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marble falls

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Name: had to remove
Gender: Do not display
Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 03:49 AM
Number of posts: 25,240

About Me

Hand dyer mainly to the quilters market, doll maker, oil painter and teacher, anti-fas, cat owner, anti nuke, ex navy, reasonably good cook, father of three happy successful kids and three happy grand kids. Life is good.

Journal Archives

The Most Notorious Weapon Ever Produced?

The Most Notorious Weapon Ever Produced?

There are no simple answers for fixing the F-35 program, as tempting as it is to look for a single root cause for its problems.


By Valerie Insinna

Published Aug. 23, 2019
Updated Aug. 24, 2019

What is there left to say about the F-35 joint strike fighter? It’s the most expensive program in the Pentagon’s history and potentially its most ambitious, and it’s arguably the most notorious weapon ever produced. This week for At War, I wrote about its troubled history and the challenges the Defense Department is still facing.

As an air-warfare reporter, I’ve covered the minutiae of the F-35 program and the aircraft’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, for the past five years. When people ask whether it’s as big a disaster as they’ve heard, it’s hard to know what to say. I can’t help respecting the ambition of an effort that has tried to solve so many problems and has overcome technical and bureaucratic hurdles that would have killed another program, resulting in a plane that pilots seem to love and say is desperately needed. At the same time, it’s frustrating to watch the continued struggles knowing that American taxpayers will sink more than $1 trillion into an effort that has been poorly managed and resulted in so much waste.

Some officials in the Pentagon feel the same. This year, the Pentagon’s inspector general investigated Patrick Shanahan, then the acting defense secretary, over accusations of favoritism toward Boeing, Shanahan’s previous employer. One accusation derived from a Politico report in which a former senior Defense Department official said Shanahan had called the F-35 “[expletive] up” and suggested that Boeing would have done a better job running the program.

When the inspector general interviewed Shanahan about his comments, he said the capabilities of the F-35 were “awesome” but acknowledged that he criticized the program over having “insufficient spare parts in the inventory, the cost per flight-hour not decreasing fast enough and the logistics support system not having the functionality that the war fighters need to sustain the aircraft.” Military leaders from the F-35 program office, the Navy and the Air Force have publicly made similar complaints. In the end, the inspector general concluded that Shanahan had not crossed any lines.


Russia detains two North Korean vessels after one opens fire: reports

Russia detains two North Korean vessels after one opens fire: reports

2 Min Read


MOSCOW (Reuters) -


A Russian border patrol discovered two North Korean schooners and 11 motorboats fishing illegally off its far eastern coast and detained the first vessel, prompting the second one to open fire, the FSB was quoted as saying.
Related Coverage

Three Russian border guards were wounded in the incident.

“Both vessels have been detained,” local media cited the FSB as saying, adding later that more than 80 North Koreans had been detained.


The detained vessels are being taken to Russia’s Far East port of Nakhodka, Interfax news agency quoted FSB as saying.

Moscow in July accused North Korea of illegally detaining one of its fishing vessels. Pyongyang said the crew had been detained for violating the rules of entry into North Korea.

Reporting by Polina Ivanova and Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing by Tom Balmforth

There's An Easy Way To Make THC Vape Pens Safer

There’s An Easy Way To Make THC Vape Pens Safer: Legalize Weed

Several of the recent vaping-related illnesses and deaths appear to involve people who bought illicit vapes, which are not subject to regulations or testing.


By Jessica Schulberg
Illustration: Damon Dahlen/HuffPost; Photos: Getty

Over the past several months, seven people have died and nearly 400 others have gotten sick after using vape pens containing either nicotine or THC, the chemical in cannabis that makes you high. It’s causing a nationwide moral panic: Michigan’s governor enacted regulations that could result in 17-year-olds being hit with six-month jail sentences for every Juul pod in their possession. President Donald Trump has called for a similar nationwide ban on all flavored e-cigarettes.

This haphazard “do something” approach ignores the fact that several of the people who got sick from vaping used pens filled with THC oil, which is already illegal in most states and under federal law.


“Banning things — have we not learned that doesn’t curb use?” asked Jeffrey Raber, a chemist who founded a cannabis lab-testing facility in Los Angeles.

A more effective way to prevent people from using marijuana vape pens that could kill them or make them sick would be to legalize weed so that consumers could have the option to buy regulated, lab-tested products. The public health benefit of legalizing and regulating marijuana is not hypothetical — it’s already happened in states that have done it. California now has the most rigorous testing requirements: Every cannabis product sold in a licensed dispensary is tested for 66 types of pesticides, heavy metals, microbial pathogens and potency.


