Monday, December 31, 2012

Our favorite beach in Cabo San Lucas Mexico

While looking for proof that it is raining in Cabo today (It was earlier) I found a webcam that shows our favorite beach. This is the Pacific Ocean beach that Solmar, Playa Grande and Hotel Finnesterra are on. The very "Land's End" of Baja California is the end of the rocks here. It is a great place for seeing whales in season and manta rays and flying fish in season. The beach drops very steeply, so swimming is not allowed.

This shot is looking east from an area of huge mansions in a neighborhood called Pedregal. This is one of the areas the mega-bucks people have their third or fourth or fifth huge home.

Villa Penasco Cam This is at a mansion for rent. Not in my price range! Its view includes a small part of the Cabo Marina's outside bay and shows a cruise ship today. Its clock is late by one hour (wrong time zone). Today it is not refreshing.

And another - Villa Bellissima Cam. Today it is refreshing every 15 seconds.

Photo: A screen capture just after sunrise I grabbed. Click to enlarge.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Construction in NY-NJ increased damage from storms

The politicians are trying to escape responsibility for their lack of planning by blaming global warming. However Hurricane Sandy's super storm was rare but not unprecedented. The East Coast should prepare for more storms like it and even larger ones - in 1938 the "Long Island Express" was a category 3 hurricane.

Example: Why did they allow placement of emergency generators in basements in areas known to be vulnerable to storm surges?

Furthermore the current and past leaders have allowed development that makes the risk of storm damage worse. They have narrowed the Hudson River recently by 700 feet; the East River and other channels also. This narrowing causes storms waters to move faster and farther inland, rising higher and causing more damage. Nanny Bloomberg shares the blame, so he must be busy thinking up new distractions.

Paul Driessen at Townhall
… If Sandy had been a category 3 hurricane like its 1938 ancestor, the devastation would have been of biblical proportions – as winds, waves and surges slammed into expensive homes, businesses and high-rises, and roared up waterways rendered progressively narrower by hundreds of construction projects. 
Lower Manhattan has doubled in width over the centuries. World Trade Center construction alone contributed 1.2 million cubic yards to build Battery Park City, narrowing the Hudson River by another 700 feet. The East River has likewise been hemmed in, while other water channels have been completely filled. Buildings, malls and raised roadways constructed on former potato fields, forests, grasslands and marshlands have further constricted passageways for storm surges and runoff. 
As a result, storms like Sandy or the Long Island Express send monstrous volumes of water up ever more confined corridors. With nowhere else to go, the surges rise higher, travel faster and pack more power. It’s elementary physics – which governors, mayors, planners and developers ignore at their peril. 
No wonder, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Cuomo and other politicos prefer to talk about global warming, rising seas and worsening weather – to deflect attention and blame from decisions that have put more people in the path of greater danger. Indeed, the very notion of packing more and more people into “sustainable, energy-efficient” coastal cities in the NY-NJ area is itself madness on steroids. 
Worst of all, politicians are increasingly and intentionally obscuring and misrepresenting the nature, frequency and severity of storm, flood and surge risks, so that they can promote and permit more construction in high-risk areas, and secure more money and power. They insist that they can prevent or control climate change and sea level rise, by regulating CO2 emission – while they ignore real, known dangers that have arisen before and will arise again, exacerbated by their politicized decisions. 
As a result, unsuspecting business and home owners continue to buy, build and rebuild in areas that are increasingly at risk from hurricanes, northeasters and “perfect storms” of natural and political events. And as the population density increases in this NY-NJ area, the ability to evacuate people plummets, especially when roadways, tunnels and other escape routes are submerged. Let the buyer beware. 
Sandy may have been a rare (but hardly unprecedented) confluence of weather events. But the political decisions and blame avoidance are an all-too-common confluence of human tendencies – worsened by the dogged determination of our ruling classes to acquire greater power and control, coupled with steadily declining transparency, accountability and liability.
The photo: Seaside, NJ. Getty images. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Starbucks gets political

Starbucks is directing its baristas in the DC area to write a political message on customers' cups this week - "Come together."

Howard Shultz on his blog:

In the spirit of the Holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together, we have a unique opportunity to unite and take action on an incredibly important topic. As many of you know, our elected officials in Washington D.C. have been unable to come together and compromise to solve the tremendously important, time-sensitive issue to fix the national debt. You can learn more about this impending crisis at www.fixthedebt.org.

Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity—and I believe a responsibility—to use our company’s scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue. This week through December 28, partners in our Washington D.C. area stores are writing “Come Together” on customers’ cups.

That is a change of direction. Has Starbucks put its political position in front of customers before? Well… a few years back they printed cups with quotes that tended toward the squishy left, but did have some balance.

Mickey Kaus says its creepy.

Kausfile at Daily Caller

“Room for smarm in your latte?” Isn’t there something creepy about Starbucks’ CEO Howard Schultz having [in Politico's words] “asked his Washington-area employees to write ‘Come Together’ on each customer cup today, tomorrow and Friday, as a gesture to urge leaders to resolve the fiscal cliff”? Did Schultz take a poll of his employees–sorry, “partners,” he calls them–before ordering pressuring asking them to join in this lobbying effort? What if he were, say, the CEO of Chick-fil-A and he “asked” his “partners” to write “Preserve the Family” on the outside of cups and containers?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas


Merry Christmas to you. God sent Jesus to Earth 2,000 years ago to allow us to come to Him.

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Emmanuel, which means God with us." - Matthew 1:23

Art work: Christmas card handmade by Ben last year, then age 5.

Greens fight green energy

The greenies are all for renewable energy until someone invests their time and money and takes a risk on it. Then they fight tooth-and-nail against the actual project. They find every imaginable objection. While still taking up the green dream - somewhere else.

In Port Townsend, WA, Port Townsend Paper wants to expand its existing biomass energy generation plant. The greenies fought and lost. But they have appealed and will continue to appeal and appeal. What do they want? The impossible, of course. To keep their lights on and drive their cars without any impact on the environment at all.

The company says the expansion will power 46,000 electric cars.

Peninsula Daily News:

The place where they have sited the project is environmentally unsound, something that needs to be taken into consideration for any new project,” [Gretchen Brewer of PT Airwatchers] said.

The biomass plant when constructed will provide an important source of alternative energy, mill officials said.

“We will continue to evaluate the co-gen project and other measures we can take to reduce our dependence on oil and ways to continue our progress with reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” the company said.

“The co-gen project would provide 25 megawatts of alternative green energy to the grid, which is the equivalent of more than half of Jefferson County’s electricity consumption [and] is enough to power 46,000 electric cars each year.”

Via Seattle Times.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Liberals want benefits for higher incomes

We can start cutting spending by agreeing across the aisle that taxpayer money go only to those who need it - those with problems and low incomes - not those with high incomes. We agree, right? Wrong.

First, the government-can-do-everything people see broader support for the policies of funding social programs if the payments are broader. Logical, though a very weak argument.

But it goes much farther. The liberal establishment is so intent on getting more and more people dependent on the government that they resist the common-sense test that taxpayer money not go to those far above the poverty line. It's for Solidarity, "we are all in this together." So if we go to the same socialized health care clinics then we suffer together. (But ObamaCare doesn't put you and your Congressman with the same doctors.) If we all cash Social Security checks together…. Come on, get real. There is no common experience in seeing our automatically deposited checks arriving once a month.

But it is part of their big picture. Everyone dependent.

Mickey Kaus at Daily Caller

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Very remote St. Helena Island to get an airport

The British placed Napoleon on St.Helena Island because it was so remote he could never escape; he died there. It is in the South Atlantic Ocean 800 miles from anything (the remote Ascension Islands) and almost twice as far from Angola on the mainland of Africa.

St. Helena's terrain is so rough that it has no airport. It's only contact with the world is RMS St. Helena, a mail ship that makes the 5-day voyage from Cape Town, South Africa about every three weeks. It formerly sailed from the UK, which was an epic voyage. That is, epic as in very long. RMS St. Helena

A huge change is coming with an airport being carved from the rock - to open in 2015 or 16.

