Nothing much today

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Heading into town tomorrow - our local radio and electricity museum is having a private sale of duplicate / surplus items for the local amateur radio club. Not looking to load up but there are a couple items that have nostalgic value and if they are for sale, they will be following me home tomorrow. Forecast is for Partly Cloudy so should be a nice day.

Surfing for a bit and then upstairs to bed in an hour or so.

Sour grapes - George Soros

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Everybody's favorite sociopath - as a teenager, he helped the Nazi's round up his Jewish friends - he claimed to be a Christian. (transcript and 14 minute YouTube interview of Soros admitting this). From Zero Hedge:

"He Is Going To Fail": Georges Soros Slams "Would Be Dictator" Trump
Billionaire investor George Soros spoke to Bloomberg TV in Davos, and said the euphoria among stock investors since the victory of President-elect Donald Trump will end as uncertainty takes over.

In an interview that may have been even gloomier than his last address to Davos in January 2016, when he said he was short the market, predicted a Chinese hard landing, and said the Fed's hike was a mistake, on Thursday Soros unleashed the hate, saying America has elected a "would-be dictator" as president, the European Union is disintegrating, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May won’t last long as her nation prepares to secede from the EU, and China is poised to become an even more repressive society.

Talking his book, Soros said that 'Uncertainty is at a peak, and actually uncertainty is the enemy of long-term investment," said the chairman of Soros Fund Management. "I don’t think the markets are going to do very well. Right now they’re still celebrating. But when reality comes, it will prevail."

A possible reason for the sour grapes:

As a reminder, the WSJ reported last week that Soros lost nearly $1 billion as a result of the stock-market rally spurred by Trump’s surprise win in November. Soros became more pessimistic immediately after Trump’s election. But stocks rallied on expectations that Trump’s policies will boost corporate earnings and the overall economy.

Soros lives in a bubble - all the elites do. Our voting for We The People blindsided them. They consider themselves so be highly educated and very intelligent (there is a difference and yes, they are #1 and no they are not #2) and their cognitive dissonance is driving them batty.

We are seeing a classic case of projection from Soros - it is he who thinks that he would make a good dictator. He considers himself to be one of the wisest people in the room and therefore knows what needs to be done to 'nudge' us in the right direction. We do not do nudging very well.

From Breitbart:

Congress Mulls Bill to Strip All Funds from Sanctuary Cities
A bill proposed by a U.S. representative from Pennsylvania will cut off all federal funding to state, county and local jurisdictions with sanctuary policies.

“Not one cent,” Representative Lou Barletta (R-PA) told Breitbart Texas in an interview on Thursday morning. “These mayors, sheriffs, and state leaders are thumbing their noses at federal immigration law. The only way to stop them is to hit them in their pocketbooks.”

He said the leaders of these sanctuary jurisdictions are not just choosing to violate federal law, “they’re bragging about it in press conferences.”

Mayors across the country have been lining up in droves to declare themselves sanctuary cities, Breitbart Texas reported in November 2016. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said, “Chicago always will be a sanctuary city,” NPR reported. “To all those who are, after Tuesday’s election, very nervous and filled with anxiety … you are safe in Chicago, you are secure in Chicago and you are supported in Chicago.” His comments come in the face of the city’s massive crime and murder rates. By the end of the year, Chicago would approach 800 murders by the end of 2016.

Perfect - want to Virtue Signal - fine but do it on your own dime. Want to suckle on the Federal Teat, obey the Federal Laws of the land.

The Democratic Party is imploding

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Time to make a big bowl of popcorn and settle in to watch the fun. From Breitbart:

Democrat Civil War: ‘Anybody Who Gives Money to [David Brock] Is Pissing Down a Rat Hole.’
Some Democrats are fighting against Clinton ally David Brock’s plan to launch his own donor network to fund his efforts to rebuild the left.

