Just A Teeny Tiny Bit o’ Stupidity Today

…but mostly I wanted to put up more Christmas related stuff while it was still the season.

Here ‘round the old Majestic…we celebrate the holiday the way it was meant to be celebrated…it is a celebration of the birth of Jesus after all and although we do succumb to the buying presents part a little…mostly that is an afterthought for us as we mostly buy what we want or need when we want or need it. That said…Neil did get some new Thorlo running socks…not that he runs any more but he wears them with his Merrell shoes that are his daily drivers (well, at least they are when he doesn’t have flip flops on) because his old ones are all (a) thin and tearing up and (b) mostly gray instead of white after so many years. He also got a new pair or bike gloves and this really cool blue Hawaiian shirt that he is going to wear tomorrow night to the Gatsby Gala at the Elks. Connie ordered herself a flapper dress a couple weeks back…black, fringe, short skirt…and it comes along with the feather adorned headband to wear, long black gloves…’cuz wimmin wore those back in the 20s ya know…and one of those really long pearl strings that they put on and then tie sort of a knot in it just below the girls if ya know whaddImean. He’s going in Hawaiian 20s regalia…whatever that means he ain’t really sure but it involves the aforementioned blue shirt…and he’s even going to wear pants instead of his standard shorts. For Christmas…Connie got a new bottle of Jean Claude Gautier perfume…she was almost out and both of them really like the way it smells. She also got some new hair scrunchies…white ones don’t stay clean and they’re just about impossible to get white again…sorta like white sneaker socks…along with some other colors that will match several other tops she likes to wear. She also got some cucumber flavored vodka…she likes to have a nip of it occasionally and although it’s usually just plain with some olive juice in it…AKA a dirty martini…she also drinks cucumber mashed into tonic water a lot. The tonic provides quinine which helps with her rib cramps that she gets frequently…and the cucumber masks the taste of the tonic…’cuz that stuff tastes turrible ya know.

Anyways…back to the reason for the season.

We always set up our tiny manger scene on the left side of the TV…but until Christmas it’s only the shepherds and the livestock gathered around the old manger. On Christmas…Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus make their appearance as you can see in this photo.

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That angel laying down there…well that’s the lute player (part of that whole heavenly host thing)…but when we put her up we discovered she had been inadvertently beheaded somehow. Not to worry…a spot of gorilla glue and she’s as good as new…but Neil forgot to stand her back up before he took the photo. Over on the right…that’s the rest of the heavenly host…led by the angels Lo and Behold in the front of the group. Ya knew that wuz their names right? It says so right in the Bible…”and Lo, an angel of the Lord” and “Behold, an angel of the Lord”. They’ll stay that way doing their heavenly host thing right up through Epiphany…which is when the wise men arrive. Here they are.

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The wise men will slowly make their way across the top of the fireplace over the next week or so and eventually will arrive at their designated location on time to deliver their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Speaking of wise men…you can tell these wise men are not from North Carolina since they’re not wearing their fireman hats. Again…it says right there in the Bible…”They came from a far”.

Also speaking of wise men…did you know that there were actually 4 of them originally. The fourth one was sent away because he brought a fruitcake.

As I said…just a teeny tiny bit of stupidity today…and it’s even Christmas related. I ran across
this article
that relays the story of a liberal millennial who never allowed her daughter to sit on Santa’s lap during the holidays because (a) it communicates to children that it is OK to confide in strangers and have physical contact with them, (b) because we invite a complete stranger to surreptitiously enter our homes through the chimney in the middle of the night, instead of announcing himself at the front door like any other guest…then we reward him for it with offerings of milk and cookies, and (c) she doesn’t push her daughter to be affectionate even with family. She closes by saying that her daughter…now that she’s old enough to communicate her desires…her daughter agrees with her…poor kid…she’s already indoctrinated into liberalthink.

She then goes on to castigate families who let their children follow this custom and praises the establishments that allow beloved characters to be appreciated at a safe distance.

Ok…enough of that blather. On to more interesting stuff.

CanReindeerFly

ReindeerBeans1

ReindeerBeans2

You might have thought from those last two…and harkening back to the 70s when the movie Blazing Saddles came out…and remembering the campfire scene from that movie…that reindeer are guys…particularly when the leader of the pack is Rudolph with his radioactive glowing nose…although I can’t really figure out exactly what radioactive element glows red. Tritium is the only one I know of that glows and it is white. There’s also Cherenkov Radiation which is emitted by uranium atoms when the fission…they can be observed in swimming pool reactors but Cherenkov is blue. Anyways…if you thought that the reindeer were male…I hate to break it to you…but you’re absolutely 100% incorrect.

All of the reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh are female.

True…google it.

Reindeer are the domesticated version of caribou…they’re genetically identical. They are the only member of the deer family where both the bucks and does grow antlers…although not all does do so but the majority of them do. Bucks (males) shed their antlers after the rut in the late fall…or well before Christmas Eve. Females typically keep their antlers until June…they use them to defend areas where they have cleared the snow away to give birth and get food to enable them to provide milk to their offspring.

Since every…andI mean every last steenking one…image you’ve ever seen of Santa, his sleigh, and the reindeer clearly shows antlers…QED, they are all female.

There’s another story goin’ ‘round that conclusively proves that if Santa ever did deliver presents on Christmas Eve that he’s dead now…there’s a lot of math, science, and physics in it…but it’s a long story so I will save it for another season.

OhioStateJersey

MulledWineVSMullingWine

And finally…everybody remembers that old saw from back in the day that helped you remember whether the i or the e comes first when spelling certain words…

IBeforeE

Cyas.

Posted in RV, Travel | 2 Comments

Merry Christmas Folks

Well…it’s Christmas time…so no examples of stupidity political or otherwise today…but then there really hasn’t been any more since my last post.

So with no further ado…

NickRusselXmasAni

While we can’t always be with all of our friends and family…there is always FaceTime…which we’ll be doing with Alex and the kids tomorrow.

So…on to more interesting stuff.

First up…for younger readers of the male persuasion…it’s been well known since forever that one high priority item for them is to separate cute young ladies from their delicate underthings…and they strike out far more than they hit a home run to bring in a euphemism from an earlier time…at least Neil and most of his friend did…and today we finally know the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say.

You can head over to
this post
at Nick Russell’s Gypsy Journal blog for all the details…and he tells the story much better than the synopsis below…but the gist of the story is that back when Nick and Miss Terry first started blogging they went to Maine where she grew up and by happenstance there was and Escapees rally just a few miles away. They attended and met lots of friends they didn’t know yet…like the RVers they would eventually be for 18 years or something like that…and it turned out that this was the Annual Chapter 3 Rally…at which the Miss Brewer Beauty Contest was conducted. Lucky male club members are selected to dress up in women’s clothing…all the way down to the aforementioned delicate underthings. Nick details how putting on a bra, pantyhose, and makeup was a whole lotta trouble…and then proceeds to give his lady readers credit as he has newfound respect for the things they go through on a daily basis…or as Neil puts it…the Price of Being Beautiful©.

Then he goes on to say “wait a minute…now I know why I was so unsuccessful at luring innocent women out of those mysterious garments…because they were so hard to get into that it wasn’t his fault he was unsuccessful…it was simply because it was to save themselves from the ritual of dressing again afterwards.

Anyways…heck over to Nick’s blog…it’s a great daily read as they navigate their now “off the road” life in New Smyrna Beach over on the east coast of Florida.

Back last Wednesday…Connie and the rest of her choir from Church headed over to a local retirement home to sing Christmas Carols for an hour or so. It was great…the audience was appreciative…well, except for the senile one who kept wandering around and picking fights with the other residents…eventually the staff got her to get her walker and politely escorted her back to her room or maybe solitary confinement for all I know.

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She was going to go in these ugly flat dark red velvet shoes…but Neil convinced her that she would (a) look much more lady like (hey, he is old fashioned ya know) and (b) much more festive and stylish…if she wore her bright red stilettos. She grumped about it a bit…and said her feet hurt some after standing for an hour in them…but sure enough she got 3 compliments from other ladies in the choir about how stylish and festive she was. Guess she should listen to him more often, eh?

Lets see…what else…

We’re headed off to Midnight Mass in a few hours…’cept Midnight Mass is at 1600 in the afternoon down here. Father Tom talked on Sunday last about the Christmas Mass schedule and relayed a story about his first year down here. At that time a parish up in Venice had a new pastor and when he discovered that there hadn’t been a Midnight Mass in 20something years he schedule one…it had the whole multiple celebrants, 2 dozen altar boys, choir, orchestra and the whole shebang…and 48 people showed up.

