Thursday, May 30, 2024

Pier Today, Gone Tomorrow

So the US JLOTS pier off of Gaza, designed to funnel in further aid (and try to shore up Islamic votes for Biden) has broken up and is no more for now.

The same pier that Hamas fired mortars at while it was being built and from which all the aid delivered was stolen by Hamas et al as soon as it got off the pier.  Per the Pentagon, NONE of the 569 tons aid was delivered to the broader civilian population of Gaza. As in Zero.

So yes, the United States just spent $320 million and a few military casualties (thankfully not fatalities) to deliver 569 tons of sustenance and supplies to a US-listed terrorist organization to keep it in the fight against Israel.

Heckuva job there Biden Administration.

For a properly scathing analysis of the failure by someone who is very astute and really knows what he is talking about when it comes to naval matters, see Cdr. Salamander's From Abbey Gate to Gaza.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Hamas, The Media, And The Gell-Mann Effect

"Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know."
– Michael Crichton (1942-2008)

In this case the media itself seems to suffer from the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect in relations to reports it gets from Hamas that it then parrots to the world. 

Hamas will announce 500 casualties from the Israelis dropped a bomb and destroying a hospital.

The media runs with it unquestioningly. Then it turns out that it was a Hamas-allied group that dropped a rocket into a parking lot and there were less than 50 and possibly as low as 12 casualties from the incident, oh and the hospital is still standing.

Hamas' Health ministry then announces 35,000 dead composed of mostly women and children.

The media instead of being skeptical, runs with it unquestioningly.  Then it turns out the Hamas announcement  of 35,000 dead composed of mostly women and children.  It then turns out that Hamas had made up at least 12,000 of these "women and children" casualties and is under-counting its combatant casualties.

Hamas then announces that Israel attached the safe zone killing 43 people.

The media instead of being skeptical, yet again runs with it unquestioningly. Then it turns out that the Israeli strike was a mile outside the safe zone, used munitions that would not have caused the fire, and the cause was most likely the explosions from a Hamas munition depot that was hit in the strike causing the fire among the tents, and the strike area hit where Hamas had been firing rockets at Israel.

The media will go right back to reporting Hamas' claims as gospel without the slightest hint of skepticism, helping the lies go 'round the world before the truth can lace up its boots.  

The media does this Every. Damn. Time.

Partially this is due to media bias against Israel, and partly because per Obama's adviser Ben Rhodes, reporters are easily manipulated, especially if the manipulation is in line with their biases

The credulous media consumers then lap it up each time while suffering from the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect brought to them by the complicit media, until yet again the claim is shown to be false. We'll note the finding of falsehood never gets the same amount of coverage as the initial false claim. Then the cycle starts again.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Wayne State University Closes In-Person Classes For 24,000 In The Face Of 40 Pro-Hamas Protestors

In a rather cowardly showing, instead of booting the 40 protestors (many of whom are apparently not students at WSU) off of campus, the powers-that-be decided to have 24,000 WSU student go to remote learning rather than enter the campus area that is being blocked by the Hamas-niks.

The Detroit Free Press: Wayne State University moves to remote classes as encampment protest tensions rise

Progressives certainly give progressive terrorist-loving protesters a lot of leeway, don't they?  

Instead of properly removing the protestors for their multiple violations of WSU policy, not to mention fire safety codes, they have decided to surrender control of their campus to them.

That creates quite an interesting incentive.

Friday, May 24, 2024

Et Tu, WSU?

Wayne State University decided to join the pro-Hamas camp-out.

The Detroit News:  Group sets up pro-Palestinian encampment at Wayne State

How much of the group is indeed form the student body and how many are outside terrorist supporters is an interesting question:

WSU Students for Justice in Palestine gathered Thursday night. The group said Mufti Abdul Wahab, executive director and co-founder of the Miftaah Institute in Warren, is scheduled to lead a 1:30 p.m. prayer service at Gullen Mall in front of the university's student center.

A group of protestors Thursday set up an encampment on Wayne State University's campus in Detroit to protest the conflict in Gaza.
"Join us for our first official day of programming and activities at the WSU Liberated Zone!" the group said Friday morning in a Facebook post.

Note of course the de riggeur call fro actual genocide with the "From the River to the Sea" sign prominently featured at the entrance to the "Liberated Zone" - liberated from what one might wonder?

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Democrat Racism In Detroit's 13th District

In Detroit, the 13th District reliably sends a Democrat off to Congress every time.  It's such a safe seat for Democrats that the Democrat primary determines everything, and there's no point for a Republican to run.

