Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Help medical education in Tanzania

Our niece Raychel is in the Peace Corps in Tanzania. She is working in a regional health center which is collocated with Morogoro School of Public Health Nursing School in Morogoro, 180 km west of the capital Dar es Salaam.
She sees a screaming need for more resources for the nursing students.

She writes:
"For someone taking a quick glance at our library it might seem like there are plenty of books. However, once a person really delves into the books they will soon realize that most of the books are extremely outdated. This can be very discouraging for both students and staff. Imagine trying to learn nursing or clinical medicine from a book written in the 70s. I think you would find that many things have changed!"
So she is raising funds to buy more books.

Learn more about this special project at TZReads. And you can donate, if you choose, on the same page.

Photo from TZReads.org. Click to enlarge.

Monday, April 29, 2013

6 months after Sandy people homeless. Credit to Obama

After six months people have a lot of hurt.

NBC New York

Tens of thousands of people remain homeless. Housing, business, tourism and coastal protection all remain major issues with the summer vacation — and hurricane — seasons almost here again.

"Some families and some lives have come back together quickly and well, and some people are up and running almost as if nothing ever happened, and for them it's been fine," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said ahead of the six-month mark. "Some people are still very much in the midst of recovery. You still have people in hotel rooms, you still have people doubled up, you still have people fighting with insurance companies, and for them it's been terrible and horrendous."

Governor Christie gives credit to Obama. I do too. Has Obama noticed the situation?

Christie never imagined he was helping Obama's reelection when he heaped praise on Obama days before the election. He definitely helped Obama. But didn't notice. That's what he says.

Associated Press

The end of entitlement

Robert Samuelson thinks the entitlement mindset is coming to an end. It's assumptions have crumpled the past decades and especially since 2007.

Washington Post

Obamacare is onerous to those who forced it on us

President Obama promised you "If you like the insurance you have you will be able to keep it."

Now his Obamacare is too onerous even for those who forced it on us. Yes, it's Honorable Harry Reid again. He can't stand the thought of being restricted by the laws he forces on you and me.

Democrats in Congress are trying to get their staffs exempted from their favorite part of Obamacare - their substitute for the government mad ate they really want - the requirement to have insurance that fits the government's one-size-doesn't-fit-all mold of Obama's insurance exchanges. Senator Grassley was ever vigilant during the process to make sure Congress had to live by the law it passed. And his was a big challenge. Hero Harry Reid kept forcing his own exemption in. In the end Congressmen and their own staffs had to obey, but their committee staffs had their own loophole.

Last week Honorable Harry and House leader Steny Hoyer were trying to do it again. They got caught and said "Huh?… Us? No…" Do you think this will be their last attempt? We call him Dingy Harry.

Wall Street Journal

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Mapping my beach explorations

I have been exploring for public beach accesses, especially the ones not in parks, which are much harder to find. As I have kept data on what I have found I have been intending to learn map scripting enough to put them on the map, like my Antarctica landing points on my home page. I took long enough that Google made it easier.

Using Google Maps Engine Light (the non-light version is for pros and costs real money) here is what I have found from the Tulalip Indian Reservation north of Marysville to Brown's Point in NE Tacoma. Click the lollypops for more info. The color coding is the beach walking surface, where n/a is, sad to say, where you cannot get on the beach legally and safely.

Sequester: Two strikes for Obama and his Demos

First, He tried to scare us into tax increases before March 1, because our world would come to a halt if we didn't fold. [Corrected date.]

The Republican House passed bills allowing Obama to move money around to lessen the impact then, but the Democrats fought tooth and nail. They wanted us to feel the pain. The first strike: who noticed?

This week the second strike: The FAA furloughs (one day off out of ten) hurt so much that Democrats in Congress allowed the FAA to move money and end the fight delays. And they didn't get anything in exchange. They are scrambling.

