“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ice caps melting...on Mars

Proposed industrial development on Mars may be in jeopardy if new emission rules go into effect

The ice caps are melting — on the planet Mars. Because Mars has no cars (or little green men) to cause the south pole carbon dioxide ice cap melt — one might wonder who is to blame for this crime against martianity.

Habibullo Abdussamatov, (space research head at St. Peterburg's Plukovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia) dismissed urban myths and walked away from pop culture to deduce that the climate culprit is not the man on the moon, little green men or heaven-forbid, humans.

We earthlings have a propensity to complicate matters when we dismiss the obvious in our search for truth. Abdussamatov did not dismiss the obvious and found that solar heat fluctuations led to a pattern that matches ice ages and climate changes on both planets.

In 2007, National Geographic quoted him saying, "Man-made greenhouse warming has made a small contribution to the warming seen on Earth in recent years, but it cannot compete with the increase in solar irradiance."

Big carbon-dioxide emitting Mars Rovers like the one pictured below will be subject to new Obama Administration regulations designed to address the melting ice cap crisis


  1. I think the very thought that the Sun might not be a "Constant" source of heat just scares the bejabbers out of people; thus, they don't want to think about it.

    They would rather "Believe" in fairy tales about CO2, and other things that we could "possibly" control.

    Well, it's 99.99 "Sun," campers, and 0.01 (in Millenial timescales) Vulcanism.

  2. Something's up on Cydonia

    Some commentators, most notably Richard Hoagland, believe the "Face" to be evidence of a long-lost Martian civilization along with other features they believe are present, such as apparent pyramids, which they argue are part of a ruined city. Image analysis of the original Viking images led a few researchers to suggest that the features of the "Face" might not be an accidental consequence of viewing conditions.

  3. That "Face" is just the interplay of shadow, and rock, Bob.

    They've photograped that rock from another angle, now; and it just a "Rock."

  4. Bob, that Face on Mars schtick was a great cash cow for Hoagland until Mars Observe took a hi-res image with the light hitting from a different angle, looks like a hill in Montana now. "Nebba mind!"

  5. You folks don't believe Richard? He worked for Walter Cronkite, for goodness sakes, America's most trusted newsman. You think he's a scoundrel?


  6. I think you probably do enough "believing" for All of us, Bob.

    It's just a rock.

  7. Bob, the only difference between pure fucking magic and ancient cities on Mars is the surface sheen of "science" that allows that crap to get on Coast 2 Coast AM. So Richard Hoagland worked for NASA. So did Apollo 15 astronaut James Irwin, and he spent ten years looking for Noah's Ark.

  8. I hope you're not taking me seriously Rug, it's an entertainment program, but Richard spins a hell of a good tale. I kinda admire the guy.

  9. Yes, some of our astronauts seem quite out of their minds.

    Yet, how do you explain those two, can't think of their names right now, who swear they encountered UFO's?

    And that one guy has that center for Noetic Science?

    He ain't no dummy.

  10. A JAPANESE engineer has set a world flight record for a paper plane, keeping his hand-folded construction in the air for 26.1 seconds.


    However, Takuo Toda narrowly failed to match his lifetime best of 27.9 seconds, a Guinness world record set in Hiroshima earlier but achieved with a plane held together with cellophane tape.


    Last year Mr Toda and fellow enthusiast Shinji Suzuki announced plans to have about 100 paper planes launched by a Japanese astronaut on the international space station, 400 kilometres above Earth.

    New Heights

  11. “The Seventh Landing: Going Back to the Moon, This Time to Stay” is a new book by Littleton space artist and author Michael Carroll, who warns, “civilization flowers and grows when it explores — when it stops exploring, it gets ingrown; China and Scandinavia as examples.” The U. S. has made six trips to the Moon, but none in recent years.


    Carroll describes what will be “a peak life experience,” and contemplates future outposts on Mars and the moons of Jupiter.

    Lunar history, more about exploration on Mars and varying thoughts about that projection plus a consideration of entrepreneurs and the private sector complete this fascinating look at the really rather immediate future.

    Far Away

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  13. THERE was still no news of the fate of the British man who smuggled 4kg of heroin into China almost 30 minutes after his scheduled execution time.


    The death penalty applies to 68 crimes in China and last-minute appeals are almost never granted.

