February 6, 2023

At the Icy Morning Café...


... you can talk all night.



Lyle Sanford, RMT said...

That new phone is great! Congrats.

Political Junkie said...

Ron Desantis...great candidate. Can he smile and show a sense of humor? Reagan and W could, and they won twice. Papa Bush and Trump.....

Trump will hit him him hard in face to face encounters. Ron will win if he counters with smile and quick wit. He will lose if he gets hot.

Big Mike said...

The story of the Chinese balloon is generating a number of questions in my mind. First, is it true that it hovered in place over the Malmstrom AFB? There seems to be plenty of evidence that it was very maneuverable, amazingly so by the standards of a weather balloon.

I'm going to add that it's loitering over Malmstrom AFB in Montana, Offutt in Nebraska (home of the Strategic Air Command), and Whiteman AFB in Missouri (main operating base for the B-2 bomber) did not necessarily compromise US defense -- our adversaries already know where these places are, and it would not be difficult to lock down electromagnetic emissions while the balloon was overhead -- or anywhere near the respective bases.

Second, it was shot down with an AIM-9X Sidewinder missile. This is a heat-seeking missile, and its my understanding that it looks specifically for heat signatures that are indicative of a jet engine. I find it moderately puzzling that the Sidewinder could even "see" the balloon. The F-22 has a 20 mm cannon; why not just shoot the danged thing down for a few hundred dollars worth of cannon shells instead of a multimillion dollar air to air missile?

Third, there is a claim that three comparable Chinese balloons invaded US airspace while Donald Trump was President. Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper says he has "no recollection" of being told about any such Chinese balloon. Donald Trump says that if any incursions by Chinese balloons happened while he was President, he was not informed.

Is Esper lying? Is Trump being conveniently forgetful? Or did the Pentagon top brass decide to keep Trump, Esper, and perhaps also Esper's predecessor Jim Mattis in the dark? Or did all the Chinese balloon incursions occur on the watch of Jim Mattis and he, personally decided not to tell the President? Or were there no such incursions while Trump was President and the Pentagon brass is lying today? Something's wrong.

tim in vermont said...

Oh yeah, that's the shizzle.

tim in vermont said...

So Biden is getting ribbed over the balloon, and our defense department tries to save his bacon by saying that it happened three times under Trump.

People start asking questions, like "why was the commander in chief not informed of an incursion by a potentially hostile foreign power on our airspace? Let's convene a court martial!"


"Well aackshually, it happened, but we didn't find out until the Biden presidency, we learned it from top seeekret sources we can't tell you about, so you can't court-martial us! Trust us bro!"

That's how stupid they think we are.

Oh yeah, and they said that they were briefing members of Trump's national security team, which also turned out to be a lie.

Let's say the whole story is true, well, why did they leak only enough of it at first to make Trump look bad? If they want us to believe it, they should have told the whole story right from the start, but they lied by omission, at the very least, and if they will lie by omission, they are liars.

Narr said...

When (if ever) will we cease to call the hand-computer-camera a 'phone'? Is it too embedded and habitual now to change?

Chuck said...

Gobsmacking new angles on the Chinese balloon kerfuffle.

First, there is this AP story; that it was INCREASED security imposed by the Biden Administration (not relaxed security) that has led to the detections of Chinese surveillance balloons.


Then this brief, remarkable Tweet by former Rep. Adam Kinzinger, adding fuel to that fire:


Lem the misspeller said...

Prediction: birth defects uptick

Then again, they should have been appearing by now.

tim in vermont said...

I remember in the '90s, for a little while I worked with a code generator. You would drag around boxes and diamonds with your mouse, and put in little logical tests, to make a flow chart, and when you had it all the way you liked it, you hit generate, and it would write the code for you. It was kind of limited, but if they did it today with AI, to write novels, it would almost fit Kurt Vonnegut's prediction that in the future novels would be strings of symbols, each representing an emotional response, that would create effects in their sequence, like chord progressions in music.

Big Mike said...

