Maurice Strong has Died

May his movement die with him…

UN: Maurice Strong, Climate and Development Pioneer, Dies

Maurice Strong, whose work helped lead to the landmark climate summit that begins in Paris on Monday, has died at age 86, the head of the U.N.’s environmental agency said Saturday.

The Canadian-born Strong, the first U.N. Environment Program chief, organized the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, which led to the launch of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.

“Strong will forever be remembered for placing the environment on the international agenda and at the heart of development,” Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP, said in a statement.

The statement did not provide details of Strong’s passing.

Expect a great deal of emotional dreck as folks in Paris try to “commemorate” him and his “efforts” (to fleece the world…)

IMHO, the world just became a better place and there IS hope in the world…

Not to say I’m going to party on his grave, but I’ve opened a nice bottle of red. For the “wake”, of course

Subscribe to feed

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Screw Them All

Why on God’s Earth are we helping any of these Effing Bastards?

I’m sorry for the language… well, maybe a little… but…

So on the news we have that Al Nusra Front has made some gains, so the USA, as a backer of them ought to be somehow pleased.

Yet Al Nusra Front is a subsidiary of Al Queda

The al-Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra (Arabic: جبهة النصرة لأهل الشام‎ Jabhat al-Nuṣrah li-Ahli ash-Shām, “The Support Front for the People of Al-Sham”, often abbreviated to JN or JaN), sometimes called al-Qaeda in Syria or al-Qaeda in the Levant, is a Sunni Islamic jihadist militia fighting against Syrian Government forces in the Syrian Civil War, with the aim of establishing an Islamist state in the country. It is the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda, and also operates in neighbouring Lebanon.

These are the “moderate rebels” that, in theory, we in the USA support.

They are opposed to the Syrian Government and Assad, who we, for some unknown reason, “hate” as he kept things oppressed but peaceful for a few decades… but he is supported by his fellow travelers of the Iranian Shia… against the Sunni… who we love / hate as they help / kill us…

The alternative being to support the Sunni who are supporting ISIS / ISIL / DAESH as they establish a Caliphate who are hell bent on killing anyone who isn’t Sunni Islamist… rather like The House Of Saud who we just love… and want to establish a Wahhabi Dominion over us, as infidels….

Say What?

Am I the only one wondering why in hell we are shipping $Billions of arms (and have shipped $Billions in arms that ended up in the hands of Iraq / ISIL / ISIS / whoever ) into this hell hole?

We have zero clue who is on what “side” (if there are sides…)

We have zero clue who is going to win.

We have zero clue what is our gain from {anything | anything at all we do | anything we don’t do } will be.

I’m just really Really REALLY tired of $Billions of U.S. Tax money being spent on these collective Hell Holes.

Let it rot and collapse into crap without any of my money. Damn it.

Just wall them off and let the pustulence consume them. It is what nature does with a boil.

And, while I’m on the subject, do NOT under any circumstance, bring any Muslims into the country.

(GASP! Horrors! What A Bigot!!! Or maybe just someone who can “do the math” and has observational skill…)

In Europe we have plenty of data to show that the imported folks Do Not Assimilate.

Not only that, but the 2nd generation is alienated and easily “radicalized”.

This involves exactly zero of my POV or my ‘attitude’ or anything at all that I think about Islam. It only involves looking dispassionately at the data. Lord knows I’m not able to understand the Muslim Mind. I am not ‘of them’ nor need I be. I make zero assertion about what they do or do not understand and even less about my opinion of them.

I only need to observe what happens. I can’t explain it, and I don’t need to. Seeing something does not require explaining it.

Muslims from the Levant do not assimilate into western culture. Period. Full stop.

Why? Not my problem.

How to fix it? Not my problem.

Can’t we all get along? Not my problem.

But, what about the Morality???

It’s {immoral | illegal | cruel | stupid | bigoted | racist | evil | etc } to discriminate against them that way!!!!

Um, no, it isn’t. It is simply observing the facts, and the history, and saying “Golly, this always happens.” nothing more.

What happened in Belgium and France? A body of folks were imported and lived happily. Their children, reading the Koran, and raised as Muslims, felt alienated and rejected Western Judaeo-Christian Values along with our laws, norms, and expectations.

Islam has a set of norms based in Sharia Law, the Hadith, and remotely in the Koran, that are strongly antithetical to all things Western and Democratic. That’s just a fact… and a fact is a very stubborn thing.

So you can not, ever, under any circumstance, expect Islam to adopt Western Values. It just can not and will not happen.

A necessary consequence of this is that any, and I do mean any, imported Muslim community will never assimilate to Western Values. They will always be outsiders.

Now I have some experience at being an “outsider”. My Mum was from England. I was raised a non-Mormon non-Catholic in a community where the #1 religion was Mormon and #2 was Catholic. I know it sounds odd, but in California in a Farm Town as a Protestant, I was in about 10% of the local population. 20% max. (it was a strange town in many ways… Largest Mormon Stake west of Utah, but a tiny little farm town). Yes, Dad was Irish Roman Catholic, but I attended First Southern Baptist Church. (It’s a long story…)

Suffice it to say that I have been vilified, beaten, ridiculed, and insulted publicly many many times. (It wasn’t helped by being the smartest kid my town had ever seen and being a bit ‘geeky’ before the term geek existed… think about 1/2 way from Leonard to Sheldon in Big Bang Theory terms… but without getting Penny … Sigh…)

So, basically, “I can relate” to the alienated feeling of the Typical Muslim in The West. At one point I figured out how best to “do in” the various folks who frequently caused me grief… Believe me when I say “I understand the folks who want to blow up the folks around them.” I’ve been there and made the “boom stuff”. I just was able to restrain myself from acting on the desire. That whole Mum and Christianity thing actually had some sway over me.

