From the wonderful muck-rakers at Page Six:

Bizarre film of Omarosa surfaces amid White House exit
As Omarosa Manigault Newman exits her job in the White House, a bizarre video showing her less, er, stateswomanly side has emerged.

A pop-culture polymath sent Page Six a link to “Soul Sistahs,” an ultra-camp, hyper-kitsch, uber-low-budget 10-minute sci-fi short film.

While the plot is virtually incomprehensible, as far as we can tell it focuses on an intergalactic yenta in a housecoat who kidnaps Omarosa in an attempt to steal Donald Trump’s hair as part of a difficult-to-understand get-rich-quick scheme.

The mini-flick was made back in 2006 — two years after Omarosa shot to fame on Trump’s NBC show “The Apprentice.”

She was  the director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison - the New York Times has an article on her rise and fall.

I want to believe

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A quiet day

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Trish, her daughter and I met a friend of hers at a Japanese Restaurant in Chinatown and then headed up the hill to St. James Cathedral for their Advent celebration of Readings and Carols - this link goes to photos of the 2016 celebration. We were joined there by her son and girlfriend. A wonderful service and the music was incredible. I love pipe organs and the Cathedral has five of them! At full volume, the firmament rattles. Wonderful!

Slept in today.

Busy day today

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Out for coffee, in to Bellingham and then down to Seattle with a stop in Mt. Vernon for a meeting.

T and I are meeting a friend for dinner and then a festival of Christmas Carols after.

Live in one of these states and the ex-employees will have their hands out very soon. From The Washington Free Beacon:

Unfunded Liabilities of State Public Pensions Top $6 Trillion in 2017
Unfunded liabilities of state public pension plans now tops $6 trillion, an increase of $433 billion from the previous year, according to a report from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

"Unfunded liabilities of public pension plans continue to loom over state governments nationwide," the report states. "Absent significant reforms, unfunded liabilities of state-administered pension plans will continue to grow and threaten the financial security of state retirees and taxpayers alike."

Taxpayers are impacted by this pension crisis since they are the ones funding the wages of government employees. The report notes, however, that all residents are impacted because the funds that go to pensions take away resources from government services such as public safety, education, and roads.

The report finds that state pension liabilities average about $18,676 for every American in the United States. In some states, the liabilities average is much higher. For example, in Alaska, each resident is responsible for $45,689 in pension liability—the highest cost in the nation.


Sobering numbers - this is money that was promised by the Unions but the Unions never negotiated from a position of reality and the administrators accepting these deals realized that they would be long gone when the chickens came home to roost. No accountability from either side and us taxpayers are left holding the bag...

Just wonderful - the road to the ski area

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Got this little bundle of joy in my in-box a few minutes ago - from the WA State Department of Transportation:

Emergency bank stabilization work will reduce SR 542/Mount Baker Highway to a single lane starting Friday, Dec. 15
GLACIER – Fall weather has created instability in a slope along State Route 542/Mount Baker Highway near Glacier. With additional wet weather in the forecast, crews are starting emergency work to repair the area and prevent damage that could cause more costly repairs.

Washington State Department of Transportation contractor crews from Strider Construction will move equipment to the area, milepost 45, east of Glacier on Friday, Dec. 15. Crews will close the eastbound lane and begin daylight work to stabilize the area. Traffic will alternate through the open lane around-the-clock using flaggers or a temporary signal until this work is complete.

This is our second-busiest season of the year and business slows markedly for everyone if there isn't good skiing. Let us hope they can get the road patched up and do a complete job this spring.

Curious - Bitcoin in the news again

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Still an awful bubble but this story caught my eye - from Circa:

A New York woman laundered bitcoin to aide Islamic State
A Long Island, New York woman is accused of laundering bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and wiring the money overseas to help the Islamic State group, according to federal prosecutors.

Zoobia Shahnaz, a 27-year-old Pakistani-born resident of Brentwood, was being held without bail following her arraignment on charges of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering, prosecutors said.

The former lab technician worked in Manhattan and had no known criminal history, according to prosecutors who said that beginning in March she fraudulently obtained more than $85,000 through a bank loan and credit cards to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies online.

