Thursday, October 30, 2008
This Day in the History of the Deaths of Good Looking Guys
Labels: Minor Roman History
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This Day in the History of Market Corrections
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Report on the Northern Sea Ice
Labels: Global Warming; Polar Bears
This Day in the History of Evil
A black day in Italian history.
Monday, October 27, 2008
This Day in the History of Fatuous Chickens Coming Home to Roost
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Well, Here's Your Problem, Right There.
That's a mountain in the eastern part of the San Juans. It's over 11,000 feet tall. Heck, I was taking the picture on a mountain about 13,000 feet tall and I was at 12,000. Notice anything missing, for late fall? Like white, glistening stuff all over the ground?
There was no snow, and therefore no pressure to bring the elk down to lower elevations. So they were hanging out way up high on the mountainsides and we got tired of going up again and again not to see them. So we came back empty.
Every hunter has his excuse ready by the time he hits home and I'm no exception. I never fired a shot the entire trip. Not that I'm complaining. It really is beautiful up there.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Chart of the Reliable Satellite World Temperature Data
Labels: Global Warming
Thought of the Day
Michael J. Myers
Labels: Michael Myers quote
Mid Hunt Report
That night, in the VW Eurovan, I had a sort of anxiety attack. It's hard to explain, maybe a little claustrophobia too, but I couldn't get to sleep, a recurring weird thought would cause me to open my eyes in near panic. It was too cold to go outside for a refreshing walk. So, about 4 am, I got to sleep sitting up with the sleeping bag over my head. Not the best night ever.
The next day hunting was more fortunate. Gary saw and shot dead the last deer in the area, a beautiful young four pointer. He did all the gutting and carrying by himself as I had my radio off by mistake. Sorry, man. That night, I pulled the dead deer out of the back of his Toyota pickup, wiped up the blood, and slept there, a lot better, I might add.
We were entirely bummed by the lack of fresh sign and sightings (Gary too saw a moose and cows--but that's it) so we decided to leave but our enthusiasm took a big turn for the better when it started to snow. Unfortunately, the snow stopped after a useless quarter inch and we fled. I plan to work today and then we'll go to Antonito and try our luck in the deep woods there. Most of our success has been in the unlovely sage country north of Craig, where you can actually see the game. I'm trying to work on the reason we abandoned Craig. I have no idea at present.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Weak Light Posting Excuse
It could happen.
The beautiful rifle (Colt Saur in 300 Win Mag) is rededicated to eradicating split hoofed herbivores with replacement of the apparently worthless Weaver telescopic sight with a Leupold. It was moving its tight, covered with a quarter, groups of three from down and left five each time I adjusted the sight and after about 21 rounds, was an inch high but dead on at 200 yards. Three inches high at 100. Except for the fact that I can't actually hunt elk in the south until my bud gets his cow elk in the north, I feel positively bad ass. The gift Remington 721 in 300 Weatherby Mag is also making tight groups at a distance. If the right don't get ya' then the left one will.
This Day in the History of Muslim Failure
Labels: Siege of Vienna
Thought of the Day
[To my Jewish readers, I know that it's not Obama speaking, but Jackson states a truth about Democrats in general and an Obama administration in particular. You can support Israel or you can vote for Obama, but you can't do both]
Labels: Jesse Jackson quote
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
This Day in the History of Nazi First Steps
Monday, October 13, 2008
More on Melting Northern Sea Ice
I sent an e-mail containing my posting about the October 2, 2008 press release from the National Snow and Ice Data Center to Stephanie Renfrow, who works up there, and she was kind enough to write me back and answer the questions I had. I'm still digesting the information she gave about multi-year ice, but I can report on why the NSIDC has a much different measurement of sea ice in the Northern Ocean than the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (The Cryosphere Today). As of today, the NSIDC measurement of sea ice extent is about 6.33 million square kilometers while The Cryosphere Today has the sea ice area at about 4.33 million square kilometers. To me that's a substantial difference.
