rare earths.

China's interest in Greenland can be found through an Australian company of the same name, Greenland Minerals, which has Shenghe Resources Holdings as its largest shareholder with a 11% stake.

Shenghe is a leading producer of rare earths in China and has acquired its stake in Greenland Minerals as a future potential source of the elements which find their way into multiple technologies, especially electric motors, as well as certain military applications such as rocket guidance systems.

The Australian company invited Shenghe to invest after it struggled to generate significant support in its home base or in Europe or North America, partly because the original plan for Greenland Mineral's Kvanefjeld project was as a source of uranium.

It's about the trade routes and the rare earth minerals and we are facing some serious competition from the communists. It would be nice for once if the mainstream media just did their jobs and report the facts.

Also, arctic ice is more based on wind and currents than overall temperature. Here are some links: here, here, here and here. I could post a lot more of these. Cases where ships are finding excessive ice now and the historical records from the 1900's show ice-free conditions. Photos. Videos. Even as late as 1958 a US submarine surfaced at the North Pole - it was ice free.

Seeking shelter in a storm

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Stupid people - from Associated Press:

Lightning strike at Tour Championship causes 6 injuries
Six people were injured Saturday when lightning struck a 60-foot pine at the Tour Championship where they were taking cover from rain and showered them with debris, Atlanta police said.

The third round of the season-ending PGA Tour event had been suspended for about 30 minutes because of storms in the area, and fans were instructed to seek shelter. The strike hit the top of the tree just off the 16th tee and shattered the bark all the way to the bottom.

Even if it is just rain and no threat of lightning, do not shelter under a tall tree. Lightning strikes are brutal and can leave long lasting neurological irregularities. Fortunately, no one was killed but still...

I dearly love lightning and electricity in general but I have also taken the time to educate myself on proper safety proceedures and only rarely get "bit".

Consequences of cooling climate

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We are seeing a very quiet hurricane season this year - mostly do to cooling temperatures. From Accuweather:

Tropical Storm Dorian forms east of Lesser Antilles; Will another soon follow near Florida?
As the Atlantic hurricane season enters a "tropical red zone," a new tropical storm has formed east of the Lesser Antilles, and another depression or tropical storm may soon follow near Florida.

On Saturday afternoon, the system east of the Lesser Antilles was named Tropical Storm Dorian by the National Hurricane Center.

The area being monitored near Florida has been dubbed Invest 98L by the National Hurricane Center. The center of the disturbance was located over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream as of Saturday night.

And, of course, here is the cone:

20190824-cone.jpg

Hurricanes run on temperature differential and the closer the air temp is to the water temp, the less energy.

Cooler air? More tropical storms stay tropical storms and fail to develop into hurricanes.

Back home for the day

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The fair was fun but a bit daunting. Bigger than the Northwest Washington fair in Lynden and that one is too big for my liking. Looks like the Stanwood/Camano city fair and then the Skagit County fair for me for next year. Just right as Goldilocks would say.

Was roaming around looking for anything that needed attention - one person was medivaced out yesterday. Things that needed the po-po or medical attention. Extra sets of eyes on the ground - great idea actually and the net was very well run. I may do it again next year just for that as it was really great training.

Had a meh dinner in Monroe - nothing to write home about. Couple pints at my local. Cute new bartender.

Up to the farm tomorrow for a few days (that particular local is closed Sunday nights and all day Monday)...

And out for the day

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Headed out for coffee and then to the Evergreen State Fair - doing some ham radio work there. Put in a couple of hours and get a free admission. Heading up to the farm tomorrow.

Nothing catches my eye on the internet - quiet news day...

California in trouble - blames Texas

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Talk about having some real "issues" with reality. From Zero Hedge:

California Governor Blames Texas For California's Policies That Caused The Homeless Crisis
California’s authoritarian governor, Gavin Newsom, blamed the state of Texas for California’s homeless crisis. Rather than put the blame directly on the policies California has instituted that stifle free enterprise and punish heavily those who produce, Newsom said it’s the fault of Texas.

Newsom said many homeless people on the streets of San Francisco are from Texas. in an attempt to shift the blame from himself and the polices of socialists (who get rich peddling socialism to the masses as everyone else becomes impoverished.)

And a different viewpoint:

Former California assemblyman turned Texas resident Chuck DeVore reacted to Newsom pushing the blame onto others. The vice president of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Chuck DeVore, said Wednesday that Gavin Newsom is “responsible for the policies that have created California’s homeless crisis,” in the wake of the governor blaming Texas for San Francisco’s homeless crisis.

“What you’re seeing here are the words of a desperate man that we should almost feel sorry for,” DeVore, who served as a California assemblyman for six years, told “Fox & Friends.”

“Governor Gavin Newsom has been in office now for 22 straight years, starting at the San Francisco board of supervisors,” DeVore added. Homelessness has been rampant across the state of California in the past few years and merchants and homeowners have become increasingly vocal and incredibly irate at how things are going in the socialist dystopia.

Of course California has a homeless problem. They advertise that they give away free shit to people who do not want to work for a living. This has attracted all of the mentally ill and dumb fucks from all over the United States. Come to California. We will give you free stuff. And they did. Your question?

As for California being a desirable place for us "normals"? Here are the latest U Haul numbers:

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20190824-uhaul02.jpg

Remember that the elite do not use U Haul, neither do the mentally ill. This is a very good metric of how many of us normals are leaving California. It costs U Haul that much more to provide trucks to Californians who want to leave.

Those Hillary emails

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They will not go away - even after she had someone bleachbit the servers. From The Hill:

The road not taken: Another FBI failure involving the Clintons surfaces
August in Washington can be the political equivalent of an elephant graveyard: One good rain can wash away the dirt and expose the bones of scandals past.

And this August did not disappoint. Thanks to the relentless investigative work of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), we are learning that the Hillary Clinton email case may not really be settled.

A staff memo updating the two senators’ long-running probe discloses that the FBI — the version run in 2016 by the now-disgraced and fired James Comey, Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok — failed to pursue access to “highly classified” evidence that could have resolved important questions.

The meat of the issue:

The Senate staff memo succinctly lays out just how egregious the FBI’s decision was in 2016.

The inspector general’s “appendix raised a number of serious questions because, as explained on page 154 of the unclassified DOJ IG report, the FBI decided not to seek access to certain highly classified information potentially relevant to the investigation despite members of the FBI case team referring to the review as a ‘necessary’ part of the investigation,” the Senate staff wrote.

Much much more at the site - lots of links to source materials. Hillary broke many laws in a spectacular and egregious fashion and needs to spend about 20 years in prison. She defines "crooked" and the very idea that she almost became President shows that there is a lot of "crooked" in the deep state.

And that is it for me tonight

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Took the long way around the internet but got to the last page and didn't see anything that caught my eye.

A couple videos and that is it.

Heh - a local happening

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Looks like there was a fun race at Emerald Downs last month (July 6th). Video from San Antonio station KSAT:

Cute!

Doing some ham radio stuff at the Evergreen State Fair tomorrow for a couple of hours - gets me free admission and a chance to wander around. Farm on Sunday.

Picked up a bunch of music CDs at the library and digitizing them. Headed to Bellingham and then to Mt. Vernon to run a few errands and pick up the metal for my welding rod oven project. I think that this will be a fun video to make.

Had two pints at my local tonight - ran into some friends who collect old millitary equipment and they have three radios from the Vietnam era and are interested in getting them on the air. We are meeting Aug. 31st for me to take some photos and start doing some research. A fun project and great people.

Surf for a bit...

Out for the day - raining

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Raining a bit with more in the forecast so leaving the eBike at home today. Planning to run to Bellingham after coffee so taking the pups with me. Nice and cool.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Activists interrupt Pelosi award ceremony in San Francisco, demand she take action to impeach Trump
Activists interrupted a ceremony in a San Francisco hotel where House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was being honored Wednesday evening and demanded that she spearhead impeachment proceedings to remove President Trump from the White House.

They stood on dining chairs, unfurled black tapestries with the phrase, “We can’t wait” and chanted “Which side are you on, Pelosi? Impeach!” inside the grand ballroom of the InterContinental San Francisco hotel where the San Francisco Democratic Party was honoring Pelosi with a lifetime achievement award.

“Impeach Trump now!” shouted activists, who initially had been quietly seated in the audience. One woman, Thais Marques, screamed into the packed room that her “people are being killed by white supremacists” across the country. She demanded action from Pelosi. Another activist said, “We are your constituents.”

It was under Pelosi's watch that the Democrat party went full retard. Never ever go full retard.

She deserves whatever comes her way - lack of leadership. She could have moderated the loonys but instead, she handed them the keys to the kingdom and now they are used to power and do not want to yield. Too bad, so sad.

Where did they get the money? Obama

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From TMZ:

BARACK AND MICHELLE OBAMA LOCKING DOWN INCREDIBLE MARTHA'S VINEYARD ESTATE!!!
Barack and Michelle Obama may soon become Kennedy adjacent because we've learned they're in escrow for a remarkable, mega-expensive, Martha's Vineyard estate.

Multiple island sources tell us the Obamas are in escrow for the estate owned by Boston Celtics owner, Wyc Grousbeck. The former Prez and First Lady have been renting the house this summer and loved it so much, we've learned they made an offer. The property is listed at $14,850,000. Our sources say they're paying less, but we don't know how much.

The estate -- incredible. It's 29 beachfront acres. The main residence is just shy of 6,900 square feet. It has 7 bedrooms, so Sasha and Malia have a place to crash, along with several of their friends. It has the obligatory pool, an outdoor fireplace, a chef's kitchen, vaulted ceilings and 2 guest wings. It has incredible views, especially while soaking in the second-floor balcony Jacuzzi.

Seriously now. Where did they get this kind of money?

Minor nit - the Kennedy compound is in Hyannis - quite a way from Martha's Vinyard. Understandable because Chappaquiddick Island is part of M.V. (Mary Jo Kopechne not available for comment)

Great news - new power reactors

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Wonderful news - I love this current administration. From Neutron Bytes:

Idaho National Lab Gets DOE Charter for Test and Demonstration of Advanced Reactors
In the late 1940s the federal government established the National Reactor Testing Station (NRTS) at a site on the dusty volcanic plain of the Arco desert about 50 miles west of Idaho Falls, ID. Now some 70 years later the government has again turned to the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to create the National Reactor Innovation Center (NRIC).

The new initiative will support the development of advanced nuclear energy technologies by harnessing the world-class capabilities of the DOE national laboratory system. It will be a test and demonstration center for these technologies and it will involve public / private partnerships with firms that want to bring these technologies to a mature enough level to attract investors and customers.

NRIC will be led by Idaho National Laboratory and builds upon the successes of DOE’s Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear (GAIN) initiative. GAIN connects industry with the national labs to accelerate the development and commercialization of advanced nuclear technologies. NRIC will coordinate with industry, other federal institutions, the national labs, and universities on testing and demonstrating these concepts.

The NRIC will provide private sector technology developers the necessary support to test and demonstrate their reactor concepts and assess their performance. This will help accelerate the licensing and commercialization of these new nuclear energy systems.

Nuclear is the way to go for power generation. alt.energy is a stupid rathole. This is fantastic news.

Well dang. I could have bought a Harley

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From Yahoo/Agence France Presse:

Harley-Davidson unveils upcoming electric bicycle lineup
In addition to launching an all-electric motorcycle, Harley-Davidson has a series of battery-powered city bicycles in the works.

Over a year ago, Harley-Davidson announced that they had some electric bicycle projects up their sleeve and, until yesterday, the company had only revealed electric micro-transportation model concepts. According to Electrek, H-D used this year's Annual Dealer's Meeting yesterday to officially unveil three model prototypes of their upcoming e-bicycle line.

There is a wonderful convergance of technologies that allow for these to become a "thing" - the batteries, the brushless motors, the solid-state MOSFET's and the small computers to control everything. Truly a fun time to be alive!!!

Back again

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Dinner was great. Beers were nice and cold and wet. Talked with some people I know.

Surf for a bit.

Heading out

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In the car this time - picking up a couple of packages from the post office and doing some grocery shopping.

Got a hankering for some carne asada for dinner so stopping by my favorite mexican place. Cultural appropriation never tasted so good. Besides, they are using automobiles, televisions, telephones, refrigeration and a cash register so they are appropriating from my lily-white culture so there -- pbbbbttttttt...

Back in a couple of hours.

Two political paths: Lurching towards socialism and heading towards capitalism. Two news stories:

First, from Associated Press:

Economic twilight zone: Bonds that charge you for lending
Imagine lending money to someone and having to pay for the privilege of doing so. Or being asked to invest and informed of how much money you’ll lose.

And:

On Wednesday, for the first time ever, the German government sold 30-year bonds at a negative interest rate. The bonds pay no coupon interest at all. Yet bidders at the auction were willing to pay more than the face value they would receive back when the bonds mature.

I could see short-term loans at negative interest. Great (if expensive) place to stash some cash but 30 year bonds? Not a lot of consumer confidence there...

Second, from The Telegraph:

Sterling soars as Brexit deal hopes rise: as it happened
Undoubtedly, there’s been some good money made on the currency markets over the last week. Short interest in the pound dropped last week, and anyone who cashed out a bet against sterling should be feeling smug now.

The pound is riding high against other currencies — marginally up, and probably worth a few euros if you’ve waited until the last minute to take a trip to the continent this summer.

What is good for business is also good for the nation. Go Brexit!

The 2016 election collusion - Hillary

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From OANN:

Hillary Clinton Confronted Over Denying Close Ties To Big Tech, Particularly Google
Election meddling by Big Tech companies comes into question once again after a long-time Hillary Clinton supporter confirms close ties between tech giant Google and the 2016 runner up.

A Twitter war between Clinton and President Trump led to Clinton claiming research showing bias from Google in 2016 was debunked. However, Dr. Robert Epstein — a decades long Hillary supporter and the man behind the research — defended his conclusions in a Twitter rampage, where he referenced his testimony before Congress last month.

“In 2020 — if all these companies are supporting the same candidate — there are 15 million votes on the line that can be shifted without people’s knowledge, and without leaving a paper trail for authorities to trace,” he stated.

Epstein hit hard, claiming Hillary is “in Google’s pocket” and pointing out Google’s parent company Alphabet was Clinton’s number one donor in 2016. He also posted an email from former Google head Eric Schmidt, who offered to run Clinton’d tech campaign. According to Epstein, back in 2015 Schmidt funded a tech company whose main reason for existence was to get Clinton into office.

This is my surprised face. I still use some Google software - gmail as well as their web-based office tools but not relying on them for a search engine any more. Using DuckDuckGo with the Brave browser - very happy.

About that 'organic' grain

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Glad that they got the guy (and locked him up) but I would not be surprised if there was not a lot more of this going on. From Global/Associated Press

Head of America’s largest organic food fraud scheme sentenced to 10 years
A judge on Friday sentenced the mastermind of the largest known organic food fraud scheme in U.S. history to 10 years in prison, saying he cheated thousands of customers into buying products they didn’t want.

U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams said Randy Constant orchestrated a massive fraud that did “extreme and incalculable damage” to consumers and shook public confidence in the nation’s organic food industry.

Williams said that, between 2010 and 2017, consumers nationwide were fooled into paying extra to buy products ranging from eggs to steak that they believed were better for the environment and their own health. Instead, they unwittingly purchased food that relied on farming practices, including the use of chemical pesticides to grow crops, that they opposed.

And what happened?

The farmers grew traditional corn and soybeans, mixed them with a small amount of certified organic grains, and falsely marketed them all as certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Most of the grains were sold as animal feed to companies that marketed organic meat and meat products.

The farmers reaped more than $120 million in proceeds from sales of the tainted grain. The scheme may have involved up to 7 per cent of organic corn grown in the U.S. in 2016 and 8 per cent of the organic soybeans, prosecutors said.

There is a certain inherent trust in buying food - this guy violated that trust. Ten years is about right.

eBike - very happy

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Love it. The electronic propulsion is perfectly integrated into the mechanical part. Very smooth transition from pedaling alone to pedaling with assist. Did a bit under seven miles today and piece of cake - even the hills. Was averaging 15-20 mph on level road and 10-15 on the hills. Got up to 25 heading down the big hill near my house.

There is a bar graph indicating power remaining and it still shows 100% charge - I'll be using it a lot in the next couple weeks and see how long it takes to get it down to 30%

Branco gets it

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Cartoonist A. F. Branco nails it:

20190822-antifa.jpg

A bit of pedaling

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Heading out on my new bicycle - cloudy but no forecast for rain. Working at home. Up to the farm tomorrow.

A bit of history

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Something to keep in mind:

20190822-guns.jpg

The author needs to distinguish between its and it is but the facts are still the same...

Jay Inslee drops out of the Democrat Clown Car (ie: presidential race) - the timing is interesting. Breitbart:

Jay Inslee Quits 2020 Race — Before His Long-Awaited Climate Change Debate
Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington state announced Wednesday evening on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show that he is leaving the 2020 presidential race — two weeks before a climate change debate for which he had campaigned.
Maddow began by asking Inslee if he had some news to announce. And he did:

This show has been so good to me, this is sort of the book ends of my campaign. We started saying climate change had to be the number one job in the United States. I felt good saying that the first days of my campaign. I feel very good saying that now. And the reason is, this has become more urgent. A billion tons of ice melted in Greenland the other day. But we’ve also had so many people I’ve met who are inspiring, who want us to act, who have helped me. We had 130,000 people help me in this campaign. But it’s become clear that I’m not going to be carrying the ball, I’m not going to be president. So I’m withdrawing, tonight, from the race. But I have to tell you, look — I’ve been fighting climate change for 25 years, and I’ve never been so confident of the ability of America now to reach critical mass, to move the ball. I believe we are going to have a candidate to fight this battle. I’m inspired by the people i’ve met across the country, the young people in the Sunrise movement, and the climate strikers — these people have given me confidence we can move ahead. So I’m not going to be carrying the ball, but we’re going to make sure somebody is.

Kind of hard to debate something that is not happening. The humans on this planet account for about 30% of the CO2 emissions. Natural biological decay, volcanoes, etc... account for the other 70%. CO2 is not a greenhouse gas - water vapor is much more potent.

People love to talk about a new green deal but it is just that - talk. Narrative, not fact. Now if we could just get this time (and money) waster out of office and get back to work...

Now this is cool - student load debts

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From Kentucky's Louisville Courier Journal:

Trump signs order automatically forgiving student loan debt for disabled veterans
President Donald Trump signed a memo to automatically discharge federal student loan debt for permanently and totally disabled veterans during his visit to Louisville Wednesday, where he addressed more than 1,000 veterans.

"I have taken executive action to make sure our wounded warriors are not saddled with mountains of student debt," Trump told a crowd the Galt House, vowing to eliminate “every penny” of an average of $30,000 of student loan debt for about 25,000 disabled veterans.

Such veterans were already entitled to such debt forgiveness by law. But about half of the roughly 50,000 disabled veterans who are qualified to have their federal student loan debt forgiven have not received the benefit because of an application process that has proven burdensome, the administration said.

The memo directs the government to develop an “expedited” process, which the Department of Education said would mean loans are forgiven unless veterans opt out.

I love that this was already covered by a law but President Trump signed an E.O. to cut through the crap and start helping our vets. Very classy.

Democrats connecting with black voters

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Interesting observation - from The Chicago Tribune:

Presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg’s overwhelmingly white crowd at event on Chicago’s South Side reinforces his struggles to draw support from black voters
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg held a self-described grassroots campaign rally in Bronzeville on Tuesday night, but the overwhelmingly white audience he drew to the event in a historic black neighborhood reinforced the difficulty the Democratic presidential hopeful has had in connecting with African American voters.

