DACA Lives!

In REGENTS OF THE UNIV. OF CAL. V. USDHS the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided:
“With due respect for the Executive Branch, we disagree. The government may not simultaneously both assert that its actions are legally compelled, based on its interpretation of the law, and avoid review of that assertion by the judicial branch, whose “province and duty” it is “to say what the law is.” Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. (1 Cranch) 137, 177 (1803). The government’s decision to rescind DACA is subject to judicial review. And, upon review, we conclude that plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the rescission of DACA—at least as justified on this record—is arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with law. We therefore affirm the district court’s grant of preliminary injunctive relief.”
 

See? There is intelligent life in USA and Trump doesn’t get his way, again.

See the whole opinion in REGENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA v United States Department of Homeland Security

Of course, this is not over yet but Sessions, Nielsen and Trump are just wrong so many ways in everything they say and do about immigration. They should just pack their bags and go away.

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The Aftermath

“Almost two years ago, millions of women across the world donned pink hats and held up signs that warned of pussies grabbing back. On Tuesday, women made good on their promise and led Democrats to grab back the House: A record-breaking 96 women have already won seats in the House, and 22 have won in the Senate.
 
That means a historic 118 women triumphed in their races for Congress. And while liberals did lose ground in the Senate, the only Democrat to flip a Republican-held seat was a woman. (So far — results are still rolling in.)
 
Another nine woman will serve as governors, which matches the previous record.”
 
See She’s Running: Women broke midterms records right and left (but mostly on the left)
I’ve refrained for two nights from commenting on the US mid-term elections. I wanted to calm down a bit…

While Democrats gained a majority in the House I was disappointed with their showing in the Senate. Clearly, it seems many USAians are still not convinced Trump is not God in a second reincarnation. Despite that, things are looking rosy:

  • The House can investigate the Hell out of Trumpists,
  • the House can control spending somewhat,
  • the House can support the Mueller investigation by funding it if necessary, and
  • the House can surely publicize every evil thing Trump does.

Unfortunately, Trump can still do a lot of damage in the “lame duck” period before the new House is sworn in. Trump fired Sessions on Day One of this period. Expect more reckless acts because Trump believes he can’t be impeached with his increased majority in the Senate. What he doesn’t realize is that with the exposure the House will give him, senators will eventually jump ship in hope of retaining their seats in the next election. Further, the new Democratic governors out there will oppose Trump wherever they can, particularly against any further attempts to scrap ObamaCare, build a stupid wall, or build up his “thought police”. Trump has offended sufficient voters that Trumpism has no future. Everyone saw newbies gobble up open seats and unseat incumbents despite Trump’s juggernaut using taxpayers’ money to stump all over red states. He was able to support a few senators but lost the House in a good sized wave of blue. The emperor has no clothes and senators cannot ride his coattails.

So, we live in interesting times but a Free Press and a liberated House and lots of women in Congress will save the day. The tired old white men could not resist Trumpism’s lies but the new blood will have none of it. Trump is destroying the Republican party and millions have left it. Not enough are left to win the presidency again nor retain the Senate next time. The national total of House votes were 49% of eligible voters and Democrats got 10% more votes than Republicans for Representatives. Amen.

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Voting Day USA and Other Special Days

Like many, I’m impatiently awaiting news of a rejection of Trumpism south of the border. It’s also been a month since I received a shipment of seeds for more trees.

One species of which I had concern was White Oak (Quercus alba). The acorns do not exhibit the usual dormancy of most northern trees. The acorn hits the ground and if it doesn’t dry out it sprouts a tap root and it’s off to the races. The tap root grows deeply quickly to find moisture and winter comes to shut things down until spring. Well, my winter comes earlier than in White Oak’s native range so I figure Nature would not work for me. I planted the acorns in pots thinking they could do whatever they wanted until next year when I would plant them out.

