Sarah Palin's enemies are automatically added to the Endangered Species List.

calendar   Saturday - June 26, 2010

Flirting With Disaster

Unclear If Tropical Storm Alex Will Hit Oiled Gulf


MIAMI—Tropical storm Alex formed in the Western Caribbean Saturday, and forecasters said it was unclear if it would hit the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said early Saturday that the storm has maximum sustained winds of about 40 mph. Most storm prediction models show Alex traveling over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico over the weekend, but they no longer have it going across the oil spill once it reaches the Gulf, hurricane forecaster Jack Bevens said.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the coast of Belize and the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, which separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s too early to tell if the storm will hit the northeastern part of the Gulf, where the spill has spread over the past 10 weeks, Bevens said. While the current forecast track has the storm shifting away from the spill, Bevens noted that could change.

Am I the only person who sometimes gets the idea that the Chicken Little Weather Wienies™ are rooting for this to happen? I swear, to be a meteorologist you have to love weather, but you also have to have a darker side. They THRIVE on predictions of Doom & Gloom. They WANT this event to happen. It makes me wonder what their political and psychological makeup is. I think they may all be left wing hippie children who revel being the heralds of Gaia’s Revenge. And if that’s the case, the only question is how many seconds it will take for them to declare that such an event, a hurricane disrupting the oil spill efforts and spreading the mess even further, is Bush’s fault because of Global Warming. I’ll put my dollar in the pool and go with 53.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/26/2010 at 10:14 AM   
Filed Under: • Climate-Weather •  
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calendar   Friday - June 25, 2010

.45-60 Musing: Throat Length, Pressure Curves, and Powder Selection

This is the same issue I was writing about last week, but looked at from a different perspective. Last week I was wondering how the throat length would change the peak pressure curve, and by how much, and musing to my self on what to do about it. I sent the drawings I had made off to the technical guys at one of the gun powder companies, and his reply was that the longer length cartridge would have lower pressure and velocity because of more internal volume. That I understood.

The other question that he didn’t answer was whether “longer length” was limited to actual physical length, or “effective” length ... and that’s what I really wanted to know when I asked that question about throat lengths. But I think the real reason he couldn’t answer my question was because I asked it wrong. This is what I asked:


Right now, I’m thinking that they might mean the same. But I should have asked the question this way:

longer effective length: given slower powder charge goes from maximum safe pressure to boring low performance popgun load?

Experience shows me that this is true, but I was looking to see if the shift could be calculated based on a powder’s burn rate or it’s amount of contained energy. In other words, I wanted to know the how much part as well. Because if the how much is quite a bit, then that means that the load that I thought might be optimal will be reduced considerably (see above graphic), and the load that I thought was too hot then becomes more optimal:

longer effective length: given faster powder charge goes from excessive pressure to reasonable pressure safe load?

I have hidden the actual powder charges in these calculations, because I don’t fully understand what’s going on, and I don’t want to put unsafe data out on the internet. The calculations my bit of software came up with may be off by a mile, and the difference in OAL may be seriously overstated ... so it would not be responsible to say “X grains of IMR4198” because that could be a lethal mix. All I can say is that the general theory is correct, my idea about throats may be correct and part of that general theory, and if my ideas are right, then my approach - use a faster powder, as shown in picture #2 - may be the right one. Only an actual pressure testing rig can find the truth, firing the same loads in the same barrel both before and after a throat is cut for the chamber. But I may be able to deduce some of the truth by building loads that match the calculated “short” maximum pressure, and seeing which one is closer to reality when tested. I also know a gunsmith who is an expert on throats, so I can ask him. Hmmm.


the truth is out there, somewhere


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/25/2010 at 11:13 AM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
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Forming a Plan

I have to take the car down to the shop today and get some new tires put on. And this time I hope they can fix the A/C. That will probably take them all day. My neck is kind of stiff today, so I think I’ll walk a half mile from there over to the chiropractor and get an adjustment. Then the long walk home, and hopefully later on today, the long walk back. I’d better wear some solid footwear. At least it’s a bit cooler and dryer today.

And this makes me realize it’s high time I started a diet and exercise plan. About the only exercise I get is bowling, and that really doesn’t count for much. I’ve got to drop a whole bunch of pounds. Again. I lost it all 5 or 6 years ago, doing the Atkins diet while working my ass to the bone 10 hours a day for 3 months rebuilding my mother in law’s kitchen from the studs in. That was the ultimate project from hell for me, but in the end she got a fantastic new kitchen for only $6000 worth of materials and appliances. And I lost ... nearly a quarter of my body weight. But even with the window business, which is really not much more than occasional work, and really not hard labor at that, I’ve gained it all back. And a few more to boot.

