Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

 I hope all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
I'd like to finish the year leaving you with these two gems.

Courtesy of Maggie's Farm & Samizdata

Drake’s prayer, 1577, written in Portsmouth as he began his circumnavigation of the globe.

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

Though in other ways, we’re clearly in a new dark age. The fact that New York City is unable to conceive of building new bridges or subways or other infrastructure, and on the rare occasions when it tries to do so fails utterly, should tell us that. It’s like being a Roman in 500 AD and wondering at the giants of the past who built bridges and aqueducts, by then long lost technologies. I feel like I’m not just at the epicenter of capitalism here in Manhattan, but also at the epicenter of the cancer at the heart of it, to wit, the socialist destruction of the human will.
Perry Metzger, in a private discussion


It's Who They Are, It's What They Do

 Obama Admin Fired Top Scientist to Advance Climate Change Plans

Obama Administration retaliated against scientists, politicized the DoE.

BY: Adam Kredo (http://freebeacon.com/author/adam-kredo/) Follow @Kredo0

December 20, 2016 3:00 pm

A new congressional investigation has determined that the Obama administration fired a top scientist
and intimidated staff at the Department of Energy in order to further its climate change agenda,
according to a new report that alleges the administration ordered top officials to obstruct
Congress in order to forward this agenda.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R., Texas), chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology,
released a wide-ranging report (http://freebeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12
/2016-12-19-Final-Staff-Report-LDRR.pdf) on Tuesday that shows how senior Obama
administration officials retaliated against a leading scientist and plotted ways to block a congressional inquiry surrounding key research into the impact of radiation.

A top DoE scientist who liaised with Congress on the matter was fired by the Obama administration for being too forthright with lawmakers, according to the report, which provides an in-depth look at the White House’s efforts to ensure senior staffers toe the administration’s line.

The report also provides evidence that the Obama administration worked to kill legislation in order to ensure that it could receive full funding for its own hotly contested climate change agenda.
The report additionally discovered efforts by the Obama administration to censor the information given to Congress, interfering with the body’s ability to perform critical oversight work.

“Instead of providing the type of scientific information needed by Congress to legislate effectively, senior departmental officials sought to hide information, lobbied against legislation, and retaliated against a scientist for being forthcoming,” Smith said in a statement. “In this staff report based on lengthy record before the committee, much has been revealed about how senior level agency officials under the Obama administration retaliated against a scientist who did not follow the party line.”

“Moving forward, the department needs to overhaul its management practices to ensure that Congress is provided the information it requires to legislate and that federal employees and scientists who provide that information do so without fear of retribution,” Smith said.

The report goes into Congress’ efforts to regulate the Low Dose Radiation Research Program, or LDRRP, which sought to test the impact of radiation on human beings. The program, started in the 1990s, was meant to support research into waste cleanup and the impact of nuclear weapons.

In mid-2014, lawmakers introduced legislation, the Low Dose Radiation Act of 2014, to help regulate the program and minimize harmful side effects. During an October 2014 briefing with senior DoE staff on the matter, lawmakers heard testimony from Dr. Noelle Metting, the radiation research program’s manager. Less than a month later, lawmakers discovered that Obama administration officials had “removed Dr. Metting from federal service for allegedly providing too much information in response to questions posed by” Congress during the briefing, the report states.

Congressional investigators later determined that the administration’s “actions to remove Dr. Metting were, in part, retaliation against Dr. Metting because she refused to conform to the predetermined remarks and talking points designed by Management to undermine the advancement of” the 2014 radiation act.

Emails unearthed during the investigation “show a sequence of events leading to a premeditated scheme by senior DoE employees ‘to squash the prospects of Senate support'” for the radiation act, a move that lawmakers claim was meant to help advance President Obama’s own climate change goals.
“The committee has learned that one of DoE’s stated purposes for Dr. Metting’s removal from federal service was her failure to confine the discussion at the briefing to pre-approved talking points,” according to the report. “The committee has also established that DoE management … failed to exercise even a minimal standard of care to avoid chilling other agency scientists as a result of the retaliation against Dr. Metting for her refusal to censor information from Congress.”

