Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Meme of the Day: Demands


Source: Bayou Renaissance Man

I don't have a Smurf related story for you. However, while perusing Peter Grant's blog, I noted that he had some thoughts about Michael Yon's recent posts about the illegal alien invasion, including some based on his own observations from when he lived in Africa: "The real danger of the illegal alien invasion."

    He first cautions about the tribal kinship among refugees, immigrants, or whatever you want to call them:

... When a country or region is destabilized, entire tribes and clans are often driven from their homes by more powerful forces coming in from elsewhere.  In some cases, those outside forces are organized and deliberately instigated to drive out the locals.  When the locals flee, they end up in refugee camps or - if they're unlucky - just living in the bush, surviving as best they can.  The one tie they still have left - the tie they cling to as if to a lifeline - is their tribal and/or ethnic kin.  To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, they "hang together because otherwise they would surely hang separately".  That, in turn, means that their group will try to get what it needs to survive by any means necessary, including attacking other groups who have what they need.

The depredations from these refugees then driver others from the their lands, and so on, like a ripple effect. Outside of Grant's own observations, we can learn this from history as well. For instance, it is well known that attacks from the Huns helped drive Germanic and Gothic invasions of the Roman Empire. And I would argue that we are seeing the same forces at work today as more and more people flee the large liberal enclaves for safer, conservatives cities. We see this with the migration from California into Texas; and I see it with the influx of people from the West Coast into Idaho as they flee Seattle and Portland. Of course, they bring the attitudes and behavior that caused the decline of the areas from which they fled.

    Anyway, back to Grant's post and his comments about the illegals mostly being youngish men, including a large number of criminals. He notes:

They can't find work, and have to live in poor conditions unless they find a way to make money - so many of them turn to crime.  In response, local criminals try to "protect their turf" against them, and inter-criminal violence breaks out.  The ripples spread from one city to another, and end up destabilizing our entire society.  Soon it's no longer criminal against criminal, but all criminals against the relatively defenseless "sheep" society around them in big cities.

Moreover, they make great sources for forming radicalized gangs to terrorize a nation into submission to a dictator:

I've seen all this before on another continent, in several countries there, over a period of years.  Mr. Yon has seen it in his training as a Green Beret, learning how to organize and coordinate locals to rise up against their masters.  We've all seen it in recent years in Venezuela, where first Chavez and later Maduro deliberately armed the poor, jobless youth with military weapons, organized them into gangs, and turned them loose on the rest of the country.  (I wonder why Homeland Security boss Mayorkas is working so hard to "import" young Venezuelans into the USA?  Could it be that he has ideas of using them in the same way?  Might their existing "training" under Chavez and Maduro make them particularly suitable recruits for American powers that be?)  ...

Read the whole thing.

    While on the subject of illegals, the Daily Mail reports on a "Rancher, 73, is charged with murder on his Arizona land after shooting dead Mexican, 48, who had history of illegal crossings into US and multiple deportations: Judge refuses to reduce $1M bail despite plea his wife is alone." "George Alan Kelly, 73, was arrested following the January 30 fatal shooting of Gabriel Cuen-Butimea, 48, on his ranch in Kino Springs, just a mile and a half north of the US-Mexico border," the article relates. "Authorities are still investigating the fatal shooting," it continues, "with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's chief deputy saying it does not appear that Kelly knew Cuen-Butimea ahead of the shooting." The article also informs us that "Kelly's ranch in Kino Springs, Arizona is just a mile and a half north of the Mexico border." Oh, and Cuen-Butimea was identified by a Mexican voter registration card he was carrying. 

    Anyway, the article further relates:

And just hours before the fatal shooting, Nogales International reports, US Border Patrol agents informed the county sheriff's department of a 'possible active shooter' at the scene, with a man identifying himself as 'Allen' saying he was not sure if he was getting shot himself.


    According to a sheriff's dispatch report obtained by Nogales International, the office first received a call at around 2.40pm on January 30 from US Border Patrol agents, relaying information about a 'possible active shooter' in the area of Sagebrush Road.

    The Border Patrol agents had apparently received a report from someone at the scene, who mentioned a 'group of people running' and said he was 'unsure if he was getting shot at as well.'

    The entry identified the person as 'Allen.'

    Castillo said the sheriff's department responded to the call, but did not find anything.

    Just a few hours later, though, at around 5.50pm, sheriff's deputies received another report of shots fired at the property, and by 6.42pm they recovered Cuen-Butimea's body.

