Thursday, November 30, 2017

Bring Out Your Dead!

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation has an oyster shell recycling program to help build new oyster reefs.  The organization collects about $2,000 bushels of oyster shells every year.  Those are recycled and then used as homes for millions of new oysters.  But oyster populations are down because of things like over-harvesting and diseases, so the organization is hoping you will get involved.

Jackie Shannon knows oysters. “We’re in the Lynnhaven River right now.  These waters provide really great growing conditions for oysters,” Shannon said.

She also knows they need help.

“There is a shortage of oyster shells bay-wide,” Shannon said.  So, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation is enlisting the help of people and restaurants across the commonwealth.

Shannon says step one is collecting the oysters in containers.  Step two is bringing them to a drop off site and step 3, they head up to Gloucester to become the new real estate for the baby oysters.

“We take these recycled shells and put them into large tanks full of seawater and oyster larvae,” Shannon said.  Then, they’re placed in oyster reefs across the bay.

The recycling project has a lot of benefits, like more oysters to eat.
We never have oysters at home, since I no longer get them free as a side benefit of work, but if we did, and we had left over shells, I'd just take them out an dump them on the nearest oyster bar, which conveniently enough, is one of my fishing holes.

You might be amazed how bad a pile of shucked oyster shells smells.

Reason #5778 That Trump Was Elected

This one hits a little too close to home to resist: Winning: grant applications for ‘climate change’ research are down 40%
Scientists appear to be self-censoring by omitting the term “climate change” in public grant summaries.

An NPR analysis of grants awarded by the National Science Foundation found a steadily decreasing number with the phrase “climate change” in the title or summary, resulting in a sharp drop in the term’s use in 2017. At the same time, the use of alternative terms such as “extreme weather” appears to be rising slightly.
The change in language appears to be driven in part by the Trump administration’s open hostility to the topic of climate change. Earlier this year, President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, and the President’s 2018 budget proposal singled out climate change research programs for elimination.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency has been systematically removing references to climate change from its official website. Both the EPA’s leader, Scott Pruitt, and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry have said they do not accept the scientific consensus that humans are causing the planet to get warmer.

As a result, many scientists find themselves in an uncomfortable position. They are caught between environmental advocates looking to recruit allies and right-wing activists who demonize researchers and denigrate their work.

“In the scientific community, we’re very cautious people,” says Katharine Hayhoe, the director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech. “We tend to be quite averse to notoriety and conflict, so I absolutely have seen self-censorship among my colleagues. [They’ll say] ‘Well, maybe I shouldn’t say it that way, because whatever funding organization or politician or agency won’t appreciate it.'”
While this years drop looks particularly steep, the trend had been dropping for years, suggesting that many scientists had already seen that the field was saturated with workers, and that there was very little in the way of scraps for the new guys.

I predict that in 10 years global warming research will be about as popular as acid-rain research, and a new cause de jour will have arisen that demands the same solution, handing control over the economy to the government bureaucrats and the academics that justify them.

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

Dancing Into Thursday

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: All You Need Is Kill" up and running at The Other McCain.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Christmas in California

Dude! Goat head topper stolen from San Jose Satanist group’s Christmas tree

Authorities are investigating the theft of an unusual topper from a tree decorated by the San Jose chapter of The Satanic Temple as part of this year’s Christmas in the Park.

The void once occupied by a large black goat head mask was filled Tuesday by a red star and a wood-engraved sign informing onlookers that a new topper was “coming soon.”

“Our intention was simply to bond with our community, craft a beautiful tree and be part of a San Jose tradition,” said chapter spokeswoman Sadie Satanas, who donated the religious symbol — constructed of clay, papier-mâché, foam, and silk — from her personal collection.

The topper was stolen late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, but the chapter didn’t learn it was missing until Monday. A report has been filed with the San Jose Police Department.
Isn't it cultural appropriation  for Satanist to have the Christmas tree? Just sayin'.

Salisbury Still Polluting After $80 Million Upgrade

Salisbury invested $80 million in upgrading its sewage treatment facility in response to a state mandate to filter more nutrients from its Chesapeake Bay-bound effluent.

But when the new plant was switched on in 2010, the pollution still flowed, a report states. A second renovation attempt is scheduled to be completed in May 2018 at a cost of $64 million.

A new report released Wednesday shines a spotlight on the financial and environmental costs of the project.

The plant discharged more than 200 tons of nitrogen into the Wicomico River last year, more than four times what its permit allows, according to the Environmental Integrity Project. As of the end of September, it had released more than three times as much nitrogen as permitted for an entire year.
But Salisbury is a piker compared to Baltimore:
Despite spending $1.2 billion on plant upgrades since 2004, Maryland was home to 12 of the failing plants, the group said. That represents about one out of seven of the state's large-scale facilities.

The list includes the state's second-largest sewage facility, the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant near Baltimore, which discharged 3.7 million pounds of nitrogen last year. That's four times its permitted amount.
Meanwhile, the State and EPA try to blame farmers for Chesapeake Bay's pollution problems. Well, it's true. Farmers grow the food that city dwellers eat which turns into shit and piss in their sewage systems.

Bonfire of the Vain: #HimToo Campaign Claims Five Scalps in One Day

Wow, what a day!