Yet I look at the Muslim Youth today, and how they are radicalized, and I can see a very clear and attractive path. Had ANYONE said to me, at 12 to 16 years old, that I was oppressed by assholes and if I’d just “join up” with my brothers in geeky oppression we would Get Revenge!!! I’d have been signed up in a heartbeat. No doubt at all. I’d have even brought my tech and explosives skills with me.

The Point

My point is NOT that Islam is bad, or that Muslim Youth is to be feared, or even that Geeks are Scary! (even though we can be…)

No, it is simply that anyone too far removed from their own cultural norms is alienated, is afraid, is subject to conscription into systems that offer acceptance and support. It does not matter at all if you are a 16 year old Black Male Ghetto Youth and the group is a drug gang, or if you are a 16 year old White Geek and the group is a Neo-Nazi group, or if you are a 16 year old Asian and the group is a Tong, or if you are a 16 year old Muslim Immigrant and the group is a Jihadi Cell Recruiter. We ALL want acceptance and mutual support.

So, given that the USA is predominantly Christian, it is astoundingly absurd to import a load of Syrian (or any other nationality) Muslims as “refuges”. No, not because I have any animosity toward Islam or Muslims; but for the simple reason that they (be they 1st generation or the kids to follow) will eventually feel exactly what I felt.

YOU are an alien here.

YOU do not belong.

YOU are different.

YOU are not accepted.

I felt all of those, and more. ( I admit it. I don’t have any interest at all in ‘American Football’. Nor basket ball. Do you have any idea at all how alienating that is here?… I would be more accepted as a Martian who rooted for the 49ers Football team…)

The simple fact is that it is cruel to import a load of Muslims into a culture that they can never accept. (I’ve read the Koran. The culture of America or the EU today is 100% not acceptable and they can NOT assimilate into it.)

That simple fact is the root of so much grief.

Now, being the Geekly Sort, I don’t care at all if you like, or do not like, the reality that I observe.

“Reality just is. -E.M.Smith”

The reality is that the Islamic World needs to be given 100% dominance in their domain. And we need to have an isolation between them and us. They can not accept our values and they can not live in our society without resenting us.

Yes, “separate but equal”. That thing that sticks in the craw of every American Progressive. Yet is the best right answer.

In Conclusion

That is why importing a few thousand Syrian Refugees is just not a good idea.

That is why it is a ‘good idea’ to import Christian Syrian Refugees to The USA, but not Muslim Refugees. Frankly, it isn’t about me, or the USA, or Christians. It is the simple fact that a Sunni will be happier in a Sunni Arab country and a Shiia will be happier in a Shiia country.

Frankly, I don’t Give A Damn what anyone thinks or believes, yet I know that folks are most happy among others who think the same things they think; whatever that may be.

I don’t care what you think, but I do want you to be happy and accepted thinking it. I’ve lived the alternative, and it is NOT good.

In a nutshell, that’s the issue. It directly implies the answers. Divide Iraq into Sunni, Shiia, and Kurdish areas. Call each a nation. Tell Turkey to let their Kurdish areas join Kurdistan. All they will lose is grief and pain. And some dirt. Tell Assad that he can join Iran as “Greater Shiiastan”… but that the Kurdish areas join Kurdistan and the Sunni areas join Jordan or Sunnistan.

The Christians? Well, had I “my way” I’d move the Lebanese Muslims into their respective Sunni / Shiia areas in other countries and declare Lebanon to be once again Christian Lebanon as it was in my youth… but frankly there is no future for Christians in any land with more than single digit percentage Muslims and it is highly unlikely that Lebanon can ever return to that condition. So let them emigrate to the EU and USA.

The Progressive Left will want to vilify me for saying that maybe if we all live in our own area we will be happier. “Strong fences make good neighbors” has never been in their wheelhouse….

I don’t understand it, and can’t explain it, but the Progressive Liberal (American definition) Left Wing Nuts have always wanted to mix oil and water and never quite got a grip on the idea that it is better to let folks be in peace and comfort in their own beliefs and trade with them, but not mix or convert them.

“Live and let live” is just not something they can accept, even if I can.

Subscribe to feed

Posted in Political Current Events, Religion | 26 Comments

CET Says?

It’s the little simple things that nag at me the most. The things that are just obvious, but ignored and fought by the “Climate Scientists” (in quotes as they seem to do little real Science and what they do has little to do with real climate).

On some other site, looking at some other thing, there was a link to the Central England Temperature series. I took it:

Just scanning the data one sees from start to end a variation far in excess of any trend.

