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This Month in History (871 AD)

The Great Heathen Army

JANUARY 871: Elements of the Danish “Great Heathen Army” repulsed the Saxon assault on their base at Reading, England.

The first Battle of Reading was just one of a series of battles, with honors to both sides, that took place following the invasion of the Kingdom of Wessex by an army of Danes led by Jarls Bagsecg and Halfdan Ragnarsson; in an attempt to conquer the last remaining English kingdom in Britain. Both battle and campaign are described in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, and this account provides the earliest known written record of the existence of the town of Reading.


The “Great Heathen Army” came to England in 865, led by the sons of the famed Viking Ragnar Lothbrok. These were Halfdan, Ubbe, and their leader, Ivar the Boneless. (Two other sons of Ragnar, Sigurd “Snake-Eye” and Björn Ironside, may-or-may-not have accompanied the initial invasion.)

The Danes had been campaigning in northern France for many years, under the command of Ragnar or his sons. The army came to England (according to legend) to get vengeance for the killing of Ragnar by the Northumbrian king, Ælla, after Ragnar was shipwrecked and captured in the previous year.

Landing in East Anglia (one of the 4 English realms comprising “England”), the Danes negotiated a truce with King Edmund, allowing them to gather supplies and horses for a swift attack on Northumbria; which they carried out with great success. The Northumbrians were defeated at York, and Ragnar was avenged when Ivar carved the “blood eagle” on the back of King Ælla. York became the Danes’ base of operations for attacks against the rest of England (and, within a few years, Dublin as well) and remained in Danish hands, in one form or another, for most of the next two hundred years.

After the Danes conducted a successful raid into Mercia, East Anglia was next to feel their fury. King Edmund was captured and repaid for his earlier support with martyrdom.

Mercia soon collapsed, its last king fleeing to France, and subsequently was divided into zones of influence between the Danes and Wessex.

In 871, reinforcements reached the Danes, replenishing their numbers (many of the original invaders had settled in Northumbria; or accompanied Ivar to Dublin, where he established a dynasty, the Uí Ímair, or House of Ivar). Under Halfdan Ragnarsson and a newcomer, Jarl (or “king”) Bagsecg, the Danes crossed the Thames and established a strongly fortified camp at Reading, defended by the Thames and Kennet rivers on two sides, and by a rampart on the western side.

Three days after their arrival, a party of Danes rode out towards nearby Englefield, where a West Saxon force under the command of Æthelwulf, the Ealdorman of the shire, was waiting for them. In the ensuing Battle of Englefield many of the Danes were killed, and the rest driven back to Reading. (Englefield, though a minor skirmish, was important in that it was the first time the Danes had been defeated by the English since the coming of the Great Heathen Army, and went far to dispelling the myth of their invincibility.)

Four days later, Æthelwulf had been joined by the main West Saxon army, led by King Æthelred and his younger brother, Alfred. The entire Saxon army now marched on Reading. The assault was directed mainly at a gateway through the ramparts, and fierce and bloody fighting followed, before the English attack was repulsed and the Danes put them to flight with a counter-attack. Among the many dead of both sides was Ealdorman Æthelwulf. The English were forced to retreat, allowing the Danes to continue their advance into Wessex.

Following the Battle of Reading, Æthelred and Alfred regathered their army, and a few days later won a famous victory at the Battle of Ashdown, forcing the Danes to retreat back to their base at Reading. Two weeks later the Danes won the Battle of Basing, and then, on 22 March, the Battle of Marton.

In April Æthelred died, to be succeeded by Alfred. The Danish army remained in Reading until late in 871, when they retreated to winter quarters in London, and much of King Alfred’s 28-year reign was taken up with trying to repulse repeated Viking incursions and contain and reduce the Danish conquests. His continued (and ultimately successful) resistance alone prevented a complete Danish conquest of England, and paved the way for a reconquista by his son and grandson. For this (and his patronage of the Church, of learning, and his programs of building) he is remembered as the only English monarch to bear the appellation “the Great”.

Further reading: Historical Fiction by Bernard Cornwell, Saxon Tales – The Last Kingdom, etc. is highly recommended if you have an interest in the period. There is also a mini-series out there (The Last Kingdom) based on the early books in the 12 book series. I know that many of this blog’s readers have read the books. They aren’t history per se, but they are meticulously researched and are close to history.

Ragnarok (extra)



There are two bits of news from today that are not Internet gossip or conspiracy theory.

I have a friend who is an attorney who has two new clients today. Both had their pictures taken in Washington DC on January 6, not at the Capitol building, but at the demonstration. Both were identified from those photos on the Internet and both have been accused of domestic terrorism by the FBI.

(1) An attorney and member of the California State Bar – has been notified they are going to be dis-barred.

(2) A flight attendant with Southwest Airlines was fired from his job. As a common carrier, they can’t have a terrorist as an employee. He was photographed once, at the Washington Monument.

So it’s begun and there is no telling where it will end. In China, if you fall out of favor, you’re denied the right to work and you are denied the right to live in a city. So you’re made homeless. They call it the floating population.

Apparently the First Amendment has been suspended de facto and there is no more freedom of assembly.

This blog’s days are numbered. Maybe we’ll survive through February?


Now, on with the blog.


The fact that jellyfish have survived for 650 million years despite not having brains gives hope to many people.


CIA Touts Woke Creds

This from Zero Hedge. The truth is that the CIA started having “tranny week” and other woke celebratory events at headquarters two decades ago. A (white) lady I am acquainted with, used to wear a Malcolm X baseball cap around all of the time back at the turn of the millennium just to show how woke she was. And yes, she was a 20 year case officer, not an analyst or a janitor or a clerk.

The report of a “new logo” being used as a recruiting tool, is emblematic of how stupid things are getting. But there is a lot of stupid going around.


Chalk up a big Win!

It turns out that buying Biden (and friends) was a great investment. Who would have thought? A creepy, old, walking corpse.

But really all the oligarchs need is somebody who will read from the teleprompter and sign where they need the signature to make whatever legal.

