sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Socialism is a Bad Idea

Single Payer Healthcare

Four Questions:

(1) This is being proposed by the same idiots who couldn't create a website to sell health insurance, given two years and an unlimited budget. Are they the ones who should control your healthcare?

(2) California is in debt to the tune of $1.3 trillion dollars, not including all unfunded pension liabilities, etc. Much of it is due to MediCal. How does the federal government plan to pay for single payer healthcare? We know that ObamaCare went bankrupt.
We all know that they'll promise big and deliver small. It's what they do. Maybe if we had a sustained balanced budget for ten years, they'd have a point. But we can't manage to do that.
(3) Will single-payer prioritize care the way that it's managed at the VA - or in the British National Healthcare System? If you need an expensive operation or you'll die in three months, do they put the operation off six months to solve the money issue? We know that's how the US Veteran's Administration rolls. 

(4) When did healthcare become a right?
Note: I pay for my own healthcare out-of-pocket as a small business owner. I'm not subsidized by USGOV.
Californication


California is hard to kill. The economy has been strong for a long time, but as usual, tax and spend liberalism combined with a sincere effort to impose a form of socialism is trashing it.

My electric bill for last month for my rental home (smaller than my last place and no pool, which uses electricity) was $706.00. California electricity rates are 50% higher than the national average. Auto registration is about 25% more expensive in CA than AZ and fuel is a dollar more per gallon in CA. Sales tax and property tax are high. State Income Tax is 11% in my bracket. There are a lot of other excise taxes - including the tax on trash that's hauled away curbside and the add-ons to telecommunication tax.

The state has the highest poverty rate in the nation.

It's a very progressive state. Socialism unmasked.
Yes, I tried to find a rental in Phoenix when I sold the last house but couldn't find one for love nor money, even offering to pay a year of rent up front. Reason: Other California people, fleeing the People's Republic were standing in line twenty deep for every home that came on the rental market. So I stayed near my kids in a California rental while the AZ home is built.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Job Opportunity


I had not heard the term, "magical life coach" until just the other day, but apparently it's an occupation. I'm nearly certain that there is a major course of study available at Cal Berkeley, preparing students for this by giving them the skill sets necessary.

You don't need a PhD in magical life coach studies to hang your shingle, though the degree that your parents shelled out $100K for must be some help. 

I don't think that the occupation would get many takers in areas where people actually work for a living, but it's a thriving business in Hollywood where almost everyone is living on their trust fund, waiting for their big break in films.

Usually magical life coaches are also witches and if you cast about, you'll find that they are all big supporters of, and contributors to Hillary Clinton, who is relying on her magical life coach to help her stay on the path to the presidency in 2020.

Freud
The really big life coaches in Hollywood charge upwards of $500/hr, which is about what the in-demand therapists charge. Keeping all that in mind, you can send me a retainer on PayPal and then you can call me and tell me all your woes on the phone. It will be on mute on my end so don't be dismayed if I don't respond with affirming grunts or hums while you pour your heart out. Besides, I probably have somebody else on the other line(s).

I'm sure that if you send me enough money that something magical will happen in your life, because it certainly will in mine.





Meanwhile, the staff at Virtual Mirage will continue to slap this blog together on a shoestring budget.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Aftershock

I had packed for a flight to Mexico City tomorrow. The earthquake there today nixed that plan. (more on Fox News here) Between the Houston flood and the earthquake(s) in Mexico, mother nature is slamming my work. Everyone is in a panic there because of anticipated after-shocks.

If the Big One doesn't get you, the aftershocks, which can be just as powerful, can end your journey suddenly.

There's a lot of sand in the concrete in Mexico and the re-bar...well there may or may not be re-bar. And from what I'm hearing, there is a run on tequila as tender nerves are being soothed.

Do you know what all this means?

I'm going to be a bum tomorrow.

A Review of the News

Zonies - man bites snake/snake bites man

So there you are in Arizona, a party is underway, and somebody discovers a rattlesnake in your back yard. What should you do? (LINK) Picking it up and trying to grill it live, to amaze and delight your guests may not be the best choice. However, with enough beer and the endless encouragement of your family and friends, who are photographing you - maybe you should go for it?

And it's all going so well until you lose your grip on the snake and it sinks a dose of venom into your neck and chest.

The guy survived thanks to the marvels of modern medicine and prompt treatment so a Darwin Award will not be handed out. As to Darwin Awards, one must be the cause of one's own demise. In other words: "Killing a friend with a home-made hand grenade would not be eligible, but killing oneself while manufacturing a homemade chimney-cleaning device from a hand grenade would be eligible. To earn a Darwin Award, one must have killed oneself, or rendered oneself sterile (taken out of the gene pool); merely causing death to a third party is insufficient." So if he would have died, he could have received the coveted award.

The Bitter Old Crone

Hillary Clinton's book tour continues as she blames everyone but herself for being thrashed by President Trump in the 2016 presidential race.

