Mar 312015
 

Russian analyst urges nuclear attack on Yellowstone National Park and San Andreas fault line

The “analyst” is one of those loons who thinks the US and the West are out to destroy Russia. And so he’s proposing to develop weapons systems designed specifically to kill a large fraction of the population of the United States as a way to bully the US into not protesting when Russia gobbles up its neighbors.

From the Google Translate version of the original Russian-language piece:

What’s in the US? First of all, attention is drawn to Yellowstone National Park, located in the caldera of the same name supervolcano, which, according to geologists, close to the period of its activation, which occurs at a frequency of 600 thousand years. About as long ago there was its last eruption. The power of this supervolcano several orders of magnitude weaker than the Siberian, so it has not led to the eruption of mass extinction of living creatures on the planet as a whole, but for the Americas this eruption was undoubtedly disastrous. Geologists believe that the Yellowstone supervolcano could explode at any moment. Signs of growing its activity there. Therefore it suffices to push the relatively small, for example the impact of the munition megaton class to initiate an eruption. The consequences will be catastrophic for the United States – a country just disappears. All of its territory is covered with a thick (several meters or tens of meters) layer of ash.

Another vulnerable area of ​​the United States from the geophysical point of view, is the San Andreas – the break length of 1300 kilometers between the Pacific and North American plates. It passes along the coast of the territory of the State of California, somewhere on land and partly under water. Are parallel to the faults of the San Gabriel and San Hosinto. This is an area of ​​geophysical instability generating earthquakes with a magnitude of 8.5 on the Richter scale. Impact powerful enough nuclear weapon can trigger catastrophic events that can completely destroy the infrastructure of the United States on the Pacific coast-scale tsunami.

Sometimes ya gotta wonder if you’re paranoid *enough.*  The one bright spot I’m seeing right now is that even while the current administration seems determined to see the US weakened, that administration will be out of office in less than two years. Hopefully to be replaced with an administration that is sane, sober, wise and devoted to keeping America strong, safe, and, hopefully, dedicated to conquering the heavens. Or at least not getting in the way of American private enterprise as *it* conquers the heavens.

 Posted by at 8:05 pm
Mar 312015
 

Some weeks back, the American news media found a new obsession: frat boys singing a racist song on a bus. Those few seconds of video of kids acting like dumbasses were broadcast an uncountable number of times, jabbered about by talking heads nonstop, and splashed all over newspapers and the internet. As a result, college careers were disrupted, some ended, and undoubtedly careers were ruined before they began.

Another story has very recently hit the news: a short video showing a guy riding a subway train is approached, asked about a political issue and when he refuses to express an opinion is beaten by several people while the rest of the passengers on the subway stand back and laugh. Obviously since I’m linking to a news item on it, it’s getting *some* press. But here we have a story that’s more than “singing on a bus with racial overtones,” we have “physical violence on a train with racial overtones.”

St. Louis man assaulted on public transportation after declining to discuss Michael Brown

A secondary thought: what we have here is violence perpetrated upon a person ostensibly because he refused to give a political opinion. This would therefore seem to be violence against certain political views. Is that not terrorism? Well, two of the perpetrators have been arrested, which is good… but what do you think the chances are that terrorism charges, or federal hate crimes charges, will be applied here?

But my main prediction: the stories that have already been published about this incident will prove to be pretty much *all* that is published about this incident. Unlike the “racist song on a bus,” this case that featured actual crimes, actual violence and an actual victim, as well as being one incident in what is an actual real problem in society, this story won’t be splashed all over everywhere.

 Posted by at 10:05 am
Mar 252015
 

Ladies: if you want to know why “feminism” has turned into a term of derision among a great many guys, read this:

Feminists told to use jazz hands at conference because clapping ‘triggers ANXIETY’

Organisers at the National Union of Students Women’s Conference made the request after some delegates reported feeling anxious during audience applause.

The NUS Women’s Campaign tweeted from its official account: “Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it’s triggering anxiety. Please be mindful!”

