sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

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. 


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Random Thoughts

The world is changing. It always changes. Even the climate is in flux - will we have another ice age or will the planet become a cinder? The Europe that I knew as a boy and as a young man has vanished. Look at the historical archive films of European nations in the 1900's. Then visit today. In downtown London, you're in the minority on the street if you're not a Muslim. The place has a definite hint of third world charm. Stockholm looks more like Johannesburg, South Africa than a Scandinavian country. France and Germany opened the gates to the hoard and the hoard arrived and brought with them every nasty problem they sought to flee from.

You need only look to the "border crisis" in the US, which is not really a crisis so much as it is a political fight over whether allowing illegal aliens to vote will be acceptable. The Democrat Party knows that its future requires an inexhaustible supply of compliant illegal voters surging into the US.

Then there is the Great Game - and the Asian Subcontinent.

According to Dawn, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are likely to sign memoranda of understanding (MoUs) for more than $10 billion in Saudi investment in Pakistan this month. Pakistan will also sign similar MoUs with China, the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia over the next two months. I'm grateful that the US has President Trump calling the shots, or we would be dumping more billions into that bottomless pit of  corruption as well. China hopes to turn Pakistan into a vassal state with cheap labor and a road to the Indian Ocean (or the Far South China Sea?). Will they succeed?

There is a push and pull over Pakistan these days. The investments mean that the Arab Islamic states are attempting to reclaim Pakistan as an Islamic state, more than as an Asian state. Pakistan has the largest Muslim army in the world and remains, with Egypt, a guarantor of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Expect to see Pakistani Army deployments (possibly to Yemen) as a form of repayment for these loans.


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

There is Silver in Them Thar Hills

There clearly is, but there isn't any at the White Wolf Mine...not yet. That being the case, I traded the Federal Reserve Note silver equivalent for a new clothes dryer. The big box stores do not deliver their big box wares to the White Wolf Mine, irrespective of silver, so you need to load the equipment (or a 'durable good', such as a dryer) onto your trailer and haul it in. We don't use mules anymore, not even on Arizona's Mogollon Rim. Freight it in yourself.

So while I am busy trying to keep my business alive and healthy (adding staff this month) and at the same time, am moving, hauling, twisting my knee, banging my fingers, etc. there are other things going on in the world, and I, your faithful scribe, am here to give you my spin on various hotspots.

Turkey-US-Syria

Ottoman Turkish Sultan Erdogan snubbed US National Security Adviser Bolton. On 8 January, Ambassador Bolton held talks in Ankara with Turkish presidential adviser Ibrahim Kalin and other officials for roughly two hours on the US plans for withdrawal from Syria. Kalin said the US should transfer to Turkey the 22 US installations in Syria or should destroy them so the Syrian Kurds can’t use them.

Based on the substance of those talks, a joint press conference was canceled and Bolton departed without meeting Erdogan. A US spokesman described the talks as productive, but that is not how the Turks described them. After Bolton’s talks with Kalin, President Erdogan addressed legislators from his ruling Justice and Development Party.
Erdogan said that Bolton had made a “serious mistake” in insisting on a new condition for the US withdrawal from Syria. The new condition is that Turkey must agree to not attack the Syrian Kurds. 
Erdogan said that Turkey could never compromise on the issue of the People’s Protection/Defense Units (YPG), the Syrian Kurdish militia. “Those involved in a terror corridor [in Syria] will receive the necessary punishment."  
In his speech, Erdogan also criticized Bolton over comments suggesting the US would prevent attacks on Kurds. He suggested that officials within the US administration might be trying to obstruct a “clear agreement” that he and President Trump reached during a December 2018 telephone conversation, that Turkey pledged to take on the fight against remaining ISIL fighters when US troops withdraw from Syria.
Bolton’s message was delivered two days after Erdogan published his grand strategy for peace in Syria in the New York Times. The change in US plans for withdrawing soldiers and the timing of Bolton’s visit embarrassed Erdogan. Cry me a river...

At the same time, Russian, Syrian, Iranian and US officials might have the same reactions to Turkish words and actions. Erdogan’s master plan for Syria was not coordinated with the Syrians or the Russians.

Syria and Russia repeatedly have called on Turkey to withdraw its forces from Syria. They have denounced the Turkish deployments as uninvited and illegal, but Erdogan has refused. He indulges the illusion that Turks would be accepted as peacemakers in Arab disputes. He persists in thinking he has answers to regional problems.

