Mish-Mash

2

Plagues

16

It’s Gun...

23

Six (or more)

17

Sunday Rant

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Blog Post

Home Blog Post

Tanks a lot, J.E.B.

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General JEB Stuart

Though it would be considered wholly inappropriate to name an American tank after a (1) white, (2) male, (3) heterosexual (4) Christian (5) Confederate cavalry commander, today, that was not the case when the US Army named the M-3 and M-5 after General J.E.B. Stuart.

M-5 Stuart (L) and M-4 Sherman (R) in Europe, WW2

And to be fair, I’m not completely sure why the US kept making the Stuart tanks throughout the war. They started out as the M-3, which used a radial aircraft engine and they were re-designed as the M-5 which used a Cadillac gas engine or a diesel engine depending which factory that your M-5 came from.  They had a small 37mm gun, and would only travel 75 miles (down hill) before they ran out of fuel and though the armor was ‘good enough’, I wouldn’t want to go into battle in one.

(Historical note) The US sent some to the Russians under Lend-Lease. The Russians liked them.  They were decently fast, incredibly reliable and easy to fix, and fired HE rounds that worked against soft skin targets and infantry. One Russian said that “In the first place, [the Stuart] was painted beautifully. Secondly, the seats were comfortable, covered with some kind of remarkable special artificial leather. If a tank was knocked out or damaged, then if it was left unguarded literally for just several minutes the infantry would strip out all this upholstery. It made excellent boots! Simply beautiful!”

When the Stuart first went into combat in North Africa, it was roughly comparable to the German Pzkw III. The British ‘tankies’ liked it so much they renamed it the ‘Honey’. The British liked the reliability of the tank when compared to the Crusader, which was not. The Germans of that era were better at armored combat not so much because their tanks were better, but because they were more experienced and their tactics were better.

After the North African Campaign, as the US phased in the M-4 Shermans,  most U.S. tank battalions had three companies of M4 Shermans and one company of M3s or M5/M5A1.

All of my criticism aside, the M3 Stuart is still on the active list in the Armed Forces of Paraguay with ten of the tanks having been overhauled in 2014 to provide a training capability. They remained in service in many militaries following World War 2 and served in many campaigns in combat.

 

Wonder Weapon Sunday

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Me-262
And…God bless Arizona

Yes, it’s time for the Sunday Sermonette.

 

When we think of so-called wonder weapons, the first great leap forward were the Nazi Wunderwaffels. Before that, there were intermittent leaps forward but the age that brought us the American development of the fission bomb and the fusion bomb was also dramatically illustrated with the German efforts to create war-winning weapons as they fought the unbeatable US logistics monster, on the other side of the planet, out of reach, filled with hard working people and abundant natural resources. And it’s there that this blog takes us today – for consideration, well short of a polemic.

There were weapons that were ahead of their time but not that far ahead of their time because the Allies were beginning to field their own equivalents by the end of the war.

There were also weapons that the Allies had too, but people don’t usually talk about that because it’s seems to be more fun to talk about the German hardware.

Weapons that were so far ahead of their time that the technology didn’t exist to make them practical and they killed more people testing and building them than the enemy.

Weapons that were ahead of their time but they couldn’t build enough of them to make a difference.

Weapons that would have been a war winner if the Allies hadn’t developed countermeasures which made them completely useless merely a few months after they were first deployed.

Dead end technologies

Weapons that were touted as a wonder weapon but were actually just a plywood glider with a gun strapped to it.

Weapons that would have wasted time, money, manpower, and resources producing behemoths that would have been completely impractical.

Weapons where a small bloodless raid by a handful of British commandos completely derails and brings an end to the project.

Weapons where it was obvious that the designer was high on acid to seriously think that it would be plausible to build such a thing in the 20th century.

Weapons “The History Channel” made up 60 years after WW2 ended

July 4 Continues

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Prayers for the Nation, under God.

The holiday that we celebrate today only exists because the citizens were armed.

Dr. Warren died at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

 

 

 

This meme describes how I was raised to think.

I realize that it (and I) are hopelessly out of date, but it speaks to American exceptionalism. To the notion that the US would stand for freedom and work work to liberate the oppressed.  We poured a million times more national treasure and blood into that cause then the next nearest nation.

We sent men to the Moon and brought them back on a mission of exploration.

We cracked the atom.

We’ve worked collaboratively to understand the human genome.

And a lot of people hate us for it. – piss on ’em.

A Few More Thoughts

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P-47

 

Basics

I am fundamentally opposed to military intervention in distant lands without clear goals and an exit strategy. You can argue that in cases like Pearl Harbor that we had no choice but to go for broke and I can’t disagree. In the case of the 9/11 attack, our allies and oil suppliers were behind it…and so we couldn’t very well attack them. Therefore, we attacked Afghanistan, at the time run by our ally, Pakistan, through their cat’s paw, the Taliban/Pushtun.

The question that many of you ask is whether or not the USA will end up in a shooting war with the People’s Republic of China. Maybe not, if we’re strong enough? Maybe not if we have people in the White House that would surrender the place to the PRC? Freedom requires strength – serious moral fiber. Universities don’t build moral fiber, they work diligently to undermine it.

