sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Friday, August 31, 2018

Busted Week

August is ending and the past week has been a complete bust for me because I deal with DC to make money and that establishment has been almost completely consumed by the funerary rites of Sen. John McCain (R/D-AZ). It cost me a week of overhead and one of my guys is headed to Africa to deal with a problem without the preliminary problem being solved because John McCain died and DC is almost totally preoccupied.

The media loves John McCain -- now. But if you pay attention, the only thing they really love about him is that he was the Republican who confirmed to Democrats that all other Republicans are everything evil the Democrats claim. 

During his erratic and flawed run for the presidency, the same media who now praises him, smeared him with all the usual leftist smears -- racist, sexist, ist-ist, etc. The media should not be getting a free ride to pretend they were ever fair about him. He was a tool to them, that was it. He was their "useful idiot", a term Stalin used to describe Western intellectuals who repeated his lies without question. Don't believe the tears.

President Trump is being petty. Sen. McCain's last words were attacks on President Trump and other conservatives. His people didn't even invite Sarah Palin, a truly petty break of protocol. Pettiness is a form of smallness of stature, usually smacks of venality and it speaks poorly of all who engage in it. John McCain spent a lot of his life being a vein bully. So in his death. He shouted, "but I was a POW" whenever he got into a bind. I get the same thing from people who want something beyond what they are entitled to by law because they are a veteran. Some veterans get carte blanch from me, but if you served chow at Lackland AFB for three years, not so much. John McCain wore his war wounds like a crown, and they gave him a career. I'm not saying that he did bad things all of the time, but he went out on a bad note and whether that speaks to the character of the man I leave to you.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Randomness

Fake News? You be the Judge.

(Fox News) A man was killed and two others were injured after a polar bear attacked the trio of hunters, officials said Tuesday.

Taken on its face, it could be a false story because Al Gore assured us that all polar bears would be dead by 2017. 

However somebody or something killed the hunter. With the total demise of polar bears, could it have been an albino grizzly? Or a space alien? Both are more likely if you believe Gore and what he says is 'settled science'.

And before you blaggard the hunter, you need to know that he was an Inuit (First Nation/Native Canadian/Indian), therefore a protected person based on his non-caucasian status. Of course, it the deceased hunter had been a non-protected person, you could attack him for hunting seals and such -- but you can't. So don't go there.

Poor Little Rich Kid

Odell Beckham Jr., fresh off signing a five-year, $95 million contract extension with the New York Giants, joined LeBron James' HBO show "The Shop" on Tuesday and explained that he has felt like a "zoo animal" at times during his young career.

Beckham, who is known for his exuberant celebrations and cockiness on the field, was made the highest-paid wide receiver in football Monday. He told James about how he thinks he's perceived.

One specific complaint came from Beckham Jr. who didn't want his picture taken with a couple of season ticket holders.
“To me, I be feeling like, I tell people this all the time -- I really feel like a zoo animal. Like that’s where life’s gone for me,” he said. “You know, you used to take your kids to the zoo and we used to be like, you know, 'I want to see the lions' or 'Let’s go see the lions.' And you go out there, and the lions are laid out. You know what I mean?
Take a knee, Junior, and enjoy the $95 million.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Memes and Mischief



Weather

For those of you who read tea leaves, cast runes and interpret chicken bones, the 2018-19 Farmer's Almanac was published Monday. This year's almanac is predicting that winter 2018 will be “Colder-than-normal from the Continental Divide east through the Appalachians.”
"Contrary to the stories storming the web, our time-tested, long-range formula is pointing toward a very long, cold, and snow-filled winter. We stand by our forecast and formula, which accurately predicted the many storms last winter, as well as this summer’s steamy, hot conditions,” said Editor Peter Geiger.
If you're unhappy about too much snow from the impact of global warming, I advise you to blame President Trump. You can also blame him for arthritis and for the lack of sunspots, said to have an impact on the climate.

Animal Crackers

Memes have arrived to comment on the 'packaging scandal', inspired by PETA.


Then and Now


The FBI, weaponized to work to determine the outcome of an election and further to aid a political movement to unseat a President (while ignoring the Hillary Clinton scandals) is simply the reality of the world in 2018.

James Woods, blackballed Hollywood actor, comments.




Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Trying to Make Sense of Germany

It's not your daddy's reich anymore.

When visiting Germany I continue to be amazed to see more Turkish flags flying than German flags. In some areas of Germany the ethnic Turks far out number the Germans. And by this I am not addressing the nearly one million unemployed military age Muslim males from Syria that Germany welcomed into its borders.

Being part Swiss and part German with family from both places who were part of my growing up, I do get the Germans. And they mystify me at the same time (collectively). Individually, Germans think like who they are, and I like them and enjoy spending time in Germany. Some of the best Turkish food I've ever eaten was served in Germany. They invited in a lot of guest workers from Turkey over the years who stayed and joined the culture in a weird way.

Interestingly enough, Russians (modern Russian Federation types) are more conservative when taken as a whole than the Germans are. The Germans are socialists by in large. Some are International Socialists, some are National Socialists, some are another brand of Confused Socialists (my term, not theirs), but they're leftist/nihlists who aren't sure about what they want.

Russians don't tolerate Muslim minorities in Russia these days. They give them the bum's rush to the border and invite them to return from the fetid desert that they sprang from. Germany has taken the opposite approach and while I don't understand it, they rolled in the dung of military age Muslim males, still unemployed, and seem to want to keep them.

Germany is our ally sorta - Russia is our enemy sorta. We send troops to defend Germany, we send troops, ostensibly to fight Russia. Don't look for reason in American foreign policy. Even the Trump Administration refuses to brand the confiscation of land in South Africa based on race to be "racist".

