Time for dinner and a meeting

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Back in a couple of hours...

From Lifezette:

Hillary Must Answer Key Email Questions, Federal Judge Orders
A federal judge ordered former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to answer five questions she has avoided for years about her use of a private email server to conduct official U.S. diplomatic business.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmett Sullivan on Wednesday gave Clinton 30 days to respond under oath to five questions.

These questions were all put to her nearly four years ago in a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit government watchdog Judicial Watch.

The five questions are:

    1. Who decided to create the clintonemail.com system?
    2. When was it created?
    3. Why was it created?
    4. Who set it up?
    5. When did it become operational?

This will be interesting to follow - District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan was originally a Reagan appointee (1984). A small start but a good one.

Great quote about Progressives

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Progressivism is weaponized infantilism. It’s like giving a tantrum-throwing toddler access to the levers of social and political power. Nothing but lunacy and sadism will follow.

This was a fragment of something I saw on the web - no idea who originally said it but it certainly nails it.

Can't get no respect - Occasional-Cortex

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Heh - from The American Mirror:

OCASIO-CORTEZ: They’re mistaking me for an intern!
New York Democratic Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may be a big hit with the media and younger crowd, but she’s not receiving any special treatment on Capitol Hill.

The 29-year-old socialist is in Washington, D.C., this week for orientation. She and other newly elected officials are touring the Capitol building, meeting with lawmakers, and learning the ins and outs of Congress.

So far, Ocasio-Cortez has stormed the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for a protest, complained that everyone is confusing her an intern or spouse, and was captured in a photo standing alone and being excluded from a conversation between several older Democrats.

On Wednesday, a photo of Ocasio-Cortez standing all by herself like a child waiting for her parents to finish talking scorched across Twitter.

Prior to that, the socialist complained that she keeps being mistaken for an “intern or spouse” while touring Capitol Hill.

Just because she is the media darling, she still has to work hard - being an elected official is all about grabbing as much power as you can. She has gone to the District thinking that she will advance by the force of her Marxist ideas. It will be interesting to see if she matures any...

Looks like President Trump is doing excellent management as usual - got to see what we are dealing with before we can make decisions.
From Yahoo/Reuters:

Pentagon fails its first ever audit, official says
The Pentagon has failed what is being called its first-ever comprehensive audit, a senior official said on Thursday, finding U.S. Defense Department accounting discrepancies that could take years to resolve.

Results of the inspection - conducted by some 1,200 auditors and examining financial accounting on a wide range of spending including on weapons systems, military personnel and property - were expected to be completed later in the day.

"We failed the audit, but we never expected to pass it," Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told reporters.

A bit more:

A 1990 federal law mandated that U.S. government agencies be audited, but the Pentagon had not faced a comprehensive audit until this one was launched in December.

That President would be George "Read my lips" H. W. Bush - a great one for ideas but zero balls to get them implemented. Glad that we finally have a President who will get things done.

Back home again

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One of my errands took me to the town of Mt. Vernon and I had some extra time so I drove home via the back roads through the Skagit flats to Conroy. The Snow Geese are starting to arrive from their summering grounds in the Russian arctic. Around 3:00PM or so (when I was there) they start looking for a roosting spot - dug out my video camera and have the batteries charging up as it was gorgeous with the reflections of the sunlight off their wings. Would make a nice video with the right light which we maybe will get tomorrow and definitely Saturday.

I was watching them flying and thinking that this was a lot like what storm chasers go through when trying to get the pest photography of the storms. Realized that when I do this, I will be going on a wild goose chase...

Heading out in a few minutes for dinner - Ham radio meeting at 7:00PM tonight.

Heading out for coffee and some errands

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Back in a couple of hours.

This from North Carolina State University:

NC State Education Adds Ph.D. Program Specialization in Social Justice Education
The NC State College of Education has added a Doctorate of Philosophy in Teacher Education and Learning Sciences with an emphasis in Social Justice Education that will prepare scholars to serve and lead in championing educational success for all. Applications are now being accepted for this specialization area, which will enroll its first students in Fall 2019. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1, 2018.

