Friday, May 31, 2019

I'm Back!

Colonel Ski, Derrick, Tom and I left the dock the dock in Solomons with Pete at 5 PM sharp. The morning sunrise caught us somewhere off Taylors Island, moving north. We hit a few spots along the way north, and caught a few small fish along the way.
We ended up near this familiar structure, Sharps Island Light, by around 8 AM. We found a good slug of keeper fish on a structure nearby, and rapidly filled our limit (2 fish per customer + 1 for the boat) of stripers, as well as many more.

With the limit caught, Pete offered us a choice; go north and look for more stripers, or go south and try for some Speckled Trout in the Honga River. The decision was unanimous to go south.
And indeed, some Specks were caught. Three, in fact, although only one made the minimum length, 14 inches. Mine was short by half an inch, but I was especially proud of beating Pete to it. We also found a few more stripers.
I also hooked a Cownose Ray at one point and whipped it to the boat, before breaking it off deliberately, and had a huge striper hit a top water plug. I felt the fish (not always a sure thing on top water), but didn't hook up solid and lost it.

Gone Fishin' Russiagate

Gone fishin', but not like this. Hitting the islands with Pete, Ski, Tom and Derrick. Back later with pictures, I hope.

Now about that Russiagate: The Mueller statement is still the talk of the town:

Mueller sets a new standard for innocence: Prove you did not commit a crime - Conservative Review

Turning The Rule Of Law On Its Head’ — Judicial Watch President Calls For Investigation Of Robert Mueller | The Daily Caller

Alan Dershowitz: 'Shame on Mueller,' He 'Revealed His Partisan Bias'

Mueller’s Final Statement Turns Jurisprudence On Its Head – Issues & Insights

Mueller Wants to Nail Trump, But He Doesn't Have the Evidence! - The Rush Limbaugh Show

Let’s Repeat: No Collusion, Con Conspiracy, No Obstruction » Pirate's Cove

Bob Mueller Runs and Hides in Eight Minutes to Avoid Having to Answer One Key Question | Roger L. Simon

The Cunning Cowardice of Robert Mueller - Victory Girls Blog

Mueller’s Shamelessly Corrupt Valedictory | The American Spectator

Robert Mueller and the Art of Innuendo | The American Spectator

Noah on Mueller’s Confusing Remarks: Even Yoda Is Confused with Your English :: Grabien News

Hannity Panel Slams Mueller: He Has Been Devious and His Remarks Only Serve to Help the Democrats :: Grabien - The Multimedia Marketplace

Mueller offers sly impeachment bait

Another Mueller-Comey One-Two Punch – American Greatness

Ace of Spades HQ - Was Mueller's Statement His Quid Pro Quo to Jerry Nadler for Not Being Subpeoaed Under Oath?

Mueller defends Barr: Says no contradiction on obstruction, releases document to provide more context

Another Mueller-Comey One-Two Punch – American Greatness

The Morning Briefing: Mueller's Farewell, Damage Control Concert | Trending

Robert Mueller, we need to hear more - Hot Air

Eric Trump to Dobbs: Mueller’s Done ‘A Tremendous Amount to Divide This Country’ :: Grabien - The Multimedia Marketplace

No Questions? Nonsense—Mueller Must Testify – American Greatness

Democrats Introduce Resolution To Impeach Trump With Reasons To Be Filled In Later | The Babylon Bee

Hollywood Demands Congress Impeach Trump After Mueller Speaks: 'It's Your F**king Job'

SERRANO: Democrats Want To Impeach To Find Out What’s Impeachable — Sound Familiar? | The Daily Caller

Trump Has Become the Democrats’ Great White Whale – American Greatness

JustOneMinute: Collusion Never Dies!

High-Ranking FBI Official Leaked Sealed Information To Journalists, Accepted Gifts From Reporter, Watchdog Found | The Daily Caller

The Trump 'Secret Server' Hoax Was a Subplot of the DNC Spygate Strategy to Foment the Russia Collusion Conspiracy | Trending

2020 Democrats Renew Impeachment Frenzy After Robert Mueller Speaks

Jerrold Nadler, House Judiciary chair: Robert Mueller 'told us what we need to hear' - Washington Times

Amash on Impeachment: You Can't 'Criminally Indict a Sitting President' But... | Trending

Trey Gowdy Levels 'Wannabe Senator' Adam Schiff For Opposing Probe Into Obama-Era Spying - The Political Insider

Comey Denies FBI Spied on Trump Campaign, Calls It 'Conspiracy'

Government spying – Did they think Sharyl Attkisson was a Russian agent too? «

Ace of Spades HQ - Huge: British Spies Tried to Warn The US and Trump About Christopher Steele's Shaky Credibility; Were Those Warnings "Lost" in the Mail?

Too Deep To Drain? – OIG Finds Preponderance of Evidence Against FBI Deputy Asst. Director – DOJ Refuses to Prosecute… | The Last Refuge

Ace of Spades HQ - IG Report Accuses Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director of Leaking "Sensitive" Information to Media, Accepting Gift from a Member of the Media

In The Mailbox: 05.29.19 : The Other McCain

Theo Spark: Cartoon Round Up....

Wombat-socho has a double stuffed Rule 5 Sunday: Morena Baccarin and FMJRA 2.0: Systems Of Romance.

