Monday, December 29, 2014

Johnny Mercer wrote 1,200 songs

Johnny Mercer (1909 to 1976) was an amazing talent. He was one of the most popular singers of the 1940s, behind Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. He was cofounder of Capital Records in 1942 and an executive there. Meanwhile he wrote the lyrics for a lot of songs; he sometimes also composed the music. The lyrics have been found for 1,200 of them. Those found are brought together with complete lyrics in a huge book that has little text beyond the lyrics.

The book: The Complete Lyrics of Johnny Mercer

My list: As I went thorough the book I noted the songs I recall. Here is my list with the songs by year and giving the page number in the book.

1933
Lazy Bones p 22
I’m an Old Cowhand p 44. The funny song of the “cowhand” who rides the range in his Ford V-8.
1936
Hooray for Hollywood p 59
Jeepers Creepers p 74
You must have been a beautiful baby p 74

1940
Fools rush in, page unknown

1941
Blues in the Night p 117. Everyone agreed he deserved the Academy Award for song for this. The award went to the great duo Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein. They apologized to Mercer, agreeing that he deserved the award, because their song was not new and not written for the movie. The rules were soon changed, so that didn’t happen again.

I remember you, page unknown

1942
That Old Black Magic p 136
One for my baby and One more for the Road p 138. It has the Unusual length of 43 bars
Ac-cent-tu-ate the Positive p 144
1945
On the Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe p 152
1946
Come Rain or Come Shine p 162

1951
In the Cool, cool, cool of the Evening p 192
Glow Worm p 220
Something’s Gotta Give p 241
1956
Jubilation T Cornpone from the obscure musical Lil’ Abner

1960
Satin Doll p 272 
I Wanna be around to pick up the Pieces p 275. A little lady working the cosmetics counter in a department store in Youngstown, Ohio, Sadie Vimmerstedt, wrote only the title and first line, but was given full credit as co-composer by Mercer. When asked why he responded that the title and first line is half the work of writing a song.
Two of a Kind p 291
Moon River
Bilbao Song (Bertolt Brecht)
Days of Wine and Roses p 300

I also enjoy a recording I have of Mercer and Bobby Darin singing Paddlin’ Madeline Home, which shares our granddaughter’s name. But Mercer didn’t write it.

New York's good old 1970s were bad, very bad

New Yorkers - some of them - are remembering the 1970s. But not for the much higher crime or the city going bankrupt. No, as a funky, fun place.

Ed Driscol reminds how bad NYC was before Rudy Giuliani cleaned it up. Ed Koch provided some sane, if more dangerous, years also.

PJ Media

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Barry Ritholz's investment advice

Barry Ritholz has been in finances for 35 years. Here are some lessons he has learned.

1. You cannot beat the market.

2. Stock picking is a sucker’s game.

3. Fees rob you every year. Cut them as low as possible. No active management.

And more. HIs quick advice is here. Big Picture

More: Ritholz uses a very interesting article by Mark Dowie. First, it tells the story of the advice to Google employees before its IPO. Second, how the author cleaned up his investment portfolio and the people at Aperio who helped him. Third, how passive management began at Wells Fargo in San Francisco in the early 1970s. And how it could not have happened in New York, Boston, Chicago or any other center of finance; it required mavericks. And why is so much money still in wasteful active management?

The Big Picture the article by Mark Dowie. It first appeared in San Francisco Magazine in December, 2006.

 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Using Mt Rainier for climate nonsense

 

The Tacoma News Tribune ran a major feature on how Mt Rainier is dying. But Sierra Rayne looked at it and found major problems with it. My favorite is that the warming trend is hidden by recent colder temperatures. Recent colder temps are hiding warming? Maybe colder means colder!

American Thinker Here is a sample.

You must be kidding: 105 years of climate data isn't enough to establish trends? Pure nonsense, as is the claim that the park's weather varies so widely that it "obscures long-term changes." Last time I checked, all major scientific organizations were using climate records much shorter than 105 years to establish trends.

And claiming that year-to-year and decade-to-decade variability obscures long-term changes is oxymoronic – although it makes a convenient alarmism talking point. The statistical tools we use to assess whether trends are significant or not take into account this variability.

There are many climate datasets that have substantial variability but still yield significant trends over time. Conversely, there are also many climate datasets that have relatively little variability but that do not exhibit any significant trends. It is all too convenient to raise the "too much variability" flag when the time series doesn't give you a trend – but I don't see any concerns over "too much variability" when the statistical analyses yield a trend.

In other words, the same degree of variability apparently becomes a problem when the analysis suggests no climate change, but it is just fine when a trend can be identified. Heads, we win; tails, you lose. Sounds like a fine philosophy by which to run a casino, but that simply is not how objective and rigorous publicly funded science should work.

Later on in this article, there is the following statement that appears to entirely contradict the excuse quoted above:

[Quoting TNT] Eleven weather stations gather data in the park, but only the station at Longmire has been operating long enough (since 1909) to show trends that climatologists say are significant. [End of quote]

Wait a minute. Were we not just told earlier in the article that "the first weather station in the park wasn't installed until 1909, so there's not enough historic data on temperature or snowfall – especially at high altitudes – to establish trends with those numbers"? And now we are being told that "only the station at Longmire has been operating long enough (since 1909) to show trends that climatologists say are significant."

So data since 1909 is not enough to establish trends, except when data since 1909 is enough to show trends? Sure, that makes sense.

Read the whole thing.

 

 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Artificial knee meniscus - regenerated in place

 

TC Columbia Univ knee meniscus

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center & Cornell are working on a method of regenerating knee meniscus in place. It is a combination of 3D printing and getting stem cells to do the regeneration. 

Interesting as the 3D printing is, the key is the way to hold two growth proteins that atttract stem cells that do the work. They successfully did this in sheep so that they could walk, but a few years are needed in the lab to make it practical for you and me.

Tech Crunch

Photo: Tech Crunch

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mayor Murray wants more tent cities

What you enable you get more of. Do you want more people on the street (no, in tents, big difference)? Seattle Mayor Ed Murray wants seven (7) city-sponsored tent cities with up to 100 people in each. Churches and other religious institutions are allowed to host tent cities with few restrictions.

Mayor Murray set up a task force to study where to put/allow homeless people and this was one of their key recommendation. Did they consider security? Homeless encampments in the past have been shown to attract people with criminal records. Sanitation? One hundred people outside without plumbing?

Seattle Times

Why work to pay rent when the city encourages living in tents for free? The mayor should do everything to encourage more jobs. More people working and paying their own rent. When he makes it easier to be homelessness he will attract more of them both locally and from other places.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Alternate-fuel vehicles - sometimes less healthy than gasoline

Alternate-fuel vehicles - are they less healthy? Depending on the which fuel is used, sometimes the answer is YES.

Popular Mechanics describes a study that says there is a split - that some alternate fuels are less healthy than gasoline-powered cars! The alternates included electric vehicles with six different fuels for generating the electricity. The big villains are using corn ethanol for fuel and electric cars when the electricity is generated by coal - which much of it currently is

The researchers investigated ten alternatives to gasoline. They include diesel, compressed natural gas, ethanol derived from corn, and ethanol derived from cellulose, as well as electric vehicles powered in six different ways: by electricity from coal, natural gas, corn leaf and stalk combustion, wind, water, or solar energy. They then modeled the effects of replacing 10 percent of U.S. vehicles that currently run on gasoline by 2020. ...

The findings showed a dramatic swing the positive and negative effects on health based on the type of energy used. Internal combustion vehicles running on corn ethanol and electric vehicles powered by electricity from coal were the real sinners; according the study, their health effects were 80 percent worse compared to gasoline vehicles. However, electric vehicles powered by electricity from natural gas, wind, water, or solar energy might reduce health impacts by at least 50 percent compared to gasoline vehicles.

They were studying health effects, not global warming.

For more see the abstract at Proceedings NAS.

Helping the almost billionaire

Help Fidel Castro retain tyranical control of Cuba, President Obama. Help the almost billionaire. According The Richest Castro is worth $900 million.

