Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Three Percenter Speaks

Dr. Judith Curry Explains The Reality Of Bad Climate Science And Bad Politics

“On balance, I don’t see any particular dangers from greenhouse warming. {Humans do} influence climate to some extent, what we do with land-use changes and what we put into the atmosphere. But I don’t think it’s a large enough impact to dominate over natural climate variability.”
. . .
“The collapse of the consensus on cholesterol and heart disease – that one collapsed overnight. I can only hope that sanity will eventually prevail with the climate problem as well.”
Technically, this makes her part of the "97%" of scientists who allegedly support global warming theory, believing that CO2 contributes to global warming. I guess that makes me one too, since my beliefs align with hers.

Reason #5648 That Trump Was Elected

President Donald Trump will rescind an Obama administration policy requiring government agencies to take into account global warming-induced flooding and sea level rise for federally-funded projects.

Trump will repeal the climate order that President Barack Obama signed in 2015 as part of a broader effort to streamline infrastructure permitting. Administration officials said the current process is long and cumbersome.

“For far too long, critical projects have been delayed by duplicative permitting and environmental requirements which added time and unnecessary expenses to much needed projects,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement obtained by Bloomberg.

Trump wants to push a $200 billion infrastructure spending bill through Congress this fall, which he hopes will mobilize $800 billion in state and private funding. A cumbersome permitting process could hold up infrastructure projects.

Furthermore, Obama’s executive order to “improve the resilience of communities and federal assets against the impacts of flooding” could increase the upfront costs or even eliminate projects in the pipeline.
Now look at the data on sea level rise from Baltimore (one of the longest US records):

No hint of a modern acceleration of sea level rise due to global warming. There's nothing to take into account.

That said, it's not a bad idea to put your houses and other buildings above the reach of flooding. But if you want to, you should be prepared to pay for it yourself when it floods, or buy a flood insurance policy based on an appropriate probability of damage, not one subsidized by the feds.

Tanline Thursday in the News!

Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham flaunts her surgically enhanced assets and exposes her tanlines as she wears derriere-flashing jumpsuit in Las Vegas
She shot to fame in the MTV reality series 16 And Pregnant in 2009, before starring in the spin off show Teen Mom.

And Farrah Abraham, 26, put her best-known assets on display in a daring sheer jumpsuit at the VIP Back Door Key Party at Crazy Horse III in Las Vegas on Saturday.

Flaunting her surgically enhanced chest in the jumpsuit, the reality star exposed her tan lines and bronzed chest. . . 
I vaguely remember that such a show existed, I can't imagine why anyone would watch:

She's had more work than my Subaru. More celebrity tanlines?

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Floron du Jour: You're Supposed to Set the Hook!

Woman drunkenly bites man's fishing line at St. Johns County pier
St. Johns County deputies arrested a woman after she bit a man's fishing line and swam off with his lure, according to a police report.

Deputies were called to the St. Johns County Pier on Tuesday at approximately 6 p.m. A fisherman told deputies that 22-year-old Alexandria Turner appeared to be intoxicated when she swam up to his fishing line and cursed him out.

She bit the line and swam away with the rigging, according to the police report.

When deputies asked Turner to come to the pier office where the fisherman had rented the pole, she became belligerent and refused to walk inside, the report said. Deputies said Turner began creating a scene and upsetting the "sense of public norm at the pier" when they tried to take her into protective custody.

She refused to let deputies handcuff her and screamed, "I'm (expletive) naked!" several times, the report said. Deputies arrested Turner on suspicion of disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence.
Alcohol is involved? I'm shocked, shocked.

Reason #37 I'm Glad I Retired

Researcher dismisses science 'conducted primarily by white men'
A physics researcher at the University of Washington says the controversial Google memo is just the latest example of “shoddy science” that is “conducted primarily by white men.”

“It’s 2017, and to some extent scientific literature still supports a patriarchal view that ranks a man’s intellect above a woman’s,” physics Research Associate Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein complained in a Slate op-ed last week, written in response to the memo in which former Google employee James Damore criticized the company’s efforts to effect gender diversity.

Specifically, Prescod-Weinstein takes issue with the contention—related to her by a “well-known scientist”—that “the Google memo failed to constitute hostile behavior because it cited peer-reviewed articles that suggest women have different brains,” arguing that “peer-reviewed” is not synonymous with “correct.”

Prescod-Weinstein asserts that, rather than placing value in the contents of peer-reviewed scientific articles, we should recognize that “science has often made its living from encoding and justifying bias” and is “conducted primarily by white men.”
I hope she will deny herself all the benefits of science, like modern medicine, antibiotics, and any other treatments created by men.

Maryland Moves to Erase the Past

Maryland Governor Orders Removal of Chief Justice Taney Statue
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has ordered the statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, who found in the 1857 Dred Scott decision that a slave had no right to sue for his freedom, removed from the grounds of the state house.

His 2018 challenger for the governor's seat, former NAACP president Ben Jealous, claimed that Hogan was making a political move a day after Jealous gave a statement in front of the Taney statue calling for its removal.

Taney, who was born in Calvert County, wrote in the 7-2 opinion for the majority that the framers of the Constitution regarded blacks "as beings of an inferior order, and altogether unfit to associate with the white race, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior, that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit."

"...It is obvious that they were not even in the minds of the framers of the Constitution when they were conferring special rights and privileges upon the citizens of a State in every other part of the Union. Indeed, when we look to the condition of this race in the several States at the time, it is impossible to believe that these rights and privileges were intended to be extended to them."

