Friday, January 31, 2014


Ever since the Navy created the Sea Air Land Teams it was faced with a cruel dilemma; the Navy didn't want them. They were the orphans of Team Navy and it showed in how they were treated by that most personal of institutions within, the Bureau of Personnel. It was BUPERS that decided that the S in SEAL would not stand for "special." No. The S stands for Sea and because this was so, BUPERS insisted that every sailor that was a SEAL must take and pass the advancement exams specific to the Rate he had when he enlisted.

In short, SEALs would be graded solely on their ability to pass written exams in arcane subjects that had nothing at all to do with what they did every day in the Navy. Imagine you are a young hard charging sailor and you would like to get promoted to the next pay grade. You study hard and apply that knowledge to your day-to-day job of fixing engines, fixing heavy duty shipboard weapon systems, repairing electronics, etc. But SEALs don't do any of that in their day-to-day job.

You wouldn't want SEALs helping you out with repairing a radio or a huge marine diesel engine and even the SEALs knew better than to trust a boat in their hands which is why we still had the Special Boat Units made up of boat engineers, boat drivers and gunner's mates who are not SEALs.

So the SEALS were handicapped by an utterly ridiculous requirement to learn skills that had no bearing on their performance in order to impress BUPERS enough to get promoted. After 9/11 they hit upon a cunning plan. They convinced somebody that they should create their own rating called Special Operator and be tested on just that. BUPERS relented and allowed as how they could now be 'special'. One of the things SEALs are really good at is persuasion. They are post-docs of persuasion.

Her dad the SEAL is even more persuasive
College athletics has been in the same rut since Prohibition. They keep saying that they are nurturing and educating something called Student Athletes. I think we can all agree that it is possible that one can be both an outstanding student and an outstanding athlete but we all know that mostly that's a fiction we want to believe. Most colleges and universities within the NCAA make their athletic scholarship decisions based on just one factor and it isn't influenced in the least bit by whether the applicant can read and write. They then spend decades trying to deny and hide the fact that they chose athlete over student.

Bite the bullet guys. Just order the BURSAR to create the College of Athletics and create a curriculum designed for the modern athlete. Courses can focus on union organization, sports injuries - how to survive them and how to inflict them, sports medicine - with concentration on steroids and other performance enhancing drug regimes, Agents and how to handle them, weight training etc. The College can develop post graduate degree programs in Automotive Sales, Product Endorsement and Fashion Accessories for Men.

It's time to admit that while we can have student athletes, we cannot have athlete students and maintain a straight face when talking about how our universities are not compromising their standards. Don't compromise! Adapt! Overcome! Improvise! Change the paradigm.


In a move widely expected by both his friends, the President declared war on climate today. Citing the sweeping and dramatically successful War on Poverty and the War on Drugs, Obama announced that he had just signed an Executive Order today declaring unending war on the planet's climate. He shared the sentiment of a climate scientist lobby (laboring on government stipends) who believe that Earth's climate is somehow to blame for warming or cooling the planet in excessive or inadequate ways and announced drastic quotas on CO2.

In an effort to heal the planet's atmosphere the President has announced plans to drastically increase the amount of carbon monoxide stating that, "19 out 10000000 scientist agree that this is an acceptable way to reduce free carbon.

No real scientists were asked to the Executive signing ceremony hosted in the Rose Garden today which was bathed in the shimmering glow of the Nobel Prizes of both the President and Al Gore.

As a Nobel Laureate myself, in the fine tradition of Michael Mann of Penn State*, I would have been at the ceremony but I was out shooting polar bears.

*Mann contributed something to the IPCC which body was awarded the Nobel Prize. He claimed that this made him a Nobel Laureate. I am a member of the Red Cross and contributed an ocean of blood. The Red Cross has been awarded the Nobel Prize 3 times. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

Thursday, January 30, 2014


This delightful link takes you to a 1956 LIFE pictorial on teaching school children how to handle weapons safely.

You can see how the police teach gun safety in schools today in this clip. Listen to what the police officer says just before he shoots himself.

Personally, I prefer the cop in 1956. At least he knows when the gun is loaded and unloaded and when he pulls the trigger he knows a round will come out and hit whatever the gun is pointed at.


It gladdens my heart and cheers my soul that I never watch TV anymore but I got to wondering just a bit ago how the "DRAFT JOE FOR PRESIDENT" committee is doing on releasing their candidate into the wild to campaign on his own for national office. I checked the deep internets and the surface ductnets and even probed the starless outer darknets for news of his Campaign to Elect Joe President but it was all in vain.

I found this pathetic dribble right off: “In my heart, I’m confident I could make a good president,” said Biden on Wednesday. Biden was cagey when asked about whether he will run in the 2016 election. “I haven’t made a decision to run. I haven’t made a decision not to run.” Biden said he and wife Jill are too dimwitted and slow to make up their own minds. “Jill and I will make that decision later down the road… If I don’t run for president we’ll all be OK.” Pull the trigger Joe! Commit!

You know the funny bit right? The lick-spittle members of the Democratic National Campaign to Elect Hillary President, er, press, then stupidly asked the dimwit for his deeply cogent and insightful thoughts on the middle east, military strategy in Afghanistan, and the importance of leaning into the solar wind in order to shift the earth's orbit a little further out so man-made global warming won't kill us all.

I miss the last Vice President. Even though he knew how to pull a trigger, and shoot responsibly*, we all knew that he was never Presidential timber and would not run as the Republican nominee. His heart wasn't in it.

