Thursday, August 29, 2013

Festivals Labor Day weekend

This weekend:

Seattle Times Community Calendar


Corgis - like our dog Zeus. 10 am Saturday at Cedar River Park in Renton. See Cascade Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club

Vintage Aircraft Weekend at Paine Field, Friday and Saturday

Bothell Blues Festival Saurday

This coming week lots of museums have their "first Thursday" events. See the Community Calendar, farther down.

The weekend of Sept 6-8:

Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival

Puget Sound Bird Fest in Edmonds

And I didn't know the Duwamish INdians have a cultural center and longhouse on Marginal Way SW in West Seattle.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Hike to Meadowdale Beach

Seattle Times features Meadowdale Beach in Lynnwood today. It is one of just a few public access beaches in Snohomish County. The reporter fails to mention what makes it unique. It is no stroll in the park. Getting to the beach is a hike; it's over a mile each way and 300 or 400 feet elevation gain on the return. (For the disabled there is direct access via a locked gate.) But there is a payoff. It's pretty quiet several miles of beach and few people. It's not wild; railroad mainline and nearby houses - but they don't have access, so it is quiet.

I recommend it; I have hiked it several times. Just be aware that it's a hike, not a stroll in the park.

Sea Times

Why should I believe the traffic man?

The traffic reporter says I should watch Al Jazeera TV. For "new perspectives" and such. Al Jazeera TV is owned by the government of Qatar which is a big sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood and the mess in Egypt.

Do I trust Muslim Brotherhood for news? No. If Harmon Shea on KTTH tells me in his traffic report I should trust AJ TV for news why would I trust him to tell me the truth about the traffic? ;-)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fight tax by adding a new tax

Senator Patty Murray has never fought a tax. Today the headline said she was, but no, not true.

Headline: Fix the tax that sends our shipping to Canada

Container ships unloading in Seattle or Tacoma pay a "harbor maintenance tax" based on value that averages bout $109 per container. The ports in British Columbia, Canada pay no such tax. Unloading 5,000 containers the bill is $545,000. (That's average. Much worse for high-value cargo.)

So Senator Murray wants to even the playing field. She would want to reduce the tax, right? Senator Patty reduce a tax? She has a 20-year track record of tax, tax, tax.

No. She wants to add a new tax to stop the unequal treatment caused by the first tax. She would impose the same tax on containers arriving in the US by surface transportation - by truck or rail. Will her new tax raise prices to consumers? That's what always happens to taxes placed on industry.

Tacoma News Tribune

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Obama not above the law?

The DC Court of Appeals says even Obama must obey the law. He must continue in permitting the US's only nuclear waste site.

Associated Press

Friday, August 09, 2013

Kenya airport terminal burns. Responders rob

The main terminal at the Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta International Airport burned Wednesday because the first responders were busy robbing the bank, the ATM machine and electronics. How could they take time to fight the fire? They have their priorities; doing their job is down the list.

Washington Post

Thursday, August 08, 2013

The IRS is still targeting tea party groups

Today. The IRS is still targeting tea party groups. (I don't capitalize because there is no one tea party; there are lots of local ones.) An IRS agent testified so to Congress Thursday, according the Rep. Dave Camp, Chair of House Ways and Means Committee.

Why? Because the IRS has not yet drafted new guidelines to stop doing what they said they stopped a year ago. The bureaucracy just can't turn inside a year, you know. In other words, they said they stopped, but did not.

Washington Examiner

Graphic: DC Tea Party

Festivals this week and upcoming

For my own memory: Upcoming summer festivals. I am watching a few out of a hundred at:

Seattle Times Entertainment

Among Ancients: Old Grown Forests

PLAN AHEAD Two-mile hike through moderately rugged terrain with botanist guide, for adults only, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 17, Cedar River Watershed Education Center, North Bend; $15 (206-733-9421 or 425-831-6780 or ).


Mercer Slough Ranger Program: ‘Animal House’

SUN Learn about animal homes from hummingbirds to beavers, 2 p.m. Sunday, Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, 1625 118th Ave. S.E., Bellevue; free, no registration required (425-452-2565).


