Wednesday, May 31, 2017

It's the Little Things

We had a chore to do in PF today, so we packed Skye up in the Lead Sled and took her to the dog park to get some of her ya-ya's out. Unfortunately, no other dogs came to visit while we were there, so she had to be content with running around on her own, which doesn't work as well. But she had fun sniffing the weeds.
The weed du jour, Oxalis, which gave it's name to oxalic acid.
Oxalis /ˈɒksəlᵻs/ is a large genus of flowering plants in the wood-sorrel family Oxalidaceae comprising about 800 of the 900 known species in the family. The genus occurs throughout most of the world, except for the polar areas; species diversity is particularly rich in tropical Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.

Many of the species are known as wood sorrels (sometimes written "woodsorrels" or "wood-sorrels") as they have an acidic taste reminiscent of the unrelated sorrel proper (Rumex acetosa). Some species are called yellow sorrels or pink sorrels after the color of their flowers instead. Other species are colloquially known as false shamrocks, and some called sourgrasses. For the genus as a whole, the term oxalises is also used.
There were a few butterflies around, but none were cooperative except this Eastern-Tailed Blue, a male from the powder blue on the upper surface of the wings.
Then I saw a few feet away, four more of them "puddling" on an old dog poop. I was so impressed I didn't even clean it up.
I also found this orange skipper, which seems to be a run-of-the-mill Sachem.

Apparently, the dog park wasn't near enough exercise for Skye, as she started nagging for another walk shortly after lunch. So off we went. The beach was all but empty, the fossil hunting poor (4 teeth), but the weather was nice, mid 70s and breezy from the south.
Most of the interest was on the walk home. A dash of color in the wetland?
A Blue Flag Iris, the native swamp iris. I took the starts for the blue flags in my pond from this very spot about 20 years ago.
A brush bunny on the side of the road got Skye excited. It let us get within 2 leash lengths before it got sufficiently concerned to hop off into the bushes.
A Yellow Flag Iris, a non-native swamp iris, slightly larger and more robust than the Blue Flags, in the ditch/stream at the bottom of our back lots. Considered invasive, I don't see enough of them to be worried about them taking over.

Sufficient Obamacare Schadenfreude Having Arisen . . .

. . . since the last post, it's time to clean the decks again.

Obamacare continues its downward spiral, Western Missouri becomes a canary in Obamacare coal mine as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City drops Obamacare coverageNorth Carolina's big Obamacare insurer wants steep rate hike for '18 (but would be happy with some more federal $), Insurers Request Double-Digit Premium Rate Increases for Obamacare Plans Next Year and HHS notes that Premiums for individual health plans doubled between 2013 and 2017. Affordable indeed.

Speaking of the illegal cost sharing that Blue Cross Blue Shield wants, will President Trump stop it or not? Signs are mixed, one day Trump is leaning towards ending ObamaCare’s cost-sharing subsidies, the next, the White House wants to continue Obamacare cost sharing payments for another 90 days.

Meanwhile, Republican attempts to repair or replace Obamacare are going nowhere fast, GOP leader tempers ObamaCare expectations and Senate Republicans consider pushing Obamacare repeal back to 2020. The New York Times agrees that McConnell May Have Been Right: It May Be Too Hard to Replace Obamacare. As long as McConnell won't nuke the legislative filibuster, that's probably true. However, on the bright side, the House leadership now open to changes to the AHCA after learning new info about EHBs/the reconciliation process. A HuffPo survey hints that Women Are More Worried About AHCA Than Men, but as Instapundit retorts  WELL, THAT’S BECAUSE THEY CONSUME WOMEN’S MEDIA, WHICH IS EVEN MORE ABOUT DEMOCRAT-SHILLING AND FEARMONGERING THAN REGULAR MEDIA and It’s also the case, of course, that men pay for most healthcare, while women consume most of it. So perhaps both are being rational.

The new CBO report is in on the new version of the Republican plan, and the good news is that it still reduces the deficit. The supposed bad news is that it forces about 20 million less people into buying health insurance they may not want, and might not benefit from.The truth about your health care, ObamaCare and the CBO numbersCBO has never been very good at projecting how many people would sign up for Obamacare either, so there's that.

Brought to us by Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 05.30.17" Megan McArdle thanks the Republicans: Guys. You Broke the Congressional Budget Office. Thank You!
the Republican bill has a completely different problem: It relies so heavily on state level waivers that the CBO simply has no way of predicting, even imperfectly, what’s going to happen.

Just to get this week's estimates, the CBO was were forced to guess which states might use waivers, and how they might choose to implement them. But the CBO doesn’t want to be in the business of making political calls, because that opens up vast room for the political leanings of the analysts to substitute for budget analysis. So instead they try to look at structural factors within the states themselves -- which states have problems in their markets, which states are relatively stable.
Democrats have their gaze fixed on the socialist solution:  Will CA Dems go full tilt on single payer — despite the costs? Probably. Since when have untenable costs been a hindrance to democrats. All you have to do is raise taxes on the rich. In "In The Mailbox: 05.31.17" Wombat-socho brings us Megan again with States Where Single-Payer Health Care Could Work (If It Could Work Anywhere)
But it probably can’t, at least in the U.S. Before you argue for universal health care in America, look at the disaster in England
Hope springs eternal, however, and so do single-player plans. Their last run at the federal government having failed (along with a referendum in Colorado that voters rejected four to one), advocates are back at work in state legislatures. California and New York are both considering plans at the moment, and not just in the “Hmm, interesting. What’s for lunch?” sense. Say what you want about single-payer advocates, but say this too: You can’t stop them with much less than a Howitzer.