Hogan said this evening that Maryland "has always been a state of middle temperament, which is a guiding principle of our administration."
Taney Place 
As I have noted previously, Justice Taney's birthplace is just a few miles from here, off Adelina Road.
Roger Brooke Taney was born on March 17, 1777 in Calvert County, Maryland, the son of Monica (Brooke) and Michael Taney. He was the second son, and the third of seven children (four sons and three daughters) born to a slaveholding family of tobacco planters in Calvert County, Maryland. He received a rudimentary education from a series of private tutors. After instructing him for a year, his last tutor, David English, recommended that Taney was ready for college. At the age of 15 he entered Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, graduating with honors in 1795. As a younger son with no prospect of inheriting the family plantation, Taney chose the profession of law. He read law with Judge Jeremiah Townley Chase and was admitted to the bar in 1799. He quickly distinguished himself as one of Maryland's most promising young lawyers.
He couldn't be a Republican, because the modern Republican Party had not yet come into existence.
Taney, a Jacksonian Democrat, was made Chief Justice by Jackson. He inherited slaves from his father but manumitted them and gave pensions to the older ones. He believed that power and liberty were extremely important and if power became too concentrated, then it posed a grave threat to individual liberty. He opposed attempts by the national government to regulate or control matters that would restrict the rights of individuals. From Prince Frederick, Maryland, he had practiced law and politics simultaneously and succeeded in both. After abandoning the Federalist Party as a losing cause, he rose to the top of the state's Jacksonian machine. As Attorney General (1831–1833) and then Secretary of the Treasury (1833–1834), and as a prominent member of the Kitchen Cabinet, Taney became one of Jackson's closest advisers, assisting Jackson in his populist crusade against the powerful Bank of the United States.
Time to remove the statue of  the man who ordered Japanese orphans interned at Manzanar from his memorial in Washington D.C. Or maybe we should just remove the whole memorial.

Both sides can play this game.

Reason #5647 That Trump Was Elected

The Department of Justice is reportedly planning to redirect money earmarked for civil-rights enforcement and spend it on action against universities that allegedly “discriminate against white applicants” by adhering to affirmative-action policies.

The New York Times cites an internal document sent to the department’s civil-rights division that asks staff lawyers to work on a new project involving “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university ­admissions.”

Conservatives, who have long fought affirmative action, hailed the project as “long overdue.”
Maybe the way to fight discrimination is to stop discriminating?

Taylor Swift Wins the Lottery

1$! Jury Finds Taylor Swift Told The Truth
... one of the stranger lawsuits in recent memory comes to a close. The DJ who sued a pop star to supposedly regain his reputation ended up proving her case to the jury without her attorney calling a single witness. A Denver jury sided with Taylor Swift, who countersued and accused David Mueller of sexual assault, and awarded her the symbolic single dollar she demanded:

Swift’s attorney summed up the situation nicely during closing arguments:
Doug Baldridge, Swift’s lawyer, countered that eight witnesses saw the assault, and that Mueller lost his job because “he grabbed her butt and got caught. Now he’s victimizing her again to save his butt.”
Yeah, that worked out well, eh?
It only cost him a buck, and court costs, and a job.

"Being groped just isn't my thing" said Taylor swiftly.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Fishing Report 8/15/17

Tom, Trevor and I had a walk-on trip with Pete today, with two other anglers that I had not fished with before. We hit Cedar Point on the way out, and didn't stay long, headed to Hoopers Island.
I caught this Speckled Trout in the mouth of a small tidal creek there, and had another to the boat, where it got off waiting for the net. We also caught some keeper stripers in the same creek.
 Heading south, we were overtaken by this shelf cloud that ran ahead of a good slug of rain and some thunder (we never saw any lightening).
Trevor hooked and landed this piece of soft coral off one of the submarine hills down in the middle grounds.

There was a pretty good slug of decent sized Bluefish down on the hills, but they moved fast, and were hard to follow.

And we found some keeper Striped Bass nearby under birds, mixed in with small bass and blues.

One place we stopped, and didn't get anything.

Reason #5646 That Trump Was Elected

Women like this: ‘Because YOU think you’re a MAN!’ Woman loses collective shiznit on cops outside Trump Tower

I rolled my eyes. How about you?

It's All Part of the Rock 'n Roll Fantasy

Monday, August 14, 2017

Watermen Want Catfish Regulation Reform

A local fisheries association and the Maryland’s governor’s office are seeking relief of federal regulations they say would have adverse impacts on the state’s burgeoning catfish industry. Furthermore, since blue catfish are an invasive species that likes to eat the Bay’s native species, a drop in the blue catfish industry in the Chesapeake Bay could produce more adverse impacts than revenue loss.

Capt. Rob Newberry, chairman of the Delmarva Fisheries Association, was at the Talbot County Council meeting Tuesday night, Aug. 8, presenting an economic impact analysis of Talbot County fisheries when the topic came up.

Newberry said federal regulations going into effect Sept. 1 would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to inspect catfish at processing plants and wholesalers. Newberry said the inspection of catfish issue came up in the 2008 farm bill, when a Mississippi congressman added language that states the inspection of foreign catfish needs to be mandated.
Basically, this regulation came about as protectionism for aquaculture catfish farming, after a very strong media campaign to demonize foreign caught and/or farm raised catfish.
In 2014, the Barack Obama administration included domestic catfish in the inspection mandate, but as of a FSIS meeting a few weeks ago, Newberry said the federal government doesn’t plan to increase inspections of imported seafood, and a vast majority of it already is not inspected.

The Food and Drug Administration already inspects domestic catfish, Newberry said. Newberry said any further mandated inspections from a different agency will cause the price of catfish to rise, and the DFA doesn’t want to see any regulation that would hurt the consumption of the invasive blue catfish species to the Bay.