SALSAL (See a Lawyer Shoot a Lawyer)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I heard this at Borders in Emeryville a few years after returning from a very small unimportant and forgotten little war. The singer died yesterday after a long life of protest and organization. I wonder though, if the guys in Italy had it so bad since at least people heard goodish things about them from time to time. The poor guys at Singapore and then the CBI had a far lonelier war a lot further from home.

Here below is an abbreviated version of the tune above.


A passing tribute to a wonderful writer, Robert Heinlein. I was struck by a silly question while watching the second video here about a Roman Bakery in the long lost Port of Ostia. As he talked about the slaves toiling away in the dust from 10 millstones churning out enough flour to feed thousands of people every day I wondered if the Romans ever suffered from dust initiated explosions in their flour mills. Their ventilation systems were pretty primitive.
Washburn A Mill exploding in 1878 because of dust. (Stereo view works oddly enough)
Flour dust was once a real passing concern of mine because height of eye is important to the success of some ventures. While the operators assured me that it was safe, one can never be sure about a thing like that. reports that between 1994 and 2003 there were 115 dust explosions in the food and agriculture sector, most of them in grain elevators.

You can see the grain elevators and flour mill that concerned me in the picture below. They are the largest objects to the right of the bent submarine. When people assure me that accidents such as dust explosions or smashed submarines are fantastically rare, I take it with a large grain of salt. It's the only way to be sure. One never hears of salt explosions but better safe than sorry.

A badly damaged submarine heads into port. It was run over. In a very rare accident.


It was with a heavy heart that I read of the apparent demise of China's Jade Rabbit lunar rover after it dropped into the Sea of Rains. The article at NewScientist attributes the malfunction to charged dust particles stirred up by the rover's arrival and initial motion.

Charged dust particles, hhhmmmm.
Russia's particle beam weapon could raise the dust and rover to the same electrical potential
If it doesn't work out, Jade Rabbit will join other hardware left behind in Mare Imbrium and one small statuette left behind by the astronauts of Apollo 15 commemorating fallen astronauts known to them at the time they departed the Sea of Rains.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


A brief stop for fuel is called a BSF in the U.S. Navy. It is what ships do when they cannot replenish their fuel by going alongside a tanker of some sort while underway. They date back to the first days of the machinery powered navy and explain part of the rush to colonize the rest of the world's seacoasts. The navies and maritime fleets of the day needed a safe place to accumulate and store fuel and then to refuel ships that came into port.

Sometimes a BSF is more dangerous than expected and you get tragedies like USS COLE in Aden. The ship was easily targeted and blown up by muslims who placed a lot of explosives in a boat and then drove the boat into the destroyer's port side causing it to sink at the pier. The explosion killed a number of sailors and the muslims on the attacking boat.
USS COLE after its Brief Stop For Fuel in Aden
There was a little interest in a navy ship that stopped in Humboldt Bay to refuel the other day. The coastline between Los Angeles and Seattle is justly famous as the most dangerous bit of coastline ever to make an impact on the U.S. Navy. In 1923 the Honda Point Disaster claimed 7 nearly new destroyers and the lives of 23 sailors. The waters teem with Great White Sharks and Killer Whales but the real sharks are found ashore all along the west coast.
Destroyer Squadron 11 after running aground north of Santa Barbara in 1923
When I was a young Chief Engineer I once sailed to San Francisco and moored at Fisherman's Wharf. We had an easy time getting there from San Diego and enjoyed a fairly relaxing week ashore, but there was one thing I refused to do while in that place and that was to refuel. In San Francisco at the time, the most lethal critters alive were running the place and woe betide the man who spilled so much as one drop of fuel into the Bay for death would be too good for him. (Mayor Diane Feinstein said so.)

I figured we had enough fuel aboard to make it back to San Diego. You can imagine my dismay when my Chief came up to me on the bridge while we were abeam Honda Point to inform me that he couldn't get any fuel out of the last fuel tank. Nothing came out of the purifier but water. I asked the skipper if he could relieve me of the Deck and he answered that he was free and very interested in anything I learned while absent and took the Deck while I moseyed down to the engine room to have a look at this amazing crisis for myself.

The U.S. Navy's newest class of warship was spotted in Eureka, California taking on fuel.

USS INDEPENDENCE gleaming in the bright sun in Eureka, CA January 2014
The good people of Eureka had another Navy warship in that close once before.

USS MILWAUKEE, flag still flying, washes ashore in Eureka, CA in January 1917.
It didn't end well for USS MILWAUKEE. She broke in half after running aground while attempting to rescue a submarine that had gone ashore earlier.

The people of that area take their pacifism very seriously and will go to any extreme of violence to make the point about how much they are in favor of non-violence. I once had the opportunity to send security forces to that neck of the woods to protect some ships and suggested that instead maybe they should go somewhere peaceful and calm, like Aden. There is something about the air on the northern California coast and the Oregon and Washington coast that brings out the worst in people. People like us in Canada and Alaska though so that's something.

