Friday, March 29, 2013

AN EASTER STORY

Long ago and far away I was serving with the Mine Battle Force Middle East. We were alongside the pier at BASREC for a few days of rest and crew rotation when I learned just how flexible the most cunning among us truly are for this is a true story about a man and his God.
On a small ship we did not have a chaplain so when inport we allowed crewmen to attend Divine Services at the Administrative Support Unit Bahrain where they did have a chaplain and all manner of other diversions. One man from the day's Duty Section asked permission to leave ship to attend Divine Services and vanished from our midst. We received a report on his divine progress from the Executive Officer who returned aboard ship from a trip about the town and demanded that I explain why a man in the duty section was seen sunning himself poolside at the Holiday Inn. The XO said that when he confronted the Petty Officer and demanded to know why he was off ship when he had the duty the man had the effrontery to claim that he was a Sun worshiper.
They used to sunbathe at that pool back in the day.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

FUNNY HOW THEY GET RIGHT TO THE HEART OF IT

I used to see these two ages ago when I lived in San Diego. They always have the humorous take on the idiocy of the news. They capture the very essence of the matter and roll it out for all to admire and leave wondering, 'why don't I see that from my politician or news team?' Sometimes the newsies capture it but you usually only see that in the blooper reel at the end of the year. When the politicians do it it sounds like a Congressman really did just ask if the Marines had considered that the island of Guam might tip over if too many Marines were embarked there. I find it hilarious that UKIP is now the second party in Britain which means it has edged out either Labor or Tory parties. Who cares which since they're both horrible.

TAKE OFF AND NUKE IT FROM ORBIT

It seems that the oxygen thieves thriving on selling the stupid people in the world on the idea of man made global warming are losing out on every front once they're engaged in defending the 'science' of their scam. I particularly enjoyed:

The Greens are too yellow to admit they're really Reds

From wattsupwiththat.com's fine web site filled with invaluable science on the art of global warming.
The oxygen thieves have been molding, shaping, warping, adjusting and hiding the data for so long that now it seems they want us to accept that nobody can claim that they're wrong based on the data since nobody can find the data they used to derive their scam theory. It's the South Sea Bubble writ in the 21st century and it is frightening that allegedly smart people actually buy into this hoax.

The article at wattsupwiththat is definitely worth the read. Let's remember what causes global warming and climate change.
Kittens.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

WHIMSY

     Way back in the early days I posted a very brief point about watching America elect a team of people who seem intent of jiggering the cart-o-progress until the wheels fall off and the engine drops out. I think they did that with Health Care and Energy and the Banking System, and the Justice Department and I'm reluctantly afraid that in order to make things better for some, it must get worse for everybody else.
     All this is true in spite of the obvious fact that this society also takes very good care of most of the people in the country. I see those that have thrown themselves through the cracks in our society through madness, drugs and alcohol and greatly regret that little can be done to help them or improve their life but I also don't believe that we have a duty to lock up people too messed up to look after themselves. I mean how would that look if we just locked up all the progressives and democrats and socialists? Nope.
     But watching Europe as it implodes is rather fun. In terms of economics and state policy there is literally NOTHING that has not already been done multiple times in the past and anybody who reads history knows what happens when a nation allows its banks to collapse. The countries finances are simply out of control. Nobody even TRIES to exert any meaningful control over spending anymore. Europe placed an iron grip on its banking system when it adopted the Euro but it failed to regulate the out of control spending and now we get to see insolvency played out on a continental stage.
     When I lived in California it was easy to see the state slipping away and the little towns and the little cities and the little counties led the way into debt and municipal destruction. Cities like Detroit are toppling and it looks like Birmingham will be next. All of a sudden you can read about all the outlying suburbs of places incorporating defensively so they won't be part of the ruin when the big city slides over the brink. Remember when Chrysler only needed a billion dollars? Remember when New York, New York only needed a billion dollars?
     Those fools in Europe's commission determined not to honor their promise to insure all deposits under 100,000 Euros and insisted that all deposits in the banks of Cyprus must be robbed in order to have the EU step up to the plate and bail out the banks for all the monstrously criminally stupid loans those banks had made to Greece and other insane risk borrowers. The question in everyone's mind in Europe then must be, how can I trust my banks and my country and my EU to honor their promise to keep my money in the bank safe? Where can I move it where it will be safer? When Argentina did this it did not go well at all.
     I live in what was, in the last century, the fifth largest city in America. Home to the first billionaire in the world. They used to make EVERYTHING here. It was very badly managed and it went broke and most of the jobs and industry vanished. The billionaires and millionaires all had mansions in the city but they instructed that their mansions be destroyed after their deaths because they did not believe anybody who came after them would be able to or could keep them in the required style. 80 of 84 mansions were leveled. Is there anywhere else that did such a thing? The mansions still stand in Newport but nobody built mansions in downtown Detroit.

whimsical.