Down here in Old People Country©…Midnight Mass is in the afternoon so all the blue hairs can get home before dark.

The lamb chops…well they’re marinating in tasty stuff for tomorrow’s date with them on the barbie…and the sweet taters are baked so they are ready to be turned into cinnamon caramelized sweet taters tomorrow. Neil even got some Jack Daniels to go into our post Mass eggnog along with a baguette that he will make into a French Bread Pizza for dinner…although actually it’s a Ciabatta baguette so maybe it’s an Italian Bread Pizza instead…whatevers.

He’s got double digit price per bottle red, white, and rose wines all ready to do…so we have what you would call…options…for later on and tomorrow. The forecast…well for tonight it will get down to a bone chilling 60 and up tomorrow the the mid to high 70s…it’s gonna be brutal I tellya but we’ll struggle on through somehow. I could tell you how we’ll have to walk 20 miles to Midnight Mass and back…through heavy snow…uphill both ways…like our parents used to do back in the day…but yeah…it’s definitely not going to be a white Christmas down here.

Here’s a blast from the past…this was taken at last year’s Midnight Mass…the guy lost a bet and had to dress up that way. You can’t see her feet but trust me…they were clad in bright red sparkly 5 inch heels and with the length of that dress…well, her legs went on forever it seemed like. Mebbe we’ll see her agin’.

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On to a few holiday themed interesting things I found on the internet.

XmasFunny1

XmasFunny2

And this one…everybody knows that Santa comes from the North Pole…but just where exactly is the North Pole. It’s simple really…you can just google it…it is right there where the red pin is on the map below. We know…because we wuz there back in 2015 on our Alaska caravan…ifn ya go and check out
this link
…ya’ll will learn all ‘bout it…there’s pictures and everything of his house at 110 Saint Nicholas Lane, North Pole, AK.

Screen Shot 2019 12 24 at 11 31 59 AM

Now that we know the North Pole is located in the middle of Alaska…the obvious next question is…just how big is Alaska…so I found the below image to show you…it’s a same size projection map to give you the most accurate representation possible. If you dumped it down on the lower 48…it would go from Californiastan over to Florida east to west and from Wisconsin to Florida north to south. It’s so big that it has 60% of all the National Park Land in the entire country located within its 24 National Park Service units…just the 8 official National Parks alone comprise 33 million acres or 51,500 square miles…those parks alone would be the 25th largest state…and the largest…Wrangell-Saint Elias at 8.3 million acres is larger than 9 states all by itself.

While how far away Alaska is depends on where you live and whether you measure by “crow files” mile or “miles along the road”…it’s about 17,500 miles by road from southwest Florida there and back.

HowBigIsAlaska

ErnestChristmas

UtilizeYourChristmasTree

SantaSeatBelt

FruitcakeFourthMagi

Cyas.

Posted in Homebody | Leave a comment

You Just Can’t Believe Anything You Read Or Hear On The News

Yeah…I know that may come as a shock to some of you…but it’s really pretty much spot on as you’ll see in the words that follow (editor note…4,600 of ‘em, sorry it took that long. The TLDR Too Long Didn’t Read version would be…Read the Title). You need to do your own research and look at various sites on both sides of just about any issue or report…and once you find out the actual facts you will likely agree that the news media these days doesn’t consider it their job to report the news…but rather they want to make and be the news and influence either policies to suit their own bias/political persuasion or what have you.

Here are a few examples…you can consider this post a Public Service Announcement.

First up…
this article
…which if you believe the headline and some of the claims therein means that Russia is placing into service a new hypersonic nuclear capable missile which renders US missile defense forces useless and places the country under threat of preemptive nuclear attack by the Russians. Let’s look into this a bit more…and add a few tidbits of actually useful information to what it says in the article.

Right at the top of the article…there is a picture of a missile…which one would assume is the missile in question, something called the Avangard. The first problem you will notice is that those missiles are 30 or so feet long, only a foot or two in maximum diameter, and have fins…not to mention that they are clearly surface to air antiaircraft missiles (SAMs) and not the Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that are used for long range nuclear attack. Then getting into the article itself…it claims that a new ICBM payload known as a hypersonic boost glide missile will be deployed this month.

A hypersonic missile is defined as “one that goes faster than 5 times the speed of sound or Mach 5. While this new payload is hypersonic…I hate to break it to The National Interest…which is generally considered to be right of center in political leaning…that although their statement is true that the new payload is hypersonic…it is just like…every…other…ballistic…missile. The latter travel about 6,500 miles in 30 minutes…which makes their speed about 13,000 miles per hour…or somewhere in the vicinity of Mach 17 on average. It is true that the new hypersonic payload is a bit faster…up to Mach 20 claim the Russians and the article…due to a different flight path. A normal ICBM flying to that 6,500 mile range has 3 phases of flight. The Boost phase…which is when the motors are burning…lasts 3-5 minutes and ends with a speed of about 9,000-18,000 miles per hour (well into the hypersonic regime) at an altitude of 90-250 miles. Next is the 25 minute or so midcourse phase…when the payload is basically just coasting…albeit it with some slight maneuvering to scatter it’s warheads and countermeasures to foil possible defense…up to about a 750 mile apogee at a speed of 5,000-10,000 miles per hour. The final phase is the reentry phase when the warheads fall down onto their target at speeds up to 15,000 miles per hour…again well into the hypersonic range. The hypersonic missile works in a completely different manner. Launched by an ICBM booster but on a much flatter trajectory…the higher speed of these payloads is achieved through the use of an engine on the payload which works on the RAMJet or SCRAMJet principle…very similar to a jet airliner or military aircraft engine except the combustion air…instead of being compressed and pushed into the combustion chamber by compressor blades at the front of the engine use the speed of the vehicle to ram the air into the combustion chamber…the famed SR-71 Blackbird used a variety of the RAMJet when it was at speed and altitude. The drawbacks of a RAMJet or SCRAMJet is that (a) they are combustion engines, need air, and hence have to stay in the atmosphere and (b) they must be at high speed and high altitude before they will work. Thus…the ICBM booster gets the payload up to Mach 5 or so then releases it…it then engages its engine to accelerate up to the claimed Mach 20 and flies to the target. According to freely available information on the web…it would arrive at the target area in about 1/2 to 2/3 of the time of a standard ICBM…so it is faster but not revolutionary faster. Further…the article claims that it cannot be detected by current long range air defense radar that will detect ICBMs…that’s unlikely as it is bigger than a standard ICBM warhead and flies at a lower altitude. 

However…this payload does likely have a greater survivability against most missile defense systems since the shorter flight time allows less time for detection, engagement, and retaliation…but in the scenario of a major attack…this is again…just…like…every…other…ballistic…missile. Missile defenses are not designed for and would not protect the US against a major attack…the likelihood of interception by any individual anti missile missile is low enough that there just isn’t enough money to produce enough missiles to stop an attack. Missile defense systems are designed to do 2 things. First…give a reasonable probability of killing a single incoming missile from a rogue state like Iran or Best Korea…and second to give enough warning to allow a counter strike by US nuclear forces…that goes back to the Mutual Assured Destruction concepts of the Cold War. The launch time for US ground based ICBMs is on the order of 5 minutes from receipt of the launch command…so even the faster flight time of the hypersonic payload means they would still be launched before the incoming arrives…providing about 430 missiles with almost 500 warheads. Aircraft response time depends on what state of readiness they are in…but is likely somewhat longer than ICBM response time…if in any sort of higher state of readiness than ordinary peacetime airborne forces would be on either 5 or 15 minute alert time…so some of the bombers would get away from their bases even against hypersonic incoming warheads…but then again aircraft are a pretty small portion US nuclear forces. Submarine launched missiles…SLBMs…would be completely unaffected by hypersonic weapons if at sea…and even if in port in a higher readiness condition they can launch from beside the pier in 50-15 minutes and still reach most of their targets. So…it’s hard to argue that our forces are any less secure in the presence of Russian hypersonic super weapons since Mutually Assured Destruction would still result in the end of the world as we know it. Simply put…a nuclear exchange between the US and Russia/China/whoever is not a winnable thing for either side.