The investigation concluded that “DoE placed its own priorities to further the president’s Climate Action Plan before its constitutional obligations to be candid with Congress,” the report states. “The DoE’s actions constitute a reckless and calculated attack on the legislative process itself, which undermines the power of Congress to legislate. The committee further concludes that DoE’s disregard for separation of powers is not limited to a small group of employees, but rather is an institutional problem that must be corrected by overhauling its management practices with respect to its relationship with the Congress.”

These moves by the administration were part of an effort to secure full funding for the president’s climate change agenda, the report claims.  “Instead of working to understand the value of the LDRRP for emergency situations, DoE Management engaged in a campaign to terminate research programs that could divert funds from the president’s Climate Action Plan,” the report states.

Congress is recommending a full overhaul of the DoE’s management structure in order to ensure this type of situation does not occur again.



A late Happy Thanksgiving to all who stumble across this site. Both of you!
We (my family and myself), personally have much to be thankful for. I won't belabor you with that.

On a larger scale, keeping Hillary out of the presidency.
Electing someone who will undo the horrid Obama legacy.
The Brexit.
Watching leftards heads explode over the results of the election.

So much more, I could go on, but I just hope that this is only the beginning of the rollback of leftist insanity.

Let us be thankful for the death of Castro. From Instapundit...


If this were a just world, 13 facts would be etched on Castro’s tombstone and highlighted in every obituary, as bullet points — a fitting metaphor for someone who used firing squads to murder thousands of his own people.
●He turned Cuba into a colony of the Soviet Union and nearly caused a nuclear holocaust.
●He sponsored terrorism wherever he could and allied himself with many of the worst dictators on earth.
●He was responsible for so many thousands of executions and disappearances in Cuba that a precise number is hard to reckon.
●He brooked no dissent and built concentration camps and prisons at an unprecedented rate, filling them to capacity, incarcerating a higher percentage of his own people than most other modern dictators, including Stalin.
●He condoned and encouraged torture and extrajudicial killings.
●He forced nearly 20 percent of his people into exile, and prompted thousands to meet their deaths at sea, unseen and uncounted, while fleeing from him in crude vessels.
●He claimed all property for himself and his henchmen, strangled food production and impoverished the vast majority of his people.
●He outlawed private enterprise and labor unions, wiped out Cuba’s large middle class and turned Cubans into slaves of the state.
●He persecuted gay people and tried to eradicate religion.
●He censored all means of expression and communication.
●He established a fraudulent school system that provided indoctrination rather than education, and created a two-tier health-care system, with inferior medical care for the majority of Cubans and superior care for himself and his oligarchy, and then claimed that all his repressive measures were absolutely necessary to ensure the survival of these two ostensibly “free” social welfare projects.
●He turned Cuba into a labyrinth of ruins and established an apartheid society in which millions of foreign visitors enjoyed rights and privileges forbidden to his people.
●He never apologized for any of his crimes and never stood trial for them.

But he was a lefty, so it’s all okay. Just like with Venezuela.

One thing we should all be thankful for is living in a country where the transition of power is peaceful and does not involve tanks, death-squads, violence, or outright civil war.

However, democrat leftists, but I repeat myself, would like to change that.  They have been deluging electors with nasty e-mails and death threats. So as to change their votes.

These idiots are:
A. Proving that we voted correctly.
B. Are verifying beyond any doubt that they are the elitist, anti-freedom, socialists we always knew they were.
C. Playing with fire.



I don't usually quote movie stars or so called 'celebrities.'  But I will make an exception in this case for the following pearl.  Here's a quote from the actor James Caan on politics, "Nobody should give a shit about an actor's opinion on politics."

For the  childish dolts still rioting, threatening electors, vowing to obstruct the president-elect in all ways, please read the following article.

Michael Totten has panned his usual intelligent and informed letter of advice on foreign policy to the president-elect. It is worth reading in its entirety.

Finally for the Luddites wringing their hands over Trump's environmental view, and his appointment of Myron Ebell to lead the EPA, read this.

Personally, I think Trump is already beginning to exceed my expectations, which were admittedly low.

Finally, from Samizdata: THis is the left, it's who they are, it's how they roll...


Right. We’re going in. Those trees gonna die.