Of their plans, there are a few things to say. The first, and most obvious, is that none of them have solved the main obstacle to enacting single payer in the U.S.: the price tag. . . Analyses by single-payer-friendly sources (such as Gerald Friedman of UMass Amherst, and the heavily Democratic California State Senate) tend to indicate that moving to single payer would involve roughly doubling the budgets of even high-tax, high-spending states like New York and California. Less friendly sources suggest that the cost might be substantially higher than that.

Reason #5553 That Trump Was Elected

Gaining, I'm sure, the gratitude of everyone, who's had to sit through a diversity seminar the Trump administration plans to minimize civil rights efforts in agencies
The Trump administration is planning to disband the Labor Department division that has policed discrimination among federal contractors for four decades, according to the White House’s newly proposed budget, part of wider efforts to rein in government programs that promote civil rights.

As outlined in Labor’s fiscal 2018 plan, the move would fold the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, now home to 600 employees, into another government agency in the name of cost-cutting.
Please move them to Fargo, ND in the process.
The proposal to dismantle the compliance office comes at a time when the Trump administration is reducing the role of the federal government in fighting discrimination and protecting minorities by cutting budgets, dissolving programs and appointing officials unsympathetic to previous practices.

The new leadership at the Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, has proposed eliminating its environmental justice program, which addresses pollution that poses health threats specifically concentrated in minority communities. The program, in part, offers money and technical help to residents who are confronted with local hazards such as leaking oil tanks or emissions from chemical plants.
Don't get me going on "environmental justice"
Under President Trump’s proposed budget, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights — which has investigated thousands of complaints of discrimination in school districts across the country and set new standards for how colleges should respond to allegations of sexual assault and harassment — would also see significant staffing cuts. Administration officials acknowledge in budget documents that the civil rights office will have to scale back the number of investigations it conducts and limit travel to school districts to carry out its work.
Yes, the "civil rights" people in the Education Dept have been working hard to remove due process and the presumption of innocence for men in sexual harassment complaints.


Blue Catfish Escape Blame in Shad and Herring Declines

Nonnative catfish not primary driver of American shad declines in James River
When concerns about the negative effects of nonnative catfish on native fish species in Virginia’s rivers began to arise, researchers from Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries decided to explore whether these catfish are really to blame for declining native fish populations.

Joseph Schmitt of Mechanicsville, Virginia, a doctoral student in fish and wildlife conservation in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, and other investigators recently published a study on predation of native fish species in the James River by nonnative catfish in the journal Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science.

The study examines whether introduced catfish are preying heavily upon depleted native species including American shad, blueback herring, and alewife — species that once supported major fisheries along the Atlantic coast.

“There were several people claiming anecdotally that catfish were ‘decimating’ American shad, blueback herring, and alewife populations, yet no studies had been published in the scientific literature,” Schmitt said.

According to Schmitt, American shad has been called “America’s founding fish” owing to its importance as a colonial food source. Prior to the 1980s, American shad supported lucrative commercial fisheries in Virginia; however, factors including overfishing, bycatch from offshore fisheries, barriers to migration, and predation have all played a role in the dramatic decline of this and other similar species.

Nonnative blue catfish and flathead catfish are both large, long-lived species that thrive in murky, nutrient-rich rivers. Blue catfish were introduced into Virginia tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay during the 1970s and 1980s to create new fishing opportunities at a time when many fisheries had collapsed or were on the brink of collapse. While no one knows who was responsible for stocking flathead catfish in the James River, they are now established in the James, Potomac, Susquehanna, and York River drainages.

To determine whether predation by these two catfish species is a major cause in the decline of American shad, blueback herring, and alewife, researchers used a technique called low-frequency electrofishing, which uses electricity to stun fish. Schmitt explained that catfish are particularly susceptible to this method of fishing.

“The electricity stuns them, and they rise to the surface and begin swimming erratically for a minute or two,” Schmitt explained.

Once a fish was netted, a team member shot a stream of pressurized water into its stomach, making it regurgitate whatever it had eaten. The fish was then returned to the river, unharmed. Later, in the lab, DNA testing enabled the team to identify the digested fish remains and determine which species the catfish were preying on.
Mmm! That must be fun. I don't see the problem with keeping the fish, and slitting it's stomach to get the contents (which are still disgusting), expecially when the species involved are invasive species suspected of being harmful to the environment. And you can donate the fish to the poor!
“It’s actually fairly disgusting,” Schmitt admitted. “People in our department started calling us ‘team gag and bag.’”

He pointed out that the procedure, called gastric lavage, is commonly used and that the team’s protocol had been approved as safe.

In the spring of 2014 and 2015, Schmitt and his team spent three to four days each week working on the river and caught approximately 2,500 catfish. They found that, despite popular assumptions that blue catfish were doing the most damage to American shad, blueback herring, and alewife populations, these species were found in the stomachs of only 4.46 percent of blue catfish tested. The same three species were found in the stomachs of 17 percent of the flathead catfish tested.