Carmen Electra and Matt Lauer
#1 NBC Fires ‘Today’ Host Matt Lauer: Stacy McCain Explains:
We are now about seven weeks into the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse that began in early October with revelations of Harvey Weinstein’s predatory behavior. As I have explained, the reason this is happening is because Hillary lost and Trump won. The zero-tolerance no-mercy attitude toward male misconduct is a product of feminist rage over Trump’s victory; they cannot destroy him, so they’ll destroy any man within range. The only way to save yourself? Avoid feminists.
Ace just got the Vanity Fair article that NBC was getting out ahead of, and it's pretty juicy: Apologies, But Vanity Fair Just Published Its Hit on Matt Lauer, and Whoo Doggy, I Gotta Post It
I hate this guy.
As the co-host of NBC's "Today," Matt Lauer once gave a colleague a sex toy as a present. It included an explicit note about how he wanted to use it on her, which left her mortified.
On another day, he summoned a different female employee to his office, and then dropped his pants, showing her his penis. After the employee declined to do anything, visibly shaken, he reprimanded her for not engaging in a sexual act.
He would sometimes quiz female producers about who they'd slept with, offering to trade names...
Despite being married, Lauer was fixated on women, especially their bodies and looks, according to more than 10 accounts from current and former employees. He was known for making lewd comments verbally or over text messages. He once said made a suggestive reference to a colleague's performance in bed and compared it to how she was able to complete her job, according to witnesses to the exchange. For Lauer, work and sex were intertwined.
"There were a lot of consensual relationships, but that’s still a problem because of the power he held," says a former producer who knew first-hand of these encounters. "He couldn't sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he's Matt Lauer and he's married. So he'd have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain."
Lauer had a "secluded" office permitting him trysts at work, and if the seclusion wasn't enough, he installed a special feature: He could lock the door by remote control with a button on his desk, making sure no one could just walk on in while he was doing... whatever. I guess getting up and just locking the door might have given his lovers/victims a chance to reconsider or object, so he'd just hit the button and the door would lock itself.

He's the Ernst Stavro Blofeld of sexual harassment.
Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) is terminating its contracts with Garrison Keillor and his private media companies after recently learning of allegations of his inappropriate behavior with an individual who worked with him.

Last month, MPR was notified of the allegations which relate to Mr. Keillor's conduct while he was responsible for the production of A Prairie Home Companion (APHC). MPR President Jon McTaggart immediately informed the MPR Board Chair, and a special Board committee was appointed to provide oversight and ongoing counsel. In addition, MPR retained an outside law firm to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations. Based on what we currently know, there are no similar allegations involving other staff. The attorney leading the independent investigation has been conducting interviews and reviewing documents, and the investigation is still ongoing. We encourage anyone with additional information to call our confidential hotline 1-877-767-7781. . . .
 Keillor's response:
In an email to the Star Tribune on Wednesday, Keillor said, “I put my hand on a woman’s bare back. I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it. We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called.”

Keillor even managed a joke of sorts: “Getting fired is a real distinction in broadcasting and I’ve waited fifty years for the honor. All of my heroes got fired. I only wish it could’ve been for something more heroic.”
. . .
“If I had a dollar for every woman who asked to take a selfie with me and who slipped an arm around me and let it drift down below the beltline, I’d have at least a hundred dollars. So this is poetic irony of a high order. But I’m just fine. I had a good long run and am grateful for it and for everything else.”
#3  NPR Chief News Editor Departs After Harassment Allegations
NPR Chief News Editor David Sweeney has left the company following allegations of sexual harassment filed against him by at least three female journalists.

"David Sweeney is no longer on staff," Chris Turpin, acting senior vice president of news, said in an email to staff.
. . .
The email did not directly state the cause for Sweeney's departure. But this follows a formal internal review into his conduct, after three current and former NPR journalists made formal complaints against him.
Melissa Benoit as Supergirl
#4 'Supergirl,' 'The Flash' Showrunner Fired Following Sexual Harassment Claims
The Flash and Supergirl producers Warner Bros. Television has cut all ties with Andrew Kreisberg following sexual harassment claims from multiple women involving the showrunner.

Kreisberg, who exec produced The CW's DC Comics-inspired dramas Supergirl, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Arrow, was suspended by WBTV weeks ago following multiple allegations of sexual harassment. The studio launched an internal investigation in to the allegations. Kreisberg has now been terminated from all four series as well as CW Seed's Vixen and has lost his overall deal with the studio. (Sources say Kreisberg was also developing another show with Berlanti, with that now up in the air.)

"After a thorough investigation, Warner Bros. Television Group has terminated Andrew Kreisberg’s employment, effective immediately," WB said in a statement. "Greg Berlanti will assume additional responsibilities on both The Flash, where he will work closely with executive producer/co-showrunner Todd Helbing, and Supergirl, where he will work closely with executive producers/co-showrunners Robert Rovner and Jessica Queller. We remain committed to providing a safe working environment for our employees and everyone involved in our productions."
The Black Canary from Arrow

Nineteen men and women, all of whom chose to remain anonymous, came forward to accuse the showrunner of sexual misconduct, including inappropriate touching, which took place over a period of several years. Many are current or former employees of the shows Kreisberg executive produced. Kreisberg allegedly touched people and kissed women without consent and asked for massages from female staff.

Kreisberg was hand-picked to oversee Berlanti's growing DC universe at The CW. Kreisberg is said to have created a "toxic" work environment with many insiders fearing retaliation if they filed a complaint against him. (He also has routinely fired the writing staff from The Flash every season and this year had trouble staffing the show and challenges hiring women, sources say.)

