Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Short Answer is Yes

With all eyes on the historic flooding in Texas, many in Washington D.C. have asked if something similar could happen in the District.

DC has a history of flooding, with notable events along the Potomac River in 1996, Hurricane Agnes in 1972 and more.

Sandra Knight with the Center for Disaster Resilience at the University of Maryland said due to the District’s geographic factors, anything is possible when it comes to flooding.

“Well certainly Houston’s flood is unprecedented,” Knight explained. “But if you think of Houston and the Galveston Bay much like D.C. and the Chesapeake Bay, we’re certainly a coastal community and so we can be influenced by hurricanes, storm surges, plus, rainfall from the Potomac River and interior flooding.”

Knight pointed to flood-prone areas such as the Georgetown Waterfront, Old Town Alexandria and areas along the Anacostia River.
DC has more relief (in the form of varied elevation) than Houston, but if a similar storm came and sat for several days as it did in Texas there would by mass scale flooding here as well. It may not be as likely, but then, Hurricane Harvey wasn't all the likely either.

Tidewater Virginia on the other hand, is pretty similar to Houston as a slow draining, low relief area:

Hurricane like Harvey would devastate Hampton Roads, so planners are taking notes
The answer is yes: It could happen here.

A storm that dumps more than 50 inches of rain over several days, like Hurricane Harvey has done along the Texas coast, is extremely unlikely in Hampton Roads.

Still, “you never say never,” said Jeff Orrock, the meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service’s Wakefield office. “The ingredients that you’d need to have an event similar to that, we do deal with those.”

It’s impossible to predict how many people would die or how many billions of dollars of property damage would occur, since there’d be many other variables, besides rainfall, that would make the impact in coastal Virginia different than on the Gulf Coast. Nonetheless, a record-breaking rainfall, like Harvey’s, would be devastating, Orrock said, leaving it “very difficult to get around, if not impossible,” for days or weeks.

All of which is why Hampton Roads might want to keep tabs on Harvey’s ravaging of the Houston area long after the storm has blown out.

The Fix Was In at Clinton.com

CONFIRMED: Comey Decided He Wasn't Going to Refer Hillary For Prosecution Long Before FBI Investigation Was Over
According to new transcripts released by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday afternoon, former FBI Director James Comey made the decision not to refer then Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for prosecution long before ever interviewing key witnesses. Members of the Committee allege Comey made the decision months before FBI agents were finished with the criminal investigation into her mishandling of classified information during her time as Secretary of State.

The transcripts were revealed in a letter sent to current FBI Director Christopher Wray, in which lawmakers are demanding an explanation and more documents surrounding the case.

"According to the unredacted portions of the transcripts, it appears that in April or early May of 2016, Mr. Comey had already decided he would issue a statement exonerating Secretary Clinton. That was long before FBI agents finished their work. Mr. Comey even circulated an early draft statement to select members of senior FBI leadership. The outcome of an investigation should not be prejudged while FBI agents are still hard at work trying to gather the facts," the letter, signed by Chairman Chuck Grassley and Committee member Lindsey Graham states. "Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation. The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy."

"It is unclear whether the FBI agents actually investigating the case were aware that Mr. Comey had already decided on the investigation’s outcome while their work was ongoing. However, it appears that the answer to that question may be underneath some of the extensive redactions that the Department made to the transcripts," the letter continues.

According to the letter and an ongoing investigation into the matter, Comey started drafting a statement exonerating Clinton in April or May of 2016. At this point, he had not interviewed Clinton herself or her closest aides. This included Bryan Pagliano, who set up the personal server where Clinton hosted and shared top secret information, and Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, who was granted immunity. On July 5, 2016, Comey made his public statement that the FBI would not be referring Clinton to the Department of Justice for prosecution.
I thought Comey was too smart to put something like this in writing. Shows how much I know.

In another slap at transparency, FBI refuses to release Hillary Clinton files, says lawyer did not demonstrate the 'public's interest in the disclosure'
The FBI turned down a lawyer's request for the release of FBI files on Hillary Clinton, faulting the lawyers' documents for not providing enough proof "that the public interest sought is a significant one," according to multiple reports Tuesday.

The FBI killed the request made by attorney Ty Clevenger, who filed a Freedom of Information Act request earlier this year to obtain information relating to the investigation into Clinton's emails.

"You have not sufficiently demonstrated that the public's interest in disclosure outweighs personal privacy interests of the subject," Hardy said to Clevenger in a letter on Monday. "It is incumbent upon the requester to provide documentation regarding the public's interest in the operations and activities of the government before records can be processed pursuant to the FOIA."
It makes you wonder who won the election.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in "If All You See…"

Reason #5668 That Trump Was Elected

Melania Trump and the unreasoning hatred of the MSM mob. Melania Trump wore her usual very high heels to cross the White House lawn to board Marine One as she and the Donald left to visit Texas, and the MSM crowd went wild: Melania's stiletto sideshow - As the first lady departed to see storm fallout in Texas, Twitter erupted with critiques of her shoe choice.
Melania Trump, the former model and reluctant first lady, often lets her fashion choices do the talking for her.

Since her belated move into the White House in June, Melania Trump hasn’t yet announced an issue, or even an area of interest, for which she plans to advocate from her powerful platform. She has made few public speeches or statements, beyond introductions at campaign rallies she attends with her husband. But she’s dutifully stepped into the silent role of enhancing her husband by appearing impeccably and appropriately dressed by his side.
Poor little mouse, has no feminist spirit. Only speaks 5 languages, and want to raise her son without interference from the mob.
But on Tuesday, she appeared to put the wrong foot forward when she boarded Marine One, en route to visit emergency responders in hurricane-ravaged Texas, wearing towering black snakeskin stilettos.