And President Obama is clearly helping him by opening normal relations with Cuba without getting anything - well only one prisoner released. 

Quote of the day - John Kerry

John kerry yacht in RI

John "Do you know who I am?” Kerry * speaks his wisdom: US Department of State

I was a seventeen year old kid watching on a black and white television set when I first heard an American President talk of Cuba as an "imprisoned island.”

For five and a half decades since, our policy toward Cuba has remained virtually frozen, and done little to promote a prosperous, democratic and stable Cuba. Not only has this policy failed to advance America's goals, it has actually isolated the United States instead of isolating Cuba.

That’s right. It is the US that is isolated more than Cuba. Oh? Are people from everywhere in the world trying to get into Cuba? Do Americans drive only US cars from the 1950s, or do we import from any country that make quality cars?

Tell us more, esteemed Mr. Kerry.

* (That is what people in Massachusetts tell us Kerry says when he treats people like dirt in public: "Do you know who I am?”)

Photo: YachPals.com on keeping his 75-foot yacht in RI to avoid Mass taxes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Europeans cheat on auto fuel and emissions tests

The Europeans are systematically cheating on auto fuel and emissions tests. You cannot believe the numbers the auto makers show off with the approval of the European Commission.

The Economist

…  What was once a gap between the mileages achieved on test tracks and real-world roads has become a chasm, according to a recent report from Transport & Environment (T&E), a green pressure group. Analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation, a consultancy, of data reported by car owners in Europe shows that in 2013 fuel-economy figures “on the road” were on average 38% worse than those advertised.

The makers are allowed to test prototypes rather than production copies; they can remove mirrors, spare tires, etc; in the test the cars are driven with very gradual acceleration; they are run at the maximum temperature, which helps. The tests are simply nonsense.

We always hear that the Europeans are superior to us in every way and especially in anything about the environment. Don’t believe them and their cheerleaders. 

This Wikipedia article tells more about the standards and the tricks. Wikipedia

Joel Kotkin and New Geography

Joel Kotkin is an Orange County, Calif professor (check…) He collects his thoughts and those others on urban geography at NewGeography web site and blog. For example, he fisks the common claim that the US has not been investing in infrastructure. But he shows that the pessimists run out the worst examples and ignore the good news. New Geography

And Kotkin's new book: The New Class Conflict at Amazon

"There's class warfare politics in America today, but not between Marx's bourgeoisie and proletariat. On one side are a hyperaffluent financial and high-tech Oligarchy and a preachy media, university, and government Clerisy, using their advantages to promote liberal social values and 'green' policies. On the other are the middle-class yeomanry and an urban underclass, both of which need the mass economic growth and upward mobility that the Oligarchy and Clerisy ignore. Joel Kotkin's The New Class Conflict tells how this conflict is proceeding--and how it might be turned around."
--Michael Barone,Washington Examiner and the American Enterprise Institute

 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Very funny - waterboard the coach

Waterboard the coach!

Sportscaster Dan Hampton is a hall-of-fame veteran of the Chicago Bears; he wants to get to the truth. So he proposes waterboarding Mel Tucker, the Bears defensive coordinator.  Very funny.

Sportstalk

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Greenpeace defaced very old treasure

Greenpeace knowingly defaced a very old treasure in Peru. Peru has a bunch of large-scale drawings on rock by the Nazca people around 400 to 640 AD. Greenpeace chose to place its message about renewable whatever adjacent to one of them. Adjacent - so close that they trampled on it. Their chosen site is the hummingbird geoglyph. And in their nocturnal comings and goings they created a road that is as bad an eyesore from above as the trampling they did.

Their message: “Time for change! The future is renewable - Greenpeace.” Duh… the past is not renewable. They caused permanent damage. But their intentions were good. And they are sorry that you take exception to what they do. But they have a higher calling.

Peru government official Jaime Castillo said that the action was illegal and they are investigating it.

Via Gizmodo. Source IO9

Patricio V. Murillo shows how researchers wear special footgear to protect the ground at the Nazca sites. (In Spanish)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Still lying about Obamacare - two this week

Obama’s new Secretary of HHS told Two half truths this week. First, that Obamacare make huge decrease in inflation of healthcare costs. Wrong. Cost increases slowed before - before - Obama’s pet bill passed in 2010.

Lie #2: Increased patient safety. But… But Obama’s minions are not counting the worst infection now running through hospitals, called C Diff. The independent hospital patient safety experts say things are not improving.

From Betsy McCaughey at New York Post

Monday, December 08, 2014

Raise in federal minimum wage reduced employment

Raising the federal minimum wage reduced employment. Detailed analysis with the control group being states that already had higher minimum wages. With all things considered authors found that the 3-strep raise in 2007, 2008 and 2009 reduced employment by .7%. That’s a huge number of people who lost their jobs.

EconBrowswer

Friday, December 05, 2014

Stand with Hillary

Watch the music video Stand with Hillary 2016 - country version. Enjoy it like all us country music fans do.. They plan three more for other ghettos, I mean, populations. 

At PowerLine you can watch it and enjoy Steven Hayward’s commentary.

Powerline Blog

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Where will China seek more energy & resources?

Richard Fernandez quotes sources that say given the choice between: West - in and across Russia overland and East/South over water influenced by the US and Japan, China has chosen to take on the emaciated Bear, Russia.

Richard Fernandez at Belmont Club

The analysis he quotes is disjointed, but interesting.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Cabo Mexico after category 3 hurricane

Odile playa grande

We returned to Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico last night curious to see how there are recovering from category 3 hurricane Odile in mid September. There is a lot of recovery to go. Our home resort, Playa Grande, opened on October 20, 5 plus weeks later. And we knew some other resorts opened then or within a few weeks. But we were surprised on the drive from the airport, which is 20 miles away in San Jose, to see lots of dark buildings. Even some major resorts are not yet open - Palmilla, Dreams, Fiesta Americana, Westin, Sheraton; those are all big ones.

At Playa Grande our view will be greatly improved (we are staying at the resort next door this wee - Sandos Finisterra), because the palm trees lost all their fronds - all of them. Our view before was frustrating because our condo is right at the edge of the beach, but the palm trees cut the view to peek-a-boo. At least most of the trees survived. There is damage - one stairway to the beach is missing the last 10 steps. But the resort is set back from water’s edge, which reduced the damage.

Grand Solmar Resort is next to the rocks at the famed Fin de Tierra - “land’s end” - but they built it close to the water. It has concrete wall faced with stone on the water side. Most of the stone work is gone. And the concrete wall protecting one close building has a 40-foot gap. And more damage; when walking by barefoot on the sand watch out for rebar sticking our of the sand! But the resort is open.

Photo: The entrance to Playa Grande. The drop below the van on its side is 13 meters (40 feet). Credit shows in the photo.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Divider Obama

President Obama is urging schools to honor robber Michael Brown. His shoplifting became robbery when the store employee intervened and Brown resisted physically. Then Brown resisted arrest, then fought the police officer for his gun. Then moved away. Then turned to charge the officer and was shot.

Honor this criminal? Mr President. No. What are you trying to do? Divide our nation?

DW Ulsterman

The Theory of Everything - Hawking movie

A review in NY Times critical of the shallow treatment of his science. And it minimizes the collaborative work; again, the lone scientist fairy tale.

NY Times

A shallower review:

Business Insider

Obama double crossed business on Obamacare

Obama double crossed business on Obamacare and they don’t like it.

Big business supported President O with his socialized medicine because, in part,  he allowed them credit for “healthy employee” programs. Programs like incentives for losing weight or exercising. Then Obama sued them. Sued them? Yes. His EEOC sued them for collecting employee information. Of course they collected information in a weight-loss program. How else do you do it, President O?

Yahoo News

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Why oil-producing countries can survive low oil price

How can oil-producing countries survive low oil price? We hear that Russia needs the price to be over $100, but they don’t support cutting production to hold up the price.