I find it amazing that she is putting it out there that she's thinking of a run in 2020. Drilling down, it seems that as a woman, she felt it was her turn (because of plumbing). The formula seemed so simple: unbridled ambition combined with Satanic worship and complete corruption should have delivered the win.

She's planning to mount a legal challenge because of some sort of "trumped" up charges that she intends to level. Maybe in that way she can become president? Meanwhile, I'm certain that Slick Willy is enjoying her absence while she's on her tour.

Any Excuse

International talk-like-a-pirate day provides an excuse for people not like me to dress up in a silly costume, go to a party and drink. (pirate name generator) My feeling on the matter is that I'm enough of a pirate every day that if people want to dress like a pirate, they should dress like I do. But that's not good enough for them because my daily dress would not be considered 'festive'.

There is an old Navy rule that if the sun is over the yard arm, you can drink. Unless it's a morning cure drink, and then you can do it whenever you stop barfing (worshiping) at the porcelain god and you get yourself together enough to pour one.

If you do put on silly clothes and to to the bar to celebrate the day, I hope it's enough.

Enjoy the day.


Update

It's all about the Euphrates

Control of both banks of the Euphrates River is an important territorial goal for the Syrian government and its allies because Syrian President Assad firmly opposes fragmentation of the Syrian state. He doesn't want to see any of it fitting into the dreams of the Kurdish Independence movement.

Over the weekend, I received reports that Syrian forces crossed the Euphrates River, but were forced back. The US and Russia agreed that the Euphrates River is the boundary between the operating area of the SDF and the Syrian government and allied forces. The Russians did not deny that their aircraft were over the east bank of the Euphrates River.

This proved to be a minor incident, militarily, but it portends a struggle for larger stakes politically. The Syrian government intends to assert sovereignty over all territories liberated from the Islamic State. The Russians back this Syrian position. This is the next phase – the post-Islamic State phase – of the civil war.

No, it's not being reported by the corrupt, lying, smug, nasty mainstream media as a victory for the Trump Administration, the Russians and our allies.

Fat Un's Long March

Kim’s strategic goal is to use the threat of missile attacks to neutralize the US in future crises. One way or another, by threat of attack or negotiations, Kim wants the US out of South Korea.

In recent published comments, the fat kid with the bad haircut suggested that North Korea has a second-strike doctrine. The difference with great power usage of that term is that North Korea intends a nuclear counterattack for the slightest, conventional US or South Korean violation of North Korean sovereignty. Any military confrontation, however serendipitous or slight, can lead to a North Korean nuclear counterattack in Kim’s usage. Put another way, the next Korean War will be a nuclear war.

The US will naturally factor that into its strategy as will South Korea and Japan. China sits on the sidelines with it's thumb (metaphorically) in a dark, nasty cave. More on that later.

North Korea apparently is producing these missiles in a sufficient quantity to use live launches to train the Hwasong missile unit. There will be lots more missile launches. 

According to a report carried by the website of China Central Television (CCTV), on 15 September, Cui Tiankai, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, was interviewed by Chinese and foreign news media on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Cui Tiankai said that “China's position on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is clear and consistent. China has always been committed to pushing forward the realization of non-nuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, has always made the maximum efforts to comprehensively and fully implement the relevant resolutions adopted by the United Nations Security Council, and has been committed to pushing forward peaceful negotiations to resolve the problem. “ 
Some American mandarins believe that China is trying to formulate a policy with regard to North Korea, but it's illusive.



Monday, September 18, 2017

Random Musings


Speed is Fine
Accuracy is Final

An interview of Wyatt Earp.


Wyatt Earp in his later years.
John Henry (Doc) Holliday - died of 
consumption/TB at the age of 36.

The New i-phone 

It will only cost you $1,000 to make a phone call and surf the net. I don't get it. The phone incorporates new 'smart' face recognition technology so your mug will be on file and attached in a cyber sense to your phone. I'm an Apple person, but doubt that I'll spend $1K on a phone anytime soon unless it can also mow the lawn, take out the trash, cook chicken and dumplings and install new brakes on the truck.


Then again, I'm a dinosaur and I very very rarely use a debit card or e-money. I keep a stack of hundreds in my pocket next to the handgun. There are times when society forces me to use a credit card and I do and pay it off monthly, but you take my point. 

A Familiar Theme


Muslims in general feel like an infection. At least that's what I mentioned to my friend J. D. who reads this blog from time to time. It was like that in the neighborhood where I just sold my home, down the street from where they built the mosque.

People of that faith seem to lack the capacity to live-and-let-live. 

DRJIM recently made his CALEXIT and I wish him well in Colorado. In California, it's not only the Muslims, it's the whole thing, and people are leaving rather than tolerating the insanity. Me too. Those who can leave are. The house of cards will eventually fall and it's not going to be pretty.

In Sweden, there are plans afoot for a man-free music festival. They're worried about rapes. It would be politically incorrect in Sweden to have a MUSLIM FREE event. But we all know what's going on in that country and that the problem isn't "men" so much as it is military age Muslim men. When you invite an infection into your country, you shouldn't hide the poison under a bandage.

