Makes sense - a merger of titans

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There are two powerhouses in analog circuitry components - these people make the chips that take the analog world of music and science and photography and measurement and convert the variable data into the digital realm. Both have been around since God made Dirt - both really awesome companies.

From the Analog Devices website:

Analog Devices and Linear Technology to Combine Creating the Premier Analog Technology Company
Analog Devices, Inc. and Linear Technology Corporation today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Analog Devices will acquire Linear Technology in a cash and stock transaction that values the combined enterprise at approximately $30 billion. Upon completion of the acquisition, Analog Devices will be the premier global analog technology company with approximately $5 billion in anticipated annual revenues.

First started designing with Analog Devices products in 1970 and still using their products today. Great stuff and they listen to their customers. The only other company like this was Burr-Brown but they were assimilated by Texas Instruments back in 2000 - borg lite. Jack would be spinning in his grave.

Great news - street food just got a Michelin Star - from Reuters:

Singapore street stalls make dining history with Michelin star
Hungry diners queued up at a small, modest street food stall in Singapore on Friday to get a taste of the restaurant's local delights worthy of a coveted Michelin star.

Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle and Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle made dining history on Thursday when they became the first street food stalls in the world to be awarded a star by Michelin as French critics revealed a Singapore guide of 29 establishments.

Singapore is the first Southeast Asian country and the fourth in Asia to be rated by the Michelin Guide. It has more than 100 open-air "hawker" centers and 6,000 stalls selling popular multi-ethnic meals.

And an interesting bit of demographics:

Chan hopes his stall's success will encourage more young people to enter the hawker trade, which is starting to suffer from a lack of successors for the stalls, which are primarily run by elderly cooks.

Move to Portland and Seattle and start training the next generation. Of course, demographics always shift and the next trend will be somewhere else and a different cuisine. Seems to be about a ten year window on this stuff unless you are actually doing real food for real people.

Always loved visiting Hong Kong - never been to Singapore.

Brisket in the fridge

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Came out wonderful - can't wait to finish it and start eating. Completely spaced out on adding the chicken breasts. Since those only take two or three hours to smoke, I'll do a bunch of them in a few days and freeze them for later. Was thinking about smoked chicken and white bean chili or soup. Decisions, decisions...

Heh - more popcorn needed

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From CNN:

Julian Assange: 'A lot more material' coming on US elections
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said Tuesday his whistleblowing website might release "a lot more material" relevant to the US electoral campaign.

Assange was speaking in a CNN interview following the release of nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee by suspected Russian hackers.

This is good - speaking truth to power. Blow up both parties - rip the mask off and expose the corruption.

Another reason to vote for Trump

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From Americans for Tax Reform:

Democratic Platform Calls for Carbon Tax
The 2016 Democratic Party platform endorses a carbon tax on the American people. The carbon tax language, added at the last minute, states:

“Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean economy and help meet out climate goals.”

The move by Democrats to impose a carbon tax comes in clear contrast to the 2016 Republican Party platform opposition to any carbon tax:

“We oppose any carbon tax.”

This demonization of carbon is ludicrous - we would not have life on this planet if it were not for Carbon and CO2 gas.

Retractions in the news (shhhhhh)

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A paper on the pollution resulting from fracking has been retracted by its authors. From the BOE Report:

Anti-Fracking Study Gets Retracted for Basic Math Error
A University of Cincinnati study regularly cited by activists claiming that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, causes air pollution was quietly retracted due to “errors” and “incorrect” calculations.

The researchers admitted that correcting their errors “changes air concentrations significantly relative to those reported in the published article. This correction also changes some of the conclusions reported in the original article.” Researchers retracted the study because of a basic math error caused by the use of incorrect units and improper use of a spreadsheet.

The study was announced at an event hosted by the anti-fracking group Carroll County Concerned Citizens and the study’s co-lead author, Dr. Erin Hayes, has also participated in other anti-fracking events.