Syria

In Syria, it's very difficult to tell the players without a program. And a new program needs to be printed daily for accurate information, friend or foe (IFF). It's save to presume that they're all foes of any Western people in that place.

The pro-al Qaida jihadists are routing the Turkish proxies in Idlib. Turkey-backed groups reported that the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) has opened a new front in southern Idlib, according to multiple news outlets.

HTS is the strongest and most extreme group in the Idlib pocket. It is a coalition of jihadists whose core is the al Nusra Front, which was the al-Qaida franchise in Syria. 

The Russians and the Syrians are preparing for a difficult campaign against the Turks, probably this year. I would ask Americans who oppose our withdrawal from our position in Syria if they really want us to be part of THAT?

Nigeria

One of my former clients was Hunt Food Co. They've since sold out to a Brazilian company. I landed the gig because former US Secretary of State John Kerry recommended me. I'm no friend of Swiftboat John, but he didn't have anything directly to do with Hunt and his wife had a minority share at that point. They asked him, he asked around, and I ended up with the work. At that time, Hunt was expanding in Nigeria. I told them that it was a mistake, but they were engaging in social justice. Whatever. We put boots on the ground to save their employees.

I know that Nigeria pumps oil. All that activity takes place along the coast and has adequate protection. Hunt wanted to put factories in the interior to make food for native consumption. Boko Haram is a problem in Nigeria. Nigerian President Buhari accepted responsibility for the revival of Boko Haram earlier this week. 

Attacks by separate Boko Haram groups. On 7 January, fighters loyal to factional leader Abubakar Shekau attacked Sajeri village on the outskirts of Maiduguri, killing three people. On the same day, fighters affiliated with the Islamic State West African Province-backed Boko Haram faction attacked a military facility in Auno, some 23 kilometers (15 miles) from the city. 

Nigeria’s security problems in the northeast are complicated by the split in Boko Haram. Shekau’s faction is the original group. It continues to attack civilians, usually centers for displaced persons, and to use children for suicide attacks.

The other faction is led by Abu Musab al-Barnawi. Barnawi’s group broke away from Shekau in 2016 over Shekau’s indiscriminate targeting of civilians. Barnawi’s group targets police, military facilities and 'Western Infidels'. It is affiliated with the Islamic State and calls itself the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP). Frankly, you need to print a program of players every day in Nigeria as well because of the ebb and flow of regional actors that are in Nigeria. There is significant cause and effect. I recommend that if you have a choice in vacation destinations that you DO NOT choose Nigeria, or Syria.


Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Buying Landfill

Tourist Traps


There isn't much in the way of tourist traps in the White Wolf Mine area. Yes, of course, there is Sedona, which is beautiful in its setting, but it's a lode stone for the weird and wanna-be weird. A lot of celebrities have summer/winter fifth homes in Sedona because it's that sort of place. It's not a high crime area. The police deliver ice to parties. I'm not knocking it. I rejected living there because of the price and then I spent more on the hovel than I would have on equal square footage in Sedona.

Most of what you find in tourist stores in Sedona is crystals to heal your various ills, aroma therapy, and palmistry. Almost every cult in the world has an "education center" in or near Sedona. They will tell you that there is a mystic power to the red rocks, beyond just being red rocks. "It's the vortexes," one prosperous merchant told me. It brought space aliens here anciently and it brings people here today (to buy t-shirts).

But wait, an alternative exists! You can stand on the corner in Winslow, Arizona. (Such a fine sight to see) My daughter Heather, who shares my love for the Eagles' music wanted to stand on that very corner made legend by the song, "Take it Easy".

And when you're at the tourist destination, people want to buy stuff that they will throw away - the miracle of merchandizing-to-landfill.

Is there anything else to do in Winslow? No. Unless you want to go an auto parts store. There are quite a few of those. There's also a state prison where the population (I'm told) is about 90% feather (as opposed to red dot) Indians. Other than that, jump on I-40 and head east to the crater where they will charge you $35 to look at a big hole in the ground. At the crater, they will sell you stuff to take home and throw away too.

Nobody merchandises landfill the way that Disney does. But there isn't a Disney Adventure Park anywhere close.

If you go west from Winslow on I-40, there is Bearizona. You can buy stuffed teddy bears there to remind you of your time driving through a field with a few pines a lot of bears in it.

