October 2017 Archives

Losing a legend - Fred Beckey

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Major local legend - from The New York Times:

Fred Beckey, Conqueror and Chronicler of North American Peaks, Dies at 94
Fred Beckey, a fabled mountaineer and author who was the first to take hundreds of routes to the summits of North America’s tallest peaks in Alaska, the Canadian Rockies and the Pacific Northwest in an audacious seven-decade climbing career, died on Monday in Seattle. He was 94.

Megan Bond, a close friend of Mr. Beckey’s, confirmed in a Facebook message that he died from congestive heart failure in her home. Ms. Bond said he had been in hospice care for four days.

Rawboned and tenacious, Mr. Beckey made as many as a thousand ascents that no one was known to have taken before, and wrote a dozen books on mountaineering, many of them considered definitive guides to the terrain of the continent’s best-known and least accessible peaks.

A wonderful obituary - go and read even if you don't spend time outdoors. Fred was one of a kind. A true legend.

Great news from President Trump

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A very long way from Hillary's "what difference does it make" - from The White House:

Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Apprehension of Mustafa al-Imam for His Alleged Role in the September 11, 2012 Attacks in Benghazi, Libya Resulting in the Deaths of Four Americans
Yesterday, on my orders, United States forces captured Mustafa al-Imam in Libya. Because of this successful operation, al-Imam will face justice in the United States for his alleged role in the September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods—four brave Americans who were serving our country.

To the families of these fallen heroes: I want you to know that your loved ones are not forgotten, and they will never be forgotten.

Our memory is deep and our reach is long, and we will not rest in our efforts to find and bring the perpetrators of the heinous attacks in Benghazi to justice.

I want to thank our law enforcement, prosecutors, intelligence community, and military personnel for their extraordinary efforts in gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and tracking down fugitives associated with the attack, capturing them, and delivering them to the United States for prosecution.

The United States will continue to support our Libyan partners to ensure that ISIS and other terrorist groups do not use Libya as a safe haven for attacks against United States citizens or interests, Libyans, and others.

Libya’s long-term stability and security are linked to its ability to form a unified government and military, and we encourage all Libyans to support the ongoing reconciliation process facilitated by the United Nations and to work together to build a peaceful and stable country.

And Obama's and Hillary's response when this happened on their watch?





A few days late but Happy 1st Birthday

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To my faithful companion (and Consort to Grace) Bear:


Came into this world October 28th, 2016

Especially considering that Bill and Melinda have dropped over three Billion dollars on this travesty:

From Next Big Future:

Common core education has been a bigger failure than Microsoft Office Clippy

Science fiction in 1985 - reality today

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Remember this scene from 32 years ago?

Flash forward to today - from Popular Mechanics:

Stuck in Time
It's at the beginning of Back to the Future, about 20 minutes in, when Marty McFly first sees a futuristic four-wheeled hunk of metal—outfitted with a flux capacitor—back out of a smoke-filled trailer. Turning to the wild-haired Doc Brown, McFly exclaims, "Wait a minute, Doc. Ah... are you telling me that you built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?"

The article goes in to quite a bit of DeLorean history and then drops this little nugget:

While the DeLorean Motor Company wait for their fate on the ground, another company born from DeLorean's legacy is looking to go somewhere where we don't need roads. Paul DeLorean, John's nephew and CEO of DeLorean Aerospace, is developing "a Formula One race car...for the sky."

Despite the catchy slogan, DeLorean explains that it's "absolutely not a flying car." The DR-7 VTOL is a two-seat, fully-electric airplane that has vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities and will be sold strictly as a consumer product—as opposed to a fleet, like Uber Elevate.

DeLorean said he designed the aircraft for commuting, but he's already had interest from the military, law enforcement, search and rescue, and first responders. The futuristic aircraft could one day be fully autonomous. "Unmanned would be a fantastic application," Delorean told Popular Mechanics. "you could have 10 or 20 of these on a rooftop somewhere...and they would get there in the fraction of the time."

Here is the website for DeLorean Aerospace. Still waiting for Paul Moller to start shipping his SkyCar.

A timeline of the Fusion GPS dossier

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Good investigative reporting by Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller:

FINALLY, A Definitive Timeline Showing When Clinton, DNC Started The Russian Dossier
There has been much confusion in the media — and thereby, the public — about who funded the infamous Trump dossier. Some outlets have incorrectly reported that Republicans began financing the dossier before the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee took over last Spring.

But that is incorrect. Democrats are solely responsible for the dossier, which was passed around by their research firm, Fusion GPS, to Beltway reporters and select lawmakers during the heat of the presidential campaign.

Here is the definitive timeline of how it all transpired.

Oct. 2015: It was reported late Friday that the Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website funded by GOP mega-donor Paul Singer, hired Fusion GPS to investigate Trump. Free Beacon’s editor said Friday that the research was standard opposition research and that it was not tied to the dossier work that would follow several months later. It is not clear what, if anything, Singer knew about Free Beacon’s hiring of Fusion. The hedge fund manager was Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s biggest backer.

Much much more at the site. Chuck's work forms the definitive timeline of what happened when and who was involved. Runs through 2015 to October 24th, 2017 - lots of links to corroborating evidence.

The stories about Harvey Weinstein were first a rumor, then a thin crack opened up and it is now a torrent. The same thing is happening to other Hollywood denizens - Kevin Spacey for one. From BuzzFeed:

Actor Anthony Rapp: Kevin Spacey Made A Sexual Advance Toward Me When I Was 14
Last June, Anthony Rapp settled in at the home of his good friend and fellow actor Camryn Manheim to watch the Tony Awards. The New York natives were both in Toronto working, and Manheim had invited Rapp and his boyfriend over to partake in the beloved theater geek ritual. But for the first time, Rapp — a working actor since he was 9 years old, and most famously part of the original cast of the musical Rent — felt something he'd never experienced before with the Tonys: dread.

And that's because the host that night was Kevin Spacey.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Rapp is publicly alleging for the first time that in 1986, Spacey befriended Rapp while they both performed on Broadway shows, invited Rapp over to his apartment for a party, and, at the end of the night, picked Rapp up, placed him on his bed, and climbed on top of him, making a sexual advance. According to public records, Spacey was 26. Rapp was 14.

I do not know what it is about gay men and their prediliction for little boys. I know thy do not represent the entire population of gay men but still - really? It is a pity as I really like Kevin Spacey as an actor - he is brilliant on screen. Time to repost the dance, monkey, DANCE! rant again:

Dear Hollywood celebrities: It’s time to wake up now. Get this! The only reason you exist is for my entertainment. Some of you are beautiful. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes. Some of you are so convincing that you scare the stuffing out of me. And others are so funny you can make me laugh uncontrollably. But you all have one thing in common. You only exist and have a place in my world to entertain me. That’s it. Nothing else!

You make your living pretending to be someone else. You play dress-up like a 5-year-old. Your world is a make-believe world—it is not real; it doesn't exist. You live for the camera while the rest of us live in the real world. Your entire existence depends on my patronage. I crank the organ grinder, and you dance.

Therefore, I don't care where you stand on issues. Honestly, your opinion means nothing to me. Just because you had a lead role in a movie about prostitution doesn't mean you know what it’s like to be a prostitute. Your view matters far less to me than that of a someone living in Timbuktu. Believe me or not, the hard truth is that you aren't real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer, and you cease to exist. Once I am done with you, I go back to the real world until I want you to entertain me again.

I don't care that you think BP executives deserve the death penalty. I don't care what you think about the environment. I don't care if you believe fracking is bad. I don't care if you call for more gun control. I don't care if you believe in catastrophic, human-induced global warming. And I couldn't care less that you supported Hillary for President. By the way, she lost!!

Get back into your bubble. I'll let you know when I'm in the mood for something pretty or scary or funny. And one other thing. What was all that “I'll leave the country if Donald Trump wins”? Don't you know how stupid that made you sound? What did you think my reaction was going to be? Oooh! I better not vote for Trump or we'll lose Whoopi Goldberg? Al Sharpton? Amy Schemer? Rosie O’Donnell? Leave. Good riddance. I don't care! And don't let the door hit you in the keister on your way out. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Even scare me. But realize this: the only words of yours that matter are scripted — just like your pathetic, little lives. I may agree with some of you from time to time, but in the final analysis, it doesn't matter. In my world, you exist solely for my entertainment.

So, shut your mouth and dance, monkey, DANCE!

So true. Cleaning house is happening across the nation. A good thing (and overdue).

Lazy day

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T has a Halloween class tomorrow so we are planning games for 54 kids (18 through early 20's) - heading out to buy Costco toilet paper (mummy wrap) as well as candy and other stuff.

Minimal posting today...

Yummy! The Yard

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We had dinner here - The Yard

Excellent Mexican food - the real stuff not the gloppy crap sold at most restaurants.

America's Opioid crisis

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Americans are dying from opioid overdose and the numbers are rising sharply. It seems that people are looking into this - especially one of the families responsible. From the U.S. Attorney’s Office - District of Massachusetts:

Founder and Owner of Pharmaceutical Company Insys Arrested and Charged with Racketeering
The founder and majority owner of Insys Therapeutics Inc., was arrested today and charged with leading a nationwide conspiracy to profit by using bribes and fraud to cause the illegal distribution of a Fentanyl spray intended for cancer patients experiencing breakthrough pain.

John N. Kapoor, 74, of Phoenix, Ariz., a current member of the Board of Directors of Insys, was arrested this morning in Arizona and charged with RICO conspiracy, as well as other felonies, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to violate the Anti-Kickback Law. Kapoor, the former Executive Chairman of the Board and CEO of Insys, will appear in federal court in Phoenix today. He will appear in U.S. District Court in Boston at a later date.

And the charges:

(long list of people including Kapoor) conspired to bribe practitioners in various states, many of whom operated pain clinics, in order to get them to prescribe a fentanyl-based pain medication.  The medication, called “Subsys,” is a powerful narcotic intended to treat cancer patients suffering intense breakthrough pain.  In exchange for bribes and kickbacks, the practitioners wrote large numbers of prescriptions for the patients, most of whom were not diagnosed with cancer.

Emphasis mine. Lots more at the site. This is only one instance but it is a great place to start.

I have always wondered why we do not outright buy the entire Afghani opium crop each year and just destroy it after refining what the world medical industry needs. One sure way to get it off the streets.

Fusion GPS - ties to CNN

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Now this is interesting - talk about collusion between the media and the Clinton machine. From The Daily Caller:

CNN’s Undisclosed Ties To Fusion GPS
CNN’s reporting on the Trump-Russia dossier has left out at least one crucial fact: the close ties between the network and the opposition research firm at the center of the dossier controversy.

CNN’s reporting on the dossier, led by justice correspondent Evan Perez, has been favorable to the firm, Fusion GPS, and hyped the dossier’s credibility. Left out of Perez’s reporting, which has relied largely on unnamed sources, is his personal closeness to Fusion GPS’ operatives. Fusion has repeatedly been described in Senate testimonies as a smear-for-hire operation that manufactures misleading or false media narratives for its clients.

Unraveling the deep-state, one day at a time. Fun to watch! Much more at the site...

La Palma island is one of the Canary Islands located off the coastline of Morocco. These islands are volcanic in origin and La Palma shows signs of heating up. From Scotland's Express:

La Palma volcano UPDATE: Dissolved gas measured in waters off Canaries after quake swarm
Spanish ship Ángeles Alvariño was on site between October 22 and 23 to study the waters between 100 and 400 meters deep on the West, South and East coasts of the island of La Palma.

At the request of the Volcanic Emergency Plan of the Canary Islands (PEVOLCA), experts analysed the current state of the water from the physical-chemical point of view, as coordinated by the Volcanological Institute of the Canary Islands (INVOLCAN).

This one is of great interest as a side of the volcano could slough off into the Atlantic Ocean and cause a very large tsunami directed at our East Coast. It seems to be more and more active in the last year or so.

Only in Japan

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Does the sound of slurping noodles bother you? Meet Otohiko:

Lazy Saturday morning

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Slept in and we are both surfing the internet with mugs of coffee in our hands...

A new Shingles vaccine

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Time to get the jab again - from UPI:

CDC recommends new shingles vaccine for people over 50
On the heels of approval of a better vaccine for the painful condition shingles, adults over 50 should plan to roll up their sleeves -- again.

The new vaccine, Shingrix, will likely be recommended even for those already inoculated with an older vaccine.

An advisory panel of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Wednesday that all adults 50 and older receive the new two-shot vaccine, just days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its approval of Shingrix.

Planning to get this myself. I have known a couple people who had Shingles and would not wish this on anyone...