Best Ranch Rifle (A Survey)

This is a serious survey. Not an Internet troll or one of those clickbait sorts of trolls with an eye toward increasing a hit count on a blog. I'm very curious which of the following rifles you all feel is the best all around daily carry rifle for a ranch rifle. I define the ranch rifle as one that is flexible, functional and useable for every day use. Price is of secondary importance, and quite honestly, is of no real importance. Function and reliability over cost.

Barrett Rec 7


The Rec 7 is available in 5.56 NATO or 6.8 REM. If you select this as the best ranch rifle, please also specify a preferred caliber.

The sight options that can be applied to this rifle because of the rail system and the weapon in general are almost endless. You may have smaller "gas gun" platforms that you prefer to the Barrett Rec 7, because of price, but this is the one I would like you to consider for the sake of this survey.


JP LRP-07 

The LRP-07 was designed as a .308 platform to cure the shortcomings of existing rifles and still handle like an AR-15. The felt recoil impulse on the LRP-07™ is also nothing short of amazing as it was designed from the magazine well up to use our Low Mass Operating System (LMOS™). In this case, the LRP-07 mounts a Schmidt and Bender PM 2 scope (5-25). 

While this is a superior rifle for shooting and for longer range shots in particular with a .308 cartridge, it's not a rifle that I'm comfortable knocking around - so while I have it as an option, there is the general reluctance to treat it in the rugged way that a "camp rifle" sometimes is treated. I simply threw it into the list for consideration because it is available.

Marlin 1895

The Marlin lever action in .45-70 throws a heavy round downrange, is exceptionally rugged and is presently equipped with open sights, though just about any sighting configuration is mountable.

It's presently a very heavy favorite of mine in the ranch rifle category because of that rugged nature. The upside of the .45-70 is that it will drop a bear or a buffalo. The downside of the .45-70 is that it's an expensive round to shoot if I decide to plink. (while I will likely never expend all of the 5.56 NATO ammo that I have in inventory)

Remington Model 700 (in .270)

The venerable bolt action Remington Model 700 in .270 is flexible, durable and with a Schmidt and Bender PM 2 scope (5-25) it has the capacity to hit whatever you're aiming at to the capacity of the cartridge and loads you are carrying, in much as the same way the JP LRP-07 has. It lacks the rough and ready characteristics of the Marlin lever action but it's exceptionally rugged. As with the LRP-07, I consider it more of a hunting rifle than a 'ranch rifle' but there is nothing keeping the rifle from doing double duty.

M-1A (M-14)

As a battle rifle, there are few that can match the M-1A. (ok, throw up your arguments) I know that there are a few people who follow this blog from time to time who own M-1A rifles. I left it for last because in many ways, it combines the best features of many of the rifles that I have available to me. It's rugged to a fault, the .308/7.76 NATO round is effective beyond the range of the 5.56 (but not the 6.8) -- but when we're talking ranch rifle, we're not really considering shots at over about 300 meters. The M-1A with open sights is lethal in that range profile. It's not competing for the purposes of this survey with the capacity to reach out in the 800 meter (cartridge capacity) range profile.

So there you have it. Daily carry in the rig, general use options. Or if you have other favorites, mention them. 

I haven't mentioned ammunition. Suffice, that in the military cartridge options, I don't expect that I will ever need to buy more ammo through the course of my life. So while that should not be a limiting factor, it's something that I think about.

Monday, August 27, 2018

It's Not that Complicated

Every time parents are arrested in the USA (and everywhere else) for committing a crime, their now unattended minor children are handed over to a social services agency, and they are cared for and protected. Tens of thousands of times each year in the USA, this happens. It's one of the reasons that we hire social workers.

The progs have conflated this to be 'unusual', when in fact, it's completely normal and done in the course of business for the criminal justice system. Crossing any national boundary in the world without permission is illegal. It's why there are passports and visas issued. My personal passport is filled with visa stamps that attest to my legal status while I visit countries INCLUDING MEXICO. Failure to follow the law would mean that I would be arrested and my actions would be evaluated for adjudication. If I had children in tow, they would not be placed in the cell with me ANYWHERE.

This argument that the left perpetuates is so stupid on its face as to be literally incredible. Yet still they promote it.


Aim High

Stratolaunch

Sure, it may sound weird when you first hear about an aircraft launching a rocket into space, but the concept has been around for a long time.  F-15's have successfully shot down satellites in test situations by launching ASAT missiles.

Stratolauncher is the largest aircraft in the world and so far, all its done is taxi down a runway in the Mojave Desert where such things are tested.

The booster is slung between the two fuselages and the aircraft takes it into the stratosphere and kicks it loose. Presumably it reaches orbit from there, and the aircraft returns to Earth - fully reusable. 

concept picture
Barack Obama made one of NASA's key missions making Muslims feel good about themselves and as with many things that happened during the years of Obamanation, it flopped. ISIS was not impressed. 

At the same time, entrepreneurs in the US have taken up the gauntlet and seem to be making launches profitable for them and less expensive than the old government programs were. No surprise there.

Our friend and fellow blogger, DRJIM worked for a different commercial space venture for a while. He can explain his feelings on the matter if he's inclined

I have no idea whether or not this will work. I don't know if the aircraft will ever fly. However, I can't help but think that efforts like this one (whether or not this works) will be our eventual way back into space - the Space Force notwithstanding. Government is unreliable. You get the wrong person in office and rather than aiming high, tax money is diverted to buy votes.

Paul Allen (born January 21, 1953) co-founded Microsoft alongside Bill Gates. In August 2018, he was estimated to be the 46th-richest person in the world, with an estimated net worth of $20.2 billion. He spends a lot of his money on projects like this one. If I had that kind of scratch, I might do the same. I mean, why not?  