    Authorities have said there was no weapon on the victim at the time, and investigators had collected two assault-style rifles from Kelly's property in the aftermath to determine whether either were used in the shooting.

My takeaway is that Kelly was caught out through surveillance--probably surveillance that would be illegal to use to convict him and/or of a secretive nature that the government would not want to reveal. We know that there are listening posts and other monitoring equipment along the border and probably inside the border. There are patrols by Border Patrol as well as by military. There are drones and reconnaissance aircraft.  My guess--and its a guess, mind you--is that "Allen" was someone for the government either in a location he shouldn't have been or working as part of an operation that can't be publicly revealed or, more likely, a supervisor. Anyway, "Allen" saw the shooting, but couldn't do anything directly, so he transmitted what information he could to local law enforcement. Local sheriff's investigate but don't find anything and leave. "Allen" calls back and provides more specific information so that the second time the sheriff's deputies investigate, they are able to find the body.

    Short take: Kelly should have assumed the area of the border near his ranch, including his ranch, are under near constant surveillance. 

    And, in another related article, Breitbart reports that the "LA Supervisors Push .50 Cal. Rifle Ban After 9mm Pistol Used in Shooting." You might wonder what a shooting with an already illegal 9mm pistol has to do with .50 caliber rifles. And the correct answer is: it provides an excuse to do something. And that something is to further disarm normal Americans against what is coming. Anyway, you are probably feeling a bit down at this point, so go back and look again at the meme and have a laugh.

POTD: Abandoned Russian Ekranoplan


Source: "It’s a Boat, It’s a Plane, No, It’s an Abandoned Russian Sea Monster"--Autoevolution

Pictured above is the result of the Soviet Union's attempt to develop a  wing in ground effect (WIG) craft during the Cold War. A couple years ago it was being towed across the Caspian see when the tow line broke and it wound up stranded on a beach. Popular Mechanics relates:

    The Ekranoplan was the Soviet Union's attempt to build a craft capable of exploiting the wing in ground effect (WIG). As an aircraft flies closer to the ground, air pressure builds between the wing and the flat surface below. This creates a cushion of air beneath the plane. Meanwhile, the low altitude eliminates wingtip vortices, decreasing drag.

    During the Cold War, the Soviet Union developed large, turbojet-powered craft that used the WIG effect to “fly” above the wavetops. The Soviets designed the Lun-class WIG craft to use the effect to float just inches over the surface of a lake or ocean, adding eight forward-mounted turbojet engines to give them a top speed of 373 miles per hour.

    This super low altitude ensured they were below the radar horizon of enemy warships until the ships were within range of the Lun’s six SS-N-22 “Sunburn” missiles. A Mach 3 sea-skimming missile, the Sunburn had a range of 64 miles, flew from 16 to 32 feet above the surface of the water, and could pack a nuclear warhead. This made them capable of sinking the largest ships, including U.S. Navy aircraft carriers.

    Today, the Ekranoplan–the only Lun ever built—lies stranded off a beach in the Caspian Sea. This summer, the craft was in the process of being towed from a nearby naval base to a museum when something appeared to have gone terribly wrong. Instead of making it to its new home, the Ekranoplan ended up stranded in shallow water, where it's drawing visitors.

It has since been successfully recovered.

    The Soviets abandoned the program because the plane flew so low that it was unable to be used in rough seas. However, the concept may not be completely dead. Earlier this week, it was reported that DARPA is funding two wing in ground effect craft

    Two teams — General Atomics working with Maritime Applied Physics Corporation and Aurora Flight Sciences working with Gibbs & Cox and ReconCraft — will develop designs for DARPA’s Liberty Lifter Seaplane Wing-in-Ground Effect full-scale demonstrator. The Liberty Lifter program aims to demonstrate a leap-ahead in operational capability by designing, building, floating, and flying a long-range, low-cost X-Plane capable of seaborne strategic and tactical heavy lift.

    The planned Liberty Lifter demonstrator will be a large flying boat similar in size and capacity to the C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft. Goals include takeoff and land in Sea State 4, sustained on-water operation up to Sea State 5, and extended flight close to the water in ground effect with the capability to fly out of ground effect at altitudes up to 10,000 feet above sea level.


Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Future Looters of America


Source: "Video shows 'horrific' (Psaki quote) scenes of mounted officials chasing Haiti refugees as White House says it must not happen again"--The Independent

You may remember the seeing the photograph before of a Border Patrol agent grabbing the shirt of a Haitian "refugee". Leftist, being liars from the beginning, recast the incident as the Border Patrol agent whipping the Haitians even though even a cursory examination of the photograph show that is not the case.  