While the researchers found that the catfish tested were indeed preying on American shad, blueback herring, and alewife, Schmitt explained that populations of the three species had begun to crash before the nonnative catfish were introduced into the ecosystem, so catfish predation can’t be considered the main cause of their decline.
So, they really didn't need the studies to prove their hypothesis?  Baby needs new shoes!

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Bomber Girl" up on time and within budget.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I Can Hardly Wait for the Gender Theory of Gravity

Feminist researcher invents ‘intersectional quantum physics’ to fight ‘oppression’ of Newton
A feminist academic affiliated with the University of Arizona has invented a new theory of “intersectional quantum physics,” and told the world about it in a journal published by Duke University Press.

Whitney Stark argues in support of “combining intersectionality and quantum physics” to better understand “marginalized people” and to create “safer spaces” for them, in the latest issue of The Minnesota Review.

Because traditional quantum physics theory has influenced humanity’s understanding of the world, it has also helped lend credence to the ongoing regime of racism, sexism and classism that hurts minorities, Stark writes in “Assembled Bodies: Reconfiguring Quantum Identities.”

A researcher in culture and gender studies at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Stark also holds an appointment in women’s and gender studies at the University of Arizona through its Institute for LGBT Studies.

She is a member of the Somatechnics Research Network, hosted by UA, whose scholars “reflect on the mutual inextricability of embodiment and technology.”

Stark identifies Newtonian physics as one of the main culprits behind oppression. “Newtonian physics,” she writes, has “separated beings” based on their “binary and absolute differences.”

“This structural thinking of individualized separatism with binary and absolute differences as the basis for how the universe works is embedded in many structures of classification,” according to Stark.

These structures of classification, such as male/female, or living/non-living, are “hierarchical and exploitative” and are thusly “part of the apparatus that enables oppression.”
But if I wanted to calculate a ballistic trajectory I'd use Newton's mechanics and not hers.

In a just world, she'd be laughed out of academia.

Reason #5552 That Trump Was Elected

A major theme—the major theme?—of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for the presidency was his relentless assault on socially-enforced standards of speech and opinion that those on the Right tend to refer to as political correctness and those on the Left tend to refer to as politeness or propriety. And a new paper from the National Bureau of Economics Research suggests that this assault was at least partly successful: By “updating” peoples’ preferences about the popularity of anti-immigration views, Trump’s unexpected victory made people more willing to express anti-immigration views publicly than they were before Election Day.

The authors (Leonardo Bursztyn of the University of Chicago, Georgy Egorov of Northwestern, and Stefano Fiorin of UCLA) summarize their methodology like this: In the run-up to the 2016 election, they offered subjects a dollar “if they authorized the researchers to make a donation to a strongly anti-immigration organization on their behalf.” Some of the participants were told that their donation would be anonymous. Others were told that they researchers might ask them about their decision later. Those who thought their donation would be anonymous were significantly more likely to authorize it than those who thought they might need to discuss it in the future, “suggest(ing) the presence of social stigma associated with the action.” After the election, however, this social stigma disappeared; people were just as likely to authorize a donation to an anti-immigrant group even if they were not assured that the donation would be anonymous.

It’s not that Trump’s election increased anti-immigration sentiment, the authors say—it just made people already inclined toward restrictionism feel less of a need to conceal their preferences.
The signs of preference cascade.  Once people see that a substantial fraction of the public holds a view contrary to that preferred by the dominant media, they become more willing to show it in public, and convince even more people to follow suit:
An example of this is the British colonists before and after publication of Thomas Paine's Common Sense. A year before the Declaration of Independence, America was full of patriotic British convinced that things could be worked out with King George, but on July 4, 1776 the colonies were full of Americans determined that they needed independence. Another is the relatively recent "Arab Spring."
And the fall of communism.

I Don't Usually Do This, But . . .

Deal of the Day at Amazon Penn Battle II Spinning Reels.

This is a heck of a deal. If I just hadn't had my favorite Shimano Stradics cleaned and repaired, I might need a couple. These are the reels Pete uses for guiding, so I've used them a fair amount. They work right, feel good, and hold up to the abuse of many different people using them.

Note that clicking the links above will direct you to Amazon through my affiliate link, and I will receive a small reward if you order though them or if you use the search  widget in the right side bar.

Cuties Confront Lionfish Menace

Nikkie Cox (left), Meaghan Faletti and Rachel Bowman (right)
These women caught more than 900 lionfish in 24 hours off the Florida coast
Marathon lionfish hunter Rachel Bowman has bragging rights for being honored as one of the state’s top harvesters.

She earned more bragging rights over the weekend in Pensacola, taking first place on a team with two other women in the third annual Lionfish World Championship.

The tournament was part of Pensacola’s lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival. The invasive species has no natural predators, largely due to their array of venomous spines. Lionfish eat voraciously and breed constantly, threatening local fish species and the reef at large.

Team Hang On, composed of Bowman, St. Petersburg resident Meaghan Faletti and Nikkie Cox of Apalachicola caught 926 lionfish while diving 37 miles off Pensacola, led by Capt. Grayson Shepard, also of Apalachicola. Together, the team hauled in nearly a quarter of the total 3,868 lionfish caught from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Amanda Nalley. There were five other teams in the tournament and it was hosted by the Gulf Coast Lionfish Coalition with prizes for largest lionfish and most caught.
I've never caught a Lionfish, except as a teenager working in a tropical fish store. A friend of mine got stung, and claimed it hurt really bad.