I can only imagine the terror of the men and women on the USS Independence as they refueled in that nest of vipers. They probably figured they were lucky to make it out alive. It's bound to be much worse there than San Francisco. Only the most dire necessity would force me into that place to take on fuel.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Our Washington correspondent sent us this today:
A US Air Force C-141 was scheduled to leave Thule Air Base, Greenland , at midnight during a winter month. During the pilot's pre-flight check, he discovers that the latrine holding tank is still full from the last flight. So a message is sent to the base and an airman who was off duty is called out to take care of it. 
The young man finally gets to the air base and makes his way to the aircraft only to find that the latrine pump-truck has been left outdoors and is frozen solid, so he must find another one in the hangar, which takes even more time.He returns to the aircraft and is less than enthusiastic about what he has to do. Nevertheless, he goes about the pumping job deliberately and carefully (and slowly) so as not to risk criticism later.As he's leaving the plane, the pilot stops him and says, "Son, your attitude and performance has caused this flight to be late and I'm going to personally see to it that you are not just reprimanded, but punished." 
Shivering in the cold, his task finished, he takes a deep breath, stands tall and says, "Sir, with all due respect, I'm not your son; I'm an Airman in the United States Air Force. I've been in Thule, Greenland for 11 months without any leave, and reindeer are beginning to look pretty good to me.  I have one stripe, it's 2:30 in the morning, the temperature is 40 degrees below zero, and my job here is to pump shit out of an aircraft." "Now, just exactly what form of punishment did you have in mind?
The major difference between a well-run organization and a half-assed one, is that in a good one, the guy with the duty answers the phone. Many of the places I went on C-141s, nobody bothered to answer the phone. We figured we'd see more of the world traveling on C-141s even though they don't have any windows in  back. They spent longer on the ground. A lot longer on the ground.


Forgotten and unlamented in the northern hemisphere, it was a battle in an age of epic military disasters brought to the world by the British Army. Isandhlwana raged on 22 January 1879
Last of the 24th by Stuart Liptrot.

At the end of the Battle of Isandhlwana, the last few soldiers of the South Wales Borderers, 24th Regiment of Foot, hold out till their last rounds of ammunition in the foothills of the mountain.
It was preceded by another forgotten massacre of even more people as Elphinstone retreated from the disaster he wrought in Kabul, Afghanistan from the 6th through the 13th of January.
An 1898 depiction of the last stand of survivors of Her Majesty's 44th Foot at Gandamak.
One of the treasures we carried out of Iraq and Afghanistan is another generation of officers who will not plan a repeat of the disaster that politicians and weak generals created in Vietnam and Cambodia.

It is easy, and easier to say, that the generals and the men who led the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan did indeed fail to learn the hard lessons of history but I think a close study of the facts will bear out one resounding truth, the men that planned those wars planned for the immediate, overwhelming and total destruction of the enemy and they accomplished that.  They did it so well there was nothing left and that unfortunately encouraged the idiots. They forgot that after the war is over nothing is more destructive than a politician who appoints a State Department apparatchik to 'run the asylum' and rebuild it into a modern Bedlam.


Peace and Tranquility never had a chance.


Some interesting mapography here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Due to a mix up at the International Date Line this post may be perceived as late. Nothing could more ridiculous.
Traditional Australian
Recent Australians

VB for all!

Saturday, January 25, 2014


In honor of Robert Burns Night I thought I'd share a picture of a place which is no more.

The little sheep, a genuine product of Scotland, and named, appropriately, Haggis, traveled extensively with my girl and made a brief appearance at Kona Village Resort where he was sometimes found at the Shipwreck Bar. He preferred these:

but he was happy with anything with alcohol in it and a smoke. Sadly Kona Village was destroyed by a tsunami several years ago and hopes fade that it will ever be reborn. It was a timeless place that exuded happiness.


Spotted on a car in front of me. The young lady no doubt thinks she's a very proper model of a liberal mind set free to roam the cosmos of this enlightened age if only she could stamp out the little cockroaches and deniers and t people.

News is free. It is either true or untrue but mostly its shades of truth. Some like the darker bits on top and some like them on the bottom or maybe arranged vertically. Either way though, who the hell thinks they have a right to tell you to turn off the news? Seriously, you see what you want to see.

Friday, January 24, 2014


I just ran across this today. Drat.

I didn't hold on like grim death to XP Pro because I hated everything that came after it, I hung on to it because it worked so damned well.

Where I worked for so many years above rocket scientists, mostly Lockheed, I listened to all the engineers and scientists whine about the dismal lack of performance and stability that came with Vista and 7 and 8. I was delighted to plug along on my crisp clean sailing machines of computers running XP that never collapsed under the strain of innovation. Admittedly, our needs were small and we weren't trying to set speed or load records. What we had worked well enough. Still does.

Plus I also had OSX running on a MacBookPro so there was that.

But the cruelest cut from Microsoft today was:


The supernova in M82 as imaged by Leonid Elenin
It would appear, anywhere but here
that a new super nova blazes in the heavens
Where all may look agape and wonder
at the violence done 12 million years passed
except we upon the plains of the formerly great
City of MetroParkCentralis
where the skies are always cloudy
when the heavens burn so bright

50 supernova per second in the universe. We haven't had one this close in hundreds of years.
Dennis di Cicco captured M82's supernova on the evening of January 22nd

Thursday, January 23, 2014


If one were to try to think of 10 things a sovereign government could do that are so impossibly stupid they defy belief, I'm pretty sure Greece would place at least 4 times in the top 10. The latest ridiculous outrage today is that a terrorist sentenced to multiple life terms for attacking and killing British and American businessmen, diplomats, foreigners and a total of 23 people was released from prison on furlough for a week and failed to report back to finish out his multiple life sentences.
In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the United States is “very closely engaged” with Greek authorities about finding Xiros.
“We’re obviously deeply concerned that this convicted terrorist remains at large and is now allegedly issuing renewed calls for violence. ... We continue to call on the (Greek) government to do everything they can to locate him and return him to prison.”
They are now offering a reward for information leading to his recapture. They're offering 4 million Euros to whoever helps locate him so the idiot Greeks can let him go on furlough again next year. That's 4 million Euros they'll have to borrow from their banks and Europe's banks because the government doesn't have it.

So my question is, does the NSA get to keep the money or do they have to give it back? I mean, they obviously know where he is hiding and he's a foreigner. Win win, right?