None of the candidates have anything to offer black voters. President Trump has made their lives a lot better. End of story.

A good day - almost

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Got my brand new eBike charged up and rarin' to go. Woke up to pouring rain. Got about 0.3" today which is very unusual as the island is in a rain shadow. All of my rain gear is still at the farm so drove around today.

One reader was concerned about the origin of the bike - it is assembled in the USA. The gearing system is Shimano so I am assuming Japanese. The hub motor might be Chinese (have not looked yet) but the batteries are Samsung (Korea) and the frame and control circuitry are all USA manufacture.

The model I got was this one: Blix Packa. Since I will be having a small shop at home (electronics and making) as well as the big shop (blacksmithing, welding and machining), I will want to be able to carry stuff back and forth. Having the extra cargo capacity makes it just perfect.

Slept in this morning. Brought a load of stuff up to the Bellingham Condo and also stopped in at the REI store up there to get a cup holder and a horn (bright blue plastic clown horn with rubber bulb) for the bike. A nice touch of absurdity to an otherwise very industrial looking machine.

Stopped off in Mt. Vernon for some Chinese food and a bit of grocery shopping. Two beers at my local and that is it for the day. Surf for a bit and then to bed.

Quote of the day

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"One of the commonest weaknesses of human intelligence is the wish to reconcile opposing principles and to purchase harmony at the expense of logic."
--Alexis de Tocqueville

And that's it for the night

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Quiet day here puttering around tomorrow - sleep in. Supposed to rain so may not take the eBike out. My rain gear is still at the farm. Planning to head up there Thursday for a couple of days.

Watch some video and turn in.

Cool morning and then cleared up around 3:00PM - got really hot and humid for a few hours - 84°F where it had been in the low 70's. Something moving through in front of the rain.

From The New York Post:

Jail guards threatening former Epstein cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione: lawyer
Jeffrey Epstein’s former Manhattan cellmate says guards at the lockup have been threatening him since the financier’s death, according to a legal filing by his attorneys Tuesday asking a judge to move him to a new prison.

Hulking ex-cop Nicholas Tartaglione — who briefly bunked with Epstein at the Metropolitan Correctional Center — has been told by various guards there to “shut up,” “stop talking” and “stop complaining,” as questions swirled about how the accused sex trafficker was able to commit suicide in federal custody, Tartaglione attorney Bruce Barket says in a letter to White Plains federal Judge Kenneth Karas.

It will be a shame to read about Mr. Tartaglione's upcoming suicide. Rather, Arkancide

And back again

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Long long day. The eBike store was in Seattle so also stopped by the UW surplus store and scored two keyboards (which I need for setting up a couple of Raspberry Pi systems here as well as two ginormous dog bowls ($5 each - solid stainless steel) and a very nice NEMA electrical enclosure - gasketed and water sealed. No holes in it - it is in virginal condition. It was also $5 and new ones like this go for $100 on up - Ho. Li. Crap - just checked at Grainger, they are $327.57 each.. Industrial strength. The dog bowls will be used in my new shop as well as the enclosure. I am planning to build a large CNC plasma cutter and this will make an excellent control panel. There is another person in the island that has a large CNC router for wood, plastic and aluminum. We both consider ourselves to be "makers" so there is no problem sharing each others tools if the schedule permits. Win/Win. Finding a lot of interesting and talented people here doing fascinating things. Finally, stopped by Seattle Pottery Supply and got some insulation board for my welding rod oven build. I was planning on using some refactory material but this is friable (I love that a potato is both fryable and friable) and would get worn away with the welding rods gouging out the sides. This stuff is a good insulator but it is very rigid and strong.

This morning's net was good - not the first tuesday so we didn't do a big drill but it was fun - getting to know the other people so associating faces with names and call signs.

Tired so surf for a bit and then to bed.

Back from meeting

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Very long day tomorrow so no posting tonight - early bedtime.

About that global warming cooling

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The earth is cooling down - from Global News Canada:

Snow falling on B.C.’s interior highways with more expected
Snow is falling on some of B.C.’s interior highways Wednesday morning and more is expected to fall Wednesday and into Thursday.

Tell me again what the emergency is...

Atmospheric CO2

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Great video - the speaker is from Australia so the presentation is addressing some Aussie legislation but his point is spot on and his numbers are flawless.

Tip of the hat to Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man for the link.

Dissension in the ranks - Joe Biden

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Looks like a former President is getting his knickers in a bunch - from the New York Post:

Obama worries Biden’s 2020 bid could ‘damage his legacy’: report
Former President Barack Obama tried to talk Joe Biden out of jumping into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination — and fears his veep could “damage his legacy” with his White House bid, according to a report.

“You don’t have to do this, Joe, you really don’t,” the former president told Biden before the front-runner entered the race, insiders told the New York Times.

Biden has repeatedly cited his relationship with his old boss as he touts his credentials on the campaign trail — but Obama has asked Biden staffers to make sure the gaffe-prone veep does not “damage his legacy” or “embarrass himself” during his run.

They have been unable to prevent him from making verbal blunders, like his claim last week that “poor kids are just as bright … as white kids” and his insistence that there are “at least three” genders.

The former president has told insiders of his worries that Biden’s top aides are “too old and out of touch with the current political climate.”

Heh - couple this with his son Hunter's sweetheart deals with the Chinese government (here, here and here) and you have an un-electable package.

Who? From Yahoo News:

John Delaney draws 11 people to 2020 event – does he truly think he can win?
John Delaney has poured a staggering $24m of his own money into running for president. He has been campaigning for the White House for more than two years, and in that time has held more than 200 events in Iowa.

On one recent Thursday morning, these efforts translated into a grand total of 11 people coming out to see Delaney, at a campaign event in the small town of Algona, in the north of the state.

They have nothing.

Back home from meeting one

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Went well - productive. I was shanghai'd into serving on the board of one of the groups I am involved with here and was "elected" (railroaded comes to mind) as their Vice President at the last general meeting. Met with the president this afternoon to go over some of my responsibilities as well as just getting to know each other. The board meeting for this group is tonight - my other meeting for the day.

Doing the emergency radio drill tomorrow morning and then heading South to pick up my new electrical bicycle. Looking forward to getting this - been looking at them for a long time. Perfect for all the hills around here.

Out the door - two meetings today

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Heading out for the usual. Got a meeting at 2PM and another one at 6:30PM. Cool and overcast but no precip so far. Supposed to get rain on Wednesday but we will see... Working at home today.

Poetic justice

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I bet that most people do not know what Halal meat involves. It is brutal and painful for the animal being butchered. Western ways are much more sanitary and painless. Seems that one cow got her licks in though. From News Punch:

Muslim Cleric Killed by Cow About To Have It’s Throat Cut While Conscious
Muslims recently celebrated Eid al-Adha, the Islamic festival that involves killing millions of helpless animals (sheep, goats, cows, camels) that are forced to have their necks cut so they bleed to death slowly while fully conscious and writhing in pain, which can take several minutes depending on the size of the animal.

However the ancient animal sacrifice didn’t go to plan for one Muslim cleric in Indonesia, who was set to participate in qurban (animal sacrifice) during Sunday’s Idul Adha in Blitar, East Java.

Sureki, 64, has died following three days of being in a coma after a “big and fierce” cow that was about to have it’s throat cut while fully conscious escaped from it’s tethers, ran approximately 200 yards, out and “struck his chin with it’s head.”

According to the Jakarta Post, the Islamic cleric died on Wednesday evening at Ngudi Waluyo Hospital after being attacked by the cow at Miftahul Jannah Mosque in Wlingi subdistrict, Blitar.

Halal meats are just another perfect example of how ignorant and brutal this 9th century culture is. Islam really needs a reformation. Christianity had one and we are much better for it. Time for the muslims to step up to the plate.

Great news - guns

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Guns and mental health. From One America News:

Potential Mass Shooting Thwarted In Fla.
Just weeks after two back to back mass shootings rocked the U.S., authorities in Florida stopped a man who bragged about his plans to carry out a horrific attack of his own.

25-year-old Tristan Scott Wix was arrested Friday in the parking lot of a Daytona Beach grocery store. His ex-girlfriend contacted authorities after Wix allegedly sent her alarming text messages, saying he wanted to open fire on a large crowd. He also claimed to already have a target in mind.

After his arrest, Wix told detectives he didn’t have any weapons, but the Volusia County sheriff said that wasn’t the case:

“It was a 22 caliber hunting rifle, and he had 400 rounds of ammunition. So, the mall is right across the street from us. Saturday afternoon walking through the mall with 400 rounds of ammunition just sniping people, by the time police get there, you’re going to have a pretty high body count.”
— Sheriff Mike Chitwood, Volusia County Sheriff’s Office

Good that the police actually listened and followed through. Another mentally ill person off the streets. Time to reopen the institutions.

An interesting development - Hong Kong

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Now this makes things interesting - from Yahoo/Associated Press:

China lashes out at Taiwan over Hong Kong asylum offer
China lashed out at Taiwan on Monday over its offer of political asylum to participants in Hong Kong's pro-democracy protest movement, a day after hundreds of thousands of people marched peacefully in the latest massive demonstration in the Chinese territory.

The government of Taiwan, a self-ruled island that China considers its own territory, strongly supports the protests, and Hong Kong students in Taiwan held events over the weekend expressing their backing. Taiwan's president made the asylum offer last month, though it's not clear if requests have been received.

Taiwan lacks a formal legal mechanism for assessing and granting asylum requests, although it has granted residency to several vocal opponents of the Chinese government.

On Monday, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesman for the Chinese Cabinet's Taiwan Affairs Office, said Taiwan's offer would "cover up the crimes of a small group of violent militants" and encourage their "audacity in harming Hong Kong and turn Taiwan into a "heaven for ducking the law."

Ma demanded that Taiwan's government "cease undermining the rule of law" in Hong Kong, cease interfering in its affairs and not "condone criminals."

The Communist authoritarian tyrants are starting to show their true colors. It was never about the people, it was about gaining power and money. Hong Kong is an economic powerhouse and China wants it all. Same for Taiwan. I have visited both places and loved them. Great people, great times. They need to be autonomous and free to determine their own path.

Remember

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Heh - Antifa

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Great meme:

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My next project

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When I was at the auction last week, one of the items I was bidding on was a welding rod oven. My favorite rod is 7018 and you get a lot better operation and cleanup if it is stored in a bone-dry environment. They ship it in sealed plastic or metal containers but as soon as you open it, air and moisture start coming in. I use a desiccant pack for mine and that works OK but is not preferred. Plus, using a hot rod allows for easier starting and a more stable arc. Win/win.

Unfortunately, these are expensive. The units at the auction were going for much more than they were really worth.

Here is the high end:

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And here is the low end:

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There are pluses and minuses to each unit. The big unit can store 350 pounds of rod. This is great for a large fab shop with several welders using different kinds of rods on a daily basis. It also has an adjustable thermostat for specific rod temperatures. The downside is that it takes a lot of counter space and costs $3,342.59 plus tax. Wince!

The low end unit will only hold ten pounds which is one box of rods. It only has one fixed temperature. I want to hold maybe sixty pounds so I can have different types of rod (6010 and 6013) as well as different diameters. Again, each one comes in a ten pound box.

It occurred to me that it would not be difficult to build my own. I ordered a PID temperature controller from Amazon for $40. It arrived today. The unit has all the parts I need - the PID controller, the K-type thermocouple and a solid state relay to switch my heater. I picked up a smallish 3,500 Watt water heater element for $7 at a local hardware store and it fits into a bog-standard 1" National Pipe Thread.

Proportional–Integral–Derivative controllers are very very cool - from the Infogalactic entry:

A PID controller continuously calculates an error value as the difference between a measured process variable and a desired setpoint. The controller attempts to minimize the error over time by adjustment of a control variable, such as the position of a control valve, a damper, or the power supplied to a heating element, to a new value determined by a weighted sum:

Comes up to temp faster and holds temp better. It will "learn" what to do when the door is opened - how best to recover from the temperature drop. Looking at about $40 in steel sheet for the case and some expanded mesh for the inside shelving. Already have refactory materials for the wall insulation. Planning to do a YouTube video when I do the build in a couple of weeks.

Muahahahahaha - welcome to my lair...

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Going to be pricey but looks like a lot of fun for the right person. From geek.com:

Aston Martin Will Build You Your Very Own Supervillain Lair
Ever dreamed of having your very own Bond villain-worthy lair to house your fancy ride? Aston Martin is here to make that dream come true (insert evil laugh).

The luxury sports car manufacturer has unveiled a new service that enables car enthusiasts and collectors to customize the perfect space for their Aston Martin — whether it’s a bespoke underground garage or a glass-encased luxury retreat.

The service, called Automotive Galleries and Lairs, lets clients work directly with the Aston Martin Design Team, as well as with renowned architects that have local knowledge and an excellent understanding of the specifics of the brief.

Their press release for this service is here: ASTON MARTIN AUTOMOTIVE GALLERIES AND LAIRS

Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Classic move by clueless politicians. From Top Gear:

Is it the beginning of the end for drive-thrus?
Bad news for lazy people who like their fast food on the go (and influencers looking for a clickbait title for their supercar video) as the days of drive-thrus are numbered.

At least in Minneapolis, anyway. The city has banned the building of drive-thru windows in order to reduce emissions, noise and pedestrian accidents. They specifically state vehicle emissions will be reduced, but no doubt human flatulence inside cars will also fall given this new ruling. Either way, this could be the first roll of the snowball that could see drive-thrus being a thing of the past.

Following a city council vote, members have voted to update zoning laws that will ban the construction of any new drive-thru windows in America’s 46th largest city. The Minneapolis City Council declared the zoning change will help achieve the city’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent come 2050. But businesses with existing drive-thru operations needn’t worry, as they’ll still be allowed.

I really think that city councils should be banned. Nothing good comes of them except for more nanny-ism and micromanagement by people who are living in a bubble. Seattle and Bellingham are perfect examples.

We need the same kind of parliamentary body as the State and Federal House of Representatives so the citizens can vote on everything and the Representative works for the citizens of their district. The councils are not held responsible for their poor thinking and judgement.

Dinner is good

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Heading out in a bit - two pints of beer have my name on them.

Cooling off so will take the dogs with me - they have been in the garage throughout the heat. Too hot in the car even in the shade. Back in a couple of hours.

Gun violence - some analysis

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Willis Eschenbach is a favorite blogger of mine. He is a great storyteller as well as the owner of a very keen mind with a penchant for mathmatics and anaysis. Here is his take on gun violence in the USA

What’s Behind Gun Murders?
Well, I did this analysis about a year ago, but I hadn’t posted it because I knew that people would call me “RACIST!!” … but what I’m posting are simple facts. Plus at this point I’ve been falsely called a RACIST!! so many times it doesn’t even register any more.

Let me start with a much less contentious bit of analysis. This is the correlation between the rates of gun ownership and the gun murder rate. The short answer is … no relationship.

Just go and read the whole thing.

Well summer was nice while it lasted

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From Seattle weather guru Cliff Mass:

The First Autumn Storm Makes Landfall on Wednesday
It is very typical for first "autumn-like" storm to reach our region during the third week of August....and this year will not be an exception. In fact, we have two systems that will be making landfall this week, with the first one being the strongest.

You can see the impact of this "first autumn storm" in the precipitation climatology Seattle. Below is the daily climatological probability of enjoying at least .01 inches at Sea-Tac. At the end of August the probability jumps to roughly 25%!

Much more at the site. We usually have a wonderful Indian Summer but these first storms are the beginning of Fall and Winter to be sure. That certainly jives with the local forecast:

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A new term - ELI5

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When you give an explanation in the simplest possible terms, you are ELI5-ing.

From the Urban Dictionary:

ELI5
Explain Like I'm 5.

Used when you want someone to explain something in the simplest way possible.

Hey, Can you ELI5 the Bermuda Triangle.

Going to remember (and use) that one - cute.

Cute design

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Some cupcakes:

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Heh - first thing I would do is nibble off the nose but that is just me. Yeah - I am weird.

And done for the day

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Got the slumgullion on the stove. Just need to add the pasta and it will be good to go. Made it with TVP instead of hamburger today. Had the meat thawed out but been eating a lot of meat the last week or so and my body was saying "enough" so doing more vegies. Did some grocery shopping and picked up some root vegies and some squash for the next couple of meals.

Surf for a bit, eat and then out for a pint or two.

Out for a bit - working at home today

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Had breakfast and took care of a couple things here and now heading out for coffee and stuff.

Working at home today - cooking slumgullion for dinner tonight. Cheap and easy - true comfort food. Still have a bunch of frozen ground beef from the half-cow I bought last year. Need to do another batch of hummingbird nectar too. Not as many of them around as we now have a lot of flowers but they still come to the feeders. Already went through one 25 pound bag of sugar this year.

Back in a couple of hours...

A tale of two cities

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This says it all:

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The rally in New Hampshire - Joe Biden

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President Trump held a rally in New Hampshire last week. It drew over 11,000 people and was the largest event for the venue. Broke the standing record for attendance. Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren held a rally the same day and drew 700 people. Just read that Presidential Candidate Joe Biden also held a rally.
From the North Andover, MA The Eagle Tribune:

Biden campaign holds rally down the street from Trump
While thousands packed the Southern New Hampshire University Arena to hear President Donald Trump speak, about 30 supporters of Joe Biden gathered at the Portland Pie Co. to talk about the former vice president’s campaign.

Stuffed in a small room with six tables, munching on several types of pizza, campaign members discussed Biden’s qualities with interested voters.

“We are here because we are standing up to hate just down the road,” announced Biden’s New Hampshire Organizing Director Peter Dougherty, 28, of Manchester. “This is our moment, our chance. We need to talk to people now about what (Joe Biden) can do.”

High energy and chants of “Go, Joe! Go, Joe!” could be heard throughout the restaurant from supporters and interested voters of all ages.

Pathetic. Seriously? These people consider themselves to be serious candidates? They have nothing to offer us.

As the stars move overhead

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Brilliant video of the Milky Way Galaxy as it moves. Actually, it does not move. We move. Brilliant correct video:

I hope that they are planning to do another version someplace where the sky is darker and for more than just three hours. Great idea - see the Earth's rotation.

Interesting times in Portland, Oregon

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The major cities in Western Oregon are bastions of loony liberalism. Portland the worst. Drive 100 miles outside the urban areas and things are different. A LOT different. Here is a map of the 2016 election:

20190817-oregon.JPG

This weekend, Conservative groups have been marching in Portland and being met by Antifa and their ilk. Some clickable headlines:

It is worth noting that these "far-right" groups have been operating under very strict guidelines of behavior. They are being incredibly careful to not strike the first blow. They are peacefully marching and it is the leftists who have been throwing rocks / bottles / hammers / fists. Once one of the conservative people have been attacked; once the first strike has landed, all bets are off. For some strange reason, this has not been reported in the mainstream media. The violence is coming from the left.
End of story.

UPDATE: Zero Hedge is doing a very nice aggregation of tweets and news stories.

Now that was a load of fun

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Should have brought the video camera too. I'll post some pics tomorrow but there was a lot going on. Ran into a couple people I knew from Camano Island as well as Bellingham - lots of people and really nice atmosphere.

I like going to car shows but I would never own an antique car - too much money for something that is just an aesthetic appeal. Looks like a lot of fun for the people who do this though - a lifestyle instead of just taking care of a cool car. Very much the same with the airplanes. There were probably a thousand of them there and many of them had tents - the people were flying in from all over and camping and hanging out.

There was a gorgeous DC-3 - I love DC-3's. When I was growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, we used to visit my mom's parents in Erie and the local airline used DC-3's for the commuter trip (about 120 miles). The sound of the engines is very nostalgic and wonderful to me.

