Saturday, April 18, 2015

Drone flight over Oahu's North Shore - Whales and dolphins

Very good. I wish it were ten times longer, there is so much to see there.

Matador Network for Turtle Bay Resort

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And Capt Dave runs dolphin and whale excursions in Dana Point, Calif. This has a group of about 200 dolphins, then gray whales migrating - both at Dana Point, Calif - then mother and calf humpback whales off Maui.

Matador Network

Beware Java updates

Oracle installs the evil Ask.com toolbar when Java is updated.

Either don’t install Java or search carefully for a checkbox already checked to install the evil Ask.com whatever.

David Lazarus at LA Times

And...

Until recently, the Ask.com toolbar was primarily a problem only for Windows users. As of last month, it's also being bundled with Java updates for Macs.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Criminal indictment of State Auditor Troy Kelley

State Auditor Troy Kelley was indicted on ten counts of crimes by the Federal government. He put himself on paid leave to fight the charges. Why should we pay him for serving only himself?

Actually, since being elected Kelley appears to have been busy on his own affairs while being paid by the taxpayers. When reporters started asking about him they asked his office what he had been doing. They found his calendar shows 150 non-holiday weekdays without a single meeting or other event involving him. The Olympian

NWCN shows video from KING 5 TV.

The charges include:

  • Possession of stolen property - 10 years max
  • False statements/ obstruction - 20 years max
  • Tax evasion - 3 years max for each

The audio at NWCN says that the feds say his illegal actions continued while he was in office as state auditor, though the print text does not repeat this.

I also recall that Kelley claimed he could not disclose the results of a lawsuit or other legal matter because it was sealed. Then the other party in the suit was asked they said it was OK with them to open the record. Apparently Kelley did not allow disclosure.

And we heard about this before Kelley was elected. James Watkins, his Republican opponent, disclosed the charges he had heard. Sound Politics (A commenter repeats highlights of some of the charges, but Watkins’ original site is gone.)  But the Seattle Times, KING 5 and other news media did not investigate.

UPDATTE: I just discovered that Northwest Public Radio did a story on the charges 9/6/2012.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Socialist success in Venezuela is near-starvation

Venezuela Angel Falls

It’s sad. The socialism of Hugo Chavez bankrupted the oil-rich country of Venezuela. Of course he always found an enemy to blame for all problems  - usually foreign.

Today the grocery shelves are almost empty. While millions of barrels of oil are being pumped and shipped every day, people are near (or past near) starving. The government has taken action — the military took over Dia a Dia supermarket chain’s 35 stores in early February, 2015. Fox News

The government arrested drug store managers and made illegal sales on the street of coffee, eggs, shampoo and some 50 other “regulated” items. Tico Times

And the situation is getting worse. Latin American Herald-Tribune

Venezuelans – who have been waiting in long queues to get into supermarkets and purchase basic products – have not yet seen the worst part of the shortages issue caused by a collapse in the chavismo-sponsored populist model, but they may do so shortly in the face of the warnings of the alarming levels food stocks have fallen to in the country, according to local industry groups and experts.

"Inventories, including those of the pharmaceutical and food industries, are hitting critical levels," said Eduardo Garmendia, head of the Venezuelan Confederation of Industries (Conindustria), a business association, in a recent interview with local radio station UniĆ³n Radio.

"The entire industrial system has been affected by the difficulties in acquiring raw materials, but it is worse in essential products because these are receiving a greater direct impact; we are talking about medicines and food," said Garmendia.

In the case of food, stocks of the country’s main industries will last less than a month, according to data released by the Venezuelan Food Industry Chamber (Cavidea).

"There are food companies that haven’t been allocated a single dollar so far this year," Pablo Baraybar, president of Cavidea, told the local press. "In some production lines, we only have stocks for 10 or 20 days."

This will surely make things exponentially harder for those Venezuelans trying to put food on their tables every day.

"There is a real storm developing due to the lack of dollars. The situation is desperate and may get a lot worse," said Russ Dallen, head of local investment bank Caracas Capital Markets, who has spent several years keeping a close eye on the behavior of the Venezuelan reality.

"In the next two or three months we are about to see a situation of terrible shortages, much worse than we have seen so far.

Photo: Angel Falls, Venezuela. How can a huge waterfall come from near the top of a mountain? A wonder of the world.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Increased minority turnout after tougher ID laws

Minority voting increased after Georgia passed tougher voter identification laws. But, but… all the Demos claimed the Republicans only wanted to surprise minority turnout. Were the Republicans flustered by the failure of their plan? No. Wrong question. That was not their plan.

Georgia’s new law required the same sort of ID required to cash a check, get on an airplane or visit your senator’s office - photo ID.

The Republican intention was to limit voting to people qualified to vote who were properly registered. They did not talk about suppressing minority turnout, because they did not intend it.

See Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Turnout among black and Hispanic voters increased from 2006 to 2010, dramatically outpacing population growth for those groups over the same period

Via Hot Air.

Cabin stolen in Springdale. Where is Springdale?