Here's the explanation from the horses mouth:
So if I understand that properly, 'extent' measurement is better in Summer because the microwave measurer in the satellite has trouble telling melt water on top of sea ice from plain old sea; and the extent numbers used by the NSIDC give one a better 'big picture' then. Likewise, it might be better to use the University's 'area' numbers in Winter to be more precise.
The difference in numbers reported between Cryosphere Today and NSIDC is not a difference in data, but a reflection of a completely different type of measurement drawn from the same data. Cryosphere Today reports sea ice area, while NSIDC reports sea ice extent. Both measurements agree in the larger story: a negative trend in Arctic sea ice over the satellite record. For more details, please read below.
Area and extent are different measures that give scientists slightly different information. Some organizations report ice area; NSIDC primarily reports ice extent. Extent is always a larger number than area, and there are pros and cons associated with each method.
Extent defines a region as "ice-covered" or "not ice-covered." For each satellite data cell, either the cell is said to either have ice or no ice, based on a threshold. The most common threshold (and the one NSIDC uses) is 15 percent, meaning that if the data cell has greater than 15 percent ice concentration, the cell is considered "ice-covered;" less than that and it is said to be ice free. Example: let's say you have three 25 km x 25 km grid cells covered by 16% ice, 2% ice, and 90% ice. Two of the three cells would be considered "ice covered," or 100% ice. Multiply the grid cell are by 100% sea ice and you would get a total extent of 1,250 square kilometers.
Area takes the percentages of sea ice within data cells and adds them up to report how much of the Arctic is covered by ice; area typically uses a threshold of 15%. So in the same example, with three 25 km x 25 km grid cells of 16% ice, 2% ice, and 90% ice, multiply the grid cell area by the percent of sea ice and add it up. You'd have a total area of 562.5 square kilometers.
Scientists at NSIDC prefer to report extent because they are cautious about summertime values of ice concentration and area taken from satellite sensors. To the sensor, surface melt appears to be open water rather than water on top of sea ice. So, while reliable for measuring area most of the year, the microwave sensor is prone to underestimating the actual ice concentration and area when the surface is melting. To account for that potential inaccuracy, NSIDC scientists rely primarily on extent when analyzing melt-season conditions and reporting them to the public. That said, analyzing ice area is still valuable. Given the right circumstances, background knowledge, and scientific information on current conditions, it can potentially provide a better sense of how much ice there really is "on the ground."
I am very grateful that Ms. Renfrow and the unnamed scientist she refers to took the time to respond to my questions. Thank you all.
In Praise of Older Women
Labels: In praise of older women
This Day in the Long History of Romans Poisoned by their Wives
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Thought of the Day
Labels: Michael Barone quote
Friday, October 10, 2008
Horrible News From Canada
It's not all their fault, the Tribunal is statutorily prohibited from deciding the constitutional questions. Which is precisely why the decision is a disaster. There will be no further review by a court which can decide the constitutional questions.
In a nutshell, it seems that the Canadian and Provincial governments take seriously the right not to be offended. There is no such right in Canada. They existence of such a right is anathema to the right to free expression. They cannot coexist and the ability of a tribunal to punish one for offending someone else with true facts and opinions is an unconstitutional ability which needs to be quickly taken away.
Not bloody likely.
Is Mullah Omar Destined to Be the New Muqtada al Sadr?
If the Taliban gives up violent overthrow and joins in the non bean bag of politics in Afghanistan, al Qaeda is horribly exposed to the wrath of American, NATO and Pakistan forces. Sucks to be them, then.
Almost all of the state sponsored political murder in the past 100 years was by socialists in dictatorships, the National Socialists of Germany and the international socialists, the Communists of the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Viet Nam and North Korea. The totalitarian states responsible for all these murders were generally cults of personality behind a far left, charismatic leader.
Labels: Future; Socialism under Obama
Photoshop of the Day
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I Feel So Good....
