Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Believe I can Fly ( flight of the frenchies). Trailer from sebastien montaz-rosset on Vimeo.

Those crazy French!

The turkeys had been partying hard. Thanksgiving was over, they had made it through, and the birds felt like celebrating.  When it was time to fly back to the woods, the boys offered to call Doug a cab, but he insisted on flying home by himself.  

He should have taken the cab.

In the end, in a way, he did.

The ultimate find the cat picture.  The cat is in there, its got white fur with black spots.  Good luck.

Yet another reason for productive people to make haste to leave the Golden State.

California state controller John Chiang has sent a letter to the legislature pointing out the sad fact that if nothing is done, the govenment will run out of money in the first week of March.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of drunken sailors.  This only gets worse as the Democrat's anti business policies make it more and more impossible to exist here.  Truly a tragedy, wholly man made.

Yet the people here re elected the father of this crisis, Jerry Brown. 
Stuff I'm liking right now

While we bask in warmer weather here in the continental US, up at Jim River, Alaska, it's 79 degress .... below zero!! 

The US record is 80 below, and the Jim River weather station stopped working at minus 79, so it is very possible the record was indeed broken.


This is an actual picture of the region, in warmer weather.

Yet another reason to get out of the Golden State as soon as possible:

So let me get this right.   The state will tax productive companies that produce things people need, using a law that seeks to remedy a problem that doesn't exist, to subsidize a boondoggle project that nobody wants or needs, and which will cost taxpayers millions in the future to maintain and subsidize.

Ok then.

Monday, January 30, 2012

This unique village in the Netherlands has no roads and no cars.  Only footpaths and canals, down which the residents punt.

Seems like a peaceful way to live, although here the canals would breed mosquitos.  You'd have to spray.

The timing on this couldn't be any better.

Wait, do I hear helicopters?

And just because you aren't Catholic, don't believe this isn't your issue too, don't think the government won't be coming after what is important to you next, because they will.  

From the article:
  "The central purpose of Obamacare — and the reason it was and is so strenuously opposed by so many Americans — is to transfer all of the critical decisions about how American health care operates to the federal government. Despite what the president contends, it is a federal takeover. The federal bureaucracy is now in the driver’s seat.
And, with the federal government now calling all of the shots, it is a foregone conclusion that a decidedly secularist and utilitarian point of view will be pervasive in everything that is done. It is simply beyond the capacity of the modern federal government to even consider arguments questioning the wisdom of governmental policies promoting free and abundant contraception. Indeed, it is an article of faith in the modern bureaucratic context that pushing such “prevention” measures onto the American public is one more step on the long march to a more just and humane society.
This is the environment in which we live. The hard truth is that the federal government cannot be trusted today with these kinds of decisions, and there’s no prospect of that changing anytime soon. That’s a big reason why Obamacare should never have been allowed to pass in the first place. Just the sight of Catholic leaders’ being forced to go begging before federal officials ought to be enough to convince most Americans that handing over so much power over such sensitive matters to the federal government was a terrible, terrible mistake.
If the Sebelius decision is allowed to stand, large Catholic institutions all over the country will be forced to stop offering health coverage to their workers, because continuing to do so will be incompatible with their mission. And when they drop that coverage, they will be forced by Obamacare to pay huge fines to the federal government ($2,000 per worker at the outset). For a Catholic institution with 5,000 employees, that’s $10 million that won’t go toward helping the poor, taking care of patients, or educating future leaders."

From that article:

