Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Ghost of Hamilton haunts Iceland? International potpourri

I'm at the point of making a clean break from the past, in terms of my heavy reliance on the BBC first for international news; today, France 24 beat the pants off of 'em, while the UK indulges in deep navel-gazing spawned by the latest Tory Party/Labour Party row. The Queen getting directly involved, now?  Here's a reminder to Yankees that the UK isn't the democratic dream y'all thought it might be as a constitutional monarchy, but because the upper house is almost entirely Anglican thanks to that same monarchy, it's actually an Anglican theocratic monarchy that King James Stuart the First had in mind when he had the Bible overhauled...but I digress from the news from Iceland as reported by France 24.

Iceland was a major fall guy when Lehman Brothers bit the dust and although our own system's too rigged for much of anything by way of reform with teeth in it, Iceland may very well position itself to force our own reform--they're not fond of the U.S. bosses of the IMF, either.

In short, Iceland's about to overhaul its monetary system with the power to create cash solely in the power of a single bank, citing Iceland's hopping from crisis to crisis since 1875. Yup, sure sounds Hamiltonian.  Anyhoo, France 24 also reported on the important election in Nigeria, the one that Good Luck Jonathan lost to Muhammadu Buhari, and I suspect that the Boco Haram kidnappings with Jonathan's failure to lift a pinkie to do anything about it played a large role in that, but I also have to wonder if Nigeria didn't jump from the frying pan into the fire, so to speak.  Worth keeping an eye on if you're also concerned with ISIS and similar ilk.  My interest in this stems from Nigeria's neighbor, Cameroon, which Boco Haram has also targeted and it's growing.

U.S. base in Okinawa is once again in dispute as if China isn't breathing down Japan's neck enough.  But speaking of banking, China's taking an initiative for the Asian neighborhood which is sort of a cross between what Iceland has in mind and its own version of a central bank for the region which *might* include TPP nations, if the TPP could ever get off the ground; ASEAN nations definitely targeted.

Yeah, the Indiana backlash is a big deal and in the world's spotlight, not just here Stateside, and there's a truckload more to get to, so I'm gonna have to take it a piece at a time.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Clarafication in response to an email received

Consider this post to be a mini FAQ sheet.

This warrants a separate post because the content of the email has been echoed by more than one person, personal security vs personal identifying data online & such.

First, the name on this account is a pen name used by one person since 1973, and has been in publication back then, so you won't find much, if any of the early writing, online or republished recently.  Because CL got launched as a lampoon of another CL, there's a schtick that goes with the pen name, and you can read my full G+ profile for the details of that. The accent I have when I speak is not southern, it's Ozark.  Ozark East, specifically. I do not identify the Oklahoma accent as "cowboy", but as Ozark West. It's New Mexico, Texas and Arizona that speak "cowboy". Southern is southeast, as in east of the Mississippi. Ozarks East is my native tongue.

Second, every address of every FCC license holder is public record, and I hold an FCC amateur radio license.  My address is also public record by other governmental departments as well. Anybody can find it rather easily at any time with minimal effort.

Third, I mentioned that, since moving to Enid OK, I've been inactive because of the Hoenigsberg Barrier, and that has to do with local ass-kissing ARES to the exclusion of SkyWarn, and though it's true that  I kiss nobody's ass, there's more to it than that, and that has to do with FCC regulations for license class.  I'm a Tech Plus, meaning that phone operations by me are restricted in the bands that ARES operates, and Hoenigsberg's ass stands in the way of every Tech ham, Plus or not. (For those who want an explanation of FCC license classes, Tech is a grade above Novice, with more electronics and regulation knowledge tested for, but there's no Morse Code test.  A Tech Plus has passed a Tech test and a Morse Code test for a minimum of copying code 5 words per minute.) Due to the Hoenigsberg problem, I've been inactive for years, therefore also have been stuck with the Tech Plus class license for the same number of years I've been inactive. I'll reactivate and then work on upgrading my license in celebration of Hoenigsberg's  permanent departure.