In that regard, they may be disappointed because the corpse often just rattles on about how he was in jail with Nelson Mandella or how he walked with MLK in Selma or how he won the Medal of Honor in Afghanistan or how he kicked Corn Pop’s ass back in 1948 or how he doesn’t work for us. Yes, the corpse has a limited value to the oligarchs (multi-billion types, tech moguls, Wall St. mandarins) who call the shots now, but how long will that last?

I don’t suggest that the corpse won’t be president, I simply ask you what “president” means. Maybe they give him the launch codes and maybe they don’t. Maybe the briefcase (the football) is as empty as his vacuous brain?


In the Event that You Harbored Doubts



Twitter saw its shares drop by 12 per cent today. The tech giant lost $5 billion on the first day of trading after it permanently suspended President Trump. If people stop using Twitter, it will cease to exist. And maybe that’s for the best.

Tech Moguls can ban everyone from the use of their platforms, but that’s a lot like cutting off your nose to spite your face.




Sara at Diego Garcia

For those uninitiated, there is no good liberty at Diego Garcia. You might as well just stay on the ship.

Saratoga (CV-60) Arrives in San Diego after the First Gulf War.  Worth going ashore.



No, it’s not a nickname or moniker that I acquired through my life. It’s a condition that scientists have opined to exist on Jupiter (the planet, not the Greek God, whose balls have not been available for examination by medical professionals).

The findings are described in the study “Small lightning flashes from shallow electrical storms on Jupiter,” published in Nature. Previous missions to Jupiter, including Voyager 1, Galileo, and New Horizons all observed lightning, but without the benefits of the equipment on Juno or more recent developments in models of the Jovian atmosphere.

In this case, the lighting is notable for how high it is occurring in the atmosphere. While previous observations suggested lightning in water-based clouds deep inside the gas planet, the new data suggests lightning exists in the upper atmosphere in clouds of water and ammonia. This lightning is dubbed “shallow lightning.”

According to a press release by Cornell University, the ammonia is vital in creating the lightning, as it functions as an “anti-freeze” of sorts to keep the water in the clouds from freezing. The collision of droplets of mixed ammonia and water with ice water particles creates the charge needed for lightning strikes.

This is different from any process that creates lightning on Earth.

That wasn’t the only bit of strangeness the probe noticed. While Juno saw plenty of ammonia near the equator and at lower levels of the atmosphere, it was hard-pressed to find much anywhere else. To explain this, researchers developed a new model of atmospheric mixing. They suggest that the ammonia at lower levels of the atmosphere rises into storm clouds, interacts with water to cause the aforementioned lightning, and then falls back down in the form of hailstones.

The scientists gave these ammonia and water ice hailstones the name “mushballs.”

This model explains many things, including why Juno couldn’t detect ammonia where it expected to: the mushballs would be more challenging to detect than ammonia or water vapor. The scientists further speculated that the weight of the mushballs pulls the ammonia to lower levels of the atmosphere where it is detected in more significant amounts.


From Twitter

That’s very progressive – in the event that you didn’t know.


Identify the Aircraft (below)

Yes, I know that it’s an easy one.

Returning from a mission


Members of Team Biden are suggesting that men with weapons of war be sent out to take “weapons of war” which are lawfully owned and used by Americans. It fits the definition of an act of war and the definition of tyranny, which coincidentally, is the reason for the Second Amendment in the first place.


It makes me wonder whether or not Creepy Joe will show up wearing a Fearless Leader outfit.


The Viking Age of Exploration

Most of the popular misconceptions about the Norsemen can trace their origin in the works of the Catholic monks of the early Middle Ages or various Romantic artists and writers of the 19th century.

Among the most well known myths concerning the Norsemen that have been preserved to these days include the fact that they worn horned or winged helmets or that they were ruthless barbarians without a defined culture.

The Viking Age was the period of time in medieval history that is officially documented in the medieval chronicles to have started in 793 and ended in about 1066, coinciding with the Battles of Hastings and Stamford Bridge (Yorvik/York) (or from late 8th century to mid 11th century).

Given the fact that the climate in most of Scandinavia couldn’t support agriculture and that the overpopulation in the coastal areas which were favorable to many human activities (including agriculture) represented serious concerns, the Norsemen had no alternative but to expand by either trade or conquest.

Before Denmark, Norway and Sweden became unified kingdoms, early medieval Scandinavia was fragmented into many earldoms, each ruled by a local earl (jarl). In order to obtain more influence and recognition, each earl could decide to conquer proximal lands and then trade with the neighboring civilizations so as to ensure social, political and economical stability to the earldom. This led to ejections of families and clans into the void and their skill as sailors allowed them to find new homes.

By spotting a weakness which likely stemmed from internal divisions in the neighboring kingdoms outside Scandinavia, the Norsemen took advantage of this situation by conquering and colonizing new lands. So it was, for instance, that the Danish Vikings took advantage of some division in the empire of Charlemagne in the early 9th century and eventually seized control of Normandy, or that the Norwegian Vikings conquered several parts of northern Britain.

The expansion of the Frankish Empire also led to the military campaigns of the Norsemen in Francia and/or Britain. (The Frankish Empire under Charlemagne was close to invading modern day Denmark during the Dark Ages.)

This Month in History (1477)


JANUARY 5, 1477

Charles the Bold and his army were cut down by the Swiss at Nancy.

Charles the Bold

In the disastrous conclusion of the Burgundian Wars, Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy is overwhelmed once again by the aggressive pike-and-halberd tactics of his Swiss opponents. Despite having perhaps the best balanced army in Europe, with a true combined-arms approach to tactics, the Duke’s soldiers lack the ferocious zeal of the Swiss. As at Granson and Morat (1476) the polyglot mix of mercenaries and semi-professional Burgundian compagnies d’ordonnance were unable to hold together in battle; and were swept off the field.

Duke Charles attempted to rally his fleeing forces when he and his entourage were surrounded by a group of pursuing Swiss. The Duke was struck dead with a halberd blow that cleaved his skull. His battered body went undiscovered for three days.

Charles’ army was very advanced for its day, and in theory a well-balanced, combined arms force: he had Flemish pikemen, English longbowmen, handgunners (early firearms), and superbly armored and mounted Franco-Burgundian men-at-arms. His field artillery was at the beginning of the conflict with the Swiss the best in Western Europe.

