Wednesday, April 30, 2014


You may know these people who have the sticker on their cars. They believe. They usually have other stickers on their cars about War and such. They don't believe in war except maybe to free Tibet.

Not a picture that I took, just a generic idiot off the network of Civilization
I sometimes think it is a transcendent pity that both the Great and Minor Evil believe in them. They usually don't see the light until the Darkness takes one of theirs. There is a lot of Dark out there. I suppose that somebody who reads history sees that civilization was always a battle against ignorance and misbelief. If you believe that there is room in civilization for ignorance and misbelief, you conceded the major attribute of the one in order to embrace the other. You can have one but it excludes the other. You should choose wisely.


It was due to a confluence of factors from the past that we can now hold ships and their masters responsible for running aground on reefs. The brigs charted the seas for generation after generation and furnished that information to the mapmakers. The ships also did some other good work. I found this article first at Maggie's Farm which took me to American Scientist. When one reads about the myriad cunning artificers of the 17th, 18th and 19th century one doesn't read about the work of the humble men who went down to the sea in ships. It was ships like this that went around the world for centuries and mapped the deeps and, more importantly, the shallows, so that larger ships could follow safely in their wakes and make money and war. They were sailors. Thanks to Anne Bonney for the stear.

From time to time these ships ran aground or were wrecked by storm and needed repairs far beyond the reach of any shipyard or shipwright so they took their own with them. Like Apollo 13 but without radio. In the event, oftentimes, it is enough and more than enough, to simply get home. Many of these ships and their crews did much more but some of them never came home.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Do you hear it too? A mob out shouting, "He's a Racist!" It's funny, what I hear them shouting is, "He's a Witch!" There must be something wrong with my ears these days.


The damned things were everywhere. You couldn't go for a walk without tripping over one.

Monday, April 28, 2014


There was a little buzz a few weeks back about the Navy deciding to end production of the Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles in the next couple of years. Evidently the Defense Department believes we have enough of them (estimated 10,000), to handle any possible contingencies that may crop up in the 10 years or so before their replacement missile system has cleared the acquisition acceptance hurdles and joins the war at sea. It will cost five times as much, weigh twice as much, fly slower and less far than Tomahawk but it will be the pinnacle of robot warfare when it flies. Why even bother?

There were a number of valid arguments made for continuing production of the missiles at least until their replacements came on line and joined the fleet, but I'm a contrarian so few of the arguments made much sense to me. I had marshaled facts and evidence to support a counter point of view but I don't need them, a little thought and the words speak for themselves.

Tomahawks were designed to penetrate the most exclusive airspace in the world and defeat the most highly sophisticated air defenses of the era. They were first class weapons of war designed to sneak up on targets through a 1000 miles of intensively defended and surveilled airspace and successfully hit what they were fired at from a 1000 miles away and thereby destroy hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Command, Control, Communication and Information Systems, crater runways to prevent aircraft from taking off and landing and to destroy aircraft in either armored bunkers or open revetments. They would roll back terminally lethal air defenses in order to let the bombers follow up and destroy what remained.

They were designed to carry nuclear warheads to seek out and destroy targets that nobody today can even conceive of attacking. Not because of the value of the target, but because nobody believes people seriously planned to use nuclear weapons to defeat our enemy by striking his headquarters, air bases, naval bases, missile bases, hydro-electric damns and generators, power plants and bridges. Nobody believes anybody is capable of doing that anymore.  All their lives the people on duty with the USN today have seen us piss those incredible robot missiles away on distant tents in the desert, camels, terrorists, caves, worthless Telecommunication infrastructure, and the occasional airplane or pharmaceutical plant.

We no longer need additional Tomahawk missiles with software and maps that allow them to fly through the enemy's valleys and mountain passes using Terrain Contour Mapping and GPS guidance and demonstrate the ability to fly through major air defenses to destroy air defense installations as the lead-in to a major air and land assault. Just as the days when our U2s were flying into that kind of threat environment are long over, so too, is the time when we required robots to do it alone. The U.S. will still attack such targets but it has better methods that reserve a capability we might need again for another fight at a later date which will require the instant simultaneous destruction of air defense networks and C4I installations.

If we want to kill camels, tents, airplanes, terrorists, etc., we send a Reaper and the CIA kills it with a Hellfire missile that still costs a bit but Reapers each carry a couple of them and carries a video camera and data link that lets you see immediately if you were successful and hit the target and each drone can kill hundreds of targets. The operator and National Command Authority can watch in real-time as our enemies are killed by our better and smarter robots.

Where we once fired clouds of killer robots into Third World countries which lacked any kind of air defenses, we send killer drones. That fact alone should drastically reduce the demand for Tomahawks.

Try to guess which country manufactures 50% of the electronic components in all our drones.