Moving on to Door Number 2…according to
this article
…which is again from The National Interest…”The F-35 is a success story that keeps getting better.” The F-35…for those of you who may not be familiar with it is also known as the Joint Strike Fighter and is a poor attempt to replace pretty much all fighter and strike aircraft for the Navy, Air Force, and Marines with a single aircraft that can perform all of these missions. Unfortunately…like pretty much every other “one size fits all project…ever”…it really doesn’t work very well. It can’t fly in the rain because that damages the stealth coating that helps it avoid radar. It can’t carry very much fuel or weapons as the aircraft it is supposed replace…and is not as fast as other aircraft it is supposed to replace…so the amount of net ordnance on target it can deliver is only a fraction of those aircraft it is supposed to replace. Further…it is so expensive that the likelihood that commanders will risk it in a battle where enemy tanks need to be destroyed in a contested air environment…because you will take losses in that scenario even if you win. The aircraft’s reliability is far less than those inferior aircraft it is supposed to replace…and pretty much no warfighters except flag officers, the guys and gals who fly it, and Pentagon PowerPoint Rangers really want it. It was declared to be operationally capable despite the fact that the software it needs to actually do war fighting things like launch missiles, shoot guns, and drop bombs is (a) years behind schedule, (b) way over budget, (c) fails to often, (d) doesn’t meet the operational requirements the aircraft is supposed to meet, and (e) has not been completed, tested, and released to operational squadrons. The first 100 or so of these expensive planes can never…never…be upgraded to be fully operationally capable to the requirements. Asking a single aircraft to replace supersonic fighter intercept aircraft, ground support aircraft, and bomb delivery aircraft is just nuts…but the idiots in DC have foisted this under performing, over expensive pile of crap on the warfighter. Supporters of it claim that it will be able to detect, track and destroy enemy aircraft before the enemy knows it is there…but in every air to air engagement since…forever…eventually you have to get close in and fight with guns…and the lack of maneuverability and limited weapons capacity of and F-35 means that it will die…it is as simple as that.

Moving on to Door Number 3…and this one is actually what started this whole post off but I didn’t want you to think I only picked on liberals…one of our liberal friends here in the campground tweeted the other day about Moscow Mitch holding 275 bipartisan bills passed by the House in the Senate graveyard. While I thought at the time that this claim was political BS…a quick google search revealed hundreds of articles making this same claim…with precious few details. I kept looking on and off over the past couple of days and finally happened across
this website
…the headline says “In Senator Mitch McConnell’s Legislative Graveyard, Senate Republicans Block Commonsense Legislation To Secure Our Elections, Protect Americans’ Health Care, And Safeguard Pensions Earned By Working Americans”. Note the source of this site…http://democrats.senate.gov…this is the official web site of the Democrats in the Senate and therefore will present their argument in the best possible light.

Anyway…according to the article…Senator McConnell is holding “more than 250 House passed bills” hostage. When I had a twitter conversation with our campground liberal friend the other day…I said that those 250 bills (actually it is a claimed 275 but the article is from early November…it is possible but unlikely that the House passed another 25 bills since then due to being overly focused on impeachment…but I could find no better listing). Anyway…despite the claimed “more than 250” this is the most complete list of those bills I could find…and being put out by the Democrats in the Senate I figure it is the one that will put their claim in the best light. So…let’s review the article and see if we can get the rest of the story.

The partial list on the site details with links those that passed the House with…their words, not mine…bipartisan support. Of those so listed…the number of Republican votes in the House breaks down as follows…27 claims of bipartisan passage…of those 27 18 had a single digit number of Republican support, 6 had double digit support, and 3 had triple digit support.

Triple digit Republican support went to the following:

  • A resolution against the President’s withdrawal of troops from Northern Syria…no actual legislation here.
  • The SECURE Act which supposedly helps people save for retirement…but actually is mostly an increased tax penalty on people who inherit a pre-tax IRA account from their parents…I can’t figure out why any Republicans would vote for this as the only meaningful provision in the act is the tax increase. In any event…the SECURE Act was attached to the Omnibus spending bill that was passed and signed into law by the President earlier this week…so that removes it from the list in the Senate Graveyard.
  • The Debbie Smith Act…which is actually just reauthorizing funding to help process the rape kit backlog nationwide.

Bills getting double digit Republican support in the House included the following:

  • Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act…this protects women (and sometimes men depending on which version of the bill you read) against domestic abuse…but isn’t that already against the law so why do we need a special law to protect them? With all of the “protected classes” the Congress and courts have established…pretty much everybody has their own special laws except for white men.
  • Multi-employer Pensions Act…this appears to be mostly a bailout for over extended pension funds that were improperly and deliberately under funded by the company or government agency that negotiated the pensions in the first place
  • Corporate Transparency Act…this cracks down on those pesky Russians who used shell corporations and Facebook accounts to supposedly rig the 2016 election…despite there being no proof whatsoever that any election results were actually hacked. The Russians had their preferred candidate in our election…just like we have our preferred candidate in elections in other countries…and they used the election laws in the US to promote their preferred candidate…just like the US does. I could not find any real details to determine whether this is actually a good idea or not.

So let’s recap.

The Democrats in the Senate…reinforced and amplified the hundreds of articles in the media…claim that there are more than 250 bills “passed by the Democrats in the House”…again their words, not mine…and note the “passed by the Democrats” in that claim which doesn’t sound bipartisan to me…but then they only list 52 bills…which turns out to really be only 45…so I guess the other 205 or so even the Democrats think are partisan…and of those 45 they claim 27 of them have “bipartisan support”…which turns out to be only 9 that had double digit Republican support in the House and only 3 of those 9 had triple digit Republican support.

I don’t know about you…and there’s no strict definition but Merriam-Webster calls it “involving cooperation, agreement, and compromise between two political parties”…anyway a reasonable person might think that you would need 25% of the opposite party to support you before it can be called bipartisan…that would be 50 Republican votes in the House and there were exactly 3…count ‘em…3…of those that got sent to the Senate Graveyard…and one of those was a meaningless resolution and a second was already signed into law in the omnibus funding bill that was passed and signed this week…that leaves exactly…1…bill from the House with meaningful bipartisan support made it to the Graveyard…and even that one at less than a few hundred million was probably included in the omnibus bill although I could find no specific information on whether it is or is not included.

The remainder of the bills…well, at least 46 of them appear to be Democratic/liberal/progressive/socialist wish lists…and since we have a bicameral legislative body and the other body is controlled by the other party…naturally the other body is going to send those wish lists to the nope bin.

Kinda gives you a little different perspective on Democrat and media statements that “the Senate is sitting on 250 plus House Democrat passed pieces of legislation”…doesn’t it? This is exactly the same thing that happened when the majority party in the two houses of Congress were the opposite of now a few years back…only then it was the Democratic Senate Majority Leader consigning bills that Democrats didn’t like to the graveyard. Like I said before…this is all just politics…and there are precious few candidates to vote for with enthusiasm for those of us in the center politically.

And finally…let’s try Door Number4…even though the Price is Right only uses 3 doors as did the old Match Game. According to
this article
…the floating nuclear power plant that the Russians built on a barge then floated around to the far north to an area named Chukoktka and a town named Pevek…you know, the one that the anti nuclear power folks call “a floating Chernobyl” which will due to some environmental disaster like “a tsunami” could trigger a “nuclear explosion at sea”. The article further states that this is Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant and that despite being towed…it is on a barge after all…3,100 miles to the current location it will be difficult for emergency response teams to react if Something Bad© happens…and that environmentalists “worry about the safety of such facilities”.

OK…let us examine the things they don’t say…or ignore or are just clueless about. First off…there could be a disaster like a tsunami that would cause the barge to sink…although how likely that is to happen is pretty much impossible to calculate…and it is moored properly which isn’t exactly rocket science it would tend to ride out the tsunami at it’s berth because it is…ya know…floating and would rise up and come back down as the tsunami just like ships at sea do just about all the time. However…let us assume that it sank and somehow compromised the cores. Then that whole physics thing gets you…and ya know…physics is pretty much the same for everybody…anti nuclear activists don’t get to redefine physics to suit their agenda. What the actual physics tells you…and as I said this is it works for everybody…and Neil used to be in the nuclear submarine bidness so he sorta knows how they work…it is just not possible for any reactor to suffer a “nuclear explosion” as the article claim. A nuclear explosion implies an uncontrolled fission chain reaction based on fast neutrons alone with an effective multiplication from each fast neutron average lifetime to the next of 1.3…and that just physical cannot happen with any nuclear reactor be it a pressurized water reactor like this one is or a boiling water reactor like some older plants use…nor if the moderator in the reactor is water or graphite which are the two that it could be. Nope…just ain’t happening…the fuel concentration is simply not high enough nor the density of the fuel high enough for that to happen…and no matter how many times the anti nuclear crowd talks about it a nuclear explosion just cannot happen. You can have a fire like Chernobyl did that spreads contamination outside the containment…or you can have a partial core meltdown like Three Mile Island and Fukushima did…but that is in way a nuclear explosion. It is definitely not a Good Thing©…but a nuclear explosion it is nota by any means.