The study had numerous flaws, as participants were actively recruited by the anti-fracking activist group, did not use random testing and did not account for sources of health hazards other than oil and gas activity. The scientists behind the study previously admitted that the sample size used for their study was too small and that the chief assumption used for the research model was “totally impractical.”

The enviros will trumpet the initial paper to the heavens but will they utter anything about this retraction? Thought not. Does not fit the narrative - these people would not recognize a scientific fact if it hit them in the face.

Cool new technology - Leidos Corp.

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Autonomous unmanned anti-submarine chaser. From Leidos:

LEIDOS PARTICIPATES IN CHRISTENING OF DARPA'S INNOVATIVE, HIGHLY AUTONOMOUS PROTOTYPE UNMANNED VESSEL
Roger Krone, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Leidos, a national security, health and infrastructure solutions company, joined senior officials from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) and the Department of Defense today to christen the prototype vehicle from DARPA's Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Continuous Trail Unmanned Vessel (ACTUV) program. Leidos led the team that designed and built the vessel, named Sea Hunter, which embodies the program's goals to develop a highly autonomous unmanned vessel capable of operating over thousands of kilometers on the open seas for months at a time under only sparse remote supervisory control.

"ACTUV could enable future capabilities that would greatly extend our customers' ability to cost-effectively monitor the maritime environment while keeping our servicemen and women safe," Krone said. "This event showcases exciting advances in autonomous technology, and highlights our open architecture approach and extensive testing that has made ACTUV a reality."

Leveraging decades of naval architecture experience, Leidos began construction of Sea Hunter in 2014. With its modular trimaran design, the vessel is designed for enhanced stability in all kinds of weather. It incorporates a diverse sensor suite, including sonar, electro-optical, and short- and long-range radars. Through at-sea testing on a surrogate vessel, Leidos has proved ACTUV's autonomy suite capable of operating the ship in compliance with maritime laws and conventions for safe navigation—including International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, or COLREGS.

They are not posting high-resolution images for some strange reason :) but what we can see looks pretty spiffy: I would not mind spending an afternoon poking through its insides...

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The murder of the Priest in France

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Turns out the murdering scum had been in jail twice and was wearing an ankle bracelet. From the London Daily Mail:

First picture of one of ISIS knifemen who forced elderly priest, 84, to kneel at altar before they slit his throat on camera after invading Mass - then gave 'Arabic sermon' before they were shot dead by police 
One of a pair of ISIS knifemen who stormed a church in Normandy before slitting the throat of an elderly priest has been named as known terror threat Adel Kermiche.

The 19-year-old 'ISIS soldier' was being monitored with an electronic ankle tag after he was arrested for twice attempting to flee France to join the terror group in Syria.

Despite having been released early from prison, Keriche's bail conditions allowed him to roam unsupervised between 8.30am and 12.30pm, leaving him free to murder the priest in the attack carried out between 9am and 11am.

Kermiche and his accomplice - also known to French police - forced 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel to kneel before filming themselves butchering him and performing a 'sermon in Arabic' at the altar of the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, according to witnesses.

Both were shot dead by police marksmen as they emerged from the building shouting 'Allahu Akbar' following the attack that also left a nun critically injured.

French President Francois Hollande, who visited the scene today, said the country is now 'at war' with ISIS after the terror group claimed responsibility.

Let us hope that President Hollande has the stones to bring the war to these muslim fanaticists. Eliminating immigration would be a great place to start. Refugees? Let their brothers in Saudi Arabia take care of them - they certainly have the space and the money.

About those American Flags

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The Democratic National Convention stage is now flying some American Flags:

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Off to the far left - looks like four of them. Better than yesterday (here and here). Still a couple shy of the 36 flags that the other folks had on their stage...

Bummer from Amazon

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Bought something from Amazon, got it home and unboxed and it turns out to be an International Edition (gray market) with no US Warranty. Japanese owners manual. I am also suspecting that it was a re-pack as the item was just stuffed into a bag in the box and there was no protective film on the LCD display.