Summer at Olympic Sculpture Park

ONGOING Food trucks, wine and bites from Taste Cafe, live music on the lawn, art activities, 6-8 p.m., tours at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays; outdoor yoga, bring your own mat, 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturdays; Zumba Latin dance/fitness, athletic shoes recommended, 2-3 p.m. Saturdays; art activities, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays; tours, noon and 1 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, Olympic Sculpture Park, Broad Street and Elliott Avenue, Seattle; free (206-654-3100 or


Summer concerts at the Locks

SAT-SUN Outdoor concerts, Duke and Diva a cappella, 2 p.m. Saturday; Mach One Jazz Orchestra, 2 p.m. Sunday, Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, 3015 N.W. 54th St., Seattle; free (206-783-7059).


Kenmore Summer Concert Series

AUG. 15 Live performance. 6-8 p.m. Aug. 15, Saint Edward State Park, 14445 Juanita Drive N.E., Kenmore; free ( ).


Shoreline-Lake Forest Park Arts Council = concerts in parks in Shoreline and LFP Wednesdays at 7 pm. Except the North City Jazz Festival is on Tuesday August 13 from 7 to 10 pm. Cost $15 and worth it.



Seattle Architecture Foundation

FRI Walking tours, Architecture’s Greatest hits, 10 a.m. Friday; Art + Architecture, 10 a.m. Saturday; Architecture 101, 10 a.m. Aug. 15; Design Details including the Smith Tower Chinese Room & Observation Deck, 10 a.m. Aug. 16, Seattle Architecture Foundation, 1333 Fifth Ave, Rainier Square Atrium, Seattle; $15-$25 ( ).

Tap Water Tours

FRI-SUN Tour by bus and foot to learn about the protected watershed, the source of Seattle’s tap water, 10:15 a.m. Friday-Sunday, Cedar River Watershed Education Center, 19901 Cedar Falls RD SE, North Bend; $5-$10 by reservation (206-733-9421 or 425-831-6780 or

South Lake Union Neighborhood Tour: Extreme Makeover Edition

SAT MOHAI and the Seattle Architecture Foundation (SAF) exploration of historical and architectural stories that narrate how this neighborhood has dramatically changed to meet the needs of a growing city, 10 a.m. Saturday, MOHAI at Lake Union Park, 860 Terry Ave. N., Seattle; $15-$20 (206-324-1126 or

Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs ended WW II in the Pacific

Bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan ended WW II.

Japan was preparing to defend their home islands against invasion by the US and allies in July, 1945. The leaders were preparing their people for suicidal resistance. Four experienced army divisions were withdrawn from Manchuria, China and 45 new divisions were built up in the first half of 1945. Many of these were immobile coastal defense units, but sixteen were mobile units. In all, there were 2.3 million Japanese Army troops prepared to defend the Japanese home islands, another 4 million Army and Navy employees, and a civilian militia of 28 million men and women.

Vice Admiral Onishi estimated Japan's casualties at 20 million deaths. The US Joint War Plans Committee estimated that "Olympic" would result in between 130,000 and 220,000 US-casualties of which U.S. dead would be the range from 25,000 to 46,000. This estimate was made with the recent results from the invasion of Okinawa. US Secretary of War Stimson put together a commission to make an independent estimate for him. The numbers were much worse: Allies would suffer between 1.7 and 4 million casualties in such a scenario, of whom between 400,000 and 800,000 would be dead. But better for the Japanese - casualties would have been around 5 to 10 million. Wikipedia on Invasion/defense of Japan

Compared to those expected casualty numbers the two atomic bomb attacks saved lives. Also the invasion would have lasted months to a year of misery for everyone in Japan and another year of war mobilization for the US - rationing, manufacturing airplanes instead of automobiles, etc.

President Truman made the right decision.

A book that sorts through the many revisionist histories of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings: Hiroshima in History by Robert J Maddox. (No Amazon link, because the Big A is not responding to sign-in attempts.)