In order to have a nuclear explosion…you can use either uranium 235 highly enriched isotope or the much easier to make fission plutonium 239 isotope. Then you compress it with hundreds of thousands of pounds of pressure which increases the density enough to make fission start…this is done via either of two methods. First…by dividing the critical mass (the minimum amount of material you need to achieve fission under any circumstances) into two pieces and then firing one down a long barrel with high explosive so that they two pieces are mashed together creating the density reburied to start the chain reaction. This is how the Little Boy device that was dropped on Nagasaki Japan was constructed…and it used plutonium. The second method is the implosion method…and this is the standard process now as you need less fissile material if you use this method. In this type…the fissile material is machined into a very precise sphere which is then surrounded by rigid blocks of plastic explosive…the resulting structure looks a lot like a geodesic doe with little 6 sided pieces of explosive surrounding the sphere. Then the blocks of explosive are all detonated simultaneously…and that is a critical thing…unless they all detonate simultaneously the sphere is not compressed uniformly and the chain reaction doesn’t start because the density doesn’t get high enough…this is known as a fizzle and it happened more than once during testing…although usually you do get a small fraction of the design output of the warhead rather than a complete fizzle. If this is a fusion or hydrogen bomb…then shortly before the explosive detonates a mixture of tritium and deuterium are pumped either into the sphere or into a space adjacent to it…so that the resulting heat and pressure from the fission process heats and compresses the gas enough so that fusion will start…the only real purpose of the fission in a hydrogen warhead is to get the hydrogen fusion process to start…the latter provides something north of 3/4 of the total bang depending on how sophisticated the design is. The other neat thing about nuclear explosions is how fast they happen. Naturally…when the high explosive detonates to compress the fissile pit…the shockwave also travels outward toward the case of the warhead and would conceivably fracture the case into pieces when the shockwave hits the inside of the case shell. However…this is not what happens…once the pit is compressed…which happens a few microseconds before the case would have ruptured…the neutron lifetime is about a million times less than a microsecond and essentially the entire nuclear part of the explosion happens before the shockwave gets out to the case. At the point…the nuclear chain reaction (and fusion process in a hydrogen warhead) is over, all of the energy that will eventually be released has been released but is still inside the case, and the case would appear intact. But then the laws of thermodynamics take over, the case is mostly vaporized by the gamma ray and heat flux from the fission/fusion, and the mushroom cloud appears.

So…no nuclear explosion no matter what…physics just won’t allow it.

The even bigger error is that the article states that this is the “Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant”…but unfortunately that isn’t correct either. The world has had floating nuclear power plants since 1954…although most people call them submarines and aircraft carriers…and in the case of the Russian Navy battlecruisers and ice breakers. All of those nuclear warships are…you know…nuclear powered and all…and the last time I checked they were floating…so this is clearly not “Russia’s first floating nuclear power plant”. In fact…I read somewhere along the way that the two reactors on the Akademik Lomonosov are the same type used on their most recent class of nuclear powered icebreakers. The sole difference is that instead of turning steam turbines attached to generators which power the electric drive motors on the ship…the generators are attached to wires to provide power to folks on land. Heck…even the United States had a floating nuclear power plant at one time…it was tied up down in the Panama Canal Zone providing electricity to just about everybody there.

Are they safe? Well…definitely not as safe as US Navy nuclear power plants…and arguably less safe than non Russian commercial nuclear power plants…but they’re as safe as their submarines, battlecruisers, and icebreakers are…and probably safer than commercial Russian nuclear power plants. But…nuclear explosion…well, no. And first floating nuclear power plants…well, no…again. I wanted there to be a third strike but couldn’t find one in the article.

It all goes back to the post title…ya just can’t believe everything you read on the internet or hear on the news…even if it took me 4,600 words to get there.

Interesting things found on the net.

It is Christmas time…so these seem apropos.

Gift drinking min

On a serious note…this one isn’t supposed to be funny. We need to think of all the sailors, marines, army grunts…and yeah even the Air Force weenies…who are away from their loved ones and homes this holiday period…serving on the front lines overseas and in harms way in order to protect the freedoms and way of life we enjoy in the United States. Let’s not forget that the reason we have a free Federated Democratic Republic was a bunch of brave folks back in 1776 who declared themselves free of the shackles of tyranny from the British government…and that the reason we continue today is because of those brave men and women through the decades.

This poem “The Soldier’s Night Before Christmas” was supposedly written by a US Marine stationed in Okinawa but has been attributed to several sources over the years including an Air Force Colonel in Korea in 1993. The actual author…according to snopes.com who is generally credited as the preeminent arbiter for determining whether an Internet rumor is true…and they credit this one as true…was Lance Corporal James M. Schmidt who wrote it in 1986 while he was stationed as a Battalion Counter Sniper (a sniper who hunts and shoots other snipers first) at Marine Corps Barracks, 8th and I, Washington DC. It was originally titled “Merry Christmas, My Friend” and it was published in Leatherneck Magazine (the official USMC publication) in December 1991. With no further ado…and with resounding Thank You and be safe to our men and women in uniform this holiday.

Merry Christmas, My Friend

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.

I had come down the chimney, with presents to give
and to see just who in this home did live

As I looked all about, a strange sight I did see,
no tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand.
On the wall hung pictures of a far distant land.

With medals and badges, awards of all kind,
a sobering thought soon came to my mind.
For this house was different, unlike any I’d seen.
This was the home of a U.S. Marine.

I’d heard stories about them, I had to see more,
so I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping, silent, alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one-bedroom home.

He seemed so gentle, his face so serene,
Not how I pictured a U.S. Marine.
Was this the hero, of whom I’d just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?

His head was clean-shaven, his weathered face tan.
I soon understood, this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night,
owed their lives to these men, who were willing to fight.

Soon around the Nation, the children would play,
And grown-ups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom, each month and all year,
because of Marines like this one lying here.

I couldn’t help wonder how many lay alone,
on a cold Christmas Eve, in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye.
I dropped to my knees and I started to cry.

He must have awoken, for I heard a rough voice,
“Santa, don’t cry, this life is my choice
I fight for freedom, I don’t ask for more.
My life is my God, my country, my Corps.”

With that he rolled over, drifted off into sleep,
I couldn’t control it, I continued to weep.

I watched him for hours, so silent and still.
I noticed he shivered from the cold night’s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
and covered this Marine from his toes to his head.
Then I put on his T-shirt of scarlet and gold,
with an eagle, globe and anchor emblazoned so bold.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
and for one shining moment, I was Marine Corps deep inside.

I didn’t want to leave him so quiet in the night,
this guardian of honor so willing to fight.
But half asleep he rolled over, and in a voice clean and pure,
said “Carry on, Santa, it’s Christmas Day, all secure.”
One look at my watch and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, Semper Fi and goodnight.

Cyas.

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Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Read The News Again…

The media and liberals have doubled down on stupid. I should really quit pointing out their stupidity I reckon…but with no actual Fun Stuff© to report on…well, ya gotta blog ‘bout sumetin’ know what I mean Vern as Jim Varney used to say.

A bit of news on the house front…we got the receipts for the roof and window repairs on the new house yesterday…and their agent claims that “the fans didn’t work because you couldn’t find the controllers”…that last isn’t actually true as we found all the controllers, several had no batteries in them…but we tried all the unknown controllers on all the fans that didn’t work with a known good battery and neither Neil or the two inspectors could make them work…but it is most likely just bad batteries, we’ll check them on our walkthrough before closing, and if that’s what they want to claim more power to ‘em. Flood and homeowner insurance is in place, survey and elevation certificate have been ordered, appraisal has been ordered and might be done, and we are proceeding along on that front.

On the eagle front…the first egg for Harriet and M15 hatched yesterday and the second should hatch tomorrow or the next day. E14 (first hatched) appears to be doing well so far. I tried to get a screenshot of it…but it’s pretty windy and cold today and M15 is keeping it pretty well covered by his body.

