The News Blew Up and Social Media Lied about It

Gee-eeeeez, I go away for a couple of days and the world washes away!

First Mr. Trump pardoned former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a move that drew criticism from civil rights groups and Democrats as well as both of Arizona’s Republican senators, then one of the worst flood disasters in modern U.S. history unfolded ever so slowly around Houston. Mr. Trump responded in characteristic fashion: he tweeted. He was tweeting praise for the responders, a move that drew criticism from everyone else.

Relentless rains from former Category 4 Hurricane and now Tropical Storm Harvey are still pounding Texas. Rainband after rainband swept north and then slowly east through the metro area, dropping 25″ of rain so far and that’s only half what is expected. The large-scale steering currents have collapsed with no signs of anything that will sweep the storm away from the area for the next several days. Harvey was still drifting back southeast at just 2 mph this morning; it will pick up energy and new supplies of water from the Gulf, then turn around to do it again.

Of course, everyone from Homeland Security to FEMA was working ahead of the storm but, naturally, social media says all Mr. Trump has done is “tweet a book report.” Naturally, social media lies.

Meanwhile, Orpheum Theater in Memphis will drop Gone With the Wind  from its summer film series next year because 12 insensitive potential customers took offense; they complained that the film is too “insensitive” to be shown in theaters today.

The tyranny of the minority.



Apparently in some frat houses, hazing is still a good thing.

WNYC’s Manoush Zomorodi and TED science curator David Biello got all warm and fuzzy about saving the planet from Global Warming by “hazing the sky” with sulphuric acid.

“Modified jets spewing sulfuric acid could haze the skies over the Arctic in a few years ‘for the price of a Hollywood blockbuster,’ as physicist David Keith of Harvard University likes to say. For a mere billion dollars a program to swathe the entire planet in a haze of sulfuric acid droplets could be ready as soon as 2020,” Scientific American reported in 2015.

Does anyone who remembers acid rain really think this is a good idea???

Hazing the (Apocalyptic) SkySulphuric acid. H2SO4.

The EPA defined “acid rain” or “acid deposition” as “a broad term that includes any form of precipitation with acidic components, such as sulfuric or nitric acid that fall to the ground from the atmosphere in wet or dry forms. This can include rain, snow, fog, hail or even dust that is acidic.” Acid rain darned near ruined Vermont’s maple industry.

The EPA regulated it to death. We thought.


The War on Women and Health

It’s not fought where you think.

Hillary Clinton takes pains to prove that she will faithfully continue the work Mr. Obama has done to destroy health care, women, and the nation. She calls herself “the best standard bearer for the president’s health care act.”

The Obama administration has admitted that premiums for plans under the Unaffordable Care Act known as Obamacare would soar by an average of 25% next year.

“I want us to defend and build on the Affordable Care Act and improve it,” Ms. Clinton said. “That is one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, of the Democratic Party and of our country.”


My new friend Diana Bauer, up where the air is thin in New Mexico, was forced onto a Bronze plan. “Last year my premium was $389 per month for covering practically nothing,” she said. “I’m afraid to go to the doctor.”

It gets worse.

“I got a little bonus at the end of last year and all of it and more was eaten at tax time because it bumped my premium for the entire year. With the new rates coming, I won’t be able to afford ‘Bronze-level’ coverage. I need ‘dirt-level’ coverage.”

16 million American women do not have health insurance despite the Obamacare juggernaut Ms. Clinton will defend. Without significant change, Ms. Bauer and many, many more will rejoin the ranks of uninsured next year.

Yeppers, that’s one of the great accomplishments of Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party. There are more and Ms. Clinton will faithfully continue them.

“If fighting for women’s health care and paid family leave and equal pay [and raising the minimum wage] is playing the woman card, then deal me in,” Ms. Clinton says on the stump.

3.7 million more American women ive in poverty than when Mr.Obama took office. In 2015, there were 43.1 million people in poverty, up from 39.3 million in 2008. Even NPR admits that “there are somewhere in the neighborhood of six million more people in poverty now than there were before Obama took office.” There are 24.1 million women living in poverty now, up from 20.4 million in 2008.