Did you see recently that Space Exploration Technology is complaining that the Air Force and Spy Inc. have cut them out of all competition in the space launch business for spy satellites since the Air Force prefers United Launch with 100% of its rocket engines made in the USSR? Oddly, no retired Air Force generals work for SPACEX.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


It does make you wonder. 


The worst maritime disaster in the United States happened 149 years ago today when the steamboat SS Sultana with over 2000 souls embarked: exploded, burned and sank in the Mississippi River about 8 miles north of Memphis Tennessee. The boat's passengers included over 2000 Union Army soldiers who had just been paroled from Confederate Prisoner of War Camps in Andersonville and Cahawba. It is estimated that 1700 of these emaciated survivors perished this day when the ship's boilers exploded and sent the burning hulk of the ship drifting down the flooding river.

An unrelated documentary about the loss of Sultana

I found this interesting and had forgotten the Sultana until I was researching the Ohio Regiments in the Civil War two weeks ago and found that many of the final musters showed that the soldiers had perished with the Sultana after being captured by the Confederacy. It is hard to believe how they sank out of history with barely a ripple.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


From the incomparable folks at The Planetary Society.

Earth setting in the Gale Crater.

Friday, April 25, 2014


I heard a snippet of discussion today on NPR that was discussing the recent Air Force decision to reverse itself and go ahead and replace the U2 aircraft with drones by 2016. There are good arguments to be made. The problem that I have long had with the U2 is its great age. Gary Powers was shot down flying one over the USSR in 1960. The planes have been flying for 60 years.

Great planes don't last forever and I think it says something very dire about aircraft design and procurement in the computer age that nobody has come up with designs capable of matching or exceeding the venerable U2 or B52s which are of even greater antiquity. I'm not saying that either aircraft does not have enormous utility but I just can't see how the Air Force could consistently fail for many decades to come up with better, faster, stealthier replacements that could do the mission at least as well as aircraft we flew the wings off 25 years ago.

The Cost Per Flying Hour (CPFH) and other data can be found here.  I think they are dishonest, at least with the numbers quoted for VC-25 aircraft. I will say though, that the Air Force and Navy must have a hell of an argument team if they can repeatedly convince Congress to replace planes that costs a few thousand dollars more/hour to fly with planes that cost 270 million dollars to buy new. Of course, nobody set the bar very high for Congressional intelligence.

Speaking of venerable aircraft:

I first heard about the Gloster Gladiators, Faith, Hope and Charity, in a pair of recent books written by John Ringo. His was an interesting and very real description of how one truly keeps functional obsolete gea running in a supply system rooted in efficiency and streamlined spares and replacement parts but doesn't know or do parts that are 30 years old or older. It doesn't hurt to have a Scottish General Manager and British Expats running your support base/ship yard.

Thursday, April 24, 2014





I can kinda hear the blast in my head when they collide.

Sound doesn’t travel in space. You wouldn’t hear a thing.

then how the fuck do you explain all the sounds in star wars checkmate motherfucker

who would say that it would be OK for this to happen, provided it hit X first.  There are others that would scurry around madly painting little X's on their neighbor's lawns or rubbing them out on their own.

Finally watched COSMOS tonight. It was a very interesting show. Loved the photography and computer generated graphics.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


The profession of arms comes with fish. The funny thing, this was probably from the neighborhood of SBU 22 which is located with the Stennis Space Center. We don't have annoying fish like that in California. Not even in the Sacramento River Delta. Nope, the really annoying fish are found in the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Thank you Daily Time Waster.

I really laughed when they asked me about wearing body armor on patrol. "The boat is made of fiber glass and aluminum." Still. I don't regret laughing at them.

BLM, EPA, other Game Wardens, would have them in jail for illegal fishing. That's the nature of bureaucracies. Hunting with M2's is proscribed. You should never do it on video. That guy? He clearly gunned a fish. :)


From our DC correspondent.

What does it say about California that somebody stole the tires?

Monday, April 21, 2014


They play fair. They shoot at you and you can shoot at them and it isn't against the law. Technically it is but they tend to kill you to death if you shoot at them. The Marines are worse.

101st Airborne Goes to School
You would have to be some kind of idiot to open fire on the Army. When you need to enforce the law against the police or the local hatery, they are the one's we call. Sometimes, they're not all that keen on it but they swore an actual oath to support and defend the Constitution. As in New Orleans a few years ago under General Honore, they show up anywhere and anytime. Mostly, in our era, the people say, Thank God, the Army is here. Other times, as above, not so much.

Segregation has been in in the news lately. I have a soft spot in my heart for the former venue of Michael Kelly.  I really enjoyed his take on life and regret his passing.  He knew how to write. I remember his unique transport after he joined the team on the march up to Baghdad.

If you have time, read the first article. It is filled with the American dilemma which I saw best described in Civilization by Ali A Mazrui. There is another generational shift in the making. Just as nobody in my generation was an egregious racist, I think that the current generation is going to deny harboring racists. The problem in the schools isn't racism. The Army fixed that.