“The goal of the program is to help educators recognize and disrupt systems of oppression by helping to foster and create equitable learning environments,” said Jessica DeCuir-Gunby, a professor of educational psychology and Director of Graduate Programs for the Teacher Education and Learning Sciences Department.

The Ph.D. in Social Justice Education Program will be housed in the Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences, and its core faculty will come from a variety of focus areas within the field of education, including educational psychology, literacy education, multicultural studies, social studies, English Language Arts education and special education. Their research focuses on social justice teacher education, multicultural education and literacy, education and immigration, and diversity and equity in schools and communities.

Talk about useless. A waste of money and the only place that these graduates will find employment is in the academic sector. Needless to say, for every hundred graduates, there will be one job opening. For the other 99, you can start practicing this: "Would you like fries with that happy meal?"

And it is off to YouTube

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Watch for a little bit and then to bed. Long day tomorrow with some errands, working here (finishing off the stand for the belt grinder and making a rack for my ladder (bolt to the outside of the house).

Earth shattering Ka-Boom

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From Science Advances:

A large impact crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland
We report the discovery of a large impact crater beneath Hiawatha Glacier in northwest Greenland. From airborne radar surveys, we identify a 31-kilometer-wide, circular bedrock depression beneath up to a kilometer of ice. This depression has an elevated rim that cross-cuts tributary subglacial channels and a subdued central uplift that appears to be actively eroding. From ground investigations of the deglaciated foreland, we identify overprinted structures within Precambrian bedrock along the ice margin that strike tangent to the subglacial rim. Glaciofluvial sediment from the largest river draining the crater contains shocked quartz and other impact-related grains. Geochemical analysis of this sediment indicates that the impactor was a fractionated iron asteroid, which must have been more than a kilometer wide to produce the identified crater. Radiostratigraphy of the ice in the crater shows that the Holocene ice is continuous and conformable, but all deeper and older ice appears to be debris rich or heavily disturbed. The age of this impact crater is presently unknown, but from our geological and geophysical evidence, we conclude that it is unlikely to predate the Pleistocene inception of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Wonder what they will find when they start poking around Antarctica...

From CNN:

Michael Avenatti arrested on suspicion of domestic violence
Attorney Michael Avenatti has been placed under arrest on suspicion of felony domestic violence and was booked early Wednesday evening.

Los Angeles Police Department officer Jeff Lee said the domestic violence report was taken on Tuesday in West Los Angeles and the arrest was made Wednesday.

"We can confirm that today LAPD Detectives arrested Michael Avenatti on suspicion of domestic violence. This is an ongoing investigation and we will provide more details as they become available," the LAPD Twitter account posted Wednesday.

In other news, from CNN for October 23rd, 2018:

Michael Avenatti is ordered to pay $4.8 million to former law partner
Michael Avenatti's week is off to a bad start, at least in court.

On Monday, a California judge hit Avenatti with a $4.85 million judgment for failure to pay the debt owed to his former Newport Beach law partner, a court representative told CNN.

The order stems from an agreement that allowed Avenatti's law firm, Eagan Avenatti, out of bankruptcy in 2017. As part of the agreement, Eagan Avenatti LLP agreed to a settlement with his former non-equity partner Jason Frank's law firm and the IRS.

The firm agreed it would pay $4.85 million in two installments. If a payment was missed, that amount would balloon to $10 million.

And then there is this from Business Insider of October 15th, 2018:

Trump scores a 'total victory' after federal judge dismisses Stormy Daniels' lawsuit and orders her to pay his legal fees
President Donald Trump's attorneys scored a victory in court when a federal judge dismissed adult film actress Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against Trump on First Amendment grounds and ordered her to pay Trump's legal fees.

