New Trade Deal With Mexico and Canada

Replacing NAFTA. US, Mexico, Canada sign USMCA trade deal.

US officials said the negotiated revisions to USMCA included stronger environmental and labor standards that would benefit US workers, as well as increased wages and greater powers for unions in Mexico.

Not sure what Canada gets, aside from not being locked out.

Neighbors Were Shocked

Because they always are. Homeowner shoots through front door at would-be intruders.

A resident told police at about one Thursday afternoon, he heard two men singing Christmas carols as they knocked on the door, then tried to kick it in.

The homeowner shot at the men, who took off — one possibly in an older model teal car.

As for the neighbors?

“Kinda scary considering there was a gunshot about 200 yards, if that, from where I’m standing,” Lance Turner says.

Neighbors like Turner in the Lincoln Village neighborhood on the city’s north side off Cook Road are concerned.

The didn’t realize that they lived in The Real World™ where crime can, and all too often, does happen. Oh, and people defend themselves. I’m sure Mr. Turner would have been happy if his neighbor had been injured or killed, as long as no firearms were involved. Or something.

“A very steamy dog pile of science”

When people start to go on about “settled science” you should hang onto your wallet. When 98.9 Percent of Nutrition Scientist Got it Wrong.

Scientists are political creatures, just like the rest of humanity. Some of them have books to sell, others are trying to get grant approval. Shading the truth? Cherry picking of data? Color me shocked.

In 1953, Dr. Ancel Keys published the Seven Countries Studies. He collated data from seven countries whose population was known for their high consumption of dietary fats and a high incidence of heart disease and connected the two. Why he didn’t include data from all 22 countries in which data was collected is still not known. Some have speculated that it did not support his hypothesis. He had a book to sell. Only later, when data from all 22 countries were eventually tallied, little to no correlation was found between the consumption of dietary fat and coronary heart disease when a variety of other factors were considered.

Various other studies had similar twists in the data.

Defenseless Victim Zones

Doing the same thing, and expecting a different outcome, is one sign of insanity. A Pensacola Postscript | Power Line

President Trump has instructed military base commanders to rethink policies about allowing military personnel on bases to be armed. Like so many reforms of the Trump era, it is long overdue.

How many attacks on military bases have to be endured before “We’ve always done it that way” changes?

A Friend in Need

You don’t need that extra-shot-frappa-whatever. Throw a couple a bucks to a worthy cause. In The Mailbox: 12.09.19.

Help me, commentariat, you’re my only hope. The credit union dropped me a line to let me know that I need to give them $135 by Friday so they don’t repossess my Kia. This will, not coincidentally, keep them off my neck until January when I’ll be back in the tax mines generating regular paychecks again. Please, please hit the tip jar at the end of this post, and thank you in advance for your generosity.

Health problems, lead to financial problems. Any of us can end up in the same situation in the blink of an eye.

The Nexus

Amaranthe is a bit hard to categorize. Some Death Metal. A touch of Beauty and the Beast (the Gothic Metal sub-genre, not the musical). Some call them Metalcore (a mix of Metal and Hardcore Punk), some call them Melodeath (Melodic Death Metal.) A lot of their stuff has a distinctive pop flavor, I think that comes from the nature of Elize Ryd’s voice. They have 3 vocalists, to cover all those bases. Elize Ryd, Nils Molin and Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson. There is something for everyone.

This song is “The Nexus” by Amaranthe from the 2013 album The Nexus.

White Island (or Whakaari) Volcano Erupts

This story from the Mirror, actually is one of the more complete stories. No more survivors expected to be found after New Zealand volcano disaster: Police issue warning after five people were confirmed dead and more than 20 unaccounted for following eruption.

  • White Island, located 29 miles off New Zealand’s North Island, erupted at 2.11pm local time on Monday
  • Five people have been confirmed dead, 18 injured, and more than 20 people are thought to be missing
  • Police say there have been ‘no signs of life’ from the island, and no more survivors are expected to be found

There is more at the link.

The key takeaway seems to be that there was no warning.

This video from Today is fairly complete, and shows a portion of the cellphone video recorded by an American, whose family had just ended a tour of the island.

Paul Volcker: September 5, 1927 – December 8, 2019

If you have to have a central bank, he was the central banker you wanted. Paul Volcker, Fed chair who fought runaway inflation, has died at age 92.

Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman who in the early 1980s raised interest rates to historic highs and triggered a recession as the price of quashing double-digit inflation, has died, according to his office. He was 92.

People forget about double digit inflation. I would have to look to see the exact rate, but my first mortgage was something on the order of 14 or 15 percent. Today, people complain about 4 percent.

He is also one of the more quotable central bankers, as he spoke in English, and not some bureaucratic doublespeak. (There was a cottage industry that grew up around translating Alan Greenspan’s statements.)

