Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Are Indian H-1B workers a threat to American techies?

This is not a recent article.  But I ran across some boots-on-the-ground information that should shed some light on the subject.  First, the article:

A few days ago, I wrote a piece on the fracas that ensued when Disney and power utility Southern California Edison apparently hired Indian firms TCS and Infosys to replace in-house tech workers with Indians on H-1B visas. What seemed to enrage many about these two situations was the added ignominy that these fired workers had to suffer when they were made to train their Indian counterparts lest they lose out on their severance pay.

...

Still, there is a general feeling in the US that Indian companies have played fast and loose in trying to make a quick buck, which in this case is around $20 billion in revenue -- no small pile. Along the way, American IT workers feel enormously embittered towards people who they feel are not skilled enough and have poor communication skills, while Indian H-1B holders are aghast when they discover that they are being paid a fraction of a client's billed amount. It's an ugly situation all around.
So what is really going on?  I think there is a moral case to be made here.  I believe there are plenty of Americans who are skilled to fill these jobs.  They aren't being hired because it's much cheaper to bring in foreign workers under the H1B visa program.  This is an ABUSE of the system.

The question came up in Quora and here is the question and what I thought was the pointed answer:

Do you really believe the "there are too few qualified software engineers available in the USA" speech that software companies are preaching?
Donald William Gillies, Software Engineer at Google

1.7k Views

I graduated with a PhD in computer science in 1993. In that year, UT-Arlington (a 3rd rate almost-community-college-level school) had 1 job opening and received 400 job applicants. UT-Austin (a 1st rate top-10 school) had 2 positions and received 1500 applicants. The odds are a little better today; at the PhD level now perhaps there are only 50 applicants for every position open. I worked in an ECE department that was a top-10 school, and we found that half of our graduates never found a job in Electrical Engineering. Is there a shortage of computer scientists or electrical engineers in the USA? No way.

The people who say there is a shortage, are all of them shills for the H1B industry. Many lawyers make an illicit living off that program. America definitely has a shortage of software engineers with no college loans who are willing to work for food. There is an unlimited supply of students from overseas who received free government-paid educations from their home countries, and are willing to work for almost nothing because they have no encumberances and their families are starving, overseas. Meanwhile, many USA engineering schools are charging a tuition premium for software engineers (and other engineers) to become educated.

The H1B program has replaced Civil-War Slavery as a way to indenture software engineers and force them to work for the same company for 7 years. What American companies are complaining about is that they don't have a way to get slave-labor for 100% of their workforce, like a Southern Plantation had in the 1840's. My previous employer had roughly 4,000 employees (40% of their engineering workforce) from the H1B program, and that wasn't enough for them. They had a fulltime army of salaried lawyers to run their "H1B factory" at a big discount to smaller companies. They wanted 100% H1B workers, they had to hire 60% of their engineers domestically, which was 60% too many. The CEO was just given a $95M pay package whilst 1000 layoffs were announced, all the ones I knew about were American-born, that was his way of funding his obscene pay package.

Software Engineering has become a field that rewards foreigners and penalizes domestically grown engineers who work hard and play by the rules and borrow heavily to fund their wildly overpriced American educations.

The Taulbee survey is a very precise survey of PhD, MS, and BS production in computer science, by ~150 CS departments nationwide.. If you read it I think you will notice that graduate student production is at an all-time high, university hiring is at an all-time low, and BS production is re-approaching the bubble levels of 2001-2004. These are all signs of a surfeit, NOT a shortage...
There were several commenters that disagreed.  A few that agreed.  I think this one was the most valid.

California gun law will let police confiscate legally-owned weapons

I don't see how this could hold up in court.  Why don't they just use asset forfeiture laws???
Under the law, the factors a judge can consider in granting the restraining order include not only threats of violence, but also prior felony arrests (even without a conviction), evidence of alcohol abuse, and even the simple act of recently purchasing a gun or ammunition.

Once granted, police can use the restraining order to confiscate all of a person’s guns and ammunition, and the person is also barred from buying or possessing guns and ammo for the duration of the order. A full court hearing must then be heard within three weeks. At that hearing, a judge will be able to extend the restraining order for an entire year.

“The law gives us a vehicle to cause the person to surrender their weapons, to have a time out, if you will,” Los Angeles Police Department Assistant Chief Michael Moore told Southern California Public Radio. “It allows further examination of the person’s mental state.”
This is CA.  This law will be sooo....abused.

Megaship docks in L.A. as change roils shipping industry

I love big machines.  These ships are awesome!!
The CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, which arrived Saturday at the Port of Los Angeles on a maiden voyage from China and South Korea, can carry nearly a third more cargo than the largest ships that currently call at the San Pedro Bay ports.

In an effort to move more cargo on less fuel, ocean freight carriers are in a race to build megaships with much larger capacities than the typical ships calling at U.S. ports. The average container ship being built now is nearly three times the size of the average a decade ago.


Aerial footage shows California methane leak

Oh, and the video is in black and white to make it look REALLY NASTY.  It is nasty and the tech guys are trying their damndest to stop the leak.

At the same time, 86,000 barrels of oil seep through natural sources onto the Santa Barbra coast.  No one seems to be too upset about that.
So, what are the latest numbers on natural oil seep quantities? We at SOS first started our little non-profit nine years ago because we were astounded by the amount of oil and gas flowing into our local coastal waters. We reviewed studies by pre-eminent researchers at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB). A 1999 publication by Hornafius et al. was entitled The World’s Most Spectacular Marine Hydrocarbon Seeps. The study states that literature reviews of marine hydrocarbon seepage usually conclude that the area along the northern Santa Barbara Channel is one of the most prolific hydrocarbon seepage areas in the world. We knew natural seepage existed at other places worldwide. The idea that quantities in the channel were comparable was astounding. Upon reviewing the 1999 study by Quigley et al. that showed oil production could reduce seepage – we were hooked. (More about that later!)

But what are those quantities? The UCSB Hydrocarbon Seeps Project is the online compendium of ongoing research on the natural laboratory that is the Coal Oil Point seep field. Based upon this research and data from analyses of other seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel our co-founder Bruce Allen, a physicist, extracted the estimate that roughly 86,000 barrels/3,000,000 gallons of oil bubble into the Santa Barbara Channel each year.


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

CA Reps VOW TO KILL FREE SPEECH

Hat tip to Frontpage.com on this one.  Loretta Sanchez and Judy Chu, both from CA are sponsors of this bill.  Absolutely disgusting.
That’s right: “violence, bigotry and hateful rhetoric.” The implications of those five words will fly by most people who read them, and the mainstream media, of course, will do nothing to elucidate them. But what H. Res. 569 does is conflate violence -- attacks on innocent civilians, which have no justification under any circumstances – with “bigotry” and “hateful rhetoric,” which are identified on the basis of subjective judgments. The inclusion of condemnations of “bigotry” and “hateful rhetoric” in this Resolution, while appearing to be high-minded, take on an ominous character when one recalls the fact that for years, Ellison, Carson, and his allies (including groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations, CAIR) have been smearing any and all honest examination of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to incite hatred and violence as “bigotry” and “hateful rhetoric.” This Resolution is using the specter of violence against Muslims to try to quash legitimate research into the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy us, which will have the effect of allowing the jihad to advance unimpeded and unopposed.

Monday, December 28, 2015

New York Loses $400 Million After Imposing The Nation’s Highest Cigarette Tax

And NYC thought they were taking the high road.  All they did was push the whole cigarette economy underground.  Do you blame the smoker?
Smokers responded to higher prices not by shelling out more cash at the store but by turning to the black market, crossing state lines and buying cheaper brands, such as Seneca, from Native American outlets. The last 10 years have a been a boon to organized crime, with 58 percent of New York’s cigarettes supplied from out-of-state, according to the Tax Foundation. The number of packs bought paying the full tax has also collapsed by 62 percent.
62 per cent!  And NYC hasn't seen the errors of their ways?  As usual, it's leftist gone wild.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

California welcomes world’s first fully sustainable biofuel facility

Now, this actually looks interesting.  I'm all in with biodiesel.  Maybe these guys are doing it right.
The new San Joaquin Valley-based facility, which is owned and operated by sustainable biofuel and bioenergy company Biodico Westside, will produce up to 20 million gallons of biodiesel per year, and create 45 direct jobs in partnership with West Hills Community College.

