Carl Bussjaeger


Who I Am
My Amazon Wish List

ESSAYS & COMMENTARY
Updated 6/9/2014:
"The New Terrorism"

My SCA Pages
Article and cartoon reprints, photographs, news clippings, and reminiscences.
NEW ARTICLES:
Period Inks and Pigments Revisited, 12/11/2013
(follow-up article to Period Inks and Pigments from the Modern Kitchen)


GPG Public Key
New GPG Key, 9/6/13


Scroll down for the free SF book downloads.
[Net Assets] [Bargaining Position] [The Anarchy Belt]

(free craft/SCA articles here)



7/28/14
Oh look; another cars:guns analogy

Idiots HuffPo writers should really learn something about guns before writing about guns.

The Path to Safer Guns
When cars first became available, air bags and seat belts weren't part of standard production. During the early 1900s, safety -- both for drivers and pedestrians -- became an issue as mechanical and structural failures in cars and reckless driving caused more and more accidents.
[....]
The same could happen today with guns.
I shouldn't even give this Baig loon the courtesy of link traffic.

In fact (an object class with which Baig has no familiarity), a heckuvalot has been done to improve firearms safety since they were invented. Better primers and powders for reliable ignition, eliminating hang-fires; frame safeties; grip safeties; trigger safeties; improved sight systems; light systems to see one's target; trigger disconnects to eliminate accidental discharges; better grips; better ergonomics generally; retention holsters; detachable magazines; speedloaders (yes, those do improve safety by eliminating fumbling)... the list goes on. And on... and on ... and...

I love it when victim disarmers try to compare the regulation of cars to guns, arguing that guns should be heavily regulated the same way. Sounds good to me. No license needed to buy a car. No license needed to operate a car except on public roads. No background checks. No registration unless you're taking the jalopy out on public roads. No horsepower magazine capacity limits. No limits on tiny urban electric commuter scooters concealable pocket pistols. And so on and so forth. You could build a gun and sell it without getting permission from your local police chief and the feddie ATF.

But this safety argument... Baig specifically mentions one "safety" system already available for guns: the Armatix iP1.

Defensive firearms are first responder devices. If Baig wants cars and guns to work the same way, then all ambulances would fail to start 10% of the time they're needed for a call.

Moron.


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7/28/14
Run away, Ben

Over at David Codrea's War On Guns, we hear that the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee is busily trying to con people into supporting the waffler.

Run Where, Exactly?
I sent them this reply, referencing a Knoxville Gun Rights Examiner column by Liston Matthews I linked to earlier this month:
So is he going to answer this?
http://www.examiner.com/article/gun-rights-quiz-for-dr-ben-carson

How about some unequivocal specifics to undo some of the damage he has done to his credibility with gun owners? How about running toward addressing their legitimate concerns, instead of away from them?

The Committee replied, though it failed to answer:
"The Draft Ben Carson effort is not associated with Dr.Carson, meaning, we can not communicate with him by law. However, everything Dr.Carson has stated concerning gun laws is below."
That's false on at least two points.

First, the Committee is a Super PAC, which isn't allowed to coordinate directly with candidates, but it "is legal for candidates and Super PAC managers to discuss campaign strategy and tactics through the media." All they have to do is publicize the questionnaire and encourage Carson to respond.

Not that they want that to happen, since he's – putting it kindly – damned weak on RKBA; the best you can say for him is that he's willing to waffle and flipflop in an attempt to say what he thinks the current audience wants to hear, so long as it can't be spun as offensive to yet another needed block of clueless voters.

Which brings us to the second falsehood in the Committee statement evasion: "everything Dr.Carson has stated concerning gun laws" is certainly not "below". They left out this gem of a response to Glenn Beck's question of whether people should be allowed to own semiautomatic firearms:

“It depends on where you live. I think if you life in the midst of a lot of people, and I’m afraid that that semi-automatic weapon is going to fall into the hands of a crazy person, I would rather you not have it.”
Sorry, I'm not about to vote for a clown who (probably?) thinks human rights are implicit in one's current location, rather than in the human.


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7/25/14
And then something magical happens


I'll bet you thought magic bullets
had something to do with syphilis.

Via Tactical Gear and Military Clothing News, I've learned of a new (apparently vaporware) product called "Safe Access Ammunition (SAAMO)".

Everlokt SAAMO™ Summary Overview
Safe Access Ammunition (SAAMO™) is a new patent pending bullet technology different from current trigger gun control technology. Managing the bullet rather than controlling the gun itself will offer an easy cost effective way to modify existing guns for family and public safety. All that is needed is to purchase SAAMO™ rather than ammo and add SAAMO™ electronics to the gun possibly located in specially fitted gun grips, etc.
That's pretty much as specific as they get. Clicking their "How it works" link takes you to a crudely executed animation that doesn't actually tell you anything about how it works. You first load SAAMO "bullets" (why not the whole cartridge?) into your magazine, then load the pistol. Next, you disassemble your loaded handgun, removing the grip panels and replacing them with SAAMO grips.

Right off, I'm wondering where these guys gained their firearms safety expertise. (Hint to nongunnies: Unload,verify, then perform disassembly/maintenance procedures. You're less likely to shoot yourself that way.)

And you have to wonder: Do these clowns really believe that gun owners routinely leave loaded firearms laying on the floor with small children?