“They are ravenous, man,” Newberry said, adding that in a purge study, they found baby ducks, baby geese, baby muskrats, crabs, clams, oyster shells and eels in the stomachs of catfish. “Anything you can find in a river or a marsh, they’re eating it. They’re bad news, and if we don’t do something with them, they’re going to overrun the Bay by 2025.”
Which is pretty much a description of any catfish, who aren't generally noted for their discriminating palates. But Blue Cats get pretty big, and can stuff more in that mouth.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration has joined the cause and also sent a letter to UDSA Secretary Perdue, asking for “immediate regulatory relief” from the mandated inspection program for the wild-caught, U.S. catfish industry.

“With the U.S. seafood trade deficit reaching historic proportions, strict harvest limits on most other wild seafood species, and traditional U.S. seafood jobs on the decline, the (Trump) Administration must provide every possible advantage to Americans seeking to invest in the business of wild-caught, domestic catfish,” Hogan wrote in the letter dated Tuesday, Aug. 8.

Hogan wrote that American consumers increasingly are demanding wild, domestic seafood, and catfish is among that. The “seafood market for catfish in the Maryland/Virginia/D.C. region has grown from zero to millions of pounds sold in just a few years,” the letter reads.

Hogan wrote that the commercial growth of the catfish industry is being made possible in the Chesapeake Bay watershed by the invasive blue catfish species.
I was unconvinced by the arguments  made in favor of the added inspections on catfish that are not carried out on a number of other species. Rid of the regulatio,

Reason #5645 That Trump Was Elected

Less is more? Trump slows federal regs to a crawl in first six months
Just halfway through his first year in office, President Trump is delivering on a key campaign promise to cut red tape, according to a new study.

The six-month review of Trump’s regulatory agenda by the American Action Forum shows the federal government practically slamming the brakes on regulation. The number of new rules is now at a record low, according to the study, in sharp contrast to the start of the Obama administration.

“If you look at what’s happening in the first six months for President Trump compared to President Obama, it’s staggering,” group president Douglas Holtz-Eakin told "Fox & Friends" on Friday.

On the campaign trail, then-candidate Trump promised that “for every new regulation, we’re going to cut two,” and to “get rid of all the unnecessary regulations.”

The data from AAF, a conservative-leaning think tank, shows a total of 27 rules have been withdrawn so far this year, which is slightly lower than the 41 rules that were approved.

But the study shows the regulatory push at the beginning of the Obama administration was roughly 20 times more costly to the U.S. economy than at the start of the current administration.

The Obama administration's first six months of regulations imposed $24.4 billion in total costs, compared with the $1.2 billion for the Trump administration. And the 41 rules approved represents a fraction of the number approved at the start of previous administrations.

“The business community really feels like the beatings have stopped, Washington is not trying to put them in the bullseye, and they can go about running their businesses and not worrying about the regulations,” Holz-Eakin, who ran the Congressional Budget Office under then-President George W. Bush, said.
Now get rid of the bureaucrats whose job it is to make the regulations.

Know Your Place, Woman!

A panel discussion featuringWhite House aide Omarosa Manigault and relatives of two young black men killed by police degenerated into a tense, chaotic mess when audience members jeered and shouted at Manigault for her answers to questions.

Here's a short Twitter video of the opening of the encounter between Bounce TV's Ed Gordon and Manigault.

Gordon was a last-minute replacement as moderator when New York Timesreporter Nikole Hannah-Jones and Jelani Cobb of the New Yorker backed out of the panel, citing a fear that they would be unable to ask substantive questions about Trump's "policing policies."
Journalist Roland Martin pegged the event for exactly what it was: "Click bait folks are happy," he tweeted.
When Omarosa eventually took the stage, the conversation immediately grew heated. She was asked about the Trump administration’s policies on policing, and, at one point, said she couldn’t share private conversations with the president. She started out the panel by outlining those she had personally lost to violence, including her own father, brother and seven of her high school classmates. Then, Gordon asked her about the Trump administration and her seat at the table there. At one point, a video of Trump speaking played on the screen in which the president spoke about how he doesn’t want police to “be too nice. Like when you guys put somebody in the car when you’re protecting the head…like don’t hit their head when they just killed somebody. I said you can take the hand away.”

“Are you suggesting I should walk away?” Omarosa said to Gordon at one point. “We have to have a voice at the table.” At another point, she told Gordon, “Don’t be aggressive,” and stood up from her chair. “You’re dismissing my family story… and the other thing you did is call this a mess,” she said as Gordon tried to ask questions. “I’m doing my best to keep this as civil as possible,” Gordon said.
“Ask your question and don’t lecture me,” Omarosa said, accusing Gordon of “dismissing my family story” by switching questions to Donald Trump.
“I’m suggesting that the way this was put together became a mess,” Gordon said at the end of the event. “People started to drop out because they didn’t want to participate in it because they thought it was going to turn into exactly quite frankly what it is turning into,” he said at another point. “It is a mess,” he retorted to Omarosa at one point of the panel.
Omarosa and Gordon repeatedly spoke over each other during the panel as he tried to ask questions, especially about Trump’s policies and comments regarding police and the African-American community. She said she couldn’t disclose private conversations with Donald Trump.

 Manigault was very brave to enter the lion's den and stand up to the bullies. But there is little doubt that the convention organizers who invited her fully expected such an outcome and hoped to bring national attention to their gathering. It was a cheap publicity stunt and Martin is right: the organizers should be ashamed of themselves for dissing the mothers of slain children by turning the event into an anti-Trump circus.