Legalization and regulation isn’t a perfect solution. There is still a thriving illicit market in California for consumers who don’t want to pay dispensary prices or who live far away from licensed stores. In Oregon, one man died of a respiratory illness after using a marijuana vape purchased from a legal dispensary — although it is not yet clear whether he added anything to the oil or used illicit products in addition to the vape he bought at the dispensary.

The odds of puffing poison into your lungs are significantly higher when using an illegal vape manufactured by people who are subject to no oversight and who have little incentive to keep their products free of toxic additives — but there are still a lot of unknown risks associated with legal THC vapes, experts warn.


Some of the legal vape manufacturers use terpenes, which are the oils that give cannabis its flavor, as thinners. Although this sounds like a safe, natural method, the effects of using large amounts of terpenes in vapes is still unknown, Palaia said.

“These are still organic solvents,” he said. “We don’t know what’s happening to them when they pass through high-temperature coils and end up in users’ lungs.”

There’s been an emergence of illicit THC vapes containing tocopheryl acetate, also known as vitamin E oil — seemingly a new effort to make the diluted oil appear thicker, according to cannabis industry experts. In the illicit market, where there is no required potency testing, thin oil can suggest low potency.

“We think the thickeners have been developed to mislead people in the illicit marketplace to think the THC concentration is higher,” Raber said.

Although safe for consumption and topical use, vitamin E oil when inhaled can stick to the lung’s liner fluid, block the flow of oxygen and kill lung cells.

At least some of the pens connected to vaping-linked illness included vitamin E acetate. New York’s Department of Health said it found “very high levels” of the compound in samples from eight of the 34 sick patients in the state. It also appeared in 10 of the 18 THC samples analyzed by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month.


Florida Couple Attempted To Have Sex In Cop Car

Florida Couple Attempted To Have Sex In Cop Car: Police

The couple had been arrested for DUI and allegedly got hot and heavy in the back of the squad car.

By David Moye




On Friday night, Nassau County Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Hunter pulled over two bicyclists who were riding around without their lights on and had almost been hit by a vehicle,


Although both were then handcuffed in the back of Hunter’s police car, they apparently didn’t let that minor detail stop them from appreciating the romance of the moment.

According to the police report obtained by The Smoking Gun, Hunter was outside of the car when both Thomas and Mondanaro “took their clothes off and started to have sex.”

The officer said that when he “opened up the door to stop them,” Thomas “was naked and [Mondanaro] had her pants down where her vaginal area was visible. I also observed her bra was halfway off and her breasts were fully visible.”

After Hunter removed a naked Thomas from the car, he knocked the deputy to the ground and ran away before being arrested at a Cold Stone Creamery, according to Jacksonville station WJAX-TV.

Meanwhile, Mondanaro allegedly “became violent and starting kicking at” another deputy. She was forced to the ground and suffered abrasions on her face, according to The Smoking Gun.

Mondanaro has been charged with DUI, exposing sex organs, committing an unnatural and lascivious act and resisting without violence, according to FirstCoastNews.

Thomas was charged with a threat against a public official, committing an unnatural and lascivious act, exposing sex organs and DUI.


4 Crew Members Are Found Alive After Cargo Ship Overturns Off Georgia

4 Crew Members Are Found Alive After Cargo Ship Overturns Off Georgia


The crew members had been trapped on the Golden Ray, a 656-foot vehicle carrier that overturned early Sunday.

By Derrick Bryson Taylor

Published Sept. 8, 2019
Updated Sept. 9, 2019, 2:20 p.m. ET


However, the Coast Guard said on Twitter that the conditions of the four were unknown and that rescuers were drilling a hole to deliver supplies.

Salvage crews were developing an “extraction plan” to rescue the four crew members, the Coast Guard said in a separate tweet, adding, “This is a slow, but safe process.”


Video of the rescue efforts that the Coast Guard posted on Twitter showed at least three crew members working on the side of the overturned ship.

#BreakingNews Salvage crews have have made contact with crew members in the #GoldenRay. Conditions unknown. Extraction being planned. #HappeningNow pic.twitter.com/wPdKfgqBdN
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) September 9, 2019

Rescuers faced a communication barrier with the South Korean crew members, but “the early indication is they are on board and O.K.,” Lt. Lloyd Heflin of the Coast Guard told The Associated Press.

The four crew members were in the engine room, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry told The A.P. in a statement. Ten South Koreans, 13 Filipinos and one American pilot were on the ship when the disaster occurred, the ministry said.