Emailing the vendor and will see what happens...

Auction over

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Bid on one item and won it. It was a large electronics box with some useful bits - power supplies, relays and two PLCs. The other lots had been bid up over twice what I was valuing them.

Heading out for coffee - just refilled the smoker - got a big beef brisket going and will do a couple chicken breasts later today.

The American Flag was noted yesterday although there were Communist flags in abundance outside the convention hall. Other things were missing:

From Polifact:

RNC is right that no Democratic speaker mentioned ISIS on convention's first night
Night one of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia had barely ended when the Republican National Committee sent a blast email to reporters attacking the Democrats for ignoring the threat of terrorism when speaking at the podium.

"61: Number Of Speeches At The DNC Tonight," the Republican National Committee wrote. "0: Mentions Of The Global Terrorist Threat Posed By ISIS."

Was the Democratic discussion of ISIS and Islamic terrorism that thin? Basically, yes.

More on the missing American Flags at Gateway Pundit:

DNC Convention 2016: Soviet Flags, Palestinian Flag – BUT NO US FLAGS

Lots of photos at the site. And finally, from the New York Post:

Delegate slams DNC for not donating leftover food to poor
The Democratic Party tossed out leftover food after a welcome party for delegates at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Sunday, leaving at least one delegate fuming.

“I was a hungry child. Went to bed hungry many a night,” Timothy Baumgardner, a Washington state delegate, told The Post. “I fed people from the garbage.”

He said he asked the caterer whether the food could be donated to the poor, but was told that wasn’t allowed. “Sad,” Baumgardner said.

That would have been a very simple gesture to make and would have been a major public relations coup. Instead, they just reinforced their self-identity as the ruling elite and above the cares of the little man. Clueless and out of touch.

Another Islamic attack

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This time, slashing the throat of a Priest as he was saying Mass - from Breitbart:

Pope Francis Condemns ‘Barbarous Murder’ of Priest in French Church
In a Vatican statement Tuesday, Pope Francis announced his “most radical condemnation” of the terrorist attack, in which two men slit the throat of a priest during morning Mass and took several other people hostage, seriously wounding one of them.

In the written statement sent to Breitbart News, papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi, said that the Holy See was “shocked” by this latest news, which is added to a whole series of violent attacks in recent days, “creating immense sorrow and worry.”

Lombardi said that the Pope “shares in the sorrow and horror over this absurd violence,” offering his “most radical condemnation” of the act as well as his prayers for the victims.

All well and good but I think it has come time to go Charles Martel on their collective asses and do some serious battle with these Islamist scum. They have repeatedly declared war on the West - fine! Let's bring it to them.

The people we elect to office

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In this case, Representative Hank Johnson of Georgia (a Democrat) - from The Times of Israel:

Georgia Democrat compares Israeli settlers to burrowing termites
As a contentious convention got underway under stormy skies in Philadelphia, a prominent Georgia Democrat came under fire Monday for seeming to compare Israeli settlers to termites during an event supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement held on the convention’s sidelines.

Speaking at an event sponsored by the pro-BDS organization US Campaign to end the Israeli Occupation, Johnson complained that “there has been a steady [stream], almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself, there has been settlement activity that has marched forward with impunity and at an ever increasing rate to the point where it has become alarming.”

Johnson is the moron who went on public record as being concerned that the island of Guam would tip over. Take the time to watch the video from 2010 - it is hilarious as the poor guy is clearly out of his depth.

Bernie Sanders - the true story

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From humorist Andy Borowitz writing in The New Yorker:

INTEGRITY DISQUALIFIES SANDERS FOR WHITE HOUSE
The Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s potential bid for the 2016 Presidency was declared over, on Monday, before it even began, because of a key feature of the American political system that makes a person with integrity ineligible for the White House.

According to some experts, the electoral system has developed a number of safeguards over the past few decades to prevent someone with independence and backbone from occupying the Presidency.