One other thing became clear at this event: most blacks don't want engagement, don't want dialogue or discussion or debate with the president. If they do, they want it on their terms. They are marginalizing themselves with this attitude and making themselves politically irrelevant.
Being black and a woman, Omarosa is a natural target for the  "Shut up, they explained" leftists.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Walk in the Woods

This afternoon Georgia, Skye and I visited the American Chestnut Land Trust  Family Day at their headquarters on Parkers Creek. After a short mingling in the crowds, meeting some friends, we set off down the Parker's Creek Loop trail.
The trail is well marked, and maintained, although it was somewhat muddy in spots, due to the 2 inches of rain we have had in the last two day. The trail is almost entirely under the canopy of the forest, which helps keep it cool
It starts at an elevation of about 350 ft (high for Calvert County) and winds down gullies to sea level, where Parkers Creek winds in from the western shore as a tidal creek.
Once you get to the bottom, there is a good view of the creek, looking toward the Bay.  There is also a somewhat of a shortcut back up to the top. The full loop is approximately 3.5 miles, but somewhat less using the Doubleoak Road trail, only about 3 miles. It took about an hour to complete.

Reasons #5641-5644 That Trump Was Elected

Chicago Burglar In ICE Custody Has “Interesting” History
Perhaps Mayor Emanuel will want to take a quick second look at some of his policies. He wants Chicago to turn a blind eye to illegal aliens in their midst, effectively aiding and abetting them in their efforts to avoid deportation. But does he feel that way about Jose Cruz Morales-Cortes? Mr. Morales-Cortes somehow failed to take advantage of Chicago’s “welcoming city” policies and has wound up in ICE custody. But not before allegedly committing a string of armed robberies. What makes this individual even more interesting is that we’ve already booted him out of the country twice.
A man who has been deported from the United States twice was indicted last week for six robberies in Chicago and several suburbs since December.
Jose Cruz Morales-Cortes, 45, was indicted on six counts of robbery on Aug. 1, according to a statement from the FBI.
Morales-Cortes, of Gary, Indiana, was deported for being in the country illegally on March 26, 2004 and again on Aug. 29, 2016, the FBI said. He was caught in the country again on Jan 20, 2017, and was in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement when he was indicted for the robberies.
Put a GPS ankle bracelet on him, and threaten to shoot him if he leaves Chicago again.

Tips lead to arrest of MS-13 gang member on FBI Ten Most Wanted list
An MS-13 gang member on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list has been captured in Virginia after a four-year manhunt, authorities announced Saturday.

Walter Yovany Gomez, an illegal immigrant from Honduras, was arrested without incident Friday in Woodbridge, 20 miles south of Washington, as a result of a well-coordinated investigation and tips from the public, the FBI said.
. . .
He faces extradition to New Jersey where he was indicted on a charge of committing a violent crime in aid of racketeering. The FBI added his name to its Ten Most Wanted list in April.

Gomez, who goes by the nickname “Cholo,” is accused of killing a fellow MS-13 gang member Julio Matute in Plainfield in 2011.

Prosecutors say that after a night of partying Gomez and an accomplice beat Matute with a baseball bat, stabbed him 17 times with a knife and then slit his throat with a screwdriver.
Another illegal alien doing a job citizens aren't permitted to.

Deportation Orders Up Under Trump, Fewer Prevail In Immigration Court 
Federal immigration courts ordered 57,069 people to leave the United States in the first six months of the Trump administration, up nearly 31 percent over the same period last year, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Additionally, 16,058 people prevailed in their immigration cases, or had them closed, allowing them to stay in the United States, according to the data, which tallied orders issued from Feb. 1 to July 31. That total marked a 20.7 percent drop from the 20,255 immigrants who prevailed at the same time last year.
So you do better in court when you actually try harder? Whodda thunk?

Trump just ended the argument for illegal aliens
President Trump's announcement that he will seek stricter restrictions on legal immigration changed the game. Globalists now must defend having legal immigrants here in near-record number.

He is making the Sweet Washington Ay-stablishment 'Mportant People (S.W.A.M.P.) defend ground they thought they already won.

He also changed what the immigration debate is.

One of the first fired shots came from Frank "Focus Group Said Trump Lost the Debate" Luntz, who tweeted, "41% of legally-arrived immigrants have a college degree, compared to 33% of all Americans."

Thus, Trump divided the illegal aliens from the "legally-arrived immigrants."

Guess which group doesn't have as many college degrees as "all Americans."

And actually, native born American adults are more likely to have a college degree than foreign born, according to the Census Bureau. Pew went by "recent arrivals." Hmm.

The argument from Luntz shows that President Trump has reversed the polarity of the debate. The argument for illegal aliens was look at those poor pathetic creature who cross the desert to work for food for their family.

They do jobs Americans refuse to do.

Now the globalists must argue that legal immigrants earned their way in by getting that almighty college degree you shiftless lazy native-born Americans refuse to get. . . 
  Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and linkfest.

Taylor Swift: Case Dismissed

Such a small target!
First, what happened, or allegedly happened: Taylor Swift goes to court, 
A pop star told a jury about her tush, a red-hot musical hit town, a country-pop icon passed away, a rocker eyed the Great White Way and a surprising celebrity split made people super sad. Here’s all that news and more from this week in entertainment.

“It was a definite grab. A very long grab,” Taylor Swift testified this week in a $3-million civil case brought by a former DJ who says she got him fired by falsely accusing him of grabbing her butt during a meet-and-greet photo op. David Mueller admitted that he might have grabbed her ribs and speculated that his boss might have been the real offender. Of course, there had been a voir dire effort — can we call it a “background cheek”? — to keep Swifties and fired folks from getting on the jury.
Then Taylor Swift testified:
In her deposition in a countersuit against former radio host David Mueller, Swift was strong, clear and indefatigable. Remember, it was Muller who initially sued her for the loss of his job — a termination tied to his alleged groping of the pop star during a meet-and-greet at Pepsi Center in Denver on June 2, 2013. Swift did not publicize her encounter with Mueller before his legal action and is countersuing Muller — something she is under no responsibility to do — for the tidy sum of $1. It seems that, for her, this is a matter of principle.

It would be one sweet dollar though.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sika Deer in the Headlights

Is someone trying to make a problem where there wasn't one before?