Eat a Burger, Dammit!

What's Wrong with Vegan Diets
If you’ve never heard of Vikki Mikkonen, you get extra credit. Mikkonen is a Finnish blogger and lifestyle guru. You know the type: a maniac for bodily purification and spiritual uplift. Until recently she had been selling the virtues of the purest vegan diet.

The Daily Mail
reports on her dietary habits:
… Virpi believed herself to be eating the healthiest of all diets: gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, meat-free, refined sugar-free. And what’s more, she’d built a career inspiring others to eat it, too.

And she touted her diet's virtues to her many followers:
As ‘Vanelja’, Virpi is an award-winning blogger and entrepreneur championing plant-based eating. She has written four cookbooks, which include vegan alternatives for ice cream, pizza and cakes, and has 164,500 followers on Instagram.
Though based in Finland, she writes her blog and best-selling books in English, and this, together with pretty photos of her recipes on Instagram, has earned her a sizeable following among British foodies. Vogue called her ‘social media gold’.
Think of her as the Finnish equivalent of Deliciously Ella, the British food writer and creator of the coconut-and-oat energy ball which costs £1.79 a piece. Virpi’s version: Dreamy Blueberry Thyme cake, a ‘raw cheesecake’ made from dairy-free oat milk.

But then, she got sick. Not only that, but she started, at age 37, to go into menopause:
Early last year, Virpi Mikkonen was alarmed by the appearance of a rash on her face.
There were other problems: a bout of flu that was hard to shift; crumbling nails; feeling low; and, most worrying, her periods stopped. A blood test revealed her follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels had sky-rocketed to the level at which women hit the menopause. Virpi was 37 and having hot flushes.
‘I thought, what’s wrong with me? I am healthy, I exercise,’ Virpi says. ‘I was really scared.’

So, she consulted an expert in Chinese medicine. The problem, by the terms of Chinese medicine: failing to cook food was producing an organic dysfunction, or some such:
She sought help from a specialist in Chinese medicine, who diagnosed a ‘yin deficiency’ (health depends on a balance of yin and yang, according to traditional Chinese medicine). She said Virpi should stop eating so much raw food — yet salad, juices and smoothies were the backbone of her diet.
Breakfast, for instance, consisted of a cold-pressed juice of celery, cucumber, fennel and parsley. Lunch was a salad of spinach leaves, watercress, cucumber, fennel and chickpeas with a sprinkle of sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds.
‘She said everything had to be cooked, warming and earthy,’ Virpi recalls. Even more radical, the specialist said Virpi had to start eating animal products — daily. Virpi hadn’t eaten meat for 15 years, apart from when pregnant with her daughter Alva, now seven.

Lo and behold, eating animal products has improved her health:
But now she’s given up veganism, she feels much better.
‘I felt I had run out of fuel, totally,’ she says. ‘I was empty.’ She is now particularly fond of bone broth, a bone stock she has as a hot drink or adds to stews and soups. She’s also eating eggs, which is a major departure because she used to refer to them as ‘miscarriages of chickens’.
The effects have been dramatic. ‘It’s amazing. I feel energetic, motivated. I’m sleeping better, the hot flushes and aching in my body have stopped.’ Best of all, her periods have returned. She was so relieved she danced round her flat. ‘I thought, OK, now I am back on track.’

Virpi has been reluctant to tell her followers what happened, because veganism is like a cult. People who belong are wildly judgmental. They will trash you unmercifully if you abandon the true faith and become an apostate:
Dana Shultz, who lives in the U.S. and runs Minimalist Baker, a vegan recipe blog, was inundated with criticism when she announced she was going back to animal products after suffering digestive issues and hair loss.
Jordan Younger, aka The Blonde Vegan, received virulent attacks on social media, including death threats, after she wrote a blog post revealing an eating disorder and her decision to give up veganism.

They are not alone for having returned to real food, and often for the same reason. Veganism had made them sick:
This year has seen a series of vegan vloggers confess they are now eating animal foods, including Londoner Tim Shieff, 31, a YouTuber known as the ‘vegan prince’, who revealed he’d abandoned his plant-based diet because it was making him ill.
‘I had some joint issues, chronic fatigue, and mild depression,’ he said. ‘My whole body felt like it was shutting down.’
He immediately felt better for eating meat: ‘I was so shocked . . . My depression lifted, joints feeling better, energy back in my body.’

I know you are skeptical about Chinese medicine, but a London physician explains that veganism produces a cholesterol deficiency. And that cholesterol deficiency can be bad for some people. So much for the anti-fat brigades:
London-based hormone specialist Dr Marion Gluck believes diet-induced low hormone levels could lie behind Virpi’s health issues.
‘There are lots of reasons for an unexpected early menopause — stress, trauma, lifestyle changes,’ she says.
But diet can also be a factor. ‘Cholesterol,’ Dr Gluck adds, is ‘the building block for all our hormones. Only animal products and fish contain cholesterol and it’s very, very important.
It doesn’t work for everyone. It didn’t work for me. The problem was not being vegan, per se, it was the vegan diet and my stressful lifestyle.
‘Our body does produce some cholesterol, but a big part comes from our food.’
A plant-based diet could result in very low levels of cholesterol. ‘That is probably what happened and why her periods stopped,’ says Dr Gluck. ‘When she started eating animal products she could make hormones again.

