Wednesday, March 30, 2022

What If The Virus WAS The Vaccine?

 Found this on Bijou who found it elsewhere so it's now 3rd hand, but it's an interesting bit of medical technology, creating a virus that leaves behind proteins that trigger an immune response to another virus.

What could go wrong?

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Usually Reliable Sources - Technology Theft

Today it is being reported by usually reliable sources that the Chinese government has successfully stolen American technology used by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to manufacture American Process Cheese. 

As is widely known, APC is a by-product of refined petroleum and is produced in large quantities by every refinery in the U.S. The final product is then sold to cheese users like Kraft to make their world famous Mac and Cheese food product in addition to thrifty citizens to help make fake meat burgers palatable. Excess production then goes into the National Strategic Cheese Reserve located in a large complex of refrigerated warehouses in Wisconsin. 

The Chinese have pilfered this technology, and are using it to produce cheese, under the name of Chinese Process Cheese, which will be used to alleviate impending food shortages being brought on by the Russian war in Ukraine which is expected to severely impact the global production of wheat and fertilizer.

Allowing the Chinese to build up a large Cheese Gap in this underhanded manner in unconscionable on President Bidens part and we all need to write him and our elected representatives in Washington and demand that the National Cheese Reserves be opened to alleviate hunger in the United States. Do it now! For the children!

Monday, March 21, 2022

Attention Writers, Film Makers!

Plot line anyway. I don't know anyone who normally writes this sort of thing but todays Coffee with Scott Adams included a tongue-in-cheek proposal from Scott that Hollywood might make a Bond movie based on a finding that Hunter was involved in creating the Covid virus in a Ukrainian lab, but had also developed a perfect antidote, the details of which were sent to Hunter at some point, and stored on one of the 6 or 8 laptops he lost as he traveled the world, visiting various dens on iniquity and hives of scum and villainy. 

Bonds assignment would be to find these places, visit them, kill anyone needing it, and retrieve the laptops. Sounds like a great idea. A G-rated version might be made of Harry Potter and the Seven Veils. Another version might closely resemble "Dude! Where's My Car?"

I thought the idea had possibilities. Any writers out there?

Friday, March 18, 2022

What Do You Think? - It's Probably Wrong!

 Legal Insurrection has an article showing what Americans think about fairly ordinary stuff. Some overs, some unders, and some pretty close:

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

A New Tax With A Loophole?

 When it comes to separating taxpayers from their money, governments are the acknowledged experts. The Colo state government is/has put forth a $29 "use fee" on your license plate, to supplement the $25 "fee" to have your car smog sniffed annually. The $29 fee will reward you with a parks pass which will allow you to use the parks system for "free".

The Colorado Sun is reporting that there may be a loophole in the new law:

Colorado’s Parks and Wildlife Commission on Wednesday approved a $29 price for the new Keep Colorado Wild Pass. The pass, which will be part of every vehicle registration in the state unless drivers choose to opt out, could generate more than $54 million a year for Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s 43 state parks.

Bold text mine. I imagine that the legislature found the big increase* in vehicle registration costs to be so distasteful to the peasantry that some way out had to be provided to keep the lawmakers from the lamp posts. 

*YMMV. My cars run about $70/year and get smog sniffed every 2 years for $25/each so the "free" parks pass represents about a 30% increase in registration costs. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Sanctions: How They Work

 Sanctions work by cutting someone off from something they need. The Arabs might sanction some country they don't like by refusing to sell them oil for example. The U.S. is sanctioning Russia by cutting off oil purchases and boycotting other products produced by Russian Oligarchs.

Now the Russkies are striking back: They are sanctioning  a list of Americans including Anthony Blinken, Lloyd Austin, Mark Milley, Jake Sullivan, Jen Psaki and Hillary Clinton.

That should teach them. Once the Russkies buy you, you darn well better STAY bought.

Fun With Headlines: Climate Fixed!

 Breitbart is reporting that Slo Joe is going to fix the worlds climate problems by executive order. Eclipsing the efforts previously brought to bear by King Canute no doubt.

Biden Promises Executive Action on Climate Change as Energy Costs Spike

That'll show mother nature who's boss. He'll probably throw in something to normalize the ebb and flow of tides too while he's at it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Putin Reads From Trumps Book

 As of right now, it's pretty clear that Putins library includes a copy of Trumps book "The Art Of The Deal'. Famously it says that when going in to negotiate, ones position should be to demand the Sun, the moon, and the Stars, and work from there.

Putin has offered his starting position for an end to hostilities in Ukraine thusly:

1. Ukraine should cease all military actions.

2. Ukraine must change their constitution to guarantee its future neutrality.

3. Ukraine must acknowledge Russias possession of Crimea, and 

4. Give up the 2 eastern provinces which the Russians occupied a short time ago.

A great opening offer. Let's see:

1. Russia enjoys being thought of as the second most powerful military force in the world, and is quite embarrassed to be getting stymied by #22 Ukraine.