Things will get more interesting in the President Trump pee-pee non-scandal - from The Wall Street Journal:

The Coming Russia Bombshells
The confirmation this week that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid an opposition-research firm for a “dossier” on Donald Trump is bombshell news. More bombshells are to come.

The Fusion GPS saga isn’t over. The Clinton-DNC funding is but a first glimpse into the shady election doings concealed within that oppo-research firm’s walls. We now know where Fusion got some of its cash, but the next question is how the firm used it. With whom did it work beyond former British spy Christopher Steele ? Whom did it pay? Who else was paying it?

The answers are in Fusion’s bank records. Fusion has doggedly refused to divulge the names of its clients for months now, despite extraordinary pressure. So why did the firm suddenly insist that middleman law firm Perkins Coie release Fusion from confidentiality agreements, and spill the beans on who hired it?

Because there’s something Fusion cares about keeping secret even more than the Clinton-DNC news—and that something is in those bank records. The release of the client names was a last-ditch effort to appease the House Intelligence Committee, which issued subpoenas to Fusion’s bank and was close to obtaining records until Fusion filed suit last week. The release was also likely aimed at currying favor with the court, given Fusion’s otherwise weak legal case. The judge could rule as early as Friday morning.

We already know that the crooked Clinton machine is neck deep - now it will be intersting to see if there are any Russian names on the bank records...

'Tis the season - Pumpkin Pie filling

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News you can use - from Marketplace:

Your pumpkin pie is a lie
Always leave room for dessert, especially when it's served with a little business history on the side. In her new cookbook, "BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts," Serious Eats senior editor Stella Parks tells how some of the most all-American desserts became so popular in this country. A lot of times, it's because a corporation made it happen.

From the interview:

Ryssdal: But if I go to the store and I buy a can of pumpkin, it says on the outside 100 percent pumpkin.

Parks: Yeah, there's no rule about what pumpkins are.

Ryssdal: Really?

Parks: The Food and Drug Administration has no legal distinctions between pumpkins and squash. They're all in the same botanical family, and it's just a game of semantics. And the FDA was like, it doesn't matter, and it doesn't. I'm pro-squash.

Our government at work... Probably the result of some lobbying to remove the distinction.

First post on October 27th, 2003

Today? 26,767 posts and 1,724 comments


No sign of slowing down - having way too much fun!

Quote of the month

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Most of the problems of today are results of the solutions of yesterday.
Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired

Think about it - look at homelessness. Most of the homeless are mentally ill to some extent. 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.

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.

Segue to today and we have a huge homeless program with rampant drug use, disease and crime. The cost of dealing with the homeless is far beyond the cost of institutionalization and the mentally ill are living much poorer lives.

There are many other examples of social programs that sound good but do not do good and whose repercussions will echo out into the future.

Tip of the hat to Maggie's Farm for the link.

Heading out for coffee

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T has a meeting this morning but then is done with work in the early afternoon.

Coffee and then taking the pups out for a run.

Great news from Catalonia

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From Yahoo/Agence France Presse:

Catalan parliament declares independence from Spain
Catalan lawmakers voted Friday to declare independence from Spain but Madrid immediately moved to quash the breakaway bid in a sharp escalation of a crisis that has caused jitters in secession-wary Europe.

And the decision?

The Catalan resolution, which Madrid says the region cannot legally execute, was passed by 70 votes to 10.

There were two abstentions, but dozens of opposition MPS walked out before the secret ballot in the 135-seat assembly, where 68 votes constitute a majority.

Looks like We The People of all nations are not wanting large centralized governments full of unelected bureaucrats and instead, wanting localized small governments and sovereign pride.

Heh - should have stuck to journalism

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They are dropping like flies - from The Daily Beast:

Penguin Press Scraps Plans for Mark Halperin’s Book
Penguin Press announced on Thursday that it was dropping Mark Halperin’s new book amid mounting allegations of sexual harassment against the journalist and author.


Halperin is stepping aside from his role as a political analyst at NBC News, after CNN first revealed the allegations late Wednesday night.

Not to be confused wiht novelist Mark Helprin.

Not so fast - Kennedy document release

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Well darn it. Not surprising though - from The Washington Post:

Trump delays release of hundreds of remaining JFK assassination documents, bowing to national security concerns
President Trump delayed the release of hundreds of classified documents related to the John F. Kennedy assassination Thursday evening, bowing to pressure from the CIA, FBI and other federal agencies still seeking to keep some final secrets from the nearly 54-year-old investigation.

The president allowed the immediate release of 2,800 records by the National Archives, following a last-minute scramble to meet a 25-year legal deadline. Following lobbying by national security officials, the remaining documents will be reviewed during a 180-day period. In a memo released by the White House, Trump said: “I am ordering today that the veil finally be lifted. At the same time, executive departments and agencies have proposed to me that certain information should continue to be redacted because of national security, law enforcement, and foreign affairs concerns. I have no choice — today — but to accept those redactions rather than allow potentially irreversible harm to our nation’s security. ”

Come on now - they have had 25 years to go over the documents and determine which could be released and which could not - why the scramble now? This is only going to fuel more conspiracy theories. My favorite is that LBJ had him assassinated.

Yes - Ted Cruz

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He was my first choice for President by a long shot. From The Hill:

Cruz on GOP-Trump feud: 'Shut up and do your job'
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is warning his GOP colleagues to stop fighting with President Trump and focus on passing the party's agenda.

"It's like you’re back in junior high. ... We've got a job to do, damn it, and so all of this nonsense, I got nothing to say on it. Everyone shut up and do your job, is my view," Cruz told conservative radio host Mark Davis on Wednesday.

Exactly. I would love to see him run in 2020 or 2024.

Transparent elections - Georgia

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Looks like the swamps in Georga could use a little draining - from Associated Press:

APNewsBreak: Georgia election server wiped after suit filed
A computer server crucial to a lawsuit against Georgia election officials was quietly wiped clean by its custodians just after the suit was filed, The Associated Press has learned.

The server’s data was destroyed July 7 by technicians at the Center for Elections Systems at Kennesaw State University, which runs the state’s election system. The data wipe was revealed in an email sent last week from an assistant state attorney general to plaintiffs in the case that was later obtained by the AP. More emails obtained in a public records request confirmed the wipe.

The lawsuit, filed July 3 by a diverse group of election reform advocates, aims to force Georgia to retire its antiquated and heavily criticized election technology. The server in question, which served as a statewide staging location for key election-related data, made national headlines in June after a security expert disclosed a gaping security hole that wasn’t fixed six months after he reported it to election authorities.

Of course, this could make things interesting:

The FBI is known to have made an exact data image of the server in March when it investigated the security hole. The Oct. 18 email disclosing the server wipe said the state attorney general’s office was “reaching out to the FBI to determine whether they still have the image” and also disclosed that two backup servers were wiped clean Aug. 9, just as the lawsuit moved to federal court.

Probably wiped it hoping to avoid having it presented in the discovery process. Should be interesting to see... The liberals do not have any ideas that peole want to vote for so they have to cheat. Ideas so good they have to be mandatory.

Back home again

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Two very busy days but they are done with. T is doing emails for work and I am surfing a bit.

Forecast is for nice weather for the next few days so this will be appreciated after the wet...

No posting today - minimal tomorrow

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Busy day today and tomorrow. The Clinton / Russia story seems to be getting a lot more publicity than they would ever like. Could not be happening to a nicer family.

And it starts - Harvey

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From The Hollywood Reporter:

Former Harvey Weinstein Assistant Breaks NDA, Details History of Cover-Ups
Zelda Perkins, who worked as Weinstein's assistant in Miramax's London office, claims in a new interview with Financial Times that her boss sexually harassed her and assaulted her female colleague, leading them to a settlement and strict NDA.

It will be interesting to see how many peole are brought down

And then, there is this:

Oscar-Winning Writer-Director Paul Haggis Suggests Hollywood Pedophilia Cover-Up

A lot of people who do not know the story (and the technologies involved) are going to run around with their hair on fire. From David Middleton writing at WUWT:

Senate Budget Resolution Creates Pathway to Opening ANWR to Drilling!!!
Guest cheer-leading by David Middleton (from this article at Alaska Dispatch News):

U.S. Senate passes bill that offers a chance to open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling
The U.S. Senate passed a budget resolution Thursday that could provide Alaska’s congressional delegation its best shot in four decades to open part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling.

The Senate voted 51-49 to pass the budget resolution, along party lines. Republicans defeated a Democratic amendment to strip the ANWR-allowing provision from the budget resolution, by a vote of 52-48.

And it is not just these oil and gas fields - from David:

In addition to being a boon to the US Treasury, the development of ANWR, NPR-Alaska and the Beaufort and Chukchi OCS areas are critical to maintaining the operation of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and avoiding the stranding of billions of barrels of crude oil.

The failure to open ANWR-1002 soon will eventually force the premature shutdown and dismantling of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS).

A premature end to TAPS would strand about 30 billion barrels of oil and 137 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under Alaska and its OCS (outer continental shelf).

With the development of directional boring (initial development was patented in 1873), the oil companies can work from a small pad installed at the coastline and drill down and under to reach the oil-bearing strata. There is minimal danger of spilling or blowouts and the development of the harbor will allow better access to ANWR for scientists and eco-tourists. Win/win.

Much more at the site...

News keeps cropping up that they are not ready for prime-time. This story from Android Central:

Pixel 2 XL screen burn-in is real, Google 'actively investigating'
Consternation surrounding the display in the Google Pixel 2 XL is well known at this point, and to be honest most of it has been pretty overblown. But we have something new to talk about now: screen burn-in. It's something people with OLED screens worry about (to varying degrees) and something people who prefer LCDs like to poke fun about. But one of our Pixel 2 XL review units, in use for about a week, is already seeing some pretty crazy levels of burn-in.

Glad I got my Moto Z phone and didn't wait for the Google.

Geeking out today

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Back one month ago, I spent an hour or so looking for an electronics store I had not been to in almost 20 years. It was on the same street that I remembered but I must have driven right by it.

Heading out there this morning with the address written down. (Coffee at The Allegro first though - got my priorities) Will be then spending a few hours at a nearby off-leash park. My pups are used to having free run of a 30 acre farm and city life makes them a little "busy". I'll run them rotten later this afternoon.

More posting later today.

The downside to smartphones

Readers will know that I recently upgraded from a cheap Walmart burner cellphone to a Motorola Z. Quite the leap in technology and I love it. Where I live, there is no cell service so I have had little need for a phone (hence the cheap one) but now that I am spending more time on the road, a better phone was called for.

Here is a cautionairy tale though - from Bloomberg:

Smartphones Are Killing Americans, But Nobody’s Counting
Jennifer Smith doesn’t like the term “accident.” It implies too much chance and too little culpability.

A “crash” killed her mother in 2008, she insists, when her car was broadsided by another vehicle while on her way to pick up cat food. The other driver, a 20-year-old college student, ran a red light while talking on his mobile phone, a distraction that he immediately admitted and cited as the catalyst of the fatal event.

“He was remorseful,” Smith, now 43, said. “He never changed his story.”

Yet in federal records, the death isn’t attributed to distraction or mobile-phone use. It’s just another line item on the grim annual toll taken by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration [NHTSA]—one of 37,262 that year. Three months later, Smith quit her job as a realtor and formed Stopdistractions.org, a nonprofit lobbying and support group. Her intent was to make the tragic loss of her mother an anomaly.

And some numbers:

Over the past two years, after decades of declining deaths on the road, U.S. traffic fatalities surged by 14.4 percent. In 2016 alone, more than 100 people died every day in or near vehicles in America, the first time the country has passed that grim toll in a decade. Regulators, meanwhile, still have no good idea why crash-related deaths are spiking: People are driving longer distances but not tremendously so; total miles were up just 2.2 percent last year. Collectively, we seemed to be speeding and drinking a little more, but not much more than usual. Together, experts say these upticks don’t explain the surge in road deaths.

And this one:

Finally, the increase in fatalities has been largely among bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians—all of whom are easier to miss from the driver’s seat than, say, a 4,000-pound SUV—especially if you’re glancing up from your phone rather than concentrating on the road. Last year, 5,987 pedestrians were killed by cars in the U.S., almost 1,100 more than in 2014—that’s a 22 percent increase in just two years.

More at the site - my truck allows for hands-free calling and I would never browse while driving. I am not stupid. I see it all the time though when out on the road.

One other cause for the increase in fatalities that was not mentioned was the CAFE Standards - the easiest way for a manufacturer to make a vehicle more fuel efficient is to cut its weight. This makes the car or truck lighter and less strong. For more on that story: Here, here and here - a lot more at Google if you look.

