May 18, 2013
And he's SAFE!
Spent an hour moving the safe from my truck to the garage. I love rigging and moving big things — patience, walking around and looking a lot, scratching my head, looking some more and then it's showtime. I used Buttercup the tractor.
The safe was laying on its back in my truck — 470 pounds — took a bunch of Costo people to get it loaded. As one person commented, it was a hernia in a box. Have some heavy ramps so slid it out and down to the ground leaning backward on the ramps. Tilted it until it was standing upright on some 2X4 blocking with about 4” of the safe's front edge hanging out in the air. Came in with Buttercup's loader bucket just under that front lip, lifted a little bit and levered the safe another 10” onto the bottom of the bucket.
Drove it into the garage enough that it was over the cement floor. Set out a couple lengths of iron pipe for rollers, lowered the bucket, nudged it forward and set it down on the pipes. That is where it sits for tonight — had to get dinner and take a break.
Having a dedicated safe will make me feel a lot more secure — it will be good to have a place for vital papers as well as some of the guns and ammo. I will still have a gun or two stashed around the house but I will feel a lot better in the event of a robbery. I have lost some tools from the equipment barn and there are some shady people who know where I live. Enhanced security is a good thing…
Being eaten out of house and home
Last year I put out one hummingbird feeder and was surprised by the response.
A month ago, I purchased two more of the same kind and we are swamped.
I filled two of the feeders two days ago and they are now both only about one quarter full. I have another gallon of syrup cooking on the stove and the ten pound bag of sugar I bought last month at Costco is almost empty — a few ounces at best. These feeders hold 48 ounces — three pints!
I really like the Perky-Pet 220 The Grand Master 48-Ounce Hummingbird Feeder
Very easy to keep clean and they hold three pints of syrup so you don't have to keep fussing with them. I have used other large feeders but the colors on the Perky-Pet attract the birds a lot better.
The syrup is simply one part sugar to four parts water. Bring to a low boil for ten minutes, put the lid on and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate if you aren't going to use it in a day or two. Toss after ten days in the fridge.
These birds really need their sugar — their metabolism is so hot that they need a constant source of carbs to just maintain. They also eat a lot of bugs and flower pollen so they do get quite a balanced diet even with all the sugar. Despite having two feeders constantly available (I rotate between the three so one is always indoors, completely taken apart and being cleaned and sanitized), they are also visiting the flowers in the garden.
Jay Leno's monologue
Transcript from Newsbusters:
JAY LENO: Got a lot of people in shorts. It is very hot. The heat wave just continuing here in California. They’re warning this could be a long, hot summer. They’re telling everyone to cover up, and believe me, you don’t have to tell the Obama White House twice. They know about covering up. Not a problem.
Well today, today the White House unveiled its latest high-tech weapon: the IRS audit. Yes. Did you hear about this? The IRS has admitted they were targeting conservative groups. President Obama called the IRS targeting conservative groups, he called it “outrageous,” and said he would immediately have his Benghazi investigators look into it. So we will, we will find out, we will get to the bottom of this.
I love this. I love what IRS Commissioner Steve Miller said today about this whole targeting conservative groups thing. He said, “Mistakes were made, but they were no way made with a political or partisan motivation.” “Mistakes were made.” Try that during your next IRS audit. “Look, I admit mistakes were made. Can we move on?” That works so well.
Well, first it was Benghazi, then the IRS scandal, now this phone records scandal. Remember in the old days when President Obama's biggest embarrassment was Joe Biden? What happened to those days? What happened to those days?
Remember in the old days when President Obama's biggest embarrassment was Joe Biden? — now that is going to leave a mark.
Yuck - A 4th Grader's Short Documentary About School Lunch
Heh — from the About page for Yuck - A 4th Grader's Short Documentary About School Lunch:
In the fall of 2011, fourth grader Zachary Maxwell began asking his parents if he could start packing and bringing his own lunch to school. Unfortunately, they kept insisting that he take advantage of the hot lunch being served at the school. After all, the online menu sounded delicious and the NYC Department of Education (DOE) website assured parents that the meals were nutritious. Zachary wanted to convince his parents that the online menu did not accurately represent what was really being served at his school.
