Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Can We Expect a Progressive and Muslim Boycott?

Given Progressives and Muslims antipathy to all things Israeli, I would hope so:

Israeli Company's Vaccine Blocks 90% of Cancer Types
Vaxil BioTherapeutics's ImMucin trains immune system to fight cancer cells and prevent the disease's return for early stages and remission.

An Israeli biotech company is developing a vaccine for cancer that it says can help prevent the return of the lethal disease for 90% of the differenttypes of cancer.

Vaxil BioTherapeutics based in Nes Ziona has been developing ImMucin for more than five years, and already has seen strong success in testing indicating it can be a vital tool in combating cancer. The disease kills eight million people worldwide per year, and sees 14 million new cases diagnosed annually according to the World Health Organization.

"Vaxil is developing a drug to keep the cancer from coming back," Vaxil's CFO Julian Levy told NoCamels. "We are trying to harness the natural power of the immune system to fight against cancer by seeking out cancer cells and destroying them."
. . .
The vaccine stimulates a certain part of the immune system, developing it to attack specific cells with markers indicating cancer. When used in early stages of cancer, the vaccine is expected to train the immune system to destroy the right cells as cancer develops and fight the disease.

Until last January the company focused its experiments on Multiple Myeloma patients, but then shifted to breast cancer patients. It may be some time before the vaccine sees its way onto the market though, with Levy expecting a release by 2020 at the latest.
I hope they're onto something real here.

How long before ISIS comes up with a cure for cancer?

Are Birth Control Pills Killing the Bay?

Probably not, but they are almost certainly involved in the "feminization" of some fish species in upper portions of the bay, and it's tidal streams. I've pointed that out before, when various news articles were decrying plasticizers, pest and herbicides, and "personal care products" as potential causes for the the appearance of ovaries in male fish with mentioning the potential contribution of dumping vast quantities of known female hormones through sewage treatment plants and out in the the Bay. This is the first popular article I've seen that highlights the potential for birth control pills to be involved.

Fish don’t want birth control, but scientists say they get it from your pill
Your birth control pill is affecting more than just your body.

Flushed down toilets, poured down sinks and excreted in urine, a chemical component in the pill wafts into sewage systems and ends up in various waterways where it collects in fairly heavy doses. That's where fish soak it up.

A recent survey by the U.S. Geological Survey found that fish exposed to a synthetic hormone called 17a-ethinylestradiol, or EE2, produced offspring that struggled to fertilize eggs. The grandchildren of the originally exposed fish suffered a 30 percent decrease in their fertilization rate. The authors mulled the impact of what they discovered and decided it wasn't good.

"If those trends continued, the potential for declines in overall population numbers might be expected in future generations," said Ramji Bhandari, a University of Missouri assistant research professor and a visiting scientist at USGS. "These adverse outcomes, if shown in natural populations, could have negative impacts on fish inhabiting contaminated aquatic environments."
. . .
BPA and EE2 are both endocrine disruptors that interfere with hormones and cause developmental disorders. Over the past 12 years, male smallmouth and largemouth bass throughout the country, including the Potomac River basin in the Chesapeake Bay region, have switched sex, developing ovaries where their testes should be, and the two disruptors are prime suspects.

These particular chemicals were employed in the study for good reason. EE2 is a major ingredient in oral contraceptives for women, and up to 68 percent of each dose is released in the latrine through urine and excrement. A full dose is released when some women simply pour unused pills down the drain.
So, what's it going to be girls; give up your birth control pills, or give up the Bay?

The "Affordable Housing" Scam

It has been said that every great cause becomes a business, which becomes a scam. Stacy McCain details how "affordable housing" has made the progression: ‘Peak Hipster’ in San Francisco
“Affordable housing” is one of those phrases, like “social justice” and “sexual equality,” that sounds like a good thing, until you realize it’s a license for totalitarianism. For most of us, “affordable housing” means living someplace where we can afford the rent. The advocates of “affordable housing,” however, always want to live someplace we couldn’t afford to live — a trendy urban location — and demand a system of taxpayer subsidies and/or burdensome regulations to force others to allow them to live in a high-rent community at below-market rates. To put it as simply as possible, they’re moochers and “affordable housing” is about protecting their right to mooch.

The enemy of affordable housing is “gentrification,” which is what happens when people with actual jobs who can afford to pay rent at market value start moving into a trendy urban location where the moochers live. Regular Right Guy calls our attention to the gentrification crisis in San Francisco:
On a sunny Monday afternoon in early March, tenants from Station 40, an affordable housing complex in San Francisco’s rapidly gentrifying Mission District, joined with activists from the Housing Rights Committee and Anti-Eviction Mapping Project to hold a press conference condemning one of the latest evictions happening in the city. In late February, Station 40 tenants were slapped with an eviction notice from their landlords, Ahuva, Emanuel and Barak Jolish.
. . .
“Station 40 has been home to anarchist, queer and transgender refugees, broke people, veterans against war, those healing from the prison system, lifelong San Franciscans, immigrants, people with disabilities, and those who were previously homeless,” according to the groups’ press statement. Station 40 has also “hosted and/or organized hundreds of anticapitalist-oriented events, including fund-raiser, critical discussions, film screenings and performances, assemblies, book releases, art shows and workshops, and indie media projects, contributing to the rebel spirit of the Bay Area.”
Gosh, we’re sorry to hear about the end of your anti-police/anti-capitalist “anarchist, queer and transgender” scene, hipsters.

Megan McArdle explains Gentrification Is an Irresistible Force
Ah, gentrification. What’s not to hate? Except for sit-down restaurants, dog parks, charming pubs, bike lanes ... and there goes the neighborhood. Yesterday, we talked about the inherent irony of gentrification: the fact that gentrification is simultaneously driven and abhorred by nice young progressives who just want to live in a walkable neighborhood. We also discussed why so many of the ideas proposed to stop it -- from inclusionary zoning to tougher rent control -- have so far proven powerless against the March of the Affluent.
Read the rest, but it all boils down to a free market. People who can afford to would like to live in a nice clean, crime free neighborhood, and they have the money to see to it both from a cost and political perspective.

