sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

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. 


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.


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)


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)


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. 

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.


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.


(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.


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.

Monday, January 21, 2019

What's in a Hat?

Is the MAGA hat the new 'white hood of the KKK'? Progs think that it is. Is there any objective proof of that? No, not one shred, but if you're a prog, it's enough that YOU think it's true to make it true.

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) tweeted Sunday morning that he was “calling for a total and complete shutdown of teenagers wearing MAGA hats until we can figure out what is going on. They seem to be poisoning young minds.” Yarmuth then tried to walk his statement back, saying that he was only joking. However, I did not see a photo of Yarmuth wearing a Make America Great Again hat.

There are a lot of people on the left who don't want to see America made great again.  That is obvious.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Wolf Moon

I'm sitting here, looking out the window of the hovel at the rising Wolf Moon, waiting for the total eclipse, listening to Pink Floyd, Warren Zevon and Credence Clearwater

As the moon rises, the wolf begins to eat it, until the Moon is gone - then the wolf craps it out. That's the scientific explanation and I'm going with it.

The wolf hasn't begun to feed yet, and the fare at the White Wolf Mine was a humble tuna sandwich and chips washed down with a Gatorade. There's a fruit cup (Dole mixed fruit in cherry juice) with my name on it for desert.

As with so many portents in the sky, people attach magical meaning to the blood moon and to the eclipse. I've heard that after this lunar eclipse ends, the world will know peace and nobody will fear the reaper anymore. 

People believe what they will but I expect that the world will be just as good and bad when I awaken to a Monday as it was when I went to sleep.

Or maybe God will call the wicked home and when I awaken, almost all of Congress will be dead.

Now that would be something, wouldn't it?

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Hillary Clinton

She's not a felon because nobody has the guts to take on the Clintons, who are reputed to have a very deep book on political foes. And if you're in their way and gentle coercion and blackmail won't work, they have you killed. It's a long list.

Disgraced former Attorney General, Loretta Lynch and disgraced former FBI Director, James Comey, are but two of her former co-workers in the Obama Administration who have covered her back. And they are unlikely to do otherwise because the Clintons have a reputation to uphold. Deviate from that practice at your peril.

So...maybe it's time to revisit the sale of Uranium One to the Rosatom State Nuclear Energy Corporation? At any other moment in my life the sale of uranium to Russia would have been headlines and people would have been incarcerated---forever (lock Her up). Not so in this situation where Russia colluded with the Clinton Foundation. It was not Donald Trump who colluded with the Russians, but Hillary Clinton, and friends.

Hillary Clinton ran the Obama Administration's State Department like her personal ATM, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in (bribes) contributions to the Clinton Foundation - in conflict of interest. Nobody has been prosecuted, nothing happened to any of the Clinton cronies or to the grand dam, herself.

The former head of Rosatom made four hidden donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling $2.35 million. They needed Hillary's approval in order to acquire Uranium One and pay-to-play is the name of the game.

Bill Clinton received $500K for a speech in Moscow, paid for by a Kremlin-backed bank. (they're all Kremlin-backed, but you take the point) He wanted his cut. Who can blame him? The Clintons were and remain above the law.

The Clinton Foundation received $145 million from foreign investors involved in the uranium transfer. Clinton mega-donor, Frank Holmes lied about selling Uranium One before Clinton approved the Russian transfer.

A lot of people made a lot of money selling Uranium One to the Russians. But Donald Trump wasn't one of them.

And yet the Congress and the press is silent on this. The FBI claims to be running an investigation, but I suggest to you that they're simply waiting for the statute of limitations to expire. The FBI is clearly NOT the agency that should be investigating this. Their reputation for fair, honest investigation is in the tank - clearly on matters involving the Clintons. Can the US Department of Justice be trusted? Can they?