So it’s time. And I’m thinking that not carrying around those extra pounds won’t bother my back either.

Oh God, I don’t want to do this. But I have to. Time to get motivated, take an intelligent approach, start it and stick to it.


Ok, that wasn’t too bad. It’s only 3 miles. So I had a nice walk and saw all the pretty little old houses along Main Street. Most of Clinton was built about 150 years ago, and many of the original homes are still here, and are kept in pretty good shape. They have all that nice scroll work gingerbread, and those softened but unusual paint colors that were used in those days. Pretty. Driving through town, zip zip, you don’t really see any of that. Walking across the bridge over the little river that runs through town I saw a raccoon or an otter or some critter about that size and shape splashing about, probably trying to catch a fish. Not a dog. Nature! But it’s still pretty warm out, so I’m rather damp. Time for another shower and then some lunch.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/25/2010 at 08:31 AM   
Filed Under: • Miscellaneous •  
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calendar   Thursday - June 24, 2010

When Animals Commit B&E

NJ Bear does home invasion

A Hewitt family that has become all too familiar with bear sightings outside their home in the Lakeside community that overlooks Greenwood Lake said they had an unexpected visitor inside their home early Wednesday morning.

Kristine Flynn told the West Milford Police department that she heard loud noises in their mud room after arriving home at around midnight. Kristine and her husband, Patrick, came upon a bear that had entered their home after tearing through the door and breaking five windows, shattering the glass beyond repair. Amid the chaos, their screams scared the bear out of the house.

“He growled at my husband,” said Flynn. “I would not be surprised if the bear was injured by the glass.”

“We have two children, and there are a lot of children in our neighborhood. When a bear crosses the line—such as invading homes—we react in fear for their safety.”

According to the NJDEP website, since the 1980s the Garden State’s black bear population has been increasing and expanding its range from the forested areas of northwestern New Jersey. Within the most densely populated state in the nation, black bears are thriving and there are now confirmed bear sightings throughout all of New Jersey’s counties.

“One of the best ways to discourage nuisance bears is by storing garbage properly,” said Captain Michael Coscia of the West Milford Police department. “Bears have a strong sense of smell, but if you cut off their food source it may deter the animal.”

Right. Keep your yard clean and use those armored garbage cans. But what happens when the bear decides that the smell he likes best is the fried chicken you made for dinner? Locks or no locks, he comes right through the door. So get a metal door? What makes you think that the walls of your house - 1/8” vinyl siding, 1/2” think polyfoam, 2x4 pine walls, and a 1/2” of drywall with 2 coats of paint are going to be a barrier?

Do you think the state is going to pay to retrofit every house in the outer ‘burbs steel reinforced 6” thick concrete walls? Um, not going to happen!

I’d suggest getting a gun. A short one that shoots really big bullets, like a 12 gauge magnum slug gun, or Marlin’s 1895 Guide Gun. I never thought selecting a firearm for home defense in New Jersey would have to be based on large animal control, but there it is. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/24/2010 at 03:29 PM   
Filed Under: • Animals •  
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Futurama Reborn

Two new episodes of Futurama on Comedy Central tonight, starting at 10. This follows 2 hours of old episodes of the show starting at 8.

Futurama has been brought back from the dead almost 7 years after it was canceled, and being brought back from the dead is exactly what the first episode is about.

It may not be your cup of tea ... though I can’t see why not if you like The Simpsons ... but at least it’s something new on the tube tonight, instead of the endless summer repeats.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/24/2010 at 03:25 PM   
Filed Under: • Television •  
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Hey, Remember Him?

Steve Crowder sends out a new video. I’m glad he hasn’t completely forgotten us digital little people, now that he’s such a big media star. “Fox News Contributor” no less. Wowzer.

I saw him on Fox News the other week, getting interviewed by Megyn Kelly in the early afternoon. Dude, I am sooo jealous. In person with the Fox News babes? Sweeeet!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/24/2010 at 09:13 AM   
Filed Under: • Humor •  
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calendar   Wednesday - June 23, 2010

Who needs Cliff Notes when you’ve got Wikipedia?

Why Mexico Hates Us

A Clarissa Drew Explains It All essay, Wikipedia driven, with only moderate amounts of elitist racism thrown in for humorous intent.

so let’s see
10,000BC - 1492 various natives spend their time stealing territory from each other. Wars of conquest are called “pressure” by historians, causing this tribe or that one to move, die, or rise to short term prominence.