And she explains Why Gentrification Matters
Nonetheless, we should recognize that for many people, gentrification can be a sort of personal disaster. Why? Because when you don't have much money, you rely heavily on another sort of capital: social capital.

Interested readers can listen to me expand upon this in my American Enterprise Institute vision talk, but here's the nutshell version: Navigating poverty successfully requires people to tap into extended networks that operate something like the "reciprocal altruism" networks of hunter-gatherers. You're in trouble, and I help you out, which means that when I am in trouble, you have an obligation to help me out. All humans do this to some extent, of course. But affluent people in modern societies don't need to rely on these networks so heavily, because they have cash and savings. If your car breaks down, you pay a repair shop instead of tapping your network to find someone who knows how to fix the problem. As I discuss in my talks, these networks can be remarkably resilient ways to handle the challenges of poverty, but they can also create barriers to getting out of poverty.
True enough, but some of what keeps people trapped in poverty is the "comfort" of it, the reliable government assistance (which comes whether you go to work on time or not) and the equally reliable friends who help you out, and in the same breathe, help hold you in. What many poor need is a reason to get out, and cut the umbilical ties of poverty.

A New "Polio" Emerges

Link found between children with paralysis and ‘more polio-like’ strain of enterovirus D68, study says
Genetic sequencing of a virus found in respiratory secretions of children in California and Colorado who suffered from paralysis or muscle weakness last fall reveals that they were infected with a mutated strain of enterovirus D68 that is closer to polio than other strains common in previous years.

The study, published Monday in Lancet Infectious Diseases, sheds new light on one of the most troubling medical mysteries of recent years. Amid a nationwide outbreak of severe respiratory illness, doctors at hospitals nationwide began to report that they were seeing an alarming number of children with unexplained weakness in an arm or a leg to complete paralysis that required them to be put on ventilators. Treating physicians noted that many of the children appeared to be infected with enterovirus D68, but researchers were cautious about drawing a causal link because virus had been bouncing around the world since the 1960s and had typically only caused breathing issues such as coughing and wheezing.

While the research does not provide a definitive link -- that would only be established if the virus were found in the spinal fluid and it was not -- it provides the strongest evidence to date of the link between enterovirus D68 and paralysis. The researchers theorize that the reason the virus was not found in the spinal fluid could be because the samples were taken too late. Scientists also tested the children for the presence of other pathogens capable of causing the symptoms but didn't find other viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites.
Much like the polio virus, EV-D68 (or whatever acronym is being used) does not affect all people the same way. Most people who got polio (and it is very rare now globally, and eliminated in the US) did not show symptoms beyond short term cold/flu. Only a minority suffered the devastating paralysis which was the reason the vaccines were such breakthroughs at the time. For polio, people were more likely to suffer the paralysis if they had escaped the disease while young, and protected by maternal antibodies. Thus, the poor, living with less sanitation suffered from it less than the wealthy, who were less likely to be exposed while young.  My guess is that it will turn out to be true for EV-D68 as well.
The new research reveals that the children had a novel strain of the virus, called B1, which emerged about four years ago. That strain has only five to six coding differences from previous strains that were commonly found in the United States but each of those are mutated in the direction of polio or another nerve-damaging virus known as EV-D70.

"These are changes that may have made the virus more polio-like," said Charles Chiu, an associate professor at the University of California-San Francisco who worked on the study.
Now that a more dangerous strain has arrived (and the question of whether it originated in the US or was imported from Latin America is still of interest, but hardly germane to the treatment), perhaps the CDC and USDA should be thinking about funding vaccine development for this bug. Or now that we have so much more genetic knowledge than we did in the 1950s, maybe we could work out a vaccine for enteroviruses in general, or at least major groups of them.

Operator, Could You Help Me Place This Call?

A little different:

Midnite Music - "Gimme Shelter"

An interesting arrangement of a Stones classic. Dana Fuchs:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Scrubbing the Server Shows Consciousness of Guilt

When you've (sorta) lost MSNBC:

All That Fuss Over a Half Inch of Hair

Boy's 'military haircut' spurs suspension threat, outcry
A young boy's high and tight haircut meant to honor his soldier-stepbrother earned him the threat of suspension from an elementary school named for a Medal of Honor recipient, and the fallout from the incident has led a Tennessee school district to increase security measures.

Adam Stinnett went to Bobby Ray Memorial Elementary School in McMinnville, about a 90-minute drive southeast from Nashville, on March 9 sporting the new hairdo. His mother, Amy Stinnett, said he'd requested the high and tight to be more like Spc. Justin Bloodworth, his active-duty stepbrother.

Adam was written up by the principal, who thought the haircut was against school policy banning "mohawk haircuts or other extreme cuts."

Amy Stinnett disagreed. Adam went back Tuesday with the same haircut.

After his mother received an email from the principal and stopped by for a face-to-face chat, it was made clear that Adam's hairstyle would have to change before he returned to school.

With so much hair already gone, his mother had few options.

"I did shave his head," Stinnett said Thursday. "With no hair, he looks sick all the time."

The incident upset Adam, who wants to follow Bloodworth's path into military service, his mother said.
My, how times have changed. I fought my Dad tooth and nail to retain every last fraction of an inch of every last hair. I'd like to blame the Beatles, but the battles began before they made any appearance. He would so have liked me to keep my hair like that.

Move Over Hillary,

There's a New Girl in Town: Taylor Swift Tops Fortune’s List Of World’s Greatest Female Leaders

Is Taylor Swift the world’s greatest female leader? Fortune magazine thinks so.

The publication released its second annual Top 50 World’s Greatest Leaders, and the Berks County native is the first female on the list at number six.
Wow, that's pretty high on the list; what did she do to get the recognition (besides make a ton of money on music).