Some evening clouds

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Trish and I went for a nice long walk along the shores of Mud Bay off Lake Washington - here is one photo:


Fall is definitely moving in...

Generalissimo Francisco Franco 2.0

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Nice democracy you have there - it would be a shame if something happened to it... From The New York Times:

Spain Will Remove Catalonia Leader, Escalating Secession Crisis
The escalating confrontation over Catalonia’s independence drive took its most serious turn on Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

It was the first time that Spain’s government had moved to strip the autonomy of one of its 17 regions, and the first time that a leader had invoked Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution — a broad tool intended to protect the “general interests” of the nation.

The unexpectedly forceful moves by Mr. Rajoy, made after an emergency cabinet meeting, thrust Spain into uncharted waters. The prime minister is trying to put down one of the gravest constitutional crises his country has faced since embracing democracy after the death of its dictator Gen. Francisco Franco in 1975.

A lot more at the article - Spain is sliding towards tyranny. Catalonia is prosperous, has it's own language and customs. Spain bought into the whole socialist scam and is now running out of money - they want Catalonia to stay under their umbrella to fund the excesses of their state.

It is interesting to see this return of local autonomy and nationaism breaking out. First, we had the Brexit, now Catalonia and now in Italy:

European Parliament chief Antonio Tajani said Europe should "fear" the spread of small nations as Spain struggled Sunday with the Catalonia crisis and the Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto voted in referendums on greater autonomy.

Interesting times indeed!

Trish and I decided to get married about a month ago. We first met 30 years ago so we actually know each other quite well. Our lives had taken us in different paths until we reconnected in July.

Went shopping for wedding rings yesterday. We both want to avoid the "wedding industry" - small service or even eloping and a party a few months later. Definitely not buying rings from Zales, The Galleria, Jared, Kay (a lot of these businesses are all owned by the same corporate identity). Wanted to find a local jeweler who made the rings in-house and who didn't have them shipped in in bulk from China or Pakistan.

Found a place that looked interesting but when we walked in the door, we were greeted by someone who exclaimed that they were a locally owned business and that they wanted to develop a relationship with us and how well they would treat us. Excuse me - this marriage will last so we will only need their services once. I do not need to build a relationship with them. All through walking around the store, we were mobbed by one person after another extolling the virtues of their store. We left - never even tried anything.

We are seriously thinking of visiting Costco to see what they have... Amazon? Arrrgggghhhhh...

Pineapple express due on Saturday

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Get ready - from Seattle's Cliff Mass:

5000 Mile Atmospheric River Will Hit the Northwest on Saturday: Heavy Rain in the Offering
The atmosphere is kind of funny when it comes to moisture. Rather than move water vapor out of the tropics in wide currents, the moisture tend to move in relatively narrow atmospheric rivers.

For us in the Pacific Northwest, the atmospheric rivers that reach our shores often come from the southwest, starting somewhere near Hawaii (see graphic of water vapor content summed up in the vertical). Thus, they are often called a pineapple express.

But sometimes, a very different configuration occurs, with moisture extending northward in the western Pacific, then heading nearly due east into our region.  Traversing an amazing distance of over 5000 miles.  Let's call this the Midway Express.  And one of them will reach us on Saturday.

Forecast is for up to ten inches with high winds - here we go again. More power failures and potential for earth movement.

From The New York Times:

Trump Says He Will Release Final Set of Documents on Kennedy Assassination
President Trump has decided to release a final batch of thousands of classified government documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Mr. Trump announced in a tweet on Saturday morning.

“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.

Cue the conspiracy theories in 3... 2... 1...

The Clinton Russia deal - uranium

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More and more information is coming out about how Bill and Hillary made a lot of money by signing off 20% of our Uranium production to Russian companies. From The Hill:

Bill Clinton sought State’s permission to meet with Russian nuclear official during Obama uranium decision
As he prepared to collect a $500,000 payday in Moscow in 2010, Bill Clinton sought clearance from the State Department to meet with a key board director of the Russian nuclear energy firm Rosatom — which at the time needed the Obama administration’s approval for a controversial uranium deal, government records show.

Arkady Dvorkovich, a top aide to then-Russian President Dmitri Medvedev and one of the highest-ranking government officials to serve on Rosatom’s board of supervisors, was listed on a May 14, 2010, email as one of 15 Russians the former president wanted to meet during a late June 2010 trip, the documents show.

“In the context of a possible trip to Russia at the end of June, WJC is being asked to see the business/government folks below. Would State have concerns about WJC seeing any of these folks,” Clinton Foundation foreign policy adviser Amitabh Desai wrote the State Department on May 14, 2010, using the former president’s initials and forwarding the list of names to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s team.

The email went to two of Hillary Clinton’s most senior advisers, Jake Sullivan and Cheryl Mills.

If these were Republican people, the press would be trumpeting this story 24/7.  That it is the Clinton's?





The use of food to make a problematic "renewable" gasoline substitute is a testimony to the power of a few lobbyists. The use of Ethanol drives up the price of corn as food, it does significant damage to small engines and it raises the cost of gasoline. It is not a renewable fuel as it takes more energy to distill a gallon of Ethanol than you can ever recover from it by combustion or other chemical means. It is an energy rat-hole.

Looks like President Trump is starting to stand up to this stupidity - from The Daily Caller:

Trump’s Struggle With The Ethanol Lobby Is Just Beginning
The ethanol lobby may have won this week’s political battle with President Donald Trump’s administration, but the war over the federal biofuel mandate is far from over.

The White House on Wednesday reportedly told Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to stand down on making small changes to the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) after political backlash from corn states.

Midwestern GOP Senators held up Trump’s nominees for EPA positions until they were reassured no changes would be made to the RFS, that mandates refiners purchase ever-increasing amounts of ethanol.

This policy has always been a scam and it is time for it to be put to rest once and for all.

New toy - Moto Z Play

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Been having a lot of fun syncing my new phone to my other computers and learning the ins and outs of its operation. An amazingly powerful computer which can send and receive telephone calls. Want to get everything set up before I try rooting it. Need to see if there are any useful apps for emergency management or amateur radio.

Trish had a big event at her school last week so she is rummaging around cleaning up and stowing the boxes of supplies and papers from the event.

T and Me

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Here is a photo of Trish and me in front of the notorious Seattle Gum wall:


A few days ago - wind storm

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Here is a photo I took of SR-542 about an hour after the power went out. This is the main highway leading in to Maple Falls and a large tree took the main feeder into the area - you can just make out some of the lines to the right.


It was indeed a dark and stormy night...

The joys of socialized medicine - Death Panels

Great little eye-opener from Conservative Tribune:

Socialism at Work: British Feds Ban Surgery for Smokers and the Obese
Socialized medicine is a wonderful, compassionate system that brings important care to everyone… at least, that’s what leftists in the United States and Europe keep insisting.

As the United Kingdom is finding out, however, everyone is not actually equal under health care socialism. As soon as the system starts running out of other people’s money, people are quickly pushed out… and you’d better hope that you’re not one of the unlucky ones who gets thrown aside!

That’s exactly what happened this week in Britain, as the socialized National Health System announced that patients are being banned from important surgeries if they happen to be a bit overweight or smoke tobacco.

More at the site - tip of the hat to Wirecutter at Knuckledraggin My Life Away for the link.

Power blogging

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Joys of country living - lost power for the last 24 hours. Wind storm took out a couple of large trees which toppled over the main highway leading out to here.

Down in Seattle for a while visiting with T and her kids. More later..

Back home again - finished

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Got the clearcoat on the coffee service cabinet. Looks pretty good if I say so myself :)

Working on some stuff around the home. Trash pickup tomorrow. Raining cats and dogs with high winds forecast - Lopez Island is recording winds in the 50MPH range.

At work at the store

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Putting the final finish on the new coffee service and will be mounting the railings for the shopping cart nest later this afternoon. Pics will follow...

Sloth - day two

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Really sleeping a lot for some reason. Second day of 10+ hours of sleep. Feel fine, just not waking up at my usual time.

Raining heavily - a bit over 0.5 inches in the last 12 hours.

A shift in Hollywood

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A very good observation of the whole Harvey Weinstein kerfuffle from The Z man


End of the Gatekeepers
The manufactured outrage over Harvey Weinstein has been entertaining, mostly because a lot of gaseous Hollywood blowhards have taken it in the shorts over it. Watching guys like Ben Affleck and Jimmy Kimmel suffer is enjoyable because they are horrible people fond of self-righteously lecturing the rest of us. The schadenfreude is all good fun, but it misses a bigger story. The reason Hollywood is imploding in scandals, over what has been the norm for generations, is that the smart money has left the business.

As Steve Sailer noted, degenerates like Harvey Weinstein have always been a fixture in the movie business. Smart Jewish men were drawn to the business, because success meant they got to be gatekeepers in a high demand business. That meant they could charge very large tolls for the right to pass through the gates. Anyone who wanted to be in movies had to make it in Hollywood. Actresses and actors that wanted to be stars had to do what was required to make it past the gatekeeper. Everyone paid the toll.


An axiom of modern, life is that the arrival of social justice warriors is a sign that a business or industry has entered a death spiral. It may not be dead, but its days of making big money have come to a close. The smart-money men, interested only in making money, have left the scene, leaving the people with other agendas to take over and impose those agendas. That’s when the gals start running off the guys for being male and cook up schemes to help under-represented minorities realize their potential.

That’s what is happening with Hollywood. The girls are taking over, which means they will be producing content that no one watches, as they burn through the assets of the movies business infrastructure. Soon, the oppressed people of color will be accusing the remaining studio men of being insufficiently remorseful about their ancestors owning slaves. Unlike colleges and corporations that go through this, the film business has an ample supply of degenerates like Harvey Weinstein. This is just getting started.

A lot more at the site - good writing!
A good definition of the term of art: Social Justice Warriors

A change of wording

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A very large change in meaning - from Dr. Susan Berry writing at Breitbart:

Trump Administration Defines Life ‘Beginning at Conception’
The Trump administration has released a strategic plan for the years 2018-2022 that asserts clearly at several points that life begins at conception.

The document is located on the website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

“HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving and protecting Americans at every stage of life, beginning at conception,” the document states initially.

In contrast, the Obama administration’s document read, “HHS accomplishes its mission through programs and initiatives that cover a wide spectrum of activities, serving Americans at every stage of life.”

In explaining its “Strategic Goal 1: Reform, Strengthen, and Modernize the Nation’s Health Care,” the Trump administration document continues, “While we may refer to the people we serve as beneficiaries, enrollees, patients, or consumers, our ultimate goal is to improve healthcare outcomes for all people, including the unborn, across healthcare settings.”

That is going to get a lot of Planned Parenthood supports in a twist. Those people need to read their history a bit more - the founder was a real piece of work. Read the previous link if you do not know - you can also Google. These stories are told by so many different sources that it is the unvarnished truth, not some conspiracy to tarnish her work. There is even audio and video of her talking about this.

Or considering it was under Obama's watch, maybe not. From The Hill:

FBI uncovered Russian bribery plot before Obama administration approved controversial nuclear deal with Moscow
Before the Obama administration approved a controversial deal in 2010 giving Moscow control of a large swath of American uranium, the FBI had gathered substantial evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaged in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering designed to grow Vladimir Putin’s atomic energy business inside the United States, according to government documents and interviews.

Federal agents used a confidential U.S. witness working inside the Russian nuclear industry to gather extensive financial records, make secret recordings and intercept emails as early as 2009 that showed Moscow had compromised an American uranium trucking firm with bribes and kickbacks in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, FBI and court documents show.

They also obtained an eyewitness account — backed by documents — indicating Russian nuclear officials had routed millions of dollars to the U.S. designed to benefit former President Bill Clinton’s charitable foundation during the time Secretary of State Hillary Clinton served on a government body that provided a favorable decision to Moscow, sources told The Hill.

There is a lot more at the site and President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are right there in the thick of it. President Trump did a good job with firing Comey - now he nees to put Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama in jail for about 30 years each.

Back home again

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Decided to bag tonight's meeting - working on stuff here.

More in an hour or two - want to do some things outside while there is still daylight.


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Slept in again this morning.  Heavy rainfall on a tin roof is very conducive to such activities - wake up, roll over and go back to sleep for another hour. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Heading out for coffee and in to Bellingham for some banking, store stuff, shopping.

Posting in a couple of hours.

And that is it for the night

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Working on organizing the music room tonight. Did a bit more sorting in the garage this afternoon. Finished with a nice dinner and time to start work on labeling and gathering stuff into bins. Already looking a lot better and it will be fun to actually be able to find stuff when I am done.

