Heading into Bellingham this evening

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Had a big run on people recieving Western Union funds so heading into town to get some more cash.

Some of the Democrats have their panties in a bunch over Burger King's move to Canada to save on corporate taxes. From Yahoo:

Boycott talk taints Burger King deal
Small, medium or large? The amount of outrage over Burger King’s deal to buy a Canadian donut chain could possibly determine whether the deal goes through — and helps Burger King dodge millions of dollars in U.S. taxes.

Just figured out where I will grab a bite to eat: Burger King. The branch is right across from Home Depot and I need to stop there too for some electrical conduit.

 

Socalist mayor de Blasio has turned New York City into a workers paradise - he said so himself.

From The New York Times:

Police Sergeants’ Union Warns Against Democratic Convention in Brooklyn

A union of New York City police sergeants warned the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday against holding its 2016 convention in Brooklyn, issuing an open letter that doubled as a broadside against a mayoral administration with which some officers have grown increasingly frustrated.

In the letter, addressed to the group Mayor Bill de Blasio wooed during its visit to New York two weeks ago, the president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, Edward D. Mullins, said the city was going “backward to the bad old days of high crime, danger-infested public spaces and families that walk our streets worried for their safety.”

He presented a city overrun with “squeegee people” and other panhandlers, with shootings on the rise and morale among police officers flagging.

“The D.N.C. should choose another venue,” said the letter, which appeared as an advertisement in The New York Times and The New York Post. “Mayor de Blasio,” it continued, “has not earned the right to play host to such an important event.”

And of course, like a true statist, Mr. de Blasio counters with name calling and finger pointing (not facts - because the facts don't look good for his agenda): 

Mr. de Blasio, speaking at an unrelated news conference in Brooklyn on Tuesday, called the union’s actions “opportunistic” and “irresponsible.”

“It’s fear-mongering to try and benefit their own position in contract talks,” he said. “Don’t stoke fear in the city we love.”

Looking to see a conservative become mayor within two election cycles. 

From The New York Times:

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty
The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.

To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.

One of the worst things that President Eisenhower did was to shoot down the Bricker Amendment:

Bricker Amendment
The Bricker Amendment is the collective name of a number of proposed amendments to the United States Constitution considered by the United States Senate in the 1950s. Each of these amendments would have placed restrictions on the scope and ratification of treaties and executive agreements entered into by the United States and are named for their sponsor, Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio, a conservative Republican.

Non-interventionism, the view that the United States should not become embroiled in foreign conflicts and world politics, has always been an element in American politics but was especially strong in the years following World War I. American entry into World War II temporarily suppressed non-interventionist sentiments, but they returned in the post-war years in response to America's new international role, particularly as a reaction to the new United Nations and its affiliated international organizations. Some feared the loss of American sovereignty to these transnational agencies, because of the Soviet Union's role in the spread of international Communism and the Cold War.

Frank E. Holman, president of the American Bar Association (ABA), called attention to state and Federal court decisions, notably Missouri v. Holland, which he claimed could give international treaties and agreements precedence over the United States Constitution and could be used by foreigners to threaten American liberties. Senator Bricker was influenced by the ABA's work and first introduced a constitutional amendment in 1951. With substantial popular support and the election of a Republican President and Congress in the elections of 1952, Bricker's plan seemed destined to be sent to the individual states for ratification.

The best-known version of the Bricker Amendment, considered by the Senate in 1953–54, declared that no treaty could be made by the United States that conflicted with the Constitution, was self-executing without the passage of separate enabling legislation through Congress, or which granted Congress legislative powers beyond those specified in the Constitution. It also limited the president's power to enter into executive agreements with foreign powers.

Bricker's proposal attracted broad bipartisan support and was a focal point of intra-party conflict between the administration of president Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Old Right faction of conservative Republican senators. Despite the initial support, the Bricker Amendment was blocked through the intervention of President Eisenhower and failed in the Senate by a single vote in 1954. Three years later the Supreme Court of the United States explicitly ruled in Reid v. Covert that the Bill of Rights cannot be abrogated by agreements with foreign powers. Nevertheless, Senator Bricker's ideas still have supporters, and new versions of his amendment have been reintroduced in Congress periodically.

