there’s a word for these people

Quaker for Palestine

stuff that’s getting harder to do

…The United States paid Russia 60 million dollars per American astronaut to get access to the Space Station. Russia pledged tit-for-tat measures in revenge for U.S. sanctions, by refusing to allow Americans access to our 150 billion-dollar International Space Station, of which the United States paid 84 percent of the cost. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin even threatened to cut off American access to the station, saying “I propose that the United States delivers its astronauts to the ISS with the help of a trampoline.

Sadly, today NASA cannot put men into space without Russian cooperation and hasn’t done so for years. The United States lacks the manned spaceflight capability to resupply and visit the ISS for the first time since 1961. Currently, two Americans … and one German … are stranded on the International Space Station with three Russians. Effectively, the Russian Federation is holding the astronauts hostage. [more]

Hammering and sickling America down into just another hellhole, one exceptional characteristic after another.

Roughly 45 years ago, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon. They came in peace for all mankind and they were Americans. Their “one small step” sent a powerful message to the Soviet Union that the United States was technologically unchallengeable and provided America ample “soft power” in the rest of the world. Today however, NASA’s troubled Constellation program, meant to replace the aging Space Shuttle fleet, was canceled after most of the $230 billion of dollars allocated for it was spent. NASA today doesn’t have the incentive to pursue its primary mission of exploration and scientific inquiry. It is much more concerned with “Muslim Outreach.”

More but not all (BTF): »

So how can we return the two astronauts to Earth without Russian help and continue mankind’s expansion into space?

As usual, the American private sector has shown that it can do what the American government cannot. SpaceX, the brainchild of PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, has answered with the Falcon 9/Dragon space launch system. The Dragon capsule recently made headlines as the first, unmanned, private craft to deliver cargo to the International Space Station. Each Falcon 9 launch costs around $54 million. If the space shuttle were around today, it would cost more than $1.6 billion per launch.

That’s a great example of the private sector’s amazing ability to out-compete government bureaucracy. One shuttle launch could pay for 29 SpaceX launches, and leave $34 million to spare. The Falcon 9/Dragon system has been proven to be far safer than the Russian Soyuz system and is expected to be operational for manned flight by mid-2015. Fortunately, the American spirit of exploration and innovation is alive and well in the private sector. If necessary, SpaceX could likely rescue the ISS astronauts, sending a powerful signal to the Putin regime that America will not tolerate blackmail.

Unfortunately, the government has been moving in the opposite direction. Under President Obama’s NASA budget, money is shifted from the successful parts of NASA, like its robotic exploration program, to areas that produce nothing tangible, such as its environmental sciences program and “outreach.” Obama’s budget manages to cut every part of NASA that actually works, including planetary science programs, technological development programs, and many important future Mars missions — without saving any money. As the deceased Neil Armstrong put it, NASA is basically doomed to yet another decade of doing nothing in space.

Other private-sector alternatives to a trampoline include this and this.

(What? Yeah, maybe we can thumb a ride with the Chinese or the UAE.)

Almost like it’s a Plan…

adds jaunty feather to tinfoil hat

Thing one:

[from email] Drilling along California’s vulnerable coastline threatens our public health, marine resources, and economy, especially our state’s critically important tourism, fishing and recreation industries. This week, I joined 34 members of the California Congressional delegation in writing to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging her to prohibit any new offshore oil and gas drilling leases along the California coast.
/s Babbz Boxer, Lady DiFi, Lois Capps

Thing two:

In a hell-bent campaign to rid itself of any form of dirty, messy “non-renewable” energy, New England has been closing down coal and oil plants for the last decade. In 2000, 18 percent of New England’s electricity came from coal and 22 percent from oil. Today it’s 3 percent coal and 1 percent oil. Meanwhile, natural gas — the fuel that everybody loves until you have to drill for it — has risen from 15 percent to a starkly vulnerable 52 percent, just behind California.

There’s only one problem. New England doesn’t have the pipelines to bring in the gas. Nor is anyone going to allowed to build it, either.

Oh, and from the first article:

In 1980, under the first administration of Governor Jerry Brown, California decided it wasn’t going to build any more power plants but would follow Amory Lovins’ “soft path,” opting instead for conservation and renewable energy. By 2000, with the new digital economy sucking up electricity, a drought in the Pacific Northwest cut hydropower output and the state found itself facing the Great California Electrical Shortage.

You know what happened next. For weeks the Golden State struggled to find enough electricity to power its traffic lights. Brownouts and blackouts cascaded across the state while businesses fired up smoke-belching diesel generators to keep the lights on. Governor Gray Davis finally got booted out of office but the state didn’t rescue itself until it threw up 12,000 megawatts of new natural gas plants.