Brock’s donor network is seen by some on the left as a challenge to the efforts of Democracy Alliance, an organization launched by billionaire George Soros and other major donors to fund progressive policy initiatives and political causes, Politico reported.

“Anybody who gives money to him is pissing down a rathole,” said John Morgan, a big Clinton donor who is pondering a run for governor in the state of Florida, of Brock’s fundraising efforts.

Brock explained that his donor network is more political than Democracy Alliance, saying that Democracy Alliance has been less of a political organization focused on winning elections and more of an organization focusing on liberal donors’ pet projects.

Heh - complete disarray. Their cognitive dissonance is on full parade as they try to figure out what happened. Each faction is infighting with each other so there is no net work being done to repair or rebuild.

The Gore Effect

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Looks like The Gore Effect is out in full force - from The Hollywood Reporter:

Sundance Braces for Snow and Chilly Weather on Opening Weekend
Below-freezing temperatures arrive with opening night film 'An Inconvenient Sequel' and could mar the planned Women's March on Main.

Park City is bracing for a slew of snow at Sundance Film Festival.

The festival locale sank to below-freezing temperatures ahead of Thursday's opening-night film An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Al Gore's climate-change follow-up to 2006's An Inconvenient Truth.

What warming?

Quite the rock

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US Highway 101 near Lake Crescent - from the WA State DOT:

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Came down yesterday - this is on the Olympic Peninsula. Very familiar with the area - I love Lake Crescent. Beautiful place.

About that global warming - arctic ice

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From The Siberian Times:

Icebreakers make historic Arctic voyage, then get stuck in frozen sea on return journey
Bulk carriers Sinegorsk and Johann Mahmastal made a successful midwinter cargo crossing from Arkhangelsk to Russia's northernmost port of Pevek, Chukotka, escorted by icebreakers Kapitan Dranitsyn and Admiral Makarov.

It was the first such crossing since Soviet times, and the ships delivered supplies for the supplies for the world's first floating heat and power plant to be assembled in Chukotka after a journey lasting from 14 December to 7 January.

The ease of the sailing is seen as a sign that climate warming in the Arctic can open up shopping lanes even in midwinter. But the climate remains unpredictable as the four vessels have discovered on their return route.

They are currently trapped by sudden thick ice around Chukotka's northernmost cape Shelagsky, some 24 nautical miles from Pevek, in some of Russia's most exposed waters.

As for this quote: climate warming in the Arctic can open up shopping lanes even in midwinter - they did not do their homework. From the Vancouver Maritime Museum:

THE ST. ROCH - A TRUE CANADIAN ADVENTURE
Built in British Columbia, named after a parish in Quebec, captained by a Norwegian immigrant, crewed by farm boys from across the country, and helped by the Inuit, the St. Roch was the first vessel to sail the Northwest Passage from west to east (1940-1942), the first to complete the passage in one season (1944), and the first to circumnavigate North America.

Emphasis mine - the ice comes and goes. It is more dependent on wind and currents than absolute temperature. Another example? How about the USS Skate:


USS Skate (SSN-578) Becomes the First Submarine to Surface at the North Pole
USS Skate (SSN-578) hung below the Arctic ice like a matchstick suspended an inch from the ceiling of a large room. A knot of sailors in the control room stared intently at an instrument inscribing patterns of parallel lines on a rolling paper tape. The pattern looked like an upside down mountain range.

“Heavy ice, ten feet,” said one of the sailors.

Suddenly the lines converged into a single narrow bar. “Clear water!” the sailor called out.

On the surface:

Calvert ordered the ballast tanks blown. The roar of high pressure air seemed earsplitting after the tense silence of the last few minutes. Upon surfacing, Calvert ordered the hatch opened, then climbed up to the bridge. The sky was slightly overcast and the damp air felt like an unseasonably warm February day in New England, with the temperature hovering near freezing. The submarine’s black hull stood out in stark relief against the deep blue of the calm lake in which the ship now floated. Beyond the lake, stretching to the horizon in every direction, was the stark white of the permanent polar ice pack. The officer who had climbed to the bridge with Calvert called the skipper’s attention to the port side of the ship. There a full grown polar bear was climbing slowly out of the water and up onto the ice.