Having the repositionable adhesive on the labels is really nice - a couple times I have looked at a label, said "Naaaa", peeled it off and printed another one. Good to not have all sorts of adhesive residue on the plastic. Looks like crap.

Probably watch a little YouTube somewhere in there too...

The link between childhood vaccinations and autism is simply not there. It first reared its pointy little head in a 1998 paper in the British journal Lancet based on research by Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Slight problem - Wakefield's research was funded by an insurance company which hoped to profit off future lawsuits against vaccine makers. The paper was retracted and Dr. Wakefield now goes by Andy - his license to practice medicine was stripped from him.

Still, like a chicken, the head was chopped off but the body still twitches. From Canada's CBC News:

UBC researchers pull paper linking vaccine component to autism after data alleged to be manipulated
Researchers from the University of British Columbia are retracting their scientific paper linking aluminum in vaccines to autism in mice, because one of the co-authors claims figures published in the study were deliberately altered before publication — an issue he says he realized after allegations of data manipulation surfaced online.

The professor also told CBC News there's no way to know "why" or "how" the figures were allegedly contorted, as he claims original data cited in the study is inaccessible, which would be a contravention of the university's policy around scientific research.

The paper looked at the effects of aluminum components in vaccines on immune response in a mouse's brain. It was published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry on Sept. 5.

Talk about a two-fer - not only the vaccine/autism fraud but they were looking at aluminum which has been featured highly in the do not use aluminum cookware as it can give you Alzheimers bullshit. A bit more:

However, subsequent scrutiny has raised questions about the validity of the data, with one doctor calling the paper "anti-vaccine pseudoscience."

The allegations were published last week on Retraction Watch, a site that reports on withdrawn papers as "a window into the scientific process."

By the middle of September, commenters on PubPeer — a database where users can examine and comment on published scientific papers — pointed out that figures in the study appeared to have been altered, and in one case lifted directly from a 2014 study also authored by Shaw and Tomljenovic.

Soo busted. A lot more at the site. One of the researchers had a previous paper retracted for dodgy data in 2016. Who is funding these idiots and why do they still have tenure at UBC?

Now this looks like fun

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For someone else but still - the development of drones brought out some new technologies and they are being scaled up to bigger machines:

Having those propellers right at kneecap level would give me a case of the willies. Gust of wind? The inertial moment on those propellers has got to be large so it will take time to respond to a perturbation. What happens if it starts to tip over?

SQL Ledger

I have been using GnuCash for a while and really like it. True double-entry bookeeping and none of the bloat the QuickBooks has. Getting checks to print correctly was a byzantine few days but this is something you only need to do once so hey...

On an email list, there was mention of SQL Ledger as being more of a large ERP application. Looks interesting - been in development for more than ten years and it's last release was in April of 2017 so it is under active development. It is written entirely in PERL and runs using a SQL Server as its backend. No mention of speed (running an interpreted language) but still, the feature list is quite comprehensive. Here is the feature list from their website

Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Vouchers, General Ledger, Inventory Control, Billing / Invoicing, Payroll, Time Cards, Recurring Invoices, POS, Check Printing, Purchase / Sales Orders, Customizable Taxes, Multi-user, Multi-company, CMS, Audit Control, Foreign Currency, Internationalization, Access Control, SQL server backend, Customizable Templates, Customers, Vendors, Assemblies (BOM, kits), Chart of Accounts, Customizable Reports, Memorize Report Layout, Financial Statements, Export Payments File, Administration Module, Application Interface, Backup to file/email, Import transactions, Use on Handheld, Document Control

Have to download it and give it a try when I have nothing else to do and feel like dinking around with a new application.

A lot of times, the EPA did not have any legal ground for pushing their policies but they had a lot of lawyers at their beck and call so they engaged in a practice known as Sue and Settle. They would overwhelm some poor farmer or land developer with a huge lawsuit and then proceed to settle out of court for a smaller sum of money - still huge but a lot smaller than their original lawsuit. The settlement was enough to cripple any development plans. Again, the EPA had no legal backing to dictate the terms of the development so they utalized this back-door to do it. This practice is evil and it has been stopped. From The Washington Times:

EPA to end Obama-era ‘sue and settle’ practice
The Trump administration on Monday took steps to end the highly controversial “sue and settle” practice that led directly to a host of environmental regulations throughout former President Obama’s tenure.

In an agency-wide directive, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said the process has “harmed the American public” and kept citizens in the dark about exactly how rules and regulations are made.

The days of regulation through litigation are over,” Mr. Pruitt said in a statement. “We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Congress. Additionally, gone are the days of routinely paying tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to these groups with which we swiftly settle.”

Sue and settle, which became commonplace during Mr. Obama’s tenure as his EPA developed tight-knit relationships with top environmental groups, essentially is a way to circumvent the formal rulemaking procedures. Under the practice, sometimes called “friendly lawsuits,” an outside group would sue a department or agency — in this case, the EPA — and ask that certain regulatory steps be taken, or that entirely new regulations be put in place.

Emphases mine. Step by step, President Trump is undoing President Obama's "legacy"

Good - the sooner those harms are removed from our nation the better.

A curious case of Arkancide

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Not related to the Clintons but definitley connected to big money. From the UK Daily Mirror:

Car bomb kills journalist behind Panama Papers offshore tax evasion investigation 'days after she received threats to her safety'
A journalist who led the Panama Papers offshore tax evasion expose was killed today when a bomb blew up her car.

Investigative reporter Daphne Caruana Galizia - dubbed a "one-woman WikiLeaks" - was killed as she was driving near the village of Bidnija in northern Malta.

She had filed a complaint to police a fortnight ago after receiving personal threats to her safety, local media said.

Caruana Galizia ran a hugely popular blog relentlessly highlighting cases of alleged corruption, often involving politicians from the Mediterranean island nation.

In Malta, she had led the coverage of the Panama Papers, a leak of millions of legal documents last year detailing financial details of offshore entities used by the rich and powerful to avoid tax.

She blogged in English here: Running Commentary - Daphne Caruana Galizia' Notebook

Arkancide? From this website:

Arkancide is the unfortunate habit of potential witnesses to the Clintons' dirty dealings in Arkansas suddenly deciding to shoot themselves twice in the back of the head. Police and Coroners in Arkansas, notably Fahmy Malak who answered to Governor Bill Clinton, automatically described these shootings as "suicides."

After Bill Clinton became President the phenomenon spilled over to Washington D.C. when Hillary Clinton's ex-lover Vincent Foster was "Arkancided."

And these mokes will never ever be brought to justice.

Plan B

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Was planning to work at home today but was out of storage boxes so ran into Costco and picked up a bunch. The cashier asked what I was doing. Also did a Plan B on a project at the store.

Still heading into town tomorrow afternoon - meeting in the evening Mt. Baker Amaeur Radio Club - Digital Group

Left over spaghetti for dinner tonight - this time with the low-carb noodles and a big salad.

Got some serious rainfall - almost one inch in 24 hours with much more on the way.

Public WiFi - be careful for now

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Someone just broke the encryption used in public WiFi - from ZDNet:

WPA2 security flaw puts almost every Wi-Fi device at risk of hijack, eavesdropping
A security protocol at the heart of most modern Wi-Fi devices, including computers, phones, and routers, has been broken, putting almost every wireless-enabled device at risk of attack.

The bug, known as "KRACK" for Key Reinstallation Attack, exposes a fundamental flaw in WPA2, a common protocol used in securing most modern wireless networks. Mathy Vanhoef, a computer security academic, who found the flaw, said the weakness lies in the protocol's four-way handshake, which securely allows new devices with a pre-shared password to join the network.

That weakness can, at its worst, allow an attacker to decrypt network traffic from a WPA2-enabled device, hijack connections, and inject content into the traffic stream.

In other words: this flaw, if exploited, gives an attacker a skeleton key to access any WPA2 network without a password. Once they're in, they can eavesdrop on your network traffic.

The bug represents a complete breakdown of the WPA2 protocol, for both personal and enterprise devices -- putting every supported device at risk.

What to do? Use basic comon sense. Do not do any online shopping or send crucial data over a public network. That simple. This has already been patched for Windows 10 and iOS - Android is still vulnerable but they are working on it.

Very cool announcement - science

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We were told that a major announcement was coming today and they did not dissapoint - from National Geographic:

In a First, Gravitational Waves Linked to Neutron Star Crash
Around 130 million years ago, two dead stars violently collided and set off a sequence of events that, over the last two months, have whipped astronomers on Earth into an absolute frenzy.

At press conferences held across continents, scientists today announced the first detection of gravitational waves created by two neutron stars smashing into each other.

First theorized by Albert Einstein in 1916, gravitational waves are kinks or distortions in the fabric of spacetime caused by extremely violent cosmic events. Until now, all confirmed detections involved a deadly dance between two black holes, which leave no visible signature on the sky.

But with this latest event, teams using about a hundred instruments at roughly 70 observatories were able to track down and watch the cataclysm in multiple wavelengths of light, allowing astronomers to scrutinize the source of these cosmic ripples for the first time.

“We saw a totally new phenomenon that has never before been seen by humans,” says Andy Howell of the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s an amazing thing that may not be duplicated in our lifetimes.”

Incredibly cool - they were able to see the source of the waves in physical light. So 299,792,458 meters per second is not just a good idea, it's the law! No wonder that three of the primary researchers got the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work.

Lethargy is a good thing - right?

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Was up way past my bedtime so slept in - woke up at a bit before 10:00AM - delicious! Working on organizing the music room, the garage and building the computer for a friend. Fun and productive stuff so just kept working. Heading out for coffee, the store and back home to do it all again!

A busy bee tonight

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Gathering parts to build a computer for a friend and also moved from clearing out the garage to clearing out the music room. Bought some plastic bins for storage and have some nice adhesive labels in my laser printer so every time I get 10 categories of bins, I print off a sheet. The adhesive is reusable so if my needs change, I can peel off the old label with no residue.

Took an off day from my low-carb diet and made a big pot of spaghetti sauce. Was all set to be virtuous and use the low-carb noodles but at the last moment, I said screw this and boiled up some thin spaghetti. The low-carb noodles are OK but there is a different mouth-feel and for some reason today, I craved some carbs. I can be virtuous tomorrow...

Back to work so probably no more posting tonight - when I am done with this project, I'll be watching YouTube. Nothing caught my eye on the internet anyway.

Great news from the Philippines

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From ABC News/Associated Press:

Philippines: Last leaders of IS-tied siege killed in Marawi
The two final surviving leaders of a deadly siege in the southern Philippines, including a top Asian terror suspect, were killed Monday in one of the final battles by thousands of troops to retake the last area in Marawi city held by pro-Islamic State group militants, security officials said.

Four military and police officials told The Associated Press that Isnilon Hapilon, who is listed among the FBI's most-wanted terror suspects, and Omarkhayam Maute were killed in a gunbattle and their bodies were found Monday in Marawi.

The Philippines have had a long-standing problem with millitant islamists - they call themselves Moro - dating back to General John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing in 1899. In overall percentages, the islamists represent about 11% of the total population and yet they feel they have the right to 'rebel' against the Roman Catholic majority (82%) and murder them. Not very smart - nothing like living in a culture that chooses to remain in the 9th century.

Making a very good example of what happens when they murder someone is an excellent way to go about it. Live in peace? Fine. Try to overthrow our government and murder non-islamic citizens? You will be killed. End of problem.

Taking a break

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Such a gorgeous day today - been cleaning out the garage. A lot of crap that needs to be put on Craigslist or just plain gotten rid of. Starting to make visible headway. Spending this evening working on projects inside the house - building a computer for a friend and organizing a bit.

T's dog is spending a few days here getting more acquainted with my critters. She has some boundary issues but we are getting those resolved very nicely and she is now becoming the best of friends with my younger dog Bear.

Done here - heading home

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Heading back home to work on some stuff there. Gorgeous day but rain is forecast for Monday so want to get a couple things done outside.

The usual

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Woke up about an hour ago - took care of the critters and now heading out for coffee and working at the store for a few hours.

A freak of nature

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I can not imagine anyone who loves horses breeding for this trait on purpose:


There is a video on the breeders website showing this poor foal prancing around - its nostrils are fully dilated while doing very minimal exertion. The sinuses are so restricted that the poor guy is starving for air - panting for his life. The position of the ears and the wrinkled upper eyebrow indicates fear or panic. Horses cannot breathe through their mouth (PDF) so it is important that their head be properly formed for good respiration. Lower jaw looks thin and underdeveloped too.