Ultimately, derbies like this to try to eliminate invasive species are not particularly effective. Too few in too small an area are removed. If you need to eliminate a fish, find a market, and set ridiculous size, number limits on them, and let the commercial fishermen do it for you.

Lionfish are reportedly delicious. Here Meghan shows how to safely filet one:

Basically, avoid the spines (I could have told you that). She shows entirely too much motion near the dorsal spines for my taste.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Bomber Girl" up on time and within budget.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Even a Broken Watch . . .

Swiped from Theo's
. . . is right occasionally: ‘Liberals think they are tolerant but often they aren’t’ says…Fareed Zakaria?
Fareed Zakaria devoted a segment of his show today to the issue of conservative speakers on college campuses. After reviewing protests against Vice President Pence, Education Secretary DeVos and others, Zakaria said it was “strange” to see this happening on colleges that should be the bastions of openness to all idea.

“Freedom of speech and thought is not just for warm fuzzy ideas that we find comfortable, it’s for ideas that we find offensive,” Zakaria said. He added that while there was a strain of anti-intellectualism on the right, “there is also an anti-intellectualism on the left. An attitude of self-righteousness that says we are so pure, we are so morally superior; we cannot bear to hear an idea with which we disagree.”

“Liberals think they are tolerant but often they aren’t,” Zakaria said. He then cited a 2016 PEW survey which found 70% of Democrats said Republicans were close-minded as compared to 52% of Republicans who said the same of Democrats. “But each side scores about the same in terms of close-mindedness and hostility to hearing contrarian views,” Zakaria said. Here’s the segment from his show:

ACORN Re-Sprouts?

New Name, Same Game: ACORN Revived as Soros-Funded ‘Democracy’ Network
In 2009, James O’Keefe, Hannah Giles and Andrew Breitbart basically destroyed ACORN, the radical “social justice” group that had begun as a spinoff of the National Welfare Rights Organization and grown into a nationwide political network. The wreckage of ACORN exposed the connections between these left-wing groups and the Alinsky tactics used by former “community organizer” Barack Obama. Destroying ACORN as an organization, however, did not destroy the idea behind it, and many of the same people are now organizing a new network:
A new $80 million anti-Trump network is being led by an organization whose top funder is liberal billionaire George Soros and which employs former members of the controversial and now-defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN).
The Center for Popular Democracy Action Fund, the 501(c)(4) sister organization of the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), a New York-based nonprofit that receives the bulk of its funding from George Soros, announced at their spring gala Tuesday that they will be heading up the new $80 million anti-Trump network that will span 32 states and have 48 local partners, CNN reported. . . .
The Center for Popular Democracy, which was founded in 2012, consists of old chapters of ACORN, the community-organizing group that was forced to close after being stripped of its federal funds following controversy in 2010. . . .
Soros has a goal of enlarging the electorate by 10 million voters by 2018, the Washington Free Beacon discovered after a trove of hacked Soros documents were released last year by DC Leaks.
How is this “enlarging the electorate” supposed to happen? By activist groups doing what used to be called “knock and drag” get-out-the-vote operations — knock on the door and drag them to the polls. In the meantime, of course, they’ll be organizing “spontaneous” protests to keep up the appearance of a grassroots anti-Trump movement, but the green in this grass comes from a radical billionaire ideologue.
Which, of course, is entirely legal, unless they break the law again, and what are the chances of that? Scorpions are going to sting, after all.

The best remedy for this would be for the Trump administration to pour money into right-leaning groups the way the Obama administration poured it into left-wing groups like ACORN and Planned Parenthood. If Session's DOJ were to start awarding the proceeds of lawsuits to the NRA and the Heritage Foundation, the democrats would have a hissy fit, and make sure to ban it.

Reason #5551 That Trump Was Elected

The Best Budget Since Reagan: Sadly, it wasn't a very high bar
One way to know that’s true is to listen to the wailing and grinding of teeth on the left. When Hillary Clinton calls the budget “cruel” and “immoral,” you know you’re getting somewhere.

This is a fiscal plan that stresses the need for economic growth and advocates the tax and regulatory policies that would get us there.

It stresses federalism and allowing the states to play their constitutional role as laboratories of democracy. Let the states do it. The feds have struck out. Call it the new, New Federalism.

It puts government on a real diet. And it calls out liberal big government failures. Everything from broken education programs, to the National Endowment for the Arts, has been put on the chopping block.

Best of all is the call to overhaul the corrupt and corrupting welfare state — a $1 trillion a year system that pays people not to work.
 Here are the 66 programs eliminated in Trump's budget

I know this isn't going to pass as is, but what a glorious starting point for negotiation

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Reason #5550 That Trump Was Elected

Despite the democrats and the media's best efforts:  There Remains No Evidence Of Trump-Russia Collusion
The Wall Street Journal – no particular fan of Trump – characterizes the DOJ charge to Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, as fatally open-ended, vague, and flawed. His instruction lists no federal statutes and invites a fishing expedition into trivial matters. Journalists covering the story appear to disagree on what Mueller is supposed to do: Is he to “oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials” or “investigate possible coordination between President Trump’s associates and Russian officials?”