1500s Spanish Conquistadors steal Mexico from the natives, and make vast land claims for New Spain, from Oregon all the way down to the southern tip of Argentina, including all the islands in the sea. They quickly set about Getting Rich Quick by raping, torturing, and murdering most of the indigenous population and stealing their gold, while hiring their cousins for every job opening that comes along. And they do the same. And so on, and so on.

1600-1700s the rest of Europe does what they can to send pirates after the Spanish in the new world. Plunder and booty, arrggh! New Spain is just as corrupt as old Spain, and a very few wind up owning most of everything. Lots of poor mestizos in certain places, few to none in most others. Few to no remaining natives either; most of them died. More than a million square miles of territory, a few hundred thousand actual Spaniards. Maybe less. Most are drunk.

1803 France needs money. France always needs money. They have some little dude in charge and he has big ideas. So Napolean sells off the entire middle chunk of North America, more than 820,000 square miles, for $15 million. And then spends the money to buy guns, boots, and beans. France is pretty much out of the New World Business at this point.

1807 Napoleon takes over most of Europe. Including Spain. Which means he now owns New Spain too, so he puts his brother Joe on the throne of Spain. Which means he’s got to deal with New Spain too. And they just left this damn hemispere! Loyalist rich folks in Mexico don’t like having a frog on the throne, but this is the fact: From 1807-1811 the entire New Spain area belonged to France. With Napoleon’s victory, they now had almost as much land in the New World than they’d just sold. And this chunk you eventually could sail to, without those pesky English in the way.

France was busy in Europe, so while they weren’t looking, Mexicans declare independance 9/16/1810. From Spain. This starts a war, primarily because the Fwench were so damn insulted by the beaners declaring independence from the wrong country that they had to shoot somebody. Meanwhile, even the Spanish were upset at being ruled by somebody called King Joe, so they start the Penninsula War. This goes on forever, and eventually leads to more than 100,000 episodes of Sharp’s Rifles on BBC4. But at least King Joe ended the Spanish Inquisition, which nobody expected. Joe abdicates and moves to New Jersey. Man, talk about a fall from grace.

Finally ousting the French in 1814, and finding themselves broke, in 1816 Spain generously gives the US several pieces of New Spain that they have no use for: Florida, western Louisiana, and a chunk of Colorado that no one had actually ever been to.

1821 Spain is back in control of Spain, but is temporarily tired of shooting people, so gives up New Spain to Mexico. Mexico isn’t sure they actually want it. What they want is to be independant, but still have the king of Spain take care of them. In other words, they are teenage girls. Spain seizes the chance to say No way Jose! for the first time and Mexico finds their own king. This junta based Empire lasts a whole 2 years.

1823 Santa Anna takes over with some other generals, with the help of a sneaky back stabbing pact called The Plan of Casa Mata. He calls his junta a Republic, calls for Hope and Change, and promises to spread the wealth around. He lied.

1830s Santa Anna notices that the United States is growing rapidly. Canada is growing rapidly. Brazil is growing rapidly. Mexico is still trying to figure out how to steal hubcaps. So he gets this idea to ask a bunch of gringos to Come On Down, it’s time to play The Price Is Right!!! and tells them, hey, lots of land, and no taxes. For 10 years!! This creates Texas. It created Texas so well that after a couple years he realises that his request for immigration is more like an invasion, so he tries to close the borders. And we know how well that works! He also changes his mind and reneges on that “read my lips, no taxes” thing. Newly minted Texans are both unhappy and out of Lone Star, so they revolt. But their numbers are too small, so Santa Anna comes in and shoots them all.

1835 This is the good part. The revolt in Texas lasts 4 long months. Santa Anna gets whupped but good by the Texicans. So he gives up, and recognizes Texas as it’s own other country. He goes home to Mexico, where they fire him. This time. But the average Pablo in Mexico doesn’t buy the deal: Santa Anna is gone, so what he said doesn’t count anymore. Mexico makes no move to try and retake Texas, because they aren’t that stupid. But that little twist in their heads is born, and it never really goes away.

1840-something. Having lots of gold somehow, and a hot date with the Westward Ho!, the US tries to buy California and New Mexico. Both areas are pretty much empty of people. Well, people that matter anyway, like white folks. Mexico is still grumpy and sore from the ass-kicking they got in Texas, so they Just Say No.

1845 After nearly 10 years, Texas realizes that they are really Americans at heart. What the heck, twice now their Republic’s President has been this guy Sam from Virginia. So they jump on the red, white, and blue bandwagon, improving both countries with one annexation. Yee ha!

