Friday, October 29, 2021

9,000 square foot mosaic floor unveiled near Jericho

From The History Blog 

One of the largest floor mosaics in the world has been unveiled after five years of restoration in Hisham’s Palace, an 8th century royal compound three miles north of the occupied West Bank city of Jericho. Covering 9,000 square feet and composed of more than five million tesserae made from colorful local stone, the mosaic features a dizzying array of geometric and floral designs of kaleidoscopic intricacy.

Hisham’s Palace was built in the first half of the 8th century, one of the desert castles the Umayyad dynasty. The palace complex covers 150 acres and includes a bath house and a hayr, an enclosed horticultural area that served as both park and kitchen garden supplying food for the palace. It remained in use until around 1000.



Liberal-Progressive-Democrats have short memories

USA Today writer who covers Braves “stunned” Braves ownership and MLB commissioner have not renounced name “Braves.” 

However: “In an article published on Oct. 18, Nightengale used the ‘Braves’ at least five times. Just two days before Nightengale’s new column criticizing the team’s nickname was published, USA Today retroactively scrubbed any mention of the ‘Braves’ from his column titled ‘Mighty Dodgers are reeling, frustrated after two walk-off NLCS wins for the Braves,’ replacing it with ‘Atlanta.’”

But but but … Atlanta. Capital of Georgia. Place where duly elected legislators passed and governor signed that election law hammered by all kinds of Progressives and which led MLB commissioner to move the 2021 All Star Game to Denver. Atlanta, the burning of which in “Gone with the Wind” brought tears to the eyes of hardened Confederate, Secessionist States-Rights movie goers. Goodness. He was against it before he was for it before he was against it? People of some political persuasions have short memories.

Americans write the history of the world

“It is unsurprising but sad that the modern story of race has been written by North Americans; first by the racist whites who saw blacks and native Americans as essentially inferior, and now by academics and commentators who see racial history in terms of nothing but systemic oppression. Each argument is based on the same, US-centric viewpoint: namely that the story of the native Americans is shared by indigenous peoples worldwide (which is barely true) while black people are universally the victims of the Atlantic slave trade and its aftermath (which is not true at all).

Link at Maggie’s Farm




‘Astounding’ Roman statues found beneath Norman church site in England

From The Guardian

More than 1,000 archaeologists have worked at more than 60 sites along the HS2 route between London and the West Midlands over the past three years.

At Saint James’s Garden near Euston station in central London, more than 50,000 skeletons were exhumed from a burial ground. In Birmingham, more than 6,500 skeletons were uncovered from an 18th-century cemetery. 

Link at Maggie’s Farm

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Texas 'not safe for anyone,' NAACP says

A few days ago the UN secretary general said Texas should stop drilling for oil and natural gas. Now, the NAACP says free agents in all sports should avoid signing with teams in Texas. 

"’In response to the most recent attacks on voting rights and reproductive care, the Association sent an open letter to the National Players' Leagues, urging free agents to reconsider moving their families to a state that is not safe for anyone,’ said the NAACP in a press release.

Texas, the NAACP says, “has become a blueprint by legislators to violate constitutional rights for all, especially for women, children and marginalized communities."

Texas has made an enemy of the UN and the NAACP. As some of my ancestors used to say, "Aye, I'm quakin in mah boots, Jock. Right scared I am. Who's buyin this round?"

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Reply to a Facebook accuser

I posted the AIDS orphans story on Facebook. My wife reposted it on her FB page. She got a comment from an Arkansas acquaintance who questioned anyone’s use of Gateway Pundit as a source. She referenced Wikipedia in her allegations of “fake news” and “right-wing bias.” You have to admit, there is an irony in using Wikipedia as a source in bias accusations. 

I replied to the writer:

I worked on five daily newspapers in Texas for 15 years. I also was in military intelligence for a few years. One of the similarities of the two has to do with sources. Information comes from varying sources. A good journalist and a good intelligence analyst will take information from a source and then look for conformation or contradiction by searching other sources, if possible. When reading the story of tests done on AIDS babies, I searched and read several articles confirming the Gateway Pundit story. Among those were the World Tribune and the Associated Press. Leftist organizations calling themselves neutral have alleged right-wing bias against the World Tribune. No one would or could accuse the Associated Press of that alleged bias. If you want to disbelieve the source, fine. But before making accusations, you should search the basis of the stories. Tests on AIDS babies is not fake news. Also not fake news is the death of more than 100 of the 532 babies. Scientists and physicians conducting the tests in part believed they were doing the right thing, because the babies didn’t really matter, since their mothers were low class drug users and black. Look below the surface of medical researchers and you will find eugenicists and eugenics. Ruth Bader Ginsberg was a eugenicist, and I would bet Fauci is as well.









Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Before puppies and monkeys, Fauci approved tests on AIDS orphans

From Gateway Pundit and World Tribune 

Testing on what were called “AIDS foster children” was first written about in 2005.

“VERA reported that 25 children died during the drug studies, that an additional 55 children died following the studies (in foster care), and, according to Tim Ross, Director of the Child Welfare program at VERA (as of 2009), 29 percent of the remaining 417 children who were used in drug studies had died (out of a total 532 children that are admitted to have been used).

“’Incarnation’s orphans live at the bottom of the American class system. Often the children of drug users, they were born into ill health and poverty. Additionally (and like all AIDS patients), these children were, because of their HIV status, written off as a loss by the medical authority, before they even got a chance to live.’

One researcher indicated the money was wasted on AIDS babies. “(If) inexpensive micronutrients and competitive disease and treatment models prove more successful than the current research, it will represent a loss of billions for the AIDS drug and research industry.”

The babies were among that class former Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg said were in those “populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”

Why weren’t we paying attention? Why did we let this continue? “Well, we didn’t know,” said the German population after Hitler was dead and gone, managing to keep right arms at their sides at  mention of the Fuhrer’s name.

Sixteen years ago this was reported. Until today, I had read nothing about AIDS drugs tested on babies with AIDS. Does that lack of knowledge make me complicit?

Since 1973, 62 million babies were aborted in the United States. On how many others did the American “scientific community” perform tests, had we been asked about, we would have said “No!”

But officials in government and in science said, "Sure. It's for science."


‘Khamenei! Where is our gas?’

Electronic billboard message in Isfahan following hack of Iranian fuel credit card system. 

Lines at gas stations up to two miles long.

“Subsidies allow Iranian motorists to buy regular gasoline at 15,000 rials per liter. That’s 5 cents a liter, or about 20 cents a gallon. After a monthly 60-liter quota, it costs 30,000 rials a liter. That’s 10 cents a liter or 41 cents a gallon.



Monday, October 25, 2021

Too stupid to talk to

From Legal Insurrection 

Black Student Senator at UC-Berkeley Faces Recall for Apparently Refusing to Represent White Constituents

Gabbie Sharp is a black student senator at Berkeley. She said she “exclusively advocates for the communities that placed her in power at the school, namely ‘the Black community, Queer and Trans community, as well as the Berkeley Student Cooperative.’”

Or, white, Asian, Hispanic and every other ethnic group does not deserve, nor will receive, any support from here.

And more telling, “I couldn’t be an African American Studies professor because I’d be kicking the non Black motherfuckers out for their dumbass thoughts.” 

Ah, diversity.



One of these days

Here in west central Florida, when the lights flicker for part of a second, everything goes down. Lights come back on at the end of that part of a second, but TV, internet sometimes and PC/laptop go down and you have to restart. 

All in the blink of an eye.

In Arkansas, the general guide was: one or two blinks, no problem; three blinks, power is gone. The same held in Texas. Still all in the blink of an eye, but the mind gets ready for “Everything down.”

When the power goes out in an eye-blink here, I always have the thought (a fast one, to be sure) that one day computers and TV channels and phones will not come back up. Well, TVs will reboot within seconds, and the same message will appear, on every channel, read by the calming voice from a  person of non-selective gender.

“The National Emergency Agency has declared a Special Event. Do not be alarmed. Because of a direct threat to our Democracy, the National Emergency Agency has authorized the shutdown of television, internet and telephone traffic. This necessary, emergency action will not affect your household power or normal day-to-day activities. Your grocery stores will remain open and with normal goods. The same goes for fuel stations, all methods of interstate and intrastate commerce and traffic, hospitals, physician’s offices, city and county water treatment -- all will remain open. Almost all aspects of your daily life will be unaffected. However, pending study and enquiry into providers, all internet and electronic telephonic communications have been suspended. A list of providers will be provided fifteen minutes following the conclusion of this broadcast. The National Emergency Agency asks that you remain in your homes until further notice. Control of all television channels has been centralized until further notice.