When I was a Kid

I mowed lawns for money. No, there was no Occupational Safety and Health Administration wonk there on site inspecting the mower, the work site, and guarding me against child labor exploitation. I charged what I thought that the market would pay. It was raw capitalism. That and a paper route were the most common ways for boys to earn spending money. Girls babysat and made more. In the summer I also hauled hay when I lived in the country. In the city that wasn't  an option.

When I read the piece about the boy mowing the lawn at the White House, I felt encouraged. Then some two-bit, jumped-up, progressive (possibly a tranny) member of the corrupt, lying, smug, nasty, lying mainstream media, employed by the NY Times attacked both President Trump and the boy.

In California, illegal aliens (also called wetbacks) have captured the lawn maintenance market, edging out boys. Not many people take the newspapers anymore and when they do, it's not delivered by a kid on a bicycle.

The New York Times and the Section 8 aliens who took jobs from kids are part of what is wrong with America. #Build That Wall

When I was young doctors made house calls, the guy who delivered the milk was an adult male and he earned a living wage doing that, etc. Yes I know. that age has passed.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Sermonette (Part 2)

The End is Near

Blowing the Shofar (ram's horn) to usher in judgment on
mankind.
(Fox News) Some religious folks are predicting the end of the world on September 23. This coincides with the Jewish celebration of Rosh Hashanah, which will begin in the evening of Wednesday, September 20 and ends in the evening of Friday, September 22. Rosh Hashanah is the warning of judgment (Yom Kippur) ten days following and the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord when people are judged. Ominous stuff. 

Maybe North Korea will launch a nuclear missile at somebody and the retaliation (end of the world for them) will sound like the blowing of many ram's horns as the American missiles augur in along ballistic trajectories? Who can say?

If you predict that the end of the world is coming every day, sooner or later, you'll be accurate. Of course it could end for any of us at any given moment (ask not for whom the bell tolls).

Where will you be on September 23? I'll be in AZ up on the White Wolf Mine property, not because I think that the world will be burned to a cinder on Sept 23, but because I planned to be up there hanging out and talking to people about the progress (and lack of progress) that I'm seeing. And because of the whole International Date Line thing, Sept 23 for me is Sept 24 for people on the other side of the rock, which means while I'm hanging out, being cool, all of them could be dead. 

sic transit gloria mundi 

Is Cotton Evil? 

Some university students think so. My preferred shirts are all made of rip-stop cotton. What does that say about me? Separate from the referenced article, there have been suggestions made that Tylenol sold in California is racist because you 'pick cotton' (packing material) out of the bottle to get to the pills - thus it's demeaning to inner city people.

What about Q-tips? Are they next? I wouldn't be surprised. They're like the banana peel in the tree. If an inner city college student sees a Q-tip, they need to run to their safe space. Who can blame them?

I can see Middle Eastern people rejecting wool as clothing material because some terrorist's love interest had to be sheared so that you could have a nice wool suit. It provides impetus to Islam to wipe out more people...

This just in...


Sunday Sermonette

Placer mining is frequently used for precious metal deposits (particularly gold) which are often found in alluvial deposits—deposits of sand and gravel in modern or ancient stream beds. 

I'm gearing up to do a little prospecting up in White Wolf Mine territory, because I don't think that there are areas that have been adequately explored for gold. The climate (warming/cooling/whatever) changes and it brings more or less water into play in gullies and arroyos, that I can search. No, I don't have a burro, and more's the pity, but I've been researching the application process for filing a claim on government land.

Inside the Saloon (stock photo)
Historically there have been parts of Arizona like the Crown King Mine area, which has been worked very hard. There is still a ghost town at Crown King and you can still buy a steak dinner there at the Saloon. There's also a volunteer fire department.

Mining towns grew up around proven gold strikes and populate the old West, Colorado and Arizona have very colorful pasts as does parts of California and Nevada (I'm thinking Comstock here). 

Crown King

Some people believe that all the gold to be found has been discovered. Others, feel that prospecting is a a great excuse for a hike into wild and wonderful country.

And this is my point - there are still places where there are deposits of gold that have not been exploited. 

Will I find gold? The odds are long against it, but the important part is this: Will I have fun looking for it? Therein lies the Sunday Sermonette. All is not gold that glitters and sometimes the journey is the important thing, not the end of the road (boot hill in some cases).


Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Other Side of the Third Rock

Since it's dark there when it's light here, should we care? Unfortunately we have to.

Russia

On 14 September, Russia and Belarus started the Zapad military exercises, close to Europe's eastern borders. The word "Zapad" means "west" in Russian. Moscow and Minsk claim that 12,700 troops and 250 tanks will participate in the joint military exercise at training ranges in Belarus and western Russia. The exercise will end on 20 September. Zapad 17 probably will showcase new Russian capabilities that are intended to intimidate enemies and thrill friends. Its more lasting impacts are likely to be a stiffening of NATO’s determination to not be bullied and a reminder of the requirement for constant vigilance.