It is a sobering fact that the prominence of central banks in this century has coincided with a general tendency towards more inflation, not less. [I]f the overriding objective is price stability, we did better with the nineteenth-century gold standard and passive central banks, with currency boards, or even with ‘free banking.’ The truly unique power of a central bank, after all, is the power to create money, and ultimately the power to create is the power to destroy.
– Paul Volcker

How many technocrats would admit that their entire industry and its process for the past 100 years have been a failure?

Don’t Bring a Bottle to a Gunfight

And it seems that Michigan is still not a clone of New Jersey, either. Man shot after attacking gas station employee in Macomb Twp.

According to reports, the man walked into the gas station and had some sort of altercation with one of the two brothers who runs the gas station. At some point, the man struck the clerk over the head with a glass bottle.

The clerk responded by pulling out a handgun and shooting his attacker twice in the stomach.

The guy who got shot was taken to a local hospital. He was conscious, but no other word on his condition or prognosis was offered. The clerk who got hit with the bottle (actually one of 2 brothers who run the store) was checked for injuries as well. The investigation continues.

Self-defense is a human-right. In Michigan it can be your legal right as well.

Rear Admiral Grace Hopper – In Honor of Her Birthday: December 9, 1906

Grace Hopper (Amazing Grace) has to be one of my favorite people of the 20th Century. Shamelessly stolen from myself. It was originally posted in 2006, and amazingly, all the links still seem to work.

Grace HopperNot very many women were getting degrees in mathematics in 1928. (Not many are doing so today.) Grace Hopper got her MA in 1930 and a PhD. in 1934. She joined the Naval Reserve in 1943. Rear Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992) was a pioneer. She was one of the founders of modern computing.

Grace Hopper was the one who said, “It’s always easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.” (This is one of my favorite quotes.)

Grace Murray Hopper often presented a piece of wire about a foot long, and explained that it represented a nanosecond, since it was the maximum distance electricity could travel in wire in one-billionth of a second. She often contrasted this nanosecond with a microsecond – a coil of wire nearly a thousand feet long – as she encouraged programmers not to waste even a microsecond.

First Computer BugHave you ever wondered where the term “computer bug” comes from? The Mark II Aiken Relay Calculator stopped working in September 1945. Lieutenant Junior Grade Hopper (who was always good with gadgets) was one of those who took it apart piece by piece until a moth was found stuck between the contacts of relay number 70. The log entry says “First actual case of bug being found,” and the word went out that the machine had been “debugged.” [click on the image for a large view of the log and the bug.]

Lt. HopperAlthough programmers the world over love-to-hate COBOL (the COmmon Business Oriented Language), it was one of the first compiled languages.

Perhaps [Grace Hopper’s] best-known contribution to computing was the invention of the compiler, the intermediate program that translates English language instructions into the language of the target computer.

Her compiler lead directly to the development of COBOL; a major step into the modern world of computing we know today. And there is still a VERY good chance that COBOL wrote your last pay check, printed your last bank statement, tracks your car insurance, …

Amazing Grace even has US Naval vessel named in her honor. The USS Hopper (DDG-70) is a 500 ft. long AEGIS Class Guided Missile Destroyer, generates 100,000 shaft horsepower and was commissioned on 6 September 1997. The ship’s motto is “AUDE ET EFFICE” which translates to “Dare and Do,” a favorite phrase of Rear Admiral Hopper’s when giving advice.

Grace Murray Hopper died in 1992 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, having become the first woman to hold the rank of rear admiral. Grace Hopper’s military awards and decorations include:

  • Defense Distinguished Service Medal
  • Legion of Merit
  • Meritorious Service Medal
  • American Campaign Medal
  • World War II Victory Medal
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two Hourglass Devices
  • Naval Reserve Medal

The Navy, fittingly, has named its Data Automation Center in San Diego after her.

Chicago’s New “L” Cars Built With Child Labor

Is anyone surprised? Chicago is corrupt on a good day; on a bad day you can add stupid into the mix. L Cars made in China? Another decision made by short-sighted idiots.

CTA officials have asked the Chinese manufacturer of new L cars coming to Chicago for answers about the materials it’s using after NBC News reported children as young as 4 are mining minerals in Africa that might be used in their production.

Now partly this is the way mica is sourced.

It’s funny how very few people take Apple or Tesla to task for the way Lithum or Cobalt is mined. But then it is easy to pick on the CTA, and they deserve it. (No one in America builds subway cars?)

But hey, public transportation is good for the environment. (As long as you don’t look at the effects of lithium mining.)

Tesla (on Autopilot) Rear-ends Cop Car

Do I need to say that the cop car had its lights flashing? It did. Tesla on autopilot rear-ended Connecticut cop car as driver checked on dog: police.