Andrew Yang…ya know the Asian billionaire on the debate stage last night…(a) claimed he was a “person of color” and while if by that definition you mean not white he qualifies…the generally accepted street definition of the term means brown people and excludes white people always, Asians usually, and Native People some of the time…then he claimed that if his “freedom dividend”…a tax free government distribution he has proposed of $1,000 per month to every American over the age of 18…at least he limited it to citizens although in the Peoples Republic of Californiastan they give drivers licenses to anybody with a pulse and call them Americans…anyway…if his freedom dividend had already been in place he claimed that he would not be the only “person of color” on the debate stage because…giving people of color more disposable income will increase their contributions to the political campaigns of people of color…talk about buying votes with public money.

So let’s investigate the economics of the freedom dividend and see how much it costs…and where the money will come from. The US population is 308 million as of the 2010 census with an estimated 330 million as of December 2019…and the percentage of the population under 18 is 25% as of the 2010 census. So…and I realize that liberals have a problem with math so I’ll spell it out for ya…$1,000 per month times 12 months times 330 million times 75% over the age of 18 is 2.97 times 10 to the 12th power dollars…that’s 2.9 million million dollars or $2.9 trillion dollars…per year. Now let’s take a look at the US budget…the 2019 federal revenue will be $3.44 trillion…the government operates at a deficit…known as spending more money than you have…that will be $1 trillion for 2019 making the federal outlet $4.44 trillions this plan alone will increase the federal outlay by about 60%…and unless it’s paid for it will quadruple the current deficit. Further…he supports Ms. Warren’s Medicare for All Plan which will cost at least $20 trillion over 10 years by her estimate but $32 trillion by most estimates done by people not named Warren, Sanders, or Yang…so that’s another $3.2 trillion per year added to federal outlays…so essentially these two programs alone will over double the federal outlay and bankrupt the country…and that’s before we add in cancelling student debt, free college, free daycare, rebuilding every building in the country to meet the Green New Deal standards, replacing all of the coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants that we also need to do, replacing the entire freeway system throughout the country, and all the other grandiose spending plans Mr. Yang and his fellow spenders have in mind.

So where’s the money going to come from? Ms. Warren says it will come from her wealth tax…which in the first place is unconstitutional according to most scholars who aren’t liberals and would clearly be considered so by our strict constructionist Supreme Court…but even she admits that it will only take in $2.75 trillion over 10 years and that’s an overestimate compared the estimates of anybody not named Warren. She also claims that Medicare for All will be financed by “savings” in the medical field…as if one can magically legislate that drug testing and development be cost free, doctors accept a massive pay cut, hospitals don’t need to make a profit to stay in business, and the scientific breakthroughs can be mandated. And that doesn’t even take into account that administering this wealth tax is (a) impossible and (b) the government couldn’t possibly do it anyway. At this point they can’t even efficiently collect all the income tax that is owed…can you imagine the bureaucracy needed to figure out how much every billionaire was worth…every year. Let’s take your typical billionaire…say Bill Gates for instance. He’s got some Microsoft stock that you can figure out the value of…but how about his private partnership venture capital companies, his yachts, planes, and homes…how much are all they worth? Can’t know unless you sold all of that stuff. Same with art, jewelry, antiques, and anything else of intrinsic value…it’s only worth what you can sell it for and you only know that if you sell it? Is  that 1926 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow worth more today than it was last year because it’s more rare or less because it’s older by a year? It is simply not possible to actually figure out what a “billionaire” is worth.

On the impeachment front…after the rush to judgement in the House to get a vote on record before Christmas…Democrats are now saying they are’t going to forward the article to the Senate until the Senate agrees to their demands on how the trial will be conducted…this idiotic idea was originated by a Harvard law professor and he thinks…as well as Ms. Pelosi it appears…that this gives Democrats “leverage” over Senator McConnell on setting the rules for the Senate trial. Mr. McConnell has already said that the job of the House is to investigate and the job of the Senate is not to investigate but to evaluate the investigation produced by the House. Thus…he plans to call no witnesses but allow the House Impeachment Managers (essentially the prosecutors) to present their evidence, followed by the defense presenting their case, followed by a vote on acquittal/conviction. Democrats in both the House and Senate are demanding additional witnesses beyond those called by the House…which likely ain’t happening.

So…after the House conducted investigation…during which they clearly displayed partisan behavior through ignoring Republican requests for witnesses…came up with their 2 articles…neither of which alleges an actual crime…but now they don’t think they have a strong enough case to convict…so they’re demanding that the Senate…who has the “sole power to try impeachments” do things the way the House wants them to do it. Seems to me that separation of powers means that will never happen. Sure…the President used Executive Privilege to prevent aides from testifying to Congress…but Executive Privilege is well established in the Constitution and both Presidents Obama and Clinton used it to prevent aides from testifying. Heck…Mr. Mueller’s investigation…no matter whether you think it was fair, biased, a hoax, orchestrated by Never Trump-ers in the FBI or not…at least Mr. Mueller alleged in his report that there were 10 instances where he could have charged the President with Obstruction of Justice…which is an actual crime…but for long standing Justice Department rules that prevented charging a sitting President…and he actually invited Congress to further investigate. Whether Mr. Mueller had sufficient evidence to prove guilt in court beyond a reasonable doubt is unknown…but he could have gotten an indictment but for that sitting President rule…but then any good District Attorney can get an indictment on a ham sandwich as lawyers say.

Unfortunately…charging the President with an actual crime would have required an actual investigation to determine facts and not one that brought in witnesses to repeat talking points and sound bites about vague “abuse of office” and the like. But again…impeachment is never a legal thing…it is purely a political thing. Mr. McConnell and the President are correct in saying that if this impeachment stands then every future President will be subject to being impeached if the House is of the opposite party…because “abuse of office” is a nebulous thing.

Looking at the actual facts…at least as well as they are publicly known…about the Ukraine case…the President asked for an investigation, not an outcome…into potential corruption by American citizens. That is well within his power as the head of the Executive Department and the person who controls US foreign policy. He did not…so far as we know…threaten to withhold military aid, ask for a particular outcome, or deny a meeting with the Ukranian president until the investigation was complete. He did not withhold the military aid beyond the statutory time limit in the congressional appropriation law that provided the aid. However…as President’s have been doing ever since we sent Marines to the Shores of Tripoli…he was using the world position of the US as the biggest guy on the block to achieve foreign policy as he saw fit…in my opinion he should have asked for an investigation into Burisma (the oil company there) and not mentioned either Biden…but then he’s a businessman and not really a politician so doesn’t understand how to use all the diplomatic niceties to get his way. While I have no complete facts about either this incident or the one involving Vice President Biden…my understanding of the facts is that Mr. Biden asked the former Ukranian President to fire the prosecutor who was previously investigating Burisma…who paid a completely unqualified Hunter Biden $50K a a month to serve on its board despite no experience in the oil industry…and that military aid to Ukraine didn’t get released by President Obama until after that prosecutor was dismissed. If…and it’s a big if…President Trump is guilty of using his office for personal gain…then by that measure so was Vice President Biden…and by extension his President.

Again though…this is all political and an attempt to redo the 2016 election…and to hopefully on Democrats part to convince voters to come over to their side next year. Unfortunately…all of the candidates that are running are so far to the left and are spouting so many socialist policies and confiscatory financial policies that it’s unlikely any of them can win a national election. They’ll carry California and New York…but most states are primarily filled with middle of the road voters who will see through their impossible promises.

I really fail to see how Ms. Pelosi’s sitting on the articles puts any pressure at all on the Senate…in fact one of her leadership folks…Representative Clyburn of South Carolina…admitted today that they might never forward the articles to the Senate. So much for incontrovertible proof of malfeasance.

The President…well, he wants his day in court…and he also wants lots of witnesses called so his defense team can summon both Bidens, Mr. Schiff and Nadler from the House, Mr. Mueller, Mr. Comey, and who knows who else to create another public spectacle…but I don’t think that Mr. McConnell will allow that. He doesn’t particularly want to have a trial at all…and if he does he wants it low key…hence his insistence on no witnesses and allowing the House managers to present the results of their “investigation”…which the President’s team will then get to counter albeit with less of a spectacle. It would not surprise me if most of the trial sessions were closed to the public and press…which is well within the Senate rules…but if invoked the Democrats will scream bloody murder since they won’t get their sound bite for the 6 o’clock news.