  "It wasn’t until 1930 that the Anglican Church (surprise) made the first concession toward contraception, but only in very special cases. Well, not unlike “medical marijuana”, pretty soon everyone had a “special condition”, the Anglicans briskly ratified contraception, and then by the time the pill rolled out in 1961, pretty much every other Christian Protesting sect had capitulated to the screeching and whining of their members (But we WAAAANT the pill!) in an effort to keep everyone happy and the collection plates brimming, and thus the entire edifice fell. A little over a decade later, the murderous slaughter of children was “legalized” in the United States, insomuch as killing babies can ever be truly “legal”. Not being satisfied with that, the Marxist-satanic axis is now demanding that contraception and abortion be available on demand at no out-of-pocket cost as a “human right”, subsidized entirely by the citizenry of the United States under the forced coercion of the Internal Revenue Service.
Oddly, nay, SHOCKINGLY, nay, UNEXPECTEDLY, after the ratification of contraception and its corollary abortion, illegitimacy rates SKYROCKETED. Divorce rates SKYROCKETED. Adultery SKYROCKETED. Homosexuality is now not only out of the shadows, but is militantly demanding a specially protected status on par with race, if not a superior status. The institution of marriage is almost dead. Pedophilia is in the early stages of being normalized, and ephebophilia, or sex with pubescent adolescents, is now almost fully normalized in the entertainment industry. As Freud said, if you take the reproductive function out of sex, then ALL BETS ARE OFF. You can pout and whine about this all you want, but you know that it is true. LOOK AROUND. Turn on your television. Look at the perverse filth that is pumped out day after day, getting worse and more perverted with each passing season. LOOK AT YOUR FAMILIES. Look at the divorces. Look at the children WHO AREN’T THERE.
Looking for an economic argument? Sure. Just today, ZeroHedge.com posted this piece on Japan’s age demographics and how Japan is utterly, totally and completely economically screwed because they have contracepted themselves to death in the last half-century. I hardly think the “Tyler Durden” crew subscribes to orthodox Catholic teaching on the subject."
I can vouch for the TV smut, I see it every single time the kids turn on the television. If the program being watched is acceptable, the commercials between times seek to sell their programs by appealing to the prurient tastes of the audience.  It is hard to even want to keep the television in the house any more as it cannot be safely turned on.
Mondays, they're like that.

Spain's fourth largest airline suddenly collapses, stranding 20,000 passengers.

First, not a good omen for the general health of Europe.

Second, I'd be more than pissed if I was one of those stranded passengers.  The Spanish government is threatening to fine the airline, but good luck with that if they are that badly bankrupt.
The Mail has an article up that claims that sometime last year Mrs. Obama closed down Madison Ave in New York and went on a 50 thousand dollar shopping spree at a swank English underwear store.  

I mean, really.  Granted, this was last year, but how bad does this look?  Would any Republican first lady dare do something this self absorbed?

Really, I am (nearly) speechless with the foolishness of this.  Thank God there is a newspaper out there, albeit English, that has the courage to report this.  American papers certainly have none.


Obama's angrily deny this happened.  Who is right?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cold and Quiet

We have been told over and over that oil and gas are getting more and more scarce, and that we are approaching a point where oil supplies and availability will decline no matter how hard we try to find more.

However, it looks like all the doomsday talk was complete hokum. 

From the article:

  "Start with oil. In 1971, the Limits to Growth team forecast that the world’s supply would run out 10 years from today. And yet according to renowned oil analyst Daniel Yergin, technology advances and new discoveries have allowed oil reserves worldwide to keep growing. For every barrel of oil produced in the world from 2007 to 2009, 1.6 barrels of new reserves were added. The World Energy Council reports that global proven recoverable reserves of natural gas liquids and crude oil amounted to 1.2 trillion barrels in 2010. That’s enough to last another 38 years at current usage. Add in shale oil, and that’s an additional 4.8 trillion barrels, or a century and a half’s worth of supply at present usage rates. Tar sands, including some huge Canadian deposits, add perhaps 6 trillion barrels more."

Inconvenient facts for those that lust for scarcity, and all the potential political power that goes with it.

Adding yet another in a long stream of seemingly never ending reasons to leave the Golden State, the bureaucrats have decided that over 15% of all cars sold in the state mush be zero emission by 2025.

Legislation by fiat.  Always the right way to go.  Now, as an aside, if the government genius's would allow efficient diesel engines to be sold, they would see immediate gains in milage.

Given the hyper liberal nature of California politics, it is also a suspicion that the government is purposely making transportation so difficult and so expensive that people will be forced out of it and onto government controlled mass transportation.   After all, what totalitarian government would want people to have access to cheap personal transportation?  To them, freedom is a bad thing, and must be stamped out as quickly as possible.

