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Sarah Palin's presence in the lower 48 means the Arctic ice cap can finally return.

calendar   Friday - January 17, 2020

Dems In Denial, Trump In The Nile

River Wars? Khartoum II?

Team America: World Police and Mediator

Against the backdrop of continuing tension in the Middle East, the United States is playing a peacekeeping role in a dispute among Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia.

You won’t read about the Trump administration’s mediation in the mainstream press because it doesn’t fit the meme of a war-mongering president.

So here goes. The three countries agreed to meet this week in Washington to tackle problems over a dam project on the Nile River that may greatly affect water resources in Egypt and Sudan.

The differences among the three countries date back to May 2011 when Ethiopia started building a dam, which is known as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

The $5 billion hydroelectric dam would exist on the Blue Nile near the Ethiopia-Sudan border. The reservoir would hold up to 67 billion cubic meters of water and take at least seven years to fill, which would decrease the river’s flow for at least that period by 25 percent. For Ethiopia, the dam would aid water needs and economic development, as it is set to supply the country with more than 6,000 megawatts of electricity. But it could be devastating for Egypt, which relies on the river for irrigation, fishing, and transport.

The river is so vital that Egyptian officials have made it clear that military action may occur if Ethiopia doesn’t come to an agreement.

Enter the United States as the mediator. Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia agreed to a series of four meetings in Addis Ababa, Cairo, Khartoum. This week’s meeting in Washington is the fourth in this round of negotiations.

It’s unclear whether the United States will be able to help settle this longstanding dispute. But it’s readily apparent that Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia think the Trump administration may be able to help.

How classic that Egypt wants to smite Nubia again. They’ve been doing that for 6,000 years.

Hey Ethiopia: build your damn 100 feet higher. Take the whole damn Nile. It’s your water to begin with.





The Nile flows south to north. The Nile River as you probably think of it really begins in Khartoum in Sudan, never really part of ancient Egypt. [ although the area was so heavily influenced by them that the nearby city of Meroe (aka Saba {son of Cush (Kush) in the bible} ] built their own pyramids {but in the spiky Nubian style} ]

South of Khartoum in Sudan the Nile splits into two smaller rivers, the White Nile and the Blue Nile. Further north in Sudan, downriver, the Nile gets bigger where the seasonal Atbarah River joins in, also in Sudan.  However, the Blue Nile, and the Atbarah Rivers both flow from Ethiopia, where they drain the moist highlands.

The White Nile comes up from Lake Albert and Lake Victoria way down in Kenya, but is also fed by Ethiopia’s Baro River, which flows east to west across Ethiopia and in turn is fed by the smaller Birbir and Geba Rivers, which meander all over Ethiopia. The White Nile is the source of more than half of the water in the upper Nile, whereas almost all the good fertile silt that made the Black Land of Kemet of this very Egypt comes from the Blue Nile.

So a whole lot of the water in the Nile originates in Ethiopia. Most of these rivers are damned in several places, with hydroelectric generators.

Classically, the regions along the lower Nile are defined by the cataracts there. Aswan is at the first cataract and has always been Egypt. The old kingdoms of Kush and Nubia lie along the second to fifth cataracts, which are all close together. Khartoum is well south of the sixth and final cataract at Meroe. After that it’s all Deepest Darkest Africa.

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Footnote, and some Daily Geography

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The above story would not exist if it weren’t for the Eastern African Rift, that ancient tectonic plate action that tore Africa off of Asia 25 million years ago, created the Red Sea and the Ethiopian highlands, and a bunch of volcanoes down in central East Africa.

You know how when you look at a global map and you see how eastern South America fits perfectly against western Africa? The same thing goes for that pinched bit of the Red Sea by the Straits of Hormuz. On one side you’ve got Yemen on the south end of Arabia, and on the other side you’ve got Djibouti on the coast, just northeast of Ethiopia.

That little area is known as the Afar Triangle, and it’s a scar of what happened a long long time ago. The land ripped apart sideways as well as vertically; the Afar Triangle is a depression, whereas the Sarawat Mountains on the Arabian side of the Red Sea rise up 12,000 feet. Plate tectonics, awesome stuff.

This is the part of the world where people originated. And moved the heck away as soon as they could: the west end of the Afar is bound by the appropriately named Awash River, which is flows lightly all year long except for the rainy season when it really really floods everything, then evaporates into salt pans, because the Afar area is the WORST PLACE ON EARTH, being terribly dry and unbelievably hot (120°) most of the year.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/17/2020 at 01:15 PM   
Filed Under: • International •  
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Good Work Woodhaven PD

Woodhaven Michigan, halfway between Detroit and Toledo


Good Dogs, Good Cops

A woman home alone in the 25000 block of Reek Road secretly called police after hearing men inside her house.

According to police, the woman was kept on the phone as officers rushed to the residence at about 7 a.m. Jan. 15.

She was hiding in her basement and told police she could hear the men moving through the house.

Police records show that officers arrived within three minutes of the call and determined that two men had fled on foot.

A perimeter was immediately set up with the assistance of several local police agencies and the department’s K-9 unit began tracking the suspects.

After a foot chase, both men were captured within a block of the woman’s house.

Police said the suspects are ages 21 and 23, and reside in Detroit.

They are being held in the Woodhaven jail pending charges and multiple arrest warrants from other agencies.