In an effort to prove his point, Zachary started sneaking a small HD camera into the lunchroom to show his parents the truth. Over the next six months, Zachary would continue to gather “inside” footage and research the claims being made by the DOE and the media about the City's public school lunch program.
The New York Times did a nice write-up:
The Michael Moore of the Grade-School Lunchroom
Guerrilla filmmakers often face crackdowns by the powers that be, and Zachary Maxwell is no exception.
His hidden-camera documentary was almost derailed last year when he was caught filming without permission by a fearsome enforcer – the lunchroom monitor in his school cafeteria.
“She sent me to my teacher, and my teacher told me to delete everything,” said Zachary, who is now 11.
Zachary pretended to delete the day’s shots. After that lapse in production security, he said, “I fired my lookouts.”
What his teacher didn’t know, though, was that Zachary had six months of footage shot surreptitiously in the cafeteria, forming the spine of his 20-minute movie “Yuck: A 4th Grader’s Short Documentary About School Lunch.”
The kid has a career in film ahead of him. I wonder where the school lunch money went to - such a disconnect between what is listed and what is served…
Just wonderful - say hello to Nylanderia fulva
From the Houston Chronicle:
Crazy ants are invading parts of the U.S., including Houston
According to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin, invasive “crazy ants” are slowly displacing fire ants in the southeastern United States. These “Tawny Crazy Ants” have a peculiar predilection toward electronics as well.
“They nest in electronics and create short circuits, as they create a contact bridge between two points when they get electrocuted they release an alarm pheromone,” says UT research assistant Edward LeBrun.
“The other ants are attracted to the chemicals that other ants give off,” he adds. At this point, more ants arrive and create a larger nest.
And talk about achieving fame:
The tiny invaders have become quite common in the Houston area, first discovered in 2002 by pest control worker Tom Rasberry. He alerted Texas A&M scientists of his discovery.
At one point they were called “Raspberry Crazy Ants” after the pest fighter. The scientific name is Nylanderia fulva, which doesn't quite have the ring of “crazy ants.”
The ants should be contained where you find them and then exterminated. They thrive on human movement.
“You shouldn't move them around. They nest in anything, boxes, potted plants,” says LeBrun. As the ants travel, they disrupt other ant populations. Their colonies survive, unlike fire ants.
There is more at the Los Angeles Times:
Alien 'crazy ants' invading southern U.S
An invasion of alien “crazy ants” is making many residents of the U.S. Gulf Coast long for the old days of pesky, biting fire ants.
Native to northern Argentina and southern Brazil, tawny crazy ants, or Nylanderia fulva, were discovered in a Houston suburb by a pest control worker in 2002. Populations since have fanned out through Texas and the Gulf Coast region as far as Florida, where 20 counties have active colonies, according to LeBrun, who published a study of the invasion in the aptly named journal Biological Invasions.
LeBrun believes the ants came to the U.S. through the Port of New Orleans. That’s how the Argentine ant got here in 1891; the black fire ant was first found near the port of Mobile, Ala., in 1918, and in the 1930s, the well-known and despised red fire ant showed up, pushing out the black fire and Argentine ants.
And of course, some moron somewhere will import the ant's natural predator from South America and it will find something else to be much more tasty — a valuable insect — and will leave these ants alone.
Hat tip to Slashdot for the link…
More climate change news - follow the money
Looks like some governments are finding out that money spent to support climate change doesn't yield any tangible results.
From Australia's The Sydney Morning Herald:
Anger as green projects slashed, funds diverted to help cattle exports
Australia has all but dumped $75 million worth of projects regrowing forests in the developing world and shelved a $100 million forest carbon partnership with Indonesia.
Simultaneously, millions of dollars in foreign aid will be channelled into the live cattle export trade, sparking claims by the Greens that aid money is being misused to help the embattled industry.
Australia's contribution to global environment programs will drop from $74.1 million in 2012-13 to just $1.5 million next year, the budget papers reveal.
Come back when you have something concrete to show me. As for partnerships in Indonesia, if these are anything like the other 99% of the 'partnerships', the majority of the funds disappear into off-shore bank accounts while a small tranche of the funds are used to set up a Potemkin Village somewhere for visiting dignitaries to ohhh and ahhh over.