“Bernie Sanders’s failure to become a member of either major political party excludes him from the network of cronyism and backroom deals required under our system to be elected,” said Davis Logsdon, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota. “Though that failure alone would disqualify Sanders, the fact that he is not beholden to a major corporate interest or investment bank would also make him ineligible.”

This is of course a humorous piece but sadly, there is the sharp sting of truth here too.

Chuck Norris

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Wonderful film - reissued

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Barry Lyndon is an amazing visual sweep of the imagination. One of Stanley Kubrick's finest. It has been remastered and is being released to theaters in England on July 29th. No word when it will arrive in the colonies. Trailer:

Great bit of trivia is that it was shot entirely in natural light - the candlelight scenes too. Kubrick had to have a lens built that had a large enough aperture to be able to do this. He was able to adapt a lens that had been custom-built by Zeiss for the Apolo Space Program. Here and here.

Flags at the DNC convention

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There may not have been any American flags but there were some of these - from The Gateway Pundit:

Photos: Soviet Flags Fly Proudly at DNC Convention March in Philly

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More at the site. Disgusting. All of them have iPhones and laptops and wear the latest hipster clothing - it is all play-acting to them. They have no clue what really happens under Communism and no desire to ever study the history. A perfect example of Lenin's useful idiots

From The Daily Caller:

No Visible American Flags Present At The Democrat Convention
The Daily Caller is at the Democratic National Convention and it doesn’t look like there are any American flags.

The stage is bland and grey, with no red, white or blue present. A thorough look at the crowd present also turns up no American flags.

The Republican National Convention in Cleveland on the other hand was filled with Americana.

Check it out for yourself:

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Bernie supporters on Hillary

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Great article from The New York Post:

Even Bernie Sanders supporters want Hillary Clinton behind bars
Bernie Sanders supporters and Donald Trump fans have at least one thing in common – they want Hillary Clinton behind bars.

A group of disheartened Sanders backers chanted and waved signs outside an Info Wars sponsored van emblazoned with the slogan, “Hillary for Prison 2016,” according to Kayla Epstein of the Washington Post.

The fix for Hillary was in over a year ago. Bernie never had a chance.

Nothing much happening out there

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Grace loved her hamburger - so did I.

The Democratic Convention's first day was today - nothing much caught my eye save for Debbie Wasserman Schultz getting booed off the stage for the crime of being caught shilling for Hillary in her deleted and then dumped emails.

From The Washington Post:

A day of humiliation for party chair underscores Democratic divide
What was supposed to be a morning of personal triumph for Debbie Wasserman Schultz — rallying her home-state delegation before opening the Democratic National Convention she had orchestrated — suddenly became one of humiliation.

“Shame!” people in the room jeered as the congresswoman addressed a Monday breakfast of the Florida delegation. “Shame!”

It was a cringe-worthy, nationally televised spectacle that exposed deep divisions within the Democratic Party and reopened raw wounds from the Hillary Clinton-Bernie Sanders primary battles. By the afternoon, Wasserman Schultz had disappeared here in Philadelphia, after also giving up her speaking slot and her ceremonial role gaveling the convention to order.

Back home again

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Gorgeous day today and got a whole week or more of them lined up.

Couple of items that I will be bidding on - the business made electrical sub-assemblies for other companies and had been pretty well picked over. Still, there are a couple boxes that would be worth $20 each for me. Heat shrink tubing, wire, connectors, etc...

Fixing some hamburgers for dinner tonight (one for me and one for Grace) - making some mac salad as well as a pasta salad. Having some cool food on hand sounds good for the next couple of days. Nothing like an ice-cold beer - that first swallow is pure ambrosia... Also prepping a brisket for smoking tomorrow - it is salted and sitting in the fridge.

Nothing much this morning

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Took care of the critters, got coffee and heading into town for some banking and to check an auction.

More spew later this afternoon.