The breeder's website seems to be very proud of this poor creature. They should be ashamed to say that they caused (and are promoting) this deformity.

How fast they fall - Harvey Weinstein

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From the Los Angeles Times:

Harvey Weinstein expelled from motion picture academy
Embattled film mogul Harvey Weinstein — a once-dominant force in the Academy Awards who rewrote the rules of Oscar campaigning — has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in response to mounting allegations of sexual harassment and assault against him.

The film academy’s 54-member board of governors, which includes such industry luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Kathleen Kennedy and Whoopi Goldberg, voted in an emergency meeting on Saturday morning to remove Weinstein from the organization’s ranks in an unprecedented public rebuke of a prominent industry figure. The move marked the latest blow in Weinstein’s stunning downfall and, in symbolic terms, amounts to a virtual expulsion from Hollywood itself.

The guy made great movies - pity about all the other stuff. This brings to mind two other pieces

First - from Laurie Stark on Twitter:

Remember: The Weinstein Company didn't fire Harvey because they found out he was a sexual predator. They fired him because WE found out.

Second - this wonderful rant:

Dear Hollywood celebrities: It’s time to wake up now. Get this! The only reason you exist is for my entertainment. Some of you are beautiful. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes. Some of you are so convincing that you scare the stuffing out of me. And others are so funny you can make me laugh uncontrollably. But you all have one thing in common. You only exist and have a place in my world to entertain me. That’s it. Nothing else!

You make your living pretending to be someone else. You play dress-up like a 5-year-old. Your world is a make-believe world—it is not real; it doesn't exist. You live for the camera while the rest of us live in the real world. Your entire existence depends on my patronage. I crank the organ grinder, and you dance.

Therefore, I don't care where you stand on issues. Honestly, your opinion means nothing to me. Just because you had a lead role in a movie about prostitution doesn't mean you know what it’s like to be a prostitute. Your view matters far less to me than that of a someone living in Timbuktu. Believe me or not, the hard truth is that you aren't real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer, and you cease to exist. Once I am done with you, I go back to the real world until I want you to entertain me again.

I don't care that you think BP executives deserve the death penalty. I don't care what you think about the environment. I don't care if you believe fracking is bad. I don't care if you call for more gun control. I don't care if you believe in catastrophic, human-induced global warming. And I couldn't care less that you supported Hillary for President. By the way, she lost!!

Get back into your bubble. I'll let you know when I'm in the mood for something pretty or scary or funny. And one other thing. What was all that “I'll leave the country if Donald Trump wins”? Don't you know how stupid that made you sound? What did you think my reaction was going to be? Oooh! I better not vote for Trump or we'll lose Whoopi Goldberg? Al Sharpton? Amy Schemer? Rosie O’Donnell? Leave. Good riddance. I don't care! And don't let the door hit you in the keister on your way out. Make me laugh. Make me cry. Even scare me. But realize this: the only words of yours that matter are scripted — just like your pathetic, little lives. I may agree with some of you from time to time, but in the final analysis, it doesn't matter. In my world, you exist solely for my entertainment.

So, shut your mouth and dance, monkey, DANCE!

Speaking truth to power monkeys. If President Trump is setting out to drain the swamp, remember that its tributaries and rivers are fed by the constant drip drip drip of the media. Without their collusion, the swamp will dry up and blow away under the hard light of day.

Back home again - a fun day!

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Had a wonderful day with T and her daughter and friend (the two of them have been playmates since childhood).
We went out for coffee and then visited at the store for about two hours. One of my managers had not met T before (yes, she really does exist - Dave has not gone around the bend... yet...) so we had a wonderful time talking about all sorts of things.

We then drove in to Bellingham and rendezvoused with her daughter and friend. Went out for a light lunch and daughter took this photo of us - a cute couple:


T has to work Monday and went home today so she can have Sunday to correct some papers (she teaches) - heading down there in a few days for a visit.

Out for coffee and Bellingham

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We are getting some coffee, stopping in at the store and then meeting up with T's Daughter and her friend in Bellingham. They will all be heading down today - just a short visit this time.

More posting later tonight. Had some snowfall down to about 4,000 feet last night.

Back much later - no posting today.

Happy Birthday - the Atomic Second

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From IDW / Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt:

The "atomic second" turns 50
The "atomic second" was the beginning of a revolutionary era: it was born as early as 1955, when the first cesium atomic clock was put into operation. In the fall of 1967, it was included in the International System of Units. This was the beginning of a development which will, in all likelihood, come to an end in the fall of 2018 when the 26th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) decides that the entire International System of Units (SI) is to be based on invariable properties of nature – on fundamental constants. In this development the second came next to the meter, but in the race for accuracy it has an outstanding role: no other unit can be realized with such accuracy. Today's cesium atomic clocks – such as the four primary clocks of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB), which are responsible for realizing and disseminating legal time in Germany –provide the time unit with the unimaginable accuracy up to 16 decimal places!

"You are giving us a beautiful topic to meditate about: measuring the trajectory of the stars in the infinite depth of space based on the oscillation of an infinitesimally small atom." This is how poetically the then French foreign minister, Couve de Murville, expressed what was about to happen in Paris. In 1967, the scientists and politicians gathered in Paris for the 13th General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) decided to re-define the second. The decision fell on 13 October 1967: "The second is the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium ¹³³ atom."

Now, you can purchase used Cesium clocks on eBay for a few hundred bucks.

Nothing much this morning

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Slept in a bit - feeling a lot better.

Working around the house today and then T and Daughter and Heir are coming up for a visit.

Minimal posting today...

The Wine Country wildfires

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An interesting look at governement inaction - from San Jose's The Mercury News:

Wine Country fires: Gov. Brown vetoed 2016 bill aimed at power line, wildfire safety
A year ago, a bipartisan bill aimed at reducing the risk of wildfires from overhead electrical lines went to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

It was vetoed.

The author of the measure — passed unanimously by both houses of the Legislature — now says the governor missed out on a chance to tackle one of his state’s longstanding vulnerabilities: massive wildfires endangering residential communities. 

And this is a story why? From The Mercury News (different article):

PG&E power lines linked to Wine Country fires
As the first reports came in Sunday night of numerous fires that would grow into one of the most destructive wildfire disasters in California history, emergency dispatchers in Sonoma County received multiple calls of power lines falling down and electrical transformers exploding.

And of course, the chance for high wind had been forecast well in advance - from Cliff Mass:

The Northern California Fires: Driven by the Diablo Winds That Were Predicted Days Before
A large area north of San Francisco was devastated Sunday night/Monday morning by explosive wildfires that have killed at least 13 individuals, destroyed over 1500 structures, and burned over a hundred thousand acres. Over one-hundred people are missing.

Sad news indeed. I have driven through the USA on occasion and have come across areas that had been burned. I find it amazing that only now is our understanding of forest fire management getting to the point where it mimics nature.

Nature tends towards lots of small fires that keep the undergrowth clear from the mature trees but never get big enough to challenge the trees themselves. Our "management" has been to eliminate fires at all costs - the undergrowth accumulates as this huge fire-load and when it does reach the tipping point, everything is burnt. The forest burns and we are left with a meadow that takes 100's of years to return to mature forest.

Justin Delay from reverb.com: The Synth Sounds of Blade Runner (1982)

Great news - USA leaves UNESCO

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About time - this organization is a haven for tyrants and sociopaths. One of the United Nations organizations that does no good work. From Yahoo/Associated press:

US, Israel to exit UNESCO over its alleged anti-Israel bias
The United States announced Thursday it is pulling out of the U.N.'s educational, scientific and cultural agency because of what Washington sees as its anti-Israel bias and a need for "fundamental reform" in the agency. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel plans to follow suit.

While the Trump administration had been preparing for a likely withdrawal from UNESCO for months, the timing of the State Department's statement was unexpected. The Paris-based agency's executive board is in the midst of choosing a new chief — with Qatar's Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari leading the heated election heading into Friday's final vote.

Outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova expressed "profound regret" at the U.S. decision and tried to defend UNESCO's reputation. The organization is best known for its World Heritage program to protect cultural sites and traditions, but also works to improve education for girls, promote understanding of the Holocaust's horrors, and to defend media freedom.

And a bit more:

The U.S. stopped funding UNESCO after it voted to include Palestine as a member state in 2011, but the State Department has maintained a UNESCO office and sought to weigh in on policy behind the scenes. The U.S. now owes about $550 million in back payments.

In a statement, the State Department said the decision will take effect Dec. 31, 2018, and that the U.S. will seek a "permanent observer" status instead. It cited U.S. belief in "the need for fundamental reform in the organization."

We cut their funding for six years and that still was not enough to get them to reform. We are now giving them a nice long lead time (14 months) to come into compliance so they could turn this around if they were motivated enough. UNESCO was the organization that gave away the Temple Mount to the Hashamite Jordanians palestinians. The organization is profoundly corrupt. As for protecting cultural sites - do they mean like this or this or this. Shit like this happens, what does UNESCO do? Mutter a Tut Tut and draft a strong memmorandum of condemnation.

A cold breath of air

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Not here but a bit South of Seattle / Tacoma. From National Weather Service:

Urgent - winter weather message
National weather service seattle wa
244 pm pdt thu oct 12 2017

Cascades of pierce and lewis counties-
244 pm pdt thu oct 12 2017

...Winter weather advisory remains in effect until 5 am pdt Friday...

* What...Snow occurring. Plan on slippery road conditions. Additional snow accumulations of 2 to 6 inches, with total snow from this weather system through thursday night of up to a foot at the higher elevations.

* Where...Cascades of pierce and lewis counties.

* When...Until 5 am friday.

* Additional details...be prepared for reduced visibilities at times and snow on the high passes.

Precautionary/preparedness actions...

A winter weather advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving. The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.

Winter's first blast - supposed to be  a cold and wet one this year; just like last year.

Taco Wednesday Thursday

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Back home now - unpacking truck and getting ready to fix some dinner. Got lots of left over taco fixings so what the hell.

More posting in a bit.

Working at the store

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Ran the errands in town, back to the store and finishing off the coffee service. Looks really good if I say so myself...

Tacos for dinner tonight - more posting later tonight.

Feeling much better

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Had a good sleep and woke up feeling much more human. Still taking the cold meds this morning - got a long day ahead with coffee, post office, store and then in to town to pick up the ski pass for our winner. Each year, anyone who spends more than $25 at the store fills out an entry and when the ski season closes for the winter, we draw the winning ticket.

Have a radio meeting tonight but thinking of bailing - still feeling a bit too rough around the edges and the meeting runs until 9:00PM.

T and daughter are coming up tomorrow for a few days and then we are all heading down to Seattle.

Taco Wednesday

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Didn't feel like having beef barley soup for a third night so thawed out some chicken breasts and making some taco meat in the pressure cooker. 20 minutes for chicken breasts and they are fork tender.

Got onions chopped up, guacamole thawed out and refired beans ready to nuke. Simple, cheap and tasty.

Still feeling cruddy - the meds are a great relief but they exact their own price in terms of spaciness and inability to think/type/spell.

Trash pickup tomorrow morning so need to get the can rolled out to the curb.

UPDATE: Just what the doctor ordered - having one more, got the trash to the curb and then cleaning up and having the rest of last nights bottle of wine. Starting to feel tired without the evening cold meds so early bedtime. Heading in to town tomorrow to pick up some things, check on something else and a meeting.

Talk about an earth shattering Kaboom!

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From Washington State University:

Gases from ancient Inland Northwest volcanic eruptions blocked out sun, cooling planet
The Pacific Northwest was home to one of the Earth’s largest known volcanic eruptions, a millennia-long spewing of sulfuric gas that blocked out the sun and cooled the planet, Washington State University researchers have determined.

Only two other eruptions — the basalt floods of the Siberian Traps and the Deccan Traps — were larger, and they led to two of the Earth’s great extinctions.

“This would have been devastating regionally because of the acid-rain effect from the eruptions,” said John Wolff, a professor in the WSU School of the Environment. “It did have a global effect on temperatures, but not drastic enough to start killing things, or it did not kill enough of them to affect the fossil record.”

The research, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, appears in Geology, the top journal in the field. Starting 16.5 million years ago, they say, vents in southeast Washington and northeast Oregon put out a series of flows that reached nearly to Canada and all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The flows created the Wapshilla Ridge Member of the Grande Ronde Basalt, a kilometer-thick block familiar to travelers in the Columbia Gorge and most of Eastern Washington. The researchers say it is “the largest mapped flood basalt unit on Earth.”