1848 This annexation stuff is great! Plus, the beaners still owe all our people for that immigration dealio they reneged on. So let’s talk about that land again, bandejo. Make a Deal or we shoot!

1848 We shoot. And accidentally take over most of Mexico. We quickly give it back after finding out what happens when you drink the water. Possibly actually guilty of the dreaded American Imperialism for the first and only time, we make that land deal finally, but to our advantage. And pay for it by wiping out all the debt that Santa Anna owed our people from before. Having been perfectly happy taking the land from the natives 350 years earlier by the magical act of just walking through it once and sticking a flag in here and there, the beaners are really sore that they have now lost a whole bunch of land that they never went to or did anything with. And got paid for it with their own money that they never really had either. Nothing for nothing, and we gave them back all of their real country when we didn’t really have to. Which is a pretty good deal in those days. But this is the beginning of a new Mexican swear word, “Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo”, which is right up there with “chinga su madre”.

1853 The US buys a little slice of dirt and rock from Mexico. Again, it’s empty territory. Utterly worthless land. Scorpions and coyotes and sand, oh my. This time we give them gold. Lots of it. $10 million. Don’t tell the Mexicans that most of that gold came from California, the land we got our hands on 5 years ago. And who did we deal with? Santa Anna! Back in power for the nth time, he wanted money to build up his army (sounds familiar?) to attack the US! So we sent this guy Gadsden down to talk to him with a whole trainfull of cash. We wanted that dingusy thingy hanging south off of California, because we realized even then that Baja would someday be a most excellent party spot. And toss in a couple of those northern states, just for fun. But Santa baby wasn’t selling, not even for $50 million. So we bought this little strip of land, just so we could make the borders pretty looking on the maps. And he bit. Mwaaahahahaha, we immediately put in a railroad and some hotels, just like when you play Monopoly, and promptly made millions. Residents of Baja, Sonora, Chihuahua and Coahulla are newly pissed off, because the borders have moved again and they’re still on the wrong side! Santa Anna goes back to Mexico City. Again. Where they fire him. Again.

1860-1865 Americans are too busy shooting each other to bother with Mexico. So France invades Mexico, with some help by the local rich folk who were Citizens Of The World, and highly nuanced, and were tired of the “little people” always having revolutions. The peasants ARE revolting, you know. So in 1865 they supported their fellow elitists, even if they were eurotrash. And France wins!

1867 France loses! In their ultimate wisdom they put one of those spare Hapsburg princes on the Mexi-throne. Some Maximilian dude. Who to his own surprise really liked Mexico. But he left his iron fist in Austria, so when the little people took over again, they applied the lessons they had learned from the Santa Anna revolving door. So instead of firing him, they fired AT him. No more empire!

1867-1910 Who knows? Who cares? Well, actually Mexico went through several governments and managed to do that while shooting very few people. No wait, I’m wrong. They had their own Saddam Hussein, a “democratic dictator” named Profiro Diaz. While he was good for modernizing the country and getting industry rolling, he did it by exploiting the daylights out of the peasants. And the cycle went around again, and again, finally resulting in this guy with a big hat and an even bigger mustache, Pancho Villa. This gave Willie Nelson, who was so young he was actually sober, a chance to write his first song.

1910 Mexico has a bit of a democratic revolution. With shooting. Lots of it. Pancho Villa helps support his candidate Francisco Madero by invading the United States. Huh? 100 years later and still nobody understands that one. The US sends down Blackjack Pershing (and that was his PC name, considering he had served with a certain colored cavalry unit prior to this. He learns that trucks are better than horses, Villa runs around and winds up a national hero, and Madero wins the revolution. He quickly turns out to be just as big a dick as Diaz, coining that classic Mexican expression “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. The peasants, having lots of revolutionary experience by now, and backed by that catchy and yet annoying Abba tune, revolt again. And again. And again. Finally this guy Carranza is in charge ... and then he gets the Zimmerman Telegram.

The what? See, Carranza was a Man With A Plan. What plan? Why, he was La Hombre de La Raza Numero Uno! While the US was busy looking to the east, watching the Great War devour Europe, a certain Kaiser Bill sent his menschen down South Of The Border to do a deal. They’d do a serious Ollie North and sneak a huge bunch of American guns into Mexico, so Carranza could invade the US and take back all that stolen land that was never really theirs to begin with. And I guess the Jerrys were going to get some oil out of the deal, plus such an invasion would absolutely keep the US out of the war. What the hell, these are the same guys that turned Russia communist just to close down the Eastern Front.