These are pretty darn good.

I have always liked his paintings because they are compositions that are about the light that falls within. Solar infall....

There was another artist. One who sold priceless Vermeers to the Nazis during World War II. It is a fascinating story about how he beat the charges against him of collaborating with the enemy which was deadly serious in Holland right after the war.

Speaking as one who knows these things, I cannot imagine the patience of both parties to get these staged and photographed. I'm sure lots of favorite things were involved.

There are a number of other works at the first link.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Cuba as you find it. It's always fascinating that so many people blame America for the communists failure to take off economically and become well fed productive makers of the world's goods rather than consumers. Michael Totten shows the world what progressive politics earns society and those who are born to a world made better by Statists.
The bit with the cows is fascinating. It looks like progressives have put Cuba's few remaining cows on a diet. They are not happy cows.

The way progressive socialists in America carry on about Cuba you would think it is paradise and the only reason it is a little screwed up is because one country out of 192 other countries in the world has refused to trade with it. One. Country. There's one other place that America doesn't trade with. It's another progressive paradise stuffed with virtuous hard working peasants. It's the one you cannot see at night because it's dark there. Very dark.


Mr President, will you serve as Secretary General of the UN when you leave office?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


It's sneaking up on you.

Valentine's Day.


As long as the reactors stay online we have plenty of energy and can continue to make water forever. If for some reason the reactors drop offline we have plenty of coal and can make electricity to power the desalination plants and distilling plants.


San Onofre nuclear power plant is offline and has been dismantled? The California Air Resources Board wants all the coal fired power plants in California to shut down? Really? Well, so not a problem. We still have all the hydro-electric stations not to mention all that hot air.

Say.... do we actually make any water in California at all? It's not like they use any of that electricity to make so much as a single drop of water even using all the waste heat off their current power stations. You might wonder why they can't even manage that and the answer won't surprise you. When desalinating seawater one keeps the fresh water and discards the brine which is just a tiny bit saltier than the sea, back into the sea. Unfortunately, that is the where the vipers known as the California Coastal Commission live and regulate and they won't let anyone pour salt into the sea.


I might opt for a far warmer clime and one without so many giant ice bergs. It would be fun though.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Driving from Newport, Rhode Island to Philadelphia on my way to fire fighting school back in 1986, I had the radio tuned to a channel of the People's Radio and chanced to hear an excellent program about a man almost nobody ever speaks of anymore; Malcolm X. The station played excerpts from many of his speeches and writings as he grew and developed over his brief time on Earth.  I came to think that he was my kind of rabble-rouser. I could feel the power of the words in his speeches. He was not communicating thoughts he derived from his contemplation of God's words. He was talking like an angry man with much to be angry about. His words contributed directly to his assassination. I never heard his speeches until I was 25 and a brand new graduate of the Navy's Department Head School.

Today is one set aside by the nation to remember another man who was also cut down in his prime by an assassin. The 1960's were a seemingly endless series of assassinations. Diem, shot by friends of Kennedy. JFK killed by a communist 20 days later. Black Nationalist Malcom X, Nazi party leader George Rockwell, Martin Luther King, Jr., and RFK, all assassinated. All of them men who made the decision to enter the arena of ideas, and all but one, coldly agreeable to assassination and murder if that was the price demanded to change the world.

Oddly enough, I have sympathy for just about all of them. They wanted to make it a better world. Each of them wanted to make it over in his own image. One wanted a black nationalist world. You can find that if you like for there are a lot of places where black nationalism has triumphed. Diem who just wanted to survive there at the end. His ambitions there were as doomed as his country. JFK and RFK were going to make a better world for their kind of people. You can see what they meant to achieve in Massachusetts to this day.

Martin Luther King wanted something a little different. "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

I believe in words. Each word means a specific thing. Words without qualification mean what they say and nobody gets to qualify another person's words. That is deceitful and lacks honesty and integrity. When JFK spoke to Congress and said, "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth," nobody tried to dissimulate his words and their clear meaning and parse it to say anything else. Nobody that mattered tried to add, "if we can afford it or if it isn't too dangerous or if it is technically feasible." We accepted it as the goal and worked to accomplish it.

I think we can all get along if we work at it but there has to be a firm foundation of agreement on what it is that we are working for. If we want an end to discrimination then we should probably stop discriminating. If we want a meritocracy where people are allowed to rise to whatever level of accomplishment they can by merit and luck then we should probably take our thumbs off the scale when parceling out merit and luck. If we believe that we should give it all over and live in a peaceful and harmonious society than surely that is the one that most requires the positive assent of each member to agree to participate in such a society and also it must include a path out for those that do not desire to live in a Society of Friends.

This country used to have a common foundation that was built on a common understanding of the documents of the founding of the country which were taught by the free education that is provided to every child. The educators taught elementary math, reading, writing and the basics of a literate society to everyone. The elite and the devoutly religious sent their children to private schools that employed the same teachers to teach the same subjects. The subjects were identical. The method and nature of the instruction varied widely. Literacy, fluency and mathematical reasoning was the path to a better life. A firm grasp of those subjects lifted all who sought mastery of them.

To everyone's continual amazement, that fundamental baseline is what has been screwed up. Failure to achieve upward mobility in society today can be laid almost exclusively at the feet of a failure to become literate and the inability to reason mathematically. When I look at the enormous number of people that the U.S. Military simply will not recruit because they cannot read or perform simple arithmetic I become angry at how 12 years of free education was shit on. How did we screw that up?

It was there! It was right there! It was shining and sparkly and just within our grasp and we let it get away!