Learmont blog at Flight Global

Photo: Jamestown, capital of St. Helena Island. From Wikimedia. Click to enlarge.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Yes there is vote fraud - Massachussetts

A Massachusetts state representative has admitted that he submitted false absentee ballot applications and cast invalid ballots in 2009 and 2010

TPM

A Massachusetts state representative has agreed to plead guilty to civil rights violations and resign from office for his role in submitting false absentee ballot applications and casting invalid ballots in 2009 and 2010, the Justice Department said in a news release Thursday.

Rep. Stephen Smith, 57, of Everett, Mass. will plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of deprivation of rights. Smith, who represents the 28th Middlesex District in Massachusetts, allegedly cast invalid absentee ballots for voters who were ineligible or unaware of ballots being cast in their names. The news release said "one or more government officials" helped Smith intercept the ballots before they were delivered to the voters, but it did not name the officials. ...

African nations start space programs

The nations in Africa are behind, but they are growing their economies. And getting into space is getting much cheaper.

Nigeria has two satellites in orbit to survey farm land. Ghana is converting a communications dish to a radio telescope. Uganda is aiming to orbit a camera.

But, you say, it's much cheaper to get images using Google Earth! And, of course, a nation can contract for images from the same sources Google uses. True, but it is very inspiring. In Uganda the director of its $45 million program Chris Nsamaba says "We're building this ourselves; we've never consulted anybody." (I would consult others.) He continued "In Uganda… we teach ourselves how to do something." Self sufficiency is very healthy, but you learn from others….

South Africa is a leader...

Wall Street Journal

… If all goes well, South Africa will convert idle antennas in Kenya, Zambia, and Madagascar into a continentwide network of telescopes. That would be a prelude for the Square Kilometer Array—a $1.87 billion telescope nest, the world's biggest, based in South Africa.

Come 2025, South Africa would like to build at least one other, much more sophisticated telescope up in Ghana's north for the array. Scientists at that facility would track radiation hinting at how the universe began, says Ms. Loots, who is an associate director for the Square Kilometer Array.

But first, Ghana's Space Center needs a good welder to mend bolts on the Nkuntese dish. The preferred candidate let his certification expire and needs cash for his recertification test...

Ah… reality.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The history of American prosperity

The US first led the world in per capita income around 1830. But Europe didn't realize they were behind until 1904.

The US is still the largest by 2 to one over China. Why? It started with shortage of labor which caused high pay and the need for high productivity which caused a wave of creativity in business processes. The result - lower prices. And prosperity!!

There is more to it. I have to study this more.

City Journal

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Enjoy sailing - jump your car onto the beach

A man nicknamed Admiral so enjoyed the rush of a day of sailing in the San Juan Islands he decided to jump his car. Onto the beach in Port Townsend, Washington December 8, 2012. He said he didn't feel drunk.

No Darwin award; he had only minor injuries. You have to die young to earn a Darwin award.

Port Townsend Leader

Mental Illness over mental health

Herschel Hardin goes into detail about the need to treat those with the greatest needs, rather than spread the tax dollars over feel-good programs.

Mental Illness Policy

The public is growing increasingly confused by how we treat the mentally ill. More and more, the mentally ill are showing up in the streets, badly in need of help. Incidents of illness-driven violence are being reported regularly, incidents which common sense tells us could easily be avoided. And this is just the visible tip of the greater tragedy - of many more sufferers deteriorating in the shadows and often, committing suicide.

People asked in perplexed astonishment: " Why don't we provide the treatment, when the need is so obvious?" Yet every such cry of anguish is met with the rejoinder that unrequested intervention is an infringement of civil liberties. This stops everything.

Civil Liberties, after all, are a fundamental part of our democratic society. The rhetoric and lobbying results in legislative obstacles to timely and adequate treatment, and the psychiatric community is cowed by the anti-treatment climate produced. Here is the Kafkaesque irony: Far from respecting civil liberties, legal obstacles to treatment limit or destroy the liberty of the person. The best example concerns schizophrenia.

The most chronic and disabling of the major mental illnesses, schizophrenia involves a chemical imbalance in the brain, alleviated in most cases by medication. Symptoms can include confusion; inability to concentrate, to think abstractly, or to plan; thought disorder to the point of raving babble; delusions and hallucinations; and variations such as paranoia. Untreated, the disease is ravaging. Its victims cannot work or care for themselves. They may think they are other people - usually historical or cultural characters such as Jesus Christ or John Lennon - or otherwise lose their sense of identity. They find it hard or impossible to live with others, and they may become hostile and threatening. They can end up living in the most degraded, shocking circumstances, voiding in their own clothes, living in rooms overrun by rodents - or in the streets. They often deteriorate physically, losing weight and suffering corresponding malnutrition, rotting teeth and skin sores. They become particularly vulnerable to injury and abuse.

Tormented by voices, or in the grip of paranoia, they may commit suicide or violence upon others.

Read the whole thing. It's not real long.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Bloomberg cooked poll results

Bloomberg New partisan? They commissioned a poll, then only showed the side they liked.

Daily Caller

A poll conducted last week by an Iowa-based firm showed Americans are conflicted about whether or not to support raising tax rates on wealthy Americans to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” But that’s not how Bloomberg News, which commissioned the poll, reported the results Thursday.

In a story headlined “Americans Back Obama Tax-Rate Boost Tied to Entitlements,” Bloomberg emphasized only that the poll showed most Americans support President Barack Obama’s insistence on increasing taxes for high-income earners.

“A majority of Americans say President Barack Obama is right to demand that tax-rate increases for the highest earners be a precondition for a budget deal that cuts U.S. entitlement programs,” the story, written by reporter Julie Hirschfeld Davis, began.

The poll asked respondents, “President Obama has said he will not negotiate with Republicans on cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare, until they agree to raise tax rates on the wealthy. Do you think he is right or wrong to insist on that as a precondition to broader negotiations?”

As Bloomberg reported in its story, 58 percent percent of respondents indicated that the president was “right” to insist on the precondition, while 37 percent said he was “wrong.”


But in the same poll, American adults were asked “whether it is better to raise the top tax rate the wealthy pay, or to limit the amount people can claim in tax breaks, such as mortgage interest and charitable contributions, so they end up paying tax on a bigger share of their income.”


Fifty-two percent responded that they preferred limited tax breaks to a tax-rate hike. Only 39 percent said they would rather see tax rates on the wealthy increase. Nine percent indicated they weren’t sure.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's obvious - Bipartisan takeover

Danny Westneat noticed the obvious. The bipartisan coalition formed in the Washington Senate is about money.

Sea Times

They can't spend a billion more than is coming in. Tim Eyman beat them again with an initiative requiring a super-majority or vote of the people to raise taxes. And won in all 39 counties. Grrrrr.

But he still gives vent to Democrat leader Pelz saying its a personal problem. Well ... He says personnel but anyone standing in the way of his overspending...

I am not putting this on Sound Politics because we are in Cabo SL Mexico w poor service.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Hope for Washington

A bipartisan coalition got control of the Washington Senate. For one purpose. A responsible budget.
Seattle Times

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Most-open administration's pattern of secrecy

More in sorrow than anger. The establishment Wash Post discovers that Obama has not lived up to his promise to be "the most-open administration ever." Indeed, He is far, far from His promises.

Dana Milbank at Wash Post

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Obama broke his promise to help NJ & NY Sandy victims

Obama promised to get FEMA and other parts of his administration to cut red tape and be quick in responding to victims of Hurricane Sandy. But He didn't.

Hillary Clinton has an explanation. That was a campaign promise. During campaigns sometimes we over do things. - As I recall her response to a student in another country.

AP/CBS/ABC/NBC might want to ask Him why he didn't do what he promised.