According to police, numerous items stolen from the house, along with the suspects’ vehicle, were seized at the location.

I saw on a couple places online that her two little chihuahuas started barking when the two dindus rolled up, and she grabbed her phone and ran to the basement. Multiple departments responded, and the K-9 dogs ran them down. Good dogs. And good work Woodhaven PD.

The two suspects arrested in a Woodhaven home invasion are expected to be formally charged Friday. The 21 and 23-year-old men from Detroit will be arraigned later this morning, according to court records.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/17/2020 at 12:56 PM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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A Lot Of Effort To Steal $1.49

Those Tenacious Florida Shoplifters

MULBERRY, Fla. — Surveillance video from a convenience store shows just how badly a Florida thief wanted a Pepsi.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office released a video that shows 49-year-old Gabriel Tillman walk into a convenience store last week, grab a Pepsi and try to leave without paying. The cashier quickly locked the door to prevent Tillman from leaving.

The video shows Tillman hip check and push the door several times. Then he steps back and charges it a few times. When that doesn’t work, he grabs a fire extinguisher and slams into against the door several times to no avail.

The glass door didn’t break but the fire extinguisher did. The cashier finally opened the door.

A deputy spotted Gabriel about two blocks away from the store enjoying his stolen Pepsi and placed him under arrest.

The sheriff’s office wrote in a humorous Facebook post, that the arrest “report did not say if he was allowed to finish his Pepsi.”


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/17/2020 at 12:41 PM   
Filed Under: • Crime •  
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calendar   Thursday - January 16, 2020

Hell Yeah Alex Trebeck

Ain’t No Such Place, Never Was, Never Will Be

Meanwhile, on Jeopardy -

The show is structured under a number of different categories in which contestants answer questions that revolve around the same theme. In the episode that aired earlier this week, contestants were asked questions under the “Where’s the Church?” category, in which they had to name the place that was,"Built in the 300s A.D., the Church of the Nativity.”

In response, contestant Katie Needle said “What is Palestine?” But, her answer was rejected. Her opponent, however, responded with “What is Israel?” and was awarded the point.

The news article above has a leftist slant, arguing that the whole world calls it Palestine, and calling the area “Israeli occupied”. Fuck that. It’s Israel, it was never Palestine. There has never been a country called Palestine, and if someone lets me near the Big Button there never will be.

So good for you Alex Trebeck. Even though half the time I think you’re a Canadian socialist, and the other half the time I think you’re a stuck up snob. But once in a while you do the right thing. Well done.

Otay, that was really concise!!


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2020 at 03:13 PM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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West Virginia Makes The Play

Dammit, I have to learn to write concisely. That last post took forever, for a really niche story that won’t interest many. Ok, so let’s keep this one short.

West Virginia Offers To Take All Of Virginia’s Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties

A huge “screw you” to the leftists in charge in Richmond.

It started in 1863. Because freedom. Actually, it started in 1775 but nobody paid them any attention.

A huge chunk of Virginia’s counties and their biggest city have now gone Second Amendment Sanctuary.

Last week West Virginia offered to take Fredrick County, half of which went over to West Virginia in 1863.

Virginia is for lovers, so West Virginia is reviving a 158-year-old proposal to ask one of its counties on a date. The answer, apparently, is still no.

The West Virginia Senate adopted a resolution by voice vote Monday to remind residents of Frederick County, Virginia, that the county has a standing invite — from 1862 — to become part of West Virginia. It now goes to the House of Delegates.

The resolution was introduced by Morgan County Republican Charles Trump, whose district borders Frederick County. Trump was born in Winchester, the seat of Frederick, which is Virginia’s northernmost county.

Now West Virginia has upped the ante, and has offered to take ALL the 2A counties.

In a display of pro-Second Amendment solidarity, a group of West Virginia lawmakers have introduced a resolution inviting Virginia counties frustrated by gun control efforts to switch states.

Delegates in the lower house of the West Virginia Legislature put the proposal forth on Tuesday. House Concurrent Resolution 8 would allow certain Virginia counties and independent cities to be admitted to West Virginia as constituent counties.

The group of 20 West Virginia Republicans, and one Independent, introducing the resolution said in the proposal that Virginia lawmakers have repudiated “the counsel of that tribune of liberty, Patrick Henry-who stated to the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 that ‘The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.’”

“[T]he government at Richmond now seeks to place intolerable restraints upon the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution to the citizens of [Virginia,]” the proposal reads.

If it passes, the Virginia General Assembly would need to approve the resolution as well, and hold an election prior to August 1, 2020 allowing residents in Virginia counties to vote on whether they’d like to join West Virginia.

If this happens, WV will double or triple in size, get lots more electoral votes, take in most of the rural and white population of Virginia, and leave Olde Virginny being little more than a bedroom community around Washington DC.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of leftists.

There. Concise enough?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2020 at 02:57 PM   
Filed Under: • FREEDOMGuns and Gun ControlPolitics •  
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Little Big Gun

The Wildcat .375 Raptor: Big Bear Medicine For An AR-10

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Big heavy bullets at moderate velocity: the one gun hunting solution without tremendous recoil. And it will work in a full size “assault weapon” with just a barrel swap. Or in a regular bolt gun. Without spending a ton of money.