"No amount of spin or commentary by Stormy Daniels or her lawyer, [Michael] Avenatti, can truthfully characterize today's ruling in any way other than total victory for President Trump and total defeat for Stormy Daniels," Charles Harder, an attorney for Trump, said in a statement to Business Insider.

Looks like Mr. Avenatti is having a hard couple of months. Hope he is enjoying his fifteen minutes because he is going to be "Who?" in another six or eight months.

Aaaand, I am on the island

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Had a couple of totes with tools for the island so headed down here after dinner. Got a meeting tomorrow and have some things to do while I am down. Back to the farm for the weekend.

Hitting the road

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Heading in to Bellingham with a full van. Back in a couple of hours - will probably get a bite in town.

From The United States, Department of Justice:

DOJ and DHS Issue New Asylum Rule
Applies President’s authority to suspend entry to asylum
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen today announced an Interim Final Rule declaring that those aliens who contravene a presidential suspension or limitation on entry into the United States through the southern border with Mexico issued under section 212(f) or 215(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) will be rendered ineligible for asylum.

The Acting Attorney General and the Secretary issued the following joint statement:

“Consistent with our immigration laws, the President has the broad authority to suspend or restrict the entry of aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so. Today's rule applies this important principle to aliens who violate such a suspension or restriction regarding the southern border imposed by the President by invoking an express authority provided by Congress to restrict eligibility for asylum. Our asylum system is overwhelmed with too many meritless asylum claims from aliens who place a tremendous burden on our resources, preventing us from being able to expeditiously grant asylum to those who truly deserve it. Today, we are using the authority granted to us by Congress to bar aliens who violate a Presidential suspension of entry or other restriction from asylum eligibility.”

Section 212(f) of the Immigration and INA states that “[w]henever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.”

More at the site. The border is now closed regardless of what activists might say. This will be the foundation for getting them sent back.

Oops - Ocean warming? Not so much

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From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Climate contrarian uncovers scientific error, upends major ocean warming study
Researchers with UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Princeton University recently walked back scientific findings published last month that showed oceans have been heating up dramatically faster than previously thought as a result of climate change.

In a paper published Oct. 31 in the journal Nature, researchers found that ocean temperatures had warmed 60 percent more than outlined by the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

However, the conclusion came under scrutiny after mathematician Nic Lewis, a critic of the scientific consensus around human-induced warming, posted a critique of the paper on the blog of Judith Curry, another well-known critic.

“The findings of the ... paper were peer reviewed and published in the world’s premier scientific journal and were given wide coverage in the English-speaking media,” Lewis wrote. “Despite this, a quick review of the first page of the paper was sufficient to raise doubts as to the accuracy of its results.”

Co-author Ralph Keeling, climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, took full blame and thanked Lewis for alerting him to the mistake.

This is the problem with much of so-called climate science these days. They are relying too much on various computer models for their work and we are getting the classic Garbage In, Garbage Out.

The authors could have simply measured the ocean temperature and found out that their model did not jive with reality. How would they measure the temperature of the ocean you ask?
Say hello to Project Argo:

Brief History of Argo
The name Argo was chosen to emphasize the strong complementary relationship of the global float array with the Jason satellite altimeter mission. In Greek mythology Jason sailed in a ship called "Argo" to capture the golden fleece.

Together the Argo and Jason data sets are assimilated into computer models developed by GODAE OceanView that will allow a test of our ability to forecast ocean climate. For the first time, the physical state of the upper ocean is being systematically measured and the data assimilated in near real-time into computer models. Argo builds on other upper-ocean ocean observing networks, extending their coverage in space an time, their depth range and accuracy, and enhancing them through the addition of salinity and velocity measurements. Argo is not confined to major shipping routes which can vary with season as the other upper-ocean observing networks are. Instead, the global array of 3,000 floats will be distributed roughly every 3 degrees (300km). Argo is the sole source of global subsurface datasets used in all ocean data assimilation models and reanalyses.

