Aug 182016

Now that it should be clear to everyone that decades of diligent effort by anti-nuclear activists have resulted in the proliferation of carbon-burning powerplants and thus rampagingly successful global warming, fire season in the southwestern US is going to become an increasingly interesting time. This seems to have been true out here in Utah this year. It’s also true in southern California where they not only have many, many acres of nicely flammable scrublands, but they’ve also parked a whole lot of stuff and people in those places.

One place that’s currently on fire is San Bernadino county; the “Blue Cut Fire” has presented the world with this fairly amazing bit of helicopter footage:

Facebook videos don’t seem to automatically integrate into the blog, so here’s a differently edited, lesser version of the footage (the Facebook video is better and longer):


So unless climate changes in a direction that results in consistently *more* rain in this quarter of the continent, I expect we’ll be seeing more of this sort of thing… at least until everything burnable has been burnt. About the only alternative is to steamroll the anti-science Left and start cranking out the terawatt breeder reactors, hooking them up to massive desal plants and monstrous pumping stations and creating a vast irrigation system across the western half of CONUS. Which is worth doing anyways.

 Posted by at 7:21 am
Aug 072016

Why do people refuse to learn from history???

A Mormon Tycoon Wants to Build Joseph Smith’s Mega-Utopia in Vermont

Some feller name of Dave Hall has a bucket of cash and a dream: to build planned utopian town-like properties based on some “vision” that Mormon church founder Joseph Smith imagined nearly 200 years ago. These would be square “plats,” with a square “ring wall” made up of buildings with farm-like area in the middle, and surrounded by a narrow bit of “nature.”

Hal wants to build a thousand of these sites in Vermont, moving 20 million people into a state with a current population well under one million. Oddly enough, the people in the area where he’s buying up property have a problem with this.

Some of the “features” of this planned community:

each person will be allotted just 200 square feet of living space


A plat, says Hall, will be subject to state and regional laws, but will also be overseen by a board and hierarchies of leaders with, it appears, strong Mormon family values. “Each [multi-family] house has house captains, which are a team of one man and one woman,”


Families and individuals who wish to join must invest their net worth and be employed either outside the communities or by a NewVistas company, or Vista Biz. Those who start Vista Bizzes will be given startup funds by the community but must surrender their IP rights. They also must agree to put nearly all their profits back into the community in exchange for what Hall calls “dividends”—payouts from overall wealth earned by the plat businesses.


To make all this work, some as-yet unavailable or generally unused technologies are needed. Robots that rearrange your furniture. Storage containers that rise us out of the floor. Small elevators. Toilets with built-in medical tricorders. But over all of this is the fact that since the basic plan of this “plat” was produced by Joseph Smith, it thus has the taint of prophesy and divine inspiration. And we’ve all seen how successful communities built on religious ideas can be.

The goofiest notion of all is that he’s buying up properties that are already happily occupied. Why not set up shop where people *aren’t*? I’m sure Detroit has some room for something like this. The Midwest has *single* farms bigger than his whole planned community. So why build right where you know you’re going to annoy the locals by changing *their* environment?

All that said… there’s something about this idea that makes me nervous in a very real sense. Not about the “plats” themselves… if they are roaring successes or the first generation born there tears the place apart during Festival, I don’t really care as such. But what does this sort of thing say about space colonies?

Initial small colonies – say, a few dozen people on Mars – will be run like military establishments. They’ll pretty much have to be. But what about town-sized orbital habitats? Here, the territory is strictly limited. An inhabitants options will necessarily be somewhat limited… a good terrorist could shut off the sun or evacuate all the air. So will such settlements need to be run in the soul-crushing collectivist manner suggested for the “plats?” A horrifying thought.

 Posted by at 4:25 pm
Jul 252016

So a few days ago a German-Iranian goes buggo and shoots a bunch of people in Munich. An Afghan refugee stabs people on a train in Wurzburg. Yesterday, a Syrian refugee in Reutlingen, Germany, chopped a pregnant Polish woman to death at a bus stop with a machete. Today, a Syrian asylum seeker tried to suicide bomb a music festival in Ansbach, Germany; he didn’t have a ticket so he set off his bomb, filled with nails and screws, outside, killing himself and injuring a dozen.

The suicide bomber had actually been denied asylum in Germany more than a year ago but Germany failed to deport him because reasons. Good job.

I have this feeling that carrying out acts of terrorism left and right against Germans might not result in universal happitimes. The Germans, as memory serves, have kind of a mean streak.

 Posted by at 1:06 am
Jul 232016

Move along, this ain’t it.

Chatsworth church builds submarine for vacation bible school

The claim: while the submarine doesn’t have an onboard nuclear reactor, the church itself *does,* and they’re working on hooking up the reactor to recharge the batteries on the sub. As to the engineering of the submarine itself:

The submarine is made of wood and covered with a fiberglass coating.

*Maybe* they’re being cute and the nuclear reactor they’re talking about is the sun, and they’re working on setting up solar panels to recharge the batteries. But the way it’s worded doesn’t really indicate that. And there’s not a chance in hell I’d put a kid on that “sub” and try to submerge it even half an inch. It looks like an ill-constructed *boat.*

So, they call it a sub, when it (apparently) is not a sub.

They say they have a small nuclear reactor, which is almost certainly untrue.

Hmm. They’re a Christian church. I’m neither a Bibleologist nor Bibleonomist, but isn’t there *something* or other in that book that speaks unfavorably about telling untruths?