Labels: personal history
This Day in the European Colonization of North America
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
The Deadly Dreadfully Dull Second Debate
We can't allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. OK, how are you going to stop them? To paraphrase Frost in Aliens, "What do you want us to use, harsh language?"
I actually don't endorse an airstrike on Iran, not just now at least. Nor should we help Israel do it, just yet. For an oil rich nation, Iran is ridiculously vulnerable to attack on its oil refining industry, which is bunched up and creaky. Indeed, a single cellulose housed bomb could bring the whole house of cards down with only a remote chance of detection. But my point is getting away from me. Israel, if it has the nerve (a very big question lately) will have to concentrate eventually on another part of the Iranian energy industry and not just bomb, but occupy the sites and search, like they did with the 'whatever it was' in Syria a few months ago. That will be difficult and very risky. We ought to think about helping them when the time, eventually, comes. Just not now.
McCain's point about not telegraphing your punch was good, sound and lost on the great majority, I fear.
This Day in the History of Births of Weird, Forgotten Romans
By 23 it looked as if Drusus, who made no secret of his antipathy towards Sejanus, would succeed Tiberius as emperor. For reasons of self-survival, but also because he may have had designs on the supreme power, Sejanus needed to remove Drusus. Ancient sources (Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio) concur that with Livilla as his accomplice he poisoned her husband.
Sejanus fell in 31 (October 18). A few days later (October 26) Sejanus' former wife Apicata committed suicide, but not before addressing a letter to Tiberius claiming that Drusus had been poisoned, with the complicity of Livilla. Drusus’ cupbearer Lygdus and Livilla's physician Eudemus were now tortured, and seemed to confirm Apicata’s accusation. By the end of the year Livilla too had perished, supposedly forcibly starved to death by her own mother, Antonia
We have no real concept of how utterly depraved the Romans at the height of the Empire were--no idea despite the great but short series Rome.
Labels: Minor Roman History
Thought of the Day
Labels: Mark Hemingway quote
Monday, October 06, 2008
Report on the American War Dead in Afghanistan and Iraq
In Iraq, only four servicemen died from IEDs. That's very low. Either we have made a breakthrough in IED detection or we really have won in Iraq, in that the enemy has abandoned its former primary weapon. Kind of good news at least for me. Five were killed by small arms and none in combat operations. That doesn't indicate much toe to toe combat. Eight died from non combat or non hostile causes--one from an illness. Nine died in accidents, seven in a single helicopter crash about which cause I have learned nothing.
In Afghanistan, 14 were killed by IEDs (way up) and five were killed in combat operations. Six were killed by small arms, and one died from non combat causes No one with a feminine first name was killed. It was a rough month for officers, however; they were about a third of the total.
The officers lost were: Capt. Jesse Melton III, 29, Randallstown, MD (Combat operations in Afghanistan); 1st Lt. Nicholas Madrazo, 25, Bothell, WA. (Combat operations in Afghanistan); Lt. Col. Ralph Marino, 46, Houston, PA (Non-combat cause in Iraq); Capt. Darrick Wright, 37, Nashville, TN (Non-combat cause in Iraq); Lt. Col. James Wiley, 46 North Bend, OR (Non-combat cause in Afghanistan); 1st Lt. Robert Vallejo II, 28, Richland Hills, TX (Accident in Iraq); Maj. Rodolfo Rodriguez, 34, El Paso, TX (IED in Afghanistan): 1st Lt. Nohsin A. Naqui, 26, Newburgh, NY (IED in Afghanistan); Capt. Bruce Hays, 42, Cheyenne, WY (Small Arms in Iraq); Capt. Bruno Desolenni, 32, Crescent City, CA (IED in Afghanistan); Col. Sidney Marceaux, Jr. 69, Beaumont, TX (Non-combat cause, Iraq); 1st Lt. Thomas Brown, 26, Burke, VA (Small Arms in Iraq); Capt. Mchael Medders, 25, Ohio (IED-suicide vest--in Iraq); and, Capt. Richard Cliff, Jr. 29, Mt. Pleasant, SC (IED in Afghanistan).