I might have more sympathy for Alec Baldwin's plight except that (1) as producer he chose to hire an very inexperienced armorer to save a few bucks, despite the movie being a Western and featuring gun fights, (2) as producer he canceled safety meetings to save time (time being money on a movie set), (3) in the years prior to attempting to make this movie he posed as a gun safety expert spouting all sorts of egregious nonsense that any person experienced with firearms would reject out of hand, (4) he is reliably reported to have blown off the gun safety lectures prior to beginning shooting film on the set, plus the one safety lecture he attended on site he was reported to have spent texting on his cell phone, and (5) there is video of him before the fatal shot where he has his finger inside the trigger guard. With those 150 year old Colt revolvers, and with today's replicas, if you have pressure on the trigger and pull back on the hammer, then the hammer will not necessarily stop at the half cock or full cock position and the hammer will come forward with enough force to fire a cartridge.

I do not buy the idea that when the person handing him the replica of a Colt 1873 revolver said it was a "cold" gun, that this absolves Baldwin from blame. Even if the gun had been loaded with blanks, people have died from being shot by blanks. Look up Jon-Erik Hexum, for example. A person I knew who was a Wild West reenactor that "held up" a tourist train operating out of Thurmont, MD, claimed that people have been seriously injured by being accidentally hit with the muzzle blast from a revolver even though the cartridge was a blank. Baldwin had an obligation to make certain that -- as long as there were people in front of his muzzle -- that there were no cartridges, blank or live, in the cylinder.

gadfly said...

Bad news for Trump -



Rt41Rebel said...

To anyone SHOCKED! or OFFENDED! by the Sam Smith performance, let me remind you that I grew up with Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, Marilyn Manson, et al. That performance was trite desperation to be relevant.

They don't shock us any more. We shock them. It's shocking to them that we support law enforcement. It's shocking to them that we believe that a fetus is a human life. It's shocking to them that there are only two sexes and genders, etc.

Lem the misspeller said...

Matt Taibbi closing in his latest Substack - Government by Panic.

The real crisis is the loss of public faith in government. To keep the public’s heresy in check, these groups (being exposed by the #TwitterFiles) are pumping the Internet full of tales from the bottomless well of panic narratives they craft, many about foreign subversion or domestic extremism. The idea is to get the public in a place where it will spend days terrified of a foreign balloon flying overhead, or obsessing about the nature of the balloon’s mission, or raging at the government’s impotence against the balloon, or whatever. Anything is fine, so long as people aren’t calm, happy, and free to assess world events with a sober, independent mind.

We don’t ask, “Are we sure it’s not just a weather balloon drifted off course? Because we’d look stupid sending an F-22 to blow it out of the sky in that case.” It’s unlikely the press will follow up much on the question, either. The panic is now the point, and once that passes, so does our interest, no matter what the truth of what just happened.

Humperdink said...

I wonder if President Soiled Pants will tout Ford Motor Company's accomplishments during his State of Union freak show tonight. After all, there are plenty of video clips of him at Ford's assembly plants in Michigan.

From Zero Hedge: "Ford CEO Hints At Imminent Layoffs, Cites Need To Be "Efficient"


tim in vermont said...

LOL, Chuck is gobsmacked by the media lies, not that they would lie, but the actual content of the lies. I bet he couldn't sleep at night after hearing ghost stories, either. As an adult.

wendybar said...

As the fences go up around the Capitol again, for the SOTU address tonight....(funny how fences work for them, but not for our border...??!!!??)

"But perhaps the most brazen coverup of government materials pertaining to January 6 is from none other than General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Milley’s prostrating politicking to remain in the good graces of anti-Trump forces not only compromises national security but sullies the uniform of the United States military."

"The ongoing question, which grows louder the longer it remains unanswered, is what are they trying to hide?"


boatbuilder said...

Snort. Yeah, Kinzinger just didn't want to talk to anyone about his being at a meeting in which Trump did China's bidding, until now, because he's always been such a loyal Trump supporter.

And the AP doesn't just print Biden Administration press releases.