When I went last year, it was on a Friday and a lot of people had not arrived or set up yet. Saturday is the way to go.

Finally, there were a lot of food vendors. I had an ear of corn which was yummy. Ditto the strawberry shortcake. The hot dog was a bit of a disappointment - a couple of bone fragments and really strong taste. I had gotten a soda from the same vendor and it (Diet Pepsi) tasted a bit off. Looked at the date and it was expired... Made me wonder how old the hot dog was. Needless to say, I brought it back and complained. They offered me another one but all of their sodas were either expired or were expiring in a week or so. They said that they had gotten them from the Pepsi distributor but no reputable vendor would sell something that was that old.

It was a bit of an expensive afternoon too. As part of my getting into shape and working out, I had been thinking about getting a bicycle as 90% of what I do here (new shop included) is within a couple of miles from my house. The problem is that Camano Island is pretty hilly and many of the roads I like to take do not have an appreciable shoulder. I was exploring eBikes and saw a couple of designs that looked interesting. This would give me a workout as well as be able to power along at a decent velocity if I needed to flow with traffic.

There was an eBike vendor there today and we talked for about 20 minutes. I tried a couple and found one that I really like. Heading down to pick it up next week. I had a handle on the retail prices and these people were offering a really great deal - about 30% off the MSRP (I checked when I got home - my memory was correct).

Working at home tomorrow, meeting Monday and doing the emergency radio net on Tuesday.

Heading out for the day

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Coffee, drop two books off at the library and then down South to the Arlington Air Show. Got a fresh charge on a couple camera batteries and will be bringing my telephoto lens and my fake chinesium wimberly ($60 instead of $600 - needed to be disassembled and "tuned up" but it works well now - real smooth).

The rally in New Hampshire

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I knew that President Trump's rally in New Hampsire was big - turns out it broke the record for attendence at the venue. From Breitbart:

Trump: New Hampshire Speech Broke Elton John’s Arena Attendance Record
President Donald Trump announced Thursday evening that his re-election campaign rally at the SNHU Arena broke the stadium’s previous attendance record, held by rock star Elton John.

The SNHU Arena holds nearly 12,000 people, and was nearly filled to capacity when the U.S. Secret Service closed the doors. Thousands more people watched the president’s speech on giant television screens outside the arena.

Trump tweeted news about the attendance record shortly after the event was over. He spoke for nearly two hours.

Yeah - and Fauxcahontis stood and hectored 700 people at her big New Hampshire campaign rally.

The trade war with China

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It seems that the nabobs at the Wall Street Journal think that they know more about economics than President Trump - from Breitbart:

Donald Trump Rips Wall Street Journal: ‘They Understand Nothing About Trade or Business’
President Donald Trump ripped the establishment Wall Street Journal on Thursday for editorializing against his ongoing trade battle with China.

“The Wall Street Journal editorial board and some others continue to publish foolish articles that demonstrate that they understand nothing about trade or business,” Trump said. “Nothing.”

The president spoke about the paper during a political rally in New Hampshire about leveling tariffs on China, noting that the Wall Street Journal editorial page kept urging him to remove them.

“I lose all the cards if we take off the tariffs,” Trump replied, pointing to the tough tariffs leveled by countries like the European Union and India.

The members of the WSJ editorial board are not businessmen. They went to journalism school. Big difference.

China and Venezuela

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Venezuela has the worlds largest reserve of oil but they are a 3rd world nation. Why? Socialism and incompetent governance. Now it seems that China is tightening the screws a bit - from Bloomberg:

China’s Biggest Energy Company Shuns Venezuela Oil on Tighter U.S. Sanctions
China’s biggest energy company is backing away from direct purchases of Venezuelan crude as the Trump administration tightens sanctions against the South American nation.

China National Petroleum Corp. has canceled plans to load about 5 million barrels worth of Venezuelan oil onto ships this month in the aftermath of the latest executive order by President Donald Trump, according to people with knowledge of the situation who asked not to be identified discussing proprietary information.

CNPC joins Turkey’s largest bank, Ziraat Bank, which severed its relationship with Venezuela’s Central Bank following sanctions. The moves represent a setback for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has been counting on both China and Russia to keep the country going amid a humanitarian crisis, food shortages and hyperinflation.

China became the top destination for Venezuelan crude after U.S. sanctions against state-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA were announced at the end of January. Venezuela may run low on options without the help of CNPC to export oil, a main source of revenue that bankrolls the Maduro regime. The three August-loading cargoes canceled by CNPC’s subsidiary PetroChina Co. Ltd. haven’t so far attracted another buyer, according to reports seen by Bloomberg.

Good - hit the rat commie where it hurts. Their rice bowl. Venezuela used to be the breadbasket of South America - exporting food. Now they have to import. Their nation is in a shambles with crumbling infrastructure and runaway inflation. Socialism sounds good to the uneducated but it is an economic fallacy with no exit strategy. It will always wreck the nation that tries it.

The wheels spin at over 10,000 RPM - that is 166.666 revolutions each second. You build up a lot of force on the wheel and if something happens to it - a nick or a defect in manufacture - shit hits the fan in a fraction of a second.

The person in this picture is very lucky that it hit his safety glasses and that they were good glasses. A lot of the cheaper ones (Harbor Freight) are crap and will shatter. If this had hit his cheek, it would have torn the skin down to the bone.

That being said, I have never had a wheel come apart like this in 14 years of using them. Still, it is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when so I suit up every time I fire one of these puppies up. I am also very aware of the position of the tool relative to my body and where the angular momentum will go if the disk fails. Situational awareness is a good thing.

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RIP - Peter Fonda

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Unlike his sister, he was a good person - from TMZ:

PETER FONDA DEAD AT 79 FROM LUNG CANCER
Hollywood icon Peter Fonda is easy riding into the sunset -- the veteran actor died Friday ... TMZ has learned.

A rep for Peter confirms he passed Friday morning at his his home in Los Angeles, and was surrounded by family. We're told the official cause of death was respiratory failure due to lung cancer -- and he had been in and out of the hospital recently.

A class act. His Dad too.

110% cringe factor

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How stumpy got his name. The tool in question is called an angle grinder. Everyone who works with metal uses five or six of them - loaded with cutting disks, grinding wheels, wire wheels, flap disks, etc... Very useful tool. Also, very very dangerous. What we are seeing in this photo is extremely bad operation with the chance for a serious accident:

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No sign of a tsunami

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The mouth of the Stillaguamish River (named for the tribe) is about four miles from my house and this height gage is out far enough that the water level is strongly influenced by the tides.  The tidal action here is squirrely enough that a computer model delivers a very fuzzy representation so an actual real-time gage is nice to have.

Anyway, reviewing the graph shows no visible sign of any tsunami or change in water height from this morning's quake off the Oregon coast. I looked for similar data for the Columbia river and that was not available - they do not have a gage close enough to the river's mouth to be tidally influenced.

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And I am back

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Was planning on working from home but got an email and met with someone at the property for an estimate (concrete floor) for my shop.

There was a new restaurant open today - very disappointing. Looked great, the menu looked really interesting and they already have another restaurant that has been open for a couple of years so they should know what they are doing.

I walked in the front door and it was about 15 feet from the door to the bar. The menu was posted on the wall along this space. There was a clot of about 18 people milling around and they were ordering from one person at a register who was taking orders and pouring beers. I saw an empty seat at the bar and sat down. There were a couple of waitresses circulating and food was coming out of the kitchen.

I like to read if I am out by myself so I opened my book and proceeded to read for about 5-10 minutes. No service, even more people clotted up by the door so I figured that it was opening night, the bar didn't have enough people on call and the one server was working at max capacity. The waitresses were serving the tables so I moved to a table and proceeded to wait. A waitress came over and asked if I had a number. No. I needed to go and find the end of the line by the door, stand and wait until I could place my order there.

All the while I had been sitting at the bar, nobody came to me to tell me this.

So basically, this is an upscale McDonald's with better burgers and fishwiches and with adult beverages and you are paying over ten times the price for an unhappy meal.

The clot of people by the door made for a very chaotic and unwelcoming first impression (very bad Feng Shui) and this is a really stupid way to run a business. I will give them another shot in about a week (it is across from the library I use). There are a lot of other places to go if I do not feel like cooking.

Heading out for a few hours

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Need coffee. Running a couple of errands and then working at home for the rest of the day.

The Arlington Fly-In is tomorrow so planning to head down to that. Was there last year and it was a lot of fun - check it out again this year but plan my visit for when the cool stuff is happening (2:00PM).

Farmer's Market later today - lots of wonderful food.

It is Washington after all

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This is my surprised face. From The Smithsonian:

A New Species of Leech Is Discovered Near Washington, D.C.
In the summer of 2015, when Smithsonian research zoologist Anna Phillips and other scientists were standing in slow-moving swamp water, letting leeches latch onto their bare legs or gathering them up in nets from muddy pond bottoms, they didn’t realize that some of the bloodsuckers they’d collected belonged to an entirely new species. But in a just-published paper in the Journal of Parasitology, Phillips and her colleagues from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Royal Ontario Museum report that a previously unknown leech species, Macrobdella mimicus, is the first to be discovered on the continent in more than 40 years.

And the little guy is running for President in 3... 2... 1...

A bit of perspective - two rallies

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The Presidential candidates are starting their 2020 election campaigns. There was an interesting comparison yesterday.

From Heavy:

More Than 11,000 Attend Trump’s Manchester, New Hampshire Rally [Crowd Photos]
President Donald Trump hosted a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire on Thursday night as part of his 2020 campaign for President. The venue where Trump’s rally took place was packed with thousands lined up hours before the doors opened. The venue itself holds 11,770, but so many people showed up that many had to stay outside in the overflow space. Read on to see crowd photos and learn more about what happened.

And from Manchester, NH station WMUR:

Warren speaks to crowd of hundreds in Franconia
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren campaigned Wednesday in Franconia as she continues to climb in the New Hampshire polls.

Warren spoke to a crowd of more than 700 voters at a scenic farm in Franconia.

The numbers speak for themselves... The Democrats have nothing to offer except rhetoric and We The People are sick and tired of all the fscking rhetoric coming out of Washington.

From the Minneapolis, Mn. CBS affiliate:

Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District Listed As Worst District For Black Americans To Live
Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, represented by Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, was listed this week as the worst congressional district in the country for black Americans.

The financial website 24/7 Wall Street compiled a list of the 30 worst districts for black Americans by using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Specifically, the list-makers honed in on metrics like median-household income, homeownership, unemployment, poverty, and educational achievement.

The numbers produce a stark picture of the 5th Congressional District, which encompasses Minneapolis and several surrounding suburbs.

“Black area residents are about four times more likely to live below the poverty line than white residents and three times more likely to be unemployed,” the list-makers noted, citing a legacy of historic racism as a source of the disparities. “Minneapolis is one of several Midwestern cities that enacted restrictive housing covenants and exclusionary zoning policies in the early 20th century. These policies impact residential patterns to this day.”

Getting elected to Congress was not an excuse to push your antisemitism and to travel to other parts of the globe on taxpayer dollars. You were hired by your constituents to do a job and you are not doing it. You are goofing off.

Yikes - large quake

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Off the coast of Oregon about 30 minutes ago. No issued tsunami threat - from the National Tsunami Warning Center:

EVALUATION
----------
There is NO tsunami danger from this earthquake.

PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE PARAMETERS
---------------------------------
The following parameters are based on a rapid preliminary
assessment of the earthquake and changes may occur.

    • Magnitude 5.4
    • Origin Time 0723 AKDT Aug 16 2019
    • 0823 PDT Aug 16 2019
    • 1523 UTC Aug 16 2019
    • Coordinates 44.4 North 129.2 West
    • Depth 7 miles
    • Location off the coast of Oregon

Watching the tide record today - see if there is an anomoly.

Where I am on the island is actually quite protected against the tsunami that will come from the Cascadia Subduction Zone when it cuts loose again. There is not a straight path for the water to surge in - it will hit the other San Juan islands including Whidbey and the surge will be dissapated. FEMA predicts at most a five foot increase in the tide waters. Made sure to check it out before buying the place.

Question the messenger

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Shot - Fox News:

'Great Recession' to hit US, jeopardize Trump's reelection hopes: Peter Schiff
The U.S. economyOpens a New Window. is heading into a free fall that will be worse than the Great Recession of 2008, according to Euro Pacific Capital CEOOpens a New Window. Peter Schiff.

The economic forecaster is predicting the Federal ReserveOpens a New Window. will cut interest rates to zero and launch quantitative easing, a monetary policy where the central bank purchases Treasuries from financial institutions to stimulate the economy.

“The dollar is going to go through the floor and it’s going to take the bond market with it and the next crisis, it’s not subprime mortgages, it’s going to be in the Treasury market,” he said on “After the BellOpens a New Window.” on Wednesday.

Chaser - Foundation for Economic Education:

5 of the Worst Economic Predictions in History
Uncertainty makes human beings uncomfortable. Not knowing what’s going to happen in the future creates a sense of unrest in many people. That’s why we sometimes draw on predictions made by leading experts in their respective fields to make decisions in our daily lives. Unfortunately, history has shown that experts aren’t often much better than the average person when it comes to forecasting the future. And economists aren’t an exception. Here are five economic predictions that never came true.

And closing the list at #5:

5. Peter Schiff and the End of the World
Financial commentator Peter Schiff became famous in the aftermath of the 2007-2008 Financial Crisis for having foreseen the housing crash back in 2006 (even a broken clock is right twice a day). Since then, he has been predicting economic catastrophes every other day, with very limited success. There are many examples of failed predictions from which to draw upon. For instance, in a 2010 video (see below), Schiff foretold that Quantitative Easing (the unconventional monetary policy undertaken by the Fed between 2008 and 2014) would result in hyperinflation and the eventual destruction of the Dollar. Unfortunately for Schiff, the average inflation rate per year since the onset of QE has been 1.68%, slightly below the 2% target of the Fed.

And Schiff is keeping some great company in this list - go and read four more spectacular failures.

Schiff gets on the air because he promotes the narrative: Orange Man Bad. His track record is actually lousy.

Trump Derangement Syndrome on display

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From the Politico Twitter account (the comments are where the TDS manifests):

Institutionalizing is the perfect solution. Up to the 1970's, we used to institutionalize the mentally ill. Some of the institutions were not nice places but in general, the people there had security, a consistent environment and daily routine, good nutrition and some level of psychological care. Their families were able to come and visit whenever they wanted. We have John F. Kennedy to thank for this:

Starting around 1970, the progressives started lobbying against these psychiatric hospitals calling them inhumane. They started pushing for Deinstitutionalisation and for the social rights and justice for the mentally ill. These people were transfered from their safe environment and their care was shifted from in-house 24/7 care to walk-in centers where they had to take it upon themselves to visit and to show up for appointments for their treatment. President John F. Kennedy's Community Mental Health Act is the keystone of this program.

I wrote about this last year: Taking care of mental illness

Be sure to visit the Politico site so you can read the comments - it slews off into Nazi Germany concentration camps and stays there.

Dinner then meeting

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Got a ham radio meeting tonight at 7:00PM - get a burrito first. Got a new book in at the library and two to return.

Couple of pints after the meeting.

Turned out to be a hot day - got the heat pump working in the room I am camping out in. Rest of the house is pretty toasty but have the doors open so getting a nice breeze.

Chuck the Schmuck - body armor

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From guns.com:

BILL TO REQUIRE THOSE WANTING BODY ARMOR TO GET FBI PERMISSION
Legislation promised in the U.S. Senate would make the legal sale of body armor a “may issue” process signed off on by federal law enforcement.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, announced his legislation on Sunday to require FBI permission before anyone except law enforcement could buy what he termed “sophisticated body armor,” setting a bar that would require a clear purpose, such as an occupational requirement, for the buyer to seek the safety equipment.

“The bottom line here is that the ease by which one can acquire wares of war demands the FBI sets reasonable regulations on who can get it,” said Schumer, who plans to introduce his bill after the current Senate recess.

And, of course, Schumer is just virtue signalling. There are already laws on the books to cover this:

Even if Schumer’s proposal does not make it into law, it is already against the law for criminals to add body armor to their toolkit. Since 2002, it has been illegal under federal law for convicted felons to possess body armor of any sort. This has been prosecuted in U.S. courts even in states that do not criminalize the possession of body armor.

Why don't you start doing your job for your constituents instead of pandering to the progressive elites. How is that wall coming Chuck?

Great news - England and Energy

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Wonderful - from the Mirror:

Tories plan mini-nuclear reactors for the North in major change to energy policy
A series of mini-nuclear reactors could be built across the North in a major power scheme.

Plants could generate energy in Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire and Cheshire under a project spearheaded by Rolls-Royce for “small modular reactors”.

The Government is pumping in £18 million so the firm can develop the design of the reactors.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to formally announce the plan in September and the first plant could be up and running within the next 15 years.

Good news - of all the "traditional" designs, SMRs are the very best of the lot. This is what the US and Russian navies have been doing for their ships and submarines. My personal choice would be for liquid thorium but that is another technology to be developed although we had a bunch of them back in the 1960's.. Thorium does not go Ka-boom like uranium and the 1960's was the height of the atomic weapons race and the US decided to not operate two nuclear supply chains. Uranium is about as common as platinum in the earth's crust; and about as expensive. Thorium is about as common as lead. Dirt cheap.

Occasional Cortex - big money

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An interesting look at her campaign contributors by the Federal Election Commission. From Daily Caller:

Ocasio-Cortez’s Known Donors From Her Own District Are Nearly Non-Existent, FEC Records Show
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has outraised all other freshmen representatives so far in 2019, but nearly all of her reported contributors to her reelection campaign live outside her congressional district, a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis of Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings found.

Ocasio-Cortez’s reelection campaign has reported receiving contributions from just 10 individuals living within her district in the first half of 2019, according to its Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings.

More - some numbers:

The $1,525.50 Ocasio-Cortez received from her New York constituents represents less than 1% of her campaign’s itemized contributions reported to the FEC in the first half of 2019.

The known monetary support Ocasio-Cortez’s reelection campaign has received from the people she represents is minuscule compared to the 88-member freshman class of the House of Representatives.

The average freshman representative’s reelection campaign received $107,141.29 in itemized contributions from their constituents in the first half of 2019, FEC filings the DCNF analyzed show. Ocasio-Cortez’s reported in-district fundraising haul of $1,525.50 was just 1.4% of that average.

Who is paying her? Follow the money. This is not a grass-roots movement, this is pure astroturfing.

MABA - Make Alexandria Bartend Again.

Google = evil

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Google is the 800 pound gorrilla in the room. It dominates the search and news activity on the internet. Fortunatly, there are other options like the Brave browser which uses DuckDuckGo for searching. Been using both for several months and love them - a lot less hassles and a lot better searching.

Here are two posts at gaming website One Angry Gamer which detail just how evil the Googleopoly is.
First:

GOOGLE NEWS BLACKLIST REVEALED, WEBSITES LISTED
Project Veritas put out a new video that’s nearly 20 minutes long, featuring the Google whistle-blower Zachary Vorhies, who let loose more than 900 pages in a document package proving that Google does engage in biased censorship, and that there are various websites that Google keeps on a blacklist to suppress in order to prevent people from accessing those sites when searching up certain kinds of content.

The full documents can be accessed via a 200MB file over on the Project Veritas website,

A bit more:

Take note that just because these sites are on the blacklist doesn’t mean that they’re completely removed from Google’s search index. What it means is that – on Google News – these sites are suppressed when search queries are entered, and they will appear lower in the search rankings compared to other sites that have more “authority” within Google’s website ranking system.