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all our brave warriors and their families.
This Day in the History of Americans Being Convicted of Treason
Thought of the Day
Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Justice Delayed is Justice Denied--Usually
Labels: OJ Simpson; Justice
Friday, October 03, 2008
A Cuppa Joe With Ol Joe
But he's back in a pretty big way with a review of the recent Vice Presidential debate, with a focus on Biden, and it was very good, as usual, and insightful but the second to last paragraph made me laugh out loud, twice. Here's a taste from another paragraph or two.
By contrast, Biden was glib and fluent and in command of the facts – if by "in command of the facts" you mean "talks complete blithering balderdash and hogwash." He flatly declared that Obama never said he would meet Ahmadinejad without preconditions. But, on Debate Night, the official Obama Web site was still boasting that he would meet Ahmadinejad "without preconditions." He said America spends more in a month in Iraq than it's spent in seven years in Afghanistan. Er, America has spent over $700 billion in Afghanistan since 2001. It's spending about $10 billion a month in Iraq. But no matter. To demonstrate his command of the "facts," Sen. Biden sportingly offered up his own instant replays:
"My friend John McCain voted 422 times against tax cuts for the middle classes. Let me repeat that so the American people are clear on this. My friend John McCain voted 673 times against tax cuts for the middle classes."
A Target Rich Envirornment
Biden said that "...two years ago Barack Obama warned about the sub prime mortgage crisis." I didn't remember any such warning in 2006. So I googled the phrase and this is all I got, a March 22, 2007 letter from Senator Obama to Bernanke and Paulson. So not actually 2 years ago. But rather than a warning about the CRA mandated risky mortgages, which is the crux and source of most of our finance troubles lately, and the reason for the 'bailouts,' the letter was about protecting the end users of the financial market, the mortgagors. See for yourself:
There is grave concern in low-income communities about a potential coming wave of foreclosures. Because regulators are partly responsible for creating the environment that is leading to rising rates of home foreclosure in the subprime mortgage market, I urge you immediately to convene a homeownership preservation summit with leading mortgage lenders, investors, loan servicing organizations, consumer advocates, federal regulators and housing-related agencies to assess options for private sector responses to the challenge.
We cannot sit on the sidelines while increasing numbers of American families face the risk of losing their homes.
Let's compare that milktoasty, 'jumping late on the bandwagon' letter to the legislation Senator John McCain co-sponsored in 2005 and the speech he gave in support of it on May 25, 2006:
Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae's regulator reported that the company's quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were "illusions deliberately and systematically created" by the company's senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.
The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight's report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae's former chief executive officer, OFHEO's report shows that over half of Mr. Raines' compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.
I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.
I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation. (Emphasis added).
So what Biden said was not an actual lie, but it was far, far from the truth, particularly in light of the clear warning about what has just happened which McCain voiced and sought to remedy a full
Oh, so what happened to the bill? The Democrats killed it.
UPDATE: More on the subject here.
UPDATE II: Michael Totten throws in his two cents (and the first part, at least, is funny) here.
CORRECTION: The legislation to rein in Fan and Fred, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, was 2005 but McCain became a co-sponsor in 2006.
They Think You're Stupid
The document outlines specific tasks for various members of the state's liberal infrastructure, including a campaign to "educate the idiots," assigned to the state's AFL-CIO union. Among the operation's intended targets: "minorities, GED's, drop-outs." (Emphasis added).
Gee, I wonder who they mean? Our fellow citizens?
Labels: Colorado Democrats
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Lights Out in 2009?
Among its other findings were these:
The U.S. will require more than 14,500 miles of new electricity transmission lines by 2016. Regions represented by the Florida Reliability Coordination Council (FRCC) and the Northeast Power Coordinating Council (NPCC) may require less than 400 miles of new transmission lines, while the Southeast Reliability Council (SERC) may require nearly 2,300 miles. The Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) may require nearly 7,000 miles.
