Saturday, February 13, 2016

Upstate New York Confederate Sympathizers

Yes, I'm ashamed to say that I live in Washington County New York.

It’s hard to know where to start in criticizing the decision of the Washington County Fair Board to allow vendors to sell Confederate flags.

The board was asked to ban the sale of the flags by a couple of residents of Washington County and refused.

Yes, the South will rise again. Apparently in Greenwich, NY.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Giving Up New Books?

I really would love to.

Today marks the beginning of Lent, a time when, for the next 40 days, some Christians give up a small pleasure – such as chocolate or cake – as a way to strengthen spiritual resolve. But what about giving up new books for Lent? The idea comes from author Susan Hill, who once went for a whole year – not just 40 days – without buying new books for her home library. 

But the Crandall book sale is coming up. On the bright side, I just put together a lot more items to donate than what I'll likely buy.  It is reassuring that Ms. Hill also has books that she has never read. 

The title of Hill’s book was inspired by an autumn afternoon when she went looking for “Howards End” in her sprawling home library – not finding it at first, but coming across all sorts of other volumes on her shelves that she had never read, or forgotten she’d owned, or wanted to read for a second time. 

The idea of some sort of book diet does appeal to me after reading this article, though. Ironically, I may start by not reading her book, but a big thanks for the idea.

As a bonus temptation there is a link at the article to the 100 "best" books of all time.  

The End of the Bundy Gang with Bonus Law and Order

Apparently the four holdouts at the Malheur Refuge are due to surrender today if they can get God and Franklin Graham to escort them out or something.

Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, a high-profile supporter of the Bundy family, said she and Christian evangelist Franklin Graham are traveling to the refuge. Fiore's trip to Oregon is in apparent response to a call from Ammon Bundy, who asked elected officials from across the West to come to the aid of the occupiers.

So, God was busy, I guess. Why Franklin Graham? Why start asking sensible questions now? But, the really sweet news out of this is that Daddy Bundy has been arrested. Finally. 

Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who touched off one armed showdown with federal authorities and applauded another started in Oregon by his sons, was arrested late Wednesday at Portland International Airport and faces federal charges related to the 2014 standoff at his ranch.

Can you die from an overdose of schadenfreude?  I would probably test that if they found a good reason to arrest Michele Fiore as well. 

Fiore, a high-profile supporter of the Bundy family, represents their district in Clark County, Nevada. She spoke out in support of Cliven Bundy, Ammon Bundy's father, during a 2014 standoff with federal rangers at the elder Bundy's ranch near Bunkerville, Nev., over unpaid cattle grazing fees. Ammon Bundy also participated in the Nevada standoff.

Remaining occupiers livestream as FBI surrounds refugeA friend of occupier David Fry live streams on YouTube through an open phone line with the occupiers as authorities make what appeared to be a final push to end the 40-day old occupation. Michele Fiore, a Nevada legislator, also joins the conversation after flying to Oregon to help the occupiers.

She was among hundreds of Bundy supporters who attended a barbecue near the ranch celebrating after federal authorities retreated.
"When in the heck do we send our federal government with arms to collect a bill?" she said in an April 2014 interview with MSNBC from the barbecue.

She later said, "Lien the cows. Lien the property. Don't come here with guns and don't expect the American people to fire back."

Ain't she sweet?

Round 'em all up!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Happy Story on Drought

I'm fortunate to live in an area that is blessed with lots of water. We have enough to piss away. Of course, there are areas of the country that don't have that luxury.

It’s official: the southwestern United States will likely never be the same again. A new analysis of the past 35 years of weather patterns concluded that what is now considered a normal year of rain and snow in the Southwest is one-quarter drier than it was before the 1970s.

Lucky for them, some folks have confronted this problem. 

Israel’s central Arava desert, where saline soils and dry climates are the norm, a thriving community creates up to 60% of Israel’s exported agricultural products.

The driest state in the United States (usually Wyoming) gets roughly double that, and is still classified as desert. Wyoming’s agricultural economy largely consists of some widely grazed pastures by undernourished cows, and yet, here in the Arava region of Israel, everything from eggplant to watermelon is grown, but mainly it’s tomatoes and peppers that dominate the landscape.

Is that great or what? And here's how another dry country coped.

 “The Australians learned that what got them through the drought was massive conservation but what sustains them going forward is that they implemented steps that make them resilient,” Feldman says.

Indeed, Australia’s innovations include no longer treating droughts as natural disasters and things, such as a national water market, that have never been successfully attempted in the US.

It's all too good for me to pick and choose from. Long story, short, we'll probably get pretty thirsty here before we do much about water shortages. 

Sunday, January 31, 2016

How Many Conspirators is Too Many?

This link is courtesy of Screw Loose Change. I don't understand the math of it, but I'll take their word for it since they're not saying loony tune stuff about 9/11.

He then looked at the maximum number of people who could take part in an intrigue in order to maintain it. For a plot to last five years, the maximum was 2521 people. To keep a scheme operating undetected for more than a decade, fewer than 1000 people can be involved. A century-long deception should ideally include fewer than 125 collaborators. Even a straightforward cover-up of a single event, requiring no more complex machinations than everyone keeping their mouth shut, is likely to be blown if more than 650 people are accomplices.

And how many people would have to have been involved in the 9/11 conspiracy? About half the people in the United States. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Winding Down of the Bundy Gang

Still a few deadenders left in the Malheur Refuge.

The last holdouts in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge standoff say they now want pardons for everyone involved before they'll leave the headquarters where they're holed up behind police roadblocks.

"Before we leave, every single one of the people involved in this operation should be pardoned," occupier David Fry said in a feed posted to YouTube just before noon Friday.

Can't imagine what would make these four holdouts think they have such a strong hand that they can make these demands. Wanted to put this link up because of the video showing the inside of the refuge. It makes me feel good because I'm not a great housekeeper myself. I feel at home with clutter but not quite as at home with as these folks.

UPDATE: Want to add this Post Star link because I have few comments and I want to highlight another commenter's opinion.

I've watched this video numerous times over the past couple days, and am still not convinced this was justified. The police officer that was almost hit actually left his position of safety in the parked police vehicle and jumped out at the car. Why? Did he fire at the vehicle then? Finicum comes out with hands extended. Its hard to say why his hands go down, he could have been asked to show if he had a gun and was lifting his jacket. But what I think happened is he was shot by one officer, both his hands lower to the same spot. And he starts wobbling on his feet. then the 2nd officer comes from behind and shoots him at point blank range with what appears to be a rifle. I'd add, if he had missed, the bullet would've gone directly at the other officers at the scene. Where's the hands up, don't shoot outrage now. Until I see a video with audio to know what directions the officers were yelling at him, I'm not convinced he was intending to try and shoot anyone.

There's no convincing some people. 

Uncommon Sense with David LaCarte

Just going to link to this podcast because there were a few statements I'd take exception with.

At 17:50 Matt is going on about how it's just Greens that show up to protest with the Vets for Peace. LaCarte points out to him that there are Dems and Greens, no word on any Reps. Another nail in the coffin of Dems and Reps being the same animal.

Donkeys and elephants both have four legs, but that does not make them the same animal.

At 44:20 Matt goes on a strawman rant about how Democrats don't want to address gun control, they just want to screw with rifle attachments or some goddamn thing.