Additionally, given that these sites aren’t outright banned, it means Google has plausible deniability to state that they aren’t overtly censoring these sites, just downranking them, even though the results are pretty much the same.

The list is pretty comprehensive - they are 80% conservative and christian websites and 20% conspiracy websites.

Second: this:

YOUTUBE BLACKLIST CENSORS CONTENT CONTAINING CERTAIN KEYWORDS
There is a list of keywords that YouTube has on a blacklist that suppresses search results on the video sharing site from content creators that use such words within their headlines, descriptions or tags. These words are designed to down-rank content creators who utilize them to promote or discuss certain topical matters. Content creators deemed to contain “authority” are exempt from the suppression tactics.

Google uses an algorithm called Twiddler, which de-ranks content that they don’t want you to see on their services.

A bit more:

In plain English, the Twiddler helps re-rank search suggestions made on sites like YouTube and Google, and gives preferred results based on criteria that the engineers implement into the algorithm’s database. What this does is it helps reorganize how sites or content appears across YouTube and Google products from certain outlets, and then those outlets are given ratings based on the “Raters” that are employed.

So Google is hiring people to search the web and down-rate posts that do not fit their corporate narrative. The ranking in a Google search is no longer the popularity or volume of traffic visiting that website, it is what the corporate minders want you to see. Again, pure fscking evil.

The Green New Deal - repercussions

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Actions have consequences. If you go for the extreme progressive narrative, expect mainstream voters to reject you.

From the Los Angeles Times:

She vowed to upend the status quo. But voters chose a longtime City Hall aide for council
Astrophysicist and college educator Loraine Lundquist ran for office with a promise to take on the status quo, saying she would shake up Los Angeles City Hall by ending “pay-to-play politics” and scrutinizing decisions with the eye of a scientist.

Lundquist’s bid for a seat on the City Council energized Democrats, environmentalists and progressive activists eager to win over a San Fernando Valley district long represented by Republicans.

But Lundquist ran into a buzz saw of opposition from some of City Hall’s most experienced players, including business groups, the police officers’ union and former council members who represented the northwest Valley for generations. All lined up behind longtime City Hall aide John Lee, who emerged victorious Wednesday.

Eight paragraphs later:

Many also argued that the Green New Deal and Lundquist’s environmentalist credentials were deeply relevant to the Valley district.

The article also brought up this point:

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 18, the combative union that represents most workers at the Department of Water and Power, ran an expensive campaign against Lundquist, calling her an “extremist” who would hike taxes, drive up electric rates and even force Angelenos to buy electric cars.

Unions are usually solid Democrat - they see that the Green New Deal is toxic to jobs and the general economy. alt.energy is a political scam.

A fun rant

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From here: The Morning Rant

The first reason I mentioned was: 'we are winning.' I am confident of this because of a number of things I have observed. The first is the number of progressives who have gone from openly attacking Trump to openly attacking Trump supporters. The attacks usually go something like this: "Trump is a racist, a white supremacist, and a despicable human being. And if you intend to vote for him, then so are you." This is not the well-considered argument of a reasonable person. This is desperation. This is panic. You can smell the flop sweat. They're not going to win over potential voters by screeching at them. What they're trying to do, I guess, is to shame you into not voting for Trump. But that's not going to work. Because Trump voters are not going to not vote for him, they'll just keep their heads down, not say much, maintain a low profile, and then vote for him on election day when they're far, far away from the progressives and their ceaseless hectoring about how deplorable they are. They only result is that the polls will be thrown off due to the undercounted Trump who are tired of being called names.

More at the site.

Good move - Israel

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From Associated Press:

Israel bars entry to outspoken US congresswomen
Israel said Thursday that it will bar two Democratic congresswomen from entering the country ahead of a planned visit over their support for a Palestinian-led boycott movement, a decision announced shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted that it would “show great weakness” to allow them in.

The move to bar Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota from visiting the close American ally appeared to be unprecedented, and marked a deep foray by Israel into America’s bitterly polarized politics. It is also a sharp escalation of Israel’s campaign against the international boycott movement.

In a statement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is “open to critics and criticism,” except for those who advocate boycotts against it.

“Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are leading activists in promoting the legislation of boycotts against Israel in the American Congress,” Netanyahu charged. He said their itinerary “revealed that they planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel’s legitimacy.”

Bibi is doing the exact right thing. These two are just grandstanding - they are trying to promote a narrative while getting a nice trip on taxpayer dollars. Shut them down. Their hate and antisemitism have no place in this world.

Public shootings - the aftermath

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Actions have consequences - from Reuters:

Targeted in Walmart attack, Hispanics in El Paso flock to firearms classes
More El Paso residents than ever before crowded into a class over the weekend to become certified to carry a concealed gun in public in Texas after this month’s mass shooting at a Walmart store that killed 22 people.

Guadalupe Segovia, 35, was at the class with her two children. She said her military husband had long been pushing for her to get a concealed-carry license, which allows the holder to wear a gun hidden under their clothes or carry it in a purse when they are in public.

Some more:

The vast majority of people at the classes were Hispanic; El Paso is a predominantly Latino city. Police say the accused gunman deliberately attacked Hispanics in the Walmart.

Michael McIntyre, general manager of Gun Central, one of the largest gun shops in El Paso and the host of the class, on Friday said his store tallied double the usual number of sales in the week following the attack, something that did not happen after previous mass shootings in Texas.

Most of the sales were for handguns, which can be strapped to an ankle or shoulder under clothing.

“I have over 50 for this Saturday class and approximately the same amount for the Sunday class, and I normally have approximately seven,” McIntyre said.

“We actually had two people buy guns here who were actually in the Walmart on the day of the shooting. The other people are just saying, ‘Hey, you know I want to be able to protect myself in the event of something going on.’,” he said.

And, it should be remembered that that particular Walmart was in a mall managed by the Simon company and their general policy (for "safety" 'ya know) is that they are all gun free zones. How did that work out for you? Hmmm?

A great rant - ZDogg MD

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A great observation into our state of medical care (computers) as well as how we medicalize our social problems.

Here is the website for Epic software. There is a term of art in the computer industry - bloatware.

Knife control - London, England

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Talk about stupidity - from USA Today:

After murder rate passes NYC, London Mayor Sadiq Khan calls for sharper knife control
London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a crackdown on knives Sunday in response to the rising levels of violence in London, which recently surpassed New York City's homicide rate for the first time.

"No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife," Khan tweeted. "Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law."

There have been more than 50 homicides in London so far in 2018, and much of the violence is tied to gangs.

Guns are strictly regulated in the United Kingdom and the rising homicide rate in London is directly attributable to a rise in knife-related crimes, with stabbings claiming at least 31 lives to date in 2018. By contrast, New York — which has a population roughly the same size as London — has seen a steady decline in violent crime.

Sheer lunacy and out of touch. I carry a knife all the time and use it several times/day. I am not armed, I am dressed. What is he going to come after next - cricket bats? Will fists become illegal? There is no end.

Heinlein said it best: "An armed society is a polite society." And it is not just England, from Norway:

Norway Mayor Calls for Ban on Machetes Following Brutal Attacks
The mayor of Oslo, Norway is calling for a ban on machetes following a series of brutal attacks in the city using the deadly weapon.

Mayor Raymond Johansen argues that Oslo doesn't have a need for the huge knives because the city doesn't have a jungle, which is where machetes are designed to be used.

Sheesh...

Crap - dog dies in Nebraska

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Someone just did not understand basic air movement - from the Omaha World-Herald:

Dog dies in Omaha after being left in air-conditioned SUV for 3 hours
A German shepherd died Sunday after being left in an air-conditioned SUV for about three hours at a west Omaha restaurant, and animal control officials say the dog’s death is a reminder that heat kills.

The owners of the dog told animal control officers that they had left their SUV running and the air conditioning on, said Mark Langan of the Nebraska Humane Society.

The problem:

The dog had been placed in a plastic kennel in the far back of the SUV, next to the rear window. The vehicle was not parked in the spot of shade available in the restaurant parking lot, according to a waitress.

The car was parked in direct sunlight and even though the air conditioning was running, the vents on the crate were not able to convey the cool air to the inside. The direct sunlight through the window heated the crate and killed the poor dog.

When I am on the road, I always make sure to park in the shade and leave the windows open. I love their company (and they love riding with me) but if the skies are clear and the temp is above 70, I always leave them at home. Sad story...

So true - Michael Ramirez

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Today's cartoon was spot on:

20190814-ramirez.JPG

It is hard to keep up the hype and the drama when the facts do not support the narrative. Time to fade away...

Interesting - from Bloomberg:

The Epstein Tapes: Unearthed Recordings From His Private Island
There are questions Jeffrey Epstein will never answer now.

But a lifetime ago—long before his dark journey ended in an apparent suicide in a Manhattan jail cell—Epstein settled into a sling-back chair on his private Caribbean island and began talking.

Over the course of more than five hours, in an interview with journalist David Bank, Epstein held forth on subjects from the dangers of having too much money to the beauty of mathematics, the importance of prenuptial agreements to the exquisite convenience of owning private jets.

That 2003 interview, captured in a previously unpublished cache of recordings, provides a rare glimpse of the enigmatic figure in his own words.

Epstein drew the rich and powerful into his orbit over three decades, even after he registered as a sex offender in 2009. His opulent retreat of Little St. James, fringed by high palms, only added to his mystique.

But why speak here, in a gazebo steps from the crystal-blue sea, rather than up in the grand main house?

“Too many girls,” Epstein said. And with that, the tape began to roll.

He was a creation of our current times. It will be fun to see what else pops up from obscure sources...

Quite the record hail in Colorado

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Our climate is cooling - one datum from the Colorado Climate Center with a followup from Brian Bledsoe, the Chief Meteorologist/Climatologist for 11 News in Colorado Springs:

More people die from cold than from heat.

Nuttin' today either

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Nothing caught my eye this morning - just the usual crap from people who really need to get out of their bubble and see what the rest of the world (ie: us normals) are doing.

Was planning to sleep in but not that tired so out for coffee, library, a couple of errands and then back home to work on stuff - doing some more sorting and then a dump run.

Put some beans on to soak for soup tonight.

Got nuttin'

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Nothing catches my eye - sleep in tomorrow. Work around the house and a meeting on Thursday. Farm after (for sure!)

The auction was a lot of fun - I love large auctions as there are pieces of equipment that sell for huge amounts of money (more than $600K in this case) and there are only two or three people interested in these items so the auctioneer has the interested parties in the palm of their hand.

There was a really sweet tugboat that went for a bit less than $10K but it would have cost another $30K to convert it to pleasure boating - the engine in it was huge with huge transmission and huge screw (36" in diameter at least) with fuel tanks (and comsumption) to match. This took up most of the below-deck area and you would need to resize it to a Detroit 2-53 (in production forever, parts are common and cheap) or something and an 18" prop. You would also need to rework the bulkheads and do a stability and ballasting analysis. The end result would be a fun and bullet-proof cruiser for the inside passage and Alaska but more than what I would be willing to pay. Thought about it though...

The tools went for a lot more than I was expecting - I drop out when the price is 1/3rd what the list price is and that is for something in great condition. People were bidding up to almost list on some items - pays to do some research first but great for Murphy and great for the Port of Bellingham. There were a couple machine shops bidding and the people were in their 30's so a bit aggressive - I am going to GET THAT TOOL. More the fool for them as they could have co-operated and kept the prices down. Oh well...

Picked up two die grinders for cheap and was also bidding on some welding rod ovens but they went for close to list. Pictures tomorrow - the place was huge.

All in all, a long but fun day. Burrito on the way home and a couple pints. Surf for a bit and then time for bed.

Off for the day

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Heading North for the auction. Starts in one hour - got a couple sandwiches and snacks packed. Leaving the pups home as it looks like it is going to be another warm day.

A breath of fresh air

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South Dakota is a gorgeous state. I attended a blacksmithing conference there in 2012 - it was hosted by the local University in Rapid City. They have an excellent metalurgy program and I learned a lot. This is wonderful news - from Campus Reform:

EXCLUSIVE: SD Board of Regents passes substantial free speech protections
The South Dakota Board of Regents approved modifications to a group of policies at a Wednesday and Thursday meeting that substantially protects free speech on campus by eliminating free speech zones, banning ideological discrimination, and more.

Among the policy changes, public universities in South Dakota will no longer be able to discriminate against “any student or student organization” based on viewpoint or ideology. Student organizations will also be able to require members to “affirm and adhere to the organization’s sincerely held beliefs.”

Glad to see some clear heads and solid reason. All speech matters.

An interesting proposed law

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Be interesting to see who votes for it and who does not. From The Epoch Times:

Bipartisan Senate Coalition Wants Inventory of All Federal Programs
A coalition of six Republican and three Democratic senators wants officials to inventory the costs, goals, and performance of all federal programs, then post the resulting database on the internet.

More:

The purpose of the proposal is to “provide taxpayers with an improved understanding of government programs through the disclosure of cost, performance, and areas of duplication among them, leverage existing data to achieve a functional Federal program inventory,” according to the bill’s text.

Some history:

If the proposal becomes law, it would represent the latest advance of an informal bipartisan movement that began early in the 2000s and first saw success with passage of the Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FFATA). President George W. Bush signed FFATA into law.

The FFATA resulted in the creation of USASpending.gov, a federal database that puts about 70 percent of all federal expenditures within a few mouse clicks for anybody with access to the internet.

The FFATA was co-sponsored by Coburn and then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), and was pushed by a coalition of advocacy groups led by Gary Bass, then of OMB Watch and now with the Bauman Foundation, and William Beach, then of the Heritage Foundation and now head of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Again, it will be interesting to see who does not promote this bill - someone's rice bowl is not being filled properly. Clean out the deep state.

Jeffrey Epstein in the news

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The photo memes are coming out - here is one that caught my eye:

20190812-epstein.jpg

Looks like the FBI are full-steam ahead - from The Lid:

FBI Raided Epstein’s Pedophile Island On Monday
Speaking to a National Police Conference on Monday, Attorney General Barr warned “Let me assure you that this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein. Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice, and they will get it,” And he wasn’t lying because at the same time Barr was speaking the FBI was raiding Epstein’s private island also known as Pedophile Island which is located in the US Virgin Islands.

As covered in the Daily Mail “at least a dozen agents were seen disembarking speedboats at the pier and driving around the 71.5-acre grounds on golf carts,” and “other officials with ‘FBI’ lettering on clear display were later seen overlooking the sea from the top of Epstein’s remote luxury home” (see video below).

According to one witness who shot the video and spoke to the Daily Mail:

‘We were enjoying lunch when we saw over a dozen people getting off their speedboats and landing on the island. When we looked harder, we could see the FBI logo on the backs of their shirts. It didn’t take long for us to realize they must be conducting a raid on Epstein’s house”

Good - this kind of corruption and influence peddling has got to be sunlighted and stopped. His activities were criminal and the participants need to be brought to justice. With wealth and power come responsibilities, not lawlessness.

He found the Titanic, he found evidence of Noah's Flood, he found a bunch of other shipwrecks including the battleship Bismarck. Now he is looking for Amelia Earhart. From the New York Times:

Finding Amelia Earhart’s Plane Seemed Impossible. Then Came a Startling Clue.
Robert Ballard is the finder of important lost things.

In 1985, he discovered the Titanic scattered beneath the Atlantic Ocean. He and his team also located the giant Nazi battleship Bismarck and, more recently, 18 shipwrecks in the Black Sea.

Dr. Ballard has always wanted to find the remains of the plane Amelia Earhart was flying when she disappeared in 1937. But he feared the hunt would be yet another in a long line of futile searches.

“You have it in a holding pattern in your head,” said Dr. Ballard, founder of the Ocean Exploration Trust. “You’re still saying, ‘No, no, it’s too big a search area.’”

Then, a few years ago, another group of explorers found clues so compelling that Dr. Ballard changed his mind. Now, not only is he certain he knows where the plane is, he has set course for a remote atoll in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati to recover it.

If anyone can find her final resting place, it is Dr. Ballard. Very cool!

The Island wins again

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Didn't head out to the farm as planned. It was getting really hot outside so ran back and left the dogs in the garage. Had a bite to eat in Mt. Vernon and continued south stopping for a two pints in Conway (great bar - good people).

The auction preview was really interesting - lots of stuff there and I will be definitely bidding on a few items. I found it delightful that they were using my absolute favorite welding rod - 7018. You have to be really careful getting the surfaces prepared but it just welds like butter and very easy cleanup after.

Sad - the place had been around for a long long time (been in business since the 1900's). It had gotten a grant in 2017 for environmental cleanup and overhaul and was then purchased by Puglia Engineering which promptly had some financial woes with their Oakland, CA facilities which brought down the whole company into bankruptcy.

From The Bellingham Herald (April 02, 2019):

New owner sought to keep local shipyard open as maritime firm struggles with bankruptcy
Bankruptcy reorganization hasn’t worked out for the owner of Fairhaven Shipyard, but a trustee is working to find a new owner to keep the shipyards open.

On March 28, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brian D. Lynch signed an order to convert last year’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization filing of Puglia Engineering to a Chapter 7 filing, forcing the liquidation of the company that owns two Washington state shipyards in Fairhaven and Tacoma.

The shipyards are finishing up projects and a court-appointed trustee is negotiating a sale of the company to someone interested in keeping the shipyards open, said Neil Turney, president of Puglia, in an interview with The Bellingham Herald. In an ideal world, the sale will be completed before the shipyards are forced to close, he said.

Emphasis mine. Alas, for them, this was not an ideal world and the shipyard had to close. There were not that many people visiting the facility this afternoon - I registered around 2:00PM and was given bidder number 166. A low number for an auction. There will be a couple large machine shops that will be very very lucky. Wish I had the shop space as there are some very desirable large presses and metal working tools. There are a couple of small ones that I will be bidding on - wish me luck... Starts at 9:00AM so an early bedtime.

Off for a few days

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Heading up to the auction preview - the auction is tomorrow so will be attending that as well. Farm for a few days.

Probably still no internet up there so this blog will experience a few days of radio silence...

Got a meeting here Thursday evening so back for that.

Two paragraphs - New York Times

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Great essay on one of the primary mongers of Fake News - from Michael Goodwin writing in The New York Post

You should go and read the whole thing but Michael's thesis is contained in these two paragraphs:

In effect, the Times has become a victim of the monster it created. Instead of informing readers and challenging them to question their own views, an approach the paper was proud of under legendary editor Abe Rosenthal, it now provides comfort food for the committed.

That historic mistake is biting the people who made it. The business model, which has thrived by being a bullhorn for the Trump resistance, now depends on a willingness to deliver a certain point of view without the slightest deviation.

They no longer report - they pander to the progressive narrative. Sad really as I used to like reading it.

Global cooling - mushrooms

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Another bit of evidence for cooling, not warming - from The Bellingham Herald:

Fall mushroom season starts early in Northwest
Pacific Northwesterners who forage for wild mushrooms are noticing that the late summer and fall delicacies are coming in early this year. Edible wild mushrooms are now flooding wholesale markets.

In the maritime Northwest, chanterelles are coming in at least three weeks early. In the Cascade Mountains, porcinis (aka king boletes) and matsutakes (aka pine mushroom) are poking up earlier than normal too.

“We’re already seeing mushrooms coming in that generally don’t show up until the middle of September,” Charlie Wiley, a commercial mushroom buyer in Southwest Washington and owner of Pacific Northwest Wild Mushrooms, said. “We’ve got pine mushrooms coming in. I can’t remember ever getting them in August.”

It is our sun that drives our climate and our sun is unusually quiet. Very low output. The solar wind hitting Earth's magnetic field forms a shield against cosmic rays and prevents them from hitting our planet's atmosphere. With this shield diminished, the cosmic rays are promoting cloud formation - providing nucleation sites. This raises Earth's reflectivity (albedo) and more of the sun's light is reflected back out to space.