Much more at the site - an interesting look at history.

If President Stompy-feet is able to get away with this, I am hoping that it will trigger a major shift in the way people vote. We really need some adults in the room now, especially in the Senate...

Taking care of a lot of stuff this morning - minimal posting until later today.

This Saturday is the 5th ANNUAL MT. BAKER  CAR & MOTORCYCLE SHOW & ROD RUN

I have done the announcing for these and will be there Saturday. The weather forecast does not look that good - 70% chance of showers but it is clear today so we will see...

This about sums it up...

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The sooner we follow this path, the sooner we reach economic recovery and prosperity as well as world political security. It is just that simple.

Karl Marx's big screw-up is that there is not a fixed pool of capital. Money can be created or destroyed. Letting the rich prosper will let those poorer to prosper as well. Maintaining barriers to wealth through crony capitalism and statism does more to hinder growth than any kind of free market.

Burger King got tired of the US 39.10% Corporate tax rate (the highest in the world) and figured out how to lower it to 26.3%

From The Washington Post:

Have taxes your way: Why Burger King wants to become a Canadian citizen
Yet another American company is aiming to move its headquarters out of the country.

International fast food behemoth Burger King Worldwide Inc. confirmed Tuesday that it will pay about $11 billion to buy Canadian chain Tim Hortons Inc., which sells coffee, donuts, and other breakfast food fare. The deal would merge America's second-largest burger chain, which is valued at nearly $10 billion, with the Canadian equivalent to Dunkin' Donuts, which is valued at more than $8 billion. It would also move the new company's headquarters to Canada, where corporate taxes are significantly lower.

The newly merged company would become the world's third-biggest "quick service restaurant company," with more than 18,000 restaurants in 100 countries, said Burger King and Hortons in a statement Monday. The deal would create a business capable of rivaling Yum Brands, which owns Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, and is valued at more than $30 billion. But while Yum Brands operates from Louisville, KY, the new Burger King and Tim Hortons parent company would likely station itself in the Ontario province of Canada.

On the surface, the reason for a headquarter shift across the country's northern border is simple: lower corporate taxes.

As we have have noted before, when a company reincorporates abroad, as the practice is known, what it's really doing is shifting its corporate citizenship; and when a company shifts its corporate citizenship, what it's really doing is trying to pay less in taxes. The nominal corporate tax rate in the U.S., which combines national, state, and city-level tax rates, is nearly 40 percent—the highest across all 34 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries. Canada's, by comparison, is just over 26 percent.

Of course, the Democrats are trying to stop this by doing absolutley the wrong thing - passing another law - from the Ways and Means Committee website:

H.R.4679 : Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2014
On May 20, a group of nearly a dozen House Democrats today introduced legislation to tighten restrictions on corporate tax inversions, limiting the ability of American companies to avoid U.S. taxation by combining with a smaller foreign business and moving their tax domicile overseas. The House legislation – the “Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2014” (H.R. 4679) – and companion Senate legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) largely mirror the inversion proposal included in the President’s FY 2015 budget.

Co-sponsors of the legislation include Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Sander Levin (D-MI), Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), Rep. Richard E. Neal (D-MA), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Rep. John Larson (D-CT), Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

Gee - all they would have to do is cut back on Federal spending and cut taxes. If we lowered Corporate taxes to 25%, business would flock back to the USA. Overseas manufacturing would flock back to the USA. Profits and jobs would flock back to the USA.

But nooooo - we must smash the free market.

Humans need not apply

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Great video from C.G.P. Grey:


Here is his website: C.G.P. Grey, and YouTube channel

A weak link in the chain - Bearings

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From Eric Worrall writing at Watts Up With That:

Bearings: The Achilles Heel of Wind Turbines
A few years ago, I used to know a senior wind turbine engineer. One evening, over a few beers, he told me the dirty secret of his profession:

“The problem is the bearings. If we make the bearings bigger, the bearings last longer, but making the bearings larger increases friction, which kills turbine efficiency. But we can’t keep using the current bearings – replacing them is sending us broke. What we need is a quantum leap in bearing technology – bearing materials which are at least ten times tougher than current materials.”