Jennifer Saul, a professor of philosophy at the University of Sheffield, has a had a figurative and literal rude awakening. Writing in the Huffington Post, she says,
Authoritarianism in Sheffield
…you might think, local Labour councils would be on the side of the good—fighting authoritarianism and working to preserve what they can of the quality of life in their cities.
This morning, however, Sheffield’s Labour council showed us beyond a shadow of a doubt how they feel about the authoritarianism on the rise round the world. Overruling their own hand-picked Independent Tree Panels, they decided to descend on Rustlings Road, a quiet residential street, in the wee hours of the morning with 22 police officers, to fell 8 trees (6 of which the tree panels said should be saved). Residents were awakened in the middle of the night by police demanding that they move their cars. Three were arrested, including two pensioners. Police in the middle of the night, knocking on doors, dragging people out of bed? Arresting elderly law-abiding citizens? This is not the lovely left-wing city I thought I was moving to back in 1995.
I laughed at her political naivety until I remembered that I shared it. Whether the local authority was Labour, Conservative, or any other party, I would not have expected to read of vanloads of police with arc lights and bullhorns descending at dawn on any street of the UK for anything short of a raid on armed and dangerous gangsters.
Nor should Sheffield City Council get away with this less dramatic but equally ominous manipulation of the law:
We learned their recommendation today [i.e the decision of the Tree Panel], only after the felling. (Although the recommendation was dated 22 July, it was only published this morning at 4.30.) The council’s hand-picked experts recommended against felling 6 of the 8 trees. And yet the council was so determined to destroy them anyway that they engaged in a massive police action against law-abiding citizens in the middle of the night.
Other accounts of the incident can be read here and here.  By the way, none of the above news was 'fake'.


Well, Im glad that's over with...


  • : a feeling of enjoyment that comes from seeing or hearing about the troubles of other people.

    I have to admit after putting up with the smug and pompous ignorance of those on the left and their mindless little tools for the last eight years, not to mention the media, I am taking pleasure in watching their caterwauling.  I know I shouldn't. I know that I should conduct myself better. But I am just enjoying this too much.  They have shown just how contemptuous they really are of democracy.   Cry me a river bitches.

    That's how it works in a representative democratic republic. We have elections, there are winners and losers. When Romney lost in what was without a doubt a rigged election. Did you see republicans rioting in the streets?  Did you see the media questioning voting results with less likelihood of happening than being struck by lighting twice in an hour?  No you didn't.  So try and act like adults, if you can.

    The left does not engage in earnest discussions or debates about ideas because they have no ideas. What few notions they do have fit on bumper stickers. The examples they hold forth are bankrupt failures like Venezuela. So of course they have to resort to 'public and private positions. Lying, name calling, bullying, and ostracism. And massive vote fraud. They bus in their professional agitators to cause riots. Or sending democrat operatives to Trump rallies to incite violence which the media then blames on Trump supporters. Folks are getting tired of it. Very tired of it.

    So now when they loose an election, instead of trying to discern why and maybe trying to improve, they have a collective meltdown and riot to try to invalidate a democratic election. SImply because the outcome was not what they wanted.

    You see, people like you are why I, and millions of others voted for Trump, and are why we will never, allow our second amendment rights to be in any way constrained.  Imagine if republicans were doing this. The media would go into warp drive to condemn it and offer it as proof that they were correct in their assumptions of us all along.  God you people are pathetic.

    And for those with enough gray matter to realize that Hillary may have received more popular votes, because dense urban areas are democrat strongholds,  feast on this, Trump won the electoral votes and that's what wins the election. This has happened before in our history.  You'd probably know that if they still actually taught American history. Also, not only did the republicans keep control of the senate AND the house. They gained in governorships. And overwhelmingly gained in state houses.

    Here's a lefty meltdown, but at least an honest one. (Thanks to American Digest.)

    Finally, a big "fuck you" to the mainstream media...


Elephant Rock

Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada


Desert Sunset

No, not Alaska.  This photo was taken in Nevada, at the Lake Mead National Rec. Area outside of Las Vegas. 


Five Till Three

Hat Tip to American Digest
I don't agree with much of anything Michael Moore has to say, but this hits the nail on the head...

And then there's this. I've always liked Pat Condell. He too again nails it.


Architecture - 2016

The Museum of the Arctic, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.