Back when I did undergrad work, there was a Marxist professor who threw me out of class. I was not disrespectful of the filthy cur. I just sat there in the front row with my hair cut short, my clothes neatly pressed, and stood for something very differently than the anti-American rhetoric he promoted at taxpayer expense.  He threw out a reserve Marine captain who showed up in uniform before he tossed me. The bastard had tenure…there you go. Grad school was the Naval Postgraduate School and things were very different there.

Freedom Means Respect

Respect for each other, respect for so many people who have left it all on the field before us in the hopes that we would make the world better by building on what they did and what they sacrificed.

Universities don’t teach respect. Maybe they never did?

 

Teach your children and grandchildren about how things are supposed to work.

Chickens were traditionally machines to convert agrarian debris (bugs, seeds) into protein-rich eggs. Their current battery-farming use turning corn feed into breast, thigh, and wing meat is relatively novel.

Pigs are traditionally a way to convert farm waste and forest forage (grubs, mushrooms, nuts) into fat and protein, with pigs hardy enough to stand up to the forest’s threats

Cows turn grassland forage into protein-rich milk, meat, and leather. Cows are sturdy enough to be turned loose to live freely outside of direct supervision for long periods in secured territory and then rounded up, so can be raised with little labor on large amounts of poor land. Can move long distances under own power, can be raised in remote areas and sold fresh in high-demand population centers. Dairy herds, by contrast, were kept right outside population centers. Quick-spoiling milk can be processed into cooking lipid butter and stable, transportable, marketable protein source cheese. Can be used as traction-generating and load-bearing beasts.

Sheep are similar to cows at smaller scale and requiring closer attention, process grassland into mutton, milk, and wool, once most important textile in world before cotton.

Horses convert grassland to service as traction-generating and load-bearing beasts. Intelligently trainable, nimblest animals practical to ride.

Donkeys convert grassland to service as traction-generating and load-bearing beasts. Size and output/consumption ratio makes more practical than horses for many applications, but intensely annoying.

Mules – we bred a donkey with a horse to make it less annoying.

Deer, Antelope, Elk, Turkeys, Ducks, Pheasants, etc. – game animals. Sustain their own life cycle from undeveloped land, are hunted in regulated fashion to sustain stock.

Bees – plant-fertilizing function radically increases productivity of fields, yields rich, high-sugar, indefinitely stable honey

Doves – we used to farm doves,  big-ass birdhouses out in the fields. Not sure how that started.

Ostriches – one of those ’80s things, a tax dodge that mist have sounded cool to city people on cocaine.

 

It pains me to through food away. It’s not about eating everything on your plate. It’s about the fact that things had to die to get there on the plate, whether wheat, or a chicken, or whatever. Sure, there are times that you need to toss food, but when you do, do so with respect for your place in the chain.

 

My respect for politicians is far less than my respect for “food”. You’ll note that I didn’t mention the “leach” and its place in the swamp.

 

Admit nothing, deny everything, demand proof, make counterallegations, find a scapegoat (It is Raven’s fault)

Independence Day

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For the first time in my life, there will be no grand fireworks and fun on Independence Day. It’s my favorite holiday because you don’t have to buy presents and I like the food. It’s a low key holiday, with parades if you want to attend, pancake breakfasts at church, and a lot of nostalgia.

I have a Gadsden Flag on the front bumper of my Ford Raptor. A lady asked me if I knew what it meant. I told her that it means that you should think twice before starting stuff with me.

Now we have the Chinese Plague. And I am not amused. We have zombie riots and I am not amused. We had a bullshit impeachment and I was not amused. We have had the Federal Bureau of Investigation plotting to overthrow the government and I am not amused. Corporate America is throwing billions in danegeld to domestic terror organizations and I am not amused. Abortion clinics were open and churches were closed and I am not amused.

We still have a republic, the Constitution hangs by a thread, and the Bill of Rights is under assault daily, and the progressives are really on a roll.

And it’s still Independence Day, for at least one more year.

 

Fly Two Flags

The Ferret

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Ferret Armored Recon Vehicle.

 

If you’re thinking of gifting something to somebody who would appreciate it, think no further. I believe that I could use a Ferret as a ranch vehicle…and to support local efforts to keep the great unwashed masses in line.  Buy here. I prefer the Mark 2/3 with the turret, but any model will do.

I first came into contact with this cool little scout car in Northern Ireland:

The Ferret armored car, also commonly called the Ferret scout car, is a British armored fighting vehicle designed and built for reconnaissance purposes. The Ferret was produced between 1952 and 1971 by the UK company Daimler. It was widely adopted by regiments in the British Army, as well as the RAF Regiment and Commonwealth countries throughout the period.

An ambitious American manufacturer could start building them for American domestic use (in private hands) during the “troubles” here. I mean, if the government is going to defund the police, we’ll need to start commuting in these.

There are variants to the basic armored car”

Mk 1 – (FV701C) No turret

Mk 2 – 2-door turret from Alvis Saracen APC
Armament .30 Browning MG

Mk 2/3 – rebuilt to new specification
Armament .30 Browning MG

Mk 4 – (FV711) Reconnaissance vehicle with 2-door turret from Alvis Saracen APC

Ferret Armored Car Specifications

Weight 3.7 t
Length 12 ft 2 in (3.7 m)
Width 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Crew 2 (commander, driver)
Main armament – 7.62×51mm NATO GPMG
Engine Rolls Royce B60 Inlet over Exhaust I6 petrol
130 hp (97 kW)
Power/weight 35.1 hp/ton
Drive train 4×4
Operational range -190 mi (310 km)
Speed 58 mph (93 km/h)

That baby would look mighty good with an Arizona license plate on it.

