When the reality hits

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I hope a lot of these morons serve jail time - six months to a year would be great. Not long enough to be a martyr but enough to make them take notice and think of their actions. From Glen at Instapundit:

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Such sweet sweet schadenfreude!

California flooding

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Things are bad down there - from San Jose's The Mercury News:

San Jose mayor: Clear ‘failure’ led to record flooding
A day after rescuers boated hundreds of people to safety during San Jose’s worst flooding in decades, city officials Wednesday let many of the 14,000 evacuated residents return home and blamed the sudden breach of Coyote Creek on bad information about its capacity.

The flooding followed a series of heavy rains that filled Anderson Reservoir to capacity. Downstream, Coyote Creek quickly swelled to four feet above flood level, cresting at 14.4 feet around 3 p.m. Tuesday and breaking a 95-year-old record of 12.8 feet set in 1922.

For many, the flooding came with no warning. Mayor Sam Liccardo acknowledged residents should not have first learned of the danger when rescuers arrived by boat to evacuate them. Hundreds remained displaced Wednesday, with the city and Red Cross offering two high schools that are closed for spring break as overnight shelters that drew about 275 people.

Officials have yet to begin assessing damage to the neighborhoods, where the city has already issued health warnings about the dangerously polluted floodwaters, and it may be weeks before life is back to normal for residents in some of the most badly damaged homes.

Three places I would never live - adjacent to any large body of water, especially the coast of Oregon or Washington, near a potential landslide or on a flood plain. These areas may have spectacular scenery but the danger is just too great.

Nancy Pelosi - mental issues?

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I had mentioned it before here, here, here, here, here, and here but over the last eight months (the 'here' links are chronological starting at June 2016), Senator Nancy Pelosi has been showing some marked lapses in cognitive function. Today's example is from The American Mirror:

Pelosi breakdown? Repeats words, tells audience to clap, Kasich ‘gov of Illinois’
Is there something wrong with Nancy Pelosi?

During a Friday appearance before Families USA — the activist group fighting the repeal of Obamacare — Pelosi was seen repeating words, telling the audience when to clap and mistakingly said John Kasich was the governor of Illinois.

There is a highlights video at the site - talk about a trainwreck...

The best and brightest - Keith Ellison

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Keith Ellison is being touted as the next Chairman of the Democratic National Committee - his ties to screwy Louis Farrakahn makes this a very curious decision on the part of the Democrats.

Here he is saying that the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor:

From a magazine that used to be really good - Scientific American:

California Dam Crisis Could Have Been Averted
By now we have all seen the spectacular images of volumes of water crashing down the Oroville Dam spillway in California and blasting upward into the air as they hit an enormous crater in the spillway floor, flooding down the adjacent hillside, threatening people in towns below. Those images reveal a big mistake: failure to update infrastructure to defend against climate change.

The menacing floodwaters last week forced the emergency evacuation of 188,000 residents. Yet the impending disaster came as no surprise to officials in Butte and Plumas counties. The rural counties, which surround Lake Oroville, had challenged the state’s environmental review of dam operations in a 2008 lawsuit, arguing the state "recklessly failed" to properly account for climate change in its long-term dam management plan.

The dam was built in the 1960s when temperatures were cooler and more precipitation was stored in a greater snowpack in the mountains of the Feather River watershed, which drains into Lake Oroville. Today warming temperatures are bringing more rain as well as melting the Sierra Nevada snowpack earlier in the spring. As the counties’ attorneys predicted, among the results is a rush of downhill water much faster than in the past. “We anticipated that this crisis might come about,” says Tony Rossmann, special counsel to Butte County.

So many logical flaws, so little time.

Warm weather does not necessarily bring more rain - warm air holds more water by volume than cool air so if it is warm, there is less chance of rainfall. The real cause was lack of maintenance and it looks like the concrete spillway was not built well to begin with. The dam was built in the 1960's when it was cooler - yes, so cool that the climate scientists were yammering about global cooling - the next ice age. Here is the rainfall data for Los Angeles dating back to 1877 - see for yourself. There are ten years or so of minimal rainfall and then a year or two of well above average. This is called climate and there is nothing unusual in this pattern - it is normal for the Los Angeles area.