"Here are the Wimsey arms, from the cover of C.W. Scott-Giles The Wimsey Family (the "Dorothy L. Sayers" across the top is obviously not part of the arms, but I wanted to present the color cover rather than the b&w illustration from the book's interior)."
from:  Win Scott Eckert
And for Anne Bonny

The old saw remains as true today as ever, "if I owe the bank a hundred thousand dollars I'm in trouble. If I owe the bank a hundred million dollars the bank is in trouble." Thanks to our actions in the S&L fiasco we are left with banks to big to fail. Do any of them still loan government any money? What kind of interest rate do they charge on it? Have you read about the bonds issued in California towns and other places desperate for cash that promise to pay back a measly 80 million $ loan now with over a billion $ since it is arranged so that the municipality won't even start paying interest on the loans for 20 years?! They are doing this to their own children and grandchildren never mind that they do it to themselves. To quote prostetnik vogon geltz...death's too good for them.

EARTH FIRST!

I found this in Berea of all places. I had a chat with the owner and as best I could interpret he got it at a head shop somewhere within 30 miles, maybe near MetroParkCentralisMassif, maybe not. Still, for all my globalist friends... ok, i ain't got none of them, here it is.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

I got all of these in Olmstead Falls. It's a wonderful town.


A town stuffed with trains, mayhem and men's prenatal vitamins. No trip is complete without a brief stop.

Friday, March 22, 2013

LITTLE BROWN DRUID

This is a wonderful poem by Billy Collins, former US Poet Laureate. A brilliant man. Like so many things that I enjoy it evokes all kinds of wonderful imagery in the mind's eye.

The Country

I wondered about you
when you told me never to leave
a box of wooden, strike-anywhere matches
lying around the house because the mice

might get into them and start a fire.
But your face was absolutely straight
when you twisted the lid down on the round tin
where the matches, you said, are always stowed.

Who could sleep that night?
Who could whisk away the thought
of the one unlikely mouse
padding along a cold water pipe

behind the floral wallpaper
gripping a single wooden match
between the needles of his teeth?
Who could not see him rounding a corner,

the blue tip scratching against a rough-hewn beam,
the sudden flare, and the creature
for one bright, shining moment
suddenly thrust ahead of his time—

now a fire-starter, now a torch-bearer
in a forgotten ritual, little brown druid
illuminating some ancient night.
Who could fail to notice,

lit up in the blazing insulation,
the tiny looks of wonderment on the faces
of his fellow mice, one-time inhabitants
of what once was your house in the country?

—Billy Collins


Thursday, March 21, 2013

SHOW ME THE QUAN

I just read an interesting thought piece that suggested that we do the obvious thing in America and just stop messing about with taxes and put the whole federal budget on a credit card. We do it with one third of the total spending spree each year (one can hardly call routine $1,000,000,000,000 deficits every year a 'budget'). We're never ever going to pay back the $16,000,000,000,000 we owe so why not just admit it and put it all on credit? Who's it going to hurt? When I tell people it will hurt people like my little pilot they laugh and call me selfish.
Oh well, we all know how countries with enormous debt manage to cope with it.
They tend to either throw themselves enthusiastically into a war to steal from others or placidly sit idle while the world goes mad. When you tot up; don't know, don't care, don't have the money it comes to a rather sad end.

Monday, March 18, 2013

THE WESTERN RESERVE

We went out for pancakes this morning to a community where it is all about all you can eat pancakes and sausage at the local Volunteer Fire Department. They've been serving pancakes to happy customers since they started out in 1951. There is a tally sheet for each of the weeks in maple syrup season that they serve them up and the numbers are staggering for this little town perched on a knob looking out upon a vast moraine covered over with maple trees and farms. Every March since 1951 they've fed between 600 and 2400 people for each of 2 or 3 Sundays in March. Astonishing!
Even more amazing was the stunning diversity. It was as tightly packed with diversity as a snowbank is stuffed with snowflakes. Every bit as colorful too. The pancakes were wonderful and the service was unbelievably good. One of the waiters topped off plates by flinging pancakes over the heads of 3 or 5 people but they all landed perfectly on the plate. They all stuck pretty good too but I think that was mostly because there was a thick layer of maple syrup on each plate. Buttermilk, Blueberry and Buckwheat pancakes. Not a bad one in the lot.
All in all - A very nice little town. As is any town with a left over cannon. This one was purchased by the town in 1877. It is a ten pound Parrott Gun said to have been fired at Lookout Mountain. You can see they had to move the fire trucks into the street to make room for all the pancakes.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