IL-2

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Ilyushin Il-2 Ground Attack Aircraft

The Ilyushin Il-2 or Shturmovik was a ground-attack aircraft produced by the Soviet Union in very large numbers during the Second World War (Great Patriotic War). With 36,183 units of the Il-2 produced during the war.

Shturmovik

The Il-2 was designed by Sergey Ilyushin and his team at the Central Design Bureau in 1938. TsKB-55 was a two-seat aircraft with an armored shell weighing 700 kg (1,540 lb), protecting crew, engine, radiators, and the fuel tank. Standing loaded, the Ilyushin weighed more than 4,700 kg (10,300 lb), making the armored shell about 15% of the aircraft’s gross weight. Uniquely for a World War II attack aircraft, and similarly to the forward fuselage design of the World War I-era Imperial German Junkers J.I armored, all-metal biplane, the Il-2’s armor was designed as a load-bearing part of the Ilyushin’s monocoque structure, thus saving considerable weight. The prototype TsKB-55, which first flew on October 2nd, 1939, won the government competition against the Sukhoi Su-6 and received the VVS designation BSh-2 (the BSh stood for “Bronirovani Shturmovik” or armored ground attack).

The BSh-2 was overweight and underpowered, with the original Mikulin AM-35 1,022 kW (1,370 hp) engine designed to give its greatest power outputs at high altitude. Because of this it was redesigned as the TsKB-57, a lighter single-seat design, with the more powerful 1,254 kW (1,680 hp) Mikulin AM-38 engine, a development of the AM-35 optimized for low level operation. The TsKB-57 first flew on October 12th, 1940. The production aircraft passed State Acceptance Trials in March 1941, and was re-designated Il-2 in April. Deliveries to operational units commenced in May 1941. One of the first 1940 photographs of the Il-2 show it equipped with two MP-6 23 mm auto-cannons developed by Yakov Taubin. The MP-6 gun weighed 70 kg and developed an initial muzzle velocity of 900 m/s. It operated on the short recoil principle and had a rate of fire of about 600 rpm. In the early Il-2 prototypes, these guns were fed by 81-round magazines. In flight, these magazines sometimes became dislodged. Subsequently, in May 1941, development of the MP-6 gun was terminated and Taubin was arrested and summarily executed in October that year.

In early 1941, the Il-2 was ordered into production at four factories, and was eventually produced in greater numbers than any other military aircraft in aviation history, but by the time Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22nd, 1941, only State Aviation Factory 18 at Voronezh and Factory 381 at Leningrad had commenced production, with 249 having been built by the time of the German attack. Production early in the war was slow because after the German invasion the aircraft factories near Moscow and other major cities in western Russia had to be moved east of the Ural Mountains. Ilyushin and his engineers had time to reconsider production methods, and two months after the move Il-2s were again being produced. After threats by Stalin to increase production, Stalin’s notion of the Il-2 being ‘like bread’ to the Red Army took hold in Ilyushin’s aircraft plants and the army soon had their Shturmoviks available in quantity.

Maybe it’s easier to visualize as a “flying tractor”.

The first use in action of the Il-2 was with the 4th ShAP (Ground Attack Regiment) over the Berezina River days after German invasion began. The aircraft was so new that the pilots had no training in flight characteristics or tactics, and the ground crew no training in servicing or re-arming. The training received enabled the pilots only to take-off and land; none of the pilots had fired the armament, let alone learned tactics.

There were 249 Il-2s available in June 1941. In the first three days, 4th ShAP had lost 10 Il-2s to enemy action, a further 19 were lost to other causes, and 20 pilots were killed. By July, 4th ShAP was down to 10 aircraft from a strength of 65. Tactics improved as Soviet aircrews became used to the Il-2’s strengths. Instead of a low horizontal straight approach at 150 ft. AGL, the target was usually kept to the pilot’s left and a turn and shallow dive of 30 degrees was used. Although the Il-2’s RS-82 and RS-132 rockets could destroy armored vehicles with a single hit, they were so inaccurate that experienced Il-2 pilots mainly used the cannon. Another potent weapon of the Il-2s was the PTAB shaped charge bomblets (protivotankovaya aviabomba, “anti-tank aviation bomb”).

PTABs were first used on a large scale in the Battle of Kursk. The Il-2 was thereafter widely deployed on the Eastern Front. The aircraft could fly in low light conditions and carried weapons able to defeat the thick armor of the Panther and Tiger I tanks. In the Battle of Kursk, General V. Ryazanov became a master in the use of attack aircraft en masse, developing and improving the tactics of Il-2 operations in co-ordination with infantry, artillery and armored troops. Il-2s at Kursk used the “circle of death” tactic: up to eight Shturmoviks formed a defensive circle, each plane protecting the one ahead with its forward machine guns, while individual Il-2s took turns leaving the circle, attacking a target, and rejoining the circle. Ryazanov was later awarded the Gold Star of Hero of Soviet Union twice, and the 1st Assault Aviation Corps under his command became the first unit to be awarded the honorific title of Guards. In 1943, 26 Shturmovik sorties were conducted. About half of those lost during were shot down by fighters, the rest falling to anti-aircraft fire.

