Taking over the Bakery tomorrow as manager. The couple came up from their new home to visit with people this weekend and are now down about an hour south of here.
I have a good crew so the changeover should be fairly smooth. Heading out to the DaveCave(tm) soon to do a quick email check and then off to bed as the alarm is set for 6:30 and I am not a morning person...
I talked with the guy who will ultimately be purchasing the business and we will be getting together soon to hash out the next twelve months.
Like I needed another project...
Government payrolls, are the only thing that expanded during the past session of Congress. Public sector jobs multiplied like a virus, and the number of six-figure government employees skyrocketed. Meanwhile, real unemployment in the private sector – including seasonal adjustments, long-term discouraged workers, and the underemployed – hit 22% nationwide. The lights burned bright and merry in the plush offices of K Street lobbying firms, while the rest of the economy slid into darkness.
This Congress demonstrated its economic wisdom with the Cash for Clunkers program, which wasted billions of your dollars in a futile attempt to shovel new car sales from one quarter to another, giving them a “success story” to tout for a while… until they realized nobody was gullible enough to consider it successful. Meanwhile, it drained sales from healthy industries, destroyed the used-car market, and provided incentives for low-income buyers to rack up more debt they cannot afford to repay.
More -- much much more complete with linky goodness.
Hat tip to Little Miss Atilla for the link.
Joint Russian, US Drug Raid in Afghanistan VoA News: For the first time, Russian and U.S. special forces have taken part in a joint operation to destroy drug labs in Afghanistan. Russian and U.S. officials on Friday announced the raids, which took place Thursday near the country’s border with Pakistan.
Russian anti-narcotics chief Viktor Ivanov says the special forces, who were aided by Afghan officials, destroyed three heroin labs and one morphine lab. He estimates the raids may have caused up to $1 billion in damage to Afghanistan’s illegal drug trade industry.
Earlier this year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said Afghan drug trafficking poses a threat to world peace and security. He told officials attending an Asia security summit in Singapore in June that illegal drugs are helping to fund the Taliban and other militant groups.
Good news -- it certainly is a joint problem. Nice to see some cooperation. We are certainly friends in the Science and Space world, it will be good to establish that same level of friendship in the Military realm.
$1Bn is not chump change either -- go a long way to deny them operating funds.
Kerry voices frustration with US political scene Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry unleashed a broadside Thursday against Republican "obstructionism," saying the GOP and its talk-show allies have created a "period of know-nothingism" in the country.
No Senator, the Conservative movement is asking that you abide by the rules set forth in the Constitution.
With his party braced for defeats in the midterm elections, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee told the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce that a Republican machine -- fueled by talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck -- has undermined progress and misled the public into believing Democrats created the country's current economic problems.
The economic problems began halfway through Bush's time in office when the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Spearheaded by Speaker (the most ethical) Pelosi, our spending went through the roof and Government enjoyed a massive growth spurt.
Kerry singled out attacks on an energy deal he was negotiating with Republicans, which fell apart amid criticism of an emissions-trading program. Some 20 Senate candidates are now opposing the proposed deal in their campaigns.
"It's absurd. We've lost our minds," said a clearly exasperated Kerry. "We're in a period of know-nothingism in the country, where truth and science and facts don't weigh in. It's all short-order, lowest common denominator, cheap-seat politics."
To underscore his claim, he said statistics show Republicans had blocked Senate business with filibuster tactics more during the past 18 months than the period between the end of World War I and the Apollo moon landing in 1969.
A couple of thoughts -- Senator, with all due respect, your "Energy Bill" was a piece of abject junk with zero scientific backing. It was entirely agenda driven and written by lobbyists for the green movement. The greens care nothing about this planet, for them it is all about controlling the lives of the common man for his own good.
Your claim of "know-nothingism" is pure projection.
As for the filibusters, the Democrats have been bringing up more and more egregious proposals, have not been listening to their constituents and deserve to be shut down in any way available to those with the knowledge to recognize crap for crap.
Senator Kerry, you are a perfect example of what is wrong with this Republic.
Be sure to check out the 680+ comments to the article.
0-dark:30 and heading off to work.
Going to be a busy few days -- since we were operating weekends only and are now switching to full-time, I'll be having to deal with some staffing issues and menu planning.
Should be pretty easy but still...
Russia's Kamchatka volcanoes spew giant ash clouds Two volcanoes erupted Thursday on Russia's far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, tossing massive ash clouds miles (kilometers) into the air, forcing flights to divert and blanketing one town with thick, heavy ash.
The Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Eurasia's highest active volcano, exploded along with the Shiveluch volcano, 45 miles (70 kilometers) to the northeast, the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's branch in Kamchatka said, adding that flights in the area had to change course.
Ash clouds from the remote volcanoes billowed up to 33,000 feet (10 kilometers) and were spreading east across the Pacific Ocean, vulcanologist Sergei Senyukov told Rossiya 24 television. Streams of lava flowed down the slopes of Shiveluch.
Nothing like taking the already attenuated sunlight (low angle due to winter) and knocking it down another 5-10%.
Gonna be a cooooold one this year.
Spent the day shopping for and working at the bakery doing some repair work before they open tomorrow. I will be there in the morning to do the Farmer's Friday breakfast (two eggs, pancakes and bacons) and then start work on the recipe book and getting people to use the #$% timers. Bought four of them today so there will be zero excuse for overdone baked goods. Portion control is another biggie.
This is the last weekend under the original owner -- I will be taking over management this Monday and start running it seven days/week.
It will be hectic but I have a good core crew and it should go pretty well...
If you were a DJ or Rap 'artist', your record player of choice was the Technics SL-1200.
Built like a tank, bulletproof and immune to abuse.
End Of An Era: Panasonic Kills Off Technics Turntables If you’ve ever been a DJ, known a DJ or listened to a DJ, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Technics. Panasonic’s analogue turntables are legend among scratchers and spinners. And now they’re gone.
Panny made the announcement that they’d cease Technics production because of “a decline in demand for these analogue products and also the growing difficulty of procuring key analogue components necessary to sustain production”. In a word: obsolescence.
Around 3.5 million SL-1200 turntables have been sold since 1972. Countless audio mixers and stereo headphones that also bear the Technics name. But with sales of analogue decks being just 5 per cent of what they were 10 years ago, Panasonic’s finally pulled the plug on a classic.
What made Technics so good? A reliable Direct Drive turning mechanism. A heavy, rock-solid 12kg base. And three decades of tradition.
Not a bad run -- thirty eight years is not shabby...
The season of disinvitation continues: Chico State University can’t handle a slideshow I wrote back on September 28th about how Dr. Roger Pielke Senior and Dr. Bob Carter had been invited to present their views on climate science, then after the organizers found out what might be discussed, redacted the invitations to these scientists.
I was invited by Chico State University to the Great Debate Oct 28th in the City council Chambers on the topic of the Proposition 23, delay of California Prop32, the “global warming law”. I accepted with a caveat, but due to that caveat I’ve now joined the club of the “disinvited”. My crime? Wanting to show some slides to go along with my oral presentation.
Anthony then quotes the entire email exchange. Anthony has an 85% hearing loss so an open raucous session would not allow him to participate fully whereas a very well structured debate would be fine. He wanted to establish his thoughts with a short slide show.
Looks like they just wanted to do some version of The View and shout him down and call it a successful "debate" for their side.
I would love to see these people invite Lord Monckton.
And to have him accept.
Rare earthquake in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta puzzles experts It was a small earthquake, measuring just 3.1 on the Richter scale, but its location in the heart of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta has experts buzzing.
The Oct. 15 quake was centered 7 miles northwest of Lathrop, on Union Island. No faults are known to exist in that area, where earthquakes are rare.
The temblor could offer new insights on safety issues in the Delta, where concerns about flood protection and water quality during a major quake have been growing. It is also a reminder that many mysteries lurk below ground – even in California, a nucleus of earthquake research.
"It was a surprise to us," said Jack Boatwright, a geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park who is studying the quake. "There's something down there that we don't know about."
The more we think we know, the more we know how little we know.
Or something like that.
Nevada voting machines automatically checking Harry Reid's name; voting machine technicians are SEIU members Clark County is where three quarters of Nevada's residents and live and where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's son Rory is a county commissioner. Rory is also a Democratic candidate for governor.
Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid's name was already checked.
Ferrara said she wasn't alone in her voting experience. She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.
"Something's not right," Ferrara said. "One person that's a fluke. Two, that's strange. But several within a five minute period of time -- that's wrong."
Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said there is no voter fraud, although the issues do come up because the touch-screens are sensitive. For that reason, a person may not want to have their fingers linger too long on the screen after they make a selection at any time.
Now there's absolutely no independently verified evidence of chicanery with the voting machines (yet), but it is worth noting that the voting machine technicians in Clark County are members of the Service Employees International Union. The SEIU spent $63 million in elections in 2008 and is planning on spending $44 million more this election cycle -- nearly all of that on Democrats. White House political director Patrick Gaspard is formerly the SEIU's top lobbyist, and former SEIU president Andy Stern was the most frequent visitor to the White House last year.
Ahh yes -- the old "Lingering Finger" -- sort of the "Hanging Chad" of this election cycle.
I am not holding my breath but it will be interesting to see how many people spend some quality time in the Graybar Hotel in the next year or two.
Embedded in the Examiner post is the contract between Clark County and Local 1107 of the SEIU.
One thing to consider is that the elected official who oversees the state's voting process is the Secretary of State and there is an odious project funded by George Soros -- check out the Secretary of State Project whose tagline reads:
Support Secretaries of State who will protect the election.
Just damn. Talk about someone who has overstayed their welcome on this planet by about 60 years.
Hey George Soros -- you have the ability to make money; this does not confer intelligence or wisdom or humanity.
Went over and picked up the blacksmith items and the bandsaw from town today. The guy who was selling them is into steam engines and one of the people who initially went out was also into them so he came along with one of his engines for a show and tell.
As I was preparing to go pick the stuff up, I had parked the truck and trailer alongside our grocery store. The other guy who was along the first time drove past and told me that he didn't know me and that he had a broken arm. He knew that we were going into town today and was just giving me a hard time.
Getting the bandsaw out of the basement was fun... It weighs about 200-250 pounds -- they built stuff solid back then. Had the guy's son and my friend helping -- two on the top and one on the bottom.
Got everything into the shop by myself -- I am used to rigging heavy equipment and there is a ten-foot sliding door into the shop area so a hand truck was all I needed. Already had a place cleared and will cut a hole through the shop wall in a few days to run the vent for the forge -- it's right next to my propane forge so should be fine with the workflow. It will be nice having coal heat as well as propane.
Tomorrow will be spent prepping for the Bakery -- the owner will be up Friday through Sunday and I will take the helm Monday morning.
A bunch of stories are coming in about rampant voter fraud.
From Las Vegas, Nevada station KVVU FOX5:
Nevada Voters Complain Of Problems At Polls Some voters in Boulder City complained on Monday that their ballot had been cast before they went to the polls, raising questions about Clark County's electronic voting machines.
Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid's name was already checked.
Ferrara said she wasn't alone in her voting experience. She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.
"Something's not right," Ferrara said. "One person that's a fluke. Two, that's strange. But several within a five minute period of time -- that's wrong."
Voter reports problem with ballot machine A Craven County voter says he had a near miss at the polls on Thursday when an electronic voting machine completed his straight-party ticket for the opposite of what he intended.
Sam Laughinghouse of New Bern said he pushed the button to vote Republican in all races, but the voting machine screen displayed a ballot with all Democrats checked. He cleared the screen and tried again with the same result, he said. Then he asked for and received help from election staff.
“They pushed it twice and the same thing happened,” Laughinghouse said. “That was four times in a row. The fifth time they pushed it and the Republicans came up and I voted.”
M. Ray Wood, Craven County Board of elections chairman, issued a written statement saying that the elections board is aware of isolated issues and that in each case the voter was able to cast his or her ballot as desired.
New ACORN effort is mobilizing voters, run by woman indicted for violating election laws Matthew Vadum over at Human Events reports ACORN is alive and well, though operating under a different name:
Disturbingly, Project Vote, ACORN’s scandal-plagued voter registration and mobilization division, remains open for business. Project Vote has been part of the ACORN family since at least 1992 when Barack Obama ran a successful voter drive in Illinois.
Although legally separate entities, in practice the two are the same, as the congressional testimony of former ACORN/Project Vote employee Anita MonCrief can attest. They share office space, employees, and budgets. Project Vote continues to operate out of ACORN’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
Even worse, its voter drive is being run by Amy Busefink, an ACORN employee under indictment in Nevada for violating election laws. It might be understandable for an employer not to fire an employee until she is actually convicted of a crime, but this is ridiculous. Busefink should not be running a voter drive.
Busefink and another ACORN employee, Christopher Edwards, were charged with by the state of Nevada with “26 felony counts of voter fraud and 13 of providing unlawful extra compensation to those registering voters.” Edwards pleaded guilty and the trial of Busefink and ACORN is set to begin November 26.
Well, Marketplace picks up the story today, and while Sherbet's still not buying it -- he tells the American Public Media show, "It looks like a hoax" -- J. Alex Halderman, an assistant prof of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, isn't ready to dismiss the WTF so quickly. Says he: "This is a known class of problems with touch-screen voting machines." When asked what could cause this, Halderman says: "A mistake in the logic of the ballot." The jokes write themselves. Listen to the broadcast here.
Here’s what the article doesn’t tell you, by a source in the Yuma County Recorder’s Office:
* These 3000 voter registration forms were all dropped off at once by the one group on the deadline to turn in voter registration forms. * Almost all of the registrations were for the Democratic Party, a statistical improbability at best. * Today, these same 3000 newly registered voters — as a group — had papers dropped off at the Yuma Recorder’s office requesting to be signed up for the permanent early voters list… which means the ballots will be mailed early, with no accountability. * The Yuma Recorder’s office is checking the voter registration forms and have found that already more than 65% of them are invalid due to the registrant not being a citizen, wrong/invalid address, false signature, etc.
Well its not as Mi Familia is the same as the SEIU… oh wait:
Mi Familia Vota is one of two groups that reportedly registered thousands of new voters in and around Yuma last week.
Mi Familia Vota’s Arizona HQ address is 3707 N. 7th Street, Suite 100 in Phoenix
The address of SEIU Arizona is…um, 3707 N. 7th Street, Suite 100 in Phoenix.
Maybe it’s a really, really big suite?
And a bunch more after these. These stories are not isolated and the attempts are so blatant that there is going to be a lot of interesting litigation once voting is finished. FOIA inquiries for the machine logs and voter rolls.
These progressive idiots don't realize what they have awakened...
Had to run into town and then had a water board meeting tonight at a local restaurant.
Tired so off to the DaveCave(tm) and an early bed.
Picking up the blacksmithing tools and bandsaw Wednesday so that will be fun -- clearing space for them tomorrow.
Kickoff on the Bakery is Monday November 1st.
60th Birthday is Wednesday November 3rd.
Been a fun ride so far and looking forward to 30 more at least!!!
Mulligan quoted independent candidate Lincoln Chafee's spokesman saying Obama's decision "is a victory for Linc Chafee," who is one of Caprio's opponents in the race for governor.
Former Republican Senator Chafee endorsed Mr. Obama for president in 2008.
Caprio went on to criticize Mr. Obama for not visiting Rhode Island during this spring's record floods.
Caprio said Rhode Islanders "are hurting," that the state has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country and "now he's coming into Rhode Island treating us like an ATM machine."
Emphasis mine: "now he's coming into Rhode Island treating us like an ATM machine"
That is going to leave a mark. Obama is in Rhode Island doing general fund-raising and he endorses the Republican candidate.
The Electric Tea Party Acid Test: memo to America’s hippies This is a memo to America’s hippies:
Tea Party values are hippie values.
You heard me right. The Tea Party is the one social movement in contemporary America that can rightfully claim to be the ideological heir to the original hippie movement that started in the mid-’60s. And because of this, all current hippies and ex-hippies should support the Tea Party, and by extension Tea Party candidates.
I’d like to have a private heart-to-heart talk with my fellow hippies here, so can the rest of you please stop reading now and leave us alone for a while? Thanks.
If you, as a hippie, think the thesis of this essay couldn’t possibly be true, you’ve been paying too much attention to the mainstream media. The Tea Party has been intentionally misrepresented, villainized and smeared by the powers-that-be. But this too is a feature that the Tea Party shares with hippies — the hippie movement was itself misrepresented and smeared by a different mainstream media over 40 years ago.
This essay will elucidate in a fresh way how Tea Partiers are the true heirs to the hippie ethos. When you’ve finished reading, you’ll see the Tea Party in a new light and (hopefully) understand that you may have been on the wrong side of the fence until now.
In short, the Tea Party and the hippie movement share four fundamental core values:
• A craving for independence; • a celebration of individualism; • joy in the freedom offered by self-sufficiency; • and an acceptance of the natural order of things.
Much more at the site -- makes a lot of sense when you think about it.
Clinton: Bernero is best choice to lead Michigan Former President Bill Clinton said there is no question that Virg Bernero is the best candidate to be Michigan’s next governor.
“You have a uniquely qualified person here,” Clinton said at today's rally at Renaissance High School in Detroit. “If he loses, you lose.”
And the 'graf that caught my eye:
While the crowd hoisted signs that stated “Virg Surge,” the turnout at the rally was anemic. More than 500 people came to the rally, but the gym at Renaissance High School was only about one-third full, even though Clinton used to command full houses wherever he went, especially in Detroit.