The horrible problem is that the 13th Federal District has the wrong race of Democrat in the seat right now.   Shri Thanendar, while a reliable Democrat suffers from a key deficiency - He's not Black.

The Detroit Free Pres:  Detroit learned all the wrong lessons from Shri Thanedar's 2022 win | Opinion

Yep, because Representative Thanendar is Indian and not Black, he's not viewed by the Black Democrats in the city as suitable to represent them.

Racism, much?

Representative Thanendar was elected because in the last primary the Black vote got split among seven Black candidates.  So, the Black powers-that-be in the city decided to be more clever this time and rally around one Black candidate this time to unseat Thanendar.

That decision has now backfired, to much amusement to all but the Black powers-that-be.

The current wailing among the Detroit Democrats is their one great Black hope, Adam Hollier, messed up and was removed from the ballot for hiring a company that screwed him with forged nominating signatures and he completely failed to verify the signatures before turning them in.  

This is shades of the forgery tom-foolery that eliminated Craig and other Republicans from the ballot in the last election, which should have been a warning and a clue to the Hollier campaign to check their nominating petitions.

So, the great Black hope turned out to be a dope.  

The Black Detroit Democrat Apparatchiks are real mad that yet again, the so far shown to be competent Representative Thanendar is most likely going to be re-elected in a walk, just because he's not Black.

Not because he's been anything other than a reliable Democrat member of the House, but simply just because he's not Black.

So now some Black Detroit Democrat Apparatchiks are calling to change the rules of the game by pushing to shift to ranked choice voting in the primary to try and ensure that a Black Democrat is a lock to be elected in the District in the future instead of putting all their eggs in one forged nominating signature list.

You really can't make this up, and it's rather hilarious to watch the wailing and gnashing of teeth occurring because Thanendar is going to be reelected - Just because he's not Black.

Biden's Secret Talks With Iran To Undermine An Ally

The Biden Administration, continuing the Obama administration's shift to appeasing Iran, has now been revealed to have been busy having secret talks with Iran about throwing Israel under the bus:

Secret talks between Iran and the United States in Oman were making good progress, but have now been jeopardised by the sudden death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister.

Brett McGurk, US President Joe Biden's senior Middle East adviser, held indirect negotiations earlier this month with Ali Bagheri Kani, Iran’s point man for negotiations with the West, according to three Iranian sources close to the talks.

. . .

The talks focused on three subjects: a shared desire for a change in government in Israel; ending Israel’s war on Gaza; and preventing the conflict from spreading elsewhere in the region.

So, this administration has been busy talking and plotting with an avowed theocratic dictatorship and enemy of the USA about changing an allied democratically-elected government and to make Israel to lose the war started by Iranian-backed Hamas to save Hamas and maintain Iran's influence in the region.

This appeasement with Iran, along with wanting the Islamist vote in Michigan and Minnesota, sure explains some of the Biden Administration's latest actions in depriving Israel of weapons and supplies.

Biden continues to be toadying up to the Iranian regime, the same regime that organizes chants of death to America and has been directly and indirectly involved via its proxies in terrorism, attacks on shipping, attacks on Americans  and killing of Americans.

If you're Jewish and you continue to support Biden after this latest revelation, you're a deluded moron at best, and a progressive Kapo at worst.  If you're otherwise an American that continues to support Biden as he appeases an avowed enemy of America, I have some questions for you, too.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

The Next Time You Hear

The lying claim from the pro-Hamas folks that the chant "From the River To The Sea"  is not a call for the destruction of Israel, including from such liars as Rashida Tlaib and many other apologists and propagandists for Hamas, you can refer them right to the horse's mouth:

The Detroit News: Iran's supreme leader and proxy militias pray for late president and others dead in helicopter crash

[Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh recounted Raisi telling him this year that the Oct. 7 attack was an “earthquake in the heart of the Zionist entity.” In a later meeting with Khamenei, the supreme leader told Haniyeh that the “destruction of the Zionist regime is feasible and, God willing, the day in which Palestine will be created from the sea to river will arrive.”
So yes, next time some progressive claims that  "From the River to the Sea" is a call for peaceful coexistence you can tell them they are full of it.

Note that the funeral also featured the traditional Islamic chants of "Death to Israel and "Death to America".  Lovely folks, really.

Verily, it is said one should only speak good of the dead. 

In the case of Ebrahim Raisi, the Butcher of Tehran, one can certainty say that it is good that he is dead.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

It Took University of Michigan Long Enough

The UofM has allowed the pro-Hamas, terrorist-supporting, students to run amok and violate multiple University rules and policies, not to mention openly supporting terrorism, only finally taking down their encampment and blockade today. 