Next, from The Wall Street Journal:
Vote Leaves EU Emissions Trading in Tatters
The European Union's flagship program to fight global warming—a regional carbon-emissions trading system—suffered a major blow Tuesday when legislators rejected a proposal aimed at saving the market from collapse.
After the European Parliament's rejection, spooked investors drove the already depressed price of carbon emission permits down by nearly half. Benchmark electricity prices also fell.
The legislature derailed—at least temporarily—a plan to revive prices by postponing the issuance of any new permits for between five and seven years. Electricity generators and some other industries must buy the permits to cover their carbon dioxide emissions.
Europe's Emissions Trading System, launched in 2008, was intended to protect the environment by raising the cost of polluting and encouraging businesses to invest in cleaner technologies.
Emphasis mine — no, the intention was to make some oligarchs more wealthy, the effect of climate on the common man was never even on the table. That is just how it was sold — as a sop to account for the increase in cost of electricity, gasoline, heating fuels, etc…
Nice to see this house of cards collapsing — wonder what the next watermelon environmentalist claim will be.
James Oliver Deckard v/s James Hanson
Wonderful account from The Libertarian Alliance: BLOG:
An Evening with James Hansen
The famous climate “scientist,” James Hansen, spoke at the London School of Economics on the 16th May 2013. Here is an account of his talk and its attendant circumstances.
Last night he gave the usual bilge, truly putting the frighteners on and informing everyone (for about the 10,000th time since 1988) that immediate action is required otherwise thermageddon is guaranteed. Though he has changed his tune a little – the threat is now no longer imminent but (conveniently), “in the pipeline”. That it is going to be catastrophic though, he is in no doubt at all.
A bit more:
The place was absolutely packed – hundreds of people were there and I have to admit, as I listened to one questioner after another identify whichever hack activist group or pleading green lobbying special interest they were from, I truly felt like I was alone in enemy territory. I almost backed out and let my fear get the better of me. But I kept putting my hand up regardless – Hansen’s scaremongering could not go unanswered and if it wasn’t by way of putting points and questions to him then it was going to have to be heckles.
Shortly before the mike came to me, one of the activists in the audience pointed out that he [Hansen] was only preaching to the choir, saying that it was important to get people from ‘outside the choir’ to attend such events and asking how.
And the meat of the exchange:
I stood up and laid into him. I said that he was high on the hyperbole and hysteria and low on the facts. Most of the people there would unfortunately take him at his word and not look any further so I said I felt obliged to point out that most of his claims were highly controversial and some were flat out wrong and that I’d be happy to go through them with him there and then and debate him.
The crowd then turned on me, exploding in incredulity.
I said that my question to him was that if he truly wanted people from ‘outside the choir’ to get involved then what on earth did he expect to happen when he (and he did) ridiculously claim that there was an “enormous well funded denial conspiracy, funded by big oil and gas”, thereby immediately dismissing anyone who dared to air a single sceptical thought.
After several hostile exchanges with the crowd immediately around me and a bit of back and forth between myself and Hansen, he finally got around to (not) answering my question. His response was bizarre. He came out with the hackneyed bollocks that the basis of science was scepticism blah blah blah. He then said that he had debated Richard Lindzen previously (Lindzen is one of the world’s most famous climate sceptics and most highly published atmospheric physicist). He said (referring to Lindzen) that it was “hard to win against an articulate guy”). He also – bizarrely – claimed that Lindzen had been shown to be wrong again and again and that he [Hansen] would no longer have any kind of debates, public or otherwise, with Lindzen or others because – apparently – “even when he has been shown to be wrong on so many occasions, he just shifts to another point to pick on”.
Much more at the site.
Hansen is just plain off his rocker. He 'retired' from his post at NASA and is now doing the speech circuit. He needs to do a careful self-evaluation as his claims are coming apart at the seams. He has not done honest science in forty years…
May 17, 2013
Not much tonight
Kinda tired — I will be surfing for another hour or so and may find something that catches me eye.
Right now, the unraveling of the IRS scandal is delicious especially since Timothy (tax-cheat) Geithner was head of Treasury when it was in its heyday.
