sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Happy to Oblige


Does Life Exist? (Your Weekend Sermonette)

The Universe

Some scientists have posited that the universe is a giant computer simulation. (here) They assert that it's all a virtual mirage, which is, coincidentally, the name of this blog.

Then along comes Cosmos, disagreeing (here).

And will we be dead in 12 years do to either global warming or the new ice age (global cooling)? Does that mean that the simulation is ending?

That scientists have the time and funding to gather together, to discuss this might impress you. They get together to discuss a lot of drivel at scientific conferences, but this is serious stuff! It's not just PhD's working on the next thing to publish...really.

If this whole universe is nothing but a computer simulation, where is the computer? I realize that's like asking how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

At the White Wolf Mine (in the Arizona Highlands)

Meanwhile, in the middle of the simulation that we call life, I came home Friday to the hovel, and the ENTIRE pace was masked and draped (views of the kitchen and great room below).














In order to go to bed, I had to pull back drop cloths and plastic and stuff. I called and asked, "can't you do one room at a time?" Apparently not. The simulation sucks.

The good news was that the snow had almost completely melted. I like snow, and all, but am ready for Spring to spring into action here in on the Mogollon Rim. This is a time lapse of about fifteen minutes this morning:


Yeah, whoever is doing the simulating is beginning to tick me off. 

The black line in the concrete is a steel grate that serves as a drain and dumps moisture off, down the hill on the other side of the house. The driveway drain system is not complete. The snow has kept the work from being done - and I thought that... Never mind/vain hope/more snow is here. The photo makes it look like the drain goes up hill, and that's just the way I held the phone.

Locals said that they had been praying for more snow. I need to get LSP into action, counter-praying for warm weather and global warming. My new philosophy is "give the progs the warmth they desire". The coming ice age may dash the hopes, dreams and yearning of the Hollywood elite (our betters, who pretend to be actual people for a living). 

I am leaving the White Wolf Mine to the painters, soon, for a week, so that they can complete their task, and I can generate income to pay for the continued construction. As you might have read (earlier post), the original painting company who did the primer coat, walked off the job and I went after his bond. These new guys seem diligent, even though it's only a simulation of diligence. The simulated construction work here at the shack will continue for some time, I fear. The simulators could fix it and just make it done...but no.

If you ask yourself why part of the LL fleet of vehicles is not in the garage, it's full of STUFF waiting to go into the house when the painting is complete. (simulated stuff)

Solutions

The Solar Energy Solution

I realize that the people who drift past this blog have been waiting for a solution to the energy needs of the United States (rest of the world be damned - yes, that includes England, Juliette. Find your own energy solution)

Using generally accepted numbers, solar panels convert about 10% +/- of the available energy from sunlight.

The United States uses about 4 petawatt-hours per year (4,000 trillion watts). In order to get that sort of coverage, we'd need to bulldoze and flatten a number of states. Better to stick with the states that are flat now to save money. Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, The Dakotas, Nebraska and the flat part of Tennessee. If we covered them completely in solar panels, we'd be moving in the right direction, providing that none of them were ever covered by snow (global warming should help - unless I'm right and we're headed for an ice age). None of that surface area would account for increased need in the future.

For you math majors, you need to factor in clouds, maintenance, taking things offline, terrorist attacks on the grid that take part of it down from time to time and meteor strikes that could smash a big piece of the giant black piece of glass. Contingencies mean that we need a bigger space.

In order to save the crop-producing states, it might be better just to depopulate and level Africa and cover it with solar collectors. They work better at the equator because the sunlight striking the surface on a clear day generates more electricity. We need an area about the size of Australia covered in NOTHING BUT black glass - for the US only, given current needs.

Naturally, the progs will think that would be a great idea, but there is always the law of unintended consequences as a continent sized chunk of mirrored glass and the change in albedo would clearly impact global cooling. I know, if it's at the equator, the glaciers would get to it last.

Sheets

To save the Democrat Party we need to outlaw white bed sheets.


Friday, February 15, 2019

Time to Get Green!

The day of love and restaurants with 'special menus' for the lovers crowding in to celebrate St. Valentine's Day - has past. The chocolate boxes are empty, the flowers are wilting, the dipped berries are causing loose stools, and the bottles of bubbly have been drained...in the name of love. I didn't have time to indulge, but I trust that you all did. Now, you're likely feeling some shame as the whole holiday is conspicuous consumption of vital natural resources. In the future there will be none of this frivolity under the Green New Deal.

No more jetting off to the Bahamas to impress the super model that you've just begun to date. No more jets at all. You can teleconference if you want a virtual presence. The power will come from the wind and if it's not windy where you are - no teleconference. It wasn't important anyway.

I know, we're flogging this subject to death on the blogs just as Amazon was lashed from New York City on a rail, taking their 25,000 jobs with them. "We don't need your kind," was the cry from the progressive left. And Amazon listened.

Seattle doesn't want them. New York doesn't want them, because Bezos' ownership of the left wing rag, Washington Post isn't progressive enough. They destroy trees to create that newspaper. Sure, most of the trees have been recycled a dozen times, but none of that matters.

Every day thousands of innocent plants are killed and consumed by greedy vegetarians (h/t Jules) and that needs to end as well. Soylent Green, a non-vegetable product is really all you need to eat in the brave new world. Drink down your Soylent Green and feel the love of a wounded planet as you join the ranks of the enlightened. (Soylent Green does not contain any beef either)

You know, I think that it's delightful that the Democrat Party has embraced this as their platform. All of the cool contenders for the Democrat nominee have signed on. No more business that's not government business, has become their hue and cry as they work hard to establish a socialist paradise for all of the donkeys who are disposed to vote for them. No more airplanes, no more automobiles, no more cows, yada-yada-yada.