But he was never able to coordinate all of these troops in battle. First, because in each his lack of scouting led to his army being repeatedly surprised by the Swiss onslaught. That, and the rapidity of the Swiss assault, which gave no time for deployment of his forces. Secondly, as his troops were unable to fully deploy from camp to field before the Swiss were upon them, Charles was forced to use his cavalry unsupported, against an army designed to defeat armored knights.

Nancy put an end to the brief period in which the Duchy of Burgundy strode the European stage as an independent and powerful state. After Charles’ death, his 20 year old daughter, Mary, inherited the vast Burgundian holdings. Her marriage to Archduke Maximilian I of Austria and the future Holy Roman Emperor united the Low Countries and Franche-Comté with Austria and the Empire; and set the stage for many future conflicts between France and Austria in the next two centuries.


Mystery Aircraft-of-the-Day



Views through night vision gear have changed dramatically in my lifetime – from illuminated IR to active (easily detectible) night vision – where the enemy round is going right to the source, to passive night vision and then to broad view passive night vision where you’re seeing a panorama.

Helmets are beginning to accumulate a lot of gear. One day, I’m sure that they will all be implanted inside the soldier/sailor/marine. Cyborgs are the way of the future. Or maybe they’ll be combined with eugenics? That should work until Skynet goes active.


“All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed, they must rule exclusively by force.” – Orwell


Donkey Wins

Comparison between the last time a Democrat was elected to a Senate seat in Georgia (2000) and the most recent Democrat victory. You need to explain the lack of conspiracy to me one more time, ok?


I love an English breakfast.

Full Engllish Breakfast – Bacon, Sausage, Hash Browns, Baked Beans, Fried Egg, Fried Bread, Tomatoes, Black Pudding and Mushrooms

The only thing missing from the photo is screaming hot yellow mustard, a must to dip the bangers into.  The last time I had a proper English breakfast was in Carlisle England. A friend of mine from the SAS passed away and I went to pay respects to his wife, also a dear friend, who insisted that I have a decent meal before I left. She was in the kitchen for an hour while I watched the tele.  And came out with that.

I’m not a huge fan of black pudding, and you can’t get it in the US in most places, neither are the beans for beans-on-toast sold in the US unless you go to a store that sells British food. I like beans on toast, but they have to be the right beans from the blue Heinz can or it doesn’t taste right.

The proper sauces and mustard can be purchased on-line and you can buy beer or porter that goes with the meal in most places.


Identify the Aircraft (also captioned)

I doubt that any of you will be able to answer correctly. So the answer is at the bottom of this page.




Cuba – Beloved of the Obamanation, Jo and Ho


Meanwhile, in Florida

Florida has done away with mandatory mask wearing and lockdowns, a circumstance that has attracted a flood of outsiders including some of my family members, coming for vacations and business conferences.

If you were to believe the premise that letting up on mask wearing and lockdowns would cause hospitalizations to skyrocket in the wake of this, you would be wrong. The truth is, despite the lack of mask mandates and lockdowns, hospitalization rates in Florida are on par with what they were during the flu season of 2018.

Looking at just the statistics alone, The Blaze found that in 2018 there were 1,972 hospitalizations per 1 million people. Today there are 1,998.

The bottom line, according to The Blaze, is “In other states, lockdown proponents can theoretically suggest that the reason the hospital numbers aren’t worse is because of the measures they are taking. However, Florida serves as the perfect control group, given that there is no lockdown and there have been no statewide restrictions in place for several months.”


Time for Punishment?


Answer to: Identify the Aircraft

USSR – Sukhoi T4, in flight, above.

Here’s another photo. It flew only as a prototype recon aircraft.

Sunday Sermonette

Crystal Cathedral, Orange County, CA


Crystal Cathedral (captioned photo)

A prominent house of worship in Southern California was flipped — from a towering glass megachurch of a flamboyant televangelist to the new seat of the seventh-largest Roman Catholic Church diocese in the United States.

The landmark, originally named the Crystal Cathedral, hosted its first Mass in July 2019 Wednesday following a $77 million renovation by the Diocese of Orange. It’s been closed during the plague.

It had served for many years as the backdrop of the “Hour of Power,” which was once the most popular religious television program in the nation. The show’s star was the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, who started his evangelical empire at a converted drive-in movie theater and referred to the 78,000-square-foot cathedral as a “shopping center for God.” His ministry later went bankrupt.

Rev. Robert H. Schuller,

I have attended two weddings there. I have no idea what they cost the happy couples (and their parents), but both were well off. Neither wedding survived five years. The sermonette has nothing to do with the grandeur of the location of a wedding having anything to do with its longevity.

Maybe it’s that, “all glory is fleeting.” Rev. Robert H. Schuller was viewed by Orange County and federal law enforcement, that investigated his embezzlements from the “take” or the “plate”, as a crook.

You can’t serve God and mammon. (Cash)

There may be some who exclaim, “But Schuller was never convicted!” That’s true. There is a difference between a thousand allegations, and proof beyond reasonable doubt to a moral certainty.

Just because there is a curtain covering the window of the whorehouse, doesn’t mean that you don’t know what’s going on inside.


Miracle: Government Feeds Five People With Just 2.3 Trillion Loaves And Fishes

(The Bee) WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a stunning miracle, congresspeople just emerged from negotiations over 2.3 trillion loaves and fishes, somehow turning the trillions of morsels of food into enough meals for just five people.

An exhausted Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) held up the small basket so crowds of unemployed citizens could witness perhaps the most historic event in the history of mankind, in which countless loaves and fishes given by those same citizens were magically transformed into, like, four or five measly meals.

“This is significant,” noted a sweating Pelosi, surely weary after working nearly 40 hours per week for what must have felt like three weeks. “You won’t find anyone in history who could pull off such a biblical feat.” The representative from the utopian state of California then pulled from the basket a coupon for $5 off at Applebee’s and held it aloft before the jobless masses.

The legislators then negotiated with multiple government administrations to oversee the distribution of the basket through the crowd standing directly in front of them. Distribution of the food cost billions, according to official reports.

The lone recipients of the divine intervention—a family of five—tearfully praised their democratic representatives for taking a mere seven months to perform such a miracle. “I don’t know what to do with all of this food,” said the husband. “The government has provided my family with enough to last, I don’t know, maybe two days. Praise heavens!”