Johnny Iuzzini
And now, getting down to the dregs, #5 4 former employees accuse celebrity chef Johnny Iuzzini of sexual harassment and abuse
One night in 2011, on the gilded first floor of New York’s Trump International Hotel and Tower, a pastry chef labored at her station in the Jean-Georges restaurant. Her boss, pastry chef and emerging TV star Johnny Iuzzini, hovered nearby. Without warning, the pastry chef told Mic, Iuzzini was beside her, his tongue in her ear.

Iuzzini repeated the offense “three or four times” on separate occasions, said the pastry chef, who worked under him for nearly two years. “I cried every time,” said the chef, who spoke to Mic on the condition of anonymity to protect her privacy. She did not report the incidents to management at the time, but she did tell a friend, who confirmed to Mic that she heard the story shortly after it happened. The pastry chef resigned later that year, not in reaction to any single incident, she said, but because of the culmination of Iuzzini’s behavior toward her: “I left because of the way he treated me.”

Two pastry chefs and two externs — an unpaid position that often requires the same time commitment as full-time employees — who reported to Iuzzini between 2009 and 2011 described in interviews with Mic a work environment in the Jean-Georges pastry kitchen that was rampant with incidents of sexual harassment.
Stuck his tongue in her ear? That doesn't sound even remotely sexy for either person.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: All You Need Is Kill" and "FMJRA 2.0: To Run Where The Brave Dare Not Go" up and running at The Other McCain.

Net Neutrality: A Solution in Search of a Problem

Like Y2K, the Net neutrality crisis is way overhyped
You may remember Dec. 31, 1999. That’s the last time the Internet was expected to die, because millions of computers were going to crash when their internal clocks failed to turn over to the year 2000. I sat in the Globe’s newsroom, waiting for the end. Nothing happened. It was quite a letdown.

Now here comes another “apocalypse.” On Dec 14, the FCC is expected to abandon the Obama administration’s policy on so-called Net neutrality, in which the government forces Internet providers to treat all data equally. Activists say it’s the end of the Internet as we know it, with giant Internet providers like Comcast and AT&T free to block or slow down access to key online services unless they’re paid extra to let the data flow.

But I’m betting hardly anything will change. Not the day after Dec. 14, the month after, or the year after.

I’m as subject to panic as the next guy, but I can’t see much reason to freak out over the supposed death of Net neutrality.

I’m on board with the principle that Internet carriers should not be allowed to block certain Internet services or deliberately slow them down to make them less accessible. Many activists go further and reject “paid prioritization,” or giving superior “fast lane” service to consumers willing to pay extra.

Serious breaches of Net neutrality are pretty hard to find. An activist group called Free Press published a “greatest hits” list of alleged violations. They found 12. Oops . . . make that 10. In two decades of widespread Internet use in America, they couldn’t find even a dozen significant violations, so Free Press padded the list with two cases from outside the United States. Even the remaining 10 are questionable cases that may have been driven by network security or traffic management disputes, rather than by efforts to stamp out rivals.
I get it. We all hate our ISPs for what? Bringing us all the world's entertainment and knowledge into our houses for what seems to be an outrageous price. Punish them!

The reality is that it's a case of regulations for regulations sake; it exists, therefore the government (meaning liberal democrats) should control it. And you know that's  exactly how they'll use it.

Everybody Is Wrong About Net Neutrality
. . . While the scare stories are legion — my favorite is a bizarre rant in the Globe and Mail arguing that the end of net neutrality would mean doom for “the resistance” — and the technical details are often mind-numbingly complex, this is still a simple story. Between 2005 and 2015, competition produced a 1150 percent increase in broadband speeds. Free markets and unfettered capitalism built out the fast internet. Now the government wants to step in and help. . . 
That help needs scare quotes.

Good Show, Harry!

Hearts are aflutter all over the world at the announcement that Prince Harry (of the UK royal family) is engaged. The nice thing about being 5th in line to the throne is that there is no rational expectation that you'll get stuck being monarch, so you can marry a cute American, Californian (even worse),  half-black, half Jewish, actress and divorcee who is three year older than you. At least the Queens Corgis approve, and the Queen's give a damn appears to broken, as is appropriate in a 91 year old.

So who is the Meghan Markle? Although I watched a few episodes of "Suits", I didn't know.

Markle is known for her work in the American TV show “Suits”. Her mother is black and her father is white. And though many publications have reported that Markle’s father is Jewish, a publicist denied that she herself is a member of the tribe.

“Just to clarify…she is not Jewish,” said Chantal Artur, the publicist, in an email, without elaborating.

Markle, who told Elle that she answers the question “What are you” every single week of her life, has not spoken to the media about her religious background or that of her father.

But she has given some serious Queen Esther vibes. Here are 4 kind of, sort of Jewish things about her:

Her real name is Rachel. While we have all met 90-100 wonderful Megans, Meagans, and Meghans at Jewish summer camp, ‘Rachel’ is straight out of Genesis and totally the kind of name your dad would give you if he was trying to subtly imbue your identity with your religious heritage. Plus, changing your name (or in this case, taking your middle name as a stage name) is a classic rite of passage for Jewish performers. Just ask Natalie Hershlag and Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz.

Markle’s first marriage was to film producer Trevor Engelson, a Jewish man from Great Neck, New York. Their wedding involved what The Sun tersely referred to as a “traditional Jewish chair dance”.

She has said that she is sometimes labeled “Sephardic” at auditions. Think about it—36-year old actresses and lifestyle gurus don’t throw around the word Sephardic unless they are Sephardic. She might as well change her name to “Kitniyot Markle”.

Disney has had a frog prince, a lion king, and a royal mermaid, and all we’ve had is the Crusades followed by the Inquisition. A Jewish princess just seems fair.
Best of luck, kids!