At that point California officials decided that the whole thing had been engineered by Enron and other out-of-state merchant providers and the charges and lawsuits flew. … The state is now 60 percent dependent on natural gas for its electricity — twice the national average — and its electric bills are almost twice that of surrounding states. Industry is headed for the door.

hm… Borders do matter…

Reprise »

NOAA: 28,504 Low Max Records were set in last 365 days [maximum temperatures for the day was the lowest it has ever been]

13205 High Max records set in last 365 days

“The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system,” reads the final draft of the Margarita Declaration, presented at a conference including about 130 environmental groups.

“To combat climate change it is necessary to change the system,”

today’s SCORE!!!

$2 whole dollars.


Eventually it will go overlapping the top of the skylight as a “valance”…


Evidently, we need a cease-fire while they launch more rockets.

“[T]here’s too much money in politics. …

“There is something you can do right now today to make a difference, and that is to write a big, fat check. I kid you not,” [HRH Michelle Obama] said. “I’m going to be honest with you. That’s what we need you to do right now. We need you to write the biggest, fattest check that you can possibly write.” [more caution: w/ autostart vid]

I won’t believe a word these people say until they actually do, personally, what they want the rest of us to do.
The Democrat Party … the Schrödinger’s Cat of politics.

(What? Nah, I’ll skip the J•anus joke. Tooo … too Beavis & Butthead. Besides, I used that cultural ref vid a few days ago.)

First Seize The Language


I refuse to call the likes of, say, Paul Krugman or E.J. Dionne or Rachel Maddow or Alec Baldwin or Nancy Pelosi or Bernie Sanders or Barack Obama or Francois Hollande or Thomas Piketty or Pope Francis “liberal.” They are not liberal. They are authoritarian. They believe that social order – or, at least, the most useful social orders – must be designed and imposed by a political authority, by centralized force.

—Don Boudreaux

like this:

“I reference the conference of bishops statement in which they say baby Jesus was a refugee from violence. Let us not turn away these children and send them back into a burning building.

That’s the bishops, so we have to do this in a way that honors our values but also protects our border and does so in a way that the American people understand more clearly.”
— Pelosi (Dumbass-CA)


So I’m misunderstanding if I don’t get the “but” between “honors our values” and “protects our borders.”

Maybe if you want the American people to understand more clearly you oughta stop with the word salad.

Is Gibberish considered a foreign language? It’s certainly a burning building.


And There Ya Have It


“The structural causes of climate change are linked to the current capitalist hegemonic system,” reads the final draft of the Margarita Declaration, presented at a conference including about 130 environmental groups.

“To combat climate change it is necessary to change the system,”

Is it any indication of anything that the Margarita Declaration is written in eSpanish?

NOAA: 28,504 Low Max Records were set in last 365 days [maximum temperatures for the day was the lowest it has ever been]

13205 High Max records set in last 365 days

there’s a word for this

Police are investigating a strange case in a California community, where porcelain dolls are being left on the doorsteps of girls they hold an eerie resemblance to.

At least eight families have received the dolls in the Talega community of San Clemente, with all of the girls targeted around 10 years old…

…Though the situation may seem eerie, the police see no foul play.

“At this point we don’t have a specific crime,” …

and FINALLY!!!

“Israel is secure.”
— Harry Reid

…It grows ever-more frustrating, frightening and demoralizing to see people who claim to value pluralism, democracy, freedom, tolerance, and modern civilization make excuses for a terrorist regime lobbing rockets by the thousands onto innocent civilians with the express intent of killing them. We never hear about the thousands of rockets that fall in between ground conflicts designed to get Hamas’ rocket fire to go back to relative infrequency. It is not Israel that breaks every ceasefire. None of the media ever reminds us that Israel entirely withdrew from Gaza, forcibly removing longtime residents to give Palestinians exactly what they claim to need to establish a coexistent state, and that Hamas on their border is what they got for their trouble. I’m disturbed by the notion, often communicated explicitly, that the only way Israel’s actions can be just is if the Jews oblige their enemies by dying in greater numbers


UN ‘Human Rights’ Council votes 29-1 to investigate Israel’s “war crimes”…

…Last night’s resolution approved an international inquiry into Israel’s supposed “war crimes” in Gaza It did not mention Hamas. Not once…


Marcos and Crisly, Ana and Blanca, Fabiola and Maria Antonia.

The youths were among 20 from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who were set to appear in federal immigration court Tuesday for initial deportation hearings. But they weren’t there — 18 of the children whose cases were set to be heard didn’t show up Tuesday for court.

It was an absentee rate that federal Immigration Judge Michael Baird said was “highly unusual,” so high that he reset the hearings for Aug. 11 rather than possibly issuing a deportation order.

Baird said he was concerned that the children may not have received proper notice of the hearings from the government…

Kenya hear me now?

