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From Virtual Mirage – March 20, 2020 (reprint)

The Beauceant was the war flag of The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon (Knights Templar). It was not a red cross on a white field as is often shown in film, though the Templars did wear a red cross on a white surcoat. The flag consisted of a black section above a white one. The real meaning of the standard is lost to history but it could be that the black section depicted the sins of the world and the white symbolized the purity that the Templar Order offered the knights.

Whatever the symbolism, the Beauceant held a lot of power to the Templars – while it flew, knights were not allowed to retreat or stop fighting. Over time, during the crusading period, the rules of who rallied to the flag as well as rules on the battlefield, became more complicated.

There’s a lot more to the Templars, of course. They became the greatest bankers in the world, they did not cut their beards or hair (nor did they bathe, based on reports from that period). And in the end, the King of France plotted their demise by colluding with His Holiness, the Pope.

Some say that The Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitaler) copied the black and white of the Beauceant and incorporated it into the white cross on the black field that they wore on their surcoats (also called a herigaut or gardecorps) and shields. Sometimes this order are also referred to as the Knights of Malta, in which case, the cross is referred to as the Maltese Cross. There’s a lot of complex history here and I’m not going to delve further, except to say that the Germans adopted this iconography during the First World War.


Bullet Points:

** Saturn’s Rings – Cause and effect?

** Science is not about affirming the consensus of those that write his research grants and paychecks.

** Jules hits us with another literary masterpiece and pen and ink drawing for Inktober – Spiders.

** A Long Cold Winter in Russia – h/t Claudio – Russian gas production so far this year has slumped to levels not seen since the 1970s. The country’s state energy giant Gazprom said in its latest report that gas production in the first half of 2023 was 179.45 billion cubic meters (bcm). Gazprom added that this represents a year-on-year decrease of nearly a quarter (24.7 percent), and a 26.5 percent drop in gas supplies to the domestic and foreign markets. Since Vladimir Putin‘s full-scale invasion of Ukraine started on February 24, 2022, sanctions have sought to isolate Russia from the global economy, cutting it off from the SWIFT international banking system and freezing some of its foreign exchange reserves.

** The legislator asserts that the border is secure? The funny thing is he keeps coming back to, “is the border secure?” When this freak keeps deflecting and in the end can only say, “that’s a conversation for another day.” Based on recent statistics, I estimate several hundred people crossed the US border illegally in the 5 minutes this interview entailed. But she just can’t answer the question…

** “The Department of Defense is projected to need on the order of one hundred tankers of various sizes in the event of a serious conflict in the Pacific,” said former Maersk executive Steve Carmel in a gCaptain editorial. “Not only does the U.S. lack the tonnage required to support a major conflict in the Pacific, it has no identifiable roadmap to obtain it.” (h/t Claudio)

** “Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” Proverbs 27:6

** Lara Logan – The Rest of the Story – January 6th.

** It feels like discrimination to me. What if Wally self-identified as a dog or cat?


Mail Bag: 

Q: I have noticed that Military K-9s are given rank/rate that often exceeds their handlers. Why is that?

A: (this made me laugh) I’m not in the K-9 business but I believe that the ranks given to working dogs is completely ceremonial.

Rex, pictured right, is a sergeant first class and as such outranks many other enlisted soldiers. I’ve been told that there is a Marine K-9 that is a sergeant major (named Jiggs) who outranks almost all enlisted Marines.

Commissioning a K-9 would require Congressional action and saluting might be problematic for the dog to give and return. (they could hike a rear leg though). Maybe they’d shake hands alternatively?

I’m not aware of any civilian police dogs that have rank. I think that it’s only a military tradition. Please correct me if I’m wrong. This is outside of my wheelhouse.



Boron pointed this out (below) but even I get dire warnings when I go to my blog about its malicious nature. These are planted primarily by Google and there’s nothing that I can do about it. I click “continue” and go to my own “malicious” blog. There is no malware, just an objection that the woke have to the content of the blog. You can judge content for yourselves.

Prevented downloading of a dangerous object

Prevented downloading of a malicious file or other object designed to infect your computer with malware that will slow it down, break the system or lead to other problems.

You were protected from downloading this object by Kaspersky security. You can close this window with no risk.

Hide details

Reason: object is infected HEUR:Trojan.Script.Generic


Ground-up Corn and Rice with Sugar

If a product has a sugar free version, it is most likely less healthy then the original product. To make up for lack of taste that sugar provides, they have to use chemicals that are usually harmful.


Identify the Aircraft



16 thoughts on “Rings

  1. Good boy, Rex! Do we salute him?

    Anything sugar free is both hideously chemically evil and completely joyless. Being on a sugar-free diet myself I can testify to this.

    1. Sometimes you need to ask yourself whether the completly evil, chemically complex sugar free concoction is better for you than the Hexos (C6-H12-O6). I can’t answer that.

      I think you just shake hand to paw with Rex.

      1. Anything refined (aside from myself, obvs) , over processed and man- made will eventually cause you harm. Straight from the farmers ground to table is the best way to eat. However, none of that tastes as good as heart attack taters covered in sugary sauce with a side of maple bacon, does it?
        Balance, it’s always about balance. And that’s a very dull and difficult road for people like us, LL.

  2. Ms. Mount Baldy and her compatriot, Mop O’ Hair, are a metaphor for the entire mess “We The People” find ourselves; they lie like the offel-stained rugs they are and we get to take it in the shorts. No one takes these shills seriously…well…except maybe people still wearing masks while watching The View.

    Snacks- Went to the World Equestrian Games in 2012 in Lexington, sponsored by Alltech, a massive biotech animal and food additive company. Went through their tent displays…I was astounded at what has been developed to put into our foods for taste, texture, and shelf-life, on both sides of the product cycle. First thought looking at the displays: “Regardless Dr. Lyon’s intent to aid in healthy nutrition, this can’t be good for the body.” Now we have no idea what these products have in them wreaking havoc with our systems.

    That said, Dorito’s – the original Taco flavor – were my go to with my lunch PB&J and apple (polished on our t-shirt)…but we were always burning off excess energy by running around and doing “stuff”, didn’t have electronic leashes to avoid activity, we had to make our own fun…right after chores.

    Rex/Rank- They have rank because of what they do as a part of the team. Rightly so. Don’t mess with Rex, he’s a professional.

    Too bad Inktober isn’t 32 days long…could have included BACON.

  3. I was an Air Force Security Policeman in 1970 working in Security with K9s. We were called dog handlers and we did not give our dogs any rank and never heard of this concept. I guess things can change in over half a century though.

  4. Virus protection…. goad your able to block the bad guys Larry. You were replying to a comment that it was coming from Google?

    I’m wondering about firewalls, virus protection for phones. What are y’all using or not? I had McFee in my laptop but it expired. I know, the rare times I fire it up there’s risk.

    The duck duck go browser looks like it’s got protection settings. On my phone I ocilate between it and chrome ( because of habit and convience of all my bookmarks over 13 yrs)

  5. Gentlemen, long time reader, first time commenter, and fellow old guy. Simple off thread question. How adequate would an unplugged microwave oven be as a stand in for a faraday cage? Thanking you in advance. TLS

    1. Since a microwave has a clear door, put a phone in and see if it shows signal bars/continues to work for cell, wifi, gps, bluetooth, etc.

  6. There’s a book, Sargeant Rex, about a USMC K9 team that worked in Iraq. IIRC, the custom among the Marines was (is?) to refer to your dog as one rank higher than yourself, possibly because you care for the dog at least as well as for yourself. (IMO, a good book)

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