In 2014, the 45 RAPTOR brought Big Bore performance to the AR10 / LR308 rifle platform and extended the range of Big Bore Modern Sporting Rifles to 200-yards. 
Not one to rest on our past accomplishments, we continued our research and the result is the 375 RAPTOR – an evolutionary step forward in Modern Sporting Rifle performance delivering Big-Bore hunting performance out to 400 yards while eliminating proprietary rifle parts or ammunition components.

The 375 RAPTOR is created using abundant commercial 308 Winchester or military 7.62 NATO brass. The process is easily performed by any hand-loader using common loading tools.

There are hundreds of different designs of rifle cartridge out there, and since these things were invented back in the early 1870s, probably at least a thousand have come and gone. But sometimes a niche exists that the factories don’t fill. And that’s what wildcatting is all about: build your own from the ground up, or have some custom gunsmithing done and use one of these oddball rounds other folks have figured out. Whatever else, there’s a strong sense of individuality involved.

Back in the 80s and 90s, all the young guys drove Mustangs and Camaros. Popular. Ubiquitous. Great fun, but rather common. “Another pathetic sheep, following the heard.”, as “Joe Isuzu” used to say in the commercials.  I had 2 Mercury Capri RS in those days. Same performance as a Mustang GT, but a totally different look. In the 14 years I drove those cars, I saw only 1 other car just like mine, once. I liked that feeling. Now I have a Soul Red Mazda 3 GT. It’s a great car, awesome paint, and when I bought mine it was a rare bird. So rare that I had to order it from Japan. Nowadays you can’t go around the block without seeing a bright red Mazda, and every vehicle they make looks the same. At least mine is a GT, with the parchment white leather interior and a manual shift. So it’s a common car, but an uncommon build.

I like pushing the envelope. I like the unusual. I like “orphan” guns that look good and shoot well but are in cartridges that are rather overlooked or forgotten. I spent a number of years doing load development for the “level 3” .45-70, using a gorgeous Browning 1885 Highwall rifle. I wore the barrel out, and now it’s a wall hanger. But I learned a whole lot, and I tried to do the work in an intelligent manner, using the Quick-Load software package, tons of online research, a good chronograph, and some common sense. What I found was that, in a big heavy long barreled and very strong falling block rifle, with the chamber reamed for a half diameter long tight parallel throat and a low angle leade, I could safely create ammunition that would launch a 300 grain bullet at 2600 feet per second. Recoil was significant, even after I had filled the Browning’s hollow walnut stock with birdshot, giving me an 11lb rifle with scope. 300 grains at 2600fps is what a .300 Holland & Holland Magnum safari rifle can do, and that kind of power is sufficient to hunt the largest creatures on the planet. In any kind of normal weight gun, the recoil is phenomenal.

One thing that I did learn is that painful recoil, which can be calculated, is not really related to the strength of the recoil impulse, but to the impulse velocity. You won’t really notice a recoil impulse of 10 feet per second or less, even if the strength of the impulse is well over 20 pounds. But if that impulse gets over 15 feet per second, the “shove” becomes a “sharp kick” and then if the impulse strength gets up over 35lb it becomes “I just got punched by Mike Tyson with an axe”. And that is not a pleasant thing. Been there, done that, trust me. So keep the impulse strength to 20lb or less, and try and keep the impulse velocity below 15 fps. And the way to do that is with a heavy rifle. Get a good walnut stock, not a plastic one. Use a thicker contour barrel of a normal length. If you want to shoot heavy rifles, you need the mass. 9lb is a starting point. But if your plan is to make your own little junior hot rod, like this .375 Raptor, and you don’t load it to the ragged high edge, you can get away with 7 1/2 or 8lb. The used gun racks are full of flyweight superloudenboomer short barrel magnums for two reasons. Evil recoil and hearing loss. You’re not fighting house to house in Fallujah. You don’t need a 16” barrel. 22” or 24” is right, and adds another 12 ounces or so of mass. Happy gun for happy hunting.

This wildcat round is all about filling the gap. Oh, and making a stubby round you can use in an AR-10, which is the man sized version of the AR-15. While the AR-15 “poodle shooter” fires the 5.56 NATO cartridge or it’s civilian brother called the .223, the AR-10 is a bigger, heavier rifle that shoots the 7.62 NATO round, and it’s civilian brother called the .308. Night and day difference in bullet mass: the 5.56 tops out with bullets of about 70 grains, while the 7.62 starts with bullets of about 168 grains. It’s a lot more powerful.

So, the “gap”. A very long time ago there was a blackpowder cowboy cartridge called the .38-55. About a century later a modern version hit the market called the .375 Winchester. It could shoot a .375” diameter bullet of relatively light weight at about 2200fps. Moderate here means 220 grains, which is light for a .375 rifle but at the very heavy end of bullets for a .308 rifle. So there’s a big gap between what the .375Win can do and what the .300 H&H can do. And the .375 Raptor fills that gap, depending on how you load it.

230gr at up to 2625fps
250gr at up to 2465fps
300gr at up to 2250fps

Ok, it “fills the gap” not quite in the middle, but a bit towards the .38-55 end. If you want to fill the gap more towards the .300 H&H end, another version exists called the .375 Hawk-Scovill, which is based on the .30-06 cartridge, which is the longer, older, parent of the 7.62 NATO round, and it won’t fit in an AR-10 no matter what. .30-06 rounds are 3.34” long, .308 rounds are 2.8” long, .223 rounds are 2.25” long, .300 H&H is 3.6” long, and the venerable .45-70 and .30-30 are 2.55” long). So the .375 Hawk needs a standard length action, and that usually means a bolt action rifle.