The emblematic first image of the first lady heading off to visit a hurricane in heels — a moment that the president has seized on as an opportunity to project strength and show off decisive leadership — instead became another symbol of a White House that can often seem out of touch.
You know, I wouldn't have thought anything of it, until they pointed it it. It looks like tall heels are Melania's first choice in shoes.
 Lisa Kline, who worked as a stylist to vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin during the 2008 election, said in an interview she thought “it was a mistake in the message it relays. A lot of eyes were on them. They’re going to a devastated area. She should be dressed accordingly.”

The heels at least temporarily stole the spotlight from a gloomy president who aides said has been buoyed by what he sees, so far, as an effective coordinated response to a record-breaking storm.
And we know that John McCain packed Palin's staff with back biting snakes
 There was no acknowledgment from the White House that the first lady’s storm attire was at all off-key. Instead, her staff blamed the media for creating a “sad” side circus to an otherwise somber day.

“It’s sad that we have an active and ongoing natural disaster in Texas,” said Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for the first lady, “and people are worried about her shoes.”
And the heels affect the natural disaster how, exactly?
She wasn’t the only female member of the Trump delegation wearing footwear that raised eyebrows — two other women were spotted on Air Force One wearing pumps and suede heels.
Oh my god! pumps and suede heels? How can the Republic ever recover?
Later Tuesday, the first lady’s office released a statement on the storm. “I want to be able to offer my help and support in the most productive way possible, not through just words, but also action,” the first lady said. “What I found to be the most profound during the visit was not only the strength and resilience of the people of Texas, but the compassion and sense of community that has taken over the state. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people of Texas and Louisiana.”
 But, have no fear!
 On board Air Force One to Corpus Christi, as the picture of the delicate heels ricocheted across the Internet, Melania Trump changed into a pair of bright, white sneakers, which looked fresh out of the box.
Any reason to think ill of Trump eh? Why would Melania wear old worn sneakers?  I kind of think Melania likes new shoes. She can afford them.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Butts! Boobs! The Final OUTRAGE!!!" and "FMJRA 2.0: The One You Love To Hate" up on time and within budget.

Tanlines Thursday

Just one set of Celebrity tanlines, but it's a good set:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Acid Truth about Chesapeake Bay

Acid zone in Chesapeake Bay identified
A research team, led by University of Delaware professor Wei-Jun Cai, has identified a zone of water that is increasing in acidity in the Chesapeake Bay.

The team analyzed little studied factors that play a role in ocean acidification (OA)—changes in water chemistry that threaten the ability of shellfish such as oysters, clams and scallops to create and maintain their shells, among other impacts.

The U.S. Geological Survey defines pH as "a measure of how acidic or basic water is." The pH scale ranges from 0-14, with 7 considered neutral. A pH less than 7 is acidic, while a pH greater than 7 is alkaline (basic). Battery acid, for example, might have a pH of 1, while Milk of Magnesia might have a pH of 10.

Changes in pH can tell scientists something about how the water chemistry is changing.

In their research, Cai and his colleagues discovered a "pH minimum zone" that occurs at a depth of approximately 10-15 meters (~30-50 feet) in the Chesapeake Bay. The pH in this zone is roughly 7.4, nearly 10 times higher in acidity (or a unit lower in pH) than what is found in surface waters, which have an average pH of 8.2.
Incidentally, the Bay averages 10 m deep, so this only occurs in the deeper channels of the Bay.
This zone is suspected to be due to a combination of factors, most importantly, from acids produced when bottom water rich in toxic hydrogen sulfide gets mixed upward. The team reported the findings in a paper in Nature Communications on August 28, 2017.

"This study shows for the first time that the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia from the bottom waters could be a major contributor to lower pH in coastal oceans and may lead to more rapid acidification in coastal waters compared to the open ocean," said Cai, the paper's lead author and an expert in marine chemistry and carbon's movement through coastal waters.
Science by press release. We've known about sulfide and ammonia production in the sediments and bottoms waters for years. We've known about the production of acid from sulfide and ammonia an equally long time, if not longer (it's responsible for most acid mine drainage).

What seems to be new here is that Cai connected the actual oxidation of ammonia and sulfide with a local pH minimum, just barely detectable over the noisy pH signal in the Bay.

The good news, is that if the Bay actually gets cleaner, this problem, that I would argue is not really a significant problem, will improve, as sulfide and ammonia production decline along with primary production.

Why, Yes, I Think So Too

An epic rant by Ace: Is America Now Officially Crazy?
I believe it is. I believe the dominant media culture has gone crazy due to the trauma of not getting their way. I further believe that their constant hysteria makes more sane people not actually crazy, but very stressed out and agitated.

If you've ever spent five minutes in the company with a manic or very anxious person, you know that such psychological states are easily transmittable. I personally know that when I used to have panic, that panic infected the people around me. (And actually, then I would sense their own anxiety and I would become more panicked-- a vicious cycle of sympathetic animal-level emotional transmission.)

It's all part of our pack animal evolution -- it's evolutionarily advantageous to pick up the signals of alarm (even subtle ones) from a neighboring pack animal. When his ears prick up, it's good to prick up your own ears. If he stops breathing to hear more clearly, then it's good to hold your breath too.

But those things are good only when the pack animals around you are sane and reasonably reacting to stimuli that seem to indicate genuinely possible threats.

However, when half of the pack has Mad Cow Disease and shriek and wail over nothing at all, this transmission of anxiety and fear becomes toxic for the healthy members of the pack.

Half of America now consists of barely-functional lunatics, and it's best to avoid them for all sorts of reasons.
and as an example, he offers:
John Ekdahl made a good point about two months ago. One day he asked, "Does anyone remember what the freak-out was about before this latest freak-out?"