Sunday, August 26, 2018

Random Topics

The Passing of John McCain

He's one US Senator that I won't miss. It's like the hole that is left when you draw your arm from a bucket of water. People in the media are comparing him to Ted Kennedy. I don't have a problem with that. No good comes from bashing the dead and I'll leave my comments at that. He was a flawed man who found a home in the deep state. I don't criticize his behavior while a POW for six years. I've never walked in those shoes. Frankly, I'd rather be dead than a prisoner of the NVA. I always favored issuing a 'L Pill' to aviators who fly combat missions of that sort. Francis Gary Powers had a pill but chose capture over ending himself when his U-2 was shot down, so maybe the pill isn't the solution that I think it would be. 

Working in Denied Areas

There are different parts of the world that for one reason or another are considered to be no-go zones, except that we (we, being the USA) send people to those locations from time to time to do this or that, which is considered to be in the national interest. Sometimes we send people under diplomatic cover, which is to say, we send them with immunity from prosecution. That works for nation-states such as Russia (was USSR) where we have reciprocal interests in doing the same thing to each other. It doesn't work when you're dealing with rogue states, organized crime and collapsed nations such as Yemen, where tribalism has taken hold. 

I chatted with a friend of mine and we reflected on our motivations in doing that sort of thing and we both cited Yeates, "An Irish Airman Forsees his Death". Lonely impulse of delight - ego - a willingness to get into a snake pit because you just might get out. I don't suggest that any logic underpins the activity. The end to these sorts of things is a potential transitory advantage that nobody will care about three years later. The reward? Not cash. Maybe a Joint Service Commendation Medal with a V device that you wear while you're in harness? I'm not depreciating the gong. It's a nice looking bauble, but it's thin when compared to ending up with a mouth full of dirt. And that does happen at times to people who operate under 'diversified cover'.

Being a Grandpa

It's the best part of being a parent. The Arizona LL family includes three granddaughters, two of whom started school last week - and the third felt betrayed for being left behind. 

The same scenario is played out with the two LL families in California, with two boys and three boys, respectively. The younger boys get backpacks too and they are filled with plastic dinosaurs, green army men and other goodies rather than school supplies. 

Circle of life.

Growing up is not easy. There are hurdles, decisions, implications, and the law of cause and effect is in full force as the decision tree widens. Some say that growing old is difficult. No, it just happens.

Enter the Uzbeks

The Taliban officials led by the group's political chief Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai (anybody who would tack "Sher" on the front of his name - meaning lion/tiger is an ego to be avoided) met Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov and other officials between 7 and 10 August. They discussed peace prospects, the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan, and possible Uzbek-funded development projects, according to reports.


This item spotlights two recent trends. Most important is the Taliban’s improved diplomatic practice. Qatar has hosted a Taliban political office since 2013. More recently they participated in a conference in Pakistan, sent a delegation to Indonesia and sent a delegation to Uzbekistan. They have announced they will send a delegation to the Russian peace conference in Moscow on 4 September.

This might not seem like much of a diplomatic offensive, but it is more sophisticated than any outreach done during the tenure of the late Mullah Omar. It implies that the Taliban expect to govern Afghanistan and that they recognize they need to be accepted internationally. The topics discussed were civilized topics; those of a responsible government.

The second trend is Russian and central Asian interest in Afghanistan. The central Asians have no interest in channeling their interest or aid through the US, but they are interested in shaping the future central Asian security environment. Uzbekistan’s willingness to discuss normal international issues with the Taliban as well as to support Afghan reconstruction indicates that it wants to be on the winning side. 

Second only to stopping the spread of the Islamic State is Uzbekistan’s determination to establish commercial corridors to the Indian Ocean. Their creation requires the Uzbek leaders to work with Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iran and China. Plus, Afghanistan must be stable. The Taliban evidently are promising stability.

The two countries recently agreed to increase Uzbek electricity supplies to Afghanistan. They have worked on plans to include Afghanistan into Central Asia's single electricity grid. An agreement is being drafted to exempt Afghan goods from customs tariffs and create a free trade zone in border areas.

The Count-Down

I'm about a five weeks out from the big bounce. It has been roughly two years in the making from concept to completion and while there have been a few roadblocks, and the annoying cost over-runs and changes for cause to the original design (eliminate the master bedroom fireplace, as an example), it's not been as bad as it could have been.

Blue Ridge Reservoir (below), six miles as the eagle flies from the White Wolf Mine.


How would my grandchildren ever really know anything but the fiction of the suburbs if they didn't haver the opportunity to spend time with grandpa, fishing, shooting, hiking, and clawing over rocks in the 4x4? The answer is that they wouldn't. They would go on, thinking that the world they inhabited was the 'real' world - video games, strip malls, unending traffic, etc. I grew up in the very rural Intermountain West so I knew the difference when I lived in the synthetic land that paid the bills. 

I'll start moving stuff into the garage in a little under two weeks once the garage doors are installed. I'm going to try and get all of the tools, extra bedding and detritus of a life stuffed into to two U-Haul loads and then get professional movers to pack the furniture and the stuff I don't want broken into a final load using Bekins or Mayflower or one of those fancy movers.

I haven't completely solved the bandwidth problem and it may be that the whole blogging thing will go the way of the dodo bird and the iron horse. I've been too busy elsewhere paying for the compound to spend time there on the problem. It remains to be seen if I land a contract that I've been chasing - which will take me away from the WWM more than I want it to. Decisions.

Life only offers us two things: time and the choice as to how to spend it. It's not a polemic, but it's religious in that there is a sense of peace when you spend your time well. Most of we little people spend our time earning money that we spend on those we love...and buying guns, and ammo, and knives, and canoes, and boats, and so forth, that we don't get to use enough.