"She then made several wire transactions to individuals and opaque entities in Pakistan, China and Turkey, which were designed to avoid transaction reporting requirements and conceal the identity, source and destination of the illicitly-obtained monies," court documents said.

"These transactions were motivated to benefit ISIS, which the defendant ultimately sought to join in Syria," the documents said.

I would not touch Bitcoin with a 10 foot pole - no telling when it will crash and leave you with a fraction of your net "investment". If ISIS is using it to smuggle money, it would be good for it to crash deeply now. Cut their funding off...

Quote of the month - Thomas Jefferson

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"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
-Thomas Jefferson

Sigh - Google Chrome

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They did an update and now the bookmarks look all different.

They changed the User Interface and it sucks - takes up a lot more real-estate on the screen - I have folders with lots of links and now I have to scroll to get them all.

Interesting remnant from WW-II

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Fences made from medical stretchers:

And that is it for me for tonight

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Spending one more day at the farm, meeting with some people and then spending a few days in Seattle.

Been getting a lot of diverse and interesting email spam -- all from one range of IP addresses and all banned after the first few attempts. Fscking pathetic.

I not surprised and neither am I surprised that the Swedish are falling for it hook line and sinker - these stories are what they want to hear. A classic case of Confirmation Bias.
From Breitbart:

Migrants Buying Ready-Made Fake ‘Cover Stories’ To Fool Authorities In Approving Asylum Claims
People smugglers and others have been selling asylum seekers “fake stories” in order to better improve their chances of getting a positive asylum claim in Europe.
A new report claims that asylum seekers from Iran have been buying cover stories from at least three separate websites to fool Swedish authorities into thinking they were being politically oppressed by the Iranian regime Sveriges Radio reports.

The Swedish broadcaster spoke to a man who they named Hamid who claimed that the website had sold him a package that included a regime-critical blog that had been up for several years in order to improve his asylum chances.

According to Hamid, the ploy worked as he was granted residency by the Swedish government after presenting them with his “cover story.”

“I was able to buy a regime-critical blog that has been active for several years. I had to take it over and then they helped me to update it as if it had always been mine,” he said.

The cost of a full package backstory costs around £5,350 according to those behind the websites. Reporters from the radio programme Ekot spoke to an individual about buying not only cover stories but visas to Sweden as well.

It is trivial to back-date a blog entry and there are many blogging sites that are free to use - they cover their costs by running advertising. Come here for the free food stamps, subsidised housing, welfare payments. Stay for the jihad.

I had mentioned that a homeless camp cooking fire was responsible for starting the fire that burned the Bel-Air homes - now, the 1%ers are getting worried - from the Los Angeles Times:

Bel-Air wrestles with homeless crisis after encampment fire destroys multimillion-dollar homes
In the tony hillside neighborhoods of Bel-Air and Brentwood, residents say they are aware of the homeless people who live in the shadows of their multimillion-dollar homes.

The affluent area along the 405 Freeway in the Sepulveda Pass, home to celebrities, corporate titans and others, has not been immune to the homeless crisis that has spread across Los Angeles. Some residents express sympathy and concern for the homeless, while others are wary and want them out.

But the Skirball fire, which destroyed homes and forced the evacuation of a large chunk of Bel-Air, has put the issue at the forefront of community debate. Officials say the blaze was caused by a cooking fire at a homeless camp along the 405. Investigators say the fire was set accidentally, but they have not been able to find those who occupied the camp.

It's one thing to virtue signal and attend tony fundraisers for dealing with homelessness, it is quite another to have one of them burn our house to the ground. In my post yesterday I outlined briefly how the issue of homelessness started with President John F. Kennedy and his Community Mental Health Act. We need to return to the days of institutionalization. The activists are pushing for the "rights" of the mentally ill but they fail to comprehend that most mentally ill people would much rather be in a safe secure environment than to be living out their lives on the streets.

Interesting news from Alabama

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It ain't over - from The Hill:

Possible recount in Alabama: What happens now?
Alabama Republican Roy Moore is refusing to concede in Tuesday's special Senate election, which has been called for Democrat Doug Jones.

Moore and his campaign are holding out hope as the final ballots are cast in case the margin dips to 0.5 percent or below, triggering an automatic recount.