I've explained this many times to deaf ears in Enid, and so I do not plan to reactivate unless and until Hoenigsberg gets gone, and I ain't holding my breath til that happens, even if I have been certified to run an  emergency network.  I keep my license and my station just in the event of an emergency, and I remain proud to have been a member of SARA (Shawnee Amateur Radio Association), as well as the Phoenix Coffee Clutch Net.  Via SARA I was an official in the legendary River to River Relay and worked the Herrinfest Marathon (Herrin, IL).

Oh, another Clarafication----People familiar with amateur radio callsigns know that the number 7 designates the region where I was licensed, and it's not Illinois--that would be 9.  As long as I continue to renew, I keep the 7 designation where ever I go regardless.

 Over and out. SK

River to River Relay Group on Facebook

By golly, one of these days I otta post a gallery of prized souvenir tee shirts, huh. Anyhoo, just on Herrin's outskirts (actually Energy, IL) is a World War II vintage restaurant that first introduced soy-based "mystery meat" when rationing made it necessary, and is still serving up victory burgers: the Polar Whip ( Neslar's Polar Whip on Facebook) ( On G+). I can personally attest to the fact that they are indeed yummier than they sound, and were this not the case, they would have gone belly-up a long, long time ago. Conveniently located not far from the Herrin/Marion airport. At the bottom of the tee, note the salute Herrin gives to the River to River Relay.
Actually, that Maytag factory is an historic Norge factory prior to Maytag's takeover.

Speaking of prized souvenir tees, and having already spoken of the legendary 1993 NBA Finals complete with ball cap...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday talking heads edition--Yemen & the House of Saud's house of cards

I'm going to begin addressing the content of Fareed Zacharia GPS and add others as the talk shows progress in this post.

There's the matter of a Somali author of the book "Heretic" (Ayaan Hirsi Ali) who is about the business of claiming that Islam needs a large scale reformation similar to the Christian Reformation who doesn't realize, apparently, that this is what Wahabism was and still is.  Reformationists are what ISIS thinks they themselves are. Wahabism is, of course, the Saud version of Sunni Islam, and both sides of this argument--Wahabism and the Heretic--overlook the significance of how the Battle of the Camel was resolved so that the Califate Empire could be established in early Islamic history, and what Mohammed said about internal divisions reaching the number of 99, and how, after the Battle of the Camel, Islam touts Pillars separate from all Sharia, both Sunni and Shiya.

The House of Saud rose to power by waging war on fellow Muslims in the first place, instituting Wahabism as a proper fundamentalist "reform" in the beginning of its rule, and we, today, mustn't forget that--and yet, it seems, we have, and by "we" I'm including all historian experts, even the Islamic historians currently making the talking head circuits these days.

The U.S. would make a grave error in following the Heretic's advice because it's an ally of Wahabist Saudi Arabia, which claims that Wahabism is legitimate Islam while the President says Wahabist ISIS is not legitimate Islam as if he's in a position to issue a fatwah on that matter, and he isn't.  Alliance with Saudi Arabia says he can't, besides.  Additionally, no Saudi can make such a fatwah simply because a fatwah of that kind would announce to the world that the Saudis themselves are illegitimate.

"Religion of peace" is primarily the Sufi position and in the current rise of ISIS, it's the Sufis that are cast aside and in terms of reform, the Sufis hold the key to resolving the issue.  In Zacharia's program, he questioned the role of The West/U.S. in either resolving or aggravating the situation in the Middle East, mentioning how the U.S. has a long track record of propping up secularist dictators but didn't draw a connection between U.S. ME policy and "U.S. interests" in the form of the petroleum industry which, on the whole, backs the U.S. interventionist policies in what it props up, and in the process overlooked a rather old book on that subject which also explains how the policy cuts the legs off of any claim to U.S. exceptionalism.

Try reading the 1958 book, "The Ugly American", on which a 1963 film was based.  This is a good time to resurrect it.

Supplemental--column on Yemen's Islah Party

Sunday Evening Addition: BBC Newsnight comment about Saud family being in a family business sparks this comment from me: Everybody who has been told that the main difference between Shiites and Sunnis is the policy of succession, and whereas Saud Wahabism is Sunni, their dynasty belies that claim, and they're not the only Sunni dynasty out there.  One can look at Iran and see Shiites that are NOT dynastic, so any Muslim making the aforementioned claim is a liar.