A sika deer feeds on underwater grasses near the
Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Karen Noonan Center
in Dorchester County, Maryland, on August 2, 2017.
Sika deer quietly encroach on Chesapeake’s Eastern Shore
Native to Japan, Taiwan and eastern Asia, sika deer were first introduced to the United States when four or five of the animals were let loose on James Island in Dorchester County, Maryland, in 1916. Outside of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, sika deer have been introduced in various locations across the United States, including Texas, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and Assateague Island in Virginia.

The introduction of sika deer was mostly overlooked for several decades, until their population began to rapidly increase around the 1950s. Although a popular game animal, sika deer have no natural predators in the Chesapeake Bay region, meaning their growth had gone relatively unchecked. Today, an estimated 12,000 sika deer live on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Previous studies have suggested that, although they are an exotic species, sika dear are not invasive, because they do not directly compete with native wildlife for food and habitat. However, recent research has suggested the increasing number and expanding range of sika deer may threaten the future health of the fragile salt marsh habitats they tend to graze in. Their fondness for crops like corn and soybeans—like their white-tailed cousins—has also made them a pest in some areas.
It's hard to imagine that in a landscape practically overrun with White-tailed Deer, that their little Sika cousins are much of a threat.

Reason #5641 That Trump Was Elected

State lawmakers around the country are pushing bold and ambitious education reform plans and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos appears content to let them lead the way.

“It’s encouraging to see so many states pass pro-student and pro-parent legislation that expands the educational opportunities available to children and their families,” DeVos told RealClearEducation in a statement. “I’ve always said that parents and educators at the grassroots level know best what their students need.”

While the secretary is a vocal proponent of school choice, she prefers that states and local officials take the initiative. Even with Republican control of the White House and Capitol Hill, DeVos has pledged not to push a federal school choice program and has indicated that any federal action would come in the form of support for choice programs that states can opt to participate in.

The secretary's philosophy runs counter to much of the modern history of American public education. Starting with President Lyndon Johnson's Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, nearly every administration has exerted some sort of federal influence over K-12 education, from President Jimmy Carter's creation of the Department of Education to President George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind to President Obama’s Race to the Top.
Actually letting states set the curriculum? One of them might decide to teach that people with penises are male, and we can't have that, now can we?

Rule 5 Saturday - There Was a Young Lady of Perth - Olivia DeJong

This weeks Rule 5 subject was inspired by "Will", the TNT fictional series about the life of the young William Shakespeare, in which Olivia deJong portrays his love interest, Alice Burbage:
Young William Shakespeare is a struggling playwright who tires of making gloves in order to support his wife and three children. He travels to London and sells one of his plays to a theatre owned by James Burbage. In doing so, he befriends the rest of the company, pushes out the previous playwright and falls in love with Burbage's daughter, Alice. While seeking fame and fortune in London, 

Olivia DeJonge was born to Robyn and Rob DeJonge on April 30, 1998, in Melbourne, and is the oldest out of two children. In October 2003 she and her family moved to Perth Western Australia where she commenced school at Presbyterian Ladies College in Peppermint Grove, a riverside suburb of Perth. Olivia's first acting opportunity came when she was 8 years old, in the form of a radio voiceover for a prominent hardware chain. Since then she has become a sought after young voiceover specialist who has completed well over 40 radio advertisements. In 2010 Olivia was offered the lead role in Maziar Lahooti's short film the Good Pretender (2011), and Olivia won the 24th Western Australian Screen Awards Best Actress Award for her performance.
This is one to watch for.

Magga Braco and Zuleyka Rivera Mendoza leads GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (305th Issue), because they will become famous hot tamales! Also, he had to include some off beat science and plenty of North Korea stuff. Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and linkfest.

Friday, August 11, 2017

This Week in Feminism

You almost couldn't make this up: SJWs Attacking Lesbian @ArielleScarcell for . . . Well, Being a Lesbian, Really
The totalitarian insanity of Third Wave “queer feminism” has now escalated to hitherto unprecedented levels. Popular lesbian YouTube personality Arielle Scarcelli (@ArielleScarcell on Twitter) committed the ThoughtCrime of saying that the way she knew she was gay was that she liked . . . uh, female anatomy.

According to the social justice warrior (SJW) crowd, lesbians are not allowed to say this, because it’s transphobia. Whereas SJWs are generally OK with anybody who hates heterosexual men, all a guy’s gotta do is wear a dress and lipstick and suddenly he ceases to be a demonized enemy and becomes a sainted victim, like Nicholas “Sarah” Nyberg or Zachary Antolak a/k/a “Zinnia Jones.” Being transgender puts you at the apex of the SJW Hierarchy of Victimhood, and calling yourself a “queer, trans, nonbinary lesbian” means women are obligated to have sex with you because social justice. (The Riley Dennis Rule.)

Crazy? Yeah, but the lunatics running the “queer feminist” asylum make the rules and this means lesbians are not allowed to speak honestly about their lack of enthusiasm for men in dresses, and the usual SJW suspects who ganged up against Laci Green for dating Chris Maldonado are now ganging up against Arielle Scarcelli because of this video:

We live in Heinlein's crazy years.