Fox News

Storm-ravaged New Yorkers say President Obama’s promise to cut red tape and get them aid in the aftermath of Sandy has proven to be hot air.

Angry citizens vented at FEMA officials at a town hall meeting held by the disaster relief agency Thursday, with tempers boiling over. Some 1,000 people, many left homeless by the Oct. 29 storm, attended the meeting at Staten Island’s New Dorp High School. They were initially scheduled to submit written questions that would be picked and answered at random, but the session turned into an angry shouting match where residents booed FEMA officials and accused them of lying.

… Obama addressed the nation from FEMA headquarters in Washington on Nov. 3, promising to cut red tape and bring the full force of FEMA to hard-hit residents.

"What I told the governors and the mayors is what I've been saying to my team since the start of this event, and that is we don't have any patience for bureaucracy, we don't have any patience for red tape, and we want to make sure that we are figuring out a way to get to yes, as opposed to no, when it comes to these problems," Obama said.

On Nov. 15, Obama came to Staten Island, where he repeated his pledge.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wealthy Clinton's won't pay their debt

Bill Clinton is proud to mention he is wealthy. Now he is asking you to pay off Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign debt. So she will be able to run for president when she will be Social Security age in 2016.

Politico

Monday, November 26, 2012

Don't cooperate with ObamaCare

Republican governors should Let Obama's bureaucrats make a mess of ObamaCare. And block his IPAB board members.

Good ideas from Wesley J Smith at The Corner

The Hill has an interesting story reporting on Republican governors refusing to set up state exchanges under Obamacare — which could save the states money since they are on the hook for costs in excess of federal grants. That means the feds will have to do it on a state-by-state basis, a daunting task even for this highly bureaucratic administration. Plus, it is perfectly legal under the law to engage in such passive resistance.

Some liberals say that approach isn’t conservative because, in effect, it allows the feds to run state health care. (As if they care!) I’m not buying. In case anyone hasn’t noticed, HHS already does run health care nationally about issues important to the Obama political coalition — as in free-birth-control rule, with more of the same no doubt coming soon. Indeed, Obamacare was designed to allow the technocracy to create entitlements nationally on the dimes of the private sector, while guaranteeing the employment of ever more technocrats.

After an appalling and incoherent Supreme Court ruling and the recent election, it does seem now that utter legal non cooperation is the only way remaining to impede the Leviathan. Here’s another suggestion: Senate Republicans should filibuster confirmation of the soon-to-be-nominated members of the Independent Payment Advisory Board. No board, no IPAB autocracy. Of course, the president might then make a non-recess recess appointment, but that opens any action taken by IPAB to legal attack.

So, stalwart Obamacare opponents, time for some good old fashioned passive resistance. Go limp. For those on the political left who object to such blatant obstructionism, I have two words for you: sanctuary cities.

More fossils in Congress

The average age of top Democratic leadership in the US House of Representatives is 72.5. Chucky Schumer, 62, and Harry Reid, 72, want the Senate to match the House. They are facing the expected retirement of

Frank Lautenberg, 88

Jay Rockefeller, 75

Tom Harkin, 73

and Tim Johnson 65

Fossil Carl Levin of Michigan, age 78, is expected to run for reelection.

Lautenberg would be expected to be replaced by another Democrat. But the other three are vulnerable - average age 71. They might be replaced by younger Republicans.

Keep your fossils, Chucky. They get more out of touch with voters every year, but that makes them easier for Harry to control.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bellevue wants a train, but not an ugly place to store it

Bellevue thinks it would be really cool to have a light-rail train coming to it from Seattle. (Or vice versa; they are very sensitive about comparisons to Seattle.) But they want the ugly place to store the trains somewhere else. Indeed, they just can't imagine anyone would think of putting the storage yard where it belongs - in Bellevue!

Get it? When you are putting in a new line the best place to store the trains is way out on that new line, not in the central city. To the Bellevue City Council it came natural to pretend the trains would magically appear from no where - pretend for years.

Seattle Times

Ah… At the end of the article is a guy who stumbled on a solution:

But Councilman John Stokes doesn't think the projects necessarily have to be combined — especially if that would delay rail service. "I don't see why there would be any advantage to us delaying those things at this point unless you just don't want the light rail," he said.

No place to store the train then no train.

Higher Education Bubble - dropouts

As the cost of college has gone up students borrow more, then the cost goes up more. Because the traffic will bear it. And the federal government is pumping harder and harder.

But what if you borrow for classes, then economic reality causes you to drop out? You have college debts, but no degree and no access to the better paying jobs.

Wall Street Journal (subscription might be required)
According to a 2011 study by the Institute for Higher Education Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based research firm, 58% of the 1.8 million borrowers whose student loans were began to be due in 2005 hadn't received a degree. Some 59% of them were delinquent on their loans or had already defaulted, compared with 38% of college graduates. The problem has almost certainly worsened since, as the recession wiped out job opportunities for less-educated workers.
The cartoon: Parker in Florida Today. Click to enlarge.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Guess which country lowered its carbon emissions most

Would you guess the United States of America? Yes. The USA lowered its carbon emissions the most over the past six years; that's the years since Kyoto Protocol went into effect. Blame Bush. President Bush and the US were vilified for not ratifying Kyoto. Instead we got results. [Update: Graphic added.]
But the UN is not happy with mere results; they want more talk!
Michigan Capital Confidential
Over the past six years, the United States has reduced its carbon emissions more than any other nation in the world.
Efforts to curb so-called man-made climate change had little or nothing to do with it. Government mandated "green" energy didn't cause the reductions. Neither did environmentalist pressure. And the U.S. did not go along with the Kyoto Protocol to radically cut CO2 emissions. Instead, the drop came about through market forces and technological advances, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.
Breakthroughs in how natural gas is extracted from underground shale formations were the key factors that led to the reductions, the report said. Natural gas has a low carbon footprint and is widely available in the United States. As a result, entrepreneurs are flocking to extract it from new areas.
"It's good news and good news doesn't get reported as much,” John Griffin, executive director of Associated Petroleum Industries of Michigan, said of the lack of reporting about the CO2 reductions. "The mainstream media doesn't want to report these kinds of things."
But the UN is not happy with these results; they want more talk, more meetings, more declarations.
UN climate bureaucrat-in-charge Christiana Figueres hopes Hurricane Sandy will wake up the US and get us to her meetings. Successful results only count when the ring is kissed.
Washington Examiner
Christiana Figueres, who leads the United Nations negotiations to get governments to reduce carbon emissions in the world, regards Hurricane Sandy as “yet another wake-up call” for Americans to get on board with her climate change policy.
“Yes, I certainly do think that this is yet another wake-up call,” Figueres said of Hurricane Sandy to Yale Environment 360 in an interview published by The Guardian.”I did hear President Obama say quite categorically in his acceptance speech that he is not going to have a future that is threatened by increasing warming . . . I do think that this mirrors the growing awareness in the United States. So I do think that Sandy has contributed to this. Is it the tipping point? That remains to be seen.”
Figueres also spoke if international frustration with the United States for failing to sign onto UN global warming initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol.
“[I]f the United States does not strengthen its participation in the global climate regime under the newly re-elected president I think there will be increased frustration with the United States,” she said.

Job-killing policies such as cap-and-trade, which would limit and tax carbon emissions in the United States, died in 2010 due to the harm it would cause the economy. Figueres, though… [blah blah blah]
See also: Lowest energy-related CO2 emissions in 20 years. NY Times. The graphic on this page shows that "lowest in 20 years" means just that, comparing the first quarter in every year.
This isn't a "Sound" topic, but there is a shortage of reporting good news on the enviro scene.

Cross posted on Economic Freedom.

Mayor Bloomberg's hair net

Does Bloomberg wear his hairnet when he serves food in NYC disaster areas? BUZZ - Question is based on the false assumption that he does something besides jet off to Bermuda at every disaster.

But he will fine your organization if you don't.