It's telling me that we'll have a landslide in 2020.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Take the High Ground


The eight miserable years of ObamaNation ended and we may be back in the game in Space within a month or so.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA and SpaceX are now aiming for a March debut of the first capsule from a private company designed to fly astronauts to the International Space Station. 
No one will be on board for the crew Dragon’s inaugural test flight to the orbiting outpost. 
Officials on Wednesday set March 2 as the latest launch date. If the demo goes well, two NASA astronauts will take a test flight in July aboard the SpaceX capsule. 
It would be the first launch of U.S. astronauts into orbit, from U.S. soil, since NASA’s shuttle program ended in 2011. 
Boeing, meanwhile, is shooting for an April launch of its first Starliner capsule without a crew. The first Starliner flight with astronauts would be August at best.

Venezuela

It's about granularity. Problems appears differently as you distance yourself from them. The Earth would appear as a pale blue dot if you stood on the surface of Mars (as the late Carl Sagan coined the phrase). The same is true of Venezuela and their embrace of socialism. From a cocktail party in the Washington Beltway, Venezuelan misery doesn't impact you. The canapés are passed and you pick up shrimp on a cracker and stuff it into your mouth, chased by yet another glass of champagne, as you pontificate. 

On the ground in a land where there is no food, soap, or toilet paper, the view changes. Venezuelans celebrated Youth Day yesterday, on 12 February, by demonstrating against the Maduro government, which still clings to a version of control. Large demonstrations were held in Caracas and at least six other cities.

Venezuelan opposition leaders, including President Juan Guaido, gave speeches to a crowd of thousands gathered in Caracas. Guaido tweeted, “Today all Venezuelans, in different states, accompany the relatives of the young people who lost their lives by repression of the dictatorship.” 

The Maduro government remains obdurate, but the recent demonstrations have been the first sustained large-scale protests by the opposition in two years.

President Maduro’s refusal to permit delivery of food and other humanitarian aid is not sustainable. The opposition intends to challenge the road blocks with caravans of relief goods. The stocks of US aid in Colombia undermine Maduro’s insistence that all Venezuelan problems are the result of US economic warfare.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday Sermonette

In Venezuela

Things have stabilized. The Socialist dictatorship has not sent the army to kill the opposition because of dire warnings from both the US and Russia.

You never know when that may change, but for the moment, Maduro hasn't accepted exile in Russia and the newly formed and recognized government has not been able to gain the traction necessary to oust Maduro and his band of thugs.

There are politicians in the USA that really want to turn the nation into a bad carbon copy of Venezuela. Riches to rags can turn them a quick buck and living out the rest of your life in Switzerland, spending what you were able to steal, watching your former country collapse appeals to them. None of them have American hearts.

The Green New Deal

Sometimes when people sit around a bar and drink shots, the talk gets outrageous and the more alcohol is consumed, the more crazy it gets. I think that's how the Green New Deal came to pass. A bunch of progs drinking box wine and peyote had a bad reaction to the combination.
Kimberly Stossel (WSJ) By the end of the Green New Deal resolution (and accompanying fact sheet) I was laughing so hard I nearly cried. If a bunch of GOPers plotted to forge a fake Democratic bill showing how bonkers the party is, they could not have done a better job. It is beautiful. #GreenNewDeal
Eliminating air travel was a fun development that didn't fly with the Hawiians. Sen Mazie Hirono (D-HI) on Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal & trying to eliminate air air travel. “That would be pretty hard for Hawaii.” No problem, if you want to see Hawaii, take a sail boat.

In fact much of the Green New Deal works to eliminate industrial society by taking things back to the 1800's, all the while, establishing a socialist state with strict government control on everything. In exchange for giving up your freedom, they'll "take care of you". And that always works out, doesn't it?

How good is the Green Deal? Spartacus Booker supports it. That sealed it for me.

The Progressive Movement 

In order for the progressive movement to work, everything you do needs to be controlled and managed by government. Everything you buy needs to be measured and metered to insure that it meets with the current standard of political correctness. All law is fungible, which means that the "living Constitution" needs to change with the whim of the day. And ignorance of the current trend (which is the law) is no excuse. Fortunately, you can go to a re-education camp and can be taught to love Big Brother, if you're not too old. If you're old, which means unproductive as the State views it, you fall into the 'death panel' category as the ObamaCare plan envisioned it. Denial of medication, denial of care until you die. Then you can be cremated and somebody else can live in the government apartment where you once resided.
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot
stamping on a human face - forever." (Orwell)
Slaves are never armed by their masters, their betters. So you must be disarmed. If history teaches nothing else (Wounded Knee), you can't retain the ability to defend yourself. If you retain that capacity, the government (which loves the little people like you) must neutralize you, because you can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

Example: It's very progressive to wear a Che shirt in honor of a mass murderer. It's not progressive to wear a shirt that says, "Make America Great".

And now for the comic relief - 

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Trump!

This blog is witness to my approval of both candidate Trump and President Trump. I was not a Never Trumper or a RINO. Conservatives felt that he was not conservative enough, but President Trump never was a conservative. He truly wanted/wants to make America great again and followed an agenda that would set many issues to right: defending the second amendment, trade imbalance, rebuilding the military, reversing the Obama Agenda in its entirety, building a wall and so forth. If you've read this blog before, you know that it's a MUCH longer list and I won't belabor the issue in detail.

The Trump Presidency has branded the president as pro-America, lower taxes, and protecting the nation (as we defeat ISIS, engage North Korea diplomatically rather than militarily, etc). His followers, likewise, are people with an American agenda, to benefit all Americans, rather than small knots of people with an axe to grind (the grievances), whether it be the weather, race, sexual preference, or that want to kill babies at the moment of birth.