Hepatitis is spreading - Akron, Ohio

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The epidemic is slowly spreading throughout the USA - from USA Today:

Hepatitis A is breaking out across the country in wake of opioid crisis
AKRON, Ohio — Just before the Fourth of July, Trenton Burrell began feeling run-down and achy. Soon he could barely muster the energy to walk from one room to another. A friend shared an alarming observation: “You’re turning yellow.”

Within days, the 40-year-old landed in the hospital, diagnosed with the highly contagious liver virus hepatitis A, which has infected more than 3,220 people in Ohio and killed at least 15.

Since 2016, the virus has spawned outbreaks in at least 29 states, starting with Michigan and California. It’s sickened more than 23,600 people, sent the majority to the hospital and killed more than 230. All but California’s and Utah’s outbreaks are ongoing, and experts expect to eventually see the virus seep into every state.

Here are some of my earlier posts tracking this medieval scourge: here, herehere, and here. This shit is real and a serious public health problem for urban dwellers. Another reason why I am never going to live in a city again.

Out for the day - working at home

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Got a couple projects to knock out here, some emails to do. Heading to Bellingham for an auction preview tomorrow and then to the farm for a couple of days.

Resumed putting MCT oil on my oatmeal - see what happens. Time for some coffee...

Cisco turns evil

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Used to be a great company - they make hardware for networking. From iFixit:

Cisco Is Making It More Difficult to Use Pre-Owned Hardware
Without telling their customers, networking hardware manufacturer Cisco has drastically changed the way it sells products. Where once you were able to buy and sell used hardware at your leisure, its new Smart Licensing System — which has rolled out to a majority of Cisco’s products—decouple licenses from the hardware in an extremely user-unfriendly way.

And the upshot:

The End of Ownership
Since these devices are tied to the original purchaser’s account, you can’t simply buy a pre-owned switch and use it as you normally would. “This will dramatically change the ability to buy used or refurbished Cisco hardware that run smart licensing because the original end user only owns the hardware, not its usage,” explains Bone. “The buyer will not have entitlement and the units will not function.” Instead, you’ll have to re-purchase and re-certify the license with Cisco, which—according to Curvature—could cost enough to negate whatever savings you get from buying pre-owned hardware. This seems legally problematic for Cisco, since courts tend to rule against companies that block you from selling devices after you’ve purchased them.

The new operating systems "phone home" to Cisco and if the equipment is not at the location of the original purchaser, it reverts back to a limited evaluation mode. Your only option is to purchase a new license. Stupid move Cisco.

And that is it for the evening

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ZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Some background on Arkancide

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From July 10th - one month ago:

20190710-arcancide.jpg

Yes - the Clinton's have quite the trail of corpses (57) in their wake. Some more posts about Arkancide.

Quite the full day

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Went out for the usual coffee &c and then went to see the Art by the Bay Festival. A lot of artists I already knew and met some new ones. Great art and a lot of fun. While there, I happened to see a poster for the Sky Valley Stock and Antique Tractor club advertising their show at the Stanwood fairgrounds. New to me for sure. Headed over there and had a great time.

This is the first year they have been at the fair grounds - they had a barn in Monroe, WA where they were based but it burned down last year. This weekend is their 31st annual show. Turnout was a bit light but given the circumstances and poor advertising, I can see why.

Dinner was a delight - met some people from the area and had some wonderful conversations with the farmers and with the other people at the table. Menu was coursed as follows:

Fava Bean Falafel with Lemon Sorrel pesto.
Caprese
Honey Cucumbers with bronze fennel

Frost Peach salad with garden greens and a lemon balsamic vinaigrette

Carrot Ginger soup with golden beets and coconut milk served with
Farmhouse Bread (two kinds) and tulsi basil pesto

Pattypan squash stuffed with cabbage, mushroom, rice and sage
Rosemary roasted potatoes (picked that morning)
Runner Beans grilled with garlic

Gravenstein Apple / Shiro Plum Cake with hand-cranked vanilla ice cream.

Just wow - every dish was 100% spot on. Very happily stuffed. There was a walk around the farm before desert so we got to see what was happening - coming in to season, beds being put to sleep for the fall and winter. Really nice place and nice people. I emphasize the potatoes picked that morning - there is an amazing taste that is lost after a day or two. Fresh spuds are a real treat.

Planning to put in a large garden next year and potatoes are on the list.

Light rain falling

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About 0.2" so far - was nice to wake up to the sound of it and the freshness of the air.

Heading out to a farm on the island for one of their monthly farm dinners this afternoon - great people. Take care of a couple things around here first.

Just go and read this essay at PJ Media:

No-One's Life Matters. That's Why There Are Mass Shootings
Writing in the left-wing Forward website today, Cathy Young warns the Left to take its own violence seriously:

...It has been a staple of conventional wisdom that the real danger comes almost entirely from the far right....But is that still true today? We don’t know if Connor Betts, the 24-year-old Ohio man who killed nine people (including his own sister) and wounded 27 more when he opened fire on a crowded street in Dayton on Sunday, had any involvement with Antifa. But Betts’s Twitter trail makes it clear that he was a hardcore leftist who embraced some fairly extreme ideas—and, in some cases, advocated violence toward political enemies in Antifa-style language.

Good for Ms. Young, who declines to join the chorus blaming President Trump for the last two atrocities. Never mind that the five worst mass shooting incidents took place outside the United States, or that more mass shootings occurred during the Obama presidency than under Trump. But that leaves us with the question: Why are there mass shootings?

And the analysis:

Emil Durkheim's 1897 diagnosis of "anomic suicide" describes the Columbine perpetrators as well as the 2016 San Bernardino attack by Muslim fanatics, the "right-wing" shooter in El Paso and the "left-wing" shooter in Dayton. They are individuals cut off from society, destabilized by change and despairing of their own place in the world. Such monsters always have been among us. But now we are cultivating such monsters by destroying the ties that bind us to each other, to our past and to our future.

Everyone used to matter. No-one matters anymore, not at least in the postmodern dystopia of invented identity. In the good old days we mattered because each of us was radically unique. We were unique as members of a congregation standing before the God who made us, and unique as parents watching over the children we had brought into the world. We knew that each of us had a singular purpose, first because God does nothing in vain. We hoped to make the previous generation proud of us, and the next generation worthy of its predecessors. Each of us had a mission that no-one else could carry out for us, and that mission was to raise children who were uniquely ours, and with whom we had a unique rapport through bonds of intimacy that no master's degree in psychology could replace.

Much more at the site - the author nails it. The end game of identity politics - the Balkanization of our culture.

Well that didn't take long - arkancide

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From the London Daily Mail:

FBI launches an investigation after billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide by hanging himself in prison a day after lawsuit by his 'sex slave' was unsealed and named a host of his powerful friends including Prince Andrew
Jeffrey Epstein has hanged himself inside his New York City jail cell.

The billionaire pedophile was found in cardiac arrest shortly before 7am on Saturday at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in lower Manhattan.

He was rushed to nearby New York Downtown Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In a statement, Metropolitan Correctional Center told DailyMail.com that the FBI is now launching an investigation into Epstein's death.

The former financier, 66, was awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy and sex trafficking and was being held at the high-security complex without bail.

Epstein - who once boasted an array of high-profile friends including Prince Andrew and President Bill Clinton - was arrested on July 6, accused of arranging to have sex with dozens of underage girls at his residences in New York City and Florida between 2002 and 2005.

Peter Grant has worked as a prison chaplin and knows about suicide watches:

Folks, I served as a prison chaplain.  I was trained in exactly the same way as a corrections officer, alongside them in the same training institution, because there would be times when I'd have to function as one.  I know more than a little about suicide watches, and I've been exposed to my fair share of them.  You can read a little about them in this Slate article, but there's a lot more to them than that.

Basically, on suicide watch, everything and anything that can be used for self-harm is taken away from the inmate, even his clothes.  No belt.  No shoelaces.  No razor.  Only thin, brittle plastic eating utensils are provided, that can't be sharpened enough to cut human flesh, and aren't strong enough to be used as stabbing weapons.  The inmate may be issued an anti-suicide smock and an anti-suicide blanket.  The list is endless.  If the risk is considered serious enough, the inmate may be placed in a straitjacket, and/or may be under very frequent (every 15 minutes) visitation by a correction officer or nurse, or even permanent guard (i.e. someone in the room with him/her at all times).  Suffice it to say, if the suicide watch is properly and effectively administered, it's no longer possible for the inmate to commit suicide, even if he/she wants to.

Now we're expected to believe that a person:

    • accused of the most heinous offenses;
    • who was in a position to implicate any number of high-placed persons in politics, entertainment and royalty, in many countries, if he lived to provide evidence - including individuals who have, in the past, displayed a certain ruthlessness in dealing with other potential "embarrassments" of that sort;
    • who had (allegedly) attempted to commit suicide and/or had been injured previously while in custody;
    • who had been placed on suicide watch, which (in the light of the earlier incident) should have been rigorous and intensive;

. . . that person nevertheless succeeded in committing suicide last night.

For more information in Arkancide, go to the website: Arkancide  The deep state just won again.

And here we go again

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Thought we learned our lessons on antisemitism seventy-five years ago. From The Washington Free Beacon:

Europe Poised to Put Warning Labels on Jewish-Made Products
The European Union is poised to mandate that Israeli products made in contested territories carry consumer warning labels, a decision that could trigger American anti-boycott laws and open up what legal experts describe as a "Pandora's box" of litigation, according to multiple sources involved in the legal dispute who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice recently issued non-binding opinion arguing that EU law requires Israeli-made products to be labeled as coming from "settlements" and "Israeli colonies."

The decision was seen as a major win for supporters of the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS, which seeks to wage economic warfare on Israel and its citizens. Pro-Israel activists, as well as the Jewish businesses involved in the legal dispute, see the decision as an ominous warning sign that they say is reminiscent of Holocaust-era boycotts of Jewish businesses.

Crap like this happens when you get unelected bureaucrats running things from their central offices in Brussels. No accountability and 100% narrative driven. Looking forward to our dear friends in England exiting the EU and getting the fsck out of that rats nest.

From i Sci phile:

Is Big Bang Theory Wrong? Star Older Than Universe Discovered
The Universe is thought to have popped into existence some 13.8 billion years ago when an infinitesimal point expanded in just a fraction of a second. The Big Bang theory has stood for the best part of 100 years after Belgian physicist Georges Lemaître first proposed in 1927 the expansion of the Universe could be traced back to a single point.

However, the well-accepted model is now under the microscope after a team of researchers found a star which appears to be older than the cosmos. A star known as “Methuselah star”, or scientifically called HD 140283, is situated about 200 lightyears away and has stumped experts.

Analysis of the star showed that it contained very little iron content, which would suggest that it formed during a period when the iron element was not abundant in the Universe. This in turn led to the discovery the star is 14.5 billion years old, some 0.7 billion years older than the Universe. Experts met at a conference in California in July in an attempt to solve the mystery, but so far questions have just led to more questions – and it could lead to a “scientific revolution”.

Well... It was a good theory while it lasted. (And somewhere, God is chuckling to himself)

Seeing the light - Michael Moore

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Great news from journalist Don Surber:

Michael Moore grows up
Michael Moore finally grew up. He now realizes Captain Planet was just a front man for green energy boondoggles paid for by taxpayers.

The Associated Press reported, "What if alternative energy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be? That’s the provocative question explored in the documentary Planet of the Humans, which is backed and promoted by filmmaker Michael Moore and directed by one of his longtime collaborators. It premiered last week at his Traverse City Film Festival.

"The film, which does not yet have distribution, is a low-budget but piercing examination of what the filmmakers say are the false promises of the environmental movement and why we’re still “addicted” to fossil fuels.

"Director Jeff Gibbs takes on electric cars, solar panels, windmills, biomass, biofuel, leading environmentalist groups like the Sierra Club, and even figures from Al Gore and Van Jones, who served as Barack Obama’s special adviser for green jobs, to 350.org leader Bill McKibben, a leading environmentalist and advocate for grassroots climate change movements."

This looks like an interesting movie - the facts are pesky. alt.energy is not economically viable without huge taxpayer-funded subsidies. Nuclear (modern designs) are incredibly safe and cheap to build. The whole alternative energy movement has been a political scam from day one. Some people got very rich off it.

Some people are just too stupid to be allowed outside. From ABC News:

Man asked Walmart salesperson to help him find something 'that would kill 200 people'
Police have located a man who allegedly told a Walmart salesperson that he was looking for something "that would kill 200 people."

The alleged incident happened on Wednesday Aug. 7, just four days after a mass shooting at a Walmart in Texas that left 22 people dead and more than two dozen others injured.

The suspicious request was reported at a Walmart in Port St. Lucie, Florida, at around 7:11 p.m.

The Port St. Lucie police received a tip that helped identify the man as 55-year-old Philip Michael Attey II, who is from Port St. Lucie.

Attey approached a sales clerk and allegedly asked "can you sell me anything (or a gun) that would kill 200 people?" according to the police press release.

I would wonder what the fsck he was thinking but it was obvious that he was not. Turns out he is an anti-gun activist. Typical clear thinking on his part. "Activists" generally tend to be stupid followers of the herd. They are driven by narrative and not by reason.

Wonder what his position is now - from the London Daily Mail:

Father-of-five who advocated rights for migrants is hit and killed by illegal immigrant on probation for a DUI who was ordered to be deported back to El Salvador eight months ago
A staunch supporter of the rights of immigrants - and a married father of five - was killed last week when an illegal immigrant from El Salvador facing deportation crashed into his motorcycle in Colorado.

Sean Buchanan, 45, was driving northbound on Highway 83 on August 2 when Colorado State Patrol say a southbound truck operated by Miguel Ramirez Valiente went off the side of the road, then over-corrected into the wrong lane and crashed into Buchanan's bike, killing him.

Valiente, an undocumented immigrant who was slated for deportation eight months earlier, was charged with misdemeanor careless driving with a revoked license in the deadly accident.

In an ironic twist, Buchanan was known among friends a passionate advocate for all immigrants.

Oh. Wait. He doesn't have a position on illegal immigration now. He is dead. Killed by an illegal immigrant.

Quote of the Month

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"Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought."
--Lord Acton

John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton is also the guy who gave us this:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."

Smart cookie...

And back home

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Spent a couple hours at the fair - a lot of fun. I like this one in that it is still quite a bit smaller than the NW Washington fair in Lynden which is too big for my taste.

Had some fair food - corn on the cob and strawberry shortcake and a burrito for a light dinner. Couple of beers and then home for the night.

Farmer's Market was a lot of fun - some new vendors there - Mead and frozen Chickens and eggs. One of the farms that attends is having a farm supper tomorrow night so looking forward to that. They do one every month and the other ones I have been to have been delicious and a really nice collection of people.

Forecast was for cloudy and overcast but it got downright sunny towards the afternoon - glad I left the pups at home.

Out the door for a while

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Coffee, post office, library and then to the Skagit County Country Fair. I love the little one that we have for Stanwood and Camano but thought I would check out the bigger one - see what is there and skritch some more critters. I do love farm animals.

Farmer's market later today and then a meeting tomorrow. Up to the farm after that.

Cool - thunderstorms in the forecast

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I love a good T-Storm - miss them as we do not get many out in the pacific northwest. From Cliff Mass:

Thunderstorms on Friday Night and Saturday Morning
Get your lightning rods handy, because there is a good chance that a large area of thunderstorms will sweep northward over Washington on Friday night and Saturday morning.

The action is associated with the landfall of an upper low on the southern Northwest coast.

More at his site - hope that these do not trigger any wildfires. We have been lucky this season.

Attended a conference in Rapid City, South Dakota a number of years ago and there was a wonderful T-Storm almost every evening. Loved it. Beautiful part of the country.

Yikes - radiation in Russia

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No real details as yet but this from Reuters:

Russians rush to buy iodine after blast causes radiation spike - reports
Residents of two northern Russian cities are stocking up on iodine that is used to reduce the effects of radiation exposure after a mysterious accident on a nearby military testing site, regional media reported.

The Ministry of Defense has given few details of the accident, saying only that two people were killed and six injured by the explosion of a liquid-propelled rocket engine at a test site in Russia's north.

Although the ministry initially said no harmful chemicals were released into the atmosphere and radiation levels were unchanged, authorities in the nearby city of Severodvinsk reported what they described as a brief spike in radiation. No official explanation has been given for why such an accident would cause radiation to spike.

A couple of days until we get the full story. Prayers going out to the injured and their families.

We the people speak - gun violence

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A lot of crazy people out there - might be nice to have some backup in case one of them goes "off" around you.
From the Washington Examiner:

Gun sales surge fueled by first-timers, mostly for ‘concealed’ pistols
Gun sales are surging after the weekend mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, fueled by first-time buyers seeking pistols they can carry with them for protection.

The latest jump validated a big increase in purchases and background checks recorded by the FBI that show the four most recent months higher than the same months in 2018.

What’s more, the trend in the “National Instant Criminal Background Check System,” or NICS, is on a path to make 2018 the second biggest year since 2016, when gun owners and prospective gun owners filled stores before the presidential election that was expected to elect gun control advocate Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Heh - this is not in line with the progressive narrative but screw them - they live in a bubble, not reality.

Thermus scotoductus? From Springer:

Biogeography of thermophiles and predominance of Thermus scotoductus in domestic water heaters
Abstract
Built systems such as water heaters can harbor extremophiles similar to those residing in natural hot springs, but the extent of colonization is not well understood. To address this, we conducted a survey of thermophilic microorganisms in household water heaters across the United States. Filter samples and inoculated cultures were collected by citizen-scientists from 101 homes. Draft genomes were assembled from cultured isolates and 16S rRNA genes were sequenced from filter samples. 28% of households harbored communities with unambiguous DNA signatures of thermophilic organisms, 36% of households provided viable inocula, and 21% of households had both. All of the recovered cultures as well as the community sequencing results revealed Thermus scotoductus to be the dominant thermophile in domestic water heaters, with a minority of water heaters also containing Meiothermus species and a few containing Aquificae. Sequence distance comparisons show that allopatric speciation does not appear to be a strong control on T. scotoductus distribution. Our results demonstrate that thermophilic organisms are widespread in hot tap water, and that Thermus scotoductus preferentially colonizes water heaters at the expense of local environmental Thermus strains.

Curious - I guess they come in on city water and thrive in the heaters. Who'da thunk it...

Good meeting

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About 60 people there. Preparedness group.

Tired so quick surf and then to bed. Slept in late this morning - had some wonderful dreams so did not want to wake up.

Heading up to the Skagit County Fair tomorrow for a little bit. Got an event Saturday and then up to the farm for a (very overdue) couple of days.

Three headlines

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Shanghai'd

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Went to the meeting tonight as innocent as a little lamb and got shanghai'd.

I had allowed myself to be voted in to their board as an unaffiliated member - no specific tasks assigned (a pool of six members). This is perfect as I am still at the farm on a regular basis and am busy remodeling my house, building the shop and closing out my life in Maple Falls. I have been involved in organizations before and have run businesses most of my life so I do know how to do this but I was not planning to step up to the management plate quite yet.

A new line item on tonight's agenda was my nomination and unanimous vote for my position as Vice President.

Crap. I will do it and I do run a good meeting but still, was not planning to be this involved this quickly.

A couple of the other members and I retired to a local for a couple pints and some munchies and went over future plans.

Really great people and looking forward to service but was not planning to get so engaged so soon.