Fortune credited the 25-year-old’s shrewd social media branding for her placement on the list.
So she's really good at Facebook and Instagram? Who knew?
Others on the list include Apple CEO Tim Cook and Pope Francis.

President Obama did not make the cut.

I guess the shine is off the new penny.

He may be a bit girly in his mom jeans, but I don't think he's declared for the other team yet. He might want to wait until the girls are in college.

If we elected Taylor, we wouldn't have to see our president in those horrible moo-moos and pant suits. Taylor has no cankles, and likes to show her legs.

There's just one problem, though, she's only 25, and you have to be 35 to be elected President under the Constitution, but at the rate that Obama's shredding that, I really can't see that it's much much of an obstacle, if we all pout hard enough.

Wombat-socho celebrates his week of absence with a double dose "Rule 5 Monday: Easter Weekend Double-Dip Edition."

A New Indoor Sport

It needs a better name though. Soccards?

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Trouble with Harry

Did Mobsters Beat Harry Reid?
John Hinderaker at Powerline returns to the unanswered questions surrounding the retiring Democrat senator’s injuries:
When a guy shows up at a Las Vegas emergency room on New Year’s Day with severe facial injuries and broken ribs, and gives as an explanation the functional equivalent of “I walked into a doorknob,” it isn’t hard to guess that he ran afoul of mobsters. Yet the national press has studiously averted its eyes from Reid’s condition, and has refused to investigate the cause of his injuries. To my knowledge, every Washington reporter has at least pretended to believe Reid’s story, and none, as far as I can tell, has inquired further.
Read the rest. Reid’s corruption is notorious, even by Democrat standards. The media won’t tell the truth about him, but when was the last time the media told the truth about anything?

When this injury first occurred, the cover story was he was doing exercise with a gray exercise band when it broke, and "threw" him into some exercise equipment.  Now, I do a few exercises with a gray band at "fitness club", and have even broken one, and I find it hard to believe it would leave him in that condition, unless he were totally snockered and stumbled off into another machine, and managed a face plant into it.

Anybody in power in Las Vegas has rubbed elbows with the mob, and Harry has had a long and lucrative career there. Besides, the mob story makes for much more fun. Like Hillary's emails, we will never actually find out the truth, so we might as well make up the stories that keep us satisfied.

Sunday Beach Report 3/29/15

Another cold March day. It was 25 F this morning, and the bird bath was frozen a half inch deep. It was up to the mid 30s by the afternoon when we went down to the beach. It's clear and blue here, and the wind has calmed down from 20 mph earlier to more like 5.
A weekend day in spring with only moderate winds means fishermen at the rips. I suppose I could go and play bumper boats, but it's darn cold out, and my hands are still rough from Friday afternoon.
A grebe of some sort in the harbor mouth. Eared Grebe is what they usually turn out to be.
And the Buffies are still hanging on, although I expect them to depart for their northern breeding grounds soon. No sign of the Ospreys at the beach yet, although I did see a pair circling over St. Leonard. I wonder if they got disgusted with the cold weather and went back south a while.
Despite a fairly low tide, fossil hunting was tough; just not much shell hash scattered around the beach. Only 5 teeth total. Georgia found this respectable Snaggletooth.
Someone is having a revetment of some sort built on Calvert Beach between the steps and the boat ramp. I hope it doesn't end up blocking the beach or causing it to erode our from the front.

Dissonant Obamacare Schadenfreude

A bit of contrast here.

Obamacare flying machine begins a death spiral
During oral arguments in King, Justices Anthony Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed concerns that not allowing subsidies in the 37 states using the federally established exchange would set off a death spiral in those states. Their fear was that while subsidies would no longer be available, and there would effectively be no individual mandate, community rating and guaranteed issue would remain.

Many commentators saw Justice Kennedy’s comments as a signal he isn’t willing to stop subsidies on federal exchanges, either because of the serious consequences of doing so or because surely Congress could not have intended to put states in the position of choosing between creating an Obamacare exchange or seeing health insurance markets destroyed.

What Justice Kennedy and many others may not understand, however, is the death spiral is probably already underway in all 50 states, regardless of how the Supreme Court rules in this case.
According to the Manhattan Institute, premiums climbed by 41 percent on average from 2013 to 2014, and premiums are likely to rise sharply again after two insurance company bailout programs included in Obamacare expire in 2017.

The other sign health insurance markets are in the early stages of a death spiral is the age mix of those buying policies through Obamacare. Originally it was estimated that around 40 percent of enrollees had to be in the relatively healthy 18 to 34-year-old age segment, so their premiums could be used to pay for the health expenses of older, less-healthy enrollees. So far it appears only some 28 percent of enrollees are in that coveted age group, which also comprises around half of the uninsured.

All of this means insurers are getting a risk pool that is less healthy than expected, and more premium hikes are around the corner. While subsidies hide some from the full impact, others in the middle class will not be shielded.

It will undoubtedly take a few years to know for sure, but for anybody concerned about setting off a death spiral or thinking Congress surely didn’t intend to do so, don’t worry. It looks like it’s already here, whether Congress intended it or not.
But the Obama has an answer to that. Obama: Obamacare was Republicans' plan
He reminded Republicans that some of the ideas behind the Affordable Care Act — most notably its individual mandate to buy coverage — were once supported by some conservatives, although its Medicaid expansion and some other big parts of the law stem more from liberal thought.

"The Affordable Care Act pretty much was their plan before I adopted it," he said.
And yet none of them voted for it. Maybe because they thought about it a little more and saw the pitfalls.

It's Back

One of the local Red-shouldered Hawk. Must be hunting mice and squirrels because the tweety birds totally ignored it.

Ice Fishing på Svenska

Midnite Music - Featuring Heather Maloney

I just love the mother-of-toilet seat lap steel guitar.

Recordings by Heather Maloney

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Maryland Bill Would Delay Watershed Implimetation Plans

Bill aims to temporarily stall county WIPs
A bill before a General Assembly committee March 24 would delay county Watershed Implementation Plans until two conditions are met in 2017.