# CET [C]
# 1659-1973 MANLEY (Q.J.R.METEOROL.SOC., 1974)
# 1974 ON PARKER ET AL. (INT.J.CLIM., 1992)
# Hadley Centre
1659    3.0    4.0    6.0    7.0   11.0   13.0   16.0   16.0   13.0   10.0    5.0    2.0    8.9
1660    0.0    4.0    6.0    9.0   11.0   14.0   15.0   16.0   13.0   10.0    6.0    5.0    9.1
1661    5.0    5.0    6.0    8.0   11.0   14.0   15.0   15.0   13.0   11.0    8.0    6.0    9.8
1662    5.0    6.0    6.0    8.0   11.0   15.0   15.0   15.0   13.0   11.0    6.0    3.0    9.5
1663    1.0    1.0    5.0    7.0   10.0   14.0   15.0   15.0   13.0   10.0    7.0    5.0    8.6
1664    4.0    5.0    5.0    8.0   11.0   15.0   16.0   16.0   13.0    9.0    6.0    4.0    9.3
1665    1.0    1.0    5.0    7.0   10.0   14.0   16.0   15.0   13.0    9.0    6.0    2.0    8.3
1666    4.0    5.0    6.0    8.0   11.0   15.0   18.0   17.0   14.0   11.0    6.0    3.0    9.9
1667    0.0    4.0    2.0    7.0   10.0   15.0   17.0   16.0   13.0    9.0    6.0    3.0    8.5
1668    5.0    5.0    5.0    8.0   10.0   14.0   16.0   16.0   14.0   10.0    6.0    5.0    9.5
1669    1.0    4.0    5.0    7.0   11.0   15.0   17.0   16.0   14.0   10.0    6.0    2.0    9.0
2005    6.0    4.3    7.2    8.9   11.4   15.5   16.9   16.2   15.2   13.1    6.2    4.4   10.5
2006    4.3    3.7    4.9    8.6   12.3   15.9   19.7   16.1   16.8   13.0    8.1    6.5   10.9
2007    7.0    5.8    7.2   11.2   11.9   15.1   15.2   15.4   13.8   10.9    7.3    4.9   10.5
2008    6.6    5.4    6.1    7.9   13.4   13.9   16.2   16.2   13.5    9.7    7.0    3.5   10.0
2009    3.0    4.1    7.0   10.0   12.1   14.8   16.1   16.6   14.2   11.6    8.7    3.1   10.1
2010    1.4    2.8    6.1    8.8   10.7   15.2   17.1   15.3   13.8   10.3    5.2   -0.7    8.9
2011    3.7    6.4    6.7   11.8   12.2   13.8   15.2   15.4   15.1   12.6    9.6    6.0   10.7
2012    5.4    3.8    8.3    7.2   11.7   13.5   15.5   16.6   13.0    9.7    6.8    4.8    9.7
2013    3.5    3.2    2.7    7.5   10.4   13.6   18.3   16.9   13.7   12.5    6.2    6.3    9.6
2014    5.7    6.2    7.6   10.2   12.2   15.1   17.7   14.9   15.1   12.5    8.6    5.2   10.9
2015    4.4    4.0    6.4    9.0   10.8   14.0   15.9   15.9   12.6   11.0 -999.9 -999.9 -100.0

Now my usual complaint about such “data” still stands. It is a “monthly mean” and likely from an ever changing kaleidoscope of instruments and calibrations in a constantly changing context of buildings, pavement, powered equipment, foliage, etc. etc. There is simply No Way you are measuring “the same thing” in 2000 A.D. as was measured in 1666 A.D. Then it gets averaged between who knows how many whatsits and the result is implied to be a temperature, yet as an intensive property, and average of them is no longer a temperature, but a statistic about temperatures.

But lets look at it anyway. I’m assuming the 2nd column is January, then Feb, Mar,… on to Oct, Nov, December and an average of all months at the end.


Lets start with January. In the 1660’s, it ranges from 0 (2 of them) to 1 (3 of them) to 5 C. (Note the missing .0 on those numbers. Note that all monthly values in the 1660’s end in .0. There is no fractional precision. It is whole degrees of C. I see no reason to state the False Precision of tacking a .0 onto the end of them all.) So what have we got in the 2000’s? It ranges from 1.4 to 6.6 C. Now we’ve got a fractional part. BUT, what interests me is the range.

1660's:  Lowest: 0, 0, 1, 1, 1      Highest: 5,   5,   5,   4,   4

Range low/high:  5 C

2000's:  Lowest: 1.4, 3.0, 3.5, 3.7 Highest: 7.0, 6.6, 6.0, 5.7, 5.4

Range low/high:  5.6 C

In the 1660’s we have a 1.x that could easily be 1.4 and still be recorded as a 1 C. There are two ‘0’ readings that could be 0.5 C (or maybe even a bit more given unknown accuracy and unknown rounding rules or truncation) In the 2000’s we’ve got a 1.4 C as our minimum. So that WOULD have been recorded as a 1 C in the 1660’s in whole degrees of C. In essence, our lowest low has potentially risen by all of 1 C from 0 C to 1 C; or might not have changed at all. All in the same precision and assuming accuracy that is not in evidence at the moment and ignoring the caveats above about averages of temperatures. 350 years, climbing out of the Little Ice Age cold period. And our “lowest low” is 1 C different. Maybe. ( I have a large desire to issue a Terribly British Harrumph… say what?…)

1660's:  Lowest:  0 to 1     

2000's:  Lowest:  1 when put in the same precision.  

Or a range of about 1/2 C probable in a series with a 5 C range.

1660's:   Highest:  5
2000's:   Highest:  6 to 7 when put in the same precision

Or a range of about 1 - 2 C in a series with a 5.6 C range.

In short, the variations then to now fall fully inside the ranges of variation.

in the 1660’s, the highs in January were 5 C. Two of them. In the 2000’s, one 7.0 C, one 6.6 C, a 6.0 C, and then 5.7 and 5.4 C. So first off we have to ask was that 1661, 1662, and 1668 set of 5 C really 5.4 C? Or perhaps even a 5.8 C showing on their instrument as 5 C as it wasn’t as precise nor accurate as now? And that 7.0 C in 2007, was it really a 7.0 C, or was it perhaps “helped along” by snow removal, concrete, black tarmac, car exhaust and thousands of buildings running heaters? We don’t know.

Now look at either one of those ranges. 5 C or 5.6 C and compare that to the variation of the lowest lows at 1 C once error bands and precision are figured in. There’s at least a 5 x wider natural variation than any supposed “trend”. Good luck with finding that in data as highly variable as temperature data over 350 years old and from a place with weather as dynamic as England.


In theory, February ought to have the coldest set. The sun is weakest at the Solstice in December, but it takes a couple of months for the cold to fully set in, then start to flee under more sunshine.

1660's:  Lowest:  1,   1    Highest:  6,   5,   5,   5,   5

Range low / high:  5 C

2000's:  Lowest:  2.8, 3.2  Highest:  6.4, 6.2, 5.8, 5.4, 4.3

Range: low / high  3.6 C

Hmmmm….. Our range in January was 5.6 C, now it’s 3.6 C. There is wide dispersion of the ranges… Essentially, weather has a large impact. Was that “higher lows” by +1.8 C and +2.2 C due to just more snow in the past? (Or perhaps less snow removal and no jet engines nearby at the ‘airport to be’?…)

For the highs, if we convert the present readings to the same precision as the past, and compare, they would be

1660's:  6, 5, 5, 5, 5  
2000's:  6, 6, 6, 5, 4 

Or statistically the same. In terms of heat content, I simply must ask:

IFF we are “warmer” now than in the 1660’s, assuming equal mass and specific heats so temperatures are a proxy for heat, where is the added heat stored as we have risen from a peak of 6 C to a peak of 6 C?