State police said troopers had their emergency lights on at the time of the incident, police said.

After his car hit the police cruiser, he hit the car in front of the police cruiser, and then he had to be stopped a short distance later by another police cruiser at the scene.

Tesla should be sued for naming a non-autopilot system “Autopilot.” Aren’t there “truth in advertising” laws?

Hat tip to Small Dead Animals, who notes: I, For One, Welcome Our New Self Driving Overlords.

Vidalta Bridge

I suppose I can date my interest in new, non-maintained and failing infrastructure to the Florida International University pedestrian bridge failure in 2018, and really honed by the infrastructure-induced Camp Fire, in California and finally by my reading of info on the near-miss on a disaster at the Oroville Dam spillway. But it isn’t all doom and gloom.

On the subject of new infrastructure, we have Vidalta Bridge. Mexico City. Mexico. 2013.

The Vidalta Bridge is situated in a steep wooded ravine in Mexico City. The ravine´s peculiar conditions have given rise to a striking single-tower, cable-stayed bridge.

Click thru for an image of the finished product. It is proof that you don’t have to go out of your way to make bridges beautiful. Dealing with the engineering is enough on its own.

Here is a (mostly) time-lapse video of the construction. It is about 5 minutes. It also lets you get an idea of the scale, since the photo in the first link doesn’t really convey the massive size of this bridge.

Self-defense In Indiana

Or how would you react to someone forcing entry to your home? Police: Elkhart man shot during attempted home invasion in Cass County.

Police say the 35-year-old homeowner got into a fight with the Elkhart man after he forced his way into the home. The homeowner then shot the man, who drove and was later found at Elkhart General Hospital.

Investigation continues. DA is reviewing. But my guess is that the guy who got shot will be arrested once he is out of the hospital.

Self-defense is a human-right, and in Indiana it is mostly your legal right.

Problems with Lithium Batteries?

It can’t be. The media keeps telling my how great they are. EDITORIAL: Battery car burdens appear worse with each new report.

This is both the story of political corruption, and the devastating impact of lithium mining.

First, the perception of corruption. (I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.)

In 2018, [Colorado Governor John] Hickenlooper forced battery cars on Colorado with an executive order to adopt California’s emissions mandate. He signed it two months after boarding a luxury jet owned by the brother of battery car magnate Elon Musk to attend a Musk family celebration. The trip initiated one of several ethics investigations of the former governor.

Then there is problems with lithium mining.

A separate review published Nov. 6 in the science journal Nature raises extraordinary concerns about child labor, battery disposal dangers, and mining practices that make fracking seem relatively harmless.

“The processing of large amounts of raw materials can result in considerable environmental impacts,” the report says. “Production from brine, for example, entails drilling a hole in the salt flat, and pumping of the mineral-rich solution to the surface. … this mining activity depletes water tables. In Chile’s Salar de Atacama … 65% of the region’s water is consumed by mining.”

Cobalt mining has problems of child labor. Nickel mining contaminates fresh water and marine ecosystems in various places around the world, including Canada and Russia.

When You Put the DMV in Charge of Health Care…

You don’t get perfect results. NHS hospitals pay out almost £600MILLION in compensation to patients over three years for failing to diagnose diseases including cancer.

There have been 4,097 payouts, totalling £583million, to patients who didn’t receive a crucial diagnosis.

It means that the NHS is settling claims at the rate of 26 every week at a cost to the health service of £3.7million every week.

And despite this, NHS is going forward with a plan to ration tests even more. Why? Because that money comes out of a different part of the budget, with different people responsible for managing it, and they never talk to the litigation folks and what that is REALLY likely to cost. You know, like a cost measure in human lives and unnecessary suffering. And millions of pounds. But they’re helping. And besides, they have cost-cutting targets imposed by another group, who also don’t talk to litigation. I’m sure someone got a commendation for that rationing plan.

I can’t wait until we have socialized medicine!

So Why Did It the DA Take So Long?

The real headline could be “DA drags feet on admitting officer justified in defending himself” No Charges for Wisconsin Cop Who Killed Man Wielding Cleaver.

And he wasn’t just brandishing the meat cleaver.

[Caledonia Police Officer David] Baird needed 23 stitches to his head.

I think that qualifies under the heading of “a reasonable fear of death or grave bodily harm.” I mean, what did they expect the officer to do at that point? So what was the prosecutor considering while deciding if this action was justified or not? OR – Why the F@#^ did it take from August 18th of this year until the first week in December to come to the “justified” conclusion? Because DAs HATE self-defense. And besides, DAs are elected, so they have to pander, because no matter how cut and dried a situation is, someone will be screaming about brutality.

A Story of Self-defense That Makes Me Hate the Media

Even more than I already do. Which is a lot.