Mash Up

New Role for the US Space Force

Taking a technological leap forward, President Trump will announce a new missile defense program, which will be managed by the newly minted US Space Force. (more here).
Any expansion of the scope and cost of missile defenses would compete with other defense priorities, including the billions of extra dollars the Trump administration has committed to spending on a new generation of nuclear weapons. An expansion also would have important implications for American diplomacy, given long-standing Russian hostility to even the most rudimentary U.S. missile defenses and China’s worry that longer-range U.S. missile defenses in Asia could undermine Chinese national security. 
Asked about the implications for Trump’s efforts to improve relations with Russia and strike better trade relations with China, the administration official said that the U.S. defense capabilities are purely defensive and that the U.S. has been very upfront with Moscow and Beijing about its missile defense posture.
Russia trotted out its new hypersonic cruise missile. Hypersonic weapons are not new. The US has been testing them for a long time. And when the Russian missile being tested splashed in deep water the SSN Jimmy Carter was there to pick them up and bring them home to pick them apart. (covered previously on this blog) 

American interests are being protected by President Trump and his administration and even though our traditional enemies are unhappy with it, who cares?

One More Thing to Boycott 

At first, feminist demanded women be equal to men, and this meant to no longer be treated like ladies, held in high regard, and to be free to sleep with Harvey Weinstein in return for lucrative careers. 

Today, the slatterns suddenly pretended to develop the puritanical and delicate sensitivities of Victorian matrons, without, you know, actually promoting or having the virtues, self control, iron discipline, or dignity of real Victorian matrons.

And the demand to be held in high regard, with the awe and respect the pagan Romans paid the Vestal Virgins, is nowadays the loudest coming from the lips of the modern Valeria Messilina, the Roman Empress who outperformed professional strumpets and slattern at their own career.

If women want their men to treat them like a princess, they need to begin by forswearing the wearing of vagina-shaped berets on their heads...madame comrade.

The Women's March is coming. Let's see how dignified they are. Let's see their poise. Let's see who they represent. Do they represent American women, or do they represent something far more sinister?

Tony Poe

(LINK) I was commenting about AN-2's on OLDAFSARGE's Blog and Laos and Cambodia came up...well, I brought it up. I wrote of Tony Poshepny's funeral in San Francisco and was thinking that it was ten years ago, but he died in 2003. So fifteen years. One of my best friends would be killed in the War on Terror within the year. What happens to the time. I think that it's true for all of us - we see things pass and realize that they're gone for good. A lot of people didn't like Tony Poe, but I got on with him, and with the crew that he liked. The man was not politically correct. His hand was mangled from a botched assassination attempt by USGOV. The CIA sent in second stringers to take him out. Even at that, they almost succeeded. Old times, not necessarily good times.

Friday, January 18, 2019

I'll Try to Buffalo You.

There are two bison herds in Arizona: The House Rock Wildlife Area herd near the Grand Canyon and the Raymond Ranch herd is closer to where I live. A guy who owns a ranch near me is a scientist/large animal veterinarian who works for the Arizona Wildlife and Fish Department, sent me some photos that I am sharing here with you. 

The bison are all ear tagged for the purpose of management. Arizona is trying to bring back these herds from the brink, as they are with a lot of other animals in the area like the wolves that were released into the wild in the same general zone.

Arizona does permit hunting of these bison but that hunting is controlled. They don't put the bison in a pen for you to shoot, but you can't just blaze away at will either. I approve of this sort of management. It's responsible and works.

I've heard that the House Rock/Grand Canyon bison are reproducing so fast that they are damaging the local flora and fauna as they feed and trample things (which is what bison do). 

The Raymond Ranch herd roams on the plains south of I-40, between Flagstaff and Winslow on BLM land. Here are your directions if you would like to see them for yourself. It's about 40 miles as the crow flies from the White Wolf Mine. They roam wild, and are not a curiosity in a zoo. Most people on I-40, doing 80 mph from Flagstaff to Albuquerque miss out on this sort of thing. I understand. I'm like them too at times. At other times there is the road less traveled.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

A Lion in Winter

A Post Card from the White Wolf Mine

If you are quiet and you carry your camera with a long lens, there's no telling what you will see up on the Mogollon Rim at the White Wolf Mine. 