Hillary on camera having some kind of seizure - July 21st:

It has been a brutally tragic few days:

The London Daily Mail:

Mother and her three daughters, aged between 8 and 14, are stabbed by 'Muslim' man in French holiday resort because they were 'scantily dressed'

The UK Telegraph:

Blast in German city of Ansbach that killed one 'caused by explosive device'

The Telegraph again:

Munich gunman Ali Sonboly was 'planning attack for a year'

From Breitbart:

Syrian ‘Refugee’ Machetes Pregnant Woman To Death, Injures Two More In Germany

And this is not even touching on the terrorism being done by the Islamists in their own nations to their own people:

From Russia Today:

Death toll in Kabul suicide attack climbs to over 80 killed, more than 230 injured

From CNN:

21 killed in Baghdad suicide blast, weeks after deadliest in years

China's Xinhua News Service:

IS bomb attacks kill 13 civilians in Iraq's besieged town

From Eurasianet:

UPDATE Kazakhstan: Almaty Attack Death Toll Raised to Four

We need to address the fact that these people are at war with the Western world and they will continue to attack us until we convince them to stop. Our leaders are doing us no favors by kicking this can down the road and letting some future leader deal with it - this only makes them bolder. More can be found here: The Religion of Peace

Jim Hoft has done an incredible job of compiling an annotated list of Hillary emails - go to The Gateway Pundit for the whole thing. Here are just a few to whet your appetite:

HERE IT IS=> Detailed List of Findings in Wikileaks DNC Document Dump
On Friday Wikileaks released nearly 20,000 hacked emails it says are from the accounts of Democratic National Committee officials.

The documents were released just days before the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia.

The hacked emails revealed the DNC’s hatred for Bernie Sanders and his movement. The documents reveal the party’s hidden ties with the liberal media. The emails reveal the heights of dishonesty of the party infrastructure.

Now there is a list of a few of the most shocking emails released by Wikileaks.
The list was compiled thanks to the work of Reddit Bernie Sander supporters and Donald Trump supporters:
Hat Tip Steve A.

DNC member killing horses for insurance money.
https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/578
DNC making fun of black womans name.
https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/17942
DNC telling each other, “I love you too. no homo.”
https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/425
DNC requesting a pull an MSNBC commentary segment.
https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/6107
DNC controlling the narrative with time released stories.
https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/12450
DNC conspiring to create false Trump information and release with Reuters.
https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/7102
DNC Hillary supporters infiltrated Sanders campaign.
https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/4776

A couple more (the list is quite long)

Possible money laundering by moving money back and forth to bypass legal limits.
https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/6230
Politico writer sending his stories to the DNC before he sends them to his editor.
https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/10808
DNC feeding CNN the questions they want to be asked in interviews.
https://wikileaks.org/dnc-emails/emailid/4077

And there are 530+ comments to this post, many with additional links to other emails. This is the gift that keeps on giving. Crooked Hillary really screwed herself good with the lax security on her servers.

Politicians building a wall

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They do not want one at our border but they sure want one around themselves - from The American Mirror:

PHOTOS: DNC erects four-mile eight-foot tall fence around Philly convention site
To the Democratic National Committee elites, keeping average Americans away from their convention is a good idea, while protecting the southern border from intruding terrorists, rapists and murderers is a bad one.

The DNC has erected a four-mile fence around its convention site at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center. (Isn’t it ironic they’re doing so much to protect a site named after a bank?)

The fence, which appears to be about 8 feet tall, is intended to keep out any individuals with whom Democratic Party leaders, delegates and other liberal elites would rather not mingle.

20160724-fence.jpg

The party of the little guy, the party of the people... And if you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in buying.

It has been really overcast but with little actual precipitation. Looks like we are finally getting our Summer weather - from the National Weather Service:

20160724-weather.jpg

Doing a quick run into town tomorrow morning (the preview for this auction: Chinook Enterprises) and then spraying the pasture fenceline and the garden - get the weeds knocked down a bit. I need three days of sunshine to activate the Glyphosate and for it to break back down again.

And she's OUT!