Clever idea

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Great idea for a mechanics creeper - the Human Hoist:

No price listed on their website. You have to "Get a Quote" and their website has a link for "Financing"
Two bad signs.

Done and heading out the door

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Got fairly warm so leaving the dogs at home. The local grocery store has a Thai cafe running inside so getting a quick bite to eat and then off to the 6:00PM meeting. Bills to drop off at the local post box, filing done.

Finished the laundry too - clean house tomorrow.

Sigh - back to work

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Turned into a gorgeous day. Cooler (mid-70's) and clear skies. Meeting later tonight and another one tomorrow.
Both are really fun groups.

From Paul Mirengoff writing at Powerline:

MENTAL ILLNESS AND MASS MURDER
The left wants to discount the role of mental disturbance in mass shootings. By doing so, it can keep all of the focus on guns and “white supremacy.”

In addition, allowing mental disturbance to enter the conversation might lead to a discussion of family breakdown and loss of religious faith. The left wants to steer clear of that discussion at all costs.

Paul cites a very biased story at The Washington Post and then continues with some facts:

E. Fuller Torrey, writing in the Wall Street Journal, points to two studies, totally ignored by the Post, that demonstrate the importance of mental disturbance as a contributing factor in mass shootings. Dr. Torrey is the founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center and author of American Psychosis. He says:

In 2018 the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a report titled “A Study of the Pre-Attack Behavior of Active Shooters in the United States Between 2008 and 2013.” It reported that 40% of the shooters had received a psychiatric diagnosis, and 70% had “mental health stressors” or “mental health concerning behaviors” before the attack.

(Emphasis added)

In addition:

In July 2019, the U.S. Secret Service released its report “Mass Attacks in Public Spaces—2018.” The report covered 27 attacks that resulted in 91 deaths and 107 injuries. The investigators found that 67% of the suspects displayed symptoms of mental illness or emotional disturbance. In 93% of the incidents, the authorities found that the suspects had a history of threats or other troubling communications.

The results were similar to those of another study published by the Secret Service on 28 such attacks in 2017.

Clearly, then, untreated mental illness is playing a significant role in the rising incidence of mass killings. The Washington Post’s effort to deny this is a pathetic piece of agenda-driven journalism.

Speaking truth to power. It is not guns. Seriously. There are more guns in private ownership in the United States than there are United States citizens. If guns were the problem, we would know about it by now. The problem is mental illness and the signs and symptoms are frequently visible before the shooter goes live.

WTF - Chuck the Schmuck

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The First Amendment is not to Schumer's liking so he wants to  -ummm-  amend it. From Town Hall:

Schumer Calls for Amending First Amendment to Limit Political Speech
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.-N.Y., has determined there is too much political speech in the United States coming from sources he cannot tolerate. So, he stood in front of the Supreme Court on Tuesday, along with Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D.-Ill., to announce he is backing Democratic New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall's proposal to amend the First Amendment.

The First Amendment — as it now stands — includes 10 unambiguous words about freedom of speech.

"Congress," it says, "shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech."

Schumer and Udall do not like this sweeping restraint on government power. There are speakers whose speech they want to abridge. The Bill of Rights — as correctly interpreted by the Supreme Court — stands in their way. So, they are seeking to change it.

Good luck with that one. Hey Chuck? How much are the Mexican Cartels paying you to keep the border open? There is no other explanation for our lack of movement on this problem.

From Breitbart:

Joaquin Castro Under Fire for Targeting Trump Supporters
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) is facing backlash for publicly targeting President Donald Trump’s political supporters.

Castro, whose twin brother Julian is seeking the 2020 Democrat nomination, released a list via social media on Monday containing the names of dozens of individuals, within his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, that contributed the maximum amount toTrump’s reelection campaign. Not only did the congressman post the names of the 44 individuals in question, he also included their occupations and employers.

And the backlash:

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was one of the first Republicans to denounce Castro’s action as “shameful and dangerous.”

The sentiment was quickly echoed by a number of others, including the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and both of the United States Senators from Texas.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), who survived a politically motivated assassination attempt in 2017, took to social media himself to say that Castro’s list was dangerous and put lives “at stake.”

In the face of such backlash, Castro attempted to distance himself from the list by saying his staff was behind its creation. The congressman, though, defended his decision to share it, by claiming the Trump campaign “has stoked fear of brown-skinned immigrants.”

Of course he didn't do it. Castro is a coward and has no personal accountability. Had he owned up to the gaffe, my estimation of him would have risen but he is just another party hack hiding behind the sign on his door. Typical.

A voice of reason - Oprah

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Great statement - from Breitbart:

Oprah on Mass Shootings: We’ll Be Lost Until America Finds the ‘Moral Center’ Churches Used to Provide
Entertainment mogul and part-time political activist Oprah Winfrey says the spat of mass shootings occurring in America are a result of the country’s disconnect with faith and church, which once provided people with “values about a way of living and being in the world.”

Speaking with Extra host Renee Bargh about the deadly mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio that left more than 30 people dead and dozens more injured, Oprah said “I think what people are missing is a core moral center.”

“Churches used to do that,” the OWN boss continued. “It was a central place you could come to and there was a core center of values about a way of living and being in the world. Until we can return to that, however that is, in whatever form, we will continue to be lost.”

So true - Lyndon Johnson's Great Society was the start of this problem - broken families, kids growing up with no fathers for role models, free government shit to keep people on the Democrat plantation. Here and here for some reading.

Web traffic - some numbers

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Here is a listing of the top 50 web sites by traffic - from SimilarWeb:

Top Websites Ranking
Top sites ranking for all categories in United States

Here is a screen-cap of the top seven - no big surprises there:

20190807-web01.JPG

Instagram, Reddit, eBay, and Wikipedia are 10-13. What makes this interesting is that FOX News is #25, CNN is #27, MSN is #30, Drudge Report is #43, The London Daily Mail is #45 and that is it for news reporting.

In other words, none of the Fake News were shown except for three of the top ones (CNN enjoys its position in part due to its monopoly in airports). FOX News came in first. Utility websites were much more popular than news websites. Adult content is more popular than any news media.

Breaking for a late lunch

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Surf for a little bit and then back to work. Filing and paperwork for the next couple hours - bring me joy...

Outta here

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Doing my usual morning routine. Working at home today - overcast and off-and-on rain showers.

That one pillow finally drained enough overnight in the laundry sink so it went in the dryer and is bumping around. It is one of the My Pillows that have been promoted so much - picked up a set at Costco for the farm and it was comfortable enough that I got a second set for the island. I have washed them before with zero problem. They are filled with foam chunks and this one pillow, the foam just got saturated with water - weighed about 20 pounds. Sent off an email to the company and see what they do...

Needless to say, had my morning oatmeal without any MCT oil. Feeling a lot better today but laying off the stuff for a few more days.

Heading up to Bellingham Monday for this auction preview: FAIRHAVEN SHIPYARD - LIVE AUCTION  Looking at some tooling and some welding equipment.

From Cliff Mass:

Unusual Low Pressure over the Eastern Pacific Brings Rain Back
The upper level (500 hPa) pattern is quite anomalous today, as illustrated by the height at 8 PM tonight. A closed low is due Oregon, with another farther out in the Pacific. Further to the north there is high pressure--producing an unusual, but highly stable "omega? pattern.

Much more at the site including the usual charts with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back.

Classical reference there...

Good news - public shootings

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One good thing to come out of these tragedies is this - from the Sacramento, CA CBS affiliate:

Inquiries Into License To Carry Classes Up After Mass Shootings
The number of mass shootings in the last week has prompted many to purchase guns and sign up for classes to earn their license to carry concealed weapons, according to the people who are doing training.

And:

Wingert, a former police officer, has taught concealed carry classes for 40 years all across California. He teaches up to 300 classes a year, and when a mass shooting happens, inquiries go up 10-15%.

The classes are 16 hours - a decent start for training. Training is an ongoing thing though, you should take a course once/year and spend time at the range practicing. A lot of fun and you can get quite good at it. I enjoy shooting.

Fun times - laundry

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Did a couple loads of laundry today and for the hell of it, ran my pillows through the machine. Never any problem before but now, they are unbalancing on the spin cycle and resetting the washer and the washer is dumb enough that I can not resume the spin. I have to go through the entire long wash cycle again. Grrrrrrr...

Unreal - from The Daily Caller:

‘Lives Are At Stake’: Scalise Rips Castro For Posting List Of Local Trump Donors
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise rebuked Democratic Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro on Tuesday for tweeting out a list of Trump donors and their employers in the San Antonio area.

“People should not be personally targeted for their political views. Period. This isn’t a game. It’s dangerous, and lives are at stake. I know this firsthand,” Scalise wrote on Twitter. Scalise was shot in the 2017 attempted mass assassination of Republican congressmen and nearly died.

Doxing is never cool but it seems that it is always the Democrats who are guilty of it.

Staying classy - the Democrats

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Promoting violence and murder - from the New York Post:

Protesters shout death threats outside Mitch McConnell’s home
Gun control supporters stood outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home in Kentucky on Sunday night — protesting and hurling death threats at him — while broadcasting on Facebook Live.

“Murder Turtle!” the demonstrators can be heard shouting on video, in reference to McConnell’s infamous nickname.

“Come out, come out, wherever you are,” a person says at one point, while the others continue to yell.

“The bitch home — we keep seeing the lights go on and off,” another says. “This hoe really thought he was going to get ready to be at home after he hurt his little punk ass shoulder. Bitch, don’t nobody give a f–k! F–k your thoughts and prayers, Mitch. F–k you, f–k your wife, f–k everything you stand for. ”

The “emergency protest,” as the demonstrators described it, took place Sunday night while McConnell, 77, reportedly was home recovering from a broken shoulder after a fall he suffered. About 20 to 30 people attended.

Really classy - they preach about how Republicans are violent but then gang up on a 77-year old public servant and threaten murder.

Back home - lots of stuff - MCT oil

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Had the meeting - getting bids on the new shop building. The surveyor should be out there sometime this week or next so finalizing the layout of the site for building.

The farmer's market was a lot of fun - met some new people and had a wonderful conversation with a couple people I already know.

Had a quick dinner (burrito) and then spent two hours at the National Night Out. This is an annual event sponsored by police, fire, and rescue agencies and is their vehicle for gaining public awareness of what they do. Big event with a couple thousand people attending. I am involved with CERT as well as the amateur radio emergency communications so was busy meeting with people. Great weather and good music so it was a lot of fun.

MCT Oil? This is oil (from coconuts) that is very rich in medium-chain triglycerides. Supposed to be great for people looking to lose some weight (as I am) and helpful for muscle recovery after working out (which I do 2-3 times/week). I saw it for sale at Costco and picked up a bottle. Been doing a glug over my morning oatmeal or cereal or using it for my salad dressing with some lemon juice or mustard and white balsamic. Good stuff. Didn't feel like having any breakfast this morning so figured, what the hell, I chugged about an ounce of it. Not that much really.

I was fine for the first hour but then it hit. To say that it loosened my guts would be an understatement. I could have swallowed a dime and it would have popped out between my butt-cheeks fifteen minutes later. Needless to say, my afternoon was punctuated with a couple of emergency pit stops... Been using it for about three weeks and this is the first sign of any problems like this so will try a small amount tomorrow and see what happens.

Things have settled down for now but still...

And I am out for the day

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Coffee &c - running a couple of errands. Meeting with someone later today and then the farmer's market in the late afternoon. Figure out what to do with the two planters - need to move them so I can bring the boat home.

Already did a quick surf and nothing caught my eye. President Trump reminds us that President Obama had thirty two mass shootings during his tenure - much more than under Trump's term. Again, facts and not narrative.

No-rora Borealis tonight

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Now down to three; never got above five. Oh well...

And I am tired

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Buying the boat took a lot longer than anticipated - the original owner could not find his titles for the boat and for the trailer so we had to go to the local licensing office and deal with them (actually quite a pleasant experience). Had dinner out - do the tacos tomorrow.

Off to YouTube

The Craigslist Deal

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Now I am an official Camano Island resident - I bought a boat.

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18 foot long Catalina Capri - designed to be a family day sailer or a cruiser for 1-2 people for a week or more. Perfect for potting around the San Juan islands or running up the inside passage of Vancouver Island. I rented space at a local boat storage facility for one month to stash it - I have a spot in my front yard but need to move two planters first. 23 years old but really solid construction - went over it with a fine tooth comb and zero issues with delamination.

It is beamy - fairly wide - so slow but bulletproof. Very seaworthy and safe. The wide beam is what also makes it a perfect boat for longer cruises with one or two people. Only 18 feet long but tons of storage space. There are two cases of people taking these to Hawaii.

Via Media means The Middle Path - I like it. The outboard engine is one year old - less than 20 hours on the meter. Trailer is in decent shape as well (needs new wiring for the lights though) - all for $3,900. Great deal.

Got too much on my plate now to take it out but planning to do some cruising later this fall - when the good winds return. Sails are in excellent shape (checked them out before buying). There is a really nice kennel nearby so will be boarding the pups when I do any long-term cruising.

More public shootings - Chicago

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How come these murders do not get as much media exposure as the recent shootings? From Chicago's CBS affiliate:

59 shot, 7 fatally in Chicago weekend shootings
Shootings across the city of Chicago this past weekend have left seven people dead and another 52 people wounded.

One of the most recent shootings occurred in the city's Englewood neighborhood.

Cornelius Jordan, 21, was driving along 6900 block of South Wentworth Avenue around 10 p.m. Sunday when someone in a sliver sedan pulled up to his vehicle, shooting both him and his 20-year-old pregnant girlfriend, Chicago police said.

Jordan was pronounced dead at the scene. His girlfriend was taken to the University of Chicago Medical Center in stable condition with a gunshot wound to the left arm, police said.

Jordan was not only a son, a brother and the father of a little boy, he was everything to the people that are grieving his loss.

"Yesterday when he left my house I told him, 'be careful.' He told me 'Ma, I'll be back.' Those were the last words I had with my son," said Wanda Jordan, Cornelius' mother.

These are the real tragedies - the drugs, gangs, black on black violence. The Dayton and El Paso shootings were just mentally ill losers.

Words to remember - crime

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From The Great One:


"We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
--Ronald Reagan

Out for a few hours

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Come home, finish off some yard work and meeting with someone later this afternoon (Craigslist deal). Meetings tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday so down here for the week. Farm over the weekend. Back in a bit.

Thawing out some pulled pork and guacamole. Tacos for dinner tonight.

Great grandmother in Texas

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From the US Department of Justice, Northern District of Texas:

Lubbock Man Allegedly Plotting Mass Shooting Charged With Making False Statements to Firearms Dealer
A Lubbock man allegedly contemplating a mass shooting has been charged by criminal complaint with making false statements to a federally-licensed firearms dealer, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox.

The potential shooting has been averted.

William Patrick Williams, 19, was arrested by special agents of ATF and FBI Thursday, following a brief hospitalization. He made his initial appearance in court Friday morning.

According to a criminal complaint unsealed this afternoon, on July 13, Mr. Williams allegedly told his grandmother he had recently purchased an AK-47 rifle and planned to “shoot up” a local hotel and then commit suicide by cop. Sensing he was both homicidal and suicidal, she convinced him to allow her to bring him to a local hospital instead.

Mr. Williams later gave officers consent to search the room he’d rented at the hotel, where officers found an AK-47 rifle, seventeen magazines loaded with ammunition, multiple knives, a black trench coat, black tactical pants, a black t-shirt that read “Let ‘Em Come,” and black tactical gloves with the fingers cut off. Mr. Williams told officers he had laid out his weapons on the bed so that law enforcement could take custody of them.

Eight days later, ATF received the firearms transaction form (form 4473) that Williams had completed on July 11, when purchasing the AK-47. On the form, Mr. Williams listed his relatives’ address, where he no longer resided. Agents discovered that although Mr. William’s driver’s license showed the family members’ address, Mr. Williams was actually living with a roommate at a different address, following eviction by his relatives. He had allegedly misrepresented his current address on the firearms transaction form.

“This was a tragedy averted,” said U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox. “I want to praise the defendant’s grandmother, who saved lives by interrupting this plot, as well as the Lubbock police officers and federal agents who investigated his unlawful acquisition of a deadly weapon. If you suspect a friend or loved one is planning violence against themselves or others, do not hesitate to seek help immediately by calling law enforcement.”

Thank God that the Grandmother was listening and had the sense to talk her grandchild into visiting the hospital. Perfect response.

Concealed carry in public places

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Larry wrote this essay in 2012 after the Sandy Hook shootings and he voices some things that need to be remembered today - some excerpts from his website:

Armed Teachers
So now that there is a new tragedy the president wants to have a “national conversation on guns”. Here’s the thing. Until this national conversation is willing to entertain allowing teachers to carry concealed weapons, then it isn’t a conversation at all, it is a lecture.

Now when I say teachers carrying concealed weapons on Facebook I immediately get a bunch of emotional freak out responses. You can’t mandate teachers be armed! Guns in every classroom! Emotional response! Blood in the streets!

No. Hear me out. The single best way to respond to a mass shooter is with an immediate, violent response. The vast majority of the time, as soon as a mass shooter meets serious resistance, it bursts their fantasy world bubble. Then they kill themselves or surrender. This has happened over and over again.

Some more:

Gun Free Zones
Gun Free Zones are hunting preserves for innocent people. Period.

Think about it. You are a violent, homicidal madman, looking to make a statement and hoping to go from disaffected loser to most famous person in the world. The best way to accomplish your goals is to kill a whole bunch of people. So where’s the best place to go shoot all these people? Obviously, it is someplace where nobody can shoot back.

In all honesty I have no respect for anybody who believes Gun Free Zones actually work. You are going to commit several hundred felonies, up to and including mass murder, and you are going to refrain because there is a sign? That No Guns Allowed sign is not a cross that wards off vampires. It is wishful thinking, and really pathetic wishful thinking at that.

The only people who obey No Guns signs are people who obey the law. People who obey the law aren’t going on rampages.

More on gun free zones:

There were four mass killing attempts this week. Only one made the news because it helped the agreed upon media narrative.

    • Oregon. NOT a gun free zone. Shooter confronted by permit holder. Shooter commits suicide. Only a few casualties.
    • Texas. NOT a gun free zone. Shooter killed immediately by off duty cop. Only a few casualties.
    • Connecticut. GUN FREE ZONE. Shooters kills until the police arrive. Suicide. 26 dead.
    • China. GUN FREE COUNTRY. A guy with a KNIFE stabs 22 children.

And here is the nail in the coffin for Gun Free Zones. Over the last fifty years, with only one single exception (Gabby Giffords), every single mass shooting event with more than four casualties has taken place in a place where guns were supposedly not allowed.

This is a long essay but a really good one and one that everyone should read - pro and anti gun.

Arm yourself with the facts first and then form your opinions. Do not operate the other way around or people will start confusing you with a Democrat.

And Neil caves to the SJWs

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Never cave to the Social Justice Warriors - this gives them their strength. From The Daily Caller:

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Apologizes For ‘Unhelpful’ Tweet Following Weekend Shootings
Famous scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson apologized Monday morning for an “unhelpful” and “miscalculated” tweet.

More:

Tyson denounced his prior assertions, saying, “My tweet in particular — can be true but unhelpful, especially at a time when many people are either still in shock, or trying to heal — or both.” He continued, “So if you are one of those people, I apologize for not knowing in advance what effect my Tweet could have on you.”

Neil should have thanked them for their opinion (which it was - they were not disputing the facts, they could not) and told them that his tweet stands as written. Here is a screen-cap in the event that he takes it down:

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Aurora Borealis tonight?