Now, maybe Carranza did have a bone to pick with the US. A few years earlier we’d sort of, um, taken over one of their major cities. In a day. Again. There had been this little communications breakdown, and a bunch of our sailors had wound up in jail. Not because they were drunk and fighting on shore leave! No, they’d gone ashore to pick up some fuel, as they were allowed to do. But the place they went to was right in the middle of a battle during one of those earlier revolutions. So the Mexican soldiers arrested them. Hey, they got let out a day later, apologies all around, but our President, Wilson, a DEMOCRAT, got his nose out of joint and eventually sent the navy down to take over Veracruz. With a 100 ships and several thousand Marines to do the dirty work. Which they did, even better and faster than the army had done 70 years before that. Such a good job that the Corps wound up naming a whole training camp after the leatherneck in charge. But after letting the Marines blow some stuff up, we gave it back. Again. But it was a total bitch slap to Mexico, having to learn AGAIN that we could take over any part of their country whenever we felt like it. So he was out for revenge, and for glory. Lucky for us the English were having a grand old time cracking the Germans code. Thanks England! And that gave away the whole secret scheme. So that had to be a bit of humiliation for Mexico. For Germany too: when the news got out about the dirty deed they had tried, we pretty much declared war on them. And that. Was that.

Between then and now lots of other stuff happened too, but the pattern was carved in stone by 1917. Mostly we got the better end of things, but they did nationalize (steal) all the oil wells we’d built down there in 1938. And FDR let them get away with it. So it hasn’t been totally one sided. These days they’re getting the better of us, but at the cost of their country totally going down the toilet. At least the northern states, what with the drug wars. Maybe they should have sold them to Gadsden after all.

So Mexico has learned two things over the centuries. Rich people suck and take advantage of the peasants. And the US can smack them around at will. Whenever. Always. And in their eyes, we’re all rich. And they’re all peasants.

And Mexico is messed up, and always has been. And we aren’t. Comparatively. They suck, and we don’t. And dealing with us reminds the Mexicans just how much their country sucks, and in turn, how much they suck because even after 25 attempts they still can’t even do Mexican Revolutions right, and the rich always stay in power and the poor get screwed over. And that hasn’t changed in 500 years.

There ya go. That’s why they hate us. It’s a shame, but we’ve never really been friends with Mexico. Not like we try to be with Canada. We pretty much just wave and say “hi” and go about our business. Except when Mexico is actively being our enemy. Then we let the dogs out. But not for long. So given that history, why are we letting millions of them into our country? Why are half the violent gang members in our country from their country? And the drug thing. Doesn’t any of this count as “actively”?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/23/2010 at 10:16 PM   
Filed Under: • Mexico •  
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Thar She Blows … oops, never mind

IWC Meeting Flops

Amid the payoof and nookie scandals, nearly 20% of member nations blocked from voting

Obama’s plans for open season on whales gets harpooned

Did Cameron save the day at the risk of massive EU fines?

Talks on a resumption of commercial whaling broke down today on the third day of an international whaling meeting that’s being held under a cloud of scandal and legal disputes.

Japan had hoped to cut a deal at this year’s International Whaling Commission summit in Morocco that would allow it to resume commercial whaling for the first time since the mid-1980s, in exchange for trimming its controversial “research” catch in Antarctica. But it reportedly refused to promise an eventual halt to such research whaling, scuttling the deal, according to the New York Times.

A quarter-century ban on commercial whaling, one of the world’s most successful preservation agreements, could crumble if conservationists cannot persuade Japan to cut back on the tradition it champions. Here, a Japanese ship hauls a whale up its slipway in the Antarctic in 2009.

The breakdown in talks mean a continuation of the status quo—whereby Japan, Norway and Iceland conduct their controversial, unregulated hunts despite a ban on commercial whaling and heated opposition from environmentalists.

In an interview with Radio Australia, Glenn Inwood, a spokesman for Japan’s delegation to the whaling meeting in Morocco, said Japan was willing to cut a deal whereby it would shrink its research catch in the Antarctic in return for being allowed to resume limited commercial whaling.

“Japan is very willing to compromise,” Inwood said. “It has made a number of significant concessions to the IWC to this process ... now it’s time for anti-whaling countries to bring something to the table instead of digging their heels in, but they’re not.”

In an interview at his Tokyo office earlier this year, Konomu Kubo of the Japan Whaling Association said, “Japan supports the principle of sustainable whaling, but we do not in the least support the idea of harvesting whales whose numbers are depleted.”

“We are groping for some sort of compromise,” said Kubo.

