Thursday, January 31, 2013

Armed with no more than a garden rake, Englishman Tony Plant creates ephemeral geometric designs on Britain's beaches.  They last until the tide comes in and cleanses the sandy canvas for another day.

Great shot

That's one unfortunate piranha, but as they say, live by the razor sharp bite, die by it.

They must have had a good laugh over at the Telegraph coming up with this headline:

Gay chocolatiers forced out of remote Scottish village

I admit it, I had to read the article.  I mean, gay chocolatiers?   I guess we can just toss this in with those other traditionally gay professions: fudge packers and ass pirates.

Over on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia the Plosky Tolbachik volcano is erupting .  Go to the link to see the eruption in a cool 360 degree panorama, which somehow I was unable to embed, it's worth the look.

John Kerry has just been confirmed as Secretary of State, and already he is up to trouble.  Can anything, really, be any more craven and destructive than this statement:

  "Kerry and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California) have proposed a new draft for a cap-and-trade bill with exceedingly stringent restrictions on carbon emissions. During a hearing on the bill, Kerry made the astounding statement that the recession has been the environment’s best friend, and he couldn’t be happier about it:
Let me emphasize something very strongly as we begin this discussion. The United States has already this year alone achieved a 6 percent reduction in emissions simply because of the downturn in the economy, so we are effectively saying we need to go another 14 percent."

  Ok then, let's everyone in the government shrink the economy again just to pander to the proponents of a non existent problem.

With purposely destructive people like President Obama and John Kerry in control of government, a huge contraction in the economy is guaranteed.  As Kerry says, it's a feature, not a bug.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Unclear on the concept of "firearms."

An interesting, if bittersweet story.

Thus it was in the remote south of the forest in the summer of 1978. A helicopter sent to find a safe spot to land a party of geologists was skimming the treeline a hundred or so miles from the Mongolian border when it dropped into the thickly wooded valley of an unnamed tributary of the Abakan, a seething ribbon of water rushing through dangerous terrain. The valley walls were narrow, with sides that were close to vertical in places, and the skinny pine and birch trees swaying in the rotors' downdraft were so thickly clustered that there was no chance of finding a spot to set the aircraft down. But, peering intently through his windscreen in search of a landing place, the pilot saw something that should not have been there. It was a clearing, 6,000 feet up a mountainside, wedged between the pine and larch and scored with what looked like long, dark furrows. The baffled helicopter crew made several passes before reluctantly concluding that this was evidence of human habitation—a garden that, from the size and shape of the clearing, must have been there for a long time.

You will recall my post Sunday about the actions of the group Anonymous in hacking into a government website in revenge for the (in)Justice Department's prosecution of Aaron Swartz, driving him to suicide.

Now it appears a bit of pressure is coming (in)Justice's way from Congress.

  "Questions are now being raised on the dot-gov side of the 'operation.'
Monday, a House panel issued a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder with seven specific questions, and demanding answers regarding the Swartz prosecution.
With the letter to Holder, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee requests a briefing with the Justice Department. CNET writes,
"Many questions have been raised about the appropriate level of punishment sought by prosecutors for Mr. Swartz's alleged offenses, and how the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, cited in 11 of 13 counts against Mr. Swartz, should apply under similar circumstances," [Reps. Issa and Cummings] say in the letter, which requests a briefing no later than February 4.
The letter is another voice from the Federal side of the discussion, joining a chorus led by Democratic congresswoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren who has authored a bill called "Aaron's Law" that aims to change the 1984 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (with which Swartz was being prosecuted).
It remains to be seen whether the actions of Anonymous have influenced federal action.
Wednesday:, still offline
Tuesday, both .gov websites remained offline - while was briefly knocked offline and claimed by Anonymous.
On Wednesday, six days after Anonymous took, the website remains offline.
At the same time, the encrypted files distributed in the Friday hack are still out there, with Anonymous holding the keys - to whatever they are (or are not)."

I can only hope that Anonymous really has some scandalous goods on the government, and that they release their files soon.  I am beginning to see these people as allies against the power of big government, and indeed they are beginning to get tangible results.  I wish them even greater success in the future!
Most people don't know much about Andrew Jackson, the president on the twenty dollar bill, but he was hands down the most bad azz president among a crowd of bad azz'es.