I realize that this is a State Visit and not just a vacation but jeezzzz...
From The Times of India:
Barack and Michelle's Mumbai darshan plans US President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle will be extremely busy in Mumbai, upon landing on November 6 for a two day India visit. As the world’s most powerful man and his wife zip around the city visiting the 26/11 memorial on Marine Drive, the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mani Bhawan and other locations in south Mumbai, the security obviously will be water-tight.
Adding to the Obamas’ busy schedule is Michelle’s likely visit to Kamathipura, where she will meet commercial sex workers on the invitation of an NGO. The highprofile visit is likely to inconvenience the citizens, as there could be a complete clampdown on traffic on some main roads of south Mumbai and sanitisation of buildings flanking them.
The Obamas will stay at the Taj Mahal Hotel, and his itinerary practically means Marine Drive will be shut for vehicular traffic on the day of the President’s visit, while buildings flanking it will be sanitised with security personnel manning them until Obama has left the place. Same would be the case with Obama’s visit to Mani Bhawan and Michelle going to Kamathipura.
To ensure fool-proof security, the President’s team has booked the entire the Taj Mahal Hotel, including 570 rooms, all banquets and restaurants. Since his security contingent and staff will comprise a huge number, 125 rooms at Taj President have also been booked, apart from 80 to 90 rooms each in Grand Hyatt and The Oberoi hotels. The NCPA, where the President is expected to meet representatives from the business community, has also been entirely booked.
The officer said, “Obama’s contingent is huge. There are two jumbo jets coming along with Air Force One, which will be flanked by security jets. There will be 30 to 40 secret service agents, who will arrive before him. The President’s convoy has 45 cars, including the Lincoln Continental in which the President travels.”
Since Obama will stay in a hotel that is on sea front, elaborate coastal security arrangements have been made by the US Navy in consonance with the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard. “There will be US naval ships, along with Indian vessels , patrolling the sea till about 330-km from the shore. This is to negate the possibility of a missile being fired from a distance,” the officer said.
The President will be accompanied by his chefs, not because he would not like to savour Indian cuisine, but to ensure his food is not spiked.
Holy crap that must be expensive. Out tax dollars at work...
THE SNOW LEVEL WILL REMAIN AROUND 4000 FEET WHILE MOIST WESTERLY FLOW BRINGS SIGNIFICANT PRECIPITATION THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING. THE FIRST SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL OF THE SEASON WILL CONTINUE OVER THE HIGHER ELEVATION ROADS IN THE CASCADES...MAINLY ABOVE 4000 FEET.
THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE NORTH CASCADES HIGHWAY...THE MOUNT BAKER HIGHWAY...AND THE ROADS TO PARADISE AND SUNRISE IN MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK WILL LIKELY RECEIVE A FOOT OR MORE OF SNOW THIS EVENING THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING.
La Niña and Pacific Decadal Oscillation -- talk about a double whammy. Should be great for business...
UPDATE: About an hour after I initially posted this, I ran out to the store for some dinner fixings and was talking with a local who tried to drive up to the end of the Mt. Baker Highway to a place called Artist Point. They have a front-wheel drive family SUV and were not able to get to the top for all the snow and slush on the ground.
An interesting side effect of the current round of leaked Iran documents.
From Wired Magazine:
WikiLeaks Show WMD Hunt Continued in Iraq – With Surprising Results By late 2003, even the Bush White House’s staunchest defenders were starting to give up on the idea that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Hat tip to Bob in Breckenridge at The Blogmocracy who introduces it with the following:
Time to give Barbara Boxer a rest, since she’s “worked so hard” to be a senator… Great video by David Zucker from rightchange.com, which is his website. You might remember Zucker as the co-writer/director of one of the funniest movies ever- “Airplane!”
He’s now embarrassed that at one time he was a brain-dead liberal and actually donated $5K to Boxer.
He used to be a libturd when he was younger, but unlike a certain irrelevant, fat, pony-tailed douchebag blogger, as he got older, he got smarter, as most normal people do.
BTW, the guy playing “Senator Crawford” is Ron Howard’s younger brother Clint, who played “Leon” on “The Andy Griffith Show”. He was the little kid who was always seen dressed like a cowboy and eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
A couple of people thought they could score big by stealing copper wiring.
From Los Angeles station KABC:
1 dead, 1 burned in copper wire theft attempt A man was killed and a woman was left with critical burns Saturday apparently while attempting to steal copper wire from an electrical vault that exploded in South Gate, according to authorities.
The explosion was reported about 4:15 p.m. at an empty lot in the 3000 block of Firestone Boulevard, police said.
Police said officers who responded to the call found the two people next to a burning transformer.
The man died at the scene and the woman was taken to a hospital.
Authorities said they believe the woman was burned when she grabbed her husband trying to save him.
"I just heard a loud explosion and a lady screaming," said Jose Carrasco, who was near the scene. "I saw her half burned and she was crying, asking for help."
Two children, a 3-year-old and 6-year-old, were found in a truck parked near the lot.
Police said they believe they are the couple's children. They were unharmed and taken into protective custody.
Electrical burns hurt like hell -- they light up your nerves as they burn them out. Sad for the kids but probably better that they are off the street like this...
Tomorrow there is potential for a major tool score — nothing more yet but…
The guy was feeling poorly that Friday so we rescheduled for today. He is 86, has cancer and is expected to live just another couple of months. A master machinist and he wanted to sell off his home shop before he passed. Two friends of mine (both gunsmiths and machinists) and I went over to visit with him.
On Wednesday, I will be returning with my trailer to pick up a nice coal forge, about 70 pounds of coal, an anvil, post vice and a very cool bandsaw plus some tooling for the above.
I built a propane forge and wanted to get a coal one as the quality of heat is different. The bandsaw will be a welcome addition to the shop. I have a small cheap metal bandsaw and a very large wood bandsaw but since I am doing less and less woodworking, I am looking at selling the large saw and downsizing. This unit is perfect as it has a quick-change gearbox that allows me to switch from wood to metal in a minute or two. Change the speed, wipe down with a rag and change the blade. It is also very easy to clean so if I want to cut some light colored wood, I don't have problems with oil contamination.
Sonic Charmer has the real story behind those mythical "shovel ready" jobs that Obama was trying to find:
Shovel Fantasies I gather (not that I read/heard it directly) that President Obama admitted somewhere that there’s basically no such thing as a ‘shovel-ready project’ for the government to dump ‘stimulus’ money on. Lefty-blogger reaction to this has been entertaining, to say the least. Imagine you’re Matthew Yglesias or Ezra Klein and you lavished who knows how many keystrokes and man-hours in 2009 writing blog post after blog post about how ‘stimulus’ could and should be used on ‘shovel-ready projects’. And now here’s President Obama, the guy whose torch you thought you were carrying, saying they don’t exist. How do you react? You play defense that’s how! Serious, desperate defense. And so you write articles and blog posts. Many, many of them. Making convincing, substantive arguments such as: There are too ‘shovel-ready projects’!
Amusing, but it stems from what was always a somewhat ugly side of this whole silly ‘shovel-ready’ meme. Basically, what ‘shovel-ready’ was always about was upper-middle-class lefties openly fantasizing about putting armies of peasants to work doing things that…upper-middle-class lefties wanted done.
Imagine you’re a young, well-off, ‘stuff-white-people-like’ type left-wing blogger, and you like to go to walkable downtown areas to eat in trendy restaurants. You spot – let’s say – some trash on the ground, a chipped sidewalk, a dried-out plant fixture next to the non-functioning fountain on the corner.
‘How ugly,’ you think. And this makes your otherwise nice, yuppie evening 0.2% less pleasant. But then a light-bulb goes off in your head: ‘Wait! What about all those unemployed people I keep reading about?’, you think to yourself. ‘Couldn’t they be, like, put to work fixing this stuff up for me?’
Another small taste:
When all these people talk about ‘stimulus’ being dumped on ‘shovel-ready’ projects (of their choosing, of course), they’re not talking about them spending their money to improve all these things they want improved. They’re talking about spending other peoples’ money.
Left the house a little after 6:30AM and just got in.
Put in a full day at the bakery, ran into town for some supplies and some hardware for home (changing the wiring around in the shop) and picked up a rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner. Eating as I type...
People in the town seem to be really supportive of what I am trying to do so it should be fun to see how far I can turn this place around.
Up at 6AM for another long day.
There had better be a sweet pony at the end of this @#$% rainbow...
Should be fun though -- the crew is coming together and my idea of introducing hearty breakfasts turned out well yesterday -- today is fresh slow cooked oatmeal. Soup of the day is butternut squash and black bean chili.
French Senate passes pension overhaul Under pressure from the government, the French Senate voted Friday to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62, a victory for President Nicolas Sarkozy after days of street rage, acrimonious debate and strikes that dried up the supply of gasoline across the country.
The vote all but sealed passage of the highly unpopular measure, but it was unlikely to end the increasingly radicalized protests. The coming days promised more work stoppages and demonstrations by those who feel changing the retirement age threatens a French birthright.
Sarkozy made overhauling the money-losing pension system a centerpiece of his project to modernize France. Undaunted by weeks of strikes, he ordered measures to unblock fuel depots and refineries to get gas flowing again to desperate motorists.
"History (will remember) who spoke the truth," Sarkozy declared during a visit Friday to a factory in central France. "What do you expect of a president? That he tells the truth and does what must be done."
Now this is how you lead:
History will remember who spoke the truth. What do you expect of a president? That he tells the truth and does what must be done.
Illegal Aliens Canvass for Votes in Wash. State SEATTLE -- When Maria Gianni is knocking on voters' doors, she's not bashful about telling people she is in the country illegally. She knows it's a risk to advertise to strangers that she's here illegally -- but one worth taking in what she sees as a crucial election.
The 42-year-old is one of dozens of volunteers -- many of them illegal immigrants -- canvassing neighborhoods in the Seattle area trying to get naturalized citizens to cast a ballot for candidates like Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, who is in a neck-to-neck race with Republican Dino Rossi.
Pramila Jayapal, head of OneAmerica Votes, says the campaign is about empowering immigrants who may not feel like they can contribute to a campaign because they can't vote.
"Immigrants really do matter," Jayapal said. "If we can't vote ourselves, we're gonna knock on doors, or get family members to vote."
The key reason why people like this really really piss me off:
"There's always a risk," Gianni said in Spanish about her legal status. "But if there's a change, I would feel like I contributed, even in a small part, to a change we all need."
Gianni arrived in the United States on a visa 13 years ago looking for work and stayed. For a while her only son lived here, but has since moved back to Mexico.
Emphases mine -- she is forty two years old (not some families grandma who is not expected to adapt) and has been here thirteen fscking years and still prefers to speak in Spanish? Christ on a Corn Dog. She may be a wonderful person but when you move to a different nation, you should be prepared to learn the language and to assimilate. That is what my Dad's family did. That is what Jen's family did.
The United States of America is not Mexico Lite (now with more employment opportunities) -- if you are not here legally, you have a moral obligation to recuse yourself from our political process.
This is a perfect example of an Overton Window and we need to bust out its boundaries so we can view the entire range and scope...
The Intellectual Elite and the Peter Principle There are two very interesting events happening now, that show the inner workings of the "Elite" progressives. Christine O'Donnell has been widely mocked for saying in a debate that the First Amendment does not discuss separation of church and state, and Sarah Palin has been widely mocked for saying that the original Tea Party occurred in 1773, not 1776.
It appears that both O'Donnell and Palin are entirely correct, and their critics have exposed themselves as ignorant of history and the Constitution, not to mention foolish and ill mannered.
Remember, these critics are supposed to be the "Best And Brightest", at least that's what we're told. We shoud bow to the superior intelligent of our would-be overlords, whether they're right or wrong.
This got be thinking, because it looks like a failure this big doesn't happen by accident. The common thread linking the critics is that they are highly-credentialed products of an extremely hierarchical, bureaucratic institution (the US education system). There are well known principles for analyzing how these institutions function, the most important of which is the Peter Principle:
In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence.
Dear Peak Oilers: Please Consider Erich Zimmermann’s ‘Functional Theory’ of Mineral Resources The peak oil movement, now trying to turn itself into a pro-government-intervention political movement, draws the wrong conclusion by logically progressing from the wrong assumption.
This post revisits this wrong assumption: fixity. From mineral fixity, it is concluded that every act of production and consumption leaves less supply. In this Harold Hotelling world, costs must go up and prices must go up….
But going from the natural science, perfect knowledge, hypothetical world to the real world, just the opposite is true. There is not a fixed supply, known or unknown, from which extractions leave less supply for the future. Costs do not have to go up, and neither do prices.
Try answering this question to see how the peak oilers have it wrong for the business/economic real world. Do we have more or less oil today than when the nation was founded in 1776? Does the world have more or less oil in 2010 than in 1910?
The natural-science answer is that in a physical sense, there is less oil today that then by the amount of extraction. But in a social science sense, we have much more oil today than in 1776 or in 1910 because today’s supply is inventoried and produced from known reservoirs. The same promises to hold true in the future in a consumer-driven, entrepreneur friendly world.
This fixity problem is the same problem that is plaguing the economists who have the ear of the current administration. Capital is fungible -- there is no fixed pool of money whose unequal distribution is the root cause of the world's social ills.
A single mom living in Scotland was able to create a muti-billion dollar industry by jotting down the bedtime stories she told to her children. All of this wealth created out of thin air.
Someone who wanted to read the Harry Potter stories or see the movies, if they did not have the capital, they would spend more time working to accumulate the capital and then enter into a transaction with a local book seller or movie theater. Work was directly transformed into wealth.
Toss into the mix the wonderful advancements in drilling technology that allow for deeper and deeper exploration and the finding of large reserves that simply do not fit the model, we then have a strong case for abiogenic oil production -- that the natural hydrocarbons of the earth's core are 'cooked' into petroleum products.
A crackpot idea back in the 1980's but it fits the findings today -- our planet loves us and want's us to be happy. It doesn't make beer but it makes the next best thing: OIL
File under Islamofascism, Politics and the World in general:
“If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” — Winston Churchill
So true -- a segment of society is frittering away our potential to be great.
Hat tip to The Blogmocracy for the link.
Wanna buy a bakery?
Got a call at 4AM from one of the bakers saying that the only oven would not turn on...
Went down and nothing I could do would work so I let them into one of the apartments above the store that Jen uses for her soaps. They proceeded to crank out the days pastries there.
I waited until 9AM to call our repair person (they are 24/7 but off hours are more $$$) -- they came out and diagnosed the problem as a bad igniter module. Parts will be in Monday at the earliest.
I have been on my feet for almost 12 hours so heading upstairs for a couple hours nap and then back to the store to get another apartment unit ready to rent (they will be using that oven tomorrow as well as there are the usual baked goods plus four pies to make...
Got a long few days ahead -- training the staff, switching the processes around, simplifying the menu.
Tomorrow there is potential for a major tool score -- nothing more yet but...
Off to the DaveCave(tm)
The Anchoress has the best reporting on the story with lots of linky love for you to follow.
NPR commentator says something on the air which taken out of context sounds bad.
Listening to the entire thing, it is not bad at all.
NPR only listens to the out of context segment and fires him.
A colossal WTF ensues, calls for NPR to be defunded -- I'll let you follow the links yourself.
Brooklyn bum fakes war wound for cash Semper fake!
For years, Brooklyn commuters have opened their wallets for Robert McMahon, handing cash to this heroic and heartbreaking figure, a Vietnam vet in combat fatigues, his left arm missing and his right leg crippled, as he panhandles on Ocean Parkway in Kensington.
He plays to their patriotism, having scrawled his nickname, "Rambo," on the back of his camouflage jacket, along with his years of service with the Marines and two stints in 'Nam that saw heavy action. The top of his empty left sleeve is pinned to his uniform shoulder, and he drags his bum leg behind him.
When drivers stop for red lights, McMahon, 53, hobbles over and salutes gallantly, juggling a paper cup and a cardboard sign that reads, "Vietnam vet." They give freely.
They are being scammed.
McMahon has two arms -- and was seen using them last week to count the wads of cash he took off kindhearted New Yorkers.
He is not crippled, as was readily apparent when he swiftly dodged inquiring Post reporters.
And it seems he never served in the Marines nor in Vietnam, according to Corps and Veterans Administration officials who could not find any record of him.
But he carries on with his wounded-soldier act, day after day, weaving through traffic and occasionally cursing out people who refuse to give. He's been at it since at least 1987, when he pretended to have a missing leg and pushed himself around in a rusty wheelchair, according to a friend.
In the Governors race for New York State there is one candidate -- a Mr. Jimmy McMillan -- who has an interesting platform.
The Rent Is Too Damn High.
Heard him on the radio today and he is funny and well spoken but there seems to be a slight problem. From the New York Times:
Opposing Excessive Rent, but Vague About His Own Jimmy McMillan, running for governor as the candidate of the one-man Rent Is Too Damn High Party, stole the show at the debate on Monday night with his repeated and crystal-clear message: The. Rent. Is. Too. Damn. High.
But how high, exactly, is too damn high for Mr. McMillan? That is a little harder to say.
Mr. McMillan said in an interview on Tuesday that for at least the last decade, he had lived rent free.
Time to Stock Up on “Heat Balls” Our own federal government has banned U.S. citizens from purchasing the good-old incandescent light bulb. But worry not, you can always order them from Germany. Not light bulbs, but heat balls.
