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They Know Better

The ABC version has maps: Turkey shot down a Russian aircraft. After warnings two Turkish F-16s shot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 for a claimed violation of Turkish airspace. While the crew of the Su-24 ejected, they were killed by local forces on the ground in Syria.

First you should know that Syria shot down a Turkish aircraft for a claimed violation of Syrian airspace year or so ago, and Turkey altered its rules of engagement to deal harshly with aircraft entering Turkish airspace from Syria.

Second you should know that Turkey and Russia have been on less than friendly terms since the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople in the middle of the 15th century. The most recent examples are the Crimean War and World War I.

The Soviets established a pattern of violating other peoples’ airspace while shooting down anyone who wanders into their claimed airspace. The Russians have continued that practice. Having chosen to support the Assad government, Russian personnel are considered enemies by all of the various opposition groups.

I will not go for a cheap laugh about Turkey and Thanksgiving, I’ll leave that for Steve Bates.

November 24, 2015   No Comments

The Only Thing Worth Your Time

This was on the CBC, a rant on curling by Stephen Colbert.

Curling is a winter sport that almost no one in the US plays, and it was imported from Scotland. Mr Cobert covers the basics in his wonderful way.

November 23, 2015   No Comments

Eleven Years

I have been writing this ‘on-line opinion magazine’ for a day more than 11 years. Yesterday was my blogiversary, but I was involved with ‘real life’ and couldn’t post.

Things haven’t changed much during that time. For example, we are still dealing with blow-back from Ronnie Raygun’s funding of ‘freedom fighters’ in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation and the Shrubbery’s invasion of Iraq.

Rather than admitting they were wrong, the media are still ignoring and/or attacking the people who told them this would happen, and giving airtime to the people who screwed up.

I don’t see any reason to believe that things will change in the near term.

November 22, 2015   12 Comments


It was afternoon and I was on my way to a chemistry class. I had stopped for a drink of water when the news came over the speakers in the classrooms.

For those who weren’t alive at the time: remember what you felt on September 11, 2001 for a taste of November 22, 1963. It was a massive change for the worldview of my generation and it marked the beginning of a period of disruption and decline in the civility of American society. Arthur had died and Camelot fell.

At his inauguration John Kennedy made the point: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

The colors of my world will never be as bright as they were on November 21, 1963.

November 22, 2015   2 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging

Drying Out

Cat Blogging

I’m not moving!

[Editor: The Great Pumpkin is resting on the on the highest, driest spot he could find after the thunderstorm on Wednesday.]

Friday Ark

Bonus Cat News: From the CBC = Cucumbers terrorize cats, and Hasbro is selling robot cats.

November 20, 2015   2 Comments


I have had it with US politicians and talking heads creating recruitment ads for ISIS by verbally attacking Muslims as terrorists.

Pandering to xenophobics: “The US House of Representatives has passed a bill that tightens restrictions on the resettlement of Syrian and Iraqi refugees, amid security concerns.”

In his latest advocacy for the unconstitutional: ‘Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said he would be open to having a “Muslim database” in the US in the wake of the Paris attacks.’

I must have missed all of the restrictions placed on Scottish Christians following the Oklahoma City bombing. It’s stranger still that Cuban refugees aren’t subjected to extensive screening following the Mariel Boastlift after it was the discovered that many of the Cuban refugees had been criminals put on the boats by the Cuban government.

Just a little extra reading for all of the so-called Christians:

Deuteronomy 10:19 – Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Exodus 23:9 – Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Ephesians 2:19 – Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Colossians 3:11 – Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond [nor] free: but Christ [is] all, and in all.

If the government of France still accepts Syrian refugees, and it does, US politicians are really beginning to look like wimps, not ‘world leaders’.

November 19, 2015   8 Comments

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

After a Belgian official made the statement that the terrorists who attacked Paris were communicating with Sony Playstations, every media outlet reported it and Sony started issuing statements about its willingness to cooperate with officials in the investigations of PS4 users.

Cue Emily Litella. The official had apparently seen the evidence inventory of another raid, not any of the raids associated with the terrorist attack on Paris.

All of the claims about how ISIS communicates are flat out guesses, not based on actual intel. If they are using ‘Net communications, which isn’t certain, there are any number of free, open source applications that can be used, and that would be more difficult to intercept and decrypt than any of the popular programs. I’m not claiming that the less popular programs are better than the big name programs, only that fewer people are attempting to break them, so there are fewer tools available for the effort.

The intel/security people are using the Paris incident to lobby for larger budgets and more power.