The political feeding frenzy has, to date, brought forth the following facts of Russiagate: Persons associated with the Trump campaign had contacts with Russians, some unsavory. Trump businesses, like other luxury property developers, had dealings with wealthy Russian buyers. Trump did not condemn Putin during the campaign and expressed a hope (shared by many across the political spectrum) of improved relations.

These facts shed little light, if any, on collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian state to throw the election to Trump, as is evidenced by the deafening silence of anti-Trumpists. As Jim Geraghty writes in National Review:

The FBI counterintelligence guys presumably track Russian agents on our soil as much as possible. You figure the NSA can track just about any electronic communication between Russians and figures in the Trump campaign. If there was something sinister and illegal going on…the U.S. government as a whole had every incentive in the world to expose that as quickly as possible.
Diverse figures and outlets agree that the nexus of “possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign” does not include any evidence of collusion. Maxine Waters (D-CA) concedes there is no proof of collusion as does Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) joined by Trump nemesis Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Fox political analyst, Brit Hume, on Sunday’s #MediaBuzz stated that he has never seen a charge get so far out in front of the available evidence over the course of his long career. Matt Taibbi, a left-wing columnist for Rolling Stone who calls Trump the “crazy clown President," points out that “despite almost daily leaks by anonymous sources, we do not know whether it is about collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian state.”
The Clintons are more demonstrably in bed with the Russians than Trump, accepting "speaking" money, and selling off US uranium supplies. Trump at least opposes the Russian intervention in Syria and supports fracking in the US which is slowly reducing Russia's financial clout.

Also must read: Opinion/analysis on Comey and draining the swamp
. . . There are very few crime/mystery novels that approach this true story for compelling drama, intrigue and brinkmanship (with the nation in the balance).

Don’t believe the fake-media story that Trump made a mistake or huge gaffe by firing Comey.

Don’t believe the media narrative from the left that it was an attempt to silence Comey from some investigation into Trump.

Don’t believe the RINO narrative that Comey is a good guy just trying to do his job in terrible circumstances and the timing was bad.

Don’t believe the lie that Comey was admired and respected by career FBI investigators and agents.

Don’t believe the lie that Trump’s “tweets” are not professional and have no strategic purpose.  His tweets are weaponized and deadly.

James Comey is a poisonous snake of the highest order… a deep-water Swamp Denizen who has been highly paid to deliberately provide cover for high-level corruption by the Clintons and Obama.  He is has been central to trying to destroy the Trump campaign and then the Trump administration from the start. He is as dirty as they come in DC.  He had highest-level cover (the FBI no less) and was deep into an effort to eliminate Trump.  Trump had to move hard, fast, and at exactly the right time to cut the head off the snake without getting bitten by the snake or being finished by the other swamp denizens. .
Read the whole thing.

RIP: Gregg Allman

Gregg Allman, Soulful Trailblazer of Southern Rock, Dies at 69
Gregg Allman, the soulful singer-songwriter and rock n' blues pioneer who founded The Allman Brothers Band with his late brother, Duane, and composed such classics as "Midnight Rider," "Melissa" and the epic concert jam "Whipping Post," has died at age 69, Billboard has learned. He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1999 and underwent a liver transplant in 2010.

He "passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia," according to a statement on Gregg Allman's official website, noting that the family planned to release a statement soon. "Gregg struggled with many health issues over the past several years. During that time, Gregg considered being on the road playing music with his brothers and solo band for his beloved fans, essential medicine for his soul.
Being the bad boy didn't work out in the long run.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Bomber Girl" up on time and within budget.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Reason #5549 That Trump Was Elected

New Jobless Claims Rise At Lowest Rate In 44 Years
"New" jobless claims, contrasted to continuing jobless status, and it's the rate of increase not the absolute level that's particularly tiny but still, that's a nice mark: Only 1000 new applicants in May.
Thursday's report beat forecasters' expectations, which were for new jobless claims, adjusted for seasonal variations, to rise to 237,000.
And it provided a good sign for the economy. Few claims indicate that layoffs are rare, and that, in turn, net job creation is strong.
But Ace identifies how the media will portray it.
Economists believe the real growth sector in the economy is Internet Trolls paid by Russian Spymasters to Hack the Election.
Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links.

Rule 5 Saturday - Straight Outta Compton - Danielle Herrington

 This week's Rule 5 post goes for Danielle Herrington:
The Compton, Calif., native was one of many models to appear in this year’s coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and she instantly made a splash with her curves to celebrate body diversity. Herrington spoke to Fox News about heating things up in Fiji, the one person that made her star struck and the worst pickup line she’s ever heard (and it’s a doozy):
I was at a press event and this guy comes up to me and said, ‘Hey, yeah, I make movies.’ I said, ‘Cool! Nice meeting you.’ You know, small talk. And before he left, he’s like, ‘Oh, look at this.’ And he shows me a picture of himself holding an Oscar. And he’s like, ‘Yeah, I won an Oscar.’ I said, ‘Oh, great! That’s nice!’ I just thought it was so odd he had to Google himself and show me a picture of his Oscar.
It never worked for me either.