Here is a map of the current position of the floats:


I would call that very good coverage. The floats are clever - they are neutrally buoyant with a small motor and a piston to pump in/out seawater. When they pump in seawater, the float sinks. When it hits 2,000 meters, the motor reverses and the float starts to ascend. As it does, it measures temperature, salinity and pressure (depth). When it bobs to the surface, it acquires a satellite, gets its position, uploads the data and acquires any programming changes. It then waits on the surface until it is time for its next dive. The program started in 2000 so we have 18 years of very solid data that is freely available to the public or any researcher.

The dodgy paper in question is here: Quantification of ocean heat uptake from changes in atmospheric O2 and CO2 composition and Resplandy et. al. should be ashamed of themselves. Very bad science.

FEMA National Preparedness Report

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Looks like some good reading - from the FEMA website:

National Preparedness Report
The National Preparedness Report evaluates progress and challenges that individuals and communities, private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and all levels of government have faced in preparedness. The 2018 National Preparedness Report takes a revised approach that includes an in-depth analysis of five core capabilities that have been identified in past National Preparedness Reports as facing persistent challenges: Operational Coordination, Infrastructure Systems, Housing, Economic Recovery, and Cybersecurity. Refining the report’s scope to focus on these recurring challenges concentrates the discussion on what the whole community needs to accomplish to have the most impact on increasing the Nation’s preparedness.

The 2018 edition also provides an overview of key developments in national preparedness, incorporating findings and lessons learned from past incidents from the 9/11 attacks to the 2017 Hurricane season. Although the response operations in 2017 were among the largest and most complex in history, lessons from these disasters show there is much more to do to help people prepare for disasters. Future incidents will yield additional lessons learned, underscoring the fact that national preparedness is an ongoing effort and requires continuous improvement, innovation, and action to build the capabilities needed to address the Nation’s evolving risks.

Ten meg, 62 page PDF download here: National Preparedness Report

People sometimes ask why I am a prepper - there is so much uncertainty out there that it just makes sense. A small disaster can be dealt with by Police and Fire crews. Eventually though, you reach a point where they are overwhelmed. I feel a lot better knowing that I have a month of food and water plus the ability to communicate through amateur radio. The best definition that I have heard for the word DISASTER is "An event which outstrips your ability to cope"

Packing up and heading out

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Taking a quick break from loading totes - cold and wet. Probably do just one load in today - do another load tomorrow when I head to the island tomorrow for the meeting.

Just wonderful - California fires

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This little bit of joy from Zero Hedge:

SoCal Fire May Have Ejected "Incredibly Dangerous" Radioactive Particles Into The Atmosphere
The 95,000 acre Woolsey fire which has coated Southern California with an apocalyptic orange glow may have released a toxic stew of radioactive particles and toxic chemicals into the air, after scorching the land on closed-down government weapons testing facility in Simi Hills known to be heavily contaminated from decades of experiments.

Commencing operation in 1947 for Rockwell's Rocketdyne Division, a government contractor for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), the Santa Susana Field Lab (SSFL) has a checkered safety record, to put it lightly. In addition to several nuclear accidents - including the worst nuclear meltdown in US history, toxic materials have accumulated on-site from years of dumping, just miles from thousands of residents.

It was the site of several nuclear accidents, including the worst nuclear meltdown in US history when, in 1959, facility operators intentionally vented nuclear material from the site’s “Sodium Reactor Experiment” to prevent it from overheating and exploding. By the time the leaks were closed, the site had released 459 times more radiation than was leaked during the better-known 1979 meltdown at Three Mile Island.

The lab property, now owned by airplane manufacturer Boeing, stretches for 2,800 acres in the Simi Hills, and remains contaminated with toxic materials. Thousands of people live within two miles of the site, and roughly half a million live within 10 miles, according to an investigation by NBC 4 Los Angeles. -Quartz  

California officials with the state's Department of Toxic Substances Control said that as of Friday, November 9, an area of the SSFL site which was scorched by the Woolsey fire posed no danger, stating "Our scientists and toxicologists have reviewed information about the fire’s location and do not believe the fire has caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke." 