The previous freak-out had occurred just 48 hours or so earlier. (Two days seems to be the longest the lunatics can go without a collective Amok Time.)

And yet, when Ekdahl asked the question: I could not for the life of me recall whatever Shrieking Hysterical Horror had so consumed Internet People just 48 hours prior. I knew it was something -- it's always something -- but I failed John Ekdahl's test. (Or, maybe, passed it.) I could not in fact remember the last This Changes Everything and History Will Never Be the Same Again monumental event that had come and gone like a fart on the hurricane deck of a ship in a gale.
and concludes:
Life is short, guys. No one ever realizes how short life is until they're looking at having only days or weeks of it left.

Tune out the lunatics, filter out the hate, embrace things that matter, and try to get off the white-knuckled machine of anxiety, fear, depression, and hopelessness Your Media Betters have made for you.
Amen, brother.

Reason #5667 That Trump Was Elected

Professors: via Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 08.29.17" The Weasel Zipper brings us the "Professor: Texans ‘Deserve’ Harvey Because They Voted For Trump"
Meanwhile, some mean evil people who like Confederate flags are in boats rescuing people, including black people, in Texas because they actually care about people and aren’t looking at race or politics. Love trumps hate.

Via Daily Caller:
A sociology professor at the University of Tampa published a tweet on Sunday afternoon suggesting that Texas residents deserve the death, destruction and suffering caused by Hurricane Harvey because a majority of Texas voters supported Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
The professor is Kenneth L. Storey, reports Campus Reform.
“I don’t believe in instant Karma but this kinda feels like it for Texas. Hopefully this will help them realize the GOP doesn’t care about them,” Storey wrote in one tweet.

When another Twitter user responded that Texas is home to “good people” and that Storey “may want to rethink” the tweet, Storey doubled down.
“Well, the good people there need to do more to stop the evil their state pushes. I’m only blaming those who support the GOP there,” Storey wrote.
. . .
The University of Tampa webpage for Storey describes him as a visiting assistant professor. He has a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida and he teaches an introductory course in sociology. His research involves “urban issues within the southeastern United States, including research in gun shows, planned communities and unique issues of tourism focused commercial districts.”
Never mind that Houston, like most concentrated urban areas, is ruled by the Democrats. He later deleted his twitter account, but the internet never forgets, and rarely forgives. A visiting professor without a PhD? I'm gonna guess he's already gone.

With his time line slightly inverted in "Late Night With In The Mailbox: 08.28.17", Wombat brings us Twitchy:  Will This “Keep Your Job” Tweet Work For Prof Who Called Harvey Flooding “Instant Karma” For Texas?



UPDATE: Yep, Already gone: A university professor suggested Harvey was karma for Texas Republicans. Then, he was fired.
In a statement Tuesday, the university denounced Storey’s comments, saying they were made on his private Twitter account and do not reflect the school’s views.

“We condemn the comments and the sentiment behind them, and understand the pain this irresponsible act has caused,” the university said, adding that other faculty members will take over Storey’s classes. “As Floridians, we are well aware of the destruction and suffering associated with tropical weather. Our thoughts and prayers are with all impacted by Hurricane Harvey.”
A Kinsley gaff.

Way Back Wednesday



Liza Minelli:


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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Maryland, My Maryland!

The University of Maryland marching band will no longer be playing the state song, “Maryland, My Maryland” at upcoming school events. Given the current arc of progressive action in blue states, the government may be looking into the same action in the very near future. Why?

Come on, man. Surely you’ve guessed by now. We’re taking down flags, monuments and statues all over the place. It was only a matter of time before we started banning music with “unacceptable thought” in it. And the state song of Maryland has a decidedly Confederate tone to it. (CBS Baltimore)

As much as I’ve railed against the erasure of history, even I will give at least a small nod to the fact that there’s no disputing that the song is based on the Confederacy. You can read the full lyrics at the state’s website. Here are just a few excerpts because it’s actually quite a long tune.
The despot’s heel is on thy shore,
Maryland!
His torch is at thy temple door,
Maryland!
Avenge the patriotic gore
That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
And be the battle queen of yore,
Maryland! My Maryland!
Yes, the “despot’s heel” isn’t exactly subtle, is it? The sixth stanza continues with this theme.
Dear Mother! burst the tyrant’s chain,
Maryland!
Virginia should not call in vain,
Maryland!
She meets her sisters on the plain-
“Sic semper!” ’tis the proud refrain
That baffles minions back again,
Maryland!
Arise in majesty again,
Maryland! My Maryland!
One can assume the “tyrant’s chain” is being held by the North. And answering the call of Virginia is fairly obvious. But the dead giveaway comes in the final verse.
I hear the distant thunder-hum,
Maryland!
The Old Line’s bugle, fife, and drum,
Maryland!
She is not dead, nor deaf, nor dumb-
Huzza! she spurns the Northern scum!
She breathes! she burns! she’ll come! she’ll come!
Maryland! My Maryland!
Northern scum? Speaking as someone born and raised in New York (even though I’ve developed a deep fondness for the south over the years) that’s kind of harsh, isn’t it? But taken in the context of the times, understandable I suppose.

One thing that’s missing from the song is any reference to slavery, to racial divisions or anything related to it. But still, it’s a battle hymn and no doubt about it.
It's widely acknowledged that most of Maryland was really a southern state at the start of the civil war, and only the presence of the Federal armies kept them from seceding  too. Maybe they would have broken like Virginia, which lost much of it's mountains to West Virginia. But the song, written at the height of the Civil War (excuse me, War of Northern Aggression) in 1861, wasn't adopted by the state until 1939.

The song seems kind of lame. It's set to the melody of "O Tannenbaum." But this means the band will no longer be playing "Oh Christmas Tree" at games! War on Christmas?

