Monday, July 28, 2014

OVER THERE

It's an interesting piece. I don't know what the caption was but I've made my own.

In This Triumph We Killed All of Your Sons, Husbands and Fathers Over There


Somewhere this date is accepted as the beginning of the Great War.

And, we're prepared to do it again to establish our legitimacy.

Unelected Kaisers of the New Central European Hegemony must know no boundaries.

Welcome to Belgium 4.0

A PROPER STORM

I miss the storms one can see from miles away.


In the place where I live now the storms sneak up on us. Not like the old days on the sea and in the desert. While I never feared the storms, one doesn't like them to just sneak up.

ARLO IN CAIN PARK LAST NIGHT

We went to a small concert by Arlo Guthrie last night with a friend. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it merry much. Right after he returned from the first intermission, the lady's voice supreme, from the speakers above, announced that the concert was on pause. We refused. He refused.

Throughout the venue (Cain Park) hundreds of cell phones were receiving the same Tornado Warning Alert which over-rides the silence on many a device. The muse above was insistent that there would be a 15 minute break in the concert. It was silly in one aspect but necessary in the other realm. The wind started going sideways at 50 knots. A dry pavilion and stage was flooded in the next 10 minutes.

I gave it a moment's thought. There's a thousand of us in an open air amphitheater and none of us are leaving. What's the point of a break for tornados if there is no place within 6 miles to seek shelter from a twister? Arlo was, cool. So was everybody else.

As usual, Arlo gives an outstanding concert.


Friday, July 25, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

The water gets deeper, 



 and there are sharks. Have a very good summer.

It might seem like a blog sometimes, but I'm having a conversation with somebody I miss.

TWO ANCHORS

Did I tell the story of the two anchors shown in the masthead picture? John Orth and I were like light in the dark the first time we came aboard that ship in '88. The ship was not at all well.

We returned to Sitrah after a day underway conducting turnover preps, and anchored near a dozen other ships off the coast of Bahrain. We were challenged by the morning. We could not get underway because our anchor windlass motor spun like a top but the wildcat didn't move. Some mornings are like that.


Our anchor windlass was of the controlled torque slip coupling design. The windlass would go around and around but it had slipped forever the surly bonds of controlled torque. We were nailed to the bottom 500 yards off the ASRY drydock.

I could have fixed the problem with an hour of hard drilling, but the skipper said, "no." He had the faith. He was a believer in logistics. I don't need to belabor the point. He was an optimist. We transmitted a highest priority Casualty message to the fleet and the greater fleet that existed to serve us. If cordless drills existed back then, I would have wandered by the Captain's Cabin with a whirring sound every hour or two for the next 4 days.

The first response to our CASREP message is one I remember. My rest was disturbed by an irate XO who waved a signal demand from COMIDEASTFOR that suggested we cease and desist caterwauling about our failure to bring the anchor into the light of the new day and downgrade the request to, "sorry to bother you SPCC Mechanicsburg, if you've got the time, we need a vital 50 year old windlass part."

Our good friends, the parts warehouse at SPCC Mechanicsburg, were heard from a few hours later. They confessed as how they got nothing. It wasn't really a surprise. I started warming up the drill with an idea that would make the controlled torque slip coupling a sort of, a no slip coupling. Then we got a message from the MINE BATTLE FORCE, ordering us to downgrade our casualty.

That made my day. I spent 2 minutes drafting a message in response to the Mine Battle Force which mostly consisted of inviting them to help me raise 10,000 pounds of anchor plus chain so I could shove it up their ass. The skipper didn't want to send that one. On the other hand, I spent the next 4 days, while my friends at BASREC were making a new coupling, informing Bahrain Port Control that this ship couldn't move and so traffic would have to deal with us blocking the path.

You haven't lived until you see a 200,000 dwt tanker move by just 50 feet away on its way into dry dock.


seriously, 50 feet away. You look up and up and up,

The year before, I had spent looking down on fighter bombers on their way to bomb Iran or Iraq. I thought that was weird; from a bridge that wasn't 25 feet above the sea.

We had two anchors but we only had the one anchor chain and just a single wildcat. We could have slipped the anchor chain and gotten underway but it would be a long time before we ever anchored again.