Fox News

The New York City Department of Health has been dispatching workers to storm-ravaged areas across the five boroughs as part of an outreach to ensure that volunteers are informed on proper food-handling and other safety issues.

But the presence of health officials has caused some confusion as to where the city is drawing the line between advisement and enforcement.

Bobby Eustace, an 11-year veteran with the city's fire department tells FoxNews.com that on Sunday he and his fellow firefighters from Ladder 27 in the Bronx were issued a notice of violation for not maintaining restaurant standards in a tent set up in Breezy Point, Queens, to feed victims and first responders.

“It’s just a little ridiculous. The inspector came up and asked if we were wearing hairnets. I told him, ‘We have helmets. This is a disaster area,’” Eustace told FoxNews.com. “Then he asked is we had gloves and thermometers [for food]. I said, “Yeah, we have rectal and oral. Which one do you want?’ He wasn’t amused.”

Eustace says that the Health Department worker then checked off a list of violations at the relief tent, including not having an HVAC system and fire extinguisher.

“He told us that he might come back to see if we fixed the violations.

Of course Nanny Bloomberg's PR people say the volunteers don't understand what is going on. But he set the nanny standard; his employees are following him.

Via Instapundit

Obama believes in 6-day creation

Was it Senator Rubio? No. The One himself.

Slate

And here's then-Sen. Obama, D-Ill., speaking at the Compassion Forum at Messiah College in Grantham, Pa. on April 13, 2008:

Q: Senator, if one of your daughters asked you—and maybe they already have—“Daddy, did god really create the world in 6 days?,” what would you say?

A: What I've said to them is that I believe that God created the universe and that the six days in the Bible may not be six days as we understand it … it may not be 24-hour days, and that's what I believe. I know there's always a debate between those who read the Bible literally and those who don't, and I think it's a legitimate debate within the Christian community of which I'm a part. My belief is that the story that the Bible tells about God creating this magnificent Earth on which we live—that is essentially true, that is fundamentally true. Now, whether it happened exactly as we might understand it reading the text of the Bible: That, I don't presume to know.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bipartsian leadership in Washington Senate

Everyone wants bipartisan government - when it doesn't count. Now it is happening in the Washington Senate. Last March three Senate Democrats joined the Republicans to forge and pass a budget. See Olympia's Democrats Throw a Childish Hissy-Fit. And current developments are even more astounding.

Republicans and Democrats together might elect the majority leader! Senator Rodney Tom (D - Medina) has put together a coalition of himself, Sen. Tim Sheldon (D - Shelton) and the Republicans. Their third Democrat Jim Kastama of Puyallup didn't run for reelection and was replaced by Bruce Dammeier, a Republican. Now everyone is waiting for the final count of Senator Don Carlson vs. Tim Probst, where Benton is 100 votes ahead, but they are still counting.

Tom has the votes to win. Who is opposed to bipartisan leadership?

Senator Tom began his Legilative career as a Republican, but switched to Democrat. He has a record of thoughtful leadership on the budget, against the Chopp-Gregoire-Brown "spend, spend, spend. Oh, we were surprised by a deficit!" herd.

Seattle Times

Tacoma News-Tribune

Washington State Wire

John Carlson on KVI 570 radio

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Want to pay for more renewable energy?

Seattleites: Want to pay for more renewable energy? Every month? It's voluntarily.

Seattle now gets 96.5% of its electricity from renewable sources. Don't you want it to be higher? I don't see the problem.

I live outside the city limits, but we get our electricity from Seattle Light. So a couple weeks ago I got a mailing showing the very, very happy owner of a wind farm and telling me about the problem.

"However, while hydro electricity is renewable and low cost, it is not infinite."

Oh… It's not infinite. So disappointed. Nothing is infinite! That's life! But we have a lot of it and we are buying wind power also. But now Seattle is allowing its electricity customers to voluntarily pay $3, $6 or $12 per month to keep that 96.5% from falling. No thanks.

The graphic: the right column shows the power sources in 2012: Hydro 92.4 plus wind 4.1 = 96.5%.

Disgusting Jerramy Stevens

Husky star and Seahawks star tight end Jerramy Stevens. Year after year he committed crimes but was let off.

Prosecutor Norm Maling protected him by chewing out the prosecutor who brought charges against him. AD Barbara Hedges protected him. Coach Rick Neuheisel - may his name live in infamy - protected him. Judges gave him below-minimum sentences or delayed sentence until after football season..

Seattle Times

[Correcting misspelled title!]

Veterans Day

Today we remember the end of World War I - "The Great War" - and honor all veterans.

John Singer Sargent was an American born in Italy who never lived in the US. He was very talented and a hard worker. He got in the sweet spot of painter of portraits for high society - good money and status - and was a huge success. He was asked by Prime Minister David Lloyd George to do a grand painting showing British and American troops together in action. So went to the front in July, 1918, while fighting continued.

He was very touched when he saw soldiers wounded by mustard gas. This powerful painting resulted. It's not heroic at all, but shows the pain of war.

And… I will place a flag at Acacia Cemetery in Lake Forest Park in memory of Harvey C Roys, Jr., my father-in-law, who attended medical school during WW II, finishing in time to see action in the invasion of Okinawa.

[Oops. Didn't post on the day.] The photo: Wall Street Journal. I think this is full size.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Camp stove that charges phones!?

Yes. A camping stove that charges cell phones.
In NY after Sandy… Daily Beast
… And on the ground level, one of the most useful tools to emerge is a genius new spin on the most basic of emergency devices: the campfire.
The BioLite CampStove is about the size of a coffee urn. Developed as the hot new toy for hikers, the stove houses a small fire that burns from hunter-gatherer fuel sources—dry twigs, pinecones—and, in addition to warmth, generates electricity for users to charge mobile devices. You can cook on it, too. But with hundreds of thousands of people without power for days following the wrath of Sandy, and many in the New York region still in the dark, a serendipitous new function of the CampStove—disaster relief—has come to light.
“We realized some of these applications while we were developing it,” Erica Rosen, director of marketing at BioLite, tells The Daily Beast. “But it has really come front and center in the last week.”
The Wednesday after Sandy struck, a group of three BioLite engineers packed a car with four CampStoves and a folding table and drove to Lower Manhattan, where there was still no power, and set up a charging station outside Washington Square Park. They made a handwritten sign—“Come charge your phones for free and drink some tea while you’re waiting”—and quickly amassed a crowd of local residents toting dead phones who couldn’t believe their luck. Finally, a way to charge their cells and reopen crucial lines of communication with family and friends.
“One person was like, ‘Just let me know when this company goes public. I want to pour my life savings into it,’” Nissan Lerea, one of the BioLite product engineers who manned the charging station, says. “A lot of people wanted to buy the stoves from us right then and there, but we weren’t selling it. One person offered to buy it used on the spot.”
The manufacturer - Biolite CampStove. Note that its fuel is wood you find, not white gas or propane.

Interior Dept to reduce US oil lands available

True, but …

During the election Obama talked about how oil production increased while he was president [What did he do about it?] and won. Now that the votes have been counted Obama can show his real priorities. He is ruling out oil production in a huge area of the US West.

But this is oil shale, not the more common oil formations or the tight rock containing oil where fracking is used. There is little production in oil shale (though it was first used before 1850) because high temperatures are involved and it's not economical at $100 per barrel. So the immediate impact is not so big.