“This has been an official notification from the National Emergency Agency. This message will rebroadcast for the next thirteen minutes.”

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Biden proposed ‘billionaire income tax’ to hit 600-700 Americans

From Sputnik International 

Yep. The tax geniuses advising the president figure to get a pot load or two by increasing taxes for around 650 people. Making those “pay their fair share” will end all our financial woes. Woe, woe, woe.

Planting the flag

From the obituary of 11th Armored Cavalry trooper Richard Dee Erhart 

“I loved flying our American Flag and did so in the front yard of every home I lived in. … Bobbi tucked an American flag in my arm so get that flag pole up, Lord, I’m coming home. Rich”



World Series

So far, MLB has said nothing about moving Atlanta's home games to Denver, as it did with the All-Star game. That shows MLB's true dedication to Progressive politics, plus realization of the caca storm and great big ol' law suits that would follow. The Houston-Atlanta World Series presents MLB with a double problem. Progressives claim Georgia's voting laws are discriminatory, and the same Progressives are all bent out of shape because they can't kill babies in Texas. MLB has to either piss off a majority of Americans by moving the World Series, or piss off Progressives by keeping its corporate mouth shut and denying it was ever involved in politics to start with. Batter up.

Fauci paid for torturing puppies in ‘studies’

From The Federalist 

Fauci’s division in NIH paid for ‘cruel experiments’ on beagles in Tunisia.

A government-funded experiment at University of Georgia had puppies ‘vocalizing in pain.’

All right, all of you who are OK with human baby vaccinations, who demand jabs for kids, your hero, Fauci, tortures puppies. Is that not enough for you to demand he be fired?




Saturday, October 23, 2021

‘The Atlantic’ has a religion writer?

From News Busters 

"Lefty magazine The Atlantic published an interview with massively popular Christian satire site The Babylon Bee on Thursday, which turned out to be hilarious for all the wrong reasons. Religion writer Emma Green tried to guilt-trip Bee editor-in-chief Kyle Mann for mocking leftists (though she seemingly had no problem with the satire site’s self-deprecating jokes about the evangelical church.) "




You have to remember who you're talking to


You’re sending me where?

Many, many (and maybe another many) years ago my wife and I were quite surprised to hear the announcer on ABC’s “The Dating Game” tell a segment winner, “You and your date are going to the Four States Fair and Rodeo in Texarkana, Texas!” 

We both said, “What? They’re sending her where?”

As a regional fair, the Four States one is okay. And these days, the event is held on a fairgrounds on the Arkansas side of Texarkana. Still, my wife and I were humored to hear a trip to the fair awarded on a national television program.

I’m still waiting for a segment of Wheel of Fortune Prize Puzzle category “What are you doing?” and the answer is “Dodging earthquake debris” and the prize is announced with “That’s right, Ralph! You will be dodging that earthquake debris at the Rodham Hotel and Casino in Port-au-Prince, Haiti Enjoy poolside dinners of bananas and rice while pieces of concrete splash into the Olympic-size swimming pool! View robberies from your patio as local criminals grab purses and watches from unsuspecting tourists! Converse with bureaucrats from Non-Governmental Organizations as overpaid Europeans, staying in luxury hotels, decide which people will receive subsistence allowances!”

Friday, October 22, 2021

Army makes plans to get rid of ‘tremendous amount’ of excess equipment

From Breaking Defense 

Sustainment Command has 85,000 pieces of equipment to be turned in by soldiers.

Recommendation: Now that parents have been designated “domestic terrorists” by the Biden Justice Department, Department of the Army should deliver that excess equipment to schools and have parents take ownership. If Biden’s government can deliver hundreds of millions of dollars to Afghan terrorists, why should Americans be denied equal opportunity?

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Evolution to more control is natural to government

Let’s say a company manufacturers a robot dog and makes a lot of “Ain’t that cute?” videos. Let’s say the company pitches Robo Pooch to po-leece departments. Let’s say a po-leece department in Honolulu wants to buy a Pooch, but $150,000 is a tad high. Let’s say HPD got some money through one of the COVID relief bills. HPD forks some of that COVID money and gets itself a brand new Pooch for patrolling homeless camps. But just up and introducing Pooch into the camp is not good PR, so HPD comes up with a solution to pesky 4th Amendment (search and seizure) problems. “Pooch is monitoring homeless camps for COVID infections,” HPD announces. Oh, well, then. That’s okay. Whatever a po-leece needs to do to keep track of COVID. And, says HPD’s Lt. Mike Lambert, “’The ideas you can come up with would be endless as far as its future potential use beyond the pandemic.’” Lambert  “suggested using the robot to enforce social distancing on city streets and conduct search-and-rescue operations. 