Things are so bad that Obama had to release some more Benghazi emails to distract the media from the IRS.
I thought that these people were supposed to represent us?
Now that is a stop sign
Australia's Water Curtain Stop Signs Are A Great Idea
Sydney has been having a big problem with oversized trucks driving into tunnels that are too low. So Sydney needed a stop sign that is absolutely impossible to miss. Here it is and it's amazing.
It's a curtain of water with a stop sign projected onto it. You can have as many overhead stop signs as you want, but as this 10 News video report shows, truck drivers still crash their trucks into these low-overhead tunnels. Sydney was tired of the delays, the costs of the damages, and the threat that a truck crash would get someone killed.
That's why in 2007 they put in this water curtain sign on its harbor tunnel, designed by light show company Laservision. They work brilliantly.
And Laservision just got a whole new revenue stream. Looks kinda hard to avoid…
Hat tip Neatorama for the link.
A fun day
The Welding Rodeo was fun but it was raining pretty heavily so there were only the participants, the students and teachers at the college and a few die-hard crazies like myself.
They had three blacksmiths demonstrating and I came away with a couple of ideas for my own portable forge — tool holders, etc…
Went to a couple of Sewing shops in Bellingham but none of them had any parts for my new puppy — I wasn't really expecting much but would have liked Singer Oil Type 'A' and needles and bobbins. Looks like I need to go on line. One store recommended three places in Seattle — two for industrial sewing machines and one for leather. Google them after dinner.
Costco and I finally reached a nexus where they had gun safes in stock and I was able to take the time to pick one up and install it. Doing that tomorrow. There is a corner in the garage that is poured concrete on three sides so I am going to rotohammer that puppy into the next dimension — it will not move until I want it to…
May 16, 2013
Long day today and tomorrow
Long day today and tomorrow is going to be just as busy.
Got a bunch of stuff planted in the hoop-houses as well as repotted into larger pots. Planted seven different cultivars of tobacco — see what happens there. I have a south-facing wall that these are going up against to get maximum heat and light. Same wall is going to get several varieties of grapes (pick these up next week) and hops plants (already in and growing like a weed).
Spent some time surfing the web for “Singer Industrial Sewing Machines” and it is amazing the breadth of parts that are available for this 70 year old machine. I know that some things like needles and bobbins do not change much but most of the innards for this unit are available (albeit sometimes pricey!). Nice to know that this can be handed down to the next couple of generations.
Lulu and I will be spending much of tomorrow at the Welding Rodeo. This is a really fun event with lots of artistry involved — I try to make it each year. Lulu's son was invited but he is going with some friends to the Star trek premiere tonight and will be out late. Oh to be 21 again… NOT!
There is nice weather forecast for tomorrow so whatever time not spent at the Rodeo will be spent in the garden.
Working outside this afternoon
Got a gorgeous sun break and taking full advantage of it.
Re-potting some squash, dill and the last of the 'maters.
I start in 2” containers or flats and move to larger ones as they develop. Tomatoes and Squash plants can form additional roots from the fuzzy hairs on their stem so when I re-pot, I clip off the lower branches and sink the stem deeper and deeper into the dirt. Gives them a nice running start when they finally get in the soil.
Got some tobacco seed in the mail a few days ago and going to be germinating that now that the inside potting shelves are free.
Also setting the new sewing machine up in the DaveCave™. Lulu has been using it for art projects and her son sleeps there when he comes out to visit.
Just in for a bio-break and to check email — back to work for this kid…
Two from Nature
Was reading Nature this morning and found these two articles:
First - an interesting find:
Reservoir deep under Ontario holds billion-year-old water
Scientists working 2.4 kilometres below Earth's surface in a Canadian mine have tapped a source of water that has remained isolated for at least a billion years. The researchers say they do not yet know whether anything has been living in it all this time, but the water contains high levels of methane and hydrogen — the right stuff to support life.
Micrometre-scale pockets in minerals billions of years old can hold water that was trapped during the minerals’ formation. But no source of free-flowing water passing through interconnected cracks or pores in Earth’s crust has previously been shown to have stayed isolated for more than tens of millions of years.