Guy Benson at Townhall

Benson has a choice quote from Obama's hometown Chicago Tribune:

We're less certain, though, that this hostage-taking will cut the way the White House expects: The scheme relies on citizens being — how to put this delicately? — stupid enough to think that the Federal Aviation Administration can't find a more flier-friendly way to save $600 million.

PS: Remember the sequester was Obama's idea in the first place. Even his puppet Jay Carney admitted it.

Added: Rep Bill Shuster, R-PA, says the FAA had the flexibility to do this funding shifting before, but refused to do it. Congress had to force Obama's FAA to cut less important and less visible spending. Fox News

Obama is causing justice to fail? Boston bombers

The younger Boston Bomber has been read his Miranda rights and is in the civil court system. The military knows how to handle national threats why not give it to them? And why all the leaking about bombing New York, etc?

Because Obama thinks you are the threat, not radical Islam. So he and Eric Holder are doing everything they can to portray the brothers as lone wolves who were mislead by America, not the proven links to radical Islam.

Andrew McCarthy prosecuted the 1993 World Trade Center bombers and follow this stuff all the time. He highlights three deceptions being pulled on us at National Review Online

… So now, the next necessary deception in the campaign is to convince you that — all together now — “the system worked.” In reality, the civilian justice system did not work, and that is because it cannot work — not if the objective is the swift acquisition of vital national-defense information...

1- So the administration rolls out canard No. 1: the “public-safety exception.” The public is led to believe that this exception means agents have at least 48 hours of freewheeling interrogation before Miranda kicks in and the terrorist clams up (upon lawyering up). This is brazenly false….

The public-safety exception is an exceedingly limited end-around. It applies only when arrest is accompanied by an immediate threat to public safety. It is not designed to provide the government with an information-gathering advantage against the arrestee. It is narrowly tailored to address the threat that triggers the exception.

2- Thus canard No. 2: The judge did it. The administration and its accomplices on Capitol Hill have spread the story that the Tsarnaev interrogation was going just swimmingly when, to the shock of everyone, a magistrate judge barged into the hospital room and Mirandized the terrorist, abruptly ending the hugely successful intelligence effort. This, too, is utter nonsense...

3- That being the case, we are now witnessing canard No. 3: There may have been a few bumps in the road, but we learned everything we needed to know in the Tsarnaev interrogation.

Ridiculous. A competent intelligence debriefing involves weeks, if not months, of questioning. That’s because its aim is to develop a complete threat mosaic and arrange our defenses accordingly...

Again, why? His summary:

But in their twisted conceit that the threat to our nation results not from the enemy’s ideology but from American aggression, they have convinced themselves that American aggression (what the rest of us call national defense) must be hamstrung by civilian due process — that war can be reduced to crime, even if the enemy declines to play by the rules.

So in the effort to tame you into believing civilian due process has proved wildly successful in the Marathon bombing investigation, just as Obama and Holder promised it would, the government is now strategically leaking interrogation details.

Sure it may look like the investigation was a tragicomedy of errors in which our $100 billion national-security edifice, despite investigating Tamerlan Tsarnaev for a year and a half before the bombing, had to ask the public’s help in identifying a picture of him. But look: We stopped a spectacular bombing at Times Square! And sure, there’s a lot of innuendo about Islam and overseas “extremists,” but after 16 hours of penetrating scrutiny we’ve figured out that this was just wanton “homegrown” violence committed by a couple confused kids — the sort of thing that is bound to happen if we don’t crack down on gun ownership and Islamophobia.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Testing embedded map

I am learning about Google Maps Engine. Here is a map I built from spreadsheet data tables following their tutorial.

Uncheck Shart Sightings, so you can see where the spotters are. Then check it again.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Boehner has cut costs in House operations

House Speaker Boehner has cut costs in House operations. Down 15% from three years ago. This is not a phony cut - a reduction in the increase, that is, a smaller increase. The spending level is LOWER by 15%. This will result is savings of $400 million through this year.

Obama says he can't cut anything. Well… he does the kind of "cuts" that are increases.