Took them long enough to do so.  They allowed this nonsense to go on for 4 weeks.

The Detroit News:   Police clear UM student group's pro-Palestinian encampment and Police clear UM student group's pro-Palestinian encampment. Whitmer weighs in

The Detroit Free Press: Police remove tent encampment at University of Michigan protesting Israel

Probably their protesting and making noise and vandalism at UofM Board Member's homes in the middle of the night was likely the last straw.

In this case it's really not better late than never.  

The University of Michigan allowed these progressive idiots to disrupt honors convocations, disrupted classes, disrupted students from studying, and more all in clear violation of their own code of conduct and policies without any punishment nor sanction.

Monday, May 20, 2024

Granulocumulus Interaction Strikes Again

Most likely the President of Iran's helicopter had an encounter with a Granulocumulus cloud.

AP: Iran’s president killed in helicopter crash, election set for next month

Granulocumulus as in mountain hiding in the clouds (Granite+Cumulus).

It's likely this occurrence is what is known as a CFIT, or controlled flight into terrain event. This is where the operator of the craft which is otherwise working fine flies it into the ground. As the helicopter was flying in a mountainous area low visibility in fog, that is the pretty typical scenario for such. Combine it with potential maintenance issues on top of pilot disorientation, and this stuff happens.

On the upside, the "Butcher of Tehran" along with the other members of the Iranian regime onboard the helicopter are those whose deaths should not be mourned by decent folks. Considering they happily killed thousands of their own people, and orchestrated terror campaigns elsewhere including against the USA, the world is far better off without them.

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Saturday Flyday To Mt. Pleasant

Today the weather started out yucky with low IFR conditions and low fog/clouds everywhere.

This all burned off by 10-ish am so we were good to go.

Mr. B. flew over, and while he was flying over to Pontiac, I did the pre-flighting of the Archer. When he arrived, I drove over to the South side of the airport and met him and we then drove back to the north hangars and took the Archer up for the trip.

We decided to head north and hit the casino at Mt. Pleasant, and Mr. B volunteered to be my safety pilot so I could get a couple instrument approaches in to maintain currency.

We took off from Pontiac's Runway 27R and the weather was excellent.  Nary a cloud in the sky, calm and clear. Contacted Detroit Approach and got handed off to Great Lakes Approach near Flint and we continued northward.

I then did the RNAV 27 approach into Mt. Pleasant.  It was a good approach although clearly I was a bit rusty, but the landing was a chef's kiss with the wheels just kissing the runway in a beautiful transition from flying to rolling.

We then got picked up by the shuttle and hit the Casino.

I proceeded to get slaughtered at Craps, and so we took a break and had a good lunch at the Casino food court.

We then played Mr. B's preferred game of Blackjack and we had a lot of fun.  My first time playing Blackjack in a casino, so I learned some of the game etiquette which was a bit different from what I expected, but it was a fun time. Nice dealers, and nice players, so it was a fun experience.

We then headed back to Pontiac, and I got in touch with Great Lakes Approach after we took off from Mt. Pleasant. Great Lakes Approach  was handling a few military flights and it was interesting listening to them. We got bounced around a bit by some wind and thermals. We then got handed off to Detroit Approach south of Flint and about 14 miles of so from Pontiac.  The wind had picked up slightly and shifted, so they were now using the 9-side of the field.

It was a bit busy so we were number 4 for the approach and got some spacing vectors to make for separation from other aircraft also coming in on approaches and landing.

I then did a really excellent approach, I man right on, and another truly excellent landing.

Much appreciation to Mr. B. for leaving the comfort of his air-conditioned and fast Cessna twin, and joining me in the Archer that goes half the speed of his aircraft (at, to be fair, less than half the fuel burn), and with no air conditioning either. The man didn't scream even once as I maneuvered and did the approaches under the foggles.

That's 2.2, 2 approaches, and 2 damn good landings.

Friday, May 17, 2024

That's Rather Unusual

Right on the heels of my last post, it turns out there is yet another reason to have a gun in a park:

CBS News: Officials warn of possible alligator sighting in lake at Kensington Metropark

"Alligators are not native to Michigan, so if this sighting is real, it is most likely the result of someone releasing a pet Alligator into the lake," a Huron-Clinton Metroparks spokesperson said in a statement.

Visitors are advised not to approach the alligator

Yeah, we're normally comfortably outside a gator's native range here in Michigan. 

Kensington Metropark, while normally alligator-free, may start getting a little more sporty than usual as a result.

Why Do You Need A Gun In A Park?

Gun banners often ask why someone would possibly want a gun with them in a park.

