Former ICE head: Separation of children and parents may be permanent

Hundreds of children separated from their parents at the border may never see their parents again says John Sandweg, former acting head of ICE. Further, he says the Trump Administration cruel theatrics at the border does nothing to make our borders safer. Let’s make this front-page news across the country. Circulate this story on social media. Contact your legislators. We can pulverize Trump on this. Because what is happening is stomach-turning. And it was cynically done by Trump and Miller because they thought it would help them in the coming midterm elections. Instead, we need to make sure it blows up in their faces.

Adults and children are put into separate legal systems. The parents can be deported quickly. The kids can spend years in the legal system here while their immigration status is determined. Sandweg says the previous directive was to keep families together and that Trump changed that. Worse, there appears to have been no planning or thought of consequences, and of course, no concern at all for children or parents. He also says this will not stop the immigration because often families are fleeing for horrific situations. They aren’t MS-13. They are trying to escape from situations like where MS-13 are.

Also, conditions in the detention centers are substandard, but you already knew that.

Taxpayers have paid more than $1.5 billion in the past four years to private companies operating immigrant youth shelters accused of serious lapses in care, including neglect and sexual and physical abuse, a Reveal investigation has found.

In nearly all cases, the federal government has continued to place migrant children with the companies even after serious allegations were raised and after state inspectors cited shelters with serious deficiencies, government and other records show.

WordPress Gutenberg schedule

Gutenberg may be released as early as August, at which point WordPress will go through a radical, not evolutionary change. The first thing to change will be the editor. After that, themes and plugins.

The Gutenberg editor uses blocks to do everything. Blocks are reusable pieces of code. Developers will need to use blocks when writing add-ons and plugins for the editor. Users will be able to create their own blocks, which essentially are predefined templates to do whatever they want. Have one block for book reviews and another for long-form blog posts. Plus blocks can be shared and nested. This powerful stuff.

Gutenberg will put the WordPress editor way ahead of the competition. The Gutenberg editor is flexible, easy to use, and powerful. And, oh yeah, it’s going to break things. The WordPress core is already being updated. I’m seeing old plugins that were reliable, like BackWPup, start to have problems when updated. This is because something in the WordPress core changed and the plugin, for whatever reason, can no longer handle it. And Gutenberg hasn’t been released yet! What we are seeing now is just the leading edge. So, get your site Gutenberg-ready now. Don’t wait. Contact me, I can help.

Gutenberg schedule:

For the rest of June, the development team will work on the few issues and features that are identified to land in the first core version.

In July more users will be able to use Gutenberg on as well as on self-hosted WordPress sites via a Try Gutenberg prompt in a future 4.9.x version.

In August, the team will work on bug fixes and the merge proposal to land in WordPress Core. Mullenweg said that after one hundred thousand users and two hundred fifty thousand blog posts, Gutenberg could be ready to be released with WordPress 5.0 as soon as August.

Quoting from Matt Mullenweg’s keynote at WordCamp Europe about Gutenberg.

The major features that are in effect so far are we have a block based writing experience, with over 20 blocks built in. Gutenberg is fully adaptive, meaning that whether you’re looking at it on a small screen, a medium screen, a large screen, a huge screen, the design and the functionality adapts to be fluid and easy to use on any of those.

This is one of my favorite, the universal API, which is copy and paste. Who’s ever tried to copy and paste things into the WordPress editor, or anyplace else, and it just goes kind of sideways?

Gutenberg already has support for fully supported copy and paste from Google Docs, a Apple’s Pages, everyone’s favorite Microsoft Word, Office 365, Evernote, Legacy WordPress, random webpages, and then finally something that I know will be very popular with this audience is Markdown.

I’ll tell you about my other favorite hidden feature. Which is that when you copy and paste the URL onto some text, it auto links it. Saves a ton of time.

Is solar PV for homes cost-effective?

Solar PV for small homes often offers no cost benefits. Even for bigger homes savings are can be illusory, unless the house is quite large. Then economies of scale kick in. Johnny at Granola Shotgun priced solar PV for a small rental property and found no benefit.

We live in Vegas and keep the thermostat at 78 during summer and use ceiling fans. Our peak bill in the summer is about $280 a month. Solar PV for the house would cost about 35K outright. A leasing payment would offset any electricity cost savings. So we passed on solar. Also, a lease gets iffy. It locks you in and what happens when you sell the house? Does the new owner have to accept the lease or does the seller have to pay it off first?

A solar-powered attic fan makes excellent sense and we’ll be getting one. We installed new dual pane windows after moving in. They make make a huge difference, especially on south and west facing windows. There are multiple ways to save on electricity costs without getting solar.

I’m not motivated by saving money because the power bill [on the rental property] is already really low. I’m not preoccupied with “saving the planet” because buying a lot of expensive complex technology with creative financing isn’t the most likely way to solve environmental problems. Instead, I want the property to be able to ride out difficulties – both financial and physical. I want a house and garden that can function pretty well even if all sorts of other things in life go wrong – from unemployment to lengthy power failures like what’s continuing to plague Puerto Rico seven months after a hurricane took down the entire power grid on the island.

Should we all finance our way into $30,000 solar arrays so we can charge our electric self driving cars? Or do we just get bicycles and live in places that don’t require incessant driving?

Horseshoe Theory and DPRK agreement

The Horseshoe Theory says those on the political fringes have much more in common with each other than with centrists. They tend to be authoritarian, contemptuous of democracy, convinced of their inerrancy – and can and do flip to the other side, a tendency which is easily exploited and manipulated.

During the 2016 presidential campaign I watched on social media as some Bernie supporters ended up supporting Trump, which is jaw-dropping political illiteracy.

We’re seeing it now as some lefties suddenly think Trump getting played by DPRK and signing a meaningless agreement with no enforcement while ignoring long-time allies is somehow a good thing.

Puna Geothermal plant did supply 30% of Big Island electricity

Upwards of thirty feet of lava now surrounds Puna Geothermal Venture, which is near Lanipuna Gardens on the Big Island. In 1991 the area had to be evacuated when drillers hit a hotspot, blowing hydrogen sulfide into the air. Russell Ruderman protested the plant then and got arrested. He’s now a state senator and promises massive protests if PGV tries to open again. I’d be concerned too if I lived near it.

PGV supplies upwards of 30% of power for the island of Hawaii. The wells have been sealed. The image here shows that the area around the plant is now surrounded by lava. Just getting in to make repairs and check equipment is problematic. Lava rock can be extremely sharp and jagged. It shreds tires. So, lava has to be cleared or paved over first before anything else can be done. This will be expensive.

Then, after unsealing the wells, will they even be functional? Perhaps the underground sources of heat and steam have shifted. There’s no way to know until the wells are opened, and that will take months. Assuming protests and lawsuits don’t the plant from attempting to reopen.

Hawaii has the most expensive power in the country.  It currently generates much of its power from imported coal and petroleum. It is trying hard to move to 100% renewables because doing so makes economic sense as well as being green. It needs as much renewable energy as it can get. Potentially losing PGV is a huge problem.