Interesting Items 01/22

Howdy all.  A few Interesting Items for your information.  Enjoy –

In this issue:

  1. Crimes
  2. Shocked
  3. Firestarters
  4. Incoming!
  5. Ice
  6. NPS
  7. Gap

  1. Crimes. Thank God for John Lott, a researcher who actually dabbles in real, live, honest to God, data.  Better yet, unlike the climatistas, he allows everyone else to examine the data and in turn, his results.  He released a report entitled “Undocumented Immigrants, US Citizens, and Convicted Criminals in Arizona” Dec 1, 2017 (revised Jan17, 2018).  This 40-page report is a smart weapon that directly targets the fraudulent notion that DACA / Dreamer illegals are pure as the wind-driven snow, children, and surround themselves with lollipops, unicorns, and happy thoughts.  Lott examined all prisoners who entered the Arizona state prison system from Jan 1985 – June 2017.  In Arizona, illegals aged 15 – 35 make up just over 2% of the Arizona population.  In Arizona, they make up almost 8% of the prison population.  When you adjust the data for the fact that young people commit crimes at higher rates than the general population, these young illegals commit crime at twice the rate of young US citizens.  DACA people are 250% more likely of being convicted of crimes than those of similar age who are citizens.  Illegals who are too old for DACA status commit 46% more crimes than those of similar age who are citizens.  Overall, illegals of all ages commit more crimes than legal residents.  This includes 163% higher rates of first degree murder, 168% higher rates of second degree murder, and 190% higher rates of manslaughter.  Along with that, illegals are more likely to commit sexual offenses against minors, sexual assault, drunk driving, kidnapping and armed robbery.  Other than pumping up democrat voter rolls that are being squeezed by abortion in the black inner cities, what do these people add to this nation?  Illegal immigrant criminals tend to go to jail at an earlier age and in turn get released at a younger age despite generally committing more serious crimes.  Lott’s findings generally agree with DoJ data showing that 21% of all non-immigration federal crimes 2011 – 2016 were committed by non-citizens, yet these people are only 8.4% of the overall adult population.  Hat tip to PowerLine, 1/15, Daniel Horowitz at Conservative Review on the same date.


  1. Shocked. Alaska’s senior US Senator Lisa “44%” Murkowski undercut what should have been a 60 – 40% slam dunk reelection win in 2016 by not only distancing herself from the Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, but going so far as to demand he step down as the nominee October 2016 when NBC released the Billy Bush kill shot tape.  She and Trump crossed horns during multiple attempts to repeal O’BamaCare last year, as she used continuously changing excuses as rationale to oppose the repeal.  A week and a half ago, she found the closest microphone to announce her shock and dismay that Trump referred to third world $*#tholes as third world $*#tholes, something he never said.  The local fish wrapper gleefully reported her grandstanding.  Lisa unfortunately reverts to her kneejerk anti-Trump positions at the drop of a hat even though President Trump has been the best President for Alaska since Reagan.  Under Trump we have opened ANWR (he actually signed the Bill).  His Interior Department is proceeding with a long-delayed road through the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge connecting King Cove with a 10,000’ long concrete strip in Cold Bay.  He opened the entire Arctic Ocean off Alaska’s North Slope for oil and natural gas exploration.  And he removed most if not all restrictions on lease sales in NPR-A inflicted during the O’Bama regime.  By this time, Lisa ought to remember who her friends are.  Believing the ravings of a lying US Senator Dickie Durbin is not a good way to get that done.  Keep this up and the 44% she got in 2016 is going to be a ceiling rather than a floor.


  1. Firestarters. From Wally Hickel-land, where he famously observed that “You can’t just let nature run wild,” comes the story of arsonist birds in Oz.  Jo Nova ran a story last week about Australian raptors picking up burning sticks and dropping them on dry grass to start fires.  They then hunt the rodents fleeing from the newly started wildfires.  Aboriginals have described this behavior for years, but nobody quite believed them.  The birds go also steal burning twigs from campfires.  They do this in hunting packs and fly as far as half a mile with the burning sticks then dropping them on the far side of waterways or roads.  Three species of raptors are involved. These are two types of kites and brown falcons, collectively referred to as firehawks, though they are called other less friendly names.  The Aboriginals in some parts of northern Australia refer to the behavior in sacred rituals.  Once a patch is burned out and escaping wildlife grabbed and eaten, the pack of firehawks repeat the process at neighboring unburned areas to set them on fire.  The actions of the birds spread fires across areas the fires wouldn’t normally spread.  Total area inhabited by the birds is perhaps 2,400 x 1,000 km across northern Australia.  As expected, comments are hilarious.