Quite the Kaboom - origin of the reference here and here

Healthcare in Canada

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In the USA, our health-care system is a muddled mess. It started off fine but grew larger and larger as more and more activists lobbied for their niche causes. Add congressional lobbying by pharmaceutical companies and you have a big steaming expensive mess. As we look for alternatives, Canada keeps coming to mind. Turns out the numbers simply do not add up. From Canada's Financial Post:

Why Canada’s ‘best’ health-care system just got ranked last — again
Because liberal Americans see us, in this age of Trump, as an oasis of sanity in a worldwide desert of populism, The New York Times is doing more reporting on Canada, presumably so its U.S. readers don’t lose all hope that saner choices could be available in an alternative world.

It also offers a weekly “Canada letter” on worthwhile and actually sometimes interesting Canadian initiatives. Recently the letter reported on a health-care tournament the Times organized in which five experts decided which of eight rich countries had the best health-care system.

We didn’t win. In fact, we went out in the first round, losing to Britain, which then lost to Switzerland, which ultimately beat France, though only by three votes to two in the final. Other first-round losers were Singapore, Australia and Germany. The U.S. made it to the semis where it was beaten by France, three votes to two.

Wait times were the big issue. This is a perfect example of rationing which is what Obamacare and Single Payer will be implementing. "Free" medical is only good if you can get it in a timely manner.

Is he pulling a Polanski?

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From TMZ:

Harvey Weinstein is boarding a private jet Tuesday night, bound for a rehab center in Europe for sex addiction ... sources connected with the former mogul tell TMZ.

We're told Harvey has decided to take the advice of the people around him and leave immediately. We're told he will enter a live-in facility and will deal both with sex and other behavioral issues.

Our sources say Weinstein is surprisingly calm, considering the PR nightmare engulfing him. As one source put it, "He has his moments where there are bursts, but for the most part he's pretty calm."

We're told Weinstein still believes he can get help, come back and make a fresh start. As a source close to Weinstein put it, "He wants to come back with fresh, new ideas." As we reported, he and his team are in settlement discussions with The Weinstein Co. and the idea of him serving in some outside capacity is still on the table.

Pulling a Polanski? From Infogalactic:

Roman Polanski
Rajmund Roman Thierry Polański (born 18 August 1933), known professionally as Roman Polanski, is a French-Polish film director, producer, writer, and actor. Having made films in Poland, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States, he is considered one of the few "truly international filmmakers".

And why this matters?

In 1977, after a photo shoot in Los Angeles, Polanski was arrested for the rape of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer and pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful sex with a minor. He was released from prison after serving 42 days and was told he would be put on probation. When he learned that the judge planned to renege on that promise, he fled to Paris before sentencing.

No extradition - even after several attempts by the US he remains at large. Looks like Harvey might be taking cues from a master.

Didn't take them long to find out that their modest stream of revenue turned into a trickle as people started doing their shopping outside of Cook County. From The Chicago Tribune:

Cook County Board repeals pop tax
The Cook County Board finished the job on Wednesday and repealed the controversial pop tax, which means soda drinkers won’t have to pay it come Dec. 1.

The repeal was a foregone conclusion after the board’s Finance Committee voted 15-1 on Tuesday, signaling the pop tax would be scrapped after just four months.

The Wednesday voice vote — two commissioners voted no — came despite a defiant 2018 budget address last week by Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who maintained the $200 million a year she expected the pop tax to raise was needed to avoid 11 percent across-the-board cuts. She warned of reductions in critical public health and criminal justice programs.

The tax was one cent per ounce of pop - enough that people started shopping outside of Cook County and the projected $200 million revenue was actually a fraction of that. Besides, people do not like being "nudged" and the soda pop tax was a perfect example of a socal nudge trying to get people to consume less.

Sick blogging - day two

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I think that this is the worst day - hope so anyway. Tried to sleep for a while but was too wired from the cold medicine.

Puttering around the house. Can't type or spell worth a damn.


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Got some white stuff at the 3,000 foot level of Black Mountain.

The long-range forecast is for cold and wet so looking at another excellent ski season.

Still cruddy

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Slept well but woke up feeling pretty cruddy - the usual litany of complaints: stuffy head, headache, body ache, fever. Taking some Alka Seltzer and heading out for coffee and post office. Get out of the house for a little bit.

Got nothing tonight

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Time to switch to the evening cold meds and jump into bed.

Watching some YouTube and surfing but nothing catches my eye.

Send off an email to T and pack it in for the night. Sleep in tomorrow.

Time for some dinner

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Fixing a salad and some of the left-over beef barley soup. The Alka Seltzer has kicked in - feeling less of a body ache and feverish. Glad that I do not have anything scheduled for the next few days though. T has been emailing me as she works so we are having a lot of fun keeping in touch.

Fun with new toy

Got my new cell phone synced to the computer so busy poking around its internals. Fun stuff and am already fairly familiar with Android.

The cell phone stores carry these "special" cables for $35 each but you can just get a bundle of four of them shipped to your door for ten bucks. I'll keep them around for charging the phone as well as moving data around. I also got one of these keyboards because typing on the screen is a bit of a pain.

Now waiting for the Alka Seltzer Plus to kick in.

Back from town and my butt is draggin'

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The cold meds have worn off - time to take another dose. I will be heating up some of the left-over beef barley soup I made last night - good thing I made a couple of quarts.

Surf for a bit, do laundry and hang out here for a couple of days - feels like i have had 30% of my brain surgically removed... Can't type or spell worth a damn.

Oh - and I got a notice summoning me to Jury Duty starting November 6th. Happy happy joy joy.

Happy Ada Lovelace Day

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From the website Finding Ada:

Celebrating women in STEM
Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) is an international celebration day of the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.

Founded in 2009 by Suw Charman-Anderson, it is now held every year on the second Tuesday of October. It features a flagship Ada Lovelace Day Live! ‘science cabaret’ event in London, UK, at which women in STEM give short talks about their work or about other women who have inspired them, or perform short comedy or musical interludes with a STEM focus. This year's event will be held on Tuesday 10 October 2017 at the Ri in London

The day also includes dozens of grassroots events around the worldorganised entirely independently from the ALD Live! event. These events take many forms — from conferences to Wikipedia ‘edit-a-thons’ to pub quizzes — and appeal to all ages, from girls to university students to women with well-established careers. Every year, people in dozens of countries across six continents put on their own event to support women in their own communities. Anyone can hold an event, so why not get involved?

Ada was an amazing person - a biography can be found here: Ada Lovelace: Victorian computing visionary

UPDATE: Found the video

Things are getting interesting. The Republicans have won the Presidency, the House and the Senate but they are still proving to be ineffectual RINOs - Republicans In Name Only.

As their nemesis gets ready - from Real Clear Politics:

Bannon Declares War On GOP Establishment: "We're Coming After All Of Them And We're Going To Win"
On Monday's edition of Hannity, Breitbart executive chairman and former Trump adviser Steve Bannon talked about his plan to challenge every Republican Senator up for re-election in 2018 in the primary, except Sen. Ted Cruz. Bannon said Republican incumbents have committed "economic hate crimes" against the "forgotten man."

Bannon said he is declaring "war" on the Republican establishment and those that don't back what President Trump ran on. He said there is a "new game in town" and promised to "cut off the oxygen" to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and stop his fundraising for establishment candidates. Bannon said any person running for the Senate in 2018 that wants his support must oppose McConnell as the Republican Leader.

Heh - about time. President Trump gave them more than enough time to see if they would work with him or continue to support the deep state. They let their affiliations be known so now it is time to get rid of them and bring in people who will be responsive to the wishes of We The People.

Much more at the site - a good read. Time to make a big bowl of popcorn, sit back and watch the fur fly...

Off to town - truck maintenence

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Heading in to town for routine maintenence on my truck. Woke up feeling like crap so not planning on doing anything for the next few days - playing hermit and staying quiet until this cold passes.

Not even getting coffee so you know it's serious!

And that is it - YouTube and bed

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Sorry for the dearth of posting but I have been coming down with some crud the last few days and only today realizing it. Should have figured something was up what with all the extended sleeping but nooooo...

Watching a bit of YouTube for the evening and then heading up to an early bedtime. T is very busy with her teaching - a major event this Thursday so prepping for that. Depending on how I feel, we will be getting together this weekend and spending the next two weeks together. She is ten years younger than me so still working for a while longer.

Perfect night for soup

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Still feeling a bit cruddy so made a big pot of beef barley soup. Came out great. Thawed a 3 pound piece of flank steak, pressure cooked it for 40 minutes until it was fall-apart tender. Added the barley, carrots and peas for ten more minutes and then let it simmer at atmospheric pressure for another five minutes until the barley was done perfectly. Added a bunch of garlic and hot peppers so this will clean out my sinuses and boost my immune system. Just the thing.

One funny aspect of this is that my spelling has taken a major hit. Thank heavens for spall-chuck!

Great news from President Trump's Environmental Protection Agency - from the New York Times:

E.P.A. Announces Repeal of Major Obama-Era Carbon Emissions Rule
The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would take formal steps to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature policy to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, setting up a bitter fight over the future of America’s efforts to tackle global warming.

At an event in eastern Kentucky, Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said that his predecessors had departed from regulatory norms in crafting the Clean Power Plan, which was finalized in 2015 and would have pushed states to move away from coal in favor of sources of electricity that produce fewer carbon emissions.

“The war on coal is over,” Mr. Pruitt said. “Tomorrow in Washington, D.C., I will be signing a proposed rule to roll back the Clean Power Plan. No better place to make that announcement than Hazard, Ky.”

Good - we have about 500 years of coal left given our current rate of energy consumption. Clean coal plants can be built, older plants can be retrofitted. Use what we have to bootstrap ourselves into energy of the future - Thorium and LFTRs. The one thing that stands in the way of human progress is expensive energy - cheap energy is what fueled the industrial revolution, the five day work-week, labor saving devices, technology as we know it. All as a direct result of cheap energy.

Well that was fast - 102 days

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The road to Artist Point closed today - snow. From the DOT:

Road to Artist Point now closed to vehicle traffic
Sightseers who want to take in fall views from Artist Point this year, will need to go on foot. The scenic road to Artist Point on State Route 542 has closed to vehicle traffic for the rest of the year.

The gate on SR 542 to Artist Point closed for the season on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017.

October snow and ice concerns in the North Cascades forced Washington State Department of Transportation maintenance crews to close the gate at the Bagley Lakes Trailhead. The annual closure of the final 2.7 miles of highway is for the safety of travelers and crews.

Artist Point season, by the numbers
This year's season of 102 days may have seemed quick but it wasn't the shortest season on record.

    • In 2008, the road was open for 81 days.
    • In 2011, there was too much snow to, cost-effectively, open the highway past the Heather Meadows Visitors Center.
    • In 2016, a light winter allowed a May 14 opening. The road remained open for 172 days.
    • In 2017, for the first time, WSDOT crews worked seven days a week to open on Thursday, June 29.

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest says nearly 12,000 people stopped by their Heather Meadows visitor center in 2017. That does not include travelers who went directly to Artist Point or visited during off-peak hours.

I remember 2011 very well - business was off over 12% that summer - Artist Point draws a lot of traffic through our little hamlet and most of those people will stop and shop given the opportunity.

Back from town - long day tomorrow

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Plus the added benefit of coming down with some kind of crud. There is a lot of it going around up here.

The memorial service was a nice one with about 100 people in attendance. There were about a dozen people from our local radio group (WECG) so we occupied most of a pew. I knew Don from his work getting people trained to use amateur radios at the local branch of the Red Cross but it turns out he was also a fire fighter and Chief both here and in Eastern Washington. Had a lot of his fellows in full dress uniform and there was a bagpiper playing as people filed out after the service.

Had a bunch of other stuff to take care of in town - my truck tabs are due at the end of the month, wanted to track down a protective case for my new phone. I had ordered one from Amazon but it was the wrong one - the descriptions are pretty ambiguous. Been having fun getting my old cell phone number ported from TracPhone to T-Mobile - each are pointing their fingers at the other.

It will be nice to use for photography as there are a bunch of Android apps that I use - astronomical calculators - moon and sunrise, etc... as well as exposure calculators for time-lapse shooting and my tablet is nice but too big to just grab and go. The phone fits in my pocket.

Just downed a shot of my Elderberry Tincture to help minimize whatever is crawling through my immune system. Making a big pot of beef barley soup for dinner.

Up early today

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Was not planning to be wide awake at 6:30AM but a friend's memorial service is this morning so here I am.

Coffee place opens at 7:30 so taking a shower, making sure the critters have fresh water and heading out for coffee and then in to Bellingham.

Aaaaand the usual

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Heading over to YouTube land - long day tomorrow so early bedtime.