Well, the presence of feral dogs is certainly one of many good reasons to do so, with the presence of feral humans being another good reason:

The Detroit Free Press:  Sheriff's deputies chased by pit bull dogs in Hines Park, shoot one as it neared officer

Wayne County and Detroit especially, due to irresponsible dog owners, have quite the feral dog problem with multiple instances of feral or just plain badly owned dogs attacking people.

As such, having "your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks" is as good advice today as when Thomas Jefferson gave it back in 1785.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Hamas And The Big Lie

I've noted before how Hamas is falsely inflating its casualty statistics.

Their stats were statistically highly suspect, going up in a practically perfect linear fashion, and do not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants. 

Now even the UN has caught up and finally owned up to the fact that Hamas' Health ministry is making it up as they go along:  

USA Today: United Nations cuts estimate for deaths of women and children in Gaza in half

Still, the false figure persists in news reports and op eds parroting the false number and using it to vilify Israel.

Verily, the pro-Hamas propaganda goes round the world which the truth is still lacing up its boots.

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

A Rather Red Royal Portrait

The official portrait of King Charles III has been unvelied.


It's certainly something. For an official portrait, I daresay it's lacking a certain gravitas.

But, if instead viewed as art, rather than as a stately portrait, it does make one think.

The thinking, however, goes like this:

"Charles Rex III, the Scourge of Carpathia, the Sorrow of Moldavia….";

"People were saying that it would be a dumpster fire after Queen Elizabeth II passed away, and they were right!";

"Hey, there was a sale on red pigment at Ye Olde Royal Art Supply Shoppe.";

"This is fine."

"Well at least it beats Obama's official portrait."

So, what do you think?

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

From Car Meme To Reality

You've likely seen this meme about the wisdom of placing decorative items on your steering wheel:

Most people would chuckle at the pic thinking people can't really be that dumb.

They would be mistaken. 

Apparently, people putting objects over their steering wheel airbags is a real current concern.

The Detroit News: Feds urge people not to put decals on steering wheels after a driver is hurt by flying metal pieces

The warning from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration comes after another driver was severely hurt by a flying emblem during a crash. The air bag inflated and sent two pieces of metal from an aftermarket decal into the driver's face and neck.

The agency said it couldn't say where or when the injury occurred. But it said the injury was the second it is aware of involving an aftermarket decal. In the previous case the driver lost sight in one eye after being hit by a rhinestone-adorned decal that hit them in the face, NHTSA said in a statement Tuesday.

Yeah, that's gonna hurt. 

Placing any object - whether metal, stone or otherwise, over the casing of an airbag that will move towards you rapidly and with explosive force during an accident is just a stupid idea.

Monday, May 13, 2024

WTF Michigan Libertarian Party?

The Michigan Libertarian Party's Facebook page had quite the wtf post this past weekend:

Yep, that's some classic Anti-Semitic imagery to falsely imply Jews secretly control the government of the USA. One certainly would more expect this kind of post from the Democratic Socialists of America, and not a party touting themselves as libertarian.

This, of course, explains why Biden is withholding both intelligence information and weapons from Israel, right? Logic is hardly the anti-Semites strong suit, and so-called libertarians that are anti-Semites seem to have even less logic than most.

Yes,  that particular post was removed once it was called out.  But it was removed without any explanation or apology.  I halfway wonder if the poster is the same anti-Semitic dipstick who posts plenty of anti-Semitic stuff on Right Michigan.

But verily, both Michigan Libertarian Party's X and Facebook feeds are still quite the hive of scum, villainy, simplistic arguments, and indeed multiple posts full of anti-semitism and anti-Israel posts.

I daresay, Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman, Murray Rothbard, and Friedrich August von Hayek would be much disappointed in the Michigan Libertarian Party posting this garbage.

Sunday, May 12, 2024

Comfort Minus

So the flight back home was in two parts.

From the Bahamas to Atlanta it was rather perfect and enjoyable with no issues.

However, from Atlanta back to Detroit was a whole different story.

I was flying Comfort Plus, as I bought that upgrade for a decent price from Main Cabin, mainly because I wanted to be sure to secure overhead bin space for my carry-on bag as it had expensive dive gear and a camera case in it, along with lithium batteries, and I didn't want it being banged around in checked luggage.

It was not to be.  Tons of passengers decided that they would put both their carrying on and their personal items (some of those "personal items" suspiciously looked like carry on size that would never fit under a seat) into the bins, taking up space including the space by my seat.  So my bag got placed rather a distance away from me and away from the exit, which meant I would pretty much be one of the last people off the plane as I could not reach my bag and could not swim upstream to get to it until everyone else got off. Not a huge deal, but annoying.