Russian Zapad exercises occur every four years, and the size of this one dwarfs Zapad 13.


NATO has already deployed additional troops and equipment to the area, while the United States is patrolling the Baltic countries' airspace.

This exercise is an opportunity for NATO to observe Russian progress in rebuilding the armed forces, especially after two years of operations in the Syrian civil war. 

Proof of Concept

The North Koreans launched yet another ballistic missile over Hokkaido, Japan on September 15. The launch location was near Sunan, which is the location of the international airport that serves the capital area of Pyongyang. The South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff said the missile flew for 19 minutes, reached an altitude of 770 kms/478 miles and splashed into the western Pacific Ocean about 3,700 kms/ 2,300 miles east of Hokkaido.

This launch proved that a North Korean ballistic missile can reach Guam. The distance from Pyongyang to Guam is 3,400 kms/2,110 miles. The missile followed a similar trajectory to that launched on the 28th. This was the 15th launch of the year.

If they launch on Guam, they start a war.

North Korea and the United States held a "secret" meeting in Switzerland this week, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported Thursday, 14 September. The meeting took place on the sidelines of an international security forum there from Monday to Wednesday.

These are not official talks, but no North Korean diplomat can talk with an American without official approval and surveillance. This contact serves as a reminder that many channels for communication are available to the US and North Korea.

On 14 September, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published a rant by the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee (KAPPC), which is a mouthpiece for the North Korean regime. In the statement, the agency called on North Korea to wipe out the South Koreans, sink Japan with nuclear attacks and to reduce the US to ashes and darkness. I won't bore you with the rhetoric (which is a form of misdirection while talks are being held). 

Syria

News services reported several developments which point towards steady improvement in the security situation for the Syrian government.

There are a number of reasons for this and I'm not underscoring what the Russians have done, but President Trump's strategy to crush ISIS has worked. You'll never hear that on the corrupt, lying, smug, shrill, mainstream media.

In Idlib Governate, the extremist Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) alliance, built around the former al-Nusra Front, is fracturing. This is the group that was affiliated with al-Qaida and a rival of the Islamic State (ISIL). Several important members of the HTS alliance have withdrawn over religious errors. 

In Raqqa, the US-backed Syrian Defense Forces (SDF) claimed they control 70% of the town, after having liberated a district in the city center. The Syrian Observatory of Human Rights said the fighting has been heavy, leaving only a few hundred fighters in Raqqa. SDF losses are said to be high.

The SDF also announced that its fighting groups near Deir ez-Zor will not enter the city. This decision reduces the risk that US-backed fighters would clash with Syrian government and allied forces which are attempting to surround the city.

The Russian Navy fired seven cruise missiles at ISIL targets in the suburbs of Deir ez-Zor, the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement on the 14th. It said the missiles were fired from two submarines in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and traveled from 500 to 670 kilometers. The Russians are using nearly every opportunity the Syrian civil war provides to engage in live fire of modern weapons under real conditions.

The Kurds

As has been the case - nearly forever - nations which include significant Kurdish populations oppose a Kurdish-run homeland in areas that they control. Turkey claims the right to continue its 'ethnic cleansing' of Kurds.

Northern Iraq is very close to becoming independent of Iraq and run by the native Kurds. Portions of Syria will likely end up in the same situation, which isn't acceptable to the Damascus government, but will likely still happen.

Will Turkey invade Kurdistan? I wouldn't run it out. The US has no 'official' position but since we're arming the Kurds, the de-facto situation is obvious.


Friday, September 15, 2017

Weekday Wrap


We're headed toward the weekend and I have a few thoughts. My daughter Emilie sent me this (see right).

Pollsters running focus groups are shocked that President Trump has not lost support despite relentless attacks by the corrupt, wicked, smug, thoughtless, lying, mainstream media. I find no surprise there because they were attacking him non-stop during the campaign leading up to the election while extolling the virtue of Hillary Clinton (possibly a witch) and her philosophy, which went through seven re-sets during the campaign as her position changed based on poll results. And the public ignored them and voted for Donald J. Trump in the hope that the'd work to make America great again.

I don't know whether or not President Trump will be a two-term president, but I would not rule it out.

If President Trump won re-election would all of the Hollywood people who threatened to leave the country leave (once and for all)? Don't hold your breath. Clooney moved back from Italy. Maybe he should move to Afghanistan, where his in-laws are from if he wants to be politically correct? That would be very progressive of him and he could dodge mortar rounds for real like he pretends to do in his films.

Meanwhile Bernie is stumping to make all healthcare in the US the same as you find at the Veteran's Administration (VA). Impossibly expensive and far less than perfect with 'death panels' scheduling procedures at a point after which you're expected to die. Naturally, that system wouldn't be for the elite, but the common man would be stuck with it. And once the progressive, socialist healthcare system is in place and it destroys what we now have, benefits would have to be cut back because they're unaffordable. You don't have to read tea leaves to see that one coming. California is $1.3 trillion in debt and a lot of that comes from healthcare benefits to the indigent and illegal aliens.