The date was 11 August 1958 and the Skate had just become the first submarine to surface at the North Pole.

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USS Skate (SSN-578) made submarine history on 11 August 1958 when it became
the first submarine to surface at the North Pole.

Want more? Read this post and watch the video: Ship of Fools More here.

About that tech boom

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Sobering news from England's The Register:

Ooops! One in three tech IPOs now trading below their starting price
Around 33 per cent of the technology companies to enter the market in the last ten years are currently valued at a price lower than their IPO mark.

This according to researchers with analytics house Geckoboard, who studied 100 software, hardware, and social networking companies that have undertaken IPOs since 2006. Of those 100 companies, 67 are trading above their IPO valuation and 33 are below.

Among the 33 are Twitter (down 49 per cent), Zynga (down 66 per cent), and Groupon (down 84 per cent). Meanwhile, some the biggest jumps were seen by Facebook (up 249 per cent), VMware (up 95 per cent), and LinkedIn (up 199 per cent).

In general, the Geckoboard report suggests software companies were the safest bet to maintain their value. Gaming, meanwhile, had the lowest number of companies now above their IPO price.

Glad I got in and then got out of tech stocks when I did. I could have ridden MSFT for another year but I tend to be very conservative when it comes to investing. Made enough to be happy.

Spreading deicer and working in the Radio Room

CNN - Fake News

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This is just unreal - CNN's management has zero clue how this will look to most of the people in America. From the New York Post:

Daughter of close Obama adviser will cover DOJ for CNN
CNN has tapped the daughter of President Obama’s closest adviser to cover the Department of Justice, The Post has learned.

Laura Jarrett quietly joined the network in September as a reporter in the network’s Washington bureau.

She came to CNN with no experience in journalism.

Laura's mom Valerie Jarrett was not just an adviser, she was Obama's consigliere - she was the force behind the Presidency. Obama is basically a very weak person. Jarrett was his spine. For CNN to bring her daughter on board really shows their bias. Time for them to sink and go bankrupt.

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

24 hours to go

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A big liberal meltdown:

It rained last night

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Precip was over 0.6" inches last night. Snow is almost gone from the pasture - we will see what the driveway looks like when I go out for coffee in a few minutes.

Well crap - 2017 has its agenda too

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Two losses in the music world:

Poured over my copies of Keyboard when they hit the newsstand. They were the go-to place for reading about new music/performers/equipment/software.

Here is a 31 minute documentary about William - fun music and a true pioneer:

Life at the farm

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Beef stew came out great. Baked a loaf of par-baked bread and a bottle of wine. Yum. I do the beef stew using V-8 juice as the base - makes for a nice flavor. Watched two episodes of Person of Interest. Season four so we have one short season more to watch - excellent writing and whomever they have doing their geek-fu is doing it correctly - the stuff they show on the screen is 80% accurate with 20% to cover some artistic license.

It is not wise to attract public scrutiny if you are already in the public eye. You might not like what gets uncovered. From Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit:

Uh Oh! Rep. John Lewis Didn’t Pay Taxes On His Nearly $1 Million D.C. Townhouse
Trump-hating Democrat, John Lewis didn’t pay property taxes on his nearly $1 million D.C. townhouse according to the sleuthing done by Got News:

Lewis was in the news recently for saying he doesn’t see President-elect Donald J. Trump as “a legitimate president” because of the #RussianHackers Democratic conspiracy theory.

Public records show he avoided paying property taxes on his DC townhouse at 219 3rd Street SE on Capitol Hill:

That house at 219 3rd Street SE was worth more than $810,000 in 2012 according to Nexis assessment records. It’s a nice fancy townhouse right next to Congress:

Jim has links to the 2010 Notice of Pendancy - no word as to the resolution of the case. Lewic certainly has enough money to pay his bills. Why isn't he?

