Honorable Ode to General Robert E. Lee

I oppose slavery in all its forms. I staunchly support President Lincoln and Republican positions. I disagree with most of the reasons the South cited as justification for secession.
 
But make no mistake about it: General Robert E. Lee was a great man.
 
When Virginia declared its secession from the Union in April 1861, Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his desire for the country to remain intact and an offer of a senior Union command. During the first year of the Civil War, Lee served as a senior military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Once he took command of the main field army in 1862 he soon emerged as a shrewd tactician and battlefield commander, winning most of his battles, all against far superior Union armies.
 
While he certainly had his faults, as all men do, his likeness by all means deserves remembrance. Though the ignorant continue to lay waste to memorials, statues, and plaques, this painting and these words will forever live on!

2018 Elections – Second Amendment Litmus Test Resources

GOA emailed members this week, they posted ratings here:

https://gunowners.org/ratings/

NRA ratings here (I guess you have to enter address):

https://www.nrapvf.org/grades/

(I like individual ratings, but the GOP and DNC have their respective positions on guns so usually voting is very simple if you support the 2nd.)

Some gun control groups are toning it down and changing the topic…

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news…n-midterm-ads/

But Pelosi is actively promoting and promising it:

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/pol…220157715.html

So don’t let down your guard! It’s always close. We need every vote.

Some good news too, if we can keep it up….

Public support for gun control is down 6% since March

https://news.gallup.com/poll/243797/…-gun-laws.aspx

(And support for handguns is actually quite strong, but they won’t talk about that, you have to read the fine print for their poll. I don’t trust their methods and weights much anyway, but over time you can see a clear trend on that one.)

We can do this! Vote to maintain your rights and keep them for next generation. Also economy doing well, industry rebuilding, military working on regaining standoff capabilities with near-peers and patching vulnerabilities…vote to keep the nation going, and free, so that we can all keep going and be free.

Sovereignty vs Diplomatic Immunity

Note: “MBS” stands for Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (age 33). When he said the Saudi Consulate in Turkey Is “Sovereign Territory,” he was wrong. He made the mistake of confusing “sovereign territory” with diplomatic agreements commensurate with Articles 21-25 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.
 
If MBS ordered the hit, or even if he knew about it but said nothing, then he should be released to Turkey to be charged in accordance with International Law.
 
The Peace of Westphalia (1648), ended the Thirty Years’ War. It recognized the principle of non-interference, which was further developed in the 18th century. The Westphalian system reached its peak in the 19th and 20th centuries.
 
Westphalian sovereignty, or state sovereignty, is the principle in international law that each nation state has exclusive sovereignty over its territory. The principle underlies the modern international system of sovereign states and is enshrined in the United Nations Charter, which states that “nothing should authorise intervention in matters essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state.”
 
Embassies and foreign consulates are NOT sovereign states either in whole or part. Rather, they enjoy certain qualified protections and immunities under international law.
 
Put simply, under Articles 21-25 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, embassies/consulates on foreign soil enjoy help finding a suitable location, maintaining suitable accommodations for its members, inviolate premises, host-nation protection, immunity from “search, requisition, attachment or execution,” dues/tax-free protection, extended diplomatic immunity to “the archives and documents of the mission,” regardless of location.
 
High crimes such as torture and murder do NOT meet “qualification” requirements. In fact, such crimes constitute a violation of the Vienna Convention, thereby subjecting the offending institutions and involved persons to the laws of the host nation.
 
News Article:  https://www.yahoo.com/news/mbs-says-saudi-consulate-turkey-152559781.html
See More:
https://pathtoforeignservice.com/is-an-embassy-on-foreign-soil-the-sovereign-territory-of-the-host-country-or-the-embassys-country/
http://edbarton.com/topics/law/international-law/sovereign-diplomatic-immunity/
https://sites.tufts.edu/lawofthesea/chapter-5/
http://publications.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/BP/bp322-e.htm
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea

Now is the time for all good men to lend an ear…

Moderates, much less liberals, cannot hold a candle to the awesome power, glory, might and wisdom of an almighty loving God:
 
“The new conventional wisdom is that the greatest threat to American democracy is the person who believes that there are universal, transcendent truths, that these truths are embedded in human nature, and that they are meant to govern human life and human societies. The people who hold such views, people of faith, are now called extremists. The proper moral posture, we are told, is that of the moderate…
 
“Moderates reject the concept of a moral God who governs the universe, because an attachment to ultimate beliefs about right and wrong breeds fanaticism. These “abstract ideas”—such as the ancient belief in a God who defends the widow and the orphan and the unborn—have no place in the mental outlook of the moderate.”
 