That’s the kind of “dirt simple” thing that nags at me when I look at the fantasy of “global warming” from CO2 vs the reality of the temperature data. It can not be “warmer” from a pervasive and constantly increasing gas if the top temperature is functionally identical in any one month, since that presumed “added heat” has gone away. IF it “goes away”, we are not warming.

IFF we are having changes in range, variation and statistical percentages, then it isn’t a constantly present all pervasive back radiation “lift” on the data, it is a variation in average weather.

IFF we are having large month to month variations of range (then vs now) and some temps higher by a significant amount (lowest values) while others are indistinguishable from a statistical tie (highest values) then we are NOT “warming” and storing all that heat somewhere, we are having changes in weather patterns, clouds, or context of the thermometers (tarmac, snow removal, jet transports burning tons of kerosene / hour at the airports where most thermometers live these days).

And just what do we do with that 5th “high average” term where in the 1660’s it was 1 C warmer than the 2000’s? Did we have “global warming” for one year in February in 1660’s? And if that one is NOT Global Warming, then why would the similar 1 C warmer in the 2000’s for the second entry indicate “warming”?

The “warming” only shows up after a boat load of statistical massage that removes such annoying questions by smearing all the details around into statistics of averages of averages of averages. It hides the physical truth (and those messy questions) under a fog of math and statistics.

So to put it as clearly as possible:

IF February has not shown any warming from the 1660’s to the 2000’s then:

“Where’s the heat?”

Did it run off to Jamaica for February? It it taking this decade off and hiding in the ocean? Has it decided to move into June for a recharge, so it can come back next February?

Heat just does not do that.

Now perhaps there is still some kind of role for CO2 and “back radiation”, but per these data all it can do, at most, is warm the coldest of the cold days in the coldest months. I think we can all agree that’s a Very GOOD Thing!

Even More Interesting: August

So for August we have:

1660's:  Lowest: 15,   15,   15,   15,   16,      
2000's:  Lowest: 14.9, 15.3, 15.4, 15.4, 15.9,    

1660's:  Highest:  17,   16,   16,   16,   16,   16, 
1660's:  Highest:  16.9. 16.6, 16.6, 16.2, 16.2, 16.1

About as close to identical as you could ask from data in 1 C precision as recorded.

I note in passing just because it IS what the data says: Oh, look, that 17 C reading in 1666 is THE HIGHEST!!!! Oh Nooo!!! Global COOLING and a New Ice Age commeth…. (Well, it’s about as intelligent as what the Global Warming crowd is screaming… and based on science at least as “good”…)

But more importantly, the data ARE nearly identical when compared inside the band of precision:

15, 15, 15, 15, 16
15, 15, 15, 15, 16
17, 16, 16, 16, 16, 16,
17, 17, 17, 16, 16, 16

The lowest are identical and the highs have two newer values ‘lifted’ to 17 since they are 1/10 C over the ’round up’ line.

In essence, it illustrates that “Global Warming” depends on how you adjust for the lack of precision in the older data or the excess false precision in the present ‘average of temperature data’.

there is NO real warming in the hottest month in England

Note that the “range” of the data in 1660’s for lows is 1 C while for 2000’s it is … 1 C
Note that the “range” of the data in 1660’s for highs is 1 C while for 2000’s it is… 1 C

Note that the “range” of the data lows to highs for 1660’s is 2 C
Note that the “range” of the data lows to highs for 2000’s is 2 C

The range of summer temperatures is not changing. WHATEVER is causing the ‘warming’ of the data is entirely an artifact of whatever is causing a narrower range of the cold readings in winter. IMHO, that is largely instrument siting and Urban Heat Island effects as burning tons of kerosene and natural gas and gasoline and Diesel along with snow clearing and jet wash at airports tends to keep things a couple of degrees warmer AND tends to disturb the near surface layer so it can’t cool dramatically in still winter air.

I don’t know the instrument environment data for the CET series, but for GHCN we now have 90 some odd percent of readings from Airports. They are vastly different from open grass fields in the snow of 1600’s England. Any motorcycle rider can tell you that country away from cities is dramatically colder at night than ANY urban environment. I used to ride in the winter in California sometimes, and in the summer often. Even on a summer night, it’s cool in the country and you look forward to that warm hit as you enter town. Even my old farm town of 3,328 people. In the winter it could be even more dramatic. Especially on cold clear nights.

This issue of ‘narrower range’ of the winter temperatures matches what I found in the GHCN data set as well. Just that here it is much easier to demonstrate.

I’ve not done the work of comparing decade by decade, just picked the start and end, nor made any pretty ‘hair graphs’ showing the changes. Frankly, I’m having some difficulty seeing the point in doing that work. It is already demonstrated.

Global Warming has cleanly moved into a purely political “fleece the taxpayer” game and, IMHO, never was about the Science. That was only a smoke screen. So I do wonder just a bit “What is the point of proving once again it is a Scientific Fraud, when the game is a Political Shakedown?”.

But I might get motivate to make a couple of graphs. Or others could treat it as a “Dig Here!” and post an image or two.

It ought to show a narrowing range of the lows of winter via lifting of the lowest (not rising of the hottest) and a nearly constant summer month averages with constant narrow range.