 Posted by at 8:42 pm
Jul 222016

So a few days ago somebody went a little silly on a train near Wurzburg, Germany… took an axe and  knife and went after the passengers, injuring five before getting shot. Today in Munich someone (potentially up to three someones) opened fire in a shopping mall in Munich, Germany, killing at least 8. The motive for the latest attack has not yet been determined. It is far, far to early to begin even guessing what might have caused this.  Disgruntled Tea Partiers? Self-hating closeted homosexuals? Trump voters? We may never know:

A witness who will only be identified as Lauretta told CNN her son was in a bathroom with a shooter at the McDonald’s. “That’s where he loaded his weapon,” she said. “I hear like an alarm and boom, boom, boom… And he’s still killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.” Lauretta said she heard the gunman say, “Allahu Akbar,” or God is great. “I know this because I’m Muslim. I hear this and I only cry.”

Nope. Got nuthin’. Maybe it was some kid who was driven to kill because he played too much Call Of Duty or Grand Theft Auto or Pong or some such vile murder simulator. Perhaps he was a fan of heavy metal and backwards-masked exhortations by Satan to shoot up a McD’s twisted his fragile little mind. We may never know.

So yet again another terrorist attack in the west, with many, many people making expressions of sadness and horror. But in even the darkest times, there are those who find such things to be the cause of levity:

 Posted by at 4:39 pm
Jul 152016

So, Ken Ham’s Biblical theme park “Ark Encounter,” which has cost many millions of dollars to complete (much of it footed by Kentucky taxpayers), recently opened to the public. How’s it going?

Here’s the entryway at 1PM on opening day:

Sometimes things actually give me hope.

Scenes from Ark Encounter’s Opening Day (Inside the Ark)

Some videos at the link. The place seems… I dunno. It’s a big structure, but it seems like a bit of a wasted effort. The “Ark” is supposedly the size of the Ark from Biblical tales; it is full of cages and boxes for all the millions of different species that the ark was supposed to carry, but they all seem to be populated with *statues* of animals rather than the real thing. Machines making animal noises rather than animals making animal noises. Now, if less than a dozen people could take care of the total animal population of the ark, you’d think the army of employees the Ark Encounter surely has would be able to *easily* keep a boat full of critters fed, watered clean.

Overall it seems like a rather barren form of entertainment for a $40 entrance fee. I wonder how long it’ll be before it goes bust, and what it’ll end up as next. I can see Trump buying it and turning it into a casino. It’s big enough, and there are certainly some wide open spaces in it *now* that could be filled with slot machines.

 Posted by at 8:40 pm
Jul 142016

I think this piece from the Daily Mail (yes, yes, about as reliable as the National Enquirer, or the Bernie Sanders Economic Outlook Quarterly) came out before the attack in Nice today. 2016 may continue to be Damned Interesting from a political viewpoint.

France is ‘on the verge of a civil war’ which could be sparked by a mass sexual assault on women by migrants, intelligence chief warns

Patrick Calvar, head of the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI) seems to think that things are reaching a boiling point between Muslims and French “right wingers,” and that one or two more good attacks could set off an outright civil war.

There was also this nugget:

Earlier this week a leaked report revealed a staggering 1,200 women were sexually abused in German cities during the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Yikes. And this:

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also told by security experts last October that middle class citizens in Germany were becoming ‘radicalised’ because of her open borders migrant policy.

Riling up the Germans? That rarely ends well.

 Posted by at 9:39 pm
Jul 142016

News out of France:

Nice, France, truck attack kills 80, Hollande says

In short: someone driving a military-grade high-capacity high-powered assault truck drove through about a *mile* (report also says two kilometers) of a Bastille Day parade in the French city of Nice, killing around 80 and injuring Odin knows how many. The driver is reported to have also fired out of the window, making this less likely that this was just some schmuck who got likkered up and drove like an idiot. The police have apparently shot and killed the driver and have found explosives in the truck.

No motive given yet, but somehow I think I have a sneaking suspicion it just might be one of those Surt worshippers.

 Posted by at 7:54 pm
Jul 102016

From the point of view of weirdo bizarre politics, 2016 is the year that keeps on giving. Behold:

The Religious Cult Secretly Running Japan

I’d suggest that “Secretly” is not terribly accurate, since they seem to be pretty open about it. Specifically, Nippon Kaigi, a Shinto group that wants to restore Japan militarily and culturally to what it was prior to getting spanked in WWII, is a group that includes such government types as the current Prime Minister and many in his cabinet. Military adventurism, elimination of women’s rights, expulsion of foreigners, Emperor worship, all that rubbish.

This is *kinda* amusing. First part of the last century the Japanese were able to storm around east Asia because the US had, perhaps unwisely, kinda *forced* the Japanese to modernize in the late 19th century. They were burdened with a medieval culture but graced with advanced technology… while their neighbors were largely still medieval everything. But now… well, if the Japanese try that Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity schtick again, they’ll find that the Koreans and the Chinese and the Vietnamese are a little closer to them technologically.

I wonder, though, what it is about certain ideologies that continue to persist well after they got their asses well and soundly *beat.* Knuckleheads who want to worship the Emperor, or people who think the Nazis were neato-keen, or people who think Communism is the future, or people who think the South will rise again more than 150 years after the profoundly failed War of Southern Aggression… all these schmoes are worshipping at the altar of failure. They are waving loser’s flags. And yet, here we are.

 Posted by at 5:07 pm