Mitt Romney has supporters who are advising Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to step down so that Romney can either run for his seat in the upcoming senate election, or be appointed an interim senator so that Romney can run as an incumbent. This represents a small faction that feels that Romney can successfully run against President Trump in 2020. 

Internet photo of Hodad's
I have no problem with an engineered retirement of Hatch and his replacement by Romney. That's politics and if the voters are cool with it, who am I to argue? But the greater aspiration to defeat Trump is a wet dream that will not have a happy ending. 

I was in San Diego on Wednesday and stopped at Hodad's for a hamburger (in Ocean Beach). Hodad's makes my favorite hamburger and is high on Old NFO's list as well. I'm surprised that there wasn't a line out the door, but mid-week after school started, the whole Ocean Beach/OB area seemed a bit deserted. 

If you're offended by license plates on the wall, they will pack
your burger to go and you can eat your lunch on the beach.
I realize that you all have your own favorite places to eat hamburgers (yes, I've been to Whataburger in TX and it's good, just not as good). This one is mine.


Plans to fly to Mexico City on Monday for work have vaporized and need to be rescheduled, so the weekend is mine. I don't have to spend those days in prep and can focus on grandson's baseball and flag football games. Such is the nature of being a grandpa.

Friday (today), I will wrap the work at noon with business lunch with friends from Europe who are both partners and occasionally paying clients. Its important to knock off work early and end the week. I've cautioned people that the upcoming inspection trip to the White Wolf Mine 'trumps' anything else that they may have planned for me to participate in. There have been discussions of an out-and-back trip to Greece. I reminded those entertaining that delusion that I don't do out-and-back to Greece for work, even flying first class. I'm getting older and if I go, I will stay somewhere in the Athens Placa for a few days --- if I'm going. The Greek Orthodox Church has some really nice accommodations there for visiting guests and they'll put me up. I'm not Greek Orthodox, but I have friends. The trip will eat up a week of time - if I go. (that's a week that will pass quickly and the goal is to eat up time until I can move into the hovel at the mine)

I'll find out more about the potential Greece trip at the meeting in a few hours. It may be better to send somebody else. I've been to Greece a lot and it's not one of those "OH - COOL!" things for me these days. And it's work. But I do like the food in the Old City (Placa). If there was enough time in the schedule (two weeks), and I could go to Mount Athos (Holy Mountain) and visit the monasteries for a week, I could be talked into the trip. I may need to bring that up.

The weekend awaits!


Thursday, September 14, 2017

China - Iran Trade Nexus

As part of its Belt and Road Initiative, China is boosting its economic and transport cooperation with Iran, which will be used as a transport and logistics hub for China’s trade with Turkey and Europe. This creates new opportunities for Central Asia countries, which would increase the transit of Chinese goods by rail to Iran. 

According to Eurasianet, Iran intends to expand its railway network and align it with other Belt and Road Initiative rail projects in Central Asia.

China is providing $1.5 billion in financing to electrify the Tehran-Mashhad trunk line, and another $1.8 billion to establish a high-speed rail connection linking Tehran, Qom and Isfahan. In return, Iranian authorities are slashing transit tariffs for Chinese goods, according to railway chief Saeed Mohammedzadeh. 

In May, Iran joined Chinese President Xi’s Belt and Road Initiative in order to upgrade its rail infrastructure. China sees Iran as its switching point for shipping goods west to Europe through Turkey and south to Iranian ports on the Persian Gulf.

The terms of Iranian participation will be important because the Iran initiatives could become a more secure alternative to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. China’s determination to reach the Mediterranean and west Asia means that any Western attempts to reimpose sanctions on Iran will be frustrated. 

The communist mandarins in Beijing are not interested in sectarian conflicts, but in making profits and extracting resources, both of which require stability. Thus, they'll pressure Iran to do things that will promote stability. Whether or not they are successful is something else all together.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Terrorist Wednesday?

I decided that LSP's resounding success with his Melania Monday blog, dictated I needed to do something different, but not so different on Virtual Mirage - and came up with Terrorist Wednesday. These are snapshots of some of the beauties from countries that export terrorism and rape culture.


Nothing screams 'hygiene' like women who dress in black tents and walk around in the desert in the middle of summer. This beauty above is showing her fat pudgy hands with broken fingernails, embedded with dirt -- or something.

There to the left, is the real face of Islam, the religion of peace that the progressives desperately want to import into the United States because nothing screams progressive thought like Islam...ok, and Hillary, the scorned woman who coronated herself only to have the crown snatched from her head by Donald Trump.

I'm not going to say that the family pictures of a man with his four wives and one concubine are a bad thing. He can mix and match ad one and subtract one and nobody would be able to tell the difference. Islam allows up to four wives and an unlimited number of concubines, so he could swap out a wife for a concubine rather easily.