His wife, overcome with joy, added, “Wow, whichever economic theory advocating that the means of production, distribution, and exchange be owned or regulated by the community as a whole, which inevitably cedes all powers and freedoms to a bloated, inefficient, and corrupt centralized government, works way better than the dumb system in which a government allows for citizens to take control of their own lives through private ownership, personal responsibility, and providing honestly for their families.”

“Our work here is done,” said Senator McConnell as a soft glow surrounded his countenance. “Now we must go to our place of rest for a time until the needy of this country call for us again. Farewell!” The senator and other legislators were then taken up into the heavens by private jets to far off vacation destinations.


This Month in History (at Gallipoli)


On January 8, 1916, Allied forces staged a full retreat from the shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, ending a disastrous invasion of the Ottoman empire.

A great deal more is known about how to conduct an amphibious operation now than it was then. And often, understanding in a military context, is purchased with blood. (Liam Clancy)

The Gallipoli Campaign resulted in 250,000 Allied casualties and greatly discredited Allied military command. Roughly an equal number of Turks were killed or wounded.

In early 1915, the British government resolved to ease Turkish pressure on the Russians in the Caucasus front by seizing control of the Dardanelles channel, the Gallipoli Peninsula, and then Istanbul. From there, pressure could be brought on Austria-Hungary, forcing the Central Powers to divert troops from the western front.

The first lord of the Admiralty, WINSTON CHURCHILL, strongly supported the plan, and in February 1915 French and British ships began bombarding the Turkish forts guarding the Dardanelles.

Bad weather interrupted the operation, and on March 18, six English and four French warships moved into the Dardanelles. The Turks, however, had used the intervening time wisely, setting mines that sank three Allied ships and badly damaged three more. The naval attack was called off, and a larger land invasion was planned.

Beginning April 25, British, Australian, and New Zealand troops landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula, while the French feinted a landing on the opposite coast to divert Ottoman forces. The Australians and New Zealanders were devastated by the Turkish defenders, who were led by Mustafa Kemal, the future President Ataturk of Turkey.

Meanwhile, the British likewise were met with fierce resistance at their Cape Helles landing sites and suffered two-thirds casualties at some locations. During the next three months, the Allies made only slight gains from their landing sites and took terrible casualties.

To break the stalemate, a new British landing at Suvla Bay occurred on August 6, but the British failed to capitalize on their largely unopposed landing and waited too long to move against the heights. Ottoman reinforcements arrived and quickly halted their progress. Trenches were dug, and the British were able to advance only a few miles.

In September, Sir Ian Hamilton, the British commander, was replaced by Sir Charles Monro, who in December recommended an evacuation from Gallipoli. In early January 1916, the last of the Allied troops escaped.

As a result of the disastrous campaign, Churchill resigned as first lord of the Admiralty and accepted a commission to command an infantry battalion in France.

Weekend Review

Jeb Bush


Opening Thoughts

Before the Second World War, the American intelligence establishment has been gutted. The quote was, “gentlemen don’t read other gentlemen’s mail.” Do you recall that? The man who said it was, US Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson.

Context and Precedence: Headed by Herbert O. Yardley (1889–1958), the Black Chamber was founded in May 1919 following World War I.

Yardley had commanded the Army cryptographic section of Military Intelligence (MI-8) during World War I. MI-8 was disbanded after the war. Jointly funded by the Army and the State Department, the Cipher Bureau was disguised as a New York City commercial code company; it actually produced and sold such codes for business use. Its true mission, however, was to break the communications (chiefly diplomatic) of other nations. Its most notable known success was during the Washington Naval Conference during which it aided American negotiators considerably by providing them with the decrypted traffic of many of the Conference delegations, most notably the Japanese.

In 1929, the State Department withdrew its share of the funding, the Army declined to bear the entire load, and the Black Chamber closed down. New Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson made this decision, and years later in his memoirs made the oft-quoted comment: “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.”

Once Stimson became Secretary of War during World War II, he and the entire US command structure relied heavily on decrypted enemy communications, so his opinion changed.

The moral to that story was that you shouldn’t go to war if you’re not a warrior and willing to do warrior things.

(I hear you sigh, ‘get to the point, LL’.)

The point is that politics is the art of saying “nice doggy,” while you’re reaching down to pick up a rock. It’s “war by other means.” It has always been thus from the days of Julius Caesar to the present day.

The Republican Party wanted JEB! (third in the Bush Dynasty), not Donald Trump. However they held primaries without rigged voting machines and the man with the most votes won. How very inconvenient for the American elites in the Republican Party. The FBI took out an insurance policy in case Donald Trump won – a quiet coup. That fizzled, Hillary Clinton, second in the Clinton Dynasty, fumbled, and Donald J. Trump became President.

They went with Russia, then Ukraine, but inconveniently, both Hillary (close to Russia) and Biden (close to Ukraine) had more to do with the scandals blamed on President Trump than he did.

Do you recall the first two years when the Republican Congress torpedoed everything that President Trump tried to do? Bohener and then Ryan? Was that an accident?

There is a Republican mantra wherein only the Democrats loot, burn and pillage. Who made that rule? The Republicans in Congress consider themselves a “debating society”. You can debate whether you’re in the majority or minority because you’ll still become fabulously wealthy in office.

Final Thoughts

Nobody in Washington represents YOU. The closest you’re going to come was President Trump.  Do we live in a two party political system or is it just one party with a pretense of a second? Based on what you know of the past sixty days is it a republic or an oligarchy? How do you feel about that?

Out There




Captioned Photo

A brief but interesting article on Saturn’s Moon, Enceladus. Titan is just as interesting – maybe even more so. But they are a long way from Earth and won’t be explored seriously in my lifetime.



Life that feeds on Silacon?

Descende, audax viator, et terrestre centrum attinges (Descend, bold traveller, and you will attain the center of the Earth). The saying, in Latin, invites you to go on a Journey to the Center of the Earth in Jules Verne’s novel of the same name. 

And when you go deep inside the earth, not deep enough to be melted by magma, what do you find?

The Mponeng Gold Mine descends 1.7 miles below the surface of the earth. As such, it’s the deepest dry spot on the planet. In order for gold mine workers to operate at that depth where it’s hot because of radioactive decay and the nearness to the magma, a water slush is pumped down to reduce the temperature.