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From PJ Media:

Wasserman Schultz Out as DNC Leader After Convention
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) pulled out as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee the day before the party's convention gets underway in Philadelphia -- but her resignation isn't effective immediately.

Her resignation:

Wasserman Schultz's resignation won't be effective until the end of the week.

"As party chair, this week I will open and close the convention and I will address our delegates about the stakes involved in this election not only for Democrats, but for all Americans," she said in a statement. "We have planned a great and unified convention this week and I hope and expect that the DNC team that has worked so hard to get us to this point will have the strong support of all Democrats in making sure this is the best convention we have ever had."

Segue back a few months - from The Daily Caller:

Emails: Wasserman Schultz Was FURIOUS With Mika Brzezinski Over Criticism
Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz was so furious with Mika Brzezinski after the MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host called on her to resign as chair of the Democratic National Committee back in May that she ordered her deputy to complain to Phil Griffin, the head of the cable network.

The fascinating exchange, which also includes irate emails from Wasserman Schultz to NBC political director Chuck Todd, were released on Friday by WikiLeaks.

Much more at The Daily Caller post including links to the emails in question. Debbie is a real piece of work. It will be good for everyone to have her gone.

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

Thousands of Bernie Sanders Supporters Are Suing the DNC in a Massive Class Action Lawsuit
Millions of Bernie Sanders’ donors may now have legal recourse against the Democratic primaries they saw as rigged.

Beck & Lee Trial Lawyers, a civil litigation firm based in Miami, Florida, is announcing the filing of a class action lawsuit against the DNC early next week, alleging fraud and collusion with the Hillary Clinton campaign. While roughly one hundred people have officially signed on as plaintiffs, partner Jared Beck told US Uncut that thousands of requests for legal paperwork have come in within the last 48 hours.

“Signed agreements are coming in steadily and we continue to get new requests by the minute,” Beck said.

Anyone who donated to the DNC after Bernie Sanders entered the race for the Democratic nomination, either directly or indirectly through third-party payment platforms like ActBlue, is eligible to join the lawsuit, along with anyone who donated to Bernie Sanders’ campaign throughout the course of the primaries and caucuses.

“We think that the DNC has been running absolutely out of control and completely disregarding their responsibilities, rights, and duties to the public,” attorney Elizabeth Beck told US Uncut.

Jared Beck said whether or not a “class” in the lawsuit is deemed valid by the court will depend on a number of factors, but the number of class representatives in the lawsuit could be as high as the number of individual donors to Sanders’ campaign.

Around two million people donated a combined seven million contributions averaging $27 apiece. Sanders accumulated more than $222 million in donations throughout the primaries and caucuses.

Here is a video explaining more and telling you what you need to do to get in on the suit: WE FIGHT BACK: Nationwide Class-Action filed Against Democratic Party and Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Good to see that these people are going to be held accountable for the corruption and dirty tricks.

Just wonderful:

Come fly with me - the TSA

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Talk about bloat and incompetence - their idea of security is pure Kabuki theater.

From those happy mutants at BoingBoing:

Congress: TSA is worst place to work in USG, nearly half of employees cited for misconduct; it's getting worse
The House Homeland Security Committee Majority Staff Report has just published its investigation on aviation security, and the title really tells you everything you need to know: MISCONDUCT AT TSA THREATENS THE SECURITY OF THE FLYING PUBLIC.

The headline finding: nearly half of all TSA employees have been cited for misconduct, and misconduct has been on the rise since 2013. A lot of that misconduct is just not showing up for work (predictably, the TSA has terrible morale, the worst of any federal agency and is ranked among the worst places to work in the US government), with an equally large tranche relating to "insubordination, ignoring policies or security procedures, and disrespectful behavior" (being a dick).

In more than 80% of cases, "non-disciplinary action" was taken against the TSA employees -- in many cases, managers violated TSA policy by taking these non-disciplinary actions.