The Hill
The Interior Department on Friday [November 9] issued a final plan to close 1.6 million acres of federal land in the West originally slated for oil shale development. 
The proposed plan would fence off a majority of the initial blueprint laid out in the final days of the George W. Bush administration. It faces a 30-day protest period and a 60-day process to ensure it is consistent with local and state policies. After that, the department would render a decision for implementation. 
The move is sure to rankle Republicans, who say President Obama’s grip on fossil fuel drilling in federal lands is too tight. 
Interior’s Bureau of Land Management cited environmental concerns for the proposed changes. Among other things, it excised lands with “wilderness characteristics” and areas that conflicted with sage grouse habitats. 
Under the plan, 677,000 acres in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming would be open for oil shale exploration. Another 130,000 acres in Utah would be set aside for tar sands production. 
The administration and Democrats said that while the plan would curtail what was originally sought for oil shale development, it still opens up a significant amount of land that was previously unavailable for the energy production method. 
The administration noted the plan pushed forward Friday also included two research, development and demonstration (RD&D) leases for oil shale development.
"The proposed plan supports the Administration’s all-of-the-above approach to explore the full potential our nation’s domestic energy resources and to develop innovative technology and techniques that will lead to safe and responsible production of resources, including oil shale and tar sands, which industry recognizes are years from being commercially viable, but require RD&D today," Interior spokesman Blake Androff said. 
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) praised the plan, saying the administration exercised the right amount of caution on oil shale development, which has not yet been brought to commercial scale and brings concerns about the amount of water used in the practice.
"I am glad the Interior Department is taking measured steps to encourage research and development of our oil shale resources. With water being one of our most precious commodities in the West, I have concerns about the potential impacts of commercial oil shale development. Nonetheless, I look forward to seeing this technology explored further," Udall said in a Friday statement 
Oil shale development is not to be confused with drilling into shale formations for oil and natural gas. The practice, which involves separating hydrocarbons bound up in rocks, has not been widely executed since Exxon's failed Colorado venture in the 1980s.
Bobby McEnaney, senior lands analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, praised Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for the proposed final plan. 
“By significantly reducing the acreage of wilderness potentially available for leasing, Secretary Salazar is laying out a creative, thoughtful and more responsible approach in managing some of our most precious resources,” McEnaney said in a Friday statement.
Congressional Republicans are not likely to be as pleased. 
GOP lawmakers, along with some Democrats, have pushed for more fossil fuel production in the West. Republicans have led the charge, saying Obama’s policies on fossil fuel drilling on federal lands are too restrictive. 
While Obama notes domestic oil-and-gas production has increased during his administration, Republicans contend that it is activity on private and state land that is driving the boost. They point to this year’s dip in oil-and-gas production on federal land — though levels are still higher than they were during the Bush administration. 
The Congressional Western Caucus released a report in August to deliver that message.
“This proposal will place further limitations on the exploration and development of our country’s natural resources and is yet another example of how this administration continues to stand in the way of North American energy independence," Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), the chairman of House Energy and Commerce's subcommittee on Energy and Power, said in a statement to The Hill. 
Oil and gas lobby the American Petroleum Institute, an ally of congressional Republicans, slammed the decision.
Jack Gerard, the group's chief, said Thursday he would take a "wait-and-see" approach to Obama's second term to gauge whether he would live up to campaign rhetoric in which he praised the domestic oil-and-gas industry. 
Reid Porter, the lobby's spokesman, said Friday's news was a disappointing sign from the administration. 
“This is another step in the wrong direction that limits development and investment in one of the nation’s most energy-rich areas and goes against a prior government decision that would allow for research and development over a much wider geographical area. Just days after the election this decision by the administration sends negative signals to industry and capital markets at a time when we need to encourage growth and innovation in the U.S.," Porter said in a statement to The Hill.
The graphic is from CNN Money. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

FEMA disaster centers closed due to weather

Obama adminsitration at its best. You can't make this stuff up. Obama really closed the disaster center due to rain.

DNAinfo.com NY

TOTTENVILLE — They fly into disaster areas, but flee from raindrops.

FEMA disaster recovery centers in Hurricane Sandy-ravaged sections of the city that were supposed to provide assistance to hurricane victims went MIA Wednesday morning, posting signs saying that they were closed due to the approaching Nor'easter.

The temporary shuttering of the facilities, which help victims register for disaster relief, as well as city food distribution centers come even as many of those still reeling from the monster storm were not told that they had to leave the battered areas.

On Tuesday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that residents in the low-lying portions of Staten Island, Queens and Brooklyn were advised to leave ahead of the nor'easter, which could hit the city with 60 mph gusts and several inches of rain Wednesday afternoon, but that the evacuation was not mandatory like the one issued for all of Zone A ahead of Sandy.

“We do not believe that it’s necessary to evacuate people,” said the mayor Wednesday.

No. Don't evacuate residents. But do evacuate the "disaster responders." Including the food distribution centers.

Monday, November 05, 2012

IRS admits churches can speak on politics

Liberal groups have been intimidating churches for decades, sending letters claiming any church that allows political speech will lose their tax-exempt status - ACLU, Barry Lynn's American United for Separation of Church and State and PFAW. But they are wrong. No church has ever lost its tax-exempt status for political speech. And now the IRS is blowing the whistle on the anti-church bunch.

CNS News

… The left has cried wolf far too many times. No one will come running. Especially not the IRS.

That’s because churches, unlike other nonprofit organizations, don’t need a letter of tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service. Churches are constitutionally tax-exempt simply by virtue of existence. It’s automatic. The only way the IRS could revoke a church’s tax-exempt status would be to disband the church, which, obviously, the government has no authority to do. It’s simple. Pastors, if you get a letter from the ACLU, PFAW or AU, I suggest a singular use for it: bird-cage liner.

Keeping all this in mind, something I’ve long expected has finally occurred. A little over a week ago, the IRS ran up the white flag. [The Blaze] That bureaucratic bully we all love to hate announced that, for the indefinite future, it is “holding any potential church audits in abeyance,” for violating its arbitrary “no politicking” rule.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Professionals leaving China for better prospects

Do you think China is about to run away with all the glory - economic and rising military power? People who live there don't agree. They look at all the problems - huge very-low-income population, bad air and other environmental problems, unstable rule by 20 men - and look for a way out.

NYT

BEIJING — At 30, Chen Kuo had what many Chinese dream of: her own apartment and a well-paying job at a multinational corporation. But in mid-October, Ms. Chen boarded a midnight flight for Australia to begin a new life with no sure prospects.

Like hundreds of thousands of Chinese who leave each year, she was driven by an overriding sense that she could do better outside China. Despite China’s tremendous economic successes in recent years, she was lured by Australia’s healthier environment, robust social services and the freedom to start a family in a country that guarantees religious freedoms.

“It’s very stressful in China — sometimes I was working 128 hours a week for my auditing company,” Ms. Chen said in her Beijing apartment a few hours before leaving. “And it will be easier raising my children as Christians abroad. It is more free in Australia.”

As China’s Communist Party prepares a momentous leadership change in early November, it is losing skilled professionals like Ms. Chen in record numbers. In 2010, the last year for which complete statistics are available, 508,000 Chinese left for the 34 developed countries that make up the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. That is a 45 percent increase over 2000.

Individual countries report the trend continuing. In 2011, the United States received 87,000 permanent residents from China, up from 70,000 the year before. Chinese immigrants are driving real estate booms in places as varied as Midtown Manhattan, where some enterprising agents are learning Mandarin, to the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which offers a route to a European Union passport.

Few emigrants from China cite politics, but it underlies many of their concerns. They talk about a development-at-all-costs strategy that has ruined the environment, as well as a deteriorating social and moral fabric that makes China feel like a chillier place than when they were growing up. Over all, there is a sense that despite all the gains in recent decades, China’s political and social trajectory is still highly uncertain.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Rob McKenna because he will be a better governor, not because Metro employee stole his signs

Vote for Rob McKenna because he will be a better governor - Sea Times - National Federation of Small Business - WA Realtors - Veterans - not because a Metro Transit worker was photographed stealing and destroying his yard signs.

Seattle Times headline: "Metro warns workers on political activity"

Why can't the Sea Times have a headline saying "Metro Transit worker(s) seen stealing Rob McKenna signs"? Times:

… Paul Bachtel, president and business representative of the ATU [union] local, initially said it appeared the photos had been fabricated by McKenna supporters to discredit Inslee. He later told Thomas in an email that Metro had identified the person with the signs was a McKenna supporter who was was trying to protect the signs and who will “suffer the consequences” for violating Metro policy.

