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Posts Made By: James McSheehy

January 10, 2008 06:27 AM Forum: Star Parties

Help us Choose a Venue

Posted By James McSheehy

We're a small club in western Colorado and traditionally we have our annual star parties at dark sky locations, usually in June. The choices this year are:

1) Grand Mesa
45 miles from Grand Junction; Altitude 10,500', weather is always iffy (snow in June); When weather cooperates the transparency is as good as it gets (SQM 21.5-22); The primitive site has no services and access is tough for large RVs.

2) Uncompahgre Plateau
40 miles from Grand Junction; Altitude 8200', good transparency & SQM readings of 21.8 on good nights. Site is primitive, flat, & sometimes dusty from ATV traffic on gravel roads.

3) Camp Ground at a state park
20 miles from GJ, 8 miles from a smaller city (Fruita) that has motels and restaurants; Observing site is grassy field with electricity, RV hookups, and showers. Paved parking but RVs can't be near the observing field; Altitude is 4200'; skies are OK - SQM readings usually 19.5 to 20.5. Large light dome on the eastern horizon.

We are trying to decide the location for this year's party and some members want the event at a site that offers more creature comforts than the two dark sky sites. Since we get about half our attendees from other areas, I'm asking for some input from AM members to guide our choice. Which of the three sites (if any) would you prefer, and why?

Thanks in advance!

March 10, 2008 05:01 AM Forum: Star Parties

Colorado West Star Party 2008

Posted By James McSheehy

The Western Colorado Astronomy Club will host its annual star party from June 6-8, 2008, at a new site on the Colorado National Monument, just 15 minutes from the city of Grand Junction. There will be two observing areas, a traditional campground for attendees who want to set up a permanent site, and a large, paved parking lot nearby for those who prefer less formal, or temporary set ups. Both are at an elevation of 5800 feet (1770 m) and feature dark, transparent skies with a visual limiting magnitude typically better than 6. The sites are accessible by most vehicles including large motor homes, and in addition to the excellent observing conditions, we will also sponsor a pot luck supper on Saturday and a door prize raffle. The suggested donation is only $20 per person. For more information and a registration form, please see our web site at



A full event brochure (PDF format) is at:

Contact Name: Blanche Godel

Phone: (970) 242-1482

email: [email protected]

See you there!

June 3, 2008 06:39 PM Forum: Star Parties

Colorado West Star Party this weekend 6/6-6/8

Posted By James McSheehy

The weather looks perfect for this weekend and the 2008 Colorado West Star Party. We're up on the Colorado National Monument this year, and the new site is just 15 minutes from Grand Junction. If you are in the area please check it out:

August 10, 2008 05:14 AM Forum: Investment Discussions

USD is kicking butt - why?

Posted By James McSheehy

The USD index has rallied over 5%, and many short players were clobbered. But what has changed in the U.S. economy to justify this sudden shift? Major banks are still insolvent, we still borrow $2B a day from Asia to fund our deficit spending, and price inflation for consumers is ticking along at 8%-10%. Happy days are here again?

My theory for the odd rally is recent military movements. Two Navy carrier groups are headed to the Persian Gulf to join the two already stationed there (no mention BTW in the mainstream press), and the Soviets -- I mean Russians, are starting to reclaim territory in Georgia (something to do with an oil pipeline). If the SHTF, investors want to be in U.S. dollars.

February 27, 2009 06:23 PM Forum: Politics

Tax the "Rich"?

Posted By James McSheehy

A popular theme these days is the notion of taxing wealthy Americans because they got an undeserved tax cut and now they should pay "their fair share". Never mind the fact that many of these wealthy folks actually represent small businesses and their "income" is inflated because they file taxes as S-corporations or LLCs.

The political rhetoric treats these people as fixed targets, and politicians assume they will just stand there, grab their ankles, and take whatever tax increases are handed down. The reality is the wealthiest 1% can live wherever they choose, and many will simply leave the tax base if the federal government heaps enough abuse on them. The next level, not quite as wealthy, may not have unlimited mobility, but they will alter their behavior to avoid paying taxes. They will lay off employees, close businesses, retire early, etc., rather than pay Uncle Sam's high taxes.

So what you say? Well consider this, the upper 1% already pay about 40% of income taxes, and the upper 5% of earners pay a total of 60% of the total. The bottom half, 50%, of income earners only pay 3-frikkin'-% of income taxes! If only one tenth of the upper 1% of taxpayers leave the tax base (a few thousand people), income taxes on the bottom 50% will have to DOUBLE to make up the difference.

So go ahead and cheer 'em on as they go after the wealthiest Americans. Your taxes are going up. They could afford it, can you?

March 30, 2009 04:00 PM Forum: Politics

Barack Il Duche Obama?

Posted By James McSheehy

Whats with the all people apparently happy that Obama "fired" GM's CEO? Since when does the President have the authority to select officers in private companies? I'm not a conspiracy nut, but this kind of action gives me great pause.

May 2, 2009 03:36 PM Forum: Politics

High Office, Unworthy Men, and Tea Parties

Posted By James McSheehy

“Power,” wrote Boethius,“ does not make a man master of himself if he is imprisoned by the indissoluble chains of wicked lusts; and when high office is bestowed on unworthy men, so far from making them worthy, it only betrays them and reveals their unworthiness.”

From the excellent essay by J.R. Nyquist. I think it begins to explain what the recent Tea Parties were all about:

June 2, 2009 01:43 PM Forum: Politics

Re: GM

Posted By James McSheehy

The sad truth is that for much less than the approximately $100B spent and committed so far, the federal government could have purchased every GM and Chrysler vehicle sitting on the lots, fixed the benefit plan shortfalls, and given generous early retirement buyouts to the highest paid union workers.

But that would be "fixing" the problem, and their real goal here is apparently control. Anyone who doubts this only has to note the pressure the administration is putting on the bankruptcy judge in the Chrysler proceedings. We used to be a nation of laws, we used to have separation of powers. Now we have thuggery. It has a broad, happy smile, a deep nicotine baritone, and wears $300 neckties, but it is still thuggery.

June 24, 2009 03:28 AM Forum: Politics

Everybody's favorite - the TSA

Posted By James McSheehy

This surreptitious recording was made at an airport when a TSA agent decided to interrogate a campaign worker found carrying $4700 in cash:

Reminds me of this poem by Kipling:

August 4, 2009 12:41 PM Forum: Politics

Re: Ugly Numbers

Posted By James McSheehy

What part of depression don't you understand?