And there, in the rock is the only species known to live alone in its own ecosystem…candidatus desulfordis audaxviator.

Ca. D. audaxviator

It is one of the few known organisms that does not depend on sunlight for nourishment. Ca. D. audaxviator” is a Gram positive sulfate-reducing bacterium (making it the first complete such genome). The genome contains an unusual transposon and possesses many sites of insertion. Its complete intolerance of oxygen suggests long-term isolation. The hydrocarbons in that environment do not come from living organisms. The source of the hydrogen needed for their respiration comes from the decomposition of water by radioactive decay of uranium, thorium, and potassium. The radiation allows for the production of sulphur compounds that these bacteria can use as a high-energy source of food.

I’m not drawing linkage between a deep mine in South Africa and a moon racing around Saturn, but it’s all very interesting.

Gentle Musing




No More Free Speech?

Apple is currently threatening to ban Parler — the free speech alternative to Twitter — unless the service enacts draconian censorship policies demanded by left-wing Big Tech oligarchs, according to two sources familiar with Apple’s threats. (Zero Hedge)

We can’t have that. Imagine what would happen if people could express themselves freely without censorship?

“The hammer is always broken on the anvil.” – George Orwell





NASA released a photo of what it says is the largest canyon in our solar system.

Known as Valles Marineris, it stretches over 2,500 miles across the Martian equator and is 7 miles deep.

It’s 10 times as long as the Grand Canyon and three times deeper. Mars is trying to keep up with Arizona by going red and going deep…but they don’t have a White Wolf Mine there (yet).




How Does the New Year Look to You?


Oath Ammunition (link)

shotgun projectile

.45 ACP – their claim: The 100% Copper Tango 45 ACP round delivers what no other 45 ACP can. Opening with six tangs the 45 ACP produces the largest wound channel and stopping power of any 45 ACP round in the world. Though there are rounds more powerful, none match the stopping power of the 45 ACP Tango.  The 45 ACP opens up to over 1 1/2 inches creating over 4 inches sustained wound channel.  The best part is the penetration, the 45 ACP Tango main ninja star projectile penetrates about 10 inches in 10% gel.


Lee Harvey Oswald

Some were afraid that he’d talk. His murder while in custody by Jack Ruby is no more a conspiracy theory than COVID-19 is.

The nation is locked down because of a Chinese-made flu virus that spares 99.9% of those who contract it. Masks are mandated to scare people. Study after study shows that they do not slow the spread.

The problem with 2020 and beyond is that the “conspiracy theories” really aren’t. You have to stretch if you want to launch a new theory.

Larger than Life


Legends & History

Eilean Tioram Castle Pronounced “Chee-rum” sits on a tidal island and is one of a chain of great castles built down the west coast of Scotland.

The name means Dry Island Castle and the Island is tidal. At low tide you can cross a causeway for close up views of the outside from all sides.

This castle was built in the 14th century by Clan MacRuari but there may have been an earlier fortification here. The land soon passed to the Clan Donald and was in their possession for about 400 years.

By 1692 the castle was garrisoned by Government troops and soon fell into disrepair.

Tioram Castle comes with a legend of a very unusual haunting, it is claimed that a giant demonic frog haunts the ruin.

The giant demonic frog first appeared in the 12th century when it began to follow John, a chieftain of Clanranald. Everywhere he went it followed, it could pass through locked doors and even follow John if he tried to escape it by ship. And to that point:

On one occasion, during a stormy voyage the Demonic Frog demanded to come aboard the barque, Johns Burlinn, but it was refused access. The frog then made the weather so bad they thought they would sink, the frog was begrudgingly allowed on board the ship. Details are scant, the fog of time obscures much. There were no cell phone cameras and YouTube back then. You take legends as you find them.


The Bright Angel Trail Bridge at Grand Canyon

In 1922 the old bridge (top photo) was destroyed by wind. Six years later, in 1928, the present bridge was constructed and remains.

Context and Precedence: In 1893, Dan Hogan registered the “Orphan Lode” or “Orphan Mine,” located 1,000 feet below Maricopa Point and on 20.64 acres of scenic property less than two miles west of today’s village on the South Rim. Four acres abutted the canyon edge while the remainder plummeted to the copper mine’s shaft in the cliff face below.

Hogan constructed two trails to his claim. The Battleship Trail followed the upper 1.4 miles of the Bright Angel Trail before traversing below Maricopa Point another 3.5 miles to the mine site. Another trail consisted of ropes, ladders, and toe holds chiseled into the side of the cliff from the rim directly above the mine site. Few other than Hogan used what he called “The Slide” and others called the Hummingbird Trail. You had to be a hummingbird to hang on.



Simone Segouin, mostly known by her codename, Nicole Minet, was only 18 when the Germans invaded. Her first act of rebellion was to steal a bicycle from a German military administration, slicing the tires of all of the other bikes and motorcycles so they couldn’t pursue her. She found a pocket of the Resistance and joined the fight, using the stolen bike to deliver messages between Resistance groups.

She was an extremely fast learner and quickly became an expert at tactics and explosives. She led teams of Resistance fighters to capture German troops, set traps, and sabotage German equipment.

As the war dragged on, her deeds escalated to derailing German trains, blocking roads, and blowing up bridges, helping to create a German-free path to help the Allied forces retake France from the inside. She was never caught.

Segouin was present at the liberation of Chartres on August 23, 1944, and then the liberation of Paris two days later. She was promoted to lieutenant and awarded several medals, including the Croix de Guerre.

After the war, she studied medicine and became a pediatric nurse. She is still going strong, and this October (2021) if the plague doesn’t take her, will turn 96.

General Observations

Russian Federation Akula Class Submarine


The Pool?

The munchkins at CNN and MSNBC are calling for an insurrection, but it’s a lot like calling in an airstrike on your own position. Except that they don’t know it. Which I find both funny and sad.

VP to succeed Camela?

I’d take a dead pool on the leftist journalists but it would be in bad taste. I’ve already written that I’d be surprised if creepy old Joe makes it past June, but the people who help tuck him in will be his own donkeys. The donkeys may take out the big CNN types too in order to frame patriots. We know that Hillary has the people on speed dial for that sort of wet work. It’s not as if that sort of thing isn’t a cliche these days.