Substantial increases in wind turbine orders, and new wind capacity, has been slowed by a worldwide turbine shortage and local opposition to wind projects. Since wind generation is expected to grow substantially throughout the U.S., the integration of intermittent resources into the bulk power system is becoming increasingly complex and difficult.
While renewable energy proponents, and some elected officials, are saying that the U.S. needs to only add renewable power facilities such as wind farms, the annual capacity factor of wind generators is typically about 25 - 35 percent. However, the probability that wind generators are available at their rated value during annual peak periods is only between 5 - 20 percent and varies greatly from year to year and region to region. Wind cannot be considered a reliable baseload capacity resource.
Rapidly increasing demand for steel and copper has caused spot scarcity of the resources required to manufacture key electrical components, and this commodity demand has increased the theft of critical system components. Manufacturers have attempted to eliminate excess inventories and capacity to increase productivity of their assets, but they are reluctant to add more capacity until they can be certain about future industry investments.
The study also presented a survey of political developments and trends that amount to "structural political barriers being erected to system reliability." It pointed to the fact that "environmental activist groups" are now:
Suing to block the construction of virtually every single baseload coal-fired power plant, in spite of advanced environmental technologies these plants would deploy.
Gearing up to block construction of any baseload nuclear power plants across the West.
Suing or protesting virtually every proposed lease on public lands in the Rocky Mountains for natural gas drilling.
Working to slow or stop the completion of the two main multi-year, stakeholder-based transmission corridor processes that both Democrats and Republicans in Congress approved as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Pushing for additional endangered species designations, which will make siting and construction of both power plants and transmission lines difficult.
Pressuring government leaders to limit access by larger, baseload technologies to the region's high-voltage transmission grid and, instead proposing to artificially favor non-baseload, intermittent power facilities that will (at some point) further stress the reliability of the entire Western grid.
I know the suits to block every single natural gas drilling lease is true (even rigs in the middle of dozens of completed wells), so that makes it easier to believe the rest.
Hot, over-taxed, in the dark, with gasoline at $5.00 per gallon. Welcome to America under new Democrat leadership.
A Reader's E-Mail to Andrew McCarthy
The Ifill issue is front and center. Last night on Brit Hume's program, the consensus was that they all knew Gwen and she is a swell person, and of course she wouldn't do anything partisan. Just where the hell are these people coming from?
Day in and day out, out here in the real world we see obvious bias, obvious double standards and yet the Republicans and a lot of the "conservative" media either don't see it, or if they do, they let it slide.
A few examples. Obviously the current flap of Gwen Ifill, Tom Brokaw, Jim Lehrer as moderators for presidential debates but never an O’Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh or Brit Hume. Why not?
A special prosecutor is appointed to investigate firings of 9 prosecutors but none was or will ever be appointed to find out why Clinton fired EVERY single prosecutor when he took office?? Republicans stand mute on this and it is infuriating.
Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Waters and the entire Black Caucus defend the running of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and prevent the very reforms which might have avoided the mess we are in today. Yet the MSM and Republicans are silent. Why aren't these guys investigated, forced to step down and prosecuted as was Tom Delay?? Again silence from the White House, McCain and other Republicans.
These are just a few of the things that infuriate conservatives outside the beltway and New York City. We have the Republican Party asking us for money, yet I haven't seen a single penny spent on demanding the Democrats adhere to the same standard Republicans are required to meet. Being a punching bag for liberals who constantly lie about you, constantly use inflammatory language (hate speech in some cases) and use any means necessary to gain power is no way to win elections. Yet this is the path the Republican Party takes time and time again. To say I am mad as hell about the Dems and the response of the Republicans to these liberal attacks is an understatement.
O’Reilly has an article on his web site that says “Conservative group drops Ayers, Rezko and Wright from their ad.” Why I ask?? These guys are terrorists, crooks and as anti-American as they come, yet those in a position to speak out remain mute!!