Liberal tolerance

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Swiped from Gerard:

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The mainstream media

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This will be fun to watch but I am getting sick of eating so many bowls of popcorn - need to find another snack food as things unravel:

And, liberal bias in the media is not a new thing - the New York Times' reporting on Hitler's Holocaust during WW-II - in a nutshell, they did not report it.

150th Anniversary: 1851-2001; Turning Away From the Holocaust
And then there was failure: none greater than the staggering, staining failure of The New York Times to depict Hitler's methodical extermination of the Jews of Europe as a horror beyond all other horrors in World War II -- a Nazi war within the war crying out for illumination.

The annihilation of six million Jews would not for many years become distinctively known as the Holocaust. But its essence became knowable fast enough, from ominous Nazi threats and undisputed eyewitness reports collected by American correspondents, agents and informants. Indeed, a large number of those reports appeared in The Times. But they were mostly buried inside its gray and stolid pages, never featured, analyzed or rendered truly comprehensible.

And they wonder why we do not trust them.

I take 5,000U every morning - big difference. From New Scientist:

Vitamin D supplements may prevent millions of winter infections
If everyone took vitamin D supplements, more than 3 million fewer people in the UK would have respiratory infections like colds or flu every year. That’s according to a new analysis of data from nearly 11,000 people.

Vitamin D is known to be important for bone and muscle health. Last year, Public Health England stated that people are not generally getting the recommended 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day from sunlight in winter. But whether vitamin D supplements can help has been a hot topic, with some arguing that benefits of taking these are uncertain.

The latest study pulled together data from 25 clinical trials, conducted in 14 countries. It concluded that supplements can help prevent acute respiratory tract infections, particularly among those who are deficient in vitamin D.

The most common respiratory tract infection is the common cold, but others include bronchitis, pneumonia, and infections of the sinuses or ears. At least 70 per cent of the population gets one or more respiratory infection in any given year.

But the study found that vitamin D supplements can cut the proportion of people getting such infections by 12 per cent. “Daily or weekly vitamin D supplements will mean 3.25 million fewer people would get at least one acute respiratory infection a year,” says Adrian Martineau, at Queen Mary, University of London, who led the study.

Interesting - I regularly take D, some baby aspirin and some multivitamins.

Time to replace the top management - from Associated Press:

AP Exclusive: Drugs vanish at some VA hospitals
Federal authorities are stepping up investigations at Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers due to a sharp increase in opioid theft, missing prescriptions or unauthorized drug use by VA employees since 2009, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press.

Doctors, nurses or pharmacy staff at federal hospitals — the vast majority within the VA system — siphoned away controlled substances for their own use or street sales, or drugs intended for patients simply disappeared.

Aggravating the problem is that some VA hospitals have been lax in tracking drug supplies. Congressional auditors said spot checks found four VA hospitals skipped monthly inspections of drug stocks or missed other requirements. Investigators said that signals problems for VA's entire network of more than 160 medical centers and 1,000 clinics, coming after auditor warnings about lax oversight dating back to at least 2009.

"Drug theft is an area of concern," Jeffrey Hughes, the VA's acting assistant inspector general for investigations, told AP. He said the monthly inspections could help the VA uncover potential discrepancies and root out crime.

Problem began in 2009 - Hmmmm. That is what weak leadership will do for you.

Our tax dollars at work

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From The Washington Free Beacon:

Feds Paid $1 Billion in Social Security Benefits to Individuals Without a SSN
The Social Security Administration paid $1 billion in benefits to individuals who did not have a Social Security Number (SSN), according to a new audit.

The agency’s inspector general found errors in the government’s documentation for representative payees, otherwise known as individuals who receive retirement or disability payments on behalf of another person who is incapable of managing the benefits themselves.

The audit released Friday found thousands of cases where there was no SSN on file.

Over the last decade, the agency paid $1 billion to 22,426 representative payees who "did not have an SSN, and SSA had not followed its policy to retain the paper application."

“Furthermore, unless it takes corrective action, we estimate SSA will pay about $182.5 million in benefits, annually, to representative payees who do not have an SSN or paper application supporting their selection,” the inspector general said.

Another swamp that needs draining. It is the corporate culture that fosters corruption like this - the individual government workers have no oversight and are not held responsible for any errors they make.