It's unclear whether that will come to pass, as Jones led Moore by 1.5 points into late Tuesday night. But it's clear that no winner will be certified until at least Christmas.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill told reporters during an impromptu Tuesday night press conference in his state capitol office that the state will direct counties to count provisional ballots, absentee ballots and military ballots.

We do live in interesting times. I bet that there are a good number of fraudulent votes to be found - enough to turn the tide?

Another case of Arkancide?

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People who cross Bill and Hillary Clinton tend to wind up dead. Here is a whole website devoted to tracking these cases: Arkancide

Here is one more for the list - from YourNewsWire:

US Surgeon, Who Exposed Clinton Foundation Corruption In Haiti, Found Dead
Dr. Dean Lorich, an orthopedic surgeon who volunteered in Haiti and exposed Clinton Foundation corruption and malpractice on the island, has been found dead in New York. He was 54.

Dr. Lorich was found by his 11-year-old daughter on the bathroom floor of his tony Upper East Side apartment with a knife in his chest at around 1pm on Monday.

The knife missed the surgeon’s heart, leaving him to bleed out and be found by his daughter. Despite the fact police were called to the property regarding an “assault“, they instantly registered the death as “suicide” and closed the case.

One of the United States’ leading surgeons, Dr. Lorich was part of the relief effort sent by the U.S. to assist the relief effort led by the Clinton Foundation in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake. However Dr. Lorich was disgusted by the “shameful” Clinton Foundation operation, and voiced his concerns to Hillary Clinton directly.

Unsatisfied with her response, he went public, writing an article published by CNN, accusing the Clinton Foundation of widespread corruption and malpractice in Haiti that cost the lives of thousands of children.

And a bit more - the Clinton Foundation:

According to Dr. Lorich, a paltry 0.6% of donations granted by international donors to the Clinton Foundation with the express purpose of directly assisting Haitians actually ended up helping citizens of Haiti. 9.6% ended up with the Haitian government. The remaining 89.8%  – or $5.4 billion – was funneled to non-Haitian organizations.

Suicide. Sure. The article at CNN is here - a damning read: Doctors: Haiti medical situation shameful

The Wikileaks website has one of Hillary's emails that goes into greater detail: DOCTORS REPORT FROM HAITI

From Rutgers University:

Mass of Warm Rock Rising Beneath New England, Rutgers Study Suggests
Slowly but steadily, an enormous mass of warm rock is rising beneath part of New England, although a major volcanic eruption isn’t likely for millions of years, a Rutgers University-led study suggests. The research is groundbreaking in its scope and challenges textbook concepts of geology.

“The upwelling we detected is like a hot air balloon, and we infer that something is rising up through the deeper part of our planet under New England,” said lead author Vadim Levin, a geophysicist and professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “It is not Yellowstone (National Park)-like, but it’s a distant relative in the sense that something relatively small – no more than a couple hundred miles across – is happening.”

The study, which tapped seismic data through the National Science Foundation’s EarthScope program, was published online this week in Geology. Study co-authors include Yiran Li and Peter Skryzalin, who did their research through Rutgers’ Aresty Research Assistant Program, and researchers at Yale University.

“Our study challenges the established notion of how the continents on which we live behave,” Levin said. “It challenges the textbook concepts taught in introductory geology classes.”

Interesting. The Earthscope site is fascinating - lots of maps and data.

Internet woes

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I am at the store and the internet is bad here as well. Life in a small town.

Working on some other stuff so will try later this afternoon...

Internet woes

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My network connection has been up and down four five times this evening.

Time to work on some other stuff...

The California fires

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It will be interesting to see if the State of California will take funds away from social programs nad spend them on repairing their crumbling infrastructure. The winds caused power lines to arc and this is what caused the majority of the fires. Here is one other cause - from the Los Angeles Times:

Fire at a homeless encampment sparked Bel-Air blaze that destroyed homes, officials say
The blaze that swept through the hills of Bel-Air last week, destroying six homes and damaging a dozen others, was sparked by a cooking fire at a homeless encampment in a nearby ravine, Los Angeles officials said Tuesday.

