Thursday, November 25, 2010



I give thanks to my Creator that I am a human rather than any other animal; that I am a man rather than a woman (this was a much closer call in the 70s before men won the war between the sexes); that I am an American and not some poor schlub from Tajikistan or Mali; that I am relatively healthy and happy and almost all the people I know are in the same boat---but most of all I give thanks that the Democrats had the poor sense to show their true selves these past four years and therefore make the Republicans look good by comparison.

My one prayer for the future is for good leadership for our country. The Lord knows we've had precious little of that lately.


Monday, November 22, 2010


Congratulations to Denver's Best Pro Sports Team in 2010

With two of the ugliest goals ever scored in the MLS finals, the Rapids beat the vaunted and favored FC Dallas last night in Toronto 2-1 before a sparse, freezing crowd and anemic TV ratings. Yeah!

UPDATE: Shouldn't it be SC Dallas? And what's up with Real Salt Lake? What's royal about SLC?


Sunday, November 21, 2010


Question About Adm. Mullen

I just watched the Sunday talking heads shows which this week were pretty unsatisfying. Christiane "huge rating disaster" Amanpour continues to interrupt the only right leaning person on the panel, George Will, and no one else. Her bias is palpable in other ways as well. She interviewed the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mullen about foreign policy. All through the interview I could not help but notice that his only jewelry is three rings on his left hand ring finger, what appears to be his service academy ring and two wedding rings.

Does anyone know what's up with that?


Saturday, November 20, 2010


Hunting 2010

Here is the slide show of the 2010 elk hunt. I still didn't shoot (6th year in a row) but at least I saw a cow elk and I did chamber a round in anticipation. Progress. I only had two days to hunt as I had to return for nursemaid duty here at home. Everyone's fine.

It is pretty up there in the snow.

Here is Gary's rag bull (his first) taken out with one shot through a pulmonary artery at 217 yards. The bull was lying down when shot and it got up and ran to the road where it expired. Mighty nice of it. I guess expecting it to jump into the truck was too much to ask. We still needed help loading it in. This was the only kill of the 7 of us by the time I had to leave.

Only later did we see that it had been shot before we walked up on it--in the knee. No wonder it didn't get up and run away. I'd guess about 4 years old and about 490 to 520 pounds. Not a wall mount but a solid bull. It will probably yield 160 pounds of edible meat, if you like that sort of thing. The entry? wound in the chest on the left and the previous knee wound on the right.

Congratulations, Gary, on your first bull elk. You did a fine job finishing off the wounded thing. Just kidding, undiluted congratulations on a clean kill. Below are 63 year old Rod, 72 year old Bob, and 57 year old me--hunting doesn't seem to be catching on with today's youth.

UPDATE: 20 elk, including a big bull, made a run along the migration path right past our group at their favorite ambush site. 6 of them didn't make it and everyone got their limit, including Harley (well named) from Wisconsin who bagged a big bull. Well done, gentlemen, sorry I missed the action. Maybe next year.



Letting the Mask Slip

Historians will probably not debate the fact that the release of the seriously damaging intermural e-mails from the CRU at East Anglia University a year ago was the beginning of the end for the man made climate disruption fraud that had been somewhat successful up to that point and which has a lot of Jim Jones type followers yet. Here is the account of another nail in the AGW coffin originally from the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, to which the clear sighted James Delingpole adds his valuable two cents pence.

Money quote:

First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.

This is what we deniers have been saying all along. It's not the climate, but the socialism which lay at the heart of the AGW fraud from the beginning (that is, as soon as the new ice age predictions in the 70s stopped).


Monday, November 15, 2010


Not A Scene From a Science Fiction Movie

Dr. Dyson contemplates our home from 350 km up. What a fascinating modern age we live in.


Friday, November 12, 2010


Second Friday Movie Review--Skyline

OK, I saw Skyline and it was mind numbingly stupid. A plot so thin you could read a newspaper through it. The Strause brothers directed it. They have a heavy dose of special effects in their resume and this movie is almost nothing but special effects.

There were a few moments, after the blue lights shown in the trailer began to rain down on LA, when it was truly creepy and menacing, but another day dawns and nothing panned out and there is no resolution (and I know what happened in the end).

Let's think about aliens. Let's suppose that, and this is virtually certain to be true, the speed of light is as fast as you can go. And you can't even go as fast as that because approaching light like speed generates radiation lethal to life as we know it. So, it is a long, long freakin' way to the next sun from you and many, many centuries of travel to get to enough stars to find one with a orbiting planet with unfrozen water and some life. So you go out into the local, perhaps unfashionable arm of the galaxy and travel for millennia at least and more likely eons (so you'll need a big ship--I get that part) until not only is there a sun with a planet that does have life and OMG! a civilization too, different and less technically proficient, but another civilization. Is your first move hostile? Really? I'm not giving away a thing here--everything you need to know you saw in the trailer. A truly advanced technological society would need not a thing from us.