Coffee and working at home

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Nothing much else - had a couple of very busy days and now have a couple of easy ones. Back in an hour or so.

Had a very light dusting of snow last night but it is gone now.

Two good lists - prepping

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It is not IF, it is WHEN - the fecal matter is going to hit the air mover at some time in the future. In the Pacific Northwest, we are overdue for a very large off-shore earthquake. Where I live is in the foothills of an active volcano and this area is subject to earth movement. There is also a local faultline that produced a series of MAG5 earthquakes as recently as 1990.

A good two-fer from Happy Preppers:

You do not have to do this all at once. When you are shopping, pick up an extra can or two of tuna or beans or... Make sure to rotate through the food - first in, first out (FIFO). If you get dried foods - dry beans, rice, etc... be aware that you will need water to rehydrate this and fuel to cook it - sometime canned is a lot better.

Draining the swamp - State Department

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Time for another bowl of popcorn - from The Last Refuge:

Secretary Rex Tillerson Begins Deconstructing 7th Floor “Shadow Government” at Dept of State…
The term “shadow government” is not a construct of critics; it’s actually the term the professional bureaucrats within the 7th floor of the Washington DC based Department of State gave to themselves.

The career political operatives who reign within the State Department openly view themselves as a distinctly separate state governing authority, with no attachment to the policies or objectives of the United States presidency or any mere elected official therein.

For years this group has considered themselves “the untouchables”.

They live a life of high financed indulgence including: massive expense accounts, chartered airline travel, swanky cocktail parties, expense chauffeurs to take their kids to private school, seasonally designed home decor – appointed by only the very best interior designers, personal security to keep the commoners away, tickets to the best venues and reserved seating at elite DC restaurants.

With first rights to the budget expenditures, the 7th floor group finds no indulgence too extravagant for their intellectual elitism. They demand nothing but the finest because they are the most worthy of the DC professionally privileged – who are more equal than others; and after all, their jobs require them to host and visit like-minded diplomats, and celebrities with exclusive tastes from around the world.

Today, this elite crew collectively choked on their crust-less triangle sandwiches.

Why? Fired - almost every last one of them. The schadenfreude is such sweet joy!

The inmates are running the asylum

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And it is a local story too - from The Daily Caller:

College Writing Center Declares American Grammar A ‘Racist,’ ‘Unjust Language Structure’
An “antiracist” poster in a college writing center insists American grammar is “racist” and an “unjust language structure,” promising to prioritize rhetoric over “grammatical ‘correctness.'”

The poster, written by the director, staff, and tutors of the University of Washington, Tacoma’s Writing Center, states “racism is the normal condition of things,” declaring that it permeates rules, systems, expectations, in courses, school and society.

Christ on a Corn Dog - remember Ebonics from 1996? Thought not. The students should sue to get their tuition refunded - the U-Dub is setting them up for a big-time fail once they graduate and try to find work in the real world. Writing in dialect is fine to make a point but the little snowflakes should be able to diagram a sentence and be intimately familiar with Strunk and White (not that kind of white dammit!)

Back home again - great meeting

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It was a great meeting - all three groups (General, Digital and Repeater) meet on a given Tuesday evening in the Ferndale public library and they have a large screen and video projector so someone can come in and show to everyone what they are doing. Makes learning a software package a lot easier. Tonight, we worked on Xastir - from the website:

Xastir APRS Program
Xastir provides mapping, tracking, messaging, weather, weather alerts, and Search & Rescue features over radio or internet and runs on a variety of platforms. Xastir is an open source software project maintained by Developers and Contributors from all over the globe, provided free under the GNU General Public License. From its early beginnings, Xastir has evolved into a very robust client with a rich feature set that rivals other APRS clients.

Automatic Packet Reporting System (APRS) (also known as "Automatic Position Reporting System") is an amateur radio based digital communication system for real-time exchange of digital information to users on the network. APRS was originally developed by Bob Bruninga, WB4APR more than 20 years ago. It has since evolved into a robust system of interconnected networks. Xastir is a computer application that provides client access to this network using the APRS protocol

This program is really deep - lots of configuration options so it was good to have someone familiar with it walk us through on the big screen. I purchased three of the interfaces to work on my base station, my walkie-talkie and a third for any future projects (it was a group buy so we got a killer price for the hardware interface).