I don't often lift quotes and drop them onto my blog, but I liked what the author said at the conclusion of a larger article about President Trump. (link)
Donald Trump’s greatest achievement may be the total annihilation of the Democratic Party in its present mutated and degraded form. The Democrats have been allowed to slither to their present state of moral degradation with the witless and spineless collaboration of look-alike Republicans who are easy to defeat, like McCain and Romney, or can be survived, like Reagan and the Bushes, or destroyed, like Nixon. 
Faced with a Trump they could not defeat and cannot destroy, Democrats appear to be entering a frenzy of primal extremism. If the Democrats go to the voters next year as the party of infanticide, open borders, a 70 percent top personal income tax rate, and the practical abolition of private health care, they will vanish more quickly, and with less distinction, than the Whigs, who at least had serious leaders like Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln before their party imploded. This thronging riff-raff of Democratic presidential aspirants couldn’t lead the country across Washington’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, and won’t get an invitation to try.
TRUMP!

Friday, February 8, 2019

Dinner Guests

I'm getting ready to leave the high country to go and rake in the shekels to keep the machine fueled and oiled. I can only sit in my chair and talk on the phone so much.

I sat in my dining room eating chicken, ranch beans, a couple biscuits and potato salad (eating with LL) and the team showed up.

I couldn't get all of them framed in one cell phone shot and I was too lazy to do more than raise my cell phone up and snap a picture of the elk. So there you have it. There were eleven elk in this particular mini-herd.

There are more elk than deer in the area of the White Wolf Mine. The one in the forefront is a yearling, and I couldn't tell whether it was a bull or a cow. The rest are juvenile females or adult cows. Not a bull in the bunch. They're a subset of a herd of about forty that gather and break up, and gather that roam the immediate area. Elk are insolent any time except during elk season (when they're humble). Sometimes I have to honk the horn to get them to move. Bulls in rut can be a problem. At other times, they grudgingly move.

No, I didn't think to share my bounty with the elk in their shaggy winter coats. They can find their own supper.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

The Look


A series of photos of a jaguar diving for food under water. Note the intensity and the sincerity displayed by the jaguar. Some would say that it looks like John C. eating at a Waffle House, or Old NFO taking on a steak. We know that Fredd looks something like that as he tears into his Aunt Sally's banquets. WSF getting cut off in traffic - definitely.

LSP's dog (Blue Avenger) looks a lot like that if you are eating a fried cherry pie near him and not sharing. He did savage a UPS driver as I recall (or was it a FedEx driver?) who entered his turf.

I had a girlfriend once, a long time ago that had the same look as the jaguar. Yeah. I know... Kipling said it, "The Female of the Species is Deadlier than the Male." Ex-girlfriends and wives frequently are said to have the look.

The only state in the US that has jaguar populations living in the wild is Arizona. They are said to roam up in the high country near where I live but I have yet to see sign of them. There are not a lot and though they have territories, they can also be nomadic. I can't imagine strangling one to death if it attacked me. (referring to the Colorado runner who allegedly strangled the cougar)



What makes you look like the jaguar (above)?


Views

Elizabeth Warren

She thinks that she can be president, but I think that star is setting on one (former) Native American. Oh, she'll be there on the stage with the other 46 people who are seeking the Democrat Party nomination. Wild horses could not keep her from the pulpit as she spew her views. But racial appropriation has become an issue. And everyone now knows that she's a fake Indian.

It was a good run. People gave her jobs and she made a lot of money on the back of that Indian legend. But now she's a sideshow attraction and isn't ready for prime time.

She's many moons old, she's vile in so many ways, and the wants to be leader of the free world.

Karma's a Cold Mistress

And while I muse about how karma ran over Senator Warren's dogma, here in the early days of the Year of the Pig, isn't it interesting how some of the progressives are self-destructing?

All the fun that they thought they'd have advocating killing babies, which is very politically correct these days, seems to have run a little wrong.

I know, "my body-my choice", but I think that killing a baby as it's being born healthy and full term, for fun and profit, strikes most Americans as being wrong. Don't get me wrong, the research labs will be buying up all those dead baby bodies to experiment on and I'm sure that they'll pay top dollar. Getting paid for dead baby bodies is very progressive. Just ask Planned Parenthood.


Tuesday, February 5, 2019

How Fast can you Run?

Lions Will Eat You


(Mauling) I'm guessing this runner in Colorado who was attacked by a mountain lion had a handgun and killed it that way. Otherwise, I suspect that it would be challenging to kill a healthy young lion that was in the process of killing you.

You wouldn't see the press justifying carrying a handgun for self defense, would you? It's just not progressive. Better to be eaten by a lion. I'm sure that there are freaks out there would side with the lion...unless their child was being eaten. Then again, it's progressive to kill babies, so maybe not. I haven't seen parents taking kids to the zoo and tossing them into lion cages - while progressive onlookers cheer the carnage. But nothing would surprise me these days. (yes, LSP, there was that uncomfortable situation where Harambe ended up being killed.)

Here at the White Wolf Mine there are different carry options when it come to cartridges from .22 LR to .460 S&W. The most common lion deterrents are the Ruger Super Redhawk in .454 Casull and the Glock 21 (.45 ACP). Before you 1911 purists start blaggarding the Glock 21, this is a Gen 1, with significant modifications to tune it to fire +P and +P+ ammunition, which I prefer when we're talking war shots. There is also a custom Lone Wolf barrel, threaded for whatever. You will note that it does NOT have silencer (hush puppy) sights mounted on it. 

Anyway, where are there large predators in the area (bear and lion in particular, but there are wolves), an investment in an appropriate firearm is called for. I carried these firearms primarily to defeat human targets, but up here we do have significant animal predators as well. These are heavy firearms, not recommended for runners. However, my suggestion to any runner is to try and carry something that will allow you a one-shot kill as opposed to a firearm/cartridge combo that require you to hit the target repeatedly to render it safe.


Happy New Year (Year of the Pig)


In Asia

Yes, today marks the beginning of the Year of the Pig in Asia, and you should celebrate by eating bacon for breakfast (or maybe bacon and sausage in a breakfast burrito!). It's said to ward off Muslims, who are far more prevalent than vampires. I think that I'm going to start off the year right and have carnitas tacos for lunch right on the heels of the breakfast burrito. How about THAT?

People will be burning hell money, setting off fireworks and doing all of the things that they do to to usher in the Pig. I've been in Asia during new years celebrations. In some places, it's a social deal. In others, people cower in their homes since it's also the Day of the Dead.

