Saturday, 4 January 2014

08:34 – The forecast has degraded. We’re now expecting freezing rain Sunday and snow Monday, with a high Tuesday of 21F (-6C) and a low Tuesday night of 9F (-13C). That’s dangerously cold for around here, where many people aren’t equipped to deal with it. If we have widespread power failures from the freezing rain, we can expect some deaths, both from the cold itself and from people accidentally starting fires or poisoning themselves with carbon monoxide while trying to stay warm with gas grills and campstoves.


35 thoughts on “Saturday, 4 January 2014”

  1. bgrigg asked about our trip down the coast from Friday Harbor to Astoria yesterday.

    One of the crew who helped me bring our boat, S/V Vaporware (truly a nerd’s name for a boat) from Friday Harbor to Astoria is a professional photographer and posted pictures of the trip at http://www.leeyoungbloodphoto.com/2013sites/Vaporware/start.html I’m the guy in http://www.leeyoungbloodphoto.com/2013sites/Vaporware/image/page19.html

    We had a Delorme InReach with us which provided satellite tracking and two way communications. If you go to https://share.delorme.com/4df2bf5b9a0e49dc83dcf4376acfd50c and zoom out, you can see our track from Friday Harbor to Portland. If you click on any of the tracking dots, it gives the date, time, speed, elevation and heading for that tracking point. We were about 30 miles offshore at the farthest.

    The trip in the ocean was uncomfortable at first, but not dangerous. Not much wind, but “confused” seas which made three of our four crew members seasick. I don’t think I will ever eat oatmeal again.

    The trip across the Columbia Bar was uneventful. We timed it for a high slack tide and motored across the bar. The best time to cross the bar is during a slack tide. The worst is during an ebb tide when the outgoing tide and river current collide with the incoming waves. That is when the huge waves can form. There’s a good article about bar crossing at http://www.seleneowners.org/SO_news.php?newsid=29

    When we got Vaporware, I told our 29 year old son that a boat was cheaper than a mistress. He told my wife that I had said that I chose between a boat and a mistress. That resulted in a somewhat pointed inquiry from my wife.

    Captain Rick in Portlnad

  2. Excellent! Looks like the weather mostly co-operated. Open ocean wave action is quite different from those of inland waters. The only time I’ve ever been sea sick was on a fishing boat working between the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii) and the northern tip of Vancouver Island. First time I had ever experienced the true Pacific, rather than the protected waters of the Georgia Straight. Confused seas, indeed! It was there that I really cemented my respect for the ocean!

    I’ve crossed the bar of the Fraser River, which can be hairy in a small craft, but it is a pale imitation of the Columbia Bar. I was very impressed with the Pilot Boat Peacock that is on display in Astoria. It crossed the Columbia Bar more than 35,000 times, in all sorts of weather and tides.

    I suppose cost depends on the mistress? I had one person explain to me that racing yachts was exactly like taking a cold shower while tearing up $100 bills.

  3. Captain Rick wrote:

    “The trip in the ocean was uncomfortable at first, but not dangerous. Not much wind, but “confused” seas which made three of our four crew members seasick. I don’t think I will ever eat oatmeal again.”

    Twenty years ago I took a trip out to Rottnest Island from Perth. It’s only 18 km off the coast but I was just about to chunder when we got in to seas sheltered by the island. And this was on a seriously large ferry.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rottnest_Island

  4. Hey kids, what time is it?

    IT”S TAX TIME!

    Am installing the deluxe version of TurboTax today. I need to get a good handle on our taxes before the Jan 15 installment, just in case.

  5. I always make my last quarterly payment so they cash it before 31 December. Over the years, one of my tax advisors once told me that the regulations specify something about making all quarterly payments during the “calendar year”—even if the last one is not technically due until 15 Jan. But if one waits to 15 Jan, then they missed doing it within the “calendar year” and penalties and interest can apply if, for some reason, the total did not meet the minimum payment amount requirements that avoid penalties and interest.