The encampment was nestled in a canyon several hundred feet from Sepulveda Boulevard and the 405 Freeway, hidden from passing cars. For several years, it had been home to an unknown number of people, officials said.

Investigators said the fire had not been set deliberately and they have not found any of the people who lived there. The camp — one of scores of makeshift communities that have grown along freeways, rivers and open space across Los Angeles — was largely destroyed in the fire, leaving authorities with little evidence.

And of course, it is not the homeless who are at fault:

News that one of Los Angeles’ most affluent neighborhoods was damaged in a fire sparked by some of the city’s poorest residents added a sober note to the incident, with some officials saying it underscores the need to do more to house the homeless.

The majority of the homeless are mentally ill - they used to be institutionalized and although these institutions were mundane and many times underfunded, at least they were fed and kept clean and given things to do according to their mental abilities. Enter President John F. Kennedy and his Community Mental Health Act - passed in 1963, it caused widespread deinstitutionalization. Every single act by progressives have only exacerbated the homeless problem. We need to return to a program of institutionalization. People will cry that this would violate the "rights" of the mentally ill but the mentally ill - by the very definition - are not capable of acting on their own best interests.

More here: The Sumburgh Head Foghorn

I really love old machinery...

Betting the farm house - Bitcoin

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It's a bubble folks - now this is just plain stupid. From CNBC:

People are taking out mortgages to buy bitcoin, says securities regulator
Bitcoin is in the "mania" phase, with some people even borrowing money to get in on the action, securities regulator Joseph Borg told CNBC on Monday.

"We've seen mortgages being taken out to buy bitcoin. … People do credit cards, equity lines," said Borg, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association, a voluntary organization devoted to investor protection. Borg is also director of the Alabama Securities Commission.

And from Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge:

It's Official: Bitcoin Surpasses "Tulip Mania", Is Now The Biggest Bubble In World History
One month ago, a chart from Convoy Investments went viral for showing that among all of the world's most famous asset bubbles, bitcoin was only lagging the infamous 17th century "Tulip Mania."

One month later, the price of bitcoin has exploded even higher, and so it is time to refresh where in the global bubble race bitcoin now stands, and also whether it has finally surpassed "Tulips."

Conveniently, overnight the former Bridgewater analysts Howard Wang and Robert Wu who make up Convoy, released the answer in the form of an updated version of their asset bubble chart. In the new commentary, Wang writes that the Bitcoin prices have again more than doubled since the last update, and "its price has now gone up over 17 times this year, 64 times over the last three years and superseded that of the Dutch Tulip’s climb over the same time frame."

That's right: as of this moment it is official that bitcoin is now the biggest bubble in history, having surpassed the Tulip Mania of 1634-1637.

It will crash - we do not know when but it will crash. T and I have been talking about investments and financial strategy for our future - Bitcoin is nowhere near the picture.

The outrage - worlds smallest violin

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From the New York Post:

Family of Port Authority bombing suspect is ‘outraged’ at investigators’ tactics
The family of the alleged ISIS-inspired Port Authority bomber said they were “heartbroken” by the attack on Monday and blasted law enforcement agencies for what they claimed were heavy-handed tactics by investigators.

Seriously? What did they expect here - the guy came over here because some other relative had already immigrated. He did not bother to assimilate into our culture and he tried to kill himself while murdering and maiming as many people as he could. There was no indication that he was a lone wolf - this could have been part of a plot with other conspiritors.

I am eternally grateful that he was so stupid as to have botched the explosive. He could have seriously hurt people.

Worlds smallest violin? Originally from M.A.S.H.

Cool discovery to our North

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From the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

'This is a major discovery': Explorers find massive ice-age cavern beneath Montreal
Explorers have just discovered a new underground passage, complete with stalactites and a lake, all buried beneath the city of Montreal — and they don't know where it ends yet.

Until a couple of months ago, no one had ever set foot inside.

CBC crews were among the first people who had the chance to explore the cathedral-like chamber, which was formed more than 15,000 years ago during the ice age.

Makes you wonder what else is there. The majority of the mountains around here are limestone - lots of rumors of caves but nothing tangible.

The usual

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Coffee, post office, store...