The Comfort Minus part came with my fellow passengers in my row.  I had the aisle seat.

Unfortunately, one of the largest women extant had the middle seat, and she spilled over both my side and into the passenger's space on the window seat side and she sure as heck required a seat-belt extender.  Forget about getting the interior armrests down, that wasn't going to happen.

So, I spent most of the flight sitting halfway on my seat and partially in the aisle, which got rather uncomfortable especially when the service carts came through. Meanwhile, the window passenger got really smushed against the hull of the aircraft for the flight.

Not particularly pleasant. At all.

If you need a seatbelt extender and your body goes into other people's seats, you should quite simply be required to purchase a second seat as you're taking up  more than one seat worth of space.

It is true that you may be grossly overweight due to no fault of your own due to a medical reason, or childhood trauma, or an overeating disorder, all of which can be sympathized with. But, you only paid for your seat space, not mine and the other passenger's space nor are you entitled to it, and you darn well knew at the time you wouldn't fit just in your seat.

That the airlines allow this out of fear of push-back from fat people "rights" groups is kinda ridiculous. If you take up more than one seat you should be required to pay for the additional seat, not get it at other passenger's expense.

Oh, and for the icing on the cake of that flight, my checked bag did not make the connection from the Bahamas flight to the Detroit flight, even with an hour layover, which caused me to hang around the Detroit airport for a couple hours for the next flight to bring it, so I got home the next day as I finally left the airport at 1 am.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Blackbeards Recap 7 - Pre-Airport Perambulations

Everyone needed to be off the boat by 9am, so we had a coffee and a continental breakfast, said our goodbyes. Some people headed right to the airport or their hotels if they were staying for another day, and the rest of us hung around the pool area at the dock waiitng for our scheduled shuttles to the airport.

Since we had plenty of time, I suggested we walk over and visit a fort that was nearby. So Gio, Jay, Morgan and I walked about 15 minutes along the shore to Ft. Montagu.

Ft. Montagu has an interesting history.  The oldest extant fort in the Bahamas, it was built starting in June 1741 and completed in July 1742 by the British.

The Americans then captured the Fort, along with the Bahamas governor, in 1776.  The British then retook it. The Spanish then captured it in 1782, and then the  British retook it once again, and in British hands it remained.

Several cannons remain at the fort, on their swiveling gun carriages.

The fort has a lovely and commanding view of the Harbor entrance;

It's a very nice, if rather small fort, and worth the small admission fee to get in and wander around.

Then, being thirsty on the way back in the heat, we stopped at a stand for some very fresh coconut water.

That was as fresh as you can get, and it was indeed very refreshing.

We then got back to the harbor area and waited for our shuttles to the airport.

Blackbeard's Recap 6 -The Last and Best Day - Part 2 -The After Party

After the last dive of the trip we headed back to Nassau and docked.  

We then all started packing, and most importantly, enjoying lengthy, hot, showers available at the dock. On the boat, its a salt water shower that you lather up in and you can use cold fresh water to rinse for 30 seconds. It works for cleanliness, but it's not exactly a luxurious experience.

Showers done, everyone mostly packed their things to be ready for departure on the morrow.


The sunset and  everyone changed into outfits, and put shoes on once again (everyone was generally in bare feet or scuba boots on board), and we headed out for a night on the town.

We again headed to the Pirate Republic Bar/Brewery and it was reserved for the passengers and crew of the Morningstar, Sea Explorer, and Cat Ppalu.

We had one heckuva good time, and after a few hours we all headed back to the dock, where the party continued pool side.

First we appropriated the rum punch from the Morningstar and broguht it poolside to enjoy.  That soon ran out so we decided that we needed to test Sea Explorer's rum punch for freshness and stealthy boarded her.

We decided their punch was too sweet and weak, but we appropriated it anyways, brought it pool side, and then fortified it with more rum from the Morningstar.

We did graciously offer Sea Explorer's crew and divers who showed up pool side some of their now improved rum punch, and they were rather appreciative.

Then one of our crew remembered that we had caught a mahi mahi at sea the day before. We retrieved it and then stealthily reboarded Sea Explorer and he filleted the fish right there and made fresh mahi mahi sashimi for all who were awake and hungry.

 Served with soy sauce and wasabi liberated from the galley, it was some of the best I've ever had anywhere.

What it lacked in presentation, it more than made up for in flavor and freshness.

I'm not saying that after the sashimi we went back to the pool and multiple people jumped in, in their clothes, and the fun continued, but I'm not saying that didn't happen either.