Robo, robo dog. First it came for the homeless, but I didn’t say anything because I was not homeless. Add on and add on and etc., and soon you will have Super Robo Pooch, able to leap tall hedges in a single bound and clamp (literally) onto fleeing automobiles or individuals.

Info from Gun Free Zone, with long story here:

US ship lost because of inept officers, plus sailors untrained in fighting fires

From Gun Free Zone 

“When a fire broke out aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard in July 2020, its sailors did not know how to react and its leaders didn’t take control, a Navy investigation found.

“The 400-page report, officially released on Wednesday, found that 36 individuals, including the ship’s commander and five admirals, were responsible for numerous errors and breakdowns that followed after the vessel was purposely set on fire while it sat pier-side in San Diego.”

The Navy also determined cost of repairs is more than the ship is worth. Just last week an attack submarine collided with something under water in the Pacific. Two years ago, at least three naval vessels were involved in collisions with other ships. In 2005, the USS San Francisco, an attack submarine, hit an underwater mountain while traveling at more than 30 knots southeast of Guam.

Skills require training, training, training and more training, plus command emphasis on tasks required to keep a ship on the upper part of the water. Comments on all of the Navy’s recent failures point to command emphasis on events designed to please civilian politicians and civilian “activists.” Identity politics -- gender, racial and sexual identity -- are stumbling blocks to individual and crew proficiency. Ships are dangerous enough simply by being. Additional, unnecessary dangers through "looks good" classes are criminal.

Note that the ship’s commander and five admirals were responsible for “errors and breakdowns.” We are waiting for the results of punishment boards and courts-martial.


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Oh, no! All the workers are straight men!

Or: Piss off, Miss Molly 

Oberlin College student gets all nicker wadded

From Valor Guardians

I was angry, scared, and confused. Why didn’t the College complete the installation over the summer, when the building was empty? Why couldn’t they tell us precisely when the workers would be there? Why were they only notifying us the day before the installation was due to begin?

I considered reaching out to Matos, but what would I say? The College was unlikely to address any of my concerns the day before the scheduled installation, and if they did, it would more than likely be in a passive we-are-truly-sorry-for-the-inconvenience sort of way, punctuated by an insistence that I would not be excessively bothered and that the installation was necessary, whether I liked it or not.

The next day, I waited apprehensively. The workers began installing in common spaces, and I could see immediately that they were all men. It was clear that the College had not made a special request that male workers not be allowed onto the upper floors of Baldwin. Predicting when they would reach my room was pure guesswork. I was trying to anticipate whether I would be in class when they arrived, or if I’d have to welcome strangers into my room only to be ejected to allow them space to work.

When the insistent knock eventually came, I scrambled to get my mask on and repeatedly shouted, “Coming!” through the door. Four or five construction workers stood outside, accompanied by someone who I could only assume — by his neat polo and clipboard — to be an emissary of the College. We stared at each other for a moment before I moved aside to allow the workers to enter. The emissary began issuing platitudes that the work wouldn’t take long and encouraged me to prop open my door. I asked meekly if I could actually not have a radiator installed in my dorm. I knew the answer was no before I had even said it, but hey — worth a shot.

I left for class, and by the time I had come back, they appeared to be done, though Polo Man warned me that they would return later in the week to check the insulation. Sure enough, they were back the next day. I felt mildly violated and a little peeved.





Tuesday, October 19, 2021

She is a teacher?

First, we will identify the writer, Linda Sheffield Miller, who says: “Grew up at Beale Air Force Base, California. I am a Habubrat. Graduated from North Dakota State University. Former Public School Substitute Teacher, (all subjects all grades). Member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). I am interested in History, especially the history of the SR-71. …”

(Four incomplete sentences.)

Now, the offensive writing, from The Aviation Geek Club:

“David Peters is a (sic) SR 71 pilot who was excepted (sic) to the program in 1976 (sic) he (sic) flew until 1986 when he retired. He is originally from Tacoma, Washington. When he first saw the SR (sic) 71 it was 1967, (sic) he was flying the F-4’s (sic) had a fuel problem and had to land at Navy Fallon in Nevada. It was there that he saw something he had never seen before. (sic) An (sic) SR 71, (sic) it just so happened that John Storie and George Bull (both SR 71 pilots) where (sic) flying the” (sic) B “(sic) model and also had a fuel problem and had to land. Dave said to his backseater, ‘Someday I’m going to fly that plane.’”