Then again, maybe there's another reason why they want women to wear tents and veiled faces?



Dig More Holes, Un

This is a compendium/update on North Korea from a few estimates, distilled for your consumption.

Yield Estimates

The Norwegian Seismic Array (NORSAR) posted that the revised yield estimate of 250 kilotons is derived from a seismic event which it now estimates had a magnitude of 6.1, which is an upward revision from 5.8. It wrote that “this is an estimate with some uncertainty.”

The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) also revised upward the magnitude of the seismic event to 6.1 and the estimated yield to 250 kilotons.

The US Geological Survey’s (USGS) magnitude estimate remains 6.3.

NORSAR also put the North Korean test in a historic context. “In comparison, the explosive yield of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 was estimated at approximately 15 kilotons TNT, while the bomb dropped on Nagasaki three days later was estimated at approximately 20 kilotons TNT.”

38 North Analysis

The 38 North analysts also judged that the upward revisions tended to confirm most of the claims that North Korea made about its nuclear detonation, including that it probably was a hydrogen bomb. Assuming the North Korean claims are accurate about their ability to fit this warhead to several different missiles, the North will need fewer missiles to achieve a desired level of destruction of any target.

8 North wrote that “imagery from 8 September shows a large tractor/trailer cargo truck in the South Portal Area for the first time, and mining carts and other equipment are present outside the West Portal. Such activity, coming shortly after the largest underground nuclear test conducted at Punggye-ri to date (via the North Portal), suggests that onsite work could now be changing focus to further prepare those other portals for future underground nuclear testing.”

The Norks will continue to test nuclear weapons and ballistic missile delivery systems until they're certain that they can hit the United States with some degree of certainty. They they plan to blackmail the US with those weapons - to stand by while they invade and occupy South Korea. And they can do it despite sanctions. 

Diplomatic Ties

Peru, Mexico and Egypt altered their diplomatic relations with North Korea as a result of the most recent nuclear test. The Hermit Kingdom is still capable of sourcing what it needs through a few friendly nations and they are said to have a vast supply of bitcoin for purchases on-line. The only way to stop all of this is a quarantine of the nation. It's something that China and Russia are unlikely to agree to in the short term.
Peru declared the North Korean ambassador, Kim Hak-Chol, a persona non grata on 11 September to protest North Korea’s refusal to heed the world’s “constant calls” to end its nuclear program - giving him five days to leave.
“The bilateral and diplomatic measure taken yesterday by the Peruvian government lacks judicial and moral reasoning and doesn’t further world peace and security at all,” Kim said, reading from a statement at a news conference in Lima. 
“To the contrary, it throws gasoline on the fire for which we express protest and regret,” Kim added before declining to take questions from reporters. 
Peru’s Foreign Ministry clarified that the country had not severed relations, but had downgraded them. In the mid-1990’s Peru bought a variety of weapons from North Korea. US intervention prevented Peru from acquiring North Korean Scud ballistic missiles.
Egypt's Defense Minister Sedki Sobhi announced that his country has severed military ties with North Korea. The United States denied or delayed $300 million in aid to Egypt last month due to its human rights violations and ties to North Korea. Since 1987, Egypt has received $1.3 billion annually in foreign military aid from the United States. 
The North Korean liquid-fueled ballistic missile program started from Egyptian Scuds. The late President Anwar Sadat approved Scud sales between 1976 and 1981 in gratitude for North Korean support to Egypt during the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  
Egyptian private companies have invested in North Korea. The Egyptian telecommunications company Orascom built North Korea’s closed 3G mobile phone system in 2008. North Korean ships use Port Said for delivering weapons to African states.  
Until now, Egypt has refused to terminate military ties to North Korea. It has not terminated its economic contacts.
Mexico expelled the North Korean ambassador last week. "North Korea's nuclear activity is a serious risk for international peace and security and represents a growing threat to nations in the region, including fundamental allies of Mexico like Japan and South Korea," the Mexican government said.

Mexico is a trading partner with North Korea and an occasional source of oil imports.
North Korea has relied heavily on weapons sales for years and on imports from unlikely sources. Closure of overseas markets and termination of client and investment relationships will constrain hard currency earnings.

Japan’s TBS television reported on 11 September that Chinese banks in Dandong refuse to open new accounts or to remit funds to North Korea. Other images show North Korean workers returning to North Korea because their visas were not renewed. Other North Korean laborers with jobs in Dandong reported having difficulty getting visas renewed.

The TV report indicated that Chinese banks began freezing accounts before the new UN Security Council resolutions on sanctions. China seems to have imposed these sanctions unilaterally before the UN Security Council passed its resolution. 

The TBS sample is limited to Dandong. A wider cutoff of banking facilities would have significant impact on enterprises. Ultimately, the impact will be passed along to workers in one fashion or another.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Primer on Spoiling Granddaughters

I've been known to spoil my grandchildren. To that I plea guilty as charged. I didn't spoil their mothers (I have four girls) as much as I spoil them, but I didn't have parents to hand my children off to once they'd been filled with sugar.