I saw the other day a claim from Rashida Talib…ya know, the “we’ll impeach the m*****f***er; such a well spoken, civil, and courteous freshman Congresswoman”…anyway it turns out that the shooting in the Jersey City NJ Jewish deli a week or so back was conducted by a pair of “black nationalists” who were members of the Black Hebrew Israelites…a generally accepted black power group like BLM and the Louis Farrakhan’s group. Anyway…despite a couple of black nationalists shooting up a Jewish deli which makes little to no sense to me…Ms. Talib claims that the attack was the result of “white supremacists”. Joy Behar on “The View”…that bastion of amicable political debate…echoed the same bias when she said that “white nationalists have been let out of their holes”. Black Hebrew Israelites by the way…well, they believe that all black people are direct descendants of the original Israelites. Seems that they’re of the wrong racial makeup as those Israelites were mostly Arab or similar coloring…but what do I know…that’s what they claim. I’m not sure how it can be white people’s fault when it was black people…er, excuse me people of color…that engaged in the shootout…but mebbe that’s just me.

Interesting things found on the net.

TrashNite

Some examples of Canadian Vandalism.

CanadianVandalism00001

CanadianVandalism00004

CanadianVandalism00011

CanadianVandalism00012

KeyedCar

EvolutionStart

BowHeadsToPray

Cyas.

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And Even More Stupidity Gathered From The News

Yup…mucho stupidity today…and it’s not all even impeachment related…although it is at the top of the list.

No new news to report on the house front…although we did pick out and buy our new waterbed…we’re getting a soft sided one with a pillow top…the industry has seen significant technical progress since our last purchase of one in 1977. Beyond that…we’re just doing the paperwork shuffle and waiting on the lender, title company, and insurance company do their thing.

Holiday wise…we’re ready for Christmas…we will again attend Midnight Mass at 1600 in the afternoon Christmas Eve…hey, that’s the way they do it down here in old folk land…then Connie will go back on Christmas morning for that Mass. Then Neil will cook some lamb chops we got from Yoder’s Meats in Shipshewana Indiana while we were getting our bearing maintenance on the rig. Got a nice bottle of Pinot Noir to go along with it and we’ll have some caramelized sweet potatoes on the side.

As I said before…impeachment is a political and not a legal or judicial process. This was made abundantly clear by the process by which the investigation was managed by the Democratic led House, the refusal to call witnesses as requested by the minority party, and the strict party line vote by which the two articles…neither of which alleges a “high crime or misdemeanor”…were approved. Nonetheless…the process moves on.

Now things move over to the Senate…where unfortunately for the Democrats the Republicans are in the majority and will get to set the rules. Nonetheless…a couple of stupidities from the Democratic side this morning.

Representative Jackie Speier has demanded that Senator McConnell recuse himself because the Senator has stated that this is a political, not a judicial process; and that he is not an impartial juror but rather a partisan member. He has also stated that there won’t be any witnesses called because it’s the House’s job to investigate and the Senate’s job to hold the trial to determine if the House’s investigation supports conviction and/or removal from office. Mr. Speier…well, he’s also threatened a mistrial if the Senator doesn’t do what he wants. Obviously Mr. Speier thinks he has more power than he actually does…which is zero in this circumstance as the Senate gets to now set the rules. It is true that with only a slim majority some Republicans could vote with the Democrats and change the rules…it is hard to determine how likely that is…but members of the House have bupkus to say about it.

Senator Schumer is also demanding that his list of witnesses be called to testify before the Senate…despite the refusal of members of his party ignoring the demands of the minority in the House…sucks to be you Mr. Schumer…but the shoe is on the other proverbial foot now.

In addition…Ms. Pelosi is now saying that she won’t refer the impeachment charges to the Senate for trial until the Senate assures her that it will be fair…or at least fair according to the Democrats demands…good luck with that.

And even more in addition…Democratic leadership are demanding that Chief Justice Roberts…who will oversee  the trial…have a heavy hand and accede to the Democratic demand for witnesses and rules of trial that they want…despite the Chief Justice saying that he will be there to call balls and strikes and will take the same low visibility approach that his predecessor did during the trial of President Clinton. The Chief Justice doesn’t want the Court to be dragged into the political arena…he has stated often that there is separation of powers, that no branch can overrule another branch, and that the duty of the Court is to enforce the Constitution.

It is not the Senate’s job to investigate the President. Their job is to evaluate the investigation produced by the House and vote to acquit or convict based on the evidence and testimony provided by the House. The President wants a long trial with the ability to call witnesses and my guess is he wants to turn the whole thing into an even bigger circus than it already is…but Senator McConnell…correctly in my view…wants to get this completely political process completed as rapidly as possible…and since it is a political process the majority in the Senate has no interest in undermining a President of their own party on what any reasonable person should think of as pretty flimsy evidence and innuendo. When you read the transcripts and think about the whole Ukraine thing in an unbiased manner…what he did was probably in bad taste but is the same thing US Presidents have been doing for decades ever since we became a world power. Governing and foreign policy are a lot like making sausage…it’s ugly but you normally get something good in the end…nobody over said that politics was a pretty game.

Moving on…it’s not just here. Over in the UK there are a couple of things going on.

First…a UK judge ha s ruled that it is legal to fire a worker for saying that transgender women aren’t women. Turns out that there is a woman tax expert over there who was sacked because of her social media posts that stated that gender is biologically determined at conception…that you are either male or female…and that cutting off your willy and taking hormones doesn’t make you a woman. She’s right…men are men and women are women…and you can’t make yourself the other just by saying so any more than you can say you’re a cephalopod and you become a squid. It just don’t work that way. Now I have nothing against men who want to play dress up and pretend they’re women…or vice versa…but please people…putting on panty hose, makeup, and high heals along with a bra full of falsies doesn’t make you a woman…biology makes you a man or woman…period.

However…at least until some common sense judge over in the UK over rules this liberal idiot…who stated in his opinion that the fired woman’s view are “not worth of respect in a democratic society”…and that “she is absolutist in her view of sex”…but then…at least ‘round these parts…that is an absolute of biology.

Then there’s Brexit…two examples of lunacy there today. As you might have heard…the Conservative majority won the recent election over there…by a landslide was how the BBC reported it…and Mr. Johnson has the votes to execute Brexit now so he’s going ahead with it. The losing side…well, they claim that they will “force Brexit to not happen” by voting against it when it comes up for a vote this week…despite the fact that their side has an 80 seat gap in votes in Parliament…don’t they teach basic math over there?

Second example is that the government up in Scotland…which voted against Brexit in the previous referendum and which gave a majority to the Scottish Nationalist Party in the recent election…now their leader is demanding that another referendum be held in Scotland over whether the country should exit the UK, become and independent country, and join the EU. The trouble with that demand is that she has no power…unless the government in London approves another referendum it just can’t legally happen. I guess they don’t teach civics and how the government work over there either.

Back on our side of the pond…in election 2020 news….Senator Warren has now recalibrated her “Medicare for All” plan…ya know, that one that will cost $30+ trillion over 10 years or $3 trillion a year when the current US budget is only $4 trillion…but she will pay for it out of savings and her unconstitutional wealth confiscation…yeah, that Medicare for All Plan. Anyway…now she says that it will be optional for the first 3 years of her first term…and only then become binding…and the this change now constitutes a “choice” for your health plan. Yeah…sort of like Senator Obama during his presidential campaign…”if you like your health care plan you can keep it”.

Saw a headline this morning that says “A US Navy Attack Submarine Mysteriously Exploded in 1968”…it details the loss of the USS Scorpion off of the Azores Islands in the Atlantic. Now despite the headline…if you actually read the article…and I’m not saying anything here that has not already been in the news repeatedly over the decades since…nobody knows why the submarine sank and it certainly did not explode. What happened is that…and the photos of the wreckage are available on the internet…for some unknown reason the submarine descended past its design crush depth and the engineering spaces in the aft end crushed…from the looks of the images on the internet it appears that the failure was on the top of the hull in the vicinity of the rear escape hatch in the engine room and that it sort of crushed forward from there to the reactor compartment. The incident resulted in the detachment of the sail from the rest of the wreck and the detachment of the forward end of the ship from the crushed into pieces engineering spaces. The forward end is relatively intact which means that it did not crush…which most likely means that it was full of water before the ship sank below crush depth…thus preventing it from collapsing. The article speculates…again with zero actual evidence or facts…that it could have suffered a torpedo hot run and explosion inside the ship…or the the battery exploded…or that it was attacked by the Russians…all theories which have been around in the internet since forever and again there’s no real evidence as far as I know. There could be some highly classified report that comes to some conclusions base on some actual evidence…but people, it’s in pieces and I think that only photographs were taken with no recovery of any wreckage…so speculating on what might have happened is just making stuff up. Nonetheless…I guess the headline was designed to get clicks…why can’t people ever write headlines that actually have some semblance to reality…and I really can’t see the point in actually putting this story up there…it was 50 years ago and the SUBSAFE program that was put into place after this and the USS Thresher sinking a few years before resulted in the deployment of much safer submarines in their aftermath. As to the reactor and any spread of radioactivity…it is unlikely as the pressure in the reactor vessel itself is far higher than the pressure it takes to collapse the hull so it would tend to still have all of the fuel inside the reactor vessel. The fuel is formed into plates so it would not be spread out even if the vessel was compromised and even if that happened the dilution factor of a few billion gallons of sea water would render it undetectable…a 100 yard on a side cube contains about 175 million gallons and the wreckage is spread out over a half mile or so. Same with any nuclear weapons that might have been on board…assuming there were they would have survived the implosion intact and they have sufficient safeguards to prevent any accidental activation…and an unexploded nuclear warhead is barely radioactive at all compared to the reactor core after it has been operated anyway…all of the fallout doesn’t happen until after it goes bang.