More later

Some fun music

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Was looking through some YouTube channels and ran into this. T and I just finished watching Game of Thrones - this is cute:

Busy couple of days

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Up North for a few days - meeting with people and taking care of paperwork. Staring at a couple hundred new emails - I subscribe to a couple of fairly high-volume email lists so really need to pare back.

More as I surf...

President Obama invokes Godwin's Law

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Godwin's Law? Here:

Godwin's law (or Godwin's rule of Nazi analogies) is an Internet adage asserting that "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1"

From Chicago's Crain's Business Journal:

Invoking the specter of Nazi Germany, Obama warns against complacency
American democracy is fragile, and unless care is taken it could follow the path of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Mixed in with many softer comments, that was the somewhat jaw-dropping bottom line of Barack Obama last night as, in a Q&A session before the Economic Club of Chicago, the Chicagoan who used to be president dropped a bit of red meat to a hometown crowd that likely is a lot closer to him than the man whose name never was mentioned: President Donald Trump.

More at the site and no, Obama didn't come right out and say it but the inference is clear.

Light posting next couple of days

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Busy for the next couple of days - herding cats...

Excellent article at American Thinker:

Utah 'Monument' Was a Reward to a Clinton Donor
The shrinking in size of two national monuments in Utah by President Trump through executive order was a long overdue rebuke to federal land grabs that have enabled federal control of vast swaths of American land, particularly in the West. As the New York Times noted in 2016:

The United States government owns 47 percent of all land in the West. In some states, including Oregon, Utah and Nevada, the majority of land is owned by the federal government. Of course, it used to own nearly all of it….

East of the Mississippi… the federal government owns only 4 percent of land.

Part of that discrepancy is due to the vagaries of the Western expansion into the sparely populated frontier. Part of it is due to the desires of environmentalists to turn America into a save-the-earth postcard -- take pictures and don’t touch. President Trump, who has unlocked much of America’s resources that were formerly held hostage by greenies and others, has decided to return to the people of Utah control of and decision-making power over the land of Utah, so you no longer need permission from a Beltway bureaucrat to pick up a rock and move it one foot to the left.

Turns out the area has a rich coal deposit - the coal is low pollutant, low sulfur and very clean burining. Worth quite a lot and can be mined with minimal surface disturbance. President Clinton established the monument  and did a friend a favor:

Bill Clinton's unilateral land grab in Utah declaring 1.7 million acres a national monument and placing off-limits to an energy starved United States up to 62 billion tons of environmentally safe low sulfur coal worth $1.2 trillion that could have been mined with minimal surface impact was in fact a political payoff to the family of James Riady.

James Riady was the son of Lippo Group owner Mochtar Riady. Young James was found guilty of and paid a multi-million dollar fine for funneling more than $1 million in illegal political contributions through Lippo Bank into various American political campaigns, including Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential run. Connect the dots. Riady’s relationship between the Clintons, would be long and corrupt, even extending to donations to the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton took off the world market the largest known deposit of clean-burning coal. Who owned and controlled the second-largest deposit in the world? The Indonesian Lippo Group of James Riady. It is found and strip-mined on the Indonesian island of Kalamantan.

The Utah reserve contains the kind of low-sulfur, low-ash, and therefore low-polluting coal the likes of which can be found in only a couple of places in the world. It burns so cleanly that it meets the requirements of the Clean Air Act without additional technology.

Shades of Hillary's Uranium One deal with Russia. They both need to do some hard time.

Another bureaucracy bits the dust

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Ever hear of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? Brainchild of Fauxcahontis Elizabeth Warren who slipped into the Dodd Frank bill before it was passed by Congressional Democrats. Looks like it is being looked at closeley - from The New York Post:

Trump is finally fixing this economy-killing agency
President Trump’s executive orders slashing onerous Obama-era regulations on industry have been credited with kick-starting the sluggish economy and rocket-boosting the stock market. But there’s one mountain of red tape that’s eluded his machete — the Obama-created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Until now.

Last week, the White House finally wrested control of the mammoth regulatory agency following the resignation of CFPB Director Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee and liberal Democrat who quit his special five-year post early to run for Ohio governor.Trump installed his conservative budget director, Mick Mulvaney, to temporarily take over the powerful agency — which has the authority to determine the “fairness” of virtually every financial transaction in America.