Harvey Weinstein in the media

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The New York Times ran an article about how Mr. Weinstein was using his position of power to have sex with actresses - this had been going on for decades. Mr. Weinstein has subsequently been  fired from his company. One story and one tweet:

From Sharon Waxman writing at The Wrap:

‘Harvey Weinstein’s Media Enablers’? The New York Times Is One of Them
A whole lot of fur has been flying since last Thursday, when The New York Times published a game-changing investigative story about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct that in lightning speed brought the mogul to his knees.

He apologized and took an immediate leave of absence from the company he co-founded, but that wasn’t enough. His board members and legal advisers have been resigning en masse. And as new, ugly details emerge of three decades of settlements for sex-related offenses, he’s quickly becoming a national pariah.

I applaud The New York Times and writers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey for getting the story in print. I’m sure it was a long and difficult road.

Except, a few years ago:

In 2004, I was still a fairly new reporter at The New York Times when I got the green light to look into oft-repeated allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. It was believed that many occurred in Europe during festivals and other business trips there.

And (of course):

The story I reported never ran.

After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at the Times, the story was gutted.

Follow that up with this pitch-perfect tweet from Laurie Stark:

Remember: The Weinstein Company didn't fire Harvey because they found out he was a sexual predator. They fired him because WE found out.

Absolutely correct.

Political quote of the week

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So true - time to drain the swamp - both parties:

The wrath of country club Republicans never burns so hotly nor are they ever so energetic as when they have base Republican voters in their sights. Democrats they can deal with, but a peasant voter uprising within their own ranks? That deserves a pogrom.
Chris Buskirk, at  ‘Bama Blowout Signals the End of the McConnell Era

Tip 'o the hat to Maggie's Farm for the link.

Back home - had dinner out

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Drove the eight miles up to Glacier to have dinner at Graham's - despite having a steak thawed out in the fridge, I did not feel like cooking so went out for a burger.

Memorial service for a friend tomorrow morning in town so early bedtime tonight - surf for a bit and then YouTube first.

Arrrggghhhh - I goofed

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Got the trim pieces all stained and ready to install. Got the first piece glued up and fired the nailgun. Misfire. The nail jammed in the gun.

I brought 21 gauge nails and was using a 23 gauge nail-gun - the nails were eight thou too large. 0.033 when the gun was expecting 0.025 to be exact. Got the glue washed off as best as I could and heading back over there to finish the job...

To add insult to injury, I had an employee installing the LED striplights around the window frames. The peel-n-stick adhesive didn't. Bringing my hot glue gun tomorrow.

My new cell phone is a Motorola Z - came highly liked from several owners and am happy with it so far. Went to their website to see about available apps to download and was presented with this wonderful screen:


Nothing but placeholders. I'll try again later. One thing is that I routinely do not run Flash on my computers - too bug-ridden and too many epic security failures. Maybe their website still uses Flash?

Off to work - coffee first

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Installing some LED strip lighting around the windows of the store today as well as working on the coffee service (almost done)

More posting in a couple of hours.

Off to YouTube

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T is sitting at her home correcting some test papers and we are messaging each other back and forth. We may be 90 miles apart but still very much connected.

Domestic bliss!

Switching over to YouTube for a while.

The murders in Las Vegas

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A bit of perspective:


More information? Hey Jackass has the numbers for you.

Quiet evening tonight

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Taking it easy tonight - working at the store tomorrow and then Monday and Tuesday are busy.

Surf for a bit, some YouTube and that will be it for me.

Oh the horror

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We have all been there with at least one of these:

Back home again - busy but good

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Fun day - met a lot of people and also got my new phone up and running. Into the space age with this puppy.

Only problem is that they did not transfer my old cell-phone number over, they assigned a new one to me so have a service call in to fix this. Arrrggghhhh...

UPDATE: They need to get a number from the old phone so it looks like I will not get it changed over until Monday - already going in to town for a memorial service so I will do it then. Smart phone but not so smart clerk.

Long day today

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Heading out for a local event - coffee first. Back in the early evening.

Cats and Dogs

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Mine are safely inside - it is pouring down buckets. Sounds great on the metal roof - big day tomorrow so getting an early bedtime.

Watching some YouTube videos on TIG Welding (want to hone my skills) and some general blacksmithing ones

Overheard at the store

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How do you milk a sheep?

Come out with a new iPhone and charge $1,000 for it.

It will be interesting to see if the billions of taxpayer dollars spent rebuilding and upgrading New Orlean's infrastructure were put to good use. Also interesting to see how well these systems were maintained - after all, it has been about ten years without a serious trial (Katrina happened in 2005 and I am assuming that it took a couple years for the stuff to be rebuilt/installed).

From Associated Press:

Nate aims at New Orleans: Will pumps to drain the city work?
When Tropical Storm Nate formed and forecasts put New Orleans in its projected path for this weekend, one big question loomed for residents and business owners: Will the pumps work?

“That’s now a thought in everybody who lives in New Orleans,” said Devin Shearman, a manager at Katie’s restaurant and lounge, which flooded during an unexpected rainstorm Aug. 5. It was one of two flash floods this past summer that led to revelations about personnel and equipment problems at the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board, the agency that runs the pumping system that drains the city.

Some pumps weren’t working. Some turbines that provide power to the pumps were down. There weren’t enough people on hand to man the system.

“Since early August, we have made substantial progress,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said of work to upgrade the city drainage system. But he warned at a Thursday news conference that extremely heavy rain and storm surge from Nate still could pose flood dangers.

I would not live there if you paid me. The government is too corrupt and the big construction contracts go to friends and relatives, not to those qualified. The citizens get bailouts and free government stuff so they don't bother voting in anyone who will make a difference. They need to just let it sink under its own weight. Nice try, some fun times but bye bye...

A fun day

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Did a bunch of work at the store and then ran into town to get some needed parts. Checked in at a local camera store - do this every couple weeks as there are a few used items I am looking for to round out my setup. Left there empty-handed and proceeded to head back to my favorite produce stand. Traffic was a bit backed up on the main road so took a side-street and low and behold, there was a sign for Kramer Knives. I knew that Bob lived and worked in Olympia so what was the deal?

Stopped in and it was Bob - his wife had to work in Olympia for a number of years but they always loved Bellingham and are now living up here full time. I took a couple of seminars from him during the blacksmithing meets at Mt. Hood a few years ago. Wonderful person and great teacher.

Up and at 'em

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Finally sleeping on a normal (well, whatever passes for normal around here) sleep schedule.

Woke up about an hour ago - heading out for coffee and working at the store for a little bit today.

Got rain and cooler temperatures forecast through the next week.

Back from town

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Went into Bellingham this afternoon - was planning to do it tomorrow but logistics were better for doing it today. Had some dinner there - Mexican.

Nothing much on the web. The Las Vegas shooter is turning out to be quite the bundle of contradictions. It will be weeks before we get the final story.

Heading over to watch some YouTube videos.

Finally broke down and ordered a smartphone - Motorola Z. I have a TracPhone which works OK but my service expires in a few weeks and am spending a lot more time in Seattle where there is coverage so makes sense to get something with voicemail and messaging capabilities. It is funny as I was one of the original early adopters with a large unit in my van and one of the original Motorola DynaTAC Bricks. I used those for a while (was selling a LOT of computers at that time), and then upgraded to the StarTAC and then a chain of nameless phones. When I moved out here, there was no cell reception so I just got a burner phone from Wal*Mart. Now it is time to upgrade again. Technology marches on...

George Soros is sticking his fingers where they should not be - from The Washington Times:

NFL players’ union teamed up with George Soros to fund leftist advocacy groups
Even before its feud over the national anthem with President Trump, the NFL Players Association wasn’t on the same political team as many of its fans, judging from its contributions to leftist advocacy groups.

Tax documents released by 2ndVote show the NFLPA donated $5,000 in 2015 to the Center for Community Change Action, a group active in the anti-Trump resistance and bankrolled by a host of liberal foundations, including top Democratic donor George Soros’s Foundation for Open Society.

A member of the AFL-CIO, the NFLPA also contributed in 2013 and 2015 to Working America, the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate, which Open Secrets said spent $1 million in 2016 to defeat Mr. Trump.

Working America has since mobilized against the Republican tax-cut framework, denouncing it as the “Trump tax scam.”

The NFLPA contributed $5,000 in 2014 to Jobs with Justice, another pro-union group backed by Mr. Soros, and $5,000 in 2013 to the progressive Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy.

Soros is a sociopath who needs to stop meddling in politics. The left is not grass roots populism - it is a focused agenda by people who want to create a one world government. This is the swamp that needs to be drained - these power-hungry tyrants are everywhere in our government.

Another day, another 2¢

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Heading out for the usual - coffee, post office, store.

Working at the store and at home today - drive to Bellingham tomorrow.

Downright spooky - YouTube

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Not sure if I like this level of awareness - it is convenient but how much OTHER information am I sharing.

Was watching a video at T's home a few days ago and shut it off after a few minutes. I went to return to it just now so I could finish the rest of it. Different computer, different IP address, different MAC address. Went to the site and it was cued up right where I left off.

Feel like I need to spray the computer down with bleach or something...

And that is it for the night

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Dinner was great - thawed out a steak and grilled that with some sauteed cabbage. The pups really appreciated the leftovers :)

Was watching some YouTube videos and now reading a book. Planning an early bedtime - sleeping in this morning was wonderful but don't want to start a trend. Lots to do over the next couple of days.

What is time

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Here we go again - Nate

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From Florida's Miami Herald:

Tropical Storm Nate, expected later today, to hit Gulf Coast as a hurricane
A tropical depression churning across the southern Caribbean could become Tropical Storm Nate by late Wednesday, on track to hit the Gulf Coast, and possibly Florida, as a hurricane over the weekend.

In their latest advisory, National Hurricane Center forecasters said the storm is moving over warm waters and encountering light wind shear that could allow quick intensification. It’s possible sustained winds could reach 85 mph in three days, making it a Category 1 storm as it approaches the Gulf coast on Saturday. Wednesday evening forecasters upped their intensity forecast from earlier in the day, but said there’s still a chance the storm could weaken as it crosses Central America and the Yucatan.

Luck of the draw - we have had a wonderful twelve year hiatus from damaging hurricanes but chance is chance. This years events are statistics and not global warming.

Puerto Rico - an idea for rebuilding

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Great idea - from Benjamin R. Dierker writing at the Foundation for Economic Education:

How Puerto Rico Can Rebuild and Become the Hong Kong of the West
After a particularly devastating hurricane season, Puerto Rico has an uncertain future. Already mismanaged and saddled with debt, the island territory now faces the virtually insurmountable task of rebuilding its infrastructure and economy. But amidst the rubble and heartache lies one of the greatest opportunities in the modern era not just to rebuild, but to reimagine the possibilities for economic and political freedom.

Two simple but powerful steps taken by Congress could hasten recovery and redefine the trajectory of the island’s future. First, the United States should assume all of Puerto Rico’s outstanding bond debt. Second, in exchange for debt assumption, the federal government should establish the island as an Economic Freedom Zone. Within a year, these reforms would help rebuild Puerto Rico; within a decade, they could rebuild our conception of the free market in the Western Hemisphere.

Benjamin talks about Economic Freedom Zones and what they can do:

The second step of the proposal is the establishment of an Economic Freedom Zone, which would set off an explosion of growth. The zone would flatten or suspend numerous taxes and regulations, prompting an immediate increase in productivity. The less restricted environment with more available resources would open the doors to investment and real estate development. Velocity of money would increase at the same time as new money is infused and invested into the economy, as relatively wealthier locals combining with aide workers, construction crews, and business investors spend on the island economy.

Suspending or streamlining environmental regulations would allow expedited construction on essential infrastructure projects, and needless economic hindrances like the Jones Act would finally be dissolved. Serving as a case study on microeconomics, the federal minimum wage would be suspended to allow private actors to negotiate their wages during the rebuilding effort. The government would no longer rob the worker of his bargaining power by mandating a price floor on labor.

Taking inspiration from Hong Kong and Singapore, governance from a lean, honest, and efficient local government, combined with openness to international investment and trade, will allow Puerto Rico to capture business that would be regulated away in the States – if they were allowed to get off the ground at all.

Sounds like a win/win scenario. The US 'enjoys' one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. We need to change this.

It's baaaack!!!