Saturday was my four year-old granddaughter, Savannah's day with grandpa. Savannah lives in Arizona, but was visiting with her mother/my daughter and her two sisters - one older and one younger.

By way of full disclosure, I have never been in this mall before. I usually avoid malls (temples of greed), but they can be entertaining to a four year old girl.

This is a riding toy that you can rent and the kids ride
around the mall on them. Savy really liked it.



Then came a trip to the Disney store, where she was allowed to buy one item.

Holding the loot
Then we hit the candy store - because it's what you do.


And added to the burden she had to carry.

And then ice cream
And another ride on the motorized Hello Kitty. You can
ride them along the main corridor of the mall for about 50
or 60 meters. I'd never seen these things before.



And finally, my daughter/her aunt, Emilie spoiled her too. 

That's how it's done. Mischief managed.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Remembrance

My thoughts on the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001 revolve around unfinished business. I realize that justice will always be illusive in this regard because those behind the attack were funded by key members of an allied government/royal family in Saudi Arabia. The Saudis offered blood money for the murdered, and I understand that's how it's handled there. It's a little different here. Eventually those of us who remember will die off as will those who financed the attack and it will all be ground into dust.

But that day is not today.

I have similar feelings about the attack on the CIA Base and the Consulate in Benghazi that occurred on the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the abortive attack on the White House.

That attack can be laid at the feet of Hillary Clinton, but the political machine will never allow that to be pursued properly and will never allow the execution of Hillary Clinton for treason. So we won't get justice there either. The Clintons have a lot of dirt on a lot of people. 

The perjured, physically dirty, spiritually dead woman who testified at the hearings and who lied to the families of the dead should have been locked up at the very least and should have been kept for every holding a position of honor, trust or profit in the US.

And I recall all of that today. 

Unfortunately I know too much, and there's a lot of innocent American blood splattered across the map and we left a lot of treasure on the field. We'll leave it at that.

Today is a day for remembering.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Global Warming/Cooling/Weather


I wanted to throw my cracker in the soup because I haven't commented on the bevy of disasters that autumn is bringing.
LEFT - a table of all hurricanes with landfall pressures <= 940 mb at time of U.S. landfall. Irma was 929 mb and Harvey was 938 mb. (lower is worse)
As we all now know, the situation with Hurricane Harvey was that it stalled and just kept sucking warm water/moist air from the gulf and dumping it inland, and the flooding was near-Biblical.

It's nice to keep the global warming or cooling in perspective. Hurricane weather is cyclical, by year and we've had some hurricane-free years lately, which bothered those who chose to blame President Trump. 

Al Gore has not made an appearance there in Texas, helping to evacuate people, nor am I aware that he donated any of the money he made from his weather scam to help desperate populations. Harambe never lived to see it... I haven't heard of Oprah, or any of the Hollywood elite showing up to clear trash in Houston either. Likewise Black Lives Matter and Occupy Houston aren't showing up to work in soup kitchens. At times of crisis you find out who actually matters.

Storms, tornadoes, floods, fires, etc. are always worse when it's your house that is flattened, flooded or burned to a cinder. OR when it's you who are threatened or evacuated. I don't know whether a generous heart to those who have been beat up by the storms/fires/floods will influence luck/karma but it doesn't really matter. I always say that we should do what we can, where we can, and how we can to make the lives of others better.

Fredd pointed out on his blog that everywhere has seasonal delights and threats. You have to keep food in the larder and the powder dry and trust that the bell doesn't toll for you. And if it does, that kind people are willing to help you as they are able.




Times and Seasons (Sunday Sermonette)


Truth has been made irrelevant in the halls of the capitol, on many college campuses and it's cheered on by the corrupt, lying, filthy, smug, egotistical, weird, deviant mainstream media. 

I had an interesting discussion with my eight year old grandson the other day about what he learned in school. He attends third grade at a charter school that is allegedly conservative.

One of many problems with historical education today is that it's all viewed without a lens on the norms of the time. Thus, acts, considered normal and reasonable in 1700 are said to be outrageous and immoral in 2017. The "War of Northern Aggression or War of the Rebellion", as it was viewed at the time is twisted from a war over state's rights and becomes a war over race-based slavery (an issue but far from the key issue). The expansion of European colonists across the nation (Manifest Destiny) is lensed as horrible people, slaughtering indigenous people for fun and profit. 

The progs will win if they can infect the youth with these misdirections and misunderstandings of people and events.

The progs will win if they can alter the culture of the nation through 'open borders' an unrestricted immigration.

And in many venues across the nation the progs are winning. Parents who aren't educated sufficiently to teach their own children proper values and history from the perspective of those who lived it, for good or ill, dump their children into schools that teach from twisted textbooks. They teach that gender is a construct, and glorify in the "new morality", which is just the old immorality.