Lulu is coming out tomorrow afternoon for a few days so tomorrow will be spent clearing off the dining room table and picking up socks - my new Shepard Bear loves to pick my socks off the floor and walk around with them. I have yet to find one that he has chewed up, he just likes the smell of my feet. Go figure?

An interesting look at the Federal agency that regulates and licenses dams - from Frank Gaffney writing at Breitbart:

GAFFNEY: Whom to Blame for Oroville — and How President Trump Can Fix It
The forecast is for more rain around the Oroville Dam – and potential disaster for hundreds of thousands of Californians living downstream from its poorly designed emergency spillway.

Many bear responsibility for the real prospect of a catastrophic failure of that spillway. But ultimately, the buck stops with an obscure government agency 3,000 miles away: the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

FERC has known about systemic defects of the Oroville Dam for over a decade. In fact, back in 2005, this dam was supposed to be relicensed for fifty-years. But objections were heard from various citizen groups. They warned about soil-erosion at the emergency spillway giving rise to the potential for its catastrophic failure during high water conditions like those now present. Their calls for the spillway to be reinforced with concrete were ignored by the FERC which, instead, began granting annual one-year operating licenses in 2007.

And a closer look at FERC:

Unfortunately, this catastrophe-in-the-making in California is just one example of FERC’s shortcomings. The agency is overwhelmed by its extensive regulatory responsibilities and it is often captured by regulated interests. Consider the following contributing factors:

    • FERC is charged with overseeing far more than the nation’s dams. Each year, the agency processes over 1,000 orders for, among other things, electric utilities, natural gas pipelines, and hydroelectric facilities, with limited time for any individual matter, no matter how important.
    • FERC routinely adjudicates complex technical matters, yet many FERC commissioners in recent years have been lawyers, congressional staffers or lobbyists.
    • In addition, and especially of late, the five ostensibly “independent” FERC Commissioners have taken advantage of a “revolving door” between their official positions and well-paid jobs at entities they regulate – or the law firms or lobbying shops that serve them. For example, former FERC Commissioner Phillip Moeller left the commission to be a lobbyist at the Edison Electric Institute; former Commissioner Tony Clark left to become a counsel at a law firm serving utilities. (For more evidence of such inherent conflicts of interest, see here and here.)
    • Given this sweetheart-deal dynamic, it should come as no surprise that FERC has earned a reputation for serving as a “rubber stamp” for industry interests.

Politics and not engineering...

Nothing much to report - busy day

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Working at home this morning - out for coffee, paying bills, a meeting at the store and then heading in to town to do some banking and a meeting there (Amateur Radio digital group).

Minimal spew today - some when I get home again around 10PM or so.

Weather is gorgeous - high 40's and sunny.

Work - wages and nations

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Willis Eschenbach is one of the more fascinating people on the web - would love to sit down to dinner with him sometime. He posted an essay about Mexican labor and really nails it. From his website:

Work Americans Won’t Do
I keep hearing that the reason that we need workers from Mexico and Central America to pick our crops is because working in the fields is “work that Americans won’t do”. I say that that sentence is chopped off in midstream.

How do I know that’s only half a sentence? Because that was the first work I ever did. I worked summers all through high school. My first job was in 1961, when I was 13 years old and weighed about 120 pounds (55 kg) soaking wet.

I just looked it up, and at the time, the Federal minimum wage in current dollars was $8.12 per hour. The California minimum wage was $9.34 per hour. Interesting, not a lot different from today.

In current money, on my first job I made two dollars and forty-four cents an hour. I worked ten hours a day, bucking hay in the fields. It was totally illegal for me to be doing the work for several reasons. First, I was too young to be working at all. Then I wasn’t being paid overtime for over eight hours per day. Plus I wasn’t making minimum wage. I thought then, and still think, that those laws were asinine. I was overjoyed to have a job. I said screw the laws, and I took every penny I earned home and gave it to my single mother.

Read the whole thing and the comments as well. Good stuff and explains a lot.