OTOH, velocity equals range, power, and recoil. A 230gr bullet in .375 is plenty for deer at any distance, but loaded down to 2300fps it should be good to 200 yards - a responsible hunting distance - and not break your shoulder or burst your eardrums when fired. Similarly, a 250gr bullet is plenty for bears, and 2450fps is (marginally) manageable recoil in an 8.5lb rifle. That one gives you 2200lb/ft of impact energy at 200 yards, moving at 2000fps. Plenty of bear flattening power and enough final velocity to ensure proper bullet performance. If you shoot enough already to own you own reloading equipment, building this rifle won’t cost much more than ordering a good barrel, buying a short action bolt gun, and having your gunsmith rent a reamer and put it all together. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2020 at 12:48 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
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Memories Of The Heartland

I saw this today at Instapundit, but I’ll repost it anyway.

Memories of Knoxville: Steamed Hoagies and the original Fresh-O-Matic

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“No one likes the button”



Grab yourself a big mug of coffee and something to nibble on, sit back and enjoy this 40 minute read. No politics, no snowflakes, no modern technology. Just a nostalgia trip about food, a salute to the small entrepreneur, and a big long story of how things used to be and in a few places still are.

This piece of writing should win some kind of major award. It’s that good.



We lived in South Knoxville, in a mid-century subdivision full of bad drivers — a dicey mix of old people and teenagers. I was always careful to stay off the shoulderless road, keeping my little sister corralled on the safe side as we tramped along on so many sticky Tennessee summer evenings, our light-up sneakers collecting cut grass. About a quarter-mile down the hill from our house sat a low cinderblock building shaped like a brick, its white paint speckled with adornments in always-fresh Volunteer orange. It was the first place we were allowed to go by ourselves.

The Korner Market & Deli was not a quaint country store. It was a purpose-serving place, anchoring the neighborhood in a way that was becoming dated even in the early 1990s. I learned the word “loitering” as soon as I could read, sounding out the hand-lettered rules on the side of the building while my mom ran in to grab an emergency bag of hotdog buns, or Cokes and Winstons for my visiting grandparents.

I worried the quiet corner store I wandered to as a child might have folded in on itself, crumpled by chain restaurants, or reduced traffic, or modernity in general. But when I revisit the neighborhood for the first time in a decade, the Korner Market still sits down the hill and around the curve from my childhood home, thrumming neon and fluorescence into the early winter darkness. I push the door open, the bell clangs, and I’m hit with that same old smell of scrubbed-down, Marlboro-glazed linoleum. There’s a sweetness, and a whoosh, and it’s me and my sister, two sticky-fingered baby ghosts pushing past me, scampering out into the evening buzz of cicadas, our mouths crammed full of Bubblicious. I twist around, expecting to see the high crown of my grandfather’s mesh cap as he waits for us in the parking lot, or the beat-up purple Saturn I drove as a teenager winking its one headlight, ticking as the little engine cools. Back inside, an awkward 13-year-old me winces as she peels her bare legs off one of the vinyl stools fixed along the counter; the 21-year-old heaves a sweating sixer of High Life proudly up to the register. In this abruptly flooded plane of memory, it is always summer, and every me exists at once.

PS - Krystal’s is a southern restaurant franchise, kind of like a White Castle that also does breakfast, along with grits, biscuits, and gravy. I’d never heard of them, but if I ever get down to Georgia again I’ll stop in.

PPS - Comment at Insty relating how a very Appalachian local explained the steamed sandwich thing: “Well, mainly is because REDNECKS AINT GOT NO TEETH.” and he smiles at me with a mouthful of black stumps. “Ain’t none of us can eat your Yankee bread.”.

PPPS - “dark” rolls are pumpernickel, made with coffee and cocoa powder. Makes for a strong flavor and a heavy duty bun that can handle the steam. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/16/2020 at 11:51 AM   
Filed Under: • FoodMiscellaneous •  
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calendar   Wednesday - January 15, 2020

Another Anti-America Meme Up In Smoke

No, Iran DID NOT Try To Miss With Those Missiles

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All it would have taken was for the MSM to call up CentCom and ask. But that would be actual journalism.

Just last week, ABC’s World News Tonight ran a report telling viewers all about how the United States military was wrong to the say Iran wanted to kill U.S. troops when it fired missiles that hit two bases in Iraq, and pushed the unfounded conspiracy theory that Iran had intentionally missed. Then, on Monday, the military gave the press access to areas of Al Asad Air Base destroyed by the missiles, which included the living quarters for roughly 39 service members. ABC’s World News Tonight didn’t show any of the damage while they again bemoaned the anti-regime protests in Iran.

NBC Nightly News kicked off their program with an over two-minute-long report highlighting the damage and the threat Iran posed to the troops.

“And tonight, we’re getting an up-close look at just how close a call it was for American soldiers in the crosshairs of that attack. Our cameras today with the first look at damage from inside the Iraqi base including what appeared to be a direct hit on sleeping quarters used by American troops,” announced anchor Lester Holt.