The eco-wackos have succeeded in banning the standard incandescent light bulb, leaving us with those ugly, mercury-filled, twisty bulbs. But two German entrepreneurs have figured a way to turn liberal stupidity on itself and get around the ban at the same time.
Just as acts of terrorism have been renamed “made-made disasters” by the Obama administration, these guys had one of those Eureka! moments when they realized they could get around the light bulb ban simply by renaming them “Heat Balls.”
A German entrepreneur is bypassing a European Union ban on light bulbs of more than 60 watts by marketing his own brand as mini heaters.
Siegfried Rotthaeuser and his brother-in-law have come up with a legal way of importing and distributing 75 and 100 watt light bulbs – by producing them in China, importing them as “small heating devices” and selling them as “heatballs” … On their website, the two engineers describe the heatballs as “action art” and as “resistance against legislation which is implemented without recourse to democratic and parliamentary processes.”
The company’s sold out its first 4,000 Heat Balls in just 72 hours.
It looks like heatballs are a hot commodity.
And that’s the part that stupid politicians never seems to get. Ban and/or regulate something that the consumer wants, and he’ll figure out a way to get it.
Interview: Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground Sets the Record Straight In April 2009, WALB-TV aired a story about a Tea Party rally in nearby Tifton, Georgia. About two-and-a-half minutes into the feature, one "Maureen Tucker, Tea Party Supporter" was quoted as saying, "I'm furious about the way we're being led toward socialism. I'm furious about the incredible waste of money, when things that we really need and are important get dropped, because there's no money left."
Eighteen months later, the news story somehow ended up posted on YouTube, and the blogosphere started buzzing. Could this actually be Moe Tucker, former drummer for the Velvet Underground, one of the most influential and iconic rock bands of all time? All signs pointed to yes. It certainly looked like Tucker, and it was well known that she'd moved to southern Georgia with her family decades earlier. The Huffington Post confirmed the story by reaching Tucker at home; she wouldn't discuss the matter or her political views any further.
For a few days - practically dog years in Internet time - the reaction was swift and furious. Liberals declared themselves depressed and shocked that one of their idols was caught on tape speaking out against a Democratic administration. Some conservatives, meanwhile, congratulated her on her courage and welcomed her to their presumptive fold next to noted right-wing rockers Johnny Ramone and Alice Cooper.
We were curious to know more from Tucker herself, so we tracked her down and asked for an interview. She agreed to answer some questions via email.
What follows is a wonderful interview - a few excerpts:
My family was damn poor when I was growing up on Long Island. There were no food stamps, no Medicaid, no welfare. If you were poor, you were poor. You didn't have a TV, you didn't have five pairs of shoes, you didn't have Levi's, you didn't have a phone; you ate Spam, hot dogs and spaghetti. We all survived! I am not against food stamps, welfare or Medicaid, if only they would oversee these programs properly!
I am also against the government taking over the student loan program, car companies, bailouts and the White House taking control of the census (what the hell is that all about?); [about] any First Lady telling (I know, I know, "suggesting to") us what to eat, the mayor of New York City declaring "no salt" (screw you, pal!), the mayor/city commissioners of Anytown, U.S.A. declaring you can't fly a flag, can't say the Pledge of Allegiance and can't sing the National Anthem. I'm against a President dismissing any and all who dare to disagree; the water being turned off in (central) California, at [an] area where they've turned off the water because they want to save a one-inch fish -- turning that huge area of farming land into another dustbowl -- the insipid start of food supply control methinks! The government deciding what kind of lightbulbs we can use (all you "think green" people, three objections to this b.s.: 1) Those bulbs give off the light of a candle; 2) They're very expensive; 3) They have mercury in them - how the hell are we supposed to dispose of them?).
How did you get involved with the local Tea Party movement? I'm not "involved" with the local movement. I went to the first Tea Party in June or July of 2009 because it was within striking distance and I wanted to be counted.
Are you still involved in Tea Party activities? I do my own protesting via email and postcards. Anyone who thinks I'm crazy about Sarah Palin, Bush, etc. has made quite the presumption. I have voted Democrat all my life, until I started listening to what Obama was promising and started wondering how the hell will this utopian dream land be paid for? For those who actually believe that their taxes won't go up in order to pay for all this insanity: good luck!
Want an example of what Government Run Healthcare will be like?
Here is a story about Government Run Contracting -- a 'shovel-ready' weatherization project in the Chicago area.
From the Washington Examiner:
Report: In Obama's Chicago, stimulus weatherization money buys shoddy work, widespread fraud Projects to weatherize homes are a key part of the Obama administration's fusion of stimulus spending and the green agenda. But a new report by the Department of Energy has found serious problems in stimulus-funded weatherization work -- problems so severe that they have resulted in homes that are not only not more energy efficient but are actually dangerous for people to live in.
The study, by the Department's inspector general, examined the work of what's called the Weatherization Assistance Program, or WAP, in Illinois. Last year, the Department awarded Illinois $242 million, which was expected to pay for the weatherization of 27,000 homes. Specifically, Energy Department inspectors took a close look at the troubled operations of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, known as CEDA, which is the largest recipient of weatherization money in Illinois with $91 million to weatherize 12,500 homes. (Cook County is, of course, home to Chicago.)
OK $91 mil into 12,500 homes is $7,280 -- a reasonable number for a major upgrade. But read on:
The findings are grim. "Our testing revealed substandard performance in weatherization workmanship, initial assessments, and contractor billing," the inspector general report says. "These problems were of such significance that they put the integrity of the entire program at risk."
Department inspectors visited 15 homes that were being weatherized by CEDA and paid for by stimulus funds. "We found that 14 of the 15 homes…failed final inspection because of poor workmanship and/or inadequate initial assessments," the report says. In eight of the homes, CEDA had come up with unworkable and ineffective plans -- like putting attic insulation in a house with a leaky roof. In ten of the homes, "contractors billed for labor charges that had not been incurred and for materials that had not been installed." The report calls billing problems "pervasive," with seven of ten contractors being cited for erroneous invoicing. And the department found "a 62 percent final inspection error rate" when CEDA inspectors reviewed their own work.
The work was not just wasteful; it was dangerous. Department inspectors found "heat barriers around chimneys that had not been installed, causing fire hazards." They found "a furnace [that] had not been vented properly." The found "a shut-off valve that had not been installed on a gas stove." And they found "carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers had not been installed as planned."
And then there was fraud. At ten of the 15 homes visited, Department inspectors found examples in which "a contractor had installed a 125,000 BTU boiler, but had billed CEDA for a 200,000 BTU boiler costing an estimated $1,000. more." Another contractor "billed for almost four times the amount of drywall actually installed." And another "installed 12 light bulbs but had billed CEDA for 20." (The Department found that CEDA paid almost three times the retail price for each light bulb.) "Billing issues appeared to be pervasive," the report concludes.
And some people want the Medical Profession run by these morons.
It is funny -- Obama is steering us toward a more multi-cultural and Progressive government all the while the heavy multi-culti and Progressive governments in Europe are backpedaling as fast as they can. Now it is England's turn.
From the BBC:
Spending Review: Osborne wields axe Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled the biggest UK spending cuts since World War II, with welfare, councils and police budgets all hit.
The pension age will rise sooner than expected, some incapacity benefits will be time limited and other money clawed back through changes to tax credits and housing benefit.
A new bank levy will also be brought in - with full details due on Thursday.
Mr Osborne said the four year cuts were guided by fairness, reform and growth.
But shadow chancellor Alan Johnson, for Labour, called the review a "reckless gamble with people's livelihoods" which risked "stifling the fragile recovery" - a message echoed by the SNP, despite smaller than expected cuts in Scotland.
For an idea of the scope:
Up to 500,000 public sector jobs could go by 2014-15 as a result of the cuts programme, according to the Office for Budgetary Responsibility.
The entire UK has a population of 61 million
The USA has a population of 307 million
The UK is doing the equivalent of cutting 2,450,000 public sector jobs.
What a wonderful starting point!
As a note, the Federal Government currently employs 2.15 million so cutting 2.45 million jobs would leave a negative number -- shows how top heavy the UK government is.
That is it for the night - a busy few months ahead
Posting will be a little bit thin on the ground for the next couple of days.
Meeting with some new tenants for a vacant apartment tomorrow morning, bookwork and then an acupuncture treatment. Thursday is into town to get new truck tires and work on my Dad's papers, Friday is working a 12-hour day at the bakery punctuated by an interesting trip into town (more as that develops).
Saturday and Sunday are bakery and then back to whatever passes for normal on Monday.
And this is the slow season -- the ski season is slated to be a big one and November is only two weeks away...
A simple spray to deter robbers. UV fluorescent dye with artificial DNA.
Each sprayer has a different DNA 'serial number' and they are mounted over the door so you get hit when you leave.
From the New York Times:
A Spray of DNA to Keep the Robbers Away When the McDonald’s down from City Hall here was burglarized a few years ago, its managers decided they needed a new security system.
It was just about that time that local police officers were offering something totally different that they hoped would stem a rising tide of robberies that occur mainly in the immigrant neighborhoods of this rough-and-tumble port city. The new system involved an employee-activated device that sprays a fine, barely visible mist laced with synthetic DNA to cover anyone in its path, including criminals, and simultaneously alerts the police to a crime in progress.
The mist — visible only under ultraviolet light — carries DNA markers particular to the location, enabling the police to match the burglar with the place burgled. Now, a sign on the front door of the McDonald’s prominently warns potential thieves of the spray’s presence: “You Steal, You’re Marked.”
The police acknowledge that they have yet to make an arrest based on the DNA mist, which was developed in Britain by two brothers, one a policeman and the other a chemist. But they credit its presence — and signs posted prominently warning of its use — for what they call a precipitous decline in crime rates (though they could not provide actual figures to back that up).
But the goal is not so much capturing crooks as scaring them away. “The whole thing is prevention, not about recovering stolen goods or capturing criminals,” said Donald van der Laan, whose company, the Rhine Group, distributes the spray. As far as the DNA is concerned, “the material is identical” to human DNA, he said, “though there is a different sequence of components.” Much of the spray’s effectiveness, he said, comes from the mystique surrounding DNA.
“No one really knows what it is,” he said. “No one really knows how it works.”
I love the: “No one really knows how it works.”
Security through Obscurity is a very powerful tool. On the computer side of things, you know the tools the hackers will be using and if you leave no 'hooks' for them (or leave counterfeit hooks leading to a honeypot) you can have a lot of fun...
It’s Official: Obama Has Now Borrowed $3 Trillion It's official: The Obama administration has now borrowed $3 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
It took from 1776, when the United States became an independent country, until 1990, the year after the Berlin Wall fell signaling victory in the Cold War, for the federal government to accumulate a total of $3 trillion in debt, according to the Treasury Department. It only took from Jan. 20, 2009, the day President Barack Obama was inaugurated, until Oct. 15, 2010, for the Obama administration to add $3 trillion to the federal debt.
The highlighted links point to the Department of Treasury website with the numbers.
Ironic that it was young people who swept Obama into office and it is they who are saddled with the majority of this debt. Youth is wasted on the young...
The title comes from the classic Tennessee Ernie Ford song: Sixteen Tons
There is trouble in France over a very minor change in retirement policy.
Labor Unions are on strike, students are rioting.
All over a very minor change -- retirement age at 62 instead of 60 and doesn't take effect until 2018.
From Business Insider:
Violent French Protests Show Why A New Debt Crisis Is Inevitable French protests continue to rock France, with marchers throwing Molotov cocktails and blocking fuel supplies.
The strikes have gained intensity as high school students have now joined the ruckus, even conveniently blocking access to their own schools according to the Los Angeles Times. What sacrifice they show.
Police and youth have clashed in a dozen cities reports the Independent, and the country has been forced to tap its crisis fuel supply says the New York Post.
Yet what's most shocking about the strikes is the modest pension reform they are opposed to. The French government is merely increasing the age of retirement to 62 from 60, by 2018, which is nothing compared to the far harsher austerity measures people are protesting in places such as Greece and Spain.
Thus it's probably less about the actual pension reforms and more about President Sarkozy's political opposition inflaming general anti-government grievances. It's hard to imagine how high school students understand the debt situation France faces.
Yet sadly, opposition politicians are playing with fire by egging on ignorance of France's financial challenges, and thus a full blown crisis is likely the only way people will ever understand says the Financial Times: "It may need a genuine fiscal crisis finally to persuade the French that, as Margaret Thatcher once put it: 'There is no alternative.'"
One wonders just how far down the road the French will have to go before the general public learns some of the basic economic facts. They are looking at this from a very self-centered view and have no concern about the overall health of the Nation. I want my Pension and I am not doing anything to damage France.
About a week ago, I found out that the Veterans of Foreign Wars' Political Action Committee made some very strange recommendations when they endorsed some political candidates including Barbara Boxer, Alcee Hastings, Barbara Lee, Steny Hoyer, Barbara Mikulsky, Chris VanHollen, John Dingell, Chuckie Schumer, Pat Leahy and Patty Murray.
Well, a lot of people contacted them and they listened. The VFW-PAC has been disbanded.
From Mr. Wolf at Breitbart's Big Government:
BIG WIN! VFW (Finally) Does Right By Members You spoke.
You were heard.
This, was the right thing to do:
MEMORANDUM ______________________________________________________________________ National Council of Administration Richard L. Eubank, Commander-in-Chief Date: October 14, 2010 _____________________________________________________________________
I have reviewed the Political Action Committee (PAC) Board of Directors' response to our request to rescind this year' s Congressional endorsements. I disagree with their assessment.
It is now evident to most of the VFW leadership, both National and especially the departments, that the VFW has been subjected to extreme negative publicity throughout the nation, and the recent endorsement decisions have, in fact, harmed the VFW' s reputation and future ability to fulfill our mission.
I cannot let this erosion of public support for our great organization continue. The apparent lack of the committee to address these concerns will lead to a proposal by me, as Commander-in-Chief, to amend the by-laws at the 112th National Convention for the purpose of dissolving the PAC. Meanwhile, under the authority granted to me as Commander-in-Chief in section 619 of the VFW National By-Laws and under section 620 of the Manual of Procedure, I am withdrawing all PAC all PAC appointments effective October 15, 2010.
Accordingly, I' m asking the council for a vote of "no confidence" in the VFW PAC as indicated on the enclosed ballot.
There you have it. The PAC refused to back down. So, the Commander had no choice but to shut down the PAC. Apparently, behind the scenes, he was not able to get them to rescind the endorsements, thereby necessitating closing it down completely. While I'd like to have seen was the PAC remove the endorsements; maybe, by 'proxy', the Commander can now do that. See, hideous candidates who have a long history of NOT supporting those in uniform are trumpeting their VFW endorsement:
Asked after her speech about McCain's objection, Boxer merely smiled and replied: "I'm so excited to have the VFW endorsement. I couldn't be more thrilled."
Late last week, the Ladies Auxiliary pulled all their funding of the PAC- which, I'm told, was a considerable amount of the funds used by the PAC; likely better than 70% of funds raised for it.
Heh -- a nest of progressive vipers stamped out.
Good to see the VFW leadership showing some ... Leadership.
Fire at Iran's Shahab-3 Missile Site A massive fire is raging in the storage facility of Iran's Shahab-3 ballistic missiles. According to online sources, the site was top secret and housed most of the Shehab-3 missile launchers that Iran had stocked for striking US forces in Iraq and Israel in the event of war - some even set to deliver triple warheads.
More than 18 Revolutionary guards were killed and 14 others wounded in an explosion Tuesday at a base of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards (IRG) Corps in the Western Iranian province of Lurestan, reported Iran's official news agency IRNA Wednesday.
A Deputy Commander of the Corps said that blast resulted from a fire that spread to a munitions depot at the corps's base in Khoramabad, 300 miles southwest of the capital, Tehran, and close to Iran's Kurdistan region.
The base houses underground launching and storage facilities for Iran's medium-range Shahab-3 ballistic missiles, said research group Global Security (From RTTNews).
The Shahab-3, has a range of about 1800-2500 km, and the reported accuracy of this missile is anywhere between 2000 meters to 30 meters (depending on the version). That is enough to precisely hit and destroy even a well protected target. According to some reports, these missiles even have steering nozzles on their re-entry vehicle which make them capable of evasive maneuvers disallowing interception.
First Stuxnet and now this. And of course, their nuclear power project is just for electricity...
Yeah... It must be hard to be an imperialist warmonger when your pretty toys keep falling apart.
I believe that YOU are the stinking pustule on your wife's big ass, no, not that pustule, the other cheek, ya that one, that is YOU.
Nice little bit of ad hominem attack. Since Jerry could not defend Mr. Soros with facts, he chose to attack me.
Here is a small taste of George Soros' upbringing -- he is talking about when he was fourteen years old and the German National Socialists were invading. His family was Jewish and his Dad was a successful Lawyer.
George chose to adopt a Christian 'Godfather' and detailed his life in this 1998 interview on 60 Minutes:
KROFT: (Voiceover) And you watched lots of people get shipped off to the death camps.
Mr. SOROS: Right. I was 14 years old. And I would say that that's when my character was made.
KROFT: In what way?
Mr. SOROS: That one should think ahead. One should understand and--and anticipate events and when--when one is threatened. It was a tremendous threat of evil. I mean, it was a--a very personal experience of evil.
KROFT: My understanding is that you went out with this protector of yours who swore that you were his adopted godson.
Mr. SOROS: Yes. Yes.
KROFT: Went out, in fact, and helped in the confiscation of property from the Jews.