He said then that it might not be “realistic” to expect a lifting of the whaling ban this year since three-quarters of the IWC’s 88 members would need to support such a move. (Japan is believed to have the backing of just 38 members, according to the Times of London.)

Some scientists and researchers who strongly oppose the killing of whales are even arguing for “whale rights,” with one group issuing a declaration in May, according to Al-Jazeera.

Japanese officials and environmentalists traded blame Wednesday as nations failed to reach a deal to curb whale hunts by Japan, Norway and Iceland that kill hundreds of whales every year.

The 88 nations of the International Whaling Commission held two days of intense closed-door talks on a proposal to ease the 25-year-old ban on commercial whaling in exchange for smaller kills by the three countries that claim exemptions to the moratorium on hunting for profit.

About 1,500 animals are killed each year by Japan, Norway and Iceland. Japan, which kills the majority of whales, insists its hunt is for scientific research — but more whale meat and whale products end up in Japanese restaurants than in laboratories.
Acting IWC chairman Anthony Liverpool told an open meeting Wednesday that “fundamental positions remained very much apart.”

“After nearly three years of discussions, it appears our discussions are at an impasse,” said chief U.S. delegate Monica Medina.

Meanwhile, the scandal drama continues to unfold:

Seventeen mostly pro-whaling nations have had their voting rights suspended at the International Whaling Commission (IWC) meeting in Morocco, in what could be a blow to Japan’s hopes of resuming commercial whaling.
The countries include Palau, the Marshall Islands, Ghana and Gambia and are mostly drawn from the pro-whaling bloc which had been expected to back Japan’s move.

They have been suspended for reasons including failing to pay their annual fees.

Solomon Islands, meanwhile, failed to show up at the meeting.

Hmm ... now which countries do you think have been accused of taking bribes from Japan? Yup! It’s the most amazing coincidence ever!

Not that those accused are taking this lying down. No sir! From the bottom of the world in the Caribbean (Basseterre in St. Kitt’s, a poor but unspoiled island not overrun with tourists, it’s main bay the home of the largest pirate fleet ever to set sail. An island ironically shaped like a whale) comes a cry of innocence. From his luxury villa, no doubt

Marine Resources Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, caught up in a sting operation by a British newspaper, has said that he is a victim of a smear campaign.
The newspaper has alleged that six countries, including Grenada and St. Kitts-Nevis, have been accepting brides to support Japan’s pro-whaling position.
In response Dr Harris said: “What we have here is clearly an effort by those who are opposed to whaling, to use every means including subterfuge, to influence policy positions of small countries that are members of IWC.”
He said the bribe allegations were all part of an “evil and vicious” smear campaign.
The Sunday Times newspaper said it had carried out an undercover investigation that exposed Japan’s bribery.
According to the article, the governments of Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, the Republic of Guinea and Ivory Coast all entered negotiations to sell their votes in return for aid.
The Times said it had filmed government officials making several admissions about getting something in return for taking a pro-whaling stance.
It did not specify the particular aid that Grenada and St Kitts received.
Artherton Martin of Dominica said there was “incontrovertible evidence” to support the Sunday Times allegations of payments.
He claimed that Japan had paid the “extraordinarily high” annual membership dues of the IWC on behalf of Eastern Caribbean nations.

A “vile orchestration of lies, innuendos and insinuations” is how Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris describes allegations of his involvement in the International Whaling Commission (IWC) vote selling scandal.
Japan is also accused of providing million-dollar aid packages for these countries in exchange for their vote opposing a de facto moratorium on commercial whale hunting.
They were each offered £25m in aid over 10 years. Six countries indicated they were willing to consider our offer. They were St. Kitts and Nevis, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Grenada, Ivory Coast and Guinea.
Dr. Harris, who was appointed Minister of Marine Resources in February this year, contends that the discussions centered on the Federation’s whaling position, and at no time was there any negotiation for personal gain.

And Cameron? well, I don’t know if the moratorium ever actually came up for a vote at the conference. The news isn’t actually clear on that point, only that the measure to exchange the moratorium for limited hunting failed. And it failed even though the hunting plan would take about 1/3 as many whales as the old “scientific research” plan had. And there is media coverage (true or not, your call) that says those Whale Wars operations are the parties responsible for Japan’s harvesting of many less whales this last year than it wanted for that “research”. BUT, if the issue did actually come up for a vote, then David Cameron was going to vote for continuing the moratorium, even though the EU had decided it’s voting bloc was going for the limited hunting approach. Between the doubletalk, the doublespeak, and the double negations of the wordings, it’s hard to make out the truth.