Reason #5640 That Trump Was Elected

Illegal aliens "sneaking" over the border to Canada: In New York State, A Surprising Flow Of Illegal Emigrants
Up in the northeast corner of New York State is the unincorporated village of Champlain, appropriately named since it sits near the northern end of Lake Champlain. (Also not terribly far from where I go fishing every summer.) At the north end of the village there is a dead end street named Roxham Road. Beyond the dead end there is a path through the woods which brings you to the Canadian border after a relatively short walk. And that little street is attracting visitors from across the nation in droves. (Associated Press)
Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, migrants who came to the U.S. from across the globe — Syria, Congo, Haiti, elsewhere — arrive here where Roxham Road dead-ends so they can walk into Canada, hoping its policies will give them the security they believe the political climate in the United States does not.
“In Trump’s country, they want to put us back to our country,” said Lena Gunja, a 10-year-old from Congo, who until this week had been living in Portland, Maine. She was traveling with her mother, father and younger sister. “So we don’t want that to happen to us, so we want a good life for us. My mother, she wants a good life for us.”
The passage has become so crowded this summer that Canadian police set up a reception center on their side of the border in the Quebec community of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Montreal, or almost 300 miles (480 kilometers) north of New York City.
Leave it to the Canadians and their legendary niceness. They’ve put up a group of tents out there in the woods to “arrest” the illegal aliens, accept their plea for refugee status, feed them and ship them off to a holding facility in the nearest town. According to local reporting, back on our side of the border the Border Patrol has come by once in a while and arrested a couple of people, but for the most part they can’t be bothered. And why should they? The article quotes Border Patrol special operations supervisor Brad Brant as saying, “our mission isn’t to prevent people from leaving.”

Fish Pic Friday - Roosterfish

Luiza Barros
The roosterfish, Nematistius pectoralis, is a game fish found in the warmer waters of the East Pacific from Baja California to Peru.  It is the only species in the genus Nematistius and the family Nematistiidae. It is distinguished by its "rooster comb", seven very long spines of the dorsal fin.

Two of my usual sources, Darcizzle and Brooke Thomas are Florida based, and I haven't been able to find them with a Rooster.

The roosterfish has an unusual arrangement of its ears: the swim bladder penetrates the brain through the large foramina and makes contact with the inner ear. It uses its swim bladder to amplify sounds.

Roosterfish can reach over 1.6 m (5 ft 3 in) in length and over 50 kg (110 lb) in weight.The weight of the average fish hooked is about 20 lb (9.1 kg). The fish is popular as a game fish, but it is not considered a good eating fish. Catch and release is strongly recommended.
I hooked one in Baja California once, on a side trip of a cruise, but alas, did not land it.

Linked at EBL (Evi L. Blogger Lady) in "Kayla Fitz." Never heard of her before, but she would look good with a Roosterfish.  Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and linkfest.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Court Slaps Down EPA Climate Reg

A federal court struck down a key piece of the Obama administration's climate agenda on Tuesday by saying the Environmental Protection Agency does not have the authority to ban the use of certain chemicals used in air conditioners blamed for exacerbating global warming.

The EPA enacted the rule in question in 2015, responding to research showing hydroflourocarbons, or HFCs, contribute to climate change.

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' 2-1 decision said EPA does not have the authority to enact a 2015 rule-making ending the use of hydrofluorocarbons commonly found in spray cans, automobile air conditioners and refrigerators. The three-judge panel said that because HFCs are not ozone-depleting substances, the EPA could not use a section of the Clean Air Act targeting those chemicals to ban HFCs.

"Indeed, before 2015, EPA itself maintained that Section 612 did not grant authority to require replacement of nonozone-depleting substances such as HFCs," the court wrote.

"EPA's novel reading of Section 612 is inconsistent with the statute as written. Section 612 does not require (or give EPA authority to require) manufacturers to replace non-ozonedepleting substances such as HFCs," said the opinion, written by Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

The Obama administration issued the regulatory changes to correspond with the 1987 Montreal Protocol that sought to stop the depletion of the ozone layer by phasing out another chemical found in aerosols. The 2015 update was part of former President Barack Obama's climate change agenda due to the impact of HFCs on the climate.
I'll give up my air conditioning after Washington bureaucrats and Al Gore give up theirs.

Note that HFCs don't even warrant a slice on a pie chart of global warming contributions, being lumped in with "others" at 0.1%.

Beach Report 8/10/17

Another shockingly gorgeous day here in Slower Maryland for August. Temperatures peaked in the upper 70s, with tolerable humidity, blue skies with a few puffy white clouds, and very little wind. I hardly objected when Skye dragged me out of the house and down the hill toward the beach.

A couple of big fellows passing (safely) out in the shipping channel.

Obamacare Schadenfreude Going Down Slow

As bacckground Is Part of the Health-Insurance Market Entering a Death Spiral? It sure looks like it. Enrollment in unsubsidized plans has plunged 29 percent in a year. Or, to look at it from a democrats perspective, who cares about the people who work for a living? Anthem, Aetna Exit Obamacare ExchangesIdaho Bracing For Astronomical ObamaCare Premium Hikes In 2018

But, by way of Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 08.03.17" the estimable Megan McArdle tries to Define Success or Failure for Obamacare
Some Republicans seem to expect the imminent heat death of Obamacare, perhaps next month. This is wrong. Most of the coverage expansion came from Medicaid, and Medicaid is operating about as it always does: expensive, maybe, but here to stay unless Republicans muster more votes than I think they can for radically altering the program. The exchanges are certainly covering fewer people and costing more than supporters expected, but outside of some rural counties, if they die, it will be over a period of years, not months.

On the other hand, the law’s supporters have been engaging in some energetic goalpost-relocation as premiums have risen and enrollment leveled off. So the fact that Ohio found insurers willing to sell in most of their counties is presented as good news, because hey, that’s only one county in Ohio where no one can buy insurance! People talk excitedly about how this or that state government has found a way to reduce premiums -- a way that turns out to consist of pouring extra subsidies into the system. And huge rate increases are waved away because at least they’re not as huge as last year’s. A fictional sales patter I once saw conjured: "Sure, 37 mph isn’t very fast for a sports car, but you have to compare that to hopping!”