Mr. SOROS: Yes. That's right. Yes.
KROFT: I mean, that's--that sounds like an experience that would send lots of people to the psychiatric couch for many, many years. Was it difficult?
Mr. SOROS: Not--not at all. Not at all. Maybe as a child you don't--you don't see the connection. But it was--it created no--no problem at all.
KROFT: No feeling of guilt?
Mr. SOROS: No.
KROFT: For example that, 'I'm Jewish and here I am, watching these people go. I could just as easily be there. I should be there.' None of that?
Mr. SOROS: Well, of course I c--I could be on the other side or I could be the one from whom the thing is being taken away. But there was no sense that I shouldn't be there, because that was--well, actually, in a funny way, it's just like in markets--that if I weren't there--of course, I wasn't doing it, but somebody else would--would--would be taking it away anyhow. And it was the--whether I was there or not, I was only a spectator, the property was being taken away. So the--I had no role in taking away that property. So I had no sense of guilt. George Soros, 60 Minutes interview transcript, December 20, 1998
Hey Jerry -- if this sociopath and stinking pustule on the ass of America is who you want to hitch your wagon to -- go for it. You have my blessing.
Just don't come crying to me a few years down the road when your promised Utopia turns out to be a Ghetto. You have the personal responsibility to educate yourself. Mindlessly repeating what people in authority tell you (your college professors, the Progressive media, etc...) is not an education, it is an indoctrination. The idea that you are too uneducated to tell the difference speaks volumes.
I pity you.
Slept in a bit because I wanted to learn how to close the bakery at 5PM.
I busted out the dirty dishes (the bakers start at 4AM and there are a lot of mixing bowls and pans stacked in the sink by 8AM) and then, around noon, started working the front end. The cashier there showed me how to work the till -- walked me through a few transactions -- and then promptly vanished at 1PM leaving me to be the only front end person.
It was a nice day and we were busy -- fortunatly, I have run espresso machines before and people were very understanding when I told them this was my first day.
Then I went to the store for two hours and now am home wondering what to do for dinner. Probably eat out.
Anyone who has been into computers for a long time (more than 20 years) will remember the classic 'Adventure" text games.
Iowahawk presents a classic scenario:
BELTWAY ADVENTURE WELCOME TO ADVENTURE! WOULD YOU LIKE INSTRUCTIONS?
YOU ARE SOMEWHERE IN BELTWAY FOREST, WHERE SOME HAVE FOUND TREASURES OF GOLD ALTHOUGH SOME HAVE ENTERED AND NEVER BEEN SEEN AGAIN. MAGIC IS SAID TO WORK IN THE FOREST. I WILL BE YOUR EYES AND HANDS. DIRECT ME WITH SIMPLE COMMANDS.
YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. THERE IS SNOW OUTSIDE. YOU ARE BEHIND A DESK. ON DESK THERE IS A BUST OF CHURCHILL.
YOU HAVE A CONGRESS.
YOU HAVE A SENATE.
YOU HAVE A MEDIA.
YOU HAVE A TELEPROMPTER.
YOU HAVE A MILITARY.
YOU HAVE A BIG JET.
YOU HAVE $3 TRILLION OF GOLD.
YOU HAVE 82% APPROVAL HEALTH.
THERE IS 7.2% UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE FOREST.
YOU HAVE A RACE CARD.
YOU HAVE INAUGURAL PARTY LEFTOVERS.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?
YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. YOU ARE BEHIND A DESK. ON DESK THERE IS NO BUST OF CHURCHILL. THERE ARE NO MORE LEFTOVERS. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?
YOU ARE IN AN OVAL OFFICE. YOUR APPROVAL HEALTH IS 81%. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO?
Running scared - Democrat Representatives against Pelosi
Fun to see the disintegration -- sit down with a bowl of popcorn.
From FOX News:
Endangered House Democrats Campaign Against Pelosi Several endangered House Democrats think they may have found a way to escape voters' wrath in next month's midterm elections: run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Call them the anti-Pelosi Democrats who are openly opposing Pelosi for another term as speaker if their party can somehow maintain control of the House. Republicans are widely expected to make big gains in the Nov. 2 elections.
It will be interesting to see how many of these people voted with Pelosi on 90% (or more) of votes. They may cry "moderate" now but what did they do before Pelosi came under such scrutiny. I think the voters are smarter than given credit for...
Odd that we are hurtling into the abyss while other nations are stepping back.
From BBC News:
Merkel says German multicultural society has failed Attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed", Chancellor Angela Merkel says.
In a speech in Potsdam, she said the so-called "multikulti" concept - where people would "live side-by-side" happily - did not work.
Mrs Merkel's comments come amid recent outpourings of strong anti-immigrant feeling from mainstream politicians.
A recent survey showed that more than 30% of Germans believed Germany was "overrun by foreigners".
The study - by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation think-tank - also showed that roughly the same number thought that some 16 million of Germany's immigrants or people with foreign origins had come to the country for the social benefits.
We call the USA a melting pot and point to the great open immigration through Ellis Island but there, people understood that they had to learn English and assimilate into society and become a productive member.
These days, people come here just to get on the dole and they have no incentive to become a 'good' citizen. With the Progressives pushing for more government cheese, these new wards of the state are going to vote for whomever gives them the most to the overall detriment of this Republic...
At the Bakery at 7:30AM (slept in a bit), did some more cooking and learning the recipes.
Had a talk with the guy from Plan A and he is not able to get the permits and money together right away but he is still committed to the purchase. The Fire Marshal had zero problems with the outdoor BBQ Pit but the County Health department is interesting to deal with to say the least. He is just entering a very large and expensive labyrinth...
So we will be doing both Plan A and Plan B -- I will take over day to day operation; this time paying myself a wage as Plan A will be buying the place at the initial price and I will not be able to profit over any price increase.
I have some menu changes in mind -- should be fun...
Received our ballots in the mail today, voted and put them in the mail back to the county Elections board.
Good to finally have my voice counted in what will be a very interesting race. The Bellingham weekly newspaper came out with their recommendations and they were almost all of them opposite to what I chose.
It is looking to be an awesome winter for the Mt. Baker ski area -- both La Nina and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation are conspiring to make this a cold and snowy winter.
Seems like other people are thinking the same thoughts -- from the UK Telegraph:
Snow to hit Britain The cold snap will seem worse after temperatures soared to 75F (23C) last weekend.
Forecasters warned snow is due in Scotland and possibly northern England next week, with frost as far south as southern England, which will see bitter 48F (9C) daytime maximum temperatures.
“A northerly air stream in the middle part of next week means coldest conditions will probably be in Scotland, with sleet or snow showers and snow settling on higher ground,” said forecaster Brian Gaze of independent forecasters The Weather Outlook.
“Even southern England will feel distinctly chilly."
Forecasters Positive Weather Solutions have already predicted a ‘white-out’ winter almost as harsh as last winter - with widespread snow, temperatures down to -4F (-20C) and transport chaos.
The Weather Outlook, which has an accurate seasonal forecasting record, warned the UK is now being gripped by a bitter series of winters comparable with the harsh 1939-42 winters which made conditions so horrendous during the Second World War.
Last winter was the coldest for 31 years, with an average UK-wide temperature of just 34F (1.5C).
A bit of warming would be a good thing -- more people die from the cold than from the heat. Crops grow better (and really like all the nice CO2 plant food we give them).
Put in a good day at the Bakery -- cooked a little bit and ran the front a little bit; washed dishes mostly while observing the kitchen operations.
Took an hour off to work at the house -- the final Farmer's Market is tomorrow and Jen wanted to steal borrow my truck to take her stuff down there so I had to unload some things and shuffle some others.
Went back to the store and stocked, ran the register and helped put stuff away when the van came back from the Friday buying run.
A long day... Heating up some water for noodles to go with the leftover pot roast.
A few weeks from the mid-term election and the mud is starting to fly.
We knew about Nancy Pelosi's profligate use of military aircraft for her and her family.
A report from October 14th shows the depth of the misuse.
From Judicial Watch:
Judicial Watch Uncovers New Documents Detailing Pelosi's Use of Air Force Aircraft Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained new documents from the United States Air Force detailing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s repeated use of United States Air Force aircraft. According to the documents, obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Pelosi used Air Force aircraft on 85 flights from March 2009 through June 2010. Members of Pelosi’s family were guests on at least two flights.
Among the highlights from the documents, obtained pursuant to a FOIA request filed on January 25, 2009:
•Pelosi used the Air Force aircraft for a total of 85 trips, covering 206,264 miles, from March 2, 2009 through June 7, 2010. Pelosi, her guests and Air Force personnel logged a total of 428.6 hours on these flights. •Members of Pelosi’s family were guests on at least two flights. On June 20, 2009, Speaker Pelosi’s daughter, son-in-law and two grandsons joined a flight from Andrews Air Force Base to San Francisco International Air Port. That flight included $143 in on-flight expenses for food and other items. On July 2, 2010, Pelosi took her grandson on a flight from Andrews Air Force Base to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, which is northeast of San Francisco.
According to previous documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the Speaker’s military travel cost the United States Air Force $2,100,744.59 over a two-year period — $101,429.14 of which was for in-flight expenses, including food and alcohol. For example, purchases for one Pelosi-led congressional delegation traveling from Washington, DC, through Tel Aviv, Israel to Baghdad, Iraq May 15-20, 2008 included: Johnny Walker Red scotch, Grey Goose vodka, E&J brandy, Bailey’s Irish Crème, Maker’s Mark whiskey, Courvoisier cognac, Bacardi Light rum, Jim Beam whiskey, Beefeater gin, Dewar’s scotch, Bombay Sapphire gin, Jack Daniels whiskey, Corona beer and several bottles of wine.
One more for the evening - after the Chile mine rescue
Now that the miners are up out of the ground, Chile has this 2,050 deep hole into a big underground vault.
What to do with it...
Atom Smasher over at Men are not Potatoes has this excellent suggestion:
When You Have An Empty Hole, Everything Looks Like A Congresscritter So now that the Chilean miners don't need their hole anymore, I think we should just send an email to every Congresscritter telling them that at the bottom of the hole are
1) $1 million in untraceable donations 2) a photo of their electoral opponent with a hooker.
Wait a couple of days, plug the hole, and "I'll have a Coke, then."
Was working on some stuff at home. Since I was near the kitchen all afternoon, I made pot roast, a few ounces of which are resting comfortably in my belly. Off to the DaveCave(tm) to check email and then an early bed.
I will be starting work at the new potential business again at 7AM -- still waiting to hear the other person's plans but getting trained regardless.
Basically, a few years ago, some friends of ours were trying to start up a bakery. They had the property and a lot of the equipment but the County hit them with a stiff septic requirement and they could not afford it.
My Mom had passed away a few months prior and we had sold their Seattle house and moved my Dad into a condo in Bellingham so there was some money available. Even back in 2007, I could see the banks teetering on the precipice and knew the housing market was set to crash so I put the funds into commercial real estate and the store.
I made several loans to these people to the tune of $60K. They had a real passion for what they were attempting, both had managed restaurants before and I felt they were qualified.
Things ran great for a year. Then they started loosing key employees. Quality control went downhill fast (portion size, preparation, etc...)
Last year, they started accumulating tax debt. Checks started bouncing (including Payroll). The place was off the rails. One of the partners was a control freak and in denial about the conditions of the bakery so any offers were emotionally refused.
Finally, a few weeks ago -- during the slow season -- they closed weekdays. They moved to a different town. I started talking to the other partner and they said that the bakery was up for sale at a ridiculously low price - the cost of the land and building, nothing more.
I offered to step in an manage the place -- out of the original price, I would get my loan repaid. If I was able to sell the business for, say, $100K more, they would get the additional $66K and I would get $33K.
To keep things interesting, a local friend of mine has been in the food service industry for 20 years and has cooked at a number of Bellingham's iconic restaurants. He said that he was interested in purchasing the bakery.
Considering that I have zero interest in owning a food service business, I immediately promoted him to Plan A and me to Plan B.
I hope that he is able to get the funding and county approval for the changes he wants to make but if he cannot, I need to be able to step in and run the place.
To top it off, the other two restaurants in Maple Falls are also going through management changes. Interesting times...
The Royal Society unfortunately buys into the whole Anthropogenic Global Warming bullshit and they recently issued a "report" with a stunningly bad error -- one that could have been caught with just a few calculations and five minutes fact checking. No, they drank the kool-aid then and they continue to drink the kool-aid now.
From Dr. Klaus L.E. Kaiser writing at the Canada Free Press:
The Carbon Cycle and Royal Society Math The recent “rebellion” by senior members of the Royal Society (RS) forced it to revise their guide “Climate change: a summary of the science”. The new guide, published on 30 September 2010, has a single paragraph under the heading The Carbon Cycle and Climate. In that, it says:
“Current understanding indicates that even if there was a complete cessation of emissions of CO2 today from human activity, it would take several millennia for CO2 concentrations to return to preindustrial concentrations” [emphasis added].
One can easily (on the back of an envelope) calculate the order of magnitude of the amounts of carbon currently present in the atmosphere, and those burned in the world, hence the amounts of CO2 produced (assuming complete combustion). The former leads to approximately 5x10^14 kg C present in the atmosphere (of course in the form of CO2). The latter computes to 0.4x10^13 kg C (as CO2) per annum from oil, 0.7x10^13 from coal , or 10^13 kg C from coal and oil together. Any additional amounts from the combustion of natural gas and biofuels, or from natural sources (volcanoes) are excluded .
On that basis, if there were no CO2 removal processes, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere should double every 15 years. But, in fact, over the last 100 years, at most it has increased by only 1/3, i.e. approximately from 300 to 400 ppm (parts per million in weight).
The much lower than expected increase (based on fossil fuel consumption) in the atmospheric CO2 can only be explained by a strong (natural) removal process.
It is also obvious then that the statement by the Royal Society that it would take “millennia” for atmospheric CO2 to return to levels at preindustrial times upon a (theoretical) complete and sudden cessation of all manmade CO2 release to the atmosphere cannot be true. If the CO2 were to stay in the atmosphere for millennia, why has its level in the atmosphere not doubled in the last 15 years, or gone up tenfold-plus over the last 100 hundred years? Furthermore, there are several peer-reviewed papers reporting the half life of CO2 in the atmosphere to be between 5 and 10 years. A half life of 5 years means that more than 98% of a substance will disappear in a time span of 30 years.
Obviously, that begs the question: WHAT IS WRONG HERE?
The answer is simple: THE ROYAL SOCIETY’S STATEMENT IS WRONG.
Dr. Kaiser then walks us through his assumptions and his sources.
The Royal Society is a policy organization, no longer a Scientific one.
Sad to see them fall from such a noble height...
“On the pace that we’re on with job creation in the last four months — if we continue on that pace — all the leading economists say it is likely that we will — we will have created more jobs in this year than in the entire Bush Presidency,” Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Weston, said on FOX News.
Let’s look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
During the Bush presidency, net total employment went up by 1.08 million jobs. So far, during the Obama presidency, total employment has been reduced by 3.3 million jobs.
Under Bush, private employment shrank by 673,000 jobs, federal employment grew by 50,000 jobs, and government employment grew by 1,753,000 jobs.
Under Obama, the private sector has shed some 2.9 million jobs while the federal government has grown by 40,000 (after growing massively, the federal workforce shrank throughout the summer). Total government jobs, however, shrank by 357,000 jobs, mainly because of cuts at the state and local levels.
Now, we can’t really compare these numbers, because we have eight years of Bush data and only two years of Obama data. That’s why the chart below looks at the average monthly job creation under each president. There were more jobs created monthly under President Bush than under President Obama. Overall, most of the net jobs created under Bush were created in the government; many private sector jobs have been destroyed under Obama; and the number of government jobs has decreased, even though federal employment has grown.
Capitalism Saved the Miners It needs to be said. The rescue of the Chilean miners is a smashing victory for free-market capitalism.
Amid the boundless human joy of the miners' liberation, it may seem churlish to make such a claim. It is churlish. These are churlish times, and the stakes are high.
In the United States, with 9.6% unemployment, a notably angry electorate will go to the polls shortly and dump one political party in favor of the other, on which no love is lost. The president of the U.S. is campaigning across the country making this statement at nearly every stop:
"The basic idea is that if we put our blind faith in the market and we let corporations do whatever they want and we leave everybody else to fend for themselves, then America somehow automatically is going to grow and prosper."
Uh, yeah. That's a caricature of the basic idea, but basically that's right. Ask the miners.
If those miners had been trapped a half-mile down like this 25 years ago anywhere on earth, they would be dead. What happened over the past 25 years that meant the difference between life and death for those men?
Short answer: the Center Rock drill bit.
This is the miracle bit that drilled down to the trapped miners. Center Rock Inc. is a private company in Berlin, Pa. It has 74 employees. The drill's rig came from Schramm Inc. in West Chester, Pa. Seeing the disaster, Center Rock's president, Brandon Fisher, called the Chileans to offer his drill. Chile accepted. The miners are alive.
Longer answer: The Center Rock drill, heretofore not featured on websites like Engadget or Gizmodo, is in fact a piece of tough technology developed by a small company in it for the money, for profit. That's why they innovated down-the-hole hammer drilling. If they make money, they can do more innovation.
This profit = innovation dynamic was everywhere at that Chilean mine. The high-strength cable winding around the big wheel atop that simple rig is from Germany. Japan supplied the super-flexible, fiber-optic communications cable that linked the miners to the world above.