In a remarkable story about a troubled youth who decided to hitch hike to Hawaii, the rest of the press and the Forces of Order gloss over the fact that the teenager breezed through every security measure and precaution at an international airport and stowed away on a passenger plane. Nobody saw a thing.

The useless and really irritating boobs of the TSA were heard to mutter that, "nobody could possibly patrol a fence line that stretches all the way around an airport and keep out trespassers, hijackers, bombs, hideously dangerous 6 year olds, liquids, gels, dangerous toys, grannies, explosives, or penknives." "Not our job!" they said in a loud and declaratory denial of any responsibility.

Perhaps if we all wrote our congressmen and adopted the universal, blame Bush, we could get both the TSA and Homeland Security consigned to a Korean passenger ferry or an Italian cruise ship.

I am familiar with security and securing infrastructure such as aircraft and it can be done. You have to be serious and grown up about it and it doesn't really involve obnoxious and intrusive mashers. You don't ever see those clowns messing with people boarding Air Force ONE, do you? No. You don't. Air Force ONE has security. The rest of the traveling public have theater.

If you gain access to the wheel well of a plane and can smuggle a body onto the plane, how hard is it to smuggle something else onto the plane? It's a good thing there were no drugs involved because under the mislaws of civil forfeiture, the government could steal the plane and send the pilots and flight crew to jail for 25 years for smuggling drugs.

Oh well, it's just another Benghazi moment. Nothing to see. Move along.


My family used to gather once a year in Colorado and ski for a week. We always snagged copies of the New York Times to keep up with the events of the world and to broaden our minds. Our reunion in 1994 was memorable chiefly because we can still make ourselves laugh at what we found in the paper one morning:
Language primers and phrase books for travelers can be an odd introduction to a foreign country. Blithely insensitive to the subtleties of polite conversation, these tiny manuals re-enforce the xenophobic notion that all foreign travel is rife with unpleasure and mishap. Sometimes the source of this unpleasure and mishap is unspecified -- the reader of "Teach Yourself Catalan," for instance, can only wonder what dire circumstances will require the use of the phrase
I am prepared to raffle the goat.
 Over the years we have used the phrase among ourselves whenever we spend time together. It could have been written by P.J. O'Rourke but it wasn't.

I was always leery of using phrasebooks on any of my foreign travels. I knew I could spit out the phrase as written and maybe even manage the pronunciation well enough but I always knew what came next would be a burst of unintelligible gibberish and it's not like I speak gibberish. That's a totally foreign language and there is no phrasebook.

There's a universal language though. On a long ago cruise to Cabo, my captain used to row ashore and wheedle gasoline and water out of stones. I couldn't do it even though I tried. Some things take a woman's touch, on a beach, under a blazing sun, in front of God and everybody. Oh, she would stand there with that phrasebook clutched in her hands and mangle the Spanish until the men were forced to let her have 10 gallons of gas and 50 gallons of potable water. I could see again how Cortez won a continent... Just saying.

Still and all, they wouldn't have given it to me and they charged nothing at all for it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


This item flew over the transom today.  It's Scalia on the law in a speech at UVA:
“You’re entitled to criticize the government, and you can use words, you can use symbols, you can use telegraph, you can use Morse code, you can burn a flag,” he said, according to the News Sentinel.
 “The Constitution is not a living organism for Pete’s sake,” he said. “It’s a law. It means what it meant when it was adopted.”
It is always fascinating that intelligent people can hold diametrically opposite beliefs about something as fundamental and simple as the meaning of words. I can see how colors can be confused and dozens of ways they can be defined and ascribed. It's all in the eye of the beholder. How do people do that with words?


No, parody isn't a country. It also looks to be against some sort of law.  Warrants and searches and ferreting out secret identities, it all sounds like a war against Batman or Superman. What happened to civility? I'm not at all sure that I understand what law was violated here that warrants were no problem to get.  

I don't believe in parody. It's wickedly dangerous and corrupts the mind. This was funny though. Gleaned from Atlas of Prejudice via Objectivist1.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Sometimes, they sneak up on you when you don't expect it. Weighing infinities is fraught with peril for anybody who has shuttered and closed down the more painful vaults of memory. It is not so much the worlds of might have been that hurt, it is the lost worlds of never was and never will be.

I've found that music is a chord almost as evocative as a scent for bringing to the forefront the most remarkably clear memories of the past. I got both of them full bore today.

I spent the day thinking goodbye

but it is only au revoir.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Everybody thinks they're just for show.  Ceremonial doesn't mean harmless.

 Almost anywhere else in the world one could rightly assume that the guardsman's cover is a beer cooler of some kind but since this is England, odds are it is a modern miniaturized 14 pound radio headset that his command team uses to order him around. In this photo it is clear that they told the guard to keep his finger off the trigger and thrust through the target.