Saturday, August 25, 2018

Would it Make Heads X-Plode?



It's been a relatively uneventful week in August. There is the typical call from the Democrat Party to unseat the elected president. There has been a lot of discussion about Stormy's genitalia, which is apparently worth a lot of money. 

The Norks aren't doing much toward surrendering their nuclear weapons, and they may have misunderstood the President. Nothing unexpected there. 

Iran isn't saying much because things can get worse for them. Same for Turkey, which is trying to figure out whether to shit or go blind.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Policy Options (was Rubber Chicken Circuit)

I'm running, but the abstract of my position is that the Arab States need to combine together to militarily occupy Palestine and to take responsibility for topping Hamas. Establishing a benign military dictatorship consisting of several nations can lead to economic prosperity, rebuilding of the slums that contribute to the continuing problem in Gaza and the West Bank, Palestine at large. Investment in infrastructure will lead to full employment. Installation of schools with teachers who teach objective truth in a generally secular way will prepare the young for employment positions both within and without Palestine. 

We saw this happen in Beruit, where the Saudis spend billions to clean the place up, establish order, prosperity and peace. Beruit is remarkably calm these days and it can be attributed to the policy of "Making Beruit Great Again". Palestine was never great. It's been a festering sewer for decades and there is no motivation for politicians to do other than what they do today. It can be fixed, but not with the current leadership in place. Drastic needs call for a drastic solution that does not directly involve Israel, but they need to be consulted and listened to while this transformation is taking place.

The US should not broker this agreement. This is a military (shogunate) solution to a situation that is beyond control by other means and it should be administered by the Arab states. The Arab states have the means to lift Palestine out of its present situation and they can sit as regents until it's able to find its way in the world, which does not include being a cat's paw for every potentate that hates Israel.

The official abstract is part of the journal article, but this is an abstracted abstract.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The Rubber Chicken Circuit


I will be speaking to a mixed group of graduate students and prominent members of the community, some US State people in La Jolla (pronounced La-Hoya), California on Thursday on the future of the "nation" of Palestine. I'm speaking again later in the day on the subject of Boko Haram, currently killing Nigerians for fun and profit.

The topic and the fact that I'm bloviating on it shouldn't surprise anyone. It's a common topic and there are as many solutions to the problems as there are people to suggest them. I'm hardly an expert, but the people who are paying me, are doing so because I have an uncomfortable propensity to speak my mind. That's rare in an academic environment and I'm sure that I'd be fired or would never achieve tenure - if I was an academic, and I'm not. The odd thing is the patron who is footing the bill - King Salman, the ruling monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Traditionally, I've been a harsh critic of the Saudis, and a harsher critic of Iran. I think that the difference is that I have personally known members of the royal family and they feel that while I may be misguided, there are some threads that they want discussed. And they want some people taking notes, which is how they are being shanghai'd into sitting there and listening to my drivel. The Saudis also like the fact that I'm not a Jew and am not particularly pro-Israel as well. I like to think that there is objective truth in the region that everyone can agree on. 

In the case of Boko Haram, I've been encouraging the Saudis to fund a Muslim-led effort to wipe them from the face of the Earth. It's gaining some traction. I'll let you know how things stand in a week or ten days.

Venue 

La Jolla is home to boutique universities, state universities, private conference centers and an LDS temple (right) that can be viewed from the I-5 freeway and looks very cool. 

The city is 'old money' in the SoCal sense of 'old', which is not that old at all - old regionally.

Some of the Saudis that I know own racing stables just north of there in Del Mar. People who live in Del Mar, California are a bit weird even by California standards and are referred to as Del Martians.

And if this blog seems to be punching all over the map, I know it is.  Because this whole speech thing is strange, La Jolla is eccentric, and it has nothing what-so-ever to do with the White Wolf Mine, and I'll be living there, in a month.


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

And in November

...In November, I'm spending two weeks on the beach (literally) on vacation. Phone off.

But something else is coming: The Outlaw King. (Netflix release)

Justice is an illusive thing. Sometimes you see it, but it's mostly a matter of perspective. Most of the time, there's not enough justice to go around in our modern and allegedly 'civilized world'.  Often we find that 'justice' masks ulterior motives and that was as true in 1298 for The Bruce as it is today. 


Justice


Justice was a difficult thing to grasp for for Roibert a Briuis (Robert I) (11 July 1274 – 7 June 1329) He fought successfully during his reign to regain Scotland's place as an independent country and is today revered in Scotland as a national hero.

Appointed in 1298 as a Guardian of Scotland alongside his chief rival for the throne, John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch, and William Lamberton, Bishop of St Andrews, Robert later resigned in 1300 due to his quarrels with Comyn and the apparently imminent restoration of John Balliol to the Scottish throne. After submitting to Edward I in 1302 and returning to "the king's peace", Robert inherited his family's claim to the Scottish throne upon his father's death.

In February 1306, Robert the Bruce killed Comyn following an argument, and was excommunicated by the Pope and absolved by the Bishop of Glasgow (Justice? The Bruce would have said so, were he to be here reading this blog)

Bruce moved quickly to seize the throne and was crowned king of Scots on 25 March 1306. Edward I's forces defeated Robert in battle, forcing him to flee into hiding in the the Hebrides and in Ireland before returning in 1307 to defeat an English army at Loudoun Hill and wage a highly successful guerrilla war against the English. Bruce defeated his other Scots enemies, destroying their strongholds and devastating their lands, and in 1309 held his first parliament. A series of military victories between 1310 and 1314 won him control of much of Scotland, and at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, Robert defeated a much larger English army under Edward II of England, confirming the re-establishment of an independent Scottish kingdom. The battle marked a significant turning point, with Robert's armies now free to launch devastating raids throughout Northern England.