Elite Eight UPDATE: Ya, I'm sad about the Cats, but today, Duke put on a show worth watching, and they go on to the Final Four.  Duke's had a consistently high quality hoops program, too, so it would have been a surprise if they didn't make it...just like it was a disappointment that the Cats didn't make it.  Betcha Duke and Kentucky make it to the Big Dance.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Dead Man's Switch Revisited--plane crash, Yemen

...BUT FIRST....
A shout out to the Admin of Dr. Who Online (UK) who graced me with  his/her presence today.  I visited their site today, reset my password, logged in just to have a look around the place after having been absent a rather long time.  All I did was look around and put some stuff into my account info. That's it.  And that's how I know it's the Admin that visits my blog via info I just put into my account there.   Elementary, my dear Doctor. XD

Welcome to the blog.  Yes, you'll find that I claim to be a time traveler here, but before you scoff, look at the simple statement I made in my About Me section on your site.  It says "Grand Inquisitor of Chautauqua" and you'll have to know what Chautauqua in the U.S. is first to get a clue.  Here's another hint: there are historians who do the Chautauqua circuit--those with PhDs in history--who, after grumbling about it considerably, would grudgingly testify to their being convinced that I am indeed a time traveler.  Last summer, one of 'em actually called me a know-it-all. I couldn't be more pleased.

I shall continue to be an impossible person so long as those who are now possible remain possible.  --Mikhail Bakunin

You know the truth of it: I'm the original time traveling Clara, the Impossible Person. Then, now, and for all time.

Damn.  Down go the Sooners. #MarchMadness

Although this blog often posts about international incidents, it would seem to my regular readers that I've ignored such things lately, and so this post seeks to remedy that.  To begin, I'll address an issue heard on NPR this morning and covered extensively elsewhere: how the current pilot safety protocols involving cabin door access and automatic pilot capability proved to actually be a vulnerability.  And before I go there, I must mention again railroad safety measures in the form of the Dead Man's Switch.

To review: in the context of a Canadian rail accident where oil tankers exploded, the rail officials claimed that it was the engineer's fault for not setting the brake on, when the fact of the matter is that the default position of all train brakes is ON, and I explained the Dead Man's Switch: in order for the brakes to be disengaged, an engineer is required to actively keep them disengaged, else they're always engaged.  USA Today reported that firefighters, responding to a call about one of the engines, had deliberately disengaged the brakes, which makes more sense than blaming the engineer for failing to engage them. There's no such thing as "forgetting to set the brakes" because no human action is required to set brakes--human action is required to disengage the brakes. Regarding the Airbus crash, a similar principle should be instituted in the cockpit: in order to change the programming of autopilot while in transit, or to access the manual controls at all in mid flight, the system should require the presence of both pilots else the default programming is maintained.

Sure, that can get awkward if one pilot just had a heart attack or some terrorist killed him while he was en route to the bathroom, but contact with a terrestrial control station would remedy that situation, with the terrestrial station being the only facility capable of overriding the required other pilot's presence, necessitating communication contact in that type of circumstance, and in no occasion is any pilot trained to know how to effect the override himself as only ground control crew would know that information and have the equipment available to do so.

I would think that it would be within the realm of drone capability for ground control to take over the controls and guide the plane down without either pilot's intervention.  Within the realm of possibility is every airport designating one runway to be an emergency ground-controlled landing strip that airlines would also regard as being the one to avoid when in the process of requesting to land when an emergency occurs, rendering a possible emergency as somewhat predictable/planned-for contingency; if the plane has mechanical issues necessitating the landing on a nearby farm field or highway, highway patrol could be notified if there's enough advance time to permit that, with a location given to them and possible first responders.

The downed location would be known in advance of the downing, which would cut search time.  A designated emergency runway would render autopilot programming to be simple and predictable on every commercial carrier plane as well as introduce a measure of predictability for other air traffic and ground crew, compared to the tactic of using whatever runway might haphazardly be available at the time of the emergency.