November 17, 2015   10 Comments

Quick Hits

OK, what programming genius thought it would be a good idea to feature the Donner Party on Thanksgiving weekend? I wonder who got cast as ‘the turkey’?

Has anyone informed the governors of states who say they won’t accept Syrian refugees, that they don’t have the power to accept or reject refugees. Making silly statements like this should have stopped when they made it high school, assuming they actually did make it to high school.

Steve Bates noted that Donald Trump thinks that the government can shut down mosques if it wants to. Maybe people should be required to pass the standard citizenship test on the Constitution before running for Federal office … oh, I’m sorry, that would be just as unconstitutional as closing houses of worship.

November 16, 2015   11 Comments

That’s Why I Don’t Watch TV

I was attempting to figure out what was going on in France and was reminded why the American media is worthless as a source of information.

The people that the US media uses to “analyze” security issues are political crackpots. Having been in the military or in the intel community doesn’t make their political posturing any less absurd. To posit that the US is in danger because the concepts of ‘innocent until proven guilty’, habeas corpus, and the Bill of Rights are preventing security forces from working effectively to protect the homeland, is to advocate the policies of the KGB and/or the Gestapo.

Other analysts are claiming that Edward Snowden is to blame for disclosing that the government was violating the law and the Constitution, forcing security agencies to comply.

These people don’t seem to understand that real terrorists already assume that governments are violating their own laws and wiretapping everyone, so they don’t use telecommunications.

Since it’s the weekend, watch this cat treat commercial: “Say sorry for the holidays”

November 15, 2015   10 Comments


Friday the 13th in Paris: “Three teams of assailants launched the co-ordinated deadly attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead another 352 injured, 99 of them in critical condition, Paris prosecutor François Molins said Saturday.”

The most important target would have been the football match between the international sides of France and Germany at Stade de France, north of Paris. Not only were there tens of thousands of people at the stadium, there were a number of high ranking political figures from both countries, including French President François Hollande. Because of the presence of these VIPs, there was tight security and screening of people attempting to enter the stadium which detected the threat. No one inside the stadium was injured, but there were casualties outside.

The rock concert at the Bataclan hall with an audience of 1,500 was the site of the majority of deaths and injuries.

The third team attacked restaurants and bars on the Right Bank.

The dispersed attacks were designed make the terror widespread and divide first responders.

The weapons and explosives were apparently smuggled into Belgium and then moved into position. The Belgians have made additional arrests today. They had already uncovered a weapons’ cache earlier this year.

France is a member of NATO. President Hollande has classified this as an act of war. Other members of NATO have treaty obligations to assist any member who has been attacked. ISIS just bought into a whole lot of trouble.

November 14, 2015   2 Comments


Yes, it’s Friday the 13th again. The 13th falls on a Friday more than any other day of the week, so get over it. It’s only valid in in English and Portuguese speaking countries, so go visit a Spanish-speaking neighborhood for the day.

If you want to blame someone, it’s the calendar of Pope Gregory XIII that created this imbalance. [He obviously didn’t have a problem with the number on any day.]

November 13, 2015   3 Comments

Friday Cat Blogging


Cat Blogging

Just one more game!

[Editor: Property is helping Excise with his Mahjong addiction.]

Friday Ark

November 13, 2015   3 Comments

It Was A Business Decision

Atrios was correct in the reaction to the situation in Missouri. Protests and hunger strikes were going nowhere, but a strike by the football team got action: President Tim Wolfe resigned, and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin will be leaving in January.

What Trump and the other politicians obviously don’t understand is that Wolfe was a CEO appointed to run the University of Missouri system “like a business”. He had been cutting costs by transferring them to the faculty, staff, and students while “investing in a profit center” by building a new sports facility at a cost of approximately $78 million.

Like most CEOs, he ignored his customers [students], and his employees [faculty and staff], but he couldn’t ignore his main profit center – an NCAA Division I football team in the Southeastern Conference. If that team didn’t play a scheduled game the University lost a million dollars.

Trump is arrogant enough that he probably wouldn’t have resigned and would have had to be fired after costing the University a few million dollars.

November 12, 2015   No Comments

Tropical Storm Kate – Day 3

Tropical Storm KatePosition: 40.1N 52.3W [ 9PM CST 0300 UTC].
Movement: East-Northeast [065°] near 41 mph [67 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 70 mph [110 kph].
Wind Gusts: 90 mph [145 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 240 miles [390 km].
Minimum central pressure: 983 mb ↓.

Currently about 455 miles [ 735 km] South of Cape Race, Newfoundland.

Kate has topped out and will probably become Post-Tropical tomorrow.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

November 11, 2015   No Comments