Why? Because their budgets are  balanced in their own currency, not dollars. And they can devalue their currency - almost all can. Ecuador can’t; they use the US dollar. Venezuela … I don’t quite understand, but it’s part of the mess Hugo Chavez made in making his oil-rich country poor! They are in trouble. But Russia, Iran, etc. can survive the fall with currency manipulation. If the price drops 10% and they devalue by 10% they get the same price in their own currency.

For the full explanation see: Bloomberg

 

People helping sea turtles hatch along Gulf of California in Baja Calif Sur

Tortuga marina nino

Residents are helping sea turtles hatch along Gulf of California in Baja California Sur. Los Barriles is about 40 NE of Cabo San Lucas. These residents go out every day for months. While on vacation for two weeks we have actively done this two or three times - handling the little guys - and have watched others help several more times.

But the story is in Spanish.

El Pais

OK. I admit it. I am posting this for my own later reference. Hablo pocito EspaƱol.

Photo from original story at El Pais.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Rep. Ida Ballasiotes made a difference

She was shocked into action when her daughter was abducted and murdered by a sex offender free on work release. She got citizens involved and got the attention of Olympia. First with new laws, then she got elected as a State Representative and served five terms.

Seattle Times

… Then-Gov. Booth Gardner named [Rep.] Ballasiotes to a task force to study possible reforms. The group’s work eventually led to the Community Protection Act of 1990, which toughened sentences and required registration of sex offenders.

The law also allowed the state to indefinitely lock up certain sexually violent offenders who have completed their criminal sentences but are deemed a continued threat by the courts.

Rep. Ballasiotes was elected a state representative in 1992 and served five terms, continuing to focus on criminal-justice and corrections issues. She was an advocate for get-tough laws that have been copied nationally, including the 1993 “three-strikes” measure that mandates life sentences for those convicted three times of certain serious felonies.

There are now 261 prisoners serving life sentences under that law, according to the state Department of Corrections. ...

Monday, November 24, 2014

Watch 520 bridge construction

Watch 520 bridge construction in aerial photos.

Seattle Times November 18

John Kerry is afraid of Iran's diplomats

Senator Kirk Iran Deal 11 2013

John Kerry is afraid of Iran's diplomats. It is reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif shouts at him and he just takes it. If he had any respect for our nation he would break off the meeting. Wimp. And he claims to represent the US? He represents President Obama and his cowardly actions are Obama’s policy. But not mine.

WashingtonFree Beacon

Graphic: The 2013 Geneva agreement with Iran on nuclear weapons. Wikipedia

Wash Post fact checks a comedy skit

They must be desperate. Public opinion is everything to President Obama and his loyal servants in the press. And they are losing it.

Saturday Night Live did a skit where Bill is a bill in Congress explaining how he gets passed. But President Obama pushes him down the steps.  Because He can do anything He wants. You are losing it, King Obama.

See the skit at American Thinker.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Obama illegally acting on immigration

Obama illegal immigration policy

Here is the letter I send to Senator Murray and Senator Cantwell of Washington on Thursday:

Dear Senator

President Obama cannot put a law in place without it being passed by Congress. We know he can’t do it because President Obama said so - repeatedly - that he cannot allow millions of illegal immigrants to stay. Glenn Kessler, the fact checker at the Washington Post, gives Obama one Pinocchio flip flopped. And Kessler has links to videos. Including
— Univision Town Hall, March 28, 2011,
— Interview with Univision, Jan. 31, 2013,
— Google Hangout, Feb. 14, 2013: Obama said ‘I’m not the emperor of the United States’,
— Interview with Noticias Telmundo, Sept. 17, 2013m

Repeatedly President Obama said it was not legal for him to do what he announced on Nov. 20, 2014.

Furthermore, if he claims he is just using prosecutorial discretion he is wrong. Prosecutors have limited funds so they can’t prosecute every case , but it does not make the cases they set aside to be legal. The unprosecuted cases are still illegal. But Obama violated that also. He claimed that the violators he is not prosecuting have the right to be here, just because he chose not to prosecute them. That is not proper use of prosecutorial discretion and is not a valid reason at all.

Senator, you say it’s time to act. OK. Work in the Senate and with the House to build a bill and get it passed. And tell President Obama it is wrong for him to act without your bill.

Truly,

Ron

Graphic: Cartoonist Rick McKee. See Caglecartoons.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Obamacare architect brags

This week in Obamacare:

A chief architect of Obamacare has been going around saying they had to rig the Obamacare bill in 2010 to trick the CBO* calculation of its cost. And it wasn’t hard to do because the American people are stupid. The CBO cost estimates were key to the Democrats saying Obamacare would cost very little per year. 

Prof Jonathan Gruber of MIT in his own words:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that.  In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass… Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not."

So he admits to lying, but he is glad he/they did because the end result was worth it. You see no one would respect him if it hadn’t passed.

I am sure he is also happy that Chief Justice Roberts found the individual mandate in Obamacare constitutional because it is a tax. So Gruber and all pass it as a non-tax, then defend it in court as a tax. Yes.

Daily Caller

And there is proof that this was not one stumble off the cuff. This week every time Gruber tried to walk back his own quoted words, another video was found. It’s about six and counting.

Was he involved in creating Obamacare? Washington Post’s fact checker Glenn Kessler checked the statement that Gruber was paid almost $400,000 by the Obama Administration for work on health care reform. Kessler found there is proof he was paid $392,600 and so gave it a Geppetto checkmark, his mark for a true statement.

* Congressional Budget Office

Washington Obamacare exchange shut down

Wash HealthPlanFinder 2014 11 16 7 36 am

Washington HealthPlanFinder, Washington's Obamacare exchange, shut down after 2 plus hours operation Saturday morning. It was its first opening for new enrollees since last spring. It was making calculation errors on tax credits, so its maintainers shut it down.

They say it was best to close it because they learned last year that it is very hard to make corrections after enrollment (Why didn’t they fix that?), so it’s best to keep new people out until the fix is in place. 

Sunday morning it is still closed. Who decided to not open it until after the election? There is no doubt about why they did.

Tacoma News Tribunes

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Trumpeter swans winter near Lynden WA

ST Trumpeter swans Mt Baker
Trumpeter swans spend the winter in NW Washington. Wiser Lake SW of Lynden, WA, is one location.
Seattle Times

Hillary was the biggest loser

Sen. Rand led a twitter campaign #HIllarysLosers, showing photos of her with her Demo losers - Senators Hagan of NC, Udall of Colorado, Grimes (candidate) of Kentucky, Pryor of Arkansas and (soon to be fulfilled) Landrieu of Louisiana. But many lame-stream commentators claimed she won. ?

Ross Kaminsky pushes back all the happy talk that Hillary won. He takes on their three main points at American Spectator.

1. Liberal claim: By neutering the Progressive wing of the party, the election will allow Hillary to stop selling out to the left.

Reality: Even in comparison to Barack Obama, nobody will buy a rebranding of Hillary as a centrist. She was for Obamacare, then known as Hillarycare, fifteen years before this president shoved it down the throat of an unwilling nation which is still choking on it.

One of the lessons learned by Democrats in 2014 is that their base is disheartened — a mirror image of the lesson learned painfully by Republicans in 2012. In order to raise money, staff phone banks, and get people knocking on doors, Hillary will have to motivate the Progressive base of the party — which she can only do by continuing to appeal to their leftist instincts. Trying to be a bland centrist, much less a near-Republican won’t work for Hillary any more than it worked for Bob Dole or John “maverick” McCain or even Mitt Romney (though Romney had moved aggressively to the right during the primary season).

2. Liberal claim: The election was about President Obama’s leadership rather than Democratic policy preferences, allowing Hillary to campaign somewhat against Obama and portray herself as not seeking “the third Obama term.”

Reality: Of the three claims, this one has the most merit — or at least the first half of it does. The election was as much about Barack Obama’s utter inability to lead and his “my way or the highway” approach to dealing with Republicans (and occasionally even with Democrats) than it was about specific policies despite persistent public opposition to Obamacare. Unfortunately, most independent voters (much less Democrats) are not well-enough informed to have turned against Progressivism more broadly even as they turned against its current leading representative, not realizing that he is that movement’s apotheosis.