Bahrain Port Control really wanted us out of the way.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

METROPARKCENTRALIS

We are basking in the warm embrace of the big media. I don't think I remember the city and environs of Cleveland ever making it into the press in such a good way. We have food!

Cuisine second to none!
Seriously, it's a nice place. Speaking as one who inhabited the West Coast for ages, who knew? We also have some really fine cultural attractions. I won't mock them. They are treasures. I'll buy any reader a beer who comes to the MetroPark. Well, maybe just 3 or 4 of you. Get here early, beat the scrum.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DUET DE MODERNE

For my love,


had you wanted to hear the words, and why? We shall carry on. Duet de moderne.

ISLANDS IN THE NET

I wonder about a second and third generation of policy and decision makers who are learning to adjust to the absence of the .sci networks in their lives after they move on to greener pastures. How do tech savvy people accommodate themselves in a disadvantaged environment when they leave government service and lose access to the SIPR and NSAnet?

You have to wonder don't you? The people at NSA made a huge investment in building backdoors into every single piece of tech they could find. They all got used to having back door access to every single network under their control or auspice.

Do you really think they left government service without taking the keys to the classified world wide web?

I have a theory.

A SHORT BLURB FROM BUSS

Speaking of the changes he has ordered in the Blue Angels, VADM Buss later declaimed that the selection criteria has been carefully rewritten to ensure no one is excluded.
“We’ve really kind of focused on clearly stating in our selection instruction that demographics and gender will not be considered as factors,” he said. “It’s really based on aviation skill, professional performance and community reputation.”
But in the stunning but typical fashion used by our dear leaders these days, he couldn't leave well enough alone and had to say:
“It’s just having an outside set of eyes look at the selections to be sure you are picking the most talented and diverse team possible,” he said.  
Well, if Admiral Buss is to be believed, I'm almost qualified to fly for the Blue Angels and therefore should be considered for membership in the elite flying team. You know where to reach me Admiral.
We Are Ready Now!

CEASEFIRE

Ha!

It is to laugh.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

INSHALLAH YOU ARRIVE WHERE YOU BELONG

This sucks.




What kind of idiot would fly on Malaysia Airlines today?  Not me.

JEREMIAH DENTON

Jeremiah Denton, a man who was there when Hell Was In Session, has stepped into the clearing at the end of the path.


THE SPEED OF EVIL

I sometimes despair of the people who claim to love science and then turn their back on real science when it makes a meaningful contribution to the world. We've been doing genetics on crops since Gregor Mendel. We probably did it long before he quantified it but we just called it, improving the breed.

From today's Maggie's Farm,


The modern leftist doesn't merely turn their backs on helping spread drought resistant crops, they actively conspire to prevent their spread and use.

A DESCENT OF ODIOUS

I have, like Patterico, been waiting for this decision. It looks like the Courts have found against the odious Obamacare act and have ruled that insurance purchased through the National Obamacare website is not eligible for government/IRS subsidy because it is not recognized by the odious law itself.

The decision will be reviewed several more times as it is challenged to a full Bench vote and then appeal, as necessary. I have been waiting for the Law to catch up with the sleazy way that this administration administers the law.

Monday, July 21, 2014

THE RISE OF THE BOOK BURNERS

Who is out there burning books these days? I suspect it's the people who already know all there is to know and who distrust science, scientists, researchers and people who have the unmitigated effrontery to publish things that contradict the orthodoxy. The science is settled, you see. We won't tolerate any contrarian views.


Friday, July 18, 2014

IF DRUDGE ONLY KNEW


MASSIVE INCOMPETENCE AND STUPIDITY

I know it isn't really incompetence or stupidity because getting more unskilled, impoverished, illegal aliens into this country to swell the already swollen ranks of illegals who vote Democratic, is the only reason that no action is being taken by the Government to end the influx of "refugees." They're not refugees. They are guaranteed future Democrat voters who will vote the party line for the next five generations.

Our own impoverished, unskilled citizens who all seem to vote Democrat at every opportunity; some multiple times in each election, are thrilled to be joined by millions more who will share the few remaining jobs for people like them and the largesse of the broken welfare state. I'm sure they'll express their happiness  in the time honored way.