I  guess that you could ask Jeffrey Epstein if you don’t believe me. He was last seen in a prison cell with the guards on break and the cameras turned off.


Tucker Carlson Speaks

“The only reason this country is rich and successful is because for hundreds of years, we’ve enjoyed a stable political system,” Carlson said. “And the only reason that system is stable is because it’s a democracy. It responds to voters.”

“For millions of voters after the 2020 election, the faith in that response is shaken.”

“Millions of Americans sincerely believe the last election was fake (falsified),” Carlson said.

“You can dismiss them as crazy, you can call them conspiracy theorists, you can kick them off Twitter, but that won’t change their minds. Rather than trying to change their minds to convince them and reassure them that the system is real, that the democracy works, as you would do if you cared about the country or the people who live here, our new leaders will try to silence them.”

Nailed it, Tucker.


Signed Photo

Some people feel that Bill Clinton’s adventures in Somalia were a great idea. Others disagree.


Happy 90th Robert Duval (Jan 5)


When a War is too Short

During Desert Storm (1991) the United States discovered, to its dismay, Iraq’s “Yugos” which were specially-made, extremely hard bunkers of thick concrete designed by Yugoslav architects (hence the nickname). These proved impossible to destroy at that point; having resisted numerous Iranian bombs during the 1980s war and then direct hits by Tomahawk cruise missiles and Paveway bombs during the start of Desert Storm.

A new weapon was needed…fast.

GBU-28 (above)

That’s right, the GBU-28. The penetrator was made from the gun barrels of scrapped M110 howitzers, re-machined and further hardened, and then the body of the bomb was packed with 600 lbs of high explosive. The Air Force added had a modified Paveway seeker head and fins, from inventory to make the bomb “smart” and laser guided.

The entire program was done at Watervliet Army Arsenal. From start to finish, literally from cocktail napkin idea to in-service weapon, took only 20 days. When the prototype was tested in Nevada, it was still soaked with quenching oil and warm to the touch. It was airlifted to the test site and dropped on an “American Made” Yugo bunker/target. It did the job.

Two were dropped during Desert Storm however it was something of a moot point by then, as the war ended about 30 hours after the second was dropped.


Fun with Maps

Argentina takes the prize for most psychologists per 100,000. The largest concentration of lawyers and psychologists (together) that I am aware of is the staffing concentration at CIA.


Where’s Hunter?

(Fox News)

Ukrainian officials say they have seized about 1.1 tons of heroin that smugglers intended to take into European Union countries and that four Turkish citizens have been detained in the case.

A statement late Tuesday from the national prosecutor-general’s office said the heroin was seized in the city of Lviv, about 30 miles from the Polish border.

There is no known linkage between the Biden Crime Family and the seized heroin. I’m stirring the pot…but it doesn’t mean that there isn’t linkage.

While the seizure took place, Hunter was standing under a clock in a NY art gallery, selling art wherein pigment was blown onto canvas from a straw. No, you can’t make that up.

Progressives are likely spending millions on this modern art masterpiece.


In-Door Dockyards

It’s damned cold in Russia. Better to make repairs indoors.

Project 971 Shchuka-B nuclear-powered attack submarine ‘Leopard‘ being withdrawn from the Zvezdochka Ship Repair Center in Severodvinsk.

(FAS) There is some non-trivial disagreement between authoritative sources as to launch and commission dates for all units, as well as which units are ‘Improved Akula’ vs. ‘Akuka-II’. Initially the boats of project 971 bore only tactical numbers. However, on 10 October, 1990, the order of the VMF Commander-in-Chief V.N. Vhernavina about awarding the boat K-317 of name “Panther”. Subsequently names were obtained by other nuclear-powered ships of this project.

Thinking about the “active duty” inventory of these boats is also a bit tricky, as they seem to have a very un-American maintenance cycle. In the US Navy, ships are either under construction / Pre-Commissioning Units, or in commission, or in reserve / inactive / stricken. Ships that are in commission are typically moving through a maintenance cycle of 12 months on duty and six months in maintenance. The number of ships available for service at any given moment is at least one third and upwards of two-thirds of the number in commission, the exact number being a function of crew training and readiness.

At least with the boats of this class, by some time before 2015 the Russian Navy appears to have decided to maintain four boats in active service, with another seven boats undergoing prolonged multi-year modernization of at least five years, if not upwards of a decade. By this means, the service life of the type has been extended well into the middle of the 21st Century.

The RT Documentary Combat Approved covered the submarines of the Northern Fleet ‘Beast Division’ for a closer look at these mighty Shchuka-B class boats. These attack submarines form the backbone of the unit and have equally bellicose names: Panther, Cheetah, Tiger, Wolf, Wild Boar, and Leopard. Despite being third generation submarines, the underwater ‘predators’ have proved reliable carrying out missions, and as of 2019 it was reported by Combat Approved that the boats had another 25 or 30 years of service life. The newest nuclear attack sub in the Russian Fleet was 20 years old, and several were 30 years old.

Some maintain that Old NFO should have torpedoed this boat before ending his active service career. Though I remain somewhat neutral on the topic, I must share some degree of disappointment that it’s still in service.

Rest In Peace

Sergeant Ashli Babbit, RIP

Ashli Babbitt, who served four enlistments in the United States Air Force was married and lived near San Diego with her husband, Aaron

“I’m numb. I’m devastated. Nobody from DC notified my son and we found out on TV,” the husband’s mother, Robin Babbitt, told The New York Post, saying of her daughter-in-law, “She is a Trump supporter.”

Everything is “pretty surreal,” added Aaron’s brother, Justin. “It’s hard, because we haven’t been officially notified.

RIP Sergeant.

Based on all accounts Sergeant Ashli Babbit was not attacking anyone. But she’s been shot and killed by the Capitol Police and she’s not coming back. Please keep her family in your prayers.

There was a lot of push back when George Floyd, a drugged up felon, died while in police custody. Ashli Babbit is shot in the neck and – crickets.

There are a number of donkeys who have said that “being an unarmed Trump supporter” is cause enough to be executed by the police.