It seems the visitor is from Nigeria and wanted to explain how the Queen could make 98 million dollars by providing him, in his role as Nigerian Vice Minister of Financial Schemes, with her bank account information.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


This will slowly turn green over the next couple of months and then it will be a cool and leafy place with a small river running through it and it's about a 5 minute walk from home so I can drop by anytime I want even when I'm not passing through and just going to somewhere else. I'm looking forward to it more and more.
It is a park, but not a MetroPark. It lies bounded between 4 roads with confusing names that don't match the surroundings and mislead with false allusions to directions they don't go. It is, nonetheless, a very peaceful place. Still, there are small poignant signs of immortality that show that others have wandered a little farther than I.

I'll catch up some day. As it happens, the young lady was the granddaughter of a man with an atrocious cockney accent. We are fortunate that he publicized the affliction that carried off this young lady and that the echoes linger long after I remembered why it was dangerous beyond belief to give small children any aspirin. We certainly don't give any little girls we know aspirin. We didn't even have it in the house.

The news these days is grim. I'm tired of it. I have taken a 6 year hiatus from televised news, can I do no less with internet news? I don't really think I can. The whole world is bound up in earth shaking events that set the future stamp of history plainly for any with eyes to see. It is clear to me that nothing will change the outlook or opinion on any particular matter for those who are slaves to their own beliefs and ideology. There's really no point in trying anymore which is largely why I have left off antagonizing Skippy and a great host of others.

This being the day and age for it, I simply wonder how the good socialists can fail to accept the truth of this:
unless they have some other explanation for how the most industrialized and advanced city in the world turned into ruins while the slightly radio-active ruins of another city blossomed into a beautiful industrial city at the same time.

I'm just going to skip over the bits I no longer care for. I'll be fascinated in the weaponization of RC aircraft and I'll be interested in learning what the Korean ferry collided with before it sank. Won't we all be amazed if it was an old Russian submarine? I have to admit I'm much more used to hearing about our submarines accidentally ripping the bottoms out of ships but it's a growth industry and who knows, maybe it was just a rock.


I didn't buy all this new beachfront land in New Mexico just so some jackass could come along and try to stop the tide from coming in and raising all boats and spoiling my retirement plans. I figure a couple more years of Global Warming and I'll be enjoying this view of my backyard. So, if you don't mind, please leave off messing with the tides in my name. After a miserable day like today, I plan to enjoy some global warming.

I never really liked Norfolk or the Tidewater Region anyway.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


It beggars the imagination that Nevada has repeatedly returned this contemptible idiot to represent it in the Senate:
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid hasn't been very vocal about the cattle battle showdown in recent days, but says "it's not over."
Reid tells News4's Samantha Boatman his take on the so-called cattle battle in southern Las Vegas. "Well, it's not over. We can't have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it. So it's not over," Reid said.
How could he reach his current position as Senate Majority Leader and not know/recognize that he and his pal Obama only obey the laws they want to. They're the ones that made it perfectly plain that Americans only have to obey the law if they feel like it.

It's sad to think that not one single 'lawman' will resign rather than assault the ranch later this week and trample on the Constitution. Now we know why all the Feds were buying billions of rounds of ammo for the last 4 years and now they're going to find out why the people insisted on keeping their guns.


Seriously, you better arm yourself.


By the by, John Kerry is just the brainy man to conspire with Obama to let slip that we won't fight for X. When another Red Army crosses yet another frontier it will be the follow-on Republican administration and Congress that investigates and wonders how such brainy dudes could have let another ally go under. It will be, "who lost China" and the lame explanation about how Korea failed to make it into the American sphere when the smartest guy in the State Department left it on the table for the communists to pick up, all over again.

Monday, April 14, 2014


From our friends at the York County Astronomy fanciers:

As usual with stellar phenomena here in MetroParkCentralis, we expect complete and total-soul-destroying cloud coverage from one horizon to the next. Dammit!

With rain.


Nailed it. The constant cries of racism grow a little shrill. We stopped paying attention ages ago.


Lost at Sea this night in 1912


President Abraham Lincoln was killed 149 years ago on 14 April 1864. He was in almost every way the best President this country ever had. It is almost impossible to imagine how different the world would be today if he had not been shot just as he started his second term. Reconstruction was never part of his plan for the Nation United.

I think this would have outraged him no end. I like it.

Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate-we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.
I would that we remain one nation with a government of the people, by the people and for the people but I'm beginning to have my doubts.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Whenever I see one of these on Drudge:
I check it out at the National Data Buoy Center. It's one of the things our government did well and I was once a tiny cog in the corporate machine that sold these buoys to Australia and some other Pacific rim countries. Did you know they're putting actual cameras on the buoys so you can see what the ocean looks like in the middle of nowhere?