Despite Bannockburn and the capture of the final English stronghold at Berwick in 1318, Edward II refused to renounce his claim to the overlordship of Scotland. In 1320, the Scottish nobility submitted the Declaration of Arbroath to Pope John XXII, declaring Robert as their rightful monarch and asserting Scotland's status as an independent kingdom. In 1324, the Pope recognised Robert I as king of an independent Scotland, and in 1326, the Franco-Scottish alliance was renewed in the Treaty of Corbeil. In 1327, the English deposed Edward II in favour of his son, Edward III, and peace was concluded between Scotland and England with the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, by which Edward III renounced all claims to sovereignty over Scotland.

It remains to be seen if the movie lives up to its hype.


Hump Day Funnies







Open carry - in Texas


Missing Missile(s)?

SSN Jimmy Carter enters port flying the Jolly Roger
in September 2017. The Seawolf Class submarine is equipped
to "find" objects on the ocean floor and deal with them or
retrieve them.
Has the US already recovered the Burevestnik nuclear powered and armed Russian cruise missile that came down in the Barents Sea in 2017? 

I can hardly speculate because I know very little of such things, but that's what blogging is all about...isn't it?

The real question is HOW MANY missiles are the Russians missing? And who will find them all first?


CNBC was first to report the Russian expedition, citing unnamed U.S. government sources with knowledge of an American intelligence report on the matter, on Aug. 21, 2018. These individuals said that the Kremlin would dispatch three unspecified ships, including one specially configured to recover the missile's nuclear reactor, but said there was no set timeline for when the operation would begin or how long it might last. 

Russia test-fired four Burevestniks in total between September 2017 and February 2018, according to the new information. The longest test flight reportedly lasted over two minutes and saw the weapon travel a total of 22 miles, while the shortest experiment saw the missile fail within seconds, but it still managed to cover a distance of five miles. The missile reportedly uses a nuclear reactor to power its propulsion system, giving it theoretically unlimited range.

The Russians have otherwise been very tight-lipped about the design (read more about it here). So, it's not surprising that they would want to recover any wrecks both to prevent foreign intelligence services from getting their hands on it and to gather more information for their test program.

Yantar
The Yantar is said to be among those ships engaged in the search. Officially an "oceanographic research vessel," this spy ship has specialized equipment that can reportedly tap or cut submarine cables and investigate and retrieve objects from depths of up to 18,000 feet.
In 2017, the vessel reportedly sailed off the coast of Syria to recover the remnants of two fighter jets, a Su-33 and a Mig-29KR, that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during operations from Russia's aircraft carrier Kuznetsov. In that case, the goal was also, at least in part, to make sure other countries could not retrieve the wrecks for their own purposes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Blessings of Socialism

The economic meltdown plus anticipatory concern about the new Venezuelan inflation control measures have caused a spike in the number of daily border crossers into Brazil and Colombia. Inflation in Venezuela passed 82,000%. Brazilian authorities expect up to 1,000 migrants a day this week.

It's all completely predictable. Venezuela used to be a wealthy country. It floats on an ocean of oil. It used to be a happy country with abundant food because the growing season lasts through 12 months of the year. There are verdant mountains, fresh flowing streams of clear, clean water. Everyone had enough, and some did very well. Then envy set in, the people embraced socialism to distribute the wealth (social justice) that some people had accumulated by stealing from the rich. Is it fair that some should have more than others? Capital fled. Business owners were looted and businesses closed. The government said that they'd run those businesses. (Much like the promise of Obamacare was to make all US healthcare as good as the VA)

In May, the Red Cross reported that more than a million Venezuelans have crossed into Colombia in the past year. A recent UN report said that 2.3 million Venezuelans from a population of 31.3 million have fled to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. Ecuador and Peru will soon begin refusing to accept anyone without a visa. 

Brazilian President Michel Temer is sending more troops and more police to the border after locals in the town of Pacaraima, Roraima State, clashed with Venezuelan migrants. The mission of the troops is to protect the migrants. Three Brazilians were injured in the clashes.

In Pacaraima on the 18th, several migrant encampments were attacked by angry residents following reports that a local restaurant owner had been badly beaten by Venezuelans. The tents and belongings of the migrants were torched by the locals.

The Brazilian government will not close the border, according to the Institutional Security Minister. However, the government of Roraima State want the Brazilian Supreme Court to order the border closed to migrants. The number of troops is expected to rise to 150.

The great Venezuelan exodus is one of the largest population movements in South American history. 

Large population movements are inherently destabilizing because they impose extra burdens on local resources. They cause resentment and tension because they often result in the failure of the government to satisfy the needs and wants of the residents. Those conditions create stress, and stress is the gateway to violent internal instability. The weekend violence in Pacaraima was a textbook manifestation of stress.

Increased regional tension also is one of the ripple effects of the Maduro government’s mismanagement of the Venezuelan economy. Mass movements are one source of conflict between countries.

It's Coming

I don't know how many of this blog's readers are fans of the Predator and Alien movies, but THE PREDATOR (Predator 4) debuts next month.
"A young boy (Jacob Tremblay) accidentally triggers an alert that brings the Predators back to Earth. The universe’s most lethal hunters have genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other alien species and only a crew of former soldiers along with a disgruntled science teacher can stop the hunters before everybody becomes their prey."

The Predator franchise began with the film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (1987), written by Shane Black, based on the premise that aliens come to earth to engage in trophy hunting. The concept was melded with the Alien film franchise (Ridley Scott) to produce Alien vs Predator and Alien vs Predator Requiem and that film spun to produce the current The Predator (P-4). If it sounds a bit confusing, it is to all but the most die-hard of franchise fans.