Morning Light


Though this is a three shot HDR composite, the post production was minimal.  I did not punch up the colors, especially reds/yellows to get the photo to look like that. That is how things actually appeared that morning.  Some days nature does all the work for you.


Day #7



Day #6


Fall in New England has nothing on us.


Day #5


Day number five.

This evening's view from the porch.


Day #4



Day #2


ToOdays ride. 125.1 miles. Denali Randonneurs Permanent #2253


Day #1



Downtown Chitina, Ak.

Photo Friday Challenge #Downtown


Autumn 2016


From "Letters of Note"

In October of 1949, a few months after publication of George Orwell's dystopian masterpiece, Nineteen Eighty‐Four, he received a letter from fellow author Aldous Huxley, a man who, 17 years previous, had seen his own nightmarish vision of society published in the form of Brave New World, a book also now considered a classic.  Having recently finished reading Orwell’s novel, Huxley had a few words to say. What begins as a letter of praise soon becomes a brief comparison of the two novels, and an explanation as to why Huxley believes his own, earlier work to be a more realistic prediction.

Trivia: In 1917, long before he wrote this letter, Aldous Huxley briefly taught Orwell French at Eton.
Wrightwood. Cal. 21 October, 1949

Dear Mr. Orwell,
It was very kind of you to tell your publishers to send me a copy of your book. It arrived as I was in the midst of a piece of work that required much reading and consulting of references; and since poor sight makes it necessary for me to ration my reading, I had to wait a long time before being able to embark on Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Agreeing with all that the critics have written of it, I need not tell you, yet once more, how fine and how profoundly important the book is. May I speak instead of the thing with which the book deals --- the ultimate revolution? The first hints of a philosophy of the ultimate revolution --- the revolution which lies beyond politics and economics, and which aims at total subversion of the individual's psychology and physiology --- are to be found in the Marquis de Sade, who regarded himself as the continuator, the consummator, of Robespierre and Babeuf. The philosophy of the ruling minority in Nineteen Eighty-Four is a sadism which has been carried to its logical conclusion by going beyond sex and denying it. 

Whether in actual fact the policy of the boot-on-the-face can go on indefinitely seems doubtful. My own belief is that the ruling oligarchy will find less arduous and wasteful ways of governing and of satisfying its lust for power, and these ways will resemble those which I described in Brave New World. I have had occasion recently to look into the history of animal magnetism and hypnotism, and have been greatly struck by the way in which, for a hundred and fifty years, the world has refused to take serious cognizance of the discoveries of Mesmer, Braid, Esdaile, and the rest.

Partly because of the prevailing materialism and partly because of prevailing respectability, nineteenth century philosophers and men of science were not willing to investigate the odder facts of psychology for practical men, such as politicians, soldiers and policemen, to apply in the field of government. 

Thanks to the voluntary ignorance of our fathers, the advent of the ultimate revolution was delayed for five or six generations. Another lucky accident was Freud's inability to hypnotize successfully and his consequent disparagement of hypnotism. This delayed the general application of hypnotism to psychiatry for at least forty years. But now psycho-analysis is being combined with hypnosis; and hypnosis has been made easy and indefinitely extensible through the use of barbiturates, which induce a hypnoid and suggestible state in even the most recalcitrant subjects.

Within the next generation I believe that the world's rulers will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience. In other words, I feel that the nightmare of Nineteen Eighty-Four is destined to modulate into the nightmare of a world having more resemblance to that which I imagined in Brave New World. The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency. Meanwhile, of course, there may be a large-scale biological and atomic war --- in which case we shall have nightmares of other and scarcely imaginable kinds.
Thank you once again for the book.

Yours sincerely,
Aldous Huxley




Rabbit Lake

Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain-passes.
They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free,
and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
-- John Muir












I was riding a 200K route on my bike on Whidbey Island, toiling up a hill on a somewhat overcast morning when I ran into this.


The first day of spring

Taken this morning, the solstice and first day of spring.  This year, though not the warmest winter, was one with one of the least amounts of snow on record.  Though I don't mind snow, or winter, I am ready for spring this year.

This photo was taken at the end of February. While not the warmest day to be out on a bike, the roads were dry enough that taking a road bike out was feasible. The bike is my Trek Cross-Rip Elite. 2013 model.





Obama's America

Fundamentally transformed...