Go with the flow

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Our local river is quite rapid today - this is not only the half-inch of rain but it is also the warm weather melting out the low-lying snowpack.

20170118-nooksack.png

Over a fifteen-fold increase in just two days.

The Democrats are pointing fingers - time to punch back twice as hard - a two-fer. Just links, read the articles:

He is playing fast and loose with taxpayer money. From Politico:

Obama administration cuts second $500M check to Green Climate Fund
The State Department announced Tuesday it is sending a second, $500 million payment to the Green Climate Fund.

The payment is the second from the U.S. to support the fund, which is intended to provide climate adaptation money to developing nations, and serves as the financial mechanism of the Paris climate agreement. The fund is supposed to reach $100 billion by 2020, with both public and private funding from around the world.

Of which less than five percent will reach the intended customers and the other 95% will pay for "studies" and otherwise line the pockets of corrupt kleptocrats.

Time to call the United Nations out for what it is, defund them and turn their Manhattan riverfront property into a nice hotel or condos or something. Do something useful with it. I bet that Zimbabwean President for life Robert Mugabe has some space on his grounds for an office building - here is where he lives:

Back from meeting

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Good meeting - it was with someone who serves as an intermediary between the public utiities and other grant-giving organizations and small business like my grocery store.

Back home again - beef stew for dinner.

Heading out

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The water is still intermittent - ice is breaking up in the pipes and it will flow just fine for a few minutes, throttle back to a trickle and then resume full flow. Had a little under a half-inch of rainfall last night - a lot of the snow is off the ground but the ice in the driveway is still treacherous.

Heading out for coffee and a meeting at 2:00PM

And that is it for the night

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Meeting tomorrow at 1400 - upgrading the lighting at the store and getting a grant from our electric utility to pay for half of it. With the savings, we will pay the rest back in a year.

Water is finally running at full flow and pressure. Keeping it dribbling overnight to keep it that way...

A great campaign slogan

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20170117-maddog.jpg

Shamelessly stolen from Mostly Cajun.

Dumping down rain

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Got about a quarter inch of rain this afternoon - still coming down heavy.

The driveway is passable where I salted it - it turns the ice into a sort of foam that offers traction. Picked up another two bags of de-icer today as more of the driveway needs this. The ice has been compacted through several freeze/thaw cycles and is going to take a while to melt. Long range forecast has at least two weeks of warmer wetter weather.

Mt. Baker was closed yesterday and today - hoping to reopen Thursday. Conditions are really snotty up there.

The coming global warming

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More like ice age - here is the Acropolis in Athens Greece yesterday:

20170117-acropolis.jpg

Very good meeting tonight

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The Mt. Baker Amateur Radio Club - Digital Group met tonight and they have some fun projects lined up. Swiped a brilliant solution for something that had been bugging me. Very electronic/nerdy/radio idea so I will not post it here but it solves a serious problem for just a couple of bucks. Makes the radio setup a lot easier too.

I'll post some photos once I order the parts and build my own.

One Big Assed Mistake America

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O.B.A.M.A. - says it all. In his rush out the door, he is pardoning the wrong guy. From The Seattle Times:

Obama commutes sentence of Chelsea Manning, who leaked Army documents
President Obama on Tuesday largely commuted the remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the army intelligence analyst convicted of an enormous 2010 leak that revealed American military and diplomatic activities across the world, disrupted the administration, and made WikiLeaks, the recipient of those disclosures, famous.

The decision by Obama rescued Manning, who twice tried to commit suicide last year, from an uncertain future as a transgender woman incarcerated at the male military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. She has been jailed for nearly seven years, and her 35-year sentence was by far the longest punishment ever imposed in the United States for a leak conviction.

