The Frozen Hole, Saturday, February 21st, 2015: M-m-m-more S-s-s-snow?!

It seems like more than half the country is getting hit by more snow, ice, and other nasty cold stuff through this weekend.

We humans are just not designed for this. So, everyone stay warm inside and have a look at lots of animals who were much better designed for snow than we are. As usual, thanks to The Weather Channel for gathering the pics in this slideshow. While they do include some of my favorite ‘snow’ animals, such as the snow leopard:
snow-leopard-normalI think they were a bit remiss in not including others of my favorite snow-loving animals, like the Arctic Fox:
Arctic-fox-Wallpaper-arctic-fox-muzzle-eyes-snowAnd not a single one of Arctic Hares, either:

Arctic Hares High-Fiving

Arctic Hares High-Fiving

But I have to say that my favorite ‘wildlife-in-snow’ themed photo that ISN’T in the slideshow is this one:

"Hey, maybe one of you two cubs is small enough to reach in there..."

“Hey, maybe one of you two cubs is small enough to reach in there…”

This is our daily Open Thread – if you’re reading this from somewhere with no snow, please think warm thoughts towards the rest of us!

74 thoughts on “The Frozen Hole, Saturday, February 21st, 2015: M-m-m-more S-s-s-snow?!

  1. Here at the foot of the Rockies, we had temps in the seventies on Thursday, the sixties yesterday, and today thru Sunday are looking at the prospect of a foot or two of snow. Maybe. Weather forecasts here are much more accurate the day after when a look out the window tells the tale than they are the day before when all there is is a best guess, so we’ll see what happens. One thing’s certain though: summer’s over. Again. For a few days, at least.

  2. in the 60s this weekend, with a chance of showers. We’re facing a major water shortage this summer, with reservoirs expected to dry up by July.

  3. The polar bear/igloo picture reminded me of a Gary Larson cartoon, showing two polar bears who’ve just smashed open an igloo, and one is saying to the other, “I love these things: crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside … “

  4. I have a few question that have been bugging me off and on for quite some time, questions in re the tenth amendment which reads:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Three questions: (1) exactly which powers are NOT “delegated to the United States by the Constitution,” (2) which powers are Prohibited by it to the states,” and (3) which powers “are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”??

    The words “states rights” are being used by right wing nuts more and more often these days, but on what basis? Sounds to me like maybe that after Madison wrote the first nine amendments he needed a tenth to round it out, couldn’t think of anything substantive, so he decided to mollify concerns of those who really liked the Articles of Confederation by telling them that the states still had lots of (completely unspecified) ‘rights’, so not to worry, go ahead and ratify this here new Constitution that does away with all them old ‘Articles’ thingees.

    One reason I’m curious about details is thanks to that nutcase former Arizona County Sheriff (Graham County is mostly Mormon, ergo screwy) Richard Mack. Mack now is head of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, and in said capacity maintains that both states and counties don’t have to abide by federal laws/policies with which they disagree — e.g. taxes, gay marriage, gun control, . . . name it — because Tenth Amendment.

    No one, to my knowledge, has ever bothered to ask tenth amendment nuts to clarify whichever issue they claim the tenth allows. So I ask: what exactly and precisely does the tenth mean, other than a Madison Mollifaction (see the second amendment for clarification of “mollification.”).


    • The concept of “states’ rights” typically involves any single state in which the ‘tyranny of the majority’ is used to discriminate against a minority. I never could understand how any law passed by a tyrannous state was valid constitutionally due to the simple concept that one’s individual constitutional rights do not vary when one crosses a state boundary. Therefore, from my perspective, the only valid laws passed by a state which differ from the laws of another state are those that pertain to unique features not found in another state.

      • Exactly. I figure the whole “states rights” concept, especially when used tyrannically, is a remnant of the Articles of Confederation that went bye-bye upon ratification of the Constitution circa 1788-89, and the tenth amendment, by its wording, means nothing at all except to those who can’t read very well, to those who love the ‘tyranny of the majority’ and have no time for across the board equality.

    • I might be able to fill in some things, but I don’t know if I have the entire answer.

      Madison wasn’t “rounding out” anything. There were originally twelve amendments proposed, only ten of which were approved right away. They were actually the third through the twelfth amendments that became known as “The Bill of Rights.” The second of the 12, which covered Congressional salaries (and which they seemed to have found a way around, but no one has challenged it in court), was ratified around 1992. The first one was a formula that had to do with the number of Representatives Congress would have. Based on it, I think we would have about 6,000 Representatives (and still only 100 Senators) today. Good thing it didn’t pass.