What’s Kenya’s favorite son have to say about …
I saaaaid …

[T]he State Department said that the Peace Corps “has been closely monitoring the security environment in Kenya … and has decided to officially suspend the program in Kenya.” …

The decision comes amid a tightening of security by the U.S. Embassy in Kenya, which has seen dozens of grenade and gunfire attacks the last two years. Earlier this year the U.S. increased the number of security personnel at the embassy and put armed Marines behind sandbag bunkers on the embassy roof. The State Department also reduced the number of U.S. personnel here by moving a regional USAID office out of the country.

The decision to suspend the Peace Corps program has been in the works for a while but was not announced publicly. U.S. warnings about the high risk of terror attacks in Kenya always ruffle the feathers of Kenyan leaders, and the State Department and Peace Corps statements underscored the long U.S.-Kenya relationship and the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. pours into Kenya every year.

But it was clear that given the grenade and gunfire assaults, as well as the massive attack on Westgate Mall last year that killed at least 67 people, the government felt that its Peace Corps volunteers — who live in far-flung villages with little security protection — were vulnerable. [more]


not a fundraiser fundraiser

…Democratic donors who were invited to the San Francisco event, at the Four Seasons Hotel on Market Street, said they had initially been asked to donate as much as $25,000 to sit down with Obama. One who balked at the price said organizers had offered a cut-rate deal of as little as $5,000…

…Organizers at the House Majority PAC said the event wasn’t really a fundraiser.

“There were no tickets or cost of admission,” the group said. “The president is appearing at the event only as a featured speaker and special guest, and is not asking for funds or donations.”…

Finish your assignment! »

state-worship cult leader whines about heretics


Mr. Obama added that “the Republican Party has been taken over by people who just don’t believe in government.” [more]

What’s next? Convert, pay the jizya, or die?
Cripes! These guys are worse than the ISIS/ISIL, since we’re already payin’ the friggin’ tax!

(What? Well, yeah, okay, at least the mandatory female genital mutilation will be covered by Obamacare.)

“It’s for Teh Chiiiildren”

Robots “Heeeelping” Kidz!!

This oughta turn out just swell.

The government has spent $2.15 million so far for the five-year project, which is being led by Yale University. The project, “Robots Helping Kids,” will ultimately “deploy” robots into homes and schools to teach English as a second language, and encourage kids to exercise. … “learn to read, appreciate physical fitness, overcome cognitive disabilities, and perform physical exercises,”

The robots wil suppoooort Teh Chiiiildren.

“Just like a good personal trainer, we want the robots to be able to guide the child toward a behavior that we desire,”

They’re showing little rubber chick and dinosaur looking “robots” — not human-shaped things. Like an advanced Teddy Ruxpin. Cute… Non-threatening… Not objectionable…

“The need for this technology is driven by critical societal problems that require sustained, personalized support that supplements the efforts of educators, parents, and clinicians,” the [National Science Foundation] grant said.

And what are these critical societal problems? They declined to state.

…we want them to learn new social or cognitive skills through their interactions with these robots

For Teh Chiiiildren — cuz parents other humans *spit* are too stuupid/lazy/redneck/un-PC to do the job prooooperly.

…robots that could be personal companions to children for up to a year. Scassellati said he wants to “build a healthy relationship of trust and respect between the child and the robot.”

Then, when relationships with actual, yanno, meat-people turn out to be too confusing and difficult — cuz, after all, people are weird, notional and inconsistent — they will be an open market for other “robots” to fullfil their social needs… and other things.

What could possibly go worng?
why do I increasingly feel like I’m in a Dr Who episode?

Yanno who really needs some “robots”?

These guyz:

Jihadists in Iraq have ordered that all women between the ages of 11 and 46 undergo female genital mutilation

“Just like a good personal trainer, we want the robots to be able to guide the child toward a behavior that we desire,”

And by “robots,” I mean drones.

IRS: not up to scratch

Stuff that makes one’s head crash:

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on Wednesday downplayed the idea that Lois Lerner’s hard drive may have been purposefully scratched in order to hide information from congressional investigators, and said he’s not concerned that this may have happened.

[R]ep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) pressed the issue Wednesday by implying that Lerner’s hard drive may have been purposefully scratched in order to help ensure House investigators could not find her emails. “Let me tell you why it concerns me,” Meadows said as he held up a laptop computer. “This is an HP laptop. To get to the hard drive, it is no easy task. You’ve got multiple screws that have to be taken to get to it. Then once you get to that, you actually have a hard drive inside that has seven more screws that have to be taken off to get to the hard drive in order for it to be scratched.

“Would that concern you if it were indeed scratched, that there may be some other motive?” Meadows asked.

“It concerns me, and I’m going to ask my staff to go and see how long it would actually take to get to that hard drive,” Meadows said.
“I assume there’s a lot of ways hard drives could scratch,” Koskinen offered.
“I assume that too,” Meadows deadpanned.