The bill, cross-filed by Sen. Steve Hershey, R-36-Upper Shore, and by Del. Jay Jacobs, R-36-Kent, prohibits the planning and implementation of statewide, Environmental Protection Agency-approved WIPs until the EPA’s 2017 Chesapeake Bay mid-point assessment of pollution reduction goals is completed and also until a two-year study on sediment levels and water quality in the Bay is completed.

“No one is saying that the WIP should not be executed, however this bill ensures that the effort will be based on proper science,” Hershey said.
What's the basis for their complaint that the science isn't right?
Hershey, who along with Jacobs presented the bill to the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee March 24, said the proposal stems from a committee hearing earlier in the legislative session wherein the EPA’s Associate Director for Science, Analysis and Implementation Richard Batuik said the 2010 Bay model used old data from the 1990s and early 2000s.

The Bay model was drafted when officials assumed the Conowingo Dam had a higher sediment trapping capacity, said Hershey at the hearing. A study of the Lower Susquehanna River Watershed has since disproved that, and suggests the Conowingo Dam — the last stop on the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania before its confluence with the Upper Bay — is at dynamic equilibrium with its sediment buildup and has no more trapping capacity left.

“Since the Chesapeake Bay model depended on old and inaccurate data, the model itself is then flawed. It is flawed and the state and the counties are in the process of executing the WIPs based on flawed modeling,” Hershey said. “The EPA indicates that it will include more recent data in its development of the midpoint assessment. Counties have exceptionally hefty price tags on implementing the WIP.”
Now that is an interesting point, as well as an interesting gambit. Who doesn't want their regulations based on the best science? Until recently, it was taken as matter of fact that the impending filling of the pool behind Conowingo was the most serious problem the Bay faced. Then, once it actually happened, and they faced up to how intractable the problem was, both economically and logistically, suddenly, management science suspiciously said it wasn't that bad after all, and we really need to go after those damn farmers and their nutrients.

Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw

Yesterday, Georgia heard a thump on the dining room window, looked and saw nothing. It's not unusual for birds to run into it, since they can sometimes see through to another window, and think they might find a short cut.

This morning she saw a dead female Cardinal laying on the dog crate parked outside, and figured that must have been the thump. Well, it happens. Not often, but once in a great while.

This morning she called me into the room and told me to bring the camera:

One of the squirrels that frequent the deck had decided to make a meal of it. It's hard to blame it for taking advantage of some unclaimed protein. It's been a tough winter, and judging by the the holes in our yard, they've already dug up all the acorns and hickory nut they buried in fall.

Anyway, to lighten the mood, here is a squirrel practicing how to bushwhack a fresh one:

A Bai-Lingual Rule 5 Saturday

The star of this week's  Rule 5 post is Bai Ling, or is it Ling Bai?
Bai Ling (Chinese: 白灵, born October 10, 1966) is a Chinese-born American actress known for her work in films such as The Crow, Red Corner,Crank: High Voltage, Three... Extremes, Wild Wild West, and Anna and the King, and TV shows including Entourage and Lost.
(In Chinese names, the family name is given first)
Bai was born in Chengdu, People's Republic of China in 1966. Her father, Bai Yuxiang (白玉祥), was a musician in the People's Liberation Army, and later a music teacher. Her mother, Chen Binbin (陈彬彬), was a dancer, stage actress, and a literature teacher in Sichuan University; Bai's maternal grandfather was a military officer of the Kuomintang army, and thus was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution.
Bai has described herself as a very shy child who found that she best expressed herself through acting and performing. During the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976), she learned how to perform by participating in Eight model plays, at her elementary school shows. After her graduation from middle school, Bai was sent to do labor work at Shuangliu (双流), a county near Chengdu, where the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport is located.

She soon passed the People's Liberation Army's exams, and became an artist soldier in Nyingchi PrefectureTibet, where she served from age 14 to 17. Her main activity there was entertaining in the musical theater. She also served briefly as an Army nurse. Ling later stated that during her time in Tibet she, along with other female performers, was regularly plied with alcohol and sexually abused by older male Chinese officers, including one instance of rape that led to a pregnancy, which she was forced to terminate with an abortion. She cites this period of sexual abuse for her subsequent struggles with alcohol addiction. Subsequently, Bai spent some time in a mental hospital.

Soon after her release from the hospital, Bai joined People's Art Theater of Chengdu, and became a professional actress. Her performance as a young man in the stage play Yueqin and Little Tiger drew the attention of movie director Teng Wenji (滕文骥), which gained her her first movie role in On The Beach (1985), as a village girl who becomes a factory worker and struggled against her father's will for her to marry her cousin.

In later years, she appeared in several movies. She temporarily moved to New York in 1991 to attend New York University's film department as a visiting scholar, but later obtained a special visa that allowed her to remain in the United States until she became a citizen in 1999.
Wow, just wow. She has a blog site here. Some NSFW material here, here, here, and here.

GOODSTUFF is featuring Hayley Atwell as Agent Peggy Carter in the 183d issue of his blogging magazine. Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday" and links. Wombat-socho celebrates his week of absence with a double dose "Rule 5 Monday: Easter Weekend Double-Dip Edition."

Killer Mermaids

A trailer for a new, possibly delightfully bad movie:

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday" and links. Wombat-socho celebrates his week of absence with a double dose "Rule 5 Monday: Easter Weekend Double-Dip Edition."

Friday, March 27, 2015

Back From Fishing

Last night I made arrangements with one of my oldest fishing friends from Maryland, Tom, aka "Barefoot" to go out on my "new" boat to chase the big Striped Bass at "Location X", starting at 7 AM. This, based on a weather forecast that showed winds around 10 mph from the north (about my limit at "Location X"), 45 F weather and persistent showers.

This morning, the winds were in the 20 mph range, what I call the "stupid" zone, because you have to be stupid to go out in a small boat in winds like that. We called it off with the possibility of trying again in the afternoon if the wind died.