The report also finds that the TSA doesn't keep adequate records of misconduct and response, and lacks mechanisms to address what misconduct it does track. Sometimes, the TSA ends up employing people whom other agencies have warned them against -- for example, Customs and Border Protection warned TSA that a prospective hire had admitted to "selling and using drugs, accepting bribes, engaging in prostitution, and being involved in a credit card scheme" (the TSA hired this person); in another case, the US Postal Service warned TSA that one of their employees had "admitted to participating in the production, possession, and distribution of child pornography; abuse of an animal; and shoplifting."

One reason why I no longer fly anywhere - the continental USA and Canada have enough to keep me occupied. I would love to go over to Iceland for a couple months again but got too much stuff going on here.

Meet Fedor:

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Here he is in the cabin of his balloon which just broke the worlds record for a flight around the world -- a bit over 11 days. Previous record-holder was Steve Fossett with 13 and a half days.

Mr. Konyukhov has a few other accomplishments in his life - from his Wikipedia entry:

In December 2010, he was ordained as an Eastern Orthodox priest in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church

In 1983, Fedor Konyukhov was admitted to the Union of Artists of the USSR (he was the youngest member at that moment). Since 1996 he has been a member of the Moscow Union of Artists, Graphic Arts section; since 2001,a member of the Sculpture section as well.

He is a winner of the Gold Medal of the Russian Arts Academy, an Honorary Academician of the Russian Arts Academy and the creator of more than 3,000 paintings. He has participated in a number of Russian and international exhibitions.

Konyukhov is the only person to have reached such extreme points of the planet as the North Pole (three times), the South Pole, the Pole of Inaccessibility in the Arctic Ocean and the top of Mount Everest (twice) and also sailed around the world via Cape Horn 4 times. 2007 - 2008 first person to sail “Antarctica Cup”. Non-stop, solo circumnavigation around the Antarctica. The route: Albany, Western Australia – Cape Horn – Cape of Good Hope – Cape Leeuwin, Albany. It took Fedor 102 days to round Antarctica.

Konyukhov has set world records, notably crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a row-boat URALAZ in 46 days, the best 24-hour distance in the same boat (110 miles).

From December 22, 2013 to May 31, 2014 Fyodor Konyukhov crossed the Pacific ocean starting in the Chilean port of Concon and finishing in Australian town of Mooloolaba (Sunshine Coast) without entering ports and without any external help or assistance. He covered the distance of more than 17,408 km (9400 nautical miles) on the Turgoyak (K9) rowboat in just 160 days.

There are more travel accomplishments - you get the general idea. And then there is also this:

Fedor is the first Russian mountaineer to complete the 7 Summits challenge for which a person must climb the highest mountains of each of the seven major continents, also he is the first Russian traveller and third person in the world, who completed The Explorers Grand Slam: he also visited both the North Pole and the South Pole.

1992 (26 of February) — Elbrus (Europe/Russia)
1992 (14 of May) — Everest (Asia) — (in the AvtoVAZ team)
1996 (19 of January) — Winson Massif (Antarctica)
1996 (09 of March) — Aconcagua (South America)
1997 (18 of February) — Kilimanjaro (Africa)
1997 (17 of April) — Mt. Kosciusko (Australia)
1997 (26 of May) — Mt. McKinley (North America) — (in the team)

Ho Li Crap - talk about a life lived to its fullest.

An address to European youth at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels on March 26, 2014

Edited but not that much. The White House transcript: Remarks by the President in Address to European Youth

The gift that keeps on giving

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The Crooked Hillary emails are a treasure - from Politico:

Top DNC staffer apologizes for email on Sanders’ religion
A top staffer at the Democratic National Committee has apologized after suggesting that the organization use Bernie Sanders’ religious beliefs against him in the Democratic primary.

One email among the thousands of internal DNC messages released this week by Wikileaks showed DNC CFO Brad Marshall questioning Sanders’ Jewish faith, and suggested that painting the candidate as an atheist “could make several points difference” in several late primary contests.

