Bigger things to worry about than global warming: Scientists say a destructive solar blast narrowly missed Earth in 2012

March 22, 2014

Phineas Fahrquar:

As Maxwell Smart would have said, “Missed us by *that* much!”

Originally posted on Watts Up With That?:

Video follows of the July 23rd, 2012 Coronal Mass Ejection, said to be the fastest ever

From UC BERKELEY — Earth dodged a huge magnetic bullet from the sun on July 23, 2012.

According to University of California, Berkeley, and Chinese researchers, a rapid succession of coronal mass ejections — the most intense eruptions on the sun — sent a pulse of magnetized plasma barreling into space and through Earth’s orbit. Had the eruption come nine days earlier, when the ignition spot on the solar surface was aimed at Earth, it would have hit the planet, potentially wreaking havoc with the electrical grid, disabling satellites and GPS, and disrupting our increasingly electronic lives.

View original 1,212 more words


Tweet of the Day, #LAquake edition

March 17, 2014
"Even the monkey is embarrassed"

“Even the monkey is embarrassed”

So, as you probably all heard, we had a light earthquake near Public Secrets Global HQ this morning (1). Not a bad one, though I was near the epicenter and upstairs, so it was still a good ride. But, if you’ve lived in California for your whole life, as I have, it’s also nothing you haven’t been through, before. A momentary “uh-oh” as you wonder if this is the lead in to The Big One, and then back to whatever you were doing as it fades away. And I figured my fellow Angelenos would feel the same way. After all, did we not laugh and point when D.C. had their quake?

Then I saw this (via Twitchy):

Really, people? “Hello? Operator? I’d like to report an earthquake. Would you please send someone out to arrest it?”

Tourists. Yeah, that’s it. It must be tourists.

PS: While we laugh at each other and ourselves, let’s remember that earthquakes are serious business, and it’s our own individual responsibility to be prepared for when a bad one hits; help from the government may take days to arrive, after all. Earthquake Country is a good site with before, during, and after advice.

Footnote:
(1) I deny any and all rumors that I was conducting below-ground atomic testing. Pay no attention to that small radioactive cloud…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Forest fires as an act of jihad?

June 19, 2013
"...can prevent forest jihad."

“…can prevent forest jihad.”

Summertime is forest fire season in much of the western United States; here in California, it’s almost an annual ritual to watch some part or another (or several at once) of the state go up in smoke.  And the causes can be as mundane as they are frustrating: firebugs getting their thrills; careless campers or hikers; or idiots shooting off fireworks too near dry brush. And for someone else’s carelessness, hundreds and even thousands of people are put at risk of their homes and lives, not to mention the vast public expense needed to fight a blaze.

But what if they weren’t all the accidental products of carelessness, or even garden-variety arson? What if some were acts of holy war?

In the Washington Examiner, Mark Tapscott takes the recent Black Forest fire in Colorado as his jumping off point for a discussion of the dangers of “forest jihad:”

Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld (1) of the New York-based American Center for Democracy’s Economic Warfare Institute warns that last July “al-Qaeda’s English-language online magazine, Inspire, published an article called ‘It Is of Your Freedom to Ignite a Firebomb,’ which featured instructions on how to build an incendiary bomb to light forests on fire.

“A few months later, Russia’s security (FSB) chief, Aleksandr Bortnikov warned, ‘al-Qaeda was complicit in recent forest fires in Europe’ as part of the terrorists’ ‘strategy of a thousand cuts.’ Bortnikov spoke of ‘extremist sites [that] contained detailed instructions of waging the forest jihad and stressed that such a method had proved itself effective as it inflicted both physical and moral damage, needed little training or investment and it was extremely hard for police to find and apprehend the arsonists.’

“Since then, more fatwas advocating that ‘Fire is cheap, easy and effective tool for economic warfare’ have been issued. They’ve included detailed instructions for constructing remote-controlled ‘ember bombs, and how to set fires without leaving a trace.'”

And it’s not just in the US, as Tapscott points out. Not only has Russia suspected Muslim terrorists of setting forest fires in their country, but Australia, too, has been declared a target, while deadly fires in Western Europe aroused suspicions.

There’s little proof that any of these fires were acts of jihad, but the fact that al Qaeda and other Islamic supremacist groups have shown great interest in setting them should make us wary. The West has done tremendous damage to al Qaeda and its affiliates since 9/11/01, largely blunting their efforts to conduct more catastrophic terror attacks against us. But, they are nothing if not adaptable, and it only makes sense that they would look for other means to strike at us, the “infidels.”

RELATED: The National Interagency Fire Center has good info on current large wildfires. At the ICT in Israel, Colonel Jonathan Fighel has an important article on al Qaeda’s interest in forest jihad, while The Gatestone Institute published Soeren Kern’s piece explaining AQ’s “thousand cuts” strategy.