Contemporary Thoughts

Greetings from the White Wolf Mine (AZ)


Foreign Aid

If the government has enough money to give trillions to foreign countries, I think that we’re being over taxed. Call me insane if you will.

Google wants to run the country. All well and good. THEY can handle foreign aid from here on out. Take it away from the hands of Congress.

Let Google ladle money out to Pakistani Trannys so that they feel good about themselves.


What Gowdy Said


Chronology — an object lesson in contemporary America

8:00 I made a snowman.

8:10 A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman.

8:15 So, I made a snow woman, too.

8:17 My feminist neighbor complained about the snow woman’s voluptuous chest saying it objectified snow women everywhere.

8:20 The LGBTQ+ couple living nearby threw a hissy fit and moaned it could have been two snow men instead.

8:22 The transgender man..wom…person asked why I didn’t just make one snow person with detachable parts.

8:25 The vegans at the end of the lane complained about the carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures. 

8:28 I am also being called a racist because the snow couple is white.

8:31 The Muslim dude across the road demanded the snow woman wear a burqa to cover her offensive ‘parts’.

8:40 The Police arrive saying someone has been offended.

8:42 The feminist neighbor complained again that the broomstick of the snow woman needs to be removed because it depicted women in a domestic role.

8:43 The Wiccans (Witches), next block over, demanded that the broomstick remain as it is iconic to them.

8:44 The City Council sent a representative, who arrived, and threatened me with re-zoning so that I couldn’t live in my house anymore.

8:45 TV news crew from CNN show up. I am asked if I know the difference between snowmen and snow-women? I reply, “Snowballs” and am now called a sexist on national television.

9:00 I’m on the news as a suspected terrorist, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, bent on stirring up trouble during difficult weather.

9:05 The health department showed up demanding that I mask the snow-couple as an example to all — and suggest that they should be six feet apart because of the necessity of social distancing.

9:10 I am asked if I have any accomplices. My children are taken away by social services.

9:29 Progressive protesters, offended by everything, are marching down the street demanding for me to be beheaded as a symbol of peace.


How it Was


Identify the Aircraft


A Healthy Way to Express Frustration

Think of Jo and Ho

Fun with Maps



Serious Business

I am terribly conflicted on which BBQ sauce that I prefer. I really like vinegar and pepper BBQ sauce when paired with vinegar and pepper Carolina coleslaw.  But I’m also a big fan of Mustard BBQ sauce. Then again, the Tomato & Ketchup sauce is so traditional, but doesn’t have the heavy molasses flavor that is traditional in KC. Don’t hate me because I like it all.


Human Development Index (defined here)


Where is the Food Grown?

I know that everyone hates California these days – with good cause – but it is a heavily agricultural state. It’s not all Silly-Con Valley.



San Diego looks like Melbourne after the ice caps melt.


Global cities and landmarks that lie on roughly the same latitude as Canadian cities.


There’s a 115-mile (185 km) zone in Alaska where there places have 1+ days with no sunset in the summer, but never have a day with no sunrise in the winter.


Range of the nine banded armadillo


Race and Hispanic origin by US county.


Monkey Business


Who do you Belong To?

The Treaty of Tordesillas (7 June 1494) divided the newly-discovered lands outside Europe between Portugal and Castile.


Meth Map

Methamphetamine production related sites in Europe, 2015-17

The Voice

Rally - Washington DC


Dystopian America

If you were going to write a sci-fi novel and were going to go out on a limb with conspiracy theories, now would not be the time to do it, because all of them have ended up being true. The FBI did attempt a coup on the sitting president and it failed. Congress attempted to impeach President Trump for actions that their favorite son, Joe Biden did in Ukraine – and Biden is on the Chinese Payroll. Rep. Swalwell (D-CA) on the House Intelligence Committee has been sleeping with a Chinese spy (Fang-Fang) and they didn’t want to relieve him of his committee assignment. The US Navy has photos of the now famous Giant Tic-Tac, possibly space aliens, evading fighter jets. The Pandemic, with a 99.9% recovery rate caused the shut-down of the nation. Biden, a walking corpse and his running mate, a whore, (Joe and Ho) spent the campaign season in a bunker without campaigning for the presidency while voting machines known to produce fraudulent results were sold to many states. The 2020 election was a fraud — and Congress including the Republicans — are cool with that. The American democracy has ceased to exist because what value is a vote? There has been no effort to prove or insure that voting this year or in the future will be sound, and accurate.

There are some who feel that the rally in Washington DC yesterday will provide an excuse for more coercion (tyranny) on the American people, but let me assure you that they don’t need an excuse. Oh, they may belch it out on CNN, but they’d do it anyway.

It’s very progressive

President Trump was the only voice for Americans in a very long time. He pulled the curtain back on the Washington DC swamp and they hate him for it. I realize that President Trump is not perfect, but he did speak to the concerns, hopes and wishes of much of America. The power elite who run the country immediately launched a relentless smear campaign and a lot of people bought it. But about 80 million Americans didn’t. Those eighty million must be destroyed.

Do any of you actually feel that Congress fairly represents you?

Charge your Bayonet






A look backward or a look forward — or both.

“In bayonet training throughout the world, the soldier who wields the bayonet is ordered to scream as he drives the blade through. Civilians assume that the cry is meant to terrify the opponent, but it isn’t. It’s meant to bridge your natural reluctance to push a long blade into a living human being, and to cover the sound of steel cutting into flesh and bone. As dreadful as is the task, should your enemy be coming at you, you accomplish it so readily and remorselessly that, how can I describe it? It seems no more difficult or disturbing than say, lighting a match.” — Mark Helprin, ‘A Soldier of the Great War’.


It Works



Fun with Maps

Legality of recreational marijuana in European countries


Alaskan boroughs and a state smaller than each of them. The point is, that Alaska is big.


There Is a European Standard??

Then and Now

Evzones (GR)


If you’re in DC for the Rally Tomorrow

WASHINGTON (WJLA) – In anticipation of the pro-Trump demonstration on January 6, the Metropolitan Police Department released a list of road closures in the District. DC Mayor Bowser (name sounds like a dog) ordered all restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and convenience stores closed. So bring food, water, warm clothing and consider shelter if you’re stuck.

The rally is set for the same day Congress gathers to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election.