A remarkable Sept. 30 story about all this by the Journal's Matt Moffett was a compendium of astonishing things that showed up in the Atacama Desert from the distant corners of capitalism.
Samsung of South Korea supplied a cellphone that has its own projector. Jeffrey Gabbay, the founder of Cupron Inc. in Richmond, Va., supplied socks made with copper fiber that consumed foot bacteria, and minimized odor and infection.
The list goes on. UPS shipped the Schramm T-130 drill rig from Pennsylvania to the Atacama desert in two days.
Here is the website for Center Rock Inc.
Daniel closes with these words:
The U.S. has a government led by a mindset obsessed with 250K-a-year "millionaires" and given to mocking "our blind faith in the market." In a fast-moving world filled with nations intent on catching up with or passing us, this policy path is a waste of time.
The miners' rescue is a thrilling moment for Chile, an imprimatur on its rising status. But I'm thinking of that 74-person outfit in Berlin, Pa., whose high-tech drill bit opened the earth to free them. You know there are tens of thousands of stories like this in the U.S., as big as Google and small as Center Rock. I'm glad one of them helped save the Chileans. What's needed now is a new American economic model that lets our innovators rescue the rest of us.
There is a perfect example of green gone wrong happening in the Ivanpah desert with a large solar farm being installed. This is wrecking a very fragile and diverse habitat.
Some numbers from CalFinder (Nationwide Home Solar Power Contractors and Information):
CEC OKs Massive Ivanpah Solar Plant in Mojave Desert One large-scale solar thermal power plant in the Mojave Desert may be close to final approval. The Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating Station (ISEGS) is at least one step closer. A site committee from the California Energy Commission has endorsed the power plant, recommending its approval by the five-member CEC.
The design is rated at "nearly 400 megawatts" and:
Nearly 174,000 mirrors will concentrate solar energy onto three towers, the cumulative land footprint of the plant being 3,582 acres. Development and construction costs are estimated at $1.1 billion. The U.S. government has offered a loan guarantee of up to $1.37 billion to Brightsource Energy for the project.
In contrast, a 1,000 megawatt nuclear plant costs about $3 billion and this includes the end-of-life decommissioning costs and facilities to store the spent fuel.
For a bit less than three times the money, you can get significantly more than double the electricity and this is electricity that is available 24/7/365, not just when the sun shines and the sky is clear.
The word you are looking for is STUPID
The Sierra Club endorses this project for some strange reason and Chris Clarke sent them a letter. I am 180 degrees in disagreement with Chris' stand on Climate Change and our involvement but I am in total agreement from an environmental standpoint.
Get some perspective on climate change! I subscribe to an email list operated by the Sierra Club and devoted to the topic of desert conservation. The majority of the active participants on the list are horrified by the Club’s support of desert public lands energy development, but every now and then someone will post a note saying that we need to remember how serious climate change is, with the unspoken message that we should not be too upset when a beautiful piece of desert is needlessly sacrificed to the energy industry. This weekend, as we were reeling from the news that the first Ivanpah Valley solar project had been approved and tortoises were already being relocated, someone made just such a comment.
I dashed off an angry reply, took a few moments to decide whether I would likely regret hitting “send,” decided that I didn’t care if I regretted it, hit “send,” then went to the desert for the weekend. On my return last night I found that I did not regret it. That reply, with minor grammatical corrections, follows.
I know that compared to some of my beloved compatriots on this forum I am a relative youngster a mere half century old, but I have been watching cherished and important pieces of the landscape be lost to foolishness or greed or random accident for most of that time. From the increasingly old second-growth hardwood forests of my native Western New York, to fragments of the chaparral and oak savanna ringing the San Francisco Bay area destroyed for housing now unoccupied, to the vernal pools plowed up to build UC Merced, to the old-growth redwood savaged in an orgy of junk-bond logging in the early 1990s, I have — as have many of you — lost landscapes I care about before, far too many times.
But this is the first time I can recall losing a landscape while being chided by ostensible allies that I am being short-sighted.
A very powerful essay and a kick to the gut to the Sierra Club and all of the other enviro businesses masquerading as advocacy groups.
Mutant Zombie Bikers (MZB) - Are They Already Around Us? MZB! Those three letters are enough to put a healthy dose of doom-enriched fear into any well prepped doomer right? It took me a while just to learn what those letters meant; when I did finally look them up in the acronym appendix of the doomer's bible I was silent. Mutant-Zombie-Bikers? What kind of fantasy freak group was I associating myself with? I just disliked the term because I couldn't get over the strange thoughts being conjured up in my head of a pack of deranged bikers on dirt bikes, old Harley's, quads, you name it with bleeding flesh and hollowed eyes all coming to attack us after a collapse. We would be all snug and happy in our doomsteads and BOLs but these MZBs would seek us out to destroy us. So yeah, I just couldn't deal with the term and didn't care for it much because it was too abstract and unrealistic.
As time went on and my doomerish view of the world became more and more into focus I kept revisiting the MZB concept. What if the zombie in them didn't refer to some ghoulish character but rather someone who had lost everything and gained the 100 yard stare? Someone who has lost all sense of purpose but still feels the need to move forward? What if the mutant part referred to the transformation some unprepared over-suburbanized schmuck goes through as they realize everything they had worked for, all their competing with the Jones', all their mass consuming waste was all for naught and now had nowhere to go, nothing to live off of, and no knowledge of how to begin to survive? What if the biker part didn’t represent the biker gangs of today but rather the same misguided victim of suburbia taking their hobby bike with the last bit of gas and hitting the road in search of food for their overweight, weak, and defenseless family to never return? What if a MZB is simply a former misguided suburbia rat who is now discovering what it means to live and is angry at himself, angry at the world, and especially angry at those who are living a more comfortable post-collapse existence because they were prepared?
As we move closer to the point where a total societal breakdown occurs one way or another it will become very apparent who is prepared and who isn’t. My head has been filled with fantasies that when the day comes when anarchy dominates over civilized life that those who weren’t prepared would be begging for help, doing anything they could to survive, but for the most part not resorting to violence. I stand corrected.
A casual dinner visit with some close friends was my point of awakening to how ugly everything will be. We were having beers and discussing how we keep getting warning article after warning article but nothing ever happens. Something commonly discussed here. We are tired of the warnings; we are tired of prepping for something that will never come; we are starting to not believe that there will be a collapse. At this point the brother of my friends comes in. He had been a former employee of mine during a construction project five years ago. During that there had been a conflict whereas he thought he was owed more for his efforts than we had paid him (bonus pay). Over the years it had seemed this rift had healed. He joined the conversation and then boldly stated, “if there is a day like you guys describe then I’ll just hit the road and take whatever the f*** I want. I’ll finally get to get back all that the rich f***s like you have taken from me! F*** you rich bastards! You guys have only gotten ahead because of the sweat from people like me! The day you describe when payback will finally be here!”
We just sat there stunned! I had never considered myself rich. I had started my business with maxing out one credit card, buying used salvage equip and rehabbing it, and sold off all my furniture to buy opening inventory. I worked over 80 hours a week for the first several years while working another full time job. For all of the risk, hard work, and sacrifice for 10 years we make a nice comfortable living; my friends I was visiting had worked equally hard towards becoming a professor. All this time my friends brother was partying, in and out of jail, playing, playing, playing but now as he has nothing and we are comfortable there is an incredible anger and rage within him! Behold the birth of a MZB!
This is only about half of the article -- I am glad that I live in a small and remote community...
Joe Nocera is a regular columnist at the New York Times
On October 8, 2010, he published this article about Hewlett Packard and enterprise software maker SAP:
A Double Standard at H.P. And so it came to pass that on the 55th day — 55 days, that is, after firing its chief executive, Mark V. Hurd, for playing footsie with a consultant and fudging his expense accounts — the board of directors at Hewlett-Packard proudly announced it had found a new man to lead the company out of the wilderness.
His name is Léo Apotheker, a suave European — how many American C.E.O.’s have an accent aigu in their name? — who had spent most of his career at SAP, the giant German maker of business software. SAP has one primary competitor: Oracle, the very same company that hired Mr. Hurd barely a month after H.P. let him go, in a move clearly intended not only to bolster Oracle but to humiliate H.P.
The post goes on to excoriate HP and SAP and praise Oracle.
The New York Times editor added this footnote on October 12, 2010:
Editors' Note: October 12, 2010 In the Talking Business column in Business Day on Saturday, Joe Nocera wrote about a lawsuit by Oracle against a division of SAP, claiming theft of intellectual property. Mr. Nocera learned after the column was published that Oracle was represented by the law firm of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, where his fiancée works as director of communications. To avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, Mr. Nocera would not have written about the case if he had known of the law firm’s involvement.
HP Scandal Sucks in New York Times Columnist Over Conflict of Interest Another reputation smeared in the Hewlett-Packard/Oracle slag-fest. Turns out Joe Nocera, the New York Times (NYT) business columnist who penned that scathing piece on former SAP chief and incoming Hewlett-Packard (HP) CEO Léo Apotheker for his involvement in a lawsuit over intellectual property theft between SAP (SAP) and Oracle (ORCL)–has a conflict of interest.
President Obama Looks Forward — and Back President Obama said that he expected Republicans to offer him more cooperation after November’s elections, no matter the outcome.
In an hour-long interview with the Times’s White House correspondent, Peter Baker, Mr. Obama predicted that his political rivals would either be chastened by falling short of their electoral goals or burdened with the new responsibility that comes from achieving them.
“It may be that regardless of what happens after this election, they feel more responsible, either because they didn’t do as well as they anticipated, and so the strategy of just saying no to everything and sitting on the sidelines and throwing bombs didn’t work for them,” Mr. Obama said. “Or they did reasonably well, in which case the American people are going to be looking to them to offer serious proposals and work with me in a serious way.”
Barry -- a little hint from a political illiterate. If you want people to work with you, your project has to be something that the people can get behind. They wanted to make America even greater, you wanted to tear it down and impose your statist ideologies.
The money 'graf:
In the magazine article, Mr. Obama reflects on his presidency, admitting that he let himself look too much like “the same old tax-and-spend Democrat,” realized too late that “there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects” and perhaps should have “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts” in the stimulus.
No such thing as shovel ready jobs, all the while he is angling for yet another multi-billion union payback stimulus package.
As for this line: “let the Republicans insist on the tax cuts”
He was not willing to work with the Republicans so he has no moral ground to grouse that they would not work with him.
Talk about being out of touch...
Driller from Denver becomes Chile mine rescue hero Jeff Hart was drilling water wells for the U.S. Army's forward operating bases in Afghanistan when he got the call to fly to Chile.
He spent the next 33 days on his feet, operating the drill that finally provided a way out Saturday for 33 trapped miners.
"You have to feel through your feet what the drill is doing; it's a vibration you get so that you know what's happening," explained Hart, a contractor from Denver, Colorado.
A muscular, taciturn man with callused hands and a sunburned face, Hart normally pounds rock for oil or water.
He's used to extreme conditions while he works the hydraulic levers that guide the drills' hammers.
But this was something different — 33 lives were depending on him.
"I was nervous today," said Hart, 40.
Talk about a hero. More:
Hart was called in from Afghanistan, "simply because he's the best" at drilling larger holes with the T130's wide-diameter drill bits, Stefanic said.
Again: "the best"
So what was he doing in Afghanistan drilling water wells?
Standing before the levers, pressure meters and gauges on the T130's control panel, Hart and the rest of the team faced many challenges in drilling the shaft. At one point, the drill struck a metal support beam in the poorly mapped mine, shattering its hammers. Fresh equipment had to be flown in from the United States and progress was delayed for days as powerful magnets were lowered to pull out the pieces.
The mine's veins of gold and copper ran through quartzite with a high level of abrasive silica, rock so tough that it took all their expertise to keep the drill's hammers from curving off in unwanted directions. "It was horrible," said Center Rock President Brandon Fisher, exhausted after hardly sleeping during the effort.
One last bit:
Champagne sprayed all around him after Hart guided the drill into the miners' chamber. He pulled the last punch so that the drill extended just over two feet (65 centimeters) beyond the ceiling. A less experienced hand might have broken through with too much power, endangering the miners and even jamming the shaft with broken equipment.
"We got the job done," Hart said simply.
Out of a 2,050 hole, he overshot by two feet. That is a 0.0975% margin of error -- stunning performance from this kind of equipment.
More info on the Schramm T-130XD drill can be found here: Schramm Incorporated
With less than 30 days until mid-term elections, the gloves are coming off and dirt is flying everywhere.
From the Boston Herald:
Rival blasts Barney Frank’s swanky free jet ride U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, immersed in one of the toughest political fights of his career, took a free private jet to the Virgin Islands courtesy of a Maine congresswoman’s billionaire fiancé — whose company received a $200 million federal bailout, the Herald has learned.
Frank, who’s facing feisty Republican challenger Sean Bielat, flew to the tropical paradise for a vacation in 2009 on a $25 million jet owned by Paloma Partners honcho S. Donald Sussman, the fiancé of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). Paloma Securities — a subsidiary of Sussman’s Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund — received $200 million in 2009 as part of the $180 billion federal bailout of troubled insurance giant AIG, records show.
A bit more:
Republican National Committee spokesman Parish Braden said: “Barney Frank’s acceptance of a lavish gift from a hedge fund manager, an industry he is responsible for regulating, is a troubling conflict of interest that raises serious questions about his judgment.”
Bielat added: “Typical. Barney keeps showing how career politicians work — they use our dollars for their favors. It may be legal, but it’s wrong and that’s why we need a change.”
Sean Bielat is giving Frank a run for his money in the polls. I hope he wins and brings a breath of fresh air to Washington. Frank is power-mad and disconnected from his constituency.
BREAKING — Sen. Harry Reid Hit With Ethics Complaint The 527 Harry Reid Votes will shortly file an ethics complaint against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. The complaint alleges that Reid violated “the Senate Rules of Conduct by accepting certain contributions from the top executives of a federal government contractor,” according to a draft of the letter to be sent to the Select Committee on Ethics. At issue is over $100,000 of campaign contributions made by Nevada defense contractor Arcata Associates to both Reid and the Nevada Democrat Party.
The small Nevada defense firm recently had a program terminated by the Department of Defense which was subsequently reinstated via an earmark request by Reid. According to Harry Reid Votes, the Obama administration initially rejected the earmark request, “but Senator Reid persisted to ensure that his major donor received funding.” An email from Arcata boss Tim Wong to PJM previously suggested that Arcata Associates has a long-standing corporate policy of supporting candidates. Corporate contributions to federal candidates are illegal if made by individuals on behalf of a corporation as Arcata’s email suggests.
Even if the transactions weren’t illegal, the complaint addressed to Ethics Committee Chair Senator Barbara Boxer and Vice Chair Senator Johnny Isakson, says the transactions are improper under guidelines adopted by the Senate. The letter quotes the Senate Ethics Manual, which declares, “[c]ertain conduct has been deemed by the Senate in prior cases to be unethical and improper even though such conduct may not necessarily have violated any written law, or Senate rule or regulation.”
The complaint asks that an investigation be opened because “Senator Reid appears to have violated at least one tenet of the Code of Ethics for Government Service.” It seeks to have Reid reprimanded “strong[ly] and severe[ly],” citing the case of former Senator Alan Cranston. Cranston, a Democrat, was a member of the “Keating Five” reprimanded in 1991 for intervening on behalf of Lincoln Savings, which was facing mounting federal scrutiny. Charles Keating, the Lincoln boss, made substantial contributions to groups associated with Cranston in return for access to the senator from California. Lincoln Savings failed in 1989. The federal government, which covered billions in deposit guarantees, later sold Lincoln’s assets at substantial losses to the government.
Some amazing technologies being used and it was very cool that the President of Chile -- Sebastian Pinera -- placed an immediate worldwide call for help when the accident happened. Quite a different story from our own President when the Gulf Oil disaster happened.
I have been following the story on FOX News
An interesting side note regarding the drill rig operator -- from Reuters:
U.S. drill operator a hero in Chile mine drama Chileans have found a new hero in American Jeff Hart, the drill operator who has spent weeks drilling down to where 33 miners have been trapped deep underground for more than two months.
Rescuers finished drilling an escape shaft on Saturday for the men, jumping for joy as the drill pushed through the last inches (cm) of a nearly 2,050 foot-long (625-meter) shaft through which the miners will be hoisted to safety.
"There's an emotion there that I can't describe. It's an amazing thing," said Hart, 40, who government officials praised for his central role in the rescue.
A bit more -- this was a very complex operation:
Hart, who has worked as a drill operator for the Chilean-based Geotec Boyles Bros company for 24 years
And what was Hart doing before the disaster:
Hart was helping the U.S. armed forces drill for water in Afghanistan when he was called to help free the trapped Chilean miners stuck far beneath the desert since the mine cave-in 65 days ago.
Riiiiggghhhhht... The guy is an expert driller and has the experience to be the go-to guy when a large diameter hole needs to be accurately steered through 2,050 feet of rock and the US Government has him drilling water wells?
The back story on that would be fun to find out.
If you want to understand what a small business owner is going through, spend the time to read this - from Washington Rebel:
Night Sweats of a Small Businessman For the umpteenth time this year I find myself in the middle of the night sweating out yet another payroll. The persistent numbers tallied on each side don’t work. If I pay myself I can’t pay rent. If I pay the supplier I can’t pay the taxes. If I pay the accountant, I can’t pay the utilities. On and on it goes and it didn’t used to be this way. My business is related to the construction industry and we’ve seen an 80% decrease in revenue while getting stuck with bills and loans and even advertising geared to the previous income.