David Cameron is ready for his first confrontation with the European Union if he attempts to stop the international ban on whaling being lifted.

The Coalition faces a multi-million-pound fine for voting to maintain the moratorium if, as expected, the rest of the EU refuses to oppose moves to legalise the slaughter of whales.
Most leading European nations, including Britain, support the moratorium. But under EU rules, unless all 25 Member States agree the organisation cannot vote, and Denmark is determined to block any EU bid to oppose the Japanese.

However, The Mail on Sunday has learned that if the EU does stand aside at the IWC showdown in Morocco, the British Government is considering defying the EU by voting in favour of maintaining the ban.

So, 88 members in the IWC. 17 sent to the corner for a time out. The 25 from the EU internally blocked from voting. That leaves only 46, and at least one country didn’t attend. So 45 at the most went to the conference. And 44 is just half the group. How many do they need for a quorum? If it’s 51%, then ever single attending nation would have had to vote in favor of this measure. So my guess is that it died on the floor and never came to a vote.

Obama recently came out in favor of the measure. When it comes right down to it, which is the better approach? Which way protects more whales? The “scientific research” moratorium with it’s higher quotas that have been kept low due to harassment, or the “leave us alone and we will sign a bit of paper saying we’ll only take fewer” hunting plan? And out on the cold and lonely ocean, with nobody watching, you’d have to take those hunters on faith. Because for the sushi and canned seafood market in Japan, whales are nearly worth their weight in gold. 30 tons at a time. No temptation for over-fishing there at all, no sir.

PS - to either just stir the pot, or to get their “dibs” in ahead of any change in international regulations, Japan sent it’s whaling fleet to see quite early this year, 10 days before this vote was scheduled for. With the plan to catch sperm whales, one of the more seriously endangered whales out there napping vertically in the sea.

Conservation groups have condemned Japan for starting its summer whaling hunt in the north-west Pacific less than 10 days before the annual whaling commission meets.

A Japanese whaling fleet consisting of three harpoon and two research ships left port yesterday to hunt 160 whales before returning in August.

Their quota is to kill 100 sei whales, 50 bryde’s whales and 10 sperm whales before returning in late August.
“To be doing it when governments are trying to reach a compromise over the future of whaling it is just adding insult to injury.

“It’s just serving to put pressure - undue pressure - on governments to capitulate to their demands.”


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/23/2010 at 03:06 PM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsInternational •  
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Top Swap

McChrystal Out, Petraeus Back In

“unfortunate remarks” cause of McChrystal’s dismissal.

President Obama announced Wednesday that he has accepted Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s resignation as the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan following a scathing article in which McChrystal and his aides were quoted criticizing the administration for its handling of the war.

In doing so, Obama nominated Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command and the former commanding general in Iraq, to replace him. The president stressed that while the decision was a difficult one, it does not represent a change in the course of the war.

“This is a change in personnel, but it is not a change in policy,” Obama said in the Rose Garden, Petraeus by his side and McChrystal nowhere to be seen.

The president praised McChrystal, saying he always showed “great courtesy” and carried out his orders “faithfully,” and that they were on the same page in terms of war strategy. He said the decision to accept the general’s resignation was not based on “personal insult,” but a desire to ensure there is no “diversion” to the mission. Obama said the conduct described in the article “does not meet the standard that should be set by a commanding general,” which led him to his decision. 

Wafflers McCain and Lieberman then took to the airwaves to provide a unified message from both left sides of the spineless middle (the left, and the further left). Yadda yadda yadda, “unfortunate remarks” yadda yadda “unity” blah blah frickin blah.

I don’t think these were unfortunate remarks. I don’t think McChrystal’s words were an accident. I think he said what he said with full knowledge of what would happen. And I think, in a couple years, he’s going to be a hero for saying it. Yes, I know, and everyone else who has ever been in uniform knows, that you don’t dis the Commander In Chief. But ...

I heard the other day that every Marine in Afghanistan has been issued a laminated little 3x5 ROE card that tells them they are not supposed to patrol areas where they expect to encounter any enemy forces. That’s even worse than the patrolling with unloaded weapons bit we heard about last month. The rules our leaders have laid down not only make it impossible for our troops to win, they make it impossible for them to even tie. The core idea is that same one recycled from Vietnam - winning hearts and minds. Winning hearts and minds may win the peace. Killing the enemy and making sure the locals are too afraid of the consequences of supporting those enemies actually wins the war. But it’s been obvious for more than 3 years now that our boys aren’t supposed to win that war.