“Biodico Westside Facility is a result of years of research and development to produce biofuels that make good environmental, social and business sense,” said Biodico President and Founder Russ Teall. “Today, we are forging a new path in biofuel production by utilizing sustainable solutions to convert diverse feedstocks into renewable sources of fuel and energy.”



Sunday, December 20, 2015

Inside the Billion-Dollar Battle for Puerto Rico’s Future

Personally, I think all those people/funds that were STUPID enough to fund Puerto Rico should lose their shirts.  Anyway, I can't help but wonder if this is part of the Great Undoing (I, uh, couldn't think of what else to call it).
Stephen J. Spencer, a restructuring expert representing Puerto Rico bondholders including some hedge funds, said letting the government renege on agreements with hedge funds and other investors would set a dangerous precedent, undermining the integrity of the bond market.

“It’s really a wealth transfer from the bondholders to the municipalities,” Mr. Spencer said.

Others fear a different precedent: A handful of wealthy investors, they argue, are trying to rewrite the social contract of an entire United States territory. Puerto Rican officials say they have already cut public services and slashed central government spending by a fifth to keep ahead of payments to the hedge funds and financiers.

“What they are doing, by getting all the resources for themselves, is undermining the viability of Puerto Rico as a commonwealth,” said Joseph E. Stiglitz, the Nobel Prize-winning economist. “They want their money now, and they want to get the rules set so that they can make money for the next 20 years.”
It was pretty obvious these "bondholders" should never have allowed themselves to do something like this.  I am sure they knew what would happen to the people of Puerto Rico if the territory tried to stick to the agreement.

I think Puerto Rico should EXACT PAYMENT from the rich wealthy bondholders to invest in their country so that basic services could be made whole. Then the Federal Government should step in and oust the leaders and Governor of the island and set up a management team to get PR back on a sound footing.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

In Virginia's Bible Belt, an Arabic Lesson Ignites Anger

This is really unfortunate.  And I can't help but wonder if phrases are being picked to foment the problems.
The school closings came one week after the teacher gave Riverheads High School students an assignment that involved practicing calligraphy and writing a statement in Arabic - the Shahada, a profession of faith recited in Muslims' daily prayers.

The statement translated to: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah." The teacher's lesson was drawn from instructional material that also includes Judeo-Christian assignments.

School officials said the aim of the lesson was to illustrate the complexity of the written Arabic language, not to promote any religious system, and a different sample text will be used in the future.
Of all the phrases to use, they had to pick this one??  For a Christian to write this is almost sacrilegious.  And this isn't the only example of this.

I remember back in the 8th grade I did a poster on the Arabic alphabit.  I think I made a B.

I did a quick look online and discovered some Islamic Proverbs that I think are pretty innocent and probably could have been used.

Here is one:
Guard yoursef from 6 things:
♦ When you speak, speak the truth
♦ Fulfill when you promise
♦ Discharge your trust
♦ Be pure in thought and action
♦ Withold your hand from striking
♦ Withold from talking that which is unlawful and bad
Here's another:
“Sharpen the mind, harden the body, soften the heart, and be of service to others.” – a motto for the believer, by AbdelMalik Ali.
Why the HECK did the teacher have to pick something she/he should have known would be controversial and in-you-face.

I'm afraid the quality of teachers in general is pretty bad.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dan Walters: State still owes one huge debt

CA better hope the stock market keeps going up.  Otherwise, they are in a heap o' trouble.
Recovery from that recession has been underway for nearly a half-decade, but California still has more than a million unemployed workers and is still paying out about $6 billion a year in benefits to a third of them.

The UIF is still insolvent – nearly $7 billion in the hole – and in 2012 the feds began whittling down California’s debt by raising taxes on the state’s employers, about $3 billion so far and rising, plus hundreds of millions in interest.

It’s expected that the feds will collect nearly $4 billion more over the next two years to reduce the debt further.

The debt will disappear eventually, probably in 2019, 10 years after the UIF went into the red, but that still would leave the fund in precarious position.

LIMBAUGH: just elect Democrats, disband the Republican Party, and let the Democrats run it,

What an utter SHAM!  Limbaugh is completely correct.  What a dismal failure the GOP has become.
This was out-and-out, in-our-face lying, from the campaigns to individual statements made about the philosophical approach Republicans had to all this spending. There is no Republican Party! You know, we don't even need a Republican Party if they're gonna do this. You know, just elect Democrats, disband the Republican Party, and let the Democrats run it, because that's what's happening anyway. And these same Republican leaders doing this can't, for the life of them, figure out why Donald Trump has all the support that he has? They really can't figure this out?

Repeated stabs in the back like this -- which have been going on for years -- combined with Obama's policy destruction of this country, is what has given rise to Donald Trump. If Donald Trump didn't exist and if the Republican Party actually does want to win someday, they'd have to invent him. It's just mind-boggling when you figure out everything that has been granted Obama. All the money, the tax increases, the Cadillac plans in Obamacare. All kinds of punitive things in Obamacare, delayed yet again so that people will not be made aware of the pain and suffering Obamacare's gonna cause.
Rush....is right.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

U.S. Oil And Gas Production Steady Despite Low Prices

I've always thought it a bad idea to bet against the Capitalist.  This is a good example.

The take-away quote from this article from Oil and Gas Online:
“Several factors support U.S. oil and gas production, even at lower prices,” said Bernadette Johnson, a managing partner at Ponderosa and head of the company’s energy analytics team. “Wellhead economics continue to improve as technology gains cut drilling and completion costs. And while we expect U.S. production will trend lower in 2016, our analysis shows there are almost 4,200 drilled but uncompleted wells in inventory, and they will bring additional production as they are brought online.”
In my opinion, the destruction to Saudi Arabia's economy will be severe.  Even after they "win" the oil price war, it will be a long time before they can recover from what has and will happen to their finances.  Through shear will and determination, Capitalists can carry this game on far longer than you might expect.


Saturday, December 12, 2015

November 2014: Lots of snow in Buffalo proof of AGW; December 2015: No Buffalo snow proof of AGW

Just amazing how Climate Reality Deniers constantly want it both ways.

2015: ABC Tweet: For the first time in 116 years, Buffalo, NY has had no measurable snow yet this season. http://abcn.ws/1RJfGDi 

2014: Counterintuitive, yes, but extreme snowfalls are becoming more common in places like Buffalo due to global warming. http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/11/19/lake_effect_snow_in_buffalo_climate_change_is_making_snowstorms_more_extreme.html 


Top Ten Reasons Why California Is No Longer The Place To Be Or Move To

Very well written article on the problems with CA.  Unfortunately, it will only get worse before it gets better.

In fact, it’s quite amusing to hear people talk about how they love California, all their reasons will be because the weather is good, or because it’s good because of the nice weather, or because the sun is shining and the weather is nice, or because it’s warm outside because the weather is nice, or some other derivative of “the weather is nice”. This is because the only real benefit of living in California is because of the weather. That and the emotional ideal itself of “living in California”. There really isn’t any other reason.

California is on one of the steepest declines in quality of living in the nation. Taxes, housing, and immigration are some of the primary factors contributing to this decline. Whereas California has been a coveted and highly desired place to be, from both native Californians and other-staters alike for the past many decades, this is no longer the case.
The ten things are worth reading.  High taxes, unemployment, etc.  It's all there.

California plastics company to open Pflugerville facility, hire 100

So, the expansion is NOT happening in CA, but TX.

Within the next year, Medway Plastics has committed to hiring a minimum of 20 full-time employees at an average salary of $40,000 per year. PCDC is working with Medway Plastics to use state grants for workforce training and recruitment.

“It is clear that Pflugerville is a forward-looking, business-friendly city. Medway Plastics can now tap into new markets in Texas and the U.S.,” said Medway Plastics Corp. President Tom Hutchinson Jr., in the announcement.

Medway, founded in 1974, will also relocate its research and development laboratory to the new Pflugerville facility. Though Medway Plastics will continue operations in California, the company may consider relocating its headquarters to Pflugerville within the next five to eight years, the company said.

SEVEN Networks to relocate HQ from California to Marshall

It doesn't say why the move.
Networks, which develops mobile device management and optimization software, is relocating its corporate headquarters to Marshall from San Carlos, California. The company, founded in 2000, is privately held and has research and development centers in California and Finland.

The company plans to utilize local talent and has plans to hire as many as 25 full-time employees, including seven software engineers.

The company will reside in the Center for Applied Technology, which is also home to the Marshall Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) – which played a key role in bringing SEVEN to Texas.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Reshoring Gaining Strength Among Large Manufacturers, BCG Survey Finds

"Striking" is the way it was put.

