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Russ Steele
Russ is a systems engineer, freelance writer. Lt Col, USAF (Ret)
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The Tea Party strategic plan was always to capture the GOP from within. To expand at the lower levels and then move up the chain of command. According to a WSJ front page article this strategy seems to be working: After two presidential victories, Mr. Obama presides over a Democratic Party that has lost 13 seats in the U.S. Senate and 69 in the House during his tenure, a net loss unmatched by any modern U.S. president. Democrats have also lost 11 governorships, four state attorneys general, 910 legislative seats, as well as the majorities in 30 state legislative chambers. In 23 states, Republicans control the governor’s office and the legislature; Democrats, only seven. Such losses help shape the future: An ousted state lawmaker doesn’t run for Congress; a failed attorney general candidate loses a shot at the governor’s office. As a result, the flow of fresh political talent rising to statewide and national prominence in the years ahead won’t be as robust as Democrats hope. 2016 could be a real challenge for Hillary if the Tea Party gets the candidate they want for President.
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2015 on Sandbox - 15jul15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Diplomad 2.0: Chattanooga Murders: Progressives Get the Credit Make no mistake about it. The progressives who run our institutions own this mass murder as much as they do the murder in San Francisco and the daily toll of murders in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, East Los Angeles, etc. They own it from their encouragement of Muslim immigration all the way to the "gun free zones" in which our military are forced to operate unarmed despite mounting evidence that they are targets of terror. We have highly trained Marines forced to "duck and cover" and run for their lives instead of doing what they do better than anybody else: send terrorists off to their appointment with seventy-two virgins or raisins or whatever the idiocy is. On the other hand we see some leadership at the State level: Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) issued an executive order late Friday authorizing certain full-time military personnel in her state to be armed following a deadly shooting the previous day in Tennessee. This is also happening in Arkansas and in Louisiana. Want to make any bets on California leadership on this issue? Did not think so.
I guess the states economy is not sustainable enough for nearly a third of California's citizens. New study says a third of Californians in poverty -- Nearly a third of California’s households “struggle each month to meet basic needs,” largely because of the state’s high cost of living, a new study by United Ways of California concludes. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee$ -- 7/15/15
Yale Professor: Today’s students “so ignorant” David Gelernter is a brilliant professor at Yale. In a recent interview, he exposes one of modern society’s dirtiest little secrets–university students, even elite ones, don’t know anything. I’m a teacher of college students. I’m lucky to be at one of the best colleges in the world, at Yale. Our students are as smart as any in the world. They work very hard to get here. They are eager, they’re likable. My generation is getting a chip on its shoulder, we always thought we knew everything about every topic, our professors were morons, and we were the ones who were building the world. My students today are much less obnoxious. Much more likable than I and my friends used to be, but they are so ignorant that it’s hard to accept how ignorant they are. You tell yourself stories; it’s very hard to grasp that the person you’re talking to, who is bright, articulate, advisable, interested, and doesn’t know who Beethoven is. Had no view looking back at the history of the 20th century – just sees a fog. A blank. Has the vaguest idea of who Winston Churchill was or why he mattered. And maybe has no image of Teddy Roosevelt, let’s say, at all. I mean, these are people who – We have failed. […] [H]ow did we get to this point today when my students know nothing? They know nothing about art. They know nothing about history. They know nothing about philosophy. And because they have been raised as not even atheists, they don’t rise to the level of atheists, insofar as they’ve never thought about the existence or nonexistence of God. It has never occurred to them. [Emphasis added.] And remember, these are students attending a world-class university. At a less elite school like UD, the situation is inevitably even worse. We can in fact confirm that things have gotten so bad that it’s nearly impossible to make learned allusions during class lectures–they just fly over the students’ heads. More here: They do not see any need to know anything once they get the sustainability and global warming talking points memorized. The problem is once they come to the end of these talking points, they start mumbling and resort to personal attacks on their questioner. Similar to some of the responses we get from liberal posters on this blog.
Walt@12:09PM It is easier to collect the taxes from several BIG drug companies, then it is to collect from hundreds of little growers. It is easier to get political donations from several BIG drug companies, than it is from hundreds of little growers. It easier to get graft from several BIG drug companies, than hundreds of little growers. Given these facts, it is clear MJ will be legal and the market will be controlled by BIG industrial growers. The little growers will be screwed by the very laws that the little guys are promoting.