An example is what happened when a crazy person tried to assassinate him.  Fortunately, the madman's first attempt was foiled when his gun misfired.  As we know from recent experience, madmen and guns don't go together very well.  Then this happened:

  "Jackson, who was 67 at the time, repeatedly clubbed Lawrence with his walking cane.
During the ensuing scuffle, Lawrence took another pistol out of his pocket and pulled the trigger. But that gun also misfired.
Bystanders joined in, wrestling Lawrence to the ground and disarming him. One of them was Rep. Davy Crockett of Tennessee.
The U.S. Secret Service — which is now charged with protecting presidents, members of their families and other high-ranking officials — did not undertake such duties until 1901.
Historians have come to view Lawrence as a mentally unstable person, but the Democratic president became convinced that his political enemies in the rival Whig Party had hired Lawrence to assassinate him.
At the time, Jackson was locked in a bitter struggle with the Whigs over his ultimately successful effort to scuttle the Bank of the United States.
Given the toxic political climate, Vice President Martin Van Buren took to carrying two pistols when visiting the Senate.
After deliberating for five minutes, a jury found Lawrence not guilty by reason of insanity.
He died in 1861, after spending the remainder of his life in mental institutions.
In the 1930s, researchers at the Smithsonian Institution test fired Lawrence’s derringer pistols. Both of them discharged normally on the first try."

 That wasn't the first, or even second, time Jackson had been shot in his life.  It helps, however, when you have the real life Davy Crockett to assist in subduing the would be assassin.  

Fact is indeed stranger than fiction.

Read more:
Murders in Chicago top deaths in Afghanistan.

You know you have lost control when this is a true statistic.   Yet, Rahm Emanuel will likely be re elected easily in that town.

Tragic case on point.
You may have heard that Chicago Mayor and Democratic thug Rahm Emanuel has been bullying several of his home town banks to stop doing business with American gun manufacturers Smith and Wesson and Sturm, Ruger.

Full disclosure: I am a repeat customer with Sturm, Ruger, most recently in December.  

Anyway, Texas Congressman Ted Cruz just wrote a letter to these banks, inviting them to escape the land of Obama, and move to Texas, where he assures them they will be respected.

The Letter:

If I were one of these businesses, or in fact any other business subject to this kind of outrageous behavior, I would loudly demand an apology from Rahm, while at the same time prepare, very publicly, to move lock, stock and barrel, to Texas.  Might make him think twice next time, but still, someone has to stand up to these criminals.  Since he has chosen these banks to harass, they might as well be the first, as I'd bet that once the dam was broken, a flood of others would come forward.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cabin porn

Senja Island, Norway

In the barn, on Uncle Ronnie's truck


Via Maggie's Farm

The wife used our sourdough starter, Doug, to make these English muffins this morning.  They were delish, especially as here, with marmalade.  Better yet is that they were made with the wild yeast captured earlier this month.  Great stuff.

You know you've reached the heights of 4 wheeler bosshood when you start breaking stuff like this.

Ha ha ha ( three "ha's" get it?)

Instant family, that's good.

Just the bear necessities, the simple bear necessities, the simple bear necessities of life!

Via American Digest
Freckles, they are good.

It's only Tuesday and already I've got mid week "cabin fever."

Images like this don't help.

Over in Wales, Kent Griswold decided to build a shed as cheaply as possible, and out of recycled materials.  As you can see, his most unique decision was to use a fishing boat built before 1910 as a ready made roof.

"The shed roof is made from a clinker built boat that is 14ft long and 7ft wide at its widest point. The boat is an inshore fishing boat made between 1900 – 1910. It was placed on a frame of 4 telegraph poles with cross beams. Once in place the walls were filled in using aluminium windows from a 1940′s caravan and single glazed windows from our 400 year old farm house."

"It is heated by a French enamelled stove also from the 1900′s in which I burn wood. There is also a 20w solar panel trickle feeding a leisure batter which powers 3 pairs of ultra-brite L.E.D. Lights and a 12v sound system. There is also a 12v refrigerator and a bottled gas cooker with 2 burners, a grill, and an oven. The shed is made from recycled materials except the 12v system."

Read all about it here at the Tiny House Blog.  I found the story over at Lloyd Kahn's place.

This, to me, is about as funny, and indeed heartening, as it comes.

Up in Seattle, the authorities decided to hold a gun buy back, which is one of those silly liberal feel good but do no good plans to "get the guns off our streets."  Naturally, the premise behind this whole deal ignores the fact that it is the person behind the gun that causes the problem, not the gun itself, which of course is an inanimate object.