The buoys are an apt but succinct description of life at sea. The batteries only last a few years before they need to be replaced which means a ship has to visit each buoy every couple of years to swap out the batteries and every so often to refurbish the buoy and replace the batteries located on the bottom of the sea in 20,000 feet of water.

So like anything else, if you want one of these buoys to work all the time, you need to buy at least two and be willing to pay $50,000/day to send a working ship out there that can service the buoys for you. As you click on the various DART buoys at the website you can see where some of them have gone dark. It's like finding your sentries asleep at their posts with the enemy just over there, waiting.


Everybody must be familiar by now with the latest goon approach to law enforcement out in the west, which, like law enforcement in general, has taken a "shoot 'em up" approach to justice found in most third world countries which do not know the rule of law or the rights of man. You know, places where due process is something that happens to wheat flour and not a right guaranteed by our Constitution.

As I watch the events in Bunkerville through the periscope of the internet I am struck by the new approach the federal government took in this matter and in Waco which share so many parallels. It is the federal government that is bypassing law enforcement by sending in regulators with the power of law enforcement to squash dissent and kill those that get in the way.

If you think back to an earlier time, the presidents didn't order the Army/Feds to deploy into cities in the United States to enforce American's civil rights against the people there. The presidents deployed the Army and FBI to those cities to crush the local police who were busy violating American's civil rights.

It says something entirely wrong when the federal government moves militarily against people for no other reason than because the government has the power. Very often, power alone is not enough to guarantee the outcome in these little dust-ups. Our history, as all history, is rife with examples of what happens when a government overreaches. John Brown lost a battle that day in the Shenandoah Valley but what he wanted was accomplished within a few years in the bloodiest war in our nation's history. The federal government was on the wrong side at Harper's Ferry when they marched in to suppress rebellion. They had to do it then but they missed the opportunities to end it without bloodshed. It is instructive to note that the two federal officers in charge at Harper's Ferry were Lieutenant Colonel Robert E. Lee and Lieutenant J.E.B. Stuart.

In my opinion, it is just a matter of time now until the country reaches a point where the Army has to be called in again. Not to keep the peace, as they have done since the founding of the country, but to suppress rebellion. It's a sad state of affairs when you have militarized the police to the point where they think they can rule by decree because they believe they have the big guns and law on their side and yet it is the police that requires the Army to intervene after the police have goaded the people into shooting them.

It's hard to believe nowadays that American Presidents ordered the Army to suppress the police in those southern states that believed that might made right and that law was a tool lawmakers and politicians could use to bash enemies of the state.

We had two flavors of Anti-Submarine Rockets (ASROC). There was the atomic bomb tipped version and an ordinary high explosive torpedo ASROC. In this movie, the Bedford Incident, both sides went nuclear because of a mistake in an intense heavily armed environment. Waco was not a one off. It is what police have been arming themselves for ever since Waco and MOVE ON in Philadelphia. There is an old expression that charges that a man who goes looking for a fight will always find one. We're just days away from the 40th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State when a lot of people were looking for a fight.

America would be far better served, all of us, if the regulators and bureaucrats did not have their own police and their own courts of the star chamber and had to use actual law enforcement agencies such as the local police and sheriffs to enforce the law rather than taking it into their own hands.  Coercion and compulsion are not supposed to be virtues in a democratic state. Resisting tyranny is.

UPDATE: Oh sure, not even an hour after I post this, the feds call it a day and go home, they say.


In my little town we have a unique arrangement where the city requires that the residents pay to maintain the sidewalks that run in front of their houses. A city assessor will come around every few years and mark the old limestone sandstone slabs that need replacement because they have become cracked and broken over the years. The city then sends a team to dig them up and replace them and will, at your request, leave you the limestone sandstone for your own garden or whatever. Then they send you the bill.

My neighbor isn't real happy with the process and his dramatic protest has taken the following form:

Yep, the city team came six months ago and pulled out a perfect unblemished limestone sandstone block from his sidewalk and conveniently left it right in front of the new slab they poured in its place. Then they billed him $400.00.

The slab isn't going anywhere anytime soon. It lays there as a mute protest against the Man.

Friday, April 11, 2014


Anybody who has worked with the scions of our gifted age will recognize the frustration that surely must have flowed in both directions at conversations like these: A major explaining to two of his junior officers at NORAD (North American Defense Command) in Colorado that, "yes, Colorado has legalized pot, but no, you cannot legally consume it in any way, shape, form, or fashion or you lose your job and go to jail."



"They passed a law sir that says we can legally buy it here so why can't we smoke it or eat it?"

"Look you little twit! It's against federal law and federal law supersedes state and local laws!"

"Well that's not what they taught us at legal school where we were told that we had to meet State air and water purity laws and regulations even on military installations using military hardware! They said State law trumped federal law on issues like that and isn't this an air purity issue?"