Toggle Commented Jul 15, 2015 on Sandbox - 15jul15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Finally: State and local governments will no longer be allowed to hide the true costs of the long-term benefits provided to government workers. A recent change by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, known simply by the acronym GASB, forces government bodies to be more transparent in reporting pension liabilities and long-term commitments for retiree heath care. Among the changes: the liabilities must be reported on the first page of financial reports instead of being buried in a footnote. With the latest CalPERS results, anyone want to guess what Nevada County's unfunded liabilities are? It will soon be front page news.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2015 on Sandbox - 10jul15 at Rebane's Ruminations
As predicted: Taxpayers will get the retirement bill: CalPERS misses its target return by a wide margin -- The California Public Employees' Retirement System said its fund returned just 2.4% on its investments for the year ended June 30, a huge miss from its 7.5% investment target and a worrisome result for California taxpayers who must make up for any shortfalls in funding pensions. Dean Starkman in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 7/13/15
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2015 on Sandbox - 10jul15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Fifteen thousand people showed up at Trump event in Phoenix on Saturday, easily the largest rally of any 2016 Presidential contender to date. According to news reports people were turned way by the fire marshall, there was no room for them in the facility. This song, “Pissed Off Redneck,” captures the building frustration of those in real America, which is precisely what Trump is tapping into. People are angry with the established political parties D or R and it showing. Enjoy!
Toggle Commented Jul 13, 2015 on Sandbox - 10jul15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Quote of the Day: Statistics is to science as steroids are to baseball. Addictive poison. But at least baseball has attempted to remedy the problem. Science remains mostly in denial. Especially climate science.
Toggle Commented Jul 12, 2015 on Sandbox - 10jul15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Opps should have read: "they push on the people of California."
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2015 on Sandbox - 10jul15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Is a mini ICE AGE on the way? Scientists warn the sun will 'go to sleep' in 2030 and could cause temperatures to plummet New study claims to have cracked predicting solar cycles Says that between 2030 and 2040 solar cycles will cancel each other out Could lead to 'Maunder Minimum' effect that saw River Thames freeze over More details HERE. I hope that I am still around to when the Left comes to the realization that humans cannot control the climate, regardless of how many environmental rules and regulations that push in the people of California.
Toggle Commented Jul 11, 2015 on Sandbox - 10jul15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Todd@09:00PM Truckee's "stack em and pack em" project will be a Sierra Slum in ten years after it is built and the town will be looking for grant to tear it down. All the built in greenhouse gas reduction and energy saving sustainability devices will be unable to keep up with the growing winter cold and people will not want to live in an icebox after working in the winter snow al day, they will want a warm cozy place to eat and sleep. This "stack em and pack em" palace will not be that place in the winter.
Toggle Commented Jul 1, 2015 on Sandbox - 28jun15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Interesting times ahead. The LGBT community, at 3.8% of the population, has wrought major cultural changes on the US population. What happens when the Muslim population in the US reaches 3+% and they use the same tactics as the LGBT community to change our culture, forcing the adoption of sharia law in the US. It gets even more interesting when one considers that sharia law does not make any room for the existence of an LGBT population. More cultural clashes and blood in the streets. This will be a challenge for the left as they now support both the LGBT and Muslim communities, while actively encouraging Muslim immigration. Interesting time ahead.
A new take on the Lord’s Prayer, designed to encapsulate Pope Francis’s message: Our Gaia, Who art in danger, Sustainable be thy name, Thy renewable energy resources come, Thy Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s will be done On Earth as it is in the upper atmosphere Give us this day our daily organic ciabatta Forgive us our carbon emissions Though we can’t forgive those multinationals who emit against us Lead us not into excessive plane travel Deliver us from genetically modified crops For thine is the moral high ground The onshore wind farms and the subsidies For as long as the taxes can be raised. Amen.
Toggle Commented Jun 27, 2015 on Sandbox - 25jun15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Jon@01:32PM Why? Jon@02:29PM Have you ever worked for the government? The rules are stifling, all designed to make sure no new ideas come forward as the bureaucracy does not like change.