Coming home - Ancient One

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AKA the Kennewick Man - finally - from The Seattle Times:

‘A wrong had finally been righted’: Tribes bury remains of ancient ancestor known as Kennewick Man
In the high desert of the Columbia Plateau, more than 200 people gathered early Saturday to lay the Ancient One to rest, returning his 9,000-year-old remains to an undisclosed location not far from the Columbia River.

There was a feeling of finality and catharsis for those who had fought for 20 years to reclaim and repatriate the remains of an ancient ancestor who came to be called Kennewick Man, said Chuck Sams, communications director for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.

There was also sadness in remembering those who didn’t live to see the Ancient One’s reburial, but also a sense of accomplishment in seeing him returned after two decades of court battles and scientific studies, Sams said.

Scientists who had argued that Kennewick Man was not an ancestor of the Columbia Plateau tribes were proved wrong, and the return of the Ancient One’s remains “validated what we said all along — Kennewick Man had been one of our own,” he said.

Very cool - the remains were found in 1996 in the bank of a river by two guys looking for a better view of the hydroplane races. The remains were being uncovered by gradual erosion and would have washed away and never been known if not for the work of the archaeologists. Now, they have been studied and then, 20 years later, revered and laid to rest. 40 years from now when I am done with my body, I do not give a shit about what happens to it - burn it and scatter the ashes on my farm. Other people have different ideas and this is part of what makes our human condition so wonderfully "interesting".

Technology in filmmaking

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Great video from Vox and The Beeb - part one of three:

Fun time to be alive!

And another one bites the dust - Nestle

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From Investors Business Daily:

Another Big Company Departs California — Will Last One To Leave Shut The Lights?
Nestle USA is moving its headquarters from Glendale, Calif., a pocket suburb just miles from downtown Los Angeles, to Rosslyn, Va., near Washington, D.C., and taking 1,200 California jobs with it. Why? As many companies have found, California is an awful place to do business.

The $26-billion-a-year food conglomerate is discreet, of course, about its reasons, citing a desire to be closer to its core customers and other bland corporate pabulum. But the fact is, Nestle and its corporate brethren in California that actually make things are overtaxed and overregulated, and elected officials treat them not as honored members of the community but as rapacious pirates.

A Glendale official, for instance, blithely insisted Nestle's departure was no big deal, but rather an "opportunity." Some opportunity.

A great metric of the movement from one area to another is the cost of renting a U Haul truck:

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The $629 difference is because more people are leaving Glendale for DC than are moving the other way. U Haul has to pay drivers to move the vehicles back to California so it incentivizes the movers with lower prices.

Now this is interesting

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The levels are not high enough to be dangerous and it has a half-life of about eight days but still. From The Barents Observer:

Radioactive Iodine over Europe first measured in Finnmark
A trace of radioactive Iodine-131 of unknown origin was in January detected over large areas in Europe. Since the isotope has a half-life of only eight days, the detection is a proof of a rather recent release.

Where the radioactivity is coming from is still a mystery.

The air filter station at Svanhovd was the first to measure small amounts of the radioactive Ionide-131 in the second week of January. The station is located a few hundred metres from Norway’s border to Russia’s Kola Peninsula in the north.

Soon, the same Iodine-131 isotope was measured in Rovaniemi in Finnish Lapland. Within the next two weeks, traces of radioactivity, although in tiny amounts, were measured in Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain.

And taking a look-see for ourselves - from The Aviationist:

U.S. Air Force deploys WC-135 nuclear sniffer aircraft to UK as spike of radioactive Iodine levels is detected in Europe
On Feb. 17, 2017, U.S. Air Force WC-135C Constant Phoenix Nuclear explosion “sniffer,” serial number 62-3582, using radio callsign “Cobra 55” deployed to RAF Mildenhall, UK.

As we have already reported the WC-135 is a derivative of the Boeing C-135 transport and support plane. Two of these aircraft are in service today out of the ten examples operated since 1963. The aircraft are flown by flight crews from the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron from Offutt Air Force Base while mission crews are staffed by Detachment 1 from the Air Force Technical Applications Center.

The WC-135, known as the “sniffer” or “weather bird” by its crews, can carry up to 33 personnel. However, crew compliments are kept to a minimum during mission flights in order to lessen levels of radioactive exposure.