Somewhat waterlogged after that event, we made our way back to Morningstar, rinsed off, and went to bed.

That was one heckuva after-dive party.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Biden Cuts Off Weapons To Israel, Arms Hizb'allah

The day before Biden announced he was blocking weapons going to Israel, he issued a waiver to allow weapons to be delivered to Lebanon - meaning they will go to Hizballah, the same organization that killed 241 US Marines and CIA station chief William Buckley, and to Qatar, a leading support of Hamas.

Washington Free Beacon:  Day Before Biden Admin Announced It Would Withhold Weapons From Israel, It Issued Sanctions Waiver To Allow Arms Sales to Qatar and Lebanon

No you can't make this up.

This is the Biden administration deciding to align with Islamist terrorists and killers of Americans over an ally. We'll note that Hamas is still holding 6 American citizens hostage even now and Biden is bent on Hamas remaining as a force in being rather than letting the Israelis finish the job.

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Hamas Agreed To A Ceasefire Proposal It Negotiated Without Israel

While Hamas trumpeted to the world, right after it rocketed and mortared the Kerem Shalom crossing from Rafah, that it had (finally) accepted a ceasefire proposal, that proposal had not come from Israel nor had Israel agreed to it.

In reading the text of the proposal that Hamas has loudly agreed to, a cursory reading shows that it quite simply sucks.

Heck, this proposal doesn't just suck, it's well nigh ridiculous, and that the Biden Administration would seriously back this show's they're getting desperate to get a win back the Islamist and progressive votes that are threatening not to vote for him if he doesn't side with Hamas.

This proposal sure as heck sides with Hamas:

The main outrage is this proposal for the initial release of hostages:

During the first phase, Hamas shall release 33 Israeli captives (alive or dead), including women (civilians and soldiers), children (under the age of 19 who are not soldiers), those over the age of 50, and the sick, in exchange for a number of prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centres, according to the following [criteria]:

  • Hamas shall release all living Israeli captives, including civilian women and children (under the age of 19 who are not soldiers). In return, Israel shall release 30 children and women for every Israeli detainee released, based on lists provided by Hamas, in order of detention.
  • Hamas shall release all living Israeli captives (over the age of 50), the sick, and wounded civilians. In return, Israel shall release 30 elderly (over 50) and sick prisoners for every Israeli captive, based on lists provided by Hamas, in order of detention.
  • Hamas shall release all living Israeli female soldiers. In return, Israel shall release 50 prisoners (30 serving life sentences, 20 sentenced) for every Israeli female soldier, based on lists provided by Hamas.

Note well the alive or dead part. Hamas apparently added that part.

So all Hamas has to do is turn over 33 dead bodies and it gets back 30-50 live terrorists for each of the 33 bodies - including 30 of those being returned currently doing life sentences which don't get handed out in Israel for nothing - we're talking murderers and mass murderers here.

That alone would and should be a non-starter in any sane person's mind for the deal. Pity Israel can't respond back by saying that it will return 30-50 "alive or dead for each hostage Hamas hands over, but the world would have a massive fit - while they think Hamas offering this is just fine.

It also requires from the outset an Israeli withdrawal and giving up the positions it has taken in Gaza, which frees up Hamas movement to establish its terrorist infrastructure.

-[Herein] a temporary cessation of military operations between the two parties, and the withdrawal of Israeli forces eastward and away from densely populated areas to a defined area along the border all along the Gaza Strip (including Wadi Gaza, known as the Netzarim Corridor, and Kuwait Roundabout, as below).

On top of that, it requires Israel not to perform reconnaissance flights over Gaza so Israel can't see what Hamas is doing and reforming during the ceasefire as they prepare to attack Israel again.

-All aviation (military and reconnaissance) in the Gaza Strip shall cease for 10 hours a day, and for 12 hours on the days when captives and prisoners are being exchanged.

The proposal is ridiculous.  It's designed to let Hamas, the aggressor and the loser in this war dictate terms and claim that it has won and get terorists back in exchange for bodies.

Hamas trumpeting that it had agreed to the proposal after consistently rejecting any reasonable ceasefire deal is a PR stunt for the credulous to make Hamas look good and allow pressure to be placed on Israel to accept such a ridiculous deal on the grounds that Hamas has accepted it.

Blackbeard's Recap 6 -The Last and Best Day - Part 2 -The Blue Hole

The last dive of the trip was at the Blue Hole.