USA Today

… Leading Democrats have chafed at the belt tightening, arguing it undermines adequate personnel resources for research and oversight. "We are past the point of cutting what we want, and we are now into cutting what we need — our ability to attract and retain expert staff," said Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., in opposition to further committee cuts approved in March.

True to form for the Democrats. They still can't see $15 trillion in debt.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Obama to limit retirement savings to $3 million. Except for Him

Obama's very late and unbalanced 2014 budget would limit tax-protected retirement accounts to $3 million. )The total of all such accounts a person has.) Because no one needs more than that.

Except Him. His retirement is estimated to have present value of $5 million. And he will exempt accounts like his. It is not of the tax-protected kind like a 401(k).

Suckers! Laws apply to you, not to The One. His pension is even indexed for inflation. Mine is not.

[Place photo of President Obama with his trademark arrogant look.]

Kathleen Pender at SF Gate:

The limit would not apply to Obama’s own pension, which is worth at least $5 million, because it is not in a tax-advantaged account, according to Brian Graff, executive director of the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries. Obama’s pension, which guarantees him a Cabinet-level salary for life indexed to inflation, is a “non-qualified deferred compensation plan, similar to what corporate executives get,” he says.

The proposal would not cap those plans or prevent corporate executives from walking away with retirement packages worth tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, Graff says. But it could discourage some small- and mid-size business owners from continuing to contribute to employee retirement plans when their own balances hit $3 million, he says.

Hat tip: Breitbart News

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wildflowers in Columbia Gorge

Go spend a few weeks - or a day - to enjoy the wildflowers.

Seattle Times

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Immigration problem is assimilation - lack thereof

When immigrants do not assimilate into our culture we can have people who keep the values they learned in Dagestan or whatever-istan. And their children grow up with Dagestan values, like the younger brother bomber. And a few of them hold the values of jihad.

The Corner

Hudson Institute: - PDF: America's Patriotic Assimilation System is broken

Ann Applebaum at Washington Post - Link doesn't work right now!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I fought the law and I won

I was driving north on I-5 on my way to Everett for a walk along the waterfront the morning of March 8. At 8:40 am a state trooper pulled me over and said I was talking on my cell phone. I replied that I was not. That I had put the phone on the charger, but had not used it while driving. She gave me a ticket for $142. I told her I would see her in court with records from the cell phone company showing the phone had not been used.

I went to Snohomish County South District Court this afternoon to represent myself and plead innocent to the charge. Well, sort of, it is not a criminal charge, but civil. And Snohomish County is says it is not a traffic issue, though the ticket says it is. The difference is (1) reporting to insurance company and (2) if you ignore a traffic ticket your license will be suspended and cause you a big headache.

First we saw several people not claim innocence, but ask the fine be reduced. And she did. One, maybe two, person before me contested his ticket, but lost.

The judge called me next because I have good looking hair!! Me?That's what she said. She read the officer's statement: "The defendant was driving in the third or fourth lane holding his cell phone against his face with his right hand."

My statement: I was not talking on my phone and not using it at all. I have records from AT&T for that day. The first marked page shows no voice call between midnight and 10:10 AM; the stop was at 8:40. The second marked page shows no text messages sent or received between 1:53 AM and ten or eleven AM. Before I could point out the third page showing other data transfers the judge asked for my papers. She looked and asked about that data transfer page. To which I responded that it is checking email or looking at a web page on my phone.

She asked if I have any other cell phone. I started to explain that our son's cell phone bill came to our house, but had no calls that month (true) but she reminded me that it is a Yes or No question. So I responded "No."

She ruled for me. The ticket was cancelled. She said she has been with the police and been amazed at how they detect people talking on cell phones while driving. Then she said she hoped I had a clear conscience. I told her that I did.

And I do have clear conscience, because I didn't do it!!