PANSTARRS UPDATE

I may not see it here on the northern frontier of America but here is an update time lapse video of what we're missing under the perpetual cloud layer:

A TOUCH OF GREEN ILLUSION

From jerrypournelle.com:
First an interesting illusion sent my Mr. St. Onge:
Subject: Damn cool optical illusion. Lots of limiting things about our senses, eh?
  If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, you will only see one color, pink.
  If you stare at the black + in the center, the moving dot turns to green.
  Now, concentrate on the black + in the center of the picture. After a short period of time, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see a green dot rotating if you're lucky!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

OH NO IT'S A GUN

The intertubes are filled with stories about children being sent home from school because they had the unmitigated gall to nibble a poptart into what looked like a gun to the adult in the room or because they brought in a picture of a gun or because they mentioned a gun. I figure it's just a matter of days until some poor shmoe is sent home because his last name is Gun or his first name is Gunnar or...
The Zero Tolerance crowd sure do have a way of shaming themselves with their own stupidity.
And what kid doesn't want to stay home from a school that stupid?


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

IT'S A REVENUE PROBLEM

Ouch.

WHAT CANNOT GO ON FOREVER WON'T

"If you want a sense of just how massive the nation's debt problem is, consider this: The U.S. added $226 billion in new debt in just the 35 days since President Obama missed the legal deadline to submit his budget. That's more than the government will spend this year on education, homeland security, law enforcement, housing aid, energy and the environment, combined."

That's half of the Department of Defense Budget in 35 days. That's in the teeth of the horrible awful shocking devastating slashing of the Defense expenditures by a whopping $44 billion in the remainder of the current Fiscal Year. All in the name of fiscal reality. 

Makes you laugh doesn't it?

Monday, March 11, 2013

CIVIL WAR LETTERS HOME II

This letter has the same date but it is quite different from the letter I posted earlier. One can definitely draw a wide line of distinction between the cares and concerns of Operational Security dictates in this letter home from the current unreality. No effort is made to conceal or obscure the organization or affairs of the soldiers and armies at the front. Obviously the press was there in full force and this was a war with every facet available to the comprehension of any that cared to pick up a newspaper and read the news. I am still amazed that these letters moved in enormous numbers all through the war and with so little time in transport. My own mail sent to me here in Ohio takes more than 4 weeks to arrive from Arlington Virginia. My cousin was getting mail from Indiana to him outside of Nashville in less than 10 days. When did the Post Office stop considering that its sole purpose was to deliver the mail? It traveled faster and more reliably on wagons a hundred and fifty years ago.

There are two letters here. One a continuation of the day and the next from a week later as the Army of the Cumberland settles into positions for the Battle of Stones River.
 
Camp near Silver Springs Tenn
Nov 16th 1862
Dear Mother
I have just finished writing a letter to Emma and have now commenced one to you hoping that you will soon get it. General Woodses Division is now in Gen Crittendens Army Corps which is composed of three Divisions ours Gen . Sp  Sen. Smiths and Gen Van Cleves Division.  The 36 Indiana is in Gen Smithes division the 6th Ohio is in the same, I was over to the 36 a few days ago and seen most of the boys and I believe they were all well except Captain King who had been quite sick but was getting better I went from there over to the 6th Ohio and seen Robert Nelson and Shrum (Mrs Wests son-in-law)  they both send their respects to you. I am going over this afternoon again as it is quite close and see the boys. Jno Macy who we left sick at Huntsville Alabama when we left there, has come to us and looks as well as I have ever seen him before.
Our Captain has left us and now I suppose that Lieut Davis will be promoted to the position of 1st Lieutenant and Bill Jersney 2nd Lieutenant and Charley Burgess as orderly. (I am most glad I am not in the Co)  A man died in the 73rd Indiana yesterday and his funeral sermon is to be preached this afternoon and I wish to go to hear it for it for it is seldom that I have a opportunity to hear the word of God expounded for we are always marching or fighting. (this is confidential. Dr Towers told me that I should have the position of steward in a few days (tell none) I must now close. From the sound I believe we will have hard fighting in a few days. I send my love to all remain your affectionate son
Luther M Beaver
Co I15th Indiana Volunteers
Lieut. Davis from Co. I
Lieut. Col Wood 15th Regt
P. S. I have written 2 letters since I have been here but have not got any, one of the letter was home and the other to Ann Godfrey.  Mail has come to camp but is not yet distributed a letter may be in the mail for me. I am out of postage stamps but I can get some for this letter.