“The fundamental economic forces that are prompting many companies to reassess their global manufacturing footprint have not changed,” explained Michael Zinser, a BCG senior partner and coleader of the firm’s global manufacturing practice. “Given the big differences in wage growth and productivity—and the greater attention companies are paying to total cost—there is good reason to believe that the cost-competitiveness of the U.S. compared with China and many other major export economies will continue to improve in the near term.”

Advanced manufacturing technologies such as robotics, whose costs are shrinking as their capabilities increase, are helping to make the U.S. more attractive for investment. Fifty-six percent of respondents said that lower automation costs have improved the competitiveness of U.S.-made products compared with similar goods sourced from low-cost countries. Moreover, 71% said advanced manufacturing technologies will improve the economics of local production, and 75% said they will invest in additional automation or advanced manufacturing technologies in the next five years.
Yes, this isn't a complete "win".  Automation is the real winner, not the regular joe-blow worker.  Several years ago I mentioned that all the jobs that were lost in the 90s and early 2000s would not come back even of all the companies that left came back.  It was because of automation.

But, better the build the plants with automation here than build the automated plants there.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Facebook censors Michael Savage post of Muslims protesting

I'm glad I disabled my Facebook account.  CENSORSHIP!!  CENSORSHIP!!

Savage said it’s only a matter of time before “any and all criticisms of Islam will be considered hate speech by Zuckerberg and the Obama goons.”

“I am banned in Britain and soon banned from Facebook?”

In 2009, Savage was banned from entering the U.K. by Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government, which lumped him together with Muslim jihadists and leaders of racist groups for “seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred,” as WND reported.

Last week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch told a Muslim activist group that she would prosecute anti-Muslim rhetoric that “edges toward violence,” sparking widespread criticism that prompted her to walk back the remarks.

Nobel Laureate Smashes the Global Warming Hoax

Probably one of the most common-sensical reviews of Global Warming Hysteria thast I've ever listened to.


Loretta Lynch, Come and Get Me

This was truly appalling.  Did she think she could make such an outrageous statement?



Edges toward violence?  Is she kidding? EDGING?  WHAT HELL does that even mean?

Well, several people have taken to Youtube daring Loretta to go and get them.





Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Climate Hustle Paris Premiere

I was in London while all this was going on.  The middle of London was shut down due to climate warming protesters and caused massive headaches for tourist (which we were).  So, lots of stop and go traffic causing cars and trucks to belch out massive amounts of greenhouse gases they wouldn't have otherwise.

Thanks Left Wingers!!  Hah!!

We were trying to catch a ride on the Tube when the protests were wrapping up.  All the freaks from the protest started flooding the subway system. We saw some radical vegans with a "V" marked on their faces.  They also sported shirts announcing who they are.  What a bunch of losers.

I thought I would add this youtube video of the movie that premiered in Paris at the same time all of this was going on.  Good for them!!




Tuesday, December 8, 2015

VDH BOOK: The Decline and Fall of California: From Decadence to Destruction

I'll be reading this and reporting what I read.  Has VDH reached his "trigger point?"



Venezuela Awakens From Its 17-Year Socialist Nightmare

I'm sorry to say, this is what it will take for the US to turn around.  We will have to "walk through fire" to come out on the other side a wiser country.

What a shame.  But good news for Venezuela.
It's total victory in legislative terms and will enable the legislature to throw out politicized Supreme Court justices and appoint honest ones.

The new Congress can also boot corrupt election officials and appoint fair ones. And they will even be able to declare President Nicolas Maduro — the late dictator Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor — mentally unstable and unfit for office, or remove him for incompetence. They can also stop his executive orders dead.

The Congress also will have the power to free the 71 or so political prisoners now rotting in Chavista dungeons without trial, including top opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. And Venezuela's central bank will stop destroying the country's money, now nearly worthless.
Let's hope at least half of the good will be done.





In new California climate initiative, bill will target key pollutants

Say goodbye to CA's agricultural industry.  Gloibal Warming will put a stop that that.  Actually, the bureaucrats who deny that there is no man-made global warming will put an end to it.  Why? Because rotting vegetation causes methane gas to be generated.  And that's a byproduct of farming  - which is just plain stupid.
California would target certain harmful emissions under new legislation being introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara in an effort to boost public health while battling global warming.

Known as short-lived climate pollutants, the emissions include diesel exhaust and methane from agriculture. Focusing on these pollutants has been a key topic of conversation at the United Nations summit on climate change because they’re considered a way to make quick progress toward reducing greenhouse gases while providing a clear health benefit.
Methane gas is the product of ANYTHING ORGANIC THAT ROTS.  This includes the mighty Sequoya trees all the way down to the crab grass that grows.  And it also includes:

COMPOST PILES.

So,all of you greenies out there that are really REALLY into composting, get ready for the Feds to put an end to it!!

Google’s chairman wants algorithms to censor the internet for hate speech

So, this was never about Free Speech. This was all about corralling speech and then slicing it all up.

In an op-ed for The New York Times (paywall), Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google, inserted himself directly into the middle of a heated debate about the line between fighting terrorism’s online reach and internet censorship.

“It’s our responsibility to demonstrate that stability and free expression go hand in hand,” he writes. “We should build tools to help de-escalate tensions on social media—sort of like spell-checkers, but for hate and harassment.”

That, my friend, is too much power for one company to have.

So, after ISIS, the next step will be stop those evil gay-hating Christians.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Trading Meat for Tires as Bartering Economy grows in Greece

Greeks, Russians, Venezuelans... are these signals?

This may work out better than most people think.  I just wonder how you barter for more internet time to barter for other things.
Graphic artists are exchanging designs for olive oil. Accountants swap advice for office supplies. In the agricultural heartland and on the Greek islands, informal bartering, which has historically helped communities survive, has intensified as more people exchange fruits, vegetables, other crops, equipment, clothing and services.

“In Greece there’s a major liquidity problem,” said Mr. Roussos, who met the tire vendor and scores of new clients through an Athens ­based online barter club, Tradenow, which created its own currency called tradepoints. “People are finding it more convenient to trade because money is not readily available.”

Russians Turn to Bartering in Economic Recession

I can't help but ask: Will the internet make money obsolete?  Russia is bartering online as well!
An economic recession and soaring grocery prices have prompted Russians to go online to trade household items for food, with scores of websites facilitating a barter system cropping up around the country.

Russia's main social network, VKontakte, has an array of online groups, targeting various cities, where local inhabitants place ads to trade clothes, furniture, tableware or even kittens for “yummies.”



Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Chicken for diapers: Bartering abounds in scarcity-stricken Venezuela

The end of a civilization.  That's what Communism and Socialism are.  And as much as I like to think that the USA is better than Venezuela, we are watching our future unfold before our very eyes.

When a country's currency dies, there is nothing left but barter, because there is no portable form of value that can be transferred from one person to another.  The good news is bartering is a lot more high tech than it used to be.
More than 14,000 people are following the Twitter handle @spvzla where medicine is traded and bartered. The Facebook page “Trueque Anti-Bachaqueros Caracas” — another popular swapping site — has more than 10,300 members. And the image sharing site Instagram has become the go-to place to find baby items. The page Mamaenapuros, or “Mom in a Jam,” for example, has more than 22,000 followers.
 I just can't understand why it takes this sort of desperation and desperate situation for people to realize that they can not rely on governments to take care of them.

As a result, while the nation boasts the world’s largest oil reserves, it’s having trouble keeping aspirin and car batteries on the shelves.

That has soured the national mood, and the majority of polls predict the opposition will win control of the National Assembly for the fist time in more than 15 years.
My only prayer is that the people of Venzuela finally learn not to trust government to do the right thing.  If anything, the bout with bartering will teach the people that, yes, they can do it without the need for the heavy hand of government to control their own affairs.

Yet another reason I bought the Surface Pro 3: Keyboard spills.

In my cursory review I mentioned that the detachable keyboard was nice since it meant the CPU and other important electronics weren't under the keyboard.  Several years ago I fried my MBA when I spilled coffee on it once (which is an incredible side story if anyone is interested in reading it - just leave a comment).

I knew it was only a matter of time before I did the same to the SP3.  And sure enough that's exactly what happened.  I panicked for a brief second, then immediately detached the keyboard.  Once this was done, I knew I could methodically start wiping the screen of the SP3 and wipe off the keyboard and bang it against the table to get the coffee out from between and beneath the keys. Now I just wait for it to dry.

