Some Thoughts on Secession

Recently, some of the blue check crowd have been making noise about secession. They seem to forget what happen the last time a bunch of Democrats tried to pull their states out of the Union. Lanny Davis ran a series of tweets recently that deserve some fisking. In one of his tweets he assumes that the following states and territories could secede:

Hawaii, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all the Northeast … including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Washington D.C.

OK. They leave. That means they will form a new country or countries, so the remaining states will be The United States of America.

One of the first things the United States should do (assuming we permit secession) is to remove as much of our property, personnel, and citizens back within our borders. We should also reclaim and reoccupy the U.S. property in the District of Columbia. Perhaps the 10th Mountain Division could be tasked with that on its way south from Fr. Drum. Evacuation the Naval bases along the Pacific Coast and in Hawaii would be a tremendous undertaking, but moving the soldiers and Marines out of the string of bases from Ft. Lewis to Camp Pendleton would initially only require moving them to Idaho, Nevada, and Arizona. Most of the Air Force’s part of the nuclear deterrent would already remain in the United States, and the rest could be rapidly repatriated. The various Blue State National Guards would be disarmed of all weapons and equipment that had been provided by the United States.

As for the idea that the Blue States would have most of the manufacturing capacity, the United States would still have reasonable capabilities. F15s are made in Missouri, F16s and F35s are made in Texas. F22s are made in Georgia. Mercedes SUVs are made in Alabama. Corvettes are made in Kentucky. Microcircuit wafers are made in Colorado, Texas, Virginia, and other states.

The United States would retain most of the farm land and other natural resources—and electrical generation capacity.

And then there’s the West Virginia precedent. Already, there are folks in eastern Washington who want take their counties and join Idaho, and much of California east of the coastal mountains is fed up with having their lives ruined by a legislature dominated by the coastal cities. Most of Illinois is ready to be done with Chicago. Most of the rural areas of those states as well as Maine, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and New Mexico would probably try to find a way to apply for readmission to the Union as new states. This could be particularly beneficial for the state formed from southern Illinois because it would be a way to avoid bankruptcy by sticking Chicago with Illinois’ sovereign debt. (BTW, as a resident of Maryland, I would repatriate to my native state of Tennessee.)

Also, the Blue States of America would not be a contiguous county. When the Raj was partitioned in 1947, Pakistan was non-contiguous with India in between West and East Pakistan. The two parts of Pakistan shared a religion but not a deep culture. They couldn’t stay together as one nation. How long would it take East B.S. to be tired of West B.S. or vice versa?

The Democrats had a snit fit after the 1860 election when they didn’t get their way. The result was the deadliest war in our history. I hope and pray that they can contain themselves in 2020 and 2021.

Nothing to See Here—Move Alone

As I was getting ready for bed tonight, I found this message on my phone.

My name isn’t Thelma. No one who lives here at Stately Hoge Manor in Westminster, Maryland, is named Thelma. No one who lives here is registered to vote in Pennsylvania (vote dot pa is that state’s voter registration website), and none of us has asked for an absentee ballot from any jurisdiction.

Oh, and area code 810, the area code for the number that sent the message, is in Michigan.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Here’s a Johnny Atsign episode that first ran six years ago today.

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Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

OPERATOR: (Telephone Filter) Господин Atsign, Вот ваш звонок в Донецк.

JOHNNY: Cпасибо.

OPERATOR: (Telephone Filter) Идем дальше.

JOHNNY: Dimitri, it’s Johnny Atsign. Were you able to find the document?

DIMTRI: (Telephone Filter) Yes. The filing cabinet containing it escaped the fire. I don’t have the original, but I was able to photograph it.

JOHNNY: Great. Can you email it?

DIMTRI: (Telephone Filter) No. I mean photograph, as in film. In any case, I don’t have power for a scanner, but I’ll try to send the film roll out with a friend. You can get it developed. Meanwhile, I’m not sure how much longer the battery will last on this cell phone.

JOHNNY: Keep safe. And thanks.

DIMTRI: (Telephone Filter) OK, Johnny. I’m trying to keep a low profile, but things …

JOHNNY: Dimtri?

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading

At the Core

SagA*quietThere’s a supermassive black hole at the center of our Milky Way galaxy. It’s known as Sagittarius A* and shown in the center of this infrared (red and yellow) and X-ray (blue) composite image. Data from observations taken in orbit by Chandra‘s X-ray telescope was used to create an image the diffuse emission surrounding the black hole. See the close-up inset. The inset’s field of view covers an area about 1/2 light-year across the galactic center some 26,000 light-years away. These X-ray emissions originate in hot gas drawn from the winds of massive young stars near the galactic center. The Chandra data indicate that only 1% or so of the gas within the black hole’s gravitational influence ever reaches the event horizon after losing enough heat and angular momentum to fall into the black hole. The rest of the gas escapes in an outflow. This explains why the Milky Way’s black hole is so quiet, much fainter than might be expected in energetic X-rays.

Note: All data is subject to future verification. Beowulf Shaeffer was unavailable for comment.

Image Credit: NASA

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran six years ago today.