During integrity tests of the ship on Sunday evening, rescue crews had “heard noises coming from the ship,” which offered hope, Petty Officer First Class Luke Clayton said on Monday morning.

Petty Officer Clayton said that crews had heard “metallic sounds” and added that, given the position of the ship, things might have been shifting inside.

No fuel was leaking from the vessel, but the authorities were continuing to investigate. “We know there’s fuel on board, and we just want to make sure it’s not a hazard to the water,” Petty Officer Third Class Ryan Dickinson said.

The vessel had stopped smoking, but the authorities could not be certain if the fire had been extinguished without getting into the vessel, he said.

.@USCG and salvage crews are currently trying to access the #GoldenRay near #StSimonsSound via rescue helicopter. #HappeningNow #BreakingNews pic.twitter.com/1Uhr67peSM
— USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) September 9, 2019

Posted by marble falls | Mon Sep 9, 2019, 01:35 PM (2 replies)

The Republicans Are Dropping Like Flies

The Republicans Are Dropping Like Flies

What do retiring members of Congress know that President Trump doesn’t?

By Frank Bruni

Opinion Columnist


Sept. 7, 2019

There was no home for Representative Will Hurd in Donald Trump’s Republican Party.

For a while he tried to make one. For a while he succeeded, if success means preserving some of your dignity while steering clear of Trump’s wrath and surviving politically. Although Hurd’s Texas congressional district voted narrowly for Hillary Clinton in 2016, he held on to his seat that year and again in 2018, but by slim margins. It was anyone’s guess how he’d fare in 2020, and now no one will know. Hurd, 42, isn’t seeking re-election — he and a big, expanding bunch of his Republican colleagues in the House.


What to call this crowd? Maybe the Toppled Trumpers. Maybe the Shotgun Trumpers.

Maybe bellwethers.


But at least one constituency is unconvinced of that: Republicans in Congress, especially in the House. They’re making their predictions with their feet, and they’re heading for the exit.


Heading into the 2020 election, 19 Republicans in Congress have already announced that they won’t seek another term in their current office, a number higher than at the same point two years ago. Of the 19, 17 aren’t retiring from Congress to pursue some kind of political promotion. Meanwhile, only four Democrats in all are retiring from Congress. To analyze these numbers in the context of what happened in the midterms is to conclude that Republicans are limping toward a disastrous Election Day.

Maybe Trump’s fortunes are untethered from his party’s. Maybe, as has happened so often over the course of his charmed life, he will soar while all around him plummet, and they instead of he will suffer for his sins. His campaign associates go to jail; he goes to the Group of 7. The most principled Republicans are driven from the fold; he reigns without principle over a party that has largely bent to his wishes rather than stand up for what it purported to believe.


The departures this time around speak volumes about looming threats to the Republican Party. Five of the House Republicans who aren’t running again, including Hurd, are from Texas, a red state whose demographic composition fills Democrats with more and more hope. Two of only 13 Republican women in the House are stepping down. Hurd is the only black Republican in the House — a detail that he underlined in a sort of farewell note that he wrote and posted on his website.


But he’s in a much larger crowd of House Republicans who, for all their usual silence, privately bristle or gasp at Trump’s behavior. After Trump’s “go back” ugliness, Representative Paul Mitchell of Michigan publicly tweeted to the president that it was “beneath leaders” and that “we must be better than comments like these.” He had previously taken Trump to task for comments after the violence in Charlottesville, Va., that some white supremacists were very fine people.

Mitchell has at this point apparently had enough. He announced in late July that he’d leave the House at the end of this term, which is only his second. He cited the “rhetoric and vitriol” that dominate our politics now. Make no mistake: Those are synonyms for President Trump.

Frank Bruni has been with The Times since 1995 and held a variety of jobs — including White House reporter, Rome bureau chief and chief restaurant critic — before becoming a columnist in 2011. He is the author of three best-selling books.
Posted by marble falls | Mon Sep 9, 2019, 01:27 PM (8 replies)

House Dems announce rule changes to make Trump's impeachment inquiry just like Nixon's

House Dems announce rule changes to make Trump’s impeachment inquiry just like Nixon’s
September 7, 2019
Grant Stern


All impeachment inquiries originate in the Judiciary Committee, and now they are planning a formal resolution to lay out procedures for this fall’s impeachment inquiry, which Politico first reported late last night.

As a result, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) will be given additional powers to rapidly convene hearings, on a vote which a reliable source on the Hill close to the process just told Occupy Democrats, “will take likely place this week, likely on Tuesday or Thursday of this week because, on Wednesday, Congress will primarily be dedicated to commemorating the September 11th attacks.”