Would you want to be in charge of that? I wouldn’t. Get out while you can and leave the end game to blacken someone else’s name? That may not be the bravest or most altruistic strategy, but it’s one I can understand. Lead your troops to win, and if you aren’t allowed to win, go home. And hey, bring the troops with you too.

So long General. I’m sure we’ll see you on the Tea Party talk circuit real soon.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/23/2010 at 02:20 PM   
Filed Under: • Military •  
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get the dash out

I have set up a simple redirect so that people who try to get to this blog by using will arrive at

Actually, I set this up from both ends: from the DNS server because I now own, and from the CPanel tool at my server’s hosting service. It seems to work.

I dunno, maybe it was a waste of $9 to register that other domain. But if it gets me some more traffic then I think it’s a good investment.

Ack, that’s enough messing about with source code and blog engines and internet domains and IP addresses for one day.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/23/2010 at 11:47 AM   
Filed Under: • Blog Stuff •  
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An Experiment

I am going to try to figure out which switches to flip to allow comments to be left by anyone.

All you have to do is log in as member “guest” with the password “password”.

Um, going through the code here, it turns out that member “guest” with password “password” has been active all this time. D’oh! Allan left the back door open and I never knew it!

Update: Well, he did, and then again, he really didn’t. Member “guest” is in the member category Anonymous, and that means they can’t leave comments. Even when I changed that setting, guest still couldn’t leave comments. This means there is another switch or bit of code somewhere else that is disabling that enabling, and I can’t be bothered to go hunt it down.

Instead I created member “guessed” with password “open sesame”. Guessed is in member category Guest, and can leave comments.

So I didn’t feel like devoting the time necessary to allow for universal open comments. But I gave visitors a way to log in without registration, and after that they can leave comments. I’d prefer that my regular members actually use their normal log IDs, but I’m sure everyone is going to have fun with this for a bit.

I did this so that a few lazy folks can be happy. Not that I expect folks that are too lazy to shoot me a registration email are energetic enough to come back here for a second visit and read this, but hey, I tried.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/23/2010 at 09:22 AM   
Filed Under: • Blog Stuff •  
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calendar   Monday - June 21, 2010

England, Stupid As Usual



You racist soccer fan you!

More than 1,200 workers have been banned from flying England flags on their own cars by managers - over fears they could deemed as racist.

Employees at the housing association were sent a group e-mail warning that decking out their personal vehicles with the St George’s flags could ‘discriminate’ against those who don’t support England during the World Cup.

Managers at Bolton At Home in Greater Manchester, which manages 18,200 council houses in Bolton, insist cars owned by their workforce must remain ‘neutral’ in order to treat all its ‘customers with respect and without discrimination’.

But today an employee at the organisation said: ‘It’s an absolute disgrace.

‘All we want to do is show our support for the England football team in the World Cup but we are in effect being told it is racist to start waving the England flag.

‘A ban would be bad enough on company cars but these are our own vehicles and we should be allowed to do what we like with them. This is Big Brother mentality gone bonkers.’

How about that blather? The soccer World Cup is one of the very few times any of the EUrowienies are allowed to show any form of nationalism or patriotism, so Big Brother UK bans the government workers from flying their own nation’s flag on their own private vehicles.

Wouldn’t want to offend effendi down in the basement building bombs. He’s of fan of the North Korean team (proving what a loser he truly is) and would be so upset at such a gross display of English Pride by English people in England.

Whitehall: spineless twits.

I do wish Peiper would get back. He’s so much better at these UK tales than I am. They’ve been having a flag kerfuffle over there for several years now and it doesn’t look like they’ve made any progress in the right direction at all.

Idiots. You don’t like the English flag in England? Leave. You can’t root for the national team in an international event? Leave. Everyone else is at the pub, having a few pints, watching the telly. And proudly flying the flag. Assimilate, or go the hell home.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/21/2010 at 06:32 PM   
Filed Under: • UK •  
Comments (9) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

too right



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/21/2010 at 06:30 PM   
Filed Under: • HumorTerrorists •  
Comments (2) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Sunday - June 20, 2010

Blog Lesson

Blog Rule #17: Always read the whole article before you link to it. ALWAYS.

Case in point? I’m sure R thought he was being funny. Those old-school books were about the dumbest things ever written. But nobody in this day and age is going to see the humor if they read past the silly picture and the first paragraph or ten. No, they’ll only see the crimes, the ones that don’t surface until near the end of each linked esay. And that it gets labeled at the blog end as “fun”.

Lots of tar in that old tarbrush.

Don’t let this happen to you.

See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/20/2010 at 04:33 PM   
Filed Under: • Blog Stuff •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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