During the Battle of Kursk, VVS Il-2s claimed the destruction of no less than 270 tanks (and 2,000 men) in a period of just two hours against the 3rd Panzer Division. Perhaps the most extraordinary claim by the VVS’s Il-2s is that, over a period of four hours, they destroyed 240 tanks and in the process virtually wiped out the 17th Panzer Division. The 17th Panzer did not register any abnormal losses due to aircraft in the summer of 1943, and retreated westwards with Army Group South later in the year, still intact.

There is a lesson to be learned. If you claimed substantial kills, you received the Order of Lenin. If you didn’t, you were shot.

The main problem with the Il-2 was the inaccuracy of its attacks. Towards the end of war, the Soviets were able to concentrate large numbers of Shturmoviks to support their main offensives. The effect, however, was often more psychological than actual physical destruction of targets, particularly against dug-in and armored targets. While some attacks against large unprotected targets such as horse and truck convoys and railyards had devastating results, attacks against dug-in point targets were usually ineffective. The frequent duels between dug-in 20 and 40 mm AA guns and Il-2 attackers never resulted in the complete destruction of the gun, while many Il-2s were brought down in these attacks. The heavy armor of the Il-2 also meant that it would typically carry only comparatively light bomb-loads, which together with the poor accuracy of its attacks made it a far less deadly attack aircraft than contemporary Allied fighter-bombers such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and Hawker Typhoon.

Thanks to the heavy armor protection, the Il-2 could take a great deal of punishment and proved difficult for both ground and aircraft fire to shoot down. A major threat to the Il-2 was German ground fire. In postwar interviews, Il-2 pilots reported 20 mm (0.79 in) and 37 mm (1.46 in) artillery as the primary threat. While the fabled 88 mm (3.46 in) calibre gun was formidable, low-flying Il-2s presented too fast-moving a target for the 88’s relatively low rate of fire, only occasional hits were scored. Owing to a shortage of fighters, in 1941–1942, Il-2s were occasionally used as fighters. While outclassed by dedicated fighters such as the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke-Wulf Fw 190, in dogfights, the Il-2 could take on other Luftwaffe aircraft with some success. While the Il-2 was a deadly air-to-ground weapon, and even a fairly effective interceptor against slow bombers and transport aircraft, heavy losses resulted from its vulnerability to fighter attack. Losses were very high, the highest of all types of Soviet aircraft, though given the numbers in service this is only to be expected.

In final summery, the aircraft was a piece of Russian flying junk, but they built 36,183 of them (allowing many German fighter pilots to rack up impressive kill records at their expense). The quality of pilot training was poor and most of the squadrons were directed by ground controllers who tightly choreographed what they should do. If you departed from the directions and survived the mission you would likely be shot and replaced. It was not a great time to be a Russian ground-attack pilot.

Clear Creek

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When you think of Arizona

You usually don’t think of mountain streams and going on picnics on the sand bar, swimming in deep water.

…and East Clear Creek is about a mile from the house.

Life isn’t all riots, arson, strife and calls for racial justice. Sometimes it’s just a swim and a picnic, and some catch-and-release crawdad fishing. The granddaughters are up for a couple days. And they like to go to the creek with grandpa.

There are rainbow trout, German brown trout, brook trout and Gila Native trout in the creek, that runs all year.

People still tease me about having abandoned the California city scene for Rural Arizona  but they don’t laugh so hard these days. Yeah, I’m nuts to have given up fast food, living in a melting pot of humanity and a gas station on every corner. When they built a mosque just down the street from where I was living and all the Mohammedans showed up, it was the last straw. No mosques here.

 

Mission to Triton

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Neptune's Moon, Triton

When NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Neptune’s strange moon Triton three decades ago, it wrote a planetary science cliffhanger.

Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft ever to have flown past Neptune, and it left a lot of unanswered questions. The views were as stunning as they were puzzling, revealing massive, dark plumes of icy material spraying out from Triton‘s surface. But how? Images showed that the icy landscape was young and had been resurfaced over and over with fresh material. But what material, and from where?

How could an ancient moon six times farther from the Sun than Jupiter still be active? Is there something in its interior that is still warm enough to drive this activity?

Investigating how Triton has changed over time would give scientists a better understanding of how solar system bodies evolve and work.

The oddities of Triton could fill an almanac: As Neptune rotates, Triton orbits in the opposite direction. No other large moon in the solar system does that. And Triton’s orbit lies at an extreme tilt, offset from Neptune’s equator by 23 degrees. About three-quarters the diameter of our own Moon, Triton isn’t where it used to be, either. It either migrated from the Kuiper Belt, a region beyond Neptune of icy bodies left over from the early solar system, or it came from beyond the Solar System and was captured by Neptune.

Triton has an unusual atmosphere: Filled with charged particles, a layer called the ionosphere is 10 times more active than that of any other moon in the solar system.

That last trait is especially strange, because ionospheres generally are charged by solar energy. But Triton and Neptune are far from the Sun – 30 times farther from the Sun than Earth, so some other energy source must be at work. (It takes 165 Earth years for Neptune to complete one orbit around the Sun.)