I suppose it might be interesting to look for things like 60 year or 120 year cycles in the ranges. Or perhaps to see the ups and downs of entry / exit from The Little Ice Age. Looking at Average Highs vs Average Lows (instead of just Monthly Average as here) could be interesting too, I suppose. But really it’s all just Number Theatre for a Political Magic Show… I suspect what is really needed is a Political Organizer to sort that out, and find the right Poison Pill to counter the opposition UN Leadership Fleecing. But Politics is not my strongest skill… so that’s a “Dig Here!” for others…

Subscribe to feed

Posted in AGW Climate Perspective, AGW Science and Background | Tagged , | 8 Comments

Amazon and Reusable Rocket Launch / Landing

I wonder if they will be delivering packages to the lunar colony with one of these ;-)

More in the article here:

How Jeff Bezos Just Scored a Big Win Over Elon Musk

by Robert Hackett @rhhackett NOVEMBER 24, 2015, 10:56 AM EST

Blue Origin, the billionaire’s dark-horse rocket company, successfully launched and landed its reusable rocket on Monday.

The company’s New Shepard space vehicle (named in honor of the first American in space, Alan Shepard) soared to a height of 62 miles, separated into its component parts (a BE-3 rocket and crew capsule), and then touched down amid the desert landscape of its secretive facility in Van Horn, Texas.

It looks like there is still a bit of wobble on landing to control, but that will improve over time. Also they might want to land somewhere without so much abrasive debris to kick up… but it makes for a fun video…

Per the Wiki it is intended for sub-orbital only joy rides.

The Blue Origin New Shepard reusable launch system is a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL), suborbital manned rocket that is being developed by Blue Origin, a company owned by founder and businessman Jeff Bezos, as a commercial system for suborbital space tourism. The New Shepard makes reference to the first United States astronaut in space, Alan Shepard.
The New Shepard propulsion module is powered using a Blue Origin BE-3 bipropellant rocket engine burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, although some early development work was done by Blue Origin on engines operating with other propellants: the BE-1 engine using monopropellant hydrogen peroxide; and the BE-2 engine using high-test peroxide oxidizer and RP-1 kerosene fuel.[

Liquid H / LOX propellant. Kind of old school, but hey, it works.

The article paints this as aimed at Elon Musk. I don’t think so. He’s making heavy launch to orbit gear. It’s Virgin Galactic that has to worry. They are both aiming at the “Space Tourist” pop ‘n drop suborbital joy riders.

Given a few more years, the USA just might get back to being a space faring people again… Given recent events with Russia, and that the Atlas engine is made in Ukraine / Russia, well, it’s getting harder to justify flying Russian Engines with our paint on the skins and hitching rides to space on Russian launch vehicles.

The RD-180 (РД-180, Ракетный Двигатель-180, Rocket Engine-180) is a rocket engine designed and built in Russia. It features a dual-combustion chamber, dual-nozzle design and is fueled by a kerosene/LOX mixture. Currently RD-180 engines are used for the first stage of the US Atlas V launch vehicle.

The RD-180 is derived from the RD-170/RD-171 line of rocket engines, which were used in the Soviet Energia launch vehicle, and are still in use in the Ukrainian/Russian Zenit launch vehicles.
2014 availability concerns

Doubts about the reliability of the supply chain for the RD-180 arose following the Ukraine crisis in March 2014. For over thirteen years since the engine was first used in the Atlas III launch vehicle in 2000, there was never any serious jeopardy to the engine supply, despite an uneven record of US-Russian relations since the Cold War. But worsening relations between the West and Russia after March have led to several blockages, including a short-lived judicial injunction from the US courts that were unclear on the scope of the US sanctions on importing the Russian engine.

On May 13, 2014, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced that “Russia will ban the United States from using Russian-made rocket engines for military launches”—a frequent payload of the ULA Atlas V launch vehicle which powers its first stage with a single RD-180 engine that is expended after each flight. In response, the US Air Force has asked the Aerospace Corporation to begin evaluating alternatives for powering the Atlas 5 booster stage with non-RD-180 engines. Early estimates are that it would require five or more years to replace the RD-180 on the Atlas V.

Even if the Russian government does not cut off the supply to ULA of imported RD-180 engines, the US Congress, with emerging support from the Air Force, has come around to a view that it would not be advantageous to the US government to start up a US production line to produce the RD-180. However, the US Congress is advocating for the initiation of a new US hydrocarbon rocket engine program, to field a new engine by 2022.

Yup, sounds about right for Government Work. Lots of talk about doing something, but no action, and then wrong action, and then more no action. You’d think we could make a 15 year old design Russian engine, especially given that we have the rights and plans… But no…

Oh Well. Looks like they are hoping that Bezos will bail them out with his engine development work. A LOX / Liquid Methane job.

US production of the RD-180

United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced in February 2015 that they are considering undertaking US production of the Russian RD-180 engine at the Decatur, Alabama rocket stage manufacturing facility. The US-manufactured engines would be used only for government civil (NASA) or commercial launches, and would not be used for US military launches. This potential project is a backup plan to the new engine development work that ULA is undertaking with Blue Origin on the BE-4.

Replacement for the RD-180 engine on US Atlas launch vehicle

As a result of the geopolitical and US political considerations as 2014 progressed, United Launch Alliance initiated an effort to consider the possible replacement of the Russian-supplied RD-180 engine used on the first stage booster of the ULA Atlas V. Formal study contracts were issued in June 2014 to a number of US rocket engine suppliers.

In September 2014, ULA announced that it has entered into a partnership with Blue Origin to develop the BE-4 LOX/methane engine to replace the RD-180 on a new first stage booster that would succeed the Atlas V. At the time, the engine was already in its third year of development by Blue Origin, and ULA expects the new stage and engine to start flying no earlier than 2019. Two of the 2,400-kilonewton (550,000 lbf)-thrust BE-4 engines will be used on the new launch vehicle booster.