I watched two more cases, both young women in their twenties. The first certainly had a confusing case. The ticket was for driving too fast for conditions and she was going slow. But she rear ended the car ahead of her! And she did not get ticket at the scene, but the next day. However, she repeatedly risked her case by talking over the judge, interrupting… repeatedly. The ticket stood. Also the next gal didn't get off for improperly fastened seat belt. She had it under her arm, rather than across her chest. So I was the only one who got off during the hour and a half I was there.

"I fought the law and …" I am referring to a very old song "I fought the law and the law won." By the Bobby Fuller Four in 1960.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Growth and lack of in India

Wsj 4/16/2013: S Dhume reviews book by Bhagwati & Panagariya -Why Growth Matters

India started Econ freedom in 1991. If Indira Ghandi had done so in 1971 there would be 175 million fewer people in poverty today.

It's obvious. Why debating now? Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia. Jean Dr├Ęze of Belgium and Amartya Sen of Harvard.

Monday, April 15, 2013

News: GOP follows law in Washington budget

Headline: "Senate GOP is counting on Obamacare to balance budget" Seattle Times

News: Washington Senate GOP is following the path Washington has chosen to take and staying within the decisions of US Supreme Court.

The US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare - no, rewrote Obamacare to make it constitutional - so the Washington Senate GOP is working with Obamacare. They don't like it; they opposed it. But they have to put a budget together and Obamacare is the law.

Washington has been putting into place insurance exchanges. Governor Inslee says he is going to continue that implementation. The GOP Senators don't agree with that approach, but it is what is happening. So they wrote their budget with it.

So why is this news? And why does the headline editorial writer make it sound like the GOP lured Obamacare into the state?

What if the GOP had decided to try to scuttle Washington insurance exchanges? Oh, the Seattle Times would have congratulated them for their consistency. NOT.

Why the killer of a woman and seven babies isn't news

Why isn't the trial of a mass murderer front-page news?

The Washington Post has no good reason. Oh, the usual one: they only cover actions of pro-life people against abortion. They admitted it!

Melinda Henneberger for Wash Post
I say we didn’t write more because the only abortion story most outlets ever cover in the news pages is every single threat or perceived threat to abortion rights. In fact, that is so fixed a view of what constitutes coverage of that issue that it’s genuinely hard, I think, for many journalists to see a story outside that paradigm as news. That’s not so much a conscious decision as a reflex, but the effect is one-sided coverage.
Expect to see Ms. Henneberger do penance for telling the truth.

Photo: Planned Parenthood's Alisa Lapolt Snow testifying for killing babies born alive in abortions - what Gosnell did LIfe Site News

ObamaCare is failing. Blame those who opposed it

ObamaCare aka Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)t is expected to raise the cost of health care. It can't be His fault.

Yes. Every sign is that ObamaCare's full implementation in 2014 will raise prices. He can't accept responsibility!! Blame those who opposed it.

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius on the job. IBD

Earlier this week, Health and Human Services head Kathleen Sebelius admitted that she didn't realize how complicated getting ObamaCare off the ground would be.

Sebelius complained that "no one fully anticipated" the difficulties involved in implementing ObamaCare, or how confusing it would be with the public.

She wasn't talking about the massive and impossible task of imposing central planning on one-sixth of the nation's economy.

Instead, she was trying to find a way to blame Republicans for ObamaCare's failures when the inevitable problems start emerging.

Would she dare try to blame others for her own failure?

Rather than say "let's get on board, let's make this work," recalcitrant Republicans have forced her to engage in "state-by-state political battles," Sebelius said at a Harvard School of Public Health forum. "The politics has been relentless."

So let's see if we get this. Democrats shoved an unpopular, expensive, ill-conceived and poorly written law down the country's throat with no Republican support, and without bothering to see whether states would want to take on the thankless and costly task of helping the feds implement it.

And now that many of these states are rebelling, it's the Republicans' fault?

The Society of Actuaries estimates that insurance premiums will climb 32%. 32%!!!