Because I like the films, I'll part with a few shekels to go see it. I suspect I'll go alone since it's too scary for the grandkids (who often go to the movies with me).

Don't be cruel, it's not as bad as Sharknado (popular during Shark Week).

Monday, August 20, 2018

What About STEVE?

Thin ribbons of purple and white light, called STEVE, but I'm not sure why, that sometimes appear in the night sky were dubbed a new type of aurora when brought to scientists' attention in 2016. But new research suggests these mysterious streams of light are not an aurora at all but an entirely new celestial phenomenon.

The atmospheric phenomenon 'STEVE' appears as a 
purple and green light ribbon in the sky. Credit: © Ryan / Fotolia
Amateur photographers had captured the new phenomenon, called STEVE, on film for decades. But the scientific community only acknowledged STEVE in 2016. When scientists first looked at images.

STEVE, they realized the lights were slightly different than light from typical auroras but were not sure what underlying mechanism was causing them.

In a new study, researchers analyzed a STEVE event in March 2008 to see whether it was produced in a similar manner as the aurora, which happens when showers of charged rain down into Earth's upper atmosphere. The study's results suggest STEVE is produced by a different atmospheric process than the aurora, making it an entirely new type of optical phenomenon.
"Our main conclusion is that STEVE is not an aurora," said Bea Gallardo-Lacourt, a space physicist at the University of Calgary in Canada and lead author of the new study in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union. "So right now, we know very little about it. And that's the cool thing, because this has been known by photographers for decades. But for the scientists, it's completely unknown."
Auroras are produced when electrons and protons from Earth's magnetosphere, the region around Earth dominated by its magnetic field, rain down into the ionosphere, a region of charged particles in the upper atmosphere. When these electrons and protons become excited, they emit light of varying colors, most often green, red and blue.

STEVE is an entirely new phenomenon distinct from typical auroras. The POES-17 satellite detected no charged particles raining down to the ionosphere during the STEVE event, which means it is likely produced by an entirely different mechanism.

The researchers said STEVE is a new kind of optical phenomenon they call "skyglow." Their next step is to see whether the streams of fast ions and hot electrons in the ionosphere are creating STEVE's light, or if the light is produced higher up in the atmosphere.
B. Gallardo-Lacourt, J. Liang, Y. Nishimura and E. Donovan. On the Origin of STEVE: Particle Precipitation or Ionospheric Skyglow? Geophysical Research Letters, 2018 DOI: 10.1029/2018GL078509

The Communist and the Indian


The Democrat line up for 2020 is interesting with a mixed bag of freaks, designed to appeal to any one of a number of social justice warriors. 

The problem that they have is that all of their constituents do not have the same sorts of grievances. Some gender warriors who want to be willing to change the way they identify their kinks at will are uncomfortable with "fungible race". Racial warriors don't like the idea that a white person with ancestry from Iceland can (on a whim) self-identify as a black person from Botswana. 

Herein lies the problem that they are experiencing. 

President Trump's economic policies that focus on the achieved goal of full employment for all crosses those grievance lines. Sure, some people still make more than others, and people like Bernie Sanders would like to fix that in the communist way of making almost everyone except the most elite, poor. They focus on envy. Envy is a winning sin, but full employment and a booming economy throws a lot of water on envy.




Sunday, August 19, 2018

The PC-6/B2-H4 Project

For those of you who asked, the fly-away price of the PC-6/B2-H4 with all of the goodies is $2,043,620.00. Price of extended range fuel tanks is on top of that as are a few little extra luxury goodies. Delivery in the US ads a few dollars to the bottom line. 10% down for delivery in the first quarter of 2020.

The Garmin G950 Glass Cockpit IFR package is included with that amount, and from what I'm told, the weather radar downlink (via Iridium) is the way to go rather than onboard radar. But frankly, I remain unconvinced.

For the helpful souls who e-mailed me with the suggestion that I look hard at the PC-12, is's more than twice as expensive at $5 million. I have no problem with the Pilatus PC-12, but it's out of my price range.

Additional costs would include the construction of a new hanger at the Payson, AZ airport for storage of the Porter. I don't have to do that, but yes, I have to do that. I can land the PC-6 near the White Wolf Mine, but to keep it in perfect shape, and perfectly maintained, it needs a real home.

I have the price locked until August 28. I have not yet ordered the airplane. I'm waiting for money owed to be paid out. I'm too conservative. Go ahead, say it. It's true. I prefer the sure thing. I have deals pending and payments pending. Some are farther out, some are closer to the present. If you were to ask me what I do for a living, I'd have difficulty nailing it down to one particular thing. That's not at all like working for the government and I did that for most of my adult life. Now I know people in a very small world and use those relationships to make money for myself, my pathetic little company and for my friends. However if I have learned one thing, it is that you don't count the money until it's in your account, and overhead and taxes are accounted for fully.

Does that mean I'll get the order down for a PC-6 before they shut down the assembly line? I don't know.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

Dispatch from the Salt Mine

It's been a weird day at "the office" with weird telephone calls, weird e-mails, friends in crisis, bullshit that you wonder --- is it real or total bunk? 

It's after 2300 HRS (11PM) 0600 Zulu Time/GMT (tomorrow) and I'm still at it. I think that I sent off my last e-mail of the evening. Or maybe not, because I'm blogging while I wait to see if there's a response.

