US News Section

Saturday, November 17, 2018 - 7:29am

Stephen Murray was the maintenance man at the 281 resident trailer park in Paradise, California. On the morning of Thursday, November 8, he could see the fire coming. Before any orders to evacuate were sent out, he drove around the park honking his horn and alerting the residents.

Evacuation was not as easy as it sounded, many of the residents were elderly and Apple Tree Village Park only had one road leading out -- and that road was backed up and not moving.  Thinking quickly, Murray told one resident, "I'm gonna take my work truck and plow through the fence so we can get out of the park."

And he did. Stephen used the opening in the fence to access the bike trail, which he and other residents used to escape the flames. Of the 281 residents on Apple Tree Village Park, some are still missing. Murray is sharing his contact information and would like any residents of the Apple Tree Village park to contact him. Mike Murphy, owner of the park, and Stephen would like any information on park residents. If you or someone you know has evacuated from this mobile home park, please contact Stephen Murray at or (530) 513-8003, or Mike Murphy at (916) 715-7342. 

Monday, September 24, 2018 - 10:10am

In the three days since this post was first published new information has come to light. Links to these revelations are in Daily News, Sept. 24th.  It is important to keep in mind:

  1. There are credible allegations of attempted rape in high school.
  2. There are credible allegations of sexual assault (and maybe worse) in college.
  3.  There are credible allegations of hinky behaviour when choosing his interns.

This is a pattern. A lifelong pattern of at the very least disrespecting women, a lifelong pattern of bad judgement. Brett Kavanaugh should not be allowed to sit in judgement of anybody, let alone all of us.

The republicans are doubling down on their support of Kavanaugh. It remains to be seen if they have the votes or not.

[First published on 2018-09-21]

Brett Kavanaugh, already a judge, who they say has a STELLAR record, will lie under oath to get his promotion.

If news reports are anything to go by, Kavanaugh has always disrespected women - as a gender, not just specific women and for Republicans, that is a feature not a bug.

High School

Former Student: Brett Kavanaugh’s Prep School Party Scene Was A ‘Free-For-All’

Do you think people would have even remembered something like what Blasey described? Like, would it have registered?

Every weekend there was this whole idea of, “Hey, where are you going this weekend?” “Well, so-and-so’s having a party or someone’s having a party at their house.” Usually because their parents were gone — that would happen all the time. Then everybody would go over there, the entire class. Or at least, anybody who was cool or anybody who could party would go. Anybody who could get a ride, or anybody who had a car. And then all the girls’ schools in the area. If you talked to any of the girls there, they would all say, “Oh, yeah, of course there was a culture where assaults like that happen.”


Brett Kavanaugh’s Yale Fraternity Hoisted A Flag Made Of Women’s Underwear In 1985

A member of the frat at that time told the newspaper the underwear was “obtained consensually.” It was probably part of a “scavenger hunt” pledges were typically sent on, with the underwear “donated willingly” by women who wanted to “play along,” he said.

But a female classmate of Kavanaugh’s complained in a post on the YaleWomen Facebook page that DKE brothers would often ransack women’s rooms while they were in class to grab their underwear. Comedian Heather Gold also recalled “pushy, creepy” and “entitled” pledges coming drunk to her room in 1987, demanding underwear. 

Professional Life

Brett Kavanaugh Liked Female Clerks Who Looked A ‘Certain Way,’ Yale Student Was Told

A few years ago, as she was prepping to interview for a judicial clerkship, a student at Yale Law School received a troubling combination of warning and advice from her professors about one federal judge in particular: Brett Kavanaugh, she was told, liked his female clerks to have a “certain look.”

And what does that "certain look" look like?

... it’s “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s law clerks “look like models,”

Why would Kavanaugh not want an FBI investigation? If he has such a stellar reputation, wouldn't he want to defend it? Instead we find Brett embroiled in an "alternate theory of the crime".  

Ed Whelan, a former law clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia and the president of a think tank called the Ethics and Public Policy Center, took this theory to a new, wildly irresponsible place on Thursday night, actually identifying a classmate of Kavanaugh’s at Georgetown Prep, and suggesting that he, not the future judge, might have attempted to rape Ford.

The theory has already been debunked by Dr. Blasey. What is weird about this "theory" is that they are admitting the incident crime did take place, just that somebody else did it.

Brett Kavanuagh needs to step forward and demand an FBI investigation to clear his "good name". Since he isn't doing that, we can only assume he knows the FBI would find even more than the mainstream media.

An "entitled" attitude, already present in High School, has followed Brett Kavanaugh his entire life. This includes a general disregard for women topped with believing he can do whatever he pleases and still pass judgement on the rest of us. Now, he is just sitting back and waiting for a bunch of old, white men to annoint him.

Friday, August 10, 2018 - 11:04am

So, Donald wants a SPACE FORCE. Remarks yesterday by 45's #1 sidekick (His VP) would seem to indicate that Donald thinks he can militarize space.

"As President Trump has said, in his words, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space — we must have American dominance in space. And so we will," Pence said. "Space is, in his words, a war-fighting domain just like land and air and sea."