You should be able to eat as much and not gain weight during the Year of the Pig - if the universe was just... yeah, right.

greetings from Tibet

Closer to Home

Today also marks the end of the struggle that I've had with the company that contracted to paint the inside of the hovel.

This is how the square footage works out: single family dwelling: 3,866 square feet; garage/work shop: 1,470 square feet; covered deck: 577 square feet, for a total of 5,913 square feet. Roughly 550 square meters. Lots of paint.

The painting contractor walked off the job. So I went against his bond. The inspector from the insurance company came out and found in my favor, a month ago. The painter had until today to finish the job or the insurance company would revoke the bond and pay me. I was first in line. I understand that there are a score of people with claims in line behind me. With the $$,$$$ back in hand, I can finally get the painting finished.  The general contractor paid the painter, in full, up front, which is another story all together.

There was one coat of paint sprayed on, not well applied, and there hasn't been paint on floorboards, door casings, the walls and ceilings weren't repainted. The paint contractor in question was the largest in the area. (not anymore) The lack of paint has meant that I can't move all of my stuff from the garage to the house. I could but it would be in the way and I don't want it to be damaged in the process. 

It's too cold for the paint to stick on the outside of the shack. I must wait for Spring to get that part of this ordeal finished. I think that I have mentioned that I would NEVER build a custom home again. Absolutely never. WAY past time, WAY over budget, and a continual hassle. (are you hearing me, Fredd?) I still have workmen doing this and that inside the house every day to get things right. Yes, there is some light at the end of the tunnel and you'll say that it is worth the effort then. But this BS has been going on for two years of my life and I don't have two years to waste.

TV - as of yesterday, the TV went in over the fire place in the great room. It's not hooked up to anything yet, but there is a TV.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Are UFO's a Threat?

Technically if it's moving through the air and you can't tell what it is, I suspect that it's some sort of threat. Particularly if it lands on you.

(Arizona UFO Sightings on-line) There are over three times more UFO sightings in California than there are in Arizona, which would make sense when you consider that they continually land reinforcements (who vote) in San Francisco to try and keep Pelosi in office. The San Francisco connection can't be over-emphasized, anal probing being one of the alien's big claims to fame and all.

None of the Arizona sightings were in the area where I live, which leads me to hypothesize that their base could be around here and they dart out in different directions. The base would likely be in a cave, wouldn't it? I mean, it's not there, advertised on Google Earth is it. The Discovery Channel Telescope is located near me. Coincidence? I think not. They research us and we research them.

Maybe they have genetically altered abominable snowmen (big foot --  you see where I'm headed, don't you?) and they guard the secret cave that leads to the hollow Earth where they hatch their diabolical plots.

I'm sure that they're Hillary Clinton supporters. If you look at the picture above, they look just like the people who show up at Clinton rallies. The mind control device that the freak (some say genetically altered mutant) Ocassio-Cortez used had to come from somewhere. Ockham's Razor suggests that the most likely source would be extra-terrestrial in its implications.

How can you say that THEY are not a problem, not a threat?

A Pause for the Cause




Sunday, February 3, 2019

In Arizona (a Sunday Sermonette)

The observations of a refugee from California

Juvenile bald eagle (left) Adult (right)
(1) Eagles are nesting in the area. The juvenile bald eagles, or eaglets are born a light gray and turn brown in color. It isn’t until they are 4 – 5 years old that the iconic white head and tail feathers appear. Bald eagles can live to be 35 years old or more. (photo right)

(2) Workmen show up to saw, paint, pour concrete and adjust this or that. At least half are open carry with the Colt 1911 being the preferred weapon, though there are Sigs, Glocks, etc. The other half are CCW. None of the workmen are illegal aliens.

(3) Waitresses bring plastic drinking straws. They don't mutter under your breath when you ask for one and speak to co-workers about the angry old man who demanded to murder the planet, sitting over in booth 7.

(4) Mama white tail deer (Joey and Elmer's mother) doesn't have a name. I just refer to her as "Mom". (photo below) She and her family stay in a relatively small area about half a mile on a side if it was a box. They are constantly being hunted by the mountain lions. More on the lions below.

A dash cam is nice, but you don't see other cars on the road much. You do need a camera for wildlife.

Mom
Lion, on the move.




















(5) A Trump hat is a sign of enlightenment (at least in the part of AZ where I live) and people high-five you when they see you wearing one. Both the hat wearers and the high-fivers wear Colt 1911's in quickdraw holsters. They have AR-15's, Marlin 45-70 lever actions and shotguns loaded with rifled slugs in their pick-up trucks. None of them think much of the people inside the Washington DC Beltway. A surprising number of them are retired USAF fighter pilots.

(6) People still offer to give me a cat. I have cats. They're outdoor cats. And if they catch me unaware, they will eat my entrails while I'm still living. Fortunately they have a taste for venison. Speaking of which, I'm worried about Judy (doe mule deer) who hasn't been seen for a couple of weeks now. She's getting up in years and the lions - are cats, who are getting ready to give birth, which makes them hungry cats.

(7) Typhus is not a concern. Neither is bubonic plague. Both are carried by rats, which abound in the inner cities these days where residents cater to panhandlers and bums and encourage medieval diseases to return. (more from CW at Daily Timewaster). If there was an abundance of rats, the bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, eagles, hawks, owls and the wolves that have been reintroduced to the area here would eat them. That's how it's supposed to work, and it may not sound progressive to you if you're living in your mom's home, unemployed, wearing a onesie and drinking coco. You need to watch "Willard" (film).

(8) I'm an hour drive in any of four directions from 'civilization'. That means that I need to have a shopping list when I go into town for supplies. I have propane heat and electricity, but I have been chopping and splitting wood for next winter. The wood needs to season before I can burn it properly. 