And beyond the cholesterol deficiency, vegan dieters often suffer from a protein deficiency and also from deficiencies of creatine and iron:
It’s much harder to get enough protein on a vegan diet, and lack of protein can make someone ill,’ says Jane Clarke, nutritionist and founder of Nourish, a website offering dietary advice and recipes for people with health problems.
‘Protein is the basis of every living cell. Lack of it can compromise your ability to fight off disease and make you feel depleted. It’s also hard to get enough omega-3s, essential fatty acids that reduce inflammation and are usually found in fish.’
‘Another reason you might feel unwell on a vegan diet is that you don’t take in enough creatine. This is only found in meat and fish and our body uses it to help generate energy in our muscles. Without it you can feel exhausted.’
Lack of iron is yet another potential problem. ‘While you can get iron from green leafy vegetables, you have to be very careful about not having enough.’
I hope the parents of some impressionable teenage girl who makes herself sick following one of these so called "food" bloggers sues them for the damage they do.

Wombat-socho has a double stuffed Rule 5 Sunday: Morena Baccarin.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Sciences Deniers

I have taught evolution and genetics at Williams College for about a decade. For most of that time, the only complaints I got from students were about grades. But that all changed after Donald Trump’s election as president. At that moment, political tensions were running high on our campus. And well-established scientific ideas that I’d been teaching for years suddenly met with stiff ideological resistance.

The trouble began when we discussed the notion of heritability as it applies to human intelligence. (Heritability is the degree to which offspring genetically resemble their parents; the concept can apply not only to physical traits, but also to behavioral ones.) In a classroom discussion, I noted that researchers have measured a large average difference in IQ between the inhabitants of the United States and those of my home country, Brazil. I challenged the supposed intelligence differential between Americans and Brazilians. I asked students to think about the limitations of the data, which do not control for environmental differences, and explained that the raw numbers say nothing about whether observed differences are indeed “inborn”—that is, genetic.

There is, of course, a long history of charlatans who have cited dubious “science” as proof that certain racial and ethnic groups are genetically superior to others. My approach has been to teach students how to see through those efforts, by explaining how scientists understand heritability today, and by discussing how to interpret intelligence data—and how not to.

In class, though, some students argued instead that it is impossible to measure IQ in the first place, that IQ tests were invented to ostracize minority groups, or that IQ is not heritable at all. None of these arguments is true. In fact, IQ can certainly be measured, and it has some predictive value. While the score may not reflect satisfaction in life, it does correlate with academic success. And while IQ is very highly influenced by environmental differences, it also has a substantial heritable component; about 50 percent of the variation in measured intelligence among individuals in a population is based on variation in their genes. Even so, some students, without any evidence, started to deny the existence of heritability as a biological phenomenon.

Similar biological denialism exists about nearly any observed difference between human groups, including those between males and females. Unfortunately, students push back against these phenomena not by using scientific arguments, but by employing an a priori moral commitment to equality, anti-racism, and anti-sexism. They resort to denialism to protect themselves from having to confront a worldview they reject—that certain differences between groups may be based partly on biology. This denialism manifests itself at times in classroom discussions and in emails in which students explain at length why I should not be teaching the topic.

To my surprise, some students even objected to other well-established biological concepts, such as “kin selection,” the idea that, when individuals take actions for the benefit of their offspring and siblings, they are indirectly perpetuating their own genes. Startled students, falling into what we call the “naturalistic fallacy”—the notion that what occurs in nature is good—thought I was actually endorsing Trump’s hiring of his family! Things have gone so far that, in my classes, I now feel compelled to issue a caveat: Just because a trait has evolved by natural selection does not mean that it is also morally desirable.

The duty of scientists is to study the world—including the human body and mind—as it is. Some of our students, however, are seeing only what they want to see and denying real-world phenomena that conflict with their ideology. Take, for example, the obvious biological differences between the sexes, not only in physical traits (men, on average, are clearly stronger and faster than women are), but also in aptitudes and preferences (boys generally prefer wheeled toys, and girls prefer plush toys, a preference that is also observed in baby monkeys!).
Science is great, until is disagrees with the deeply held, but poorly sourced visions of the SJWs. I'm glad I got out before it got too bad.

from Why GIFs via Gfycat

Baltimore Harbor, Now Slightly Less Shitty

Harbor Heartbeat report touts declines of fecal bacteria in city waterways
Despite heavy rainfalls last year that sent millions of gallons of sewage into the harbor, a new report card published today by the Waterfront Partnership found that the level of fecal bacteria in Baltimore’s harbor actually declined from 2017 to 2018.

In the Baltimore region’s portion of the Patapsco River basin, which covers the Inner Harbor downtown to the western shores of the Chesapeake Bay, samples taken by Blue Water Baltimore showed the level of fecal bacteria was acceptable for swimming 100 percent of the time in most areas.

Of the 22 testing sites, 16 met the acceptable level in every sample, with the remaining six hitting the 80 percent threshold.
Jones Falls

In the Jones Falls Watershed, which has several branches in Baltimore County and runs all the way to the Inner Harbor, scores declined in several places, but inside the city line, four sites were found to be acceptable for swimming 80 percent of the time–and Stony Run, which connects with the Jones Falls, had perfect scores.