Toggle Commented Jun 24, 2015 on Sandbox - 21jun15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Gregory@12:55 Why would a sixth grade hacker have problems hacking government files if "logins and passwords for 47 government agencies strewn across the Web - available for hackers, spies and thieves." OK, maybe it would take an 8th grade hacker to find the log ins and passwords. I did not mention anything about affirmative action. My point was the Obama administration, white, black and green have had six years to address the hacker challenge, and it does not appear that much was done, even after the problem was identified. When I was in the AF and had sensitive security clearances and computer terminal access, I had to change my password every six weeks, and the password had to be 12 nonsense letters, numbers and one symbol. Has to sit in security office and memorize, could not leave the office until the PW as committed to memory. Three tries and users were locked out and had to get a new PW, same routine. Back in the 1970s security was a very big deal. Not sure how the attitude changed.
Toggle Commented Jun 24, 2015 on Sandbox - 21jun15 at Rebane's Ruminations
How to create a well managed government seems to escape the Obama administration: AP Reports: WASHINGTON (AP) -- A CIA-backed technology company has found logins and passwords for 47 government agencies strewn across the Web - available for hackers, spies and thieves. Recorded Future, a social media data mining firm backed by the CIA's venture capital arm, says in a report that login credentials for nearly every federal agency have been posted on open Internet sites for those who know where to look. According to the company, at least 12 agencies don't require authentication beyond passwords to access their networks, so those agencies are vulnerable to espionage and cyberattacks. The company says logins and passwords were found connected with the departments of Defense, Justice, Treasury and Energy, as well as the CIA and the Director of National Intelligence. Your average six grade hacker would not have a problem hacking the government's critical files. This what happens when you have to hire from the bottom of the barrel.
Toggle Commented Jun 24, 2015 on Sandbox - 21jun15 at Rebane's Ruminations
George writes and interesting article that deserves some discussion, and the comment threat is full of non-sense bull sh*t by the "fish" and the FUE. What a waste of bandwidth. Scott, when I was growing up my family alternated between living in Nevada County and Lemhi County, Idaho. I graduated from Salmon High and went to Idaho State for two years before joining the Air Force. I wrote a book about my adventures in Idaho, Cobalt: The Legacy of the Blackbird Mine. Since retiring, we have made more trips to Idaho than any other state. It is a great place to live in the spring, summer and fall, but winters can be a challenge. Many of our friends who live in Idaho winter in Arizona, snow birds in RV parks. One RV resort we visit hosts 20-25 couples from Salmon every year. We considered moving to Idaho, but it was too far from the grandkids in Roseville. Wish you the best of times in the great state of Idaho.
Now it has come to this, another environmentalist wacko green dream goes red: WaPo: Green woes on recycling: Most cities in the red – A ‘money-sucking enterprise’ 'Almost every facility like it in the country is running in the red. And Waste Management and other recyclers say that more than 2,000 municipalities are paying to dispose of their recyclables instead of the other way around.' Read more:
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2015 on Sandbox - 21jun15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Remembering my dad Bert Steele: When I was born in 1938 my mom and dad were building the white house on the hill behind the swimming pool at Pioneer Park in Nevada City. Dad was a miner at the Murche Mine. We take our grand children to the Empire State Park and show them his picture with all the other miners. During the early days of WWII dad was a welder, building ships in Bremerton Washington and then as a swing shift welding foreman at Colberg Boat Works in Stockton, California, building minesweepers for the Navy. But, building minesweepers was not enough, he wanted to get into the action and enlisted in the Army Air Corp Cadet Program to become a pilot. He was a B-26 Instructor pilot in Texas. He never saw combat, the Air Corp decided he should be a B-26 flight instructor, teaching Chinese pilots how to fly the B-26. When the war was over, Dad wanted to stay in the Army Air Corp, but he would be stationed in Germany and my mother was concerned about the schooling of her three boys, and baulked at a military career for Dad. When the Korean Conflict started, he tried to reenlist in the Air Force, but at top of the age limit with a family of three children the Air Force said no way, we have enough young pilots. He was crushed. After the WWII Dad built a logging truck out of a surplus Army 6x6 and started hauling logs, eventually starting his own logging business, selling logs to local mills. When he brought the 6x6 home he brought a jeep that had come