Each “sic” is a grammatical or punctuation error. Errors could have been – should have been – eliminated by any editor who could read. The quoted paragraph is possibly the worst piece of published writing I have ever read. Apparently, editors at the Aviation Geek Club have no interest in accurate writing.

The most egregious error is that "excepted to the program." Excepted.

The world’s oldest ghost

Well, the oldest known drawing of a ghost, at any rate, although who can say whether he haunts the tablet to this day. The fine line drawing incised on the back of a 3,500-year-old Babylonian tablet depicts a male ghost bound at the wrists and being led by a woman to the afterlife. It is an illustration of the cuneiform text on the obverse which explains how to get rid of a ghost who has attached himself to someone and won’t let go because he’s desperate for love.

The tablet was acquired by the British Museum in the 19th century. Half of it is missing and the cuneiform was originally mistranslated, so it was deemed comparatively unremarkable and has never been exhibited. Nobody even noticed the figures on the back because they are so faint they can only be seen under bright light when viewed from directly above it.


Makes one wonder

From Discourse Gun Free Zone

The airplane trundled down the taxiway. Ground radios “Hold short runway 4L”. A few minutes later ground radios “Cleared for takeoff”.

The plane moves to the end of the runway and lines up. They start down the runway picking up speed. They reach speed and rotate. “Climb to 3000, contact departure at 124.18, heading 270”.

The plane is on its way to the destination.

The wheels are back on the ground. They came off a while ago. The crew and passengers won’t know about it for a while. They won’t know until they attempt to land with no wheels.

Mikhail Kalashnikov

Kalashnikov died in 2013, at age 94. 

It is said he was buried and after a week, the Russian army dug him up, washed him off and put him back to work.

From Borepatch.

Real Mexican food, huh

From Knuckledraggin 

I once asked a Mexican friend what a gordita was and he laughed and said "It's a fat girl, homeboy".

"No, I mean what kind of food?" I'd never heard of it before and was curious as to how real Mexicans made it.

"Oh," he says. "You know, Taco Bell shit."




Monday, October 18, 2021

From Confederate nurse Augusta Jane Evans

"O! I longed for a Secession flag to shake defiantly in their teeth at every fire! And my fingers fairly itched to touch off a red-hot-ball in answer to their chivalric civilities." – Confederate nurse Augusta Jane Evans, after being fired upon by Union soldiers from Fort Monroe, Va.



A native religion those dastardly Spanish Catholics destroyed

From Lone Star Parson 

Bernal Diaz describes his first impression of the Aztec capital Tenochtitl├ín, now Mexico City: 

"And when we saw all those cities and villages built in the water, and other great towns on dry land, and that straight and level causeway leading to Mexico [i.e. Tenochtitlán], we were astounded. These great towns and cues [i.e., temples] and buildings rising from the water, all made of stone, seemed like an enchanted vision from the tale of Amadis. Indeed, some of our soldiers asked whether it was not all a dream. It is not surprising therefore that I should write in this vein. It was all so wonderful that I do not know how to describe this first glimpse of things never heard of, seen or dreamed of before..."

At the heart of this enchanted city of some 300,000 people was a great temple, the Templo Mayor, surmounted by twin shrines to  Huitzilopochtli, the god of war, and Tlaloc, god of rain and agriculture. Diaz tells us the statues of the deities were encrusted with pearls, precious stones and gold, and that the walls of the shrine(s) "were so caked with blood and the floor so bathed in it that the stench was worse than that of any slaughter-house in Spain."

In front of the bloody pyramid, the scene of an estimated 20,000 yearly human sacrifices, rose the Huey Tzompantli, the Skull Wall or Skull Banner. This held the flayed, decapitated heads of the Aztecs' sacrificial victims. These were strung up between beams, rank on rank, in a kind of grisly abacus about the length of a basketball court. This was flanked at either end by a circular skull tower, approximately 6 meters in width and height.

Andres de Tapia, who served under Cortes, saw the Tzompantli and its accompanying skull towers. He loosely calculated the structures to hold 136,000 heads, and we can imagine him walking about the temple precinct, with its gardens, ornamental ponds, brilliantly feathered birds and a towering wall of human skulls. He must have had time on his hands to do the math.