Two sites in Baltimore County portion of the watershed–the North Branch of the Jones Falls and a portion of Roland Run–had samples that passed only 60 percent of the time. The other five had positive tests in 80 percent of cases or higher.
Round Fall on Gwinns Falls

The news was not as good in the Gwynns Falls Watershed in the western portion of the city and county, where three sites had passing rates less than half the time. In one site, Powder Mill Run, no tests showed the water was fit for human recreation.
Overall, the report paints a positive outlook for the harbor.

“In 2017 fecal bacteria scores had improved dramatically across the Harbor and streams in the Jones Falls and Gwynns Falls watersheds,” the report says. “Despite the high volume of sewer overflows in 2018, bacteria scores for the streams have remained relatively high for the second year in a row.”
The solution to fecal pollution is dilution?

Russiagate: Mueller Throws a Stink Bomb

Well, it seemed like we were headed towards a relatively light day of Russiagate, until Bob Mueller decided to speak. Then, at 11 AM yesterday he tossed his grenade into the mix as he closed his office:

Reactions were fast and furious:

Stacy McCain - Good-Bye, Bob

EBL - Robert Mueller Speaks

John Podhoretz, NYPo - Robert Mueller’s ‘final statement’ was a disgraceful mess

Mediaite - Mueller Says He's Not Confident Trump Didn't Commit a Crime

Sean Davis at Da Federalist, Mueller Just Proved His Entire Operation Was A Lawless Political Hit Job

Napolitano at Hot Air - Mueller's message today was that Trump would have been indicted if he weren't president

Ace of Spades HQ - Mueller Tries to Jumpstart Impeachment Effort, Throw the Deep State a Life-Line

Roger L. Simon, PJ Media - Bob Mueller Runs and Hides in Eight Minutes to Avoid Having to Answer One Key Question

Althouse: "Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, will speak about the Russia investigation at 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning..."

Bonchie at Red State - Robert Mueller's New Public Statement Was Cowardice Garbage

Capt. Ed at Hot Air - Mueller: My report speaks for itself -- and here's what Congress should read very, very carefully

NBC - Mueller says charging Trump wasn't an 'option', won't comment beyond his report

Nicholas Ballasy, PJ Media- Mueller: Charging President 'Not an Option We Could Consider,' the Final Report Is 'My Testimony' 

AP - Mueller's public statement fuels calls for Trump impeachment

Byron York, WaEx - Retrospective: Mueller and the fatal flaw of the Trump-Russia affair

Andy McCarthy, NR - Robert Mueller Press Conference Ups Impeachment Pressure on Reluctant Democrats

James Gagliano, WaEx- Robert Mueller says the report speaks for itself. He still needs to testify

The Dersh on Da Hill - Shame on Robert Mueller for exceeding his role 

My opinion? It's been pretty clear for a long time that the Special Counsel's office, urged on by it's staff of Clinton loving Trump haters, and with an expansive idea of what obstruction of justice could be, was aching to bring forth a charge against the President. DOJ rules forbade that directly, so the best they could muster was to sling as much mud as possible. When Barr summarized the report as "no collusion, not enough for obstruction" they set out to give the Democrats as much help as they could along the road to impeachment. In a stunning contradiction he said that the Russians he charged with trying to meddle in our elections were presumed innocent until tried in a court of law, but then implied that Trump was presumed guilty of obstruction, but could not be tried because of DOJ policy. WTF?

With that done, let's just throw out the bones of the leftovers for you to pick over for some meat:

Sundance at  CTH - The “Secret Research Project” – an IRS List, an NSA Database, and Resulting “Files” on Americans… 

Mark Hewitt at AmThink - When Barack Obama declared war on Donald Trump

Sundance at CTH - Christopher Steele Refuses to be Questioned by DOJ Investigator John Durham…

Daniel Chaitin and Jeff Dunleavy, WaEx, James Comey calls Clinton 'dirt' tipster Joseph Mifsud a 'Russian agent'

Sundance at CTH - SSCI Vice-Chairman Mark Warner Tells Intelligence Community to Defy Barr and Democrats Will Protect Them… 

CanadaFreepers - Sessions Guide to burying a federal investigation

Levin: 'All of a sudden, the Democrats don't want transparency' - Conservative Review

Liz Shield at PJ Media - The Morning Briefing: James Comey Excretes Another Op-Ed

Bob Barr (a different Barr) at Da Caller: New York Is Changing The Law To Go After Trump

NYPo- Why Democrats’ grab for Trump’s taxes is doomed to fail

Da Beast - Hillary initially cheered when Trump fired Comey, new book reports

Strief at Red State - Stefan Halper Is Sued for Defamation and It Might Blow up the Whole Russia Investigation

Gateway - Joe diGenova: John Huber Investigation of Clinton Foundation is a Farce - Never Even Started

Sharyl Attkisson on Da Hill - Why obstruction and cover-up charges smack of desperation 

Leo Goldstein at PJ Media, The Trump 'Secret Server' Hoax Was a Subplot of the DNC Spygate Strategy to Foment the Russia Collusion Conspiracy

Michael Ledeen at PJ Media - It's Time for a Thoroughgoing Revamping of the Intelligence Community

Chicago Tribune - Why have Democrats lost their curiosity over the Trump-Russia story?