Getting older (face it, don't fear the reaper) means that I take things with a great degree of skepticism. A friend called first thing this morning, asking me to lend my good name to the board of advisors for a company that he wants to worm his way into. It's one of those companies where all the hopes and dreams of the creators are based on "magic beans" that they traded value for. I told him how to test the truth of the metal for free and explained that he didn't need a lot of money to do it. There is allegedly a patent on the machine that makes magic things happen. I asked the name of the people involved so that I could do a patent search. That caused consternation.  I wish that I had a dollar for each 'friend' who wanted me to help them refine their idea - one day to be worth billions. Yes, I should be on Shark Tank.

Or somebody wants to give me kittens. That happened the other day and I patiently explained that I didn't want an indoor cat and that taking a cat to the White Wolf Mine would be to introduce it into an environment where there are mountain lions and bobcats that are larger, faster, climb better and are higher on the food chain than felis domesticus.  If they want to feed the mountain lions, coyotes and so forth, there are wild areas a lot closer to home than where I'm headed in a month. 
"Ok, LL, I just thought you might like a cat." (indignant) 
"I'll take it under the conditions that I outlined, if it will make you happy." 
Takes the cat and leaves - angry.
Lunch at a brew-pub in San Diego. I order a chicken sandwich and a Sprite. The other two guys, both of whom have worked with me order similar meals, no alcohol. I've trained them well. Aftermath: Did we accomplish anything besides general conversation? I think so. One is headed to Morocco, another to Latin America and I'm staying here, getting ready to move and making some business connections, debating on whether to order an airplane for 2020 delivery (more on that on the blog tomorrow). I have business in Paraguay but I'm handling it on the telephone. I was invited to fly to Zurich for a meeting on Monday but I sense a circle-jerk. My two buddies agree. No flight. Complete waste of time and money. The guy who wanted the meet in Zurich with attorneys wanted me to sign an NDA. I said that it's the opposite - junk on the bunk or they can pound sand. Their options are limited. I'm working with bankers a lot these days and the bankers take my word for things. They want access. (see pound sand - opcit)

John Derva (Valuism), thanks for the hints on the Nepalese guy. Turns out he fronts for the Teochew Chinese in Thailand (the mafia has run the country since 1957).

A suggestion that I hire a secretary - no women. They are extra work, extra expense, and they file lawsuits on their way out the door (see Omarosa). The operation is already racially and geographically integrated. Suggestion tabled indefinitely. Veterans preferred but when even they ask, "What can I do, LL?" I ask, "What can you do?" And why aren't you doing it now? They don't need me to be successful and profit sharing is already diluted enough. Sometimes I'm called an AH. If the shoe fits, I wear it.

A call from a guy who has lost his credibility, asking how he can regain it. I explained that he couldn't. He's still a friend, but there's no business to be done with him. He didn't lie, cheat or steal, but he introduced me to mainland Chinese who turned out to be money launderers and kidnappers, vouching for their integrity. I found out what they were up to and he was defrocked. Sorry/not sorry.

Business calls, a new plan for Africa (which will be discussed in Morocco), and general discussions, that bounced back and forth like ping-pong balls.

The playlist continues in the background as I blog. We're onto The Animals now. Shift to Rolling Stones to Hendrix and I'm done. It's now 11:30 pm and I'm shutting down the shop for the night. Tomorrow, little league games with my family in Huntington Beach. And yes, I'll be on the phone all day. Did I make any money today? There was supposed to be an inbound bank wire that never made it. Maybe next week?


Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday Blog

Staff of Life

Bread wheat is derived from the hybridizations between three distinct species, and I had no idea that its DNA sequence was five times longer than that of a human being. Since it's a crop that provides over 20% of protein and caloric intake of humans, it has strategic value in addition to the obvious food value. 
(WIRED) In a Science report published Thursday, an international team of more than 200 researchers presents the first high-quality, complete sequence of the bread wheat genome. Like a physical map of the monstrous genome—wheat has five times more DNA than you do—the fully annotated sequence provides the location of over 107,000 genes and more than 4 million genetic markers across the plant’s 21 chromosomes. For a staple crop that feeds a third of the world’s population it’s a milestone that may be on par with the day its domestication began 9,000 years ago.
As with most foods these days - 'wheat will kill you'. So will eating a steak. So will adding a lobster tail to your steak dinner to make surf and turf. I think that moderation is important but where wheat is concerned, it's a component part of almost everything that humans consume. So is the unassuming soy bean. 

I'm posting this up because I thought it interesting. There is a lot about the world that we take for granted and the next time you bite into your favorite sandwich, consider that various hybridizations of the wheat that makes up the bread have been going on for 9,000 years to make it what it is today.

North and South (an update)

North Korea and South Korea restored a military communications line on the east coast, according to the South Korean defense ministry. “The communications line can support transportation and communication needed to implement inter-Korean projects related to railway, expressway and forestry," the ministry said in a press release on the 15th.

The restoration of fiber-optic cables will enable exchanges of phone calls and fax paper documents between North Korea and South Korea for future inter-Korean projects.

In North Korea military communications were the only reliable means of long distance communications until cell phones were introduced in recently. Telephones for civilians were restricted to high ranking officials and government offices, collective farms and factories.

The process moves forward - slowly. As it should. North Korea feels that all of Korea should be unified under the genius of Dear Leader, Kim Jong Un. South Korea doesn't want to be a gulag, and they have a different view of things. There is no burning desire on the part of South Koreans to "unify" partly because of the burden of raising the failed communist north to a decent standard of living. Nobody wants a war, but nobody wants peace on Nork terms.

Then there is This

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Random Topics

Oscar Mike Golf - A friend of mine who is not liberal at his core but he has a lot of leftie friends began a rant to me about how the Mojave Desert is hotter than ever before. It kicked off a discussion about man-caused climate change. I pointed out that 10,000 years ago the same spot was under an ice sheet and 20,000 yers ago it was under 500 feet of ocean. If somebody else talks about global warming to me, I'm going to hurl my cookies on their shoes (or Birkenstocks, as the case may be). Al Gore predicted that polar bears would be extinct by 2018 and they're doing fine - and the ice sheet is larger than it was in 2008.