Snow muffles sound and as you move slowly through the forest, the natural camouflage of the lions deserts them. This one was after a small herd of white tail deer, which were alert and escaped - but only just.

There are a lot of mountain lions in the area. You can hear them at night as they fight for mating rights and for territory. The local deer survive, which is a testament to their skill at eluding their predators.

An old mule deer doe, that I named Judy, has seen a few winters come and go. I see Judy almost every day. She stays in a relatively small territory. There are also white tail deer, smaller, less able to defend, but very nimble here on the property. It's the white tails that the mountain lion was after today.

You have to get up very early in the morning if you plan to have a white tail deer for breakfast and this cat must have slept in its den far too long. This is almost mid-day.

The deer are in their rough, gray winter coats that stave off the effects of the cold. In most areas, deer and elk migrate with the onset of winter, but the herds here, in this place, are remarkably stable. 

I haven't been out of the house but maybe one time when I didn't see some sort of animal life. The elk herds between the hovel, where I now live, and Blue Ridge Reservoir, about six miles distant, are thick even though a fire swept through a lot of the area last summer.

The pygmy owl (left) asked me 'who' the heck I was to wander through its forest.

I introduced myself and it seemed to be satisfied. 

There will be more post cards from Arizona's Mogollon Rim as the days move forward and the season's change, for your amusement.

You don't see many people up here. People have told me, "LL, you're insane." I assured them that there is plenty of company.

The Royal Succession

I'm talking about Old Blighty, of course, home of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding (if you eat it and you're not British, you're culturally appropriating). They're rehearsing the death of HM Queen Elizabeth II (more here). Charles has assembled a team of advisors to help his transition. HM QE2 is rumored to be considered stepping aside and allowing the 'dim bulb' to rule in her place. Charles swore not to "meddle" in politics and to just be a ceremonial figurehead. Some of those advisors are known to me and they are Greek. 

The Greek Connection

Trivia Question: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, have visited almost 200 countries and all EU countries. Except for one. Which one? (the caption is a give-away)

The Royal Dirt

Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, and
Princess Alice of Battenberg,
grandparents of Prince Charles.
The grandfather of Charles, the Prince of Wales, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, was born at Tatoi Palace, in the outskirts of Athens in 1882. His father, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was born in Corfu, at Mon Repos Palace in 1921. Technically they both are Greek by birth even though they were also British citizens.

Even though mummy and daddy haven't visited Greece, Prince Charles has visited Greece several times. Last summer, for instance, he took a mini cruise in the Ionian with his wife Camilla-the-Horse, Duchess of Cornwall.

Context, Precedence and Pedigree

Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark (1882-1944) was the seventh child and fourth son of King George I of Greece and Olga Constantinovna of Russia. He was the grandfather of Charles.

Prince Andrew was an officer in the Greek army and served in the Balkan Wars (1912-1913). In 1913, his father was assassinated and Andrew’s elder brother, Constantine, became king. Constantine’s neutrality policy during World War I led to his abdication, and most members of the royal family, including Andrew, were exiled.

On the royals’ return a few years later, Andrew fought again in the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922), but the war went badly for Greece, and Andrew was blamed, in part, for the loss of Greek territory.

The court martial was about to sentence him to death for the losses but General Theodoros Pangalos intervened and saved him, on the grounds of his “great inexperience of commanding upper ranks”. He was exiled for the second time in 1922, and spent most of the rest of his life in France. It seems that Andrew shared the incompetent gene with his grandson, Charles. (though Andrew's son, Phillip, the current Duke of Edinburgh, is said to have been a brave, gallant and resourceful soldier)

Prince Andrew was estranged from his wife, Princess Alice, but never got a divorce. He spent the rest of his life in Monte Carlo and died on Dec. 3, 1944 from a heart attack. His body was transferred to Greece and buried in the royal cemetery at Tatoi.