Now, under the terms of Obama’s commutation announced by the White House on Tuesday, Manning is set to be freed in five months, on May 17 of this year, rather than in 2045.

Wait - wasn't there another leaker? Edward somebody?

In recent days, the White House had signaled that Obama was seriously considering granting Manning’s commutation application, in contrast to a pardon application submitted on behalf of the other large-scale leaker of the era, Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who disclosed archives of top secret surveillance files and is living as a fugitive in Russia.

Asked about the two clemency applications on Friday, the White House spokesman, Joshua Earnest, discussed the “pretty stark difference” between Manning’s case for mercy with Snowden’s. While their offenses were similar, he said, there were “some important differences.”

Yeah - Snowden had the fscking grace to go through the documents and redact names of sensitive assets in the field. Manning just cut and pasted and posted everything he could get his grubby little mits on and he is personally responsible for the horrible torture and deaths of hundreds of our allies in Afghanistan and the Middle East.

The disclosures set off a frantic scramble as Obama administration officials sought to minimize any potential harm, including getting to safety some foreigners in dangerous countries who were identified as having helped American troops or diplomats.

Imagine that Mohammed is a man in his 50's and was helping us monitor ISIS and Taliban movements near his village. 30 people from ISIS drive into the village in a couple trucks asking where he is. They make him sit down in the village square as they round up his family. They murder his grandchildren in front of his sons and daughters. They then murder his sons and daughters. Then his mother and father. Then his wife. Finally, the build a fire under him and burn him to death. That is what the Taliban or ISIS does to people who stand in their way and it is deaths like this that Bradley Manning caused.

Again, Snowden took the time to redact any possible contact information from the data he published and he is getting the really short end of the deal here.

Because Manning is a trannie, he is the darling of the progressives and Obama is playing Pander-Bear to these morons. Virtue signaling all the way out the door. Just to be clear, nothing wrong with wanting a sex change - Walter Wendy Carlos of Switched On Bach fame did a very public transformation. My complaint is that Manning is using this to get his way and this should not be allowed.

We have water - kinda

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Came home from the ham radio meeting, turned on the tap and whoosh! Ran fine for a few minutes and it trickled down to just a slow flow - only an ounce or so per minute. Let it run and it has been oscillating between a good flow and almost nothing - lots of ice in the system breaking up and shifting position as it melts.

It got up to 50.9°F today and is currently 43.7°F and raining heavily so relief is on the way.

Lulu is coming out tomorrow - been way too long without her wonderful company!

Back to town

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Not taking a nap - just not tired enough. Heading in to town for some banking and a ham radio club meeting tonight. No posting for a couple of hours.

This is fun - welcome aboard!

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It is not just bitter clingers and baskets of deplorables who are stocking up on food, water and ammo - from Vocativ:

Liberal Preppers Stock Up On Guns, Food As Trumpocalypse Looms
Colin Waugh bought a shotgun four weeks before November’s election.

An unapologetic liberal, he was no fan of firearms. He had never owned one before. But Waugh, a 31-year-old from Independence, Missouri, couldn’t shake his fears of a Donald Trump presidency — and all of the chaos it could bring. He imagined hate crimes and violence waged by extremists emboldened by the Republican nominee’s brash, divisive rhetoric. He pictured state-sanctioned roundups of Muslims, gays, and outspoken critics.

“I kept asking myself, ‘Do I want to live under tyranny?'” said Waugh, who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary and later backed Hillary Clinton. “The answer was absolutely not.”

With Trump now days away from assuming the White House, Waugh’s preparing for the worst. He’s made “bug-out bags” stuffed with ammo, energy bars, and assorted survival gear for his wife and their three cats. He’s begun stowing water and browsing real estate listings in Gunnison County, Colorado, which he’s determined to be a “liberal safe-haven.” Last month, Waugh added a 9mm handgun to his arsenal.