As I read about Jordan taking in a million refugees from Syria and settling them in camps that provide food, water, shelter and even an electrical and sewage infrastructure, I see an evasion of responsibility at the Federal level that is unconscionable. The Jordanians are capable of providing humane shelter, in an organized fashion, for 1.3 million true refugees. The U. S. Agency for International Development played a huge role in creating those camps in order to aid the refugees from Syria. Why is there no agency in the Federal Government to provide similar arrangements for refugees in this country?



Two Refugee Camps and a U.S. Military Camp
Humane refugee camps safeguard both the refugees and the citizens. Instead, the Federal Government transports and then dumps tens of thousands of illegal aliens on the bankrupt state and local officials from California to Maine who are not in a position to provide material assistance on this scale. In fact, the Federal Government is the only one that could execute a policy of establishing refugee camps in this country. Any other jurisdiction would be challenged instantly in the courts.

The Federal Government abandoned its responsibilities to the nation and chose to dump non-English speaking, illiterate, unskilled migrants on the States and cities. As soon as these illegal aliens are settled in a community, they are eligible for all the benefits that any citizen is eligible to receive. They don't pay for any of them. They learn that they don't ever have to pay for anything.

Bad government! No biscuit!

THINK ABOUT IT

From the blogsite of Watts, a guest post about a drive through Yellowstone Park.
Finally, just before leaving the Park, a pika ran across the road. This is an endearing little creature, much smaller than a rabbit, with no tail and huge ears. It is supposed to be threatened by climate change. I got to thinking about that … the temperature in the park ranges from over 100°F (37°C) in the summer to minus 40°F (-40°C) in the winter. The pika survives that without a problem … and he’s supposed to be endangered by a change in average temperature of a couple of degrees? Seems quite doubtful …
There. Fixed it. A non-endangered by global scamming Pika.

The photographs at the link are amusing.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A SHOUT OUT FOR THE THIEF!

A very nice lady I know wrote a book that was published in 1996. Something happened yesterday that made me curious about how well that book was selling these days at Amazon. I was fascinated to watch it climb from a Best Sellers Rank of  2067th place to 117th place in Amazon Kindle sales in just 10 hours.

I decided to compare her sales ranking against somebody really rich and famous who just published her own book and is currently on tour crisscrossing the land, beating the bushes to find people to buy it, accompanied by a torrent of free, non-stop main stream media publicity.

18 year old book written by a really nice author who is currently swanning around the Greek Isles with her family:
















Latest book published by former Secretary of State and First Lady of the United States:
















I'm laughing how Megan's book is categorized at Amazon. Don't you think anything written by a Clinton would come under the categories of Royalty, Fairy Tales, Folk Tales and Myths? I certainly do! And yet, Amazon categorizes Hillary under Gender Studies, Women's Studies and Political.

I know tis but a fleeting thing, but those are good too.

Update: The Thief is now at #92 on the Kindle Best Sellers list at Amazon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

PARADISE BANKRUPTED BY DEMOCRATS

It's no surprise to me that democratic policies can bankrupt paradise. In Puerto Rico's case the democratic machine took a hundred years and constant infusions of American dollars to do what Castro did in just 10 years. Eventually though, other people's money dries up and the people are left holding the bag. When they refuse to pay anymore, nobody pays and the little people who invested in mutual funds, bonds, and stocks are wiped out when the misgovernment of the day opts to avoid paying and simply defaults on all the money it borrowed from its creditors.

Read the article and look at the numbers. Those numbers are the underlying facts staring us in the face as politicians and the people who elect them continue to believe passionately in spending money they don't have and never will. Sometimes that ends in anarchy but mostly it ends in the worst form of tyranny this planet has ever seen.

--Democrat Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla told Bloomberg News last year that Puerto Rico had a constitutional and moral obligation to not default on the island’s $73 billion of debt.  But he just passed a law giving local court proceedings the power to cancel much, or all, of the island’s bond debt.

--Puerto Rico's economy is shrinking at a 6% annual pace.

--"Of their $73 billion of debt, $56 billion is in the form of municipal bonds and a quarter of that is held by unsuspecting investors in their tax-free mutual funds.  On a per capita basis, that debt burden works out to $14,000 per resident; 10 times the average of the 50 states and higher than every state except California and New York."