SURPRISE! Despite being described as a slowly growing tree, those tap roots are now emerging from the bottoms of the pots! I deliberately chose deep pots nearly 25cm deep but in a month the roots are showing. I put saucers underneath and added water and moved the pots to a sunny warm window. I hope the oaks will be able to figure things out next spring… I had fully expected the roots also to grow slowly. Nope…

Let’s hope the election has also surprisingly vigorous voting for Democrats to reduce Trump’s power. Early news is that youngsters/first time voters and women are kicking ass. It’s about time. The House can also do some real investigation/oversight and let the world know what evil and corruption looks like. Impeach the bastard and put him in jail.

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Where We Live

“While a number of countries and provinces continue to debate what they will—or won’t—do to fight humanity’s greatest threat, cities are increasingly taking steps to transition away from fossil fuels completely. Case in point: just last week, Saskatchewan’s capital city, Regina, pledged to be 100% renewable by 2050.
 
It’s not the first Canadian city to make this kind of promise. Ten Canadian cities—including Vancouver, Edmonton, and Guelph—have similar 100% renewable ambitions. And they’re in good company. Nearly 50 million Americans—spread over two states, 84 cities, and nine counties—now live in places with 100% renewable goals”
 
See 10 Canadian cities have this in common
Most of us live in cities these days, people and places with dense infrastructures and lots of cars/trucks/buses. We can change to renewable energy fairly quickly because it’s cleaner, cheaper and makes good business sense. Just imagine cities with never again a brown skyline, choking pollution and a lot less noise. Cars are a natural to go renewable and electric. Trucks and buses are a little harder. Homes get electricity delivered by kWh for a few pennies. Just produce the stuff in bulk from Sun or wind or water and be done with it. Build even more efficient homes. Put plants and solar panels on the roofs. You know we can do it. It’s the right way to live.

Harder to do but desirable eventually is to rebuild our cities to better make use of electrical power. If we all could live closer to where we work we might not need cars at all and certainly a lot less. If we lived in apartments instead of detached homes we could save a lot of heating costs both in area exposed to the cold and size of homes. If we planted more trees we could absorb more CO2 and have more shade in summer and produce more food locally. Yes, trees do bear fruit and nuts, good food for us.

I still prefer to live in a rural area just to avoid congestion and noise. I have the space to set up my own solar panels and possibly a wind turbine. An EV like the Solo would work for me. It’s the right size, has the right efficiency and costs very little to own.

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Trump Invites Regression To The 1950s

“Ryan threw cold water on the President’s assertion that he can use executive action to end the constitutional guarantee of citizenship to anyone born in the United States.
 
Ryan told a Kentucky radio station Tuesday that “you cannot end birthright citizenship with an executive order,” following remarks from the President indicating that Trump believes he can do just that, though many legal scholars disagree.”
 
See Trump attacks Paul Ryan, says he ‘knows nothing’ about birthright citizenship
This is interesting. In an attempt to throw red meat to his shrinking support and distract from issues like universal healthcare on which the GOP have nothing, Trump threw out the idea of revoking citizenship to folks born in USA to illegal immigrants. The idea is totally daffy, since the 14th Amendment recognizes citizenship as a birth-right.

It does leave to an interesting concept however. Suppose, somehow, Kavanaugh and four other justices of SCOTUS could be persuaded to support Trump on this… I know it’s a stretch but just suppose that were to happen and Trump gets impeached, dies in office or is retired by the electorate. The next Democratic president could just revoke the citizenship of GOP members. McCarthy used to ask, “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party of the United States?”. Why not replace “Communist Party” with “Government of Pigs”, “old fat guys club” etc? It would be very efficient at creating a tyranny much like the Divine Right Of Kings etc, which even predates the 1950s, when I came along.

Clearly, no right-thinking justice would put this wedge in the door but it will allow Trump to muddy more waters, distract more voters/media/candidates, and further besmirch the reputation of USA as an “advanced” nation in the world.

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Fear & Greed Index Pegged

“The number of stocks hitting 52-week lows exceeds the number hitting highs and is at the lower end of its range, indicating extreme fear.”
 