Time will tell. Amazed they didn't do a superfund site.

Just no - the partial receiver problem

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There is a fun little loophole in firearms regulations where you can purchase a partially completed receiver, do a few very simple machining operations and have yourselves a fully operational gun or rifle. The receiver is the part that receives the barrel, the stock, the magazine holding the bullets and it holds the firing mechanism. This is the part of the gun that has the serial number and is considered to be the "heart" of any firearm. Because you are purchasing an uncompleted receiver, you do not have to go through the usual background checks. You can purchase all of the other components (barrel, stock, trigger mechanism, etc...) freely on the open market as they are not regulated.

This little odious bill needs to be throttled in its cradle - from the US Congress website:

H. R. 7115
To prohibit the sale, acquisition, distribution in commerce, or import into the United States of certain firearm receiver castings or blanks, assault weapon parts kits, and machinegun parts kits and the marketing or advertising of such castings or blanks and kits on any medium of electronic communications, to require homemade firearms to have serial numbers, and for other purposes.

And, as usual, they get a lot of stuff wrong:

(a) In General.—It shall be unlawful to market or advertise, on any medium of electronic communications, including over the Internet, for the sale of any of the following:

(1) A firearm receiver casting or firearm receiver blank or unfinished handgun frame that—

(A) at the point of sale does not meet the definition of a firearm in section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code; and

(B) after purchase by a consumer, can be completed by the consumer to the point at which such casting or blank functions as a firearm frame or receiver for a semiautomatic assault weapon or machinegun or the frame of a handgun.

(2) An assault weapon parts kit.

(3) A machinegun parts kit.

Specifically, (2) - there is no such thing as an assault weapon. This is a distinction made on a purely cosmetic basis (ie: black and using metal or composites for construction) and (3) machine guns manufactured after 1968 are already highly illegal (Gun Control Act of 1968 and Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act)

Time to fire off a few emails to my representatives.

A new day at the farm

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Heading out for coffee and then back to the farm to load up for the first run into Bellingham. Raining heavily - warm. Over a half inch of precip with more on the way.

Got nuffin'

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Nothing on the web caught my eye - time for another jar or two of red wine and some YouTube videos.

Back home again - fun outing

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That was fun. Had two pints of excellent hard cider and ran into a couple people I have not seen for many months (a year?) - got caught up.

Feeling sleepy - surf for a bit, some videos and then an early bedtime. Want to get two trips in to the condo tomorrow. Planning to return to Camano Thursday afternoon for an evening meeting. Rain has been forecast for the next three days and it is starting to come down hard.

Dinner was good

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Done for the day - heading out for a pint or two of cider and then back home. Got enough totes packed for two trips to the condo tomorrow.

The Art Renewal Center

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Gorgeous and deep website - check out the Art Renewal Center:

From their Philosophy page:

The Philosophy of ARC - Why Realism?
Fine art at its best has the power to move one to tears, or grab your sensibilities and rivet you in the moment with an overwhelming sense of beauty and excitement. People often report the sensation of cold chills going up and down their spine. It may be the rare work that accomplishes this, but for those who have had this experience, many have credited it as the stimulus that set them on a personal lifetime quest; whether as an artist, collector or art historian. Other human activities can create a similar experience, whether in poetry, literature, dance, theatre, or music, but it is the experience of beauty in fine art and beauty and its relationship to fine art that is the focus of this essay.

If you are reading this, in all probability you are one of the millions of art lovers who in the 21st Century are disillusioned with the Modernist paradigm which for more than a century has been the dominant way the concept of art has been taught and presented in nearly all institutions of higher learning throughout the world.

If you are like us, it seems more than a little self-evident to you that works of art have infinitely more to say and communicate if they portray the real world, or use figures and objects from the real world even when portraying fantasies and dreams. You experience such "realist" works as infinitely more successful than any Modernist works. The success of Modernism seems like a form of mass insanity, a nightmarish anomaly from which we pray the art world will finally soon awake.