Large swathes of the country have only one insurer, and a few may have none. (Those places tend to have little in the way of population, to be sure, but who in 2010 would have said that “success” for Obamacare included completely destroying any rural insurance markets?) In many places, recent premium increases have rivaled or surpassed the kinds of hikes that were once presented as the reason we needed to pass Obamacare. And enrollment has stopped growing well short of market saturation, which means that yes, the individual markets are still vulnerable to a death spiral, particularly in the off-exchange, unsubsidized segments. Does that mean that it will literally be impossible to buy insurance anywhere in the United States? Probably not. But just how many places have to face serious problems before we say Obamacare isn’t working?
More from Megan: States Have Some Bad Ideas for Keeping Insurers. But at least a bad idea in one state can be rejected in another, instead of imposing a bad idea nation wide.

You might judge it's success by noting Dems suddenly scrambling to come up with ObamaCare fix. Do you scramble to fix something that's working? McConnell Says He Would Consider Continuing ObamaCare Insurer Payments. The American Spectator proposes A Bold Way to Revive Obamacare Repeal. Health savings accounts? Why would Americans save for healthcare when they can make other Americans pay for it? I like the idea, but I doubt the Republicans have the stones to impose it.

For a lighter touch: Republican donor from Virginia Beach sues GOP, accusing the party of fraud over failed Obamacare repeal. Good luck with that. Via Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 08.08.17", the Shark Tank calls out The Obamacare Repeal and Replace “Flip-Flopping 7”Sen. Johnson: Sorry For Suggesting McCain’s Brain Cancer Was A Factor In His Obamacare Repeal Vote. MCain's behavior was plenty erratic and "mavericky" enough before. Trump Hits McConnell: After Seven Years Of Repeal Promises, Why Were My ObamaCare Expectations “Excessive”?

Meanwhile, Canada’s ‘Free’ Health Care System Is Also Exploding
“Health care in Canada isn’t free—Canadians actually pay a substantial amount for health care through their taxes, even if they don’t pay directly for medical services,” said Bacchus Barua, senior economist with the Fraser Institute’s Centre for Health Policy Studies, in a statement. He is the co-author of the institute’s report: The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, 2017.

For all those tax dollars, there is still a long waiting list for a host of operations, both routine and urgent. Another Fraser Institute study recently revealed that 63,000 Canadians left the country in 2016 to seek medical assistance elsewhere — usually the U.S.

The think-tank compiled information from Statistics Canada and the Canadian Institute for Health Information to base its claim that the “average Canadian family with two parents and two children with a household income of $127,814 will pay $12,057 for public health-care insurance this year.”

Barua told The Daily Caller that Canada is in a health care crisis. “Services are being rationed. In our last report on wait times in Canda, we discovered that the average wait time from referral to treatment was 20 weeks. That was the longest wait time in the history of our survey,” he said.
GOP Ad: Democrats Will Destroy Health Care Even More with Single-Payer

Dem Senator: You Know, Single-Payer Really Isn’t The Best OptionWill Bernie Sanders Insistence On Single-Payer Spoil Democrats’ Chances In 2018? One can only hope.

Reasons #5638-5639 That Trump Was Elected

A June surge in U.S. job openings to a record indicates demand for workers remained strong at the end of the second quarter, a Labor Department report showed Tuesday.

The gain in job openings underscores the need for workers in an economy that’s continuing to expand. At the same time, the pool of qualified Americans is shrinking and making some positions tougher to fill, one reason economists expect the monthly pace of hiring will eventually cool. July figures released last week showed payrolls increased more than forecast while the unemployment rate matched a 16-year low, as Americans came off the sidelines to join the labor force and many found work.
More Than 1.1 Million Fewer Americans on Food Stamps Under Trump
More than 1.1 million Americans dropped off the food stamp rolls since President Trump took office in January 2017, according to the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) statistics on food stamp enrollment.

Participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dropped to 41,496,255 in May 2017, the most recent data available from the USDA, from 42,691,363 in January 2017 when Trump took office.

According to the latest data, SNAP enrollment during the first few months of Trump’s presidency decreased by 2.79 percent.

Food stamp participation on average in 2017 has dropped to its lowest level since 2010, and the latest numbers show that this trend is continuing.
Under democrats that would be a crisis, not an advance. Can't let too many of the proles become self sufficient.

It's Tanlines Thursday Again!

Some more celebrity tanlines:

Anna Faris

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

When You're Camping and It's Lunch Time

And you don't know whose:

Gov. Hogan to Dig Out Conowingo Pond

At least a little. For the past 30 or so years, the sediment building up behind Conowingo Dam was like the weather; everybody liked to talk about it, but nobody did anything about it. Gov. Hogan proposes to break the mold and actually try it: Pilot project planned to dredge Conowingo sediments
Declaring the sediment buildup behind Conowingo Dam a growing threat to the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday a pilot project to dredge up a tiny portion of the accumulated silt and sand.

Speaking at a press conference at the dam, Hogan said the state later this month would issue a request for proposals to dredge 25,000 cubic yards of sediment by next spring from the reservoir upstream of the hydroelectric facility on the Susquehanna River.

The intent, he said, is to pin down what it would cost to dredge massive quantities of sediment from the Conowingo “pond,” as the reservoir is called, and to find out if there are viable markets for reusing the material. He said that he hoped the project would help the state determine whether large-scale dredging is feasible - even though an earlier study concluded that dredging the built-up sediment would be costly and provide little overall benefit to the Bay.

Since its completion in 1928, the 94-foot high dam has been trapping millions of pounds of sediment, as well as the nutrients attached to the particles, keeping them from flowing into the Bay 10 miles downstream. But the pond has been slowly filling, and a study led by the Baltimore District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers found that it has reached capacity and now does little to prevent material from reaching the Chesapeake.

Another concern is that major storms, and even heavy spring rains, can scour large quantities of the deposited sediment from the river bottom and flush it into the upper Bay.