I Think It's Going to Rain Today

Actually, it has already dropped slightly over 1 inch, and it looks likely to continue through most of the day, as wanna be Tropical Storm Irma makes it's passage along the East Coast:
Potential Tropical Cyclone 10 may slowly evolve into Tropical Storm Irma near the southern Atlantic coast while surf, drenching showers and gusty coastal winds increase through midweek.

The main impacts will be locally dangerous surf and rain that slows travel for a while or ruins a day at the beach.

A period of rain is forecast from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, to Wilmington, North Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; Ocean City, Maryland; Philadelphia; Atlantic City, New Jersey; New York City and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Small craft operators should exercise caution outside of protective intercoastal waterways as the potential tropical cyclone kicks up winds and waves.

It's windy, blowing 18-22 kts, but nothing serious, yet. But it does inject a little local color into the problems Texas and Louisiana are experiencing.



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Reason #5661 - #5666 That Trump Was Elected

Have I mentioned Anitfa yet? I have? Well, like the energizer Darth Vaders, they're still going.

Basking in the glow of favorable media coverage from Charlottesville, this week, as noted by WaPo, Black-clad antifa members attack peaceful right-wing demonstrators in Berkeley
Their faces hidden behind black bandannas and hoodies, about 100 anarchists and antifa— “anti-fascist” — members barreled into a protest Sunday afternoon in Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Park.

Jumping over plastic and concrete barriers, the group melted into a larger crowd of around 2,000 that had marched peacefully throughout the sunny afternoon for a “Rally Against Hate” gathering.
How masked, black armor clad weapon bearing people can "melt into a crowd" is an interesting question.
Shortly after, violence began to flare. A pepper-spray-wielding Trump supporter was smacked to the ground with homemade shields. Another was attacked by five black-clad antifa members, each windmilling kicks and punches into a man desperately trying to protect himself. A conservative group leader retreated for safety behind a line of riot police as marchers chucked water bottles, shot off pepper spray and screamed, “Fascist go home!”

All told, the Associated Press reported at least five individuals were attacked. An AP reporter witnessed the assaults. Berkeley Police’s Lt. Joe Okies told The Washington Post the rally resulted in “13 arrests on a range of charges including assault with a deadly weapon, obstructing a police officer, and various Berkeley municipal code violations.”
Police, as they seem to do in liberal cities did the bare minimum of policing.
But antifa protesters — armed with sticks and shields and clad in shin pads and gloves — largely routed the security checks and by 1:30 p.m. police reportedly left the security line at the Center Street and Milvaia Street entrance to the park. Berkeley Police Chief Andrew Greenwood told the AP the decision was strategic — a confrontation was sure to spark more violence between the protesters and police.

“No need for a confrontation over a grass patch,” Greenwood said.
The confrontation is over the right of the right to peacefully assemble and protest.

Stacy McCain asks: 
Why is it “far-right” to say “No to Marxism in America”? Why are those who oppose Marxism accused of “bigotry, hatred and racism”? And why is nobody in the mainstream media asking these questions?
But the Antifa are really just left wing Patriots, left?  Antifa Chants At Berkeley: “No Trump, No Wall, No USA At All”
It’s exceptionally stupid to proclaim yourself literally anti-American when some of your fellow travelers on the left are working hard to portray you as defending American values from the alt-right. But then, most radicals are exceptionally stupid.
When Asked to Denounce Antifa, Gov. Terry McAuliffe Denounces Violence on Many Sides

Instapundit: "Let Call Them What They Really Are Then": Democratic operatives with baseball bats.



Why Antifa Nazi-Punching Is Just a Gift to the Right
However, the notion that antifa participants have kept their violence strictly “anti-fascist” is plainly untrue, as most recently evidenced in the assaults on two journalists (including a woman, Taylor Lorenz of The Hill) in Charlottesville. In the aftermath of the violence, a defiant post on Antifa Seven Hills’ Facebook page blamed the reporters for the attacks they endured at the hands of the masked “anti-fascists.”

The post read in part:
Media you do not have the right to treat us this way. We are not your spectacle to profit off of. You are very often disrespectful and aggressive and we you [sic] will be met with the same behavior. If you don’t want to get hit don’t act like vultures. Ask for consent.
How dare they hit a reporter!

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Persian Risks Beheading to Bring You Boobs


Mia Khalifa - the number-one-ranked performer on Pornhub - was targeted by the bloodthirsty terror group on social media.
. . .
She claims they threatened to behead her in horrifying mocked up photos - but brave Mia is determined not to let it ruin her life.

The busty porn star said: "They photoshopped a picture of me being beheaded and threatened that that would happen to me.

"It does [worry me] but I try not to show it, because you can’t show weakness.

“That’s exactly what they’re looking for.

"I really try and just make it look like it rolls off, but I’ll admit, it gets to you after a while.”
I think this deserves a missile strike.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Butts! Boobs! The Final OUTRAGE!!!" up on time and within budget.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Not a Parody


Via Maggie's Farm

I Learned a Little Today

Always a plus. A place I knew a little about, but not too much: The lost Donahoo lighthouse is local secret
The non-boater might nod and understand the topic of the “the flats” realizing the topic is the Susquehanna Flats, even if they can’t readily identify the exact location. When referred to as the local jesting nickname of “Redneck Riviera,” the confusion returns. But the one that seems to really cause confused knitted brows is “FBI.” To a boater, the conversation might entail, “Wow, FBI was packed this weekend, we couldn’t find a spot to anchor out.”

Huh?