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From NASA's excellent Space Weather website:

THE SOLAR WIND HAS ARRIVED: As predicted, today Earth is entering a stream of solar wind flowing from a large hole in the sun's atmosphere. NOAA forecasters say there is a 55% chance of G1-class geomagnetic storms on Aug. 5th and 6th. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras, especially in the southern hemisphere where winter darkness favors visibility.

The Planetary K-Index is certainly showing this - a solid five.

20190804-kindex.jpg

If this event lasts through tonight, we have a great chance of seeing some aurora if the skies cooperate. If it hits six, then definitely.

Some perspective

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Neil deGrasse Tyson offers this observation in light of the two public shootings:

True words - doesn't fit the narrative but still, the truth. Kudos for his courage to speak it.

Local crime in the news

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From NBC News:

Amazon drivers part of $10 million theft ring, FBI says
theft ring in Washington state sold millions of dollars' worth of stolen goods on Amazon.com in the past six years, and a pair of Amazon delivery drivers was involved, recently unsealed federal court documents show.

According to a search warrant affidavit unsealed in U.S. District Court in Seattle and reviewed by The Associated Press, two storefront businesses posing as pawnshops bought the goods from shoplifters, then had the items shipped to Amazon warehouses, where they were stored until sold online.

Entities associated with the alleged ringleader did at least $10 million in sales on Amazon since 2013, FBI agent Ariana Kroshinsky wrote in her affidavit.

No charges have yet been filed, though investigators have raided the pawnshops and the home of the man identified as the ringleader, Aleksandr Pavlovskiy, 44, of Auburn. A man who answered the door at one of the shops Wednesday identified himself as Alex and told The Associated Press his business was legitimate, that he kept good records and he should not be in any trouble.

A clever idea but definitely a criminal one - started out with the intent. A bit more - how they were caught:

The investigation began last summer when a police detective in Auburn, a south Seattle suburb, was perusing a record of pawnshop sales and noticed that one man had made 57 transactions. It turned out to be one of the drivers.

He had received nearly $30,000 selling items to the pawn shops between February and July last year, the affidavit said. Police initially arrested the driver, but released him from jail to avoid disrupting their larger investigation.

The other driver, identified as Abbas Zghair, was believed to be a roommate of the first. Amazon told investigators that Zghair stole about $100,000 worth of property, including gaming systems, sporting goods and computer products — items he sold to one of the pawnshops for less than $20,000, the agent wrote.

Not very bright - people like this do not realize that they are leaving a trail of breadcrumbs and that they will be discovered eventually. Better to go in, make some money and then move to a different city. The way they were operating had no exit strategy.

The problem of Elite overproduction

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Glenn Reynolds has an interesting observation regarding elite overproduction and revolution at Instapundit:

FLASHBACKHow ‘elite overproduction’ and ‘lawyer glut’ could ruin the U.S. “The problem with the elites is they’re not that elite, and growing numbers spur intense rivalries that spark ideological polarization and bitter political divisions. . . . Elite overproduction generally leads to more intra-elite competition that gradually undermines the spirit of cooperation, which is followed by ideological polarization and fragmentation of the political class. This happens because the more contenders there are, the more of them end up on the losing side. A large class of disgruntled elite-wannabes, often well-educated and highly capable, has been denied access to elite positions. Consider the antebellum U.S.”

A friend on Facebook points out the connection with Pareto’s theory of revolutions as elite turnover.

Possibly related: Obama orchestrated a massive transfer of wealth to the 1 percent.

Follow the links and read. Interesting thinking...

Media coverage for public shootings

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Expect the Walmart shooting to get full coverage and the Dayton shooting to drop off the horizon. From Red State:

NEW: The Dayton Shooter Was A Satanist, Leftist-Socialist, And Bernie/Warren Fan, Supported Antifa
This is probably something CNN won’t be sharing with its audience, but there’s some pretty striking news on the shooter who perpetrated the Dayton, OH shooting, which followed an equally tragic shooting in El Paso, TX by what appears to be a white supremacist.

Heavy.com got access to the shooter’s social media. Contrary to the media narrative currently boiling over, this shooter was not a Trump fan. In fact, he hated Trump, hated Republicans, was an avowed leftist, used antifa style language in his posts, and loved Elizabeth Warren.

Here’s some of what was found.

Bett’s Twitter profile read, “he/him / anime fan / metalhead / leftist / i’m going to hell and i’m not coming back.” One tweet on his page read, “Off to Midnight Mass. At least the songs are good. #athiestsonchristmas.” The page handle? I am the spookster. On one selfie, he included the hashtags, “#selfie4satan #HailSatan @SatanTweeting.” On the date of Republican Sen. John McCain’s death, he wrote, “F*ck John McCain.”

On Nov. 2, 2018, he wrote: “Vote blue for gods sake.”

And a bit more:

He used language often used by Antifa, exclaiming that he wants to “kill every fascist.” He also liked and commented on posts expressing support for the group.

“#2016ElectionIn3Words This is bad,” he wrote on Nov. 8, 2016. “You can’t kill 50+ people and injure 600(!) In 10 minutes with cigarettes my dude,” he wrote in 2017. In response to a Buzzfeed story that read, “Virginia has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the “Unite the Right” rally anniversary in Charlottesville this weekend,” he wrote: “Kill every fascist.”

Much more at the site. A sick man-child all wrapped up in his own brilliance (NOT!)

The media will ignore this shooting because the perp does not fit their narrative.

Another 'celebrity' shows himself to be clueless. From Hawaii News Now:

Actor Jason Momoa rallies TMT protesters at Mauna Kea: ‘Telescope’s not being built here’
Hawaii actor Jason Momoa visited the TMT protest at the base of Mauna Kea on Wednesday, becoming the latest celebrity to do so.

Momoa, who has been vocal with his opposition to the Thirty Meter Telescope in social media posts, was greeted by hundreds of protesters and received a ceremonial welcome, with chanting and hula.

I am sorry but that horse left the barn years ago. Yes, the summit is sacred but the telescope is not being built on the summit. There is a 11,228 acre Mauna Kea Science Reserve on the mountain and it contains a special 525 acre Astronomy Precinct which was set aside for science construction back in 1967. The site has been blessed and the Hawaiian priests have already been paid for the land. There are already thirteen large telescopes built there so it is not like this is anything brand new.

These "activists" are just trying to shake down the university. They want a bigger rice bowl. They are causing major damage to the existing instruments as the staff at those observatories are not passing through the blockade and the instruments require constant maintenance.

Momoa seems like a genuinely nice guy but he is out of his depth and does not understand the history of the peak.

Boeing revamps 737 MAX software

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They are now using two computers - some sort of voting system. From FOX News:

Boeing changing Max software to use 2 computers
Boeing is working on new software for the 737 Max that will use a second flight control computer to make the system more reliable, solving a problem that surfaced in June with the grounded jet, two people briefed on the matter said Friday.

When finished, the new software will give Boeing a complete package for regulators to evaluate as the company tries to get the Max flying again, according to the people, who didn’t want to be identified because the new software hasn’t been publicly disclosed.

The Max was grounded worldwide after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed a total of 346 people.

Makes sense especially if they use two completely different kinds of computer. This way, a bug in one code base will not happen in the other so it will only respond to actual real-world problems.

Iran seizes another tanker

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From gCaptain:

Iran Seizes Foreign Tanker Smuggling Fuel in Gulf, Sate Media Reports
Iranian Revolutionary Guards seized a foreign oil tanker in the Gulf which they said was smuggling fuel and detained seven crewmen, Iran’s state media reported on Sunday, in a show of power amid heightened tension with the West.

All Iran has to do is to stop trying to build nukes and stop exporting terrorism and the rest of the world will lift the sanctions - simple really.

Heh - do you know why I pulled you over?

Story at the local FOX affilliate - happened last week

Greenland's melting ice

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From Matt Ridley's blog - April, 2010 - a short post so here it is in its entirety:

GREENLAND'S MELTING ICE?
Exaggerations run rife while the reality is strangely absent from recent reporting on melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

Breathless reporting last week of a new estimate of Greenland's melting ice.

It's higher than it was before:

"The changes on the Greenland ice sheet are happening fast, and we are definitely losing more ice mass than we had anticipated," says study co-author Isabella Velicogna of the University of California-Irvine.

Could be scary? USA Today has its cake and eats it:

"If the entire Greenland ice sheet melted, which is not predicted, scientists estimate that global sea levels would rise about 20 feet, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center."

Is there a single journalist out there who bothered to ask the obvious question: what percentage of its ice mass is Greenland losing each year, so how long have we got before the 20 feet engulf us all?

Not that I could see. So I looked it up.

The new study says Greenland lost 385 cubic miles between 2002 and 2009. Sounds a lot.

Greenland has 700,000 cubic miles of ice. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland_ice_sheet)

So it's losing 1% per century, 0.01% per year. Funny that number never appeared in the news reports.

For Pete's sake, journalists, do your job.

Emphasis mine. Minuscule. Less than a rounding error. Fake News.

I love the line: "I will believe there is a climate crisis when the people who are telling me there is a climate crisis start acting like there is a climate crisis"

One paragraph and five things wrong with it - from Breitbart News:

Beto O’Rourke Spreads Hoaxes on CNN; Jake Tapper Fails to Correct
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) used the occasion of the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, this weekend to spread fake news Sunday about President Donald Trump’s policies and blame him for the violence.
O’Rourke, speaking to Jake Tapper of CNN on State of the Union while standing in El Paso, compared the president’s rhetoric to the Third Reich of Nazi Germany, and blamed Fox News and “the Internet” for the shooting. He also said the following:

These are white men, motivated by the kind of fear this president traffics in. The mosque in Victoria, Texas, was burned to the ground on the same day that President Trump signed his order [sic] attempting to ban Muslim travel to the United States of America [sic], when he says after Charlottesville that Klansman and white supremacists and neo-Nazis are “very fine people” [sic], the commander-in-chief is sending a very public signal to the rest of this country about what is permissible, and in fact even what he encourages to happen. So let’s connect the dots here on what is happening and why it is happening and who is responsible for this right now. … You don’t get mass shootings like these [sic], you don’t torch mosques, you don’t put kids in cages [sic] until you have a president who has given people permission to do that and that is exactly what is happening in the United States of America today.

Almost everything O’Rourke said was false:

    1. President Trump signed his executive order banning travel from seven terror-prone countries on Jan. 27, 2017; the mosque was burned on Jan. 28, 2017, not the same day. (The Trump administration prosecuted the arsonist.)
    2. The president’s executive order did not ban Muslims from traveling to the U.S. It focused on terror-prone countries that had been identified by the Obama administration, pursuant to congressional statute. Other Muslim countries were not affected, and the order said nothing about religion. The last version of the “travel ban” executive order — which was upheld by the Supreme Court — included non-Muslim countries such as North Korea and Venezuela.
    3. President Trump never said “Klansman and white supremacists and neo-Nazis” were “very fine people.” As Breitbart News and others have repeatedly noted, Trump was describing non-violent protesters for and against the removal of a Confederate statue as “very fine people,” and added specifically: “I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and white nationalists because they should be condemned totally.” (Even Tapper himself has acknowledged that fact.)
    4. Numerous mass shootings occurred during the Obama administration (and before), including the murder of five police officers in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter march. Few blamed Obama for inciting that attack.
    5. There is no policy of “kids in cages,” but the use of chain-link fences to separate children from adults at Border Patrol processing facilities — for their safety — began under President Barack Obama, not President Trump.

Quite the track record for one paragraph and of course, Jake Tappeer let it completely slide instead of doing his job and reporting the facts.

And done for the day

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Quick surf and fix some dinner - out for some beer later this evening.

Out for coffee

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Working at home today - more laundry and cleaning up the house & yard.

Mass shootings

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Brian Cates gets it. Just go here and read.

Her rainmaker resigned suddenly last Friday. Why? From Zero Hedge:

And Here It Is: AOC's Just-Resigned Chief Of Staff Under Federal Investigation
It looks like we have an answer for why Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's chief-of-staff abruptly resigned on Friday; he's under federal investigation.

According to the New York Post, Saikat Chakrabarti - the architect behind AOC's meteoric rise from bartender to ball-buster, is being investigated in connection with two political action committees he founded

The two PACs being probed, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, were both set up by Chakrabarti to support progressive candidates across the country.

But they funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two private companies that Chakrabarti also incorporated and controlled, according to Federal Election Commission filings and a complaint filed in March with the regulatory agency.

In 2016 and 2017, the PACs raised about $3.3 million, mostly from small donors. A third of the cash was transferred to two private companies whose names are similar to one of the PACs — Brand New Congress LLC and Brand New Campaign LLC — federal campaign filings show. -New York Post

As the Post notes, PACs are required to adhere to stringent disclosure rules, while the private companies Chakrabarti funneled money into are not

MABA - Make Alexandria Bartend Again... She is in so over her head. Clueless puppet.

Fscking copycat - another shooting

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Ohio this time. From FOX News:

Dayton, Ohio, shooting that left 9 dead, 27 hurt halted 'in under a minute' by cops who shot suspect: mayor
Nine people were killed and dozens were hurt when a suspect wearing body armor opened fire outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio, early Sunday before responding officers shot the armed assailant to death less than a minute into the rampage, according to officials.

It was the nation's second mass shooting in less than 24 hours after at least 20 people were slain in El Paso, Texas.

The Dayton Police Department said on Twitter the incident unfolded at 1 a.m. in the city's Oregon District near downtown, but officers were nearby and "were able to respond and put an end to it quickly."

Words fail. Mentally ill.

Why 20 candidates?

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Interesting pair of articles on why the Democratic Presidential roster is so crowded. From Politico (May 9th, 2019):

Here are the qualifications for the first 2020 Democratic debates
The first televised debates for 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are less than two months away. Candidates will head to Miami on June 26 and 27, in what could be the first major winnowing events of the 2020 Democratic primary race.

Here's everything you need to know about how candidates qualify for the first debate.

How do candidates qualify for the debates?
There are two paths to qualifying for the debate stage: breaking 1 percent in three polls from pollsters approved by the Democratic National Committee, or tallying 65,000 unique campaign donors, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states.

And this second from the American Institute for Economic Research (today):

The Hidden Reason the Primary Debates Seem Extra Crazy This Year
This is a remarkable story of how the best-laid plans produced results that no one anticipated, with profound consequences for the Democratic Party.

For many viewers in television land, the spectacle has been bizarre. The 20 or so contenders for the Democratic nomination have not only become outlandishly left-wing (“Left vs. Crazy Left,” as Kimberley A. Strassel says). It’s worse: they’ve been performing in ever stranger ways: shorter soundbites, edgier clips, and punchier attacks, with be-bop-style delivery. It’s almost like they are trying to get a five-second Twitter video to go viral, something to rile up lefty activists so the stuff will spread as far and wide on social media as possible.

And from the first article - those "65,000 unique campaign donors"?

Instead of finding supporters in early primary states by going door-to-door, the candidates instead were forced to run a national campaign of small donors. But it takes a lot of money to buy the necessary social media ads to push people into donating $1 to qualify as a real donor.

This meant seeking huge donors to fund expensive ad buys. They pay on average $70 to get a $1 donation from as many people as possible. Who gives $1 to a candidate: you guessed it, the extremist activists who just happen also to be financially poor, also known as The Twitter Mob. In order to get them to throw a buck at you, you need to inspire silly activists, as many as possible. That in turn means that you have to reduce your campaign to silly slogans activists like in order to get their attention.

Emphasis mine. #1) - the rate of return is absurd and #2) - the amount of money being spent is insane. Who is funding this circus? There has got to be some campaign funding violations there - time to get digging... I do not see an exit strategy for these people - things are just ratcheted too tight. Going to explode in a glorious cloud of schadenfreude.

Great quote

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The cure for anything is saltwater - sweat, tears, or the sea. 
-- Isak Dinesen

Been looking at the history of Baltimore regarding our tax dollars - from The Washington Free Beacon:

Baltimore Received $1.8 Billion from Obama’s Stimulus Law
The city of Baltimore received over $1.8 billion from President Barack Obama’s stimulus law, including $467.1 million to invest in education and $26.5 million for crime prevention.

President Obama claimed last Tuesday that if the Republican-controlled Congress would implement his policies to make "massive investments in urban communities," they could "make a difference right now" in the city, currently in upheaval following the death of Freddie Gray.

However, a Washington Free Beacon analysis found that the Obama administration and Democratically-controlled Congress did make a "massive" investment into Baltimore, appropriating $1,831,768,487 though the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), commonly known as the stimulus.

This article is from May 4, 2015. Once a shithole city, always a shithole city. Used to be really nice 40 years ago.

Tell me again why we have to pay for this kind of corruption and malfeasance?

Of course there is a manifesto

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Reports are that the Walmart shooter left a manifesto. There are no credible links to it yet but yeah. A fscking manifesto.

These pathetic drones are all the same - live with their parents, write a manifesto and go murder a bunch of innocent citizens to make a statement. They are not socially aware, they are not heros, they are not that smart actually. They are just mentally ill.

And back home again

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Band was good so stayed a bit longer than usual. Old farts playing old music - I love it!

Noticing signs of the change of the seasons - "official" sunset was at 8:43PM tonight. June 21st (Summer Solstice) it was 9:14PM - a small difference but I pay attention to the sky and the weather and this is a harbinger of Fall and Winter.

Surf a bit and busy day tomorrow.

Dinnertime

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Heading out after for a couple pints and then check out some music.

Back later.

Makes things bad for the other 99.999% of us. From NBC News:

El Paso shooting: 20 people dead, 26 injured, suspect in custody, police say
A gunman opened fire Saturday in a Walmart and around a nearby shopping mall in El Paso, Texas, leaving 20 people dead and 26 injured, and prompting calls for urgent blood donations for the wounded, law enforcement officials said.

Employees and shoppers described scenes of confusion and fear as they realized the sudden loud noises they heard were not boxes being dropped or construction but gunshots.

One suspect was in custody, officials said. Law enforcement sources say police identified the suspect as Patrick Crusius, 21, from the Dallas area. Sgt. Robert Gomez of the El Paso Police Department said no shots were fired by law enforcement.

Sending prayers out to the families of the dead and to the wounded. Of course, the Wal-Mart was in a mall and the mall is a gun-free zone.

Did a search on DuckDuckGo and found this from Crime Research:

Yet another shooting at a gun-free zone: El Paso shooting at Cielo Vista Mall is apparently in a place that banned permitted concealed handguns
The Simon Mall chain is well known for banning permitted concealed handguns in Texas.

“Possession of any weapon at Simon malls, whether concealed or displayed openly, is in violation of mall policy. This policy is intended first and foremost to maintain a safe, secure and comfortable environment at our malls, which has always been our top priority, and to avoid any situation that could potentially place at risk the safety of our shoppers and employees.

Simon malls are private property, and like virtually every other facility in the community that is accessible by the public, ownership/management has the right to prohibit the possession of weapons, both displayed or concealed, other than licensed weapons carried by law enforcement personnel.

And here is a screen-cap from their published Code of Conduct:

20190803-simon.JPG

So once again, the a**hole purposly chose an area where lawful gun owners would not be armed. Coward.

Still way too early for accurate details but I bet that he lives with his parents and has written a manifesto.

What a difference ten years makes

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From 2009 to 2019:

20190803-newsweek.jpg

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A bit of shaking near the farm

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Had a 2.4 Mag earthquake up near the farm last night. This area has several known faultlines and was the site of a swarm of small quakes back around the 1960's (cannot find a reference at this time).

And back again

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Had a wonderful couple hours at the fair. Gave a bunch of critters some skritches and wubbies. I miss having them on the farm but this way, I can still get my "fix" and not have to deal with bucking hay in the winter and mucking out the barn every couple of days. Had a strawberry shortcake made with 1/2 of a costco pound cake loaf and strawberries that were cut on site. None of the five gallon tubs of premade frozen berries in heavy syrup. This was the real deal.