  6. That forest looks like the one behind our house in Strausberg. We had a beautiful fox that was as big as a dog, that came into our backyard and right up to the house—several times before the new fence went in. We also had wild pigs that knocked down the first fence to let him in.

    I don’t know all the sounds foxes make, but they definitely howl at night, just like dogs. We heard them regularly at nightfall in warmer weather.

  7. The football talkers are talking about the weather but totally being PC by avoiding the term “global warming.”

  8. You and OFD are quite different in many respects, but I think to piss him (or you) off would take nothing less than a few whacks to the head with an iron bar.

  9. True. Barring politicians, the last time anyone really pissed me off was in 1979, and he hit me with a 2X4.

  10. Tax time, oh joy. This ought to be my last time filing as a citizen – part year through April. After that, I have to find out if I’m required to file for the piddly amount of oil income I have, or if I can just ignore it. It’s the usual thing: I have part shares (anywhere from 1/6 to 1/120) on bits and pieces of land that were owned by grandparents and great-grandparents. Really, hardly worth bothering about – income this year was in the low three digits – but the IRS may feel differently…

  11. My experience and that of those around me, indicates the IRS is coming after really small amounts of money–anything that will bring them $100 or more. Apparently, it is a lot easier to go after this stuff in the computer age, than when it took several people to send out notices, track responses, etc. Productivity increases at Big Brother, don’t cha know.

    Were it me, I think I would get rid of those shares. Individual circumstances change, and we have to change with it. Except for some few pictures, I try my best not to let sentimentality interfere. We sold ALL of our furniture before leaving for Germany. Turns out I could have used it, but never knew at the time, and besides, would have had to pay to store it for 10 years.

    Jeri was a librarian, as was my mom, and they both saved everything. Save it and file it, is the librarian’s motto as far as I can tell, although RBT says Barbara does not do that—a rare breed of librarian, IME. I’m still going through the stuff Jeri did save, including high school math textbooks that were long ago replaced by different books. My son, the almost master’s degreed math major, says those books have no value or practical use in this era.

  12. So what OFD’s Facebook addy? I can’t imagine why he’d stop posting here.

  13. No can do on OFD as I promised not to reveal under pain of TSA torture.

    OFD is unhappy about the blanket whitewashing of Catholic priests as pedophiles. I cannot repeat what he really said, it is just too much for me.

  14. Hmmm, to me white washing is what the Catholic Church has done to cover up their pedo-priests. Odd use of the term, frankly. I have it on good authority that other religions, and organizations, have their own pedophile members that they have to deal with, but that doesn’t exclude the RC’s from being held accountable for their own members who have raped little boys.

    It’s his prerogative to be in a snit, I suppose. Shows a definite lack of ‘nads, though. I don’t miss him as much as other people do, apparently.

  15. Oh, well. As I’ve said repeatedly, I keep this journal for myself, and I’d do so even if no one ever commented, or visited for that matter. I like to read and reply to the comments, and I enjoy hearing from people with a different perspective on things.

  16. So in the RCC, how many of the priests are proven pedophiles? Is it even one percent?

    How much is pedophilism in the general population?

    And I used the term whitewashing because ALL of the priests are being accused here of pedophilism when we know that is not true.

  17. Ah yes, try to mitigate the damage by reducing it to simple numbers, rather than human lives. The simple fact is I don’t care if it’s only 0.00000001%, the rest covered it up, and have done so for decades, if not centuries. That makes them as guilty as the perpetrator, IMHO.

    Isn’t the RCC supposed to be about the salvation of innocent souls, and not the salaciousness of their priests? Then they need to publicly apologize and help prosecute those who are accused of this heinous crime.

    Same goes for the Boy Scouts, YMCA, School Boards and anybody else that comes into contact with child abuse and doesn’t speak out against it. This is one of those “if you’re not part of the solution, you are the problem” things.