      As the Articles of Confederation were still in effect at the time they drafted the Constitution (the purpose which of convening was to fix the problems with the A of C), there were those who still advocated for States’ Rights even though this was found to be the biggest problem with the Articles. States that did not want to defend, support, or help out the other states didn’t really have to. There was, IOW, nothing “United” about the new United States of America.

      When the Constitution was being debated for ratification, many people wanted their rights spelled out more clearly, as you can see from the original text that nothing in it protected them from the tyranny of the States. They enumerated certain rights but did not want people to think that’s all the rights we have as individuals (or people, collectively), so they added the Eleventh Amendment (today’s Ninth):

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

      In answer to the question, “What about rights or powers not already covered,” there was the Twelfth Amendment (today’s Tenth) that said (in a convoluted way), what powers the federal government doesn’t have, the States or the People do. So, things like marriage, which is not covered by the Constitution and is not a power given Congress, is up to the States to handle so long as all the other States respect their laws on the subject. And rights and powers not given to the Congress and not specifically banned to the States, are rights the People have. I’m trying to figure out an example of one of these, but as I have no legal training (or education beyond my own), none comes immediately to mind.

      The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

      You can see the original Twelve Amendments here:

      I hope this helped. 🙂

      • Helped a lot, Wayne, thank you! One thing though — the tenth amendment precedes the eleventh and all that follow, so isn’t the premise that “things like marriage, which is not covered by the Constitution” are, indeed, covered by, say, the fourteenth, especially the clauses:

        No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States . . . nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

        Doesn’t that change the “states rights” to discriminate against people that might be the wrong color or of unusual sexual preference? Of different religious preference?

        And I still have no clue as to why Counties are the official governing entities of most everyone, especially screwball county sheriffs.

        • you’re right about the effect of the 14th Amendment on ‘state’s rights’ to discriminate. This is what is leading to the overturning of anti-gay marriage laws across the country.

          • So what, besides hate, fear, and ignorance motivates the wingnut multiple “Constitution” theses — the Bundy crapola, for one, Alabama’s Moore vs. marriage rights, for two — et al. et al. ?

            I’m betting it’s mostly caused by hate, fear, and ignorance. I could be wrong, of course.

            • Like for example:

              Richard Mack: ‘Bloodshed’ May Be Needed If ‘State Sovereignty’ Not Preserved

              “. . . it took a tyrant and communist in our own White House to wake a lot of people up.”

              “And I will tell you this, if we do not, if the counties and cities and states do not exercise their proper constitutional authority, known as state sovereignty and the 10th Amendment, if they do not enforce their own state sovereignty and secure their state sovereignty, then America will die. If we do not exercise the 10th Amendment and state sovereignty, we will lose liberty in America, and we will not get it back unless there’s bloodshed.”

      • Wayne, the right to enter into contracts with each other is a right retained by the people. State laws, not the constitution, govern contracts.

        Property ownership, too, at least as far as personal property is concerned.

        The freedom to move around, even traversing freely across State borders.

        That’s three that I can think of off hand.

  5. Last night’s treacherous driving conditions are almost all gone now. Warmer air has moved in with rain and we’re predicted to reach 50 degrees today. However, March winds have arrived a week early. Maybe that’s what the giant rat was trying to tell us would happen. I don’t see Spring yet at the end of the ten day forecast.

  6. Winter never came to the Pacific NW – this was the “Winter that never was”. The popular ski resorts may have closed for the season, the slopes are green and gravel. I see rhodies blooming on my drive to the bus stop.

  7. I know I am a ‘broken record’ here – my kids do not understand these words… but…

    “Rebels are believed to receive weapons and supplies from Moscow; the conflict is estimated to use up to 150 tonnes of ammunition a day.”

    So at least 75 tonnes of ammunition (50-50 split) is appearing every day in the hands of the “rebels” – and yet the media *still* talks about well the West says they are Russian soldiers and guns and ammo and then says “but Putin denies all of this” and there you go – “he-said-she-said, it’s a civil war, we don’t care and its back to the fookin Oscars, Anderson.”