    China's legal experts have urged foreigners to respect Chinese law and advised Western media to refrain from politicising Shaikh's death.

    Due for Execution

  14. Netanyahu announced last month a 10-month moratorium on new housing projects in Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank in a move he said was aimed at helping to kick-start the peace talks suspended during the Gaza war at the turn of the year.

    The moratorium does not include public buildings or construction under way and does not apply to occupied and annexed east Jerusalem, which Israelis consider part of their capital. The government has reportedly invited tenders for building hundreds of new homes in annexed east Jerusalem.

    The Palestinians have rejected the moratorium, saying it fell far short of their demand for a complete halt of settlement activity in the whole West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, which they want as the capital of their promised state.

    Peace Process

  15. Bob, I never listen to radio. I, also, find myself watching less, and less tv.

    The radio guys are nuts, and the tv is, consistently, 12 to 24 hrs behind the internet.

    Like the kids say, "if it's important news IT will find ME."

  16. "I am going in for the sake of the lives of the North Korean people. And if he (Kim Jong-il) kills me, in a sense, I realize this is better. Then the governments of the world will become more prone to say something, and more embarrassed and more forced to make a statement."

    Western governments and human rights activists say North Korea maintains a network of political prisons to crush the possibility of dissent where brutality is the norm and deaths are commonplace.

    The North uses unlawful and arbitrary killings and stoppages public executions to intimidate the masses, critics say. They say it prevents free speech, controls all media and crushes nascent attempts at reform by executing or imprisoning those who oppose the state.

    Illegal Entry

  17. A wing of al Qaeda claimed responsibility on Monday for a failed Christmas Day attack on a U.S.-bound passenger plane, and President Barack Obama vowed to bring "every element" of U.S. power against those who threaten Americans' safety.


    The incident has put a spotlight on the growing prominence of al Qaeda in Yemen, which the United States and Saudi Arabia fear will exploit instability in Yemen to stage attacks in the Saudi kingdom, the world's largest oil exporter, and beyond.


    Asked on NBC's "Today" show if the security system "failed miserably," U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano replied, "It did."

    Plane Attackers

  18. “We believe the most important thing in such a situation is to show restraint, and seek a compromise on the basis of the law, and also to take political efforts to prevent a further escalation of the confrontation,” the Russian Foreign Ministry statement added.

    The Russians rejected allegations claiming Moscow was involved “in the internal political processes in Iran.”

    Commenting on the allegations, the statement said, “We are convinced that this is the work of those opposed to Russian-Iranian cooperation.”

    Internal Affairs

  19. He would be the first European citizen to be executed in China since 1951, Western rights groups say.

    Shaikh's family says he suffered from bipolar disorder, and was tricked into becoming a mule by a smuggling gang who promised him a music recording contract.

    "The case has been processed in accordance with the law... The defendant's litigation rights and legitimate treatment have been fully granted," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said last week, adding that drug smuggling was considered a "grave crime" internationally.

    Drug Smuggling

  20. Ruf, the wife has one program she watches, I really have none.

    I do have some radio I listen to cause it's easy to listen and do other things too.

    Overall, I don't know whether TV has been a good thing, or a bad thing for us.

    It's kind of evened out the differences among the separate sections of the country, culture wise. Everybody everywhere grows up watching much the same stuff, so they internalize much the same images, themes, etc.

    You'd have to put a gun to my head my make me watch the regular evening news these days.

  21. Sam,

    Re: President Barack Obama vowed to bring "every element" of U.S. power against those who threaten Americans' safety.

    ...even those so covert the results will remain forever hidden...


  22. Sam,

    Re: The incident has put a spotlight on the growing prominence of al Qaeda in Yemen, which the United States and Saudi Arabia fear will exploit instability in Yemen to stage attacks in the Saudi kingdom, the world's largest oil exporter, and beyond.

    Not to worry, our people are on the ground as we speak. We may anticipate the same top-notch performance we have seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nobody does it better.

  23. heh, he's wiping them out even as we type....


    During the three-day journey back to Earth aboard Apollo 14, Mitchell had an epiphany while looking down on the earth from space. "The presence of divinity became almost palpable, and I knew that life in the universe was not just an accident based on random processes ... The knowledge came to me directly," Mitchell said of that experience. Following his spaceflight, Mitchell and others founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences.[7] Willis Harman served as its president from 1975 until his death in 1997.[8][9][10]

    The word noetic is derived from the Greek nous, for which, according to the institute's website,

    there is no exact equivalent in English. It refers to "inner knowing," a kind of intuitive consciousness—direct and immediate access to knowledge beyond what is available to our normal senses and the power of reason.[11]

    The old inner eye, kind of like Roethke, in another context.