  18. Actually, we don’t *know* it’s not true. We strongly suspect it.

    Anyway, your question is a red herring, as I kept pointing out to OFD. The question is not how many or what percentage of RCC priests are child rapers. The issue is that the RCC has been covering this up for hundreds of years. And not just covering it up, but actively protecting those priests. That makes this a criminal conspiracy. If it weren’t for most people misunderstanding the First Amendment, the federal government would have filed RICO charges against the RCC long ago.

  19. Most of my closest friends as a youngster—even into college—were RC. Aside from the fact that I agree with Emma Goldman that Christianity is one of the worst things ever to happen to the progress of mankind, and my own research leads me to securely conclude that Jesus is an entirely fictional character and that compounds and further corrodes lives that rely on Christian fiction as fact, nevertheless my RC friends and I were pretty close on all other issues. We thought alike and could accept and influence each other on our differences. Without a doubt, they were my closest allies when I was in deep trouble a couple times in my life. Others—who were mostly Christians but not RC—could not have cared less about me during those hardships.

    That said, when two of those close friends reared in entirely different places, told me many years back, that they were approached by priests with sex on their mind, I have to conclude that the problem has been much more pervasive than even those who accept that the church is at fault believe it is. And the number of males accosted, who came to the newsrooms I worked in, to try and help expose the issue, was nothing short of staggering. Even if the number of priests were small—and I, myself, believe it is larger than even OFD claims the media ‘erroneously’ portrays—countless lives were affected in ways that actually destroyed some children from ever becoming fully productive adults.

    Contrary to Dave’s ‘whitewash’ theory, I believe the truth is most likely to be the exact opposite: the situation has been far, far underreported by the media. There is no doubt in my mind some guilty priests have skated into retirement scot-free of any accusations. For every guy who came in and reported molestation, he also confirmed that he knew of at least a couple others who had also been violated, but felt they would go straight to hell for turning in a priest. (And why would NOT reporting it not send them straight to hell?)

    This Pope is part of the problem, IMO. He, like his predecessors, believe that they are so ordinated with holiness that if they wave their hand and brush off the accusers, everyone must follow them, because the Pope is the power. In every one of the cases that we followed—every single one—the church’s attorneys claimed church records and the priest’s own records were privileged and should not be accessed. Some judges bought that and allowed such information to be kept secret; some did not. Were the church interested in seeing the truth presented to the courts, they would have found some way to allow that information to be accessed as secret and confidential. That kind of thing happens in my present work all the time. There are methods of dealing with truly secret and confidential information.

    Really sorry to lose Dave on this board, because he is truly erudite and has had life experiences that make his maturity and rationality a gift for others to learn from. But he is fooling only himself on this particular issue, no matter how much one loves their church.

  20. For what it’s worth I think the overwhelming majority of RC priests (and church workers of other denominations) are clean, but the paedos are *very* busy and give the rest a bad name. The many victims Chuck knows could be the victims of a small number of active paedos.

    The coverups are evil, and they should get similar prison time to the perps.

    As I’ve said many times, the RC practice of enforced celibacy is evil and a major contributor to the problem. Some clergy will molest kids and have sexual relationships with adults regardless, but some number at least would never start down this path if not for enforced celibacy. As the guy who Chuck things never existed said: “Not all men can receive this (celibacy)”.

    Chuck, as to the non-RCs who never helped you when you needed it, I’m sorry to hear that, but all sorts of people would fail to help. In 2007 mum and I both stuck our necks out a long way to help my sister financially, and one of my (atheist) friends was incredulous, he said it wasn’t my problem and I shouldn’t have loaned my sister the $100k she needed. I couldn’t believe how hard hearted he was and said it would have been unconscionable not to help.

  21. I know of three people who were sexually abused as children. Two were at the same RCC private school for boys (though decades apart), and one by her step-father. If I know two people, and Chuck knows two people, who were abused by priests, then I would wager that the problem is bigger than we think. And I already think it’s pretty effing big.