Here's photo of the mess before I cleaned up the SP3 but after I cleaned up the keyboard.


Surface Pro 3's annoying right-click issue solved with Windows 10

A while back I did a cursory review of the Surface Pro 3.  Before the Surface Pro 3, I had an old MacBook Air that I kept comparing it to.  One of the issues was the one button trackpad of the MBA and the two button trackpad of the SP3.   The one-button design is by far easier to work with.  Right clicking on the MBA is accomplished by just holding down the control button before pressing the button; a two-hand maneuver.

Luckily, Windows 10 brings a solution that I like even better than the MBA solution.

Windows 10 now allows you to disable the right click and enable a two-finger tap that brings up the menu.   This is done by swiping from the right side, picking All Settings> Mouse and Touchpad>Turn off "Allow right clicks on the touchpad" > Turn on "Use a two finger tap for right click"

And you're done!

It took a tiny bit of getting used to.  I kept trying to right click at first.  But now, it's pretty easy.

Land of Stupid: Facebook's Zuckerberg to give 99 percent of shares to charity

Yup!  Nothing has changed.  Stupid Capitalists giving their money away only to see its use perverted.  We live in the Land of Stupid.

I guess we can kiss the Free-Wheeling Internet good bye completely.

Thanks asshole, Z!

Facebook Inc (FB.O) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg and his wife said on Tuesday they will give away 99 percent of their Facebook shares, currently worth about $45 billion, to a new charity in a letter addressed to their daughter, Max, who was born last week.

The plan mirrors a move by other high-profile billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates, who have pledged and set up foundations to give away their fortunes to charity.
So, now we will get a stomach full of yet someone else who knows what's good for us, like maybe Common Core 2.0

What a stupid, stupid man.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

What's the difference? Government regulates food ingredients or the Pope regulates ingredients

I've talked about this before, and since it's the Christmas Holidays I thought I would bring it up again.

The whole idea of discussing this is to ask the following question:  If the Pope decided today to force all of the world to follow certain dietary rules, would we follow him?  If not, why are we allowing the government to tell us what food we can and can not buy or use? The transfat stupidity is a good example of this. 

Stollen is a favorite holiday cake in Germany mainly during Christmas.  I would call it a "poor man's fruit cake" since the only fruit in it are raisins (there are variations, though). Its roots go back several hundred years when the Catholic Church governed over the affairs of men.

Here is the Wikipedia article on the salient details:
Early Stollen was different, the ingredients were very different - flour, oats and water.[6]

As a Christmas bread stollen was baked for the first time at the Council of Trent in 1545,[7] and was made with flour, yeast, oil and water.

The Advent season was a time of fasting, and bakers were not allowed to use butter, only oil, and the cake was tasteless and hard.[4]

In the 15th century, in medieval Saxony (in central Germany, north of Bavaria and south of Brandenburg), the Prince Elector Ernst (1441–1486) and his brother Duke Albrecht (1443–1500) decided to remedy this by writing to the Pope in Rome. The Saxon bakers needed to use butter, as oil in Saxony was expensive, hard to come by, and had to be made from turnips.

Pope Nicholas V (1397–1455), in 1450[citation needed]denied the first appeal. Five popes died before finally, Pope Innocent VIII, (1432–1492)[7] in 1490 sent a letter to the Prince, known as the "Butter-Letter" which granted the use of butter (without having to pay a fine), but only for the Prince-Elector and his family and household.

Others were also permitted to use butter, but on the condition of having to pay annually 1/20th of a gold Gulden to support the building of the Freiberg Minster. The ban on butter was removed when Saxony became Protestant.

Over the centuries, the bread changed from being a simple, fairly tasteless "bread" to a sweeter bread with richer ingredients, such as marzipan, although traditional Stollen is not as sweet, light and airy as the copies made around the world.
At the Dresden Hauptbahnhof, they have a small walk-through history of the Stollen,  I have a photo of a portion of the display that gives a rather shortened version of the same story.  But it does mention the "Butter Letter" that just absolved the elite and wealthy from having to refrain from using butter.  Doesn't this sound like the Federal Government and the "too big to fail" banks and bankers?

So fast forward to today.  Can you imagine a WHOLE COUNTRY, such as the USA following the edicts of a holy man - or unholy man, whatever the case may be?  and bowing down to this holy man and only eating what he allows us to eat and when we can eat it?

If your answer is no, then please tell me why we allow the Federal  Government to tell us what foods we can and can not eat?  Shouldn't we be just as incensed at the Feds telling us what to do as we would be if the Pope told us all what to do?  I see no difference.

And you should see no difference, too, and be just as upset about it as I am.  And tell the Feds to stick it up their asses.







FINAL PROOF THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS EVOLUTION! ONLY DEVOLUTION

I was bemused when I first read this.  But the implications are actually very frightening.  It proves that we have not learned from the past and we are certainly doomed to repeat it.

Fascism, and the rise of Hitler have been linked to warming temperatures.  Thus says an article written in 1941.  O.M.G.
Increasing warmer temperatures throughout the world may produce a trend toward dictatorial governments in the opinion of Dr Clarence A Mills, professor of experimental medicine at the University of Cincinnati. In fact, Dr Mills believes that the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in Germany and Benito Mussolini in Italy may be due in part to the gradual warming temperature of the world. --The Mason City Globe-Gazette, 27 March 1941

Wake judge rules against teen facing off against NC on climate change

Hah!  I misread this at first.  I should have known better.  I just woke up and just had my first cup of coffee.

This is a deluded kid.  Thank God my kids know better.  My 14 year old child knows more about the fallicies of climate change than most kids her age.

Hallie Turner is a product of brain washing.  Pure and simple.  She might as well have been taught how to blow Jews up and how to chop off their heads.  Same thing.

“It’s an issue that I’m always going to continue trying to make a difference in,” Hallie said during a phone interview. “There’s lots of next steps that can be taken.”

Hallie, an eighth-grader at Ligon Middle School who has been marching and rallying against global warming since the 4th grade, is one of a number of teens taking their states and politicians to court over climate change.
Wake up!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE GONE WILD: US cops seized more property than criminals stole in 2014 – FBI

IT. MUST. STOP.

<blockquote>

This Will Bust San Francisco’s Insane Home Price Bubble

Just insane!  I can't think of a worse time to try to buy a house in SF!!  Median condo price of $1.1 million??
About 59,000 housing units are under construction or in the planning stages, based on the SF Planning Department’s new Q3 report. They’ll come on the market over the next five to six years to increase the city’s housing stock of 382,000 units by over 15%. About 3,500 units already came on the market in 2014. This year, even more units are coming on the market. In 2016, the floodgates will open. And mostly expensive units.

But that’s just the near-ish term. There are three additional mega-construction projects in the pipeline that will take a little longer: Park Merced (5,700 units), Hunters Point which includes the contaminated Navy shipyards (10,300 units), and Treasure Island, also a former Navy site with radioactive contamination, a scandal I wrote about in 2012 (7,800 units). With these projects, the housing supply in the pipeline jumps to over 82,000 units.
I don't see this ending well at all!

This happened in Florida during the last market collapse.  That was horrible.

Rule of law? FORGET IT!

This is exactly why businesses are leaving this nation.  If there is no rule of law, what do you have?  Despotism and a dictatorship.  A banana republic.
In 2012, having spent $180,000 defending himself against three separate state actions, Frost sued the attorney general, the state Banking Department and several state employees of both departments, claiming the state retroactively applied a new law, lied in court, conducted an illegal search and overlooked the reasons for the initial complaint that triggered the investigation.

Frost also claimed violation of his Constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure, and brought negligent supervision claims against several state officials and agencies.

All of those claims were dismissed in Superior Court under the doctrine of “official immunity,” which placed a heavy burden of proof on Frost.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld that ruling, quoting a precedent which stated, “This exacting standard gives government officials breathing room to make reasonable but mistaken judgments by protecting all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law.”
Reasonable?  There was NOTHING reasonable about what occurred to this man.

The partial good news is the legislature is pushing a law through to reimburse Mr. Frost the money due him.  What really needs to happen is make the agency bosses responsible for what happened.

Parody Video hits the mark on pathetic Leftist Controlled Speech

And the really sad part?  It's all true.




Stockton threatened with lawsuit over prayer rally

No one is hurt by this.  What is to object to?

"As long as there is crime and homicides in Stockton, I'm going to continue to lead the city in prayer," said Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva.

Silva said he does not believe he did anything wrong when he held a 12-hour prayer rally in Stockton last week.