After noting the anti-regime protests in Iran, chief foreign correspondent Ricard Engel walked through the bombed-out wreckage “where U.S. troops were living and working.” [ video at the link ]

“This was one of the main housing units for this part of the base, but it’s so badly burned and damaged it’s hard to tell what it even was,” Engel said as he walked through the charred remains of the building. “You only know people were living here because there is a burned-out bed, somebody’s bicycle. Had soldiers still been inside when the missile impacted, it would have been many casualties.”

Engel spoke with two service members who explained that Iran clearly had “lethal intent”:

There was some ubiquiti-blonde on Fox News that night pushing the same story.

I looked into it then. Iran fired 15 missiles at our bases in Iraq, using their Fateh-110 and Qiam-1 rockets, both of which can deliver at least a 500lb warhead. Accuracy is said to be within 6 meters.

Reports suggest two types of ballistic missiles were used to hit US Military bases in Ain al-Asad in western Iraq and also around Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The majority of those used are believed to be the Fateh-110, which can travel 180 miles or 300km and have a payload of around 500lb. [ some sources say up to 650kg, nearly 3 times as much warhead ]

But reports also suggest the Qiam-1 was also used, a short-range ballistic missile produced by Iran which can travel 500 miles and carry 750lb warheads.

Digital people wondered at the time if some kind of deal had been struck, with the Iranians missing their targets on purpose to make some kind of statement. Because, come on, how could they miss? Unless we had some kind of jamming equipment? But it turns out that nothing so sophisticated was needed: our side had some human intel from someone over there, and our troops had a couple hours advance warning that an attack was going to happen. So they got the heck out of Dodge and into some bunkers somewhere. And when the missiles fell, they didn’t miss.  The bases were heavily damaged.

Of course, that hum-int could have been deliberate, a “leak” allowing them to take revenge in a way that would probably not generate a counter response. And while that’s possible, such a theory ascribes a Trump-like level of gamesmanship to the mullahs, who are about as subtle as a pallet full of bricks. They don’t deserve credit for that level of machination.

So we’re left with a pro-terrorist bias in our own media, and a lack of journalistic effort. Typical.

links to more info about the two kinds of missiles:

http://defensetiger.blogspot.com/2013/07/qiam-1-new-ballistic-missile-of-iran.html
https://missilethreat.csis.org/missile/qiam-1/

https://missiledefenseadvocacy.org/missile-threat-and-proliferation/todays-missile-threat/iran/fateh-110/
https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/iran/mushak.htm
https://tsarizm.com/analysis/2018/09/11/showcasing-the-fateh-110s-abilities-irgcs-attack-on-kurdish-groups-in-koya/


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/15/2020 at 11:51 AM   
Filed Under: • Media-BiasTerrorists •  
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Crivens, Caulk Curing Calamity

Damn, the wonderful GE 100% silicone 7 year mold free 30 minute water-ready caulk I put around the bottom rim of the toilet has not cured a bit in several days. WTH?? When in trouble or in doubt, run in circles scream and shout. And then look stuff up online.

Turns out that caulk has an expiration date. Who knew, and given that the stuff is “100% silicon”, and that silicon is an actual element, like iron or copper, wouldn’t such an expiration date be pretty meaningless like so many of them are? But NO.

Silicon caulk past or near it’s expiration date will stay soft in the tube, but will often not cure at all when applied. Apparently there is some other ingredient in the stuff that breaks down over time, even though the caulk still “smells fresh” (like vinegar) when used.

I looked at my tube and saw that it was marked “use by 04/2017”. Crivens. Guess I have to dig most of it out with a plastic scraper and go buy some fresh. I think I’ll get one of those little toothpaste tube sizes, as I only used about a quarter of a standard tube on this project.

Crap. Once bitten, twice shy, and I’ll never buy or use out of code caulk again. It’s going to SUCK trying to get the bad caulk up. That shizz is like greasy glue and it gets on everything.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/15/2020 at 09:55 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Tuesday - January 14, 2020

Double Standards Of Justice: Deep State Still In Power

Probably no jail time for what is arguably sedition.

Caught With The Goods, “Resistance” Treasury Employee Pleads Guilty

somehow she cut a deal, and won’t even go to jail

A former top Treasury Department official pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy for leaking confidential banking reports associated with members of the Trump campaign, following her dramatic arrest in October 2018 as she toted a flash drive full of sensitive documents.

Natalie Edwards, 41, entered the plea in Manhattan federal court, where U.S. District Judge Gregory H. Woods set sentencing for June 9. Although the conspiracy charge carried a potential penalty of up to five years in prison, Edwards signed a plea deal with prosecutors that recommended a potential prison sentence of zero to six months.

Edwards was a senior adviser at Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, also known as FinCEN. Prosecutors said her crime began in October 2017 and continued for a year, with Edwards sending a BuzzFeed News reporter numerous Suspicious Activity Reports (“SARs”). Banks must file SARs with the Treasury Department when they spot transactions raising questions about possible financial misconduct such as money laundering, but federal law strictly limited their disclosure.

The SARs related to wire transfers made by Paul Manafort and other figures in former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, including campaign official Richard Gates, Maria Butina and the Russian Embassy.

As law enforcement swooped in, she was carrying a government-issued USB flash drive containing not only thousands of SARs, but also “highly sensitive material relating to Russia, Iran, and the terrorist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” prosecutors said.

