Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Monday, April 14, 2014

"its not over"

So why aren't the big GOP jerks lining up behind Bundy?

Reid says Bundy Ranch standoff ‘not over’

by Steve Benen
Following up on yesterday’s item, officials with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management backed off over the weekend at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch, deescalating a potentially dangerous situation. The underlying issues, however, haven’t changed at all.
We’re still looking at a situation in which in a rancher has been illegally grazing, ignoring federal laws, blowing off federal court rulings he disagrees with, and refusing to pay fines. Federal officials saw well-armed protestors and decided to scale back rather than risk bloodshed, but it wasn’t long before everyone involved asked the same question: now what?
Nevada’s senior senator, who also happens to be the Senate Majority Leader, weighed in late yesterday.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid weighed in on the tensions in his state between rancher Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management, saying, “It’s not over.”
“Well, it’s not over,” Reid told NBC’s Nevada affiliate KRNV on Monday. “We can’t have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it’s not over.”
And that makes sense. Even among those who may be sympathetic to Bundy’s situation – members of his family have been cattle ranchers in that area for generations – most fair-minded folks would probably concede that Americans can’t ignore laws they don’t like and prevent laws from being enforced through the threat of possible violence.
By this reasoning, of course “it’s not over.” As we discussed yesterday, there’s an obvious problem with establishing a precedent that says Americans can disregard court orders.
Meanwhile, Bundy is weighing in on where things stand, too.
Indeed, the rancher showed up last night on Fox News’ “Hannity.”
“I don’t have a response for Harry Reid, but I have a response for every county sheriff across the United States,” Bundy said on Monday. “Disarm the federal bureaucrats.”
Just to clarify, Bundy is apparently under the impression that county law-enforcement officials should confront federal law-enforcement officials and attempt to take their firearms.
That’s probably not a good idea.
We are, by the way, still waiting for word from national Republicans, who haven’t said much about the controversy. In theory, this shouldn’t be a tough call – national GOP policymakers routinely say it’s “tyranny” if President Obama issues an executive order or moves a health care deadline without congressional approval, so one would like to think they’d be uncomfortable, at a minimum, with someone deliberately ignoring federal law and expecting no consequences.
But we’ll see.

Original.  And there is a newer story by Steve called, "And then you go, Uh oh"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Maryland goes to pot

It's still a ways from Colorado and legalization, but another state, Maryland, has just decriminalized possession of marijuana.  One by one, the states are coming to their senses.  

Maryland Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

Huffington Post
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) hassigned a bill decriminalizing marijuana possession in the state, following the passage of the measure in Maryland's General Assembly.
Senate Bill 364 reduces the penalty for possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal to a civil offense. First-time offenders will face fines up to $100, while a second offense will be punishable with a fine up to $250 and subsequent offenses up to $500. Additionally, the bill requires third-time offenders or offenders under the age of 21 to be evaluated for substance abuse problems, and to attend drug education classes.
The state Senate gave final approval to the bill April 7 in a 34-8 vote, following a 78-55 vote in the House of Delegates last Saturday.
O'Malley has previously expressed his opposition to legalizing marijuana.
"I'm not much in favor of it," he said in January. "We've seen what drug addiction has done to the people of our state, to the people of our city."
Earlier this month, however, O'Malley indicated his support for the decriminalization bill, noting the "low priority" state officials already place on marijuana arrests:
Decriminalizing possession of marijuana is an acknowledgement of the low priority our courts, prosecutors, & police attach to this issue.
In a statement, the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland praised lawmakers for the decriminalization bill's success, but called on legislators to take further steps toward marijuana prohibition.
"This measure will prevent tens of thousands of Marylanders from facing life-altering criminal penalties simply for possessing a less harmful substance than alcohol. But there is still more work to be done. Although it is a step in the right direction, this legislation will not do anything to eliminate the problems associated with relegating the sales of marijuana to the underground market," the statement read.
Original.  But wait!  That's not all!  Alabama has just passed medical marijuana.  In the deep south!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

lunar eclipse

I see that John Hagee is prophesizing that THE END IS NEAR because of what he's calling the "blood moon" coming up this week.  

These charlatans have been predicting the end of the world since the beginning of the world. The fact that they have been wrong time after time after time doesn't deter them, and it doesn't seem to dissaude any of the riff-raff from believing in this crap.