To the uninitiated land-based, the FBI referred to is not of the James Comey variety but of the Donahoo type, as in John Donahoo, the famed Chesapeake area lighthouse builder of the early 1800s. FBI is the local term for Fishing Battery Island, an artificial island created by Robert Gale and the aforementioned Donahoo in an effort to profit from the shad runs near the Susquehanna’s mouth. Back then the paddleboats couldn’t enter Havre de Grace’s shallow port, so they called at a diminutive man-made island and loaded up with fish caught in the nets strung over the Susquehanna Flats. Those hauls of fish would then be hauled to Baltimore for a tidy profit.
I remember the Fishing Battery Island well, from several trips to fish the Susquehanna Flats with Pete. The Susky flats are the round knob at the upper end of the Chesapeake Bay. Geologically speaking, they are the remainders of a river delta formed by the Susquehanna at a slightly lower stand of sea level. They are shallow, and full of "ditches" which are the remnants of a dendritic set of channels through the old delta. Large Striped Bass sometimes school there in large numbers in spring to gorge on herring and shad, and to await the spawn, which usually occurs in the waters just to the south.



Fishing Battery Island is in that little curlicue island in the lower left of the flats.
Over time, the little island came to house not only a fish house but a landing ramp, housing and processing facilities, all in pretty close quarters as the island only measured a bit over an acre at its maximize girth. When originally crafted in total defiance of the real estate axiom that “they aren’t building any more waterfront property,” it was called Donahoo’s Battery, but became known as Fishing Battery and briefly Shad Battery.

By the antebellum mid-1800s, however, Congress appropriated $5,000 on March 3, 1851, for construction of a lighthouse at Fishing Battery, and would call in lighthouse builder Donahoo to erect it. It was the last of the lighthouse he built on the shores of Chesapeake Bay. Two others he built locally would be the oft photographed and visited, Concord Point Lighthouse in Havre de Grace and Turkey Point Lighthouse in North East at the tip of the Elk Neck peninsula.
I searched my photos for a picture of Fishing Battery Island, but I couldn't find any. I suspect I was too busy casting. So instead, here's Pete with a fine flats striper from 2002.
Though there is scant evidence of the original buildings of the island as they continue to rot, fall prey to vandalism and neglect, and that which is visible is obscured by out-of-control vines, weeds and scrub, period photographs help to tell the tale. The lighthouse was a story-and-a-half tall and built of brick with a lantern room at the very center of the pitched roof. Built in 1853, the original light was five lamps with 14-inch reflectors, upgraded to a sixth order Fresnel lens.

The island was leased for 30 years, from 1861 to 1891 by the Bureau of Fisheries, during which time more buildings were added and the grade of the island was raised. The keeper’s family would come to live on the second floor of the house, with the bottom floor used to store boats and for other storage. In 1887, a mechanic’s cottage, storehouse, icehouse, water tower, boat basin, coal bins and a boiler had been added to the island, to accompany the fish basin, hatchery and gated shad pond.

As with all lighthouses, automation ended the need for a lighthouse keeper to live on the island and as American men marched off to fight in World War II, Fishing Battery Island was deeded to the Department of the Interior for a migratory bird and wildlife refuge.

Reason #5660 That Trump Was Elected

Trump Signs Memo Implementing Ban On Transgender People Enlisting In The Military
President Trump has signed a memo implementing his new policy on transgender people serving in the armed forces.

A senior White House official told reporters that no transgender individuals will be allowed to join the armed services unless and until the secretary of defense and secretary of homeland security recommend otherwise.

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps are part of the Department of Defense. The Coast Guard, also covered by the new policy, is part of the Department of Homeland Security.

The memo halts use of all Defense and Homeland Security resources for sex change surgery for those now serving. The only exception is for transgender service members already in treatment. This will become effective March 23, 2018, to give time for officials to develop an implementation policy.

The change in policy that would have allowed transgender people to join the military had been announced by former Secretary of Defense Ash Carter but never implemented, unlike the policy change that allowed current transgender military personnel to serve openly.
Note that Trump is not actually changing any policy; he's extending a policy that had already existed since time immemorial against transgender people in the military; a policy throughout the Obama days, as Obama set the policy to end conveniently after he left office, leaving his successor, whoever he or she was, to deal with the consequences. Trump's order is the essence of conservatism; make no change until you are sure that the change is an improvement.

As for women gays transgenders in the military, I am a little conflicted. Transgenders are a tiny proportion of the American public, estimated to be around 0.3%, not the 10% one would expect based on their current representation among TV characters. The US has somewhere around 1.34 million active service personnel, so assuming transgenders were equally represented currently, some 4,000 current members of the military would be transgender. However, it seems highly unlikely that transgender would be equally represented. First, some significant number of them are female transitioning to male. Women are striking underrepresented in the military, some 14.5% of active personnel, so they are likely from the start to be underrepresented. And I would guess that males transitioning to women are far less likely to find the military a likely career. (Ru Paul, anyone?).

So let's arbitrarily cut that to 2,000 transgenders in the active military currently, just for argument's sake. That's just a tiny fraction fraction of the active personnel, so irregardless of their behavior, I'm sure transgenders constitute a vanishingly small fraction of the military's behavior problems.

I quite certain that among the 2,000 or so transgenders there are a fair number of good, very good, and even excellent soldiers, but I would venture to guess, that as a class, they are more trouble than not. For one, transgenders tend have higher rates of  mentally illness, with more drug use. suicide attempts and suicides than their counterparts. Second, the military had been preparing to treat them all in the way they wish, which is to say hormone treatments and surgery to "correct" the body to correspond to what their conscious brain thinks they should be. This can be quite expensive, and having the military foot the the bill could be quite attractive to people who would otherwise avoid a military engagement.