It's not played out in every household. We all know that. Those who read this blog teach their children, lead by example, and know what's what. But that's not the norm.

Fast forward. Almost every large Chinese restaurant in America today has Fuginese (Chinese males from Fugin province) 'slaves' working in the back to pay off their indenture. Does anyone care? No, not really, because they aren't negroes. However slavery is slavery and it happens all over the world today. The light went on with Operation Pentameter and Operation Pentameter II. I have yet to hear outrage in the halls of academia or on the floor of Congress. The practice continues and so long as the food is good, people order the house special chicken, one from column A and one from column B.

There is a blind indifference that comes with being progressive - and an offensive odor one associates with outhouses.


Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Polite Reminder

Crowds are fickle.

Sermonette Thought of the Day

Friday, September 8, 2017

A Thousand Pounds of Flesh

I was thinking about the SNAP challenge, as reported at Adrienne's Corner. SNAP=Food Stamps. I don't know if they can still use those EBT cards to buy lap dances instead of food, but for a few years, it worked. No, I don't have first hand knowledge. 

About a year ago, maybe 10 months, I received a telephone call from a woman I've known literally since she was born. She wanted me to invest in a 'counseling service' that used cosmic energy to heal people. I passed on the opportunity. 
Back Story: Said woman grew up in considerable poverty and lived near me when she was small. The white privilege never reached her. Her father worked in the coal mines and I used to go deer hunting with him. Deer season (a tag for him and one for his wife) and elk season fed the family. He was a competent hunter but I filled a tag for him from time to time. I've always had a knack for finding and killing deer/elk. (I parlayed that into a job for myself) 
He looked through stuff at the county dump to find clothes that he brought back for his seven children. The woman in question, when a girl, wore clothes that other girls from school threw out. She grew up poor and ridiculed with endemic low self esteem. I was gone by the time she married, but from all accounts, she married badly - the guy was part of a cult of sorts and seven years and eight children later, he left her. I don't know that he had skills beyond effective insemination. He's incapable of paying child support and the cult put daylight between them and him.
stock photo of a welfare queen - not a picture of the lady.
Bad lifestyle choices are not society's problem. But children become one. Her children (mostly heifer weight female) moved back in with mom with their own children once their sperm donors woke up and looked at the situation. I'm not judging, just reporting.

Now she's still trying to get $50K a head from investors (so far, no takers) to start the cosmic energy counseling, and meantime is living by the leave of the taxpayer as are the daughters who receive SNAP, AFDC, and a lot of other alphabet benefits. There's at least 1000 lbs of female flesh living in a small rented (tax payer subsidized HUD) house, bad-mouthing the male of the species, hoping that mom can find somebody stupid enough to fork over money for her dream business.

This abomination replays across this great country in all ethnic groups. Politicians court people like this to obtain votes (by giving them YOUR hard earned money).

It's a mess.


Norks - Rolling the Dice Again

North Korea will launch another ICBM this weekend. I'm not sure whether or not they'll shoot it over Japan. The last time they did that, nothing happened to them, so why not? They'll keep pushing the envelope, confident that the US is fearful of doing anything to them. They hold the South Korean population hostage to their actions.

Chinese leaders still have not acknowledged the legitimacy of the North Korean missile threat to South Korea and its need for anti-missile defenses. While most international attention has focused on the North’s long-range missiles, the threat to South Korea is from the vastly larger arsenal of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry press spokespersons never seem to get or, perhaps, accept questions concerning Kim Jong Un’s statements about forcefully reuniting the Korean peninsula.

Geng Shuang answered several questions about China’s position on imposing additional sanctions on North Korea.
He said, “Foreign Minister Wang Yi already stated that the Chinese side agreed with the Security Council's making further responses and taking necessary measures.”

“We have said many times earlier that the response and measures the Security Council will make and adopt following North Korea's sixth nuclear test depend on the outcome of the discussions of Security Council members. China has not the final say, nor does a certain Security Council member have the final say.”

“As for some concrete measures that you mentioned, we have also said multiple times that the Chinese side hopes that the response and measures that the Security Council will make and take should help realize the non-nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maintain the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and promote the peaceful resolution of the Korean Peninsula issue through dialogue and consultation.”

“The Chinese side will take part in the relevant discussions at the Security Council based on this position in a responsible and constructive attitude.”
The US has proposed a total embargo of oil shipments to North Korea; a ban on textile exports from North Korea; a freeze on financial accounts that serve the government and termination of contracts for North Korean workers. The US also seeks UN backing for stopping North Korean-flagged ships at sea.

China is unlikely to support the US draft Security Council Resolution without significant modifications. Russia is even less likely to accept it. Nevertheless, Chinese leaders know and have admitted that the Security Council must take additional measures. China’s concurrence has the effect of channeling international outrage through the Security Council, heading off new sanctions by individual countries.

North Korea’s chief delegate to the Eastern Economic Forum said North Korea would counter US sanctions with powerful countermeasures of its own. Maybe the long awaited missile strike at Guam?