Finding 3: The non-group cost per member per month will increase 32 percent under ACA, compared to pre-ACA projections.

Reports are that Sibelius accepts that costs will go up. Washington Wire And she blames the Republicans. Of Course. Otherwise President Obama might have some blame cut into his golf and basketball time.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Line police officers oppose gun restrictions

Line police officers oppose gun restrictions. They have a website they "gather" at. It did a poll of its police officers and found substantial opposition to controls on guns.

These officers are on the front line of crime in the US. What does their experience tell them?

Q: Do you think a federal ban on manufacture and sale of ammunition magazines of more than ten rounds would reduce violent crime?

A: No, say 95.7%

Q: What do you think a federal ban on manufacture and sale of some semi-automatic weapons, termed by some "assault weapons" would have on reducing violent crime?

A: None, say 71%

- Negative, say 20.5%. A total of 91.5% say no positive effect!

And there are nine more questions.


Regulation strangles businesses. Krugman can't see it

Nobel laureate Professor Paul Krugman of Princeton University has trouble seeing. He just can't see the evidence in front of him. He says that government regulation has no impact on businesses creating jobs. That's what he says. He is blinded by his role as The Star spokesperson for more government control of everything. With Greta Van Susteren at Real Clear Politics.

Greta tells Krugman to talk to small business owners who are being clobbered by regulations. The Star claims he talks to small business people and they tell him that regulations don't keep them from creating jobs. Oh, Star, who did you talk to? Did you find one such person? Who?

Talk to Fred DeLuca who build Subway sandwich shops franchise from nothing that now has a half a million jobs. In a recent interview, DeLuca said, “If I started Subway today, Subway would not exist." DeLuca said the environment for entrepreneurs in the U.S. has "continuously gotten worse because there are more and more regulations. It's tough for people to get into business, especially a small business."

Erin Shannon at Washington Policy Center has many more examples. Here are a few:

Last year, a report by the Kauffman Foundation, a national nonprofit organization that promotes and studies entrepreneurship, revealed the survey results of small business owners across the nation who were asked to rank their state’s friendliness to business. The responses of our state’s small business owners pegged Washington as boasting the 10th least-friendly business regulations nationwide. Similarly, a survey last year by Chief Executive Group of 650 CEOs cited Washington’s “regulatory snares” as a factor in our state’s ranking as the 13th worst state for business.

Even government officials acknowledge today’s layers of complex and confusing government regulations hurt businesses.

A state Department of Revenue study on the business survival rate in Washington found that “taxes and costs of complying with government regulations are factors that contribute to business failure.”

Governor Gregoire explained her moratorium on new agency regulations saying, “the time and effort small business owners would put into meeting new requirements would be better spent in improving their bottom line, and adding new employees.... We want businesses to create jobs.”

Even Christine Gregoire, ex-governor, could admit the problem. But do anything? She is an expert at added regulations on businesses.

Read Erin's full post.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Shocking news story you won't see this week

Abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell is on trial in Philadelphia today for eight murders while performing abortions. The trial is for eight. How many more victims were there? Philly.com

The trial is going on today, April 9, 2013. Philly.com Have you heard about it on the news - radio, TV, newspaper? Seattle Times? Yes, once in the SeaTimes on April 4. But the trial has been going on for four weeks. I think eight murders is news - national news. We expect to hear about a story like that almost every day. They see no evil...

Mark Steyn points out that the British media are doing the job the US media refuse to do. The Corner

Via Thomas Lifson at American Thinker

Monday, April 08, 2013

Rumors of reponsibility

Obama might attack real problems in his budget. Social Security is on an unsustainable course. Worker contributions have been spent - pay as you go. But pay-as-you-go only works while the young population is much larger than the retirees. No longer.

Rumor has it that Obama will propose changing the cost-of-living calculation. As I understand it the CPI calculation assumes buyers don't accept product innovations - that they don't switch to the new substitute that is just as good but cheaper. And so it overstates the cost of living. If that is the case it is right to update the CPI calculation.