Guess all that fracking might just get us back into space on our own rocket motors…

Any guesses as to when you can add “Space Flight” to your “Gift Registry listing” on Amazon? ;-)

Subscribe to feed

Posted in Tech Bits | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

The Old Black Man and The White Kid

Once upon a time, long long ago…

I was about 18. A 1/2 decade or so prior, maybe 1959? my Dad had saved the life of a man. The Man had a medical issue. I think it involved falling off a roof and / or a heart attack, but frankly, it’s a 1/2 century old memory of a story I’d not paid attention to in the telling. Dad scooped him up and took him to Hospital. And he lived.

Just accept that My Dad had picked up this guy and hauled him off to the hospital in time to keep him alive. Needless to say, he was grateful and had said “if you ever need anything…”.

So Dad had this kid. Me. And I needed a job out of High School. This being a very poor farm town and prior to the era of “Borrow $100,000 to make a professor rich” and go to school… I was expected to earn some money to apply to anything I wanted when over 18 years old. So I needed a job. The local economy was farm town. Peaches, rice, and kids, all for export… Libby’s ran the local cannery. It was “good wages” at about $3.75 /hour for the good jobs. Union, too. (Yes. FWIW, I am a registered member of The Teamsters Union. Big Juju then, and not so bad now… So call me a Union Guy.)

Dad told me:

Go to the Libby’s Hiring booth and sit there. Don’t leave. Be there 8 to 8. Period.

Every day, from 8 am to 8 pm, I was sitting on the bench. Some days I’d stay to 9 P.M. I’d checked in with the Hiring Window (a small window in a wooden building of about 8 x 10 feet) and so was “on line” to be hired. Union folks got hired first. New guys, like me, only if there were NO union guys on the bench. So I sat. For days.

There was an Old Black Man on the bench.

We Talked.

I don’t know his name.

It is almost 1/2 a Century ago, and I am not sure I caught it then.

He was ancient anyway… maybe 64? About as old as I am now…

But you spend 40 or 60 hours sitting on a bench with someone, sun up, sun down, lunch and dinner from a box, 100 F in the shade and you are not in the shade… well, you get to talking. We talked. Kid to old man.

He had gone off of South America for a couple of decades and learned Spanish. I talked some Spanish too.

He had come back. I’d never left.
… we talked some more…

He wore old overalls with the vertical stripes. I’d later wear them in college remembering him, and others…. But then I was in blue jeans and shirt. Tennis shoes, even though I never played tennis…

We talked some more… About 3 days worth.

One day I asked him “What is it like to be black?” The innocent question of a lily white kid sitting next to an Old Black Man who had seen far more in his life that I would ever see in mine (and I can confirm now, at his age, that what he had seen was far more than I’ve seen at the same age…). He looked at me. That kind understanding look of an Old Guy at a kid without clue that says “I will be kind to you, for you are ignorant, and perhaps some good can come from this…” and he said something like “Well, life is a lot easier for white folks, but I have had a good life. I started {somewhere in the south} I went to {somewhere in South America} and had a wife and a family. I have traveled and now I’m here. I have lived an interesting life.”

I said something stupid like “Well, that must have been interesting, living in South America”…

Time passed….

I think it was the 3rd? or maybe the 4th day of sitting on The Bench from start to end of the day.

But Dad had told me to sit there, all day…

And the call came. About 9 PM.

A good 13 hours after all of us showed up on The Bench.
After dozens had arrived later, and left earlier.

“We need THREE Right Now for the warehouse!!”.

And on the bench sat three.

Some Guy, The Old Black Man, and me…

We were all hired “on the spot” and got Union Numbers.

Now we three were ALL ahead of anyone sitting on The Bench. A bench I’d come to understand and know as a friend.

Papers filled, signed, whatever… then we were all conducted back to The Warehouse…

Where I saw The Foreman. A man I new by sight, but not by name. The man I’d known as “the guy my Dad had saved”. A man who was vaguely Italian or some dark heavy set race in nature.

We worked about 4 hours that night. But we worked….

Now a peach cannery is an interesting thing. Peaches do not all ripen at once. It is a bell curve. So we’d gotten hired about 1/3 of the way to the top of the bell curve. Or maybe 75%… I’m not sure… but we were now hired and ahead of all who followed. The season starts at 3 hours / day. It eventually rises to 20 hours a day and a 4 hour cleaning crew. Longest “shift” I had was 12 hours. Or maybe 12 and a bit…

So would I have been hired anyway if I sat on The Bench long enough? It was near peak season when I was hired. I suspect, but can’t prove, “maybe not”. There were a LOT of poor folks who sat on that bench as much as me. Just not from 8 AM to 9 PM. Not able to tough it out as much from sun up to sun down and then a few hours. I can’t say for certain that the order for “Three NOW!” was because Dad had saved the life of the Foreman and he’d looked out and seen three on the bench. But I suspect…

And, frankly, if Some Dumb White Kid with a bit of pull got The Old Black Man hired ’cause there were three of us on the bench and I’d made friends with The Old Black Man and we came and left together, well, maybe that’s a good thing.

I’d like to think so.

For the next few years, every summer (peach canning happens during the summer canning season) we’d meet again. We’d nod and talk again. But it wasn’t the same. It was “Two guys with jobs” not “the kid and the Old Black Man on the bench”. Cordial. Connected. But no longer questions like “What is it like to be black?”… Naivety was gone, as was “we’re all in this together”. We were two equals, but not quite equals. He had a lifetime of experience, me not so much… I had “station” and “being white” (in an town and a time when racism was real… anyone who thinks there is real racism today has no clue what it was really like) and he had “age and experience”. Looking back on it, it is more clear. He was humoring the Little White Kid. I was “cute and innocent”. But I liked him. I did “stupid things” like asking if he would like to have lunch together… and treating him like a revered elder. I saw people noticing, and I didn’t care. I think he appreciated that.

Time passed. Eventually I graduated college and didn’t need to work summers in the cannery to make money to pay for the extravagance of 9 months reading books and talking philosophical BS.