Hey, it’s the little fish that fry. The big ones are always catch and release. Unless they get harpooned, which is rare.

So what’s her deal? She’s a little fish, relatively. The woman broke several laws, security violations, and was doing espionage against her own government. That’s sedition at best. So she walks away?

Oh right, I forgot. Laws are only applied to Republicans. Democrats always get a pass, because OrangeManBad.

She must have ratted out somebody big. Better not visit Arkansas honey.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/14/2020 at 09:48 AM   
Filed Under: • CrimePolitics •  
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The Inverse Is More Important

Tonight’s Dem Debate: Who Isn’t There Matters More Than Who Is

Just six Democrats will take the stage in Iowa on Tuesday night for the final primary debate before the 2020 Iowa caucuses.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and billionaire Tom Steyer have qualified for the debate at Drake University in Des Moines.

The debate will begin at 9 p.m. EST and be broadcast by CNN.

Most of the Democratic field did not qualify — including Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.

So we can soon probably add Yang, Bennet (who?), Bloomberg, Gabbard, Klobuchar, and Patrick to the ever growing list of roadkill,

the Dems That Didn’t:

•  Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-NY)
•  Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) (who?)
•  Gov. Jay Inslee (who?)
•  John Hickenlooper
•  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
•  NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio
•  Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH)
•  Robert Francis (Beto) O’ Rourke
•  Wayne Messam (who?)
•  Joe Sestak
•  Steve Bullock
•  Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
•  Julián Castro
•  Marianne Williamson
•  Cory Booker

So, 15 down, 5 on the way out, and half of the remaining 6 soon to go belly up (Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Steyr), leaving the real race to the commie, the sleepy creepy weirdo, and the grumpy old lying librarian. Gosh, what a race!!! Mooch and Hillary are going to have to step up to save us!!!!1!!

Wait, this article says Amy Klobuchar will be part of the debate, and it also says Amy Klobuchar didn’t make the cut to be at the debate. Well done. Fear not, other news sites say she will be up on the stage.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/14/2020 at 09:21 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat Leftists •  
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calendar   Monday - January 13, 2020

How Soon We Forget

Now Global Warming Made The Seas Dry Up???

Hey, remember a month or so back, when Venice was flooding? And how it was CLIMATE CHANGE that was causing it, and we’re all gonna Greta die??

Well ...


Wait, wait ... where the water be at??

Weeks after Venice, Italy, suffered some of its worst floods in more than 50 years and was mostly underwater, its famous canals have dried up and been left unnavigable because at low tide.

The boats and gondolas that draw millions to the city each year were beached at the bottom of the canals, which resembled trenches instead of waterways, as water levels have dipped, the BBC reported.

Did you get that? “its famous canals have dried up and been left unnavigable because at low tide.” That’s some top notch professional writing, right there. Two oopsies, one sentence. But aside from being a grammar Nazi for a second, what’s going on here?

The scene of the tourist mecca is a stark contrast to photos and videos of flooded buildings and homes that went viral in November as the city grappled with a surge in water levels.

At one point, 85 percent of the city was underwater, prompting a crisis as officials contemplated how to save historic sites, along with precious artwork and mosaics.

Photos and videos circulated on social media showing intense flooding turning alleyways into rivers and drenching some of the city’s major attractions, such as St. Marks Basilica, which was submerged in more than three feet of water.

Water levels peaked at over 6 feet, the second-highest record ever in Venice. Damage from the floods is estimated at more than $1 billion.

The city is built on a collection of 400 islands and is navigated via canals and more than 400 bridges, according to Sky News. Venice frequently floods when high winds push in water from the lagoon, but last year’s levels were exceptionally high.

Five of the city’s 10 worst floods have occurred within the past 20 years since record-keeping began in 1923. To compound the flooding, Venice is currently sinking at a rate of a few millimeters annually.

The Italian government has been developing barriers and floodgates to mitigate the damage since the 1980s.


Ah ha. There you go. The place floods all the time, whenever the tide is high and the wind is from the south.

The real problem is corruption, both metallic and ethical. They hired Moses to do the job, but he just isn’t doing the job. No seriously, I’m no kidding. Moses.

The 1966 flooding disaster that led to special laws for Venice launched decades of studies and planning and opened a multibillion-euro tap of funding that would go into housing refurbishment, art restoration and a two-part programme to save the lagoon. One part dealt with acqua alta up to 1.1 metres by bolstering the shock-absorbing effect of the salt marshes and sea fronts while building smaller barriers and localised adaptations in Venice and on other islands. The other part, for flooding over 1.1 metres, when the sirens sound, envisioned the massive dams dubbed Mose (pronounced Mosé), a strained acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico (Experimental Electromechanical Module).

The word “experimental” was included in the barriers’ name in a nod to the law’s requirement that the solution be “gradual, experimental and reversible”. This was because solutions to managing the lagoon have historically been found with an element of trial and error. In reality, however, the massive, bright yellow, semi-submerged barriers under construction since 2003 are built on a foundation of millions of tonnes of concrete fixed with enormous piles driven into the sea floor, with no room for changing of minds. Mose also refers to the biblical Moses who held back the tides in Egypt, allowing the Jews to escape the pharaoh – which sets expectations rather high. So, the naming has not been a great boon, and already the flood gates have far surpassed their estimated cost, with more than €5.4bn spent.

