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Ian Lind • Online daily from Kaaawa, Hawaii

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Feline Friday: A vintage cat photo

February 27th, 2015 · No Comments

Wally in her primeWelcome to February’s Final Feline Friday. Do you recognize this beautiful cat? It’s a photo of Ms. Wally in her prime, probably taken around 1990. I dredged it up while searching for a few more Throwback Thursday candidates. I’ll have to seek out one that shows both Kili and Wally. They were quite a pair!

Meanwhile, Romeo got in another scuffle with Mr. Lumber, the visiting cat from down the hill, and earned another “time out” inside the house.

I saw this last fight unfold. Romeo is clearly the aggressor, naturally enough, I suppose, since he’s defending his home turf. It’s probably impossible to keep this from happening except by being mean enough to drive Lumber off permanently, or letting Romeo get used to being an inside cat.

All our cats used to be indoor cats. That ended when we remodeled our bathrooms, probably 20 years ago or so. With construction going on in the house, we didn’t have much choice except to let the cats go out during the day. They quickly learned to return as soon as the work stopped each day, and they’ve been pretty much indoor-outdoor cats since them. That is, until we started the transition back to the safety of the house.

Romeo and Annie are the most unhappy about the move indoors. But they’re learning.

–> Anyway, click here to see all the rest of today’s Friday Felines!

→ No CommentsTags: Cats · Photographs

AP demonstrates using location data from social media accounts in political ethics investigation

February 26th, 2015 · 2 Comments

I couldn’t help noticing the description of a complex technique used by AP in its investigation of potential ethics violations by Illinois Republican Rep. Aaron Schock (“Watchdog group files complaint over Rep. Aaron Schock’s travel“).

The article reports on ethics complaints against Schock filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, as well as other news stories in recent days.

AP says that it combined official Congressional data, a campaign account, and a political action committee, and cross referenced using location data gleaned from photos and videos the congressman uploaded to social media. Pretty cool.

The AP’s review identified at least one dozen flights worth more than $40,000 on donors’ planes since mid-2011, tracking Schock’s reliance on the aircraft partly through the congressman’s penchant for uploading pictures and videos of himself to his Instagram account. The AP extracted location data associated with each image then correlated it with flight records showing airport stopovers and expenses later billed for air travel against Schock’s office and campaign records.

The review covered Schock’s travel and entertainment expenses in his taxpayer-funded House account, in his campaign committee and the “GOP Generation Y Fund,” a political action committee. Records show more than $1.5 million in contributions to the fund since he took office in 2009.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Media · Politics

Bill moving to add more disclosure of funding for independent expenditure committees

February 26th, 2015 · 1 Comment

The Campaign Spending Commission presented some interesting data in its testimony on SB1344, which would require additional disclosure about contributions to “independent expenditure committees,” the groups that can accept unlimited amounts from donors, including corporations and unions, in the post-Citizens United world.

The bill moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee with amendments, although the committee report is not posted, so I don’t know what the amendments are.

The testimony noted:

For the Committee members’ information, in the 2014 election, IE Committees received 25 contributions that were $10,0001 or more. Moreover, 13 of those contributions would be subject to the additional disclosure requirements.

The following table, which was attached, shows those contributors that gave $10,000 or more, along with the recipient independent expenditure committees.

Chart from testimony

Looking at that list, I have to wonder: Where are those big contributions from Monsanto and Dow made to Citizens Against the Maui County Farming Ban?

I also noted that there was no testimony from the Attorney General’s office, although the Campaign Spending Commission indicated it would be deferring to the AG’s position on constitutional issues.

→ 1 CommentTags: Campaigns · Legislature · Politics

A cloudy morning in Kaaawa (Photographs)

February 26th, 2015 · No Comments

In rained overnight in Kaaawa, but stopped by about 5:30 a.m. We started out on our daily walk about an hour later.

There were threatening clouds on the horizon as we passed Swanzy Beach Park (autocorrect tried to change that to “Swanky”).

February 26

The sun came up as we passed Kaaawa Beach Park, where a couple of families were watching as the orange globe seemed to hang below the clouds.

February 26

Just a little farther down the beach, the light changed, and what a difference it made.

February 26

It started raining again just before 7:30, and we were glad to have our umbrellas for the last part of the walk home.

I was carrying a different camera this morning, a Canon G7 X, and was pleasantly surprised by the results.

→ No CommentsTags: Kaaawa · Photographs

Throwback Thursday: A late afternoon drink with friends c.1975-76

February 26th, 2015 · No Comments

It was a late afternoon, probably around 1975-76.

I thought the photo was taken one of the times where shared a few drinks, with dinner likely to follow, with peace activist Jim Albertini and his partner at the time, Barbara Jensen. They were renting a house, or part of a house, on Kahawai Street in Manoa, as I recall.

However, I asked Jim to take a look. He says the room where we are gathered was not in their house. So for now, whereabouts uncertain. I’ll snoop a bit more in the stack where I found this photo and perhaps take another stab at identifying the location.

Jim led a small group known as catholic Action of Hawaii, which had a small office across from the University of Hawaii campus, and at that time I was working for the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee, located less than a half-mile up into Manoa Valley.

That’s Barbara on the left, Jim on the right, and Meda and I in the middle.

They lived pretty simply, and collected a lot of food from the dumpsters behind the Manoa Safeway, if I recall correctly. No dumpster diving for wine, though.

Jim’s still very much an activist, although now living on the Big Island, where he is at the center of Malu Aina, the Center for Non-Violent Education and Action.

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→ No CommentsTags: History · Photographs · War & Peace