The Value of Celery Juice

My daughters are all drinking celery juice. I suspect that it's the latest fad. The claim made by "health experts" is that it cures just about everything, and you'll live forever. I tried to convince them that blending raw turkey livers and adding that to their witch's would enhance the experience, but they're too clever to fall for that at this point in their lives.

I like celery. The juice isn't that bad, but my reaction to the action of the juice is not happy in the least. So until the girls start eating a pound of ground up raw turkey liver mixed into their celery juice, I won't be taking part in this miracle of blending.

Florida Man Denies

The police rarely catch the smart ones.
(LINK) A Florida man says three syringes removed from his rectum during a jail strip search aren't his, according to an arrest report. 
Wesley Scott, 40, was arrested early Friday morning in Pinellas County on an outstanding drug possession warrant. 
Scott told law enforcement officers he had nothing on him when they searched him in the field. 
When he arrived at the jail, however, that is when he removed the syringes and told officials they were not his.
Maybe he was just keeping them safe for a friend. That's friendship... 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Ending in Style

This blog posting won't work without help from you all by way of commentary. This twitter post has been knocking around the Internet mainly because it's a great idea. I snagged it from Daily Timewaster.

$50 is a fair price, but what would it cost to have her throw myself onto my coffin and wail? Would she be willing to wear a fetish nurse outfit (which would explain my lack of energy before I expired)? I've got a lot of dark and interesting secrets there may be others there who are unpaid... She'd need to stand out from the crowd if I would authorize a payment of $50. 

I always thought that one of those New Orleans funerals would be cool, with the brass band (locals playing a jazzed up durge), the twenty or thirty paid mourners, also black. Wailing about how the mazza be gone now. What de gonna do? The cortege would wind its way back and forth holding the coffin until out of sight, and they'd likely toss the coffin on a garbage heap.

Too many funerals are sad or boring. A wake isn't a bad idea but most of my friends are aging and two shots of Tullamore Dew (long pour) would put them under the table. 

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Sunday Sermonette

Navy Stuff

The US Navy has introduced a new old concept into the fleet. It's the Littoral Combat Group, pairing a DDG and an LPD. Naturally, the Navy's newest fleet members, the Littoral Combat Ships were not included because they are worthless. 

Independence Class Littoral Combat Ship
Maybe we could sell the LCS to the Cambodians or something? I don't think that the Cambodians have enough money to operate the LCS. Ukraine has lost some ships to the Russians in the Black Sea recently. Maybe they would be a customer. This acquisition would enable them to lose more ships!

To the nay sayers, I offer one possibility that could help the Navy recoup its investment. Cover the LCS's with radar reflectors and make them look like aircraft carriers. They'd be a missile sponge for anything incoming. See, you haters, there is a mission for the 13 LCS's that we built. Decoys!

The sermonette is that everything has a use. Even something as apparently worthless as a LCS, can find a place for itself.

More here from the US Naval Institute, and from Commander Salamander.

Weekend at the Mine

Even though I'm in full move mode, two of my girls and their children (two grandsons/three granddaughters) came by from AZ and CA to 'help me'.



Olivia (youngest girl at center) suffered a bad sprain at home before coming. She got the cast on and headed for the High Country. Normally you'd think that would keep her from engaging in snowball fights, but her mother bagged her foot and she went out for a little bit to play with the big kids.




Friday, January 4, 2019

Cooking with LL


Other bloggers (Old NFO and the Lone Star Parson to name two) have posted up meals that they've created recently. In LSP's case, it's field to table with his kills/catches. In my case, it's cracking open the Hickory Farms gift basket that I received for Christmas, twisting open a mini-flask of A&W Root Beer and carving things up with my knife.

Beef summer sausage, Swiss Cheese (without holes in it - riddle me that one), sweet mustard, crackers and a knife is all you need to have a mini-feast for breakfast while blogging in the hovel at the White Wolf Mine.

On the menu for lunch is an opened can of Campbell's tomato soup, blended with milk and heated to taste along with a slice of cheese between two slabs of bread, cooked to a golden brown. Yes, the grilled cheese will be dipped into the soup.

Dinner will be a baked potato with butter, sour cream, chives and bacon. I'm also going to tear some lettuce and throw tomatoes on it to help balance the whole thing out. 

You're saying to yourself, "If I was staying there, I'd sneak out and drive through somewhere." While that may sound doable in your neighborhood, it doesn't work here. The NEXT closest food is a two hour round trip drive away, so you eat from the Officer's Table at the mine, or you starve. Does that baked potato with the crispy skin rubbed with salt sound better now?