What is a Blood Moon?

The first Blood Moon eclipse in a series of four is coming up on the night of April 14-15, 2014. This total eclipse of the moon will be visible from the Americas. We in astronomy had not heard the term Blood Moon used in quite this way before this year, but now the term is becoming widespread in the media. The origin of the term is religious, at least according to Christian pastor John Hagee, who wrote a 2013 book about Blood Moons.
Meanwhile, both astronomers and some proponents of Christian prophesy are talking about the upcoming lunar tetrad – the series of four total lunar eclipses – beginning on the night of April 14-15.
What is a lunar tetrad? Both astronomers and followers of certain Christian pastors are talking about the lunar tetrad of 2014-2015. What is a tetrad? It’s four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons)
Blood Moons in Biblical prophecy. We’re not experts on prophecy of any kind. But we’ll tell you what we know about the new definition for Blood Moon that has raised so many questions recently.
From what we’ve been able to gather, two Christian pastors, Mark Blitz and John Hagee, use the term Blood Moon to apply to the full moons of the upcoming tetrad – four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons) – in 2014 and 2015. John Hagee appears to have popularized the term in his 2013 book Four Blood Moons: Something is About to Change.
Mark Blitz and John Hagee speak of a lunar tetrad as representing a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. After all, the moon is supposed to turn blood red before the end times, isn’t it? As described in Joel 2:31 (Common English Bible):
The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.
That description, by the way, describes both a total solar eclipse and total lunar eclipse. Sun turned to darkness = moon directly between the Earth and sun in a total solar eclipse. Moon turned to blood = Earth directly between the sun and moon, Earth’s shadow falling on the moon in a total lunar eclipse.
How common is a tetrad of total lunar eclipses? Depending upon the century in which you live, a lunar tetrad (four consecutive total lunar eclipses, spaced at six lunar months apart from one another) may happen fairly frequently – or not at all.
For instance, in our 21st century (2001-2100), there are a total 8 tetrads, but in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, there were none at all. If we include all the centuries from the 1st century (AD 1-100) through the 21st century (2001-2100), inclusive, there are a total of 62 tetrads. The last one occurred in 2003-2004, and the next one after the 2014-2015 tetrad will happen in 2032-2033.
Other times in astronomy you hear “moon” and “blood” in same sentence. The full moon nearly always appears coppery red during a total lunar eclipse. That’s because the dispersed light from all the Earth’s sunrises and sunsets falls on the face of the moon at mid-eclipse. Thus the term blood moon can be and probably is applied to any and all total lunar eclipses. It’s only in years where volcanic activity is pronounced that the moon’s face during a total lunar eclipse might appear more brownish or gray in color. Usually, the moon looks red. We astronomy writers often say it looks blood red. Why? Because it sounds dramatic, and a lunar eclipse is a dramatic natural event. Read more here: Why does the moon look red during a total lunar eclipse?
What’s more, in folklore, all the full moons have names. The names typically coincide with months of the year, or seasons. One of the most famous moon names is the Hunter’s Moon. It is the the full moon immediately following the Harvest Moon, which is the full moon occurring most closely to the autumnal equinox.
The Hunter’s Moon, in skylore, is also sometimes called the Blood Moon. Why? Probably because it’s a characteristic of these autumn full moons that they appear nearly full – and rise soon after sunset – for several evenings in a row. Many people see them when they are low in the sky, shortly after they’ve risen, at which time there’s more atmosphere between you and the moon than when the moon is overhead. When you see the moon low in the sky, the extra air between you and the moon makes the moon look reddish. Voila. Blood moon.
Bottom line: The term Blood Moon in Biblical prophecy appears to have been popularized by two Christian pastors, Mark Blitz and John Hagee. They use the term Blood Moon to apply to the full moons of the upcoming tetrad – four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons) – beginning on the night of April 14-15, 2014.

Original.  Don't sell the house and give all the money to a preacher!!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dave Clark Five

The Dave Clark Five.  The DC5.  What a group. What memories.

Dave Clark is/was a musical and business genius.  Did you catch the PBS Great Performances special on the Dave Clark Five recently?  No, well you have only a couple of days to watch it free before it disappears for awhile.

Rock and Roll will never die!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

seawater as fuel?

Here's a critical breakthrough:  a method to convert ordinary seawater into fuel.  