Go for it, President O. But the "bigger government is always better" people are livid. If political hack Paul Krugman is against it that's evidence in its favor. (There are recent examples where in his columns he ridicules economic idea A. But a search of the textbook he wrote explains why A is sound economics.)

Business Insider

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Gabby Giffords' husband failed background check twice. While showing how easy it is

Mark Kelly, ex-Rep. Gabby Giffords' husband, is showing a video of how easy it is to buy a weapon. But he edited out when the background checks stopped him - twice.

He tried in February to use Texas ID and was denied - once. Two weeks later, on March 5, when he bought a handgun with Arizona ID he also tried to buy an AR-15, but was denied, which makes twice. Then he made the video showing how easy it is to get past the background check, showing the one out of three times he succeeded. The truth is inconvenient to him, so he hides it.


Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Johns Hopkins bans pro-life group

White supremacists???

Johns Hopkins University banned a student pro-life group. Student Senate members compared the on-campus pro-life group to white supremacists. Its black members (actually all members) took major exception to that.

Wash Times

“They were denied status because the students on the student council felt being pro-life violates their harassment policy,” Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, told Fox News.

The SGA at Johns Hopkins voted March 12 to deny the group, called Voice for Life, the right to become an official student club. The vote was affirmed on March 24 by the SGA's Senate, Fox News reports.

According to emails obtained by Fox News, members of the SGA compared the pro-life students to white supremacists, which Ms. Hawkins said was deeply offensive to the group’s black members.

“To compare pro-lifers with white supremacists — it’s unreal,” she told Fox News.

Another SGA member said that allowing pro-life demonstrations made her feel “personally violated, targeted and attacked at a place where we previously felt safe and free to live our lives.”

An SGA senator said: “We have the right to protect our students from things that are uncomfortable. Why should people have to defend their beliefs on their way to class?” ...

The purpose of colleges is not to make people comfortable. It's to educate; that can make one feel uncomfortable. "They made me take a test; I was uncomfortable."

And why not allow all students to have their own organizations? Thought control!!

Update: I was challenged to do further research in a comment.

On March 12 the group Voice for Life was denied recognition as an official campus group. And again on March 26. This denies them the funding student groups receive and from meeting in campus buildings. Daily Caller  

However at the March 12 meeting Students for Justice in Palestine was recognized despite the group's known record of interfering with pro-Israel speakers and holding Israeli Apartheid Week. Since their point of view is approved they can disrupt and interfere, but Voice for Life students cannot do peaceful sidewalk counseling.

April Fools

News Busters/Media Research Center pulled one for April Fools day. They posted quotes from Chris Matthews. But some were real! But they didn't say so. The challenge was to realize that some of the ridiculous quote they attributed to Mr. Matthews he really said! Then to separate the real from the fake. For example:

Gushing Over the "Perfect" Barack Obama

"I look at Obama as a perfect American....The guy went to school, he never broke a law. He did everything right. He raised a wonderful family. He's a good husband, a good father. My God, I don't think he's ever gotten a speeding ticket. The guy does everything right and these right-wingers....I don't know what they're so afraid of, except that he happens to be black."
— REAL! Matthews said this on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 6. (Video)

More at Newsbusters. On April first you had to sort through it yourself. Today they give the answers.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Mac and back

I am back from Mac migration. I bought a new Macbook Pro Tuesday, then delayed the migration from old to new until I spent two days offline at our cabin. I bought the fast, sweet "no hard drive" version, that is, it is all flash memory, which is very fast. I had to go with a smaller "disk drive" than before because of cost, but I can put old things on my back-up drive. It takes some care, but I can do it.

The migration took the pros two tries. My large photo library (9,800 photos) didn't transfer properly the first time, so they had to try again. With partial success: they created a new library, which means all my photo albums didn't come through. The original structure is on my old Macbook, but it will be work.

I can resume blogging now.