(9) People call this place God's Country when I speak to them about it. I suggest to you that it's more of man's proper place in the world. I am not a hunter gatherer and I do benefit from civilization, but I am far removed from traffic jams, homeless bums and junkies, and troubled Muslims (if you recall, they built a mosque down the street from my house in California, prompting the early notions of CALEXIT). There are eagles outside in the trees and there is the occasional lion looking to eat Joey or Elmer (white tail deer yearlings).

(10) I admit that I live in a pine forrest and that it can burn down. My house was nearly taken by a fire last summer while under construction. There's always a serpent in Eden.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Brownie Points in the Worker's Paradise

I have joked in the past on how people need to do odd and disgusting things to receive points from progressives. The points have no cash value, of course, but it makes you more of a prog. China has taken this to heart and has created a social credit system which will be in place by 2020. If you think of it in terms of brownie points, it makes more sense.

I know that this big brother move will appeal to the Maoists in Congress. Stand by.

The national government will reward or punish citizens based on their scores. Simply reading this blog would, for example, crash your social credit scores. The Chinese explain that it's a lot like a financial credit score, except that you are watched and scored based on your political correctness. As you rise in social standing, you're not held to the same standard that other people are. For example, if you're the child of a Politburo member, there are different rules for you - as you'd expect. Apparatchiki get special treatment and forgiveness for blunders.
The "social credit system," first announced in 2014, aims to reinforce the idea that "keeping trust is glorious and breaking trust is disgraceful," according to a government document
The exact methodology is a secret — but examples of infractions include bad driving, smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games and criticizing the national government.

Punishments include: 

Banning you from travel on public transportation. No airplane ride, or train ride for you.
Nine million people with low scores have been blocked from buying tickets for domestic flights, Channel News Asia reported in March, citing official statistics. 
Throttling down your internet speeds.

According to Foreign Policy, credit systems monitor whether people pay bills on time, much like financial credit trackers — but also ascribe a moral dimension. If you miss a bill, you're bad, loss of points. Is there an appeal? No. The government is not wrong. 

Banning you or your family members from attending good schools.
In July, a Chinese university denied an incoming student his spot because the student's father had a bad social credit score. 
Denying good jobs.

Getting you into or keeping you out of good hotels.
An unidentified woman in Beijing also told the BBC in 2015 that she was able to book a hotel without having to pay a cash deposit because she had a good score. 
Getting your dog taken away.
The eastern Chinese city of Jinan started enforcing a social credit system for dog owners in 2017, whereby pet owners get points deducted if the dog is walked without a leash or causes public disturbances. 
Those who lost all their points had their dogs confiscated and had to take a test on regulations required for pet ownership. 
Naming and shaming A  2016 government notice encourages companies to consult the blacklist before hiring people or giving them contracts. 
A prototype blacklist already exists, and has been used to punish people.


Thursday, January 31, 2019

Ranch and Vortex Report


It's 51 degrees at 5:00 pm at the White Wolf Mine - 7,400 ft of altitude on Arizona's Mogollon Rim. The Polar Vortexes have not dipped to this latitude. 

The Colorado Plateau, which begins at the White Wolf Mine and runs all the way north into Colorado and Utah is relatively flat with a few exceptions. Mt. Butler (near Flagstaff, AZ), an extinct volcano juts up from the plateau as do other features. People ski up there but I don't waste my money looking fabulous at the lodge, in front of the fire wearing ski clothes. I do drive around in my 4x4, but out here, there's nobody to look cool for. It's not a bad thing. Not a California thing at all.

Elmer and Joey, two twin white tail deer spike bucks were down the road from the place earlier and split when the rig turned in their direction. They're curious, and skittish, but they hang out in the same area every day. I haven't seen Judy (older mule deer doe) lately and I'm hoping that the lions didn't drag her down. 

Moqui Ridge (left) is south of me and it looked good this morning...chilly, but good. Chilly to me is anything that requires me to wear more than a t-shirt to be comfortable. So in January it's chilly most of the time up here. And I'm fine without the Polar Vortex reminding me that the new ice age is coming. 

Sedona

If you're a tourist in the area you will likely be drawn to Sedona, Arizona. I looked hard at Sedona but there are too many tourists. I think that Oprah has a house there. I don't hate Oprah, but you know, it's like a skull and crossbones on a map to me. And speaking of maps, and chakras (whatever those are) and non-polar vortexes, we have a lot of them in the area. There may even be one over the White Wolf Mine and I don't know it.

The map illustrates the whole vortex issue graphically. I can't make heads or tails of it, but people travel a long way to experience the chakras, and chant or bark at the Moon while eating tofu and swilling down a $15 dollar cup of mud from Starbucks.

Make of these famous vortexes what you will, but they don't freeze your ass off. It's Arizona, after all.




Schultz?

Starbuck's CEO Howard Schulz announced his intentions to run for the office of President of the United States as an independent in 2020. I've been waiting to see if there was more, if another shoe would drop. As nearly as I can tell, he's serious.

His pitch will be that both parties are broken and that voters need to reach out beyond traditional party politics to toss him into the Oval Office. He will have an appeal to some voters and many feel that his presence in the race will split the Democrat vote. Progressives point out that Schultz is a male, he's white, he's rich, he's a corporate fat cat and his ancestors may have owned slaves. Thus he's not desirable to them. Them meaning the Ocasio-Cortez faction of the Party - the wing nuts. Schultz will push the Democrats further left than they may have intended to be: (1) Make all healthcare like the VA; (2) $20/hr minimum wage; (3) forgive all student debt; (4) Eliminate gasoline as a means of vehicular propulsion; (5) Turn the US into Venezuela; (6) Kill all babies.

There are a lot of Democrats who don't think that those six things are good for America - advantage: Schultz, who can self-fund a campaign (as can Bloomberg).

Schultz running between Poke-a-haunt-us, Beto, Sanders, Hillary, Harris, Spartacus, Biden, Bloomberg, and a dozen more wouldn't get the coverage his ego demands. And his chances of beating the Democrat party candidate, running left of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, are not bad.