2. The next time they invade, they would prefer a completely disarmed victim. This is Russias international equivalent to the U.S. gun bans.

3. Russia had based a big part of their Black Sea Fleet in Crimea and dearly wants their Navy bases back. Historically, Crimea has been part of Ukraine, notwithstanding the little love lost between the mostly Muslim Crimeans, and the mostly Christian Ukes. The Crimean Cossacks don't care much for the Russkies either.

4. The Donbas region has been an economic disaster ever since the Rus occupied it, ostensibly to protect the ethnic Rus who live there. Anyone who could move, already has, back west into Ukraine.

So now it's Ukraines turn to make a counter offer. The soldiers on Snake Island probably said it best, but this is international diplomacy, so their response to the Russian demand for surrender would probably need to be Bowdlerized a bit:

1 You first.

2. You first.

3. How about if we agree that Crimea will be a designated neutral and demilitarized zone?

4. You will remove all occupying troops from Donbas, and we will guarantee full rights to the citizens there.

5. Additional diplomatic words and phrases, saying nice things about all parties concerned, mentioning Ukraines right as a sovereign nation to associate with anyone she wants, and ending with "...and the horse you rode in on."

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Gas, Wars, Etc.

 Here's a pic from Fromthebarrelofagun that puts current gas prices into historical perspective:

With this in mind, and American oil company recently purchased a large number of barrels of Ural crude from the Russkies at the bargain basement price of $28/barrel. I don't approve of this subsidy of the Russian war in Ukraine, but at that rate it was an offer they seemingly couldn't refuse. As of this writing oil is currently bringing $110/bbl. Still, with all the sanctions, we still have not gotten around to including energy products like crude and LNG.

This pretty much sums it up.

The War - A View Closer To The Ground

 All reports should be viewed warily, as they are diminished by the fog of war and you have no real good idea by how much. Some observations, however, can be considered more reliable if they don't change much over time, or if they are backed up with images. Be careful, some of the "Ukrainian images" out there seem to be from Russian operations in Syria. The Traffic Jam on the road into Kiev from the north as been photographed repeatedly and doesn't seem to have changed much in the last 8 days. This is really bad news for the Russkies as large offensive operations generally require movement of some sort to be considered effective. 

Pictures of Russian heavy equipment, mired in mud, with the tires coming off the wheels does not inspire confidence, especially with people close to the situation describing this as a common problem with vehicles fitted with Chinese made tires. When you think about it, you have to wonder: With sanctions and a generally dismal Russian economy, what percentage of their ground forces have been serviced with parts from Harbor Freight? Tires? Diesel engine parts? Combat boots?

On the one hand there are reports that the Ukes have adjusted the dikes and levees in the area surrounding the roadway resulting in the "off road" becoming a swamp. The road itself seems to be best described as 2-lane blacktop with a breakdown shoulder on each side. The Russkies are taking full advantage of this by stacking their vehicles 3-abreast and some 40 miles deep. The problem here is that if the front ranks are out of fuel, the tankers can't get up to service them. If they are damaged, a T-84 tank becomes an 80 ton paperweight. Repairable? Probably, if you could get a repair vehicle up to it. Tankers and wreckers are relatively soft targets, and the Ukes know this. Shoot and scoot. A reliable technique for the last 2000 years.

Here and here are articles by people who seem to be much closer to the action than most of the pundits who are getting the media time. Give them a read and then consider the phrase "Potemkin Army". Keeping in mind. of course that while judicious use of force can drive a bear away from your trash cans, you do NOT want to run up and engage it with bare knuckles. It IS a bear after all.

Friday, March 4, 2022

The War: Ukraine, Russia, Finland

 Finland recently donated some artillery pieces, complete with ammo to the Ukrainians. Predictably, this annoyed the Russians who issued a "strongly worded letter" condemning the action and hinting at "military consequences.

Finland responded with a print of their latest Captcha pic:

Sneaky, the Suomi.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Fun With Headlines - Ukraine

 Having turned the country into a net importer of oil, and making us buy some 200K* barrels of oil a day from Russia, the meatloaf-in-chief now says:

Biden Says US Is Open to Banning Russian Oil Imports

Unanswered is the obvious question: "What do you propose we replace this with?" 

The expected answer is likely something about covering the state of Kansas with Chinese-made solar panels as soon as the environmental impact statement is completed and approved, probably sometime in the next decade.

*I googled the quantity we import from Russia and got numbers ranging from 208K to 800K barrels/day Filtering for hysteria, I think the correct number is in the 500K range.

NIVS Checks - Feb Update

 Here's the graph up to February, buried down in amongst several others and hard to spot. 

The country may well now be well-armed enough to slough off a takeover attempt by Mr. Putin. Now if we only had some ammo.