“We were expecting these fluids to be possibly tens, perhaps even hundreds of millions of years of age,” says Chris Ballentine, a geochemist at the University of Manchester, UK. He and his team carefully captured water flowing through fractures in the 2.7-billion-year-old sulphide deposits in a copper and zinc mine near Timmins, Ontario, ensuring that the water did not come into contact with mine air.
Second - quantum computing:
Google and NASA snap up quantum computer
D-Wave, the small company that sells the world’s only commercial quantum computer, has just bagged an impressive new customer: a collaboration between Google, NASA and the non-profit Universities Space Research Association.
The three organizations have joined forces to install a D-Wave Two, the computer company's latest model, in a facility launched by the collaboration — the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. The lab will explore areas such as machine learning — making computers sort and analyse data on the basis of previous experience. This is useful for functions such as language translation, image searches and voice-command recognition. “We actually think quantum machine learning may provide the most creative problem-solving process under the known laws of physics,” says a blog post from Google describing the deal.
As a hardware geek — I wonder who fabs their CPUs? They are just a few miles to my North in Burnaby, BC — might see if I can visit sometime…
Sunspot AR1748 coming towards us
Sunspot AR1748 is still on the limb - another day or two and it will be facing directly at us.
Spaceweather is keeping track of it:
X-FLARE THREAT CONTINUES
Sunspot AR1748 has already unleashed four X-class solar flares, but it might not be finished. The active region continues to grow beneath a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for powerful eruptions. NOAA puts the odds of another X-flare today at 60%.
POSSIBLE CME IMPACT ON MAY 17
A coronal mass ejection (CME) hurled into space by the X1-flare of May 15th might deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on May 17th. NOAA forecasters estimate a 40% chance of polar geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras.
Obama scandals - a list of twenty more
From Yid with Lid comes this little list:
Since The Media Is Now Paying Attention-Will They Investigate These 20 OTHER OBAMA SCANDALS?
It warms my heart to see the mainstream media doing its job (well somewhat and only with Benghazi, IRS and the AP). Now its time for them to prove their meddle. Since they are awake, alert and paying attention, perhaps they could investigate the twenty scandals ignored since Obama became President in January 2009.
According to the information about the Justice Dept. investigation of the Associated Press, Holder's troops got the phone information of 100 reporters Hey AP this is a great way to get back at the administration assign each of the stories below to a reporter, you still would have 80 others to cover other news.
What about the other news organizations—I am not asking they investigate all twenty, perhaps they could split them up one or two per liberal media organization.
Here's my twenty—I am sure there are others but with these twenty plus the three new ones the mainstream media has enough—they have five years to catch up on:
- Going to war in Libya without first seeking congressional approval.
- The administration's screwing of the primary GM investors so he could give the company to his buddies in the UAW.
- Offering Joe Sestak a White House job to drop out of the Senate race against Arlen Specter.
- Offering Andrew Romanoff a White House job to drop out of the Senate Race against Michael Bennett.
- Dropping an already won case against the New Black Panthers.
That was the first five — fifteen more at the site, all with links to corroborating data. Some big, some not so big but all deserving of an explanation…
May 15, 2013
Nothing to see here folks, just move along
From the Boston, MA CBS affiliate:
7 Caught Trespassing At Quabbin Reservoir; Patrols Stepped Up Across State
Shortly after midnight Tuesday, seven people were caught trespassing at the Quabbin Reservoir.
State Police say the five men and two women are from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore, and “cited their education and career interests” for being in the area. The men told police they were chemical engineers and recent college graduates.
The Quabbin, in Belchertown, is one of the country’s largest man-made public water supplies. Boston’s drinking water comes from the Quabbin and the Wachusett Reservoirs.
State Police say there were no warrants or advisories on any of the individuals and “there was no evidence that the seven were committing any crime beyond the trespassing.”
All seven were allowed to leave and will be summonsed to court for trespassing. The FBI is investigating and routine checks of public water supplies have been increased following the incident.
The seven individuals currently live in Amherst, Cambridge, Sunderland, Northampton and New York City. Police have not released their names because a court date has not been set.
I know where the Quabbin is — spent some time walking, biking and boating. For these mokes to be visiting there 30 minutes after midnight is a wee bit suspicious especially given their points of residence and nationalities. Probing, always probing.