    I personally don’t think the RCC is being singled out by anyone, certainly not by me, though I will hasten to argue that they’re guilty as hell. They just happen to be the easiest target. Unlike Greg, I don’t think celibacy is the deciding factor. There are cases of Anglican school sexual abuse of children here in Canada, and their priests can marry. Private schools and sports coaches have been accused, without religion needing to rear it’s ugly head. I think inappropriate power over children is the issue. And control of their soul is an awesome power to wield. Celibacy may tip some over the edge, but I don’t think it’s the sole (soul?) issue.

  22. I agree that celibacy doesn’t excuse the perps and that married clergy can and do abuse children (and have affairs with adults in the congregation.)

    But that doesn’t change the fact that some people start down this path because they are not getting sex and they need it. *Some* paedos/abusers will do it regardless, but not all. An elder at my former church had a months (years?) long affair with a single adult woman at the church, including having sex in the church building itself. I was disgusted as this guy had young kids. I was also amazed, as this guy’s wife was, IMHO, much more attractive then the woman with whom he was having the affair.

    Yeah, I think we all know some paedos and victims. An early teenage girl I knew in the late Seventies was sexually abused by her father, and was placed in to foster care. A woman I met when she was an adult had been abused (her sister also) by their father/step father. The mother found out, and instead of sticking a knife in his ribs as he deserved, fostered her daughters out so she could keep hold of this monster. A guy I worked with was abused as a kid, although he didn’t say by whom.

    The only paedo I’ve met was a lecturer at uni; years after I last saw him he took an eight year old boy on a weekend holiday and abused him. He only got 15 months inside, which I thought was incredibly lenient.

  23. Somehow the whole discussion of RCC priests reminds me of the problem of bad cops. It’s hard to say exactly how many they are, because the organization is so determined to shield them from accusations of wrong-doing. Once in a while a case is so egregious that it cannot be ignored, but we are then assured that this was a rare “bad actor”, and the line closes again.

    Who knows, the “bad actors” may genuinely be rare. In that case, the organizations need to show some real interest in cleaning house and getting rid of them. Failing this, we are left to suppose that the organizations have been taken over by the bad actors, and now serve their interests.

  24. On the other hand, you have to be careful about believing everything you hear:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rascals_day_care_sexual_abuse_trial

    I remember the day this hit the news. Even from the preliminary reports, I knew these accusations were total garbage. For one thing, several women were accused of actively participating in sexual abuse, not just covering it up. It is extraordinarily rare for women to engage in such acts. Having even one woman accused made me wonder; having several accused told me the charges were bogus.

  25. I’ve heard of a few malicious reports of child abuse too: the most notable one was made against a male teacher in a private school in Toowoomba, Queensland. Further investigation revealed that the “victims” had lied about the supposed abuse and their story was based on malice. It still destroyed the teacher’s career, the last I heard he was washing cars for a living in a city hundreds of kilometres away.

  26. I know a guy who was accused of sexual assault by his then GF’s 14 yr old daughter. He was arrested at his government job, which resulted in him being fired. It drained his savings account trying to defend himself. It cost him his relationship with his GF. Later, a male friend of his was contacted by the girl, and was offered oral sex if he testified against his friend. He secretly taped the offer and the case was quickly dropped, but my friend never did get back his job, or his GF, and he was prevented from suing the little bitch “who is but a child”, and no charges were filed against the accuser, who was protected under Canada’s Young Offenders Act. Yes, we have to be damned sure when we hear these stories. That’s why there needs to be an investigation.

    Meanwhile in Canada we have a Montreal cop who was filmed threatening a homeless person with “I’ll tie you up to a pole for an hour” in -40C (-40F) weather. He is being “disciplined” which could mean anything from a verbal warning to suspension which actually means administrative leave with pay. “But he’s a good cop!” the police chief told us. Then why the hell was he issuing threats of torture? We have had cops in Winnipeg who have dumped drunken First Nations people in remote areas where their frozen and lifeless bodies were found. Inappropriate power is inappropriate.

    IMHO priests, cops, teachers and coaches are all given far too much power over our children, by parents and people who are all too willing to hand over said power. It was just one of the many and varied reasons my family home-schooled.