TNT stolen cabin

Where is Springdale, WA?

West of Loon Lake. Northwest of Tumtum. East of Fruitland!

Yahoo Map shows all four on one map. Loon Lake is to the east on Hwy 291; Tumtum is on the north shore of Spokane River; Fruitland is on the east shore of Lake Roosevelt/Columbia River.

I hadn’t heard of Springdale, WA until it hit the news that a family had its cabin stolen! A 10x20 foot cabin? The news called it a cabin, but feh family call it a shed. And it has been found! - News Tribune & photo of the “wanted" poster

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Whales taking fish off lines

In S and SE Alaska whales are taking caught fish right off the lines. Orcas to the west and sperm whales to the east. Quote: "Serm whales are the cleverest animals I have ever worked with." - Jan Straley, U of Alaska marine biologist.

Sea Times

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Obamacare enrollment dropped in Wa State

Obamacare enrollments increased 61% in federal-exchange states. Ok. They increased 12% in state-exchange states. Not so good by their own standards. Both since the end of enrollment in 2014.

But in Washington they dropped 2%. State officials called this "lackluster." But they don't care because they are enrolling people in welfare at high rates, that is, on MediCare. This attitude is attributed to Michael Marchand, spokesman for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which runs Healthplanfinder. Our bureaucrats seem to have perverse minds - happy to put people on welfare.

And their own goal was a substantial increase in Wa Obamacare enrollment. They failed at that.

Seattle Times

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Can Obama tell real Christians from those who claim to be?

President Obama is famed for being able to tell real Muslims from fake ones. Fake ones have Muslim names, claim to be Muslim and practice Islam.

The attack on Garissa University in NE Kenya was carried out by men who asked students if they were Christian or Muslim. They let the Muslims - whether real or not, those who claimed to be Muslim - he let them go. They killed the Christians. See also Associated Press.

In President Obama’s statement on this massacre he didn’t mention that the killers were Muslim. And he didn’t mention that the killed were Christians. Can he also tell real Christians from those who claim to be and practice Christianity? See it White House.

Ian Tuttle at National Review Online finds Obama’s logic to be consistent and absurd:

Recognizing the victims in Kenya or Egypt as Christians would require explaining why they were killed, which would draw the White House dangerously close to acknowledging that the “extremism” they so detest may, in fact, be of a particular religious flavor. But — and here is why the Ismailis, &c. appear — how could these extremists be Muslim if they are also killing Muslims!?

It all fits together. It’s all consistent. And it’s all deceitful.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Persecuted Church - Kenya university massacre stopped after 11 hours

Gunmen of an unknown religion who said they were Muslims entered a university campus and massacred students for eleven hours before the military arrived. The killers asked students if they were Christian or Muslim; Muslims were allowed to leave; Christians murdered. The killers were of Somali militant group Shabab.

No added security arrived for two hours and the attack wasn’t stopped for eleven hours.

After protests for better security in 2013 a high fence was built around the campus. Ironically it prevented students from escaping, but didn’t keep the killers out.

LA Times

There was also tension over the presence of a mosque on the campus, used by the local community to pray. Students protested that those using the mosque weren’t subject to security checks. Seeing it as an added source of insecurity, they called for it to be moved off campus.

It’s not that there is no support for Chistians in Kenya. After his election in 2013 President Uhuru Kenyatta said that Kenya is a Christian nation. God Reports and Christian News Why did his military allow the massacre to continue?

He is risen!

Goodlightscraps Easter

Today we remember Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and celebrate His resurrection.

No water rationing in dry Arizona

There is No water rationing in dry Arizona versus the “drastic” measure we are heading about in California. Arizona ia also suffering from drought.

Why? Because they planned!! Arizona’s water supply remains good, and there isn’t even a 50/50 chance for a “water shortage declaration” until 2017.

Breitbart

… 

Arizona Public Media reported that drought conditions continue in AZ, and the Colorado River is dwindling and expected “to keep dwindling, along with the aquifer it feeds.” Yet because AZ prepared for this, they have “more than a year’s worth” of water stored underground.

Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Tom Buschatzke said: “We have stored a lot of water underground, so for a point in time when we see shortages, we’ve got over three million acre-feet of water,” which is more than a year’s supply.

Buschatzke said AZ also lessened the strain on water supplies by putting “mandatory…conservation requirements in place” for “metropolitan parts of Arizona” when it was apparent drought conditions were approaching.

He said these choices put Arizona “in one of the better places you can be in right now in the western United States.”

Besides differing conservation approaches, the Arizona Republic previously reported that the differences in water supplies are based on infrastructure preparedness as well. To this point–AZ reservoirs are built to catch and store multiple years of runoff, while CA’s reservoirs are not.

Also Breitbart in February, 2014.

3D printed no-assembly

Wow. "No assembly required." For example a toy car with wind-up motor and gears. See it at:

Instructables

Shapeways

Friday, April 03, 2015

US remains out of the running in 2015 Index of Economic Freedom

2015 04 03 Heritage Heat Map

The United States remains out of the top ten in the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom assembled by Heritage Foundation. The index measures ten areas then combines them for a country’s overall rank. The US slightly improved in its composite score, but remains at #12. Until recent years we were always in the top five.