Historians and anthropologists were in the habit of dismissing all of this as Conquistador propaganda, used to justify their bloodthirsty, colonial oppression and destruction of the Aztec culture. Then, uncomfortably, in 2015 and 2020 archeologists discovered the remains of the skull towers. Diaz, Tapia et al weren't lying.

You see, gentle readers, all religions are not the same, especially when one is a human sacrificing, cannibalist, demonic death cult.

God bless,


(A thing to remember that one day each year when the uninformed, waxed-eared noise makers damn Columbus and raise upon high the ideas of native religions and culture of which they know nothing.)


Friday, October 15, 2021

Place your bets now!

CORRECTION: My use of an 800 number was my Boomer mind at work. The FoxBets link requires downloading an app. Fox Sports also ran an ad "Play free for $50,000." 

Original post.

In the bottom of the first inning of tonight's Houston-Boston ACLS, Fox Sports popped up an ad advising all fans to call an 800 number to FoxBets and wager $100 that the Red Sox starting pitcher would strike out seven or more Astros batters.

Fox Sports guaranteed a $350 return on the $100 wager if the pitcher is successful.

MLB Corp. says gambling on baseball games is against the rules. Any person associated with major league baseball may be banned for life if MLB determines he/she/they has/have bet on a baseball game. Except when MLB takes money from gambling companies and says it's OK, as long as a bettor follows MLB gambling rules.

As suggested a couple of days ago, Pete Rose needs to sue. MLB banned Rose from anything to do with baseball after MLB determined Rose bet on games as a player and as a player/manager. The monkeys are now in charge of banana storage.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Today is Wednesday cleaning day

The cleaning lady works every other Wednesday, 0900-1300. 

My wife and I pick up and put away things. I put away pistols. They are still accessible, just not lying in plain view on tables.

This morning when the doorbell rang I suddenly realized one pistol was on the lamp table beside my chair. It was only a few steps away, so I retrieved it and brought it to the lanai.

I sit out here with my writing machine and a thermos of coffee and try to string words together in a readable manner. Right now I am about 10,000 words into a story that so far does not have a title. The story begins:

        You’ve read the ad.

       “Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. 1432 Lee County Road, Seven Pines, TX 75399. You'll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.” And then in bold type: “Reply to the address listed, not to this publication.”

       I replied.

       “Dear Sir, I am replying to your ad of May 1 in Olive Green Magazine. I have weapons and military experience. Reply to: Ben Allison, 367 East County Road 2640, Choctaw, OK 74760.”

       I waited a month for an answer. I didn’t get one. What was the deal?

So, of course, our protagonist travels from Choctaw, OK, to Seven Pines, TX, to find the answer. DHS or ATF or some similar agency becomes involved, convincing Leigh Forrest that Ben Allison is the best person available. There is no time travel, but there are gates (for large vehicles) and portals (for small parties). The story reads well.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Let’s see if I get this climate malarky straight

Burning trees and tree-made products to make electricity is OK, despite the huge amount of pollution released into the air, because replacement trees grown in cut-down areas will soak up all the bad stuff pumped out by factories making renewable electricity. (Twenty, thirty years from now?) 

Even though the UK’s pellet-burning plant “is among the biggest sources of carbon dioxide and PM10 (particulate matter of 10 micrometres and smaller) air pollution of all EU power stations – when biomass emissions are included – more even than some of Europe’s dirtiest coal plants.

The official measure of bad stuff “excludes these biomass emissions from its total count, because – like the EU – it treats bioenergy as immediately carbon neutral on the assumption that forest regrowth soaks up the carbon again.”

“Immediately carbon-neutral.” Or, lauded and praised before being praised and lauded.

“Your measurements exceed the standards. Oh, you’re burning wood! That’s OK, then.”

Link at Maggie’s Farm.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Where have you gone, Pete Rose?

Pete Rose set many records during his time as a major league baseball player. Rose is baseball’s hit leader. Rose was banned from baseball for life, at least any part of baseball under the control or influence of American Major League Baseball (Inc., Corp., LLC or any other business abbreviation).

Rose bet on major league baseball games when he was a player, as a player-manager and when he was a manager. Betting on baseball games is anathema to MLB. Betting will not be countenanced. Anyone associated with MLB and who places wagers on games will be banned, as per the 1919 Chicago Black Sox and Pete Rose. Major League Baseball must maintain the highest standards of integrity.