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: All You Need Is Kill"  up and running at The Other McCain.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

EPA Caught Cheating, Again

Watchdog Finds More Evidence Obama’s EPA Broke Federal Law
Former President Barack Obama’s EPA used a social media platform to secretly promote the agency’s policies in violation of federal law, according to a conservative watchdog group in Washington, D.C.

Judicial Watch obtained 900 pages of documents Monday showing the EPA used social media to lobby support for the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The agency used Thunderclap, a platform that shares messages across Facebook and Twitter, to recruit outside groups to generate support for various environmental policies.

Federal law prohibits agencies from engaging in propaganda. It also forbids agencies from using federal resources to conduct grassroots campaigns that prod U.S. citizens into browbeating lawmakers to act on pending legislation.

“I don’t want it to look like EPA used our own social media accounts to reach our support goal,” former EPA Director of Web Communications Jessica Orquina wrote in an email in 2014 to Karen Wirth, an EPA team leader in the Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water.

Judicial Watch obtained the email records through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit after the EPA failed to respond to a FOIA request in May.

The covert campaign began when Travis Loop, the EPA’s director of communications for water, wrote in a Sept. 9, 2014 email to Gary Belan, senior director for the organization American Rivers, that the agency was pursuing a new strategy to defend WOTUS from critics.

“EPA is planning to use a new social media application called Thunderclap to provide a way for people to show their support for clean water and the agency’s proposal to protect it,” Loop wrote at the time before explaining how the ploy works.
And there's the violation "the agency's proposal" is what they are not legally permitted to publicly advertise and propagandize for.  However, I'm sure that the sanctions under law are weak, and it's very unlikely that any actions will be taken. But they should try.
“If 500 or more people sign up to participate, the message will be posted on everyone’s walls and feeds at the same time. But if fewer than 500 sign up, nothing happens. So, it is important to both sign up and encourage others to do so,” he added.

Loop then contacted Orquina in a Sept. 10 email of that year to ask her how to rope other agencies into the scheme.

“What’s the best way to get the other agencies to sign up for the Thunderclap and promote on social media? Interior, USGS, NOAA, etc. I was going to tweet at them to join the Thunderclap, but thought maybe you had thoughts on that and maybe a more direct line,” he asked.
In Chesapeake Bay, they have a slightly different work around. EPA and NOAA shovel money to the Bay Journal, a nominally independent news producer, which is, in fact, a reliable shill for the agencies. Recently, the new leadership at EPA threatened to withhold their cut, prompting the usual suspects to cry out loud.

Navy Buys Into Sea Level Panic

U.S. Navy officers tell it like it is about sea level rise
We were, at that moment, speeding along a highway about 12 feet below sea level. Parts of Amsterdam - our embarkation point - lie another nine feet below that. More than a quarter of The Netherlands rests below sea level, and more than half is flood-prone. If places like Dewey Beach seem like Ground Zero for the issue of sea level rise, then the Netherlands might be considered Below Ground Zero.

I expected our driver to express concern, perhaps dread, about the future. Nope, not him. We'll handle it, he said in broken English (far better, of course, than my nonexistent Dutch). And that's the point. They're handling it. They're not arguing about the reality of sea level rise. They can't afford to. We can't either. Though not everybody's gotten the message yet.

One rather important organization that has gotten the message: the U.S. Navy. Our nation's largest naval base lies near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, in Norfolk, Va. Naval Station Norfolk, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, has played an outsized role in our nation's history. For the Cape Region, it also has much to tell us about our future.
. . .
Capt. Joe Bouchard, U.S. Navy (ret.): "Clearly, sea level rise is happening. The U.S. military, they see the problem ... The naysayers, by trying to pretend this is not a problem and is not worthy of funding to adapt to sea level rise, they are jeopardizing U.S. national security, and they are jeopardizing the U.S. economy."

Rear Admiral Kevin Slates, U.S. Navy: "When we look at the problems that the Navy faces down in the Tidewater area, the only way to solve a challenge like sea level rise is through a whole of government approach ... This is not an easy challenge, but it's also a challenge we have to overcome." ... "As an engineer, what I go by is facts, so down here in the Norfolk area, the facts are that the sea level is rising. The facts are that the land is subsiding. So it's a double whammy."

Yep, apparent sea level near Norfolk, Virginia is rising at a rate of somewhat less than 5 mm per year, without any evidence for acceleration due to "global climate change" since the record began around 1930. I say apparent sea level rise because most of the "rise" is actually caused by the land sinking due to post glacial rebound and ground water withdrawal. Actual world wide sea level rise is more like 1.5 mm per year.
Pete Garner, Department of Public Works, City of Norfolk: "Hampton Boulevard is one of the main connectors to the Navy base.

"At normal high tides, this intersection will start to flood. [If] we get a little abnormal high, the intersection will be completely flooded and impassable ... basically stopping traffic going to the Navy base."
Paving the intersection every few years should do the trick. Once in a great while you might have to jack up the nearby buildings, when it's not convenient to raze them and build a new set.

The military is not immune to following the fads of environmentalism. Once you get a job that depends on concern trolling, you have to keep at it.

Is There Anything Socialism Can't Screw Up?

Yorlenis Gutierrez, a 28-year-old mother, spent months vainly scouring pharmacies for a drug whose scarcity is complicating her sex life and that of countless Venezuelans. In a country beset by shortages, this is one of the hardest: the disappearance of contraceptives.

When she couldn’t renew her supply of birth control pills, Gutierrez and her husband made a choice. Long-term abstinence was not an option, they agreed.

