Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Politicians wasting time and money

Politicians are like the police, they are to protect and serve the population. Our current tribe of Texas politicians have forgotten that, and have strayed into voodoo.

Texas Lt Governor Dan Patrick, and Senator Lois Kolkhorst (who I have met and who seemed sane at the time) are sponsoring the "Texas Privacy Act." An act that discriminates against a sub-set of society, and addresses a non-existent problem, "a bill that would require transgender Texans to use public bathrooms that correspond with their sex assigned at birth."

"The Texas Association of Business released a study in December that concluded the state's economy could take an $8.5 billion hit and put at least 185,000 jobs at risk if such a bill becomes law. The study said the measure would devastate Texas' tourism and travel industry, and make it harder for businesses to attract workers from other places."

See the full article from the Houston Chronicle:

Monday, January 16, 2017

Old water supply replaced

The "city" water supply is modern PVC. But hidden underground, it is spliced to the perhaps 100 year old original steel pipe.  A lot of exploratory digging to find the buried pipe, but now it is all PVC. The pipe is threaded under the largest tree roots.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Ex-mayor, Lutfur Rahmam, found guilty of spiritual influence

An interesting case, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, London, removed from office by a court case, last year.

From 2015 April 23

Earlier today, Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman was found guilty of election offences today by the High Court. The judgment, read this morning at the Royal Courts of Justice, followed the longest election trial since the Second World War. Charges were brought last year in an election petition by four local politicians under the Representation of the People Act 1983.

They accused the Mayor and his lead agent, Clllr Alibor Choudhury, of a string of election offences including bribery, postal voting fraud, false statements about rival candidates, intimidation at polling stations and ‘spiritual injury’, (‘spiritual injury/influence’ has not been invoked in election proceedings since trials in Ireland in the 19th Century).

In the end it was not postal voter fraud or intimidation that rendered the verdict guilty, though this previously had been the allegations most covered by the press Lutfur Rahman has been found guilty of ‘corruption’, this being, in Judge Mawrey’s words, ‘using power to promote his community’- who are not (this relates to Muslims, not just Bengalis), a ‘real minority’ in Tower Hamlets because they are so populous within the borough.

The Judge found Lutfur guilty of ‘spiritual influence’ because the Chair of Tower Hamlets Mosque Committee supported Lutfur for in his bid for re-election. The most recent case law regarding ‘spiritual influence/injury’ is from 19th century Ireland courts not operating under home rule. The judge stated he found Rahman not to be a ‘credible witness’, while Labour and Tory councillors, including Peter Golds, a close friend of John Major, were said to be ‘credible witnesses’.

The Judge further said police at the polling stations could be said to be like the ‘three wise monkeys’ and that Rahman’s campaigners were not credible in their statements, that Rahman’s witnesses painted their campaigning as ‘jolly family outing’ which was responded to with laughter in the gallery. However, the Judge then found Rahman NOT guilty of intimidation, saying that while there was definitely ‘common law intimidation’, it didn’t meet the level of proof needed.

No example of intimidation was given in court bar multiple campaigners congregating on pavements. The Judge praised the petitioners in bringing the case forward, that their behavior had been ‘exemplary’ and they had been brave to do so despite knowing they’d be portrayed as racists and islamophobes. The Judge stated the ‘real victims’ of this case were the Bengali community who had been ‘lead into a sense of victimhood’. The Judge stated Rahman has in fact ‘made a career of silencing others by accusing people of Islamophobia’.

Thank you Obama

Just in from Yahoo News:

The US labor market continues to hum. 

US companies added 156,000 nonfarm payrolls in December, which was a bit lighter than the 175,000 expected. On the plus side, November’s payrolls number was revised up by 19,000 to 204,000. 

December marked the 75th straight month of job growth in the US. 

As expected, the unemployment rate ticked up to 4.7% from 4.6% in November. This came as the labor force participation rate climbed to 62.7% from 62.6% a month ago. 

Importantly, wages are heating up. Average hourly earnings grew 0.4% month-over-month, which was better than the 0.3% expected. It was also a significant improvement from the 0.1% decline in November. 

On a year-over-year basis, average hourly earnings climbed by 2.9%, which is the fastest pace of growth since June 2009.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The wrong cat

I set this animal free too. It has no collar and is not the target animal.

A good way to start the new year

A truck load of flowers for a friend. New Years Day was partly sunny, 23C, perfect weather to plant. We took Giant Rudbeckia, purple Wandering Jew, and other plants. And a shovel.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A dog story

A true story. Not a shaggy dog story, but a federal crime, shipping stolen property across state lines.

"A dog from a neighbor kept coming over to my property, it was neglected and abused. The owners did not give a damn. So I stole it, gave it food and a bath. I had arranged to send it to my cousin in Rhode Island once it was healthy, but in the interim I had to keep it on my land. There was a real risk the owners would recognize the dog when driving by.

So we dyed the dog blond.

And when it was healthy flew it to Rhode Island in an animal crate. Later the local vet called and asked, "What type of dog is this?" "