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Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Cell phone rings four times.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

AARON: (Telephone Filter) Hey, Johnny, where are you?

JOHNNY: Off fishing. I told you guys that I was taking a break.

AARON: (Telephone Filter) I know, but where?

JOHNNY: It’s a secret spot. I’m near the headwaters of a river. I’m standing in in one state, and the stream is so narrow up here that I can bounce flies off the bank of the next state.

AARON: (Telephone Filter) I don’t need to know your exact location. What I want to know is how quickly you can get back.

JOHNNY: If I have things my way—several days. If it’s important, I can be back tomorrow morning.

AARON: (Telephone Filter) It’s important.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading

Looking at Neptune

Neptune-This picture of Neptune was produced from the last whole planet images taken through the green and orange filters on the Voyager 2 narrow angle camera. The images were taken on 31 years ago at a range of about 7 million km, 4 days and 20 hours before closest approach on 25 August, 1989. The picture shows the Great Dark Spot and its companion bright smudge. The fast moving bright feature called “Scooter” and the little dark spot are visible near the western limb. These clouds were seen to persist for as long as Voyager‘s cameras could resolve them. A bright cloud band similar to the south polar streak may be seen to the north.

Six years ago, the New Horizons spacecraft crossed the orbit of Neptune today on its way to Pluto, but Neptune was not nearby. In July,2014, New Horizons took this picture of Neptune from almost 4 billion km away.neptune-triton-7-10-14-new_hoizonsImage Credit: NASA

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

False narratives. That’s what Brett Kimberlin called truthful reporting about him and his activities. As the TKPOTD for five years ago today noted, he used that term quite a bit in the false claims he made in his various LOLsuits.

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The Dread Pro-Se Kimberlin sure does like the phrase “false narrative(s).” For example, …false narrativesNot once does he follow up on any claim that a “narrative” is “false” with specific facts proving his allegation.

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The one time The Dread Deadbeat Pro-Se Kimberlin managed to get a case to trial, he lost because he had no specific facts to place in evidence in support of his allegations.

Blowing a Bubble in Space

U Camelopardalis (aka U Cam) is a star nearing the end of its life. When stars run low on fuel for their normal fusion reactions, they become unstable. Every few thousand years, U Cam coughs out an almost spherical shell of gas as helium from its core begins to fuse. The gas ejected in the star’s latest eruption can be seen in this picture as a faint bubble around the star.

U Cam is an example of a carbon star. That’s a rare type of star with an atmosphere that contains more carbon than oxygen. Because of relatively low surface gravity, as much as half of the total mass of a carbon star may we swept away by powerful stellar winds. U Cam is located in the constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe) which is near the North Celestial Pole, U Cam is much smaller than it appears in this image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The star would easily fit within a single pixel in the image. However, it is bright enough to saturate the camera’s photosensors which causes the star look much larger.

The shell of gas, both much larger and much fainter than its parent star, is visible in the picture. Gas clouds from expolsions are often quite irregular and unstable, but the shell of gas ejected from U Cam is almost perfectly spherical.

Image Credit: NASA

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Last week, this site had a post about a music video which employed Brett Kimberlin as one of its producers and as rhythm guitar player. It turns out that Hogewash! in not the only website to take notice. This was published at empr dot media on 3 June.The Gentle Reader may remember that Protect Our Elections/EMPR Inc. is The Dread Deadbeat Performer/Protector Kimberlin’s organization which was formerly known as Velvet Revolution US. The IRS has revoked its 501(c)(4) not-for-profit status.

Note: In the past, I have avoided referring to Miss Kimberlin by name when she was a part the narrative in a post because she was a minor child. However, she is now 21 and promoting herself as a performer. I now feel free to write about her to the extent that she makes herself a public person. She has had a rough start in life as a child. I wish her well and hope that she finds a happy, rewarding, and productive future as an adult.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

Brett Kimberlin thought he could use a campaign of pro se lawsuits to harass his critic and shutdown unfavorable Internet discussion of his past and ongoing activities. The blogosphere responded with Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day, and several bloggers took up continuing coverage fo Kimberlin’s lawfare. Here’s a post from eight years ago today which was Blogburst D+7.

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The Kimbelin blogburst was a week ago today. Mr. Kimberlin may feel as if he’s one up with his good luck in court on Tuesday, but I’m still betting on the good guys (and gals) winning in the end.

Stay tuned. The truth is out there.

UPDATE—Glenn Reynolds asks, “How’s that ‘brass-knuckles reputation management’ working’ out for ya?” And he posts a screenshot of the first page of a Google search on Brett Kimberlin. When I did a such a search earlier this morning, the first remotely favorable return was on the second page. It was an old post alleging that he had been held as a political prisoner because of his claims of being Dan Quayle’s dope connection.

Someone should have given Mr. Kimberlin better advice about trying to pick on bloggers. To paraphrase Rick Blaine’s advice to Major Steiner:  Well there are certain sections of the Internet, Mr. Kimberlin, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade.

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Kimberlin should have read this blog’s tagline and taken it as advice—Never pick a fight with a man who buys pixels by the terabyte.