Psssst - Barry. When you lose Rangel, you are sunk
Charlie Rangel: Obama answers not enough
Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that he believes President Barack Obama owes the American public explanations for both the seizure of Associated Press phone records by the Department of Justice and the IRS targeting of conservative groups.
“I don’t think anyone truly believes that the president has given us a sufficient answer for America, much less the press,” Rangel said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I think this is just the beginning and the whole idea of comparing this with Nixon, I really think is just, it doesn’t make much sense. But the president has to come forward and share why he did not alert the press they were going to do this. He has to tell the Americans, including me: What was this national security question? You just can’t raise the flag and expect to salute it every time without any reason and the same thing applies to the IRS.”
Say hello to AR1748
ANOTHER X-FLARE ON MAY 15
When the week began, the sun hadn't unleashed an X-flare all year long. In only two days, sunspot AR1748 has produced four. The latest X-flare from this active sunspot occurred on May 15th at 0152 UT.
First it was quiet, now it's crackling. And AR1748 has just come around the limb — it is not even pointed at Earth yet.
Great idea - used to be a good company, now not so much
Up through the late 1970's, Abercrombie and Fitch was the place to go when you wanted real outdoors stuff — major expeditions, elephant guns, fly rods, etc.
L.L.Bean and Eddie Bauer were Johny-come-latelys to Abercrombie and Fitch.
They were founded in 1892 (New York City) by David T. Abercrombie and Ezra H. Fitch.
That high-pitched squeal you are hearing is those two people spinning in their graves.
The current management is focusing their sales efforts on crap clothing to people young enough to not know the difference. And they are very careful to defend their brand.
Which brings us to this wonderful post at BoingBoing:
Help make Abercrombie and Fitch synonymous with homelessness
As you know, Abercrombie and Fitch is a horrible shitshow of a company whose owner refuses to make large sized clothes so that “unattractive people” can't wear them, and who burns surplus clothing rather than donating it to charity to keep their clothes off poor peoples' backs. So Gkarber has set out to make the brand synonymous with homelessness, by clearing out thrift shops' supply of A&F and bringing it to skid row and giving it to homeless people. He'd like you to participate by clearing out your closets and donating any A&F to your local homeless charity…
I love it — and if their legal council tries to do a take-down, A&F will experience the powerful effulgence of The Streisand Effect in all of its radiant glory…
Quote of the day
This came from a forum I read:
He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands, and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands, and his head, and his heart, is An Artist.
A wonderful sew-sew kind of day today
Along with knife making also comes sheath making. Been getting a bit more into leather working and want to be able to do other things besides knife sheaths (got some ideas for some art crap).
Saw an ad in Craigslist for: 1940's Industrial Singer Sewing Machine - $250, emailed, drove out and got it.
And yes, it is Industrial!
It was Singer 281-x (there are several variations and I will need to physically take a ruler to it to find which one it is) and it was in great shape. I brought along a couple pieces of leather and it sewed right through them like butter. I will need to adjust the stitch length and do a little fine-tuning but this puppy is built like a tank and will serve our needs for years and years to come. Singer had the complete service and operations manual available for PDF download (great company!).
When I returned home, Lulu started salivating over it — she likes to sew but her machine cannot do the heavier fabrics. This thing can power through canvas, nylon webbing, leather.
I unloaded it, fixed dinner (grilled Costco frozen Mahi² fillets marinated in Lemon, Ginger and Shoiu along with microwaved frozen corn and some from-scratch smashed baby reds with garlic) and am now sitting down to surf — was working in the garden repotting 'maters this morning. They are now ready to put in the ground.
May 14, 2013
One year and nine months
It has been one year and nine months since Lulu and I first met.
Things are still wonderful — Lulu is my best friend, my partner, my muse and my love.
Looking forward to spending the rest of my life with her.
The fact that her son is very much into (and good at) music and blacksmithing is pure gravy.
Pants on Fire - Obama and Terrorism
From The Washington Post's Fact Checker:
Obama’s claim he called Benghazi an ‘act of terrorism’Once again, it appears that we must parse a few presidential words. We went through this question at length during the 2012 election, but perhaps a refresher course is in order.“The day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.”