See Fear & Greed Index – Investor Sentiment
All the constituents in the index are pegged and some are at the lowest levels seen in years. I was very afraid years ago and pulled all my money out of the USA. I missed some gains but at least I can buy nice golden paperweights. Folks who have built their portfolios out of playing cards are in for a great fall. All it will take is one more gaff by Trump or another outrage by his sycophants or the voice of the voters who realized bad things have happened when they didn’t bother to vote in 2016… It’s all good. In the long run the economy and the USA will survive Trump. Mistakes are learning experiences if they are not fatal. So far, so good…

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IBM And Red Hat

“IBM is acquiring Red Hat, a major distributor of open-source software and technology, in a deal valued around $34 billion, the companies announced on Sunday.
 
According to a joint statement, IBM will pay cash to buy all shares in Red Hat at $190 each. Shares in Red Hat closed at $116.68 on Friday before the deal was announced.”
 
See IBM to acquire Red Hat in deal valued at $34 billion
My my… Around 2003 I recommended TLW buy RHT at around $7… She didn’t…

On the other hand, RHT has been quite successful in “selling” Free/Libre Open Source software by “subscription” and IBM has been growing a server-based business after abandoning desktop GNU/Linux. It makes business-sense to join forces. Unfortunately, mergers/acquisitions often go astray as ways and means conflict. I haven’t used much of Red Hat’s software since I adopted Debian GNU/Linux. There was no need and I like how Debian operates. I never saw the benefit of subscribing for schools/education, the business in which I worked. You can’t beat $free and free when it comes to cost and licensing. Using a Free Software licence and then paying someone else for permission to use the software just didn’t work for me. I wanted to get work done, not file paperwork.

We shall see if IBM embraces Red Hat and FLOSS properly or causes Red Hat to shed a lot of what it does that may not interest IBM, like promoting FLOSS, distributing FLOSS, and generally helping the FLOSS community. This could be partly a defensive move because M$ has bought GitHub. Red Hat and M$ joining forces might have squeezed IBM. Sigh. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, I guess.

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Reaping What We Sow

So, Trump’s fans want to send time-bombs through the mail and Trump recommends violence against those with whom he disagrees (CNN, Dems, Liberals, blacks, women, …). So now he reaps what he sows. Membership in the Republican Party (Government of Pigs) is declining. Support of women and youth are declining. The old white men are dying off… The GOP are going to lose control of the House of Representatives next week and losing control of the Senate is still possible. Folks like Heitkamp are raising tons of money for the final week of campaigning. The “toss-up” seats in the Senate have some very narrow margins. Last week may well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

[SARCASM]When asked to respond to the bombings, Trump’s main point was that it was a distraction from the campaign to hold onto the House and Senate… Yep, real leadership there. When asked to respond to the shootings in the synagogue, Trump’s main point was that the victims should have been armed with firearms… Yep, more real leadership.[/SARCASM]

I think some of Trump’s support from the “religious right” may well notice the total lack of empathy, except when reading from the TelePrompter. I expect a whole lot more sensitive youths and women will notice. Expect the House to fall heavily to the Democrats with some serious investigations into Trump’s corruption. Expect the Senate to be about 50-50 with many senators being able to read the writing on the wall made by the electorate. For sure there will be no “Wall”. There may even be some bipartisan measures to control Trump’s mismanagement of foreign policy, trade and budgets. All in all I expect Trump as a lame duck will be much more enjoyable than the nonsense we’ve been seeing for two years.

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Questions

“In the three months since I bought my 2015 Nissan LEAF, I have introduced it to several friends and neighbors. To date, in my admittedly unscientific survey, the first question they ask is, “How long does the battery last?” Not some, not quite a few, everyone I have taken for a ride in the car has asked that question.”
 
See The First Question People Ask About An Electric Car Is…
Besides the apparent foot-dragging of some manufacturers a major barrier to adoption of electric vehicles is knowledge of consumers. Those who drive EVs love them. Those who don’t are puzzled by them.