I have a modest proposal. Let's locate the 2,000 or so transgenders, and perform a test of whether, as a group, they can be valuable assets to the US military. 2,000 is about the right number for a brigade. Take the 2,000 transgenders currently on active duty, and assign them to the "T" brigade. If the "T" brigade officers choose to spend their resources on sexual reassignment surgery and not on, say combat training, so be it. We assume, for argument's sake again, that among the 2,000 will be officers of sufficient rank to command them. Give them all the resources that a brigade would have, allow their officers to structure and discipline the troops as they see fit (whips and chains?) and prepare them for combat.  If the "T" brigade officers choose to spend their resources on sexual reassignment surgery and not on, say combat training, so be it. Then, at the very next opportunity send them in to a combat role and see how they perform. At the very bottom, the job of the military is to kill people and break things on our behalf.

If they have a problem serving in combat, or a problem working with other transgenders on the mission, maybe we should reconsider. If they perform well in that role, then, all is well.

How Much Is that Gas Anyway?

The entertainment would be worth an extra penny or two per gallon.



Ana Braga:
Ana Braga (born December 4, 1981, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) is a Brazilian model and pet adoption advocate living in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has been featured in several international magazines: Playboy Venezuela December 2013, Playboy Brazil June 2013, and Playboy Romania in April and December 2013. Braga has also been featured in Cosmopolitan Magazine in the United States and People Magazine in Greece.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Butts! Boobs! The Final OUTRAGE!!!" up on time and within budget.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Generic Beach Report

As bad as Texas weather is, ours is good. Temperatures in the low to mid 70's, low humidity, clear skies and breezy, for three days now.  Unbelievable for August.

The Ella Dawn II checks a line of crab pots just off shore, in pretty shallow water.
 And the unofficial Chesapeake Bay mascot, a Great Blue Heron fishes on a sand bar.

Spotted Bee Balm in the dunes.

A female Zabulon Skipper in the edge of the parking lot.

Reason #5659 That Trump Was Elected

Russian Collusion: The Podesta Group (Owned by Jon Podesta's Brother) Retroactively Updates Filings to Disclose Lobbying Work Done on Behalf of Vladimir Putin
I'm sure that Hero of the SubRight Jake Tapper will be covering this on his show today.
The Podesta Group belatedly filed several new disclosures with the Justice Department on Aug. 17 related to work the firm completed between 2012 and 2014 on behalf of a pro-Russia Ukrainian think tank.
Back in April, the powerful Washington lobbying firm run by Clinton ally Tony Podesta filed a document admitting its work for the pro-Russia European Centre for a Modern Ukraine may have principally benefited a foreign government. New disclosures revealed dozens of previously unreported interactions the firm made with influential government offices, including Hillary Clinton's State Department and the office of former Vice President Joe Biden, while lobbying on behalf of the center. Embattled ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort failed to disclose his extensive lobbying efforts on behalf of the center at the time as well.
Anyone lobbying or doing public relations on behalf of foreign governments is required to register as a foreign agent in compliance with the Foreign Agents Registration Act. The Aug. 17 filings include short-form registration statements for six Podesta Group employees and an amendment to the firm's registration statement that includes a list of political contributions made by relevant employees throughout 2013.
A review of those donations shows both parties received cash from Podesta Group lobbyists.
...
One of the filings is for Tony Podesta himself, who was a bundler for Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. Tony and his brother John--Clinton's 2016 campaign chairman--co-founded the lobbying firm in 1988.
Interestingly, Paul Manafort was the subject of white-hot searing by the media, and yet -- get this -- he advised the very group that Hillary Bundler Tony Podesta, brother of Hillary campaign manager Jon Podesta, now confesses he himself represented.

Exit Question: Think this will get the same amount of play?
I've come to the conclusion that whenever Democrats accuse a political opponent of something, say, racism or collusion with the Russians, they know what they are talking about, because they are doing it themselves.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links.

Are the Cute a Constitutionally Protected Class?

Hot women have rights, too!

A Manhattan appeals panel — in a first-of-its-kind decision — Tuesday overturned a lower-court ruling that said you can’t be fired because of your gender but you could get the boot for being “too cute.”

The decision involved a 2013 lawsuit filed by blond massage therapist Dilek Edwards against her former boss, Wall Street chiropractor Charles Nicolai and his former lesbian Playboy Playmate wife, Stephanie Adams.
Stephanie Adams in her Playboy days
Hot may be a bit strong. Well toned perhaps?
Dilek, 33, said she was axed after Nicolai admitted to his 46-year-old wife that she “might become jealous’’ of his bubbly staffer because she was “too cute.’’

Last year, Manhattan Judge Shlomo Hagler had ruled against Dilek, saying her cuteness quotient couldn’t be cited as the basis for a discrimination claim.

But the appeals panel disagreed.

Dilek “was fired for no reason other than Adams’ belief that Nicolai was sexually attracted to her,” lead Judge David Friedman wrote. He was joined by Judges Karla Moskowitz, Judith Gische and Marcy Kahn.

”This states a cause of action for gender discrimination under New York State Human Rights Law,” Friedman said.

A circuit court in Iowa had ruled the opposite of the New York appeals panel in 2013.

The all-male Iowa panel OK’d a male dentist’s ouster of his female hygienist because he viewed her “as an irresistible attraction.”

Dilek’s lawyer, Maimon Kirschenbaum, said other courts have rejected the “too cute” discrimination claim, too.

“We had looked extensively to find a case for what should be obvious — that firing a woman because you might be attracted to her is discrimination,” Kirschenbaum said.
Adams may have a bit of a security issue, don't you think?

This is not Adams' first foray into the new since her Playboy days. Former Playboy playmate claims New York cops are denying her gun license in revenge for winning a $1.2million lawsuit against police after they threw her to the ground
A former Playboy Playmate claims that police have refused her gun license application in revenge for a $1.2million law suit she won against the NYPD for excessive force.