… Metro spokesman Jeff Switzer said he couldn’t confirm that Metro had identified the man with the signs because the investigation is continuing.

Bush tried to repair NE electric grid

President Bush''s Dept of Energy saw the problems with the NE US electric grid and proposed solutions in 2002. Why didn't Washington work with him to improve on this known problem?

American Thinker

Democrats rejected plans to upgrade the electrical grid system in the country because they believed Bush and Cheney were just rewarding "cronies" who helped get them elected (sort of like Obama giving billions to now bankrupt solar companies whose CEOs supported his election). Here (PDF) is the Bush Administration report advocating for upgrades. Too bad its implementation was blocked by Dems in Congress.

But the Dem action in this case is just par for the course. Soon after the election of George W. Bush, plans were being hatched to derail any energy plan that the dastardly "oil men" were to send to Capitol Hill, as this 2001 LA Times article reports.

UW engineering students - 3D printer for rural Mexico

Three UW undergraduate engineering students have devised a large-scale 3D printer that uses the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in milk jugs. They can devise and make all sorts of things - from discarded milk jugs.

Amazing people. They are not typical undergrads. Matthew Rogge, after years working in the Peace Corps in third-world countries, saw an opportunity, but needed more technical education, so he went to UW he is 36.

Seattle Times

They've developed an inexpensive 3-D printer that can turn shredded, melted plastic waste into just about anything.

3-D printers have been around for at least 25 years, although they have become more widely available, better-known and cheaper in recent years. They use computer-aided design to create three-dimensional objects by laying down super-thin layers of a material, such as plastic, much like a regular printer lays down ink.

But until now, nobody had figured out how to cheaply build a large-scale printer that used recycled plastic as its raw material, said UW mechanical-engineering professor Mark Ganter.

"They're amazing students just to start with," he said of the team. "They have a very clear vision of how to marry 3-D printing into what could help a developing country."

The unlikely trio — in addition to Rogge, the team is made up of a former Japanese major and a blacksmith — are all pursuing undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering. They'll use the $100,000 prize money to build low-cost 3-D printers that can make large objects, including composting toilets and rain-catchment systems, in the mountainous state of Oaxaca in southwestern Mexico, which has a large population of indigenous people.

"Not only are we addressing water and sanitation and economic needs, but we're reducing waste," Rogge said of their plans. "There's just so many good things about it."

Thursday, November 01, 2012

New York expects you to pay to 100% of their damage

The federal government normally pays 75 to 90%. But Governor Andrew Cuomo says he can't afford 10%.

Yes. His state is a mess. State debt is $13,000 per person - highest in the nation. But I didn't make the mess, Cuomo, you did. Go ahead, Cuomo, just continue borrowing.

Yahoo/Reuters

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New York state on Wednesday asked the U.S. federal government to pay all the costs of cleaning up and repairing damage from massive storm Sandy that tore through the Northeast this week and crippled New York City.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said he is asking fellow Democrat, President Barack Obama, to pay 100 percent of the estimated $6 billion bill, at a time that state and local government budgets remain constrained by a weak economic recovery.

That would be a significant change from last year when the federal government covered about 75 percent of the $1.2 billion cost paid by New York to clean up after storm Irene hit the region.

The two U.S. senators from neighboring New Jersey, the other state hit hardest by the storm, also asked that the federal government cover more than the usual share of the cost, given the size of the disaster and the financially strapped local coffers. ...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Edmonds wildlife

I like walking and although mountains were my first love I have preferred beaches for the past maybe ten years. I have never seen a beach on fresh water that you could walk, so this is strictly salt water. We live near Lake Washington. But in less than ten miles I can be walking at Richmond Beach in Shoreline, Carkeek Park in Seattle or Olympic Beach in Edmonds. I get to Richmond Beach and Edmonds once a week when I am in town.

Edmonds is very urban and Olympic Beach is only a few blocks long. But there is much more: from its north end and north of the ferry terminal Brackett's Landing Park is paved walking and a beach runs north - I have walked about a half mile north to the next creek. And the walk south, though paved, is along the marina then to Marina Beach park and an off-leash beach for dogs.

Wildlife: Edmonds has all the saltwater front and some first-class marshes. So there is a great variety.

Heermann's gulls are striking gulls. At a glance in flight they look like little bald eagles - white head and dark body. But, of course, they have the unmistakable gull shape and don't have the white tail of a bald eagle. According to Edmonds beach rangers Edmonds is the farthest south in Puget Sound they are found. They don't walk the beach; they stay along the end of the fishing pier and beyond.

Sitting in my car paying bills in one of the three parking spaces facing the water I heard shrill sea-gull calls and a mature bald eagle came flying at me, first ten then twenty feet off the ground with two sea gulls in chase.

After a 30-minute walk during a lucky interval between heavy rain, back at Olympic Beach, as I returned from the fishing pier I saw a harbor seal in very close - very shallow water. Then I looked out and the bald eagle was on a piling 200 feet away.

Photo from TGrey Birds. Click to enlarge.

Obama smart - fines for not using unavailable products

You can't make this up. Obama in action. Remember how smart we were told he is? Always the smartest man in the room.

Obama's EPA is fining oil companies for not using cellulosic biofuel. But cellulosic biofuel is not being produced. So what might a rational administration do? OK. We have to wait until January, 2013 for that.

If Obama's EPA was so smart they would produce their fantasy cellulosic biofuels themselves. Note at the end of the quote below that the NYT says EPA is being lenient - by not fining them even more!

NY Times

WASHINGTON — When the companies that supply motor fuel close the books on 2011, they will pay about $6.8 million in penalties to the Treasury because they failed to mix a special type of biofuel into their gasoline and diesel as required by law.

But there was none to be had. Outside a handful of laboratories and workshops, the ingredient, cellulosic biofuel, does not exist.

In 2012, the oil companies expect to pay even higher penalties for failing to blend in the fuel, which is made from wood chips or the inedible parts of plants like corncobs. Refiners were required to blend 6.6 million gallons into gasoline and diesel in 2011 and face a quota of 8.65 million gallons this year.

“It belies logic,” Charles T. Drevna, the president of the National Petrochemicals and Refiners Association, said of the 2011 quota. And raising the quota for 2012 when there is no production makes even less sense, he said.

Penalizing the fuel suppliers demonstrates what happens when the federal government really, really wants something that technology is not ready to provide. In fact, while it may seem harsh that the Environmental Protection Agency is penalizing them for failing to do the impossible, the agency is being lenient by the standards of the law, the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act. ...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vote tampering in Florida

Someone in Seattle is interfering with the election in Florida!?

Registered Republicans in at least 14 Florida counties have received mailings questioning their citizenship and voter registration. The letter purports to be from the local election official - the election supervisor in most cases - but does not contain their official seal. And the envelope has no return address and is postmarked in Seattle. Also it is mailed with a 45-cent stamp, which a government office would not do on a mass mailing.

So? The letter doesn't "steal" the voter's vote. But it tells them they are not eligible - to convincer them not to vote. To suppress the votes of Republicans in the swing state of Florida.

Tampa Bay Online:

Much has been made of efforts to suppress the vote in recent months, but this effort is most disturbing. First, it is clearly well-funded and widespread as evidenced by the sheer number of counties and individuals involved, as well as the use of stamps. Second, the effort is targeting a crucial swing state that has been at the center of recent close elections and had elections called into question in the past. Third, the research necessary to conduct such an operation and the money needed to fund the research and stamps to send these letters from Seattle to Florida are enormous.

This is not a small effort — it is, in fact, a very calculated and detailed effort needing money, knowledge, technology and a motive to influence the outcome on a grand scale.

This is not classic vote fraud - casting a ballot - but is a clear effort to suppress the votes of one side only - the Republicans. And it is a massive effort - fourteen counties!

Who is doing it? Is the effort really based here or are they just dropping their mailings here?