I have no doubt that there are some people who might have a panic attack or the like at the sound of a room full of applause. But here’s the thing: you don’t help these people by “appeasing” their weakness. Indeed, by going along with this request to not applaud, what you are doing is empowering the problem.

It’s a symptom of a much wider problem in society. Some people don’t like certain images, words or ideas… so society tries to cover up or outright ban those things to protect the delicate sensitivities of the more damaged members of society. And what do you end up with? The numbers of people who are easily offended seem to *grow.* And since there have been successes at banning certain expressions, those who wish to ban *other* expressions have that much more ammunition.

If you have anxiety issues so that applause makes you go bugbuts, here’s my thought: don’t go where there will be a lot of people applauding. Or, better yet: go. And toughen yourself up. Inoculate yourself to the thing that causes you trouble but which is perfectly normal in society.

Personal example: more than a  decade or so ago, I went to the doc to get some allergy tests, to try to figure out just what was going on with my lungs. Fortunately, the tests for allergies to cats (and birds, and horses, and dogs, and other critters) came back negative. But the test for various foods and plants? Hmmm.

The test is pretty straightforward: a nurse applies a grid to your forearm (I’ve heard other use the back). In each square, a small drop is applied This fluid is distilled essence of allergenic evil from, say, cat dander or ragweed pollen or whatever. The nurse then gently pricks the skin with a fine needle under the drop. Wait a few minutes; if you have an allergy, the skin under the drop will grow a little bump. The nurse goes away for something like ten minutes, leaving you to watch your arm in suspense.

In the case of my “plants” test, suspense turned to concern. A *lot* of little bumps started rising up. And they kept rising. Then they merged like small towns becoming a metroplex. Then tendrils reached out and started to wrap around my arm, looking for all the world like I had a small spawn of Cthulhu growing under my skin. When the nurse popped her head in the room and asked how I was doing, I held up my arm and asked “is this normal?” The fact that she *screamed* and ran away suggested to me that it was not. The specialist was on the scene moments later. No harm done, but man, did that itch.

Basically, if it’s a plant, I’m allergic to it. Another more limited test was done on foods, with the same sort of result. One of the first food-bumps to rise, and the one that seemed to be the worst, was “peanut.” I recall being amused by that since for lunch I had had a PB&J sammich. I grew up eating peanuts. Hell, I just had a handful a  few minutes ago. Apparently I am deathly allergic to the damn things… but they don’t bother me in normal concentrations. Why? Dunno. But I can bet that it is because I’ve eaten so many of them that my system has gotten used to them. You know what would not have benefited me any? Demanding that everyone around me avoid peanuts. Not only would that have made me (more) unpopular, it would inevitably fail. One day, after living peanut-free for years, I’d bit into a cookie made with peanuts, or someone with peanut butter on his breath would talk to me… and I’d go into anaphylactic shock.

Feh.

Sure, I can understand not applauding at a feminist convention, just on general principles. The whole shindig just sounds *dire.* But replacing applause with *jazz* *hands*? Bah.

 Posted by at 8:07 pm
Mar 232015
 

Yes, that’s right… Denmark.

In short, the Danes are in talks to join the incredibly limited NATO ballistic missile defense system. This system, if it works, would be capable of defending Europe against a *seriously* limited missile strike… such as could be produced by the likes of Iran. It would be able to accomplish approximately *diddly* against an all-out Russian attack.

The Danes would contribute perhaps one frigate equipped with advanced radar. As a result the Russian ambassador to Denmark wrote in an op-ed:

“I do not think that the Danes fully understand the consequences of what happens if Denmark joins the US-led missile defence… If this happens Danish warships become targets for Russian nuclear missiles.”

 

Denmark could face attack if joins NATO shield: Russian ambassador

 Posted by at 4:50 pm
Mar 212015
 

Here are two fun items:

Ethnic Minorities Deserve Safe Spaces Without White People

Where it is libsplained that when ethnic minorities declare a place to be a “safe space,” they can exclude whoever the hell they like for whatever reason they like. In this specific instance, it was a “Racialized Students Collective” meeting at Ryerson University in Toronto that expelled two white journalists for being white.