“Much of our efforts to protect the Bay and safeguard our environment for future generations could be wiped out by the effects of one bad storm,” Hogan said. “Simply put, this is a growing threat which must be addressed.”
Sell it to jurisdictions worried about sea level rise, to raise their own height.

Reasons #5636-5637 That Trump Was Elected

This doesn't seem like the sort of case where consent is going to be at issue. Nor one of a false allegation.
A 23-year-old DREAMer in Washington state is accused of brutally raping a 19-year-old woman in her apartment complex's gym and leaving her with severe facial injuries -- including a broken jaw and dangling ear.
The woman ended up stumbling home with missing teeth, a bloody head and wearing only a black tank top, according to court documents obtained by Fox News. She was working out in the gym in Burien, a Seattle suburb, before the June 25 assault and did not know her attacker, police said.
Salvador Diaz-Garcia, an illegal immigrant who is a recipient of Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, is now facing second-degree assault and rape charges in the vicious attack. He also faces child molestation charges for allegedly assaulting a 14-year-old the same day the rape occurred.
Quick, redfine the law so that rapes with brutal assaults are only punishable by 364 days or less so we can keep this Solid Non-Citizen in the country.

Greg Gutfeld offered a rant about the last vicious rape by an illegal, demanding we call this policy "Sanctuary Rape," to make it clear what we're granting sanctuary to.
 Obama eased rules to welcome 1 million illegal youths, status now in doubt
In its rush to welcome over one million illegal immigrant youths from Latin America, the Obama administration turned a blind eye to criminal acts and eased rules governing legal entry, according to newly uncovered documents.

Emails, budgets and training manuals provided to the Immigration Reform Law Instituteshow, for example, that the controversial Obama program to defer deportation allowed them to stay if they held several documents, such as Social Security numbers and federal tax return checks, that are illegal for non-citizens to have.

What's more, the rules for winning Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, required that those seeking it had to prove they were in the country illegally as of June 15, 2012, cementing their status as illegal and subject to deportation.

The DACA program is coming in focus this fall as President Trump and Congress determine if it should continue as pro-immigration advocates want or be curtailed or even killed as critics and candidate Trump demanded.

Among the key issues involved are how many of the 1.267 million DACA recipients won their deportation deferrals under the Obama-era rules that allowed them to provide illegal documents such as fraudulent or stolen Social Security numbers for background checks.
Yes, they basically turned evidence of a crime, identity theft, into the evidence needed to allow the illegal aliens to stay.

California Repudiates Erin Brokovich

Erin Brockovich
California Repudiates Erin Brockovich On Hexavalent Chromium
When Erin Brockovich, an environmental activist, shook down Pacific Gas & Electric for $333 million for allegedly poisoning a community with hexavalent chromium and causing cancer and all sorts of other health problems, Julia Roberts portrayed the protagonist in a sensationalized blockbuster movie. It is unlikely, however, that Hollywood will be filming a sequel.

Why? Because not only was Ms. Brockovich wrong, but the State of California has now partially repudiated what she fought for.
Not Erin Brokovich, but she plays her in the movie

I doubt that Erin is a deliberate fraud, but it is certainly true that she pursued and won a crusade which based on extremely weak science, and an abundance of emotions.
We've known for a long time that Ms. Brockovich used junk science to score a jackpot settlement. She used a common rhetorical trick, known as the Texas sharpshooter fallacy, to claim that a cluster of cancer and other diseases in the small town of Hinkley, California was the result of groundwater contamination by hexavalent chromium.
I worked on the toxicity of hexavalent chromium once upon a time, at least for algae and marine animals. If you dig deep, you may even find a reviewed scientific paper or three with my name on it. It's toxic, but its not super scary, unless you breathe it, or play with chromic acid.
There were multiple problems with this argument. First, as hinted above, a cluster of cases is not necessarily indicative of anything. By sheer chance alone, patients with particular diseases -- even rare ones -- can occasionally be found in close proximity to one another. Second, an epidemiological survey found no extra cases of cancer in Hinkley than what normally would be expected. Third, while inhaled hexavalent chromium is linked to lung cancer, there is no evidence that ingesting tiny amounts of hexavalent chromium is harmful. Fourth, Ms. Brockovich's case did not make biomedical sense, because she not only blamed hexavalent chromium for causing cancer but a myriad of unrelated conditions. As Joe Schwarcz wrote for Quackwatch back in 2004:
Whether it's a miscarriage, a rash, bone deterioration, Crohn's disease, lupus, or any sort of cancer, Brockovich points the finger at chromium-6. In all probability she is wrong. Single toxins do not cause such a wide array of conditions.
But I see the resemblance
Generally, when a single toxin is blamed for many different diseases, it is responsible for one, or none, of them.
Now, the Sacramento Bee reports that California water regulators have decided against implementing a rule that would have capped hexavalent chromium in drinking water at 10 parts per billion (ppb). A judge said the rule was invalid because economic feasibility was not considered.

That's not a complete victory; indeed, California could very well implement the 10 ppb rule anyway. And the rule was deemed invalid based on economics, not science. But let's hope that reason ultimately will prevail in this momentary triumph of sanity.
Given that it's California, hoping for reason to triumph is a trifle optimistic.
According to the EPA, hexavalent chromium can be found in drinking water from both natural and manmade sources. The federal limit for total chromium (i.e., chromium-3 and chromium-6) is 100 ppb, and this has been the agency's policy for many years. California's desire to decrease the limit to 10 ppb lacks scientific justification, and as to be expected, its biggest champion is the thoroughly unscientific Environmental Working Group.
Hexavalent Cr is the stable state of chromium in neutral to basic oxygentated water. It is, however, rarely found in high concentrations, as it tends to oxidize any organic material present. It reduces to trivalent Cr, which is not very soluble and strongly attracted to particles, and is usually removed to very low concentrations.