Triton’s climate is dynamic and changing, with a steady flow of organic material, likely nitrogen, snowing onto the surface.

“Triton has always been one of the most exciting and intriguing bodies in the solar system,” said Louise Prockter, director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute/Universities Space Research Association in Houston. As principal investigator, she would lead the proposed Trident mission, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California would manage it. “I’ve always loved the Voyager 2 images and their tantalizing glimpses of this bizarre, crazy moon that no one understands,” Prockter added.

Those mysterious plumes Voyager 2 spotted are especially intriguing. Plumes seen on Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and possibly present on Jupiter’s moon Europa, are thought to be caused by water from the interior being forced through thick, icy crusts. If an ocean is the source of the plumes on Triton (which lies much farther out in the solar system than Europa and Enceladus), the discovery would give scientists new information about how interior oceans form. Unlike other known ocean worlds, Triton’s potential ocean likely developed after it was captured by Neptune’s gravity.

It would also expand scientists’ understanding of where we might find water. Figuring out what factors lead to a solar system body having the necessary ingredients to be habitable, which include water, is one Trident’s three major goals. The spacecraft would carry an instrument to probe the moon’s magnetic field to determine if an ocean lies inside, while other instruments would investigate the intense ionosphere, organic-rich atmosphere and bizarre surface features.

The proposed launch date in October 2025 (with a backup in October 2026) would take advantage of a once-in-a-13-year window, when Earth is properly aligned with Jupiter. The spacecraft would use the gravitational pull of Jupiter as a slingshot straight to Triton for an extended 13-day encounter in 2038.

And it may seem that time moves slowly in the outer reaches of the solar system, where Neptune’s years are long. Ironically for Triton, the long timeline presents limitations. If Trident arrives before 2040, the team could perform its test of what’s powering the plume activity. Any later, and the Sun moves too far north … for the next hundred years

Current Events

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Chinese Threats to Australia (youtube)

There was a general sense in the People’s Republic of China that they’d bought and owned Australia. The realization that they don’t is deeply disturbing to Beijing.  They’re trying to fix the problem by ‘punishing Australia’.

The round-up of foreigners living in China, who would be charged with espionage, irrespective of facts, and held as ‘hostages’ or however you want to characterize it, seems to be coming sooner than later as intimated in the youtube piece cited, dated June 29, 2020.

Friends of mine have been plucked from the street and interrogated along these lines as have many westerners. Things are sliding down hill in China very quickly.

 

Springfield Armory?

How do you feel about their firearms?

 

After hoax after hoax has been revealed, nobody thought that there would be a zombie problem when the Chinese Plague hit, but, yes, it followed. Now everyone is trying to predict the next thing.

Black Hole Collision (in the news)

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Artist's Impression

This artist’s concept shows a supermassive black hole surrounded by a disk of gas. Embedded in this disk are two smaller black holes that may have merged together to form a new black hole. Image credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC)

 

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena CA)

When two black holes spiral around each other and ultimately collide, they send out gravitational waves – ripples in space and time that can be detected with extremely sensitive instruments on Earth. Since black holes and black hole mergers are completely dark, these events are invisible to telescopes and other light-detecting instruments used by astronomers. However, theorists have come up with ideas about how a black hole merger could produce a light signal by causing nearby material to radiate.

Now, scientists using Caltech’s Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) located at Palomar Observatory near San Diego spotted what could be just such a scenario. If confirmed, it would be the first known light flare from a pair of colliding black holes.

The merger was identified on May 21, 2019, by two gravitational wave detectors – the National Science Foundation’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) and the European Virgo detector – in an event called GW190521g. That detection allowed the ZTF scientists to look for light signals from the location where the gravitational wave signal originated. These gravitational wave detectors have also spotted mergers between dense cosmic objects called neutron stars, and astronomers have identified light emissions from those collisions.

The ZTF results are described in a new study published in the journal Physical Review Letters. The authors hypothesize that the two partner black holes, each several dozen times more massive than the Sun, were orbiting a third, supermassive black hole that is millions of times the mass of the Sun and surrounded by a disk of gas and other material. When the two smaller black holes merged, they formed a new, larger black hole that would have experienced a kick and shot off in a random direction. According to the new study, it may have plowed through the disk of gas (event horizon), causing it to light up.

Mergers of black holes are not well understood except that the angular momentum of each black hole is likely different. The merger of the material in (if we can use that term) and around each black hole will be moving at different directions and different speeds and it causes the new, larger black hole to travel in a new direction because of the energy released. That’s the theory.

It’s important to understand events such as these with neutron stars in particular.

Below is an updated periodic table of elements that shows where each element comes from. Some come from more than one source, but you can see just how many elements were detected in the neutron star merger. The purple shows elements from neutron star mergers. This is why the detected merger was so important. It showed us where many of the heavy elements came from like gold, silver, lead, platinum, iodine, bismuth, tin, uranium, and many more.

A Stake in the Outcome

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There is a wide variance of opinions by this blog’s readership when it comes to the roll of the police/sheriffs/state police in society.