Charles’ grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg (1856-1969), was diagnosed with schizophrenia and committed to a sanatorium in Switzerland, thereafter living separately from her husband. Allegedly, Princess Alice believed that she possessed healing powers and that she had come into erotic contact with Jesus Christ.

In 1949 Princess Alice moved to Tinos (Greece) to establish a monastic brotherhood, even trying to build a monastery. From then on she was wearing nun clothes until the end of her life in 1969.

British Politics

Will King Charles be able to restrain himself when it comes to BREXIT? Will Charles make the State Church of Britain the Greek Orthodox Church, and will he drive the vipers from Lambeth Palace? There is a history of madness in British kings. I think that it's all on the table.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Is Taco Tuesday Dead?

There's an article at Legal Insurrection regarding Taco Tuesday. You should read it before you eat any Mexican food again because unless you're from the specific Latin American country and region that originated what you're getting ready to bolt down, you're likely guilty of cultural appropriation. And by extension, if your great grandfather was Chinese and immigrated to the USA, you'd better not be seen at McDonald's (Scottish hamburger), or Dominoes Pizza (only Italian Americans can order a pizza), or if you're Mexican, you'd better not order one from column A and one from column B at the Peking Moon. 

Furthermore, there are different styles of food served in Mexico. Does that mean if you're from Jalisco that you can't eat Sinaloa goat (delicious) or Yucatan style fish? Maybe we should narrow it down further and do away with restaurants all together. That would end food cultural appropriation. 

I have never eaten a Taco Bell style taco in Mexico. What should that tell me? 

Absolutely nothing, because this whole cultural appropriation thing is HOG WASH, and the people who buckle under to the social justice warriors are as goofy as the progs. 

Now a bit of cultural training for the social justice warriors:

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Science Tuesday

If you're a flat-Earth conspiracy person, you may want to simply ignore the fact that Earth's magnetic north is shifting far faster than expected. It has been known that the Earth’s magnetic pole moves over time since James Clark Ross’ measurements in the Canadian Arctic in 1831, but recently the field has shifted faster than expected — so fast, in fact, that it threatens to interfere with navigation systems around the world.
The movement of the Earth’s magnetic field is described by the World Magnetic Model, which is used by navigation systems of all kinds from the GPS on your phone to the complex navigation systems used by ships at sea. The most recent version of the model was released in 2015 and should have been satisfactory until its scheduled update in 2020, however, the magnetic field has moved so quickly that an update is required sooner than that.
Scientists believe that the shifting magnetic field is due to liquid iron within the planet’s core moving around. There was a particularly strong geomagnetic pulse in 2016, where the magnetic field temporarily accelerated under South America. Could this impact the climate? NO says global warming experts. It's all about mankind (and the desperate need for more taxes).

Meanwhile, in France

On 12 January in Paris, thousands of protesters marched noisily but mostly peacefully through the Grands Boulevards shopping area in northern Paris. Police arrested 156 "gilets jaunes" (yellow vest) in Paris, some for carrying objects that could be used as weapons, police said. Riot police used water cannons on a break away group neat the Arc de Triomphe.

By nightfall, there had been no looting or burning of cars as seen in previous weeks and traffic circulation had resumed around the Arc de Triomphe area. 

Large demonstrations were reported in Toulon, Bourdeaux, Strasbourg and Bourges. 

The Interior Ministry estimated that there were a maximum of 84,000 demonstrators nationwide. That is an increase over the more than the 50,000 who marched in protest last weekend. 

In Paris, the ministry reported 8,000 demonstrators, more than in the past two weekends, when authorities tallied just 3,500 people on 5 January and only 800 on 29 December.

On 13 January, French press published a long letter by President Macron in which he announced a three-month national debate to try to end the “yellow vest” unrest, He pledged to listen to new ideas.

A long letter to protestors probably will miscarry especially since Macron wrote that he will not change his policies. The outreach effort is clumsy. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Life in the Arizona Mountains

There I was, minding my business, and three big horn sheep walked across the road in front of me about two miles from the White Wolf Mine.