Y’mean like a head crash when you “drop” or “bump” a drive while the read/write head is skating a mere 0.01-gnat’s-ass above the disk’s surface?

[Note: modern laptops have a g-sensor to prevent this sort of thing, but I don't know the details here.]

[T]he committee has heard testimony from another IRS official who said that several other computers have suffered problems among officials being probed by the House. The official didn’t give a specific number, but said “less than 20” computers may have had problems. … [T]hat means that close to 25 percent of the 82 IRS officials that Congress is trying to investigate may have had computer problems. [T]hat failure rate is much higher than the 2 to 5 percent failure rate that industry experts would expect.

The probability of this being a random failure rate is left to the student.
[Hint: it's really low … I mean, really, really low.]

Regardless of how Lerner’s hard drive was damaged, the Ways & Means Committee said Tuesday that they were told Lerner’s emails may have been recoverable. [IT] workers at the IRS originally recommended that an effort be made to recover those emails. That goes against a statement the IRS made last week in court, which said the data was unrecoverable.

“It is unbelievable that we cannot get a simple, straight answer from the IRS about this hard drive …. The committee was told no data was recoverable and the physical drive was recycled and potentially shredded. To now learn that the hard drive was only scratched, yet the IRS refused to utilize outside experts to recover the data, raises more questions about potential criminal wrong doing at the IRS.”

The committee said a complicating factor is that there is evidence that Lerner’s hard drive was at one point considered “recovered.” [story]

A squirrel, you say? (BTF): »
Even squirrels can tell that this one stinks

We must not allowww a particle-accelerator gap*

Gee, I wish we had one’a them massive particle accelerator machines.*

Scientists at the Institute of High Energy Physics in Beijing, working with international collaborators, announced a plan to build a massive particle accelerator by 2028 — a 52-kilometer underground ring that would smash electrons and positrons together.

The Chinese project could offer new means of probing questions that are unavailable to the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research — known as CERN — an oval-shaped 26km underground tunnel where the famous Higgs boson was confirmed. By colliding these fundamental particles with the larger ring, it would allow the Higgs boson particle to be studied with greater precision than at Geneva’s much smaller CERN collider.

[T]he US planned a building something like this in 1993 – the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) or Desertron, as it was nicknamed, in Texas. Its planned ring circumference was 87.1 kilometres (54.1 mi) with an energy of 20 TeV per proton or 40 TeV collision energy. This would have made it eight times more powerful than the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, but Congress eventually canceled the project after it contested its utility and $2 billion had already been spent. [more, with a cool video of how CERN works, so you can build one at home]

Hmm, I wonder where the Chicoms got the plans?

(What? Nah, not really. I wish ‘em luck. I mean, it’s not like there would be any risk of technological drift for nefarious purposes or exploitation/entrapment/infiltration of scientists or high-tech companies. Heck, they might actually be forced to build it and spend gazillions in order to maintain the cover story.)
* Cultural ref

die duh

…The longer individuals were exposed to socialism, the more likely they were to cheat…

…the political regime of socialism has a lasting impact on citizens’ basic morality….

…In another aspect of the study, the researchers note that “we did not observe an overall difference between East and West Germans in pro-social behavior,” such as donating to hospitals, the capitalist-influenced demographic does, in fact, donate marginally more…

That was no jihadi …

… that was my wife.

BEIRUT: Known for kidnapping, public stonings, lashings and executions, the Iraq and Al Sham (ISIS) is now expanding into tourism, taking jihadists on honeymoon and civilians to visit other parts of its “caliphate”. Running twice-weekly tours from Syria’s Raqa to Iraq’s Anbar, ISIS’s buses fly the group’s black flag and play jihadist songs throughout the journey.

One of the first clients was Chechen jihadist Abu Abdel Rahman al-Shishani, aged 26, who took his new Syrian wife on honeymoon, according to activist Hadi Salameh. “Just after they got married, he took her to Anbar. These jihadists are very romantic,” Salameh joked.

Wait for it …

But the two weren’t able to sit together, because “women sit in the back, and men at the front.

No, no, it gets better.

“The price varies, depending on how far you go on the bus,” Salameh said.

Oh, maaan [wipes tear] that Salameh, he’s a new Henny Youngman, I tell ya.

(What? Nah, nuthin’ to do with Claire’s bus post, below.)
Cultural ref

there’s a word for this

Mr. Obama told supporters [at a Democratic fundraiser] that he doesn’t watch the news because, “Whatever they’re reporting about, usually I know.”…

Finish your assignment! »

I’ll be out front, waitin’ for The Bus

join me?

This is the kind of email I get…

To help save the economy, the Government will announce next month that the Immigration Department will start deporting seniors (instead of illegals) in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs. Older people are easier to catch and will not remember how to get back home. I started to cry when I thought of you. Then it dawned on me…oh, shoot…I’ll see you on the bus.

Finish your assignment! »