The wind died around 2 PM, and off we went, to the rips, where we encountered the usual spring mix of boats, including Walleye Pete, another guide I know, Fishamajig (aka Dennis Fleming), One Fish, and others milling around in the water dragging pieces of plastic around in hopes of catching that giant personal best Stripper. To beat my personal best would take a 45 inch fish, a little more for Barefoot.

Alas, no giants were to be had, although, to be sure, we caught and threw back lots of fish between 15 and 28 inches. Both of us scored one "picture" fish:

Shad Cam - 2015!

Capt. Mike reminds me that the shad cam at Bosher Dam in Virginia is back up for the shad and herring run:

You can reload this page to reload the shad cam.

Iceland Celebrates "Set Them Puppies Free" Day

To­day is a #freethenip­ple day in Ice­land, a day in which a fem­i­nist wave has swept the coun­try. The day was par­tic­u­larly cel­e­brated in Reyk­javik's Uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges and an end­less amount of women tweeted their sup­port, and their nip­ples, in­clud­ing an MP. Here's a look at the day in pic­tures in which women went bra­less or top­less to show their sup­port.
The in­ter­na­tional #freethenip­ple cause ad­dresses equal rights for men and women, a more bal­anced view of cen­sor­ship and the rights for all women the world over to breast­feed in pub­lic.

Re­lated sto­ries:

Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment frees her nip­ple
Stu­dents free the nip­ple
Nothing that hasn't been addressed by American country music (the NSFW version):

Wombat-socho celebrates his week of absence with a double dose "Rule 5 Monday: Easter Weekend Double-Dip Edition."

Alligator vs Geezer

Alligator wins, but decides not to consume.

Midnite Music - "Georgia on My Mind"

From a friend who says: "You know you're old when a girl you once bounced on your knee preforms at Deeproots."

Wombat-socho celebrates his week of absence with a double dose "Rule 5 Monday: Easter Weekend Double-Dip Edition."

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Heck No! I Won't Go!

Sex Trouble Much?

In the wake of the Charlottesville, Virginia police department failure to find any evidence to support the rape charge leveled against the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity by one "Jackie", who was feted in Rolling Stone magazine as a feminist hero, Stacy McCain has gone absolutely crazy (and nobody does crazy quite like Stacy) about the mendacity of modern college feminism.

Caught in a Web of Lies at UVA
Police in Charlottesville, Virginia, spent months investigating the claims made in a Rolling Stone story and found no truth:
A four-month police investigation into an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia that Rolling Stone magazine described in graphic detail produced no evidence of the attack and was stymied by the accuser’s unwillingness to cooperate, authorities said Monday.
The article, titled “A rape on campus,” focused on a student identified only as “Jackie” who said she was raped at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity more than two years earlier. . . .
There were numerous discrepancies between the article, published in November 2014, and what investigators found, said Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo, who took care not to accuse Jackie of lying.
The case is suspended, not closed, and the fact that investigators could not find evidence years later “doesn’t mean that something terrible didn’t happen to Jackie,” Longo said. . . .
Asked if Jackie would be charged with making a false report, he said: “Absolutely not.”
Feminists immediately seized on that — Chief Longo’s unwillingness to rule out the possibility that “something terrible” happened — to insist that Jackie’s rape story could be true, except it’s really not. Jackie’s story was a snipe hunt, a wild goose chase. Here’s the telltale clue:
Longo said Jackie’s first mention of an alleged assault came without key details, during a meeting she had with a dean about an academic issue in May 2013. The dean brought in police, but the case was dropped because Jackie didn’t want them to investigate, Longo said.
In any case, the “sexual act” she described that year was “not consistent with what was described” in the Rolling Stone article.
This is it, you see? Jackie is a serial liar.
She's not even a very effective serial liar, unable to keep her facts consistent, and apparently having plagiarized large portions of her story from TV shows and romance novels.

And she's not the only liar: Sex, Lies and ‘Broken People’
Bobby Bradshaw spent seven months in jail because a crazy woman with a fake Russian accent falsely accused him of rape:
“If everyone knew the whole story, they could make a movie out of it,” he said. “It’s something you couldn’t write. It’s too crazy.” . . .
At the July hearing, the woman, speaking with a thick accent, testified that she had only lived in the country since 2008. But when Defense Attorney Brandy Spurgin visited her later in Warren County, where she was in jail for violating probation in another case, the accent was gone.
“The biggest red flag for me was learning that the accent was fake,” Spurgin said.
The woman testified that when she met Bradshaw she was completing a drug rehabilitation program and living in a halfway house called Oasis. She testified she’d voluntarily entered drug court in Warren County. She also had an outstanding warrant for domestic violence charges in Citrus County, Fla.
Records show that in 2009 she pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence, and in 2012 she was charged with filing a false report in a sexual assault case.
(Hat-tip: Instapundit.) DNA evidence cleared Bradshaw in this case, which points to the basic problem with the whole “rape epidemic” hysteria feminists have ginned up on college campuses. Over and over again, we are confronted with dubious cases — often reported to university officials months after the alleged incidents — where there is no evidence beyond the claims of the accuser. There’s no DNA, no medical exam, no 911 call, no police report, just a woman making an accusation that her drunken hookup with a fellow student was rape. It’s always a “he-said/she-said” scenario and there’s no way any prosecutor would take a case like that to criminal court. Under pressure from feminists (and federal authorities) to “do something” in such cases, universities have set up extra-judicial disciplinary tribunals where accused male students can be subjected to administrative punishment without the constitutional due-process protections they would have in an actual courtroom.
As Auric Goldfinger said "Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence; three times is enemy action". But when you get to four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine, it's beginning to look like an enemy strategy: Stacy finds six more cases of feminists inventing rape charges:

Feminists Lie About Rape
In the comments on an earlier post about the UVA rape hoax, someone appended a list of similar hoaxes perpetrated at colleges. The original source of this list appears to be by Eric Owens at the Daily Caller:
  1. In 1990, Mariam Kashani, a sophomore at George Washington University, who was a rape counselor and worked for a rape crisis hotline, told the school newspaper about a white woman who was raped by two black men on campus. The men held the woman at knifepoint and the men had “particularly bad body odor”. When the two men were finished, Kashinai said, they laughed at the woman and told her she was “pretty good for a white girl”. When her story crumbled, Kashani said she was really sorry and insisted that she “had hoped the story, as reported, would highlight the problems of safety for women”. . . .
Feminists do this deliberately — purposefully making false claims of rape — because it advances their ideological agenda.
It's to the point that, given the known very low rate of campus rapes, and the high number of false reports involving feminist activists, that any rape or sexual harassment charge by a woman with a record a a feminist sympathizer should be presumed to be a false accusation, unless there is dispositive evidence to the contrary.