Camp near Stone River, Tenn
Nov 24th 1862
Dear Father
I received a letter from you on the 22nd of this month dated 12th 1862 in which you stated that you had not heard from me for some time.  I cannot tell the reason why you have not for I have written 2 letters a week home for the last 2 or 3 weeks and the mail has been running threw for the last week to Louisville, Ky. We are now camped 8 miles southeast of Nashville Tenn. Anything can be sent to the Regt by Express to Nashville Tenn. I must be in a hurry about writing this for a blank has just been brought in to make out a quarterly report on I am well and still remain your affectionate son Luther M Beaver

Friday, March 8, 2013

WHAT A BUNCH OF DRONES

A day after a 13 hour filibuster by Senator Rand Paul who questioned whether or not the President, Justice Department and CIA nominee believed the Constitution permits the administration to use drones to kill peaceful Americans in the United States we get this:

STUPID PEOPLE 

John Brennan Sworn in on Constitution Without a Bill of Rights

By Elspeth Reeve   |   5:32 PM ET
New CIA director John Brennan was sworn into office Friday on the original draft of the Constitution — as in, the one drafted in 1787, four years before it included the Bill of Rights. It is a symbolic thing, but the White House got the symbolism wrong. Brennan has been criticized for being involved in, or at least aware of, various CIA policies that trouble civil libertarians. Brennan said he knew of, but did nothing to stop, the torture of war-on-terror detainess under the Bush administration. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul filibustered Brennan's nomination on Wednesday and into Thursday, demanding the Obama administration say whether it believed it had the power to use a drone to kill and American citizen not engaged in combat on American soil. (Attorney General Eric Holder said the answer was no.)
As Marcy Wheeler notes, what's funny about this is that the White House thought it was getting the symbolism right. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Brennan requested the 1787 copy of the Constitution from the National Archives to show the U.S. is a nation of laws, according to Yahoo. Earnest explained, "Director Brennan told the president that he made the request to the archives because he wanted to reaffirm his commitment to the rule of law as he took the oath of office as director of the CIA."

You wanna DVD with that?

HIJACKED TUNNELS IN THE KEYS

It's pretty clear to me now after spending a lot of time in the Florida Keys that the secret tunnels dug by Tibetan monks hired by the CIA back in 1961 to dig a secret tunnel to Cuba for our armies of liberation to use when liberating our 51st state have been hijacked and are now being used by every manor of delivery service. We drove out the highway to Key West and back and forth everyday from Key West to Marathon without ever passing a single food delivery truck, gasoline tanker, waste management truck or even a UPS truck. I saw a grand total of two delivery trucks. One beer truck in Key West and a Coca Cola truck. Everything else shipped in the secret tunnels. I don't know if they extend to the Dry Tortuga but anything is possible when the CIA gets involved. Perhaps they still use the tunnels to supply the lawyers in Guantanamo Bay with the necessities of life.

I'm surprised that the many recent immigrants from Cuba never let on that they arrived in Key West via the secret tunnel from Havana pictured here.


COMET PANSTARRS IS HERE

Last chance to see Comet PANSTARRS is this month. You'll likely never see it again so look sharp into the western sky just after sunset. I've included an aide to help narrow in on it in the night sky from this great site: 
http://earthsky.org/space/comet-panstarrs-possibly-visible-to-eye-in-march-2013

PANSTARRS is already visible from the southern hemisphere.

The photograph above is from the link as is the guide below.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

BEING THERE

Senator Paul is filibustering Brennan for CIA right now and he provoked a pleasant thought stream when he said that the Department of Justice gives Justice and the President the right to use drones to kill terrorists in America and those doing business with the terrorists. I wonder. Does that include all the lawyers working pro bono to provide the terrorists with legal services?

If legal services are so crucial to the war on terrorism, why don't some of them get to lawyer up before we try to kill them?

I sure hope drones are reusable. There's a ton of lawyers out there.

Oderint dum Metuant!

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

We passed this one several times while traveling last week. You'd think evolution alone would slow them down if it was all that dangerous....
I wonder how they know which ones are key deer?

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

REMEMBRANCE

There are a thousand million memories that spring to mind. Mostly because I remember. There may be a like number of memories I don't remember because they hurt too much. I'm reducing the numbers every day but there is still music I won't listen to by choice. On this day I always recall two pilots. My little pilot and a good man I once knew.

Monday, March 4, 2013