"I don't think I did anything wrong. My city had its 40th homicide. So we are in desperate need of immediate action. Residents want something done and want to feel safe, and if I have to give them hope and prayer, that is what I will do," said Silva.

The group Stockton Area Atheists and Freethinkers said prayer rallies are unconstitutional.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Prominent Scientists Declare Climate Claims Ahead of UN Summit ‘Irrational’ – ‘Based On Nonsense’ – ‘Leading us down a false path’

The war on carbon dioxide is so stunningly stupid, you have to sometimes wonder what is the real reason for waging it?

From climatedepot.com:
Lindzen singled out Secretary of State John Kerry for his ‘ignorance’ on science.

“John Kerry stands alone,” Lindzen said. “Kerry expresses his ignorance of what science is,” he added.

Lindzen also criticized EPA Chief Gina McCarthy’s education: “I don’t want to be snobbish, but U Mass Boston is not a very good school,” he said to laughter.

Lindzen concluded his talk by saying: “Learn how to identify claims that have no alarming implications and free to say ‘So what?’”

Princeton Physicist Dr. Will Happer, who has authored over 200 peer-reviewed papers, called policies to reduce CO2 “based on nonsense.”

“Policies to slow CO2 emissions are really based on nonsense. They are all based on computer models that do not work. We are being led down a false path.

“Our breath is not that different from a power plant,” he continued.

“To call carbon dioxide a pollutant is really Orwellian. You are calling something a pollutant that we all produce. Where does that lead us eventually?” he asked.

“Coal, formed from ancient CO2, is a benefit to the world. Coal is CO2 from ancient atmospheres. We are simply returning CO2 to the atmosphere from which it came when you burn coal. And it’s a good thing since it is at very low levels in the atmosphere. We are in a CO2 famine. It is very, very low,” Happer explained.
Yes!  Someone who agrees with me!!



John Lewis Christmas Advert 2015 - #ManOnTheMoon

John Lewis also has some good ones.



And then there is this spoof:

Sainsbury’s OFFICIAL Christmas Advert 2015 – Mog’s Christmas Calamity

Well, it's getting close enough to Christmas that I thought I would share this Sainsbury advertisement.  Otherwise, I'd forget.

They always have good ones.


Lockheed Martin's hybrid airships get the green light

I love this stuff!
The LMH1, prototypes of which have been in development for two decades, will have room for a crew of two, and up to 19 passengers.

But it won't come cheap. Current estimates suggests the price of the hybrid airship will be between £25 million to £30 million, or approximately $40 million.

Lockheed and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have worked together for more than a decade to define the criteria to certify hybrid airships for transport.

Here's a youtube video on the news.

Fusion: Are We There Yet?

Reynolds had a blog post on various fusion reactors that are in the works.  My favorite, for no apparent reason is the Polywell Fusion Reactor.  I think I like it because it's been sort of the underdog.

This is a good article that talks about the state of their reactor:

EMC2 has been conducting U.S. Navy-supported research for two decades on a reactor called the polywell, which combines two fusion technologies: electron beams to heat plasma to 100 million degrees and a magnetic bottle to confine the hot plasma. According to a Navy review, the company’s scientists have validated these ideas, and next they must demonstrate that the technologies can support a fusion reaction—the last step before possible commercialization in the form of an electricity-producing reactor.
...

EMC2 is seeking private investment for a three-year, $30 million commercial research program to prove the polywell can work as a nuclear fusion power generator. “We have had a 20-year involvement by the Navy, and it has been a very productive relationship,” says Park. “We were able to address a lot of basic scientific questions.” He understands that at this point, the company has to give up its government subsidy and seek private funding. “The Navy’s view is that they will provide transitional funds, but it’s time for us to go out on our own,” he says. “In their view, we’re becoming an adult.”
...

Park hopes to appeal to deep-pocket individual investors, as well as family offices and foundations that are committed to solving the energy problem—“people who look at this as their responsibility and their destiny,” he says. “It’s our generation’s job to solve the energy problem. Whenever we created energy in the past, we created pollution and created problems about sustainability, and we’ve done that for more than 200 years.”

Thursday, November 19, 2015

California high tech company to relocate to DeWitt

A company named Soraa:
Parker says, "When you go to put on your clothes in the morning or if you go by furniture you don't have to go to the window to see what it looks like, light should be full spectrum and should look like sunlight and should be healthy and that's what Soraa brings to the market."

The State has also kicked in $90 million in incentives the Governor says will leverage over a billion dollars in private sector investment the next ten years.

“Soraa is a $1.3 billion enterprise, 420 jobs and that's what this is all about my friend. It’s about creating jobs for the future," Governor Andrew Cuomo says.

The shell of the facility should be finished by the end of the year. Production is slated for the second half of 2016.

CA 7th graders sing Islam ‘fight song’ penned by teacher

How could a teacher think that a song like this would be appropriate?
The lyrics were set to “This is our fight song!” and read: 
Like a sandstorm
On the desert
Sending camels
Into motion

Like how a single faith
Can make a heart open
They might only have one god
but they can make an explosion

Chorus:

And all those things they have to say
Islam … Allah’s on the way
They will preach them loud tonight
Can you hear their voices this time?

This is their fight song,
Spread Islam now song,
Prove that they’re right song,

Their power’s turned on,
Starting right now they’ll be strong
They’ll play their fight song,

And they don’t really care,
If no Jews or C’s believe,
Cause they still have
A lot of others to reach

Umayyads, and Abbasids
Seljuk turks and ottomans,
Spread the faith,
Say Spread the faith

The Moguls rule in India,
Spreading Islam from their bones,
Still believe,
Yeah they still believe

Chorus

Like a sandstorm
On the desert
Sending camels
Into motion

Italian Prosecutors Investigate Olive Oil Makers for Fraud. Pick CA Olive OIls

I mentioned this several years ago.  And amazingly, it's still being talked about.  And finally, officials are getting involved to put a stop to it. I hope, anyway.
Prosecutors in the northern city of Turin announced the investigation Tuesday after customs officials independently confirmed the findings by the magazine "Il Test," which published a cover story last spring revealing that nine out of 20 bottles it tested were not extra-virgin as labeled.

The good news is that here in the USA, California olive oil producers generally believe in truth in advertising.  Also, there is a good website that recommends virgin olive oils that it deems to be true olive oils.  In fact, the guy who runs the blog, Tom Mueller, has written a book about it all.

Here's a link to his recos on supremarket olive oils.





Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Better red than fed: California school's communist Che Cafe needs handout

You have to wonder about a people who worship such a cold hearted murderer.  And then they have the audacity to ask the taxpayers to pay for work to bring it up to code.
“The venue has been operating for 34 years and it’s the longest-running volunteer space in Southern California, if not in all of California,” café volunteer Rene Vera told FoxNews.com last year. “And our building is covered in murals that document a lot of that history.”

But there are critics on campus who believe a failing cafe that celebrates a murderous revolutionary does not deserve public funds. But Amanda Fitzmorris, chairwoman of the College Republicans at UCSD, told The College Fix that the space "celebrates a dictator who enforced a murderous totalitarian police state that clamped down on free expression." Her group spray-painted one of Guevara's most infamous quotes, “To execute a man we don’t need proof of his guilt,” on a mural in a campus free speech zone to raise awareness to Guevara's legacy.


Monday, November 16, 2015

The Shale Oil Boom Is Alive And Well In West Texas

Well, this was sort of a surprise.
Production in the Permian Basin is expected to rise another 0.6 percent in December, totaling 2.02 million barrels a day. Other shale plays aren’t fairing so well. The Bakken and Eagle Ford shale plays are down 12 percent and 25 percent respectively, leading Exxon Mobile and other oil companies to focus efforts on the Permian for its competitive energy opportunities.

“We’re already seeing a lot of people that are targeting the Permian,” Allen Gilmer, CEO of Drilling Info Inc told Bloomberg. “If you were to look for the most stable area today to go do anything, it’s got to be there. Today you might even argue it’s more stable than Saudi Arabia.”
And this quote is....astounding!
The oil rich Permian Basin is becoming a beacon to the rest of the industry which is mired in the lingering effects of OPEC’s long term low price strategy. It’s easy to see why the region is such a lure for energy investors, as just one layer of the Permian Basin contains 75 billion barrels of oil, which would last the world two years, according to Bloomberg.

“It’s the last oil basin standing,” said CEO of Concho Resources Will Giraud. “It’s the last place you can drill in this environment and make money. It’s the last place where there’s still a tremendous amount of resources to be discovered.”