Effluent gasses are gathered by two scoops on the sides of the fuselage, which in turn trap fallout particles on filters. The mission crews have the ability to analyze the fallout residue in real-time, helping to confirm the presence of nuclear fallout and possibly determine the characteristics of the warhead involved: that’s why the aircraft is important to confirm the type of explosion of today’s test.

Did Russia have some reactor problems with one of their subs or surface vessels? That would be a logical explanation. Sounds like a loss of coolant with containment vessel breach to me - pretty serious...

Back home - long day

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Bunch of stuff today and a bit more tomorrow - just got back from Bellingham and had dinner at Graham's in Glacier.

Surf for a bit...

Shutting it down for the night

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Two tunes though - been on a real Joe Bonamassa kick recently:

And these folks from Mongolia - masters of overtone singing (really hard to do - I have tried!) - Altai:

Tip of the hat to Irons in the Fire for the link to the last one.

The Oroville Dam - a two-fer

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Two excellent resources for the dam geek in all of us.

First, this post at Watts Up With That:

Storm: 10 trillion gallons over next 7 days for CA #LakeOroville watershed to get massive amounts of rain
Last week, I said that up to a foot of rain could be seen in the Lake Oroville watershed due to a series of “supersoaker storms” coming through. Now, the largest of the storms is bearing down. Dr. Ryan Maue of WeatherBell says there’s going to be an unbelievable “10 trillion gallons” in the next 7 days as more storms come through.

Be sure to follow the comments section - a lot of boots on the ground observations.

Second, from the excellent Engineering forum - Metabunk.org - the postings start on February 8th, 2017 and continue for 31 pages. Page 24 is of interest as  someone dug through the original construction plans and found that there were only a few core samples taken where the concrete spillway was sited - the construction people had no idea what kind of soil it was sitting on. Also, photos of large broken concrete slabs with no visible rebar - a cardinal sin for a home backyard deck let alone a structure like this.

YES! Wonderful decision from Congress

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From E&E News:

Lawmakers eye shifting climate research from NASA
Lawmakers are remaking NASA in order to leave parts of the agency's earth science program untouched but remove its climate change research.

It's still unclear exactly how lawmakers plan to transform NASA's mission, but Republicans and Trump administration officials have said they want the agency to focus on deep-space missions and away from climate change research, which is a part of its Earth Sciences Division. That has created uncertainty about the fate of the Earth Sciences Division, which accounts for about $2 billion of NASA's $20 billion budget.

At a House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing yesterday, Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said he wants a "rebalancing" of NASA's mission. The lawmaker told E&E News he wants the agency to reprioritize its mission because the Obama administration cut space exploration funds.

Great news - the job of NASA is to get stuff into space. It is the job of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Organization to monitor our weather. A small group at NASA grabbed the torch and ran with it for twenty years - I wrote about them in the last half of this post: Drinking a glass of the finest wine - renewable energy

People keep thinking that carbon is bad - it is not. Carbon and Carbon Dioxide is essential for life on Earth. Without it, there would be no photosynthesis and no plants. The authors go off the rails a bit with this paragraph:

A 2008 paper by James Hansen [PDF], former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and one of the world’s foremost experts on climate change, showed the true gravity of the situation. In it, Hansen set out to determine what level of atmospheric CO2 society should aim for “if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted.” His climate models showed that exceeding 350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere would likely have catastrophic effects.

That would be the same James Hansen who was fired from the GISS and replaced by Gavin Schmidt. Hansen was coming up with all sorts of crackpot ideas and the media picked up on them because NASA. The GISS occupies a two floors of a building in downtown New York City near Colombia University. They have about 25 permanent scientists, about 30 visiting scientists and about 50 interns. For them to be the USA's climate authority is absurd.

Time to pass the torch back to NOAA and get NASA back to what it does best. Right now, we have to hitch a ride from the Russians every time we want to send someone up to the ISS.

Whoops - change in dinner plans

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The left-over spaghetti sauce had some dots of mold on the surface - diced up an onion and a bunch of garlic and making a quick marinara.

Dogs are fed and happily gnawing on some big beef shank bones I gave them two days ago.