Speaking truth to power - this is a site I will be visiting again and again. I am a big fan of plein air and the landscapes of TurnerMoran and Bierstadt.

Light rail in New Mexico

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Light rail works in dense urban areas - Seattle, New York, Boston, San Francisco. Less dense areas like Portland and Albuquerque, New Mexico? Not so much. It is a very visible public works project and has a certain "cool" cachet but it is a money pit. From The AntiPlanner:

Riding the Rail Runner
After speaking about Romance of the Rails in Albuquerque Friday night, I took advantage of a day off between engagements to ride the New Mexico Rail Runner to Santa Fe and back. This train is costing the state close to $800 million in capital costs including interest (which works out to annual payments of about $30 million a year) plus another $30 million a year in operations and maintenance costs, while it is bringing in slightly more than $2 million a year in fares. The federal government also recently gave the state another $30 million to install positive train control.

I love it - $60 million dollars spent each year and it brings in $2 million of income. What doofus signed off on that? A bit more:

Average weekday ridership in 2017 was 2,825, which means 1,413 round trips. Ridership peaked in 2011 and has declined by 37 percent since then. This compares with Albuquerque bus ridership, which peaked in 2012 and has since declined by 25 percent, and transit ridership nationally, which peaked in 2014 and has since declined by 8 percent.

Due in part to low ridership, the Rail Runner uses more energy and emits more greenhouse gases per passenger mile than driving an average SUV. This is typical for most commuter-rail lines that started up in the last two decades or so.

They could sell off the land and the equipment and still come out multiple hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars in the hole. Way to go bureaucrats!

The AntiPlanner is a great website. From their About page:

Welcome to the Antiplanner, a blog dedicated to ending government land-use regulation, comprehensive planning, and transportation boondoggles.

Filling the Bret Kavanaugh vacancy

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When Justice Kavanaugh was sworn in as a member of the Supreme Court, his old job became available. Today, President Trump announced his selection - FOX News:

Trump announces 'regulatory czar' Neomi Rao as nominee to take Kavanaugh's seat on D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
President Trump announced Tuesday he will nominate Neomi Rao, who has spearheaded his administration's effort to cut down and reform federal regulations as head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, to take the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals seat vacated by new Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Trump, speaking at a White House event marking Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, indicated that a formal announcement is slated for Wednesday, but said that tipping his hand early "gives me a big story."

"We were going to announce that tomorrow and I said you know, here we are Neomi -- we're never gonna do better than this. I thought it was an appropriate place," Trump said, as attendees at the ceremony clapped and Rao smiled.

"I won't say today that I just nominated Neomi to be on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the seat of Justice Brett Kavanaugh," Trump continued. "She's going to be fantastic -- great person."

She will be perfect for the position. Strong conservative with a great track record.

Wonderful news - the synagogue shooting

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From Philadelphia's The Inquirer:

Why Philly Jews are arming themselves: ‘I’m going to go down fighting’
On Friday afternoon, with just a few hours before sundown and the start of the Sabbath, David Parvey hurried to a South Philadelphia gun shop called Firing Line to get his new 9-millimeter pistol.

To Parvey, who attends an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Center City, it felt like the only rational response to the Oct. 27 mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 congregants were killed.

"I legally have the right to at least be able to match evil with some sort of response, and in my mind I would be dumb not to," said Parvey, who on Wednesday went to the Philadelphia Police Department's Gun Permit Unit to apply for a concealed-carry license. "I don't want to hide behind the bimah waiting for my turn to get shot."

Parvey is not the only one to reach this conclusion. A simmering conversation about safety in the face of anti-Semitic violence that began several years ago with attacks on Jewish targets in France — a yeshiva in Toulouse, a kosher supermarket and the Bataclan theater in Paris — has boiled over in the last week. While some are responding with prayer and peaceful protests, there are those who feel that a pistol is just more reliable.