String of Felons Worked With Nonprofit Cofounded by Bill Clinton

A person is known by the company he keeps.
The Hampshire Hotels president was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay a $500,000 fine, according to his attorney. He is still listed as a New York trustee on the AIF website.

Chatwal’s son, Manhattan socialite Vikram Chatwal, has also been an AIF trustee. He was charged with felony drug trafficking in 2013 after police say he tried to board a plane carrying heroin, cocaine and illegal prescription pills. The charges were dismissed after he completed a yearlong rehab program.
And that's not all.

Iowa City Council Members Vote to Remove Cross Memorial, City Votes to Remove Council Members

This is the way it's supposed to be done.  Why isn't there more of this?
”We warned them multiple times if they let our town down they would be voted out,” Allison Schmitz of Stop the Insanity posted online this week. “They didn’t listen, and look, the people have spoken!”

Sunday, November 15, 2015

John Tyler: The Obamacare cost explosion

What?  Obamacare is way expensive?  Since when???\

Just joking.
In Minnesota, small-group prices skyrocketed by up to 94 percent in 2014. Individual plans are up by an average 31 percent, and up to 60 percent in 2016, according to the Commerce Department. Minnesota insurance companies providing individual policies have already lost over $394 million since the implementation of Obamacare. They have no choice but to increase premiums to cover increased costs of care.
This paragraph in nothing but shocking.  It shows the absolute stupidity of politicians.
The politicians were crafty. Through 2015, thinking they could soften the price hikes, Obamacare promised a huge $20 billion fund to cover insurers' losses. It ended up covering just 13 percent of those losses to date. In 2016 it's gone entirely, and the full extent of Obamacare's cost increases is no longer masked by federal (deficit) spending. People have to pay. So we are having premium increases that really hurt real people. This is likely just the beginning, as Obamacare's rising costs result in a vicious cycle of shrinking risk pools of increasingly sicker people causing costs to rise again.
I think...I think the states should step in and reform the system.  Dump Obamacare and pass laws to return sanity to the healthcare system.



Thursday, November 12, 2015

Time for GOP panic? Establishment worried Carson or Trump might win

Boy!  I can't belive my prediction is coming true!  On October 16 I said:
How about this as a really "out there" prediction:

Trump, Cruz or Carson wins the GOP nomination. The PTB in the GOP are utterly astonished. They immediately repudiate the Nominee and throw their support behind the Democratic Party Nominee completely abandoning Trump/Cruz/Carson.
Like I said, the prediction is really "way out there", but hey, I'm closer than a lot of other people who have been trying to predict the future.  And if they DON'T back the Dem candidate?  They probably won't DIRECTLY support the Democratic candidate, but they might just try to SABOTAGE a Trump/Carson/Cruz candidate.

I think Trump should have had the Republican PTB sign a contract in reciprocity.  This contract would have said "If I, Trump, win the nomination, the GOP will fully support me."  But, alas,  the GOP would sign it....and that would be the end of the support.

From the Washington Post:
The party establishment is paralyzed. Big money is still on the sidelines. No consensus alternative to the outsiders has emerged from the pack of governors and senators running, and there is disagreement about how to prosecute the case against them. Recent focus groups of Trump supporters in Iowa and New Hampshire commissioned by rival campaigns revealed no silver bullet.
I just can't believe we are watching the end of the GOP.  What a pathetic., hapless group of visionless losers.

I think we are watching the rise of the Libertarian party.




World Deflation is here. Farmers in dire straits.

I sort of even hate to say this.  I, for one, expected inflation.  Apparently, there is something I missed.  However, having said that I know for a fact some inflation has hit.  But I trust John Williams of Shadowstats. And if his charts say inflation is low, then I believe it.  And low inflation doesn't mean low inflation across the board.  Since we have a diverse economy, somethings are inflating in price while other things are deflating in price.

And so we have many signals that commodity prices almost across the board are tanking.  First, we have the DDP ETN that is an inverse fund that when it increases, it means wheat, gold and oil are decreasing (among a few other commodities that I don't remember).


Farm income fell sharply in the third quarter, according to respondents of the Tenth District Survey of Agricultural Credit Conditions. Although the Tenth District survey measure of farm income has declined for several consecutive quarters, the drop in the third quarter was especially severe. In fact, 68 percent of bankers reported lower farm incomes relative to a year ago (Chart 1). The downbeat expectations for farm income in the District were consistent with recent national forecasts. According to third-quarter revisions, the USDA expected farm income to drop 36 percent this year compared to last year.

Although the ebb in capital spending was similar to that of farm income, fewer bankers reported a decline in household spending. Compared to the same period last year, 65 percent of survey respondents reported lower capital spending in the third quarter. However, only 35 percent indicated household spending decreased from a year ago. Prior to 2013, household spending had tracked relatively closely with farm income and capital spending. Since 2013, however, household spending generally has been slower to come down, following multiple years of extraordinary profits. A majority of surveyed bankers expected farm incomes to continue to fall, but some also noted that further reductions in household spending may be needed to maintain adequate working capital and cash flow.

Reductions in farm income have continued to raise concerns about the liquidity of some District farm borrowers. In 2015, 81 percent of bankers reported a significant or modest deterioration in the overall level of working capital for crop producers, up from 65 percent in 2014 (Chart 2). Expectations of further slumps in District farm income have caused agricultural lenders to continue to stress the importance of maintaining adequate levels of working capital, especially for highly leveraged producers.

California Dreamin’—of Lower Prices at the Pump

What else is new?  You're poor?  Why, to make your life better, we'll raise the price of gasoline.  Oh?  You mean the poor little elected officials won't pass the law to do it.  Oh, that's ok.  We'll do it anyway.  That makes you poorer?  But look how pretty it is here!!

Get out.  Get out now.

On Sept. 11, lawmakers passed the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act, accelerating mandates first established in 2002 and requiring that half the state’s electricity come from renewables by 2030.

Yet before passing the act, in a victory for common sense, lawmakers dropped a provision mandating that half of all transportation fuels also come from renewables by 2030—a move that would have sent the state’s fuel prices to new heights.

Cue the California Air Resources Board, which, as an unelected regulatory body, needn’t heed common sense or public opinion. On Sept. 25, CARB voted to “re-adopt” the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which requires a 10% reduction by 2020 in the “carbon intensity” of transportation fuels. It also resets the carbon-intensity baseline so that the 10% reduction is from current intensity levels. That means the carbon intensity of the state’s fuel will need to drop by 2% a year over the next five years.
Hey, I love biosdiesel.  But don't pass laws mandating it.  People get it.  You buy stuff originating from the USA, collectively you can put a dent in oil imports.  That's why I would occassionally go to a small outlet and buy 100% biodiesel.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Young, idealistic farmers help keep land in production

This is the coolest thing I've ever seen.
But there is broad anecdotal evidence that young farmers with an interest in growing healthy, local food are helping keep farmland in production.

"They tend to be very interested in local, they tend to be very interested in organic as the future path they want to travel on," said Kathleen Merrigan, who traveled extensively when she was deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "They tend to be college graduates, and from a whole lot of different disciplines."

Thirsty? California lawmakers place needs of 12 fish ahead of people

Did that pass by you?  It did me.  12 fish.  TWELVE FISH!
In the brief uprising, in April, the Oakdale Irrigation District east of Modesto held its public meeting to discuss government demands to release “pulse flows” from Lake Tulloch – a small, district-controlled reservoir in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Those pulse flows, large water releases, were designed to help about a dozen fish – not 12 species, but 12 individual fish – swim from the lake through the Stanislaus River and out to the Delta and then to the Pacific Ocean.

Here's more insanity:
This wasn’t the only instance of strange water priorities. A Modesto Bee article focused on a proposed project to help 500 to 1,000 salmon a year swim around the Don Pedro Reservoir near Turlock. Depending on the ultimate cost of the project (estimated at between $70 million and $150 million), the per-fish figure would range between a whopping $70,000 and $300,000 per salmon. That’s a lot of money for a fish that consumers can buy in the grocery store for $6 a pound.
And this is the best one:
The smelt are big swimmers compared to plankton, tiny organisms that do not swim at all. But the California Coastal Commission is holding up a Huntington Beach desalination plant because of its potential impact on plankton.

In reality, there’s no sense blaming plankton, smelt, trout or salmon. The problem is state and federal officials more concerned about bureaucratic and environmental priorities than people.
So you think government is there to protect YOU? Hah!!  It's clear CA's priorities have "help the people" at the BOTTOM.