From the National Weather Service:

201 PM PST Sun Feb 19 2017
...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 PM PST THIS EVENING...
The National Weather Service in Seattle has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for snow...which is in effect until 10 PM PST this evening.

    • SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...6 to 11 inches are likely through this evening.
    • SOME AFFECTED LOCATIONS...The volcanoes will receive the highest amounts. Less will fall in the highway passes.
    • TIMING...Most snow will fall this afternoon and evening.
    • MAIN IMPACT...Travel will be affected.

From Associated Press:

FLOOD FEARS RENEWED AS ANOTHER STORM AIMS FOR CALIFORNIA
Residents returning to homes damaged by flooding should be prepared to evacuate again as yet another powerful Pacific storm takes aim at Northern California, officials warned Sunday.

The San Joaquin River was reaching flood stage, and residents of Manteca were told to be ready to evacuate in case it hit dangerous levels.

Meanwhile, the water level was decreasing at Lake Oroville dam, where a damaged spillway had raised major flood concerns.

Water was also receding in the farm community of Maxwell, where dozens of people sought higher ground after creeks topped their banks and inundated houses on Friday, said Colusa County Assistant Sheriff Jim Saso said.

Nothing unusual - a couple years of drought and then whammo - this site has rainfall data for Los Angeles dating back to 1877

If I was into panning for gold, I bet that now would be an excellent time to visit some streams - a lot of the streambeds have been washed over and new gold exposed.

Ho. Li. Crap - meet Eli Bouchard

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The guy is nine years old:

A long day but a lot of fun

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The class was excellent - it started with the generic Red Cross CPR training with practice dummies but then went on to cover general first aid with subjects like wounds, trauma to brain and spine, stabilizing sprains and broken bones, burns, frostbite etc.. Everything needed in Search and Rescue operations to stabilize the patient until they can be evacuated. I want to work with them doing radio at their base camps in this area. This class was a prerequisite. Husband and wife teaching team and they had a lot of fun running the class. A lot of information to process.

There are some very fun amateur radio technologies being developed here - a bunch of the actual search people have ham radio licenses and they are exploring the technology for digital error-free communication and automatic position reporting - a $30 BaoFeng UV-5R Two Way Radio, another $120 of electronics and you have a very small package that fits in your backpack and reports your position to within 30 feet or so.

Did not sleep well last night so calling it an early bedtime - want to stay up until at least 8:00PM so as to reset my sleep schedule to something a bit more normal. Surf for a few hours and have the last of the spaghetti sauce for dinner.

Fun fun fun

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Finishing off breakfast, made a sandwich for lunch and got a couple cans of Mountain Dew (Throwback - cane sugar and original formula) in a lunch cooler. Check in on the critters (Rocky the horse and the three llamas) on my way out.

Coffee place opens in 20 minutes, class starts at 9:00AM - I am on a roll

A potential for caution - Flu

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Maybe nothing but... From the AAAS magazine Science:

Bird flu strain taking a toll on humans
An avian influenza virus that emerged in 2013 is suddenly spreading widely in China, causing a sharp spike in human infections and deaths. Last month alone it sickened 192 people, killing 79, according to an announcement this week by China's National Health and Family Planning Commission in Beijing.

The surge in human cases is cause for alarm, says Guan Yi, an expert in emerging viral diseases at the University of Hong Kong in China. "We are facing the largest pandemic threat in the last 100 years," he says.

As of 16 January, the cumulative toll from H7N9 was 918 laboratory-confirmed human infections and 359 deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Despite its high mortality rate, H7N9 had gotten less attention of late than two other new strains—H5N8 and H5N6—that have spread swiftly, killing or forcing authorities to cull millions of poultry. But so far, H5N8 has apparently not infected people; H5N6 has caused 14 human infections and six deaths.

We had a pandemic in 1918 that killed about 5% of the population. Something like this is not out of the ordinary and can happen again. Medical technology has gotten better but viruses are notoriously tricky to deal with.

Early night tonight - class tomorrow

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Set the alarm for 6:00AM - a bit masochistic for me but I want to get to the class on time and have time to take care of the critters and get coffee and make a sandwich for lunch - all day affair.

Should be fun - looking forward to it. A good skill to gain.