New Yorker - The Case to Impeach Trump for Bigotry

Twitchy - Talk about fake news: CNN’s John Berman takes a swing at Donald Trump over Robert Mueller and misses

Hollywood in Toto -Theater Cancels 'FBI Lovebirds,' Citing 'Violent Threats'

Ace of Spades HQ - Washington DC Theater Cancels "Lovebirds," the Dramatic Reading of the Strzok/Page Emails, Due to "Threats of Violence"

Linked by EBL in Robert Mueller Speaks.

The Better to Sniff!

I'm sure the dogs appreciated the gesture. Dog Sitter Caught Walking Around Naked on Puppy Cam

A dog sitter in California was so so hot while babysitting some pups, that she decided to literally take off all her clothes and walk around the owners home completely naked. Rosie Brown reportedly hired 26-year-old Casey Brengle off a pet sitting app called “Wag!” after making sure Brengle’s reviews were top of the line. Brown said she initially felt comfortable enough with the dog sitter since she had more than 210 five-star reviews, agreeing to let her take care of her two puppies, Penny and Daisy, for 4 and a half days. After agreeing on a set price of $315, they then discussed the dogs daily routine and about the doggie cam on the kitchen counter which also doubles as a treat dispenser.
 Seems like a high price, but it is California after all.

I remember some days from California when it was that hot. We didn't even have AC in any of our houses until after I left for the great Pacific Northwest.
Unfortunately, Brown quickly got the shock of her life after the ‘doggie cam’ picked up…let’s say some “inappropriate behavior.” While out of town, Brown she said she got an alert from the ‘doggie cam’ which showed a strange man in her apartment. When she checked to footage again, she saw Brengle and the man kissing and quickly walking right into the master bedroom together.
Did she at least change the sheets?
The man reportedly visited the home several more times, as well as two other people who were later identified as Brengle’s parents. What shocked the owner the most, was the fact that this woman didn’t just bring over other strangers to the home, but she decided to take off all her clothes and nonchalantly sit on her couch in the living room. Basically, this woman was walking around butt naked as if she owned the place. Oh, and while her parents were there, too. So yeah, this woman didn’t care about anyone watching her.
But were the dogs OK when she got home?
What was her excuse for walking around the home naked and entering the bedroom? Well, in regards to the bedroom, she said “nothing inappropriate happened”, which I’m sure is a complete lie. As to why she was naked, she said it was because “it got hot” and she doesn’t like to wear clothes. Yes, this woman thought the solution to getting cool was to simply take off her clothes instead of turning down the thermostat.

The footage also shows Brengle yelling at the dogs at least once, and shows her coming in from her walk after 5 minutes, rather taking them for 30 to 60-minute walks as she had agreed to. Brown immediately filed a complaint with the dog walking app, known as “the Uber for dog-walking”, and the company suspended Brengle. Through a statement, the company said the behavior was unacceptable and contrary to their Community Guidelines since they expect everyone on the platform to conduct themselves “professionally.”
Now, that is a crime! Skye gets pretty upset if she doesn't get her long walk.

Wombat-socho has a double stuffed Rule 5 Sunday: Morena Baccarin.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Smithsonian Gets a New Boss

Last year, Lonnie G. Bunch III explained why the Smithsonian was holding a day-long symposium called “Mascots, Myths, Monuments and Memory.” Monuments to Confederate leaders, he said, began going up in public squares throughout the United States in the decades before and after the dawn of the 20th century, the same time that images of Native Americans began to be used as mascots, product labels and advertising logos.
The "Castle", home of Smithsonian administration

“It’s all about white supremacy and racism,” said the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The affront to Native Americans and the treatment of this country’s African American population weren’t just about marginalization in everyday life but also about the erasure of their dignity in our historical consciousness.
The stuffed elephant in the atrium of the Natural History Museum

“You can make them caricatures . . . and they fall outside of narrative history,” Bunch said in remarks quoted on the Smithsonian Magazine website.

The significance of Bunch’s appointment as the 14th secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, announced Tuesday, goes far beyond the simple fact that he is the first African American to hold the job. The news was received ecstatically within the institution, not just because Bunch is smart and affable, and has on his résumé an unparalleled accomplishment, having served since 2005 as founding director of the Smithsonian’s newest franchise, the African American Museum, which opened in 2016. Bunch also is the first museum director to be named head of the Smithsonian in almost 75 years, which means he understands the museums, which are the Smithsonian’s greatest scholarly and public asset. But the importance of his tenure surpasses any institutional concerns.
Georgia posing behind a Megalodon jaw
at the Museum of Natural History

That Bunch can talk comfortably, in public, about white supremacy could change not only the Smithsonian, but also the culture of the country it represents. Bunch’s comments last year were made about a symposium that looked across racial and ethnic lines, and across disciplines, and down the larger and multiple avenues of history. There’s no way to recognize the operation and impact of white supremacy without that kind of interdisciplinary worldview and the ability to range across all the disciplines incorporated in the Smithsonian’s scientific, cultural, historical and artistic mandate. And there’s no way to make sense of the pervasiveness of white supremacy without the kind of experience Bunch has spent a lifetime gathering. . . .
I hope I'm wrong, but this may be a test case for "Get Woke, Go Broke". I also suspect, the with his history as SJW, and having a strictly museum background, that the research side of the institution, the outlying research centers,  and even the research side of the museums will get short shrift.