Two Women Forced to Apologize for Calling Male Librarian ‘Sexual Predator’
Judging from the retractions issued by Nina de Jesus and Lisa Rabey, their lawyers have advised them that making statements with “no factual basis at all” was a very bad idea. You can read Joe Murphy’s explanation of his $1.25 million lawsuit and ponder the difference between (a) branding someone a “sexual predator” de novo, and (b) citing previously published accounts and legal documents about a “notorious and thoroughly evil” felon. It would appear that Ms. de Jesus and Ms. Rabey have learned a valuable lesson. I hope they paid full price for that lesson.
And it's not like women have their own hands clean: Teach Women Not to Rape
The weirdness has been “newly augmented” in Scottsdale:
An Arizona woman is accused of allowing seven boys at a bar mitzvah to fondle her newly augmented breasts.
Lindsey Radomski, 32, also performed a sex act on one of the teenagers at the party in Scottsdale last Saturday, police say.
The yoga teacher was drunk when she allegedly exposed herself at the Jewish male coming-of-age celebration for up to 100 guests.
Radomski was told to “sleep it off” in one of the bedrooms after showing her breasts to a group of five adults and again to a group of boys by a swimming pool at the home.
In the early hours of Sunday 22 March, Radomski allegedly invited seven boys, ranging in age from 11 to 15, to her room and allowed them to feel her breasts.
Later, all the boys left the bedroom except for a 15-year-old, according to police.
It is alleged that Radomski performed a sex act on him. . . .
Instapundit has had an ongoing series of "Teach women not to rape" posts, in an attempt to point out that both sexes have a stake in having rape charges investigated and charged with proper due process when appropriate.

Bay Company Drops Wind Power Plans

Energy firm switches from wind to solar
Talks to erect wind turbines across Somerset County's southwestern landscape have diminished to a zero velocity. Great Bay Wind says that instead, it is switching to a solar project that also could land jobs and tax revenue for the county.

The energy firm's subsidiary, Pioneer Green Energy, said in a Friday letter to Somerset County Commissioners that several obstacles led to the company's decision to indefinitely suspend turbine plans.

"After careful review and discussion with stakeholders, it is apparent that we are no longer able to proceed with our investment in any way in the near term," Adam Cohen, a Pioneer Green Energy vice president, said in a March 20 letter to Somerset County Commissioners.

Specifically, Cohen pointed to language of a federal defense bill introduced in August 2014 by U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., that it said "placed the entire Great Bay Wind investment and business into a state of uncertainty."
At least with solar power, you can collect your federal subsidies without worrying about birds getting caught in the blades, and the radar reflections hurting the national defense.

Wind turbines can pose a threat to area birds

. . . wind energy has another drawback that has not received enough attention. The blades and the 400-foot tall towers that support them kill birds in large numbers. While most birds avoid most wind turbines, there is the potential for tremendous future impacts on struggling bird populations. Because birds use wind for a free ride during migration, they tend to congregate in the exact places slated for wind energy development — mountain ridges and coasts.

No one really knows how many birds are killed, and the few studies that have been done indicate that the answer varies widely depending on location and timing. There is currently no proven deterrent for alerting birds or bats to the fact that a killer blade is whirring ahead of them.
Those concerned with sustainability must support wind energy, despite its threat to the viewshed. But a slow approach that includes funding for research into deterrents, and a business model that includes slowing energy generation during migration, can prevent this from being the straw that broke the back of already imperiled bird populations.

Imagine being a Northern Gannet migrating down the East Coast 100 years from now. What is the chance that just once in your long life you'd look away at the wrong moment and be shredded by one of the hundreds of thousands of turbines that are being dreamed up for the coastline?

Dreamer Charged in "Top Model" Killing

The illegal immigrant charged with killing an “America’s Next Top Model” contestant was only in the U.S. because the administration had granted him amnesty under President Obama’s 2012 policy for so-called Dreamers, two senators revealed Friday afternoon.

Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez was first arrested on drug charges and was set to go before an immigration judge, but he had his deportation case closed after he was granted amnesty, or “deferred action,” in late 2013, according to documents Sens. Charles E. Grassley and Tom Tillis released.

The young man has now been charged with three counts of murder stemming from the February slaying of three persons, including Mirjana Puhar, who had appeared on the “Top Model” show last year. He has also been charged with murder in a separate case, too, The Associated Press reported.

“This raises serious concerns about USCIS’s review and approval of other DACA applicants and points to potential vulnerabilities in the system,” the two senators said in a letter demanding more information on the amnesty.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is the agency charged with approving the applications for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals,” the program Mr. Obama announced in 2012 to grant tentative legal status to so-called Dreamers, or young adult illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. They are generally deemed the most sympathetic figures in the immigration debate, but recent reports suggest many of them have gotten into serious trouble with the law even after having been approved for the amnesty.

In Mr. Rangel-Hernandez’s case, it appears he had a run-in with the law before he was approved as well, but was granted deferred action status anyway.