Then there is the equal frustration of the master sergeant explaining the same concept to two or maybe three of his young airmen that they cannot legally consume pot even though the great state of Colorado has made it legal within the state. I'm not sure if the young airmen could be more demonstrably obtuse then lieutenants but I'd have paid money to see those conversations because you just know they happened all over Colorado and not just in the military.

There is nothing that can brighten up a day like dealing with such clever people. I feel some pity for the teachers who never really know when the obtuseness is an act or simple innocent questioning, but out in the world, we can tell when our leg is getting pulled and when we're dealing with the real genuine authentic dimwit. And, even if we're wrong, they're still dimwits.

I think it was easier back when up was up and down was down and when the friction in war that Clausewitz referred to was purely man-made with none of the interesting friction that gets introduced by adding grit, sand paper, metal shavings, and drugs into the mix. 

I know that nobody of the current force really quite gets that aspect of old sailor stories. Everything back in the day was a hundred times easier before we got modernized. It was Admiral Arleigh Burke who said, "going to sea used to be fun and then they gave us radios." I had that and Curt's Corollary posted on my office door at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, "going to sea used to be fun and then they gave us computer networks." 

That was kind of untrue. I was definitely of the Arleigh Burke school during all my days afloat. My first ship was a flagship and didn't have a single computer on it when I reported aboard. My second ship was a destroyer with a tactical data system that couldn't network the fire control systems with the air search radar systems. My third ship was commissioned a week before Admiral Arleigh Burke became Chief of Naval Operations and the fourth ship was commissioned 2 weeks after he became CNO. The only computers they had were unique to a very specific type of navigation system. Unless you were in a mine field, you wouldn't know we had even one computer onboard.

It really took the introduction of INMARSAT and POT lines to make life afloat as unendurable as life in a hole in the ground in North Dakota in midwinter.

Still, nobody can reshape reality for us like the young.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


I just found myself cuing up the next book and then I noticed that it was by a man for whom I have great professional distaste. After a moment of reflection I decided he could join the other crappy books I've thrown over the rail into the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Back in the days when any reading material was precious to me, throwing books into the sea was a real testament to how awful they were. I don't remember their names but this one, I know him. He probably deserves to be eaten by sharks.

As terrible as they were, their consumption won't harm fish or other marine life and they're probably easier to swallow with a little salt anyway.


You know it really is a hoot to listen to all the 'technologists' bleat about the vulnerabilities that we're sure to fall heir to because we and 25% of all other computer users, continue to operate computers with Windows XP. Sure it's 12 years old but what does it tell a reasonable person when you say your 12 year old computer, running a 12 year old operating system, runs JUST FINE DAMMIT!

I'll tell you what it tells a 'technologist' and a computer/software vendor, "you screwed up and actually sold your customer a working product that didn't need you to come back in 2 years and sell them something that actually worked." You can bet the technologists and Microsoft won't make that mistake again. Look at all the crap Microsoft has spawned since 2001 that is lost to history now while XP lives on.

In regard to the alleged security problems that will bury us XP users, please. Last month we upgraded our Apple stuff for urgent security concerns having to do with SSL and this week we get the news that many of the internet's servers are vulnerable to easy exploitation of their SSL. In short, those operating the latest equipment and newest operating systems using the highest tech, are just as vulnerable to data theft and penetration as people running XP.

Dell, Microsoft, sincerely, thanks for colluding to sell me a wonderful computer and operating system that work just fine 12 years after I bought them. I can honestly say, I didn't think you had it in you.


The guy just standing there in the ring is Putin.




This is quite possibly my favourite gif I have ever seen

Hahahahaha this is LITTERALY the best gif ever! (For me)

Obama has that effect on a lot of foreign leaders.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


It's hard to believe that anybody used to take Time Magazine seriously as a reliable source of news. It and Newsweek used to be widely read by those on the high seas and the borderlands where real news was not just hard to come by, it was impossible. We took it with a grain of salt but we still thought they had some newsworthy things to impart.

Did somebody at Time magazine really think the taliban had been on vacation for the last 12 years? The armed forces of the United States didn't spend all that time and effort fighting shadows in Afghanistan or building roads, bridges, hydro-electric plants, schools and hospitals. The taliban was there and it will always be there.

Taliban aren't people. Taliban is a religion.

The thing that few Americans know is that when we no longer give the taliban a target to fight in their own back yard, they will have to go abroad in search of somebody else to murder, rape and mutilate. For our purposes, and strictly from our point of view, that is too bad. If you really wanted to see the desert playgrounds in abu Dhabi and Dubai, you should book a tour now, before the taliban get there and turn them into another hell on earth. They don't much like playgrounds, music, dancing, gambling, girls, women, electricity, or civilization as we know it. They're not afraid to cut your head off to prove how sincere they are about their religion.