They tried to be careful, but soon she was pregnant with her second child.

“We barely eat three times a day now,” said a distraught Gutierrez, a former hair washer in a beauty salon who lost her job because of the economic crisis. “I don’t know how we’re going to feed another mouth.”

In Venezuela, a collapse in oil prices coupled with nearly two decades of socialist policies has sparked a severe recession and one of the world’s highest inflation rates. People often wait hours in line to buy bread.  Prices for staples jump almost by the day. Medical shortages range from antibiotics to cancer drugs.
It's WaPo, so no mention of socialism, Hugo Chávez or Nicolás Maduro. Oil prices collapsed everywhere, but only Venezuela suffered a catastrophic collapse. Why won't someone import birth control pills and make money? Socialism.
But the shortage of contraceptives has put Venezuelans in a particularly bleak quandary: Have sex — or don’t ?

For the most part they are, sometimes with dire consequences.

There are no recent official statistics. But Venezuelan doctors are reporting spikes in the numbers of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases that are adding to the country’s deepening misery.
Well, sadly, you, or at least enough of your countrypeople, voted for it. At least once. You know what they say: "One man, one vote, once."

Perils of Pop Stardom

       Nick Carter                        Melissa Schuman
Is @NickCarter a Rapist? Or an innocent victim of #MeToo?
When my oldest daughter was 12 or 13, she was all about the Backstreet Boys, especially Nick Carter. So it was weird to see this headline:
Nick Carter Accused of Rape by Dream’s Melissa Schuman; Backstreet Boy ‘Shocked and Saddened’ by Allegations
Does this story make sense? You’re the most popular member of the biggest teen group of the era, the idol of millions, and you rape a girl?

I can't say I ever heard my kids talk about Back Street Boys, Nick Carter, Melissa Schuman or Dream. Thank goodness!
Well, maybe. Let’s not pretend it can’t be true. Until a few weeks ago, who knew that Al Franken was a serial groper, allegedly, or that Alabama’s Roy Moore was banned from the Gadsden Mall, allegedly?

After the Sexual Harassment Apocalypse began with the downfall of Harvey Weinstein, I predicted it was a long way from ending. What I didn’t predict was that it would include this kind of story:

[Schuman] then a part of the all-girl teen group Dream, wrote Carter had invited her over to his house during a day off from a movie they were both starring in.
Schuman wrote she had brought her roommate with her and claimed the boyband singer took her into the bathroom and they had started kissing.
It was then, she wrote, that Carter allegedly began to unbutton her pants and ignored her objections before allegedly performing oral sex on her. Schuman claimed he then demanded she perform oral sex on him.

Despite allegedly telling Carter that she was a virgin and was waiting until marriage to have sex, Carter allegedly led her to his bedroom where she claims that he raped her.
“He threw me on the bed and climbed on top of me. Again, I told him that I was a virgin and I didn’t want to have sex. I told him that I was saving myself for my future husband. I said it over and over again. He whispered in my ear as to entice me, ‘I could be your husband,’” Schuman alleges.
“He was relentless, refusing to take my no’s for an answer. He was heavy, too heavy to get out from under him. Then I felt it, he put something inside of me. I asked him what it was and he whispered in my ear once more, ‘It’s all me baby.’”

This sounds like a scene from a Danielle Steel romance novel, but just because the dialogue is cheesy, and the plot seems contrived, that doesn’t mean it didn’t actually happen that way. We have to ask, what would a 22-year-old teen idol say while he’s raping an 18-year-old virgin?

Answer: It doesn’t matter. Nobody’s going to believe that crazy bitch.

Or that’s what Backstreet Boys’ manager Lou Pearlman might have said.

You may have forgotten about Pearlman, the man who created the Backstreet Boys and who died in prison last year, having been convicted of swindling investors of $300 million in a Ponzi scheme. It was also reported that Pearlman was a homosexual pedophile:
“Some guys joked about it; I remember [one singer] asking me, ‘Have you let Lou blow you yet?’” says Steve Mooney, an aspiring singer who served as Pearlman’s assistant and lived in his home for two years. “I would absolutely say the guy was a sexual predator. All the talent knew what Lou’s game was. If they say no, they’re lying to you.”

If the Backstreet Boys were playing “Lou’s game,” we must ask, was what Nick Carter allegedly did to Melissa Schuman worse? That is to say, are there any recognized moral standards in show business? Your manager’s a pedophile swindler, so what’s wrong with a little date rape, eh?

Pull up a chair. Let’s talk. . . .
Stacy will tell you that entertainment industry "ethics" are so bad that anything is possible. I would add that it can happen anywhere, but Hollywood ethics are so bad the chance is much higher.

Meh. White girls rapping doesn't do anything for me. Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: All You Need Is Kill" and "FMJRA 2.0: To Run Where The Brave Dare Not Go" up and running at The Other McCain.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Whale Enters Chesapeake Bay, Dies

Marine scientists are using forensics to found out what killed a young humpback whale, found floating just off Lynnhaven Beach in Virginia.

The Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center got multiple calls Sunday morning from residents at a senior condominium complex, who could see the whale floating in the water from their windows. According to Matthew Klepeisz, Aquarium spokesman, a volunteer from the Aquarium's Stranding Response Program went to the scene immediately, with staff quickly following, but the whale was already dead.

The whale was a female, and scientists estimate she was about 30 feet long and weighed six tons. She had been sighted and tagged alive and well by researchers in the area last year. She is (sic)

Aquarium staff were able to bring the whale's body to shore for a forensic necropsy, an animal autopsy, to determine if the whale suffered an injury or trauma to cause its death.