GAO REPORT REVEALS OBAMACARE MORE CORRUPT AND FRAUDULENT THAN THOUGHT

Well, I like to say the workers are just extraordinarily inept and incompetent.
GAO investigators reported that they tested application and enrollment controls for obtaining subsidized health plans available through the federal Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) (for New Jersey and North Dakota) and two selected state marketplaces (California and Kentucky). Although 8 of these 10 fictitious applications failed the initial identity-checking process, all 10 were subsequently approved by the federal Marketplace or the selected state marketplaces.
Yes.  It's that bad.

Obamacare Health Plans In California Gives Patients Fewer Medical Options: Report

That means fewer HEALTH options.  And yet again we see Obamacare costing more to do less.
California has the nation's fourth-highest rate of so-called narrow health plans through the Affordable Care Act, a new study says. Californians with those plans have access to 25 percent or less of the doctors and physicians in their rating area, the study says.

About 75 percent of the health plans available in California through the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, are narrow plans, placing California behind just three other states: Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma, the Los Angeles Times reported. About 41 percent of plans nationwide qualify as narrow plans, and 12 states have no narrow network plans, the study says.

Insurance providers created the narrow plans in order to keep healthcare costs down. The plans limit the number of physicians from whom individuals with the less-expensive plans can seek care. The problem, however, is that when signing up for a plan, it isn't always clear which plans are narrow and which plans aren't.
Well, that's really amazing.  You look up OBGYN on google in your area.  There maybe 100 doctors, but your Obamacare plan only includes 25 of them in their network.  Wow!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

These Are The 20 Worst Cities In The US - Spot The Common Theme

I guess...I'm not surprised.
To find the best small cities in America, WalletHub’s analysts compared 1,268 cities across four key dimensions: 1) Affordability, 2) Economic Health, 3) Education & Health and 4) Quality of Life. For our sample, we chose cities with a population size between 25,000 and 100,000 residents. "City" refers to city proper and excludes surrounding metro areas. Next, it compiled 22 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights.

To obtain the final rankings, a score between 0 and 100 was attributed to each metric. The weighted sum of the scores was then calculated and used the overall result to rank the cities. Together, the points attributed to the four major dimensions add up to 100 points.
They looked at the various aspects of living that you would expect: Affordability, economic health and quality of life (a rather subjective subject in my opinion).

But, there the worst 20 list:

All CA cities.

Get out.  Get out...now.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Businesses Continue to Leave California: A Seven - Year Review

This is the damning report that J. Vranich put together.  It's clear he isn't a bad guy.  He's a good guy trying to wake CA up to the fact they are going down Shit Creek fast and better do something about it.
The reason this report is timely and important is outlined in the Preface. For about 40 years California has been viewed as a state in which it is difficult to do business. Gov. Jerry Brown's Administration's less-than-candid approach regarding the business climate has misled the Legislature, the news media and the public about the flight of capital, facilities and jobs to other states and nations.

It is time to set the record straight by providing details about the manner in which companies have disinvested in Californiain recent years (in this case between 2008 through 2014), with supporting details in every instance. 
 And this priceless quote:
“Here’s the bitter reality for business in much of California: there’s no cavalry riding to rescue you from the state’s regulatory and tax vise. The voters in California have spoken, and with a definitive, distinctive twist, turned against any suggestion of reform and confirmed the continued domination of the state by public employee unions, environmental activists and their crony capitalist allies. In short, you are on your own.”
And this devastating quote:
The tables in the report show conclusively that in the 2008-2014 period, a total of 1,510 California disinvestment events became public knowledge. However, experts in site selection generally agree that at least five events fail to become public knowledge forevery one that does. Thus it is reasonable to conclude that about 9,000 disinvestment events occurred during that period.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

California’s Anti-Business Climate Inspires More Company Departures

Just incredible.  A state government that is not just tone deaf.  They are COMPLETELY DEAF to business concerns.

The study found that the Top Ten states to which businesses migrated puts Texas in the No. 1 spot, followed by (2) Nevada, (3) Arizona, (4) Colorado, (5) Washington, (6) Oregon, (7) North Carolina, (8) Florida tied with Georgia, (9) Virginia and (10) Utah. Texas was the top destination for California companies each year during the study period.

The Top Fifteen California counties with the highest number of disinvestment events put Los Angeles with the most losses at No. 1, followed by (2) Orange, (3) Santa Clara, (4) San Francisco, (5) San Diego, (6) Alameda, (7) San Mateo, (8) Ventura tied with Sacramento, (9) Riverside, (10) San Bernardino, (11) Contra Costa tied with Santa Barbara, (12) San Joaquin, (13) Stanislaus, (14) Sonoma and (15) Santa Cruz.
I'll quote from the study in the next post.

VIETNAM REVISITED: Obama pushes military frustration to highest level in decades

Oh, I love this.  This epitomizes all that is wrong with Democrats:

“There’s a level of dissatisfaction among the uniformed military that I’ve never seen in my time here,” said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain in an interview. “For some of us who are a little older, let’s go back and read the Pentagon Papers — what the administration is doing is the kind of incrementalism that defined much of the Vietnam conflict.”
They can't lead.  They can't fight wars.  What a waste.

IT BEGINS! THE DEATH OF CAPITALISM! Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies

I am beginning to wonder....is this the end of living in the USA?  It certainly is a milestone in Death of Capitalism.  And is so much like the Galileo and his trials.

As I told a friend of mine the other day, I can only control what is within my immediate surroundings.  With that thought, I must take care of my family.

I just don't know how this will all end.  A bang, a whimper.  How knows?

The New York attorney general has begun a sweeping investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how those risks might hurt the oil business.

According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.

Kraft Heinz to Close 7 Plants, Lay Off 2,600 Workers

Well, I guess this was coming.  It always follows a merger.  I really don't like this.  A plant in CA is closing, too.
Kraft Heinz announced today it will close seven manufacturing plants in the United States and Canad, lay off about 2,600 workers and move its Oscar Mayer meats business to Chicago from Madison, Wisc.

The plants that will close in the next 12 to 24 months include facilities in Madison; Fullerton, Calif.; San Leandro, Calif.; Federalsburg, Md.; St. Marys, Ontario; Campbell, N.Y.; and Allentown, Pa. Production will shift to other North American locations, Kraft Heinz said.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

'Rumblings' of Super Bowl Boycott After Houston Equal Rights Measure Rejected

Oh, let them boycott.  The people have spoken.


I love this sentence:
Parker and Houston's city council may now pursue a range of options from "issuing a clear public rhetorical statement about inclusion and accessibility in the city" [CASS: which means we're going to drive a stake into the moral high ground and do it anyway] to "pushing through another ordinance designed similar to HERO," according to Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston. [CASS: which means we'll just ignore the will of the people]
The damn people had spoken.  What part of YOU LOST don't you understand?

Houston needs to not just vote them all out, they need to be RUN OUT OF TOWN.




Target closing 13 stores nationwide citing falling profits

I don't think this is good at all.  First Wal-mart, now Target?

The Minneapolis-based retailer plans to close the stores on Jan. 30. The 13 are among Target's nearly 1,800 stores in the U.S.

Target was hurt by a massive credit-card breach before Christmas 2013 that sent shoppers temporarily fleeing. The company also pulled the plug on a major expansion into Canada earlier this year.
Target officials say this isn't a company-wide problem.  Well, that's good to know.  Let's hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Venezuela Is Selling Off Gold Reserves as Bond Payments Loom

First before we start talking about, let's jump into our way-back machine to 1999. We see this headline:


Yes!  In 1999 The UK sold off a significant portion of their gold:
The UK government's intention to sell gold and reinvest the proceeds in foreign currency deposits, including euros, was announced on 7 May 1999, when the price of gold stood at US$282.40 per ounce[8] (cf. the price in 1980: $850/oz [9]) The official stated reason for this sale was to diversify the assets of the UK's reserves away from gold, which was deemed to be too volatile. The gold sales funded a like-for-like purchase of financial instruments in different currencies. Studies performed by HM Treasury had shown that the overall volatility of the UK's reserves could be reduced by 20% from the sale.