They had some displays of old farm equipment and a blacksmith shop.

I really like this event a lot more than the larger country fairs - more accessable and not as packed with people. There were probably about 5-7 thousand people.

Finish off the last of the split pea soup and make another salad for dinner - no time to prep the fava beans. I will do that tomorrow. Up here for a few days as I have some computer work for tomorrow and meetings through Thursday.

Heh - Al Sharpton in the news

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Great editorial from The Washington Post:

Al Sharpton is not a lifelong fighter for justice
President Trump has perfected the art of the undorsement, the ability to get his opponents to beatify whoever and whatever he denigrates. Whether a first-term congresswoman, a quarterback or the city of Baltimore, #resistance to his targeting is futile.

Unfortunately, “the enemy of my enemy is my infallible hero” is a terrible approach to politics, aptly demonstrated this week when Trump turned his sights on the public figures who stepped in to defend Baltimore’s honor. Al Sharpton — who should still be seen as a notorious hate figure but has somehow escaped that fate — practically tripped over himself trying to get Trump’s attention. It worked. “Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score,” Trump tweeted. “Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops!”

Then ensued one of the more depressing news cycles of the year, as major Democratic presidential candidates praised Sharpton to the heavens.

Sharpton “has spent his life fighting for what’s right and working to improve our nation, even in the face of hate. It’s shameful, yet unsurprising that Trump would continue to attack those who have done so much for our country,” tweeted Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.). Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) insisted that Sharpton “has dedicated his life to the fight for justice for all. No amount of racist tweets from the man in the White House will erase that — and we must not let them divide us. I stand with my friend Al Sharpton in calling out these ongoing attacks on people of color.” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio boasted of his decades-long relationship with Sharpton, thanks to which he could attest that “Trump’s characterization is not only disrespectful, it’s untrue.” Then former vice president Joe Biden, that great moderate hope, added his voice to the chorus, calling Sharpton “a champion in the fight for civil rights.”

Say it ain’t so, Joe.

Sharpton is unworthy of such praise, so much so that the decision to back him reflexively is a massive moral demerit. Calling Sharpton a lifelong fighter for “justice” ignores his history of race-baiting and deadly anti-Semitic incitement.

Much much more at the site - Sharpton is quite an odious little man. Only in it for himself.

Relocating to a nice gulag somewhere

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Found over at Irons in the Fire:

20190803-gulag.jpg

Nice to know what their agenda really is.

From FOX News:

Bill Maher: 2020 Dems just need to 'come off less crazy' than Trump -- and 'they're blowing it!'
Before closing his show Friday night, "Real Time" host Bill Maher urged the 2020 Democrats to "come off less crazy" than President Trump in order to win the 2020 election.

And:

"All the Democrats have to do to win is to come off less crazy than Trump -- and, of course, they’re blowing it!" Maher said. "Coming across as unserious people who are going to take away all your money so migrants from Honduras can go to college for free and get a major in 'America sucks.'”

Heh - the run-up to 2020 will be fun to watch.

Talking about the weather

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Great post from Seattle meteorologist Cliff Mass:

EPIC: The Last Chance for National Weather Service Weather Modeling to Regain Leadership?
I have written at least a dozen blogs, a peer-reviewed paper, and given tens of conference talks on the unfortunate state of numerical weather prediction in the National Weather Service (which is part of NOAA, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration).

The bottom line: U.S. global weather prediction is in third place in the world. The plot below shows a comparison of the skill of the 5-day model forecast for the U.S. (red line) and the European Center (black line) at a mid-tropospheric level (500 hPa). We are not only behind, but we are not catching up.

And the problem (hint: big unaccountable government)

I have explained the origin of the problems in previous blogs. They include:

    1. Too many Federal agencies or government-supported labs trying to do the same thing (NOAA/NWS, Air Force, NASA, Navy, NCAR)
    2. The academic community working on different models than used by NOAA/NWS.
    3. Poor organization within NOAA, with multiple groups having responsibility for weather prediction.
    4. Lack of strategic planning.
    5. Lack of sufficient computer resources.
    6. No priority for excellence.

It has been kind of depressing. The nation with a huge weather research capability and ability to zoom ahead of the pack, stuck in third rate status.

And the solution:

Perhaps best of all, recent weather legislation calls for the development of national EPIC center, that would centralize U.S. efforts to build the best global forecast models in the world. (EPIC stands for Environmental Prediction Innovation Center).

Next week there is going to be a meeting on the nature of the EPIC that will take place in Boulder, Colorado. An absolutely crucial gathering--I will be giving a talk there and are part of the organizing committee.

Will self-interest, disciplinary fiefdoms, and legacy administrative structures give way to rational, more effective approach for developing U.S. weather modeling systems? We may know the answer in one week.

Thank you President Trump for appointing effective people and getting stuff like this done. Doesn't always get the headlines but the "little stuff" like this are what makes things a lot better for all of us.

Off to the fair

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Heading out to the community fair in a little while. Coffee first...

A new Mike Olbinski video

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I will leave you with this: Vorticity 2 from Mike Olbinski

Needless to say, click the full-screen button and crank the sound.

I had covered his other stuff here (three posts). This deserves the word Epic.

Looks like a lot of people did what I did and stopped buying Gillette grooming products. They ran some virtue signalling advertising in January of this year: here, here, here, here and here. Been really happy with my Feather blades and my MERKUR Futur Safety Razor. It took a little time (and a few nicks) to reaquaint myself with using them but they deliver a much smoother shave than the modern razor. Very happy and will not go back.

Anyway, this little bit of financial news caught my eye - from Reuters:

P&G posts strong sales, takes $8 billion Gillette writedown
Procter & Gamble Co’s (PG.N) quarterly revenue and adjusted profit beat Wall Street expectations on Tuesday, sending shares to a record-high even as the world’s No.1 personal goods company took an $8 billion charge on its Gillette shaving business.

Heh - getting woke may play well at the elite cocktail parties in the New York City penthouses but it sure does not resonate with us normals. Another example of living in a bubble. If the top brass at Gilette had publicly owned up to the fact that they stepped on their own damn wedding tackle and apologized, they would have gotten 75% of their customer base back again. Stupid humans.

We seem to be having a quiet epidemic. Here are some previous posts on this: here, here, here and here.
Mind you, these are just from the first half of 2019. It is spreading quickly and with vigor. Two clickable headlines:

These cases are found in the indigent mentally ill and homeless population but these diseases are highly contagious and will spread. Not if, when.

And when I say "quiet epidemic" I mean that our media is not putting two and two together and seeing that this is happening on a nationwide basis and is a real cause for concern.

From urban planning website New Geography - post is about a year old but really doubt that anything has changed.

PROGRESSIVE CITIES: HOME OF THE WORST HOUSING INEQUALITY
America's most highly regulated housing markets are also reliably the most progressive in their political attitudes. Yet in terms of gaining an opportunity to own a house, the price impacts of the tough regulation mean profound inequality for the most disadvantaged large ethnicities, African-Americans and Hispanics.

Based on the housing affordability categories used in the Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey for 2016 (Table 1), housing inequality by ethnicity is the worst among the metropolitan areas rated "severely unaffordable." In these 11 major metropolitan area markets, the most highly regulated, median multiples (median house price divided by median household income) exceed 5.0. For African-Americans, the median priced house is 10.2 times median incomes. This is 3.7 more years of additional income than the overall average in these severely unaffordable markets, where median house prices are 6.5 times median household incomes. It is only marginally better for Hispanics, with the median price house at 8.9 times median household incomes, 2.4 years more than the average in these markets (Figure 1).

And the pesky numbers?

Largest Housing Affordability Gaps: African American
African-Americans have the largest housing affordability inequality gap. And these gaps are most evident in some of the nation's most progressive cities. The largest gap is in San Francisco, where the median income African-American household faces median house prices that are 9.3 years of income more than the average. In nearby San Jose ranks the second worst, where the gap is 6.2 years. Overall, the San Francisco Bay Area suffers by far the area of least housing affordability for African-Americans compared to the average household.

Portland, long the darling of the international urban planning community, ranks third worst, where the median income African-American household to purchase the median priced house. Milwaukee and Minneapolis – St. Paul ranked fourth and fifth worst followed by Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Chicago (Figure 2).

A lot more at the site. Some of the "good" cities are Democrat run (Pittsburgh) but are middle of the road and not loony-left tax-hungry progressive. Most of the good cities for blacks and hispanics are cities like Jacksonville, FL, Tuscon, AZ, San Antonio, TX, Norfolk, VA - solid Republican.

Numbers, not narrative.

Simple soup for dinner tonight

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Doing a lentil and carrot soup for dinner tonight with a salad fresh from the farmer's market. Quick, filling and nutritional.

Also picked up some fava beans and planning to do a salad like this for tomorrow: Easy Fava Bean and Carrot Salad With Ricotta Recipe - I will be leaving off the ricotta as I have a problem digesting cheese but everything else looks yummy.

Heading out for two pints later - some live music playing.

Dog-piling on Baltimore

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Now that President Trump tweeted a few things about that once-great city, everyone is coming out with stories of rampant corruption and bad government. From Forbes:

Baltimore's 30,000 Public Employees Cost Taxpayers $2 Billion But Can't Save Their Own City
President Donald Trump’s recent tweet about Baltimore ignited a firestorm of controversy. Baltimore has since become the focal point of a very public fight between Trump and local congressman Elijah Cummings (MD-7).

People on both sides have strong views about Trump’s motives. However, on one level, Trump served to highlight the videos of a local political activist Kimberly Klacik. These videos revealed Baltimore’s systemic problems of rats, abandoned buildings, and trash. Klacik reported that many of the city’s residents feel that they have been forgotten.

And the numbers:

Our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com investigated just how much taxpayer money flows into the Baltimore bureaucracy at every level: federal, state, and local. We found the city drowning in taxpayer dollars.

Our audit shows that $1.1 billion in grants and direct payments (subsidies and assistance) flowed into Baltimore city agencies and other city-based entities including non-profit organizations, corporations, and colleges during the last four years (FY2015-FY2018). That’s the equivalent of nearly $7,000 in federal aid per family of four living in Baltimore during this period.

Some more:

The City of Baltimore has 13,522 employees with total payroll exceeding $821 million annually. The mayor’s office alone spent $7 million last year on salaries for 111 employees; another $1 million was spent on public relations.

The mayor's office: $7M / 111 = $63,063.06 average per annum salary per person. For what?

Time to clean house of all the large Democratic cities. The large Republican ones seem to be doing just fine.

Great quote from one of the masters

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"Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice."
--Thomas Paine

Quite the difference - new tires

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I did not catch what the original tires were on the Highlander but they were mostly worn out at 30K - probably rated for 40K. The new ones are rated for 70K miles, are true all-weather (with a very aggressive tread pattern) and are whisper quiet - a lot less road noise than the original equipment. I know that manufactures have to constrain costs when bringing a product to market but it makes me wonder just how much those tires cost. The dealership quoted me about the same money for a direct replacement as Costco charged me for a significant upgrade.

Heading out for coffee &c

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Back in a bit - paperwork and some web work to do this afternoon. Farmer's market at 2PM and then to Costco to get the new tires installed.

A summer thought

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From Terrierman's Daily Dose (a daily read for me):

20190802-shark.JPG

Very cool news - Parker Solar Probe

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From C-NET:

NASA's mission to 'touch the sun' surprises during first data delivery
Right now, there's a tiny little spacecraft zipping around the sun moving faster than any other man-made object has ever flown. The spacecraft, known as the Parker Solar Probe, is approaching the one-year anniversary of its launch on Aug. 12 and it's been delivering some pretty stellar observations so far. I mean, just look at the image it snapped from inside the sun's atmosphere back in December! After two flybys, Parker has been dumping data back to Earth for scientists to examine -- and it's exceeding researchers' expectations.

In a blog post on Aug. 1, researchers from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which designed and built the spacecraft, announced that the Parker Solar Probe had delivered 22GB of data after its second encounter with the sun finished up on May 6, performing better than prelaunch estimates. The amount of data was 50% more than researchers previously expected to see.

"As we learned more about operating in this environment and these orbits, the team did a great job of increasing data downloads of the information gathered by the spacecraft's amazing instrument," said Nickalaus Pinkine, a missions operator at JHAPL.

An amazing project and so far, it is working much better than anticipated.

Baltimore - some facts

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An excerpt from an excellent article by Baltimore station WJZ:

THE CLAIM:
The White House tweet links to its West Wing Reads blog. The claim in question comes from the Washington Examiner, which reportedly got its data from right-leaning Princeton Policy Advisers.

The Examiner article listed Baltimore’s murder rate at 56 per 100,000 residents compared to El Salvador’s 50, Guatemala’s 22 and Honduras’ 38.

THE CHECK:
WJZ reviewed data from 2018, the last full year for which data is available.

Data from the U.S. State Department’s Overseas Security Advisory Council lists El Salvador’s murder rate at 50 per 100,000 residents in 2018.

The council’s report listed Guatemala’s 2018 murder rate at 22 per 100,000.

Honduras’ 2018 murder rate was not included in OSAC’s annual crime and safety report published in April, but a report from the Observatory of Violence at the National Autonomous University of Honduras gave a figure of 41.4 murders per 100,000 residents.

HOW DOES BALTIMORE COMPARE?
Charm City ended 2018 with a total of 309 murders, according to the Baltimore Police Department. So far in 2019, police report 196 homicides have occurred.

Using the U.S. Census Bureau’s July 2018 population estimate for the city of 602,495, Baltimore’s 2018 murder rate is 51.3 murders per 100,000 residents.

CLAIM: TRUE

Shows what 72 years of Democratic rule can do for a once wonderful city. When I was going to college in Boston, a good friend was from Baltimore and visited there a couple of times. Lots of early history, museums, culture. A gorgeous city. Now? A shithole with corrupt representation and no accountability.

We need to take the same kind of look at Californian cities.

Party at the end of the world - from Page Six:

Google’s extravagant climate change Camp mocked as party for ‘entitled fools’
Google’s carbon-spewing climate change conference at an Italian resort has been widely slammed as a tone-deaf party for the elite A-listers who jetted there.

“Is there anything more hypocritical than a bunch of rich people flying their private jets across the world to sit on yachts and discuss the future of our planet?” said Twitter user @asilia1981, reflecting the general reaction online to this week’s Google Camp event in Sicily.

As the party drew to a close on Thursday, newspaper columns and social media were awash with criticism for the three-day, billionaire-packed event — which saw more than 200 of the world’s richest and most famous names take private jets to the Italian island and stay on mega yachts while also talking about stopping climate change.

Entitled fools is a perfect description. These people are not our intellectual betters, they are self-absorbed entertainers. For them, the image and the narrative are all that matters. They have too many other important things to be doing to bother with piddling facts.

The London Daily Mail reported on this event too. Same conclusion. Useful idiots.

Party at the end of the world? Jimmy Buffett song.

And that is it for me for tonight

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It got up to 90 today - 83 at the house but 90 when driving around. Moderating ocean.

Feeling tired so falling into the arms of Morpheus.

Public Domain books

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Interesting  aspect to the copyright process - from crummy:

Secretly Public Domain: "Fun facts" are, sadly, often less than fun. But here's a genuinely fun fact: most books published in the US before 1964 are in the public domain! Back then, you had to send in a form to get a second 28-year copyright term, and most people didn't bother.

This is how Project Gutenberg is able to publish all these science fiction stories from the 50s and 60s. Those stories were published in issues of magazines that didn't send in the renewal form. But up til now this hasn't been a big factor, because 1) the big publishers generally made sure to send in their renewals, and 2) it's been impossible to check renewal status in bulk.

Up through the 1970s, the Library of Congress published a huge series of books listing all the registrations and the renewals. All these tomes have been scanned -- Internet Archive has the registration books — but only the renewal information was machine-readable. Checking renewal status for a given book was a tedious job, involving flipping back and forth between a bunch of books in a federal depository library or, more recently, a bunch of browser tabs. Checking the status for all books was impossible, because the list of registrations was not machine-readable.

But! A recent NYPL project has paid for the already-digitized registration records to be marked up as XML. (I was not involved, BTW, apart from saying "yes, this would work" four years ago.) Now for anything that's unambiguously a "book", we have a parseable record of its pre-1964 interactions with the Copyright Office: the initial registration and any potential renewal.

The two datasets are in different formats, but a little elbow grease will mesh them up. It turns out that eighty percent of 1924-1963 books never had their copyright renewed. More importantly, with a couple caveats about foreign publication and such, we now know which 80%.

This was announced back in May, but I don't think it got the attention it deserved. This is a really big deal, so I had no choice but to create a bot. Here's Secretly Public Domain, which highlights unrenewed works that have already been scanned for Hathi Trust. This only represents 10% of the 80%, but it's the ten percent most likely to be interesting, and these books have the easiest path towards being available online.

Very cool! These books are treasures that need to be remembered and savored every so often. A lot of wonderful writing from these years.

Heh - Baltimore

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Maybe this will wake him up and get him to start doing his fscking job. From the Baltimore, MD CBS affiliate:

Rep. Elijah Cummings’ Baltimore Home Burglarized, Police Say
Baltimore Police are investigating after the home of Rep. Elijah Cummings was broken into early Saturday morning.

The burglary occurred around 3:40 a.m. at his Baltimore home in the 2000 block of Madison Avenue.

No mention of suspect or race so it is probably not a white criminal. Always happens that way.

And back home - busy

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Got a call from a contractor so met them to look at a tree.

The big news is that I found out that I would not be able to build a shop at my house. The County requires a fairly large setback from the road so the place I was thinking of was not do-able.

The Real Estate agent that I went through for the house purchase found me a one acre lot a couple of miles away that is just perfect (almost). The bad news is that it is part of a sub-division and two other houses from that sub-division have their septic drain fields located on the site. The good news is that these are not the septic tanks - those are stinky and potentially sources of infection. These are the final drain-fields and odorless and safe. The other bad news is that there is no water available from the development. I will need to use a composting or chemical toilet and bring potable bottled water for consumption and cooking. I will be installing a rain catchment system for non-potable water (slack tub, quenching, etc...) With all of the easements, I still have about half of the acre available for building.

The good news is that it is fairly level, has enough space for a nice large shop with plenty of parking. The other good news is that I was able to purchase a one acre lot on Camano Island for $30,000.

Crow Island Forge moves ahead. Putting the inside remodeling of the house on a bit of a back burner as I really need to get some cash coming in from the business.

Off for a bit

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The usual morning routine. Doing some laundry today and working at the house.

September 2019

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Environment and Climate
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the Air Vent
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Watts Up With That?


Science and Medicine
Derek Lowe
Junk Science
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Medgadget
New Scientist
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PhysOrg.com
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Science Blog


Geek Stuff
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FAIL Blog
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Neatorama
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The Register
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TYWKIWDBI


Comics
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Dilbert
Medium Large
Michael Ramirez
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Vexarr
What The Duck
Wondermark
xkcd


NO WAI! WTF?¿?¿
Awkward Family Photos
Cake Wrecks
Not Always Right
Sober in a Nightclub
You Drive What?


Business and Economics
The Austrian Economists
Carpe Diem
Coyote Blog


Photography and Art
Digital Photography Review
DIYPhotography
James Gurney
Joe McNally's Blog
PetaPixel
photo.net
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Blogrolling
A Western Heart
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Tim Blair
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Wizbang


Gone but not Forgotten...
A Coyote at the Dog Show
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Steven DenBeste
democrats give conservatives indigestion
Allah
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shining full plate and a good broadsword
A Physicist's Perspective
The Daily Demarche
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