Parking will be an issue as will MASSIVE road closures.

The Metro is likely the best way in and out of Downtown DC. Stay at a hotel farther from the event and ride in. Keep in mind that Antifa thugs attacked patriots at the last event.

The News Media is likely going to report that nobody showed up by taking photos of the area two days before and pawning them off as contemporary.



The picture below, taken in the Antarctic, from Dutch sailing barque Europa of the wreck of the Norwegian whaling ship Guvernøren. The Guvernøren was destroyed in 1915 when her cargo of whale oil caught fire.


Uniforms – Past

I can’t imagine fighting in a get-up like that. I do know that there were different customs then, but really.


Translation: “There are people who carry happiness. There are people who carry pain and sadness and there is me. I carry a machine gun.” –Ukraine

Today in Athens

Hellenic Presidential Guard

I think that the Greeks could do better today – while maintaining a connection with the past. Criticize my opinion if you are moved to. I worked in Athens for some time, I saw these troops, and I always asked myself, “What are you thinking?”


Short Memories

Government funded science in the 1960’s, predicted that global oil reserves would be depleted in ten years, and that the population increases across the planet would make it uninhabitable.

In the 1970’s, they predicted another ice age would set in ten years in the future.

In the 1980’s, they predicted that acid rain would destroy all crops within ten years and the planet would starve to death.

By the 1990’s, the prediction changed to the ozone layer’s destruction in ten years and we’d all die of skin cancer.

In the 2000’s, it was that global warming would melt the ice caps within ten years.

None of these dire predictions came to pass, but they all resulted in regulation (still with us) and higher taxes. If you’re not old enough to remember the environmental scams of the past fifty years, you’re not old enough to know how the game is played.



It’s too early to know whether or not there will be an Electoral College in 2024, or how many US states there will be, or how many chairs the US Supreme Court will expand to in order to promote a progressive agenda.

But providing that there is an Electoral College:

Projected changes to the US electoral college for the 2024-2028 elections.


Oh, the Oppression

There is a lot of delusion going on among progressives. One is that straight men have any ‘romantic’ interest in sexual deviates or sodomites (which is to say, the same thing).


Have You Been Dosed?

Around the world, 4.6 million COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered. The U.S. has administered 2.13 million doses—the most of any country so far. Here is the up to date distribution. The darker the green, the more doses per population.


This is Self-Evident

Hanging is definitely too good for them.

The Week Begins

Pandemic Life



A Note

As with others, I’m traveling a bit this week. Things in the micro sense of our lives tend to dig out after the holidays, and I’m no exception. The week begins, a new month and year is upon us, and finding some direction amid chaos in the sense of the work that I personally do is far more of a challenge than it usually is. My little organization is spread to the wind. B is heading for Malaysia, C is in Mexico and M is in Greece. John D (Norway) and I are trying to figure out how we’re going to put 2021 in the category of “normal.”


I could get into wearing a mask…at Costco.

(French soldier wearing an anti-shrapnel mask, WWI)

Better if it’s rusty and blood splattered and is connected to an old Frog helmet. A hockey goalie mask would work almost as well. …more here.

Ten Years from Now: As 2030 ends, you’ll put on a jacket only to find a mask in the pocket. “Oh, man, what a weird year that was,” you’ll chuckle to yourself. Then you’ll pick up your machete and continue across the wasteland, keeping to the shadows to avoid the gangs of cannibal raiders.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, admitted to lying about COVID-19 herd immunity in order to goad more people into taking the vaccine, according to a recent report in the New York Times. “Trust me, I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”



Wild Turkey and offspring

Unlike humans, she has no guile.


Are Aliens Hiding around Uranus?

The moons of Uranus, look very promising. The moons — Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, and Oberon — are covered in a mix of ice and rock, but knowing what lies deep within them has proven a challenge. So, scientists compared them to moons like Enceladus and Europa, both of which are believed to hide vast oceans beneath their surfaces, and they’ve noted some striking similarities.

The moons of Uranus have endured impacts from objects in space, just like the rest of the worlds in our system, but there is also evidence that the moons aren’t just frozen wastelands. There are clear signs of what is known as cryovolcanism, which is liquid water erupting from within the planet and then freezing on the surface. That means there is likely liquid water in vast quantities deep beneath the ice, but does it host life? That’s another question entirely.




Military Coms are Better Now

We’ve come a long way from the PRC 25.


Fat Guys Shouldn’t try This

There’s nothing keeping them from trying, and I’m not body-shaming anyone. I’m just trying to throw out some helpful tips here on the blog because, I’m nothing if not helpful.

Life – during the plague



Still American Soil

USS Teddy Roosevelt

Haze gray and underway.


Katie Pavlich (Fox News)

Popping a few caps near her family home outside Flagstaff, AZ. Katie grew up in Northern Arizona. So she’s a local to the White Wolf Mine area.


Oumuamua (captioned picture) was the first known interstellar object detected passing through the Solar System. Formally designated 1I/2017 U1, it was discovered by Robert Weryk using the Pan-STARRS telescope at Haleakalā Observatory, Hawaii, on 19 October 2017, 40 days after it passed its closest point to the Sun. I blogged about it at the time.

No naturally occurring space body we’ve ever seen has looked like it — or even close. Some speculate that space aliens are involved. Others disagree. Avi Loeb (Harvard PhD) says that it was space aliens – and the Harvard tag suggests that he’s wrong, because he comes from Satan’s Vatican.

The Smithsonian has a different take on it.

Some scientists (and Ancient Alien Theorists) speculate that more of these space artifacts are coming. 2020 would have been a great year for them to show up, but I have faith that 2021 may be even more messed up.


Social Distance (down under)

Does mean that every Aussie will have an emotional support roo that will follow them around the assure proper social distance?


Cartoon Corner

After he discovered the glowing meteorite that plunged into the side of the hill near the White Wolf Mine, he became more wolf than man… (theatrical organ music plays in the background)


And just when you think that this couldn’t get any more absurd, you realize that America is about to be run by a whore and a walking corpse, and we’re sending millions to gender programs in Pakistan during the middle of a pandemic so that Pakistani Trannys can feel better about themselves. Marijuana is legal and haircuts are not (the hippies won).