Stephanie Edward, Playboy's Miss November 1992, was furious after the application was declined after the New York Police Department cited various domestic incidents.

They claim that the application was refused due to the incidents 'as a victim and as a perpetrator' between 2003 and 2013, and lying about receiving protection orders in the past.

The Licence Department also used a sexy picture posted on the internet of Adams wearing a skimpy mock police uniform and holding a gun as a reason to deny her.

In a letter, Deputy Inspector Michael Endall, commanding officer of the license division, wrote: 'You are photographed holding what appears to be an NYPD authorized Smith & Wesson 5946, with your finger in a 'nonsafe' position in the trigger well,' reports the New York Daily News.

Linked above the line at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Thanks Teach! Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: Butts! Boobs! The Final OUTRAGE!!!" up on time and within budget.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

I Guess One of the Dinosaurs Broke a Mirror

Though the story is probably familiar, there are still significant questions about exactly what happened during that cataclysm. Many species were seemingly in trouble before that colossal meteoroid crashed into the coastal Yucatan, perhaps partly because of a long-lived series of massive volcanic eruptions in what is now India. This has led some to question whether the impact was as deadly as it's made out to be. But we've also filled in some details of just how the meteoroid impact would mess up the Earth, and these include mind-blowing tsunamis, rampant wildfires, and see-sawing climate effects. So how lethal was the impact?


A team led by Charles Bardeen at the National Center for Atmospheric Research employed a climate model to investigate one major aspect of this story. In many places around the world, there is a thin geologic layer that marks the time of the impact event. It contains soot that apparently blanketed the planet after wildfires kicked it up into the air. (These wildfires would be triggered globally by the heat of debris reentering the atmosphere.) Was there enough soot to black out the Sun?
 Given the failure of modern climate models to accurately predict our climate out even a few years, one has to give them a lot of credit for trying to base their science on climate models of an earth many millions of years ago, which is much less understood than the present.
Several estimates have been made of the total amount of that soot based on the volume that can be found in the rock layer, but these range from 750 billion kilograms to 35 trillion kilograms. The researchers ran several different simulations based on those estimates. In each case, the soot particles are injected high into the atmosphere because soot absorbs sunlight, so it heats up the air around it, causing the air to rise and take the soot with it.

The simulations showed that most of the soot falls out of the atmosphere within a year, but that still leaves enough up in the air to block out 99 percent of the Sun’s light for close to two years, with the poles clearing up fastest. Photosynthesis in the ocean ends once you get to one percent of sunlight, so the authors use this as the threshold for plant life.


That’s two years of perpetual twilight without plant growth, which is probably enough to explain the extinction of plankton species in the ocean (and most things up the food chain from there).

And, of course, a biting cold would come with the dim Sun. In the simulation, the average ocean surface temperature drops by as much as 11 degrees Celsius (20 degrees Fahrenheit), and the average temperature on land suffers a 28-degree-Celsius (50-degree-Fahrenheit) drop. Most of the planet’s land area would have been below freezing for the first couple of years. Only a limited area along some coasts and parts of the tropics would escape the frost.

That surface cooling—coupled with the soot-warmed air high above—would drastically slow the water cycle, reducing global precipitation by about three-quarters for six years. Even the monsoons shut down. If you’re keeping track, we’re now talking about a dark, frozen, desert world. Only a very small area of land is bright enough, warm enough, and wet enough for plants to survive.


For organisms that somehow managed to survive through this desolation, conditions could actually have returned to normal pretty rapidly. There’s a sort of critical point as the levels of soot in the stratosphere drop; once it's crossed, the rest quickly clears up. That's because a ton of water vapor would also have risen into the stratosphere with all that soot, and that water vapor acts like a planetary radiator, emitting heat energy to space and accelerating the stratospheric cooling. As the soot level drops below the critical point, less sunlight is absorbed, and the water vapor cools and condenses. It then drops out and takes the remaining soot with it in a matter of months.


In the simulations, that process takes place in year seven, bringing back the sunshine and most of the precipitation. At that point, surface temperatures are only about 5 degrees Celsius below their starting point, and they return to normal over the next decade.
So it all sounds like something we should really try to avoid. How about some more effort going into asteroid location and tracking, and developing methods  to divert them?

Reason #5658 That Trump Was Elected

Trump’s ‘energy dominance’ strategy starting to crack Eastern European markets
The U.S. Energy Department announced Aug. 21 that a cargo ship full of Pennsylvania coal would be sailing out of Baltimore, 5,600 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean and Black Seas to Ukraine, the first such shipment of its kind.

Such shipments hold significance in a variety of ways, and offer a possible window into the Trump administration’s desire to use energy trade to offset the aggressive geopolitical behavior of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In March, Ukraine cut off deliveries of coal from the Russian-controlled region of Donbass, where much of Ukraine’s coal industry resided before the 2014 conflict between Ukraine and Russia began.

Centrenergo, the Ukrainian power utility, has been struggling since March to replace the blocked coal supplies. Now, Latrobe, Pennsylvania-based XCoal Energy will send 700,000 tons of anthracite coal to Odessa over the next several months. The agreement follows a June meeting between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and U.S. President Donald Trump.

This week also marks the first shipment of liquefied natural gas from the United States to the Baltic state of Lithuania, a former Soviet satellite, which until recently was completely dependent on Russian gas supplies. Lithuania and the other Baltic states of Latvia and Estonia have at times been under withering political pressure from their former Cold War patrons, particularly since Moscow occupied the Crimea in 2014.

Trump’s visit to Poland in early July included a speech that highlighted his administration’s desire to exert a counter-force on Russia through the energy markets, “so that you can never be held hostage to a single supplier,” Trump said.