Yesterday I heard some discussion panelist (I forget which) remark that putting cameras in the cockpit would give you only pictures of the pilots, which would be of no help cuz all we could do is just watch.  Au contraire, mon vieux--cameras would assist in giving the ground crew remote pilot capability.

I heard the most alarming thing repeatedly yesterday, and that's the Big Excuse for why the airline industry on the whole is trying to save their customer base: the odds of you getting on a plane with a suicidal pilot are slim.  They don't recognize the fact that your lives are a gamble to the industry and they insist that you continue to bet your life on their odds. Just ONE instance of this problem is one too many.

 Well, all this also raises an interesting question: if we're so upset by mass murder committed by a co-pilot with a death wish, why are we not equally concerned about mass murder attempted by rail when it's not just petrol products being carried by rail that go boom?  There's nitrates that travel by rail, as well as pure chlorine gas and anhydrous ammonia, the stuff of Syrian barrel bombs.  Stuff doesn't have to go boom in order to be equally effective instruments of mass murder.

There's also the productivity issue, and in both arenas: industrialists who profit from these things always demand more work for less money to maximize profit and are uniformly blind to the safety hazards that overworking their workers produce and that would include job burnout, which leads to on-the-job depression.  There are no clean hands in that regard.

Saturday Tech Addendum: KOCO channel 5 just reported on an Astria Project (can't find a link to this particular project yet, nor to the KOCO story about it) via BAE in the UK working on the capability of remotely piloting commercial planes.  Wait--they re-ran the segment and I caught it this time. Soon as I process that clip, I'll post it here.

Actually I just found the LINK to BAE and their Taranis program, so it's not Astria as reported--it's ASTRAEA. Definitely a step in the right direction for commercial planes, IMHO.

Yemen et al: The Atlantic makes a great Confused Person's Guide to the Middle East:

I've stated time and time again on this blog, as a time traveler, that it's not just the region but the history, both long term and short, which is the weediest on the planet, and it's no surprise that any scholar won't trust anybody to serve as a guide through that mess because even the most authoritative historian can be wrong--triangulation is most necessary, of paramount importance, and the scholar can get it wrong, too.  The most reliable way to navigate the morass is to use guideposts.

Reliable guideposts, which presents another issue in an essay already chock full of issues.  This also underscores why big egos won't fit in any time machine no matter how much bigger the machine may be on the inside compared to the outside.  People who claim that just because they've studied an area for x number of years, no matter how many years that may be, conclude therefore that they know everything there is to know about that area, are in grave error.  No one can know everything about anything--it's humanly impossible, and the failure to recognize that there's always more to discover, to learn, is a fatal failure which renders intellectual blindness.  A blind companion is a liability, a significant hinderence.  But no one is more disappointed than I am when someone who gets within a cat's whisker of qualifying washes out completely, and I think I know what Germanwings felt about the pilot they should have grounded.  There's a lot of hope that goes behind a wish for success.  But wishes are such flimsy things upon no practicum is ever based.

Yeah, I did hear about the ripped up doctor notes in the co-pilot's apartment, but you gotta admit that a policy based on the trust in self-reporting is just so much wishing/hoping that things will work out fine.  As difficult as it often is when you get your hopes up, you're still better off with a  carved-in-stone policy, especially when stuff can go so very badly wrong without one.

Saturday Qismat Addendum: Regular readers here know what a fan I am of Jeannette Macdonald and Nelson Eddy, and they also know that, now and then, I'll go off on the topic of experts (and their egos), who are just so many prima donas in MY book...where the connection to the operatic singer now becomes obvious. Connecting on Saturday, specifically?  Well, you'll know by reading my Mother Machree post that I mentioned something Jeannette did without Nelson ("Smilin' Through") and what I refer to in THIS post is something Nelson did without Jeannette, which I watched today, having not watched it for decades since the last time.

