Interesting Items 10/09

Howdy all, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Vegas
  2. West Point
  3. Sputnik
  4. Pebble
  5. Catalonia
  6. Ice

  1. Vegas. A shooter from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel on the Las Vegas strip opened fire on a country music festival 400 yards away.  Over the course of the next ten minutes he killed 58 and wounded nearly 500 more.  The shooting took place at night.  The perp also squeezed off a few rounds at fuel storage tanks across the street.  Dents were found but no penetration.  It took local law enforcement nearly an hour and a half to enter the room.  By that time, the shooter killed himself.  As of this writing, we don’t have a lot of information about planning, the perp, his motives, or rationale.  It took democrats and their leadership in the media minutes to shift smartly from prayers for the deceased, injured, and their families to the sadly predictable assault on the Second Amendment.  This time, the target appears to be a device called a bump stock, something you can put on an AR-15 or similar weapon that will move the entire gun back and forth so your trigger finger doesn’t have to, simulating fully automatic fire.  If you want accurate fire, you don’t want a bump stock.  If you want to spray a wide area with bullets, it is a workable solution.  The bump stock was approved by the BATFE during the O’Bama years for public sale.  Unfortunately, I do expect some congressional action on this.  Should that happen, I also expect them to slip in any number of additional goodies into the legislation.  While I am ambivalent about the legality of bump stocks, I don’t mind trading a ban on them for universal concealed carry reciprocity nationwide.  Personally, I would also throw in the ability of any concealed carry permit holder to carry on and in any and all federal lands and buildings including airlines.  Probably won’t get the second.  The first is most certainly doable.  If we sign up with the democrats on this one, we must absolutely get something for doing so.  So why did he do the shooting?  Don’t have enough information yet, but there are some tantalizing bits of information.  For instance, the Las Vegas Sherriff wondered how he got radicalized early on.  Radicalized is usually used in concert with Islamists, and there is no connection so far.  The perp’s father was a bank robber who was also a psychopath.  Sometimes these diseases (and learned behaviors) run in a family.  The perp was also on Prozac.  He had a girlfriend who left the country and returned after the shooting.  He wired $100,000 to the Philippines some time before the shooting.  My best guess is that this is drug related, as prescription anti-depressants and similar drugs have profound side effects which show up on occasion when the wrong patient takes them.  Most of the young, male mass shooters in recent years that weren’t Muslim had some history of anti-depressants, mood-altering drugs, Ritalin, etc.  It is possible for the drugs to make you crazy, especially if you are teetering on the edge of sanity to begin with.  At the link is a hair-raising story on one such occurrence.


  1. West Point. The O’Bama infestation of the US Armed Forces is fundamentally toxic and will take a long time to root out.  Latest example is a loudmouth newly commissioned Army Second Lieutenant USMA West Point graduate Spenser Rapone who also is an avowed antifa, communist, and all around anti-American.  He was prior enlisted and reportedly spent a bit of time with a Ranger outfit.  For some reason, this gave him some level of immunity for his behavior and actions while a cadet.  Graduation photos of him with a Che Guevara t-shirt, cute sayings in his hat were posted last week as the fecal matter hit the rotating machinery.  As a result, he is now under investigation by the Army.  His mentor at USMA was Rasheed Hoesin, Professor of Middle East history who last hailed from Chicago.  Great.  A Chicago and Muslim connection.  The prof is now under investigation.  While at West Point, Hosein was Officer in Charge of the Muslim Cadet Association, Muslim Lay Chaplin, and Emeritus Faculty Advisor of the national history honor society of which Rapone was a member.  Hosein arrived at West Point in 2011.  Who failed here?  Who allowed the inmates to run the asylum?  If it were me, I would cashier the entire chain of command at West Point.  I would also look into doing the same thing with his current active duty chain of command along with that of his prior enlisted unit.  Clearly some or all of these people looked the other way, hoping he would be gone before anyone died.  Nobody learned the lesson of Nidal Hasan, the Palestinian Major who killed 13 and wounded 30 others at Fort Hood in 2009.  Am I calling for loyalty oaths?  Hardly.  I am calling for everyone who took the Oath of Office to held to account for their failure to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  This is really, really bad.  OTOH, it is an opportunity to clean out some O’Bama officers.


  1. Sputnik. 60 years ago, last week, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial earth orbiting satellite, Sputnik 1.  The satellite was heavy but relatively simple, carrying only a radio transmitter.  The booster was the Soviet A-Series, which has been upgraded over the decades and is still used for their manned launches.  As I understand the story, Sputnik was a test article and the rocketeers were surprised they were successful.  Once in orbit, they reported to Moscow which created the “Great victory for Soviet man” shtick they rode for the next couple of decades.  The launch, particularly the powerful rocket used to put 184 pounds of steel into orbit, scared US military and intelligence to death and led directly to the space race of the 1960s.  Soviet scientists were in contact with the satellite for just over three weeks.  It reentered three months later January 4, 1958.  They guys involved did a great job given their tool kit and expertise on electronics.  They didn’t build light and small at the time, opting instead for robust and powerful.  It worked and worked well.