Paul Ryan in Ohio on domestic policy

Michael Gerson of the Wash Post was impressed by Ryan's talk in Demo-heavy Cleveland this week. This was released the same day the newspaper endorsed Obama for four more years of the highest poverty rate in decades and unemployment of 8 per cent.

WA Post

… Romney — admittedly a bit late — sets out a centrist governing philosophy. Both candidates, revealingly, are mainly talking about Romney.

Paul Ryan’s recent speech at Cleveland State University was an important part of the Romney campaign’s “go large” strategy — a presentation on political philosophy amid the normal stump speeches. Following a Republican primary season heavy on tea-party rhetoric and a GOP convention light on substance, Ryan outlined a conservative vision of the common good.

Those who expect Ryan to sound like Ayn Rand — an embarrassing past flirtation — got something very different. Ryan quoted Abraham Lincoln on social mobility — “an unfettered start and a fair chance in the race of life.” Ryan identified with his mentor Jack Kemp: “When he spoke of progress, he meant progress for everyone.” And without quoting him, Ryan embraced Pope John Paul II’s emphasis on the importance of healthy civic and religious institutions. It is a combination — Lincoln, Kemp and Catholic social thought — that must have set Rand a-spinning.

At the same time, Ryan managed to probe one of Obama’s sore spots — the fact that he presides over the highest poverty rates in a generation. This state of affairs is enough to embarrass any self-respecting Democrat, so Obama avoids the topic. Ryan reintroduced it. He also correctly diagnosed America’s main social challenge: stalled mobility. “There is something wrong in our country,” argued Ryan, “when 40 percent of children born to parents in the lowest fifth of earners never know anything better. The question before us today — and it demands a serious answer — is how we get the engines of upward mobility turned back on?”

Ryan’s answer was serious without being comprehensive. He was strongest on the need for education reform in mediocre schools that routinely betray poor and minority children. Ryan correctly criticized welfare policies that encourage dependence and undermine family commitments. But he had less to say about the decline of decent-paying, blue-collar jobs, which consigns many communities, in places such as Ohio, to economic and social decay.

Ryan’s main contribution in the Cleveland speech was to fill out a positive Republican governing philosophy. The speech recognized that equal opportunity is not a natural state. Rather, it is a social achievement — “something we’ve had to constantly fight for.” And Ryan defined a sophisticated division of labor between government and civic institutions in promoting opportunity: “There has to be a balance — allowing government to act for the common good, while leaving private groups free to do the work that only they can do. . . . Our families and our neighborhoods, the groups we join, our places of worship . . . this is where we live our lives. They shape our character, they give our lives direction, and they help make us a self-governing people.”

Ryan was particularly effective in critiquing the Obama administration’s threats to this delicate social ecosystem. Excessive government debt, he said, “crowds out civil society by drawing resources away from private giving.” The abuse of federal power — particularly the contraception mandate placed on religious charities and hospitals — undermines the humane partnership between government and civil society and weakens the safety net.

The speech had gaps. I would have preferred a more specific assurance that government retrenchment will not come at the expense of the poor and vulnerable. Cutting a middle-class entitlement is not the equal of cutting an AIDS program. The religious institutions Ryan rightly praised in his speech would doubtlessly remind Romney and Ryan of a continuing need for moral discernment in a time of austerity.

But Ryan has done something important. He has provided a Romney administration with a domestic policy approach — the promotion of social mobility — that is consistent with conservative principles while appealing to the good heart of a nation.

Monday, October 22, 2012

They lead China by fear and in fear of their own people

Thomas P M Barnett has been watching China. He likes the analysis of a Wall Street Journal article about China. The leaders lead by fear and in fear of their own people. He sees big changes inevitable.

TPM Barnett

WSJ:

China's latest evidence of sputtering growth underlnes a dilemma for its incoming leaders: They can shore up the economy by doubling down on an exhausted growth model, or take a risky political bet on reforms that could worsen the slowdown in the short term

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Waterspouts over North Puget Sound Saturday

Waterspouts formed over North Puget Sound Saturday, October 20, 2012.

NWCN with photos.

Photos were taken from the Clinton ferry terminal, from Marysville and Whidbey Island.

Benjamin Martin said he was waiting in line at the Clinton ferry terminal when he spotted a water spout form and touch down near Saratoga passage.

A couple of the photos were taken by Jennifer Hogan, a trained storm spotter and meteorologist, who just moved to the area last week from Ohio.

Weather spotters from the National Weather Service said a waterspout was spotted just off Hat Island in Possession Sound.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Gay-marriage proponent harrasses woman opposed and attacks bystander

A man attacked a woman who had anti R-74 signs on her car in a Safeway parking lot in Burien Sunday, October 14. He first tore a sign off her car and tore it up. When another woman got out of her car to help he attacked her and used the strongest racial slur. King County Sheriff's Office says a 23-year -old man was arrested Wednesday morning.

Did the pro-gay-marriage campaign renounce this attack? Washington United for Marriage issued a statement on Monday, October, 15:

“Let me be clear. We condemn any act of this sort and we have been explicit with our supporters — we respect everyone, no matter where they stand on Referendum 74. In fact, we sent an email to our entire list in early September calling for respect and restraint, and another to our staff.

“Having said that, this sort of claim is, sadly, a well-worn, cynical political tactic by the National Organization of Marriage (NOM) that began in California in 2008 and has been regularly trotted out ever since. They have neatly turned the basic argument — that they and their supporters are subject to harassment — into a near constant lament in the final weeks of these campaigns.”

Get that? Being attacked is a political tactic. How does one arrange that? That's the only news or statement on the WUFM web site today.

This story was not well covered. I didn't see it in my daily news trolling.

Seattle Times on October 17. The Seattle PI reported the arrest October 17. Fox News 13 reported the story: KCPQ 13

It's not news at KIRO TV - recent stories about R-74. Not news at KOMO TV - recent stories about R-74

Not news at KING TV - recent stories about R-74. Not news at NWCN - recent stories about R-74

Hat tip to John Carlson at KVI AM 570.

Zero jobs during Obama rule

President Obama brags about creating 5 million jobs during his rule. But Rick Santelli of CNBC checked the data and found that Obama forgot to include the jobs lost during his rule.

Plus 5 million jobs subtracting 5 million jobs lost equals zero. Zero jobs gained under Obama.

The only reason the unemployment rate has dropped is that millions of people have stopped looking for work. When you stop looking you are no longer counted as unemployed. When Obama brags about ho he brought unemployment below 8 per cent after 43 months (3 and a half years) he is bragging about pushing people onto welfare.

Rick Santelli at The Blaze

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Obama lead narrows to 5 in Washington

Public Policy Polling, which is left-leaning, now finds that Obama's lead over Mitt Romney in Washington State is only 5 per cent - 50-45 percent. The poll was taken before the second presidential debate.

The difference? Independents are now breaking 48-43 percent for Romney.

Other polls don't find the race so close.

Seattle P-I blog

The photo: from CBS. Cross posted at Economic Freedom.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ohio coal miners - Quit lying about us, Obama

Ohio coal miners - Quit lying about us, Obama

Gateway Pundit

Ohio miners gathered Friday afternoon read aloud a letter the miners mailed to Obama. They told the president to quit lying about them in his ads. (Herald Star Online)

Ohio coal miners held a press conference on Friday to tell Barack Obama to quit his lies and mistruths about them.

The Ohio Intelligencer reported:

Coal miners at the American Energy Corp. Century Mine said they want President Barack Obama to stop what they term “the war on coal” – and to stop spreading “mistruths” about them.

Miners gathered Friday afternoon to express their opposition to Obama’s energy and environmental policies, which they believe threaten their jobs. Miner Mitch Miracle read aloud a letter the miners mailed to Obama that outlines some of their concerns.

The miners said Obama’s campaign team is running ads filled with “blatantly false” statements about the miners regarding their participation in Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s August campaign stop at the Century Mine. These ads assert that the miners were forced to attend the event by the mine’s owner, Robert Murray.