The Sea Explorer joined us at the dive site,  and yes there is a rivalry between the boats. We were informed that if you ended your dive by getting back on the wrong boat after the dive, you owed a case of beer to that boat.  I'm not saying there was an effort to convince Sea Explorer divers that they needed to ascend on our upline rather than theirs . . .

Jay, Gino and I decided to enjoy a nice deep dive for our final dive.  This would work as  we all had later flights out on Friday,  allowing for a full 24 hour no-flying period. 

So we did a solid descent and dropped down to 108 feet.  


We also checked out the cave that's at around 70 feet as well.

There was a lot of particulate in the water that made photos less than awesome.

A nice little cave.

We then ascended and hung around the top of the blue hole to admire the sea life there.

A gorgeous Triggerfish:


The happiest blue parrotfish I've ever seen:

This fish had a great smile and waved his fins at the divers.

Some quick headshots under water, and then that was the dive.

The last dive with Blackbeard's was a great success. Our last dive together as a buddy team, at least for now.

We then got back on the Morningstar, hung up our gear, started packing things away, and began the voyage back to Nassau.

Average depth was 45 feet for a nice 42 minute dive and it was dive #300 for me, so a nice milestone to achieve on the last dive of the trip.

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Blackbeard's Recap 6 -The Last and Best Day - Part 1 -The Dive At Lobster No Lobster

The last day of diving was both sad as it was the last day of diving, and amazing at the same time.

We got up to a fantastic breakfast as usual, and then headed to the Lobster No Lobster dive site.

It's named Lobster No Lobster as it is the site where Jacques Cousteau learned that Lobsters migrate (without the help of either European or African Swallows). 

They do go at times  en masse from reef to reef, hence the first dive he did at this particular reef had a ton of lobster, and on a return dive a few days later he found it had none.  He later saw a lobster migration as it happened, but he did not confirm or deny that the lobsters were banging coconuts together that they had gripped in their claws as they migrated.

On our dive we did indeed find lobster, and real big ones too:

This lobster actually turned and then used his antennae to smack Gio on his head as he got close to it.

Quite a few reef fish around to enjoy looking at, but then the main even soon arrived.

As you can see in the video, I got some up close face-time with an inquisitive Caribbean Reef Shark.  It also startled a few other divers as you can see in the video near the end.

He came close enough on multiple passes that I could've Booped the Snoot, but happily, no snoots were booped in the making of this video.

The shark was rather chill and was content to make quite a few passes checking things out. Two other sharks were also frolicking about the area as well. The idea when a shark comes to check you out is to keep your cool, maintain eye contact, don't try and swim rapidly away from an approaching shark or make any panicked movements. You should be ready to put something like your fins or camera between you and the shark should that be necessary, in this case it was not.

This extended shark encounter made for a fantastic first dive of the last day, and a highlight of the entire trip.

Monday, May 06, 2024

So Hamas And It's Useful Idiots Demand More Humanitarian Aid Deliveries From Israel

At the same time that it attacks the main crossing for humanitarian aid to enter from Israel, causing it to be closed.

The Guardian: Key aid crossing into Gaza closed after rocket attack kills Israeli soldiers

Verily, Hamas, if it was a person, would kill its parents and then demand it be shown mercy because it is now an orphan.

The idiots demanding Israel provide aid ought to condemn Hamas for preventing aid form arriving but so far they have failed to do so.

Note well that the attack came from Rafah, the last remaining Hamas stronghold where the Biden Administration and its Arabist state department keep insisting Israel not attack.

Israel needs to be allowed to finish the job, or more terrorist attacks like these can be expected.

Friday, May 03, 2024

Blackbeard's Recap 5 - Oops

Day 5 was an interesting day.

The first dive we did was Morgan's Peak and it got a bit sporty.

It has a shallow area and a wall dive, and of course our dive team went for the wall dive.

We dropped on down the wall and started exploring.

 We found a very large crab on the way down to 94 feet.

Some fish and interesting coral down there.

We then started getting close to our No-Deco-Limit and I signaled for us to ascend somewhat to keep within the proper NDL range and let everyone know the air situation. I signaled that we should turn the dive and head back to the upline then, but Jay kept us moving along the wall instead of cutting back immediately, planning to do a rectangular path. That didn't quite work out as he intended.

Unfortunately he made the wrong turn at Albuquerque and we were starting to get low on air and ended up ascending and doing our safety stop kinda far from the boat as he didn't quite close the rectangle he was trying to make.

So we surfaced a pretty darn good distance from the boat, which was still in sight, and signaled we were ok, and we inflated a marker buoy so they would be able to see us.

We then tried swimming to the boat.  No dice. The current was against us and the surface was pretty choppy and all we were getting was tired for our efforts.  We were also down to around 500 psi each so descending and trying to swim to the boat against the current was also not a great option.