I’ve often wondered what happened to The Old Black Man who shared a bench with me. Who taught me about living in other lands, about moving between continents and learning to live in new languages. About having a wife, a life, a world away, and moving on. About being kind to The Young Dumb Kid of privilege asking stupid questions like “What is is like to be black?”…

IFF, and it is a very big IF, my Dad saving the life of Some Other Guy, got a job for The Old Black Man as we together would not leave the bench, sun up to sun down, well, I think that a Very Good Thing. I’m happy to have shared that particular bounty. I learned a great deal from him. Some reflected here. Some lost in the mists of time as I can’t give proper attribution. It entered my mind and stayed, but at this point I can’t separate it from the rest of me. All I can say is that sharing a bench for a few days with The Old Black Man forever changed me. We Shared. He is a part of me. Forever and inseparable. The Old Black Man and Me, the kid. Even as I am old now, I’m forever The Kid to him.

There are times I think about his patience, being more than mine. I KNEW as I’d been told, that if I was persistent enough,, the call would come. He did not know that, but was there when I showed up and left with me, never before. I knew that nobody depended on me and a warm meal would be waiting at home. He was all alone. The simple fact is that I admired him every day on The Bench. I had more, needed less, and had reason to be positive. He had less, needed more, and was more positive despite all else. I grew a lot on that bench.

I just wish to God there were some way to tell The Old Black Man that he had a very large impact on the world, one summer in 1971, through one dumb ass white kid. I think maybe he knew. Maybe as the Stupid Ass Questions showed a bit of clue had been learned. Maybe as the Dumb Ass White Kid asked different questions that showed he’d “caught a clue” and was coming along. Maybe having someone interested in his life, what it was like, and asking ‘questions with clue’ gave him a bit of hope for the future. Maybe…

All I can say with certainty was that in 1971 July there was an Old Black Man and a White Kid who spent about 36 hours or more on a bench together. We talked. We shared life stories (though mine was far shorter and insipid in comparison) and we “connected”. Then late one night we were hired and joined the Union together. Over the next few years we shared cafeteria time and worked together, but never quite as close. And now that I’m an Old White Man, I miss him. I’d like to spend time talking with him about all that has changed. All that is better, and worse. I’d like to ask him about his Hispanic wife and kids somewhere in South America. (by now grand kids or great grand kids) Frankly, I’d like to have him sit on a bench next to my kids for a week and “connect”. But it can not be. A few too many decades have past.

So now I find myself thinking “Maybe I can find a bench somewhere and sit on it for week or two… waiting for a young black kid to ask ‘what is it like to be white?’… and then talking about wife, and kids, and futures we can share and the miracle of youth…” Maybe…

Subscribe to feed

Posted in Human Interest | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Burner Phone

Partly I was inspired by the Raspberry Pi Phone and thought I would prepare for a ‘roll your own phone’. As it needs a GSM type SIM card, I’d need a phone with a GSM SIM card I could transplant to it.

Partly it was just having seen them in movies and TV shows for a decade or so and wondering just how hard is it, really, to get a “burner phone” and how hard would it be to ‘track me’ with it.

Partly it was just preparing for a couple of things that require that you give a phone number and that number becomes a matter of “public record”. So I’d rather not use my regular number for that. The “rate plan” for a phone you almost never use is not very expensive for one of these. More on that below.

I Bought My Burner

I was out buying something else (groceries) and decided to “check the prices”. I ended up with a phone and ‘minutes card’…

At home, I did the set up. All in all, very fast, easy, and cheap.

The phone and minutes were bought at Walmart. The phone is a fairly competent Alcatel A205G with the ‘old school’ screen about 3 x 5 CM and with real number buttons. It cost $9.84 with charger and car adapter. ( I could have gone cheaper at about $4.84 for some flip thing, or gone upscale for $30 for a nice LG quasi-smart phone with no buttons but a lot of screen). The “minutes” get more complicated.

When you bring your own phone, a minute is a minute. When you buy one of theirs, they increase the minutes. So, for example, my phone “doubles the minutes”. The $30 one ‘triples the minutes’, so if you actually will use the thing, that would matter. Minutes come in blocks of one month, 90 days, a year… At the end of that time, POOF! no more phone or minutes. I bought a “60 minute” air time plan for $29.72. Yes, that works out to about $1/2 per minute. These things are NOT cheap to use… But my phone is 2x, so for me, it’s 25 ¢ minute. And with the $30 phone, it would be 16 ¢ per minute. (Or one could buy a larger minute plan and get even lower).

Compared with “unlimited time” for about $30 / month on some cheap providers, it’s not at all cheap to use. But at about $6 to $10 a month for a ‘almost never used’ phone, it’s a cheap way to get a number.

And a phone.


Setup was remarkably easy. It is a ‘TracFone’, so I went to their website. They ‘encourage’ you to set up an account with contact information, but you ignore that. Enter the ESN (serial number) of your phone SIM card, pick a zip code area, and your “Minutes PIN” from that card; and you get whatever phone number it gives you. Then power cycle the phone, and call someone. (It says if that doesn’t work, wait a minute and repeat the power cycle… for me it took two tries).

Yup. That simple.

As I paid cash for the phone and the card, and didn’t tell them who I was at sign in, IF I’d used a scrubbed RaTails Pi or via a disposible MAC dongle at a WiFi Hotspot, there would be zero connection to me.

The Exposures

Now the first thing I did to test it was to call my ‘real’ cell phone. That left a fingerprint that one knew the other and connected the phone to me. The second thing I did was give it to a web-site broker when I asked them to price for me (in a comment on WUWT…) and that, too, will have connected it to my home IP, my MAC address on one of the computers, my name, and my email address.

The point? Inside an hour my “burner” was closely identified with “me” for any intelligence agency that can find the coffee pot.

Then I left it on in my pocket as I drove to “the mechanic” to drop of a car for fixing. That put the two phones as being together in one vehicle traveling from home to the mechanic and back. Pretty much GPS sealing the deal on “we’ve met”.