My company used to pay the bills it had incurred and the bills of seven other families. Now, it can’t even pay the bills of the two of us left. I’ve done all I can to bring the expenses down: I’ve readjusted loans; I’ve sold equipment; I’ve dropped lines of work that were labor intensive; I’ve dropped phones no longer needed; I’ve used up as much of the paid for supplies as I had laying around the shop; I’ve done as much of the mechanic work as I could do myself, with the tools I have.
By the skin of my teeth I have stayed in business working 12-16 hour days, blogging from the office in the morning and as you can see, when I can’t sleep for all the spinning troubles in my head. And no, this is not a poor, poor pitiful me diatribe. I can do something else. I have skills and abilities that could pay me three or four times what I am making now, working for myself. See, all I have to do is claim bankruptcy and move on. Yeah, maybe I’ll have to repay some of the outstanding accounts with my new salary, I don’t expect to wipe my past clean with bankruptcy, but here is the part where I thought it important enough to relate my personal situation: I am not unique.
I am Joe-small-buisnessman. I am every other slob who expected the world to keep turning at the same pace, with predictable income and expenses, who saw obligations meet revenue. Even in the good times it wasn’t easy, but it was on a schedule and with time it would all be paid off.
So, when Obama comes up with SBA loans for all of us small business people, we laugh. What good is another loan we can’t pay for? Tax credit? What on earth am I supposed to do with a tax credit? A tax credit on what? I am LOSING money, I don’t need to offset GAINS, moron. The ability to depreciate equipment purchases immediately instead of over five years was a good idea, if I needed MORE equipment, but not if I need LESS.
Our business is a grocery store and we are fully set up on food stamps (SNAP) and the WIC program and people still need to eat. Our prices are honest and we have a lot of local business as well as the tourist dollars.
That being said, we are seeing a lot of shifts in buying habits and actually, a large increase in local shopping as we are 25 miles away from Bellingham and people initially think that they are saving gas money by shopping with us and then they compare prices and see that we are very competitive with the B'Ham stores (the store operates in Galt mode...)
The East County 'enjoys' a 17% unemployment rate and the rate for Construction is in the terlit -- no new houses are being built. This area has a big logging economy so a lot of the mills are operating on a shoestring.
The sooner we get out from under the big government mentality, the better.
Mr. Marr had this to say in an article in the UK Guardian:
A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother's basements and ranting. They are very angry people," he told the Cheltenham Literary Festival. "OK – the country is full of very angry people. Many of us are angry people at times. Some of us are angry and drunk".
"But the so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night.
"It is fantastic at times but it is not going to replace journalism."
Feeling bitter are we Andrew?
Love the line: "it is not going to replace journalism"
From our side of the pond, here is the last ten years of the New York Times stock prices:
Not exactly thriving for America's Newspaper of Record...
Last nights post about little George (spit) Soros seems to have struck a nerve. I received three comments. One was a potential spam so I deleted it; the other two showed the gamut of political thought.
All this from "the man who broke the Bank of England by shorting the Pound in 1992." Soros is nuts he benefits in a huge way from free markets and then does whatever he can to destroy them.
'Go for the Jugular' The collapse of Greece's economy, and its domino effect on Spain, Portugal, and other countries in the euro currency zone, is in many ways a replay of an earlier financial crisis--the break-up of the continent's Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992. Then, as now, Europe's policymakers showed little patience with--or understanding of--markets. Then, as now, Germany often seemed contemptuous of the less competitive economies on the periphery of Europe.
The 1992 crisis came to a head on Friday September 9, when currency speculators forced the devaluation of the Italian lira. By the following Tuesday, Britain was facing the same fate. In this excerpt from More Money Than God, his new history of hedge funds, Sebastian Mallaby tells the story of the crisis from inside the cockpit of George Soros's Quantum Fund.
You're a prime example of someone who is deliberately ignorant.
He links to his own website. I visited it and found it to be deliberately ignorant.
Talk about a case of projection. Joe, if you hate America so very much?
I'll even chip in ten bucks for your plane ticket you moron...
Obama hits links for 52nd golf day President Obama hit the golf course Saturday for what, by CBS News's Mark Knoller's calculation, was his 52nd such outing since taking office.
According to the White House pool report, Obama went golfing Saturday with his usual partners: trip director Marvin Nicholson, press aide Ben Finkenbinder and the Department of Energy's David Katz.
Holy crap -- the guy has spent 38 days on vacation as well as 32 days at Camp David (working vacation) for a total of 70 days away from the White House. Yes, President Bush at the same point in his first term spent 102 days at his Crawford Ranch but that Ranch was a mini-White House. Bush was meeting with dignitaries (including Putin) and had full communication with the White House. Obama was just away. (source here: CBS News)
If we take his inaugural date of January 20,2009 and work through to today, it has been 630 days that he has been in office. Take the 70 days away, add the 52 golf games and we have 122 days away from the White House -- this is almost 20% (19.36%) of his presidency that has been spent away from his job.
Yes, I know that some of the golf games were played during his 70 days of vacation, I do not have the numbers so the figure will be somewhat less. Even just 70 days away is still over 10% (11.11%) Still an abysmal performance record.
If my work performance was this shabby, I would have been talked to the first month and fired the second month.
Awwwww - poor widdle George is not getting his way
George Soros is a stinking pustule on the ass of America. All the while the Democrats are crying about "big money" being given to Republicans, Soros and his ilk are openly funding all sorts of dirty organizations dedicated to aiding the Democratic Party's cause.
Now it seems he is not quite as happy - from the New York Times:
Soros: I Can’t Stop a Republican ‘Avalanche’ George Soros, the billionaire financier who was an energetic Democratic donor in the last several election cycles but is sitting this one out, is not feeling optimistic about Democratic prospects.
“I made an exception getting involved in 2004,” Mr. Soros, 80, said in a brief interview Friday at a forum sponsored by the Bretton Woods Committee, which promotes understanding of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
“And since I didn’t succeed in 2004, I remained engaged in 2006 and 2008. But I’m basically not a party man. I’d just been forced into that situation by what I considered the excesses of the Bush administration.”
Emphasis mine. George -- I call bullshit. You have been spreading your agenda for years. Discover the Networks has a short list of your goals:
promoting the view that America is institutionally an oppressive nation
promoting the election of leftist political candidates throughout the United States
opposing virtually all post-9/11 national security measures enacted by U.S. government, particularly the Patriot Act
depicting American military actions as unjust, unwarranted, and immoral
promoting open borders, mass immigration, and a watering down of current immigration laws
promoting a dramatic expansion of social welfare programs funded by ever-escalating taxes
promoting social welfare benefits and amnesty for illegal aliens
defending suspected anti-American terrorists and their abetters
financing the recruitment and training of future activist leaders of the political Left
advocating America’s unilateral disarmament and/or a steep reduction in its military spending
opposing the death penalty in all circumstances
promoting socialized medicine in the United States
promoting the tenets of radical environmentalism, whose ultimate goal, as writer Michael Berliner has explained, is “not clean air and clean water, [but] rather ... the demolition of technological/industrial civilization”
bringing American foreign policy under the control of the United Nations
promoting racial and ethnic preferences in academia and the business world alike
Here is a list of all of the organizations funded by Soros or his foundation. The Secretary of State Project is really creepy as it is this elected official that runs that state's voting process and getting a picked person in that seat could swing an election.
George Soros is probably one of the worst human beings to have been born.
My vision of heaven and/or hell is that when you die, your consciousness is set free from the constraints of your brain and you spend the next time remembering all that you did in your life without the mental 'filter' you used when you were in meatspace. If you did horrid things, you will remember them and fully understand the horrid nature of them. I think Soros is in for a heavy ride in a few years (he is 80)...
Had a full day today and then had a Chamber of Commerce meeting until just now. Heated up some leftover Chicken Noodle soup (made it from scratch a couple days ago) and heading out to the DaveCave(tm) to check email.
I have a meeting at noon tomorrow for a business project I may be involved in -- see if they accept my offer for Plan B. I have a very narrow set of constraints for this to happen and if they are unwilling to meet these, I will walk away and place a lien against the property for the amount owed.
Plan A depends on a local guy getting funding to come in and buy the place outright. I suspect that this will happen as he has been in the commercial food business for 20 years and his vision for the place is very cool.
Time will tell...
I'll have more info about what is transpiring in a couple of days but I have been working extended shifts this weekend (and the next couple of weekends) getting to know a new business. I am slated as Plan B and am good friends with the guy who is coming in as Plan A (and I hope he is able to get funding; I already have a lot on my plate).
Off to the DaveCave(tm) to check email and working on some stuff...
Like a bat out of tax hell They speak a different language in New Jersey, really.
New Jersey's governor, Chris Christie, stopped by Waukesha the other day to stump for Wisconsin's Republican candidate for governor, Scott Walker, and he was explaining the value of being direct when negotiating with political opponents. One cannot, he said, merely tell foes what they want to hear.
Frank discussion? Straight talk? Yeah, something like that. Said Christie, "If you don't want to be on the team, you bet I'm going to take a bat out and hit you."
Christie talks that way, which is why in 10 months of being governor, he's become a YouTube star via clips of him confronting hecklers. What has made him a star among conservatives is that he has tamed powerful public-sector unions whose pay and benefits were driving New Jersey's cost of government far beyond taxpayers' toleration. He talked big, followed through and won.
This is cheery news for many places, including Wisconsin, where public-sector pay is above that of the private sector and benefits are far above. For one graspable instance, state law here requires public employees to contribute something toward their retirement; in reality, taxpayers are compelled to cover this for them. This is so absurd that in a Refocus Wisconsin poll in June, 73% of union households said this should change. It's good to hear someone who might know how.
We and Jersey reached this pass not because public employees are greedy. They aren't. They just took the offered deal. Were your boss to say you could get premium-free health, free pension, high pay and ironclad security, of course you'd take it. I would.
Nor is it because unions are greedy, exactly. Their purpose is to maximize what members get, and they're doing it. Where they can be faulted is that they've become huge players in politics, electing the officials with whom they bargain.
The main fault lies with those elected officials. They have, over decades, tended to give in, buying themselves peace with taxpayer money. Both Republicans and Democrats have been among the spineless.
This is why Christie's been a sensation. Certainly it must be surprising, even in New Jersey, to hear a governor evoking that scene in "The Untouchables." One hastens to add that there's no sign Christie ever actually struck anyone with a bat or anything, though fact-checkers may yet dig up some Little League mishap. Presumably, voters know it's metaphor. His approval ratings are, depending on the poll, either even or, at 57%, rising.
The really shocking thing is to see an official, especially a Republican, who is forceful in driving a hard bargain with taxpayers' money rather than caving the moment someone says he's mean. Christie could do this in part because New Jersey governors are powerful and he has the personality. But those aren't prerequisites, Christie insists. His success is duplicatable.
"This is all working through the legislature," he said, "a Democratic legislature, I might add." That body approved Christie's package of 401(k)-style plans, employee contributions, an end to double-dips and other good sense even as unions howled in mass protests. The bat Christie took out was his power of persuasion.
Airplane! — the 1980 Zucker brothers comedy about a midair jetliner disaster — is a remake of the 1957 thriller Zero Hour. Simon Hollington and Kypros Kyprianou ripped all of the jokes and gags out of Airplane! and turned it back into a drama.
Fourteen minutes of YouTube goodness.
Hat tip to Neatorama
Pot may be coming of age in California but it is falling out of favor in Europe.
From the Financial Times:
Dutch look at weeding out cannabis cafés Coffee shops legally selling cannabis have been a feature of Amsterdam’s streets for more than 30 years, both a magnet for younger tourists and a symbol of the Dutch brand of liberal exceptionalism.
But the fragrant haze found in the city’s 200 or so establishments could be dispersed under plans by the incoming government, which is looking to roll back the “tolerance policy” that has allowed such coffee shops to operate since 1976.
Coinciding with a tightening of laws around prostitution – another tolerated industry – the authorities’ new stance on cannabis is raising questions as to whether Dutch society is moving away from laisser-faire traditions, which have included some of the earliest gay-friendly policies in Europe and the provision of free contraception to teenage girls.
Certainly the outlook for coffee shops is bleak. Among the few policies that the three parties in the new coalition agree upon is the need to cut back on, if not entirely abolish, coffee shops. The governing agreement released last week laid out plans that will force them to become member-only clubs and shut down those located within 350 metres of schools.
They are also advancing the idea of prohibiting the sale of cannabis to non-Dutch residents, which amounts to a death knell for many coffee shops, particularly in Amsterdam, the Netherlands’ biggest city.
“It’s a head-on attack,” says Gerrit Jan ten Bloemendal, vice-chairman of the Netherlands Cannabis Platform, a lobby group opposing the proposal, and himself a coffee-shop operator.
The coffee-shop crackdown comes as part of a broader law-and-order drive promoted in particular by Geert Wilders, the anti-Islam firebrand whose far-right Freedom Party (PVV) made the biggest gains in the June elections. Though the PVV is not formally part of the incoming coalition, it helped draft parts of the legislative programme as part of a deal to support the government.
Wilders seriously rocks -- there are a lot of people who think that he is a neo-Nazi but he is about as far from any kind of National Socialism as you can get. You must not forget that the Nazi party was the National Socialist German Workers Party and they were hardline big-government, confiscatory taxation and government dole to the masses.
Will Mendocino County become the Napa Valley of marijuana? Swap the Dungeness crab cakes and peasant skirts for lobster rolls and L.L. Bean khakis, and this snug seaside hamlet a few hours north of San Francisco could be a dead ringer for a New England village. (It was a stand-in for Cabot Cove, Maine, in the long-running TV series Murder She Wrote.)
But if California voters approve a controversial ballot proposition in November to tax and legalize marijuana for recreational use — and it's ahead in several polls — some local growers say Mendocino, pop. 900, might become better known as the tourist capital of a "Napa Valley of cannabis."
The notion of opening marijuana-tasting rooms, meet-the-grower tours and ganja-friendly "bud and breakfasts" in Northern California's pot-farming "Emerald Triangle" is like "tearing down the Berlin Wall. It's not going to happen overnight," says Matthew Cohen of MendoGrown. His 12-member association promotes a "sustainably grown medical cannabis industry" in the county, where legal and illicit pot — sanctioned for medical use by California residents since 1996 — fuels an estimated half to two-thirds of an economy once anchored by fishing and timber.
Got to love that: "bud and breakfasts"
Makes a lot of sense -- there is a lot of money there and if they are not going to be able to keep it illegal (and therefore higher profit margin), they will do the tourism thing and make their money that way.
Sure -- let the Government run our health care program. They are our elites and know how it should be run.
Here is one example of a County government failing miserably at running a ferry service.
From Washington Policy Blog
King County's takeover of West Seattle Ferry has failed King County officials have had a rough first year since they took over the West Seattle Ferry from a private operator; ridership is down 40 percent, costs have tripled, and they crashed the boat.
Now, despite Argosy operating the West Seattle Ferry with their own crew and their own boat, King County's union crew is still being paid. In fact, in a new investigative report, KIRO 7 caught a few of them riding Argosy’s boat back and forth and doing nothing more than collecting fares.
Mike Ennis is transportation director for the Washington Policy Center, a public policy think-tank. He says given the county’s budget crunch, it’s long past time to stop propping up unnecessary union jobs. Ennis told Halsne, “This is a charade to taxpayers. They're essentially having to pay double. Having to pay for the union contracts and pay Argosy to manage the route when the county is unable to do so. Who is the county working for? Are they working for the taxpayers? Is this a ferry service trying to move people for the least cost or is this a jobs program for the union?”
Using Argosy is ironic because before King County took over Argosy Cruises operated the West Seattle Ferry for more than a dozen years (since 1997) and never had an accident.
In April, we released a study that showed King County's takeover of the West Seattle Ferry tripled costs to taxpayers. In fact, King County's labor costs alone are higher than the entire annual operating budget of the Argosy model.
During my research King County officials within the Maritime Division told me they terminated the route from Argosy Cruises simply because policymakers wanted "professional mariners." This means King County Executive Dow Constantine and the Council wanted a union crew to operate the West Seattle Ferry.
Another perfect example of Government and Labor Union collusion to benefit each other but to screw over the customer. It never fails...
As bad as Washington state is for running a business, Oregon makes us look like Texas.
From The Oregonian:
Stimson Lumber CEO: Oregon on "skull and crossbones list" Andrew Miller, the president of Portland-based Stimson Lumber Company, gave me an earful the other day when I called to ask why the firm is donating so much money - $285,000 and counting - to Republican Chris Dudley's campaign for governor.
I barely got a question in as Miller went on for 20 minutes explaining how upset he was at Oregon's business climate and how that has led the company to add more jobs to operations in Idaho while recently laying off 65 people at its mill near Forest Grove.
Miller's soliloquy is certainly in keeping with a lot of what I've heard from various members of the business community and their lobbyists, particularly following the big fight over the business and high-income-earner tax hikes approved by the Legislature last year and subsequently ratified by voters.
But it was intriguing how much of Miller's passion was directed not at specifics but just a general sense that business is not appreciated by Oregon's leadership - and that another tax hike like Measures 66 and 67 could be coming at any time.
As Miller talked, it became clear to me how much Dudley is channeling the frustrations of the business community as he campaigns. When it comes to many business folks, Dudley clearly is expressing what they feel.