    • It’s been snowing here for a couple-three hours, steady, teeny-tiny flakes. We’re all stocked up with the necessities, and Wayne filled the bird-feeders and the suet feeder – which is actually a cat-shaped wire basket with handles. it was originally a house-warming gift that came with towels and such in it. I just find it amusing to see birds climbing inside a ‘cat’ to get at the suet. Here’s a shot of it from several years ago, if you zoom in you can see a bird sitting in it:

      Missy and Troi watch bird in cat suet basket

      Missy and Troi watch bird in cat suet basket

  8. 35,000 people appear to have been paid about $5 each (and no vodka ration either) to rally against the Ukrainian Maidan in Moscow today. There were lots of buses around to take the protestors away home again after the Russian cameras had taken their film.

    Compare Moscow and Kyev….. which one looks most like a Nuremberg rally?

    • where shall I start on this Fru?

      Lemme know – we could talk about the 2014 Ukrainian election where the right wing parties got 1% of the vote?: In France the right wing gets 15-19%, in the US, more like 45%…?

      The US was more following than in front of the demos…. they had no idea what to do and painted it as a cold war thing without any idea that it was a no such thing.

      • I dunno TtT; I have no idea where the actual truth of the matter lies. I only know that I remember well my trepidations in August 1964 when LBJ did his Tonkin Gulf thing. I didn’t believe anything he said, but rightly assumed that the tracks to war had been laid and the train was on its way, and that I’d probably get my draft notice within the year. I was right on all counts, and had to drop out of grad school to fight the draft board (I won the battle, but not without cost).

        I also remember Poppy Bush’s determination to go to Kuwait, and was not shocked to learn that justification was staged, that Ambassador April Glaspie had assured Hussein the US had no intentions, etc. And then boom, there we were.

        Bottom line is that over the last five decades of my life here I’ve learned at least one thing, to NEVER trust any government anywhere, including my own, when it comes to war chatter. War ALWAYS has advocates regardless the reality of the situation, no matter what or where it might be. There is MONEY in it, along with potential improvement of dick size for politicians everywhere (remember Dubya’s “mission accomplished” carrier landing stunt).

        Short version: there’s ALWAYS another side to everything, and I’ve learned to look under rocks everywhere to find the reality. It ain’t easy.

        In any case, Robert Parry was one of the first who got to the bottom of Iran Contra. Since then, whenever his POV is different from the noisy POV, I listen. That’s not to say I agree completely with everything he says, but I do figure it can’t hurt to listen, to ponder, to compare notes, and to promote discussion.

        I’ve always been a ‘Peacenik’, one who hates and detests the drums of war no matter where they’re beating. In re Ukraine, what I think I’ve seen thus far is the fascist Putin fanning the hot coals of various ethnic and/or Ukranian-fascist undercurrents, hoping to ignite some fires. The West, meanwhile, has puffed out its cheeks in effort to blow out the flames — from a “safe” distance. Meanwhile, innocents in Ukraine are dying because the international seats of money and power do not and never have seen that as a problem. There’s money in it, after all. And power.

        Whereto from here? I dunno, but finding the means to take the money out of the equation is probably more worth a try than mass death.

        As for me, the only things in this life that I detest more than war are the people who start war and who get rich in the process. See Dick Cheney, e.g.

        And remember the words of 1940’s G.E. CEO Charles E. Wilson who wrote, in 1944 in anticipation of the end of WWII, “The revulsion against war . . . will be an almost insuperable obstacle for us to overcome. For that reason, I am convinced that we must begin now to set the machinery in motion for a permanent wartime economy.”

        • let’s hit on a few points here:

          1. Article seems to conflate Gulf of Tonkin with war in the Donbass. And seems to doubt ‘Russian aggression’ – by the use of the quotation marks!. Without me pointing to the myriad of articles and reports of captured ‘lost’ Russian soldiers, equipment that only the Russian army has on display in Kyev just yesterday captured in Donbas and the 150 tonnes of ammos that the ‘rebels’ are using in a day – which must magically drop out of the sky from nowhere? That the article doubts that the Russian army is heavily involved in the invasion….. should discredit a whole lot of what comes next. And Putin himself admitted, as he handed out the medals, that Crimea was annexed in the exact same way, except the Ukrainians chose not to shoot. is anyone seriously doubting that the Russians are conducting a hybrid war against a sovereign nation that it itself guaranteed in 1994 in the Budapest Memorandum when Ukraine gave up its nukes for security?

          2. Fascism in Ukraine. total rubbish. There are a hard core of 1% support, there is more support for fascism in Denmark! If you like I can link you the video of the day the 100 mean were shot dead in the street -“escalating the violence” by getting in the way of the bullets.

          3. Kyev just this week published its findings in the shootings. – there were unquestionably protestors with guns in Maidan, all hunting rifles and shotguns from home. The videos of the shootings show there are absolutely the work of professional snipers with high performance weapons. Its the same reason we doubt the Lee Harvey Oswald lone gunman theory.

          4. After the shootings, evening of the 20th, the EU brokered a deal, one which would keep the status quo effectively, a poor deal. Here’ how the EU leaned on the protestors. Polish FM telling the protestors to take the deal or next day the army would clear the square. The protest leaders took the deal back to the square and the crowd booed them, the rejection of the deal was immediate. I know this, Tanya was in the crowd that evening. I think I still have the email if you want to see it. 100 people dead in the street and they had a deal where the man who everyone believed orchestrated the killing was left in power? And this article blames the crowd for not accepting that? And Parry thinks the US was in control of this situation? Rot, complete rot. They refused to leave and as soon as it was clear the deal was dead on arrival, Yanukovich fled. That’s not a coup, that’s an abdication. He had his deal keeping him in power and instead, his allies deserted him because he had used deadly force and he left – for Russia, where he still lives in luxury with some of the billions he stole from Ukraine in the years in power.

          5. The Nuland phone call – it has all the hall-marks of a jonny-comes-lately to the affair and trying to make something of it. The US thinks from the start in Cold War terms. Funny how this article is all about the US anti-Russian propaganda. Has the US media done any more than laugh at Putin without his shirt on? We laughed at Palin and Romney who said Putin was the big danger – well those blind squirrels found that nut didn’t they? The Russian media consistently attacks Obama as a monkey, the Russian propaganda machine is far more virulent than the US. If anything the comments of John McCain are dead on, Obama has led from the back on Ukraine and done next to nothing but talk. .

          6. MH17 – seriously? This elevates this article into la-la land. Apart from some photoshopped ‘satellite photos’ of the moment a missile trail streaks from a SU25 fighter to MH17 (note an SU 25 fighter than would have to have been 10,000 feet above its known combat ceiling)…. the allegations of Ukraine/US conspiracy are laughable. Occams’ razor is all you need (and the footage of a Buk launcher driving around the area where the shot that downed MH17 came from. And the Russians have so far not produced their ‘evidence’ for MH17…. funny that? Parry doesn’t mention that at all – just quotes the evidence as a competing theory with equal weight. It does not have any equal weight. … This is the kind of independent locating of the launcher that in all probability did it. …. happy to get into a deeper study of this. The simplest answer is the most likely: the Ukrainians were using their Su25s in ground attack and their troop carriers to bring in soldiers in. The Russians sent in a Buk to knock a few transports out of the sky to put a stop to it. That day the DPR boasted that they had ‘shot down a transport’….. and then MH17 fell into a field. You don’t need to go further than that.

          The rest of that article is all about Parry’s Iran Contra, Iraq etc, which however true does not lend any credence to the above on Ukraine. Parry is a Useful Idiot for Putin here – his antipathy to the US government has it perpetually the villain when it is not the US, in this case, sending its tanks into a neighbouring country. We are supposed to read that and like the he-said-she-said American media on global warming, or health care or whatever…. think that one dissenting and poorly formed opinion has equal weight than the actual reality.

          Place the blame where it belongs.

  9. The big snow storm from space: The NASA satellite Terra has snapped the picture of the Eastern U.S. from 200 miles up – and in the words of the space agency, it “looks like a deep freeze.” Duh.

    • “both sides” – he-said-she-said….. one side attacks and takes a city and…. yeah both sides…. no fooking thinking at all…. and Putin counts on it.

  10. Chait fisks Rudy, as usual:

    “The original basis for Giuliani’s comments was Obama’s allegedly unusual upbringing. “He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country,” alleged the former mayor. As Wayne Barrett points out, Giuliani’s father was a mob enforcer, and he and his five brothers all avoided military service during World War II. What about this upbringing in any way suggests it conveyed some deeper patriotism than Obama’s?”

    • Rudy is so damned afraid people will forget him.
      How the hell can we if he won’t go away?
      He went to the Neutered Gingrich school of multiple marriages and extramarital affairs and yet wants people to think he is a moral upstanding person…

    • Isn’t D’Sousa a felon? He was found guilty of violating election laws. Of course, being a Repugnant he was given a slap on the wrist.

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