Next…out in LA back in August…you might recall that an off-duty police officer was attacked in Costco by a man who turned out to be mentally ill. The officer was standing in line to checkout holding his 1-1/2 year old son when he was attacked…he believed his life and his son’s were in danger so he shot the assailant dead. The entire incident took 8 seconds when the video was reviewed…and no charges were filed in the shooting. His parents are now suing the officer and the city for wrongful death and punitive damages…in their lawsuit they claim that they pleaded with the officer that heir son had mental illness before he was shot. Kinda hard to believe they could tell the officer he was nuts and plead not to shoot him…then have the officer shoot him…all in the space of 8 seconds of which at least 2 were used up by the time he was knocked to the floor…but hey, the parents see a payday so I guess they figure that makes this BS lawsuit ok.

Over in the UK…apparently employees spending too much time in the loo as they call it texting or posting to social media. Anyways…a toilet company over there has introduced a new toilet design with a 13 degree slope down from the back of the seat to the front…this supposedly makes it painful to sit on for more than 5 minutes and will reduce the tendency to waste working time texting and influencing…and apparently the internet is all up in arms about this. Seems to me that if companies think this is a problem they can buy the toilets…and a whole bunch of faux outrage over it is just more stupidity.

Speaking of influencers…over in theUK there is apparently one whose name is Lauren Goodger…and no, I never heard of her either…but trust me she’s an influencer…I know because I read it on the internet. Anyway…there was a documentary on BBC Three recently by a comedian in which she was caught on camera agreeing to an endorsement deal (or would that be influencer deal)…anyway, the endorsement was for a weight loss drink from a company named Cyanora…which is a bad pun on Sayonara which is Japanese for goodbye…for a drink that they were told on camera contained hydrogen cyanide. Now I guess that most people with a pulse would know that hydrogen cyanide is the chemical they use in the gas chamber for executions…and even if you don’t know that I would think that most people have heard of and know that cyanide is deadly…it is a common ordinary English word ya know…she admitted that she had never tried it but readily agreed to promote it on her influencer channels anyway. Naturally…the internet exploded over this as well (at least over in the UK) and she says that “the backlash over this video is unfair”. Maybe she can retreat to her safe place and mommy will bring her a lollypop. She’s blaming it all on her agent…typical millennial…can’t possibly be her fault.

That’s about enough stupidity for today I guess…time for…

Interesting things found on the net.

This is a Japanese Long Tailed Chicken…I wonder how it walks around without getting snagged.

JapaneseLongTailedChicken

FamilyChristmasCard

Canneloni

WhoLostTheKeys

T1 274029 lifestyle coach

Cyas.

Posted in Reality Based Blogging | Leave a comment

Random Impeachment Thoughts

Don’t take this as firm support for the President…’round these parts we are definitely not full fans of him. However, in the election in 2016 we had 2 bad choices and it was a matter of choosing the least bad. Neil says it’s another proof that his election idea from his late teens is the right answer…for any election “None of the Above” should be on the ballot and if None wins then you have to have a new election and none of those idiots can run in the second one. We also think…’round these parts…that the President and his rampant tweeting is (a) his own worst enemy, (b) taking away from doing his job…which from a right of center perspective his policies are actually doing pretty well what right of center thinks is the right thing to do, and (c) just giving the folks on the other side unnecessary ammo.

Anyway…

As you know…the House pretty much ignored the requests from the minority party in the House to call witnesses the minority wanted. Under the Hastert rule in the House…the committee heads were perfectly in line with House rules. However…Mr. Schumer is now demanding that the Senate call a series of witnesses the minority party in the Senate wants…and is outraged by the lack of cooperation from the Senate Majority Leader.

Let’s consider the two articles the committee voted on. First…abuse of power by attempting to bribe Ukraine and second obstruction of justice by not allowing aides to testify to congress when they were subpoenaed.

Now I’ve read the Constitution…and it clearly says that the President can be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors”…the operative word in there is crime. While it is likely true that the President applied pressure on the Ukraine to get Hunter Biden investigated…he did not call for a result of the investigation. Since his oath says “uphold the laws of the United States”…one could argue that asking a foreign government to investigate possible crimes by an American citizen which violate US law is justified…regardless of whether or not it helps him politically. In addition…anybody that thinks the US pressuring foreign countries started with this President needs to get a clue…we have been twisting arms and applying economic, military, and political pressure to get our way for many decades. It’s not clear that “abuse of power” is a crime…while they had 3 “constitutional experts” testify that it was…they were likely handpicked by the committee to hear what they wanted to hear and I’m quite certain that constitutional experts of the opposite political persuasion might have a different idea. In any event…one possible tactic the President could use when the House impeaches him is to appeal to the Supreme Court that the impeachment is unconstitutional since it doesn’t charge “high crimes and misdemeanors”. There are 3 independent…and under the Constitution equally powerful…branches of government so I’m not sure that legally Congress has the power to determine that a non crime constitutes a high crime and misdemeanor. Looking on to the second article…yes, it is true that the Executive branch declared Executive Privilege in declining to let Executive department employees testify under a Congressional subpoena. In the first place…Executive Privilege has been cited by numerous administrations going back quite a ways…and I distinctly remember at least two occasions (Eric Holder and Lois Lerner come to mind) where the previous administration’s employees were subpoenaed by Congress, ignored by the administration…and everybody thought it was just fine.

Next…let’s dispel the claim that his is a hunt for justice…impeachment is inherently a political process…always has been and always be. Let’s quit pretending it’s about anything other than the Democrats trying to redo the election of 2016 that they lost. Calls for impeachment began the day after the election…remember “we’re going to impeach the mo*****f****er” from a freshman congresswoman? Now let’s consider the vote…in the committee it was a strictly party line vote and the full House vote will be pretty similar…if that doesn’t tell you it is just politics then you need to go and get a clue stick from somebody. Numerous House members announced way, way in advance of even the investigation…that they would vote to impeach regardless of the investigation…in other words, their minds were already made up. Looking at the Senators who will serve as the jury in a Senate trial…almost all of the Senators running for President on the Democratic side have already announced…ahead of any testimony or investigation…that they will vote too convict. If they were in a jury trial in court they would be dismissed for cause…but as I said this is a political issue, not a legal one.

Now the Democrat leadership is demanding that the Republicans “put country ahead of party” by voting to convict…and implying that they are traitors if they do not do so. Kinda hard to believe this is sincere since the House put party ahead of country in that chamber…note the continuing attempts to impeach ever since the election. Sure…I know that the previous Congress stonewalled a lot of President Obama’s initiatives…and that was politics too.

Finally…let’s wonder why our congress critters were elected in the first place. They were elected to do the country’s business…but what we have is one house controlled by each party. The House passes legislation that achieves the left’s goals knowing that none of them will be taken up by the Senate because the other party has different goals…but they get to claim that the Senate is a legislative graveyard. Maybe if they passed some bipartisan legislation that achieved some of each side’s goals it might get taken up by the Senate…and even signed by the President…what a concept. In addition…this whole impeachment was never going anywhere…it’s just political masturbation. It was a foregone conclusion after the 2018 mid terms that the House would vote to impeach no matter what…and that the Senate would not convict no matter what. Again…politics.

I really wish that both sides would just drop all this BS and get on to doing their actual job…running the country. Unfortunately…it’s more important on both sides to make your opponents look bad and obstruct whatever they want as opposed to actually trying to compromise and…well, actually govern. Back in the day…each side recognized that the other side had some valid points and legislation was hammered out that didn’t fully please either side but moved the chains to use a football analogy. No more though. Heck…you can even look at the Supreme Court for an example…Justice Scalia and Justice Ginsberg were about as far apart politically, legally, and philosophically as two people can get…but they were best friends outside the court and frequently vacationed together. Maybe our current leadership…on both sides…could follow their example.