Except when there are two sets of rules – one set for MLB and another for everyone else.

MLB encourages gambling. MLB advertises a gambling site. MLB pushes gambling at its fans. MLB has an official bettor on baseball.

DraftKings is the official gambling, wagering, betting site of Major League Baseball. DraftKings advertises on MLB Network. DraftKings sponsors MLB Network programs. DraftKings pays for a portion of Major League Baseball operations.

Had DraftKings and MLB been in its incestuous relationship 40 years ago, Pete Rose would today be in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and not treated like a low-caste pariah.

The low point of MLB/DraftKings can be seen nightly in streamers on the MLB Network site, crawling letters across the bottom of the screen announcing that anyone with a gambling addiction or gambling problem need only call the number listed for help.

Except, Pete Rose needn’t call. MLB put him against the wall decades ago.

Rose knew the rules, but he must have decided he would not get caught, or maybe he decided rules did not apply to him. He was, after all, Pete Rose.

School shooter celebrates in Arlington, Texas

Students shot in Arlington, Texas, school: Zacchaeus Selby, Eyimofe Olawepo and Pariesa Altma. The shooter, Timothy George Simpkins, was feted with a welcome home party after release on home confinement and posting a $75,000 bond, according to the NY Post. 

From Gun Free Zone:

SCHOOL shooting suspect Tim Simpkins celebrated after being freed from Tarrant County Jail on a $75,000 bond while some of his alleged victims remained hospitalized.

The 18-year-old enjoyed a welcome home party with relatives one day after allegedly shooting a 15-year-old boy “seven or eight times”, a teacher Calvin Pettitt in the back and grazing a teenage girl at Timberview High School.

Videos of Simpkins appeared on social media showing him enjoying a gathering in his family’s kitchen, clutching a baby and embracing others.





Friday, October 8, 2021

What does an enlisted SEAL, now a naval officer and MD do for an encore?

Son of Korean immigrants possibly going to the Moon in three years. 

From Valor Guardians

Some people are just obscenely good at being over-achievers. They don’t just follow a dream to be a firefighter, a lawyer, or a dentist. They go be all of them. My wife’s obstetrician was one such person. He’d attended college, went to law school, passed the bar and found it wasn’t for him. Off he goes to medical school, residency, and specialization. Amazing man he was. We’ve talked about some of these people as it relates to military service, like Captain Ben Solomon who was a dentist by trade, battlefield surgeon by necessity, but a soldier at heart and died a warrior’s death literally surrounded by vanquished enemies.

One man such as this is an unassuming-looking 37-year old US Navy man named Jonathan “Jonny” Kim. Kim’s parents had emigrated from South Korea in the early-80s. They opened a liquor store in South Los Angeles before Kim was born. His father a diligently hard worker and his mother supplementing the family income by substitute teaching, Kim grew into a shy and bookish young man.

During high school he would wander the halls at lunch instead of risk being seen without friends. Earning high marks in class, he had friends from playing water polo and swimming, but he struggled to be social. At age 16 though he set his sights on a lofty dream goal, to become a US Navy SEAL.

Enlisting would mean putting off college, going into a dangerous profession, and potentially being put into a different Navy career if he didn’t pass SEAL training (which few successfully do).

Kim said on breaking the news to his mother, “I remember when I first told her … she cried. She told me, ‘You’re so smart, why would you do something like that.'” He was committed though and refused to back down from his dream.

Kim’s mother attempted to come to a reasonable compromise and tried to steer him into a service academy. He’d be able to serve and get a top shelf education (with the bonus of it being free). Kim though was undeterred. “I want to enlist,” Kim recalled telling his mother. “I want to be in the deep trenches, from the bottom, working my way up.” He spent the next two years focusing on his physical conditioning to prepare for the road ahead.

In 2002, after graduating high school, at age 18, Kim immediately enlisted in the US Navy. His father had recently passed away. As his mom dropped him off at MEPS, she implored him “with tears in her eyes, [said], ‘It’s not too late, you can come home and we’ll do this family business,’ Kim said. “And for a fleeting moment, I considered it.” But Kim eventually closed the door and told her, “I have to do this.”

Off Kim went to boot camp. He then attended medical corpsman “A” school. He then attended Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training, graduating the gruelling course with class 247. After finishing all of his training at Naval Special Warfare he was sent to the Special Operations Combat Medic Course at the John F Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Ft Bragg. After all of that myriad training he was finally a fully qualified US Navy SEAL. He was assigned to SEAL Team 3, Charlie Platoon aboard Naval Base San Diego.