It might even cause Bloomberg (too rich, too white, too Jewish) to run as an independent, further splitting the Democrat vote.

With a fragmented left, the clear winner would be Donald J. Trump, incumbent Republican. (MAGA)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Threat Assessment

Context and Precedence: When I was younger, I'd read the Worldwide Threat Assessment with great interest. It portended a Soviet Union that would overwhelm the planet, (without predicting the total collapse of the USSR). I drank the Kool Aid deep as I read and it prompted me to enter a career in government service.

The new Worldwide Threat Assessment is out

The new Assessment offers a dark and forbidding view of the world around the USA. Every continent on earth is hostile to the US. Every multinational issue poses a threat. And yet, the rest of the world knows there still is no safer haven for investment. They all still put their money in the USA. The 'full faith and credit of the United States' still lures them in. 

The portion on the North Korean missile and nuclear programs makes short shrift of a year without provocations, nuclear tests or long-range missile launches. Few, if any, predicted such a year. Prudence counsels that negative judgments about North Korea might have profited from greater circumspection. Yes, Fat Kim still wants to have a Korean Peninsula under his complete power, but the genie is out of the bottle. Listening to Western radio stations is still punishable by death in North Korea, but the insidious nature of freedom is a tough nut for the Norks to crack forever. 

Back to the Assessment. There is a lot that's not in it. Much is not considered in their dire predictions (that justify even greater defense spending). Great powers still shape the international environment and America (and Canada) have the largest energy reserves on the planet. The balance of trade with China is coming into genuine balance, ISIS no longer holds territory, and Iran is on the brink of internal collapse as the Ayatollah holds onto power with his dirty, unclipped fingernails. 

Global cooling is emerging as a threat but we can do little more about that than we can about global warming. The developing world pollutes at an unprecedented pace, but that might not have much to do with the climate. 

America's greatest enemy is America. We can't secure our Southern Border, many want to scrap the system that made us the envy of the world, and some can't figure out which bathroom to use. Universities don't seem to be doing much but to reinforce that confusion. The reliability of the FBI is continually called into question as their participation in reaffirming and supporting the Deep State is revealed, as the onion's layers are peeled back.

The problem with socialism is that you can vote your way into it but you need to shoot your way out of it.

I Should Be Ashamed


Somebody needs to call Robert S. Mueller III. During the Obama years, there was a number you could call at the White House and denounce people. It was admittedly easier and far more institutional. I denounced a number of people including myself. (I was highly offended that nobody had denounced me to Obama, so took the bit between my teeth and did it.)

I know, "get to the point, LL". I'm getting there.

Yesterday, I inadvertently put Russian dressing on a salad, not realizing at the time the national security risk it posed. What if everyone did that? It would be a crisis easily as large as global warming. I'm sure that the FBI will have added to the (extensive) file on me for that one. To make things worse, there were only white and Asian people in the restaurant when I did it. The only two groups who don't matter. How racially insensitive is that? I wasn't going to mention it, but a Mexican did bus the dishes. Likely an illegal alien. I left my ICE hat out in the car. Another blown opportunity.

Italian dressing is out because Italians are white Europeans, and even though they brought the world pizza, and Columbus discovered the New World, they are not politically correct. If you're Italian and you're offended by my statement, you're white, nobody cares. I think that if I stick to organic Green Goddess dressing, I might be numbered among the chosen.

Back in the days of the USSR when they were "the enemy", the progressive left loved them. When the Russians put the failed communist system aside, abandoned atheism and re-established themselves as a Christian nation, all the love vanished. However, there is no such thing as USSR dressing, far as I know. In fact, I think that it was all boiled potatoes and boiled cabbage on weekends back in those days when they were starving, happy Bolsheviks. Borsht and course black bread was for the apparatchiki. No salad.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Grind the Week Out

Global Warming isn't New


And neither is global cooling. The Earth has been much warmer and the Earth has been much cooler, all before man set foot on the planet.

The attached newspaper from 1922 declares that the threat of global warming and arctic melting is very real. Who am I to dispute the Anchorage Daily Times? (H/T John D)

If the Arctic became a temperate zone back in 1922, no tax would have been necessary to melt the ice today. Or to keep the ice from melting (as you please). Was it a hoax then, or is it a hoax now? Or does the climate vary every year without a lot of help from mankind, or womynkind, or whatever?

Hanging with Hugo

Barack Obama got along well enough with Hugo Chavez, architect of Venezuela's turn to socialism. You'll note that Maduro, the current ex-president of Venezuela is present in the background.

Then again, Barack got on well with the Castro Family as well. They had a great deal in common. Obama's grandparents and his mother were both communists, as was his 'Uncle' Frank Marshall Davis (his mother's love interest). Isn't it interesting how the corrupt, lying, smug, sly, mainstream media dodged all of that for eight years?

Hillary would have left Venezuela alone to their communist devices if there had been money in it for her, but, alas, she never ascended to the presidency as she intended. So we will never really know. Then again, she's running for the presidency a third time. Hillary will need some sort of trick slogan and "Make America into Venezuela" won't work because they're on the road to capitalism. One day soon, Venezuelan currency will be worth more than toilet paper. Donald J. Trump replaced the feckless, loser, Obama -- and Hugo is in hell, so there IS justice.

Embracing Victims

I don't think that anybody is a bigger victim than Elizabeth (poke-a-haunt-us) Warren D-MA. She ticks off all of the boxes. Broke, female, Indian, and presidential hopeful.

Ok, I understand Ted Kennedy. He was the dim bulb in the Kennedy family but he was still a Kennedy and Massachusetts loved him for it. He was a legacy bootlegger. I don't understand their capacity to return Elizabeth Warren to the legislature.

I have kid's in-laws from Boston - Southy types. I've asked them. They don't understand and they're Democrats after a fashion. They vote Democrat because the ward bosses tell them to. They're union people and there is a legacy vote. They didn't vote for the fake Indian. And they don't think that Bruce Jenner should be the woman of the year. And they think that Michelle Obama could be man of the year. (They were with Joan Rivers on that - shortly before her untimely death)

Measles

The USA eradicated Rubella because of inoculations of children in the 1960's. Measles was almost like small pox - an unknown thing. Almost until now.