The issue of lifetime of batteries is one of those questions. No one asks how many years an infernal combustion engine lasts. They ask how many miles/km one can drive before it wears out. The same should be true for batteries in EVs. My soon-to-be Solo EV’s battery is guaranteed 5 years and is rated for 3000 charge-discharge cycles, about 30 years of commuter driving. Suppose I drove 500km/day, 3 cycles. The Solo would still be humming after 1000 days, 500000km. I certainly won’t drive like that. Will you? The battery costs just a couple thousand dollars, just 0.4 cents/km… I can afford that. That’s about the same as the cost of charging the thing, too, way less than the cost of fuelling and yes, changing the engine periodically in an ICEd vehicle. So, let’s move on to the next question, “Where can I buy one?”.

I put my deposit down on a Solo almost two years ago at SmallEV.com. These things take time for a startup. Nissan has sold hundreds of thousands of Leafs. I don’t like that design but I could have bought one two years ago for the wait… So, do it now instead of waiting for the perfect EV to come along. Used Leafs are on the market at good prices and they have lots of remaining life.

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The Imminent Mid-Term Election In USA

It’s been a long haul but we are almost there. Early voting has started and the usual voter-suppression tricks are being exposed. Trump is panicking and telling more and bigger lies. The House is almost certain to go to the Democrats so some token opposition to Trump can return. The Senate is too close to call. There are still two weeks for people to come to their senses. The Democrats are not doomed in the Senate but it is certainly a “darkest hour” situation.

I think I can survive another two weeks to live to see Trump have his “comeuppance”. It’s only a question of how lame the duck he will be and how hot the oven in which he roasts. We should soon see the progress Mueller has made. We should soon see the House really investigate Trumpism forcefully. We should soon see more public trials. I hope Trump’s is one of them. I hope the experience of taking failure to vote too far has been educational for millions of USAians.

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First Post From A New Server

Yesterday, we changed the location and software for the blog. Some things remain the same; some have changed. We now use Debian GNU/Linux instead of Ubuntu GNU/Linux and everything is updated. There were a few glitches but between my home server, Debian and some help from a friend, all is good today. Shortly, we will add SSL and be on Chrome’s radar again

UPDATE – Yes, we are now an HTTPS site and HTTP automatically redirects to HTTPS.

A further note about the upgrade: The change to HTTPS was accomplished with the Electronic Freedom Foundation’s FLOSS script, certbot. I didn’t have to download from EFF. Debian has it in the *-backports repository. It just worked, acquiring the certificate, installing the certificate and converting the apache installation to HTTPS. The only following problems for me were solved by flushing caches of the old URI and IP addresses and editing the WordPress configuration for https instead of http for the URI of the blog. I just backed up the database on one server and restored it on the other after creating a new database and granting privileges to the appropriate user for the WP installation to access the database. Everything worked. Another result of this move is that our server is now outside the jurisdiction of Trump and it is much faster than before… It’s all good.

PS – Found using IP-address still worked so I tweaked apache’s configuration to block that.

UseCanonicalName Off
<If “tolower(%{SERVER_NAME}) != ‘mrpogson.com'”>
AllowOverride None
Require all denied
</If>

The site is only accessible by http://mrpogson.com/ or https://mrpogson.com/

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Google Delivers

“Google announced that it will add electric vehicle charging stations to Google Maps from several networks around the world.
 
A quick search for keywords like “EV charging”, “EV charging stations” or any other similar term on Google Maps will display the nearest supported stations.”
 
See Google Maps adds EV charging locations around the world
This is cool! One problem for drivers of EVs outside their local territories is finding charging stations. Makers like Teslas have created a huge network which takes care of their vehicles quite well but others are left in the lurch. One may need an adapter to charge at a Tesla station. There are several other networks but they lack coverage and a driver may have to check multiple networks to find a charger. That sucks. So, Google is going to be one-stop shopping for charging stations. Let’s try it out!

“charging stations Manitoba” finds three (3), two Tesla’s and a Sun Country Highway. “charging stations brandon, mb” finds 9 but they are all in Winnipeg. Apparently the search tracks the current map… Oops! I guess they are still working on it. My tiny brain knows of dozens… My kids call me “Mr Google” but this is ridiculous. Let’s hope Google does a more thorough harvest of the data available out there.

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