U.S. Navy Converts Seawater into Jet Fuel Using ‘Game Changing’ Technology

United States Navy scientists claim they have successfully developed a method of converting seawater into jet fuel. Researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) developed a technology that extracts carbon dioxide and hydrogen from seawater and then converts these gases into a hydrocarbon liquid fuel. Sorcery you say? Well, the scientists haven’t just produced the fuel, they’ve also used it to power a miniature radio-controlled flying jet.

Using a proprietary NRL electrolytic cation exchange module (E-CEM), the scientists were able to extract the bound CO2 in the saltwater with 92 percent efficiency. At the same time the machine produces hydrogen gases. These two gases in turn are then converted into liquid hydrocarbons using an iron catalyst inside the reactor system. The scientists used the resulting liquid hydrocarbon to demonstrate how it could power the sustained flight of a radio-controlled P-51 replica and its unmodified two-stroke internal combustion engine.

The scientists say the ocean could be an incredibly plentiful source of carbon resources as its concentration is about 140 times greater than it is in the air. What’s more, the projected cost of producing jet fuel using NRL’s technologies could be $3 to $6 per gallon. With sufficient funding and partnerships, the scientists believe their laboratory test could be commercially viable within the next seven to ten years.

As a first step these seawater to jet fuel conversion centers could be land-based in remote locations before a future of sea-based solutions. In the future, we might never see another offshore oil rig and instead have facilities which convert the seawater into fuel itself.

We already can convert seawater into drinking water ... now we can convert it into fuel.  Surely more research will refine the process and lower the cost further.  With the melting ice caps, I suppose sucking up the seawater might be a good idea.  Might keep us all from drowning.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

more "family values"

It's extra-special good when a Republican who espouses "traditional marriage" and "family values" gets caught with their pants around their ankles.  Metaphorically speaking.

And so here is the latest hypocrite/clown: Vance McAllister.  A married Louisiana "conservative" gets caught kissing one of his staffers.  And not just a peck on the cheek.  

The staffer's husband is quoted in this article, but what is not quoted here is another thing I heard him say.  He claimed that McAllister really hit up the religious aspect during his campaign, and "I don't know anyone less religious than Vance McAllister".  

How fucking typical.  Pulling out the religion card to fool the rubes and get elected.  And, sadly, the rubes are soooo easy to fool.  Just wave a Bible around and they fall right in line. 

Staffer Who Was Caught Kissing Vance McAllister Resigns, While Congressman Keeps His Job

The staff member for Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) who was caught on tape kissing the married congressman has been "taken off the payroll," the News-Star reports.

On Monday, the Ouachita Citizen published a surveillance video purporting to show the Republican congressman kissing Melissa Anne Hixon Peacock, his married district scheduler. McAllister later admitted that the video was of him, and apologized to his constituents.

"There's no doubt I've fallen short and I'm asking for forgiveness," the congressman said in a statement. "I'm asking for forgiveness from God, my wife, my kids, my staff, and my constituents who elected me to serve."
Meanwhile, Peacock's husband says he is "devastated."

"I’m just freaking devastated by the whole deal, man. I loved my wife so much. I cannot believe this. I cannot freaking believe it. I feel like I’m going to wake up here in a minute and this is all going to be a bad nightmare,” Heath Peacock told CNN on Tuesday. "He has wrecked my life."

McAllister chief of staff Adam Terry says Peacock has already been removed from the congressman's payroll.

However, the congressman told the News-Star he has no plans to resign. He says he will seek reelection in the fall "unless there is an outcry for me not to serve, and so far there has been an outpouring of support, not for my actions, but for me to continue to represent the people."

Original.  I'm afraid so many of the good folks of Louisiana are so bone-stupid they will likely re-elect him.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Yes, the wife and I are both dedicated tree huggers.  This was one of the last chances we had to hug the great big beautiful elm tree in the front yard of our previous home.  Even though the tree had been hacked up by builders and the light company several times, it just kept right on growing and leafing out each springtime.  The shade that trees provide is a real blessing in the heat of the summer. Yeah, the wife did suffer a bit from her pollen allergy because of the tree, but like everything, there is a bad side and a good side to the tree.  The positives far outweigh the negatives in this case, at least IMHO.

I will miss that tree.

Marijuana legalization


The Daily Puppy

Black Collar Crime


National Weather Outlook

Atheists in the News