CBF Unhappy with Bay Diet Progress

Report on Chesapeake Bay clean-up effort: States not on track
A new Chesapeake Bay Foundation report examining the state of the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint found good and bad news.

The report claims that no state is completely on track to meet the 2025 goal to restore water quality, but Virginia and Maryland are close to being on track. Pennsylvania, however, never met its nitrogen reduction targets and its current plan to achieve the 2025 goal is woefully inadequate, detailing only two-thirds of actions necessary to achieve its goal.

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and that is also true for the partnership working to restore water quality across the region,” CBF President William C. Baker said. “Today, unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s link is not only weak, it is broken.”

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation assessed Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia’s milestone progress and whether or not states are implementing the pollution-reduction commitments they made. Together, those three states are responsible for 90 percent of the pollution fouling the Bay and its rivers and streams.

Virginia is on track to achieve its 2025 goals, provided it accelerates efforts to reduce pollution from agricultural sources and growing urban and suburban areas while continuing progress in the wastewater sector. Virginia has a strong roadmap for success; the key is implementation.

In order for Virginia to stay on track, the report claims Virginia needs to further cut wastewater pollution. Innovative technology, including an initiative in Hampton Roads to use treated wastewater to recharge groundwater, provides exciting potential.

The Blueprint said grasses are increasing, the dead zone is getting smaller, and blue crab populations are rebounding, however, recovery is fragile.

The Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint was developed in 2010 and a deadline for full implementation was set for 2025. Experts around the world agreed it's our best, and perhaps last chance for success.
As I've noted before, it is the job of the Bay Foundation to be unhappy with the progress towards the Bay goals. Otherwise, they'd have to make plans to shut down the organization when it's finally accomplished. And you and I know that's not going to happen; there's too much money floated through the system.

As for Pennsylvania's go slow approach, remember, they have no shoreline on the Bay, only the Susquehanna River. They have relatively little to gain, and are being expected to shoulder a disproportionate  share of the costs of the cleanup. If Maryland and Virginia were smart, they'd try to find some way to compensate, at least in part, Pennsylvania's efforts. If they were smarter, they'd try to persuade the Feds to do so.

Answer: Because No One Sane Will Take the Job

"Cas" Barbour
Question from Stacy McCain: Why are Lunatics Are Running the Asylum?
Meet Cassidy Leigh “Cas” Barbour (pronouns “he/him/his”), a Peer Advisor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where “he” is majoring in Communication Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. “Cas” first came out as bisexual at age 11, identified as “gay” at age 12, and at age 18, decided she was actually “he.” Now calling herself/“himself” Casper Landyn Barbour, she/“has” has also been under treatment for mental illness since she/“he” was in third grade:
I’m nineteen and have always had a sick brain. . . .
I’ve been in therapy since I was eight and on brain pills since I was thirteen. . . .
My brain is sick. Really sick. It has been for a really long time.
Why is a mentally ill person who can’t function without “brain pills” employed as a “Peer Advisor” at a public university? Are taxpayers in North Carolina aware of this program to provide employment for insane students, by hiring them to advise other students?
Well, it prepares them for life as Starbucks barista.
While we’re asking questions, let’s ask this: Why does UNC-Greensboro have a department of Women’s and Gender Studies?
The central focus of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program is to explain how gender is produced within social institutions and how these institutions affect individual lives and to analyze the mutual constitution of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, nationality, and religion.
So “gender is produced within social institutions,” and UNC-Greensboro has an entire academic department devoted to explaining how this happens. Y’know, anyone could send me an email if they needed a tutorial on the production of gender. As a married father of six (and grandfather of four), I think I have a certain level of expertise in this field, to say nothing of the dozens of feminist texts I’ve read as part of my research in the “Sex Trouble” project. But the reader must understand that the UNC-Greensboro faculty have a political agenda, and because I do not support that agenda, this renders my expertise irrelevant.
How did cavemen do it without having a women's and gender studies program to inform them?
Normal people with normal ideas don’t get hired by universities. Apparently, you have to be full of insane rage (and synthetic hormones) to get hired as a Peer Advisor at UNC-Greensboro, and so they get Cassidy/“Casper” with her/“his” rant against the father who abandoned her/“his” mother and celebrating her/“his” newfound maleness:
It feels so amazing to finally be out and be who I really am. . . . I can’t wait to show the world the man that I’m going to become.
See, you can’t get hired by UNC-Greensboro if you are actually male. Being male is inherently wrong, because of “toxic masculinity” . . .
I remember our "resident advisor" from my freshman year in Humboldt State University. He was an ex-biker, and mostly concerned that we kept the noise level of our parties down, and the drinking and smoking pot inside so as not to attract the attention of any authorities.

Russiagate, Still Chugging Along

Keeping obstruction hope alive, the Guardian reports that Mueller drew up obstruction indictment against Trump, Michael Wolff book says and at the Daily Mail  'Fire and Fury' author claims Mueller drafted three-count indictment charging Trump with obstruction and witness tampering . Too bad for them Mueller Spokesman Denies Michael Wolff’s Claim He Drafted Indictments of Trump (legal Insurrection) “The documents that you’ve described do not exist.” Matt Margolis at PJ Media, Mueller Spokesman Denies Key Claim in New Anti-Trump Book by Michael Wolff. But regardless, it will keep the hope alive in some.