I know what people say about schools and teachers and I don't say any of that. I went to 9 different schools counting kindergarten through high school. They all had one thing in common. They made an extraordinary effort to teach children who came to school and wanted to learn and for the most part they did that very well. My last school was motivated solely by the money and did its best to keep kids in school. It tried hardest to reach the kids that were done learning and it was also the worst of the schools I attended. The other schools looked at the hard-core refuseniks and allowed them to saunter off to whatever pursuits they thought a more fit use of their learning time.

There had to be someone at home that cared about learning if it was going to happen. If nobody successfully communicated the importance of learning and provided the discipline to force it, it was over.

What Martin Luther King, and what we all wish for our children, can now be achieved in the United States by any child that learns to read and write, and learns mathematics and can graduate from school.

I spent my whole life in environments where nobody cared about your background or skin color. The only thing that mattered was if you could do the job. It would be nice if you bathed regularly, were pleasant and had a reasonable sense of humor, but really it boiled down to nothing more than whether or not you were up to the job.

I think Martin Luther King's dream has become a reality. If you can fit yourself into Society, it will make room for you to flourish. Did you know the military simply won't induct 75% of the age eligible applicants because they don't meet the minimum standards expected of members of that society?

If you want a new dream for the new millennium, discover what to do with the millions of people that turned their back on education and learning and declined to take part in society or join the Race.* We mostly lock them up after we tire of them. There has to be a better way and it isn't going to be found in spending more money on schools, teachers, prisons or youth activities. It's going to take something new under the sun.

*The Race of Reason of course.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


What is the SS to do with:

I think the Secret Service must be having a good time. This article from the Daily Mail is great!!
For the moment, they are allegedly sleeping in separate bedrooms after Mr Obama’s attempt to ‘mend fences’ backfired so badly on a recent Christmas getaway to Hawaii that he returned to Washington with their two daughters, leaving his wife behind.
The National Enquirer, it must be said, quoted only anonymous insiders in support of these sensational claims, and is hardly the most reliable source of hard news. [says who?]
Obama advisers are certainly not talking as if there is any scandal in the offing. [what scandals? They've never seen any]

Washington’s media has ignored the story. [they've ignored ALL Obama scandals]

But everyone remembers how the Enquirer famously got it right when it claimed the supposedly squeaky clean Democrat presidential contender John Edwards had fathered a love child by a former campaign worker. [But nobody cares about liars and scoundrels]
Kind of makes one wonder if the separate bedrooms are simply the SS telling the two to sleep in neutral corners.

Do you think they've read this wonderful classic?


Seen originally at American Digest.
It looks like the law of gross tonnage is the only law. No stop signs, yield signs or street lights and every man for himself.

Friday, January 17, 2014


The man who spent 10 hours in hospital being probed by police and men in white coats has settled his law suit against the lawmen for $1.6 million. He also sued the men in white coats and the hospital that carried out this bit of in-depth law ordered probing. Those suits continue. I wonder if the hospital is a little worried now. They probably think they can eat the cost of the lawsuit but they probably expected to lay it off against the county and city for ordering them to do it. Now they stand alone. So do the men in white coats.

I'd have some little smidgeon of sympathy for the hospital and doctors involved were it not that the stupid morons sent the man they raped a bill for services rendered.

Nobody has been fired or sanctioned but we never expected that.


Watching the press tear into Governor Christie just because he is a mindlessly vicious political thug of the first water is kind of interesting. It looks like all the adult strategists (both of them) have retired from the Democratic Public Policy War Machine  er, national press corps. I wouldn't be surprised if the Director of Communications for the Hillary campaign isn't telling them what to say and do but she really needs to up her game if she wants to win.

They need to study Obama's play book and double check the rules for political destruction. You wait until it is too late for the other party to find a replacement nominee before you get court records unsealed and turned over to the press and let them destroy your enemy. You want to keep all the dirt you know about your likeliest and least able enemy hidden in your vaults until it is time to spring out of the darkness waving a subpoena and shouting EUREKA! You conspire with that enemy to sabotage all the other people running against him.

What the republicans really need is a toe tapping, wide-stanced, nuanced, ethically challenged man with a housemaid as a mistress to run for president. If he could be a closet gay of the gay bashing variety and a deep cover agent for the KGB that would be nice. It wouldn't hurt his chances if there was video of him in a drug fueled rage or shooting up smack with Janis. That way we could all be shocked, shocked I tell you, on November 1st a few years hence.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


The Air Force fired their Commanding General for liking women, wine and cigars and now they are investigating all of the nuclear launch crews because narcotics. In their narcotics investigation the investigators naturally decided to look at the crew's text messages because drugs are notorious for turning up in text messages and found that the crews were sharing answers in a cooperative teamwork environment and so the Air Force has sacked 34 of its 190 launch crew personnel.

You know what that means right? That means that the remaining guys left now have to stretch to cover the missed watches and duties of those being punished. ALL MUST SUFFER! Enjoy that week living in a hole in the ground? Have another!

I can see the new Commanding General taking over this nightmare command. Be there as he issues his very first order to the security force guarding the nation's nuclear strategic missiles: "Open fire on any and all investigators. Shoot any survivors."

Do you suppose any of the remaining crews are wondering if they should pull back and nuke the place from orbit? Just to be sure...
What could go wrong?


I listened to a bit of the People's Radio today as I drove to the Post Office. It departed from the baselines and actually had a real correspondent on who was permitted to talk a bit before he was ushered off into a shark tank. The real newsman filled us in on some of what the Romney campaign staff found when it vetted New Jersey governor as a potential Vice Presidential running mate.