-—President Obama, remarks at a news conference, May 13, 2013
Notably, during a debate with Republican nominee Mitt Romney, President Obama said that he immediately told the American people that the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya “was an act of terror.” But now he says he called it “an act of terrorism.”
Some readers may object to this continuing focus on words, but presidential aides spend a lot of time on words. Words have consequences. Is there a difference between “act of terror” and “act of terrorism”?
Emphasis mine — actually, there is and it is quite a big one.
The Washington Post points out the lies and gives Obama Four Pinocchios.
I would expect no less from this President.
Quote of the Day
If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed.
It seems that this is now more than ever…
The IRS Scandal
Delicious — this has every indication of being a biggie going right to the top — Eric Holder if not higher.
It is not just the IRS targeting conservative and Tea Party groups and delaying their applications for 501c3 status. Oh noooo….
From Breitbart's Big Government:
Progressive Group: IRS Gave Us Conservative Groups' Confidential Docs
The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.
The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.
ProPublica says the documents the IRS gave them were “not supposed to be made public”:The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year… In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)
Some lower functionairy will take the fall and get a cushy appointment somewhere else a year from now. Business as usual.
And it's not just the conservatives — from Politico:
Israel-related groups also pointed to IRS scrutiny
The same Internal Revenue Service office that singled out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny also challenged Israel-related organizations, at least one of which filed suit over the agency’s handling of its application for tax-exempt status.
The trouble for the Israel-focused groups seems to have had different origins than that experienced by conservative groups, but at times the effort seems to have been equally ham-handed.
Wonder what else is lurking in the IRS's closet?
Staying classy in New Jersey - Storm Sandy and failure of the transit system
So how is Governor Christie working out for you people?
From station WNYC:
How New Jersey Transit Failed Sandy's Test
On the weekend before Sandy thundered into New Jersey, transit officials studied a map showing bright green and orange blocks. On the map, the area where most New Jersey Transit trains were being stored showed up as orange – or dry. So keeping the trains in its centrally-located Meadows Maintenance Complex and the nearby Hoboken yards seemed prudent.
And it might have been a good plan. Except the numbers New Jersey Transit used to create the map were wrong.
If officials had entered the right numbers, they would have predicted what actually happened: a storm surge that engulfed hundreds of rail cars, some of them brand new, costing over $120 million in damage and thrusting the system’s passengers into months of frustrating delays.
But the fate of NJ Transit’s trains – over a quarter of the agency’s fleet - didn’t just hang on one set of wrong inputs. It followed years of missed warnings, failures to plan, and lack of coordination under Governor Chris Christie, who has expressed ambivalence about preparing for climate change while repeatedly warning New Jerseyans not to underestimate the dangers of severe storms.
This is a long article outlining the differences in New York City's handling of Tropical Storm Sandy and the efforts of New Jersey. The kicker — WNYC and another newspaper asked to see a copy of the New Jersey Operations Plan (the NYC transit system is known as the MTA):
“For the general public, looking at the numbers and looking at the forecasts, they might not have believed it because they had never lived through something like that,” says MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg. “But for those of us involved in planning and operating and preparing the system, the numbers are the numbers. Nobody’s going to sit here and look at a scary forecast and say, that’s never happened, we don’t have to worry about that. We worry — that’s our job.”
The MTA plan for severe storms is detailed in five binders, each three inches thick. The agency also provided its timeline and plans for moving its trains.
NJ Transit’s Weinstein testified that his agency put together its storm plan long before Sandy.
“There was a very detailed plan complied by the railroad — not the Friday before the storm, but in the wake of Irene on where to store the equipment,” he said. “There were lengthy calls on where the equipment is going and it’s all documented and detailed.”
WNYC and The Record asked, separately, for documentation of NJ Transit’s hurricane preparedness plans. Both news organizations received the same reply: a three-and-a-half page document with the words “New Jersey Rail Operations Hurricane Plan” atop the first page.
Everything else was blacked out.
A good read and a perfect example of how (and how not) to plan for future events.
I do have a major nit: Storms the size and scope of Sandy are not rare and not unusual. We have had frequent hurricane and tropical storm landfalls on the East Coast (New England, New York, New Jersey). Sandy was larger in diameter than most but not out of the ordinary. Global Warming is not the cause.