back from the Pacific as ballast on a returning Liberty ship. It had a big shrapnell hole in the back of the jeep. Dad put it in the yard, and told me, age 11, and my two brothers, 9 and 7, that when we got it running we could drive it around the Thomas Ranch. We dismantled the engine and Dad helped us put it back together, and it started! By then we were 12, 10 and 8. My youngest brother could not reach the clutch, brake and gas peddles so we screwed wooden blocks on them so he could drive, and he looked out the missing door to see where he was going. Dad never attended college, but he was very proud of his Army Air Corp Aviation Cadet Qualification Examination score, top of his class, which the Army used in lieu of a requirement for two years of college. After I had two years of college, I followed Dad and enlisted in the Air Force Aviation Cadet Program for Navigators. He followed my 20 year career with great interest. Dad finally saw action during the Viet Nam Conflict. He was a Cummins Diesel Specialist working for Tacoma Boat, who build jet powered coastal patrol boats, with auxiliary diesel engines. When crossing the Pacific the spray shut down the jets and the list of the boats was so great the diesel engine's oil pumps could not reach the oil in the engine pan. The Navy sent him to Viet Nam to supervise rebuilding the engines with a modified oil sump to account for extreme list. While he was in Viet Nam his hooch was mortared one night while he as at the Club, and a diver discovered an explosive charge attached to one of the boat hulls under the water. My dad was known for his resourcefulness and ability to solve complex problems with practical solutions. He was a government concrete inspector on the tallest dam in the US and his expertise in diesel repair and trouble shooting took him to jobs in Wyoming, Utah, Alaska, Chile and Puerto Rico. His two youngest sons built careers in diesel mechanics based on the skills he passed on to them. My dad died in August of 1980, just a few months after I retired from the Air Force. We had too little time to catch up, to share stories over an adult beverage. I still talk to him in my dreams.
Toggle Commented Jun 21, 2015 on Sandbox - 21jun15 at Rebane's Ruminations
Here is a link to the Imitating Machines blog that discusses the issues of Machine Intelligence, and possible future Machine Sapience. Imitating Machines: The Future Of Machine Intelligence, Robotics, And Employment
Toggle Commented Jun 19, 2015 on Agnosticism vs Atheism at Rebane's Ruminations
If I were Catholic I would be shorting the collection plate until the Pope gets some real science advisors and fires his communist advisors and global warming fear mongering staffers. If the million plus US Catholics that do not believe in AGW all shorted the collection plate, the Pope would soon get the message.
Toggle Commented Jun 19, 2015 on Sandbox - 17jun15 at Rebane's Ruminations
My apology for being taken in by the hijacker's low hanging fruit. You are correct, this was an important subject for discussion, and I failed hold up my end of the conversation, unprepared to make a significant contribution.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2015 on Agnosticism vs Atheism at Rebane's Ruminations
Obama is "transforming America" more by incompetence than design. Some of the contractors that have helped OPM with managing internal data have had security issues of their own—including potentially giving foreign governments direct access to data long before the recent reported breaches. A consultant who did some work with a company contracted by OPM to manage personnel records for a number of agencies told Ars that he found the Unix systems administrator for the project “was in Argentina and his co-worker was physically located in the [People's Republic of China]. Both had direct access to every row of data in every database: they were root. Another team that worked with these databases had at its head two team members with PRC passports. I know that because I challenged them personally and revoked their privileges. From my perspective, OPM compromised this information more than three years ago and my take on the current breach is ‘so what’s new?’” Details here: All the encryption in the world would not have prevented this problem when foreign nationals have complete access to the operating system. Snowden proved the danger to security when there is no control over root access. Even an 8th grade Linux hacker knows the power of root access. The question is what is Congress going to do now that their information has been compromised along with all the other common people. China now knows what everyone's security clearance is and all their other secrets.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2015 on Sandbox - 17jun15 at Rebane's Ruminations
To be more like Oakland, we will have to become more racially diverse. Oakland is 35.5% white, 28% African American, 24.5% Hispanic, 16.8% Asian. I think we have a very long path to Mr Pelline's future, starting with some jobs that can attract our more diverse citizens.
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2015 on Agnosticism vs Atheism at Rebane's Ruminations