One thing that strikes me is that many believe that the outcome of police actions is something that police officers concern themselves with. In rural jurisdictions where everyone knows everyone, maybe. In urban settings, no. If a person is found not-guilty by a jury, that’s on the jury. If evidence is excluded and a motion to dismiss is granted, often the arresting officers are never notified. There is rarely time and with the volume of arrests and activities, by the time something goes to court, the officers may only have a vague recollection of the matter.

Most police officers in urban environments feel ‘punished’ on a regular basis whether justified or unjustified by administration, by the public in general and by working conditions, which are rarely optimal.

Once in the system, they tough it out until they can leave the business with a pension which will see them into their dotage. In the mid 1970’s the average life expectancy of a police officer in the US was 54 years. Many agencies at the time pegged retirement age at 55. That wasn’t accidental. However, fewer officers smoke, drink and the life expectancy is more in line with the general population these days.

You can help the police care less about their jobs, and about doing a good job. They don’t need to stop the suspicious vehicle cruising a neighborhood at night (trust me, you can’t drive down the street without violating SOME provision of the vehicle code, so there can be cause for a traffic stop). They don’t need to respond promptly. There is no legal requirement that they respond at all. Maybe a social worker will be sent to comfort the victim of an armed robbery or a rape or an arson. No need to get the courts involved. That seems to be a flavor of the moment. Many states are releasing people convicted of serious violent felonies decades earlier than they would otherwise be eligible. (It’s job security for the police)

I have a son-in-law in the business in Southern California and he along with many others are considering relocating out of state and commuting to work for their three-day (12 hour) shift and bunking in a commonly shared apartment, then driving home for their four days off. My family has real estate agents coming by next week to give them a sense of the market value of their home. It’s not a threat. It’s cause and effect. I am not personally in favor of that sort of work situation, for the historical record.

There may be a move to force officers/deputies to live in the cities or counties or states where they work, but the courts have routinely shot those actions down. And they all have the shared apartment for a local address anyway.

The loss of qualified immunity on top of everything else may please members of the public, but the officer’s stake in the positive outcome from policing will drop even if cities and counties buy massively expensive malpractice insurance. The truth is that once an officer is sued, and a payout is made, they wouldn’t be insurable and they’d have to quit anyway. And while some of you are thinking that only bad apples can be sued, think again. They can be personally sued presently under qualified immunity if they act outside of the lawful scope of employment.  Nobody would last long enough on the job to figure out how to do the job. Hiring standards drop, convicted felons who are judgment proof because of their poverty carry badges and guns. And how cool is that? You can sue them all you want.

As I’ve pointed out on this blog often enough, it doesn’t matter to me personally. There are no police/sheriffs where I live. The White Wolf Mine is remote. I can call a sheriff and somebody may show up in a few hours or the next day or even within the week. Whatever problem would force me to call the sheriff will be solved hours before they arrive. So if no deputy sheriff ever arrives, it’s no big thing. Fund, defund, disband, whatever. People sort things out on their own in the remote corners of America.  But it’s not that way in the inner cities.

And while I have removed myself from the equation and somebody driving down the dirt road to my house is an event, that’s not true of family.  Most are forced to work and live in areas where police/sheriffs are needed. For their sakes, I do care.

Contemporary Caution

32
Red China's Three Gorges Damn

 

Communist China Update

 

The Chinese Plagues

It makes you think twice. What is going on in China? Is it that the place has filthy practices and a LOT of people? However you choose to view the situation, please think long and hard about buying food that originated from or was processed on the Chinese mainland. Tilapia that are grown in ‘sewer ponds’ and catfish that are grown in toxic lakes are more than just a meme.

 

A Liberal Friend

…Reached out to me and asked me if I could suggest the firearms that he should buy and a location that he and his family could go to receive competent training.

In his e-mail, he said that he was all but certain that President Trump would be president four more years. (he’s not a Trump fan) And that the democrats would continue to whip up racial minorities and at the same time de-fund all or part of the police.

He says that the democrat party has become unhinged. And if he is to protect his life and that of his family, he must look to his own defense. I shared my thoughts in reply.

 

An Antarctic Encounter

12

There are a few true apex predators in Antarctic waters. The orca, which is an apex predator everywhere, the great white shark, and the fearsome leopard seal, which harvests penguins.

 

The Dystopian World

15

Biden

I know people close to creepy, corrupt, senile old Joe Biden. They are friends of the Bidens and pre-plague would have dinner with them once or twice a month.  Even they say that Joe’s dementia is getting very acute, though the don’t see them much now. Not many people do. Joe himself isn’t typically an ideological Marxist, but the Party is, and they don’t plan to keep him around long after the election, should he win. That’s not news to anyone. I’m simply commenting on the reality of the times that we are living through.

The one good thing about current events is that it’s making it a lot easier to write the novelette, Vigilante Moon. The novel is set in the dystopian future about a hundred years from now, but when you read what AOC, the Muslim Squad and others are saying, it marks the path that would end in the novel.

A Clip from Chapter Three of Vigilante Moon:

I’ll set it up for you. Police Sergeant Michael Francis Xavier Muldoon is studying for his lieutenant’s exam. The exam is a sham and everyone knows that it is. Promotion is based on political suitability. Chapter One was published on this blog recently in two parts.

————–

I set my police notebook down on the table and went into the bedroom to study.