-- "In addition to debt, Puerto Rico also has a public employee pension plan that is only 11.2% funded.  The current $30 billion in unfunded pension liabilities would add another $6,000 in per capita liability to each Puerto Rican resident."

The original article is pitched in such a way as to lay the blame for Puerto Rico's problems on an inability to speak and read English and claims 90% of the population cannot do either. I don't think that has anything to do with the problem they find themselves faced with today. The problem as I see it, is that we have people trading in bond markets that suffer no penalties at all for lying or failing to do their fiduciary duty to the people and institutions they sell them to. The people that bought and traded all those worthless bonds should be sliced up and used to chum for sharks in Long Island Sound.

The numbers are bad for Puerto Rico. One might almost say that the situation is hopeless. On the other hand, this is what it looks like for the United States in comparison with other leaders in the shameful national debt category:


You could read more about it at The Atlantic and oddly, another article in another Atlantic.

Can you imagine the day when everybody repudiates their debts as unpayable? If Europe goes over the edge it will make everybody follow. I think the last time that happened was 1929. This sort of charade is only viable as long as the major powers say that it is. The first to collapse will take down all the rest. That is why, even the utterly insolvent United States Government, raced to send trillions of dollars to prop up the EU banks that were going under as the Euro failed in all the countries to the left of US.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A LONG AGO UP TO DATE BIT OF GENIUS


When I look at this picture today I am struck by how much it resembles America as it used to be before the socialists decided that no place should be spared their loving and caring attentions.

Somehow, in this giant city of millions of diverse people, all of whom share access, nobody ever sold out Central Park and decided to clear it, develop it, mine it, build on it or let a million people camp there forever.

Yet.

Monday, July 14, 2014

GUNMEN KILL WOMEN

It's hard to believe how far the news services have fallen from the good old days when a newsman's writ was to ferret out the facts, record them and then publish them in a form that could be as salacious as they liked but which all bore the same hallmarks of news reporting: who, what, when, where, why.

Long years ago at the beginning of the War For Oil, the world's news arms banded together and decided to eschew foreign terms from their news reports. All killers and terrorists were simply branded, 'gunmen.' Gunmen were found to be gunning down various unworthy people all over the world without explanation or criticism. It was not, said the news mouthpieces, their job to explain what motivated gunmen or what made their victims so unworthy, so they stopped even trying.

In America, it quickly became apparent that the news apparatchiks adopted the new style enthusiastically because they were getting beaten up all the time for describing the people accused of horrible crimes or on trial for horrible crimes. The proletarian masses were quickly beginning to sense that an enormous percentage of the most outrageous violence was being carried out by a small minority of people. The news people felt a duty to cover that up.

In British news it wasn't hard to spot that the same sort of cover up was at work as the press labored mightily to blame things on gunmen or youths. Up until a few years ago some of the lesser news services still had the gall to refer to some vicious attackers as young Asian men in an attempt to muddle just who was carrying out most of the most vicious and senseless attacks.

I just finished reading the BBC's little bit of not-the-real-news about Gunmen attacking in Iraq. It wasn't at all about what I thought it would be from the headline but you can make up your mind from this capture.


There seems to have only been one news service that saw fit to describe the attackers. It's OK though, the rest of the so-called news services found it acceptable to brand all the women killed as prostitutes. They seem OK with labeling some of the victims of these vicious attacks because, somehow, in their minds, it justifies the attackers.

Only the turnips at the BBC could write something this blandly stupid:
"The motive for the killings is not clear. No group has said it carried out the attack. 
Reports said the two buildings were suspected to be brothels. 
Writing left on the door of one of the buildings read: "This is the fate of any prostitution," AFP news agency reports."

HUMBLE UBIQUITOUS TRILOBITES

Little known today, trilobites were once the tastiest morsel left in the seas. Our link goes on to make the rather astonishing claim that, Trilobites are, "Extinct, but not a failure."


Roughly 250 million years ago, at the end of the Permian period, something killed 90 percent of the planet's species. Fewer than 5 percent of the animal species in the world ocean survived this Great Dying.

Nothing lasts forever, but the Trilobites are the world champions for surviving the longest on earth. Some researchers blame the rise of atmospheric CO2 for the Late Permian Extinction. They blame some sort of manmade climate change for intense global warming that led, inevitably, to Skynet and the rise of the Machines!