Susan Barco, research coordinator for the Virginia Aquarium's Research and Conservation Division, explains that staff is going over the whale's body looking for wounds or legions, and peeling back the whale's skin and blubber to check for possible bruising. Some injuries might not show up on the surface; for example, if a whale were hit by the hull of a boat. Scientists will be able to make observations based on what they saw in the necropsy, but tissue samples are also being sent to a veterinary pathologist for testing, and those results could take weeks or months.
We had a rash of dead whales in the past couple of years, and the majority of them turned out to be ship strikes. Apparently juvenile whales aren't very smart.

No word if they plan to blow up the remains of the whale after they are through with the autopsy.

Well, Duh!

Male and female brains wired differently, scans reveal
Maps of neural circuitry show women's brains are suited to social skills and memory, men's perception and co-ordination

Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in the wiring of male and female brains.

Maps of neural circuitry showed that on average women's brains were highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, in contrast to men's brains, where the connections were typically stronger between the front and back regions.

Neural map of a typical man's brain
Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, said the greatest surprise was how much the findings supported old stereotypes, with men's brains apparently wired more for perception and co-ordinated actions, and women's for social skills and memory, making them better equipped for multitasking.

"If you look at functional studies, the left of the brain is more for logical thinking, the right of the brain is for more intuitive thinking. So if there's a task that involves doing both of those things, it would seem that women are hardwired to do those better," Verma said. "Women are better at intuitive thinking. Women are better at remembering things. When you talk, women are more emotionally involved – they will listen more."

Neural map of a typical woman's brain
She added: "I was surprised that it matched a lot of the stereotypes that we think we have in our heads. If I wanted to go to a chef or a hairstylist, they are mainly men."
But, but, but, what about equality?

Actually, it would be interesting to see maps from some gay and trans people to see how their brains differ (if at all) from their chromosomal gender.

Trump Admin Flounders on Flounder Regs

An unprecedented Trump administration decision over the summer that overruled an interstate fishing commission has drawn the ire of critics who worry that keeping a healthy and viable supply of flounder in the Atlantic Ocean is being sacrificed to commercial profits.

While the fight over fish largely has been out of the public eye, it has implications for Maryland and other coastal states. Critics charge the controversy further underscores environmental backsliding by a White House beholden to business interests seeking fewer restrictions on the potentially harmful exploitation of natural resources.

In July, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross overruled a recommendation by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission finding New Jersey out of compliance with proposed 2017 harvest limits of summer flounder along the Atlantic coast.

The reversal marked the first time since passage of the Atlantic Coastal Act in 1993 that the Department of Commerce overruled the commission’s finding of noncompliance, said commission spokeswoman Tina Berger.

It was a big surprise that the commission’s authority would essentially be disregarded by the Commerce Department,” said Maryland Del. Dana Stein, D-Baltimore, one of the fisheries commissioners. “I was very disappointed upon hearing about this.”

 The focus of the dispute is New Jersey’s plan for summer flounder, also known as fluke, a large, flat fish that in Maryland is caught both in the Chesapeake Bay and on the Atlantic seaboard.

At issue is how many fish of any species can be taken in a season without tipping the balance toward a steady decline in the overall stock, as occurred years ago with striped bass.

Growing up to four feet long, summer flounder is the seventh most-fished in Maryland and is particularly prized by recreational fishermen.

The flounder reach spawning age at around two years, by which time a mature fish should measure approximately 10 inches long.

New Jersey proposed allowing the harvest of approximately 93,000 more fish this year - roughly double the previous quota limit. The state contended that it was possible to reduce the number of undersized flounder that die after being released back into the ocean by anglers, using an angler education program.

New Jersey’s “discard mortality” was rejected by the fisheries commission in its technical report as unquantifiable. But the Commerce Department said Ross accepted NOAA’s judgment that New Jersey’s plan would work “while also preserving jobs supported by the recreational summer flounder industry” in the state.
I have doubts that New Jersey's education program can reduce release mortality as much as they need to make the numbers balance. Plan for half the effect you calculate, and then expect half of that.

While I support federalism in most things, it doesn't work well in fisheries management of species that occupy a large habitat across several state lines, and migrate between them. It sets up the classic "Tragedy of the Commons" situation, where each state has too much incentive to cheat.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: All You Need Is Kill" up and running at The Other McCain.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

When Branson Goes Boating

Joss Stone, poor motorboating material
Richard Branson apologizes after Joss Stone singer accuses him of inappropriate behavior, but not to Joss Stone:
Richard Branson has apologized after Joss Stone's backing singer accused him of inappropriate behavior.

Antonia Jenae, 44, told Britain's "The Sun" newspaper that the 67-year-old billionaire Virgin boss had rubbed his face in her breasts during a party on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands in 2010.

Branson had invited Joss and her band to his Caribbean home after they played the Go Green festival on nearby island Tortola. Jenae, who hails from Lauderdale Lakes, Florida, said he had been drinking but did not seem drunk.
Antonia Jenae, exceptional motorboating material
An Englishman drunk?  I've never heard of it!
"We were by the bar and he was saying bye to everyone. He came up to me and put his face in my breasts," the mother-of-two alleged. It was surreal, totally out of the blue. Joss and I were like, ‘What the hell was that?!’ Everyone was wondering why I wasn’t angry because I’m usually a firebrand. But I was just too shocked.”