Mr. Emmanuel Jesus Rangel-Hernandez was charged with possession of marijuana in Mecklenburg County, N.C., in 2012 after an officer stopped a group of people and asked to search them, and the suspect, at that time a juvenile, pulled his hand out of his pocket in a fist. The officer, fearing for his safety, grabbed the boy’s fist, and found a bag of marijuana.
The drug case was closed to further the case for amnesty.
More than a year later Mr. Rangel-Hernandez’s case was pending before Immigration Judge Theresa Holmes-Simmons, who closed the case and freed him, saying the Obama administration had agreed to it because he’d been approved for the amnesty.

Police have described the new killings Mr. Rangel-Hernandez has been charged with as drug-related.
Ironically, Puhar herself was an immigrant, fleeing the Clinton era war in Serbia.
Puhar, the model contestant he is accused of killing, was also an immigrant, having been born in Serbia but fleeing with her family at age 5 after the Kosovo war, the Charlotte Observer reported.
So we had a immigrant making something of herself killed by an immigrant who wasn't.

Wombat-socho celebrates his week of absence with a double dose "Rule 5 Monday: Easter Weekend Double-Dip Edition."

Tiger Shark vs Killer Whales

No, it's not a Bad Sci-Fi movie title, although it could be. A pod of killer whales off Costa Rico kill (and presumably eat) a 10 ft Tiger shark:

The King's Fall from Edwar Herreño on Vimeo.

Pod of Killer Whales off California and South Australia are known to attack and kill Great White sharks. Maybe they just wanted a change of pace. Bluefish are good after a steady diet of Striped Bass.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Asteroids that Tenderized Australia

World’s largest asteroid impacts found in central Australia
A 400 kilometre-wide impact zone from a huge meteorite that broke in two moments before it slammed into the Earth has been found in Central Australia.

The crater from the impact millions of years ago has long disappeared. But a team of geophysicists has found the twin scars of the impacts – the largest impact zone ever found on Earth – hidden deep in the earth’s crust.

Lead researcher Dr Andrew Glikson from The Australian National University (ANU) said the impact zone was discovered during drilling as part of geothermal research, in an area near the borders of South Australia, Queensland and the Northern Territory.
Darn energy industry, actually making science along the way by accident.
“The two asteroids must each have been over 10 kilometres across – it would have been curtains for many life species on the planet at the time,” said Dr Glikson, from the ANU School of Archaeology and Anthropology.

The revelation of such ancient violent impacts may lead to new theories about the Earth’s history.

“Large impacts like these may have had a far more significant role in the Earth’s evolution than previously thought,” Dr Glikson said.

The exact date of the impacts remains unclear. The surrounding rocks are 300 to 600 million years old, but evidence of the type left by other meteorite strikes is lacking.
300 million years would put it near the Carboniferous-Triassic Boundary. Could it have tipped the weather and helped to end the Carboniferous?
For example, a large meteorite strike 66 million years ago sent up a plume of ash which is found as a layer of sediment in rocks around the world. The plume is thought to have led to the extinction of a large proportion of the life on the planet, including many dinosaur species.
However, a similar layer has not been found in sediments around 300 million years old, Dr Glikson said.
Maybe it's time to give equal billing to the Deccan Traps theory of the Cretaceous extinction, which has been recently revived. 
“It’s a mystery – we can’t find an extinction event that matches these collisions. I have a suspicion the impact could be older than 300 million years,” he said.

A geothermal research project chanced on clues to the impacts while drilling more than two kilometres into the earth’s crust.

The drill core contained traces of rocks that had been turned to glass by the extreme temperature and pressure caused by a major impact.

Magnetic modelling of the deep crust in the area traced out bulges hidden deep in the Earth, rich in iron and magnesium, corresponding to the composition of the Earth mantle.

“There are two huge deep domes in the crust, formed by the Earth’s crust rebounding after the huge impacts, and bringing up rock from the mantle below,” Dr Glikson said.

The two impact zones total more than 400 kilometres across, in the Warburton Basin in Central Australia. They extend through the Earth’s crust, which is about 30 kilometres thick in this area.

Worst Parking Job Ever

Eleanor Holmes Norton squeeze crosswise into a parking place on Capitol Hill

To be fair, they didn't see me try to back the old boat up a narrow dirt driveway off a narrow hilly street. I'm glad there's no video of that!

Wednesday Obamacare Schadenfreude

Another Wednesday (what's with that damned "d" anyway?), another lot of Obamacare Schadenfreude.

Democratic Senators Beg For Another Obamacare Delay
A group of Democratic senators is urging the Obama administration to delay a key portion of Obamacare because the results could be “harmful and disruptive.”

In a letter exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller, Senate Democrats pleaded with Health and Human Services secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell to delay an Obamacare rule change that puts companies with 51 to 100 employees in the costlier “small group” market instead of the “large group” market. The rule change, which will result in higher premiums for many companies, goes into effect in 2016.

The letter was signed by Democratic Sens. Claire McCaskill, Heidi Heitkamp, Chris Coons, Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Jon Tester and independent Sen. Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats.

Even Obama is showing signs of turning his back on his "signature" legislation: Obama fails to show after being introduced at Obamacare event
Today at 10:30 AM ET, President Obama was scheduled to speak at the White House's "Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network Kickoff Meeting." His introducer, seemingly sensing the president was tardy, gamely tried stretching out his remarks. Then, at around 10:35, apparently receiving word the president was ready to go, the audience was encouraged to applaud for the next speaker, "the president of the United States!"

Then an awkward silence fell over the crowd as the president failed to show. Spectators could be seen putting down their cameras, losing hope.

Finally, nine minutes later, the president arrived. No explanation or apology was offered.
Meanwhile, the "side effects" (one can hardly call them unexpected consequences) that conservatives warned about are continuing to blossom: Employees working fewer hours due to Obamacare
A new survey by the Society of Human Resource Management released Tuesday found about 14 percent of businesses have reduced part-time hours and another 6 percent plan to do so. Employers are reducing hours to avoid Obamacare's employer mandate, which requires companies to provide health insurance to all workers that work 30 or more hours a week.