Here, from the article, is what happened:

Police officers in Seattle, Washington held their first gun buyback program in 20 years this weekend, underneath interstate 5,  and soon found that private gun collectors were working the large crowd as little makeshift gun showsbegan dotting the parking lot and sidewalks. Some even had “cash for guns” signs prominently displayed.
Police stood in awe as gun enthusiasts and collectors waved wads of cash for the guns being held by those standing in line for the buyback program.
People that had arrived to trade in their weapons for $100 or $200 BuyBack gift cards($100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles, and $200 for assault weapons) soon realized that gun collectors were there and paying top dollar for collectible firearms. So, as the line for the chump cards got longer and longer people began to jump ship and head over to the dealers.
 So, the entrepreneurial spirit that drives American success took over, and individuals immediately outmaneuvered the stodgy, slow thinking state to keep those naughty guns "on the street!"
Simply awesome.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

A bit of Sunday cabin porn

Richard Fernandez has an interesting article over at the Belmont Club about the brittle incompetence of the Obama administration.  It should be read in it's entirety.

A snippet:

   "Hackers have taken over the website of the sentencing commission of the Department of Justice and gleefully distributed confidential material found on it. Now they have posted it to servers and will release the encryption keys unless the administration yields to its demands.
Iran, a third rate power,  contemptuously assuming a tone that once only America could use, has just announced it “would consider any attack on Syria an attack on itself”. It is daring Washington to try to overthrow Syria, daring Obama to take it on almost as if it suspects he will never attempt it.
North Korea, not content with threatening to target the US with its ballistic missiles, is now threatening South Korea. If young Kim fears Obama he is not showing it.
The US government has gone months without catching a single individual linked to the attack on its North African diplomatic installations.  Hillary Clinton lamented that she could not even fire the State Department employees whose incompetence allowed the attacks to happen. The French have been left to largely fend for themselves in Mali, the Western alliance strangely absent from the fray. Algeria did not even bother to consult with the administration when it decided to launch an counterattack al Qaeda at a gas plant that cost dozens of Western lives. They ignored Washington — the once indispensable capital — probably because they could.
President Obama is anxious to negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan, eager to end campaign he once called the war of necessity whether victorious or not. Indeed the word “victory” has been expunged from his lexicon. His aides have already hinted that the war against al-Qaeda is now essentially over whoever won. Lee Smith has summarized the situation cogently as follows: “the Obama administration has left [a vacuum] in the region, from Libya to Syria”.
It is a vacuum everywhere. The US government is being treated like a toothless, contemptible thing. It is easy to see why. The US government has been bankrupt for a long time. Obama’s home state of Illinois has had its credit rating trashed to the worst in the country.
But it is not just the regular screwups. What is different is that the foes are openly out in the field without apparent fear.Even judicial conservatives are finding the nerve to take him on. “The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today invalidated one of President Obama’s most despotic overreaches to date: his attempt to use the Constitution’s recess appointment power to make appointments despite the absence of a recess.”
All across the board a wide variety of people are beginning to suspect something similar to what Halsey found in 1944. That under the bombast and veneer of invincibility the Obama administration is a shambling, incompetent, hollow shell. It has self-admittedly lost control of its borders; it is unable to pass a budget and now for all the world to see it cannot even protect its own diplomatic missions."

The other day we were in town in the evening, and there was what seemed to be an unusually bright star out next to the moon. 

Turned out it was Jupiter.  Amazing, when you think of it, that one could see both out in the daytime.  First time for me that I've ever seen ( or should I say, recognized) Jupiter in the sky.

Obama's EPA kills power plant, costs 3900 jobs, and most certainly causes higher electricity rates for this regions customers.

But then, the low information voters that elected this guy probably didn't bother to pay attention to this video:

Mig 17

Obama's Arab spring continues to bloom - except the flowers are red.

   "Egypt’s new government lost control of a major city, Port Said, on Saturday as rampaging soccer fans attacked the main jail, drove police officers from the streets and cut off all access to the city."

This might just be Obama's plan for us a little later. The success of the Egyptians in eliminating the Muslim government's authority, at least for a while, is heartening.   As Bob Owens would predict, an illegitimate government cannot really control a hostile population for long, if that population is determined and even armed.  
Gun porn.

This bit of insanity shoots the 338 "improved," although a plain jane 338 in that gun would be a hand full enough.

More evidence that the goal of the Obama administration is to wreck the economy.

Obama pressures banks to make risky loans to people who likely can't pay them back.

It's like they want failure to be encouraged and rewarded.

Flight of memories.

The ultimate convertible.  

Freckles, they are good

Motorbikes, mmm - mmm - mmm.

This pretty much accurately predicts how the people behind the Obama administration will get us, in the end, if we let it.  Makes me appreciate the attitude and actions of the Anonymous people even more.