The advance notice of the substantial sales drove the price of gold down by 10% by the time of the first auction on 6 July 1999.[1] With many gold traders shorting, gold reached a low point of US$252.80 on 20 July.[8] The UK eventually sold about 395 tons of gold over 17 auctions from July 1999 to March 2002, at an average price of about US$275 per ounce, raising approximately US$3.5 billion.[8]
Now, let's jump back into the Way-Back Machine and go back to the future with Venezuela:
With $3.5 billion of bond payments due this week and next, the cash-strapped country’s international reserves are hovering near a 12-year low of $15.2 billion, including gold holdings that totaled $11.8 billion at the end of May. Notes from Venezuela, which relies on crude for 95 percent of export revenue, are trading at distressed levels with swaps contracts pricing in a 96 percent chance of default over the next five years.
OK....now, let's do the math and compare the UK sale to the Venezuelan sale.  The article mentions that the Venezuelan gold holdings are about $12 billion.  As of the article date,gold sold at 1178 per troy ounce.

This is equivalent to  about 10,187,000 toy ounces of gold.

I also read that the UK also sold half its gold in 1970-71.  Another disastrous decision.

In Venezuela's defense, what other options do they have?

If nothing, this could signal the bottom for gold.






ObamaCare’s death spiral, stage one: Denial

Boy, this was easy to predict.  I just didn't see how.

For the press, the debate over ObamaCare is over. There may be a few proverbial Japanese soldiers wandering on isolated islands yammering on about the failure of ObamaCare, but word will eventually filter down to them, too.

This assumption is so deeply embedded that it is impervious to new evidence that ObamaCare is an unwieldy contraption that is sputtering badly. Yes, ObamaCare has covered more people and has especially benefited those with pre-existing conditions (to be credible, Republican replacement plans have to do these things, as well), but the program is so poorly designed that, surely, even a new Democratic president will want to revisit it to try to make it more workable.
What's clear from this is that Obamacare is just becoming another welfare plan like Medicaid.

I think it's over.

Monday, November 2, 2015

So “the Sky is Falling” on California Manufacturing(?!)

I always hate this when I read it.  Since I am in an industry that serves the manufacturing industry, I understand how important a strong manufacturing base really is.

I just wish others saw it this way, too.

Back then, they were lamenting that the Inland Empire PMI had dropped below 50 for the second month in a row (below 50 = contraction), hitting 44.1 in September, after having already hit 46.6 in August. But the sky wasn’t falling “yet,” the report pointed out, because, given how volatile the index is, “it takes three months of figures below 50 before a new trend (in this case a trend of contraction rather than growth) is established.”

Alas, on Monday, the IAR released the Inland Empire PMI for October, and it was sharply below 50 for the third month in a row, this time at 45.9.
So, when it hits zero, can we truly say the sky is falling?

The Manufacturing Base isn’t just about companies who manufacture things. The domino effect slams all the companies and people who service those manufacturers; suppliers of parts and equipment, engineering companies, maintenance contractors, inspectors. You name it. The “Falling Sky” penumbra extends far beyond just the manufacturer.


Polish Football Fans Unfurl 50-Foot ‘Stand And Defend Christianity’ Banner

In September of 2006, I sat in the beautiful cathedral in Krakow or Warsaw, Poland and listened quietly as a group of teenagers prayed together.  I witnessed several weddings on one Saturday.  I have no idea if Saturday is the official day of marriage or not, but it sure looked that way.  Since I am a Christian, it wasn't just what I saw, it was what I sensed.

All of this convinced me that Poland would be the Last Bastion of Christianity after all of the rest of Europe had fallen to Islam.

So, when I saw this Breitbart article, it was as if I were a Prophet of God.
Defending Europe while clutching a sword and a shield showing the crest of the Silesian Wrocław football club, a St. George’s cross-wearing crusader stands ready to fight the migrants, below writing which reads “While Europe Is Flooded With An Islamic Plague”.

Underneath, another 100 foot wide banner hangs from the stalls behind the goal and reads, in a traditional Polish script: “Let Us Stand In Defence Of Christianity”.]
On the flip side we see this occurring in Germany, (Breitbart article run on Gateway Pundit) home of the radical Martin Luthor:
A German evangelical priest has offered his parish church up to become migrant housing, but will be stripping out most of the fittings to ensure their comfort – including all symbols of Christianity.

Father Joachim Deterding, parish priest of the evangelical Königshardt-Schmachtendorf church in Oberhausen, western Germany offered his church to the city authorities this week, a suggestion they accepted “gladly”, reports der Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung.

It is the first time in Germany a still consecrated, serving church has been turned over to migrant accommodation, but it is entirely in keeping with the philosophy of the priest and his mission. The church website advertises services given in English for the majority of refugees who speak no or little German, proudly proclaims “Refugees welcome… we are all citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."
I think we are witnessing the beginnings of the "Final Conflict".





Sunday, November 1, 2015

US On Road To Third World — Paul Craig Roberts

How did we get here?  Where do we start?  This is from Robert's website.
In a recently released report, the Social Security Administration provides annual income data on an individual basis. Are you ready for this?

In 2014 38% of all American workers made less than $20,000; 51% made less than $30,000; 63% made less than $40,000; and 72% made less than $50,000.

The scarcity of jobs and the low pay are direct consequences of jobs offshoring. Under pressure from “shareholder advocates” (Wall Street) and large retailers, US manufacturing companies moved their manufacturing abroad to countries where the rock bottom price of labor results in a rise in corporate profits, executive “performance bonuses,” and stock prices.

Friday, October 30, 2015

How Wal-Mart's Halloween Swat Team Stops Offensive Costumes

A Wal-Mart Swat Team.  That is incredibly disturbing.  And how far will this go?  And the reporter just thinks it's the greatest thing he's ever heard of.
Just this week, for instance, a children's costume depicting an Israeli soldier earned negative headlines for Wal-Mart. The team also whiffed this season with Little Amigo, a costume modeled by a little white boy in a sombrero, poncho, and simulated mustache. A huge, fake "Arab" nose also slipped through. These items were speedily removed from Walmart.com soon after customers complained.
An Israeli soldier is bad?  Really?

And then we read that Ebay has jumped onto the "ban the offensive" wagon.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

EPA ANNOUNCES IT WILL SHUT ITS DOORS. CUTS WORLD CARBON EMISSIONS BY 15% BY DOING SO

Washington DC - Gina McCarthy, the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (also known as the EPA) under Obama stood at the podium in the Press Room to make the stunning announcement.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, it is quite clear that by shutting down the EPA we would cut carbon emissions (which are a leading cause of global warming and climate change) by 15%. "

The crowd of reporters gasped and one female reporter fainted.

"We tried our best to minimize our carbon foot print, but the results have been disappointing to say the least.  We ran the numbers through our climate models - and we know how accurate the models are.  And they don't, and nor do we, lie."

She turned to the easel board that had the numbers to back her up.  She used a laser pointer to highlight each of the bullet points.

"We try to justify a fair amount of what we do.  The cars, the planes, the boats, the helicopters - you name it.  And each vehicle is required for us to carry out each of our important functions."  She tried to point to each bullet point, but ended up just making swirls on the board.

"But the thousands of cars, the hundreds of planes and dozens of helicopters and hundreds of boats have just been spewing and belching mass quantities of carbon dioxide, which is the leading cause of climate change.

Then there is the question of our SWAT teams we have funded.  Their specialized gear and uniforms, all at the cost of ever increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, which lead to  more abrupt climate change.  Even their bullets - the millions and millions of rounds of ammunition - wait, was I allowed to admit that - oh, what the hell - the tens of millions of rounds that if ever used would create vast quantities of carbon dioxide which is known to cause global warming.

Then there are the 15,000 plus employees we have that breathe in and out expelling vast quantities of carbon dioxide, which is known to cause a rise in the earth's temperature.  And the cars they drive to work, and the food they eat and the children they raise..."

Ms McCarthy stopped to compose herself.  A tear trickled down her cheek.  It was obvious she was moved by her discoveries. "It's...it's all too much."  There was not a dry eye in the room.  Someone could be heard quietly saying "poor dear..."

It was at this point, the pool of reporters exploded with questions.  But Ms McCarthy said she would not take any and had to go to the bathroom anyway.  "I can't hold it in any longer.  We have a program in place called 'Hold the Poop!' to help lower the impact of sewage on the deteriorating sewage systems in the inner DC area."  At that, she headed for the door.

But one intrepid reporter did manage to get one question in before Ms McCarthy disappeared.

"But....but what about the rest of the government?  What about THEIR carbon foot print?"

The pool of reporters roared their displeasure over the seemingly straightforward question. Someone shoved the violating reporter down to the ground.

Just before the double doors to the Press Room shut you could hear her answer "Talk to the Energy Department about that!"