OK here are the spoilers. In this car crash of a movie, the aliens need our brains, and about two feet of our spinal cord, to about L3, L4 level. What are the odds that they would be able to use our fragile mesh of lipids, gray matter, white matter and other goo, which our own blood is poison to? I'm not an exobiologist but I would calculate that the odds against our plucked whole from the cranium brain et al. being useful to an alien life form as several trillion to one. They show a rasty old grey brain being jettisoned and a new blue one inserted and an alien is born. What? They don't have their own brain making function? Was the rasty old used one a human brain from a day or two earlier? Was it the brain from the last planet they attacked in search of brains? How about using your their own brains? How about a manufactured computer using carbon based compounds rather than silicon? Too tough for the beings able to traverse the unimaginable breadth of empty spaces between brain producing planets? The real search for brains should have begun with the writers--Joshua Cordes and Liam O'Donnell-- neither of whom seem to have written a thing before. Guys, before you waste more people's time and money, go find John Scalzi and have a long, long talk with him. You'll thank me. Brains! Sheesh.

Making a movie that is enjoyable to people involves showing enough of and about the main characters so that you care what happens to them. As in several end of the world from alien invasion movies, it is difficult to care about any of these vapid hipsters. Instead of pulling for the humans to survive, because they are so whiny, backbiting and timid, you find yourself wondering what's taking the aliens so long to mop up the survivors. This movie started slow and never got moving despite some decent special effects, particularly the air combat (which might have been less lethal on our drones, particularly the stealth ones, had it taken place at night--but of course we couldn't have seen it happen then). I can't recommend this for even the most rabid of sci fi fans.



Karma--The Righteous but Black Hearted Kind

Here is an article about a man, Claude Howard Jones, executed 10 years ago whose conviction and death sentence was based in part on analysis of a recovered hair at the crime scene. The testimony at the time was that the hair was not the victim's or the accomplice's and was consistent with the hair on Jones. DNA testing has recently revealed it was not Jones' hair. The hair was the only non accomplice testimony that put Jones at the scene and Texas law requires something more than mere accomplice testimony to convict. So whether or not it was Jones' hair is a big deal, legally.

But here is a paragraph from that article:

Prosecutors also hammered on Jones' brutal past. While serving a 21-year prison sentence in Kansas, he poured a flammable liquid on his cellmate and set him on fire, killing him.

Not going to worry about this any more.



Friday Night Movie Review--Fair Game

I'm going to try something new, review a movie I haven't seen. "Fair Game" came out last week, on November 5, 2010, in 46 theaters (including two in the Denver area). Because of the failure of nearly all of the America-bashing political and military movies of the last half decade (and the list of these box office failures is long) the decision makers of how Fair Game is distributed have gone for the slow roll out. That is, they put the movie in a few theaters, see how it does, hope for good reviews and word of mouth and, if things pan out, the movie goes to more theaters and eventually to a full release (that is, in more than 2,500 theaters nationwide). In the first weekend, the movie made about $600,000. That ain't so good. The reviews have been OK but generally lukewarm and even the positive ones say the movie is a trifle soulless. Here, at Rotten Tomatoes, is a sampling. The percentage of positive reviews is just below 80%. That's not bad. The average movie viewer's positive feedback is a rather anemic 65%. Whether this movie will buck the recent tradition of Americans boycotting anti-American movies is a long shot and the number of theaters that are playing it today, will tell a lot of the tale. I'll update. [Box Office Mojo reports that the number of theaters showing the film will increase to 175 this Friday. Still a little cautious.]

But I was struck in the reviews, both positive and negative, by how hook-line-and-sinker-like have the reviewers swallowed the false history the movie portrays. Here, at the Daily Caller, is a point by point refutation of the lies the movie holds out as truths. It is a long list. Here is another similar debunking at World Affairs Journal. But, as a counter-example, here is a negative review which says that President Bush said in the famous 16 words in the 2003 state of the nation address that Iraq had bought yellowcake. No. He said sought, which was true. Wilson, when he wasn't misspeaking (lying) about his nepotistic trip to Niger, said he saw no evidence of a sale of yellowcake. No kidding, Sherlock. We never claimed the Iraqis bought the stuff.