Daughters and grandchildren arrive tomorrow. The quartermaster laid in supplies for their fare as well, with their little preferences baked into the menu. By then, I will have nibbled my way through the cheese and summer sausage.

Reading Tea Leaves

Deutschland (Uber Alles) and the United Nations

Germany announced that it will begin to push for the EU to have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Maybe they should give up their seat on the UN Security Council (their two year term as a temporary member begins this year)?

Personally I find the UN to be a complete waste of time, money and space, and being an American nationalist, I don't think that I want to give up one inch of national sovereignty to the UN. I don't  care what the EU does. The British were correct to vote for BREXIT. The French look to be heading for a change of government that might even push for FREXIT.

NATO became a European scam to have the US contribute to their national defense, while not seeing to their own needs. Germany is a hollow shell militarily, their navy is a EuroJoke. Yeah, that's how I see it.

What Will YOU Leave Behind?

(LINK) Read more at the link about Weewarrasaurus pobeni.

The American Moon

"We landed there first. Therefore it should be OUR Moon." There are suggestions that the US treat the Moon the same way as the Chinese treat the South China Sea. No Chinese landers. This would mean bases, missiles, and a real mission for the US Space Force. (cue Pink Floyd)

When you consider that we left 5 base camps there fifty years ago, we have more claim on the Moon than the Chinese had on the South China Sea before they started constructing bases on reefs. I have a Starship Troopers classroom scenario running in my head for some reason.

Comparing the GDP of US States to Countries

Sometimes it's interesting to stop and reflect on how the US relates to other nations in terms of GDP. Read about it HERE.

Even though the socialist system is alive and well in California, it's not as evolved as it is in Great Britain.
America’s largest state economy is California, which produced $2.75 trillion of economic output in 2017, more than the United Kingdom’s GDP last year of $2.62 trillion.  
Consider this: California has a labor force of 19.3 million compared to the labor force in the UK of 33.8 million (World Bank data here). It required a labor force 75% larger (and 14.5 million more people) in the UK to produce the same economic output last year as California 
California as a separate country would have been the 5th largest economy in the world last year, ahead of the UK ($2.62 trillion), India ($2.61 trillion) and France ($2.58 trillion).
Mitt

Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) lost to Barack. Some say that he didn't try hard enough. He's been trying hard to take shots at President Trump from some sort of faux moral high ground that he occupies. I voted for him once. TODAY, I wouldn't vote for him as city dog catcher in Bayonne, NJ (or any other city).

Leading Scientist Resigns

He says that it's a scam. Duh. More HERE. Take a moment to read his resignation letter in full at the link (excerpted below)
From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara
To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society 
Dear Curt: 
When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago)...
It is of course, the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, that has corrupted so many scientists, and has carried APS before it like a rogue wave. It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

In Space

Face

The Chinese have been heralded by the international press for landing an unmanned probe on the Moon. While it's a big deal for China, I guess, we landed men there several times including dune buggies for them to cruise around on, fifty years ago. Does that put China fifty or more years behind the USA? Yes, and no. They want to put their own people on the Moon, and they're working on it. But as with the Russians, they haven't been able to close the deal. This lunar landing serves to remind us that China still has a space program.

Ultima Thule

Scientists from NASA's New Horizons mission released the first detailed images of the most distant object ever explored -- the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Its remarkable appearance is unlike anything we've seen before.

This image taken by the Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) is the most detailed of Ultima Thule returned so far by the New Horizons spacecraft. It was taken at 5:01 Universal Time on January 1, 2019, just 30 minutes before closest approach from a range of 18,000 miles (28,000 kilometers), with an original scale of 730 feet (140 meters) per pixel.

Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

"This flyby is a historic achievement," said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. "Never before has any spacecraft team tracked down such a small body at such high speed so far away in the abyss of space. New Horizons has set a new bar for state-of-the-art spacecraft navigation."

The new images -- taken from as close as 17,000 miles (27,000 kilometers) on approach -- revealed Ultima Thule as a "contact binary," consisting of two connected spheres. End to end, the world measures 19 miles (31 kilometers) in length. The team has dubbed the larger sphere "Ultima" (12 miles/19 kilometers across) and the smaller sphere "Thule" (9 miles/14 kilometers across).

The team says that the two spheres likely joined as early as 99 percent of the way back to the formation of the solar system, colliding no faster than two cars in a fender-bender.

