Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Skateboard-style car accident?

Skateboard-style car accident? And it killed a passenger. The car driver was trying a stunt they saw in a skateboarding movie. But he tried is a freeway speed while drunk.

Seattle Times

Monday, August 18, 2014

Empty Truck Putin

Russia President’s widely publicized convoy of 280 trucks carrying aid to Ukraine just fizzled. The trucks were almost empty!

While the 280 trucks sat at the Ukraine border awaiting entry dozens of reporters were there. They started asking questions. “Mr. Driver, what is in your truck?” Answer: “Nothing."

And while the reporters were there they saw multiple military convoys of armored vehicles easily cross the border into Ukraine. Shaun Walker of The Guardian saw a convoy of 23 cross which carried official Russian military license plates!

If Putin were serious about aiding Ukraine he would have given cash to an independent third party charity to deliver the aid. He just wanted a big show for several days.

Let’s call him “Empty Truck” Putin.

The Guardian UK

Via Forbes

Airbus A380 a ... not a success

Airbus introduced the giant-jumbo-mega A380, so it could rule the world of commercial aviation. But the bet wrong on the market and its sales are slow. The A380 program is unlikely to pay for its development costs.

It is a great aircraft and a marvel of design and manufacture.

Airbus bet that people would want to fly their mega marvel so much that they would choose to fly through major hubs like LAX, JFK, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Bangkok, etc. Versus a flight from closer to home, like to Tokyo from San Diego and Boston. Wrong. In fact, people will pay more to avoid a connection! On the other hand Boeing went for more flights by smaller aircraft and developed the 777 and 787 Dreamliner.

Airbus has sold 318 and deliver 138 to date; about 124 are in service. None has been lost due to accident or other cause. So they have a backlog of 180 aircraft. They can continue a comfortable delivery rate of 25 per month for seven plus years. That might be OK if they were expecting future orders, but industry followers don’t see much there.

And the current order book has one unusual risk - almost half the total 318 orders for for one airline. Emirates has ordered 140. Amazing!! But if Emirates gets in trouble the risk to A380 sales is huge. You know, spread your risk. (Not that they should turn down any order.) But it is a big risk for Airbus.

Seattle Times Read it.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

We have to worry about Ebola virus

Good news is allowed here, but we also have to consider real threats, and Ebola is one.

There is current danger (among others) that Ebola will spread to Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos is a chaotic, thriving mix of 22 million people. Ebola there would be a worldwide problem.

You might have the impression that an untested drug can stop it. But it is that - untested and not known to be effective. Second:  The US and Europe are safe because customs agents at airports will see people with symptoms and deny them entry. Picture this: Your job is to watch hundreds of persons per hour arriving at LAX airport and spot the ones who have symptoms of a disease you have barely heard of. You - you are not a trained health-care worker, but a lowest level customs agent trained to check documents and luggage. Impossible assignment.

And, despite Dan Brown’s Inferno, the World Health Organization does not have a massive airplane and a "medical SWAT team” on standby to be anywhere in the world in six hours to bring a quick end to any biological threat.

Lauraie Garrett reports at Council on Foreign Relations.

• •

I am going to send a donation to Samaritan’s Purse. They have people on the ground in Liberia, the country hit hardest. (And have been there for 10 years.)

Climate science does not support IPCC's conclusions

Climate science does not support IPCC's conclusions. 

AGW Medieval warming period to present

S. Fred Singer, the author, is a climate scientist. Here he digs deep into the two main issues and shows the the IPCC’s process takes the science out. It first finds what the science says, then hands that to a political committee who write a summary that tickles their political fancy.

IPCC finds only man-made source because it specifically considers only man-made sources. If there is a natural cause they won’t see it, because their own process says to not look there.

The two issuers: First, future temperatures: Is civilization threatened by warming caused by you and me? Second, sea-level rise: Will lower Manhatten and Seattle’s football and baseball stadiums be flooded in a few years? And again, it’s your fault.

Read Singer’s report atAmerican Thinker


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Chuckanut Drive and honeycomb-weathered rock

First, a report about a delightful kayak trip around Chuckanut Bay, south of Bellingham.

Seattle Times

They came upon most unusual rocks - that had weathered like honeycomb. The rock was marked by golf ball-sized cavities. They are called trafone (singular) or trafoni. Chuckanut has trafoni large enough to crawl inside.

Learn more about trafoni in the same area at NW Geology

Also look at the beautiful photo gallery of tafoni around the world at Tafoni.com.

US military is unable to fulfill the protection we need

The United States military is being starved of funding and is increasingly unable to fulfill the preparedness we need. So says a report by National Defense Panel, which was appointed by Congress. Chaired by Gen. Abizaid and Defense Secretary Perry.

Commentary Magazine

Such a group might be expected to endorse the status quo as the lowest-common-denominator option. But that’s not what they did. Instead they issued a blistering denunciation of the impact that budget cuts–amounting to a trillion dollars over 10 years–are having on the armed forces. These cuts, they warned, “constitute a serious strategic misstep on the part of the United States. Not only have they caused significant investment shortfalls in U.S. military readiness and both present and future capabilities, they have prompted our current and potential allies and adversaries to question our commitment and resolve. Unless reversed, these shortfalls will lead to a high risk force in the near future. That in turn will lead to an America that is not only less secure but also far less prosperous.”