Washington State Governor Declares State Of 
Emergency In All Counties Due To Measles Outbreak

Ah, it's back.

We don't know who patient zero is, but I'll wager LSP's fighting monkey, Mike_C's concealed carry handgun and John Derva's 30/40 Krag Jorgensen, and the latest Jim Curtis novel, that it's an illegal immigrant from Mexico. There are a lot of narcos from Michoacan and Guerrero who live in Washington State. Don't ask me why but they do. What about smallpox? When is the last time you were inoculated against smallpox? What about bubonic plague? All of those communicable diseases are alive and well in the Third World -- those and many more. Legal immigration provides for a logical, systematic way of insuring that those who come here don't bring unwelcome diseases with them.

Is it racist for me to write this? Oh, I'm sure somebody thinks that it is. I hope that the progs all catch these diseases in series so that they can show us all how you survive diseases such as smallpox and plague with a smile on your face. Or will they hide behind their high walls, and order their guards to shoot any plague victim shuffling up to the gates? Come on, Pelosi, Warren, Hillary and Cortez, embrace leprosy. 

Monday's Muse

The Polar Vortex

(link) It's coming and it's elegant proof of climate change and the melting ice caps. Except that they're not melting - yet. Nor are polar bears extinct and that extinction event was scheduled for 2017. "Don't be disappointed, they'll be extinct soon enough," climate scientists who are funded by global warming activists assure us.

So if you're impacted by the Polar Vortex, the way out for you is to pay more taxes. I'm thinking of setting up a go-fund-me page to help fight the scourge of global warming. In the mean time, you can always send me cash, gold or silver coin. There are no middle men at the White Wolf Mine Climate Fund. 100% of your money will go directly to speed my personal efforts to save the planet, while there is still time. And some of you say that I'm not a giver?

Killing Babies

I know that you've read about the new law in New York that allows you to kill your unborn child right up to the moment of birth. Progressives call it "choice".

Of course, there are forms of retroactive birth control that could be administered as a form of choice as well. The liberals (none of whom are armed) are a bit more disturbed about that sort of legal doctrine.

How is killing a baby that is viable outside of the womb not homicide? (Murder by definition is a subset of homicide that requires premeditation, and other circumstances come into play as well)

Venezuela 

The legitimate government of Venezuela, led by the Venezuelan National Assembly is open for business today, while the communists feel that they've been hoodwinked by an American engineered coup. The communists control the army, the navy (such as it is) and the air force (out dated junk). They also control the police because they control the money looted from the treasury.

There are no American marines patrolling the streets (the way that they do the streets of heaven) and in point of fact, there is no visible American presence. The Russians are pensive. Will Maduro take the offer and flee to Moscow to live in a shabby apartment (next door to Snowden) with five cases of Stoli to keep him company? Will the Russians be allowed to keep their investment in a free Venezuela?

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Notes from Caracas (Sunday Sermonette)


Context and Precedence BBC News here.

Venezuela has a new president according to thirty-one (maybe more as I type) countries who recognize Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez (35 yrs old), Leader of the Venezuelan Popular Will Party and President of the National Assembly of Venezuela since 5 January 2019. 
"I swear to formally assume the national executive powers as acting president," Juan Guaidó told cheering crowds of protesters last Wednesday. Minutes later, US President Donald Trump recognised the 35-year-old as the country's interim leader.
It's as if President Trump knew the announcement was coming. Like magic?

Juan Gerardo Guaidó has been quoted as saying that he wants to make Venezuela great again. We know how he feels. Imagine if Hillary was running the USA?

President Maduro, the now illegitimate ruler of Venezuela (according to the US) did not agree with President Trump and gave American diplomats 72 hours to leave the country...or else. The Russians got together with Maduro and told him what would be coming if he assaulted the US Embassy (sovereign US soil) and Maduro reversed himself. The Americans can stay for now. The idea of the US yachting across the Caribbean with a fleet, a Marine division, a few air wings and supporting forces even as the 82nd Airborne Division holds the airport...and a lot of cargo planes land with a lot of tanks didn't appeal to Maduro. 

Saddam Hussein just before they dropped him.
The Russian ambassador to Venezuela is said to have showed him photos of Saddam Hussein, Colonel (for life) Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi, and Osama bin Laden, none of whom ended well.


Colonel Gaddafi, moments before his death.

The Popular Will Party is getting its act together as it tries to cobble together a response to the Venezuelan Army and the police, who remain loyal to (now ex-) President Maduro.

There are a number of scenarios. 

(#1) Ex-President Maduro rallies the troops and kills Juan Gerardo Guaidó Márquez in a junta to 'oust' the recognized president of Venezuela. Cause and effect would likely see the US rising to support the legitimate government (see Colonel Gaddafi, right). 

(#2) The Russians send troops to support Maduro... but Putin isn't that stupid. It's not the 1960's and Venezuela isn't Cuba. President Trump isn't the feckless community agitator - Obama.

(#3) Maduro accepts the offer from the US and goes into exile in Russia with enough money to keep him in hookers, vodka and cigars until he shuffles off his mortal coil. The supporters he leaves behind are tried for their crimes. Many are executed.

No matter how it plays out, the misery in Venezuela is addressed, balance is restored and the Venezuelans are able to make Venezuela great again.

Your sermonette: Don't fear the reaper.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Brief Review

Since I have to hit the road to pay some bills, I thought that I'd leave you with a few thoughts about what's going on outside of the 24 hour news cycle (for the most part).

US/North Korea Summit

On 18 January, President Trump met with North Korean senior advisor Kim Yong Chol at the White House about a second summit. The second summit will be held in late February, with the date and the location yet to be announced. Press services reported that US and North Korean teams completed three days of intense talks on denuclearization in Stockholm, Sweden.