“This moderate of liberal imagination is quite a specimen. Evidently, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—occurring in the cozy, cushioned, shrimp-and-chardonnay world of the Manhattan moderate that summons his moral imagination, nothing that offends his conscience or provokes his outrage. Nothing except those people who make moral judgments.
 
“Contrary to liberal delusions, no leap forward toward a more just and virtuous society was ever brought about by people lacking moral and religious convictions. Moderates and moral agnostics don’t move the world. They never have and they never will.
 
“If we hope to bear witness to the truths of the gospel in our generation, for the sake of our neighbors and our nation, then we must choose sides in this battle for hearts and minds. Moderation and neutrality are not options, for both involve a retreat from responsibility. Both would allow the dark forces of this world to gain ground.
 
“What will it be for us, ladies and gentlemen? Should we follow the Nazarene, or should we become “moderate” and “reasonable” people as the world defines these terms for us?”
 
Just as Patrick Henry’s “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party” was subsequently adopted by replacing “party” with “country,” so too will Dr. Loconte’s, “What will it be for us, ladies and gentlemen?” challenge.
The dark forces have already gained ground, most of it in the deceived minds of the liberal, as well as many moderates.  As God’s word says in Galations 6:7:  “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked.”  Much of moderate political thought mocks God’s word.  Certainly, nearly all of liberal thought mocks God’s word, and one need only examine the fruits of their labors to realize it doesn’t at all match the Biblical example of spiritual fruit.  Proverbs 13:2 reminds us that “From the fruit of their lips people enjoy good things, but the unfaithful have an appetite for violence.”  From the left, we have violence, rioting in the streets, infringing on the rights of others.

Sane NIPCC Scientists Trump Insane IPCC Political Alarmism

To the Honorable Congressman X:

I first took an interest in global warming after I read the IPCC’s 1990 report entitled, “Climate Change – The IPCC Scientific Assessment,” and noticed it failed to consider water clarity (turbidity) and its effects on depth of solar heating. As an avid skin/scuba diver and water sports enthusiast, I had observed in the mid-1980s that the Army Corps of Engineers’ (ACOE) Mississippi River levy system largely prevents annual Spring flooding, channeling the lions share of alluvial runoff to proceed downstream.  This fact is well noted by the Mississippi River Delta’s increased growth rate since the levy system was installed.  Not only has this result in significantly increased growth of the Mississippi River Delta, but it also significantly increases the turbidity of the waters in the Gulf of Mexico, leading to both warmer surface temperatures and colder temperatures at depth.  This phenomenon is repeated around the world, wherever levies and similar river flood mitigation techniques are used.

When I noticed the IPCC’s initial 1990 report lacked any mention or even consideration of water turbidity and heating depth, I began to wonder what else was missing. Indeed, over the next two decades I consulted with a number of scientists on the issue and we found plenty of gaping holes in the IPCC’s reports (1990, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2014).  I also discovered that scientists had broken into two camps: Those who wholeheartedly backed the IPCC assessments and those who reluctantly admitted the IPCC reports both fail to consider a number of factors affecting or mitigating climate change while summarily dismissing others.  As Mr. Praeger has resoundingly documented, the “97% of climate scientists agree” argument is pure bunk.  The latter group and I have highlighted many missing elements, efforts which eventually lead to the creation of the NIPCC:

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to present a comprehensive, authoritative, and realistic assessment of the science and economics of global warming. Because it is not a government agency, and because its members are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, NIPCC is able to offer an independent “second opinion” of the evidence reviewed – or not reviewed – by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the issue of global warming.”

Although I possess both bachelor of science and master of science degrees, I also hold an MBA. I graduated top of my class in both masters programs. My educational background is heavy on both engineering and business, specifically, finance, management, and administration. Thus, when read the Conclusion to the NIPCC’s report entitled, “Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels,” it wholeheartedly confirmed literally thousands of hours of previous discussions, while acknowledging the IPCC’s numerous oversights:

“IPCC and national governments around the world
claim the negative impacts of global warming on
human health and security, occurring now or likely to
occur in the future, more than offset the benefits that
come from the use of fossil fuels. This claim lacks
any scientific or economic basis. Nearly all the
impacts of fossil fuel use on human well-being are
net positive (benefits minus costs) or are simply
unknown. The alleged negative human health impacts
due to air pollution are greatly exaggerated by
researchers who violate the scientific method and rely
too heavily on epidemiological studies finding weak
relative risks. The alleged negative impacts on human
security due to climate change depend on tenuous
chains of causality that find little support in the peer
reviewed literature.