She added: "His behavior was disgusting. I feel like it was sexual assault."
So how drunk was he?
 A spokesman for Virgin Management apologized on Branson's behalf Saturday and said he had no recollection of the incident.
Older readers may wonder what "motorboating" is. This video should help clear that up for you.

Richard Branson ain't got nothing on these guys. Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: All You Need Is Kill" up and running at The Other McCain.

Reason #5777 That Trump Was Elected

Why no one is talking about Trump’s game-changing deal
Last weekend in Beijing, as part of his 12-day trip to Asia, President Trump announced that the US and China had signed an $83.7 billion memorandum of understanding to create a number of petrochemical projects in West Virginia over the next 20 years.

If the agreement holds tight, it is an economic game changer for the state.

And yet, speaking to the locals here, you wouldn’t even know it had happened.

“I am surprised I heard nothing about it on the national news, nor in my local paper and newscasts,” said Jerald Stephens, 67, a West Virginia native and union rep, who has been a keen observer of local politics for as long as he can remember.

The BBC and CNN covered the news in their business sections, while The New York Times picked up a short story by The Associated Press on the deal. The stories’ headlines were muted; their placement low-key.

“One would have suspected that the prospect of an investment this large — nearly three times the total annual budget for the department of energy — would have been front-page news,” said Paul Sracic, political-science professor at nearby Youngstown State University.

Part of this is the fault of the president himself. He never once tweeted about his deal to his 42.8 million followers, but instead used Twitter to attack old foes on his trip, including the media (“While in the Philippines I was forced to watch @CNN, which I have not done in months, and again realized how bad, and FAKE, it is. Loser!”) and the leader of North Korea (“Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend — and maybe someday that will happen!”).
Donald was elected to make good deals to bring jobs to the heartland, and here he is doing it. Yes, the Tweeting is a distraction, but the press would cover it better if they didn't hate his guts.

Well, I'm Convinced

Chick With Huge Boobs Explains Why Dinosaurs Are A Hoax.

Or you might even say a boob with huge big adequate boobs:

More dino-babes?

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Specks of Sunset

 When we walked the beach this afternoon the Bay was dead flat, and it was too inviting, so when I got home I called Trevor to see if he wanted to go (stupid question). Anyway, we got out about 3:45. I got this Speckled Trout in the first drift.
 For a few drifts we saw fish on the sonar, but had only a single little hit. Then the sun set.
After Trevor caught this one, we split for home.

Court: Climate Concern No Excuse for Domestic Terrorism

He was protecting mother earth, Gaia. Via Great Falls Tribune:
Leonard Higgins, charged with tampering with an oil pipeline in Montana last year following a four-state climate change demonstration, was found guilty Wednesday by a Chouteau County jury of trespassing and criminal mischief.
The jury, which got the case at 11:15 a.m., returned an hour later with the verdict, which also included the conclusion that Higgins caused more than $1,500 in damage.
District Judge Daniel Boucher set sentencing for Jan. 2.
Following the verdict, Higgins, of Portland, said he was disappointed Boucher did not allow his defense team to present a so-called “necessity” defense in which he would have argued he committed a lesser harm because of an imminent greater harm, in this case climate change.
Had that climate change defense been allowed, Higgins said, the outcome may have been different.
“It was really frustrating not to be able to talk about climate in the courthouse,” Higgins said.
The charges stemmed from Higgins turning off an oil pipeline valve in 2016 located north of the Missouri River in Chouteau County 75 miles northeast of Great Falls as part of a coordinated, four-state effort to raise awareness about climate change.
His trial began Tuesday and the case was given to jurors for deliberation late Wednesday morning.
“This is not about climate change,” Chouteau County Attorney Steven Gannon told jurors during closing arguments.[…]
Higgins, 65, dressed in a sports coat and collared shirt, looked more like a college professor or grandpa than an “eco-terrorist,” as one oil and gas group called him following the Oct. 11, 2016 incident.
When he testified Wednesday morning, he still managed to discuss climate change in between objections.
e described himself as a church-going family man whose roots are in agriculture and he recalled picking beans growing up in Oregon.
Later in life, he got sucked into pursuing the American Dream, he said.
He grew up in Corvallis, Ore., but now lives in Portland.
Corvallis? That explains it.
Then, after soul-searching following his mother’s death and retirement in 2010, he began to consider more serious issues, including climate change.
It is his responsibility to stand up and do what is right, he said.
“Sometimes what’s right isn’t necessarily what’s legal,” Higgins said. “It was a really hard conclusion to come to.”
He read a report by a climate scientist that spurred him to action.
“In short it explains both why we have global warning, what the science is behind that and what will happen to not so much me but my kids and grandkids if we don’t do something about it,” Higgins said.
This is probably not the scientist he listened to:

So, I haven't heard what caused the recent leak of 5,000 barrels of oil from the Keystone pipeline (Not the Keystone XL, which still hasn't been finished). My guess is that the press is hiding something.

They Say This Like It's a Bad Thing

The Washington Post: Conservatives have a breathtaking plan for Trump to pack the courts
Conservatives have a new court-packing plan, and in the spirit of the holiday, it's a turducken of a scheme: a regulatory rollback hidden inside a civil rights reversal stuffed into a Trumpification of the courts. If conservatives get their way, President Trump will add twice as many lifetime members to the federal judiciary in the next 12 months (650) as Barack Obama named in eight years (325). American law will never be the same.