    In any event, what type of people are we getting from Haiti? A long time reader referred me to Michael Yon's latest in which he reports that he is now in the Dominican Republic near its border with Haiti. The Dominicans are under no delusions: they're building a wall and have armed checkpoints. Yon adds: "Haitians leave a trail of violence through the Darien Gap. The Embera and Kuna Indians will tell you this. As do those here in Dominican Republic and thus mass deportations due to extreme criminality."

    Of course, it is not just from Haiti that we will be importing violent criminals. Breitbart has a story entitled: "Angel Mom: Illegal Alien MS-13 Gang Member Was Freed into U.S. at Border Before Murdering, Raping My Daughter." And Breitbart also reports: "Mexican Cartel-Style Violence Spreading in California over Marijuana Grow Fields."

    And those are not the only benefits to immigration. Fox News reports: "Arizona hospital on brink of collapse after spending $20 million on migrant care: 'Nobody has a solution'." The hospital in question is the Yuma Medical Center and it is the sole hospital in the city. The $20 million is just over the past 6 months. The illegals are the only ones receiving free care. But, as the story notes, there is no method for the hospital to recoup the losses so it must either raise prices for those who can pay or risk going out of business.

    On a related note, the New York Post reports that "Migrant students in NYC schools without proof of vaccinations." Everyone else has to show proof of vaccinations before they can begin attending, but with the illegals, they are just letting them attend and worrying about proof of vaccination later. Just another example of how traditional Americans have become second and third-class citizens. There is nothing in the Constitution requiring school districts or states provide free schooling to non-citizens, and it was a mistake for the Supreme Court to have held otherwise.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Meme of the Day: Dr. Seuss Explains Reality


Source: Bayou Renaissance Man

The related story comes to us from last night's Grammy Awards (does anyone still watch those?). From Breitbart: "Non-Binary Pop Star Sam Smith Performs BDSM, Devil-Themed ‘Unholy’ at the Grammys." The article reports that "[l]eading up to Sunday’s performance, Sam Smith promised that it would likely anger Christians and cause protests at CBS for what he described as satanic imagery." I doubt it since that would require Christians to actually have watched it. 


    Prior to the performance, Sam Smith and Kim Petras, a man living as a woman, accepted the award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and the media has since been hailing it as a “historic” moment.

    “Sam graciously wanted me to accept this award because I’m the first transgender woman to win this award,” Petras said as the audience applauded uproariously.

    “I just want to thank all the incredible transgender legends before me, who kicked these doors open for me,” Petras continued before going on to thank Madonna for “fighting for LGBTQ rights.”

    “I grew up next to a highway in nowhere Germany and my mother believed me that I was a girl,” Petras told the crowd. “And I wouldn’t be here without her and her support.”

I've never heard of these two, but that is probably not surprising because there really is no longer any style or type of music that is popular among a large swath of the population--i.e., there is no such thing as "pop" music. But in a move that is totally apropos, Smith's performance was apparently sponsored by Pfizer

POTD: The Rubble In Turkey



    Unfortunately, the photograph above is not of abandoned ruins, but collapsed buildings in Hatay, Turkey, following the devastating earthquakes of earlier today. The initial 7.8 magnitude quake struck  at 04:17 am local time (0117 GMT) at a depth of about 11 miles, according to the U.S. geological survey. It was centered north of Gaziantep, Turkey, about 60 miles from the Syrian border with a population of about 2 million in the region. The quake was strong enough to be felt as far away as Egypt and Cyprus. The initial quake lasted about a minute, but there were some 40 aftershocks felt in the hours after, including one measuring 6.5.

    Hours later, a second 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the same area, but near the city of KahramanmaraƟ, adding to the devastation. 

    Casualty figures are changing, but the most recent reports indicate approximately 3,000 dead in both Turkey and Syria. As an article at PJ Media points out, however, "the death toll is sure to drastically rise with 'tens of thousands of citizens… waiting under the rubble' in Hatay alone."


Sunday, February 5, 2023

POTD: The Turkish ghost town of Kayakoy


Source: "The world’s most fascinating abandoned towns and cities"--CNN

The CNN article relates:

    Preserved as a museum and designated by UNESCO as a “world friendship and peace village,” Kayakoy has become something of a tourist mainstay for visitors to this southwestern corner of Turkey.

    However, its abandonment speaks of the bitter conflict in the wake of World War I, when Greece and Turkey fought for control of the wider region and a population exchange led to residents being unable to return to their ancestral homes.