The top five are Hong Kong (that can’t last), Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Switzerland. Even Estonia and Mauritius (Hint: it’s near Reunion) are ahead of us.

 The Heat map of the data at Heritage allows interactive selection of any of the ten factors or the composite, overlaid on a map of the world. The graphic shown is the heat map for overall composite score.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

April Fools fun

Enhanced buzz April Fools

OK. I am a day late. But here is a page with 31 very fun pranks. For kids and the young at heart. For example: make “candied apples” using onions!

BuzzFeed

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Latin America challenged by information age

Latin America map obhe ac uk

I hope Latin America will wake up and adopt policies that allow its people to grow in knowledge and productivity. Because increasing their productivity will improve their lives, both in basic economic value and in quality. Not doing do will result in stagnation.

LAM has mixed economic growth to the point of making very little progress while most of the world races ahead. Productivity is little improved since the 1950s. [World Bank] As we know, the world is changing in how income is earned. LAM can greatly improve its competitiveness if regional and national leaders take adopt policies that allow and encourage business even when they do things completely differently. I hope they will.

Source: Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, calls the change the Second Machine Age, after a book of that title. (Why emphasize machines when it’s information processing that is driving the changes? Because of a book title, evidently.)

Projected Syndicate

… 

The MIT economists Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, among others, identify the Second Machine Age with the rise of new automation technologies and artificial intelligence. While optimists predict that these innovations will usher in an era of unprecedented abundance, less sanguine analysts estimate that nearly half of all jobs currently performed by humans are vulnerable to replacement by robots and increasingly sophisticated software. Carl Benedikt Frey

Advanced technologies are already making inroads into some of Latin America’s principal industries. For example, carmakers, which employ hundreds of thousands of people across the region, are rapidly deploying robots that are more efficient and precise than humans. In South America’s grain belt, GPS-guided machinery is diminishing the need for farmhands, even as output increases.

Service industries, which already account for two-thirds of all jobs in Latin America, are particularly vulnerable. One Brazilian startup’s tax-management software, for example, can perform in seconds operations that would demand thousands of billable hours from an army of accountants. Other sectors that currently account for a large share of employment in lower-income countries – including apparel, light manufacturing, logistics, and call centers – are forecast to undergo increasing automation.


Via WR Meade at The American Interest

Graphic from obhe.ac.uk “The Observatory." In the Caribbean they show Jamaica which is not “Latin."

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cold weather death toll 40,000 in UK alone

 Cold weather caused an added 40,000 deaths in the UK this year.

Telegraph UK

The cold weather death toll this winter is expected to top 40,000, the highest number for 15 years.
The figures were described as a “tragedy for the elderly” by campaigners who warned that not enough was being done to protect pensioners from unnecessary deaths in cold weather.

Malcolm Booth, chief executive of the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, said: “Excess winter deaths look like rising above the exceptional 2008-09 total and potentially reaching above 40,000 - and that is a disaster for the elderly in Britain.
“Winter deaths are a tragedy for families of those affected but it appears the underlying causes of these deaths have still not been properly addressed.

From the beginning of December until January 16, there were 8,800 more deaths than average of 25,000, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS)....

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Boycott Chicago, New Orleans and St. Louis before Indiana

All the good people are rushing to be the first to condemn Indiana for passing a law that says you can have religious values that actually mean something. Like your decisions are based on your values. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is off to a fast start. He went in to work on a nice Saturday to rush his announcement that he will ban city employees from traveling to Indiana. Seattle Times 

But Murray didn't announce that he will ban city employee travel to Chicago, New Orleans and St. Louis. They all in states that have laws to the same effect. And Pennsylvania, Virginia, Connecticut and Rhode Island and more, according to Chicago Tribune. And there is a national law, Religious Freedom Restoration Act, signed into law by Pres. Bill Clinton in 1993.

Chris Gahl, a vice president of Visit Indy, said the [Indiana] tourism agency was pointing out to convention planners that cities such as Chicago, New Orleans and St. Louis are in states that already have such religious-objections laws.

Seattle Times again.

ADDED: Hugh Hewitt succinctly covers (1) how LGBT has gone from wanting tolerance to wanting legal standing to now wanting government to force absolute equality on us. And (2) how the US has been well served by balance between state and church, but the LGBT wants to overthrow that balance by force of law.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Protectionism is trickle-down economics

When people propose to impose restrictions on trade their intent is to help the workers by preserving jobs and pay. But research finds that is not the result. Almost all the benefits go to the companies, not the workers. "But the companies might pass on the benefits," you say. They might, but it's up to owners/managers whether they trickle it down to their employees.

On the other hand, free-market capitalism most benefits those at the bottom. Then as they have more work and more pay they buy more and the benefits "trickle up." According to a study by William Nordhaus of Yale at NBER (pdf) only 2% of the value of technology advances go to the business owners; the rest to the workers.

Via A Force for Good