Good news - people standing up for themselves and their friends. Seconds count in a shooting and the police are minutes away at very best.

Taking a break for now

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Getting dinner on the stove (rice and beans with ham) - surf for a bit and then head back out. Got about 20 totes ready to go.

The California fires

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An article from just before - Sacramento Bee, October 3, 2018:

Is PG&E going too far in cutting trees for fire safety? A Sacramento group says yes
Criticized for its role in several catastrophic California wildfires, state utility giant Pacific Gas & Electric is on a mission to clear trees near power lines that could topple and hit lines causing fires.

But is the giant utility going too far? A group of Sacramentans is saying yes.

Some members of the Save the American River Association and the American River Parkway Coalition and others are fighting to stop PG&E from cutting down what they estimate could be 100 cottonwood and oak trees near a major electricity transmission line that runs through the parkway near Discovery Park.

A bit more:

The utility company has been criticized in the last year by residents and state officials after a bevy of wildfires tied to downed power lines swept through the state in October 2017.

Investigative reports in May and June from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection linked PG&E to 16 fires in 2017 that killed 18 people and destroyed thousands of homes and other buildings. The PG&E service area covers much of northern and central California, and includes 18,000 miles of power lines. It will spend up to $70 million this year to clear vegetation near those lines, a spokesman said in an email.

Those clueless environmentalists again - they do not see the big picture, just their personal agenda.

Done with lunch

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Time to get to work...

Slept like a log - finishing off breakfast, heading out for coffee and then spending the day packing totes to take to the condo in Bellingham.

Well crap - Douglas Rain R.I.P.

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Douglas Rain? The voice of HAL9000 - from National Public Radio:

R.I.P. HAL: Douglas Rain, Voice Of Computer In '2001,' Dies At 90
Douglas Rain, a Shakespeare actor who provided the eerie, calmly homicidal voice of HAL in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, has died at the age of 90.

The Canadian actor died Sunday morning, according to the Stratford Festival, where Rain spent 32 seasons acting in such roles such as Othello's Iago and Twelfth Night's Malvolio. He was also a founding member of the company. The Winnipeg-born actor had dozens of theater, film and television credits.

However, Rain's biggest mark on pop culture was less Shakespearean, but perhaps just as much a classic: as 2001's HAL 9000, a sentient, rogue computer in a film written in collaboration with science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke and widely regarded as Kubrick's masterpiece. The American Film Institute ranked HAL as the 13th greatest movie villain of all time.

Kubrick was reportedly inspired to cast Rain after viewing Universe, a 1964 animated documentary narrated by the actor.

A great movie - especially compared to the 90% dreck being pushed by clueless Hollywood these days.

Heh - interesting bit of history from the Canada Free Press:

CA Gov. Jerry Brown Vetoed 2016 Wildfire Management Bill While CA Burned
Every governor has signed regretful legislation, or made a disastrous pardon he or she would like a chance to re-do. California’s whacky outgoing Democrat governor has spent the last eight years trying to convince the people of California that we are to blame for droughts, wildfires and “extreme weather,” and that climate change is an existential threat to the California way of life. Showing no regrets, Gov. Jerry Brown calls the people “freeloaders,” and “deniers,” and has mocked our “little green lawns.” Brown even spitefully signed legislation subjecting every man, woman and child to 50 gallons of water a day in the near future… despite the state’s 189,454 miles of rivers, and that large body of water California sits on.

Last year, as California residents were burned out of their towns, homes, neighborhoods, schols, hospitals and businesses, Gov. Jerry Brown was jetting around the world spouting climate change propaganda, and calling the fires California’s “new normal.” Gov. Brown had many chances to sincerely and realistically address California’s increasing wildfires since his election in 2011, but instead chose to play politics, placing his new friends at the United Nations over the people of California.