May 13, 2013
Why am I not surprised
I didn't post about the heinous Ariel Castro — the Cleveland, OH man who kidnapped three local women and kept them captive for over ten years. Enough other people were wallowing in that cess-pit.
Something not mentioned in the news just broke today. From Oleg Atbashian at American Thinker:
Ariel Castro, Cleveland Kidnapper, Is a Registered Democrat
According to voter registration records, Ariel Castro, the Cleveland kidnapper, is a registered Democrat. He was also the alleged leader among the three Castro brothers, who were arrested this week, and the owner of the house at 2207 Seymour Ave., where the three abducted local women had been kept in captivity for over a decade.
Why is this important? Whenever a crime or a scandal captures national attention, the pattern in the mainstream media is to either identify the culprit as a Republican or hold silence — in which case we can rest assured that the culprit is a Democrat.
When the identity or the party affiliation is yet unknown, the pattern is to speculate publicly about the possibility of the criminal being a conservative, Christian, white, Republican, and a Tea Party member — and never that he could be a Hispanic Democrat voter playing bass in a meringue band.
I never cease to be amazed by people like this — there is no graceful exit strategy to their crimes. They should be the first to see this but yet they continue.
Our government at work
It is not just this president — the whole thing needs to be rebooted.
From Associated Press:
Gov't obtains wide AP phone records in probe
The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls.
A lot more at the story — this is just the briefest clip to whet your appetite. Also, this story went live at May. 13 7:50 PM EDT which is about two and a half hours ago my time. It has already garnered 2,300+ comments and 6,500+ tweets.
Also in the not-so-news category. The Internet Tax bill that was just voted into law was heavily funded by a number of corporations. These corporations spent 40X to 1X for the passage of this law. This vote was bought.
Raw numbers from MapLight:
For Washington State, our two Senators had the following “campaign contributions”.
Maria Cantwell - pro $384,481, con $3,738
Patty Murray - pro $616,623, con $19,808
This is not chump change — in Senator Murray's case, she got over a half-million dollars in “campaign contributions” to vote yes on S. 743 - Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013.
All this to spike smaller internet businesses from growing to where they could threaten the established cronies. It is also curious (NOT) to look at the list of entities that supported this bill and to see just how many Unions are represented — Teachers, Police and Firefighters, State and Local Government employee, Automotive, Labor Unions — this is a huge number for something that will not really affect the outcome of their businesses. How does an internet sales tax affect a Teacher or a Firefighter or an Automotive worker except making personal sales a bit more expensive. This is buying votes. This is a large captive block of people whose involuntary dues are being spent on crass political manipulations.
Just got a front move through here — raining cats and dogs and the power bumped twice. Checked the big generator two weeks ago and it is good to go.
Hope the internet holds up for a while longer…
Heh - a liberal just got mugged
There is this old saying:
A Liberal is a Conservative who hasn't been mugged yet.
A perfect example over at Stormbringer:
SHERRI WANTS A GUN
‘The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd revealed that she experienced a frightening home invasion scare that terrified her son Jeffrey and husband Lamar Sally and vowed: “We’re going to get a gun!”
The 46-year-old former stand-up comic had a scary wake-up call at 1 a.m. when her New York City home’s alarm system went off declaring, “Warning! Intruder, get out of the house!”
Here's what Sherri tweeted @SherriEShepherd:Protecting my family is my priority. I never want to stand in my son's room again and not have something to defend he & I. That was scary - 1:50 PM - 25 Apr 2013
Our home alarm went off. @SalfromtheD went thru the house but as I stood over my crying & scared son, I realized I had nothing to defend us - 1:52 PM - 25 Apr 2013
All I had was a wicker trash basket. A baseball bat can be wrestled from you AND the person has to get close enough for you to swing it - 1:53 PM - 25 Apr 2013
I held Jeffrey and prayed for protection, but it also would've been nice to be holding somethng in my hand in case there was an intruder - 1:54 PM - 25 Apr 2013
Welcome to the real world Sherri. Go to a range, get some good training and advice and practice regularly. This is what the Second Amendment is all about.