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Posts from — July 2013

Close, But No Cigar

I was sure we were going to make it, but although we had sprinkles, drizzle, and brief shower today, we missed quadrupling our average rainfall for the month of July, coming up with only 23 inches.

The local produce is terrible. The tomatoes have fungus, the watermelons are tasteless [more water than melon], lots of things were just washed out.

The local seafood is affected by the over-abundance of fresh water pouring in from the flooded rivers and streams, as well as the runoff from the roads.

About the only things that are thriving are mosquitoes.

July 31, 2013   4 Comments

They Blew It Again

Edward Snowden’s father, Lon, was a career Coast Guard officer, and immediately after Snowden identified himself as the one who leaked the NSA documents, the elder Snowden called on his son to return to the US and face the consequences of his actions.

That was then, but as ABC News reports Lon Snowden has turned down an FBI offer of a free trip to Moscow. He then went on to thank the Russian government for its actions on behalf of his son.

Lon Snowden no longer believes that his son will get a fair trial in the US and the FBI probably wanted him to cooperate in the capture of his son in return for the free flight.

The Russian Minister of Justice is also not a believer in American justice, noting that he was ‘not swayed’ by Eric Holder’s letter promising no death penalty or torture.

Update: Russia granted Snowden asylum. It’s only for a year, but it is consistent with a recent trend in Putin’s thinking.

July 31, 2013   6 Comments

Bradley Manning

I went to the BBC for some straight reporting: Manning convicted on most charges.

The thing is that under the UCMJ he was guilty of most charges, and, in fact, had already pled guilty to ten of the charges. The important bit is that he was found innocent of the “Aiding the enemy” charge, which was a creation in the minds of the prosecutors and the most serious charge against him.

He was not convicted of Espionage, he was convicted of releasing classified information, which is a section of what is known as the “Espionage Law”, and miscellaneous military offenses [‘conduct unbecoming’ sorts of trash charges].

The ‘transcriber’ at Corrente located an interview with Daniel Ellsberg about the Manning verdict that is worth reading. Mr Ellsberg has been there, done that, and notes that the treatment of Bradley Manning is the reason Edward Snowden didn’t stay in the US to face charges.

Next up is the sentencing and one word could be crucial to Bradley Manning. That word is concurrent. If the judge rules that the sentences will be served ‘concurrently’, it means that he won’t be in prison longer than the longest sentence for any individual count. The over 100 years that is being quoted in the media would be the possible length if the sentences were served ‘consecutively’. Manning has already been in custody for over three years, so he has been serving a sentence without being convicted of anything.

July 30, 2013   10 Comments

There Is Hope

Which means it has nothing to do with politicians or Washington, DC. Despite the best efforts of the politicians and the Village elite, children have figured it out.

Elayne featured a Susie Madrak link that I have been trying to find.

I couldn’t remember where I had seen it, but if you click on the link to Susie and play the video, don’t just listen, look at the expressions on the faces of the kids when they are told why people are objecting to the Cheerios ad that is shown.

If we can just convince them to vote when they are old enough, a lot of the country’s problems will be solved.

July 30, 2013   4 Comments

Slow News Day

This is the BBC’s version of the big story: Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people? That will probably get him knocked off DonoWho’s Christmas card list.

The ABC notes that the Pope’s attitude is not shared by Vladimir Putin.

In Florida news, it’s a good thing that people aren’t using their grills in the rain, because a major Blue Rhino propane facility is busy exploding. A lot of people use the Blue Rhino tank swap systems to fuel their propane needs. People don’t know, or forget that unlike natural gas, propane is heavier than air. This is usually discovered when people store their grills in the garage with their water heater, and the pilot light on the water sets off the propane leaking from the grill.

July 30, 2013   Comments Off on Slow News Day

Tropical Depression Flossie – Day 2

Tropical Depression FlossiePosition: 21.3N 156.5W [ 4PM CDT 2100 UTC].
Movement: West-Northwest [290°] near 18 mph [30 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 35 mph [ 55 kph].
Wind Gusts: 45 mph [ 70 kph].
Minimum central pressure: 1002 mb ↑.

Currently about 90 miles [ 145 km] East of Honolulu, Hawaii

The storm is weakening as a result of wind shear and has been reclassified as a tropical depression. All watches and warnings have been cancelled.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

July 29, 2013   Comments Off on Tropical Depression Flossie – Day 2

More Walk And Less Talk

Jim DeRosa notes that Zero made two great speeches recently, but went on to note that he never follows through and does anything about the issues he discusses in his speeches.

I have never heard any of Zero’s speeches, as I, by choice, only read the text. Accomplished speakers can hide a lot by the way they deliver the content of a speech, but the text provides the easiest way of determining what was really said, and not what the audience thinks they heard.