Meme of the Day: The Gov't's Handling of the Chinese Spy Balloon


Source: Western Rifle Shooters Assoc.

There has been growing criticism of the Biden Administration's decision to not shoot down the Chinese spy balloon until it had finished its spying. In response, the Department of Defense claimed three other of these crafts had "briefly transited the continental United States at least three times during the prior administration", but never for as long as the one that recently flew across the country. However, Mark Esper, the former Secretary of Defense during the Trump Administration, stated he was never informed of any such incursions, and former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and President Trump both denied the accusation as well.

    Assuming that the DoD is not lying, there is a simple explanation for this, which is that senior military staff--perhaps Gen. Mark Milley who seems to have a soft spot for the Chinese--decided to not inform Pres. Trump or Trump administration officials of those incidents. 

    There have reportedly been other, more recent incursions including a spy balloon that traversed the United States early in the Biden Administration and one that crashed off the coast of Hawaii four months ago.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

POTD: Abandoned Home in Maryland


Source: "A photographer's haunting images of America's abandoned homes look like they're frozen in the past"--Insider.

Meme of the Day: The Red Chinese Balloon (UPDATED)


Source: Western Rifle Shooters Assoc.

    As you have undoubtedly heard, the Chinese have released balloons (which apparently can be steered) over the United States and other countries. Initially reports were of a single balloon spotted over Montana. It is believed that this is the same balloon later seen over MissouriThen it was revealed that NORAD was apparently tracking another that was flying over CanadaYet another balloon was reported traversing Latin America, apparently traversing Costa Rica before reaching Venezuela

    The reality, though, is that we have no idea how many of these things there are. Fox News reports, for example, that "[i]nstances of this kind of balloon activity have been observed previously over the past several years."

    Of particular debate in this case was the government's seeming reluctance to shoot down the balloon, ostensibly because of concerns of debris striking someone on the ground. But it may be more complicated than that. Bloomberg reported the Biden Administration wanted to keep everything concerning the balloon low key so as to not endanger high level talks scheduled to take place in Beijing between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. From the article:

    This account of how a balloon burst diplomacy just as Secretary of State Antony Blinken was set to travel to China and meet with President Xi Jinping is based on conversations with several officials briefed on the matter who asked to stay anonymous to discuss intelligence matters.

    As it turns out, US authorities were well aware of the unidentified object that had entered American airspace on Jan. 28, that had then left and re-entered over North Idaho on Tuesday. But with such a high-profile trip at stake, keeping it on the down-low was key.

    By the time the thing became visible in Montana, President Joe Biden had already been briefed and the White House was scrambling to decide whether to blast it from the sky.

    The gravity of the situation was only exacerbated by Montana being home to Malmstrom Air Force Base, which houses a large portion of the US’s Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles. 

    The Biden administration knew it had to exercise extreme caution especially in what was a heated political environment ahead of 2024 elections, with Republicans agitating on which party could strike a harder or tougher line on China.

    As the balloon continued to hover over the Big Sky state on Wednesday, Biden huddled with his national security team to receive a detailed briefing on the balloon. The president argued for shooting the object down, but was urged against doing so by his most senior military advisors. 

    Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley insisted that such a move would put civilians at risk.

    The president ultimately decided to let the balloon continue on its way as the US sought answers from the Chinese embassy in Washington, but they struggled to obtain satisfactory responses. US officials said they were baffled by China, which itself appeared to be caught off-guard by the bizarre incident. 

    For now, the White House opted not to inform the American public. Events, however, soon forced Biden’s hand. 

    On Thursday afternoon, the Billings Gazette, a local Montana paper, published a photo of the balloon – meaning it was only a matter of time until national media would pick up on the report and the Biden administration would have to face questions. 

In other words, we--and our representatives in Congress--only knew of this because it was spotted by chance by someone in Montana and a local newspaper decided to go with it. Otherwise, the balloon would have been allowed to go on its way to be recovered by China at its leisure--or at least have time to transmit the vast quantity of data it undoubtedly collected. And if Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley had had their way, that is exactly what would have happened. (It is at this juncture that I have to remind you that Gen. Milley twice went behind Trump's back to undermine Trump's negotiating positions with China, and admitted that he would warn China if the U.S. were determined to attack China--hardly anyone that I would trust to prioritize U.S. interests over those of China). 