I was over at a neighbor's house tonight and he said, "Yeah, they helicoptered them in last week." Then I checked out the Internet and the story was here.

They choppered about sixty in and dropped them in groups of ten or so in different spots. The neighbor saw them bring the sheep in.  So there are bighorns in the neighborhood. Will wolves eat them? Maybe. I haven't seen any wolves yet.

We're expecting more snow tomorrow. The sheep had heavy winter coats, and this is their historical range. So add sheep to the long list of wildlife you see every so often up here.

Another View

Norwegian Perspective

I received an e-mail from a colleague of mine who lives in Norway and posts here as "Valuism". I'm going to share it and I don't think that he will mind. It deals with what he sees as the Trump Doctrine of engaging in 'war by other means' against those who would do us (and the West in general) harm.
I watched a German TV program some days ago. It was about Iran and they interviewed the average citizens about economy and daily life. It seems that Iran is heading the same way as Venezuela. Inflation is up and reaching new levels creating more unhappy people. The economy gives the Mullahs and Revolutionary Guard big trouble. People expressed frustration and anger. Some people mentioned bigger problems and conflict if nothing positive happens. I looks like the Iranian people want change and will be willing to do something if necessary.  
Turkey experienced big trouble some month ago when their economy went down the drain after a conflict with the US. Now I read trump tells Erdogan will face financial trouble if he harass the Kurds to much. I think that language is universal and works better than spending US soldiers on a battle field. It is cheaper too, than spending taxpayers money on the big army.  
I find an economical strategy being a better way for change. Let the economy do the work. No dictator or political system like socialism can beat the market in the long run. Afghanistan with their tribes living in the stone age do not care but why bother? If they want to harbor terrorists causing problems outside the country I guess other measures must be added, but when the Talban was kicked out the first time it was planned and executed in a smart way. The Afghans did it themselves with a little intelligent support and some dollars.  
It looks like Trump also made the Arab countries “willing” to spend their own financial reserves to rebuild Syria. That should give him a lot of credits but the Dems to not care. 
There are a lot of Military Industrial Complex people who are threatened by the new way of doing business and the deep state is deeply concerned about it as well, but President Trump is changing things in a way that is healthier for the United States. The media is focused on stupidity and stopping this new doctrine from being implemented because their focus is not on what is good for the country.

An energy independent America (and Canada) creates a totally new dynamic in the world. The focus on Middle Eastern politics should diminish. If Europe cares about energy coming from that part of the world, maybe they should step in but it's far less our problem going forward. The Turks, Arabs and Persians have been enemies for 5,000 years (at least). Allow them to be who they are. 

The US/Canada should pursue a sub-Atlantic gas pipeline, underwritten by Europe, to take energy to market there. The Russians would do all in their power to stop it, but that's capitalism. Let the Russians reduce the price of the natural gas that they sell to the Europeans.

A lot of good will come from the Trump Doctrine. It may not be good for some deep state actors and we know that the FBI will oppose it, but it's good for America and ultimately for the world.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

A Few Questions

Donkey Pen

The only thing you can be sure of when you put Donkeys in a pen is that there will be a lot of horse sh1t to shovel. Such is certainly true of the upcoming presidential primary contest with almost every Democrat politician and billionaire in America filing for the job.

I have heard that Tulsi Gabbard is throwing her cracker in the soup from the State of Hawaii. Gabbard may be a Democrat, but I think that she has slightly more credibility than most of the rest of those scumbags. I wonder if senile, old, Slow Joe Biden will grope her on the debate stage?

The Government Shut Down

Has anyone noticed any downside to keeping it shut down for another few months?

New TV

I need a new TV for the White Wolf Mine. It will run on Direct TV (satellite) for the most part. Maybe some Amazon Prime/Netflix but the bandwidth here is pathetically slow.

Most of the new units have software embedded to allow the government to collect metadata on me. I don't really care, but there are some serious electronic types who drift by this blog. Any recommendations as to brand and model? I have space for up to an 80" TV in the great room. 