The Law of Unintended Consequences makes for some interesting speculation. Are you a Christian baker of wedding cakes and you don’t want to make cakes for same-sex weddings? Why… your shop is a “safe space” where you need not allow non-Christians (Christians being a minority world-wide, the reasoning works). A library is a “safe space” from filthy bums. The “Racialized Students” were meeting not in a private residence or a business, but in a campus facility. This indicates that publicly accessible spaces can be shut off for racial – and thus presumable gender, religious, philosophical, political, etc. – reasons.

The author of the piece, a fourth-year-should-know-better student in journalism, agrees that someone simply stating that whatever’s going on is a “safe space” can effectively stifle the press and prevent them from reporting on it. Granted, Canada isn’t the US, so “freedom of the press” doesn’t exactly have the same meaning there, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Canuckpress actually buys into that “reasoning.” Imagine if Rob Ford, during one of his rambling weird press conferences, had suddenly shouted that the place was a “safe space” for drugged up whackos and that the press should stop reporting.

This being Canada, and me not being Canadian, I Officially Have No Opinion on whether the idea of racial segregation in Canadian “Safe Spaces” should be permitted. However, I *do* have suggestions in case it is. Journalists of excluded races should make a basic token effort to gain entry. And when not allowed in… speculate. Delve into the deepest heart of old-school yellow journalism. What are they doing in there? What do they have to hide?? We have heard rumors of planned bank heists, crystal meth being cooked up, animal sacrifices. Are they performing female genital mutilation behind those doors? Worshipping Cthulhu? Cloning Hitler? WE JUST DON’T KNOW!!!

And further south…

Person Putting “Whites Only” Stickers Around Austin Turns Out to be Liberal Social Justice Warrior

Color me stunned.

 Posted by at 4:06 pm
Mar 202015
 

Top violator of women’s rights around the world? It’s Israel says UN

And by “UN,” what is specifically meant here is the “Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)” which condemned a grand total of one nation… Israel.

I’m sure the womenfolk of Syria and Iran and Iraq and Egypt and Pakistan and Afghanistan and Sudan and Saudi Arabia are thrilled to hear they have it so good.

Feh.

I’ve said it before: the UN’s time is done. It needs to be replaced not by a deliberative body of *every* nation, but one that selects nations based on common agreed-upon cultural tenets. Sort of a NATO writ large.

 Posted by at 9:24 pm
Mar 162015
 

Here’s some good news:

Russia was ready to put nuclear forces on alert over Crimea, Putin says

Couple this with Putins recent vanishing act, and ya really gotta wonder what the hell’s going on over there. It’s getting harder and harder to *not* see Putin as an old-school Bond villain. Well, at least maybe the nuclear winter will counter the global warming. Glad to know we have such spectacular leadership in the US government these days to stand up to these shenanigans and rally the nation in a potential time of crisis.

 Posted by at 3:41 pm
Mar 162015
 

The rules of flying on a jetliner are generally pretty simple. You’re stuck in a small space with a bunch of other people, with minimal room to move around for *hours.* So what should you do? Be quiet, try not to stink, behave yourself. Just spend a few hours trying to get along with the strangers stuck there with you.

Or… screw it. Do like this woman:

Go on a bizarre loud political rant and light up a cigarette. That’ll win you friends among those seated near you. Even  better… when the flight attendants come along to tell you to stop smoking, blame it on the poor schmoe sitting next to you:

According to this purported eye witness, the rant went on for half an hour or so. And, shockingly, there was booze involved. This was even *before* the plane took off, so the police had the opportunity to come aboard and hustler her off.

And finally a mugshot:

9EqXQJj

She is *reportedly* a sociology professor at a Pennsylvania university.

UPDATE: She is Dr. Karen Bettez Halnon, Associate Professor of Sociology, Penn State, Abington. You want some irony? Well, I got ya covered:

Halnon, K. B. (1995). Women’s agency in Hysteria and its Treatment. Boston College Dissertations and Theses, AAI9613827.