The Door in the Desert

There was a practice by the American Mafia in Las Vegas to eliminate people in a particular way. As far as I know, it's still in use, but I'm not working in that particular world anymore, so I can't say for sure. Dr. Jim quoted the movie Casino, yesterday, "there are a lot of holes in the desert". I wanted to amplify that by telling you how it's actually done.
(1) Kidnap the person to be rubbed out.
(2) Take them to the desert along with a solid core door and some really heavy nails.
(3) Put them on top of the door and hammer the nails through their wrists and feet, bending the tips on the other side so that they won't slip out.
(4) Dig a hole.
(5) Flip the door with the person attached upside down over the hole.
(6) Shovel sand over the door to a depth of three or four feet.
In time the person dies, the door decays and collapses in on the grave. To date, nobody every walked away from the door in the desert. I can assure you that it happened a number of times. People disappear and go into witness protection and are never heard from again. For the most part, that death is reserved for informers.
The same thing can be accomplished by serving people Fredd's Aunt Sally's bouillabaisse. Both are said to be agonizing ways to die. 


Wednesday, August 15, 2018

What a Country!


You murder your own son who suffers from epilepsy for being 'a demon', and abuse children while you train them to conduct school shootings. You're taken into custody along with co-conspirators and then you're released on a signature bond (no money changed hands) which is essentially an own-recognizance release.

Since when is a murderer and his co-conspirators given an OR release? The judge reasoned that it was because the murderer was a negro and a Muslim (members of an oppressed minority). 

Law enforcement stressed that they were both a danger to the community - having murdered - and a flight risk. The judge, a democrat, rejected that as racist prattle.

Welcome to the progressive movement.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Progressivism


If George Orwell was alive today, he'd look at the "progressive movement" and would likely say, "they're going according to plan."

Donald J. Trump stuck a finger (from his large hands) into the eye of that movement and they are still trying to cope with his win over the RINO's and Corrupt Hillary Clinton - either of which would have served the deep state faithfully.

It's all quite interesting.

Dana and Tyrus

If you don't watch Fox News, this picture won't mean anything to you.


Monday, August 13, 2018

Chinese Imperialism

China likes to remind the world that THEY (the PRC - which is one of two Chinas) obey international law. But as with most nations including the USA - they obey the laws they wish to obey and reject those that they can get away with ignoring - sort the way that I do on a daily basis. You may recall that China’s claims on developing the South China Sea by creating islands were rejected by an international maritime tribunal two years ago. China said that the tribunal was "hostile toward China", which justifies their actions...and their neighbors aren't big or strong enough to whip them back to China.

On August 10th, a US Navy maritime surveillance aircraft, a P-8A Poseidon, with a CNN team aboard flew a track over the Spratly Islands. The mission was to obtain an update on the status of China’s militarization of the seven islets it occupies. 

During the flight over Mischief Reef, Johnson Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, and Subi Reef, the CNN team reported it observed "large radar installations, power plants, and runways sturdy enough to carry large military aircraft." 

At one outpost, onboard sensors detected 86 vessels, including Chinese Coast Guard ships.

During the flight a Chinese controller contacted the US aircraft and ordered it to depart Chinese airspace. A voice said: “US military aircraft, this is China ... leave immediately and keep out to avoid any misunderstanding.” This occurred six times.

The US aircraft asserted its right to fly in international airspace and completed its mission.

As China’s military capability to patrol the South China Sea has increased, its assertions of its claim to sovereignty have become more aggressive. However, China is in no position to engage in an armed confrontation with the US. Its challenges and warnings keep alive its claims of sovereignty. The means it will challenge every non-commercial flight or ship transit if only to prevent any party of accusing China of letting its claim lapse. 

Spies, Straws and So Forth

California Progressiveness

I haven't heard much outrage from Californians, that their favorite daughter, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) employed a Chinese spy to drive her around for twenty years. The fact that the spy reported back her every thought may have been worse for the Chinese than it was for the USA, though. I wonder if Nancy Pelosi would consider employing Chinese spies to haul her from place to place and listen in on her phone calls? 

Don't you find it strange that there is no call for s special counsel to investigate Senator Feinstein's lax behavior that led to espionage, and compromise of almost EVERYTHING she worked on during her career in the US Senate? It sounds a lot like Chinese collusion to me.

Turkey's Dilemma

It would be easy for Turkey to re-join the family of civilized nations - dump Sultan Erdogan. Return to the doctrines of Kamal Ataturk.  America dumped Barack Obama and Crooked Hillary Clinton and elected President Trump to Make America Great Again. It's not that tough, Turkey. You just need to do it.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Fire (Sermonette Part 2)


An evening view of the Holy Jim Fire as seen from Lake Elsinore, California.

In my role as good Samaritan and decent human being, I'm pitching in with others to help with the clean up effort today/in a few minutes. A lot of people in the path of the fire were old/poor and from what I've heard, they were overwhelmed. No kidding, right? So I'm showing up as a "grip"with a shovel and a broom in weather that promises to reach 93 degrees. 

There have been looters in the impacted area so yes, I'll be armed, but you'd expect that wouldn't you? Since I'm going in with the Sheriff's Department as part of their community effort, I doubt that I'll have an opportunity to exercise my right of self-defense. 

Usually these sorts of efforts are "Chinese fire drills" (with apologies to my Chinese readers). But I'll be there, wearing work clothes (as opposed to my standard summer wardrobe of shorts, t-shirt and sandals) and doing my part. If I find that I am able to do any good, I'll return tomorrow.