Keep in mind that my present TV is on the order of a 36" television that is several years old, and is not hooked up. Time for me to get set up for a SuperBowl party, and I can't do it on an ancient 36 inch television from the last decade.

Sunday Sermonette

How Things Do Change

Centuries ago, Europeans invaded the plague-emptied shell of the Americas, climbing aboard wooden ships with vast canvas sails and trusting the wind and the skill of sailors to take them from the lands they knew to what they called the New World. For as long as six months, religious fanatics, adventurers and the poverty-stricken desperate for something else, had consigned themselves to the uncharitable waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Today I have second thoughts about traveling to Southern California because of the traffic in heated/air conditioned splendor (The internal combustion engine of my truck - the only thing keeping back global cooling and the glaciers that would overwhelm us all - you're welcome.). It's very quiet up on Arizona's Mogollon Rim except for the elk and coyotes and the mountain lions in heat, which make a racket at night. It's not that quiet in urban California. 

But I either go or I don't make money. How unfair is that?

A Code of Morals

In reference the previous blog post, "Valley of Death" - as it applies to General Petraeus and Paula Broadwell, I can only refer you to Rudyard Kipling's "A Code of Morals". And therein is your sermonette.

The Remarkable Cow

On June 17, the ATLAS survey's twin telescopes in Hawaii found a spectacularly bright anomaly 200 million light years away in the Hercules constellation. Dubbed AT2018cow or "The Cow," the object quickly flared up, then vanished almost as quickly.

After combining several imaging sources, including hard X-rays and radiowaves, the multi-institutional team now speculates that the telescopes captured the exact moment a star collapsed to form a compact object, such as a black hole or neutron star. The stellar debris, approaching and swirling around the object's event horizon, caused the remarkably bright glow.

This rare event will help astronomers better understand the physics at play within the first moments of the creation of a black hole or neutron star. "We think that 'The Cow' is the formation of an accreting black hole or neutron star," said Northwestern's Raffaella Margutti, who led the research. "We know from theory that black holes and neutron stars form when a star dies, but we've never seen them right after they are born. Never."

After it was first spotted, The Cow captured immediate international interest and left astronomers scratching their heads. "We thought it must be a supernova," Margutti said. "But what we observed challenged our current notions of stellar death."

For one, the anomaly was unnaturally bright -- 10 to 100 times brighter than a typical supernova. It also flared up and disappeared much faster than other known star explosions, with particles flying at 30,000 kilometers per second (or 10 percent of the speed of light). Within just 16 days, the object had already emitted most of its power. In a universe where some phenomena last for millions and billions of years, two weeks amounts to the blink of an eye.

"We knew right away that this source went from inactive to peak luminosity within just a few days," Margutti said. "That was enough to get everybody excited because it was so unusual and, by astronomical standards, it was very close by."

Using Northwestern's access to observational facilities at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the MMT Observatory in Arizona, as well as remote access to the SoAR telescope in Chile, Margutti took a closer look at the object's makeup. Margutti and her team examined The Cow's chemical composition, finding clear evidence of hydrogen and helium, which excluded models of compact objects merging -- like those that produce gravitational waves.
Northwestern University. "Birth of a black hole or neutron star captured for first time: Mysteriously bright glow of this summer's 'Cow' event gained international interest." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2019. 
Margutti attributes The Cow's relative nakedness to potentially unraveling this intergalactic mystery. Although stars might collapse into black holes all the time, the large amount of material around newly born black holes blocks astronomers' vision. Fortunately, about 10 times less ejecta swirled around The Cow as compared to a typical stellar explosion. The lack of material allowed astronomers to peer straight through to the object's "central engine," which revealed itself as a probable black hole or neutron star.

We've discussed this before on this blog. Because of nucleon binding energy, only elements up to iron can be produced in the conventional way inside of stars. Anything heavier than iron needs to be produced in another way because it is en endothermic reaction and requires huge amounts of energy. Some heavy elements are produced in supernovas but there is a subtle problem with that. While there certainly is enough energy in a supernova explosion to produce the heavier elements, most of the mass that is blown off in a supernova is hydrogen. It would take an immense amount of energy and a string of complex, and highly improbably reactions to convert that much hydrogen into elements as heavy as gold and lead.