    Now the public concern over the whole affair has forced the government to cancel Blinken's trip to China and the Administration has promised (cross their hearts) that they will shoot down the balloon once it is over the Atlantic Ocean. Certainly there is no question but that the U.S. has a legal right to shoot down the balloon

    The question is what information might the balloon have discovered. Most of the media is reporting that the balloon left China, entered North American through Alaska, and then traversed Canada before entering the continental U.S. in Montana. Thus, most of the concern is that it was surveilling Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, home to the 341st Missile Wing of the Air Force Global Strike Command: i.e., it houses a bunch of intercontinental ballistic missiles. There are also concerns that it might have been spying on Air Force bases in Wyoming or North Dakota. 

    But it is more than that. The Bloomberg article indicated that the balloon entered and re-entered northern Idaho. There is a small naval base in northern Idaho, on Lake Coeur d'Alene, that tests submarine technology, including mock-ups of new hull designs. And there is Fairchild Air Force Base just outside of Spokane, Washington, not too far from the Idaho border.

    In any event, why use balloons? A Daily Mail article explains:

    William Kim, a specialist in surveillance balloons at the Marathon Initiative think tank in Washington, told AFP that the target was resistant to missiles and bullets.

    'These balloons use helium... It's not the Hindenburg, you can't just shoot it and then and then it goes up in flames,' he said.

    'If you do punch holes in it, it's just kind of going to leak out very slowly.'

    He said it was not clear if using surface-to-air missiles would work, because their guidance systems are designed to hit fast-moving missiles and aircraft. 

    Kim said the Chinese balloon is also far more advanced and could be using artificial intelligence (AI), allowing it to steer through severe winds at extreme altitudes.

    It has a significant, visible 'payload' - the electronics for guidance and collecting information, powered by large solar panels, he said.

    AI has made it possible for a balloon, just by reading the changes in the air around it, to adjust its altitude to guide it where it wants to go, Kim said.

    'Before you either had to have a tether... or you just send it up and it just goes wherever the wind takes it,' he said.

    'What's happened very recently with advances in AI is that you can have a balloon that... doesn't need its own motion system. Merely by adjusting the altitude it can control its direction.'

    That could also involve radio communications from its home base, he said.

    But 'if the point of it is to monitor (intercontinental ballistic missile) silos, which is one of the theories... you wouldn't necessarily need to tell it to adjust its location,' he added.

    Kim said that as satellites become more vulnerable to being attacked from the Earth and space, balloons have distinct advantages.

    Firstly, they don't easily show up on radars.

    'These are materials that don't reflect, they're not metal. So even though these balloons expand to quite large, detecting... the balloon itself is going to be a problem,' he said.

    And the payload, if small enough, can be overlooked.

    Balloons also have the advantage of holding relatively stationary positions over a surveillance target, compared to constantly orbiting satellites used by spy agencies to take photographs.

    ' These things can stay overhead, they can stay over one spot months at a time, compared to the low-Earth-orbit satellites,' Kim said.

    Kim called it a 'real possibility' that a Chinese balloon may have been intended to collect data from outside US boundaries or much higher but malfunctioned.

    'These balloons don't always work perfectly,' he said. He said it was 'definitely a little low (in the sky).'

He's not kidding. Spy balloons normally operate at altitudes of 100,000 feet while this one was mostly cruising at around 60,000 feet, although it had dipped below 50,000 on occasion. But I doubt this one was malfunctioning because it would have been dipping lower over time as it leaked gas and it wouldn't have been loitering for longer than usual, which is one of the things that tipped off the military to its unusual nature. 

    My guess is that the Chinese optical technology is not good enough to get good pictures from satellites or the higher altitude balloons and that they needed it to be closer to the ground. 

    As a final point, I will note that there are rumors that the military shot down the balloon (or another like it) near Billings, Montana, but that has not been confirmed. (See also this article). And it might have been due to the re-entry of space debris

UPDATE: The balloon was shot down off the South Carolina coast near Myrtle Beach. "An F-22 Raptor out of Langley Air Force base took the balloon down with a single AIM-9X sidewinder missile at 2.38pm, separating its surveillance payload and sending it plummeting towards the ocean off Myrtle Beach," reports the Daily Mail. Naval and Coast Guard vessels are securing the area, which is 6 miles off the coast and in 47 feet of water. Although the latter article suggests that it will be several days until the wreckage can be recovered, I'm confident that navy divers were quickly deployed to recover anything useful or interesting from the wreckage. I'm still suspicious that rather than shoot it down while still over the mostly empty areas of Montana or the Mid-West, Gen. Milley wanted to give it plenty of time to transmit any data it might have. 

Meme of the Day: Demands

  Source: Bayou Renaissance Man I don't have a Smurf related story for you. However, while perusing Peter Grant's blog, I noted that...