Star Wars Canyon.

At the western edge of Death Valley, there is a canyon officially named the “Rainbow Canyon,” but flight aficionados have nicknamed it the “Star Wars Canyon.”

The canyon is used by the military as a training site with pilots and planes making low level passes through the canyon. A nearby overlook allows tourists, enthusiasts and the curious to watch the planes as they blast through the canyon.

All sorts of planes make the run.

List of planes and times in the video:


Sometimes you need a laugh.

Courtesy of Pablo Stanley Art.

Ellis – Tobia Opinion Piece: We’re Missing Something. We Have To Be.

Brevard County Clerk of the Court Scott Ellis and Brevard County Commissioner John Tobia have an opinion piece in the Florida Today concerning a lawsuit filed by the Ellis in his capacity as Clerk of the Court.

We’re going to boil down the piece to the relevant portions:

Brevard Commission cannot hide behind closed doors to discuss tax cap lawsuit.

The Brevard County Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 on Jan. 7 to discuss, behind closed doors, a lawsuit filed by the Clerk of the Court against the Board.


Rather than discussing this issue in the sunshine with the Clerk’s Office, the Board has voted to have a closed-door meeting to discuss strategies to fight this lawsuit. (emphasis ours)

The State of Florida has strong laws concerning public meetings and records as it should. Citizens have the right to know what is happening within their governments and for the most part those meetings and discussion should be held in the open.

However, there is an exception to open meetings and that exception is a board meeting to discuss strategy when lawsuit has been filed.

Representative Brian Mast.

During a hearing held by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Brian Mast, who is a Republican from the 18th District in Florida, brilliantly made the point on the killing of Qassem Soleimani. Because he made the point so well, Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. accused Mast of being “disruptive” when Mast said nothing and was waiting for an answer – an answer that never came.

It’s not like Mast doesn’t have experience or a stake in the game. After all, he is reminded every moment of his life of the effects of the war on terror.

Mast served in the U.S. Army for more than 12 years as an explosive ordnance disposal technician. He lost both of his legs to an IED in 2010. His question concerned Americans much like him — the service members who have fought terrorism on the ground in the Middle East and, for many, paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Mast began his statement by conceding that, at the end of the day, the decision to authorize the strike was a choice and compared it to a decision on the battlefield to take out a machine gun nest.

The First Amendment And Privacy: Free Speech Rules (Episode 9)

Once again, another informative video on the First Amendment from professor, lawyer, and First Amendment expert Eugene Volokh.

When can the law stop you from saying things about me in order to protect my privacy? Pretty rarely, it turns out.

Let’s just make clear what kind of “privacy” we’re talking about. The Supreme Court has sometimes discussed a “right to privacy,” but that’s generally a right to personal autonomy—for instance, the right to buy and use contraceptives. We’re not talking about that right here.

We also often have a right to physical privacy in the sense of freedom from trespass or surveillance. The Fourth Amendment, for example, protects us against “unreasonable searches and seizures” by the government. The law of trespass protects us against physical intrusions by our neighbors.

The tort of “intrusion upon seclusion” protects us from other kinds of surveillance, such as people photographing into our bedrooms using high-powered magnifying lenses or people telephoning us repeatedly in the middle of the night. We’re not talking about that here, either.

It’s A Dog’s Life.

This is a story of why we love pets.

A friend of ours has a golden Labrador retriever that they named “Boomer.” The name comes from the fact that they were born and raised in Oklahoma and so the dog is named after Oklahoma University “Boomer Schooner.”

Boomer is a typical lab. He is a kid in an adult body. He is loyal, playful, and somewhat protective. (By “somewhat protective,” we mean that he is protective, but he doesn’t see every one as a threat. He checks you out first.)

He’s big and still thinks he is a lap dog. Boomer is a perfect dog in many ways.

Yesterday we got a message from the friend:

Letters To The Editor.

Failed politician Matt Fleming has a letter to the editor in the January 12, 2020 edition of the Florida Today. As is often the case with Fleming, the letter demonstrates a lack of understanding of many things, including the Constitution.

We’ll fisk the letter here.

POTUS should heed Constitution, too

Do you support going to war with Iran?

We didn’t think we are at war with Iran. In fact, we are sure we are not at war since there has been no declaration of war by the Congress.

The Dark Side.

Nothing like a good pun, (or a good dad joke depending on your point of view…..)

Image courtesy of Dogs on the 4th.

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