  1. Incoming! Hawaii received a warning of an inbound ICBM on Jan 13, a Saturday.  It scared a lot of people to death before it was corrected some 37 minutes later.  Media reaction to this was to spend a lot of time interviewing scared people.  A Hawaiian congress critter blamed the entire thing on President Trump going beak to beak with Lil’ Kim.  Looks like the cause was a technician who chose the wrong entry from a drop-down menu and pushed the button.  He or she has since been reassigned.  From a software design standpoint, this strikes me as an accident waiting to happen, as things that are important usually have some sort of second (or third) “Do you really want to do this?” choice.  But any time you can screw something up by clicking the wrong menu item, it will always, always happen.  No good explanation why it took a full 37 minutes to get the All Clear signal to the state, especially when officials knew within minutes that there was no missile launch on HI.  The Governor knew it was a mistake in less than two minutes, local military (DoD) and law enforcement knew it was a false alarm in less than five minutes.  Yet nobody managed to notify the general public that was scrambling for cover (at least some of them).  Note that everyone at all levels of government in Hawaii are democrats and have been for a very long time.  Are we starting to see the inevitable decline into chaos that we always see in places that democrats have been in charge of for decades?  Not with the mistaken warnings so much as the extended time – longer than the flight time of an ICBM from the Norks to HI – to issue the all clear, closely followed by blaming Trump for the festivities.  Final bit of news, is that there was an emergency management system test underway when the warning was issued.


  1. Ice. One of the pleasant space exploration things I have found over the years is that the closer we look at Mars, the more we know about it, the wetter it gets.  Of course, the remaining water is all tied up in ice, but it turns out that there is a LOT of it.  Latest find came out of a series of images out of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that finds thick sheets of water ice in the exposed faces of eroding slopes.  The eight locations are steep slopes and are not in the polar regions that we know has ice.  The locations are the equivalent latitudes of Scotland or the southern tip of South America here on Earth.  The ice is layered with a few meters of ice mixed with blown dust / sand.  Total thickness is at least 80 meters to over 100 meters.  The NASA MRO investigators believe that this sort of ice underlies perhaps a third of the Martian surface.  The top of the ice at these sites is less than 10 meters from the surface, perhaps only a meter or two deep, which bodes well for onsite mining and use of the buried ice by future inhabitants providing they bring sufficient energy with them.


  1. NPS. Former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles (democrat) quit the National Park Service advisory board and convinced eight fellow members to walk out the door with him last week.  Rationale for quitting was because the Department of the Interior under President Trump and Secretary ZInke

“…showed no interest in learning about or continuing to use the forward-thinking agenda of science, the effect of climate change, protections of the ecosystems, education…”

Rationale quitting was tied in rescinding NPS regulations on resource stewardship, biodiversity loss, pollution, and climate change.  Reaction to this public display of pique among Alaskans that use the out of doors was various versions of “don’t let the door hit you on the back side on your way out.”  Knowles has long been despised by many Alaskans for withdrawing with prejudice from the Katie John lawsuit, turning over subsistence management to the feds.  Alaska has been in the center of a long fight with the NPS and their rangers, who manage federal lands increasingly as wilderness areas rather than places that people can go to recreate, hunt, fish, hike, and camp.  Typically, the NPS operates under a ban now, we’ll study later mindset.  Of course, the later studies are never funded, yield no results, but the banned activity, whatever it may be, is written into stone.  Recently banned activities include but are not limited to the use of hovercrafts on navigable waterways (this one has already been to the SCOTUS and it looks like it is going again) and rock climbing.  The panel advocated something called the NPS Director’s Order #100, which was a lengthy document for the management of national parks that defined an educational role and directed the agency follow the Precautionary Principle, essentially “when in doubt, keep people out.”  And the advisory board’s recommendations were the basis of the order.  Zinke was tossing the order and those that helped create it took a hike.  Too bad for them.


  1. Gap. Instapundit last week linked to a list of most dangerous civilian jobs in the US.  Note that the vast majority of those who take them are men.  Why?  Because we are expendable.  The top ten most dangerous jobs from 10 to 1 include
  • Grounds maintenance workers, 17.4 fatalities per 100,000 workers, 217 deaths
  • First line supervisors of construction and extraction workers, 18 fatalities per 100,000 workers, 134 death
  • Farmers, ranchers, agricultural managers, 23.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers, 260 deaths
  • Truck and sales drivers, 24.7 fatalities per 100,000 workers, 918 deaths
  • Iron and steel workers, 25.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers, 16 deaths
  • Trash and recycling collectors, 34.1 fatalities per 100,000 workers, 31 deaths
  • Roofers, 48.6 fatalities per 100,000 workers, 101 deaths
  • Aircraft pilots and engineers, 55.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers, 7 deaths
  • Fishers and related fishing workers, 86 fatalities per 100,000 workers, 24 deaths
  • Logging workers, 135.6 fatalities per 100,000 workers, 91 deaths

Want to know why there is a overall wage gap between men and women?  The numbers above go a long way to demonstrate why, as we are paid for our willingness to expose ourselves to danger.  Among equally experienced people doing the same job, there is no wage gap between men and women.

More later –

– AG


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