And here is the entirely unsurprising areas of her expertise:

Research and Teaching Areas: racial and ethnic inequality; capitalism and class; White and Black poverty; empire and imperialism; Central or Latin American studies; consumption; music scenes and subcultures; liberation theology; revolution; stigma; symbolic interaction; women and madness; marijuana; sociology of deviance; Marxist theory; postmodernist criticism; ideology

This is why a STEM education is important:

1) If a math or engineering professor gets likkered up before a flight, he/she is very unlikely to go on a rant on the plane about the importance of Poisson’s Ratio or the transcendental nature of Pi.

2) If a physics or electronics professor holds whackadoodle leftist garbage beliefs like this sociology professor… they are unlikely to form a major portion of the classroom curriculum.

It seems to be the libarts where exterior crazy becomes syllabus-mandatory.

Additionally: this is one of those cases where a little bit of room to stretch out might have been handy. When you add booze, cramped conditions and progressive professorial privilege to the reduced oxygen environment of an aircraft, wacky things like this are not unlikely. Perhaps the problem would be lessened by using aircraft with a lower passenger density. For US Transport Projects #3, one of the aircraft described would have been somewhat slower than a standard jetliner, but it would also have provided several square meters of floorspace per passenger. (It was also wholly insane as an operational concept…) With room to stretch out or even sack out, perhaps Crazy Lady here could have simply slept off her issues.

 Posted by at 9:51 am
Mar 102015
 

Just a few short days ago I posted a snarky piece about someone getting into trouble for something done online. Lo and behold, starting yesterday (Monday) and running all through today there has been increasing coverage of a fraternity at an Oklahoma university getting into trouble when a few seconds of video from their “party bus” hit the internet. Since then, the fraternity in question has been shut down and banned from the campus; the frat boys have all been kicked out of the frat house and two – so far – have been expelled. More relevant to my point, CNN and other news outlets have been obsessing about this pretty much non-stop. So, what horrible deed was caught on video? The frat boys were caught singing a racist song.

Is that bad? Sure, yeah, I suppose. But they were singing it among themselves; they were not standing outside some Ethnic Minority Fraternity and singing threats at them. They used Bad Words. And as a result… the university leadership is freaking out. The media is freaking out. And of course the Aggrieved Activist Community is freaking out.

As for the activists… well, they’re always on a hair-trigger, ready to go off at a moments notice. And the university leadership is probably paranoid about any sort of negative press. But the media… really, *this* is your new obsession? Since the time some frat boys got likkered up and sang a bad song, I bet there was a murder on some campus somewhere. Probably more rapes than one might like to think about. Theft. Drug use.  Hell, just a week or two ago news broke that another fraternity had had a party and caused nearly half a *million* dollars in damage to a resort. That got a little press, but not nearly the amount this story is getting, and not nearly as hysterical. And the resort story featured actual criminal behavior.

But you , some random nobody of a schmoe, say a Bad Word, and suddenly you’re the biggest news in the land. Bigger even than a Secretary of State using a private email server to conduct official communications and deleting 30,000 or more of those emails.

Yeah, yeah, it’s a Really Bad Word. So bad that I’m not stupid enough to type it. And yet it’s not so bad that it doesn’t appear a bagrillion times a day in popular music. To listen to some of the talking heads on CNN tonight, hearing these frat boys say the Bad Word caused them untold misery and emotional distress. But turning on their radios and hearing it in rap music? That’s just fine. Essentially, this is magical thinking. These people are imbuing this Bad Word with magical superpowers, but only when spoken by certain people. And… no. There are no magical words. Abracadabra; alakazam; anál nathrach, orth’ bháis’s bethad, do chél dénmha; presto chango; shazam; amen. Say them as much as you like, you won’t sprout superpowers. The Higher Forces or Lower Ranks won’t show up to do thy bidding. And the same with any politically useful Bad Word. Words have precisely the power we give them, no more, no less.

And the news media seems bound and determined to make some words into magical H-bombs.

 Posted by at 9:43 pm