Count on the fact that if their plan for this is ever realized, you won't be able to afford a car, but they will, and theirs will be paid for by you, through higher taxes.
Everybody has heard of Viking rune stones, but what about the Pictish stones of Scotland?

Perhaps the Vikings even got the idea of carving memorial stones from the wild Picts?

Below is the Aberlemno Pictish stone, displaying a collection of basic Pictish symbols, including the double disc and Z rod, the meaning of which has now been long lost.  This stone is relatively crude, giving the impression of little planning, as if the carver just started in and cut the symbols at random.

However, there is on the other side of the spectrum the Hilton of Cadboll stone, shown here, whose artistry rivals pretty much anything north of the old Roman empire. Again we see the double disk, and a version of the Z rod on the top.  These were symbols of great meaning to the ancient Picts, and it is quite unfortunate that their meaning will likely never be revealed, having died out with the Picts themselves.

The Pictish beast was also a favorite symbol of these people, also called the Pictish elephant or dragon.  It is really unknown what creature it is supposed to represent, but it certainly has it's analog in many Norse carvings in Scandinavia.

Here is the beast in the Strathmartine Castle stone.

These images tell us that the ancient Picts were a dynamic and energetic society, whose depiction by the invading Romans as blue tatooed wild barbarians was both simplistic and unfortunately very negative, although from the Roman perspective perhaps appropriate as political propaganda. It is so unfortunate that we will never know much more about the Picts than we do now, as the few carved stones they did leave us suggest a culture of great interest.
Too cool for school

I gotta see if I can make this work.   Win bets, amaze the kids.

Count the black dots

The Obama administration seems to have a desire to return us to a pre industrial state, where energy is too expensive for everything but the most important uses.

One wonders if this hard to understand policy is based on a hatred of his own country, a general desire to cut the US down to size, or just a stupid and stubborn adherence to a hyper progressive belief system.

Perhaps the upcoming election will force at least a temporary change in this behavior, if for no other reason than to improve the chances of his own political survival.

From the article:

  "Obama says he is promoting clean oil technologies, and takes credit for the economic success of technologies
 which he has tried to kill, but more intelligent people can see through his endless crap. Obama's ongoing (although publicly undeclared) war against coal, oil sands, oil shale kerogens, shale oil & gas, advanced nuclear power, arctic oil, offshore oil, etc. etc. amounts to a total policy of energy starvation -- relentlessly pursued by the EPA, NRC, Interior Department, and a score of other agencies and politically controlled bureaucratic entities."


German environmental minister recommends a cut in solar energy subsidies.  Even the Germans realize that green energy makes no sense without massive subsidies from the pocket of the taxpayer.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Things I'm liking on a Saturday night

Wolf hunt in Minnesota too little, too late.

"At the time the federal government said there were only 300 wolves in the state,'' Brzoznowski said. "That couldn't be true, because that year they trapped 61 on my property alone.''

North of Broome, Australia.  Salt water fly fishing, sun and sand.  What a way to spend some spare time.

Perhaps a bit of rifle porn for a Saturday morning

Friday, January 27, 2012

The mighty Valley Oak. 

A ubiquitous sight here in the foothills. 

''Nathaniel Grigsby saw the truth back in 1890.  Judging by the characters down below, some things never change.

Göran Strand pulls off an amazing 360 degree view of the Aurora Borealis from snowy Östersund, Sweden.  Excellent if bizarre work, Göran!

Very impressive video of the C130J flying at the Paris air show.   Makes a guy want to be a pilot, but some of that flying from the cockpit is distressingly disorienting.  Great video of a great plane

This just cracks me up.   The greens wail that the development of the oil fields in Alaska will devastate the wildlife, but pictures like this show that done properly, the oilman's gear is just a big jungle gym, at least for the bears.

Stolen from Wirecutter.

We came across this old battle wagon in the foothills last weekend. 

For some reason, I took a shine to the rusty old hulk. 

American iron at it's best.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wyman Meinzer's West Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.

Good stuff
NASA's Opportunity rover on Mars has survived eight earth years on the surface of the red planet, and it has now reached the place where scientists believe it has the best chance to survive the Martian winter, which they call Greeley Haven.