On his first day on the job, Mulvaney instated a 30-day freeze on all new hiring and regulations at the CFPB, triggering a collective sigh of relief from the financial industry.

“It is a completely unaccountable agency, and I think that’s wrong,” Mulvaney explained. “If the law allowed this place not to exist, I’d sit down with the president to try to make the case that other agencies can do this job well if not more effectively.”

Good - there is a lot more at the article - this was a rogue government agency and needs to be gutted.

Boldly going - a new Star Trek movie

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Looks interesting - from Deadline Hollywood:

Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Star Trek’ Will Be R-Rated: ‘The Revenant’s Mark L. Smith Frontrunner Scribe
EXCLUSIVE: After Deadline this week revealed that Quentin Tarantino pitched aStar Trek film to JJ Abrams and Paramount, the whole thing is moving at warp speed. Tarantino met for hours in a writers room with Mark L. Smith, Lindsey Beer, and Drew Pearce. They kicked around ideas and one of them will get the job. I’m hearing the frontrunner is Smith, who wrote The Revenant. The film will most certainly go where no Star Trek has gone before: Tarantino has required it to be R rated, and Paramount and Abrams agreed to that condition. Most mega budget tent poles restrict the film to a PG-13 rating in an effort to maximize the audience.

Sounds like quite the combination - Tarantino and Trek. A lot of fans will be up in arms for violating the canon but hell - this should be a really fun ride!

President Trump recognizes Israel

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Wonderful move on his part - from the London Daily Mail:

'Jerusalem IS Israel's capital': I will move our embassy there AND make peace with the Palestinians says Trump as he defies the world's warning he will set the Middle East on fire with dramatic change of policy
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that America formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital city, changing decades of U.S. policy in a brief afternoon speech and casting the move as a bid to preserve, not derail, aspirations for regional peace.

Appearing in the White House's Diplomatic Reception Room against an elaborate backdrop of Christmas decorations, He also said the United States embassy in Israel would, over time, be moved there from Tel Aviv.

Israel is the only country where the United States has an embassy in a city that the host nation does not consider its capital.

'I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,' Trump said. 'While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today I am delivering.'

Excellent news! Of course, there will be grumbling from the Peanut Gallery but tough. It is time for people to start dealing with facts and not narratives.

An interesting set of fortunes

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People who know me will know that I collect way too much stuff for "future projects". If I see something for sale or at an auction, I will get it with the plans of using it at some later time. That time seldom comes with the result of my now having a barn and several outbuildings filled with "cool shit". My major focus is paring everything down to just the blacksmithing and metal work, music, amateur radio and electronics and photography. Nothing else. No more home brewing, no other crafts, no chemistry or biology projects, etc...

Trish is a wonderful artist - majored in it at the University - but has been involved with raising her two children and teaching for the last 20+ years. It is time for her to get back to her artwork.

Last night, we had Chinese takeout for dinner from our favorite restaurant and our fortunes were spot on.

Hers: Welcome the change coming soon into your life.
Mine: Now is a good time for a new collection or hobby.

Trish just muttered under her breath when I showed her mine. I love that woman!

Not surprising at all

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From D.C. station WTOP:

DC has highest percentage of heavy drinkers
Compared to states, the District ranks No. 2 for the percentage of adults who consume alcohol and No. 1 for the percentage of heavy drinkers, according to, an online resource for alcohol abuse treatment programs.

According to the study, 65.9 percent of adults in D.C. have had at least one drink in the past month, second only to Wisconsin’s 67.3 percent. The study was based on data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which collects health-related data from phone interviews.

The study also says 11.1 percent of D.C. adults are what it labels heavy drinkers, consuming more than two drinks daily for men and more than one drink daily for women.

If I had to deal with the people there, I would self-medicate too...

From the Los Angeles Times:

Ventura County wildfire rages over 50,000 acres, destroys more than 150 structures; 27,000 flee
A fast-moving, wind-fueled wildfire swept into the city of Ventura early Tuesday, burning 50,000 acres, destroying homes and forcing more than 27,000 people to evacuate.