International Notes

My consulting work continues, even as I unpack at the hovel-in-the-woods. I was on the phone for a couple of hours yesterday. There is a new exchange, called a 'crypto exchange' going in on Wall Street where people will be able to swap their cryptocurrency. If you're tired of bitcoin and want to get into Etherium, it can happen seamlessly. I'm now representing a cryptocurrency that wants to participate in the exchange. For those of you who ask what I do - it's everything from corporate intelligence, to work outside of the US on behalf of American interests, to things like this.  Meanwhile, in the larger world, there is some stuff going on that you may be interested in.

Defection

The South Korean press reported the defection of the acting North Korean ambassador to Italy and his family last month. The diplomat requested asylum from an unidentified western country.

Defections by North Korean diplomats are rare. The last was by the deputy ambassador to the UK in 2016. The Foreign Ministry requires most diplomats to leave members of their family in North Korea during their period of foreign service, essentially as hostages to safeguard against defection. That was not the case with the ambassador to Italy, whose family accompanied him. Oooops. Once they're away from the worker's paradise, they seldom return willingly. For some who arouse ire, it's a firing squad waiting for them to de-plane.

Chinese Reunification

Every so often, the PRC decides to bang the drum, rattle sabers, and threaten to invade Taiwan in order to 'peacefully reunite Chinese people'. Most people in Taiwan do not want to be part of the Great Belt Road initiative because they know what the ChiComs are selling.

On 1 January, President Xi Jinping delivered a speech in the Great Hall of the People to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the “Letter to Taiwan Compatriots” sent on 1 January 1979. The letter advocated early reunification and ordered the end of the daily Chinese artillery shelling of Jinmen (Quemoy) island. 
China reserves the right to use force to bring Taiwan under its control but will strive to achieve peaceful “reunification” with the self-ruled island that has a bright future under any future Chinese rule, President Xi Jinping said on Wednesday. (Emphasis added.)
The clause “There is only one China in the world” is the opening sentence of Article 2 of China’s Anti-Secession Law of 2005.
Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s reply. On 2 January, the Taiwan President told reporters that Taiwan would never accept “one country, two systems” and was proud of its democratic way of life. The communists assert, in retort, that people in China are free to vote for any candidate put forward by the Communist Party - their concept for democracy.

Chinese leaders will strive to achieve peaceful reunification but will use force to prevent Taiwan from declaring its independence. Article 8 of the Anti-secession law is reproduced below.
“Article 8: In the event that the ‘Taiwan independence’ secessionist forces should act under any name or by any means to cause the fact of Taiwan's secession from China, or that major incidents entailing Taiwan's secession from China should occur, or that possibilities for a peaceful re-unification should be completely exhausted, the state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.” 
“The State Council and the Central Military Commission shall decide on and execute the non-peaceful means and other necessary measures as provided for in the preceding paragraph and shall promptly report to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.”
China is building a navy that will allow them to confront the US Navy in blue water in their efforts to bring the 'unruly province' under Beijing's direct Control.

Turkish Moves in Syria

New Turkish military reinforcements arrived in the southern province of Sanliurfa on 31 December. The reinforcements included artillery, tanks and armored personnel carriers, fuel tankers and trucks carrying weapons, ammunition and supplies.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar called President Erdogan on Tuesday, the 1st, from the tomb of Suleyman Shah - a medieval relation of the founder of the Ottoman Empire. The tomb is, located in Syria, in the village of Ashmeh.

Akar declared “the Turkish Armed Forces assumed a mission, a responsibility, in the struggle against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and we will effectively carry it out in the coming days.” 

Defense Minister Akar was in Syria when he spoke with Erdogan. The Turks have not started the often-promised offensive against the Kurdish freedom fighters east of the Euphrates River.

The US withdrawal from Syria was the right thing to do for a number of reasons laid out previously on this blog. The Syrian situation is like eight chameleons making love and the US had no part to play in the drama. Whether not the Russians or the Arabs or Persians will tolerate a resurgent Ottoman Empire remains to be seen. This whole situation has been playing out for somewhere going on 5,000 years so far.




Wednesday, January 2, 2019

The Road to the White Wolf Mine

For those of you who follow this blog, you will understand that I undertook to build a shack at the White Wolf Mine in the Central Arizona highlands, south of Flagstaff about two and a half years ago.  January 1, I made the relocation real and am now in the hovel. There is still more stuff to move in, and the place isn't finished, but I received a certificate of occupancy from the County and that was enough. 