Bitter anti-Trumper John Ziegler at Mediaite, As of Now, It Sure Looks Like Robert Mueller Is Effectively Trump’s Best Friend, and for Joel Mathis at the Week, Robert Mueller's silence has become a problem. Except, like, when he busts one of your conspiracy or obstruction theories. From Da Hill, Amash doubles down on accusing Barr of 'deliberately' misleading the public on Mueller report. The trouble is we can read it ourselves. Breitbart, Swalwell: ‘I Don’t Believe in Coincidences with the Russians’ — Trump Colluded, like the time Bill got a big fat check for a small speech, and Hillary sold them America's uranium? That kind of coincidence?

Speaking of collusion with the Russians, John Sexton at Hot Air reports Christopher Steele Will Not Cooperate With John Durham Investigation, Reuters, British ex-spy will not talk to U.S. prosecutor examining Trump probe originsReport: Christopher Steele Refuses to Cooperate with DoJ Investigation (fine; drag his ass to Gitmo for a waterboarding - jjs at Aces). Sounds good to me. I'll bet NYT and WaPo won't inveigh against him, though.

Jed Babbin at AmSpec, Trump Let the Dogs Out "Those responsible for the coup attempt against the president can run but they can no longer hide." and at AmGreat, Monty Pelerin says its Time to Pay the Piper, and from Charles Lipson at RCP, 'A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall' on Obama's Bad Cops and Spies. We'll see. I hate to douse optimism, but my faith in the government to let it's own be held to account is not that strong.

Liz Shield at the PJ Media The Morning Briefing: Media Worried About Leaking of Dossier Sources After Leaking Dossier Sources, but it's OK when they do it. From Chuck Ross at Da Caller, Dossier Architects Claimed They Wanted To Protect Identity Of Sources. One Was Unmasked Anyway, Matt Vespa at Town Hall, SPYGATE: And Just Like That…The Democrats Are Opposed To Investigations. What? Hypocrisy in Washington D.C.?  Well I never!

Thomas Lifson at AmGreat, Joe DiGenova blows the lid off the real scandal: The Russia hoax was a cover-up effort for Obama's political spying since 2012. From Sundance at CTH, Joe diGenova Discusses Declassification and Origin of Obama Political Surveillance Operation…

Sarah Lee at Red State, Moves To Investigate Origins Of Russia Collusion Investigation Reveal Something Else: The Poisonous Culture Of The Obama Administration
The honor among this particular band of “thieves” appears to be slowly crumbling as they all run to their respective corners and try to cover their own behinds. And while Felton notes that “even in the best of times, departments and agencies such as Justice, State and the FBI find themselves in back-stabbing bureaucratic battles of all against all,” the management of these agencies under Obama seems to have been run by people who were particularly petty and uncooperative when it came to working with other agencies and even co-workers within their own agencies.
From WaPoo (30 day pass), James Comey claims No ‘treason.’ No coup. Just lies — and dumb lies at that. Well, yes, he told his fair share. Beth Bauman at Town Hall, Comey Defends The Russia Probe... And Proves Trump's Point All In One OpEd
Comey, the mainstream media and Democrats are delusional. And this opinion piece is another sad, sad very failed attempt to spin the facts. The truth of the matter is the house of cards is falling and it's very, very bad for Democrats and the deep state. Comey proved that point again.
Big League Politics, CLAPPER ADMITS: Obama Personally Ordered Peter Strzok To Set Up Mueller Probe. No shock there.
This is James Clapper’s interview with Anderson Cooper, which confirms that Obama ordered Strzok to carry out an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), which became the basis for the entire Mueller probe.

“If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today, notably Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place,” Clapper said in his Anderson Cooper interview.
More evidence that the Mysterious Mr. Mifsud was a western spy, not a Russian spy, 

and more from a former CIA station chief Brad Johnson on the arrest of Italian intel leaders:

Stephen Presser in AmGreat, Jurisprudence and the Failed Coup
It is no coincidence that deep state bureaucrats such as Comey, Brennan, Clapper, et. al., and the Harvard Law School-trained Obama would be tempted to act on what they must have seen as their superior judgment to the voters of flyover country who chose to elect Donald Trump. To these federal officials, the Fabian socialist policies of the Obama Administration, purportedly dedicated as they were to equality, efficiency, redistribution, and centralized control were the inevitable wave of the future, and nothing as trivial and outdated as the Electoral College (or perhaps the Constitution itself) ought to be permitted to interfere.
Don Surber, It's not just America they hate. They hate you, in particular.

WaEx, Democrats’ impeachment talk impeaches their own credibility. Assuming they had any to start with. Fortunately, Senate GOP vows to quickly quash any impeachment charges, Alexander Bolton, Da Hill).
While McConnell is required to act on articles of impeachment, which require 67 votes — or a two-thirds majority — to convict the president, he and his Republican colleagues have the power to set the rules and ensure the briefest of trials.