Friday, July 11, 2014

THROW THEM FROM A VERY GREAT HEIGHT

Sometimes, I get diverted by other news at the bottom of the news item I'm reading. It can be illuminating. How could I have missed this story?
Two kayakers who were injured after falling 200 feet over the face of the dam at Prettyboy Reservoir have been charged with trespassing. 
Paul K. Hare, 22, and Stephen D. Sparks, 21, both of Parkton, are charged with criminal trespassing and face $1,000 fines and one year in jail, said the Baltimore Environmental Police, which patrol the reservoir.

You get that these two young men, having already fallen 200 feet and lived, now face prosecution and up to a year in jail for....wait for it..... hold on.....

"Police said they were in a no trespass zone and had been boating without permits."

Yes, yes, I know, it's shades of Alice's Restaurant and the Group W bench.

One day, as a very junior officer, one might say, the most junior officer on board, I and another man went and visited with the Commander of the Bahrain Self Defense Force. I had been stamped with a co-lateral duty in addition to my primary duty as Auxiliaries Officer. In addition to my duties as Legal Officer for the ship, I also filled my spare time by serving as Middle East Force Postal Officer, Wardroom Mess Treasurer, Voting Officer...well, the usual sort of thing.

The visit I paid on the august commander of the Self Defense Force was to see if maybe he would be willing to let two of our usually very responsible sailors go forth from his country's jail. You know, as I think back on that day, I wonder what skids were greased before I ever left the ship. Can you imagine, seriously, sending an Ensign and the Engineering Department Master Chief to see the head of any other country's Self Defense Force (Police) with a nicely phrased respectful request to let our sailors go?

Thought not. We had nobody from the Embassy. We had no potentates and pontiffs. We had me and we had the man who wears the stars.

The general was exceedingly courteous and greeted us both as we came into his office. He got up from his desk and came around to shake my hand and to more vigorously shake the hand of Master Chief Meisberger. As he shook the Master Chief's hand he said, "at last, I meet the man who wears the stars!"

We sat down at his request and he sent for tea. We quaffed. We talked. We raised the unpleasant subject that brought us to his fine office that day. Was there I wondered, any chance of getting our sailors out of the hoosegow.

"Ah," he said. "Those poor men, they have just been released from hospital."

The thing was, they'd been snotty with a cab driver and they kicked his cab down by the souk. The cabby, naturally, took umbrage. He and the security guards from the Regency Hotel took down our sailors and called the police who, showed up, cuffed our men, tossed them in the back of a jeep and drove off towards the hoosegow.

They cuffed the guys with their hands in front. The younger one of our sailors suggested to the older one that maybe, when the jeep slowed down for a red light, that they jump out and run away. Which, both being drunk beyond reason, they did.

In Bahrain, one slows down to 40 mph for a red light. Only an idiot would stop at one.

They suffered an enormous number of broken arms and one of them broke his jaw when it hit the pavement.

The General gave my small request just an instant of thought before saying, "they have suffered enough. Of course you may take them with you."

That was the ample justice of one of the nicer emirates. Contrast with the justice one finds after falling over the dam in Maryland. I'd have said those two guys suffered enough. On the other hand, I'm notoriously easy on felons and lawbreakers.

That story happened just exactly as I said but can you imagine? The CO didn't go, the XO didn't go. The Department Head didn't go. Nobody from the embassy went. A single O-1 and an E-9 went to get those guys. Sure, the Master Chief had them all outnumbered but I cannot actually imagine this happening anywhere at all in the wide world in this day and age. It was, at the time, just about what I expected out of that miserable crappy co-lateral job.  On the other hand, I got to watch Captain Franklin D. Julian work himself up into a towering rage before he held Captain's Mast. That really was fun.

MY KIND OF LAWYER

Had this up at his place. I swiped it. It is not the kind of language one expects from an esquire.
I wonder what happened to the story 3 months ago. It must have been dire because I think almost any competent lawyer could have taken that video and turned it into gold. The thing I object to is that this goes on and on and the only feeble barrier laid out anywhere against such police misconduct is when a lawsuit succeeds against the city and the tax payers who pay for those abusive police. The law breakers are never prosecuted, never go to jail, don't get fired and show up at work and your house the next day.