Governor Christie ordered Romney to refrain from any fundraising in his Domain until he was appropriately blessed and found worthy. Christie showed up at campaign events when he felt like it and was hours late without any excuses. More to the point from:
The vetters were stunned by the garish controversies lurking in the shadows of his record. There was a 2010 Department of Justice inspector general’s investigation of Christie’s spending patterns in his job prior to the governorship, which criticized him for being “the U.S. attorney who most often exceeded the government [travel expense] rate without adequate justification” and for offering “insufficient, inaccurate, or no justification” for stays at swank hotels like the Four Seasons. There was the fact that Christie worked as a lobbyist on behalf of the Securities Industry Association at a time when Bernie Madoff was a senior SIA official—and sought an exemption from New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act. There was Christie’s decision to steer hefty government contracts to donors and political allies like former Attorney General John Ashcroft, which sparked a congressional hearing. There was a defamation lawsuit brought against Christie arising out of his successful 1994 run to oust an incumbent in a local Garden State race.
This is the guy that Republicans are swooning over as a potential presidential candidate? A sleazy lawyer who represented Bernie Madoff in his effort to get an exemption from a Consumer Fraud law is their idea of a good nominee? This dumb guy could have appointed a republican to fill the dead crook's Senate seat but didn't. Could somebody stick a fork in him now.


I was wondering if the next generation is smart enough and was beginning to worry, what with them voting for the wrong people all the time, but now I have to admit my fears were for naught. It seems they aren't dumb enough to sign up for health insurance ripoffs at hugely inflated prices which offer them little to no benefit.

Now if only the rest of America saw so clearly what is so blindingly obvious we would be a richer and vastly more healthy society. Every time you are swayed by the argument that you should force other people to give their money to the government for the benefit of some undeserving person, think of Detroit.
[From How to be a Retronaut] – The East Side Public Library, Detroit, Michigan. “Detroit in Ruins,” a selection of photographs of Detroit by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre
The city politicians and the city librarians raised millions of dollars and told the residents of the East Side that they were going to use every penny to fix the roof of the library and then the money all vanished and the city decided that it was too dangerous to enter the library even to salvage the books.

You know how the money for Obama care was being raised for the last 3 years. The government started collecting Obamacare taxes back in 2010 to pay for this monstrosity. Naturally, they started stealing from the young and young at heart.


 I see we just had the Under Secretary of the Navy get fired, allegedly for having an affair. His affair came to light during a routine investigation into the scandal known as Government Procurement. His firing is unrelated to the procurement fraud but one of the officers being investigated in the fraud testified that the Under Secretary gave verbal approval for the purchase of silencers for a Top Secret program.

Verbal authority? In this day and age? Only in the White House and maybe HHS. Everybody else gets the autopen at the very least. Still, the  Washington Post gets the story out and manages to slide in the sacking of 2 admirals, 2 captains and 2 commanders in an unrelated but similar scandal.

I'm a little disturbed by the security classification nonsense being bandied around though by just about everybody. Why is an 'acquisition' of silencers for the navy "TOP SECRET?" Why is it a security violation of ANY kind to tell the Husbanding Agent under contract to the United States Navy the dates and times when USN ships and US warships are expected to arrive and depart from foreign parts where that Husbanding Agent is expected to meet them with all their logistical requirements lined up and ready to load?

Nothing unrelated to National Security should have any kind of classification on it except FOUO and that only as it relates to the Privacy Act. Every other use of classification markings is nothing but an effort to hide the truth, hide the data and hide from being held accountable.

Agencies like the NSA have a great deal to hide and always have had. They let the fact that they could hide all the things they did from public scrutiny and accountability lead them to believe that they had a right to do all the things they do.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


These are really very funny. The first map is the U.S. map filled in by someone living in the UK. The second map is of Europe filled in by some otherbody living in the the US.
We weren't allowed to get away with this when I was in school. That and there was $5 from my father for the first one of us that could take one of these blank maps and sit down at the table after dinner and put the right name in the right spot. We also had to get the capitals in roughly the right spot too. He believed in making us work for his money. :)

It's funny how most all the mappers can get Texas and California. The rest are just wonderful starting with Middle Earth and No Fucking Clue. I'll have to try this with a 5th grader I know and see how she's doing at making things up these days.

There are a bunch of these at Twisted Sifter.  I ripped them off via Gunsmoke and Knitting. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


There has always been some controversy about the world's ocean resources but the only place they routinely get stressed is in the south China Sea and Far Pacific Ocean, where an extraordinary number of sovereign nations own a bit of beachfront property and are entitled to exclusive economic exploitation of the resources lying directly off their shore. We can discuss claimed waters, baselines, recognized baselines, UNCLOS, etc but the real essence of the problem is that the world isn't flat. It has bumps.

The claims vary according to the mood of whichever power is feeling feisty. Those little islands, rocks and reefs that nobody ever heard of and on which nobody ever lived, are vital in staking a claim to exclusive economic control over even more seawater. The fish don't mind. Here is what the claims look like these days.
There is more than fish out there in the dark offshore. There is oil and there are minerals and all kinds of exciting things.
This is a picture from a little further north. All those lights you see out in the water to the east and west of Korea are fishing fleets who are out there every night fishing with lights to lure the fish in to where they can be caught. When you fly over that area at night from say, Tokyo to Seoul, you fly over boats so clustered together you almost think you could walk from Japan to Korea.

China declares that it is regulating the fishing fleets in order to ensure that the commons are not despoiled by over-predation. That's a mighty generous gesture and so reasonable from most points of view. There are well over a billion Chinese that like a bit of fish now and then so you could say they have a vested interest in preserving the sea-commons.

On the other hand, so to do the various countries that make up the EU and they actually fight over fishing rights with guns and bullets.