So Hillary can attempt to stay close to Progressive policy goals while suggesting that President Obama’s methods were misguided, roughly the same criticism she (not coincidentally) offered of Obama’s mentor Saul Alinsky when she penned her 1969 Wellesley College senior thesis on the man. (Two years later she wrote Alinsky a letter asking when Rules for Radicals would be released, calling the book “the fulfillment of Revelation.” Sounds like a good place to start for another Obama term.)

But again, will the public buy it? That depends primarily on whether Republicans can lash her to the mast of the sinking ship that is the Obama legacy just as they did to now-defeated Democrats across the nation last week. You can bet that a “third Obama term” will be a phrase you’ll be utterly sick of two years from today.

3. Liberal claim: Republicans, being led by the nose by Ted Cruz, will govern like out-of-touch extremists, particularly on social issues.

Reality: Can you name a 2014 Republican candidate for a major office who aggressively campaigned against the Supreme Court’s de facto permitting of gay marriage by refusing to hear cases on the subject (something which may soon change with the Sixth Circuit’s upholding of bans on same-sex marriage)?

...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Google's online interactive, digital atlas

Google has created an online library of maps - a digital atlas. And many are interactive. For example here is a three-layer map of the route of Lewis and Clark in 1804-06. Google allows me to embed it here.

Map from the David Rumsey Map Collection. Use the menu at the upper left to show (1) The hand-drawn map published in 1814 with a slider to control how opaque it is, (2) their route in both direction, and/or (3) their 541 camp sites. Right now I can’t get the route and camp sites to show. See the same map at Google.

See much more at Google Map Gallery.

China's carbon emission increase under Obama's victorious agreement

Senator Inhofe says what any person with eyes can see. Obama gave away the game. It must be a game to him.

USA Today

President Obama and President Xi of China have come to an agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. It's being hailed as a "historic" breakthrough ahead of the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference, but I have three words: Talk is cheap.

 

OUR VIEW: New hope for the planet

 

This reminds me of 1998, when President Clinton signed the Kyoto Protocol knowing full well that it would never be ratified by the Senate.

 

China is taking a page from the Clinton playbook. There is nothing binding about President Xi's agreement, and China will face zero consequences if it does not live up to its word.

 

And we should have no such expectation. This is a non-binding charade because as China's economy grows, so will its demand for electricity. China is the largest consumer and importer of coal in the world, accounting for 50% of global consumption.

 

Over the next decade, China is expected to bring a new coal-fired power plant online every 10 days to give its hungry economy the electricity it demands, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Obama got nothing. And he calls this a victory?

President Obama and President Xi of China have come to an agreement on greenhouse gas emissions. It's being hailed as a "historic" breakthrough ahead of the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference, but I have three words: Talk is cheap.
OUR VIEW: New hope for the planet
This reminds me of 1998, when President Clinton signed the Kyoto Protocol knowing full well that it would never be ratified by the Senate.
China is taking a page from the Clinton playbook. There is nothing binding about President Xi's agreement, and China will face zero consequences if it does not live up to its word.
And we should have no such expectation. This is a non-binding charade because as China's economy grows, so will its demand for electricity. China is the largest consumer and importer of coal in the world, accounting for 50% of global consumption.
Over the next decade, China is expected to bring a new coal-fired power plant online every 10 days to give its hungry economy the electricity it demands, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Rich Americans ARE paying their fair share

The CBO did a study. The rich were paying their fair share BEFORE Obama’s tax increases.

Investors Business Daily

The CBO looks at the distribution of household income and federal taxes up through 2011, the last year for which it has data. It found, for example, that:

While the top 1% of households accounted for 15% of all income, they paid 35% of all federal income taxes. The bottom 20% accounted for 5.3% of income, but they got more in refundable tax credits, on average, than they paid in income taxes.

Even when you include payroll and other federal taxes, the bottom 20% carried just 0.6% of the total tax burden.

Overall federal tax rates on the top 1% have averaged around 30% for more thaFn three decades, but the rate paid by the bottom 20% has dropped steadily, going from 9% in 1984 to 1.9% in 2011.

Despite all the hullabaloo about how Bush's tax cuts favored the rich, the share of income taxes paid by the top 1% climbed from 22% in Bush's first year in office to 25% by 2008. The share paid by the bottom group dropped from 1.4% to 0.4%.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Even Ron Fornier is mad about Obamacare lies

Ron Fornier is very mainstream, i.e., liberal. He says all liberals should be mad about the lies that Prof Jonathan Gruber is bragging about.

National Journal

Liberals should be the angriest. Not only were they personally deceived, but the administration's dishonest approach to health care reform has helped make Obamacare unpopular while undermining the public's faith in an activist government. A double blow to progressives.

 

Net neutrality would kill investment

It's very 19th century thinking - Lets treat the Internet like water pipes. And the government will control it.

The Internet does so well because the government has left it alone!

But if we put Obama's proposed controls in place those who invest in upgrading it will not be able to recover their investment. It would kill investment. For example AT&T is putting on hold its plan for gigabit Internet.

Electronista

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Explosion of computer science at UofW

There is a space crunch in computer science classrooms and laboratories at University of Washington. It is primarily because of more students who are interested of course. But also due to a change of focus - the internet of things - that requires more space. Professors, researchers and students are designing and building physical objects - from tiny sensors of almost anything to smart wheelchairs and self-driving vehicles. They need laboratory space and tools for this.

About the internet of things, see The UW Ubiquitous Computing Lab - Ubicomp

Seattle Times

Monday, November 10, 2014

Quote re the small, very creative minority that enriches everyone

Sci fi writer Robert Heinlein:

"Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as ‘bad luck.’" 

At Growth Matters, though they don’t seem to know where he said it.

And… Glenn Reynolds used this quote when noting the scary news story that a geologits in Italy was convicted of a crime because he didn’t  warn of an earthquake. But NO ONE can predict earthquakes. Geologists are trying to be able to and there will be great benefit as their science improves. But we can’t (the law and courts can’t) expect anyone to do the impossible. And when they do they stifle the research that will benefit their society. If you were a geologist in Italy would you stay there? NO. As the quote says Italy will be having “bad luck.” Popular Mechanics.

New Republican senators' campaigns - Repeal Obamacare

President Obama criticized Republican candidates by saying Obamacare is so successful that only Democrats are talking about it, not Republican incumbents and candidates. Wrong. Do your homework, Mr. President. Republicans were talking about Obamacare.

Every newly elected Republican Senator talked about Obamacare - about repealing it. Here is the list:

Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), David Perdue (R-Ga.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), and Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). We don’t have final results from Alaska or Louisiana yet, but both Republicans spoke against President Obama signature program.

CNS News

For example: 

Cory Gardner in Colorado touted patient-centered care and a full repeal and replacement of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare.

“Small businesses and the American people cannot afford President Obama’s countless new regulations and tax increases. There is a right way and a wrong to improve our country’s healthcare system, and the President’s healthcare law just isn’t working. We need patient-centered care and lower costs. It is not too late to start over with a full repeal and replacement of the President’s healthcare law,” Gardner said in a statement.

Follow the link for specifics of all the others.

Yes, we lied to pass Obamacare

Yes, we lied to pass Obamacare, says MIT Prof Jonathan Gruber. But the American voters are stupid.

He is looking in the mirror too much. The American people were opposed to passage. So opposed that the Senate violated its own rules to pass the mess, then did't dare vote again to do a little clean up the House wanted. Stupid? Not us.

Daily Signal

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Hitler learns about the 2014 midterm results

Hitler learns about the 2014 midterm results. And he is not happy. At the link:

PowerLineBlog

Sadly Chile is removing freedoms and slowing economy

Chile is removing freedoms and making their economy less flexible. Higher taxes on capital; higher taxes on consumption.

Capitalism allowPuyehue volcano southern Chileed Chile to triple its income over three decades. That helped everyone. Everyone including the poor. On the PPP * basis Chile’s annual GDP per capita is now equivalent to $23,165, putting it just behind Poland ($24,429) and well ahead of Mexico ($17,925)! A 2013 World Bank study showed that between 1992 and 2009 Chile was “the country with the greatest social mobility on the continent.