He added, "History proves that peace only comes through strength, and in the realm of outer space, the United States Space Force will be that strength in the years ahead."

Can he?  Isn't there some kind of rule or treaty? Funny you should ask.

Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

Let's break it down. Here is Article 1

Article I

The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.

That seems pretty straightforward. Space exploration should benefit ALL the citizens of Planet Earth.

Article II

Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.

Also, pretty straightforward. No country can claim space or any celestial bodies (planets, moons, stars)

Article III

States Parties to the Treaty shall carry on activities in the exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, in accordance with international law, including the Charter of the United Nations, in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international co-operation and understanding.

There are rules everybody has to abide by when exploring space or celestial bodies.

Article IV

States Parties to the Treaty undertake not to place in orbit around the Earth any objects carrying nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction, install such weapons on celestial bodies, or station such weapons in outer space in any other manner.

The Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used by all States Parties to the Treaty exclusively for peaceful purposes. The establishment of military bases, installations and fortifications, the testing of any type of weapons and the conduct of military maneuvers on celestial bodies shall be forbidden. The use of military personnel for scientific research or for any other peaceful purposes shall not be prohibited. The use of any equipment or facility necessary for peaceful exploration of the Moon and other celestial bodies shall also not be prohibited.

Weaponizing of space is strictly prohibited.

Article 5

States Parties to the Treaty shall regard astronauts as envoys of mankind in outer space and shall render to them all possible assistance in the event of accident, distress, or emergency landing on the territory of another State Party or on the high seas. When astronauts make such a landing, they shall be safely and promptly returned to the State of registry of their space vehicle.

Astronauts from every country are protected.

The substance of the arms control provisions is in Article IV. This article restricts activities in two ways:

First, it contains an undertaking not to place in orbit around the Earth, install on the moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise station in outer space, nuclear or any other weapons of mass destruction.

Second, it limits the use of the moon and other celestial bodies exclusively to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for establishing military bases, installation, or fortifications; testing weapons of any kind; or conducting military maneuvers.

After the Treaty entered into force, the United States and the Soviet Union collaborated in jointly planned and manned space enterprises.

There are, in all, seventeen articles to the treaty and I encourage you to read the entire text. At the bottom of the page linked, you will find the list of signatories to this treaty.

How a military Space Force would not violate this treaty is beyond me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 9:56am

For your reading pleasure.

As a part of its oversight of the Justice Department’s enforcement of the Foreign Agents Registration Act and federal investigations into potential improper influence during the 2016 presidential election, the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted bipartisan staff interviews with and submitted written questions to witnesses regarding circumstances surrounding the June 9, 2016, Trump Tower meeting. 

The following witness interviews are available:

  • Glenn Simpson    Fusion GPS
  • Donald J. Trump, Jr.
  • Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze 
  • Anatoli Samochornov 
  • Rinat Akhmetshin 
  • Robert Goldstone
Saturday, January 20, 2018 - 10:27am

UPDATE: At midnight last night (1/19/2018) the government shut down. This shutdown lies firmly at the feet of Mitch McConnell, the Republicans in Congress and 45. The Republicans are holding CHIP and DACA hostage in order to force Democrats into supporting a CR. 

Crossover votes on the CR:

Sen. Doug Jones, Democrat: YES
Sen. Joe Donnelly, Democrat: YES
Sen. Claire McCaskill, Democrat: YES
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat: YES
Sen. Joe Manchin, Democrat: YES

Sen. Jeff Flake, Republican: NO
Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican: NO
Sen. Rand Paul, Republican: NO
Sen. Mike Lee, Republican: NO

The government has been funding incrementally (CR - Continuing Resolutions) for nearly a decade. A DECADE! 

A government shutdown looms. Huffpost has live updates on the vote count.

Via Rueters -Schumer met with The Donald, but no deal.

Monday, March 5, 2012 - 11:00pm

We learned, late, of the passing of Commander Jeffry L. Huber (retired) at the age of 57, on January 24, 2012.

He was one of ePluribus Media's bright bulbs who shined a light from his flight deck experience in a bounty of words wizened by U.S. Navy command and time on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.   It all sharpened the satire in his critcally acclaimed Bathtub Admirals.

He graced not only our shores but through the wider appeal of his blog, Pen and Sword, the DailyKos, and, among other venues. 

The spirit of his humor and insighted commentary are a loss and will be missed by many. 

RIP Commander Huber. 

For a long thread of worthy respect, see this eulogy at DailyKos or the bon voyages of well-wishers at


Saturday, June 11, 2011 - 8:49am

For those who haven't heard anything about it yet, Arizona is burning.

From Seattle PI,

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. (AP) — Smoke from a massive wildfire in eastern Arizona that has claimed more than 30 homes and forced nearly 10,000 people to flee has officials worried about serious health impacts to residents and firefighters as tiny particles of soot in the air reached "astronomical" levels.

Read more: Full article.