Her Instagram, SI Swimsuit 2017 Rookie Reveal, Danielle Herrington 2017 Swimsuit photo gallery

GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (294th Issue) features Maud Adams, in all her glory, with a colorful assortment of science. Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Wombat-socho is only a day late with "Rule 5 Monday: O Girls!" and on time with "FMJRA 2.0: Baltimore Edition."

Friday, May 26, 2017

Liberal College "Ethics"

Last month, we reported that Eric Clanton, an adjunct philosophy teacher at Diablo Valley College was suspected of being the masked man who attacked Trump supporters at an April 15 rally in Berkeley:
April 20: Activists Claim Berkeley ‘Anti-Fascist’ Attacker Is College Instructor Eric ClantonApril 25: Report: Police Investigating Eric Clanton in Berkeley ‘Anti-Fascist’ Attack
Clanton was identified by online activists using facial recognition software, and this week Berkeley police arrested the suspect:
A former Diablo Valley College philosophy professor has been arrested for his role in a violent melee that broke out during a Berkeley rally supporting President Donald Trump last month, authorities said Thursday. . . .
Authorities said Eric Clanton was arrested in Oakland on Wednesday afternoon. There had been an outcry for his apprehension on alt-right websites after a video clip was posted on social media of the 28-year-old allegedly assaulting a pro-Trump demonstration with a bike lock.
A DVC spokesman said among the philosophy classes Clanton taught was “Introduction to Ethics.”
“We especially at Diablo Valley College received, in fact, hundreds of calls and emails concerning the hiring, that we have someone like this in front of our class, in front of our students, potentially dangerous,” said spokesman Tim Leong.
Clanton was a candidate to teach another philosophy class at the college this summer. But he was arrested by Berkeley Police Wednesday.
Investigators said cellphone videos show him swinging the U-lock at multiple Trump supporters in the head, injuring at least three people.
Police said finding the U-lock attacker was such a priority, homicide detectives were assigned to the case.
“You’re swinging a small metal object that can absolutely cause traumatic injuries,” said Berkeley Police Lt. Kevin Schofield.
Investigators credit cellphone videos for helping them identify the U-lock attacker. Some people even posted their own research online, identifying the masked man as Clanton.
He was being held Thursday in the Berkeley city jail on $200,000 bail for assault with a non-firearm deadly weapon with an enhancement clause charge.
In any argument that something is seriously wrong with America’s higher education system, Exhibit A is Eric Clanton, who has a master’s degree in philosophy from San Francisco State University and was teaching ethics (!!!) to teenagers at a California community college.
Also, via Ace:  Political Violence From the Left Continues Garnering Zero Condemnation in Leftist Media
You can find my condemnation of Greg Gianforte's bodyslam right next to CNN's condemnation of the professor charged with three accounts of attacking peaceful Trump supporters -- with a bike lock. Which is a heavy metal improvised weapon.
Berkeley police have arrested a former Diablo Valley College professor for committing an assault during the protests that took place this April. During the protest, violence broke out between supporters of President Trump and far-left anarchists who brand themselves "Antifa," many of whom were clad in black and wore full face masks to conceal their identities.
East Bay Times reports that 28-year-old Eric Clanton was arrested Wednesday evening in Oakland and is currently being held on a $200,000 bail in Berkeley City Jail. He was arrested on suspicion of three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, including a U-lock bike lock, a weapon he is alleged to have used to seriously injure three people at the protest.
Note the three attacks hit the victim in the neck or head -- which is the target point which could kill someone with a steel bludgeon -- and also note that it does not appear to be the cops or the media which ferreted out this guy's identity, but 4chan.

Apparently the media couldn't give any fucks about it, and still doesn't.

You can also find my scathing rebuke of violence by the right next to CNN's denunciations of the mob attackers at Middlebury College, at least one of whom participated in an attack on a woman causing her enough injury to need a neck brace.

Oh, and you can also find my denunciation in the same common repository in which CNN scolds Middlebury for promising to punish the violent felons, but then not really punishing them at all. . . .

Graham's First Beach Walk

Alex, Kelly, Graham, and their little dog Hendrix drove down from Pittsburgh today, and after lunch at home, we made a quick trip to the beach, for Graham's first beach walk. It was a nice day here, mostly sunny and 75, with a nice north breeze.
 After a little getting used to his footing holding onto Kelly's hand . . .
He was off on his own! He made it about half way down the beach to Charlies steps before giving up and going into Alex's back pack.

Georgia got to lead Hendrix, while I took Skye.

Reason #5548 That Trump Was Elected

Obama admin knew gang members were part of illegal immigrant surge
The Obama administration knowingly let in at least 16 admitted MS-13 gang members who arrived at the U.S. as illegal immigrant teenagers in 2014, a top senator said Wednesday, citing internal documents that showed the teens were shipped to juvenile homes throughout the country.

Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said a whistleblower turned over Customs and Border Protection documents from 2014 detailing the 16 people who were caught crossing the border.

“CBP apprehended them, knew they were MS-13 gang members, and they processed and disbursed them into our communities,” Mr. Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, said.

The gang members were part of the surge of UAC, or “unaccompanied alien children,” as the government labels them, who overwhelmed the Obama administration in 2014, leaving Homeland Security struggling to staunch the flow from Central America.

Officials at the time said the children should be treated as refugees fleeing horrific conditions back home — though security analysts said the children were prime recruiting territory for gangs already in the U.S.