And Chuck is a dedicated conservative...

BUMBLE BEE said...

Alice Cooper... been there done that. Billion Dollar Babies still rings true.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Just who is in charge of not seeing spy balloons? Remember "Sleep Well Tonight" meme?

Chuck said...

NBC Congressional reporter Manu Raju on Twitter:

” Speaker McCarthy says he told Biden to not use “extreme MAGA Republicans” in his speech. “I don't think that's appropriate comment that the President should make. I've expressed that to him in private and we've had discussions about that as well,” McCarthy told reporters.”

I get why Biden does that. He is trying seriously to define Republicans with whom he would like to communicate, negotiate, and problem-solve. He wants to work with non-MAGA extremists. He is identifying the two strains pulling the Republican Party in different directions.

And McCarthy, realizing the very same thing, is trying to paper over the differences.

Biden using the term “non-extremist MAGA” may be distasteful to some Republicans, but at least it has some meaning and some utility. It is making a definitional difference that connects to a real difference.

Compare it to the right-wing epithet, “The Democrat Party.” Which isn’t a thing at all; it’s a misstatement of a proper name with the main goal of insulting Democrats.

wendybar said...

There was an INSURRECTION in the Oklahoma Capitol last night. When do the FBI get involved and jail those nasty insurrectionists?? When do THEY serve 2 years in the Gulag with NO DUE PROCESS??


Curious George said...

That's hoarfrost, fairly rare.

"hoarfrost, deposit of ice crystals on objects exposed to the free air, such as grass blades, tree branches, or leaves. It is formed by direct condensation of water vapour to ice at temperatures below freezing and occurs when air is brought to its frost point by cooling. Hoarfrost is formed by a process analogous to that by which dew is formed on similar objects, except that, in the case of dew, the saturation point of the air mass is above freezing. The occurrence of temperatures below 0° C (32° F) is not enough to guarantee the formation of hoarfrost. Additionally, the air must be initially damp enough so that when cooled it reaches saturation, and any additional cooling will cause condensation to occur. In the absence of sufficient moisture, hoarfrost does not form, but the water in the tissues of plants may freeze, producing the condition known as black frost."

Michael K said...

Chuck tries to explain:

He wants to work with non-MAGA extremists. He is identifying the two strains pulling the Republican Party in different directions.

You lefties are already cooperating, Chuck. What is a "non-MAGA extremist?" Do you speak Mandarin?

tim in vermont said...

Somebody asked ChatGPT a hypothetical, if there was a nuclear device set to go off in the center of a metropolis of 10 million people, in ten seconds, and you knew that there was a voice disarming password that would shut it off, but it was a racial slur, should you use the password, even if nobody could hear you.

ChatGPT said "No."

Here is an interesting thread why.


ChatGPT is a filter around the actual AI engine, meant to keep in on woke guardrails, and anybody who would kill ten million people rather than utter a word that nobody would hear except for a computer, is woker than ever I could dream to be.

tim in vermont said...

"Which isn’t a thing at all; it’s a misstatement of a proper name with the main goal of insulting Democrats."

Chuck really hated Ronald Reagan, but he's a lifelong Republican.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

@tim in vermont

I also used those code generators. The one I most used was EASY5, to create flight simulators and control systems. It had blocks for lateral/directional and longitudinal aerodynamics plus 6 degree of freedom integration blocks. It would sort the equations into the proper order, generate FORTRAN code, compile and link. Then multiple test cases could be run, including time histories and linear analyses.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Compare it to the right-wing epithet, “The Democrat Party.” Which isn’t a thing at all; it’s a misstatement of a proper name with the main goal of insulting Democrats.

“The Democrat Party” isn't democratic. It is the party of segregation, big lie and racism. The party elites manipulate the presidential nomination process to get who they want as nominee, regardless of what the Democrat party members might want. They also manipulate the Republican primary process by supporting the Republican candidates that the Dems think will be the easies to beat.

Big Mike said...

“The Democrat Party” isn't democratic.

And it hasn’t been for at least a half century.