This is the whole Y2K scare all over again. Back in 1999, people thought that civilization would come to a halt because it was found that some computer systems could not handle the date roll-over properly. That was fixed and life went on as usual. It was fun because there were lots of nice generators and guns and prepper gear for sale in late 2000 and early 2001 Cheap!

A bit more:

“We’re tired of being perceived as wusses who won’t survive when shit hits the fan,” said Stacy, a Texas Democrat who recently caught the prepper bug. She spoke with Vocativ on the condition we not publish her last name. “I, for one, don’t like to be thought of as some precious snowflake.”

After years cast as a fringe survival group, preppers entered a kind of golden age during the Obama presidency. A horrific housing crash and the spectacle of Hurricane Sandy helped give rise to reality television shows like Doomsday Preppers and Doomsday Bunker, and fueled a multi-billion dollar survival industry. Branded by some as a foreign-born, gun-grabbing socialist, Obama aroused deep suspicion among the patriot groups, right-wing conservatives, and apocalyptic Christians at the center of the growing movement.

Trump’s provocative posturing and unpredictability is now inspiring a fresh wave of panic on the left. Those who spoke with Vocativ have envisioned scenarios that could lead to military coups led by loyalists of the president-elect and internment camps packed with political opponents, bloody social unrest and an all-out civil or nuclear war. Sound bonkers? Perhaps. But, for many, so was the prospect of a President Trump.

You just go ahead - we will be more than happy to by your stuff off you for pennies on the dollar once prepping is no longer 'hip' or 'cool'. Besides, everyone knows that the real shit-hitting-fan moment will be on  03:14:07 UTC on 19 January 2038 - any questions? I will be in my bunker.

Back home again from the body shop and...

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... pipe is still frozen solid. It is 48.4°F outside but the soil temp is 32°F - it had been 31°F for the last couple of days so there is some improvement but... The forecast calls for rain later this evening so this will help a lot.

Fixing some lunch, taking a nap then heading back into town for my ham radio digital group meeting and to do some banking for me and for the store.

Still no water at the farm - last night's low temp was 33.6°F and it is now 34.5°F. The forecast for heavy rain has piddled out and is now just light showers - we have had less than 0.2" in the last 24 hours. I was hoping for a good long soak to thaw the pipe out.

Up a bit early to take care of the critters, take a shower at the store, get coffee and take Thunderbunny into the body shop to get the tailgate fixed. There is a ham radio group meeting in town later today so I will probably stay in town for that too. Minimal posting today...

Great news - draining the swamp

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From The Washington Examiner:

Boom: Trump eyes 10% spending cuts, 20% slash of federal workers
Making good on a promise to slash government, President-elect Trump has asked his incoming team to pursue spending and staffing cuts.

Insiders said that the spending reductions in some departments could go as high as 10 percent and staff cuts to 20 percent, numbers that would rock Washington if he follows through.

At least two so-called "landing teams" in Cabinet agencies have relayed the call for cuts as part of their marching orders to shrink the flab in government.

The cuts would target discretionary spending, not mandated programs such as Medicare or Social Security, the sources said.

Wonderful! D.C. is bloated and needs to be cut back. This is going to be an interesting (and fun) eight years.

A grassroots movement

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Yah, riiight. From The Washington Times:

Ads in two dozen cities offer protesters up to $2,500 to agitate at Trump inaugural
Donald Trump may have a point about paid protesters: Job ads running in more than 20 cities offer $2,500 per month for agitators to demonstrate at this week’s presidential inauguration events.

Demand Protest, a San Francisco company that bills itself as the “largest private grassroots support organization in the United States,” posted identical ads Jan. 12 in multiple cities on Backpage.com seeking “operatives.”

“Get paid fighting against Trump!” says the ad.

“We pay people already politically motivated to fight for the things they believe. You were going to take action anyways, why not do so with us!” the ad continues. “We are currently seeking operatives to help send a strong message at upcoming inauguration protests.”