Mr. Johnson said the image of UAC as little children is misleading. Out of nearly 200,000 UAC apprehended between from 2012 to 2016, 68 percent were ages 15, 16 or 17 — meaning older teens. The majority were also male, making them targets for gang recruiting.
And that's assuming they are the age they say they are.

Democrats don't like the electorate they have, so they're importing a new one.

Fish Pic Friday - Amberjack

Darcizzzle with nice one
 The fish of the week is Amberjack
Amberjack is an Atlantic and Pacific fish of the Carangidae family (genus Seriola). They are a game fish, most often found in the warmer parts of ocean. There are many types of amberjacks, including greater amberjacks (Atlantic), lesser amberjacks (Atlantic), Almaco jack (Pacific), yellowtail (Pacific), and the banded rudderfish (Atlantic).

Luiza with a trophy

Dr. Ball with a big one
Greater amberjacks, Seriola dumerili, are the largest of the jacks. They usually have dark stripes extending from nose to in front of their dorsal fins. They have no scutes and soft dorsal bases less than twice the length of the anal fin bases. They are usually 18 kg (40 pounds) or less, and are found associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks, typically in 20 to 75 m (10 to 40 fathoms). Greater amberjacks are also found in the Pacific.

Lesser amberjacks, Seriola fasciata, have proportionately larger eyes and deeper bodies than greater amberjacks. They are olive green or brownish-black with silver sides, and usually have a dark band extending upward from their eyes. Juveniles have split or wavy bars on their sides. The adults are usually under 5 kg (10 lbs). They are found deeper than other jacks, commonly 50 to 130 m (30 to 70 fathoms).

Amberjacks are voracious predators, which feed on squid, fish, and crustaceans, and are thought to spawn offshore throughout most of the year. Juveniles can be caught in about 25 feet (7.6 m) of water, near floating objects.
I can't find a picture of Brooke with one
but I can't leave her out, either.

Banded rudderfish, Seriola zonata, is the second-smallest amberjack. This jack can be distinguished from the pilot fish by the presence of a first dorsal fin. Juveniles are banded vertically like pilotfish, and follow large objects or animals. Large individuals (over 10 inches) have no bands. This fish, though commonly caught, is rarely identified. Large ones, with a raccoon-stripe on the eye and an iridescent gold stripe on the side, are usually called amberjacks when caught, and juveniles are called pilotfish. They are found as far north as Nova Scotia. They are less dependent on sharks, etc., than pilotfish. They can be caught on shrimp, silversides, lures (e.g. spoons), and flies.
Nope, I haven't caught an Amberjack, yet. Not even a Banded Rudderfish.

Wombat-socho is only a day late with "Rule 5 Monday: O Girls!"

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Barely Above Average Hurricane Season Predicted

NOAA: Above-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely this year
Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center say the Atlantic could see another above-normal hurricane season this year.

For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 through November 30, forecasters predict a 45 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 35 percent chance of a near-normal season, and only a 20 percent chance of a below-normal season.
. . .
Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes.

These numbers include Tropical Storm Arlene, a rare pre-season storm that formed over the eastern Atlantic in April.
Now that's an almost useless prediction. No matter what happens, they have it covered. It may be right, but it doesn't provide much guidance. Time to start getting ready.

Dolphins in the Bay

Barack Obama could be hanging out in the Chesapeake Bay. Dick Cheney and Jimmy Carter may be frolicking in the same Potomac River waters. Lyndon Johnson could conceivably be playing with Dolly Madison nearby. Did I mention these are all dolphins?

From a base near Ophelia, Virginia, Georgetown professor Janet Mann has been naming and getting to know the hundreds of bottlenose dolphins who call the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River home for part of the year.

"There are a lot of questions. Are the same animals coming back? Where do they go? How stable are the groups? Who are they with? What are they feeding on?" Mann says.
If I had to guess, I'd say they were eating Menhaden, which were present in big schools nearby. However, I doubt if they would turn down a Sea Trout or a Croaker if they encountered them. The spines on a Striper might be off putting.

Almost nothing is definitively known about the population. But she is working on changing that, conducting the first major research project on the dolphins of the Chesapeake Bay and the Potomac River.

"Other than a couple of newspaper articles, we have no literature to go on," says Mann, who has been studying bottlenose dolphins in Australia's Shark Bay for more than 30 years.

Although she's been flying halfway around the world each year for decades to study the marine mammals, it was still a surprise to learn that there are dolphins frolicking downstream from Georgetown.

"I’ve not met anyone who actually knew there were dolphins in the Potomac except for people who live right on the water," says Mann, herself included. It was only once she bought a house on the water that she came to learn about their existence.
. . .
Thus the Potomac-Chesapeake Dolphin Project was born, and Mann's place of respite became her new field of research.

Over the course of the first two years of collecting data, the team has identified more than 500 individual dolphins. Given that they're only sampling once a month in a relatively small area, the researchers believe that only represents a fraction of the total population.

Still, about a third of the animals they spotted in 2016 were repeats from the year before, meaning that some or even all of the dolphins are returning year after year. It's also becoming clear that this is a vital area for birthing and breeding.