In addition, 5 percent of companies already reduced or plan to reduce the total number of employees.
Under Health Care Act, Many Tax Filers Are Discovering Costly Complications
. . . This filing season, for the first time, millions of Americans are facing tax implications — and new forms that even seasoned preparers are finding confusing — related to their health insurance status. The changes are not only complicating things for tax filers, but also costing many of them money.

Under the Affordable Care Act, people who remained uninsured last year must either pay a penalty with their taxes, one of the most contentious elements of the law, or claim an exemption. The Obama administration has said up to six million people would owe a penalty of $95 or 1 percent of their household income, whichever is greater. But as many as 30 million people are getting exemptions, mainly because they are too poor to afford health insurance or because they live in a state that refused to expand Medicaid last year under the health law.

And people who did get insurance but, like Mr. Ciesielski, underestimated their income for 2014 — the figure on which subsidies are calculated — are being required to pay back part of their subsidy.

In late February, H & R Block reported that its uninsured clients had paid an average penalty of $172. The money comes out of refunds, while people who do not get refunds are required to pay the Internal Revenue Service by April 15.
Like the tax system needed further complications.

And Professor Althouse thinks Justice Kennedy may be sending signals that are unfavorable for the governments case in King vs. Burwell: Did Anthony Kennedy just reveal the outcome in King v. Burwell?
Justice Kennedy clearly and soundly rejected the argument that the inability of Congress to fix a problem should not keep the Court from deciding that there is a problem with a statute that it is the role of Congress, not the courts, to fix.

When this problem came up at oral argument, Justice Scalia said something that — as I explained here — some people thought was amusingly out of touch:
What about Congress? You really think Congress is just going to sit there while all of these disastrous consequences ensue? I mean, how often have we come out with a decision such as the ­­ you know, the bankruptcy court decision? Congress adjusts, enacts a statute that takes care of the problem. It happens all the time. Why is that not going to happen here?
The Solicitor General drew a laugh with the response "Well, this Congress?"

This Congress can't (or won't) fix it, so that was supposed to be a reason why the Supreme Court should fix the statute for them. In Monday's testimony, Anthony Kennedy called that "a wrong proposition." It's not the Court's role to perceive or predict gridlock. The Court must "assume" a "fully functioning" Congress. That is, the Court's approach to statutory interpretation — its idea of where the judicial role ends and when a problem with a statute needs a legislative solution — remains the same. The dysfunction of Congress doesn't change the function of the judicial branch, and Congress's inability to rewrite statutes does not give rise to an otherwise nonexistent judicial power to rewrite statutes.

Justice Kennedy is standing tough on separation of powers. Get ready!
If the President can do Congresses job when he doesn't like its inaction, and the court can write law the Congress can't pass, why bother with a Congress at all?

I Hate It When That Happens

Cargo ship (accidentally) reels pickup truck into harbor

A pickup truck secured by its hitch to a cargo ship seems like a bad idea under any circumstance, but we are not experts in these matters.

And neither was the crew aboard the MSC Ilona after they ended up reeling in a pickup truck around 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Port of Baltimore, dragging the vehicle from land to sea in a matter of minutes - with the driver still inside.

Luckily, the driver was able to escape - jumping out before the truck hit the water, said First Sgt. Glend McGuire, a spokesman for the Maryland Transportation Authority police.
. . .
"The procedure is…they have large ropes that come off the ships – and they throw those onto land. They are hooked up to pickup trucks," McGuire said, breaking it down into non-expert terms. The trucks tether the lines on the dock, he said, and multiple pickup trucks do this at the same time. The process happens in reverse when a ship is ready to leave.

On Saturday, as the Ilona was ready to head out to sea, there was a miscommunication and the crew on board the ship thought all of the trucks had released their lines -- but one was still connected.

"He was in the process of doing it," McGuire said. "So [the ship] started pulling the pickup truck toward the water. The driver was still in the pickup truck."
When you play with big toys. . .

And in other Bay news:

A small chopper went down in the water at the north end of Taylors Island yesterday (that's just across the Bay from us). Pilot reported engine trouble and tried to land on land, but didn't quite make it). Pilot is OK, chopper is wet.

Live Action Review of "50 Shades of Gray"

I think I'll pass.

Bonus, the Coke, Mentos and Bikini Trial. Beer would have been better.

Wombat-socho celebrates his week of absence with a double dose "Rule 5 Monday: Easter Weekend Double-Dip Edition."

Not Gonna Happen

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Mission Accomplished!

A few weeks ago I began the process of getting a new boat. I wanted a newer boat, a little more rough water capable, with a four stroke engine (I'm tired of dealing with 2 stroke oil), and not too much bigger, because I fish a lot of small spots in skinny water. This boat showed up for sale locally:

It's a 20 ft, 4 inch Mako, 5 years old but with only 132 hours on the Mercury Verado 150 engine. During the sea trial, it wouldn't run properly, and I took a chance on fixing it if I took a lower price. My gamble paid off, and I saved a bit of cash, and came in well under my "retirement boat" budget.

I was also tired of painting the bottoms, and dealing with the issues of a boat tied in a slip (you know, like sinking, which has never happened to me, but close a couple of times), so for this year at least I'm renting a slip with a boat lift and seeing if I like this option.

This morning we put it in the slip, and I finished stashing gear on it, updating the registration and fishing license stickers. This afternoon I took it out for a test/fishing run. It was rough out, a good test day, one I would ordinarily pass on with winds from the NE at 12-15, and decent white caps. The boat handled the chop with aplomb, and I made down to "Location X", caught 3 fish, including one 30+ inch fish (about like yesterdays). Which reminds me, I need to buy a new stick down ruler.  It was too rough for easy fishing so I retired with light still in the sky, and ran home, and raised it out of the water until next time!

In the meantime, Trevor bought the old boat, to be used as a trailer boat with another of his fishing buddies. I hope he catches as many fish out of it as I did.