Capitalism gives and socialism takes away. The socialist President Bachelet wants equality. Equality of mediocrity. And the markets respond: investment dropped by 12.3% in the 4Q 2013. Capital is leaving and it will leave faster since she increased the taxes. A huge self-inflicted wound that will hurt everyone.

Mary Anastasia O’Grady at Wall Street Journal - might require subscription.

* PPP is purchasing power parity. It takes into account that many basic requirements are cheaper in third-world economies. Investopedia

Photo: Puyehue Volcano in Chile. I don’t recall the source.

American jailed by North Korea released

American Kenneth Bae was jailed for the crime of leaving one (1) Bible in a restroom in North Korea. The dictator Kim Jong Un and his minions could not abide the threat of someone seeing/reading God’s word in his totalitarian country. They held him for two years of hard labor.

He arrived at McChord AFB south of Tacoma Saturday night.

Seattle Times

Friday, November 07, 2014

Spice jet 737 hits buffalo while taking off

Spicejet b738 vt sgk surat 141106 1

Yes. A 737 hit a buffalo on the runway, while taking off at Surat, Gujarat State, India. It was dark...

Aviation Herald

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Let's enjoy Thanksgiving

I like the retailers that will be closed on Thanksgiving and allow their employees to relax:

Costco, Nordstrom,

Barnes & Noble, BJ’s Wholesale Club,

GameStop, Joanne Fabric,

Pier 1, Dillard’s,

Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and Burlington Coat Factory.

Shame on Kmart, Walmart and Macys. Shame. And Radio Shack, according to the radio. Shame.

Seattle Times

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Outstanding election graphic re US Senate

NYT 2014 US Senate

The New York Times (and others) has been doing great work in using graphics to communicate data. Look at this: It shows each Senate race over time, who is leading and by how much. 

When blue show the Demo is ahead and the height shows from a small  lead to a huge one. In Kansas there is green color because the Democrat claims to be an independent. When the colors disappear there is a tie.

It’s fascinating to pick a race and follow it across.

Surprise. In Virginia the graph shows the Demo Warner always way ahead. On the morning after the gap is 2,500 votes in the large state.

Here is the link. I am also pasting a screen capture done the "morning after" of November 5.

NY Times

Venezuela is importing oil. Victory for socialism

Venezuela has the largest oil reserves of any country in the world. And it is importing crude oil!

Late President-for-life Hugo Chavez annulled the law of supply and demand and put politics into every decision. And his successor Hugo Maduro has continued  - they removed the experts from the oil industry to replace them by political friends. They support the price of gasoline so it costs pennies. They propped up - and continue - Fidel Castro’s Communists Cuba with billions in oil and other South American socialist presidents.

Also: The government manipulates its currency trying to hide high inflation.

The results: Shortages of toilet paper. First the government took over a toilet paper factory. CNN Then they had to import… toilet paper! Fox News

And now Venezuela is importing oil! And they rely on high oil prices to prop up their economy. $100 is a bit low for Venezuela. $75 clobbers them.

USA Today

And a good read of the overall situation at Hot Air.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Favor Amazon over huge publishers

Coyote Blog says, contra Prof Krugman, that we should favor Amazon over Hachette and the other mega publishers, because Amazon is allowing new authors to get sales. The huge publishers only push the top .1%.

Coyote Blog

Need software? Code schools

The demand for software is so great that more developers are needed. You can go to a four-year college, even add two years for a master’s degree. But what if you already did that in psychology or English? And you want a well paying job.

Code schools

Immigrant from Iran Hadi Partovi and his twin brother started a non-profit online school to teach software coding. Code.org

Code.org has raised $15 million, published 80 hours worth of coding tutorials, and helped more than 45 million kids learn to code, since December, 2013. They are planning a one-week “Hour of Code” December 8 to 14. 

The instruction is aimed at kids. The Hour of Code will be code for Angry Birds! That sure hits our grandson’s 7-year-old interests! 

Learn more at Seattle Business Journal. They go farther and encourage more computer-science education in K-12 schools. With the specific situation for every state - Washington.

See also:

Codefellows in Seattle guarantees a job to its graduates. See story at Geekwire.

Code School appears to be online.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Federal Way ex-rep left Democrat Party to run as a Republican

The race for control of the Washington State Senate is in the balance and big bucks are being spent.

Mark Miloscia, a Federal Way ex-representative, left Democrat Party to run for state senate as a Republican. In a story about the state senate races in the Seattle Times the reporter makes no mention of why he did so.

Miloscia is a strong union supporter, minimum wage and all that. But as a Catholic the Demo Party is trampling his deep-held beliefs. Isn’t that worth looking into?

Here is the story dated Nov. 1, 2014: Seattle Times

And here is the comment I posted on the story:

Reporter O'Sullivan forgot to mention why former Rep. Mark Miloscia in Federal Way left the Democrat Party. Here is what he said in March, 2014:

 

"The most important thing is to independently represent your district and not to follow orders from the party bosses or special interests. I would not vote to make it easier to raise taxes when the district voted repeatedly for a two-thirds majority requirement.

 

"Today, it’s the Republican Party that offers a big tent, welcoming different views, from moderates like Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Senator Steve Litzow, to conservatives in Eastern Washington. Washington State Republicans don’t insist that everyone believe and vote exactly the same way to run for office."

He left the control of party bosses for the big tent, that allows him to decide his own positions.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Hillary accepts corporate cash then bashes corprations

Hillary Clinton knows what caused most problems with our economy - corporations. They donate money to candidates and tax law allows them to. And… WSJ

 

Campaigning in Philadelphia last week with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf, Mrs. Clinton said corporations “seem to have all of the rights but none of the responsibilities of people.”

And “Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs." Huh?

Daily Caller

The rest of the story: Bill and Hillary Clinton have a huge cash machine that pumps in money (accepts) from… corporations! Hypocrite!

Bloomberg

Friday, October 31, 2014

Egypt acts like Israel along Gaza

Egypt is acting like Israel. They want their border with Gaza to be secure, so they are doing something. They are creating a 500 meter buffer along the border to make it harder to smuggle weapons - both above ground and below it. This requires demolishing homes.

When Israel secures their borders the whole world, except the US, condemns them. How about Egypt? Is the UN preparing very strong words?

Also, the interests of Egypt and Israel certainly converge here.

The American Interest

Monday, October 27, 2014

Time Magazine questions tenure for teachers

Magazine questions tenure for teachers in a cover story.

And they get blasted. Horror at the thought that a teacher is not guaranteed a job for life. That there are firing offenses. Duh, we all say. But they don’t. “They”? People in the protected world of public employment have been trained that they have a job for life. 

But what if a teacher commits a crime? Union lawyers will rush to claim that stealing motorcycles (or whatever) does not affect the teacher’s classroom performance. Doesn’t it affect kids to be taught by a convicted felon? Again, duh.

Hot Air

The Time article is behind the locked gate.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Offshore oil rigs are great for sea life

Offshore oil rigs host diversity and quantity of sea life. Surprised? Yes, we are. But this is science.

Jonah Goldberg

In a 15-year study, researchers found that the ecosystems that build up around artificial rigs host 1,000 percent more fish and other sea life than natural habitats such as reefs and estuaries. The California rigs outstripped even famously rich ecosystems such as the coral reefs of French Polynesia.

Now, as a big fan of artificial reefs, I think this is exciting news. There are many who oppose the idea of improving on God's -- or, if you prefer, Gaia's -- design. This strikes me as crazy, given the fact that virtually all of the food we eat and the clothes we wear are the products of human innovation. When humans ran out of gazelles or bison to hunt, they had the great idea of catching a few and raising a renewable supply. When picking wild seeds and berries no longer fed the tribe, it dawned on humans to plant their own.

Fish pose a special problem, however, because many species are difficult to farm. And even when fish are adaptable to aquaculture, there are special risks and costs involved. As a result, the oceans are still being overfished, thanks in no small part to the tragedy of the commons. (Since no one owns the ocean, fishing fleets often grab as much as they can.)