Instead of reading a banned book of history or a forbidden novel, I actually cracked the books for the exam. Most police officers are assigned to the Indenture Compliance Division, and are referred to by the locals as breakers. Everyone starts there. I started in IC. That’s where I met John Dewey, my corporal at the time.

Everything belongs to the people, but everything is also managed by The Progressive Party, which looks after the needs of the people. There are elections and indentured persons are required to vote for the party member on the ballot. There is no more than one party member for any given position and voting is mandatory. The underlying theory is that citizens (all Party members are citizens but not all citizens are Party members) need the guidance to vote for the right person and the Party, out of love and compassion, provides that leadership.

Scene from: The Untouchables (1987), screenplay by David Mamet

People who work in the industrial sector and in the agricultural sector are all indentured to the Party. All are paid for their work, meals are provided by the party at work locations and they are debited against the income of the worker. The same is true of clothing, and anything that the workers require to make them productive. Children attend primary schools and rack up a debt that is difficult if not impossible to pay off. If they show promise, they never see a factory floor and are taken away to state schools for additional training, and usually their indenture is removed as they are groomed for Party membership.

I supervise the street squad in the Second Precinct. The First Precinct, or headquarters, has a street squad too. Most of the police manpower, the breakers, are assigned to the Third Precinct (industrial production) and the Fourth Precinct (agricultural production) where we have one squad to control a large urban area, they have ten to handle the projects, where workers live and the industrial sites themselves, or the agricultural areas). Understanding the fine points of Indenture and the law that underpins it are required learning for anyone interested in advancing to lieutenant.

Indentured Compliance has everything west of Martin Luther King Boulevard, and there is no travel out of that zone unless it’s the police traveling to and from work or if there are goods that are moved out of the zone. Managing the flow of industrial and agricultural products are a key responsibility of Indentured Compliance.

There is a lieutenant and a political officer, also a lieutenant, that manage the transfer portal on each of three shifts. I had already memorized those duties as laid out in the text.

Ambitious workers advance themselves in one of two ways. They can become machine adjusters and mechanics, which means more privileges within the indentured class or they can become capos, inspecting the work done by underlings and by informing to the police of any discrepancies. The police pass the information on to Party leaders who make decisions as to how the discrepancies are handled. The ambitious are rewarded to keep the basic workers docile, compliant and hard working. They are a pressure valve. The duties of a lieutenant in Indentured Compliance include monitoring that social pressure valve.

In truth, people must be fed enough to be strong enough to carry out their duties. If they don’t work, they don’t eat. The life expectancy of thirty-five years for a worker is sufficient for them to biologically reproduce, insuring a self-sustaining work force.

The Police Civil Unrest Division works as a supervising influence over the Police Indentured Compliance Division. The Party never allows all the power to coalesce in one Police division. Everyone looks at everyone else, everyone reports on everyone else and it’s the job of the Party Mandarins to work out what is significant and what is not.

Within the First and Second precincts we find anti-social elements, the sorts of gangs that would never be allowed to operate west of Martin Luther King Boulevard. They too are part of the balance that the Party monitors, offering vices, illegal loans, and other services to the citizens who are not indentured and often to Party Members themselves, who don’t want their peccadillos scrutinized. Because the gangs kick up to Party officials, they are tolerated, but are kept in check by the police. The Thirtieth Street Mafistos were considered to be a barely competent group that dabbled in bookmaking and prostitution. By mentioning that they might be responsible for that big armored car robbery and might also be part of the abduction of Alderman Wilbur Quail, it put a gold star next to their turf, which the Police Gang Division monitored. Adding the mysterious and fictional Vietnamese Cá độc, or Cruel Fish Gang to the equation would cause quite a stir. I laughed to myself and closed my study guide.

————–

It’s important paint a picture of the place, the times and the people as events unfold in a story such as this one.

After all, it’s not a graphic novel (modern comic book). You have to paint pictures for the mind with words. You can’t tell a story at a glance.

 

 

Open Forum Monday

28

This is your time to be clever and blow off some steam and cut loose.

But can you be this innovative?

The space below is yours.

Qualified Immunity

45

 

Qualified immunity is designed to protect all but the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law. Law enforcement officers are entitled to qualified immunity when their actions do not violate a clearly established statutory or constitutional right.

LL in harness, a few years ago.

Qualified immunity is a judicially created doctrine that shields government officials from being held personally liable from for money damages under federal law so long as the officials did not violate “clearly established” law. And Colorado just removed that protection from the police. Other states are expected to follow.

Removing qualified immunity from police and sheriffs means that they can be sued for everything they do – personally – and that they must defend themselves, paying legal fees out of pocket.

So either cities/counties/states buy malpractice insurance at great cost to the taxpayer, or officers will quit or will just not show up until the drama ends and they’ll take reports.

Practically, what these governors and civic leaders are assuring you is that your taxes will go way up. And insurance vendors will likely make out like bandits. But the public is too stupid to grasp this. They expect that they’re injuring the officers personally and are doing that with glee. It’s like shooting yourself in the groin and then admiring the work.

Memes for the Moment (a Sunday Sermonette)

21
Sometimes you need to hang out and just chill.

 

 

 

I’m an AMERICAN. Weapons are an integral part of my religion. Some people say that you can’t actually worship at the range. Others say that it allows God to guide your hand… ok, sometimes the Devil but I usually blame a miss on the wind whether or not it’s windy.