Poland received its first U.S.-based shipment of LNG in July, and the single U.S. LNG export terminal at Sabine Pass on the Texas-Louisiana border has sent out more than 160 cargoes since starting up in February. Several of the cargoes have reached Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands in the past 18 months.
For all the Democrat's bluster about the possible Russian interference in our elections on behalf of Donald Trump, if Putin really did have his thumb on the scale, he has to be regretting that right about now. Russia is almost literally a energy company with a corrupt corporate leadership.

It's pretty well known, but not well publicized that Russia also funds anti-energy environmental activism in the United States. I wonder why that aspect of Russian meddling goes so uncommented upon.  No, I don't really wonder.

Rule 5 Saturday - Hannah Ferguson

A very simple Rule 5 post this week: Hannah Ferguson, not to be confused with Hannah Davis aka, Hannah Jeeter, however that genetics experiment is going, or Daryl Hannah.
Ferguson's parents met while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. After graduating from high school, she won the Kim Dawson Model Search and moved to Dallas to start her career. After six months, she moved to New York City.

I did confuse Furgeson with Davis, which is why it took me so long to get around to her; I thought I had.




She has appeared in the 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 editions of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In her first appearance, she also posed in bodypaint by Joanne Gair. She has also been featured in magazines such as GQ. Ferguson appeared in advertising for Carl's Jr. and Triumph International.
 GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (307th Issue) focuses on Booty... Booty... Booooty call with Amanda Elise Lee because he wants to grow up and be hip! However, space exploration and being a capitalist pig will always be à la mode. Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: OUTRAGE!! (Parte Dos)" and "FMJRA 2.0: Behind The Sun" ready for your reading pleasure.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Students Shocked to Discover Eastern Shore Unconcerned with Sea Level Rise

Anthropology and Eastern Shore flooding
A group of anthropology majors from Washington College in Chestertown has spent the summer not at the beach, but as research assistants roaming the Eastern Shore, talking to residents about the risks of flooding and projected sea level rise. They’ve traveled through Talbot, Dorchester and Somerset counties talking to local residents about their communities, changes and their experiences with flooding.

And on a recent trip, Kirsten Webb and Hayley Hartman were visiting Roland and Sheilah Bradshaw at their home on Smith Island. Kirsten was hardly into her opening spiel about community response to flooding when Roland jumped in.

"Well, we had some flooding," he said. "But, you know, a lot of people say its sea level rise. I don’t believe in that."

Instead, he said, the island is washing away. There’s no flooding "until the wind comes to the east or we have a hurricane," he said. And everybody has flooding when there’s a hurricane.

Kirsten asks if he pays attention to the wind patterns and prepares if he knows the wind’s going to be blowing easterly. He says no, they’re used to it. They’re survivors who can make out with what a lot of people couldn’t make out with.

And they’re used to dealing with rising tides, adds Sheila. They’re different from on the mainland.

"When the tide comes up over here, we try to hurry up and go or come back and do what we got to do because then in a couple hours it’s gone," she said. "But in the city, see, it just builds up and builds up."
The people who live close to the water like the Smith Islanders are accustomed to the problems of living close to the possible. Their lives center around it. The island depends on the Bay for it's economy, and for years they have accommodated to the very slowly rising waters.

As I've noted before, salt-marsh islands like Smith can grow upwards with sea level rise, as the marsh adds to the surface. The process doesn't work where humans cover the marsh with hard surface, or if they remove the vegetation by cutting or burning it. Even beaches can rise as sand is washed, and then blown up into dunes. Erosion from the edges is much harder to deal with, requiring extensive hardening of the shore, which causes it's own problems. But if the people who live on Smith Island really want to live there, they can solve those problems. The people of Manhattan Island did:



CNN Now Giving Fashion Advice

A little followup to the Louise Linton foo forah: CNN Panel Says Treasury Secretary’s Wife Should Dress More Modestly
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s wife hit back at an Instagram user who had suggested taxpayers were funding her lavish lifestyle, prompting CNN political commentators on Tuesday to compete with one another for the harshest invective.

April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, said public servants should be more modest — even the spouses of public servants.

“And she had a Birkin bag. I think it’s at least $10,000,” Ryan said. “So when you are a public servant, and even if you’re married to a public servant, you have to remember service is about the people. And many of the people that you’re serving cannot afford a Birkin bag that’s at least $10,000, or a beautiful scarf by whatever designer it was.”
I don't think the author of "The Handmaid's Tale" intended it as an instruction manual.
Ryan said Linton looked like she was coming off a fashion magazine cover.

"That is the style of this administration. And unless he reels it in, you have to assume that the president and the rest of the White House are OK with portraying themselves this way."

"But you have to remember, many of the people that your husband is serving can just barely make it," she said. "They are trying to make ends meet — unemployed, underemployed or just making it. And you have to be very careful how you flash your wealth, flash your status, particularly as you are serving people."


David Drucker, senior political correspondent for the Washington Examiner, called it "the epitome of tone-deaf."
No, said CNN commentator Errol Louis, it was worse than that.

"Not just tone-deaf," he said. "Reflecting a sneering, snarling contempt for those who don't have what she has, which is wealth and power."

Louis also found a way to steer the blame toward … President Donald Trump.

"That is the style of this administration," he said. "And unless he reels it in, you have to assume that the president and the rest of the White House are OK with portraying themselves this way."
This is the same CNN that fell all over itself praising Michelle Obama for her designer fashions. Not to mention Hillary's hideous oven-mitt outfits: Hillary ups her "custom" pantsuit game. And the fashion world pants. CNN's Jeanne Moos reports.


Hillary Clinton wore a $12,495 Armani jacket during a speech about inequality

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: OUTRAGE!! (Parte Dos)" ready for your reading pleasure.