In nuclear physics there are two processes which can produce heavier elements, named the r-process and the s-process (unimaginatively the r and s stand for rapid and slow respectively). The s-process takes less energy and a much lower neutron flux, and can happen over long time scales. In the s-process heavy elements are built up slowly one neutron at a time, and allows for neutrons to decay into protons.

The r-process requires huge amounts of energy, and a truly astronomical neutron flux. A parent element is bombarded with a huge number of neutrons to make an extremely unstable isotope. The only thing keeping it from decaying into smaller elements is the rate at which neutrons are bombarding the nucleus. While a supernova has enough energy for the r-process, there is a distinct lack of neutrons to achieve the neutron flux necessary for the r-process to take place. It does happen, just not at a high enough rate to explain the amount of gold, lead, uranium, and other really heavy elements we observe in the universe. So while normal stellar processes can explain the carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen we see, and novas and supernovas can explain the amount of aluminum, iron, nickle, and zinc we see, neither of those can explain the amount of gold, silver, lead, and uranium we see.

This is where merging neutron stars come in. In the collision there certainly is enough energy for the nucleosynthesis to take place, and because there are two massive sources of neutrons being ripped apart, the problem of meeting the minimum neutron flux is solved. So the creation of the neutron star "The Cow" is the first step in making gold. The second step is for it to collide with ANOTHER neutron star.' Not quite alchemy, but that's how it's done.

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Valley of Death

In Afghanistan, Taliban attacks occurred yesterday morning around the country as their winter offensive began.

      Meanwhile in the Korengal Valley 
“Daesh (the Islamic State) took complete control of the Korengal Valley,” said Abdul Latif Fazly, a member of Kunar provincial council, referring to the militant group by its Arabic name. 
Fazly said hundreds of Islamic State fighters had gathered from Kunar, as well as neighboring Nangarhar, where its presence is strongest, to attack the valley and push back the Taliban.
US Army soldiers and Marines fought a succession of battles to maintain government control of the Korengal Valley between October 2004 and April 2010. 

In 2010, the US command decided to abandon the valley and withdrew US forces. Fifty-four US soldiers and Marines were killed in the fighting in what some called the valley of death.

The Taliban and the Korengalis took over after the US forces withdrew. This week, the Islamic State drove out the Taliban and expanded their operating area.

In 2008, I was sent to Kunar Province and to the Korengal Valley as part of a team of "old men" who spent time there bad old days when the Soviets were running the place. They wanted a "fresh perspective",  in the hope that we would come up with a more positive view of the situation. The report remains classified to the best of my knowledge.

America lost a lot of blood and treasure holding the Korengal Valley. Some men who returned home from intense fighting will never be the same. There were suicides - after their return and, naturally, that is not considered in the body count. The campaign to hold the valley reminded me very much of Viet Nam. If you are going to ask me what those fifty-four Americans died for - don't. Don't ask because the answer is ugly. If blame is to be assigned, look at the two commanders-in-chief, and Congress. The military carries out orders. It does not set policy. Intelligence agencies and the military have an advisory function that is almost always ignored.

The sorts of Valley of Death campaigns are only valid to me if the children of a president.vice president and Congress are sent in with the rest of the grunts.

Should America keep troops in Afghanistan (at great cost)? If you've followed my blog in the past, you know that one of my sons-in-law who served in the navy came back from there disabled and now works at a Naval Engineering Laboratory (NAVSEA). He's one of the lucky ones, if you can call that lucky. The Navy came to its senses when it did a head count and found that they were losing a staggering 26 +/- Afghan veterans per day to suicide and he was one of the men that they made an extra effort to help. 

Is an endless war in a God forsaken place like that worth it? President Trump doesn't think so and the progressives want to keep the war rolling.