Digby noticed that some of what he said amounts to historical revisionism. Zero edited out his part in the austerity movement, and laid the blame on Congress.

As Jim noted, a few ‘great speeches’ is a pretty thin foundation for any legacy that Zero might imagine.

July 28, 2013   Comments Off on More Walk And Less Talk

Just Vote!

Dave Johnson makes an important point – if you don’t vote you are invisible to politicians.

A good example of this is the way that young people just got mugged by Congress over the interest on student loans. They wouldn’t have dared to screw over people like that if they voted.

Seniors have a lot of power. The reason they have the power is because they always vote, and politicians know that if they mess with issues that are important to seniors they are going to have trouble in the next election.

There really are enough young people to form an important voting bloc if they would just vote at least in every Federal election, although they really should vote in every election to solidify their power.

If you don’t like the major candidates, vote for minor party candidates. You can usually vote for whoever is opposing the incumbent if you don’t think your wishes are being addressed. The important thing is to have the fact that you vote registered. You don’t have to donate to candidates or canvas, or even join a political party, but you have to make the politicians aware that you exist, and you intend to vote for your own interests.

July 28, 2013   Comments Off on Just Vote!

Tropical Storm Flossie

Tropical Storm FlossiePosition: 19.6N 150.2W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West [265°] near 18 mph [30 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 70 mph [110 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius:160 miles [260 km].
Minimum central pressure: 996 mb.

Currently about 320 miles [ 515 km] East of Hilo, Hawaii.

The current track has the center of the storm just grazing the north coast of the Big Island [Hawaii], but the wind field is large enough to slam Kahoolawe to the North.

The storm is being tracked by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center on Hawaii because it is a Central Pacific storm.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Oahu, and Kahoolawe.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Kauai and Niihau.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

July 28, 2013   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Flossie

Say What?

Steve Bates and Digby both posted on Marcy Wheeler’s take on Cora Currier’s Propulica piece about: [Imagine Count Floyd announcing the movie for Monster Chiller Horror Theatre] ‘Secret Enemies’!!!

Carl Levin has been a Senator for nearly forever and he wanted to know exactly what groups were meant by the phrase: “Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces”. When the response arrived it was classified. That’s right, the American people aren’t allowed to know who the “enemy” is, because that would make the “enemy” stronger. Really, WTF? Has the State Department’s Terrorist list become like the Top Ten list from Consumer Reports for terrorist groups? If the US targets you, it that like the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for radical groups?

Excuse me, but I think that firing Hellfire missiles from a drone at a group sort of indicates that the US doesn’t like you. I don’t think I would consider it as the equivalent of a Michelin Star.

As near as I can tell, the only people being kept in the dark by classifying this list are the American people – you know, the people paying for the GWOT™

At times like this I really miss Rod Serling…

July 27, 2013   2 Comments

Tropical Wave Dorian – Day 4

Position: 18.9N 54.7W [ 4PM CDT 2100 UTC].
Movement: West [280°] near 24 mph [39 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph [ 65 kph].
Wind Gusts: 50 mph [ 80 kph].
Gale Force Wind Radius: 60 miles [ 95 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1011 mb.

Currently about 550 miles [ 890 km] East of the northern Leeward Islands.

Dorian has lost its closed circulation and is a remnant Low pressure area. This is the final NHC advisory.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

July 27, 2013   Comments Off on Tropical Wave Dorian – Day 4

Friday Cat Blogging

Cat Contourné Statant Regardant

Friday Cat Blogging

Hey!

[Editor: Hermit is yelling at nothing which is an appropriate attitude for coats of arms. I won’t be describing all future cats in heraldic terms because Couchant and Dormant would just about cover them.]

Friday Ark

July 26, 2013   13 Comments

Tropical Storm Dorian – Day 3

Tropical Storm DorianPosition: 17.9N 48.1W [10PM CDT 0300 UTC].
Movement: West [275°] near 22 mph [35 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 40 mph [ 65 kph].
Wind Gusts: 50 mph [ 80 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 70 miles [110 km].
Minimum central pressure: 1010 mb.

Currently about 985 miles [1585 km] East of the northern Leeward Islands.

The storm is encountering problems and may have pulled in dry air. Add in increasing wind shear and Dorian will probably be a remnant low in a day or two.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

July 26, 2013   Comments Off on Tropical Storm Dorian – Day 3

Like I Said

Mailbox

As promised, a picture of my mailbox with the lichen growing on it. It has a hell of a grip on the mailbox, which is really annoying given all the messing around I had to do to get the numbers to stick to it.

Note: a cat will show up later, if I can find one willing to come out of hiding.

July 26, 2013   4 Comments