According to Jeremy Claisse, the lead author of the study, the reason rigs are particularly beneficial stems from the fact they're so tall. A skyscraper from seafloor to surface apparently lends itself to a very rich ecosystem. The fact that it's an oil rig is, of course, irrelevant. ...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

VP Biden's son kicked out of Navy

VP Biden’s son Hunter was kicked out of the Navy for failing a drug test for cocaine. Oh!!

But why was he allowed in? He was over 40 and so required a special dispensation. But he had no military background and was allowed to skip basic and officer training. Nepotism? Yes. Cronyism? Looks like it.

Will he lose his license to practice law?

Michelle Malkin follows tale of privilege.

The Hunter Biden Chronicles at Real Clear Politics.

The two sides of the Berlin wall

What difference does it make to live under a totalitarian government versus in a democracy where you are allowed to make most decisions for yourself? An “experiment” was performed in Germany and it instructs us. At the end of World War II the Allied powers agreed to split Germany and separately Berlin into four sections for a temporary transition. But the Soviet Union violated all agreements and put their portion of Germany and Berlin under the iron fist of Stalin.  So people who were all living in the same culture and under the same government were split into democracy West Germany and totalitarian East Germany. The people of East Germany lived in daily fear of the spies of the Stasi secret police. The West Germans were able to make most of their own decisions.

What difference did it make? A huge difference. The two Germanys were united starting when the Berlin wall was smashed down in 1989. After 20 years of unification the people who had lived under constant surveillance still distrusted each other. Economists Helmut Rainer and Thomas Siedler did an in-depth study.

National Review: The Corner - Sweet and Sour Krauts

… They looked at the results of a Germany-wide survey that had been administered twice a year since 1980: According to their analysis, East Germans were much less trusting toward other people than their counterparts.

Perhaps discouragingly, their mistrust did not lift easily when the Stasi’s reign ended. When the researchers compared survey data collected not long after reunification to data collected in 2002, it was clear that living in a democracy for a decade had not made East Germans significantly more trusting of others.

Other studies have shown additional lasting differences. One found that, because in East Germany women were encouraged to work more than they were in the West, East Germans were significantly more likely to believe that men and women are equal. Another found that, because the East German regime ran official doping programs for athletes, East Berliners were much more accepting than West Berliners of performance-enhancing drugs 20 years after reunification.

Read about it at The Corner above, then at the original source: Boston Globe

Friday, October 17, 2014

Archeologists dig up sphinxes in California

Archeologists dug up two giant sphinxes in California. From a movie location! They were left at Guadalupe Dunes (southern California) after the 1923 filming of The Ten Commandments. They might be Hollywood  made, but the are large and weigh 5 tons!

Breitbart

Obama delaying decisions until after the election

Politicians usually hide what they don’t wan us voters/taxpayers to see. But not Obama. He is so confidant that he is not hiding that he is delaying some decisions for political reasons. Why else wait until after the 2014 election?

Even the Washington Post thinks it strange that he is so blatant in his political manipulations. No, it’s the Associated Press and not bylined. Here is their list.

Immigration Reform

Keystone XL Pipeline

New Attorney General

And, of course, Obamacare - another round of cancelled policies, “you can’t keep your doctor,” increased fees, increased cash deductibles and all around poorer health care choices.

Here is Washington Post’s Ed Rogers brining it to light. And he even asks: If we know Obama is hiding these decisions, what decisions are he hiding from us?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Why new ebola cases in Texas, not Atlanta, Nebraska or Maryland?

Why are there new ebola cases in Texas, but in not Atlanta, Nebraska or Maryland? Health-care workers with ebola were flown from Africa to hospitals there. What is the difference between those three and Dallas, Texas?

Special biocontamination units. There are only four hospitals in the US with these. A BC unit is a combination of equipment and training (and regular retraining) to safely handle dangerous infectious. And it’s no coincidence that the patients brought from Africa went where they went: to those hospitals that have the special biocontamination units. There is a fourth - St. Patricks Hospital in Missoula, Montana. Montana!!

Is Texas Presbyterian particularly bad for its ebola procedures? No. It is like in the ballpark of every other hospital in the country. The good news is bad news.

Vox

Monday, October 13, 2014

Columbus Day in Seattle

Christopher Columbus Pier 57 Seattle

Seattle is in the news because they fired Christopher Columbus.  Last week the City Council voted to replace his day by Indigenous Peoples Day.

But Seattle demoted Columbus years ago. The city installed this statue of Columbus facing Elliott Bay in 1978 in a prominent park along the much traveled waterfront. Notice the hole in his head. Yes, a hole. And the emptiest stare I ever recall seeing.

Roadside America calls it the ugliest statue of Columbus. Is there competition for the title? And it reports that local sculptor Douglas Bennett never got another commission for a statue. (Not verified.) Location: It is where Pier 58 would be, south of the Seattle Aquarium and north of Pier 57 and the giant wheel.

For his straight story: Biography.com

The photo: screen capture from Panoramio.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Did Winston Churchill say that?

In many cases, no. It might be a delicious one-liner, but he didn’t say it.

When Nancy Astor, Britain's first female MP, told Sir Winston Churchill that: "If I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee," Churchill famously replied: "Nancy, if I were your husband I would drink it."

No. It was 40 years too early.

George Bernard Shaw sent him two tickets for the opening night of one of his plays with the message that he should "bring a friend, if you have one". Churchill is said to have replied that he could not make the first night, but would come on the second night "if there is one".

No. Both say it never happened. Too bad.

At a reception in Canada when Churchill was sitting next to a Methodist bishop, the two men were offered sherry by a waitress. Churchill took a glass, the but the bishop said: "Young lady, I would rather commit adultery than take an intoxicating beverage."
Churchill said to the waitress: "Come back lassie, I didn't know we had a choice!"

Oh!

But there are good ones that are authentic:

n 1946 Churchill really did meet Bessie Braddock, a plump Labour MP and Tory-hater, who told him: "Winston, you are drunk."
"Madam," he replied, "you are ugly, and I will be sober in the morning."

True.

Churchill was told, while he was in the lavatory, that the Lord Privy Seal had come to see him.
"Tell the Lord Privy Seal that I am sealed in the privy and can only deal with one s*** at a time," he bellowed.

True. And there are more...

Telegraph UK

And see London Mayor Boris Johnson’s new book: The Churchill Factor.

US Surgeon General quiet on ebola

Surgeon General Elders

Why isn't the US Surgeon General (nice uniform!) in the lead on Ebola? Because there isn’t one.

Harry Reid’s US Senate had hearings on nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy in March. But Majority Leader Reid has not scheduled a vote. Why?

Because President Obama nominated a person who says firearms is/are a health care issue. And Democrats in tight races don’t want the issue in plain view and don’t want to vote on him. So Honorable Harry Reid refuses to have a vote on Obama’s nominee.

Why doesn’t our president get this solved? He said he is a uniter. Again, Obama is leading from behind.

It’s in the Daily Mail UK. Not the Seattle Times. (They covered the story last March…)

The photo: Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders in the 1990s. We never figured out why Clinton kept her in office after she made outrageous statements, repeatedly.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Might ebola virus change to transmit airborne?

Might the ebola virus change to transmit while airborne? It might. The researchers don’t know. It has happened before.

Daily Mail UK

In September, Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, writing in the New York Times, said experts who believe that Ebola could become airborne are loathed to discuss their concerns in public, for fear of whipping up hysteria.

Discussing the possible future course of the current outbreak, he said: 'The second possibility is one that virologists are loath to discuss openly but are definitely considering in private: that an Ebola virus could mutate to become transmissible through the air.'

Dr Osterholm warns viruses similar to Ebola are notorious for replicating and reinventing themselves.

It means the virus that first broke out in Guinea in February may be very different to the one now invading other parts of West Africa.

Pointing to the example of the H1N1 influenza virus that saw bird flu sweep the globe in 2009, Dr Osterholm said: 'If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one at risk of contracting Ebola.'