The job offers a monthly retainer of $2,500 plus “our standard per-event pay of $50/hr, as long as you participate in at least 6 events a year,” as well as health, vision and dental insurance for full-time operatives.

These people have absolutely nothing to offer in terms of constructive ideas. They have to pay people to march along with their pitiful little cadre. Bu we know what is best for you peons. We are your cultural elite!

Got a gentle rain falling now

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Falling softly on the land - supposed to get quite stronger by tomorrow. As well as cleaning out the truck this evening, I also spread some de-icer on the worst of the ice in my driveway. The rain will help it melt away. It doesn't completely go away but it turns from rock hard slippery ice into sort of a loose ice 'foam' - a lot better traction for walking on.

Going to watch some YouTube videos and surf for a bit - early bedtime as I need to be up early to get a shower, coffee and drop the truck off.

Actions have consequences - never Trump

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Great little story from The Washington Post:

‘Never Trump’ national-security Republicans fear they have been blacklisted
They are some of the biggest names in the Republican national security firmament, veterans of past GOP administrations who say, if called upon by President-elect Donald Trump, they stand ready to serve their country again.

But their phones aren’t ringing. Their entreaties to Trump Tower in New York have mostly gone unanswered. In Trump world, these establishment all-stars say they are “PNG” — personae non gratae.

Their transgression was signing one or both of two public “Never Trump” letters during the campaign, declaring they would not vote for Trump and calling his candidacy a danger to the nation.

One letter, with 122 names, was published by War on the Rocks, a website devoted to national security commentary, during the primary season in March. The other, with 50 names, including some repeat signatories, was published by the New York Times during the general-election campaign in August.

Now, just days before Trump is sworn in as the nation’s 45th president, the letter signers fear they have been added to another document, this one private — a purported blacklist compiled by Trump’s political advisers.

Heh - again, actions have consequences. You wanted to Virtue Signal, your side lost and now you expect to be given the keys to the castle just for showing up. Washington D.C. is downsizing - you better start looking around for something else to do because once you insult the boss, your employment options are greatly reduced.
Repeat after me: Would you like fries with that?

Thank you England!

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Looks like England can not stand the guy either - from Legal Insurrection

Kerry’s Latest Peace Making Effort Ends with a Pffft
In a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, January 15, 2017, Secretary of State John Kerry assured the prime minister that there would be no further United Nations Security Council action taken against Israel in the wake the Paris peace conference.

And what happened in Paris?

The Paris peace conference was intended to advance the international assault on Israel’s legitimacy, playing up the Palestinian narrative that settlements, not Palestinian intransigence, were mostly responsible for the lack of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. It was expected that the final communique from the conference, which would have reiterated the “flagrant violation” language, would have been formalized in a second UNSC resolution.

However British Prime Minister Theresa May stepped up and sent a low level delegation to the conference, which refused to sign on to the final communique. (A spokesman for the government had blasted Kerry’s post resolution speech, in which he tried to justify the abstention, saying that it was wrong to be “focusing on only one issue,” namely the settlements, in seeking peace, when “the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is so deeply complex.” The statement also took Kerry to task for criticizing “the composition of the democratically-elected government of an ally.” The statement criticizing Kerry also reiterated that bilateral negotiations were the only way to achieve peace.)

So Kerry was angling for another UN Security Council resolution against Israel and British Prime Minister Theresa May put her foot down. Good! More at the site including the backstory about the large numbers of Israeli "settlements" which are a palestinian fabrication (there are only three being built in the West Bank) - lots more, go and read.

Both Kerry and Obama will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history and will be remembered as the worst of the worst.