It will be nice when the State and Federal governments realize that cutting spending and cutting taxes are the way to increase both small businesses (jobs and economy) and tax revenue (funds coming in to the Government). High taxation simply cuts business growth and with minimal growth, there is no urgency to hire and revenues are lower... Our flirtation with Keynesian economics needs to stop.
Trapped Chile miners emerge to fame, movie contracts - and angry wives Some will emerge to fame and fortune. Others just want to fade rapidly back to obscurity. And a few have some serious explaining to do.
Unless an unthinkable disaster strikes, the ordeal of "Los 33" - the 33 miners entombed nearly half a mile beneath the moonlike wilderness of the Atacama desert in northern Chile - will end this week.
A drill carving a rescue shaft broke through the rock into their subterranean dungeon early on Saturday, 65 days after they were trapped by a huge rockfall.
They were feared dead for the first 17 days until a borehole reached the shelter where they had eked out two days' emergency supply of tuna and peach.
That "miracle at the mine" was remarkable enough. But for the last seven weeks, they have lived an unprecedented underground existence, kept alive and well via the two small "umbilical cords" that are their only connection with the world above.
The extraordinary tale of survival in one of the most inhospitable spots on the planet has captured the attention of the world. But for some of the miners, that glare of publicity has also thrown an unwelcome spotlight on messy private lives.
Several men have been revealed to have children by different women, and competing claims for their affections. And amid talk of lucrative compensation claims, film and book deals and media buy-ups, love and money are destined for an awkward clash.
Quite the story they will have to tell when they surface.
When I was coming home from my spring Memphis road trip, I stopped in Butte, Montana and toured a copper and silver mine there. At one point, the guide had us turn off our headlights and it was a very eerie feeling to be standing there in pitch black darkness -- dead silent.
Big bust on the not so distant horizon. From FOX News:
Attorneys General Investigate Bank Foreclosure Processes Attorneys general in several states are taking action on bank officers who allegedly processed thousands of foreclosures each month without reviewing the work and then signed affidavits attesting to the necessity of the foreclosures.
Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray said his state, one of 23 which requires affidavits by bank officers, is seeking a moratorium on foreclosures "tainted" by “robosigners” – a bank officer who under oath attests personal knowledge of the foreclosure review but who does not have that knowledge. He said he also wants financial relief for consumers and penalties against violators.
So far, the Ohio attorney general has filed suit against GMAC, parent company Ally mortgage and an individual alleged to be a robosigner. Other lenders, including Bank of America, which has admitted problems, JP Morgan, Citibank and Wells Fargo, which are suspected of the practice, are also being asked to provide information.
"What we do know is that people have filed affidavits with the court, they swear that they have personal knowledge of the facts that are attested therein. Those are the facts in which the court is depriving people of their private property. That all is supposed to be done carefully and properly under the law in this country," Cordray told Fox News.
Cordray said he would fine banks $25,000 for every mortgage at issue, which could be hundreds or even thousands of mortgages.
Need to reinstate the Glass–Steagall Act -- break the link between investment companies and banks. Established after the great depression of the 1930's and repealed in 1999 - thank you Bill...
Stare at the stationary blue dot at the right of the screen.
Now stare at the falling cycling dot.
Switch back and forth.
Our brains are amazing but not perfect...
That is it for the evening -- went to a restaurant re-opening, worked a full shift at another business, worked a couple hours at the store.
It feels like 1AM and it's only 9:30. DaveCave(tm) and then bed...
There is a potential business move happening and I started working at 7AM -- just got off and now at the store where I will be working for another couple hours. I am at heart a night person so this will take a few days to adjust.
Needless to say, posting tonight will be thin if not non-existent...
Looks like the Veterans of Foreign Wars has a Political Action Committee and they are running off the rails.
Burn your VFW cards; Vote Vets runs VFW - PAC???? (UPDATE 2) Last night, we received an interesting email from Bev Perlson, who heads the Band of Mothers group. She's got an awesome email list that is good for keeping up on what's going on around the country.
His opponent? Democrat Ron Klein. WHO HAS NEVER SERVED IN UNIFORM.
You read THAT right, too.
People, I've been pissed before. Mad, even. Upset. But this? THIS is treasonous to me. For a 'so called' veterans organization to pick a NON-SERVING, NON-VETERAN over one of the MOST PROMISING veterans running in politics is heinous. Disturbing. And shows just how far off-track the VFW has become.
As you may recall, when I returned from Iraq one of the first things I did was join VFW and Legion as 'life members'. Now, it seems, the time has come to rip, burn, and toss my Lifetime Membership for the VFW. I feel like they have completely left us at the station here. Over at the Farm Team, Jonn Lilyea lays out just who the VFW has announced they are supporting:
Barbara Boxer, Alcee Hastings, Barbara Lee, Steny Hoyer, Barbara Mikulsky, Chris VanHollen, John Dingell, Chuckie Schumer, Pat Leahy and Patty Murray
Quite the progressive roster.
Website VFW National Headquarters 406 West 34th Street Kansas City, Missouri 64111 (816) 756-3390 FAX (816) 968-1149
Corruption in politics is endemic to the territory. Lord Acton summed it up perfectly.
The current Labor Unions are especially rotten to the core -- not seeming to care how obvious their power grabs are. What used to be a benevolent organization working to protect the rights of the common man is now an example of Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy:
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. Examples in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, vs. union representative who work to protect any teacher including the most incompetent. The Iron Law states that in all cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.
How Unions or Their Allies Could be Stealing November’s Election Right Now Here is a prediction: Across the country, there will be races that some candidates will lose even though poll numbers, right now, indicate otherwise.
As you read this, at present, you should know that there are only seemingly disconnected anecdotal dots that are starting to connect. However, if the dots do fully connect, we may not know until well after the November 2nd election if, in fact, America’s democratic election process will have become the victim of the biggest fraud in our nation’s history. What’s worse, with early voting beginning this week in many states, it may already be too late to do anything about it.
In order to break this down, here are the disconnected dots that are detailed below:
First Dot: The SOS Project
Second Dot: The SEIU’s Shenanigans
Third Dot: 11 Million Illegal Immigrants
Fourth Dot: The Fake ID Industry & Meg Whitman
Fifth Dot: Voter Registration
Sixth Dot: Union GOTV Strategies
Seventh Dot: Early Voting
Connecting the Dots
The writer then goes through each line item one by one with links to source material. Well worth reading and sharing. These people need to be shut down.
I wrote this back in April:
Unions have lost sight of what they are for. They were formed to protect the rights and the safety of the workers.
Now, they are only about preserving the union itself and about power and control.
If the Unions were effective, they would have shut down the Massey Coal mine long before the fire and explosion. The workers knew that working conditions there were below mining standards. The Unions sat back and did nothing. Now thirty workers are dead.
If the Unions were effective, they would have shut down the Tesoro Refinery in Anacortes, WA long before the fire and explosion. The workers knew that working conditions there were below refinery standards. The Unions sat back and did nothing. Now seven workers are dead.
If the Unions were effective, they would not be negotiating egregious pensions for their workers. Why should a worker who puts $200K into their retirement plan be able to receive almost One Million in pension and benefits on retirement. The workers should be shown that this is not sustainable but the Union bosses tell them that everything is fine and they just go along with it. Those workers that “get it” figure that they will be out of the system before it crashes so they might as well sit back and get theirs. The Unions sat back and did nothing. Now the retirement plan is crashing a lot sooner than expected.
Power and Control in the hands of a few. Nothing less, nothing more. Certainly not caring for the workers.
This was written before the Deepwater Oil Rig disaster with seventeen people dead and safety concerns before the explosion. Another Union shop...
Took a while but they seem to have found the Honeybee killer.
From the New York Times:
Scientists and Soldiers Solve a Bee Mystery It has been one of the great murder mysteries of the garden: what is killing off the honeybees?
Since 2006, 20 to 40 percent of the bee colonies in the United States alone have suffered “colony collapse.” Suspected culprits ranged from pesticides to genetically modified food.
Now, a unique partnership — of military scientists and entomologists — appears to have achieved a major breakthrough: identifying a new suspect, or two.
A fungus tag-teaming with a virus have apparently interacted to cause the problem, according to a paper by Army scientists in Maryland and bee experts in Montana in the online science journal PLoS One.
Exactly how that combination kills bees remains uncertain, the scientists said — a subject for the next round of research. But there are solid clues: both the virus and the fungus proliferate in cool, damp weather, and both do their dirty work in the bee gut, suggesting that insect nutrition is somehow compromised.
A bit more and the Army connection:
Dr. Bromenshenk’s team at the University of Montana and Montana State University in Bozeman, working with the Army’s Edgewood Chemical Biological Center northeast of Baltimore, said in their jointly written paper that the virus-fungus one-two punch was found in every killed colony the group studied. Neither agent alone seems able to devastate; together, the research suggests, they are 100 percent fatal.
“It’s chicken and egg in a sense — we don’t know which came first,” Dr. Bromenshenk said of the virus-fungus combo — nor is it clear, he added, whether one malady weakens the bees enough to be finished off by the second, or whether they somehow compound the other’s destructive power. “They’re co-factors, that’s all we can say at the moment,” he said. “They’re both present in all these collapsed colonies.”
Research at the University of California, San Francisco, had already identified the fungus as part of the problem. And several RNA-based viruses had been detected as well. But the Army/Montana team, using a new software system developed by the military for analyzing proteins, uncovered a new DNA-based virus, and established a linkage to the fungus, called N. ceranae.
“Our mission is to have detection capability to protect the people in the field from anything biological,” said Charles H. Wick, a microbiologist at Edgewood. Bees, Dr. Wick said, proved to be a perfect opportunity to see what the Army’s analytic software tool could do. “We brought it to bear on this bee question, which is how we field-tested it,” he said.
The Army software system — an advance itself in the growing field of protein research, or proteomics — is designed to test and identify biological agents in circumstances where commanders might have no idea what sort of threat they face. The system searches out the unique proteins in a sample, then identifies a virus or other microscopic life form based on the proteins it is known to contain. The power of that idea in military or bee defense is immense, researchers say, in that it allows them to use what they already know to find something they did not even know they were looking for.
The original paper can be found here: Iridovirus and Microsporidian Linked to Honey Bee Colony Decline
Fascinating -- there are, of course, other kinds of bees that pollinate but Honeybees are the most prevalent because their honey is valuable and they are colonial. Bees like the Orchard Mason bee are great pollinators but they are solitary.
It is sobering to think just how much of our food requires polination...
Postal Union Election Delayed After Ballots Lost in the Mail Irony alert.
The American Postal Workers Union has extended its internal election after thousands of ballots appeared to have gotten lost . . . in the mail.
The union's election committee was supposed to be counting those ballots this week in downtown Washington, D.C., following a tradition mail-in election. But the union announced that only about 39,000 ballots were turned in -- and that "a large number of union members had not received their ballots."
Nothing to see here folks -- move along -- just our Government at work...
The Reverend Fred Phelps is an odious little blemish on the ass-end of this planet.
He arranged a protest at the funeral of a Marine and there is a lawsuit going through the courts at this time -- Phelps will probably win as we still recognize individual's First Amendment rights.
A reader emailed this to Jonah Goldberg:
There's another angle you are missing. The entire situation that Fred Phelps causes is purely a result of our legalistic society, where rather than deal with issues in a cultural manner, we resort to the ever more burdened courts.
To be blunt, in the days of my grandfather, a good sized group of men would have peeled off from the funeral, and informed Rev. Phelps he was not welcome within eyesight of the funeral, and that it was time for him to leave. Like, right now. If he didn't, then he would have been bodily removed, likely with a variety of lumps and bruises, from the scene and warned that if he returned, he would get a serious beating.
And nobody would have batted an eye. Any cops that were called would have exercised discretion, looked over the situation, and told Phelps "You had it coming, bub, beat it". Any judge that Phelps petitioned would have looked at the case, told Phelps he was a horses hind end, and tossed it out of court with prejudice.
However, that was in the days when the US had pretty much one culture. Sure, lots of variations, but in 1950 a jerk like Phelps would have gotten pretty much that reaction whether he was disrupting a Marine's funeral in Georgia, or Brooklyn, or California. Because in those days, most people believed in the same standards of behavior.
The sixties changed that. I can trace a direct line from the "Do Your Own Thing" of '68, to Phelps standing outside of a cemetery with "God Hates Fags" signs in 2009. By smashing cultural norms, the left moved simple disputes such as this from the cultural, low-level form of conflict resolution into the legal system. And so now we have the absurdity of a mentally disturbed man petitioning the Supreme Court for the "right" to disrupt military funerals.
Thanks a lot, hippies…
What they said...
Hat tip to Rick over at Wizbang for the link.
It is hard to deliver a decent education to our kids when the administrators at the top are pushing abject crap.
From the National Education Association's website:
Recommended Reading: Saul Alinsky, The American Organizer NEA recommends the following Saul Alinsky books to those members of our Association who are involved in grassroots organizing, especially Association Representatives (ARs) — also known as building reps or shop stewards — and leaders at local affiliates.
Saul Alinsky is widely recognized as the father of, and pre-imminent expert in, grassroots organizing, which is why we recommend that ARs and local leaders become familiar with his theories & materials.
Alinsky’s writings have been called the “mother’s milk of the left,” however in an ironic homage, the conservative right has borrowed a page or two from the Alinsky playbook. Tea Party leader and self-described “conservative radical” Michael Patrick Leahy, for example, has authored a book based on Alinsky’s teachings: “Rules for Conservative Radicals.”
We hope that ARs and local leaders of all political stripes will discern from Alinsky’s books grassroots organizing strategies that will best help us bring our members together around the common goal of improving public education.
Here is a small screen-cap in case they go revisionist and purge it:
Hat tip to Firehand for the link.
Gotta love those Union buzzwords: "building reps or shop stewards — and leaders at local affiliates"
No wonder our education system is such a hell-hole.
You exist for my entertainment. Some of you are great eye candy. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes. Some of you can scare the crap out of me. Others make me laugh. But you all have one thing in common, you only have a place in my world to entertain me. That’s it.
You make your living pretending to be someone else. Playing dress up like a retard. You live in a make believe world in front of a camera. And often when you are away from one too. Your entire existence depends on my patronage.
I’ll crank the organ grinder; you dance.
I don’t really care where you stand on issues. Honestly, your stance matters far less to me than that of my neighbor. You see, you aren’t real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer and you cease to exist in my world. Once I am done with you, I can put you back in your little box until I want you to entertain me again.
Russian experts flee Iran's dragnet for cyber worm smugglers debkafile's intelligence sources report from Iran that dozens of Russian nuclear engineers, technicians and contractors are hurriedly departing Iran for home since local intelligence authorities began rounding up their compatriots as suspects of planting the Stuxnet malworm into their nuclear program.
Among them are the Russian personnel who built Iran's first nuclear reactor at Bushehr which Tehran admits has been damaged by the virus.
One of the Russian nuclear staffers, questioned in Moscow Sunday, Oct. 3 by Western sources, confirmed that many of his Russian colleagues had decided to leave with their families after team members were detained for questioning at the beginning of last week. He refused to give his name because he and his colleagues intend to return to Iran if the trouble blows over and the detainees are quickly released after questioning.
According to our sources, these detentions were the source of the announcement Saturday, Oct. 2, by Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi that several "nuclear spies" had been captured. "The enemy had sent electronic worms through the internet to undermine Iran's nuclear activities," he said. This was the first high-level Iranian admission that the Stuxnet virus had been planted by foreign elements to sabotage their entire nuclear program - and not just the Bushehr reactor. The comprehensive scale of the damage is attested to by the detention of Russian nuclear experts also at Natanz, Isfahan and Tehran.
Heh -- lie down with vipers and then complain when you get bit...
Joe Blow the Asshole Joe Blow – the good ol’ country boy from right here in The Sticks – is running for dog catcher. Somebody has to do the job, after all, and Mr. Blow figures that, since nobody else bothered to run against the current guy, he might as well give it a shot.
It turns out that the incumbent doesn’t want to be dog catcher anymore anyway; there’s a position on the town council that’s coming open this cycle and he’d like to have a few more responsibilities in The Sticks. He doesn’t even really care about dogs one way or the other anyway, to be honest, but the position was a good start. The rub here is that the incumbent can’t run for the board seat while also running for reelection as dog catcher, so he has to make a choice. He opts to go for the council position.
Joe Blow, running unopposed, gets the job; half of the few people in The Sticks who bothered showing up on Election Day didn’t even know who he was, but that didn’t matter because his name was the only one on the ballot. As long as there aren’t large packs of strays destroying the city park and overrunning peoples’ neighborhoods, few people really give a crap about that part of the local government.
For the next four years, Joe Blow is a happy dog catcher. When he isn’t at work or spending time with the family, he’s in the county’s truck, rounding up stray dogs and taking them to the shelter.
Before the next election cycle, one of the council members dies of old age. Joe thinks about this while he’s having his morning constitutional; that job will give Joe the opportunity to do more things for the stray dogs in his community. If he’s on the board, he can help create new ordinances that will make life better; one idea is that, if every citizen is required to have his or her dog microchipped regardless of how that canine buddy was added to the family, there will be fewer problems when one of those pets turns up on the street.
This time, Joe has to actually fight because two other people are running for that town-council seat. He doesn’t have a hard time beating them, though, because he constantly points to how great a job he’s doing as dog catcher. The few people in The Sticks who actually pay attention to the debates and town-hall meetings, which take place in a mostly-empty City Hall, agree that Joe’s been a great dog catcher and will surely do even-greater things on the council. Besides, the other two candidates are younger than most of the people who bother going out and voting and, well, we can’t trust those young’uns. Joe Blow’s not tottering along on a walker yet, but he’s proven himself, unlike those two.