David French at National Review

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Fracking is safe - Obama

Obama's new Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says fracking for natural gas is safe. At a breakfast hosted by Cristian Science Monitor he said “I still have not seen any evidence of fracking per se contaminating groundwater,”

Washington Examiner

Environmental activists argue that it pollutes groundwater. The Environmental Protection Agency has no found evidence despite three high-profile investigations. Most recently, it pulled out of an investigation in Pavillion, Wyoming.

Moniz said there had been a few cases where methane had seeped into groundwater due to faulty well design, but he added that that and other concerns related to fracking are “manageable.”

“Manageable means it still has to be managed,” he said, and that means the proper regulations. The administration is still working on those.

Asked if the abundance of natural gas was retarding investment in renewable energy resources, Moniz said the opposite was true. It was helping the US meet lower emissions targets, giving renewable technology a chance to catch up.

Book: The Brotherhood: America's next great enemy

Book: The Brotherhood: America's next great enemy by Erick Stkelbeck

The Muslim Brotherhood is growing around the world. We well know that it had control of the government of Egypt for a year and is still close to power there. But it also is established in the US. Erick Stakelbeck has been following it and just came out with this book.

Excerpt 1

Al-Quds Market was the type of traditional Middle Eastern grocery found throughout the West Bank and Gaza, but with an added touch: the store’s entire exterior was painted in the red, black, green, and white colors of the Palestinian flag. From the outside, needless to say, it looked like a no-go zone for a non-Muslim supporter of Israel.

That instinct was confirmed once I walked through the front door and glanced above the meat counter, where a large Palestinian flag featur- ing the Dome of the Rock—one similar to those flown at rallies for Hamas—greeted me.

Such a brazen display was to be expected in the terror hotbeds of Jenin or Gaza City. But I was in Hilliard, Ohio, thousands of miles from the seething cauldron of the Palestinian territories and a world away from the unbridled radicalism of the Muslim Middle East. Or so I thought.

I had come to Hilliard, a sleepy suburb of Columbus nestled in the American heartland, at the invitation of my friend, counterterrorism consultant and Hilliard native Patrick Poole. He had recently returned to his hometown after ten years away and was shocked by what he found.

“After a decade away, to come back and see all the changes Hilliard had gone through and then to find out that we had essentially become a center of jihad, one of the hottest centers of jihad in the country, was just mind blowing,” he told me as I interviewed him at the local VFW Post.

At the center of this budding network, Poole explained, was an Egyptian native and leading global Muslim Brotherhood operative named Salah Sultan...

More about the book's release: Stakelbeck on Terror blog And the book is available at CBN Shopping.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Seattle is searching for words to be offended by

"Brown Bag" - "Citizen" Did that offend you?

Seattle has an office that has nothing to do but look for words to offend… any one - real or imagined. Not just ones that will offend, but to potentially offend...

On behalf of the City Council and Mayor McGinn the Office of Civil Rights has advised city employees to stop using "brown bag," "citizen" and other potentially offensive terms.

Did you know that a brown bag was once used for a racial test? I have been around for a long time and a reader all my life, but I never heard of that. The Office of Civil Rights research team is the best.


In an interview with Seattle's KIRO Radio, Bronstein said the term "brown bag" has been used historically as a way to judge skin color.

"For a lot of particularly African-American community members, the phrase brown bag does bring up associations with the past when a brown bag was actually used, I understand, to determine if people's skin color was light enough to allow admission to an event or to come into a party that was being held in a private home," Bronstein said.

According to the memo, city employees should use the terms "lunch-and-learn" or "sack lunch" instead of "brown bag."

When was a brown bag used as a test? Where? This year? This century? In the state of Washington?

And did you know that many Seattle residents are not citizens? "Yes," you respond. Well take a lesson from Elliott Bronstein who outlawed the word:

Bronstein told KIRO Radio the word "citizen" should be avoided because many people who live in Seattle are residents, not citizens.

"They are legal residents of the United States and they are residents of Seattle. They pay taxes and if we use a term like citizens in common use, then it doesn't include a lot of folks," Bronstein said.

McGinn has his best people on this hunt. It is clearly a high priority.

-- Update --

This story quickly went national. Legal Insurrection covers it in depth with some other examples, including "chink in the armor."