The panel identified “disturbing” and “dangerous” gaps between the “capabilities and capacities” called for under the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review and the actual “budget resources made available to the [Defense] Department.” Specifically the panel determined that both the Navy and Air Force need to grow and the Army and Marine Corps should not shrink as much as currently envisioned.

The Navy, the panel noted, should have between 323 and 346 ships yet it is currently “on a budgetary path to 260 ships or less.”

The Air Force, the panel found, “now fields the smallest and oldest force of combat aircraft in its history” and that situation is going to get much worse because it is going to lose half of its current inventory of bombers, fighter aircraft, and surveillance aircraft by 2019. The panel called for an increase in “the number of manned and unmanned aircraft capable of conducting both ISR [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] and long range strike in contested airspace.”

The panel also found that currently contemplated reductions in Army end-strength go too far. “We believe the Army and the Marine Corps should not be reduced below their pre-9/11 end strengths–490,000 active-duty soldiers in the Army and 182,000 active Marines,” the panel concluded. Yet on the current trajectory the army is likely to wind up with 420,000 soldiers and the Corps with 175,000 marines.

The defense panel rightly warned that “sustaining these significant cuts to our defense budgets will not solve our fiscal woes, but will increasingly jeopardize our international defense posture and ultimately damage our security, prospects for economic growth, and other interests.”

National Journal

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Local people protect forests better

Local people preserve the environment better than government. Shock! But ... but ...

A study found that recognizing the property rights of local people protects resources from overexploitation. Environmentalists say that can't be true; they can do a better job than the people who live there, because they care more. And they know less about the land and resources. 


Thursday, August 07, 2014

Smoky the Bear lied to me

For decades Smoky the Bear told me "Only you can prevent forest fires," recently changed to wild fires. But he was lying to me.

I learned the truth when I was at the Marblemount ranger station waiting for a rescue (not in our party; we were helping others). In the morning the Forest Service people told us lightning had started 19 fires during the night. Lightning is NOT started by people! And today we learn that the Snag Canyon fire near Ellensburg was started by lightning.

Seattle Times


Everyone is exempt from Obamacare fines

Individual mandate? You can get a hardship exemption from buying Obamacare if you can't afford it. Circular causation. (I am not making this up!)

The exemptions from Obama's mandate climb. There are now 14 of them! Who is going to pay the fine for refusing Obama's insurance mandate? A few unlucky people - only a few.

The mandates to buy insurance are at the heart of Obamacare. It needs young people to buy it to subsidize the more expensive older people. Otherwise its costs will sky rocket. This is big trouble for the central dream if the "government can do everything better" crowd.

Wall Street Journal
Might require subscription.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Five ways Muslims helped build America and change our democracy

President Obama thanked Muslims for helping build the very fabric of America on Sunday. And “strengthening the core of democracy”?? Breitbart

How? Rober Spencer searched and found five ways they built and changed the core of our democracy - at PJ Media

5. The discovery of the Americas continents. Muslims blocked the trade routes from Europe to East Asia. So efforts were necessary to find alternative routes. Christopher Columbus went looking and found the Americas. 

4. Slavery. North Americans didn’t go around the jungles of Africa to capture black Africans to be slaves. They bought them. They bought them from black Africans. The African slave traders were Muslims. After all, the Koran condones slavery. Doubt it? The US outlawed slavery in 1863; Saudi Arabia in 1962.

3. US Marines got their first credit for combat bravery fighting the Barbary pirates in North Africa. You know “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli."

2. Dractically reduced economy. Thank Muslim Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda for the 9/11/2001 attacks. It cost them $500,000 to attack us and our economy has lost hugely from it - estimated at $500 BILLION. And our life is more hassled every day as a result.

1. The TSA. Flying used to be fun, even romantic. Now the robotic TSA agents hassle us with phony security measures. And if we look at them cross-eyed they can caused us hassle, delay, missed flights and every arrest. Again, thank Muslim Osama bin Laden

This is from Robert Spence, directer of Jihad Watch.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Oil shipped along Russia's Arctic coast - to Korea

In the “interesting geography department:”

Korea is taking advantage of increased Arctic shipping. Not above North America - the “Northwest Passage,” which is still frustrating boaters who think it thawing out, but along Russia’s Arctic, that Russia calls the Northern Sea Route. Wikipedia

Seattle Times - You have to read deep into the article to make the distinction above, because the writer never clarifies that they are not talking about the Northwest Passage:

Melting Arctic ice is widening a path for ships to deliver European oil to Asia, stoking South Korea’s ambition to become a regional storage and trading hub.

The country, whose proximity to China, Russia and Japan makes it an ideal conduit for oil arriving via the Arctic, plans to add tanks for storing almost 60 million barrels of crude and refined products by 2020, about the same as Singapore’s current capacity.