So, IF you ever intend to use one of these as a Real Burner Phone, you need to NOT do those things. Activate NOT from your home or tablet computer. Do NOT have two phones powered up at the same time and together. Do NOT call one from the other. Do NOT give your name and / or email to someone with the phone number. Etc. In essence, you need to build an entire ‘alternative personality’. Different email. Different physical address ( P.O.Box or such ) and they don’t know each other so don’t travel together or call each other… Not nearly as easy as it looks in the TV shows ;-)

For my purposes, it’s working fine, and that one of me knows the other of me isn’t an issue either. The purpose is to have a number I can give to non-agency type folks, and they can use ‘for a while’ but where I’m happy to ‘nuke it’ later if the SPAM becomes an issue. Get a SIM card with service available should I ever actually try making that Pi Phone. And maybe have a second phone I can use with a different geography to the phone number. (That is, if looking for a job in Florida, it works better to have a Florida area code and not a California one. While folks are getting better at it, I still got questions with the California area code. Easier to put the Florida number on the resume for Florida jobs…) While a diligent party could fairly quickly connect the number to me, and me to an address and location; it has some isolation of the “real phone number” from the 1001 information vacuums sucking up everything that they can get (Google… gMail… NSA… etc.)

In Conclusion

With a little care, it is nearly trivial to get a real Burner Phone with absolutely minimal connection to “you”. It is harder to keep it that way, but with more care, it can be done. Cost to get and have one is fairly low, if you actually USE it for communications, the price is not at all cheap. (Then again, I did exactly zero price shopping on this experiment… Phase Two can include price shopping costs of minutes on other plans and with other phones. On the “someday” list.)

At $30.68 all in phone and 3 months / 120 minutes; it is a VERY reasonable alternative for someone on a vacation and needing a quick phone, or for someone from overseas where they might have incompatible phones and / or horrific roaming charges.

IIRC the ‘stuff’ on the promo board, it only works on the Tracfone network, so don’t expect this to work in fringe coverage area. I don’t have their map in front of me (and on the Chromebox this map didn’t show anything, so I’m not all that certain just where coverage ends ;-) But it works here! 8-}

Subscribe to feed

Posted in Tech Bits | Tagged , , | 8 Comments

Oh, Canada… Let the Taxing, Socialist Confiscation Of Wealth, and Economic Destruction Begin.

Canada’s Alberta to introduce economy-wide carbon tax in 2017
Sunday, November 22, 2015 MIKE DE SOUZA FOR REUTERS

CALGARY (Reuters) – The Canadian province of Alberta, home to the country’s controversial oil sands, said on Sunday it will implement an economy-wide tax on carbon emissions in 2017, addressing long-standing criticism it is not doing enough to combat climate change.

The provincial government estimated the plan, including a pledge to phase out pollution from coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 and a limit on emissions from the province’s oil sands industry, would generate C$3 billion ($2.25 billion) in annual revenue.

Backed by prominent representatives from industry and the environmental movement, Premier Rachel Notley said the province was trying to do the right thing for the future.

Notley will bring her plan into a meeting on Monday of Canadian premiers with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to prepare Canada’s national strategy at the upcoming Paris climate change summit.

Notley’s left-leaning New Democratic Party took power earlier this year, ending 44 years of Conservative rule.

“It will help us access new markets for our energy products, and diversify our economy with renewable energy and energy efficiency technology,” Notley said in Edmonton. “Alberta is showing leadership on one of the world’s biggest problems.”

One really must ask: “What planet are these people from?” MORE taxes to “help us access new markets”? Taxes KILL or at best WOUND the thing taxed. You will have LESS employment, smaller markets, and fewer of them.

Alberta has the world’s third largest crude reserves, but its oil sands industry is also Canada’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions.

That status has prompted fierce opposition from environmental groups to proposed pipelines that would allow the industry to access new markets, including the recently rejected Keystone XL pipeline, proposed by TransCanada Corp.

Alberta’s energy sector has also been hammered with thousands of layoffs in recent months due to slumping global oil prices.

Well, that explains it. Nothing like tossing a stink bomb into “the world’s third largest crude reserves” to put a crowbar into the works of western democracies. Well, at least we won’t need the XL Pipeline as market forces push to expand other supplies first and faster.

Greenpeace Canada described the plan as a “historic first step” to slowing growth of pollution, but said more needed to be done by all jurisdictions to prevent dangerous changes to the climate.

I think Canada and the USA need to follow the lead of India…

Government blocks Greenpeace India’s foreign fundings, suspends NGO’s licence for 6 months
PTI Apr 9, 2015, 06.03PM IST

NEW DELHI: In a tough action, the Government today barred Greenpeace India from receiving foreign funds with immediate effect by suspending its licence for six months and froze all its accounts, alleging it has “prejudicially” affected the country’s public and economic interests.

The environmental activist group was also served a notice by the government which asked why its registration should not be cancelled permanently.

Registration of Greenpeace India cancelled
Vishwa Mohan, TNN | Nov 6, 2015, 03.57PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies has cancelled the registration of Greenpeace India, the environmental NGO that has been campaigning against air pollution and the unsustainable use of natural resources in India.

Greenpeace India, registered as an NGO in India under the Tamil Nadu Registrar of Societies (RoS), got the order of cancellation of its registration on Friday, although the order was formally issued on Wednesday.

“While several international leaders, including the United Nations Secretary General have recently upheld the importance of civil society in healthy democracies, this (cancellation) notice is the latest assault on free speech in India”, the NGO said in a statement.

So when they talk it is ‘free speech’ but when I talk it’s “RICO for The Deniers!!!”… Well, maybe as India and China take over the Global Economy backwater places like Alberta and New York can learn a thing or two about economic development… and de-development consequences.

Subscribe to feed

Posted in AGW and GIStemp Issues, Economics - Trading - and Money, Energy, Political Current Events | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments