The Watering Hole: January 27 — The Aurora

Absolutely gorgeous.

Video blurb:

Shot in and around Kirkenes and Pas National Park bordering Russia, at 70 degree north and 30 degrees east. Temperatures around -25 Celsius.

Brrrrrr…but worth it.

This is our daily open thread — TGIF!!

113 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: January 27 — The Aurora

  1. I’m Mitt Rmoney, and I approve this message, until I get questioned about it during a debate, then I don’t know what you’re talking about.

  2. Today is also the 67th anniversary that hailed the impending finis to the Second World War in Europe. On Jan. 27, 1945, the Russian army liberated the Nazi Death Camp in Oswiecim, Poland, aka Auschwitz-Birkenau. A couple of decades ago on this same day I wrote the following in remembrance, lest we forget:

    In memory of the millions.

    in oswiecim
    there is a silence
    it is a weeping silence
    which whispers
    only to those who dare listen

    the silence is pervasive
    to all who visit
    save for those who yet can hear
    the pounding
    of long-stilled hearts
    and understand it is not the wind
    that speaks to them in muted voice

    overhead above the rails
    a steel banner shouts
    arbeit macht frei
    it welcomed all
    but never heard the cries
    and knows not the sadness of
    its message nor the reason for
    the silence now

    the tracks are silent
    rusted rails
    there are no more trains
    no shuffling burden
    no bustle on the platform
    no snap of heel
    no snarling dog
    no click of breech

    the buildings are silent
    and empty
    one can hear within them
    but a single sound
    a haunting sound
    for as the wind
    seeps through clapboard cracks
    it recalls with grievous moan
    vile tales of darkest times

    beyond the watchtowers
    the fields are silent
    save for the wind
    in summer the grass grows
    bent by the breeze
    it thrives
    and knows no bootprint
    nor drifting dust of ash

    the bricks are silent
    as they play the role of sheltering walls
    have become markers
    in a graveyard
    a cemetery with no footstones
    yet home to untold millions
    where any spade of earth
    exhumes the ash of bones
    and remnants
    of a god
    who chose to look the other way
    in silence

    in oswiecim
    the silence is deafening
    but fleeting
    for here the dead


    and beg the living not forget
    nor e’er forgive the human horror
    now implicit in a place
    and in a name



  3. Last night I was streaming CNN watching the beginning of the debate and wanted to post a comment here (about the debate being held at my alma mater on a stage that I had performed on) and when I hit the button to post the comment my computer blinked and shut off! 😯

    I began a malware scan last night that just finished. 😯

    I noticed that the post didn’t post last night so here’s hoping. 😐

      • Impossible, Zooey, you and the Zoo are an elixir to my mundane existence. A visit to the Zoo is self-prescribed medication to combat ignorance, increase knowledge and provide fodder for my fantasies. 😉

    • Pachy,
      You may have experienced a power switch-over from FPL. Some of the current flock of PCs drop with only one missing cycle of input power. The original IBM PCs could withstand a drop of six or more cycles which means at least a tenth of a second.

  4. Received this from Defenders of Wildlife this morning, info on plans to exterminate wolves in Idaho. My admittedly unholy first thought: Wolves? Why wolves? Why not useless idiots instead?

    Dear Defender of Wildlife,

    Yesterday, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game confirmed the state is moving forward as soon as weather permits with plans to have the federal Wildlife Services agency kill as many as two thirds of the wolves in the Lolo District of Clearwater National Forest – possibly leaving only 25 or 30 wolves in the district in a misguided attempt to increase elk numbers for hunter harvest.

    The killing could begin within days, when snowfall and a break in the storm in the area will make it easier for federal agents in helicopters to find, target and kill wolves in this wild area of Northeastern Idaho.

    According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game director, if Wildlife Services — the federal agency charged with the killing — is allowed to move forward with this plan, the state hopes to expand the use of federal dollars and aerial culling to other national forests in Idaho.

    The Obama Administration has not yet indicated how it will respond to Idaho’s request to use federal money and staff to kill these wolves on federal lands, or why it would be justified in doing so since these wolves are on federal lands and not in major conflict with livestock.

    That’s why today Defenders is launching a new comprehensive campaign to stop aerial wolf killing in the Lolo District and help ensure an interconnected, sustainable population of these ecologically important animals remain in the region.

    The aerial wolf killing plan is not the only new threat to wolves in Idaho.

    The Idaho Fish and Game Commission is reportedly investigating the possibility of no limits on people killing wolves on private land, similar to practices in Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, where wolves are far more numerous.

    And the chairman of the Idaho Fish and Game Commission even indicated that the state may reclassify wolves as predators under state law – effectively engaging a shoot-on-sight plan similar to Wyoming’s awful plan.

    The state reports that pack sizes are down. It also appears that young, less experienced wolves have been the most likely to be killed under Idaho’s wolf plan.

    We need to restore science to wolf management in Idaho, and Defenders needs your help to do it. Please donate whatever you can to support our work now.

    With Gratitude,

    Jamie Rappaport Clark
    Defenders of Wildlife

    • WTF? The elk hunters have persuaded the government to ‘take out the opposition’? Why can’t we shoot a few elk hunters to help elk numbers increase this year, why does it have to be the wolves. There’s more elk hunters to spare than wolves after all.

      • The singular complaint I have heard from elk hunters is that there are fewer and fewer trophy bull elk, and they blame this on the wolves. These are the prime animals that they shoot, leaving smaller younger bulls with undesirable antlers. What doesn’t seem to register in their pea brains is that leaving the prime animals to reproduce is key to healthy herds. Wolves don’t mess with large healthy bulls, or even cow elk. They cull the weak and small animals.

        • That was such a sensible comment, I was stunned by the simplicity of the issue – and left angrier than I was when I first read the original post.

          • It’s the economy. Each hunter spends thousands of dollars, every year, on licenses, equipment, guiding fees, hotels, motels, food and lots of alcohol.
            And they all want to shoot the biggest animal possible. Often as not they will pack out perhaps half of the meat, but the first thing to get packed out of the woods is the rack.

      • Yep, it’s not the wolves that are to blame for diminishing elk populations (if indeed that’s even the case), and wolves are not stupid, they’re not interested in “trophy” kills. If the idiot hunter wants to see the real problem, all he has to do is look in the fucking mirror.

        • I’ve brought this issue up with hunters, and they just get this blank look and don’t want to talk about it.
          That is, if they don’t get all belligerent and start attacking me for being a communist, or a liberal, or an elk hugger, etc, etc, etc……………..

        • Elk populations are not diminishing anywhere that I know. There are a lot of elk, often more than regions can support. Cattle growers don’t like them because they eat grass.

          • A few years ago during a very dry summer, cattlemen in the Flagstaff area of AZ were actually killing elk — on National Forest land — for eating grass that their cows “needed.” To which I replied, “fuck the cows.” I got that look … you know the look, the wordless stare that says either, “you fucking commie,” or, “well, ok, but you think we got the time?”

    • If all of the wolves were culled in Idaho, the only Republicans left in the state would be female and without a suitable mate, they would never reproduce. Result – another blue state

  5. Kevin Drum does a good job of bringing me up to speed on the “debate.” It really does appear that Neut got his ass kicked quite thoroughly. The Blitzer/Romney slapfest was particularly tasty.

    • “The Right Stuff”

      Their legacy does not need to be trivialized by clowns like Newt ‘baby do I have a rocket for you’ Gingrich.

    • Here’s hoping that the ‘informant’ spills his/her guts on the dirtbag that Scotty really is, and takes him down in flames right as the election is ramping up.

  6. Republican nutcase Sick Rantorum says Obama wants kids to go to college for the purpose of “undermining the very principles of our country by indoctrinating kids with left wing ideology.”

    The GOP presidential candidatec [Santorum], who is running third in the Florida polls ahead of next Tuesday’s primary in that state, told an audience there Wednesday that the real purpose behind Obama’s higher-education push is “undermining the very principles of our country every single day by indoctrinating kids with left-wing ideology. … The indoctrination that occurs in American universities is one of the keys to the left’s holding and maintaining power in America.” To applause, he said people should stop contributing to these universities and colleges.

    In a campaign of stupidity, this will most surely rank as one of the most stupid stupidities of 2012. The candidate’s opposition to higher education is nothing new. He’s been hammering on that theme for quite a while. Never mind that American men who don’t have a college education are making 47 percent less in inflation-adjusted dollars as they did in 1969.

    At the Florida venue, Santorum made the additional claim that “62 percent of children who enter college with a faith conviction leave without it.” Is this one of the 81.5 percent of statistics that are made up on the spot? Because, as on so much else, Santorum is dead wrong on this.

    • One can teach a student a science, an art, or a discipline without any indoctrination. However, it’s impossible to teach a student a religion without indoctrination.

      I might also add that sexuality is not a choice but religion is. Using the same “logic” used by the Reichwhiners; sexuality should be protected by the Constitution but religion should not.

    • This is part of Santorum’s populist strategy. He harps about his working class roots and squawks about elitists. This part is intended to connect with all the people who never made it to college, regardless of whether that was a significant factor in their lives. It deals with that niggling sense of low self-esteem in people who dropped out of high school or college or never got that far. Fuck all those college students! I’m better than they are anyway with their drugs and sex.

    • No need of course to point to the irony of the 15 years of religous indoctrination that his ilk exposes young minds to before they go for their college education.

      Seems to me that Sanitarium is a sore loser, his Jesus kung-fu isn’t as strong as the ‘Age of Reasons’ kung-fu….

    • Santorum made the additional claim that “62 percent of children who enter college with a faith conviction leave without it.”

      Glad to see colleges and universities are doing such a bang up job of teaching critical thinking skills!

  7. LL you appear to be the ONLY sane person in the state of AZ!

    Arizona cop investigated over bullet-riddled picture of Obama

    Peoria’s Sgt. Pat Shearer admitted to KNXV that he took the photo of several young men — possibly minors — posing with guns and an Obama “Hope” T-shirt that had been destroyed by gunfire. The photo went viral after Shearer posted it to his Facebook page..

    “I don’t think that the shooting of that T-shirt is that big of a deal,” Shearer said. “It was more of a political statement.”

    “It’s not like they were going to go out and shoot the president,” he added.

    • While Newt has no legitimate reason to complain about the dishonesty of others I actually have to agree a bit. Mittens’ lies were so outrageous that even Wolf had to confront him with the ad that Mittens had approved but tried to claim ignorance. In fact, it’s about as close as any of the debate “moderators” have come to calling any of these liars a “liar”. Hopefully Wolf has set a precedent and we might actually hear a “moderator” say; “that’s simply not true”. I’m not holding my breath but I think it’s more likely than it was on Wednesday.

  8. How whacked is Grover Norquist? So whacked that if Obama and the Dems win this fall, and the temporary Bush tax cuts expire, this is his scenario:

    “Obama can sit there and let all the tax [cuts] lapse, and then the Republicans will have enough votes in the Senate in 2014 to impeach.”

    Today’s “conservatives” would use impeachment to oppose an elected president’s fiscal policies. How’s that for a naked display of their hate of the government and the Constitution? Let that sink in.–20120126

      • If he can only stick around for a while, especially win Florida. I very selfishly just want to hear the sound when GOP Establishment heads explode. They brought his upon themselves and now I want to see them punished for it. Rove especially.

    • He first has to get out of Florida. Nate Silver currently has him with a 22% chance of winning the state. If Neut loses Florida, he’s toast. That would mean very few additional infusions of cash from the fatty cats and he doesn’t have much going for him anywhere else, Virginia being a fine example.

      I think the nasty little shit is done, finally.

  9. …“the establishment” of trying to “crucify” Newt Gingrich by “subscribing” incorrect characterizations of him…

    “They maybe subscribe such characterization of Newt… but they don’t subscribe those to say Mitt Romney… “That’s that typical hypocrisy stuff in the media that I’ve lived with over a couple of decades in the political arena. So I’m used to it. But in order to help educate the rest of the American public, I’ll articulate that it is hypocritical of the media to subscribe to one candidate and not another, that kind of angry attack muffin verbiage to one and not the other.”

    Please, someone give this woman a dictionary!

  10. Wikipedia is so funny. Due to an ignorant post on TP re public hangings, I decided to look up the 10 commandments.

    This is what I found under “Terminology”:

    The 10 commandments are 1. EAT PIE! 2. shalle water thee more pie thee pie till thee fat 5hi 6bye 7blah 8up 9yo homie 10eat your pie

    I like ’em.

  11. One of the most recent comments on this, just discovered on YT

    Are you f***ing kidding me!

    Depending on where you live, we’ve come a long way, or perhaps we haven’t.

  12. With all the aggravating political stories, I figure I’ll pass on a chuckle. Went to dinner with my daughter last night because she got some less than fun news on some dental work she wants to have done. She asked if she should take the anesthesia for wisdom teeth removal and I said probably. Being knocked out had some risks but also benefits. She laughed and said ‘like when you had your heart surgery?’ Then she asked if I remembered doing something in recovery and I said no, I barely remembered the recovery room.

    Turns out when one of the nurses came in and asked how I was I looked at her and then at my hand. I had the white clip thing for measuring blood oxygen on it with its little red light. I slowly raised my hand, watching the light and then pointed the finger at the nurse and said “Ouch.” The nurse started to ask if I was in pain but my daughter just laughed and shook her head. She told the nurse, “He’s just being ET.”

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