A Stellar Nursery

This infrared view (click the image to embiggen it) made by the Herschel Space Observatory of Cygnus X spans some 6×2 degrees of one of the closest, massive star forming regions in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy. The rich stellar nursery already holds the massive star cluster known as the Cygnus OB2 association. Those stars are more evident by the region cleared by their energetic winds and radiation near the bottom center of the picture. They can’t be detected by Herschel instruments operating at long infrared wavelengths, but Herschel does reveal the region’s complex filaments of cool gas and dust around the locations where new massive stars are forming. Cygnus X lies some 4500 light-years away toward the heart of the northern constellation of the Swan. This picture covers a view about 500 light-years wide.

Image Credit: ESA

NGC 6814

A spiral snowflakeThis worth posting simply because it’s pretty.

NGC 6814 is an intermediate spiral galaxy in constellation Aquila located about 75 million light years from Earth. It’s a Seyfert galaxy with an extremely bright nucleus powered by a supermassive black hole with roughly 10 millions times the mass of the Sun. The galaxy is also a highly variable source of X-ray radiation. UV and optical emission also vary, although more smoothly, with time lag of two days behind the x-ray output.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

Phase One Starts at Close of Business Friday

Governor Larry Hogan has announced the Maryland will begin dialing back Wuhan pandemic restrictions at 5 pm of Friday evening. The Gentle Reader may remember I reported a few days ago that the state’s new case and death rates began to flatten around 23 April. Over the past few days, deaths have shown a noticeable decline. Hmmm, things are beginning to proceed a bit faster than i had foreseen. I had expected Maryland to wait another week before loosening up.

I am pleased.

Pink Snow

We have a couple of particularly nice trees in the front yard here at Stately Hoge Manor, and I’ve posted pictures of them from time to time. The ornamental cherry tree is spectacular when it is blossoming. The Carroll County Times has put pictures of it on the front page twice since we’ve lived here.

There comes a day each spring when the blossoms begin to fall. Over the next couple of days, our front yard is covered with petals, something my son called “pink snow” when he was a toddler. Today’s rain started this year’s pink snow.


M80No, not the firecracker, the star cluster.

M80 is in the constellation Scorpius between the stars α Scorpii (Antares) and β Scorpii in a part of the Milky Way rich in nebulae. When viewed with a modest amateur telescope (like mine), it appears as a mottled ball of light. This Hubble image shows more detail. M80 is roughly 95 light-years in diameter. It contains several hundred thousand stars, making it one of the more densely populated globular clusters in the galaxy.

M80 contains a fair number of blue stragglers, stars that appear to be much younger than the cluster itself. Astronomers believe that these stars lost part of their outer layers during close encounters with other cluster members or as the result of collisions between stars in the tightly packed cluster. Images from Hubble show regions with very high blue straggler densities which suggests that the center of the cluster probably has a very high capture and collision rate.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

Our Local Pandemic Statistics

I live in Carroll County, Maryland. We’re north of DC, but just close enough to be considered a far suburb, and close enough west of Baltimore to be considered a suburb of Charm City as well.

As of Friday, the County Health Department reports that we have had 128 cases of covid-19, but that only 32 of the case were from “community contact.” The rest were from exposure outside the county.

There have been 6 deaths so far.

Today’s figures from the Maryland State Health Department site show that the Carroll County case count is up to 132 with no additional deaths. The statewide numbers are—

Confirmed Cases 3,125
Hospitalization (Total Ever) 821
Deaths 53

So far, 159 people have been released from isolation and 22,485 have tested negative for the virus.

The bulk of the cases have been in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, the two that border DC; Baltimore City and Baltimore County; and Anne Arundel County, a county that runs between the DC and Baltimore area (and contains the state capital Annapolis). These jurisdictions account for over three-quarters of the case in the state, but only about 65 % of the population.

However, we here Carroll County are harder hit on a per capita basis. We have about 2.8 % of the state’s population, but 4.2 % of the Wuhan virus cases. I suspect that the excess cases are the result of people getting infected at work in Baltimore, Montgomery or PC Counties, or DC.

I normally work in PG County, but I’ve been telecommuting for the past three weeks.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day

This episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign first ran five years ago today.

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Johnny Atsign Logo 2ANNOUNCER: From Westminster, it’s time for—

SOUND: Skype rings once.

JOHNNY: Johnny Atsign.

AGENT: (Telephone Filter) Mr. Atsign, this is Special Agent Wilson following up on that harassment matter.

JOHNNY: Hi. What can I help you with? And call me “Johnny.”

AGENT: (Telephone Filter) I’ve been working with my counterpart back East, and we need a few more details. I thought you might have something in a related case that would provide a lead.

JOHNNY: Are you talking about the connection to The Bomber or The Grouch?

AGENT: (Telephone Filter) The Bomber. He’s suing our agency.

JOHNNY: That doesn’t make sense, but it has to be true. No one could make up a story like that.

MUSIC: Theme up and under.

ANNOUNCER: The Lickspittle Broadcasting System presents W. J. J. Hoge in the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed Twitter account, America’s fabulous free-lance Internet investigator …

JOHNNY: Yours Truly, Johnny Atsign!

MUSIC: Theme up to music out. Continue reading