I'll have to skip the usual review of the acting, writing, cinematography, etc. as I don't know anything about them. Valerie Plame is played by dead ringer Naomi Watts, an English born Aussie actress I quite like and have since her early role in Flirting. Sean Penn, while not actually visually similar to Joe Wilson, is also a good choice as a blustery fellow with no clue (how else to explain Penn's enthusiastic support for the petty tyrant Hugo Chavez?) The director is Doug Liman who did the good Swingers and Go, the probably OK The Bourne Identity and the horrible Mr. & Mrs. Smith and Jumper. He seems to think he has made a movie showing the truth. He's wrong.

The real problem with the making of the movie is that it's about 2 years too late. President Bush is no longer our president. The war in Iraq has been a success, for now (the future is cloudy). A Hitler like tyrant was removed from office and executed and 26 Million freed from a murderous and debilitating tyranny. There will never be a resuscitation of Sadam's weapons programs nor will Baghdad again be the retirement home of the world's worst terrorists. All good things, I think. The best thing of Gulf War II was that we took on an al Qaeda franchise and defeated it soundly. We proved the strong horse there. Al Qaeda still exists but its myrmidons are not mounting the sort of attacks they were capable of 10 years ago.

Oh, and there's this. Scooter Libby did not 'out' Valerie Plame as an analyst for the CIA; Richard Armitage told the late Robert Novak where she worked and Novak published that information. Neither Armitage nor Novak supported the invasion of Iraq. Neither Novak nor Armitage were willing to carry the White House's water. The idea that a Bush administration member (Scooter doing Dick Cheney's bidding) told people where Ms. Plame worked in retaliation for Joe Wilson's NYT piece attacking the White House regarding WMD intelligence, although well ingrained in the public consciousness (as evidenced above), is just not true. That inconvenient fact would seem a problem for a wrenched-from-6 year-old-headlines, true story of the supposed dirty deeds our government is capable of.

The one question I have is why were neither Dick Armitage nor Robert Novak prosecuted under the Intelligence Identities Protection Act for revealing where Valerie Plame worked? Now there's a story worth researching; and it would probably make a movie just as exciting and fulfilling as Fair Game.

UPDATE: According to Box Office Mojo for Friday, 11/19/10, Fair Game, in over 350 theaters now, broke the top ten (tenth) and has taken in nearly 2 million of the 22 million it cost to make this lying docudrama. I guess that's according to plan, but something tells me this sort of box office receipts will fail to make anyone, who backed this pre-Thanksgiving turkey, rich. I could have told them that years ago.


Thursday, November 11, 2010


Thought of the Day

Obama's problem wasn't that he did too much or was too liberal. It was that he did too little and wasn't radical enough.

Robert Borosage and Katrina vanden Heuvel

Please believe this Democrats and keep doing what you do best. You're defending 22 Senate seats in 2012 while Republicans are defending 9. Obama indeed should become more radical. Yeah, that's the [Democratic] ticket. Outstanding plan!


Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Thin As a Rail

Against a sea of other galaxies, this one, NGC 4452, probably a spiral, seen edge on, looks pretty thin to me. Apparently very thin ones like this are not at all uncommon. 35,000 light years end to end.


Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Lost Opportunities

I like the Tea Partiers and the 9/12 people and I am very grateful to them that they allied with the Republicans rather than go the sure, quick way to defeat with a real third party effort. Their enthusiasm helped a lot, a whole lot; and they picked (or backed) nationwide a few good candidates (Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Wisconsin's new Senator Johnson and a handful of the new mid-west American Congresspeople). But on the whole the candidates the Tea Party picked sucked. Angle, O'Donnell, McMahon and Raese punched way below their purported weight class. Mr. Wilson, up in Alaska, is losing big to a write-in candidate whose name I can't spell without looking her up. Perhaps a complete lack of success in either politics or business is not a real plus for a serious candidate after all.

Here in Colorado, it was worse than elsewhere, with the exceptions of California and New York, whose citizens seem to have chosen not to eject but to ride the smoke trail all the way down to the deck. Our candidate for Governor, Dan Maes, was so awful that, in a nationwide Republican tsunami much better than the fabled 1994 midterm, he garnered just over 11%. The other Republican in the race, Tom Tancredo, did poorly too. I for one, welcome our new Democratic Governor/overlord, Hickensomething.

The Tea Party also seemed to have picked the one person in Colorado who couldn't beat the near empty suit, Senator Bennet (h/t D)

We might have failed also to take back either both or one of the two division of the state legislature. (I'm pretty sure the State Senate will not have a Republican majority come January).

Congrats to the conservative candidates down ticket who worked hard and did well. I hope that I don't have to remind you that, particularly here in Colorado, there was no mandate. Even nationwide, we Republicans at best were merely the lesser of the evils.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?