The "outer turkey" in the plan is the ongoing Trumpification of the courts. In the final two years of Obama's presidency, Senate Republicans engaged in tenacious obstruction to leave as many judicial vacancies unfilled as possible. The Garland- ­to-Gorsuch Supreme Court switch is the most visible example of this tactic but far from the only one: Due to GOP obstruction, "the number of [judicial] vacancies . . . on the table when [Trump] was sworn in was unprecedented," White House Counsel Donald McGahn recently boasted to the conservative Federalist Society.
It probably saved us from a legal catastrophe.
Trump is wasting no time in filling the 103 judicial vacancies he inherited. In the first nine months of Obama's tenure, he nominated 20 judges to the federal trial and appellate courts; in Trump's first nine months, he named 58. Senate Republicans are racing these nominees through confirmation; last week, breaking a 100-year-old tradition, they eliminated the "blue slip" rule that allowed home-state senators to object to particularly problematic nominees. The rush to Trumpify the judiciary includes nominees rated unqualified by the American Bar Association, nominees with outrageously conservative views and nominees significantly younger (and, therefore, likely to serve longer) than those of previous presidents. As a result, by sometime next year, 1 in 8 cases filed in federal court will be heard by a judge picked by Trump. Many of these judges will likely still be serving in 2050.

But even this plan — to fill approximately 150 judicial vacancies before the 2018 elections — is not enough for conservatives.

Enter the next element of the court-packing turducken: a new plan written by the crafty co-founder of the Federalist Society, Steven Calabresi. In a paper that deserves credit for its transparency (it features a section titled "Undoing President Barack Obama's Judicial Legacy"), Calabresi proposes to pack the federal courts with a "minimum" of 260 — and possibly as many as 447 — newly created judicial positions. Under this plan, the 228-year-old federal judiciary would increase — in a single year — by 30 to 50 percent.
. . .
Almost overnight, the judicial branch would come to consist of almost equal parts judges picked by nine presidents combined — Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama — and judges picked by one: Donald J. Trump. The effect on our civil rights and liberties would be astounding. And a continuation of the pattern of Trump's nominees to date — more white and more male than any president's in nearly 30 years — would roll back decades of progress in judicial diversity.

But even that isn't enough for the Turducken Court Packers. They have jammed one more "treat" inside this turkey.

Calabresi has also proposed that Congress abolish 158 administrative law judgeships in federal regulatory agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Securities and Exchange Commission, and replace these impartial fact-finders with a new corps of 158 Trump-selected judges who — unlike current administrative law judges — would serve for life.
What. appointing real judges instead of bureaucrats acting as judges?
These new Trump administrative law judges would have vast power over environmental, health and safety, fair competition, communications, labor, financial and consumer regulation for decades. Unlike the existing administrative law judges, selected as nonpartisan members of the civil service, Calabresi's replacement corps would all be picked in a single year, by a single man: Donald J. Trump.
Sounds good to me.

Rule 5 Saturday - What a Sucker, Nina Dobrev

This week the honor of being Saturday's Rule 5 selection falls on Nina Dobrev:
Nina Dobrev . . . is a Bulgarian-Canadian actress. She portrayed the role of Mia Jones in the drama series Degrassi: The Next Generation and Elena Gilbert on The CW's supernatural drama series The Vampire Diaries.

Dobrev has also starred in feature films, including the 2012 coming-of-age drama The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the 2014 action comedy Let's Be Cops, the 2015 horror comedy The Final Girls and the 2017 action thriller xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Dobrev was born Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva in Sofia, Bulgaria, and moved to Canada at the age of two, where she was raised in Toronto, Ontario, her hometown.
Almost enough to make me regret losing interest in Vampire Diaries after a couple episodes.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: The Treasury Secretary’s Wife" and "FMJRA 2.0: White Punks On Dope" ready on time.

Friday, November 24, 2017

I'll Have Fries With That

Deep Fat Friers Are Cooling the Planet?
According to British researchers, droplets of oil from deep fat friers are measurably contributing to a vast, cooling cloud over big cities, helping to mitigate the damaged caused by global warming; though more research is required to confirm this effect.
Deep fat fryers may help form cooling clouds
By Matt McGrath
Environment correspondent
23 November 2017
Fatty acids released into the air from cooking may contribute to the formation of clouds that cool the climate, say scientists.
Fatty acid molecules comprise about 10% of fine particulates over London, and such particles help seed clouds.
But researchers dismiss the idea that cooking fats could be used as a geo-engineering tool to reduce warming.

Using ultrasonic levitation to hold individual droplets of brine and oleic acid in position, the research team was able to make them float so they could analyse them with a laser beam and X-rays.
The X-rays proved crucial in revealing the inner structure.
“We found these drops could form these self-assembled phases which means these molecules can stay much longer in the atmosphere,” said lead author Dr Christian Pfrang, from the University of Reading.
“These self-assembled structures are highly viscous so instead of having a water droplet you have something that behaves much more like honey, so processes inside the droplet will slow down,” he told BBC News.
“They are resistant to oxidation so they stay around longer, so cloud formation will be easier.”

“If it does have an impact, it is likely to be a cooling one,” said Dr Pfrang.
“And the extent urgently needs further research.”
Read more:
All these years food NAZIs have been persecuting lovers of deep fried food, they were ignoring our selfless contribution to saving the planet from climate change.
Looks pretty sketchy to me. But the next time someone accosts you about your carbon footprint, offer them some fries to go with it.

UPDATE: Suitably illustrated by todays  "If All You See…" at Pirates Cove.

Look, the cooling from the fries offsets the global warming caused by growing the beef!

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday: The Treasury Secretary’s Wife" ready on time. Linked by Evi L. BloggerLady in "Priscilla Presley.",  "Should the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" be banned?" and "Iron Bowl 2017".