"We know they’re giving birth in the Potomac and the Chesapeake; we see tiny babies just a week old or less," Mann says, noting that she sees far more newborns in these waters than in Shark Bay. Dolphins have a 12 month pregnancy (very convenient for research), and the researchers also see a lot of sexual activity.
A huge school of dolphins hunted in the upper Bay last year; we ran into them several times while fishing with Pete. I saw a couple briefly on Tuesday down in the islands.

Reason #5547 That Trump Was Elected

He has a Palantir . . .

TanLines Thursday

I've got tanlines. On my ankles. . .

Wombat-socho is only a day late with "Rule 5 Monday: O Girls!"

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sore Losers Cry Voter Fraud in California

Bernie backers claim fraud in CA Dem chair race over lack of … voter ID
California Democrats closed out their state convention this weekend by giving Donald Trump the finger, but now their own constituents claim that they got the bird flipped at them by the Powers That Be. The convention elected an establishment party operative as its new chair in a close election over a candidate favored by Bernie Sanders activists. The backers of Kimberly Ellis say they will launch an audit of the election that may include taking depositions from every one of the 3,000 delegates at the convention to support a charge of massive electoral and voter fraud by the California Democratic Party.

And guess what they claim as the main issue for that voter fraud? Hmmmmm:
Longtime party operative Eric Bauman won the chairmanship of the California Democratic Party over the weekend — but his victory was marred by complaints of ballot-stuffing and floor protests. Backers of the Kimberly Ellis, a favorite of the “Berniecrat,” activist wing of the party — say efforts to scrutinize the votes will begin immediately.
The unprecedented effort to examine the documentation of the disputed state party’s election results was announced by outgoing California Democratic Party chair John Burton at the close of a raucous state Democratic convention this weekend.
Ellis, the former director of Emerge America, a women’s political organization, lost the election by a narrow margin of 62 votes out of 3,000 cast. Her loss immediately set off protests from hundreds of her backers, many of whom charged that there were irregularities that included allowing voters to cast proxy ballots without proper ID.
Why not just do a recount? Apparently, the party rules don’t provide for a recount, although that’s not to say Ellis backers didn’t demand one. And what was the response? They did literally get the bird:
Calexit can't come too soon, so Mexifornia can slide back to the third world economy and politics that a majority of its voters yearn for. It was good while it lasted.

Reason #5546 That Trump Was Elected

The Interior Department welcomed a new breed of visitor to its Washington headquarters on Friday, one on four legs, covered with fur and on a mission to boost morale at the agency in charge of public lands.

The first federal agency to go dog-friendly opened its doors at 7 a.m. to 85 dogs — dachshunds, Labradors, spaniels, Yorkies, border collies, Portuguese water dogs, beagles and many others, purebred and mutt — in a test run of perhaps the most nonpartisan policy change of the Trump administration.

“We’ve become so polar on political issues,” Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, a Republican former congressman from Montana, acknowledged as his energetic Havanese, Ragnar, raced around his office sniffing both reporters and an English Lab named Daisy owned by acting deputy chief of staff Megan Bloomgren.

“This should not be a political issue,” Zinke said.

Way Back Wednesday

Wombat-socho is only a day late with "Rule 5 Monday: O Girls!"

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Specktacular Fishing

Walleye Pete had a last minute screw up on his reservations, and found himself without a charter for today, so he put up a notice on Facebook for a walk-on trip last night. He got it filled in 15 minutes, and I was lucky enough to see it in time to sign up.

We left Solomons Island at 7 PM, headed across to the familiar sunken lands of Maryland's Eastern Shore. The day was cool and drizzly, and not particularly photogenic.

Pete rather quickly found a honey hole where we caught some 11 keeper sized Speckled Trout, and a few more small ones. After we were chased out by the tide, we left for other spots
Specks were rare thereafter, but small Striped Bass were found at most of the other places we stopped. One familiar spot held a pretty good school of decent fish, and we managed half a limit of keepers.

Some Tiegen for Tuesday

Damn those shells!

Wombat-socho is only a day late with "Rule 5 Monday: O Girls!"

Reason #5545 That Trump Was Elected

Historically Black College Leader: So Far, Trump a Step UP From Obama
Despite the boos for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at Bethune-Cookman, leaders of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are noticing that Trump is a step up from Obama:
“For [President] Obama, people expected him to come in and fix everything -- especially for black people. ... But he never campaigned strongly for HBCUs,” said Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans, using the common abbreviation for the schools.
Now, he says, the reverse has happened -- Trump came in with no expectations placed on him, and some black educators have been pleasantly surprised. “So people now want to see what’s going to happen because he’s coming in saying he’s going to be the president for HBCUs,” Kimbrough added. “It’s a very different perspective, but it’s still the first 150 days, so we’ll see what happens.”
Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a nonprofit that helps provide financial assistance to students who attend black colleges, says the signs from the White House are encouraging.
“In the first four months of this presidency, the Trump administration has been far more responsive to our community than the past administration,” Taylor said. “I, for one, judge people by what they do -- not what they say.”
A Republican president, the party that allegedly hates minorities, is the one actually keeping his promises about expanding minority educational opportunities.
Following his inauguration, Trump’s most overt outreach to African Americans has been his efforts to woo students and leaders of black colleges that were founded in the years after the Civil War and today consist of 101 public and private schools nationwide.
To be fair, it was never actually in President Obama interest to help fix race relations, since he campaigned on the fact that they were bad.