  1. Pebble. The Pebble Partnership announced their initial attempt at a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine north of Lake Iliamna in SW Alaska.  The new design is smaller than the original proposal.  It will not use cyanide to leach gold from the tailings.  It will not build a haul road from Cook Inlet to the mine site, opting instead for a ferry across Lake Iliamna to a road connecting to the Inlet.  The tailings storage design was strengthened from its original design.  Understanding local politics much better than they did a decade ago, Pebble is proposing a local and regional revenue sharing plan.  This is overblown, as the original design would have dumped hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy over the lifespan of the mine.  They also promised to assist with low cost energy in the Iliamna region.  This is also overblown, as the mine will need significant electricity to power it.  Given the small number of local villages close to the mine, electricity to the villages will not be a large problem outside of building and maintaining transmission and distribution.  Finally, they sucked up to Bristol Bay commercial fishermen with promises to help stabilize salmon markets and to help get local fishermen back into fishing as a business.  Of course, our own Governor Bill Walker, up for reelection next year, spoke out in opposition to the plan without taking time to read it.  Pebble now has a CEO who used to work as Chief of Staff under Bruce Babbitt when he was Bill Clinton’s Secretary of the Interior.  And he won’t be intimidated by democrats here in Alaska.  The CEO noted that Walker is heading into a special legislative session asking for more revenues.  And what better way to get more revenue and take the pressure off to spend as much as the State of Alaska has been spending under this governor, than to put thousands upon thousands of Alaskans to work at high paying jobs in one of the poorest parts of the state?


  1. Catalonia. Spanish police stormed polling places in the Spanish province of Catalonia last weekend as they were holding a referendum on separating from Spain.  The logic seemed to be that if nobody votes, they can’t separate.  As with any action using clubs, armed police, riot gear, and gas, the world got to see lots of photos and videos of police brutality aimed against Spanish citizens.  Police stormed polling places, taking ballots and assaulting voters.  The Catalonians responded by playing keep away with the remaining ballots.  Enough were cast for at least some British media to report over 90% support for secession.  The EU is involved in this, pushing the Spanish government to prohibit secession.  As of this writing, nobody has declared independence yet.  It is something they can do at any time.


  1. Ice. September is the month when ice coverage on the Arctic Ocean is normally at its minimum.  Final measurements are usually followed with the typical breathless hysteria about ice free Arctic Ocean via manmade global warming due to CO2 emissions.  So why haven’t we heard the usual stories this year?  Easy.  Ice coverage in the Arctic is not decreasing any more.  In fact, over the last 11 years, the linear trend has been upward.  Since 2007, ice extents have not declined.  Instead, ice coverage is over half million square kilometers larger than they were 11 years ago.  Perhaps we are about to hear that manmade global warming due to CO2 emissions causes ice coverage on the Arctic Ocean.  They spent years telling us that it would make the ice disappear.  This is nearly miraculous.  Manmade global warming due to CO2 emissions?  What can’t it do?  Response by the usual suspects to this not unexpected news?  The ice is thin, as in “The Arctic is on thin ice.”  Of course, there is no way to measure thickness of newly formed Arctic ice precisely from space.  Over the last 10 days, the Laptev and East Siberian seas added over 180,000 km2.  And if it is doing this in September, bundle up, as it is going to be harsh winter.  Arctic ice coverage seems to be tied to the 60-year long Pacific Decadal Oscillation.  Coverage was low in the 1940s before building to a peak in 1977 (remember that number, as it is important).  Since that peak, there was a gentle decline thru 1994 when ice started being pushed out the Fram Strait by prevailing winds.  Since 1994, ice coverage has been relatively stable, though you wouldn’t know from the wailing and caterwauling of the greens.  2007 is 30 years after the previous peak, and if there is indeed a 60-year oscillation, we could reasonably expect coverage to decrease over the next three decades.  Problem with that expectation is the ongoing period of quiet sun and possible solar minimum over the next few decades.  The other bit of information is that average Arctic sea ice coverage shrinks to around 30% of its maximum winter coverage in March during the summer melting.  This year, it only shrank to 33%, retaining a full 10% more coverage than normal.  Yet another indication of impending cooling.  Final point:  Remember I mentioned the importance of the year 1977?  If 1977 was the last long-term coverage maximum, this means the first satellite measurements of Arctic ice coverage in 1979 took place only two years after that maximum.  And every single year since then, the glo-warmers have been screaming as the ice coverage is going away and We. Must. Do. Something. Right. Now. To. Stop. It.  It is a bit like taking your baseline yearly average temperature in early February and being shocked, simply shocked that the rest of the year is catastrophically warming.  It is not only what the data tells you, but where you select your starting and stopping points.

More later –

– AG


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