Sensationalism involving North Korea has been noted on an ongoing basis, particularly as it relates to their missile bases. I advise caution when you hear of some of these claims as set forth below. It's how these groups keep their funding.

The Beyond Parallel program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies once again claims it has discovered another North Korean missile base complex and posted annotated images of the various features at the complex. 

This is the group that accused North Korea of building “secret” missile facilities that are “undeclared” and “undisclosed” on 12 November 2018. It made identical accusations about the facility identified as Sino-ri and published them on 21 January. 

The annotated imagery of Sino-ri missile complex is informative and useful. The base hosts Nodong medium range ballistic missiles which can reach Japan. These are liquid-fueled and nuclear capable, but are older technology, developed from the Scud short range ballistic missile program.

The writeup persists in using the terms “secret” and “undeclared” and “undisclosed” to describe the facility. The adjectives slant the narrative by implying that North Korea is deceiving the US and that the US negotiations are failing. It has no requirement to inform the US about any military facilities. The complexes reported thus far may have begun construction when Kim Jong Un was a teenager.

North Korea is the most secretive state on earth. It is always engaged in deception at some level for a wide range of audiences and purposes. North Korean military engineers know how to make a facility so that it is not detectable by classified intelligence satellites. Aside from being a nation of miners, the leaders had Soviet assistance in their national maskirovka programs.

The North Koreans have access to commercial satellite imagery, the same as anyone else who can afford to buy it. If a commercial satellite detected the facility, it was never secret. Sino-ri is not a new missile base. Its missiles achieved initial operational capability by 1994.
As for the state of the US relationship with North Korea, the very idea of a relationship that involves exchanges of letters between the heads of government is almost astonishing in light of the condition of hostility that prevailed at the end of 2017. US, south Korean and North Korean forces were preparing for war. Talking is always better than shooting missiles and detonating nuclear weapons.  
The talks might go nowhere, but the expectation of a speedier process misjudges the enormity of the changes that Kim Jong Un has initiated. It strikes us as simplistic to think that attitudes developed from 70 years of indoctrination to instill hatred and suspicion of the US could flip-flop in less than a year. 
Syria-Israel

On 21 January, Prime Minister Netanyahu affirmed that Israel’s air strikes on Syria mainly targeted Iranian military positions or installations.
Netanyahu said, “We are operating both against Iran and against the Syrian forces that are abetting the Iranian aggression…We will strike at anyone who tries to harm us. Whoever threatens to eliminate us, bears full responsibility.”
Attacks on two consecutive days. On Sunday, 20 January, the Israeli combat aircraft attacked positions in Syria in retaliation for a rocket attack on the Golan Heights. Syria claimed it repelled these attacks.
On 21 January, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) made a statement that “The IDF is currently striking Iranian Quds targets in Syrian territory…. The IDF warns the Syrian Armed Forces against attempting to harm Israeli territory or forces.” The Israeli raids attacked a training camp, munitions storage depots and a site near Damascus International Airport.
This is the second week in which Israel officially announced its air attacks, breaking a longstanding policy of official silence. It is also the second week in which the Syrians failed to protect the Iranian sites. This time they also failed to defend themselves.

Prime Minister Netanyahu last week acknowledged an Israeli attack on what he called an Iranian arms cache in Syria, where Tehran provides Damascus with vital support. He told the cabinet Israel had carried out “hundreds” of attacks over the past years of Syria’s war to curtail Iran and Lebanese Hizballah.

Facing Knesset elections on 9 April, Prime Minister Netanyahu needs to maintain the perception that he is tough on Iran and other enemies. Nevertheless, the overall effect of Israeli air raids is not clear in that the raids appear to be more frequent. That implies that they are not stopping the Iranians from consolidating their position in Syria.

Iran

On 21 January, General Aziz Nasirzadeh (commander of the Iranian Air Force), said that Iran will “eliminate Israel from the Earth” in a fiery statement to the Young Journalist Club, a website supervised by state television.
“The young people are impatient and fully ready to battle the Zionist regime and make them vanish from the Earth,” Nasirzadeh said. “Our next generation with the knowledge necessary to learn their strengths are the promised ones who will destroy Israel.”
It's necessary for many of the regimes in the world to have an enemy. Even the US is guilty of that because if there is not the threat of imminent attack, how could the vast military industrial complex justify its existence? Iran blames the US and Israel for its woes at home, rampant unemployment, decaying infrastructure and the unavailability of a number of common household items. Without the enemy at hand, and the fear mongering that goes into that, the Ayatollahs couldn't keep control.

Russia-Ukraine

(Moscow Times) Russian President Vladimir Putin has granted access to specialists from Germany and France to monitor the Kerch Strait, according to statements by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Lavrov said German Chancellor Angela Merkel had asked Putin for permission to send German specialists to the strait "over a month ago" and later requested for French observers to join the mission.

A German diplomat said last week that the passage of ships in the Kerch Strait is "currently open" and that "this has been confirmed by all sides".

The parties appear to be in no hurry to establish the monitoring mission, but the Russian move undermines the alarmist statements about Russian intentions by Ukrainian President Poroshenko.

The fire in the Kerch Strait on 21 January was an accident involving commercial ships transferring fuel. 

Russia has made no move to release the three Ukrainian naval vessels or their crews which have been in Russian custody since 25 November.

The Ukrainians want to draw others (with their money and soldiers) into their conflict with Russia. Though the US has sent funds and defensive weapons in limited amounts, this is a no-win deal for the US and President Trump is smart enough to know that - as do European leaders.

France

The Yellow Vests protested again. On 19 January, around 84,000 "Yellow Vest" demonstrators marched in Paris and other French cities. That was the 10th straight weekend of anti-government protests. In Paris, the police pegged number of protestors at about 7,000, 1,000 fewer than last weekend.

The protests are still large, but they appear to have become less violent. As yet, the protest movement has not accepted overtures for talks with President Macron’s government.