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Looks like La Niña is back for Winter - cold and snowy weather ahead:


From Anthony:

Cooler Global Temperatures Ahead: Indications are that La Niña is returning
Earlier this year, there were signs that a weak El Nino in the tropical Pacific Ocean could continue through the fall and even into the upcoming winter season, but there is now substantial agreement amongst numerous computer forecast models that La Nina conditions are likely to become established over the next couple of months and current observations back this notion. La Nina is a naturally occurring oceanic cycle that produces colder-than-normal sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Pacific Ocean whereas El Nino is associated with warmer-than-normal SSTs.  The formation of La Nina in the tropical Pacific Ocean will likely have important ramifications around the world including significant impacts on the upcoming winter season, next summer’s tropical season, and global temperatures.

Great for the ski season.

Working at home

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Spent a couple hours at the store doing bills and other paperwork.

Working at home today - unpacking truck and busting up some clutter in the space off the kitchen. This is where I want to have my photo/video computer set up. Got a table for this at my Mom and Dad's storage locker so clearing that out a bit too.

Got a NY Strip steak thawing out for dinner tonight. Nothing much happening on the web - still too early to understand the full story behind the Las Vegas a**hole.

Another gorgeous day in paradise

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The fall colors have hit here hard - gorgeous clear day. Heading out for coffee, post office, store and then working at home for the day.

Had the first real frost of the year this morning - got down to 28.9°F last night and expected to get colder tonight.

And that is it for the night

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Nothing to report, the internet faeries brought me nada. Lots of theories, leads, rumors but nothing concrete.

Back home - fed a lot of people

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Had 70 people come through the door but many of them went through the line more than once and some of them took servings to go. Hunger is a big problem in this part of the county so it was good to be able to help out. Made about nine gallons of sauce, fifteen dry pounds of pasta, ten gallons of lemonade, ten pounds of salad and fifteen loaves of garlic bread. Served a lot of food.

Nice publicity for the store as not everyone knew about us. Spent some time explaining where it was (no, it is not the convenience store owned by the Koreans) and what all we carried. Now is the slow season until Mt. Baker opens for skiing so the more people coming through our doors, the merrier.

Surf for a bit and then to bed - sleep in tomorrow...

Off for the day

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Heading out for coffee and then in to town to shop for tonight's dinner. Feeding 150 people salad, garlic bread, vegetarian spaghetti and ice cream - our local community center hosts a monthly dinner and Crossroads is sponsoring it tonight.

I will be out of touch for the next eight hours or so...

Puttering around the kitchen, looking at some new books I received and now it is time to head over to YouTube to see what the internet fairies have brought for me.

Very busy day tomorrow!

Puerto Rico - a two-fer

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There is a big difference between what the mainstream media are reporting and what is actually happening in that beautiful island.
First - from Roger L. Simon:

Puerto Rico Enters the 'Great American Victim Derby'
Seems like everyone's a victim in the USA these days, from college "snowflakes" who can't abide someone with views unlike theirs within miles of their campuses to allegedly assaulted women wearing sexually explicit hats to multi-millionaire football players who are sure there's something wrong but can't always remember what it is (other than Donald Trump).  The latest of the many entries in this "Great American Victim Derby" is Puerto Rico -- or at least a significant part of the island's leadership.

And the money shot:

If you visit a tropical island, the last thing on your mind is work. You want to kick back and enjoy neverneverland as long as you can. To some extent, it's the same for locals. Dolce far niente is a great lifestyle, if you can hack it -- seemingly stress free. I'm envious. But everything has a price. You look around and things are dissolving . No infrastructure. No nada. Calamity strikes. And there you are asking for a handout again.

I'm not saying we shouldn't help Puerto Rico. We must and should. The situation is dreadful. But this is a learning opportunity for the islanders. They should take it. Blaming Donald Trump is the most reactionary and self-destructive thing they can do. It's victimhood redux. Leave that to the rapacious ideologues at CNN, the New York Times, etc. They'd blame the eruption of the Indonesian volcanoes on Trump, if that were possible -- and even it it weren't.

Despite what global warming fanatics might say, hurricanes are nothing new in Puerto Rico. There were obviously plenty of them from time immemorial, long before the island was even inhabited. If you're living on the island you know that from childhood. Every year brings a hurricane season. For the last decade it was pretty inconsequential, then it went crazy. It's God's lottery.

Read the whole thing.
Second, this brief excerpt from Ace of Spades:

In other news, the major story is the hideous behavior of the hack mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz. First she praises FEMA for their response then, I guess after receiving her talking points from the Media Complex, blasts away at President Trump for letting people die in the streets; kind of an ironic statement from Cruz considering when she gave it, she was standing in front of a warehouse full of foodstuffs and supplies just brought in from the mainland. In fact, she was so utterly full of shit that even the grand wizard of being full of shit, Geraldo Rivera, called her on it. But unlike Dubya, who just silently sat by and allowed assholes like Spike Lee and Kanye West to accuse him of committing genocide against Chocolate City, the President and his team are having none of it. And the collective head of the Left is exploding because neither is a large majority of Americans having any of it either.

Good. You want to squander your budget on programs which "sound good" but don't "do good" - fine. And enjoy those extra votes from all of the low-information voters out there. Do not come crying to me when you run out of money. The major part of leadership is making hard decisions. President Trump did not win a popularity contest. He was not running as a popular candidate. He ran as someone who could fix things. He may be an a**hole but he is OUR a**hole and he is making America a better place for you and me. I am comfortable with that.

Four years under Hillary would have been a disaster - she was never fit for office - her tenure as Sec. State shows this loud and clear.

T and I were talking about Puerto Rico earlier today - just for reference, it is about the size of Connecticut which is about 1/20th the size of WA State. Population of P.R. is about 3.4 million people. WA State is 7.2M and Connecticut is 3.5M - we are a large state but we have a lot of wilderness and farm land.

Dinner and time to surf

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Finally got around to fixing dinner - had to get the dogs fed, truck unpacked, etc, etc, etc...

Sitting down to a salad and a Costco roti chicken. There is a bottle of wine on the counter with a few inches of ambrosia remaining - a bit early but a glass or two does not sound bad. Long drive today so a little something to steady the nerves. That's the ticket - medicinal purposes!

Still no word as to the motivation of the Las Vegas murderer. I hope that he rots in hell.

Back in Maple Falls for the next while

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Doing a community dinner tomorrow and have a CERT event on Saturday. A local amateur radio person passed away a few days ago so attending their memorial service next Monday. He did a lot with the Red Cross and was a pillar of the community.

Unpacking the truck, fixing dinner and slash and burning my way through 600+ emails.

Still too early to tell what happened but this is the worst mass murder in US history.

I am sure further details will be forthcoming.

Off to YouTube

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T is grading a test and has a very early bedtime - back to work tomorrow. Driving back up to Bellingham tomorrow for a few days. Crossroads is hosting a community dinner and need to shop for that. Doing a CERT event that following Saturday so it will be a busy week ahead.

Watch some YouTube and then to bed...

Puerto Rico in the news again

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This time from a native son who went to the United States for an education and then returned to help build his country. From the New York Post:

‘Inept’ Puerto Rican government ‘riddled with corruption’: CEO
For the last 30 years, the Puerto Rican government has been completely inept at handling regular societal needs, so I just don’t see it functioning in a crisis like this one. Even before the hurricane hit, water and power systems were already broken. And our $118 billion debt crisis is a result of government corruption and mismanagement.

The governor Ricardo Rossello has little experience. He’s 36 and never really held a job and never dealt with a budget. His entire administration is totally inexperienced and they have no clue how to handle a crisis of this magnitude.

A bit more:

I’m really tired of Puerto Rican government officials blaming the federal government for their woes and for not acting fast enough to help people on the island. Last week I had three federal agents in my office and I was so embarrassed; I went out of my way to apologize to them for the attitude of my government and what they have been saying about the US response. When the hurricane hit we had experts from FEMA from all over the US on the ground and I was really proud of their quick response. The first responders and FEMA have all been outstanding in this crisis, and should be supported.

I have 50 engineers that I have sent out pro bono to help local companies get back on their feet. This includes getting people gasoline and cash, and helping them connect to others that can assist with repairs without delays.

I won’t allow my people to work with the local government.

I have a message for the U.S. Congress: Watch out what relief funds you approve and let our local government handle. Don’t let the Puerto Rican government play the victim and fool you. They have no clue what they are doing, and I worry that they will mishandle anything that comes their way.

Hurricane Maria was a horrible disaster but maybe this is what was needed to shake the citizens out of their lethargy and get them to elect someone who can actually lead instead of dispense bread and circuses and mouth the progressive narrative. This also from FEMA Chief Brock Long - NBC News:

FEMA Chief Brock Long Says Puerto Rico Relief ‘Most Logistically Challenging Event’ U.S. Has Ever Seen
Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Sunday that hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico are the "most logistically challenging event that the United States has ever seen" and defended the federal response.

"We're not going to be satisfied until the situation is stabilized and the bottom line is that this is the most logistically challenging event that the United States has ever seen," Long said on "Fox News Sunday. "And we have been moving and pushing as fast as the situation allows."

I will be looking forward to reading the after-action reports on this one. A classic case of endemic mismanagement.

From Zero Hedge:

The Results Are In: 89% Of Catalans Vote For Independence
In further proof that Spain's brutal crackdown on today's Catalan independence referendum only helped bolster the seccessionist cause, the regional government announced that voters had overwhelmingly voted in favor of independence, with 89% voting to separate from Spain.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, Catalan government spokesman Jordi Turull announced that 2,262,424 ballot papers had been counted. There were 2,020,144 "yes" votes, or just under 90% of the total, and just 176,565 "no" votes.

The regional government has promised to officially declare independence within 48 hours.

Even though Spanish authorities ruled that the vote was illegal, Dimitrij Rupel, head of the International Parliamentary delegation on Catalonia’s referendum, said at a news conference in Barcelona on Sunday that the referendum on independence was prepared in agreement with Spanish existing legislation, potentially setting up the regional government for a legal battle.

In a speech earlier this evening, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who tried to suppress the vote by jailing public officials, shutting down electronic voting systems, ordering police to manually destroy ballots and seal off polling places, declared that no referendum had taken place.

All eyes now turn to Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont as tensions between Spain and its restive state are expected to come to a head, as the prospect of intensifying street violence looms.

Interesting times - that Spain went to such lengths to suppress the vote makes me wonder what they will do next. Catalonia is a rich state and they did not like paying for Spain's failed energy policies and social welfare programs. The sooner the fools in Brussels disband and the EU breaks up, the better for everyone. National sovereignty is the way to go.

Great news on the nuclear front

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This is for traditional reactors but still - a big step forward. From Reuters:

U.S. offers Vogtle nuclear plant $3.7 billion in loan guarantees
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said on Friday it has offered an additional loan guarantee of up to $3.7 billion to companies building two nuclear reactors at the Vogtle plant in the state of Georgia.

And the driving force behind this decision:

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has remarked he wants to make nuclear power “cool again,” said in a statement that the “future of nuclear energy in the United States is bright” and that he looks forward to “expanding American leadership in innovative nuclear technologies.”

Very good - renewables are all right but they are not capable of providing reliable baseload electricity plus, when the government subsidies are added in, they are a lot more expensive. I wish that work in LFTR Reactors would go faster - that is the way of the future but conventional nuke is a great start.

Puerto Rico - the mayor

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President Trump criticized the San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. Puerto Rico's infrastructure was alreay in tatters and Hurricane Marie just tipped it over the edge. Now other mayors are weigning in - from The Daily Caller:

EXCLUSIVE: Fellow Puerto Rico Mayor Rips San Juan Mayor — ‘She’s Not Participating In Any Meetings’
The mayor of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico cast serious doubt Saturday on the claims made by San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who has repeatedly attacked President Trump and accused him of abandoning Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

Guaynabo’s mayor, Angel Perez, said in an interview with The Daily Caller that his experience with the federal government has been different from Cruz’s, in part because — unlike Cruz — he has been participating in meetings with officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal agencies.

Of course, the reality does not mesh with the progressive narrative:

Mayor Perez told TheDC that the story Cruz is telling the media doesn’t mesh with what he has seen from the federal government.

“My experience is different. I have been participating in different meetings at the headquarters of FEMA and our government and the help is coming in and right now my experience is different from hers. I’m receiving help from the government, we are receiving assistance from FEMA, I got people over here helping us with applications for the people that have damage in their houses. And we have here in Guaynabo, we have thousands of people that lost partially or totally their houses,” said Perez, who is a member of Puerto Rico’s New Progressive Party.

Perez’s comments echoed what FEMA administrator Brock Long said on Saturday. Long defended Trump’s tweets blasting Cruz and indicated that Cruz has failed to connect with the FEMA command center set up on the island to help with the relief effort.

Perez is showing what leadership looks like - Cruz is just sticking to the established narrative.

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