This is the second-largest fire in Arizona history (so far), according to the article. And it's not the only one currently ablaze in the state:

Firefighters are battling another major wildfire in far southeastern Arizona, also near the New Mexico line. The so-called Horseshoe Two blaze burned through 211 square miles or 135,000 acres of brush and timber since it started in early May. The fire has destroyed 23 structures but caused no serious injuries. It was 45 percent contained late Friday and fire officials hope to have it fully contained by late June.

Read more: Full Article.

I can't imagine what it would be like to speak of dealing with an ongoing natural disaster in terms of "months" before it could be contained or mitigated. Well...ok, strike that. There's similar scale concepts - tho far different types of impacts and longer durations - when looking at unnatural disasters like Fukushimasee also and even longer-term consequences when considering the impact of anthropomorphic climate disruption.1, 2

And yes, there are those who have wondered if the AZ wildfires are linked to climate disruption, and while they can't prove it, they can show earlier predictors that reinforce indications that it might/could be related - and that there would be more, bigger incidents yet to come.

Not a very reassuring thought, with all those billions currently being spent in order to cripple any attempt to directly admit to and deal with the problem from a national public policy perspective.


Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 1:46pm

On Saturday, 14 May 2011, the US Army Corps of Engineers opened the first bay of the Morganza spillway as part of an ongoing effort to alleviate the swollen Mississippi river and avoid uncontrolled flooding further downriver. Via CNN:

The plan to open the spillway will still impact human populations - including the town of Butte La Rose, Louisiana:

Opening the spillway will redirect floodwaters from the Mississippi River through the Atchafalaya River Basin, which runs between Baton Rouge and Lafayette south toward Morgan City.

There are more than 800 homes in the Butte La Rose area of St. Martins Parish, which sits right in the flood path.

[...Click for more...]

What's worse, the impact of the plan will be felt long after the waters recede:

Roy Dakka, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Center for Geoinformatics at Louisiana State University, predicted it will take weeks to months for the farmland to dry.

"Any existing crops are going to be toast," he said, citing the fields of corn, sugar cane and soybeans that will be covered with sediment. "Plus, God knows what's in the water and what gets deposited."

[...Click for more...]

On the somewhat brighter side, officials are pretty sure that there won't be any failure in the untested system of levees, which could lead to unmitigated disaster.

That's not much comfort to the people impacted by the waters released into the spillway and redirected toward their homes and property, but it is - unfortunately - the best chance that experts have to reduce and mitigate the potential for a far more catastrophic flood in larger population areas.

It's for situations and events like this that our national infrastructure needs to be shorn up, bolstered instead of cannibalized as some sort of political bargaining chip.

This year, in particular, has seen quite a bit of severe weather already, and climate change theories imply that such severity is likely to increase.


Friday, May 6, 2011 - 3:22am

Sorry for the quick fly-by, but didn't want this to stagnate...

Oh, wow - what a great story, and a perfect rejoinder to idiotic statements like the recent one by Rick Santorum (

Meet the Hams: Two Arizona gay men who have adopted TWELVE children

H/t Ron E. Tunning on FB.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 4:52am

The news out of New York is both grim and grisly:

Three additional sets of human remains have been discovered on the same New York beach where a serial killer is believed to have dumped the bodies of five other women.

Suffolk County police announced the discovery of the bodies today, raising the number of victims to at least eight.

And it gets worse:

The bodies are believed to the work of a serial killer. Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer told ABC News in December, "Four bodies found in the same location pretty much speaks for itself. It's more than a coincidence. We could have a serial killer."

The bodies were discovered as a result of a search for a missing prostitute, Shannan Gilbert, whose body the police expected to find in the same area. Gilbert's body is, so far, not among those found, leaving the possibility of a ninth body to the list of suspected serial killings.

And then there's LA: in a story with an oddly similar body count (so far), LA detectives fear the disappearance of Ayella Marshall may be linked to the work of South Los Angeles serial killer known as "The Grim Sleeper." Lonnie Franklin Jr. is in jail awaiting tried on 10 counts of murder and one attempted murder in the case. What makes Lonnie a credible suspect? Aside from the photos and id of Ayellah and two other missing women found in a refrigerator in Lonnie's garage,

After Franklin's arrest last July, family members brought to the attention of police another four missing women who detectives believe could be additional victims. They have been identified as: Cathern or Catherine Davis, 29, who has been missing since 1982; Rosalind Giles, 27, missing since 1991; Lisa Knox, 29, missing since 1993; and Anita Parker, missing since 1998.


Detectives Tuesday also asked for the public's help in identifying 55 women who remain unidentified after police released 180 photos found in Franklin's house to try to eliminate them from a victim list. Some of the photos released in December appear to be of women sleeping.
The killer was dubbed the Grim Sleeper because the killings appeared to stop in 1988 and did not resurface until 2002. But [Detective Dennis] Kilcoyne said he believes there are many other victims.

Unlike the suspected New York serial killings, there's at least been an arrest in the Grim Sleeper case.

Let's hope the New York detectives catch a break and can land the east coast serial killer soon.