“IPCC and its national counterparts have not
conducted proper cost-benefit analyses of fossil fuels,
global warming, or regulations designed to force a
transition away from fossil fuels, nor are they likely
to do so given their political agendas. The CBAs
conducted for this volume find the social benefits of
fossil fuels exceed the costs by a wide margin. A
forced reduction of GHG emissions to 90 percent
below 1990 levels by 2050 would require that world
GDP in 2050 be reduced to only 4% of what it is
projected to be in that year. Most regulations aimed
at reducing GHG emissions have costs that are
hundreds and even thousands of times greater than
their benefits.

“The global war on fossil fuels, which commenced
in earnest in the 1980s and reached a fever pitch in
the second decade of the twenty-first century, was
never founded on sound science or economics. The
authors of and contributors to Climate Change
Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels urge the world’s
policymakers to acknowledge this truth and end that
war.”

Congressman X, I wholeheartedly encourage you and your colleagues in Congress and the executive branch to review the NIPCC’s “Climate Change Reconsidered” series of volumes (http://climatechangereconsidered.org/). Therein you will find the sanity that so elegantly counters the IPCC’s irrational and alarming projections which lacks significant data elements which run counter to their idealism and mantras.

As the American Thinker well notes:

“How could two international teams of scientists, economists, and other experts arrive at opposite conclusions? Therein lies a story.

“The IPCC is a political organization, not a scientific body. It was formed by the United Nations in 1988 for the purpose of establishing the need for a global solution to the alleged problem of anthropogenic climate change. Note that the mission of the IPCC was never to study the causes of climate change; were that the case, it might have devoted some of its billions of dollars in revenues over the years to examining solar cycles, changes in ocean currents, the sensitivity of climate to greenhouse gases, or the planet’s carbon cycle. The IPCC has spent trivial sums on these issues, and the authors of and contributors to its voluminous reports have few or no credentials in these fields.

“Now consider the NIPCC. It is a scientific body composed of scholars from more than two dozen countries, first convened in 2003 by the great physicist S. Fred Singer and later chaired by another great physicist, Frederick Seitz. The NIPCC’s only purpose is to fact-check the work of the IPCC. It receives no corporate or government funding and so has no hidden agenda or axes to grind. Most of its participants volunteer their time; a few receive token compensation for many hours of effort.

“The NIPCC views the claim that human greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change to be a hypothesis to be tested, not a preordained conclusion. It asks whether the null hypothesis – that changes in climate are natural variability caused by a multitude of forcings and feedbacks – has been disproven. Its research reveals thousands of studies published in peer-reviewed science journals supporting the null hypothesis, meaning that the IPCC’s mountains of data and expressions of “confidence” are irrelevant, meaningless, and ultimately wrong.”

Indeed, the NIPCC has a number of outstanding reports, and unlike the IPCC’s political attempts to sound scientific, the NIPCC volumes were researched, written, and published by actual scientists:

Climate Change Reconsidered II:

Climate Change Reconsidered:  2011 Interim Report

Climate Change Reconsidered:  2009 IPCC Report

Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming

Sincerely…

Survival 101: The Rule of Threes

Abraham Maslow, nice guy that he was, never understood the Rule of Threes.  He didn’t do the world of survival much of a favor when he created his Hierarchy of Needs, “a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization.”  Then again, while survival does require a decent amount of psychological health, it certainly doesn’t require self-actualization.  Basically, while Maslow’s approach begins with physiological needs, their inclusion is more axiomatic than absolute, and relies on the premise that one’s situation is generally that of your average human being rather than that of a person thrust into a survival situation.

By the way, by “survival” I’m not talking about “survivalism” that today is more commonly called “prepping.”  The last time I attended a preppers’ meeting, the keynote speaker amazed the audience by filling three lunchroom tables with his entire collection of gear.  The only thing I found amazing is that he would think he, his truck, and the ton of unnecessary gear would last 24 hours in a SHTF scenario before he’s picked off and his truck appropriated and gear distributed to others.  Preppers like to style themselves as people “who actively prepare for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international,” but after attending more than 20 different meetings of a dozen different groups around town, trying to help them with the accumulated wisdom and knowledge gained over thousands of years of human activity, I realized many of them were uneducated and ignorant buffoons who were trying to reinvent the wheel themselves and doing a very bad job of it.

Rather, by “survival,” I’m talking about staying alive when someone or something pulls the plug on normalcy to the point where proper prioritization of needs and the procurement thereof means the difference between life and death.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for finding a good deal on a used missile silo and outfitting it for three years of completely sealed and impenetrable living while the radioactive world outside settles down.  Sadly, I don’t have enough money for a year’s worth of food, much less the $10 million required to turn a luxury bunker become into reality.