I'm talking about the darkly wicked cynical sour comedy,  "The Chocolate Soldier", and my description of it may explain why there's not much by way of clips from it posted on YouTube.  It's got great music, it was based on a very popular (at the time) stage play, but throughout it's got too-close-to-the-truth barbs about egos of expertise supported by fans, resulting mutual hurt feelings and outrageous level of jealousies, at the conclusion of which is a big laugh-off, with an old open question reintroduced.  Pretty much nailed what I've posted screeds about, and then some.  Here's the low-res (clipped) intro from MGM, and set-up:

Yup--it starts uphill with a downhill contrast right outta the gate, and goes downhill further from there.
Ahhhhhhhh, expert prima dona egotistic actors--what the hell can ya do with 'em...


I wonder what the opposite-gender term is, the one that's the equivalent of "chicks on the side"...


The opposite-gender term...?


...ah, but the house dogs knew who that was.  Let's see...how does that saying go...? "Real didn't recognize real until fake showed up".  And there's a lot of fake when a show is put on--facade.

Saturday evening Qismat: OETA/PBS is running a tribute to a tenor who got more than his fair share of lampooning: Enrico Caruso, the first of the international pop stars and erstwhile prima matinee idol, after hitting the big time for the first time in 1897  (Pasquale Esposito Celebrates Enrico Caruso). It was Caruso, Emile Berliner, and an English typewriter company that launched the behemoth we now know as EMI. Even if the Doctor is all kinds of fond of Brits, I'll bet even he didn't know that.  Or that it was Kickstarter funded.  :P

But nevermind the Doctor--I've got a date with Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect tonight. WOOT!
...and joining us will be Trillian, Zaphod, and Marvin.  Cheers!

Well, how 'bout them Zonie Cats last night, hm?  Oh, you were watching the Fighting Irish instead?  You missed some spectacular basketball, then, like Xavier's alternating hand layup, which was a marvel to behold and a thing of beauty.  But yeah--I was rooting for the Cats, and coming off of the first half it looked like a freakin' nail-biter.  The one thing I know that the Cats can do is think on their feet and adapt to changing conditions on the court, and they've got a tradition in that regard.  Although I'm basically a Sun Devils fan, I recognized the institutional prowess of the Cats ever since Hedake Smith was making headlines.  Cats are awesome and have been awesome for a long, long time.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Tornado season again

We have it every year, and every time Oklahoma gets a "big one", it's Moore that gets hit. People who live there love to live dangerously, clearly.  There was another outbreak near Tulsa, and I thank my friends for being concerned about my well-being, but I'm fine and am likely to remain so even if there are tornadoes sighted around Enid.  I've got a hidey-hole to go to, and I've been emergency trained ever since I was in grade school working with what used to be known as Civil Defense.  Earlier in my days as a ham radio operator, I was also trained as a severe storm spotter by an official from the Paducah KY NOAA facility who was giving classes to members of SARA (and I'm still on their newsletter mailing list, by the way).

I'm good, and I don't mind being out in it, either.  The only drawback in the Enid area is ARES, so I'm automatically at odds with Hoenigsberg--I'm SkyWarn.


Real plate. IL let me keep it when I re-licensed.

IL let me keep this one, too. It make sense--nobody else can run with it.

You guessed it--I designed my own QSL cards.

This shelter is also on a public registry list kept by the city.
Besides a 2 meter transceiver handy-talkie, there's also a Part 15 FM transmitter, obtained via a 75% off Christmas clearance sale, antenna for which also passes through the feed thru.

Yeah, I know that's a rather old repeater directory. :P

Oh, I know--if I lose the roof, I lose the spotlight charging unit. But if I don't, I won't, and besides--there are other battery-operated illumination devices down there as contingency. And if I lose the spotlight, it's not a big loss either. I got the thing at a yard sale for a pittance.

You can bet your sweet bippy that I also have a solar charger for the auto battery. Plus the thing can be used to run the handy-talkies on.

Because of poor conditions in storage area, I had to toss out a lot of important stuff in transit, and the originals of my certifications were part of what got ruined and then tossed out.  The following are the remaining old school Xerox copies:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Kime pulled the "sked change w/out notice" shit

...and pulled Punched Out Judy from its scheduled slot, the black'ard!

I'm calling SHENANIGANS!

+cityofenid #FAIL