“I think it would be disposed of very quickly,” said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).
. . .
“Why on earth would we give a platform to something that I judge as a purely political exercise?” said Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), another member of the Judiciary Committee. “We have to perform our constitutional duty, but if people think that we’re going to try and create a theater that could give you the perception that this is a matter that rises to the level of Watergate, that’s nonsense.”
Tina Lowe at WaEx,  Remember when they told you Avenatti would be the next president?. There's still plenty of time after he serves the 400 or so year's worth of crimes he's accused of.
Part-time #Resistance hero and full-time Trump foe Michael Avenatti finally graduated from media grifting and refusing to pay back creditors to big boy crimes, and he now faces upwards of a century in the clinker. A U.S. attorney's office in California has charged Avenatti with embezzlement and fraud, and the Southern District of New York alleges that the former 2020 hopeful attempted to extort Nike for tens of millions of dollars.

Grifters gotta grift, no matter the circumstances. But let's not forget that for longer than a hot second, cable news touted this nutjob as a serious presidential contender, legitimizing him as an actual political force. And all because he was representing a porn star who once banged the president and allegedly got paid to shut her mouth about it.
Marc Thiessen, WaPoo, Assange is a spy, not a journalist. He deserves prison. Gleen Grenwalt, or some sock puppet, The indictment of Assange is a blueprint for making journalists into felons. But trust us, we won't do it unless we need to. Or maybe if we really want to, or maybe if it's just politically convenient.

Morning Music - Llama in My Living Room

Kind of amusing.

AronChupa and Lil Sis Nora:

Wombat-socho has a double stuffed Rule 5 Sunday: Morena Baccarin.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

James River Sturgeon Surge

In 2005, while in graduate school at Virginia Commonwealth University, Matt Balazik initiated a project on Atlantic sturgeon in the James. Now he works for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as chief researcher on sturgeon in the river, primarily tagging and tracking adults of the species, but also surveying hatchlings.

“We’ve been looking for young-of-year sturgeon for about a decade,” Balazik says. “We’ve been doing in-depth surveys since 2012, and we never caught one until last fall. Then we caught 272.”
It will be interesting to see if this is a continuing improvement, or a spike in a relatively low baseline number. We often see that in fisheries, and the reasons are not particularly well understood.
The floodgates, one might say, were opened.

The Atlantic sturgeon is an ancient ocean-dwelling fish that makes spawning runs into freshwater rivers every year. It was once a dominant force in the James, until overfishing and habitat loss dealt a severe blow to its status in the postbellum era, nearly exiling it from the river completely. But in the late 1990s, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service began to hear reports from commercial watermen that the sturgeon was still around.
A friend of mine once caught one in the Patuxent River in the course of a scientific survey.
Today, the sturgeon population in the James is relatively healthy, Balazik says, though it is impossible to know what the population was like before human impact.

There are four age classifications for a sturgeon: young-of-year, juvenile, sub-adult and adult. Young-of-year sturgeon are born within the last year. Juvenile sturgeon are at least a year old, but have yet to leave their natal river. Once the fish has taken its first journey to the ocean — in the James, that’s around year three — it is called a sub-adult. The sturgeon is not a full adult until it reaches sexual maturity, which is around 10 years for males and 16 for females. A sturgeon can live for 60 years, and, fully grown, typically weighs 90 to 160 pounds and measures 5 to 6 feet in length, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program. The largest sturgeon on record was 14 feet long and weighed more than 800 pounds.
I look forward to a viable population for fishing, like they have in the Columbia River. But not in this lifetime.
Once the sturgeon reaches adulthood, it returns to freshwater — usually its place of birth — to spawn.

“The young-of-year sturgeon are the barometer of progress,” Balazik says. “Those are the future generations.”

A variety of factors could have led to the sudden deluge of baby fish. The first is a moratorium on fishing ordered in 1998 by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, which banned fishing and poaching of the Atlantic sturgeon from Maine to Florida. Because it takes females 16 years to reach sexual maturity, many of the fish saved by the moratorium are only recently able to reproduce.
Damn, that's slower than some people.

Wombat-socho has a double stuffed Rule 5 Sunday: Morena Baccarin.

Having Solved All Their Bigger Problems . . .

Toronto City hall worries about the "epidemic" of millennials with coffee cups
Have you heard about the latest epidemic that the City of Toronto has to deal with?

No, it’s not a measles outbreak or a strange new infectious disease, it is worse than that.

People — specifically millennials — walking up and down the streets with coffee cups.

If you haven’t noticed the “epidemic,” Ward 8 Councillor Mike Colle certainly has.

“You know, I think it’s really an epidemic of these people wandering our streets with these coffee cups,” Colle told the city’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

Colle wants the city to break people of the habit of using take out cups and he asked for a city funded campaign, specifically for millennials, to deal with the “epidemic.”

“Can we do maybe an educational program for millennials basically who walk up and down our streets littering with these coffee cups?” Colle asked.
You know, you could actually enforce the laws against littering. A few hundred dollar fines would get their attention
Rather than tell Colle that he was having an “old man yells at cloud” moment, city staff actually said yes.

They offered to expand educational programs to let people know that you can drink your coffee from a “China cup.”
Darn millennials. If it weren't for the fresh blood, they wouldn't be good for anything.

Wombat-socho has a double stuffed Rule 5 Sunday: Morena Baccarin.