Private sector sheds 39,000 jobs in September Private employers unexpectedly cut 39,000 jobs in September after an upwardly revised gain of 10,000 in August, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Wednesday.
The August figure was originally reported as a loss of 10,000.
The median of estimates from 38 economists surveyed by Reuters for the ADP Employer Services report, jointly developed with Macroeconomic Advisers LLC, was for a rise of 24,000 private-sector jobs in September.
Jobs saved or created -- Christ on a Corn Dog. Bush's fault of course...
Just a few more weeks to get some real change.
2012 is two years away -- complete the restoration.
County Sues Farmer, Cites Too Many Crops DeKalb County is suing a local farmer for growing too many vegetables, but he said he will fight the charges in the ongoing battle neighbors call “Cabbagegate.”
Fig trees, broccoli and cabbages are among the many greens that line the soil on Steve Miller’s more than two acres in Clarkston, who said he has spent fifteen years growing crops to give away and sell at local farmers markets.
“It's a way of life, like it's something in my blood,” said Miller.
In January, Dekalb County code enforcement officers began ticketing him for growing too many crops for the zoning and having unpermitted employees on site.
Miller stopped growing vegetables this summer and the charges were put on hold as he got the property rezoned.
Two weeks after approval, however, his attorney said the county began prosecuting the old charges, saying he was technically in violation before the rezoning.
“It should go away. I think it borders on harassment,” said Miller’s attorney Doug Dillard.
Miller faces nearly $5,000 in fines, but he said he plans to fight those citations in recorders court later this month.
A county spokesperson said officials can’t discuss the matter while it is in court, but neighbors were quick to come to his defense.
“When he moved here and I found out what he was doing I said, ‘Steve, you’re the best thing that ever happened to Cimarron Drive. And I still say that,” said neighbor Britt Fayssoux.
And you know this isn't some complaint that was called in; rather, this is probably one little politician drunk on their own insignificant power. F.O.A.D.
Russia and New Zealand are getting hit with abnormally cold weather.
From Russia Times:
Coldest winter in 1,000 years on its way After the record heat wave this summer, Russia's weather seems to have acquired a taste for the extreme.
Forecasters say this winter could be the coldest Europe has seen in the last 1,000 years.
The change is reportedly connected with the speed of the Gulf Stream, which has shrunk in half in just the last couple of years. Polish scientists say that it means the stream will not be able to compensate for the cold from the Arctic winds. According to them, when the stream is completely stopped, a new Ice Age will begin in Europe.
I am taking this with a grain of salt as the Gulf Stream has most definitely not shrunk in half. It is a dynamic component of the Atlantic Conveyor and moves around more than people realize but it is still going strong.
The New Zealand story is boots on the ground observation -- from the Meat Trade News Daily:
Snow hits farmers big time Following a reasonably benign winter, the Southland region of New Zealand (NZ) has in the past week been hit by “the worst spring storm in living memory” according to the NZ Herald.
Six days of blizzards have caused deaths among new lambs numbering in the hundreds of thousands, and raised concern over the welfare of ewes yet to lamb.
Besides the effect of the cold weather itself, the continued snowfall has not allowed snow on the ground to thaw, making it much harder for stock to feed.
This makes ewes about to lamb particularly susceptible to metabolic illnesses from a lack of nutrients.
It is made from cast iron and about five inches thick -- this table is not going anywhere (probably weighs around 1,500 pounds).
If I needed to make multiple identical pieces of ironwork (say for a railing or multiple tables or chandeliers, etc...), I would place jigs in the holes and use this for bending. A little 'persuasion' with the torch and you can do some really nice work.
These tables are a couple $K so I'm not rushing out to buy one anytime soon but when the option for this one came up, it was worth the drive down and the overnight in the motel.
As I said, it was owned by one of the companies employees and withdrawn from the auction.
There are two more auctions this month (here and here) and that's it for the next couple of months.
The table I was looking at turned out to be private property of one of the employees and I didn't see any motors I was looking for.
Looks like I'll be placing an order with Automation Direct in the next day or two...
Swung by Harbor Freight for a few things but that was it.
Chavez vows to radicalize after Venezuela election Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez vowed to "radicalize" his socialist revolution even further after legislative elections that gave the opposition one of its strongest showings during his more than 11 years in power.
He started on Sunday by announcing the expropriation of land owned by the Venezuelan agricultural company Agroislena and vowing to hasten the nationalization of land held by the British meat products company Vestey Foods Group.
Chavez's ruling Socialist Party won last weekend's vote by a slim margin, taking 5.45 million votes or 48.9 percent compared with 5.33 million votes or 47.9 percent for the newly united Democratic Unity umbrella group.
The result lifted the optimism of the opposition, which now sees a chance to unseat Chavez in 2012 presidential elections.
Investors and analysts are waiting to see the reaction of a man who has in the past come out of elections by nationalizing swathes of industry, including millions of acres of agricultural land, and attacking private capital.
"We are going to continue forward, democratically radicalizing the socialist revolution because it is necessary," Chavez said late on Saturday to a television audience.
He dismissed the opposition celebration of a moral victory as "15 minutes of drunkenness."
He didn't get the election he wanted so now someone must pay the penalty. Now Vestey loses all of its investments in Venezuela. Gives other companies a lot of incentive to come in and set up business there.
2012 will be interesting in Venezuela as well as here...
Golden State 'Outsourced' By Boxer Sen. Barbara Boxer thinks she's struck election gold in California by charging her rival, ex-CEO Carly Fiorina, with outsourcing. The real story is how Boxer has chased millions of jobs out of state with her politics.
Last Wednesday's radio debate between California's two senatorial candidates repeatedly circled the issue of jobs in a state with 12.4% unemployment, second highest in the nation.
Incumbent Boxer's trump card was that her opponent, while chief of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2006, outsourced jobs. "She laid off 30,000 workers, shipped jobs overseas and says she's proud of her record — well, that's her record," said Boxer.
Problem is, Boxer is a far bigger outsourcer. The unemployment rate in her state is 25% higher than the national average of 9.4%, and the number of jobless Californians is 66% higher than when she took office 17 years ago.
The article then goes on to cite four examples of Boxer's job killing expertise including raising agricultural unemployment figures to as high as 40% in some areas because of an endangered fish all the while she approved a waiver in a similar situation in New Mexico.
I think Carly would do an awesome job and look forward to having her be elected on November 2nd...
Emanuel launches bid for mayor of Chicago Former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel on Sunday announced his bid to become mayor of Chicago, according to a video message posted on his website.
Emanuel described his upbringing in Chicago, where he was born, and listed improvements he would like to bring to the city.
"So as I prepare to run for mayor, I'm going to spend the next few weeks visiting our neighborhoods -- at grocery stores, L Stops, bowling alleys, and hot dog stands," he said.
"I'm calling this the 'Tell It Like It Is' tour because I want to hear from you -- in blunt Chicago terms -- what you think about our city and how the next mayor and you can make it better."
All of the Union officials, the aldermen and Chicago pols are drooling like a Newfoundland Dog. Here is a bagman with direct ties to the Obama White House. It will be interesting to see who opposes him and how many votes that poor fool is able to get.
Chicago politics on steroids for the next couple of years...
Some good thoughts on Iran's little computer problem from Caroline Glick:
The lessons of Stuxnet There's a new cyber-weapon on the block. And it's a doozy. Stuxnet, a malicious software, or malware, program was apparently first discovered in June.
Although it has appeared in India, Pakistan and Indonesia, Iran's industrial complexes - including its nuclear installations - are its main victims.
The money quote:
The Iranian government has acknowledged a breach of the computer system at Bushehr. The plant was set to begin operating next month, but Iranian officials announced the opening would be pushed back several months due to the damage wrought by Stuxnet. On Monday, Channel 2 reported that Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment facility was also infected by Stuxnet.
On Tuesday, Alipour acknowledged that Stuxnet's discovery has not mitigated its destructive power.
As he put it, "We had anticipated that we could root out the virus within one to two months. But the virus is not stable and since we started the cleanup process, three new versions of it have been spreading."
And of course, this being Iran and a matter of national pride, etc... they managed to catch the guy. From Google/AFP:
Iran arrests Stuxnet 'spies' who hit atomic work Iran's intelligence minister said on Saturday authorities had arrested several "nuclear spies" who were working to derail Tehran's nuclear programme through cyberspace.
Without saying how many people were arrested or when, Heydar Moslehi was quoted on state television's website as saying Iran had "prevented the enemies' destructive activity."
His remarks came against the backdrop of reports that the Stuxnet worm is mutating and wreaking havoc on computerised industrial equipment in Iran and had already infected 30,000 IP addresses.
But Moslehi said intelligence agents had discovered the "destructive activities of the arrogance (Western powers) in cyberspace, and different ways to confront them have been designed and implemented."
"I assure all citizens that the intelligence apparatus currently has complete supervision on cyberspace and will not allow any leak or destruction of our country's nuclear activities."
The website said Moslehi emphasised that his ministry was aware of the different activities of "enemies' spy services."
"We have always faced the destructive action of these (spy) services and a number of nuclear spies have been arrested," he said.
Mr. Moslehi certainly seems to be channeling his inner Bagdhad Bob
Can't say I feel sorry for them and I was suspecting that the Stuxnet would be a shapeshifter. Excellent job of programming and it will be impossible to see where it actually came from. I do feel sorry for the poor schlubs that have been arrested -- they are just fall-guys to make Iran look good. Hope their families are quietly taken care of...
The Progressives could not stand by and let Glen Beck draw 500K to 800K people to the Lincoln Memorial so they staged their own rally.
As My Way/Associated Press reports:
Thousands gather in DC in support of Dems agenda Thousands of people flocked to the Lincoln Memorial for a rally Saturday organized by labor and civil rights groups, hoping to show support for the Democratic agenda in the face of expected GOP election gains next month.
I'll post pictures as they filter in -- word is that they left the place a mess. Also looking for pictures of 'independent protesters' getting off school busses -- a lot of the people there were union members who were told to be there. Shades of Andrew Breitbart's wonderful expose: Protesters - union organized
It's bad civic hygiene to build technologies that could someday be used to facilitate a police state. No matter what the eavesdroppers say, these systems cost too much and put us all at greater risk. --Bruce Schneier
Con Man Universe Description A Confidence Man is an individual or group that runs a corrupt game or scheme so as to defraud those who pay into or invest in such a scheme. I will horrendously oversimplify this, as the multiplicity and complexities involved in con games, as well as types of them, are enormous. Still they all boil down to just a few major factors. In the universe of the Con Man (and associates) there are only a few classes of people outside of those actually running the thing:
1) The Plant(s) - These are individuals who may know about the scheme or game, or may only be willing to accept minor payment to take part in the game or scheme so as to make it work. Plants are the individuals who 'win' or get pay outs early on in the system. These are the individuals that give a patina of legitimacy to the scheme or game so as to entice others to take part. Plants can also be individuals who are of a later class, but so early on in the scheme or game that it 'works' for them.
2) Rubes - These are the individuals who buy into the game or scheme as 'legitimate' but have no knowledge that a game is going on. Plants can be first generation Rubes who unknowingly play the game or pay into the scheme but are in that select segment that must get a payout, of some sort, so as to keep the mollified and have the illusion of an above-board operation remain. Rubes who become Plants via this unknowing pay off of a fraudulent scheme or game in its first iteration also serve as recruiters to get more people to play the game or buy into the scheme. The more gullible Rubes there are saying that the scheme or game is legitimate, the greater the long term pay off for those running the game or scheme.
3) The Mark - The Mark are the individuals in the high profit zone for the game or scheme. Marks can be from any level of Rube-dom, but they are the ones who will buy into the scheme late enough so that they will not get their money back. Marks may be unintentional players who just want to have some 'fun' or who have a predilection to believing the scheme works due to the number of Plants and Rubes. When the game or scheme fails, these are the folks who lose the most. Once a confidence scheme is fully operational after the first level of pay outs, anyone paying in can be said to be The Mark. The Mark is the target of the swindle.
4) Those who see through the game or scheme for what it is. These are the people that the game or scheme derides, calls them 'unsophisticated' or 'stupid' or otherwise castigates them. That serves the two-fold purpose of assuring the Rubes and future Marks that they are the 'smart' ones who are going to 'make' money off of the scheme or game. The level of attacks on those who see through the game may be intense enough to convince them to become Rubes, which also makes them qualified to be Marks.
A Jacksonian then runs through some examples: Bernie Madoff, Enron, the Social Security Administration and concludes with a few more that send chills down my spine -- his view of the scope of things has broadened my horizon significantly.
It's a bit of a long read but well presented and worth checking out.
One to add to the blogroll (doing an upgrade in a few days).
Rowe touts 'Dirty Jobs' in Washington Mike Rowe doesn't want to be considered an expert and doesn't want to talk about policy.
The host of the Discovery Channel's "Dirty Jobs" merely came to Washington Wednesday to tell members of Congress and the public that those "dirty" jobs should get some more respect.
Rowe joined up with the "I Make America" campaign, an effort supported by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, to talk about strengthening domestic manufacturing jobs.
"I am the opposite of expert, I am a good sport, I am a perpetual apprentice and the only qualifications I really have are that I've been to most every state and I've had about 300 dirty jobs," the TV host told Yeas & Nays, calling himself a "B-list" celebrity.
Rowe explained that "dirty" jobs, like those in manufacturing and farming, used to mean success, but now look like settling. He wants that to change.
"I don't think the country is going to fall back in love with manufacturing and I don't think these policies are going to change, until or unless we reignite a fundamental relationship with dirt, work, and the business of making things, as opposed to the business of buying them," he said.
He said one of reasons this is occurring is because community colleges and vocational education have taken the backseat to four-year college degrees.
"It's not happening because people hate community colleges, it's not happening because people hate the trades, it's happening because we're promoting a very specific kind of education at the expense of the others," he said.
We are very fortunate to have an excellent vocational college in Bellingham. Bellingham Technical College is a thriving school -- they just completed a huge expansion of their welding program. I took a bunch of welding and machining classes there and really benefited by them.
People that go through the two-year welding program get hired out the door at $40 on up with full benefits. Not too shabby...
The heartless scolds who produced the exploding people 10:10 mini-movie discovered that their idea of humor doesn't quite sync up with the other 99.999% of the population so they pulled it.
Here is a copy found at another location:
Hat tip to Daily Bayonet for the link -- he ripped a copy of this and will host it if YouTube backs down and decides to aggressively stop hosting it.
Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That was, for a lot of people, the person who brought this to public attention. The popularity (and furor) of this post has catapulted him from a modest science blog to the Third Most Popular post in the entire WordPress network of almost 350,000 blogs. Read on for his reception from a New Zealand commenter -- comic gold!
James Delingpole is also doing a wonderful job of covering the story.
From his post at the UK Telegraph:
'Go green or we'll kill your kids' says Richard Curtis eco-propaganda shocker Gillian Anderson, Peter Crouch [a tall footballer], Radiohead, David Ginola [a French footballer] and – above all – Richard Curtis, I salute you! You have just released a video which has entered history as the most emetic, ugly, counterproductive eco-propaganda movie ever made. Believe me this thing is going to go viral beyond your wildest dreams. But unfortunately that virus is ebola. (Hat tips: Barry Woods/Tom Dalton/Pete Hayes/Old Goat/half the civilised world….)
Had a look? Well, I’m certain you’ll agree that detonating school kids, footballers and movie stars into gory pulp for ignoring their carbon footprints is attention-grabbing.
It then goes on to quote one or two of the usual suspects, such as this light-hearted, “no we don’t really want to blow up schoolchildren for showing insufficient environmental zeal, that’s just our sense of humour, ha ha ha ha” little missy:
“Doing nothing about climate change is still a fairly common affliction, even in this day and age. What to do with those people, who are together threatening everybody’s existence on this planet? Clearly we don’t really think they should be blown up, that’s just a joke for the mini-movie, but maybe a little amputating would be a good place to start?” jokes 10:10 founder and Age of Stupid film maker Franny Armstrong.
What’s fascinating, reading this kind of thing, is seeing just how far removed from reality the green movement has gone. Kyoto is dead. Copenhagen was a flop. Cancun is going to make a mockery of all those green dreams about global carbon emissions legislation. And how do the environmentalists respond?
By force of argument?
By presenting new evidence which supports their cause?
By threatening to blow up anyone who disagrees with them.
The comments on Jame's post are a wonderful mix between rational thought and brainwashed kool-aid drinkers.
Rahm Emanuel's last day was today so the other staff members threw him a party.
From ABC News:
A Teary Emanuel Gets Dead Fish At White House Send-off At the 8:30 staff meeting in the Roosevelt Room this morning, departing chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was given a gift by Council of Economic Advisers chair Austan Goolsbee: a dead Asian carp.
This was an allusion to the Emanuel legend of his sending a dead fish to a pollster for whom he didn’t care, replicating the scene from The Godfather when the Corleones were alerted of Luca Brasi’s death with a dead fish wrapped in Brasi’s bullet-proof vest. The specific species was a reference to Emanuel’s focus as a member of Congress and White House chief of staff on the aggressive, invasive Asian carp, bane of the Great Lakes, a plankton-devouring creature heading towards Chicago.
Heh - and don't let the door hit 'ya where the good Lord split 'ya.
Interesting to see a lot of the party faithful distancing themselves from Obama...