Fighting for women.

Yeppers, that’s another of great accomplishment of Mr. Obama and the Democratic Party. Ms. Clinton, the self-proclaimed “women’s champion,” will faithfully continue that trend.


It’s Columbus Day, Dammit

Today was “Indigenous Peoples Day” in Vermont. Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-VT) made the proclamation this morning but for only this year, his last in office. He replaced what the country knows as Columbus Day.

It annoys me there are no indigenous peoples left (actually, there are no indigenous peoples almost everywhere in the world). The ancestors of the current Second or Third or Fourth People we celebrate as indigenous were (probably) nomadding around here before the white man settled in but they likely did to the Red Paint people what they say the Europeans did to them.

It annoys me more because our politically correct friends choose to tear down the real history to put in place their belief structure.

I think it should be Interlopers Peoples Day.

Looked at through the lens of history, we’re all Interlopers.


Mail It

Tales of a South Puffin headed North.

We’re south of South Florida and actually more comfy year round than the mainland (it’s sub-tropical down there in the Keys, so we do get a bit of temperature swing but it’s small).

I’m a sunbird. I stay there until the ocean gets warmer than the air, and then follow the cool air to North Puffin. I’ll be back before I have to start wearing longjohns and cutting a hole in the ice for supper up there. That’s a reference to ice fishing although I have never understood why people would spend a day sitting on a bucket to try to catch a block of ice. I mean Walgreens or Kinneys sells ice for a buck or two.

Today is the first day of Summer but my last day down south last week felt like summer. It was sunny, sunny, sunny and calm with a high of 91 or so which meant a heat index of about 108. The water temp was 90F at Station VCAF1 — Vaca Key — which is off Palm Island Drive on the Gulf side of Marathon. It certainly felt like bath water in the ocean. The “cold spots” were probably 85.

As an aside, 2016 is a very special year because the solstice coincides with the “Strawberry Moon.” Named by early American tribes, the Strawberry Moon is a full moon like any other, but the one that marks the beginning of the strawberry season. The two events coincide once every 70 years. It may be pink when I get the picture.

I have several chores to do when shutting down the house. Tell the cops. Turn in my !@#$%^Comcast devices (the high point of the day, you betcha), and (temporarily) forward the mail.

I generally did the latter at the counter, but the Post Office got all official-like and started making me fill out a form and mail it in. Last year, I actually handed it to our postal person, but the USPS probably charged itself for the “postage paid” response card.

Our postal person was up to his eyeballs in customers when I went in for the form so rather than waiting in line, I decided to do it online. It’s easy peasy. Go to “ Find ‘Change of Address’ under ‘Quick Tools.’ Follow easy on-screen instructions to enter to enter your information.” And the easy on-screen instructions really were easy.

Until I got to the Identity Verification.

Identity Verification — Credit/Debit Card

We must charge your credit/debit card $1

In order to verify your identity, we process a fee to your credit/debit card. The card’s billing address should match either the old or new address entered on the address entry page. If your card is billed to a different address, you may enter it by selecting the “Enter a different address” option. This is to prevent fraudulent Change of Address requests.

Please note that the Internet Change of Address Service uses a high level of security on a secure server.

Wait a minute. What?

You charge a dollar to verify my identity? What, are you nutz?

Banks, which charge for everything, have figured this out; they don’t charge.
Paypal knows how to do it; they don’t charge.
I think my stockbroker put four cents in my account.

I stopped at the counter on my way out of town. Our postmaster is on vacation but our sub gave me the form to fill out. I did it on the spot and handed it back.

“You know you can do this online, right?” she said.

“You charge me a dollar.”

“That’s an ID check because anyone could go online and change your mail.”

I just shook my head and handed her the form.

“I’ll take this but it takes at least two weeks to go through.”

By the way, she doesn’t know me from Art. Didn’t ask me for ID, though.

<le sigh>