Even though I lived and thrived in Southern California as my base of operations and home, California became too much. The cost of living in SoCal is 52% higher than the national average. The weather is nice there...but everything else is just subject to entropy and very high taxes. The progressive agenda didn't agree with my chosen way of viewing the world. (There are more Republicans in California than any other State - but then again, there are more people.) I'll still be traveling back and forth to work in the short term.

So I moved on January 1 while the rest of you were hung over from merry making. The high up on top of the Mogollon Rim reached 12 degrees (photo above right). Colder than I'm accustomed to, but you know that I'm a madman. This is the quote from the sidebar (left):

"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. 
"Oh, you can't help that," said the cat. 
"We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." 
"How do you know I'm mad," asked Alice 
"You must be," said the cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."
There are two driveways. Both lead to different garage doors. The "front driveway" is a steep slope and was "iffy" in the snow and ice. So I backed the trailer down the long side driveway (nearly flat) and used that option (left).

Yesterday, I set up the bed in the bedroom, warmed a frozen pizza in the oven, and went to bed early - tired. I don't know if I'll have time to drop the Ducati (She-Devil) out of the trailer today (Wednesday) or not. I have a lot of running around to do.

Tomorrow, the work crew will be back on the job, finishing the work that needs finishing. I expect that they'll be done by April at the current rate. But no matter, I've been homeless for the past three months (a shiftless vagabond). I need to set up the gun shop... 

I just dropped pillows, blankets, my briefcase, the frozen pizza, etc there on the island in the kitchen. The countertops are poured concrete. You'll note the Wolf stove and oven and the hole in the wall where the Sub-Zero refrigerator is supposed to be. As to the refrigerator...that's another detail that needs to be addressed. The spare refrigerator will do (in the garage) in the mean time. I just tossed a bag of frozen burritos on the deck for now. It won't get above freezing today or tomorrow. I'm a man of simple tastes. I'm keeping a bag of fruit that I bought cold just on a shelf in the garage. 

And there you have it.

2019 Musings

Arming the Feds


(LINK HEREThere's some chatter on the internet about the number firearms and amount of ammunition that federal agencies such at the US Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, etc. are spending and why these agencies with a severely limited law enforcement role need to stockpile. The Food and Drug Administration has 390 pistols, 122 shotguns and 200K rounds of ammunition currently in inventory. That is in addition to the weapons carried by the (rented) security people who protect their premises. Is there a burning need - that we've paid for?

Rehash

Crash Investigation (Part One) (Part Two) Fictional shorts from 2015 (Sci-Fi)

The Term "Witch Hunt" No Longer PC

CNN has run with the story of witches, angry with President Trump for calling the Russian Collusion a "witch hunt". Maybe a better term would be "snipe hunt"? It wouldn't anger the witches (all Democrat constituents) and it would be even more apt. I mean, calling it a greased pig grab doesn't work because there's no greased pig. It's not a wild goose chase because there's not even one wild goose.

War

(LINK) Commander Salamander's Blog discusses 28 years of continuous war, during which I was a participant from time to time. The reason for war (free flow of oil at market prices) doesn't really apply anymore (as he points out) so we fight in the Middle East - why? Inside every slimy desert dweller is there a freedom loving, hard working American trying to get out? Hardly. Grist for thought as we enter a new year.

A Tax Will Fix It

The cost of living in California is 52% higher than the national average. And more taxes are on their way in 2019 in the Golden State in an effort to handle necessary income redistribution to fight global warming.


The latest trend is to explain global cooling by blaming global warming. Arctic sea ice is the highest in 10,000 years, do to global warming that is bringing on a new ice age. Meanwhile, energy from the Sun has reduced to a much lower ebb -- creating less heat arriving at the Third Rock.

New Year's Resolutions

They may not stand for long, but here they are, such as they are:

I will not acquire a dog or a cat. I know that there are a lot of dog lovers who read this blog, but it's like bringing in a one year old kid who never grows up, and ties me down. It's difficult to travel with a blog. Our fellow blogger, Jules Smith, has a lizard. I don't think that I'll get one of those either. I have grandsons and granddaughters who will visit and fill those needs quite nicely.

I will slow down work obligations by mid-summer. It's time to power down and go gentle into my dotage rather than dealing with work, when I really don't need to do it.

I will buy at least two new rifles and will practice with them.

How's that for brief and to the point?

Happy New Year!