“There are numerous false statements and absolute lies concerning our participation in this event, mostly started by a local ‘shock jock’ radio host,” the miners’ letter to Obama states. “Why would you (Obama) lie about the 500 working miners who have signed this letter? We, the employees of the Century Mine would request you immediately stop these false ads.”

This summer, Murray Energy Corp., parent company of the Beallsville mine, cut or relocated 56 workers with the closure of the Red Bird West mine near Brilliant. Murray also cut 29 mining jobs from The Ohio Valley Coal Co.’s Powhatan No. 6 Mine. All of this was done, Robert Murray said, because of Obama’s “war on coal.”

Murray then hosted the Romney campaign stop in Beallsville in August, during which many miners appeared behind Romney as the former Massachusetts governor spoke about the need to protect coal mining jobs. In response to the assertion some have made about the miners being forced to appear with Romney, the miners made several points on Friday.

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Columbus Day Hurricane 1962

On October 12, 1962 a storm hit with the force of a category-3 hurricane. The term "hurricane" is only used for tropical storms, so this term for this one is non-tropical cyclone.

I went on a church trip from West Seattle to a restaurant in Federal Way = The Farm, as I recall. We didn't recognize ourselves in immediate danger; we saw a lot of trees battered by the wind. But we got to the restaurant. I think we ate, then the power went out. Not sure.

In one high-school football game, not our own West Seattle High, a punt was negative - went backwards!

Cliff Mass has the report from the scientific side with data and charts at his weather blog.

History Link has the full story. And today's Seattle P-I site.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Gregoire earned an F

Christine Gregoire earned an F for her high-tax and big-spending governance. She is among the four governors who ranked below Jerry Brown if California! In Cato Institutes annual Fiscal Report on Governors. Cutting state spending and controlling taxes lead to more economic development and growth, more jobs and higher incomes. [Add reference later. Posting from phone.]

Cato.

Companion op-Ed by Chris Edwards in WSJ.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

40% of Washington jobs related to trade

International trade is very important to Washington - Boeing and aerospace, Microsoft, Starbucks, agriculture and other exports. And imports. And China is the largest trade partner.

Washington Council on International Trade released a study:

International Competitiveness Strategy for Washington State.

  • International trade is a key driver of our state's economy.It spans across nearly every industry sector - from agriculture to aerospace to IT to tourism. Based on new research, nearly 40% of all jobs in Washington can be tied to trade-related activity, making our state one of the most trade-engaged economies in the country.
  • Services are an increasingly important part of our trade economy. While it is widely known that Washington is a leader in merchandise and commodities exports like agriculture and aerospace, we are also a growing leader in the export of services such as IT and tourism.
  • The state government has a key role to play. Much of our country's trade policy is set at the federal level, however, state government is crucial to Washington's international competitiveness.
  • Imports mean jobs in Washington state. Although shifting global supply chains cause economic hardship for many people in the U.S., imports also help employ many Washington residents - because of our state's role as an Asian gateway and as the home to a wide diversity of retail and manufacturing headquarters that leverage global supply chains.
  • Washington's international engagement goes beyond imports and exports. Foreign direct investment provides capital for our state's businesses and infrastructure, as well as direct employment for Washington residents. Immigrants and foreign-born residents strengthen our workforce, drive innovation and bring with them connections to our trading partners.
  • There are steps we can collectively take to increase Washington's international competitiveness. The strategy provides six recommendations that will have the maximum impact on increasing the ability of Washington businesses and organizations to successfully engage internationally.

Via Breitbart

Monday, October 08, 2012

Obama is allowing illegal foreign donations says GAI

Is Obama violating federal law? Just to get money for his campaign? A new report from the nonpartisan Government Accoutability Institute outlines what Obama and his surrogates are doing. They are intentionally bypassing normal web security measures so foreign donations are allowed. Those donations are illegal.

Katie Pavlich at Townhall

A new report obtained by Townhall from the non-partisan Government Accountability Institute [GAI] shows the Obama campaign has potentially violated federal election law by failing to prevent the use of fraudulent or foreign credit card transactions on the official Obama for America [OFA] donation webpage.

For the past eight months, GAI has been investigating the potential influence of foreign online campaign donations in House, Senate and presidential elections. The report was conducted using spidering software and found thousands of foreign sites linking to campaign donation pages. The investigation was conducted with the guidance of a former U.S. attorney. GAI is led by Peter Schweizer, who recently exposed congressional insider trading in his book Throw Them All Out.

“As FBI surveillance tapes have previously shown, foreign governments understand and are eager to exploit the weaknesses of American campaigns,” the report says. “This, combined with the Internet’s ability to disintermediate campaign contributions on a mass scale, as well as outmoded and lax Federal Election Commission rules, make U.S. elections vulnerable to foreign influence.”

OFA seems to be taking advantage of a “foreign donor loophole” by not using CVV on their campaign donation page. When you donate online to the Obama campaign using a credit card, the contribution webpage does not require donors to enter a secure CVV number (also known as CSC, CVV2 or CVN), the three-digit securing code on the back of credit cards. This code, although not 100 percent effective, is used to ensure a person making a purchase physically possesses the card. ...

Seattle Times repeats endorsement of Rob Mckenna for governor

The Seattle Times endorsed McKenna for governor three months ago; they repeated it on Saturday. He has proven experience in management as state attorney general. And he has a record of working across the aisle with the Democratics.

Seattle Times

… For eight years McKenna has been the state attorney general, the same job Gregoire had before becoming governor. Unlike a legislative post, it is a management job, and provides much better preparation for the top job in Olympia than being a congressman in Washington, D.C.

The difference shows. Since this page endorsed him three months ago, the Republican McKenna has shown a greater grasp of detail than his Democratic opponent, former U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, on a wide range of issues.

People are concerned about jobs, restoring education to full funding and budget sustainability. On every point, McKenna has a superior, substantive plan.

For example, McKenna has a clearer idea of how to raise the state’s support of public schools as ordered by the Washington Supreme Court. Inslee has launched a cynical and opportunistic attack on McKenna for his idea of raising the state property tax while lowering local school levies, but offers no solution of his own.

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Success for the alchemists

Scientists finally found a way to make pure gold. Weil… But it is a good science story.

A newly discovered bacteria produces pure gold from a toxic acid. Cupriavidus metallidurans eats toxic gold chloride and separates the chloride from the gold. Ta Ta!! 99.9% (24 carat) gold.

Gizmodo

Accoding to Kashefi, they are doing "microbial alchemy" by "something that has no value into a solid [in fact, it the toxic material they use does cost money. Less than gold, but still plenty], precious metal that's valuable."

The bacteria is incredibly resistant to this toxic element. In fact, it's 25 times stronger than previously thought. The researchers' compact factory—which they named The Great Work of the Metal Lover—holds the bacteria as they feed it the gold chloride. In about a week, the bacteria does its job, processing all that junk into the precious metal—a process they believe happens regularly in nature.

So yes, basically, Cupriavidus metallidurans can eat toxins and poop out gold nuggets.

It seems that medieval alchemists were looking for the Philosopher's Stone—the magic element that could turn lead to gold—in the wrong place. It's not a mineral. It's a bug.

Michigan State University

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Cook the employment data for Obama

Jobs increased much less than employment growth therefore unemployment is down. Huh? But is this credible?

The number of unemployed people dropped by 456,000 when only 114,000 jobs were created--well below the monthly average, and below population growth.

Sec. of Labor Solis gave Obama the unemployment numbers he wants. But no one believes them. She is highly insulted that she would be questioned. Then she continues her defense with false data - that added jobs were private sector, when they were public.

Cash-strapped federal, state and local governments are hiring like gang busters. Do you believe that? Via Breitbart's Big Government

How convenient for Obama!! It's been reported elsewhere that two of the top "professionals" in Bureau of Labor Statistics are big Obama donors. Surprise! Washington Free Beacon