So we signaled we needed a pickup, and the dingy came to get us and we got to ride back to the boat in style.  Not a preferred technique, but it gave the deckhand something to do, and was a safe means of getting back.  After that dive, the three of us did a debrief and affirmed some better safety procedures to adopt for all future dives.

Unfortunately, at some point after we doffed our gear in the water and got it in the dingy, something had to have hit my primary second stage of my regulator. This apparently hit it just right to mess it up and cause it to do a slow almost silent leak. This would bite me later.

So safely aboard, we headed to the Island of the Iguanas to enjoy a surface interval.

These iguanas are cute and will eat right out of your hand, if you don't mind them biting your hand, as such stick feeding is the way to go:

 Lots of fun, and they move real fast when they want to.

Then we got set to dive the Washing Machine, which I had been very much looking forward to doing.

I then discovered the issue with my regulator and we could not get it fixed in time for me to make the Washing Machine dive.  This dive is a cool drift dive where the current tumbles you about. We ended up swapping out the entire hose so I was good for subsequent dives but I missed that one.

On the upside, it turned out the Washing Machine had been set to the gentle cycle so I didn't miss much at all.  Next time.

We headed back to the Exumas and soon arrived at the Pablo Escobar Plane site - the place I did my first dive with Blackbeard's. Our dive master euphemistically noted the plane had been carrying a cargo of "soccer balls" , and while most had been recovered by the authorities, if we happened to find a "soccer ball" during the dive it needed to be turned over ASAP.

It was a great relaxing dive,  at 22 feet for an hour.

Some nice big fish were hanging around the plane wreck.

No sharks were seen, so we likely won't see a Cocaine Shark movie anytime soon.  This is good as a shark hyped up on cocaine is a rather scary thought.

It's a fun wreck to dive.

Then for the night dive, my buddies declared themselves too cold to dive, so I went out with Megan.  Megan is  a newer diver who was getting her Advanced Open Water certification done on the boat. 

She was a good dive buddy, needs to work on her trim a bit.

The wreck at night was pretty cool to see, with a big fish hiding underneath it.

Megan was getting cold, so we turned the dive and ended it after 31 minutes. Still, a nice fun dive and neat to see the plane wreck at night.

We got out, hung up our gear, and warmed up with some adult beverages.

Day 5 had some challenges, but it was still a darn good day.

Thursday, May 02, 2024

Blackbeards Recap 4 - Diving With The Sharks

The next day we got up and dove the Monolith.

Monolith is a great wall dive that looks like it can go down forever.

 There were lionfish  at 100 feet.

A nice dive to a max of 101 feet with an average of 57 feet.

After the Monolith, we motored to our next dive site, Split Coralhead.

 The crew put the shark feeding hats went on, signaling the fun was about to begin.

It was Shark Feeding Dive time!

It would be a group entry, with everyone prepped in their gear lined up and ready to go at both exit points from the boat, and dropping into the water via negative entries in the shortest time possible.

At 50 feet we would be kneeling on the bottom watching the sharks get fed.

The sharks knew we were coming and were already circling to meet us for a meal.

We all got into position, then the chiumsicle was brought in and the fun began.

Much Shark feeding then took place, along with swarms of hungry jacks.

After the feed, we got to swim around the reef and see some of the sharks up close.


It was a great 47-minute Shark dive with the feeding frenzy itself lasting around 14 minutes. Getting back on the boat with the sharks circling around below was a rather fun feeling, but they were content after the feeding and didn't bother any of us lined up waiting on the tagline to get back on the boat.

We then dove the Cannonball reef. 

This was a nice shallow dive with a max depth of 25 feet and average of 20 feet and we got a solid hour bottom time.

Not too much to see except for typical reef fish after the action of the shark dive, but it was a nice relaxing dive indeed. 

There were a couple highlights, including a good looking triggerfish there.

 It wasn't triggered, which is good as there have been more divers bit by triggerfish than by sharks and triggerfish bites can hurt.

We also found out that fish do grow on trees!

On top of that, there was a cool puffer-fish in the area

After an hour dive, everyone was quite chilled at that point and then getting out of the water with a very cold wind and air temps in the low 60s it felt even worse.  As a result, all but 4 divers who were doing their advanced certification on the boat skipped the night dive.

I almost went but both my buddies bailed and convinced me that there wasn't anything too special about the dive site worth getting even more chilled for.  Then they plied me with beer,  and then the rum punch called, and all the divers not diving had one heckuva fun party on deck. 

That was a darn good end to the day.