One of the House Judiciary Committee’s biggest proposed changes will be abandoning its much-maligned 5-minute alternating partisan question format, in favor of the same hearing plan that turned the two top Senate Watergate committee counsels into key actors in that probe, which CNN revealed as part of their report with significantly more details:

“[The resolution] is expected to follow the precedent set in 1974 over the committee’s procedures during then-President Richard Nixon’s impeachment proceedings.

“[It is], sources say, is expected to make clear that future House Judiciary hearings can be conducted in ways different from most congressional hearings since the panel is considering impeachment.

“For instance, the resolution is expected to authorize committee staff counsels to question witnesses, something that is typically not done at congressional hearings.”

House Judiciary’s planned impeachment procedure resolution is a major escalation which is arising based upon Speaker Pelosi’s remarks after the Mueller Hearings.

“If it comes to a point where the ‘cone of silence’ and the obstruction of justice and the cover-up in the White House prevents us from getting that information, that will not prevent us from going forward. In fact, it’s even more grounds to go forward.”

“This is going to cut through the Trump White House’s obstruction of Congress,” an individual close to the process told Occupy Democrats. “Nixon’s third article of impeachment was for his and all the president’s men obstructing Congress.”


'He's losing his s---'

'He's losing his s---': Trump's advisers are increasingly worried about his mental state following days of erratic behavior


Sonam Sheth Sep 6, 2019, 4:22 PM

President Donald Trump's aides and confidants are growing more and more worried about his mental state after days of erratic behavior, wild outbursts, and bizarre fixations.

"No one knows what to expect from him anymore," one former White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal conversations about the president, told Insider.

They added: "His mood changes from one minute to the next based on some headline or tweet, and the next thing you know his entire schedule gets tossed out the window because he's losing his s---."

Sources told Insider the president's advisers are particularly worried about his stubborn refusal to acknowledge that a tweet he sent over the weekend claiming that Alabama was going to be hit by Hurricane Dorian was false. They believe that his frustration is compounded by stress about the 2020 election and the economy's recent downturn.

"People are used to the president saying things that aren't true, but this Alabama stuff is another story," the former official said. "This was the president sending out patently false information about a national-emergency situation as it was unfolding."

Trump's latest outbursts on the matter came Friday as he railed against the media for fact-checking him on the claim.

Trump also complained that "this nonsense has never happened to another President. Four days of corrupt reporting, still without an apology."

Later Friday, the president posted a misleading video that included a CNN clip from Wednesday, August 28, in which a reporter said the hurricane was threatening several US states, including Alabama.

The video then played the reporter saying "Alabama" on loop, cut to a clip of Trump nodding, and then to a doctored clip of CNN's logo superimposed onto a moving truck which careened off the road and caught fire.

But Trump's first tweet about Alabama being in Hurricane Dorian's path came on Saturday, by which time weather forecasters had determined that it was not going to be hit.


"He's deteriorating in plain sight," one Republican strategist who's in frequent contact with the White House told Insider on Friday.

Asked why the president was obsessed with Alabama instead of the states that would actually be affected by the storm, the strategist said, "you should ask a psychiatrist about that; I'm not sure I'm qualified to comment."


'He's like a bull seeing red'

Messing provoked ire from both sides of the aisle when she posted a tweet last week calling for a public list of Trump donors who will attend an upcoming fundraiser for him in Beverly Hills, California.

The "Will & Grace" actress' tweet drew a harsh response from "The View" cohost Whoopi Goldberg, who likened it to the McCarthyism of the 1950s.


Trump called Messing a "racist because of the terrible things she said about blacks and mental illness" and added that if the actress Roseanne Barr - an avid Trump supporter - had said the same thing, she would have been fired.

Barr was fired from her sitcom last year after making racist comments about an aide to former President Barack Obama. "Will Fake News NBC allow a McCarthy style Racist to continue?" Trump wrote, referring to Messing.

The actress responded by linking to a New Yorker piece this week that detailed Trump's wild behavior over the past month.

She added that she hoped "his family gets him the help he needs. Sad."

Posted by marble falls | Sat Sep 7, 2019, 07:42 PM (8 replies)

A reasonable and unanswered question ...

Where is the US response to the disaster in the Bahamas?
Posted by marble falls | Sat Sep 7, 2019, 05:03 PM (7 replies)

Donnie Two Scoops explains the map just one last time ...

Posted by marble falls | Fri Sep 6, 2019, 01:22 PM (2 replies)
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