What I do have is knowledge, courtesy of the U.S. Air Force and it’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) school, it’s ejection water survival training, twenty years of refresher training, and a reasonable amount of experience in arctic, woodland, desert, high altitude and aquatic environments.

The one thing that was never taught was the Rule of Threes.  However, after having been to the training schools and while camping in the various environments, I noticed a pattern emerging that just wouldn’t quit:  Everything important to survival occurs in threes, more or less, hence, the Rule of Threes.

Here’s the Rule of Threes in a nutshell, after which we’ll go into it in depth:

  • 3 seconds – time of useful consciousness due to explosive decompression in a vacuum
  • 3 minutes – time of useful consciousness for an athlete in top physical condition without air; you begin to succumb to hypothermia if plunged into icy seawater
  • 3 hours – you can succumb to hypothermia on land
  • 3 days – you die without water
  • 3 weeks – you die without foold
  • 3 months – you die without adequate nutrition
  • 3 years – you’ll give up without other humans

Let’s break this down into its requisite sections, exploring the variables in further detail.

3 seconds

If you were living aboard the International Space Station and it explosively decompressed in a second or two, you’d have about three seconds to act before losing consciousness.  If you were near and airlock and managed to get in, close the door, and activate the pressurization, you might wake up with a headache, but alive.  If you had time to plan for it, as did “Dave” in the movie 2001, by breathing pure oxygen in an environment reduced to about 10 psi, and you had the presence of mind to compress about a third of a lungful of that O2 in order to maintain as much partial pressure of that O2 against the red blood cells coursing through your lungs, then it’s conceivable that you might last 10 to 20 seconds before losing consciousness.

In a modern combat aircraft at higher altitudes, say, FL 430 (43,000 feet), it took us about three seconds to attach our face masks following an explosive decompression when one of the crew module panels blew out, and we were a bit light-headed until the pressurized oxygen kicked in.  Even so, it was a rough ride until we got down to lower altitudes where the pressurized oxygen system wasn’t so fiercely trying to keep us alive.  It’s difficult to talk when you’re breathing against the maximum pressure setting!

The point of this is to have emergency equipment such as a space suit or survival capsule already in use when it happens, or you’re really not going to survive it.

3 minutes

On the other hand, let’s say you’re trapped underwater and needed to hold your breath while awaiting rescue.  My best personal time, which began deep breathing while relaxing all muscles for about three full minutes resulted in 3m23s, and that was towards the end of a summer when I was 21 years old and where I swam half a mile a day, hard.  By the time I was age 40, I could still hold my breath 2:36s.  These days, fifteen years later, I’m good for one minute.  Barely.

Alternatively, if you find yourself in room temperature clothing suddenly plunged into icy ocean water, cold enough to where ice is actually forming, the initial shock is enough to actually kill some people.  Most people will survive, but about 50% will have begun to suffer the effects of hypothermia in just three minutes.

The point here is to dress for the occasion and know your emergency procedures cold.  Pun intended.  Those who work the icy waters off Alaska wear both flotation gear and thermal suits in case they’re swept off the boat.  If workers have to abandon ship, they have “poopy suits” which seal out the water, providing a good deal of thermal protection, stretching minutes of survival time into hours.  If you do any offshore sailing, regardless of the climate, you should become thoroughly practiced with all emergency gear and procedures, as proper use can keep your alive for days instead of mere minutes.

3 hours

If you’re caught on land in your average room temperature clothing when the temperature is significantly below freezing, you’re likely to last about three hours before succumbing to the cold.  Even so, depending just how cold it is and your mental fortitude or the lack thereof, you could become fairly useless in just a few minutes.

On the other hand, with even basic closing such as a fleece jacket and pants with a wind/waterproof shell, decent boots, and proper gloves and a hat, you can last for hours.

Even with absolutely no tools whatsoever, but armed with some knowledge, that’s enough time for you to take steps to ensure you will remain alive for days.

In a similar vein, you might find yourself in a desert, but the same principles apply.  Without the proper knowledge and procedures, you’re not going to last much longer than 3 hours, and might expire much sooner than that.

3 days

In a room temperature environment, you can keep going for about three days before thirst and the effects of dehydration kick you to the curb.

3 weeks

Again, your maximum longevity in a room temperature environment with plenty of water but no food is about three weeks.

3 months

Even if you find enough food, but the nutrition value of that food is lacking, can expire.

3 years

Finally, remember the movie Cast Away.  He’d largely given up and was just going through the motions, even though it had only been 2-1/2 years.  It was until he found a reason for hope that…  🙂

There you have it, the Rule of Threes, an excellent guide to help you survive by allowing you to prioritize what’s most important at the time.  You really don’t want to be expending energy hunting for food, which requires water, when you have not yet first managed to procure water.