My advice to the unfriends of ours who share waterfront with China's sea; you better arm yourselves. I'm hoping that 'non-aligned nations' crap you were peddling a decade or two ago is matched with your very own Juche in so far as defending your fish and your oil. I wouldn't want to be the one that had to explain to the lynch mobs that you were counting on John Kerry and President Obama to look after your vital interests and keep them safe.

Of course there's always the UN if you're feeling lucky.

Monday, January 13, 2014


The titting and tatting is just beginning as India and the United States begin to slice into each other over the fair compensation of a maid. As you recall, last month, the Malice in New York took time out of their busy day catching real criminals, to seize India's Consul-General in New York City as she dropped her children off at school. They then bundled her into a paddy wagon and strip searched her, booked her and tossed her into jail because a New York prosecutor had convinced a Grand Jury that this needed doing in the name of all New Yorkers.

The Indians, not surprisingly, are not impressed. They have ordered an exceptionally stupid American diplomat out of India. They have also ordered a club run by the Embassy in Delhi closed because it violates the Treaty of Vienna. The American diplomats in India are now going to pay. India has already taken down the barriers the Embassy had installed around the embassy after 9/11. They were installed overnight without permission and allowed to remain all those years in the spirit of good will and cooperation, which fools in New York and fools in the State Department have wrecked in less than a month.

The State Department had a chance weeks ago to weigh in on this and fix it but they did what they are famous for: nothing at all. It took them a couple of weeks until they allowed as how the naked Indian diplomat jailed in New York City might have diplomatic immunity.  The consequences were easily foreseeable and are beginning to mount up.

If you want to see just how perilously low our nation's diplomatic staff have brought us, you must read this article from the Daily Mail. Our idiots decided to smuggle the runaway maid's husband and children out of India and into the US. It makes me wonder if they had passports or if somebody in our Embassy just faked up American passports for them to travel on and get out of India.
Insiders say that eventually the pressure worked, the final deal was cleared by the White House with US Secretary of State John Kerry meeting the US President Barack Obama who is believed to have authorised the State to go ahead with a crisis breaker.
The head Idiot at the Department of State had to get clearance from Obama himself on how to handle the sewage left behind by the New York prosecutor over the compensation packet for an Indian maid.

Remember who that idiot is? He was the nominee of one of our two political parties for President of the United States. He couldn't resolve an issue like this without taking it to the White House and the President, personally. This is our point man in the Middle East. This is the Man who is in charge of our world-wide diplomatic efforts. This moron is negotiating American treaties every single day with people Putin appointed, people Karzai appointed, people Maliki appointed. He is negotiating transit passage through Pakistan so we can retrieve the United States Army and its combat equipment as we wind down the war in Afghanistan.

Honestly, what did we ever do to deserve this bunch? Haven't we suffered enough?


Obama has never been asked to explain why he ordered the National Park Service and national police to bar the citizens from their parks during his last budget debate with Congress. The press has never once asked him why he closed all traffic lanes and pedestrian paths into Yellowstone, Yosemite, Mount Vernon or a 401 other parks.

Isn't it odd that all the press wants to hear from Christie is how one of his aids tied up traffic on one bridge in New Jersey for a couple of days? Do you care about that? I don't either.

I think the most egregious aspect of the professional news class in this country is their transparent lack of shame at being tools of deception wielded by the most mediocre people in society.

A U.S. Park Police officer watches at left as a National Park Service employee posts a sign on a barricade closing access to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.
Kenneth Brower
Published October 2, 2013
Yesterday, as the U.S. government shut down, all 401 of our national parks closed their gates. The campers and visitors inside were given two days to leave. It was no great surprise.

If one were to read Ken's little piece one would walk away consumed with wonder at how the Federal Government saved any money by closing the parks (which generate actual revenue) while at the same time mobilizing thousands of guards to patrol them and keep the citizens out.
The whole press frenzy about the bridge in New Jersey is beyond farce.


Another good man has stepped into the clearing at the end of the path. In truth he arrived there some years ago but he lingered in the shade for a little while.
Ariel Sharon 1928 - 2014

He truly was, present at the creation. He fought in every war of modern Israel from the 1948 War until he retired victorious, after the Yom Kippur War. He served as Defense Minister and then as Prime Minister. He orchestrated the unilateral Israseli withdrawal from Gaza and in 7 days evacuated every Israeli from the Gaza Strip and turned the land over to the PLO.

He formed his own political party and it looked like he was on the verge of doing something incredible when he was struck down by a stroke. The last image I have was a murky picture of him sitting in the back of the ambulance taking him to the hospital immediately after the stroke. There are strong indications that he planned to withdraw from the more vicious areas all along the West Bank and leave the Palestinians to form their own state unilaterally from all that Israsel was willing to give. It would have been fascinating to see Palestinian Statehood played out amidst the intransigent and internecine feuding arabs who almost personify the phrases, snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, or, too stupid to stoop to conquer.

He was the last of the uncompromisable founders of the State who could tack into whatever breeze blew over the land of Israel and take the country down a new course without a soul to step into the street and question his motives or integrity. Yes, yes, we know. They poured into the street nonetheless, but we must always keep in mind that fully half the people are stupider than the other half.

I would provide links but he was a nuanced man and the institutions that write about men like this have agendas and a bias that I detest.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


National Geographic used to have some credibility but they have squandered the last remaining shred of honesty and integrity with their broadside of untruth about the new lights.  If one didn't know any better, one would swear that they are the official mouthpiece and spokesmen for the Government. I'll take each of their points in turn and infuse some confusion.