I wonder how all those reporters and journalists at Time failed to notice the taliban for all these years.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


If the Justice Department has a vast amount of discretion about which laws it prosecutes, surely I have the same discretion with regard to which laws I choose to obey.
In testimony Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, Obama’s top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Eric Holder, claimed “a vast amount” of prosecutorial discretion in how the Justice Department enforces federal laws.
“I do think that the policy pronouncements that I’ve made in the recent months are consistent with the law and also are consistent with good law enforcement,” Holder said.
It's not a matter of fairness, it's discretionary law.

I swear it's like all these Obama guys went to 6 years of Evil School.


Measures of performance are what we come up with when we want to examine a process and make it more efficient. In the navy, our higher commands would order us to produce metrics as if they mattered to anybody. My favorite useless metric of all time was something the Air Force called Effects Based Operations. They obsessed like the most rabid weasel you ever saw about metrics that could be used to determine how effective your operations were. When we tried to point out that we were pretty much a static surveillance and security outfit that really didn't have any means to quantify our success except possibly by pointing to a total absence of attacks, we were informed by the most dour and humorless generals on the planet that our head wasn't in the game. It wasn't a game to us.

When the goal truly is process improvement and efficiency it does help to have meaningful metrics. The good folks at FEDEX and UPS came up with a splendid process that they could use to track any package in their network in near real time. They could follow it every inch of the way. Somebody very clever suggested that they let their customers have access to the package movement information. It seemed like a good idea and it did show that both delivery systems were doing a superb job of moving material and getting it where it was sent quickly and efficiently.

A USPS Railway Mail Car when efficiency mattered
The data and the tracking were already there. The information was useful to both shipper and customer and the numbers showed solid performance and good value for the money. You know what happened after that, right? Yes, some bureaucrat decided that the "data" implied good value and integrated the same sort of package tracking in the Unites States Postal Service.

The problem came when the Post Office bureaucrat decided the USPS was in the same business as UPS and FEDEX and chose to provide the customer insight into the USPS process for moving packages. But the Post Office doesn't care about return on investment, shareholder value, earned value management or customer loyalty. I'm not sure what the Post Office perceives as valuable but I know that moving things from point a to point b doesn't fall anywhere near their top 10 list of things the Post Office cares about.
Rural mail delivery screams efficiency
Evidently, the USPS can hire but not fire people. It can hire letter carriers but not clerks. It can buy property but not sell property. It can open post offices but not close post offices. It cannot lay redundant employees off. It has to go to Congress every year to get billions of dollars to stay afloat long enough to pay all post office pensions (forever). Actual timely delivery of the mail or packages doesn't even come within shouting distance of their priorities.

So all that was a lead-in for an old post from elsewhere on the net. I thought it was interesting. His conclusion is wrong in that inefficiency and speed have almost nothing to do with the modern Post Office going broke. That's politics.

Ripped from Watts Up With That


Monday, April 7, 2014


We thought they'd wait a bit for the dust to settle and the blood to seep into the ground before they commented. They didn't let us down and were quite predictable.
We are glad the story ends with a significant chance for change. The Human Rights Campaign welcomes the opportunity to turn a corner and work with Mozilla on the tenets of equality just as we have for hundreds of other major businesses.
Isn't it fascinating that all the totalitarian socialists act and look the same? You cannot wedge a hydrogen atom between their combined answer to those that challenge their ideology. You, of course, are expected and required to be tolerant; or die trying. Stamp out heresy Now! [for the children!]


I'm thinking.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


I'm sure they'll learn to neither confirm nor deny the presence of nuclear weapons. It's the safest course of action. Always leave the bad guys guessing and it's not like you're going to sail the Falklands into Auckland for liberty now are you?

How bad must it be now in Argentina that the orcs running the place want to provoke a popular war with England over the Falkland Islands, again? They stole all the country's money, all of the people's money and all their investor's money and now they are grasping at anything to stay afloat.

The Royal Navy isn't even a pale shadow of what it was when Task Force Corporate launched to reclaim the Falklands. It will be an interesting little war and now we can watch it unfold and go to hell in real time on the internets.

The trouble I'm having, is figuring out how exactly Kerry and Obama are going to totally screw it up and get both sides shooting at us. I know they can do it. I have faith in them.

Saturday, April 5, 2014


I'm more amused than angry at the Mozilla Auto-da Fe so I get a kick out of reading the comments on their web site:
 "Goodbye! I am deleting Firefox from all of my machines due to your intolerance of Brendan Eich's opinions. He is well within his rights as a free American to hold whatever view he believes AND perform a job diligently. If you cannot abide that he has views you disagree with I cannot abide you, or any other though-Nazis. It was good while it lasted."
"myself nor my family nor our businesses will continue to use your browser as long as you allow bullies to affect your business decisions like who remains your CEO. Making a donation to a cause whatever political leanings it implies should not dictate your job opportunities or allow others to persecute them for their website"
Uh, guys? Mozilla gives it away. I'm not sure holding your breath until they reform will work.