Heck…maybe the President could stop tweeting stuff guaranteed to rile up his opponents and maybe he could quit saying stupid things in rallies and speeches…but that ain’t happening’ either.

So now the House will vote next week…and since the Democrats have a majority the impeachment will pass…Ms. Pelosi has said “we’re not going to whip this…each member should vote his/her conscience”. However…she’s a good enough politician…I hate her politics but she is a very smart lady…to have already counted votes and know that she can allow a certain number of vulnerable Democrats in the House vote against impeachment if they are in a red district…and she knows who will vote against it and knows that she has the votes to pass it…she would be incompetent if she brought it to a vote without knowing that…and she’s a lot of things but incompetent isn’t on the list.

Then the Senate will have a trial after the new year…and again the outcome is pre-ordained…it takes 2/3 of the voting members or 67 votes to convict…and the likelihood of 20something Republicans voting to convict is non-existent…Mr. McConnell is just as smart of a politician as Ms. Pelosi is…and he knows how the votes will come out ahead of time.

So…since it’s not going anywhere…why didn’t the Democrats figure that out way, way back when and just settle for censuring the President…they could have done that easily but…that would not have overturned the 2016 election.

Just a little food for thought.

Cyas.

Posted in Reality Based Blogging | Leave a comment

House Hunt Update II

Yeah…I know it’s not really an original post title…but it pretty much fits.

Between the house hunt…although at this stage it’s no longer a hunt but a ‘get the paperwork done’ drill…and our somewhat busy social and church calendar…since it is December…we been runnin’ ‘round like a one armed paper hanger as we usta say back in the deep south…

We had our house inspection…and after some discussion between Neil and Connie they called our agent and gave her a list of what we wanted them to fix…we skipped overall the cosmetic stuff but the 3 things that were actually broken/didn’t work we figgered they should fix. The agent wanted us to just accept the inspection results and pay to fix everything ourselves…’pparently that’s the way it’s done down here…but after 6 total home buying experiences (3 buyer, 3 seller) in 3 different states before we figured that the report was a negotiating point. One of the windows was broke in that the retaining spring that holds it up wasn’t attached so it won’t stay open, there is a roof tile broken, and 3 of the 7 ceiling fans didn’t work. The spring is the only hard one though…that requires a repairman. The tile…well, roof tiles are only decorative as the underlying seal is what actually keeps the water out…is relatively simple to slide in a new tile and seal around the edges. The fans…are most probably just dead batteries in the controllers as there are no normal switches on the fans…but again it could be the fans. We insisted on the addendum and after a day or two the seller agreed to fix those things so we’re waiting on them to finish.

Meanwhile…the mortgage process rolls on…we still need the survey and elevation certificate before we can start the insurance policy. Neil has found all the info for turning all the utility accounts on and talked to the financial folks so we have getting the down payment and closing costs out of investments all figured out. Closing is scheduled for 1/15 and then after that we’ll start moving in.

Connie is going to check with her friends who live down here and find out which is the best furniture to go see. They’re going up to Port Charlotte to see…Neil really likes this name…Waterbed Willie’s…they slept on a waterbed for their entire married life until 2012 when we hit the road and would prefer to have one of those again. Apparently the state of the art in waterbeds is much more sophisticated than the old bag-o-water in a frame from the olden days…but they need to go and see what exactly is the state of the art these days. If that doesn’t work out…they’ll probably just get another Sleep Number like they had in the rig…it’s right comfy to sleep on…but not up to the standard of the waterbed they were on for so many years.

We’ll also need a new TV…but luckily our friend Bill is (a) an ex TV guy so he knows both the broadcast and reception ends and (b) just bought a new set for Linda and himself a few months back and (c) he’s an engineer so like Neil he does copious research before buying anything more complicated than a Big Mac…so we got some recommendations from him. Basically…it boils down to “get the biggest one you can” and “get the high end model, you won’t regret”. He’s right about both of those of course and we can afford whatever we really want…but I think we’ll pass on the 105 inch model as just too darned big. We were thinking 65 but have seen his 77 inch model so we’ll have to see.

We also need some new IT toys of course…a router, desktop file server and associated network gear…Neil’s in charge of picking that out. There are some mesh wifi systems available these days but he thinks that before he goes that route he’ll try a high end standard router…he’s planning on running an ethernet cable back to the office for the server/desktop anyway and everything else that needs to connect will be in the main kitchen/great room area  anyway. He’ll probably also upgrade his laptop during the transition as well…with them planning on overseas travel he wants to have one with sufficient drive space for all the photos he’ll accumulate during a trip and that will be up to about a half a terabyte or so per trip depending . Maybe a Network Attached Storage (NAS) is in his tech future as well. Internet will likely be cable as will be TV…basic cable is included in the HoA fees and while DirecTV antennas are allowed it’s hard to justify 180 a month for that and another 75 or so for internet when the additional cable packages and internet will be less than 180 in total. Antennas are allowed though…and they’re still gathering info on TV options. There’s also an option to cut the cord and get all of the programming online…but there are issues with that as well and you usually end up with a bunch of 10 dollar a month subscriptions to get what you want and no single guide to search all of them simultaneously so we’re unlikely to go that route.

He’s also going to need another car once we sell Big Red and the rig…but he’s still thinking on what he wants. Probably not a pickup…and Connie can’t ride in a convertible…but maybe a coupe sports car or something slightly bigger and comfortable enough to take driving trips in though…he’s starting to research alternatives.

Let’s see…other news. Nah, really not much else going on…so let’s move on.

Interesting stuff found on the net.

Just in case you’re wondering…a US submarine is pretty hard to sink as indicated by the photo below. This is of the USS San Francisco…a Los Angeles or 688 class attack submarine. Back in 2005 about 360 miles southeast of Guam on the way to a port call in Brisbane Australia…they finished operations and with the captain’s approval went down to 525 feet depth and all ahead flank (maximum speed)…this is generally available on the internet at 33 knots or about 37 miles an hour (a knot is 1 nautical mile per hour or 1.125 statute miles per hour). The chart they were operating on dated fro 1989 sounding survey data and showed a water depth of 6,500 feet and no navigational hazards. After the fact investigation showed that there was a peak coming up to within 100 feet of the surface…note that this is significantly shallower than 525 feet. Well…the ship ran smack into the side of the peak and essentially came to a complete stop with 98 of the 130 crew injured and one fatality who fell down a ladder he was climbing at the time. The ship emergency surfaced and limped back into Guam for repairs. While the outer hull, forward ballast tanks, and sonar dome were severely damaged…the pressure hull was intact and it limped back to Mare Island CA for repairs. The bow was replaced by the bow from another decommissioned 688 and the ship served another 7 years before retirement. The shot is of the ship in dry dock in Guam before it went back to the mainland…the green area is the forwarded of the pressure hull and the smashed area in between the blue tarp and the green area is the remains of the formerly 18 or so feet diameter 4 inch thick steel sonar dome. The very front under the blue tarp is the remains of the 3 inch thick fiberglass bow dome which is used on current ships as it provides better acoustic performance and is lighter than the former steel bow structure.These ships are built tough…here is a
link
if you want to read more about the grounding.

USSSanFranciscoCollision

AndSoItBegins

PushingTheCarHome

RainedEntireTrip

Can’t fault his logic.

LikeTheLogic

Number 2 is confused.

Number2IsConfused

How am I supposed to try the sample at Costco?

CostcoSamples

This is Bjarnarey Island…it’s part of the Vestmann Islands which are south of Iceland a bit. It is one of 18 islands that make up the town of Vestmannaeyjar…the population of the entire town/archipelago is 3. I’m not quite sure how you get onto and off of the island unless there’s a lower piece around the back side…don’t think so though…I googled and it appears there’s a trail down the side of the cliff with guide wires and you have to have a harness attached to them while you climb up the almost 400 foot tall cliff.

BjarnareyIsland

Only readers of a certain vintage will appreciate this.

YMCAVillagePeople

Ya know how owls up in the far northland hunt pretty by flying over the snow and using their very sensitive hearing to detect and then locate dinner as it scurries along through tunnels underneath the snow…then it swoops in silently…that’s an owl thing…and momentarily touch the ground while plunging their talons through the snow to grab dinner? This is what one of those attacks looks like after the fact…pretty cool eh?

OwlHuntInSnow

And finally…

RedBullWoodpecker

Cyas.

Posted in Homebody, RV, Travel | 2 Comments