    I can believe that.

    "The first heaven of knowing", only here, really from 'the heavens'. "Reason, that crutch of grubby schoolboys."

  24. “This incident demonstrates that an alert and courageous citizenry are far more resilient than an isolated extremist. As a nation, we will do everything in our power to protect our country. As Americans, we will never give in to fear or division. We will be guided by our hopes, our unity and our deeply held values. That’s who we are as Americans.”


    Heh, I was glad to hear this. Undercuts his arguments against the 2nd Amendment.

    "An armed shopping mall is a polite shopping mall" to take off from a Deuce saying "An armed bar is a polite bar."

  25. Bob: "An armed shopping mall is a polite shopping mall" to take off from a Deuce saying "An armed bar is a polite bar."

    Armed gays don't get bashed.

  26. That underwear bomb takes balls!
    Or more properly, takes your balls!

  27. First he believed Hoagland.
    Then he believed MLD.

  28. Rufus: Like the kids say, "if it's important news IT will find ME."

    Here's the Twitter stream from #tcot (Top Conservatives on Twitter)'s a mighty river of data, and all you can do is dip in a cup.

  29. Have never believed Hoagland, will always believe Melody.

    Now, Doug, even you listened to that program about the muzzie mafia, and said it was good, a program I missed.

  30. That's kinda a cute cross right up from the ejection chamber, Miss T.

    Take a look, close up, al-Doug, see what you think.

  31. Bob, you can make your links blue, now make your name blue like the rest of us.

  32. WiO,

    ...don't know if you have seen this...Enjoy!

    Dear Jim

  33. bob,

    Re: "Reason, that crutch of grubby schoolboys."



  34. I don't want to be blue. I've been kinda down lately anyway.

    Daughter sure got the computer going good again, though. Installed some kind of antivirus stuff, got the printer going with a program I can use, and put something in, well can't remember the name. She even bought me a box of Swedish cookies. Then made me promise to buy her a handgun, which I had already promised to do anyway, so I came out ahead.

  35. Allen, yeah, it is, I love that line.

  36. Believe it, or not, the only "Conservative Opinion" I read is here at the Bar. I think we have a wide cross-section of "Common Sense."

    I hate "Koolaid Drinkers" almost as much as I hate Politicians, and Preachers.

  37. This guy got on in Europe without a passport. Maybe an inside job? Yet an American attorney witnessed an argument at the checkin counter over the matter. He has a one way ticket(early report) and if reports are true paid for in cash. He had no luggage, other than maybe a carry on bag. While our people may not be responsible for any of this, his father reported him to the US Embassy. And this never got passed along. He's able to ignite the device, and through God'
    s grace and a Dane, an explosion is prevented. And Janet says the system worked.

    I wonder what her shelf life is for this job now?

  38. First, in line with my basic sermon these many years, if you study the videos you will see many many women in the front ranks. They have every reason to be there, as the Islamic Republic (as so many Islamic regimes) is built on the sludge of misogyny.

    Second, many of the evil Basij goons wore masks. This is new, and indicates fear that they will be identified and hunted down. The conflict is ever more violent; on several occasions crowds attacked security forces, even dragging them out of cars…and then, cursing them, letting them run away.

    Third, in another ominous development for the regime, people from the southern (lower class) neighborhoods of Tehran joined in. The revolt is now very broad based. But it is not yet powerful enough for the Bazaaris to join; today the Tehran Bazaar was open for business.

    Fourth, the regime has been stripped of religious legitimacy by its own panic-driven brutality. By invading mosques and hosseiniyas, by assaulting family members of leading clerics (Grand Ayatollah Sane’i is under house arrest), and by ordering murder on Ashura, the supreme leader has violated a whole series of previously sacrosanct rules. I will be surprised if we do not soon hear from Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Sistani.

    Finally, there is still no national strike of the sort that paralyzed the shah’s regime 31 years ago. But this may come; there were Twitter reports yesterday saying that Mousavi was calling for a strike January 7th.
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