Dr Osterholm said public health officials, while discussing the possibility in private, are reluctant to air their concerns.

'They don't want to be accused of screaming "Fire!" in a crowded theater - as I'm sure some will accuse me of doing.

'But the risk is real, and until we consider it, the world will not be prepared to do what is necessary to end the epidemic.'

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Standoff in Hong Kong

NBC hong kong protests 9 28 2014

The people of Hong Kong are insisting that their elections not be controlled by the Communist government of China. Thousands of mostly young people have been in the streets of Central - the central business district on Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong has elections of local officials. However, Beijing picks the candidates. No independent nomination of candidates is being allowed.

How long will Xi Jinping allow the protesters to clog Hong Kong’s key central business district? How will he end it? Allow the free elections they want? The Army of China like in 1989?

Photo: Protesters running from tear gas. Note that many are wearing goggles! NBC News on 9/28/2014.

Taki’s Mag

… To allow students to block the city center and impede traffic shows weakness. Hong Kong’s reputation as a financial center and tourist attraction will suffer. And Beijing cannot permit this to go on too long without risking supportive protests erupting on the mainland.

Nor can the students be allowed to force Hong Kong to give up Beijing’s veto of candidates. To capitulate would expose President Xi Jinping as a leader who can be broken by street action. To permit that perception would imperil Xi’s standing with Beijing’s hard-liners, and potentially the regime itself.

Thus if the protesters do not vacate Hong Kong’s streets soon, they may have to be removed. And Beijing is not a regime to recoil from force if it has run out of other options.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Incredible mountain photos

RobertBesch Matterhorn lighted for Mammut

Robert Bosch has taken amazing photos - people in/on the mountains. These are not photoshops. Each photo was taken with live people arranged as in the photo.

In this photo they commemorated the 150th anniversary of the first climb of the Matterhorn by illuminating the route. I count 46 lights/climbers. By my eyeball measurement at Google Earth, they are spread over 1,130 vertical meters, which is about 3,500 feet! Some of them had to wait a long time - at night - for this pic. And, as I understand it, the climbers were on the mountain all night for a second round of photos in the morning, due to clouds during the first set.

My Modern Met

A short video about making it. German with subtitles.

YouTube

Monday, October 06, 2014

1991 Radioshack ad - almost all done by smart phone

Steve Cichon in Buffalo, NY found a 1991 ad for Radioshack. His IPhone can do what almost every product advertised does. His phone replaces 15 of 17 items advertised. Follow the link to see the ad and his list.

Trending Buffalo blog

Sunday, October 05, 2014

John Kerry's foreign policy

PL ISIS Climate Change

Secretary of State John Kerry (did you know he served in Vietnam?) has foreign policy so muddled  that - when you mix all the colors together you get brown. He says that climate change is the biggest foreign policy challenge we face. 

The cartoon shows where he is headed. Who is at risk because of his mulled thinking? You and me.

Correction: The cartoon shows where distinguished SoS Kerry already is - this week! CNS News:

During his opening remarks at the NYC Climate Week event on Monday, a summit coinciding with the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, Secretary of State John Kerry called climate change the “most serious challenge we face on the planet,” claiming the threat beats out other international concerns such as terrorism, poverty and weapons of mass destruction. He spoke just hours before the U.S. bombed Syria.

“And when you think about terrorism, which we think about a lot today; poverty, which is linked obviously to the levels of terror that we see in the world today; and, of course, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction – all of these are challenges that don’t know any borders,” Kerry told government leaders and representatives from around the world.

“And that’s exactly what climate change is,” he said. “Importantly, climate change, without being connected in that way to everybody’s daily thinking, in fact, ranks right up there with every single one of the rest of those challenges. You can make a powerful argument that it may be, in fact, the most serious challenge we face on the planet because it’s about the planet itself."

Kerry also deviated from calling climate change an “environmental challenge,” choosing instead to classify it as an “international security threat.”

Via: Powerline Blog.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Vertigo-inducing attractions

Jasper glacier skywalk

In the past few years around the world attractions are being designed and built so the paying public face experience vertigo - bridges with glass floors, etc. This is aside from bungee jumping and zip lines. These are places you walk! Here are a few:

Sochi, Russia - SkyBridge - The 439-metre-long SkyBridge lies 207 metres above the Krasnaya Polyana valley, and forms part of the Sochi SkyPark, located to the north-east of this year's Winter Olympic host city.

Telegraph UK

Southern Spain - Caminito del Rey - It’s one meter wide along a vertical cliff. It closed after fatalities in 1999 and 2000.

Telegraph UK

Pingjang, Hunan, China - glass floored swinging bridge.

Telegraph UK

Jasper National Park, Canada - Glacier Skywalk - 280 meters above the Sunwapta Valley. Glass floor juts out 30 meters.

Telegraph UK again

Chamonix, France - Step into the Void aka Pas dans la Vide. A glass box, not very big, that cantilevers over the sheer mountain cliff about 1,000 meters (3,100 feet) above the valley.

Telegraph UK encore

Grand Canyon, Arizona - Skywalk. This is the first of these I heard of. It is not in the national park, but in the Havasupai Reservation. They haul people there from Las Vegas. Their website.

 

And… There are more. Buildings in Chicago, Macau (next to Hong Kong), Melbourne, Australia, Singapore. Railroads. Gondolas. The mountains of Austria. The Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver, BC, Canada is not in the league with all the others.

See the photo gallery at - of course - Telegraph UK gallery

The photo: Glacier Skywalk at Jasper NP, Canada. Link

Friday, October 03, 2014

Win the Senate, then build our agenda

Charles Krauthamer says the Republicans don’t need a unified agenda to win control of the US Senate. That in an off-year election it is enough to be the party of “No.” Then, after the election we/they can build that agenda. It’s not necessary to have it before the election.

I hope he is right. (He cites examples.) Because that is what the Republicans in Congress are doing.

Washington Post

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gaza: Hamas fires rocket next to live TV stand-up

NDTV India rocket fired next to hotel

Evidence that in Gaza Hamas military teams hid among civilians. Video evidence!

A France 24 reporter was rattling off practiced lines blaming Israel again and again for targeting civilians and preventing growing food. BUT... Then Hamas launched a rocket from so close that it scared the reporter. August 7, 2014

France 24

----

India NDTV team watched and filmed while a rocket is assembled under a blue tent next to their hotel. Then they filmed when it was fired. But they did not dare to report this until they had left Gaza. There is no such thing as freedom of the press to Hamas.

Allgemeiner and the photo

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Zach Deputy - amazing musical talent

I just discovered a great talent - Zach Deputy. Al Kooper calls his music soul. He is white and whatever you call it he is amazing. I watched a 9-minute video of him performing live. He performs live in a most unusual way: He lays down loops live. That is, starting from nothing he plays one instrumental line which is recorded, then a second over the first, then a third over the first and second. After 7 or 8 he plays and sings over all the accumulated loops. An amazing talent.

Al Kooper featured Zach among nineteen other soul tracks, most originals from the 1950s to 1980s. Zach is #9 on Kooper’s page linked below. (You have to go way down the page to entry #9.) He is the only one that includes a video.

Watch the video of "Put it in the Boogie” at Al Kooper’s New Music for Old People for August 1, 2014.

And Zach Deputy’s own site.

Masters of the Universe losing to ... people like us

The master of the universe are frustrated. The big people - the elite, billionaires, lame-stream media people … - repeatedly see their top agenda items defeated or delayed - amnesty for illegal aliens, cutting Social Security, Common Core in K-12 education and more. Where we, the common people of all political persuasions, agree we win!! 

Tony Lee at Breitbart

 … An example: The hired leader of Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg’s pro-amnesty group resigned last week. He was not making progress after spending $ millions. Frustrated boss and fired employee. Breitbart

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

West US warming due to natural causes, not you

New research finds that warming along the US’s Pacific Coast is due to regional natural causes, including shifting winds.

Did the IPCC models predict this? We are spending $ trillions due to those models.

Seattle Times

It has been a subject of debate for years: How much has global warming contributed to a documented rise in temperatures along the West Coast?