What many do not know, is that California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bipartisan wildfire management bill in 2016, despite unanimous passage by the Legislature, 75-0 in the Assembly and 39-0 in the Senate. SB 1463 would have given local governments more say in fire-prevention efforts through the Public Utilities Commission proceeding making maps of fire hazard areas around utility lines. In a gross display of politics, this is especially pertinent given that Cal Fire and the state’s media are now blaming the largest utility in the state for the latest wildfires.

Details details... These piddling details are getting in the way of my Great and Powerful agenda.

Back at the farm for a few days

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Had dinner on the road, stopped off at a local for two pints of cider and now at the farm.

Sleepy from my early morning so just a quick surf and then a couple of YouTubes - packing tomorrow.

Paperwork done - back to work

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An hour or two of moving firewood and then up to the farm.

Terrierman's Daily Dose is a daily read for me and today, he reminds us of California's weather history with a quote from John Steinbeck - East of Eden:

Fire, like drought, is a failure of memory and a longage of people.

In East of Eden, Nobel-prize winning author John Steinbeck's (1902-1968) put it well:

I have spoken of the rich years when the rainfall was plentiful. But there were dry years too, and they put a terror on the valley. The water came in a thirty-year cycle. There would be five or six wet and wonderful years when there might be nineteen to twenty-five inches of rain, and the land would shout with grass. Then would come six or seven pretty good years of twelve to sixteen inches of rain. And then the dry years would come, and sometimes there would be only seven or eight inches of rain. The land dried up and the grasses headed out miserably a few inches high and great bare scabby places appeared in the valley. The live oaks got a crusty look and the sagebrush was gray. The land cracked and the springs dried up and the cattle listlessly nibbled dry twigs. Then the farmers and the ranchers would be filled with disgust for the Salinas Valley. The cows would grow thin and sometimes starve to death. People would have to haul water in barrels to their farms just for drinking. Some families would sell out for nearly nothing and move away. And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way.

The ignition of the Camp Fire was from a malfunction at a PGE electrical tower. The reason the fire escalated so rapidly is because of the huge fire load caused by poor forest managment. We should have learned our lessons from the Yellowstone conflagration thirty years ago but noooooooo...

More 'fun' from Florida

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I really hope that President Trump and our new temporary A.G. move to squash this - from Zero Hedge:

Provisional Ballot Boxes Discovered Inside AVIS Rental Car At Ft. Lauderdale Airport
Provisional ballot boxes from the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office were reportedly discovered in the back of an AVIS rental car at Fort Lauderdale Airport on Sunday night, as first reported by investigative journalist Laura Loomer.

Attorney and Broward GOP State Committeeman Richard DeNapoli says he received a call from an AVIS employee informing him of the found ballot boxes after sheriff's deputies were initially unwilling to investigate. Approximately 20 minutes after receiving the tip, however, a heavy police presence arrived and blocked off traffic to the airport, and a bomb threat was announced.

So the popo are complicit in this corruption. Lots more at the site - photos, video, links to other stories of corruption and vote tampering. These people need to be facing serious jail time - ten years at the minimum.

I find it ironic that the Democrats have nothing to offer us Normals so they have to use free stuff to win the low-information voter and cheat to block the informed majority.

Well crap - Stan Lee R.I.P.

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From TMZ:

Stan Lee, the man responsible for much of the Marvel Universe, has died ... Stan's daughter tells TMZ.

We're told an ambulance rushed to Lee's Hollywood Hills home early Monday morning and he was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. We're told that's where he died.

Lee had suffered several illnesses over the last year or so -- he had a bout of pneumonia and vision issues.

Stan started Marvel with Jack Kirby in 1961 with The Fantastic Four. He went on to create Spider-Man, Black Panther, The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Iron Man and The Avengers.

Stan made cameo appearances in all of the Marvel movies.

95 is a good run and he had fun doing what he wanted.

Breaking for lunch

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Can of soup and a dinner roll - do a bit of paperwork, shift some more firewood (the pile is getting smaller) and then head up to the farm around 3:00PM or so.

This looks good:

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Will have to check the Bellingham movie theaters - want to see this on the big screen.

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