The nation also seeks to leverage its energy infrastructure, which includes five refineries, to become Northeast Asia’s oil hub, said Kim Jun-dong, the deputy minister of energy and resources policy.

Global temperatures are rising, breaking up polar ice and opening the Northern Sea Route to tanker traffic for a longer period than from July to October. It’s forecast to be ice-free for six months by 2020, boosting South Korea’s appeal for European cargoes that traders could potentially ship again to other Asian countries.

Friday, August 01, 2014

UN condemns Israel for not giving Missile defense to Hamas

Today the UN condemned Israel for not giving missile defense to Hamas. This is not The Onion.

In 1941 The League of Nations told the US to give its spy code books to Germany. Because it wasn't fair to have an advantage. The Onion.

Only the UN can be so absurd.

Washington Times

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said to members of the media at an “emergency” meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Council that Israel was falling short in its duty to protect citizens in the Gaza Strip from getting killed by its rockets.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Demo Rep admits immigration amnesty is for political purposes

Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Illinois gave away the game at a La Raza conference recently. Breitbart They are importing voters! Votes for the Democrats.

Investors Business Daily

"Now it is time for the president in the United States ... (to) free the mom and dads of the DREAMers and to go further — be broad and expansive and generous."

And just how many would he eventually like to sign up? "I think we can get 3 or 4, maybe even 5 million people," he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." If you can't persuade voters, you can always import them."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Ingenious bridges around the world

Langkawi Sky Bridge

A String bridge in Jerusalem.

A Rolling bridge in London.

Dragon bridge in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Spiral Nanbu bridge in Singapore.

Moses bridge in Netherlands - walk through the water.

Falkirk Wheel in Scotland - It also lifts boats with very little power required.

Langkawi Sky Bridge in Malaysia - walk above the tree tops.

Evergreen Point Floating Bridge from Seattle, Washington - longest floating bridge in the world.

From the Grapevine

But they omit the Amgen Helix Bridge in Seattle. See it at Empire Industries

Photo: Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia. From FromTheGrapevine.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Right to work in Michigan - incomes rise

Labor stronghold Michigan became a right-to-work state in December, 2012. (That is, union membership cannot be a requirement for employment. Voluntary, yes, but not required.) Doom was forecast - that wages would fall. Michigan Capital Conf But doom didn’t fall.

Wages in Michigan have risen since. Michigan Capitol Confidential:

Michigan’s per-capita personal income increased from $38,291 in 2012 (before right-to-work became law) to $39,215 in 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis. That increase was the ninth highest in the country.

Per-capita personal income includes income from all sources divided by the number of people in the state. Salaries and wages are a part of per-capita personal income, but it also includes dividends, interest, rent employee benefits and transfer payments like Social Security, unemployment and welfare.

“The dire predictions of right-to-work detractors have not come true — Michigan has been a leader in income growth since passage,” said James Hohman, assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

A study released this week by Richard Vedder, a distinguished professor of economics at Ohio University and an adjunct scholar with the American Enterprise Institute as well as with the Mackinac Center, found that “incomes rise following the passage of RTW laws, even after adjusting for substantial population growth that those laws also induce. RTW states tend to be vibrant and growing; non-RTW states tend to be stagnant and aging.”

The study states: “The evidence suggests that if non-RTW states had adopted RTW laws 35 years ago or so, income levels would be on the order of $3,000 per person higher today, with the overall effect varying somewhat from state to state.”

Via Thomas Lifson at American Thinker. He is a great source, a regular read for me.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Bellevue ignores cost of having light rail

Again, Bellevue thinks it would be cool to have trains to Seattle. But they don't want an ugly rail yard in their city. Bellevue Mayor Claudia Balducci voted against Sound Transit's choice of a Bellevue site near 120 Ave NE. And she had reasons to oppose that site.

Question Madam Mayor: What site do you prefer? Seattle's site can't handle the growth. Where on the east side would you put it?

Seattle Times

Why do we fund Planned Parenthood?

Why are your tax dollars paying for this? In Portland, Oregon a Planned Parenthood worker was filmed telling a 15-year-old girl that she might like Sado-masichistic sex. She even tells her where to buy the handcuffs used in s-m sex.

ObamaCare is paying PP for teen sex education.

Watch the video, since this is unbelievable. At PowerLine Blog

Daily Caller transcribes the dialogue.

Planned Parenthood (PDF) says they get $540 million per year government funding.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Envionmentalists want to kill capitalism

Environmentalists want to kill capitalism, no, they say they HAVE to kill capitalism. They met in socialist oil power Venezuela.

But the United Nations people convening the meeting were surprised to have many UN efforts condemned: cap-and-trade and forest conservation programs. And it is against the “green economy” efforts of richer nations like the US. The poorer nations want cash! Ithought this was about the environment, but it seems to be enriching governments. Many of those governments are one strong person. Give him the cash: Marduro in Venezuela, Morales in Bolivia and Castro brothers in power for 50 years; give the cash to them? How will that aid the environment?

Their report is Margarita Declaration. (PDF in Spanish)

Daily Caller