A new study published Monday in a major research journal suggests the answer thus far, particularly in the Northwest, is: hardly any.

An average coastal temperature increase of 1 degree Celsius since 1900 along the West Coast appears more likely to be the result of changes in winds and air circulation over the eastern Pacific Ocean, two former University of Washington scientists found.

And the researchers said they could find no evidence that those weather patterns were being influenced by human greenhouse-gas emissions.

“It’s a simple story, but the results are very surprising: We do not see a human hand in the warming of the West Coast,” said co-author Nate Mantua, now with NOAA Fisheries’ Southwest Fisheries Science Center. “That is taking people by surprise, and may generate some blowback.”

Climate scientists for years have acknowledged that Pacific Northwest weather can vary naturally year to year — or even decade to decade. But many have argued that human burning of fossil fuels is already a huge factor driving up regional temperatures.

But the new research by Mantua and lead author Jim Johnstone, formerly with the UW’s Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Oceans, suggests that natural variation in weather accounts for the vast majority of regional temperature increases for the last 113 years.

The study found wind responsible for more than 80 percent of the warming from Northern California to the Northwest.

The study released Monday at Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences.

The previous

Monday, September 22, 2014

They say they care about the climate, but...

They say they care about the climate… But the climate activists in New York City left trash all over. Actions speak louder than words.

Gateway Pundit

The Scot independence vote was a surprise

The vote was expected to be close, but it wasn’t: 55 to 45.

Janet Daley points out that it was the secret ballot that killed the Scottish independence vote. People tend to tell pollsters what the media want to hear. But when they can cast their ballot in secret we learn what  they want.

Telegraph UK

PS: Janet is a reliable source for comment on UK issues.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Celebrate our US Constitution

The US Constitution was completed and signed on September 17, 1787. It was the first constitution to be based upon our freedoms being natural - from God - not from government. And that it is the government’s responsibility to protect our freedoms. A government of the people and by the people.

Look how out government is failing us in 2014. An example at California State Universities, see:

Breitbart.com

Why pick on just this college

Why pick on just this college? All the others have been raising prices and encouraging students and potential students to borrow more and more money.

Seattle Times: "Feds sue Corinthian Colleges, alleging predatory lending"

Monday, September 15, 2014

Democrat admits Obamacare doubled his health insurance cost


Another Obamacare highlight. Doubled cost for a member of Congress. But Obama promised Obamacare would lower costs. Daily Caller

Daily Caller on Rep. Gene Green (D, TX)

Of course the double paying Democrat supports Obamacare more than ever. He wishes the same on his constituents - paying double.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Northwest Passage 2014 - A few have made it

Ten yachts tried the transverse the Northwest Passage in 2014. It is crossing north of North American from North Atlantic and Greenland west to the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia.. Score: Three out of ten finished.

The three that are finishing: NWP 2014 Blog

… Add the Silversea Silver Explorer, a luxury cruise  ship that carries 132. It started from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland on the 9th August and reached Nome, Alaska on September first, 2014. Silversea hired an ice breaker for one stretch! See Incentive Travel UK

 That makes four. Any others?

More at CNN “Arctic Ambition: The race heats up."

Jan Karski told Roosevelt and Eden about Holocaust of Jews in 1943

Karski told Roosevelt and Eden about Holocaust of Jews in 1943. Roosevelt told him the US was going to win the war. That’s all.

Powerline Blog with video clips.

 

The jihadists within our borders


We need to control jihad in the Middle East and not allow jihadists to enter the US. But there is an emergency here and now. President Obama is allowing jihadists to enter and stay in the US. And he knows it.

Betsy McCaughey at American Spectator

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dutch student tricks family with 42-day trek by Photoshop

Her family saw her off at the airport. Then for over 5 weeks they followed her daily adventures with posted photos, text messages at odd hours and even Skype video calls. They saw her is exotic places from a Thai hotel room, beaches in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. All the time she was at home in Amsterdam and using Photoshop to trick them, I mean, fool them.

Daily Mail UK with photos.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

13-year-old piano star is truant to DC schools

The K-12 school system fossils can’t imagine that it might be good for a middle school girl to be out of school winning an international competition. So they threw DC’s truancy law at her. They can’t imagine that she might be learning during competition. And they don’t care that she is earning As in school.

Having no other options, her parents removed her from school and are home schooling her. She would have traveled as a representative of DC public schools. But, no, they don’t want that.

Washington Post

Monday, September 08, 2014

Sorry. Jobs news is bad

Look past the news spinners. The job data in the US is not good. There was a little good news for the previous six months. Was that the result of ending extended unemployment benefits? But now the reality.

IBD

Peter Morici

The economy created only 142,000 jobs in August, down from 212,000 in July, indicating the economy significantly slowed this summer.

Jobs creation is well below the pace needed to reemploy all the workers displaced during the financial crisis—the economy is in crisis!

Although official GDP estimates indicate the economy expanded in the second quarter at a torrid pace—4.2. percent—much of that was inventory build, as consumer spending continued to drag along at a nonplus pace and capital investment, especially in manufacturing, remains subpar.

Third quarter growth is likely in the range of 2 percent, and the Obama Administration spin doctors will have a tough time selling these jobs data as anything but bad news.

Why?

Simply, the administration’s big spending stimulus policies and the Fed’s obsession with pumping money into a moribund New York financial industry have failed.

Also, now Americans are seeing the real cost of ObamaCare health care subsidies. Employer mandates are not much good to working families if no one in the family is working.

..

Since 2000, Congress has beefed up the earned income tax credit, and expanded programs providing direct benefits to low and middle income workers, including ObamaCare and Medicaid, food stamps, and rent and mortgage assistance.

Those buy votes but do little to encourage work.

Simply, the administration’s big spending stimulus policies and the Fed’s obsession with pumping money into a moribund New York financial industry have failed.

Also, now Americans are seeing the real cost of ObamaCare health care subsidies. Employer mandates are not much good to working families if no one in the family is working.

The official jobless rate is down to 6.1 percent but real unemployment is closer to 18 percent, because so many prime aged adults are sitting out the party. For example, one in six adult males between the ages of 25 and 54 has no job, and may have simply quit looking thanks to “compassionate” government policies that reward able bodied men and women to sit at home and watch ESPN NFL reruns or "The View".

Since 2000, Congress has beefed up the earned income tax credit, and expanded programs providing direct benefits to low and middle income workers, including ObamaCare and Medicaid, food stamps, and rent and mortgage assistance.

Those buy votes but do little to encourage work.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Having a bad day?

Telegraph UK potd elephant 1 2997936k

Having a bad day? Not compared to the owner of this VW. In Pilanesburg National Park, South Africa.

Telegraph UK

See two more pics at the link

Why have World Cup where sharia is the law?

Qatar is not ready for the international spotlight. It is holding human-rights investigators - preparing for World Cup.

Daily Star

Friday, September 05, 2014

Only the richest have incomes rise under Obama

During three years under President Obama only the top 10 per cent group had incomes rise. 2010 to 2013

Washington Times

Productive city brought down by Chavez socialism

The Sidor steel mill in Ciudad Guayana, Venezuela, once produced 4.3 million tons of steel per year. Now only 700,000 T. The 4.3 M was before late-President Hugo Chavez nationalized it. Under state ownership political appointees were favored over experienced managers and investment in the plant. And Chavez's leadership of the economy resulted in chaos throughout. That disrupted supplies and electricity. Furthermore 2,000 workers are paid for full-time union work.

Ciudad was founded in 1961 to be a center of industry to take advantage of abundant cheap hydro-electric power and was successful until Chavez politicized it. And the whole economy!

This is just one example of the mess in Venezuela. It has had huge income from oil for a long time and still has huge reserves. But its socialism puts politics into every decision and the result is waste, inflation and poverty.

Wash Post

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Why Russia is dying

Russians are dying young. And younger. Why?

Also does totalitarianism require a large country? The author's theory is that for a country to be totalitarian it must be large enough to be able to lose population and still survive. Because the leaders have to do drastic things and to them the people are expendable. They don't care if people die.

New York Review