 

 

Wisdom from AOC

The Great Society

He knew his constituents

 

King George III did not understand his constituents

 

 

 

 

What’s Next? Space Aliens?

40
Global warming, impeachment and zombies didn't work...

 

Deadliest Cities

And you have to hand it to the democrat party. They know how to take and hold power no matter how bad the slums that they rule are.

 

The Chinese Plague Shell Game

In Maricopa County, where Phoenix is located and which holds over half of Arizona’s population, sixty-three percent of the deaths related to COVID are people who were in long term care facilities. The majority of those who’ve died here in AZ are people over 65.

The state and hospitals have been manipulating the numbers by reporting based on “emergency” beds that were specifically held back in case of an overwhelming of their facilities, and then removing those beds from the number of open beds (which will spike the number of beds in use), and combining the COVID cases with other uses of beds.

The “deadly plague” is nothing near what the media is reporting, because they aren’t giving the public all the information.

Rather than forcing the entire economy to shut down again, which is what’s being pushed by the narrative, the “news” media should be doing a better job of informing the public who is most at risk. Those people most at risk can then make informed decisions about how to best protect themselves and live their lives.

The rest of us, though, should be able to get back to living a normal life instead of feeling like we’re living some dystopian nightmare.

Look at the crisis timeline.

-FBI engineered coup to take down President Trump is exposed and it fails.

-Global warming count down to doom. We had ten years left before we all died when President Trump took office. We should be something like seven years away from doom, but nobody is talking about it anymore. (They’ll need a new countdown.)

-Impeachment hoax, along party lines. Nobody cared.

-Chinese Plague to shut down the country.

-Toilet Paper shortages.

-Zombie Apocalypse riots.

-Back to the Chinese Plague…

-Standing by for the Space Aliens – because you know that “the truth is out there” – somewhere.

 

One hundred Years Ago

Battleship USS Nevada (BB-36) (thanks for the correction, Steve)

Model T Ford
The Wall Street Bombing (1920)

The Map, etc.

29

 

Holy Roman Empire in 1356

What was left of the Roman Empire (sorta).  It makes me wonder what the map of North America will look like in 2220. Even though it’s politically incorrect (traditionally) to secede from the Union, the Democrats seem to be pushing for it (again). And the Republicans seem to be holding the union together (again). The Democrats are pushing an ‘inner city slaver culture’ and the Republicans seem to be working to free those enslaved by culture by offering financial independence instead of food stamps and welfare (which is exceptionally progressive).

Black Lives Matter and other racially exclusive groups are pushing for segregation which is odd, isn’t it, because I can recall when desegregation was all the rage. Will it change the map? Time will tell.

 

The Evolution of Pole Arms

Some of you who read this blog may recall that I was looking for a pole axe to carry in the truck. The search continues. There is an appeal to a pole arm that is short enough to be used in a CQB environment. Then again, it’s so much easier to carry my Glock 21 with four spare magazines. I usually load with 12. Which is 60 rounds of .45 ACP +P. (my Glock is modified and optimized for +P ammo. You can get up to a lot of trouble with 60 rounds, after which there is ammo in boxes. Do I need a pole axe? The little voice says that maybe I need one too. In addition to my tomahawk & war hammer…and shotgun…and the…other stuff. The Raptor has a lot of room.

Will the M-67 hand grenades that the cartels have (bought from Central American military stores) become fashionable to carry in the US the way that they are in Mexico? Asking for a friend.

 

Don’t Try This

If there are gators in the water nearby. They have no respect.

 

Allignment

 

Why are the French Obsessed with Grenades?

Artillery helmet? Grenade. Infantry helmet? Grenade. Gendarmes? Grenade. The foreign legion? Grenade. Firemen? Grenade. When did les pompiers ever lob grenades at burning buildings to put fires out?

As you will know, the grenade insignia is linked to grenadier regiments. When grenades were a new and exciting weapon, usually given to tall and fit soldiers that were best able to lob it at the enemy before they exploded in their hands.

The original weapon, with the lighted fuse disappeared from line battles but the distinction stayed, with grenadiers being elite troops. The insignia itself first appears on French uniforms with the creation of two regiments of grenadiers gendarmes in 1791, replacing the old royal police force, and then spread to all gendarmerie units. When you couple that with Napoleonic grenadiers, you start having a consequential part of French armed forces using the grenade as their insignia, at which point it bled over to all line infantry regiments during WW1 – the reasoning behind that if I had to guess was probably ‘well we need to put something on the helmets, I know, let’s use a grenade. Everyone loves grenades”.

When I was in France circa 2004, I met with counterparts while I was speaking at a conference at the Interpol General Secretariat in Lyon. It was a special French police unit. They gave me their kepi as a keepsake (I have a few kepis as keepsakes from over the years including a kepi blanc from the FFL) and it has a flaming grenade on it.

Today they use the LGI Mle F1 (a lot like a Japanese  Type 89  knee mortar used in WW2) to deliver a 51mm GRExPL AP LGI F1 HE grenade.

But no, I really don’t know why the obsession with grenade emblems on almost everything. I’m not French, though I have French ancestors – the name “Lambert.” If I was French, I might have a tighter grip on the culture?