Initially expected to be finished by 2011, decades after being conceived, plans were set back even further after a corruption scandal that broke in 2014 – one of the largest in Italian history – and are now only stuttering forward. The dams are still unusable, but now projected to be finished by the end of 2021. When the dams are ready, and a way to fund their €100m annual maintenance bill is found, they will then face their real test: whether they are up to the job – and serious doubts have been raised.
...
Faced with subsidence under Venice and the threat of bigger tides, the authorities planned gigantic dams to be constructed at the three openings where the lagoon meets the sea. In the decades since, another force has picked up that is much more threatening: sea-level rise. The Venice area is among the low-lying coasts of the world that, like the Netherlands, have been saved from the sea by human effort, via the use of dykes and pumping out water, and much of it is very sensitive to sea-level changes.

~~~~

ROME–In 1984, long before global warming and rising sea levels were common notions, Venice already was sinking. The future was so dire for the lagoon city that the local council voted to spend whatever it would take to study and then build a high-tech floodgate system to combat the rising Adriatic Sea.

It took nearly 20 years and a starting budget of $1.8 billion to come up with the so-called “Moses” plan. The project is an acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico or Experimental Electromechanical Module, and plays on the name of the biblical figure who parted the Red Sea.

Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s then prime minister, inaugurated the project in 2003 with the promise it would be completed by 2011, which was pushed back to 2014, which was pushed back to 2016, and, at last check, to 2021. Had the project been completed in time, Moses’ 78 massive mechanical gates might have limited this week’s devastating floods, which inundated 85 percent of the city with a tidal surge that topped six feet, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage and putting ancient treasures at risk. Moses likely would not have completely kept out the surge, experts say, but it would have certainly done more than the alternative, which was to do nothing but tally the damage and wait for the next high tide.

Enter Moses, stage right

image

Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve Venice’s perennial flooding looks like a giant plaything: an oversized hinged yellow Lego.

Central to the plan to protect the city, some or all of the 78 barriers will one day be raised when the sea rises more than 110 centimeters (43 inches), to prevent damaging high tides from pushing into the lagoon city, a world heritage site built picturesquely—but somewhat precariously—upon more than 120 islands. Concerns that high tides are becoming more frequent because of climate change have increased the urgency.

While the concept is simple, its realization has been anything but.

The system of movable underwater barriers, dubbed Moses, has been beset by corruption, cost overruns and delays. Projected at 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) and meant to be completed by 2011, the project has so far cost 5.5 billion euros and is running a decade behind schedule.

It took six years to test each of the four movable sea walls covering the three openings to the lagoon, partly because work was slowed by a 2014 corruption scandal that implicated the three main contractors and sent 35 people to jail.

Work is continuing largely with the original subcontractors now contracting directly with the consortium, which itself has been placed under government control as a result of the scandal.

image  image

But now an experimental new defence system - which has been mooted as the city’s savior for almost a decade - is nearing completion.

If successful, the Experimental Electromechanical Module (Mose) will protect the city of canals from the severe high tides that have plagued it for so long.

Across three inlets that connect the Adriatic sea with the Venetian Lagoon, gates have been constructed on the sea floor.  Housed within these gates are dozens of hollow ‘blocks’ that sit submerged and filled with water.

When tides higher than a metre are forecast, authorities based in a nearby control room activate the defence system.

Within the space of 30 minutes, the water inside the blocks is drained and replaced with compressed air, ‘floating’ them above the water’s surface.  However, one end of the block remains attached to the sea floor by a giant hinge.

Because they are constructed in rows, once fully elevated they form a barrier which isolates the lagoon from the sea.

But the people won’t stop worshiping that damn golden calf ...

In the 16 years since the Moses plan was put in place, the budget to finish the project has exploded to more than $7 billion and continues to bleed money at a dizzying rate. Some of the money has gone to bad management or corrupt contractors who have swindled the builders. In July, workers discovered that the 156 hinges—each weighing 36 tons—on the underwater barriers that were supposed to last a century are nearly rusted shut after just a decade under water. The job was awarded to a company called Gruppo Mantovani, which won the $275 million contract without there being a formal bid. La Stampa newspaper reports that the company used sub-par steel and is being investigated. Replacing the hinges will take a further 10 years and cost another $34 million, according to the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, which is in charge of the project.

More troubling still is that a lot of the money meant to finish the project has been siphoned away by rampant corruption. Several special funds fed by art lovers and patrons of the city that were meant to defray costs have disappeared into thin air. In 2014 after an investigation, Venice’s mayor Giorgio Orsoni resigned and 35 people tied to the project were arrested for bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering. The investigation traced some $27 million that had disappeared from the Moses coffers to kickbacks from contractors and foreign bank accounts allegedly used to line the pockets of about 100 people.

I dunno, maybe they should have made these steel boxes twice as thick and twice as long, and mounted them vertically in even deeper concrete bases. That way they’d rise straight up when inflated, forming a nearly solid wall. It would turn Venice into a lake for a short time, so maybe massive pumps would be needed as well, to put the river flow out into the ocean.