Kim’s resume of military courses is what you’d expect from a War on Terror Navy SEAL. He earned qualifications as a Military Freefall Parachutist, Combatant Diver (closed circuit rebreather), Naval Special Warfare Special Reconnaissance Scout and Sniper, and Advanced Special Operations Techniques.

Kim deployed with SEAL Team 3 to Iraq in 2006 and 2008. It was on the 2006 trip that the SEALs fought the hardest. Among those comrades Kim lost in the summer and early fall of 2006 was Aviation Ordinanceman Second Class (SEAL) Marc Alan Lee, who was the first Navy SEAL to die during Operation Iraqi Freedom and who received the Silver Star posthumously for drawing enemy fire during a heated battle. The team also lost Master at Arms Second Class (SEAL) Michael Monsoor, who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for jumping on a grenade to save his teammates.

During the 2006 deployment, SEAL Team 3 was commanded by Lieutenant Jocko Willink and sniper overwatch for their operations was provided by Chief Petty Officer Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame.

On 26 June 2006, Kim was working with an Iraqi Army platoon doing a joint patrol. They were in South-Central Ar Ramadi in a neighborhood known to be an insurgent stronghold. As they entered a house the elements of the patrol out on the street came under heavy fire.

Kim, then a petty officer second class, saw a friendly casualty lying in the open some 30 meters away. Without a moment’s hesitation or thought for his own safety, Kim and another SEAL took off running through a hail of enemy fire to reach the injured man. They grabbed him and dragged him back through the insurgents’ fire to get him to a position of relative safety in a courtyard.

Moments later, an Iraqi soldier inside the courtyard was shot in the head. Again, with no hesitancy, Kim ran to the man’s aid. Dragging him and the other injured man into a house while under enemy fire, Kim then used his corpsman training to begin combat casualty care. His quick thinking, decisive action, and valor under fire saved at least one Iraqi Army soldier’s life. He received the Silver Star for his heroism under fire that day.

During his deployments, Kim also received the Bronze Star Medal w/ “V” and Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal w/ “V”. He was then selected for commissioning through the Navy’s Seaman-to-Admiral-21 program in 2009. Under this program he’d remain on active duty but attend college on the government’s dime.

In 2012 Kim would graduate from San Diego University (summa cum laude naturally) with a degree in mathematics and earned his commission as a Navy officer. He would then immediately start medical school at Harvard Medical School. The new officer and highly decorated former SEAL would thus embark on his second dream job pursuit. He wasn’t even 30 yet.

While studying at Harvard, Kim ran across Scott E. Parazynski. Parazynski is a physician and a NASA astronaut (now retired) with five Space Shuttle flights under his belt (spending nearly 60 days in total in space and seven EVAs). Inspired, he did what any Harvard Medical School alumni former SEAL mustang officer would do and decided to shoot for the stars, literally.

After completing his medical degree in 2016, he did his on the job training with a medical internship in emergency medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Kim (whose Navy commission had been transferred to the reserves) would then try out for NASA.

Kim was selected in June 2017 as one of only 12 candidates out of a pool of more than 18,000 applicants to become part of NASA Astronaut Group 22. He reported for training in August and graduated another two year training program in January 2020 to become a fully qualified NASA Astronaut. I do believe he’s the only astronaut to wear a SEAL trident on his flight suit. If he does fly in space, I wonder if the Navy will authorize him the astronaut device like they do for aviation badges.

Now for those keeping track, this was Kim’s third trip through a lengthy, grueling, and arduous training process.

Jonny Kim is now a lieutenant in the Navy Reserve while he works at the Astronaut Office at NASA and awaits a flight assignment. In December 2020 it was announced that Kim was selected with 17 other astronauts to begin the training and preparation for a possible 2024 moon landing.

Somewhere in all this being a badass special warfare, Harvard-trained physician astronaut Kim found time to get married and have three children. I really do feel for his children. It’ll be nigh on impossible to live up to even half of what their dad’s accomplished. He’s only 37, so he’s got a couple more decades to work in some other amazing career choice. Only thing I can think of that would be more impressive is to also become a bona fide rock star (multi-platinum,  award-winning, Hall of Fame inductee) with a doctorate in astrophysics (like Brian May of Queen).