Monday, March 2, 2015

Log Cabin Republicans Win Formal Recognition from California’s Republican Party

"In a historic vote Sunday, a gay rights group won formal recognition from California’s Republican Party. "'This vote is not about orientation,' said Nathan Miller, a delegate with the Young Republican Federation. 'This vote is about participation. They deserve our support,' Miller announced to more than 1,000 delegates assembled at the Sacramento Convention Center."

"'I’ve known many of the Log Cabin members for years,' said Shawn Steel, a Republican National committeeman. 'They’ve supported Republican Party candidates in good years and in bad years.'"

"Republican Party Secretary Patricia Welch, a conservative from Humboldt County said, 'I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment. And I believe in the sanctity of life and I believe it begins at conception. I also have an abiding belief in my savior Jesus Christ. I also believe it is time for hard-working Log Cabin Republicans to be chartered into this organization.'"

"The vote means for the first time ever, gay Republicans are officially welcome to organize and recruit new members to the party."

"'Seventy-five percent of the delegates of the California Republican Party, which is the official Republican Party, affirmed that inclusion is the way we win elections in California,' said Charles Moran, chairman of the California Log Cabin Republicans. "And I think the Republican Party has moved away from fighting those ideological battles and is now focused on winning elections.'"

"'It shows that we welcome all groups whose stated goal is to elect Republicans,' said Assembly Republican leader Kristin Olsen, of Modesto."

"The Log Cabin Republicans are inspired by Abraham Lincoln, the Republican president who grew up in a log cabin and fought for equal rights – something the California Log Cabin Republicans believe they are fighting for as well."

The entire article can be found here.

The website for the California Log Cabin Republicans is here.

Monday, December 22, 2014

North Korea Experiencing Widespread Internet Outages

"North Korea experienced a massive Internet outage Monday, and some researchers and web watchers speculated that the country's online connections could be under cyberattack.  The Internet outage comes less than a week after the U.S. vowed an unspecified response to a massive hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment over the release of the comedy film 'The Interview.' The plot of the comedy centers on the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, leading to widespread speculation that the country was responsible for the attack. Late last week, the FBI publicly blamed North Korea in the incident, though Pyongyang has denied involvement."
"The White House and the State Department on Monday declined to say whether the U.S. government had any role in North Korea's Internet problems."

"'We have no new information to share regarding North Korea today,' White House National Security Council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan told Fox News. 'If in fact North Korea’s Internet has gone down, we’d refer you to that government for comment.'"

"North Korean diplomat Kim Song, asked Monday about the Internet attack, told The Associated Press: 'I have no information.'"

The rest of the article is here.

Kim Jong Un's internet went dead.  I wonder who did that? 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Red Dog Forest Thinning Project - Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows

Editor's Note:  One of my office neighbors is Kevin Whitlock (a registered professional forester). Being that my wife's congressional job has her endlessly dealing with the forest service and with recent catastrophic fires in California, Kevin and I talk regularly about forest health and forest management. For over 25 years and a Nevada County native, Kevin has been providing natural resource consulting, training, and project management to domestic and international clients in areas of ecological, economical and socially responsible forest management, agro-forestry and agriculture.

Examples of Kevin's projects completed:
*Forest Management - Squaw Valley Resort, Olympic Valley, CA
*Agriculture Economist - Forestry Concessions - USAID GEMS - Monrovia, Liberia
*Timberland Acquisition Pro-forma Analysis – The Nature Conservancy
*Benchmarking Timberland REIT Forest Manager - Poyry Management Consulting (NZ) Limited
*Vendor Due Diligence Support for IPO - Poyry Management Consulting (NZ) Limited
*18 MM Ac. GIS Biomass Analysis - North Sierra Biomass Initiative, Sierra Business Council
*Technical Expert - Biomass, United Nations Development Project, Tbilisis, Georgia
*Natural Resource Poverty Reduction Project – Management and Marketing Advisor, World Bank, Republic of Armenia
*Forest Management – Independence Lake Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, Reno, NV
*Carbon Inventory - The North Fork Association, The Cedars, CA
*Bio-fuels Wood Pellet Manufacturing Business Plan, SEDCorp. Loyalton, CA
*Smallholder Timber Production & Marking Specialist – Winrock International – Technical Assistance Program - ICRAF, World Agroforestry Center, Bogor, Indonesia
*Secondary Wood Processing Feasibility Analysis - Farmer to Farmer - USAID Project, Guinea West Africa
*Advisor - Natural Resource Management, Escuela Nacional de Ciencias Forestales (ESNACIFOR) – Farmer to Farmer - USAID Project, Siguatepeque, Comayagua Region - Honduras, Central America
*Japanese Lumber Market Analysis – USAID Project, Forest Line, Onor, Sakhalin Region, Russia

Kevin has been a wonderful source of information about our California forests. Because we have both worked extensively in Russia, we have some wonderful times discussing the backwardness of Russia too!

Below is a video from Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows detailing the Red Dog Forest Thinning Project which Kevin managed. While the video describes the Red Dog Forest Project, Kevin describes the problem that we, as Californians, face between stopping forest fires and consequently as a result taking on the responsibility of properly managing our forests. The Red Dog Forest Thinning Project is a wonderful example of proper forest management.

"Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows conducted a month-long, ecological forest thinning project at Squaw Valley in November 2014. More than 5,000 dead or diseased trees were removed from the Red Dog region of the lower mountain in an effort to improve the natural habitat, reduce the risk of wildfire, and provide unprecedented access to tree skiing and riding in the targeted area."

As a result of the project, skiers and riders can expect nearly 100 acres of enhanced skiable terrain this season in the Red Dog region. The terrain, rated upper-intermediate to expert, will include three newly designated glade areas - Red Dog Glades, Paris Glades and Heidi’s Glades- as well as a new connector trail on Champs Elysees that will eliminate the current lengthy traverse."

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Viewing Russia From the Inside - by George Friedman

Editor's Note:  This article is a great article explaining the situation between Russia and the USA.

"Last week I flew into Moscow, arriving at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 8. It gets dark in Moscow around that time, and the sun doesn't rise until about 10 a.m. at this time of the year — the so-called Black Days versus White Nights. For anyone used to life closer to the equator, this is unsettling. It is the first sign that you are not only in a foreign country, which I am used to, but also in a foreign environment. Yet as we drove toward downtown Moscow, well over an hour away, the traffic, the road work, were all commonplace. Moscow has three airports, and we flew into the farthest one from downtown, Domodedovo — the primary international airport. There is endless renovation going on in Moscow, and while it holds up traffic, it indicates that prosperity continues, at least in the capital."

"Our host met us and we quickly went to work getting a sense of each other and talking about the events of the day. He had spent a great deal of time in the United States and was far more familiar with the nuances of American life than I was with Russian. In that he was the perfect host, translating his country to me, always with the spin of a Russian patriot, which he surely was. We talked as we drove into Moscow, managing to dive deep into the subject."

"Our host met us and we quickly went to work getting a sense of each other and talking about the events of the day. He had spent a great deal of time in the United States and was far more familiar with the nuances of American life than I was with Russian. In that he was the perfect host, translating his country to me, always with the spin of a Russian patriot, which he surely was. We talked as we drove into Moscow, managing to dive deep into the subject."

"From him, and from conversations with Russian experts on most of the regions of the world — students at the Institute of International Relations — and with a handful of what I took to be ordinary citizens (not employed by government agencies engaged in managing Russia's foreign and economic affairs), I gained a sense of Russia's concerns. The concerns are what you might expect. The emphasis and order of those concerns were not."
The rest of the article is here.