At the time there was very little corroborating online material available to support this intriguing comment – but evidence seems to be accumulating that bearings are a serious problem for the wind industry.

Siemens citing bearing failures as part of the reason for a substantial fall in profit; http://www.offshorewind.biz/2014/05/07/siemens-energy-division-profit-down-54-pct/

In the announcement of the opening of a new Siemens research facility; http://www.greenoptimistic.com/2013/03/19/siemens-wind-turbine-research/
“… The Brande test center would evaluate the main parts of their wind turbines such as main bearings …”

http://www.geartechnology.com/newsletter/0112/drives.htm (an attempt to make direct drive turbines, to reduce bearing wear)
“… More accurately, it is typically the bearings within the gearbox that fail, in turn gumming up the gearbox, but that’s a story for another time. …”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burbo_Bank_Offshore_Wind_Farm
“… During summer 2010 Siemens decided to change the blade bearings on all 25 turbines as a pre-emptive measure after corrosion was found in blade bearings found on other sites. …”

And of course, there is the obligitory YouTube video:

 

 

alt.energy is a dead end for baseline energy. For remote areas -- sure. For the National Electric Grid -- no frickn' way.

 How many of our tax dollars are being sent down this rat-hole...

Quote of the day - academia

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Personally, I liked the university. They gave us money and facilities, we didn't have to produce anything! You've never been out of college! You don't know what it's like out there! I've *worked* in the private sector. They expect *results*.
--Dr Raymond Stantz

 

Dr. Stantz? Ghostbusters

Fox!

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We both spotted a fox about two weeks ago - just a blur running off into the woods.

Saw it again this morning and it is peacefully hanging out in the field chowing down on wood mice.

Curious because the dogs are normally very good about running other critters off - deer and coyote set them to barking and they will chase them to the fence. This guy? Meh. Another canine friend.

From The Local - Norway's News in English:

Buy your own Viking warship for just €160,000
Fancy owning your own Viking ship capable of carrying an 80-strong landing party to ravage the destination of your choice? The craftsmen at The Viking Ship Museum are now selling replicas of Norway's Gokstad ship for a mere €160,000.

The construction of the 10-metre long Gokstad battle cruiser is scrupulously authentic, with the Roskilde-based craftsmen hewing each model out of oak using tradition tools, putting it together with handmade nails, and equipping it with woollen sails. 

But the design has nonetheless proven extremely seaworthy since the first replica, the Viking, crossed the Atlantic from Bergen in 1893. 

The original boat was discovered in a burial mound near Sandefjord in 1880, and is now kept at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History outside Oslo. 

The Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark, will also build you a 12m cargo vessel, based on the Skuldelev 6 ship found in Roskilde in 1962, for less than €400,000. 

The cheapest viking ship for sale is a replica of one of the smaller ships found at Gokstad, which can be had for under €53,000. 

€160,000 is only about $210,000. I could see us crusing Silver Lake in the mornings. Raising the skull and cross-bones. Plundering the cabins.

Tip of the hat to Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man for the link.

More faster please

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This is huge - from the Beeb:

Whole organ 'grown' in world first
A whole functional organ has been grown from scratch inside an animal for the first time, say researchers in Scotland.

A group of cells developed into a thymus - a critical part of the immune system - when transplanted into mice.

The findings, published in Nature Cell Biology, could pave the way to alternatives to organ transplantation.

Experts said the research was promising, but still years away from human therapies.

Say bye-bye to immune response and tissue rejection problems. This is a long long way from being able to grow a new heart or liver or kidneys but still, a step in the right direction.

Politics these days - a two-fer

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First - talk about being out of touch - from FoxNews:

More White House officials at Michael Brown’s funeral than Thatcher’s
The White House sent three officials to attend Monday's funeral for Michael Brown in St. Louis -- three more than it sent for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral last year. 

Thatcher was a class act, Brown, a common street thug.