About 3,000 homes were evacuated, a firefighter was injured and Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Ventura County on Tuesday morning, as some 1,000 personnel continued to battle the Thomas fire.

Gusts up pver 60 MPH

The stars come out at night

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They are shooting The Mountain in our tiny hamlet of Glacier for the next few days. Jeff Goldblum is the star and has been seen all over - very friendly and personable from all accounts. The film is still in development so nothing asvailable online about other stars or plot.

Should have called the experts

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When anyone talks about explosive demolition of a structure, the go-to people are the Loizeaux family at Controlled Demolition, Inc. They are a family-run business operating since their founding in 1947.

Here is what happens when you do not use them - from the Detroit Free Press:

Demolition executive says wiring to blame in failed Pontiac Silverdome implosion
A series of thunderous detonations rocked the Pontiac Silverdome early Sunday morning, sending up clouds of smoke and thrilling a spectator crowd of hundreds out to watch the start of the stadium's demolition.

But as the smoke cleared, a problem became apparent: the Silverdome was intact.

Officials with the demolition contractor, Detroit-based Adamo Group, confirmed that the explosions failed to bring down the steel columns supporting the Silverdome's upper level. The detonations — and anticipated collapse of the upper level — were to be the opening round for a year-long demolition project, which will mostly be done with hydraulic excavators.

Roughly 10% of the explosive charges did not detonate due to a wiring issue, said Rick Cuppetilli, executive vice president with Adamo. These unexploded charges were set up in eight key locations around the Silverdome. The precise cause of the wiring issue remained unclear early Sunday afternoon.

Here is how you do it - CDI's work at Seattle's Kingdome Sport's Arena - Sunday, March 26, 2000

And another one bites the dust

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Liberals' past lives are coming back to haunt them. From The New York Times:

Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations
The Metropolitan Opera suspended James Levine, its revered conductor and former music director, on Sunday after three men came forward with accusations that Mr. Levine sexually abused them decades ago, when the men were teenagers.

Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Met, announced that the company was suspending its four-decade relationship with Mr. Levine, 74, and canceling his upcoming conducting engagements after learning from The New York Times on Sunday about the accounts of the three men, who described a series of similar sexual encounters beginning in the late 1960s. The Met has also asked an outside law firm to investigate Mr. Levine’s behavior.

“While we await the results of the investigation, based on these news reports the Met has made the decision to act now,” Mr. Gelb said in an interview, adding that the Met’s board supported his actions. “This is a tragedy for anyone whose life has been affected.”

And of course, there had been multiple complaints starting in 1987 and continuing forward. Back then, Mr. Levine was the "star" and anything otherwise was hushed up. Now, it is coming home to roost. Good.

Gun control I agree with

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From USA Today:

Exclusive: Feds issue 4,000 orders to seize guns from people who failed background checks
Federal authorities sought to take back guns from thousands of people the background check system should have blocked from buying weapons because they had criminal records, mental health issues or other problems that would disqualify them. 

A USA TODAY review found that the FBI issued more than 4,000 requests last year for agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives to retrieve guns from prohibited buyers.

It's the largest number of such retrieval requests in 10 years, according to bureau records – an especially striking statistic after revelations that a breakdown in the background check system allowed a troubled Air Force veteran to buy a rifle later used to kill 26 worshipers at a Texas church last month. 

I fully agree with this. Lie on your 4473 and you should at the least have your gun taken away and at worst, suffer a fine or punishment at a Federal level.

Wonderful news - the travel ban

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Time to stop the radicalized middle-easterners from streaming in to our country without being properly vetted. From Associated Press:

Supreme Court allows full enforcement of Trump travel ban
The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries.

This is not a final ruling on the travel ban: Challenges to the policy are winding through the federal courts, and the justices themselves ultimately are expected to rule on its legality.

But the action indicates that the high court might eventually approve the latest version of the ban, announced by President Donald Trump in September. Lower courts have continued to find problems with the policy.

Hidden in the text is the fact that it was a 7 to 2 decision.

Just two justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, noted their disagreement...

This is not a ban on all travel, only people from six mostly Muslim countries. This is out of a total of 50 countries with a Muslim majority. A drop in the bucket. Also, do not forget that visa officials can make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

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