Betsy DeVos in the news

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There are enough people wanting to harm her that she is being guarded by the US Marshals Service - from The Washington Post:

Betsy DeVos being guarded by U.S. Marshals Service
The U.S. Marshals Service says it is providing security for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after a handful of protesters prevented her from entering a D.C. middle school.

The move is unusual for the Education Department, which typically has a team of civil servants guarding the secretary, and for the marshals, law enforcement officers who are generally responsible for protecting federal judges, transporting prisoners, apprehending fugitives and protecting witnesses.

The last Cabinet member protected by marshals was a director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said Lynzey Donahue, a spokeswoman for the Marshals Service. That office ceased to be a Cabinet-level position in 2009.

So let me get this straight - Ms. DeVos is going after the Education Cartel and needs the same level of protection that the head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy needs while going after the Drug Cartels? That explains a lot about the state of Education in the United States. The Teachers Union needs to just go away - it is not doing any good and is just a political arm of the left. The bottom 10% of teachers need to be fired. This is an investment in our children and should not be made into a political football.

Dinnertime - Costco Chicken

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Finished with the chores, laundry is in the dryer. Picked up a Costco Chicken yesterday so doing a pot of rice and a salad and that will be dinner. Got to feed the dogs first - they are giving me the stink-eye

A little list

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A bunch of illegal immigrants were rounded up recently (about 680 people nationwide). People protested. What they did not know is that all but two (the two were mistaken identity and released) of these people were criminals.  John Binder writing at Breitbart has a list of the 41 people from New York City - here are just the first five:

    1. A 31-year-old El Salvador national with a criminal conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering and self-admitted MS-13 gang member. He was arrested in New Hyde Park, NY.
    2. A 49-year-old Jamaican national with a criminal conviction for first degree sexual assault of a victim under the age of 11. Convicted of sexual assault carnal abuse. He was arrested in Bronx, NY.
    3. A 60-year-old Mexican national with a criminal convicted for first degree sexual assault of a victim under the age of 11 and endangering the welfare of a child. He was arrested in Staten Island, NY.
    4. A 23-year-old Guyana national with a conviction of rape. He was arrested in Richmond Hill, NY.
    5. A 29-year-old Guatemala national convicted of rape. He was arrested in Bronx, NY.

Fine upstanding citizens - all of them.

Fake news in court

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Great story from Law Newz:

Hospital CEO Wins Major Court Victory After Accusing CNN of False Reporting
Those who accuse CNN and other mainstream media outlets of “fake news” will probably revel in a recent decision by a federal judge in Atlanta, Georgia. While Judge Orinda Evans didn’t all out declare that CNN was peddling in falsehoods, she did take aim at the network in an initial judgment in favor of a former hospital CEO who sued CNN accusing them of purposely skewing statistics to reflect poorly on a West Palm Beach hospital. Judge Evans didn’t mince words in her 18-page order allowing the case to move forward, and dismissing CNN’s attempt to get it thrown out of court.

Case particulars and more at the site - this needs to happen often.

Cloud cuckoo land - the regressive left

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Only they would elevate someone who was fired for insubordination - from Legal Insurrection:

Fired Acting AG Sally Yates now “a symbol of the anti-Trump resistance”
Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, fired for insubordination after she told DOJ not to defend Trump’s immigration Executive Order, is being held up as a new hero by the left for defying Trump over his executive order on refugees and immigration.

She attended an event on race in Atlanta this week and got a standing ovation.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:

Sally Yates gets hero’s welcome at Atlanta race panel discussion:
Sally Yates in 2020?

That was the hot half-joking question Wednesday night as the former acting attorney general made one of her first public appearances — at the Carter Presidential Library — since being fired by President Donald Trump for refusing to impose his controversial refugee ban.

Cloud cuckoo land? From Infogalactic:

Cloud cuckoo land
Cloud Cuckoo Land refers to a state of absurdly over-optimistic fantasy or an unrealistically idealistic state where everything is perfect. Someone who is said to "live in cloud cuckoo land" is a person who thinks that things that are completely impossible might happen, rather than understanding how things really are.

These poor people are isolated in a bubble of their own making - they think they have the one true solution and the rest of the world is evil. When their solution fails, they just double-down and say that they just did not try hard enough (or that not enough money was spent - this is the default setting).

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