Enough. I don’t give a damn if the Fox media folk know Gwen and say she is a swell person. I don’t care if McCain thinks the Dems in the Senate and congress are his “good friends”, they sure as hell aren’t my good friends. In fact they work day in and day out to destroy all I hold dear, and tax me to pay for those in society who are too lazy and/or stupid to care for themselves....
NSIDC Report Questions
I have a question. The big news is that in volume, they suspect the amount of ice, as opposed to the area covered, is the lowest ever (even including last year). But if the ice stops melting mid September (and then starts to spread) and it increases for the next 6 months and only begins to melt again in March next year, why wouldn't 100% of the ice that survives the Summer melting be at least second year ice by the time it starts to melt the next year or at least on the second anniversary of its formation? Not so, according to the NSIDC. For example, a huge area of second year ice (in orange--about halfway between the lables for Russia and Greenland) in 2007, didn't melt back then but is now called first year ice and not third year ice as one might expect. I can't imagine an explanation other than Winter melting but, again, according to the chart provided, only some of the third year ice that remained in September 2007 is still third year ice now in early Fall, 2008. It don't add up. Perhaps they are just judging thickness, but why not say so then?
I caution against running around with figurative heads cut off in panic about the 'disappearing' ice. We have only had a comprehensive idea of the ice extent at the poles since 1979, a mere eye blink in time. We have no idea of the extent of the Arctic sea ice in, say, 1150, during the Medieval Warm Period, nor in 220 BC. Was it more or less? No one knows. Further, the cooling we have seen in the past 8 years, which cooling has been predicted by many scientists to continue for another decade or two, might bring things back to more normal at least as compared to the period 1979 to 2000.
But the most dismaying to us skeptics is the instant blaming of human generated CO2 as the cause of the melting. Who says there's no room for religion in science?
Finally, the NSIDC has the sea ice today at just over 5 million square kilometers while the University of Illinois site, The Cryosphere Today, has it at just over 3.5 million square kilometers yesterday. That's a huge difference. What's up with that?
Labels: Global Warming; Disputed Metrics
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
This Day in the History of Evil
Paul Campos--Typical Elitist
Campos writes of Alaska's Governor.
Palin has spent almost her whole life in a very small town in a sparsely populated and extremely isolated state. For reasons that remain obscure, she attended five colleges in six years where, if her public performance to date is any indication, she seems to have learned nothing.
Let's test my theory from experience. Where did Campos go to school? University of Michigan-- good school, but not Harvard or Yale (Michigan Law School, which Campos attended, a classmate of Ann Coulter, is absolutely first rate).
Yep, true to form. Extremely isolated Alaska? Well it's not the sophisticated well spring of culture the upper peninsula is, but it's such a high standard.
Governor Palin is to the snobby elitists some sort of near frozen hillbilly. I've not yet heard her say there are 57 states or that the President in 1929 was Franklin Roosevelt appearing on TV, but of course Obama is Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law (two out of three ain't bad) and Biden is University of Delaware, Syracuse Law so in Campos' and other nabob's eyes they are OK. They're smart. They have what Campos thinks is necessary for the office, that is, they are "vastly more educated and knowledgeable than the average American."
Palin is the only one running for high office with any executive experience. That doesn't matter to the elites. She's from a small town in a state with more square miles than people, and she went to third (or lower) tier schools. She's an idiot. QED.
It is a little funny that President Bush (Andover, Yale, Harvard Business School) is supposedly the same sort of dunce as Palin, at least compared to such intellectual giants as Al Gore (flunked out of Divinity School) and John Kerry (who had a lower grade point average at Yale than our President).
Every time I write about Campos it's because he's crossed a line from his usual dull and uninformative to stupid and/or hate filled and each time I write about him, he's worse than the time before. I try follow Christian teachings and not hate people, but isn't there an exception to that rule for hateful people? There ought to be.