Maybe the better solution, like what ought to happen to New Orleans, would be to walk away and let Venice sink back into the swamp. The people who moved there 1000 years ago only did so to get away from attacking enemies. It was not a stronghold. It was a last desperate refuge. And after generations, Venice built a fortune on trade. But two things put paid to Venice: the Islamic invasion that never ended, and some people learning how to build a ship sturdy enough to sail around Africa. Once that happened, around 1500, Venice was over, inside a decade.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/13/2020 at 06:08 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherGovernmentCorruption and GreedScience-Technology •  
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Cory Who?

Cory Booker has withdrawn from the Dem’s shortbus full of wannabes.

https://twitter.com/CoryBooker/status/1216751780345864193/video/1

This follows Marianne Williamson’s leaving the old campaign trail on Friday.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/marianne-williamson-drops-out-of-2020-race

I guess that cuts it down to ... what, about a dozen? 16? Still far too many of them, and not one of them’s worth a spoonful of snail slime.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/13/2020 at 01:02 PM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat Leftists •  
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Old Guns, Again

Sunday’s Time Waster

In which an odd corner of an old illustration causes Drew to sieve the internet looking for information that doesn’t exist, coming up with loads of interesting links and eating up half the afternoon.

Somewhere online I ran across a picture of a medieval illustration of the attack on Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. This was on April 12, 1204.

This painting was done, probably by a bunch of monks, somewhere in the 15th Century, around the 1450s; a couple hundred years later. This was long before Byzantium fell to the muslim horde and became Istanbul. The attackers were western European Christians, the defenders were eastern European Christians. Eastern Orthodox, with a lot of Greeks. This is the big “act of betrayal” from that messed up Crusade where the Venetians sacked cities to recoup their investments, after having turned their entire economy upside down for more than a year to equip and transport the vast army of soldiers and horses promised by the pope that never materialized. They were hundreds of thousands of marks in the hole, equivalent to tens of millions of dollars in today’s terms.

Venice was a trading nation, with almost no land or resources, but was really good at buying and selling. Situated on a river delta / tidal swamp up at the top of the Adriatic on the east side of Italy, they were the pivot point between Europe and the far East. Nominally Catholic Christians, but they put religion on the back burner and got down to business, unlike a large chunk of the world in those days, who put piety at the very top of their life list. So there were tensions with Rome, all sorts of politics and intrigues, etc. But Venice became rich, while the rest of Europe plodded along with feudalism and subsistence agriculture.

Anyway, looking closely at the illustration, I saw this:

image

That’s a gun, baby. A fire stick. A “hand gonne”, “culverin”, or “hand bombard”. *

And therein lies the problem. The standard article of faith is that Marco Polo brought back several things from China: pasta, paper, gunpowder, VD, and the plague. Problem is, old Marco wasn’t born until 50 years after this attack happened. So where did the gun come from?

“Respected authorities” put the beginning of firearms in Europe around the 1320s. But what is their definition of Europe? I’m sure Hungary counts themselves part of it, but perhaps we’ve got some “just the north” kind of centrism here.

The Chinese had bombs, rockets, fireworks, and possibly cannons and guns for several centuries before this. Marco Polo was not the first westerner in China. There is strong evidence that the Mongol horde - a pre-islamic invasion, at first - used some kind of guns when they attacked Hungary at the Battle of Mohi in 1241. But China didn’t attack Hungary, or Constantinople. The Mongols did. KHAN!!!. Um, the same Mongols who were just beginning to take over China at this time. Good old “Jenghis” Khan ( and his happy buddy Kubla? Turns out that Xanadu was real ). But good technology spreads quickly, and the Silk Road ( that both Venice and Constantinople lie alongside ) was a knowledge corridor as well as a caravan route. So it wasn’t impossible.

On the other hand, a lot of these old medieval paintings aren’t precisely factually accurate. The whole style back then was to make pictures of ancient events and fill them with people dressed in the current fashions of Europe. You know, David and Goliath wearing doublets and hose, with pointy cloth shoes. And Middle Ages armor. Um, riiight. So maybe the gonne got in there by accident, put in by a bored monk tired of drawing swords and horses.  On the third hand, the other weapons in the picture are accurate to the period, and the period was a slow one. It’s not like they reinvented the wheel every 18 months like we do today. R&D was nearly at a standstill. Heck, these guys wouldn’t even figure out the horse collar for another couple hundred years (another Chinese import? They’d had them for 800 years at that point).

The thing is, the internet being so broad and deep, that I could not find a single mention of this oddity in this rather common illustration. Not even a few words supporting it or decrying it. Nada. I can’t be the first person to have noticed this in 575 years, can I?

* : Interesting aside: by 1410 the French had a “murderer”, a small pintle mounted swivel cannon with a locking breech and cartridge ammunition. While pretty rough in form, such a gun loaded with lead or iron shot could wreak mayhem, and would have a pretty fast rate of fire - at least 10 rounds a minute - if several of the cast iron bottle shaped cartridges were available. Seriously, there isn’t much new in firearms design that hasn’t been around for centuries longer than most people know.

This wrought iron thing was also known as a Pierrier à boîte, a thrower of stones. Perrier is the English version of the word. While not the tightest design, this kind of breech loading anti-personnel swivel gun quickly caught on all around the world, and was used for centuries ... as late as the Moro uprising in the Philippines in 1904.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/13/2020 at 10:52 AM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun ControlHistoryMiscellaneous •  
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