  27. In Boston, while I was living there, we had a similar situation to the Little Rascals case.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fells_Acres_Day_Care_Center_preschool_trial

    During the ‘80’s, I think child daycare was subject to witch hunts that ended up in completely contrived prosecutions. Fells Acres was another one. What is truly outrageous, is that kids who were likely quite normal and never molested, were coached and badgered into believing they had been mistreated and told to maintain that position against people who were almost surely completely innocent. That kind of activity cannot be good for children developing into adults.

    However, I do not believe that reports of abuse in the RCC are contrived. Just as Bill confirms knowing a couple victims, I knew 2 coming from entirely different places, and worked in 4 newsrooms in widely differing parts of the country, all of them having young guys coming forward to contact those newsrooms with accusations against multiple priests in the same region. And in my own mind, there just is no question that there has been a highly-organized cover-up. The tactics employed by the law firms representing the churches and priests—themselves Roman Catholics—belies guilt. They use the same strategies lawyers everywhere use when they know their clients are guilty.

    Of course it is true that not all priests are predators. A good adult friend who is Roman Catholic was an altar boy throughout his childhood and never had nor knew anyone who had untoward experiences with any priests. How many there have been we will likely never know, unless somebody on the inside defects with information, like Snowden did. But my own observations, widespread as the information has been, tell me the problem was pervasive, the cover-up highly-organized, and therefore, likely so has the network that placed those guys been well-organized.

    I am with Greg, additionally, regarding celibacy. Again, religion has hyped sex as a moral no-no, when the fact is that everybody of both sexes needs it—and it no longer has to result in sure-fire pregnancy. A recent study has indicated that high levels of masturbation during a male’s 20’s, is a protection from prostate problems and cancer in later life. But what do we have? Religion, Boy Scouts, and just about every non-medical organization on the planet, discouraging masturbation and sex, for entirely unscientific reasons. Celibacy is dangerous to health, productivity, and especially altar boys when there are priest predators around. It is dangerous to religions, too; just ask a Shaker.

  28. What I have never understood in these hysteria sex-abuse cases is why children are allowed to testify. Or, for that matter, “experts” who have questioned the children. One of the fundamental legal principles, going back thousands of years, is that children under a certain age are not permitted to testify because they are unable to differentiate truth from fantasies. That age has varied across time and societies, but IIRC there has never been a major society (ignoring such anomalies as Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia) until very recently that didn’t set that age at at least 12.

  29. What I have never understood in these hysteria sex-abuse cases is why children are allowed to testify. Or, for that matter, “experts” who have questioned the children. One of the fundamental legal principles, going back thousands of years, is that children under a certain age are not permitted to testify because they are unable to differentiate truth from fantasies.

    It’s even worse than that. Children want to please authority figures, and the bright ones will figure out the “right” answer that the adult is looking for. In the most blatant cases of child witness tampering, the “experts” will give small children anatomically correct dolls, and if the bright ones figure out how the two dolls go together that is evidence of abuse.

  30. One of my wife’s friends married a guy who is on the sex offender registry, and claims he was wrongly convicted. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt because the only reason I know is because he told us. However the benefit of the doubt does not include the possibility of leaving my daughter in his presence without the presence of a responsible trusted adult, not even in public.

  31. It can be easy to get on to sex offender registers for the wrong reason. I’ve read of cases of a 17 year old guy having sex with his *nearly* 16 year old girlfriend, being caught, charged and put on to the register. One case was a teacher who was to be sacked because of his presence on the register: his colleagues made a fuss about his proposed sacking and I think were able to save his career.

    Some of the allegations made by kids in the cases Chuck and Bob cite should be treated with great skepticism: The suggestions of baby sacrifice, devil worship, drinking blood, and so on. Whenever that stuff comes up I think the judge should look for signs of coaching the kids. I read of an accusation where a young girl claimed that a 12″ knife was stuck up her anus – without leaving any damage.

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