Visible in the distance is Endeavor Crater, which will be explored next summer if possible.

Below is the spot, Greeley Haven, helpfully photographed by the rover itself.

A couple of military photos

Here, the USS Lincoln and the USS Stennis sail through the Arabian Sea.

Snow is swept off and away from a F 15E Strike Eagle at Bagram Air Base in A-stan.

The USS Lincoln, a Nimitz class carrier, prepares to pull up next to the cargo ship USNS Drew to re supply at sea.

In Wisconsin, conservative governor Scott Walker shows the other states the way out of their financial crisis.   His success addressing the public sector worker pay/pension insanity shows that the predictions of disaster are totally without merit.  

From the article: 

 "At the outset of the public-union standoff, educators had made dire predictions that Walker’s reforms would force schools to fire teachers. In February, to take one example, Madison School District Superintendent Dan Nerad predicted that 289 teachers in his district would be laid off. Walker insisted that his reforms were actually a job-retention program: by accepting small concessions in health and pension benefits, he argued, school districts would be able to spare hundreds of teachers’ jobs. The argument proved sound. So far, Nerad’s district has laid off no teachers at all, a pattern that has held in many of the state’s other large school districts. No teachers were laid off in Beloit and LaCrosse; Eau Claire saw a reduction of two teachers, while Racine and Wausau each laid off one. The Wauwatosa School District, which faced a $6.5 million shortfall, anticipated slashing 100 jobs—yet the new pension and health contributions saved them all."

The lesson here is that any public entity, either a state, county or city, need only get their pay and pension obligations under control, using surprisingly small adjustments, to solve the financial crisis.
Unions need to realize that they cannot bankrupt the very public entities that pay them their benefits, like a parasite killing it's host.
Thereafter, all public entities must make public sector unions illegal, as they once were for this good reason, to prevent this from happening again.  Lacking that, politicians must forgo the temptation to use public sector unions to keep them in office, and if they prove incapable of that, they must be voted out of office.  
All this likely requires the impossible.  The ultimate guarantor of public fiscal health must be the voter, who at all times must be vigilant against these forces, and must prove themselves willing to vote out any politician who proves unable to resist temptation.

 "As he swam toward the coast of Nantucket, Mass. in August 2008, Scott Douglas, 58, watched his yellow fishing boat disappear, carried away by the swelling surf. He thought it would be the last time he'd ever see the Queen Bee.

But yesterday, more than three years after Douglas and his brother-in-law were tossed off the boat by a wave, the U.S. Coast Guard called to say the vessel had washed up on the Spanish coast. It was rusty and covered in barnacles, but intact."

According to the law of the sea, the boat belongs to Spain now.  Good thing, cause Douglas doesn't want it back now.
After three years....

McDonalds vs. KFC fries.

I think Mickey Dee might have discovered the secret to eternal life.

In Georgia, there is an administrative law hearing ongoing to hear a challenge to Obama's eligibility to run for president.   Acting as no judge has had the courage to act before, this one has set the matter for hearing, and invited the president to appear and defend his claimed right to run for this office.

Naturally, Captain Terrific won't be attending, because he fancies himself above the law,  but he isn't above attempting to bully the Georgia legal system to try to get out of the hearing, and had his lawyer write to the Georgia Secretary of State to try to get the hearing cancelled.

No dice, loser.  Georgia ain't Chicago.

Here is the Secretary of State's response to Obama's legal eagle.

Fifteen question the mainstream media would ask Obama if he was a Republican.   

They would ask, that is, if they had any professional respect, pride or huevos.
I wonder it the rider is in there somewhere.


Gimme my twinkies or the back window gets it too!

This is one great kid, and a salute must go out to the parent that took the picture. 

Some good news for a Thursday.

A poll reveals that 85% of Americans believe that the second amendment says what it says, namely that citizens have the right to keep and bear arms.

Now, if we could only get such consensus on the other amendments!  And who, pray tell, are the few people that think that citizens don't have that right?  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The SOTU was an amazing collection of outright falsehoods and half truths.  Very unworthy of any president, but seemingly par for the course for this one.