  "But here’s the thing: Obama won’t send an army, he’ll send your neighbor, the one with the IRS job. Or you’ll try to travel and a local NHS satrap will show up to investigate you, express serious doubts about your online comments, and ask you to get in his car, quietly please, as your wife and kids look on– and your neighbors whisper, “I always thought something was strange about him.” Some municipal quisling will bring four or five officers and arrest you for making a video, or for refusing a smart-meter on your home. You will be shamed in the local paper, not the New York Times.
Death-or-glory charges are for the fresh young recruits. Cannon fodder, sadly. But their story comes long after the thousand paper-cuts of the Diktat. The apparatchiks are your neighbors. And you won’t raise a gun to the man with whom you’ve shared a meal.
If Solzhenitzyn’s “how we burned in the camps later” essay doesn’t WAKEN us to the fact that it’s not “them” but it’s folks right here, next door in our communities, then we are doomed to lose this country. You have friends with public sector jobs who can’t afford to lose them. Hell, the garbage collector doesn’t want to lose his job. He’ll report you for not recycling if it’s required of him. Nice people will unwind the strands of liberty one “concern”  at a time."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Living space porn

Hey, dude!

Gallatin River, Montana.  An ice dam breaks and sends a mini tidal wave downstream.

I don't usually align with groups like Anonymous or Wikileaks, but I have to admit I am all in with them on this.  

That's because while real criminals like John Corzine walk free among us with no threat of prosecution, the Justice Department goes after foolish kids like Aaron Swartz, threatening him with so much time behind bars that he eventually offed himself.  Corzine, for example,  can steal literally billions of dollars, with no consequence, yet it is Aaron Swartz that gets to feel the full weight of the Justice Department's legal assault.

What did Anonymous do?

Hacktivist group Anonymous took control of the U.S. Sentencing Commission website Friday, January 25 in a new campaign called "Operation Last Resort."
The first attack on the website was early Friday morning. The second - successful - attack came around 9pm PST that evening. 
By 3am PST was down (it has since been dropped from the DNS), yet as of this writing the IP address ( still returns the defaced site's contents.
It appears that via the U.S. government website, Anonymous had distributed encrypted government files and left a statement on the website that de-encryption keys would be publicly released (thus releasing the as-yet unkonwn information held on the stolen files) if the U.S. government did not comply with Anonymous' ultimatum demands for legal reform.
Swartz was dedicated to sharing data and information online. He worked tirelessly to develop and popularize standards for free and open information sharing.
He co-authored RSS 1.0, developed the site theinfo.orgreleased the Python framework he developed as free software, he co-founded Creative Commons, and he was a member of the Harvard University Ethics Center Lab.
Swartz co-founded Demand Progress, which launched the primary campaign against Internet censorship bills (SOPA/PIPA). His work on Reddit enabled millions to share information and news socially (Swartz sold Infogami to Reddit).
Aaron Swartz was facing a potential sentence of dozens of years in prison for allegedly trying to make MIT academic journal articles public.
Charged with felony hacking
In September 2012, Aaron Swartz was charged with thirteen counts of felony hacking.
In July 2011 Swartz was arrested for allegedly scraping 4 million MIT papers from the JSTOR online journal archive.
He appeared in court in Sept. 2012 and pled not guilty.
Swartz's subsequent struggle for money to offset legal fees to fight the Department of Justice and stay afloat was no secret.
This is the way government crushes people they don't like.  Justice is not served in any way by persecuting talented but arguably misguided kids like this.  I honestly wouldn't support Swartz' actions, but as I see the lawless, immoral and unconstitutional behavior by our government, I find myself more and more in sympathy, if not yet in full support.  
Eric Holder's Justice Department could truly be retitled the Injustice Department, given all the lawless and horribly immoral actions they have taken.  Think Fast and Furious, just to start. Mr. Swartz can now join the hundreds of people outright killed or driven to death by the immense misuse of our public offices by this administration. 
With people like this in charge, I feel folks in the prepper movement, and those who are actually of the opinion that this government must be forcefully resisted either through civil disobedience or outright force, are the natural allies of those who might consider themselves on the other side of the political spectrum, like the Anonymous movement.  
Perhaps it is time to make common cause with them.  
Are not the actions of Anonymous and their allies in support of the same freedoms that people in the Tea Party, the Preppers and their ilk are?  
Who in the Tea Party does not support total freedom of the internet, for example?
Are not we all in support of a small, limited federal government?  Of freedom of thought, action, and conscience?
Just thinking over it all on a Saturday morning.