Sad story from The Nepali Times by way of The Landslide Blog at the American Geophysical Union:

Future shock – the failure to learn from the 2015 earthquake in Nepal
The Nepali Times had a large piece over the weekend entitled Future Shock, which was driven by National Earthquake day in Nepal.  In an accompanying editorial, the newspaper notes the disastrous failure of Nepal to learn lessons from the earthquake, noting that:

In Kathmandu Valley, the earthquake damage convinced many that cement buildings are safer. A stronger earthquake that lasted longer would have pancaked most concrete structures on 25 April 2015. As our special report in this edition  points out, scientists have warned of much more catastrophic earthquakes in the vicinity of Kathmandu Valley and in Western Nepal. Existing and new buildings are just not capable of withstanding the intensity of shaking we are bound to experience in the Central Himalaya at any time. 

And, most importantly:

We do not intend to spread panic, but the sad fact is that Nepal has squandered the lessons of 2015, and we are woefully unprepared for a disaster sure to come. This doesn’t just mean rehabilitating structures that came down two years ago, but also retrofitting buildings in western Nepal where a Big One is imminent. 

The delayed and ineffective response to 2015 and the lack of serious preparedness is a result of a larger failure of governance. As our report shows, the whole corrupt building permit process has to be overhauled so that safety comes before revenue. We cannot afford to wait for the politics to fix itself, our greatest concern now should be on pre-disaster preparedness and to learn from past experiences.

In my opinion, this hits the nail on the head.  The earthquake left many unstable slopes, and many exceptionally vulnerable people, in the mountainous areas to the north of Kathmandu.  There was an almost total lack of government-led preparedness for the 2016 monsoon, despite warnings that the situation was highly dangerous.  Since then, progress has been slow, even though the 2017 monsoon is just months away.  It is hard not to believe that Nepal is heading for an even greater disaster.

This article is one of a series at The Nepali Times - well worth reading for general disaster planning as well as the political scene in Nepal:

Sad story - the corrupt politicians never think about the consequences of their actions (or in-actions). Sometimes I think the French had it right - set up a guillotine in every town square and watch the bureaucrats become very motivated to do the right thing.

And has the gall to blame Turmp's incoming Treasury Secretary. From Richard Pollock writing at The Daily Caller:

EXCLUSIVE: How Chuck Schumer Caused Bank Collapse Dems Now Blame On Trump’s Treasury Nominee
Senate Democrats — led by senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders — hope to defeat Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, by focusing on his alleged role in the 2008 collapse of California’s IndyMac bank.

Warren has launched a web page on the official United States Senate website that calls Mnuchin, “the foreclosure king” because, as she and left-wing activists charge, he threw thousands of homeowners onto the street after he bought IndyMac. Mnuchin’s Senate confirmation hearing begins Thursday.

But The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group (TheDCNF) has uncovered extensive evidence that the person who triggered IndyMac’s financial crisis, which led to one of the largest bank failures in American history, was Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.

Schumer's action?

Schumer started a $100 million-a-day run on the bank after he gave reporters a letter on June 26, 2008, addressed to federal regulators saying he was “concerned that IndyMac’s financial deterioration poses significant risks to both taxpayers and borrowers.”

The letter spooked depositors who in the next 11 days withdrew a record $1.3 billion from the bank.

News reports filed at the time squarely place the blame the bank’s failure on Schumer. The Los Angeles Times, for example, reported July 2, 2008, that “the letter stunned some Wall Street analysts, who said Schumer was in effect sealing the lender’s fate by raising the prospect of its failure.”

Schumer’s action was so irresponsible that the federal Office of Thrift Supervision explicitly blamed Schumer for IndyMac’s collapse, saying in a July 11, 2008, press release that “the immediate cause of the closing was a deposit run that began and continued after the public release of a June 26 letter to the OTS and the FDIC from Senator Charles Schumer of New York.”

Much more at the site. The democrats are trying to re-write history. Didn't Stalin like to do this?

Cleaning up the truck

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Heading outside to clean up the truck prior to her going into the body-shop tomorrow. Want to do it while I still have some light and before the rain hits. Back in an hour or so.

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