Second - from CNS News:

Obama Sent No Representative to Memorial Mass for Beheaded Journalist James Foley
President Barack Obama sent no White House representative to the memorial Mass held yesterday in Rochester, New Hampshire, for James Foley, the American journalist beheaded by the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorists.

President Obama, however, did send three White House aides to Monday’s funeral for Michael Brown, an 18-year-old African American fatally shot in an encounter with a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

Disgusting - these people are so far out of touch with what is decent and right it sickens me.

 Brilliant marketing tactic - people will not forget that beer!  I will have to see if we can get a carton or two for the store.

 Bring that to a party!

The Feynman Lectures on Physics

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Now available online - an amazing resource: The Feynman Lectures on Physics

Oh Bother...

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From the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

Winnie the Pooh saga turns 100 years old today
One hundred years ago today a Canadian soldier adopted a black bear cub and named it after his adopted hometown of Winnipeg, launching the saga of Winnie the Pooh.

Lt. Harry Colebourn, a Canadian veterinarian and soldier with the Royal Canadian Army Veterinary Corps, came across the orphaned female bear cub on Aug. 24, 1914.

"It's such a fascinating story to me that something from such a different, ancient time and far away is so directly connected to this city of ours," said Mary Anne Appleby, a Winnipeg author who penned the 2011 biography Winnie the Bear.

As the story goes, when Colebourn's troop train stopped in White River, Ont., he met a hunter who had shot and killed the bear cub's mother, without whom the cub was almost certain to die.

Colebourn offered the hunter $20 for the cub, whom he named Winnipeg Bear to commemorate the city where he had lived before the war. The name was soon shortened to Winnie.

Winnie accompanied Colebourn to England, where the cub played with Canadian soldiers during their off-hours in their encampment on the Salisbury Plains.

Colebourn later donated Winnie to the London Zoo, where the bear inspired the creation of A.A. Milne's famous children's book character. Winnie died at the zoo in 1934.

The Winnie the Pooh story endures a century later. A survey in the United Kingdom named Milne's book the most beloved children's book of the past 150 years, while the "silly old bear" came in second to Anne of Green Gables' Anne Shirley in CBC Books' Great Canadian Character Showdown.

Appleby, whose father was a close friend of Colebourn's son, says this weekend is a time to celebrate a wee bear that has become a household name.

I so want to get a bear cub as a pet. You have to get them fresh out of the womb - eyes still closed - so the imprint is perfect otherwise, they can be trouble when they hit puberty.

I grew up on these stories. Great stuff...

Water Board meeting tonight

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Should be an interesting one - one of our goals this year was to install a fire hydrant at the further reach of our system. We are pretty well covered except for this area and there are about 20 residences that don't currently have access.

Our local VFD does have pumper trucks but deploying these takes time - crucial in an emergency situation.

We had budgeted for this but the engineering costs were a lot higher than what we initially thought -- this project is about double the planned budget. We can do it but we need to watch our pennies for the next year or two.

About that global warming

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Glaciers starting to form in Scotland - from the Beeb:

Glacier-like hazards found on Ben Nevis
A team of climbers and scientists investigating the mountain's North Face said snowfields remained in many gullies and upper scree slopes.

On these fields, they have come across compacted, dense, ice hard snow call neve.

Neve is the first stage in the formation of glaciers, the team said.

The team has also encountered sheets of snow weighing hundreds of tonnes and tunnels and fissures known as bergschrunds.

The large, deep cracks in the ice are found at the top of glaciers.

A bit more:

Lead survey botanist, Ian Strachan, said: "Many of the rare arctic-alpine species we are searching for are relics from soon after the last ice age.

"Ben Nevis and a few other peaks in the Scottish Highlands provide the most southerly refuge for some of these species which can only survive due to the altitude and presence of semi-permanent snow fields."

And the next ice age is scheduled to start in 3... 2...

Prescient - The Twilight Zone

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What with all the police action in the states and the rapidly deteriorating conditions overseas - from Rod Serling:

As we continue to lurch towards tyranny. These fools voted for big government - now they have it and they do not like it.

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