And The Daily Caller:

Leaked Emails Show DNC Officials Planned Anti-Trump Protest
The release of Democratic National Committee emails by WikiLeaks Friday reveals that DNC officials planned anti-Donald Trump protests.

President Trump - I am liking the sound of that more and more.

Sea Turtle egg poaching

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Brilliant fix for a serious problem - from The Washington Post:

These fake turtle eggs could crack a black market in animal poaching
Smooth to the touch and perfectly round, these ping pong ball-size eggs could easily pass for any of the millions laid and buried every year by endangered sea turtles on the beaches along the North and Central American coasts.

That’s the hope, anyway. Except in this case, they were laid by a 3D printer, and their silicone shell carries a GPS tracking device. They may just help solve a turtle-egg poaching problem that has plagued Central America and, more recently, U.S. shores.

“We want to sneak them into nests that are most vulnerable to poaching,” says Kim Williams-Guillén, director of conservation science at Paso Pacífico, the California conservation group that has created the egg that it hopes will fool poachers. “It would be really easy for them to grab one of those eggs and not even notice it.”

Paso Pacífico’s phony turtle egg, set to be deployed this fall in Central America during an arribada, or mass nesting event, is just one way law enforcement and activists have tried to crack down on the egg poaching of sea turtles, nearly all of which are endangered or under high threat of extinction.

The problem is a severe one:

“Poaching pressure is extremely intense,” says the group’s founder and director, Sarah Otterstrom.  “There can be thousands of turtles on the beach at night. And if there isn’t protection, we can be pretty certain that the beaches will be poached.” Paso Pacífico estimates that, without guards, about 90 percent of the nests are poached.

90% rate of poaching. No wonder these are endangered species. Great idea and I hope they make examples out of the people they catch.

Great short video about an English made telephone answering machine. We have come a long long way:

Voters better turn out en masse for the next election.

First - from FOX News:

Virginia high court strikes down gov's order giving felons right to vote
Gov. Terry McAuliffe's action restoring the voting rights of more than 200,000 felons was unconstitutional, Virginia's highest court ruled Friday, siding with Republican lawmakers who said the governor overstepped his authority.

Second - from ThinkProgress:

Virginia Governor Bypasses Court Ruling To Help 200,000 Ex-Felons Vote
Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is taking action to restore the voting rights of thousands of ex-offenders in the state after a court decision Friday put them in jeopardy. He’s getting around the Virginia Supreme Court’s ruling against him by signing 200,000 individual clemency grants to the state’s ex-offenders to ensure their right to vote in November.

First of all, remember that these are people who have sat through a courtroom trial and have been convicted of felonies. Not misdemeanors, not jaywalking, not overdue parking tickets - we are talking felonies. Armed robbery, attempted or committed murder, the third arrest for drug dealing (possession with intent to sell), that kind of thing. Once they have done their time, they are free to go but there are certain life-long restrictions on their behavior. No gun ownership or use, no voting, they cannot serve on a jury or hold public office.

Governor McAuliffe thinks he has found a loophole around the law and he is going to get great reviews from the liberal media but what he is doing is unconstitutional and in direct violation of the State Supreme Court's decision. He has the avenue of appealing through the Federal District court but he knows what the result will be so he is doing this instead.

Already seeing some trailers for some awesome films. Here is the trailer for a TV show on Starz: American Gods. Based on a novel written by Neil Gaiman:

Great turnout tonight

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About 150 people - the event was catered by a barbecue restaurant (Dickey's - a chain). Their food is so-so so I had a bite to eat before coming out. The food at the event was OK so glad I ate first.

There was a silent auction and I got the wining bid on three items. There is a couple new to the area who are rehabilitating an old cattle farm - they did a basket of really nice soaps, a cabbage, some flowers and some honey. I also got a painting by a local artist whose work I really like but most of his paintings are really dark in tone. This one was of a tree in the snow and perfect for the house. I also picked up a gorgeous painted saw blade.

Back home for the evening.

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