Footnote:
(1) Rachel Ehrenfeld also wrote “Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed And How To Stop It,” a must-read work on the money networks behind international terrorism.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


We missed the fiscal cliff (for now), so have a heaping helping of pork to celebrate!

January 2, 2013

So, a bill meant to address our growing fiscal crisis (hah!) is also loaded with hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, of dollars in pork. You know, those special allocations, set-asides, and tax cuts that constitute taxpayer-funded welfare for some or another group that congressmen and senators are trying to buy votes and donations from.

The Washington Free Beacon has an “interesting” video on the topic:

pork interview CNN

And they wonder why the public increasingly holds Congress in contempt.

Okay, I know some of these measures may have a rational justification, but there’s just way too many that are nothing more than payoffs to favored constituents. It’s corrupt and corrupting, and it has to stop.

I think the Confederate constitution had a clause limiting any piece of legislation to one topic, so this kind of thing couldn’t happen. (Pork is an old bad habit of this Republic.) I think something similar might be a good idea for the U.S. Constitution, too.

RELATED: On the topic of the fiscal cliff deal, my blog buddy ST has a great piece on how to look at the fiscal cliff deal and one on pork in the Hurricane Sandy relief package.  Back to the fiscal cliff, Peter Wehner argues that a bad deal beats a calamitous outcome.


I knew NYC Mayor @MikeBloomberg was an arrogant, statist ass…

November 2, 2012

“Death? Chaos? There’s a race to run!”

But I never knew just how monumental and perfect an ass until now:

Staten Island pleads for help: “We are going to die!”

Per the Mayor: “Screw Staten Island, the marathon must go on!

And to think Bloomie has had presidential ambitions. How’s that looking now, pal?

I bet they wish Rudy were still in charge.

RELATED: More from my blog-buddy, ST.


Katrina was newsworthy; Midwest floods, not so much

June 12, 2011

And the difference seems to be the letter after the President’s name, in this case a D instead of a R.

At Pajamas Media, Roger Kimball thinks back to the hysteria-laden criticism of the Bush administration during and after Hurricane Katrina and, in a photo essay, wonders why everyone is so quiet, now. Here’s one sample:

To which Roger asks:

Why is the MSM not demanding to know where are the FEMA trucks and trailers and food services?

Good question. Click through for more.

Afterthought:

And yet Sarah Palin’s email records as governor are so important that the MSM goes into a feeding frenzy and begs the public for help? Seriously?


When Texas burns, the Fed rushes into action… in Mexico??

May 11, 2011

In case you missed it, much of Texas is burned up, literally; according to Kevin Williamson at NRO, about 3400 square miles have gone up in flames, an area the size of Puerto Rico. Williamson uses this fact to excoriate President Obama for coming to Texas to raise money and sell his non-starter of an immigration plan while refusing to even tour devastated areas, let alone declaring a federal disaster area.

But he saves the cherry on the sundae for last:

To its credit, the Obama administration has dispatched aircraft to help with the firefighting . . . in Mexico.

MEXICO??

Following Williamson’s link, we find that he really did:

Two specially equipped U.S. Air Force cargo planes left Colorado on Saturday to help battle wildfires in northern Mexico.

The C-130s were requested by the Mexican government and the U.S. State Department, a U.S. Northern Command spokesman said.

The planes can spray about 3,000 gallons of fire retardant in a matter of seconds from a system of pressurized tanks called Modular Aerial Fire Fighting System or MAFFS.

The fires have burned 386 square miles in Mexico — one-ninth of what’s been destroyed in Texas — and yet the Obama administration won’t send help to Texas but will to Mexico? Mr. President… Barry… WTF??

Oh, and you want to know the best part? The planes will be flying from a base… in Texas.

That sound you heard was the sound of the back of Obama’s hand meeting Governor Perry’s face.

Look, I have no problem helping Mexico, per se; we have plenty of resources in the Western states. But it seems to me that you take care of your own people, first, and then lend what you can spare to help the neighbors. This looks like nothing more than the administration taking out its petty anger at Texas and its governor for not voting for Obama and for not supporting his policies. President Peevish apparently only helps those who help him, regardless of the duties of his job.

So, let’s consider. On the one hand:

  • He seemed indifferent to the  flooding that devastated Nashville in 2010.
  • He is ignoring fires that are ravaging Texas in 2011.
  • He is wrecking the Gulf Coast economy with his permitorium, in defiance of a federal court order.

On the other:

Three-to-one. I’d say it’s pretty clear his natural instincts are to go with the “gangster government” approach to governance: “If you play nice, you get help. But if you cross me, you can burn for all I care.”

Literally.

via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt

CLARIFICATION: The linked article discussing planes sent to help Mexico is from April 16th, nearly a month ago. I should have noted that and apologize for any confusion. However, as an article from the Christian Science Monitor, dated just two days later, shows, Governor Perry was asking for help way back then. So, why the hold up?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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