Roger Simon asked the question but I stole the image  at American Digest:

The answer, sadly, is no. I haven't noticed any silencing. In fact, I spend a lot more time now with people who earnestly believe in the majesty and awesomeness of democrats. They are completely convinced that Obamacare is the very best possible thing that could have been done to America and they don't really see any problems with any of his other policies, lies or executions.

It's rather annoying.

Friday, April 4, 2014


Sadly, this is the state of American journalism today. of all media does this:

Even if the Pennsylvania National Guard has some very small soldiers, the "journalists" should know that nobody mans drones. Words mean things. To quote the immortal Mark Twain: "In addition to these large rules, there are some little ones. These require that the author shall:
12. Say what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it.
13. Use the right word, not its second cousin.
14. Eschew surplusage.
15. Not omit necessary details.
16. Avoid slovenliness of form.
17. Use good grammar.
18. Employ a simple and straightforward style."


There have been any number of attempts to make a negotiable currency. All but one of them have been created by governments who started from the same premise. The currency they created was based on the value of the currency itself. In other words, it started out as gold and silver and slowly went downhill from there. The gold led to silver which led to debased valueless metals which led to paper backed by gold, then paper backed by silver, then paper backed by the full faith and credit of government which led to paper backed by nothing at all.

A consortium of governments got together and created currency out of shared principles and a little bit of arm twisting and coercion. The ones that spring right to mind are the dollar and the euro. As these freely negotiable currencies are backed only by the faith and credit of massive continental regimes which are on the brink of economic collapse, an optimist of extraordinary caliber created a cyber currency that traded among like minded believers. It's not actually backed by anything but governments everywhere desperately want to get control and ownership of it because it competes with the debased currencies they preside over and has value outside the system they created.

Who would have thought that in this day and age some guy could just come up with his own currency and get it adopted around the world almost overnight? Oh well, some people persist in believing that there is some detectable difference between the two dollars shown above.


An American was hounded out of his job because he engaged in politics. Poor bastard didn't get the memo that the progressive liberal left is made up of intolerant and vicious thugs. You'd have thought anybody who saw what the left did in Germany, Russia, Cuba, Eastern Europe, and Venezuela would have understood that the only law they abide by is their own.

I've got enormous contempt for Mozilla who still proudly have this at the top of their web page:

If they think this was good and ethical behavior or in anyway admirable, they're wrong.

I think he should have stayed and fought to the bitter end but the haters probably threatened his family. It's what they do.

This was not a good day for America. This would have been a banner bad day in a Banana Republic. How did we let the Haters win and why do they always win here in these contests of will? These people's actions always bring the image of "The Last Jew in Vinnitsa" to mind because they think and act the same way and with the same passion for waging evil.

What is it with people that they refuse to allow anybody to disagree with them?

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Here is a story that we like very much even if the bit about deliberately running aground runs contrary to accepted practice. Sometimes a stranded boat or a fiery boat is just the thing to show the requisite determination. I got the steer from our colleagues at gcaptain, where it has been an eventful week. Here is the link from the bigstory.

The Philippines are taking on the Chinese in the South China Sea. There's a reason this ship of theirs looks like hell. You should take a minute to read the story. It's gratifying to see at least one country that plays the game of kings with panache and daring...even if it is with a ratty old tank landing ship.


The preceding 24 hours were noteworthy but I don't want to say anything about them. I wrote about them and that is enough for now. I found this while trolling for nice things on the tubes. It was found at 

And so, does lead-based paint make monsters of us all.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


One of the really nice things that I foresee, is that a man and family who have become accustomed to living like kings for 8 years will soon have to scrape by on the pension we pay our presidents and what money he can garner from friends for favors performed in the past, because there is no way this guy has built up any credibility within the Party that would make even a low grade moron think that he will have the power, in any way, shape or form, to affect policy when he steps down from office.

That new house in the war zone known as Chicago won't be looking so good after this:

He's not a Bill Clinton who has friends everywhere based on his personality, his charm, his accomplishments and his ability to work with powerful Congressmen to make legislation happen or fail to happen. About the only thing the incumbent has are the qualities his Vice President assigned him and even there the bloom is off the rose. He doesn't look so clean or sound so articulate now, does he?

I'm not sure his new neighbors in Hawaii will be all that happy to have him move in permanently. Oh well, I can live with that. You never hear Jimmy Carter's neighbors complain.


It wasn't much. We went out to the farm this weekend to visit with relatives and the alpacas, llamas, camel, goats, ducks, chickens, cats and bees and it snowed. We drove home to find the snow almost 4 inches deep. That is just wrong so I called Spring and it came.

Not only did I get blue sky for the first time in 5 months, our Man of Winter (plow guy) came today and pulled his marker stakes out of the driveway. He will not be back to plow until next winter. It's official now. Spring has finally arrived.