1. The energy-saving replacements are too expensive.  ... It is true that CFLS are often several times as expensive as old-style incandescent bulbs and...—remain more than 10 times as expensive. But sticking with old bulbs actually would cost consumers far more money over the long run. Noah Horowitz, an environmental engineer and director of the center for energy efficiency at the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in an email that because CFLs use far less electricity and last longer, someone who switches will save $30 to $50 on their electric bill over the bulb’s six- to ten-year lifespan. (See related: “Light Bulb Savings Calculator.”)

There is not just some question about the longevity of the new bulbs, there is outright empirical evidence that they don't last any longer than ordinary incandescent bulbs. In other words, the new lights we're permitted to have, cost 10 - 20 times as much as the old bulbs and burn for about the same duration.

2. CFL bulbs are dangerous because of their mercury content. ... But research indicates that while CFL bulbs do require more careful handling and disposal, the hazard may be blown out of proportion.  According to a 2008 article on the issue in the scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives, CFLs typically contain from three to five milligrams of mercury—about one hundredth of the mercury content of the older thermostats that may still be found in some homes.  Researchers have found that only a tiny fraction of that is actually released when bulbs break. For example, in a study published in 2011 in the journal Environmental Engineering Science, Jackson State University researchers Yadong Li and Li Jin reported that even if left unattended for 24 hours, a broken bulb will release from 0.04 to 0.7 milligrams of mercury.  The researchers found that it would take weeks for the amount of mercury vapor in the room to reach levels that would be hazardous to a child. That can be avoided by quickly following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s simple procedure for safe cleanup.  Additionally, Horowitz suggests: “When your CFL stops working put it in a Ziploc bag and take it to Home Depot or Lowe’s, who will recycle it for you for free.”  Another way to look at the mercury content of CFLs: reducing electricity consumption by using more efficient lights might help reduce the amount of mercury emitted into the atmosphere by coal-burning power plants, the biggest single source of mercury pollution in the air. (See related story: “Pro-Environment Light Bulb Labeling Turns Off Conservative Buyers, Study Finds.”)

Environmentalists and alarmists have been blowing hazards way out of proportion for decades now so why is it OK this time to permit a little toxicity in the name of making money for the new light bulb manufacturers? What is the liability for the makers of these toxic light bulbs? Are these fools the new Dow Chemical, W. R. Grace and smoking lobby all rolled up and ready for delivery to the same courts that gutted Grace?
Some old houses contain mercury? Call the Police! Is this like some houses contain lead based paint that was banned almost 45 years ago so all paint is suspect?
You would knowingly introduce a toxic into homes with small children; the same children that suffer from diseases nearly eliminated in the United States by vaccines, because a quack doctor in Britain published a totally fraudulent study in the Lancet that claimed the tiny bit of mercury in thimerosol caused autism in children? Are you serious?
If the Government legislates a perfectly acceptable and safe light bulb out of existence and tells me I have to spend far more money to buy replacement bulbs and then tries to tell me it's safe for me and safe for my child and that I must therefore dispose of it very carefully as Toxic Waste, who do they think they're fooling? That sucker is just going in the trash.

3. CFL bulbs are dangerous because of ultraviolet radiation leakage.  Miriam Rafailovich, told National Geographic News that she believes the defects occur during manufacturing or shipping. “This is something that could be remedied,” she said.

How would any consumer know if their bulbs were leaking radiation like Chernobyl?* How many of us have radiation detectors in our homes? That UL Seal on your microwave in the kitchen used to be guarantee enough that it wasn't spewing radiation into you but with light bulbs made by scores of manufacturers, who would ever know if they were dangerous?

4. The new bulbs either can’t be used with dimmer switches, or don’t work efficiently with them.That is true of the regular CFL bulbs sold in stores, but most of the LED bulbs on the market today are, in fact, dimmable, according to Horowitz. He advised consumers to look for LEDs whose
packaging indicates that they work with dimmer switches.
Progress sure takes some odd turns when it is legislated and has no relationship to science.

 5. CFLs won’t light up, or are too dim, in cold temperatures. Horowitz says this is a legitimate criticism of CFL, which have a hard time starting up in extremely cold climates. “If your bulb is located outdoors, say in your porch light, and you want an energy saving bulb, go with LEDs,” he advised.
 In other words, it doesn't work in the same conditions and environment as the light bulbs you used to be able to buy at any store.

To be honest, I'm not worried about the new light bulbs or afraid of them and when they burn out I don't hesitate to approach them, unscrew them and toss them into the trash. I simply dislike the shameless dishonesty of National Geographic which lies about nearly everything these days.
National Geographic News:
Photo: Most Polar Bears Gone By 2050, Studies Say
Two-thirds of the world's polar bears will vanish as melting sea ice causes the animals to starve, according to a new series of reports from the U.S. Geological Survey. The bears prey on marine mammals from the ice, and so will have diminished access to food as warmer climates reduce their hunting grounds.  The new studies are meant to inform the U.S. government in its decision whether to list the bears as an endangered species.
Does it say something about American universities that the people that National Geographic hires to write and edit its stuff are so lost to science and journalism that they don't question authority and are ignorant of science? Do all students who study geophysics and meteorology walk into the job market with the credulous ignorance of the kids in the Heaven's Gate Cult?

Honestly, the millennium they were so afraid of has been here for 14 years now and it's still going strong. It's time for all the "End Of The World" and Millennial Doomsday Cults to fold their tents and go away. They can go count polar bears by hand for all of me.

* yes yes I know it's just UV radiation but we are debunking scary, and a little over-the-top hyperbole in the name of science is what they do so I thought I'd have a lash at it too.