You can file this under, “So why do we care?” Slain attempted burglary suspect identified as former Cocoa High linebacker.

They make it sound like he graduated last year. He graduated from high school in 2011.

Wallace is a former Cocoa High School linebacker who was involved in the school’s 2009 Class 2A state championship

In the world of the news business, isn’t 2011, let alone 2009, ancient history?

And of course family and friends are shocked to discover that he might have been involved in anything nefarious.

Saturday Roundup of Link Roundups

Change is Good. Or at least Change is inevitable. And so the links and the link roundup have moved to new days. They may move again. Who can say. Anyway, I hope your weekend is off to a good start. (If you’re looking for the “Links” post, that moved to Friday…)

Wombat-socho at The Other McCain starts things off with In The Mailbox: 12.04.19 (Afternoon Edition).

Hogewash: A Troubling Remark, also, Team Kimberlin Post of The Day
Hollywood In Toto: Richard Jewell Crucifies Fake News, Honors The Heartland, also, CloutHub Wants No Part Of Our Cancel Culture Age
Joe For America: Your Smart TV Is Watching You

EBL – Jim Neighbors: Pearl Harbor Christmas Tribute 😢🇺🇸🎄.

AoSHQ: Terror link in Pensecola shooting
TOM: His name was Mohammed Alshamrani

Wombat-socho at The Other McCain – In The Mailbox: 12.06.19 (Afternoon Edition).

Bacon Time: The Bongino Report, Because Drudge Sucks
EBL: Shonen Knife – Space Christmas
Twitchy: Dana Loesch Takes Down Mob Of Angry & Stupid, Including “Charlotte” Clymer & Andy Richter, In Gun Debate

MaddMedic at Freedom Is Just Another Word… – News/Gun Bits ….

VT Lawmaker Proposes Ban On Carrying Semi-Automatic Handguns
Massachusetts Politician Wants Docs To Screen For Gun Ownership

Again from Wombat-socho at The Other McCain – In The Mailbox: 12.06.19 (Evening Edition).

According To Hoyt: Are You In The Path Of The Steamroller?
Monster Hunter Nation: Target Rich Environment 2 Out Today!
Vox Popoli: The Fake Billionaires, also, Corporate Cancer Is Everywhere

The Right Way – Top of the News.

Virginia Is Attempting Gun Confiscation – And People Are Revolting – IOTWreport
Big Bear’s Heaviest November Snowstorm in 50 Years- American Power

Maggie’s Farm – Wednesday morning links.

Democrats Now ‘Say Out Loud’ Intent to Turn America Blue by Immigration
Importing votes. It’s a step above buying votes.
9th Circuit grapples with nationwide injunctions in 2 cases. Both involve Trump administration immigration policies.

The Daley Gator – Your Daley Gator CCW News Update For Thursday (12/05/19).

Senate Confirms Four Federal Judges While House Hears Fake Impeachment Testimony – Daily Caller
The Senate confirmed four trial court nominees to the federal bench Wednesday, among them a public interest lawyer Democrats say will trim abortion rights.

Flopping Aces – The Week in Radical Leftism, 12/6/2019.

12/1 – Who Was It That Called Journalists “Useful Idiots”
I like how the media have finally stopped trying to hide how much they truly hate us.

Battleswarm Blog – LinkSwarm for December 6, 2019.

“Americans Bought Enough Guns on Black Friday to Arm the Marine Corps – Yet Again!”: “According to the FBI, over 200,000 background check requests associated with the purchase of a firearm were submitted to the agency on Black Friday

Doug Ross – Larwyn`s Linx: Adam Schiff Crosses the Line: Surveillance of Devin Nunes, Rudy Giuliani and John Solomon.

Yes, Lisa Page’s text messages matter: Kaylee McGhee
House GOP Leaders Hold Impeachment Rebuttal Press Conference; DC Media Ignore: CTH
150 Cartel Gunmen Crossed into Texas Before Deadly Attack That Killed 22: Breitbart

I leave you with Wednesday Memes … and Saturday Memes … from MaddMedic at Freedom Is Just Another Word… and Thursday? Libturds! Second Edition from Woodsterman and finally Cartoon Round Up…. from Theo Spark.

Texans Are Still Armed, Robbers Are Still Getting Shot

Did he think he was in New Jersey? ‘Threat was quite active’: Armed man, 21, shot, killed by convenience store customer on far West Side, police say.

I think the headline says it all. He tried to rob a store, and a customer objected. With extreme prejudice.

As for the cops…

“In the state of Texas, you can carry a weapon, and you have the right to protect yourself and your property. And while these were customers, and not owners, they did feel that the threat was quite active, and they addressed it as such,” said Officer Alisia Pruneda, spokesperson for the San Antonio Police Department.

The would-be bad-guy died at the scene.