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

Big Bird is richer than Romney

Big Bird's annual income is four times Mitt Romney's. But Big Bird still demands to be on the government dole.

CPB receives $450 million per year; of that $280 goes to PBS and local stations. Big Bird's enterprise would be a profitable business on its own.

According to Senator Jim DeMint:

Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 -- nearly a million dollars -- in compensation in 2008. And, from 2003 to 2006, "Sesame Street" made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales.

$211 million over four years is an average of $53 million per year. Mitt Romney is a picker compared to uber-rich Big Bird.

Push it, Obama. Protect Big Bird's hand out! It's a winner.

Via Breitbart

Friday, October 05, 2012

Russia economic failure in progress

Russia is weak for its size and for the natural resources it has. And things are turning for the worse.

Russia depends on export of its oil and natural gas. But development of its new fields is stopping - no future. And Europe is pushing back on monopoly practices of GazProm.

There is almost no foreign investment. What appears to be foreign investment is mostly money taken out of Russia by kleptocrats coming back home. Why won't anyone invest in large, resource-rich Russia?

The demographic situation is terrible. Life expectancy keeps dropping….

Meanwhile "elected" President Putin is acting like dictator Putin. He continues his crack down. He is frightening investment away.

So what is President Obama doing? He is removing what little support the US has been giving for good government efforts. He accepted Russia's weak complaint about USAID and pulled out. And Obama closed our voice in Russia - Radio Liberty.

Kim Zygfeld at PJ Media has the full report.