The new grips have to be squeezed in some special but unspecified manner in order for a cartridge to chamber. My first thought is that the magical unloadable "bullets" are flatnosed wadcutters or the like, and squeezing simply moves a springloaded catch that blocks the mag. Further research says this is an electronic system (remember to recharge your batteries when loading), so I have no idea. So far, they aren't talking. I can't see anything that makes this "safer" than simply sticking an inert snap cap round in the top of your magazine, nor any reason why I'd do either.

While I can appreciate Everlokt's desire to protect proprietary data, effectively telling us "buy this and magic happens" is somewhat less than effective as a marketing technique.

Everlokt seems to be... Well, I'm not sure. It doesn't look like they're selling anything but investor opportunities. Their claim to 15 minutes is a remarkable "touch-access" door unlocking system that bears an equally remarkable resemblance to RFID key fob gas pump pay systems. I hope they aren't infringing on someone else's patent.

I sent them a request for more info, and planned to hold this post until I heard from them. So far, I haven't even received an automated acknowledgement, so I'm going with it.


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7/25/14
Uh oh. Looks like someone is about to get fired.

Pa. doctor shoots patient who killed caseworker
A psychiatric outpatient opened fire Thursday inside a psychiatrist's office at a hospital near Philadelphia, killing his caseworker and slightly wounding the doctor, who shot the gunman with his personal firearm, authorities said.
Bad news for the doc. Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital requires their employees to be helpless:
"Employees are prohibited from bringing firearms or explosives of any kind into the workplace."
I can't find anything on their website forbidding weapons in the hands of insane patients, but someone claiming to be a police officer who worked the crime scene reports that the hospital does have a magical gun-repelling "no firearms" sign posted. I'm sure the criminal will be sharply scolded. Right after they can the doctor for protecting co-workers and patients.


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7/24/14
Beretta: It isn't all rainbows and unicorns

Pardon my slow posting; I've been working on a paying gig.

But I couldn't help but notice gunnies across the country cheering Beretta's announcement that they're moving all the Maryland manufacturing to Tennnessee.

Slow down a minute.

Yes, it's good that Beretta told Maryland to shove their downright stupid new anti-RKBA law. But you can be darned sure that isn't how the ban-bunnies like Violent Criminal Protection and Everytown Mediasters Demanding Victims will spin it.

The victim disarmers will claim this as a victory: an eee-vul gun company has been driven from their fair, pacifistic paradise. All it cost was some tax revenues. And not much of that. The move will amount to the loss of 160 jobs along with the income tax on that. I'm not going to look up Maryland tax rates, but let's pretend all 160 workers make $100,000 per year and pay ten percent in taxes to the state (probably a significant over-estimate on pay; tax rate is probably close): Maryland loses a whopping $1.6 million per year. In statist-goon terms, that's petty cash; almost pocket change, and they'll make it up by taxing everyone else. Corporate taxes? Beretta is maintaining their headquarters in Accokeek, so they'll still be paying any applicable state taxes on corporate revenue. To rabid bunnies, that's perfectly acceptable. A small, not-really-noticeable price to pay.

I'm sure we'll be hearing about how well the victim-disarming law is working... right about now (why are those antis so fascinated... nay, fixated on gunnies genitalia and sexuality?).

Note to former police officer Michael Levy: I don't know about Maryland-specific data, but murder rates for the country have been declining for more than four decades, not just ten years. Or more than a century. Wikipedia, that bastion of All Truth, says the US violent crime rate has been in decline since colonial times.

Ban-bunnies will also crow about how this move will cost Beretta money. It will; though not as much as they'd wish, since the company was already moving some operations. But to the rights violators, this becomes a net gain for their death-wishing side. I'm not the only one to notice this.

This is a propaganda war. The disarmers and their lefty lamestream muddia buds will report this as Beretta backing down. Two can – and must – play that game. That's why it was important that Beretta also told West Virginia to shove it, and declined to move to NRA A-rated Senator JoeWussManchin's neighborhood (funny how he stopped being so proud of gunnies once he no longer needed the votes).


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7/24/14
So we're going to socialize the kids...

... by... replacing friends and adult mentors with robots that can't even pass a Turing test?

What could possibly go wrong?

Feds spending $10 million to build robot companions for children
The National Science Foundation has committed $10 million to build robots that will act as “personal trainers” for children, in an effort to influence their behavior and eating habits.

The government has spent $2.15 million so far for the five-year project, which is being led by Yale University. The project, “Robots Helping Kids,” will ultimately “deploy” robots into homes and schools to teach English as a second language, and encourage kids to exercise.

Wouldn't it be cheaper just to give each one his own little Spanish speaking illegal UAC?

Then again, some people appear to be getting a little too involved with their cell phones. Or...


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7/23/14
Be specific

Note: When doing web searches for images of belladonna, specify the plant.

I had no idea there was an... actress of that name.


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7/22/14
This should introduce a fun new aspect to police NDs*


" Cool! Now I can empty a whole magazine
into my own hand all at once."

Great Lakes Tactical’s Glock Giggle Switch
One of the things [Great Lakes Tactical] brought to the range was a G19 equipped with a proprietary giggle switch. The switch allows the shooter to swap from semi-auto fire to full auto with a cross-bolt type switch. Full auto can quickly overwhelm the shooter, but three to five round bursts can be managed easily with a good grip and stance.

The switches are not expensive, but GLT will only sell to other companies or individuals licensed as manufacturers of full auto weapons.

Bear in mind that it's illegal for a civilian to own or purchase a machine gun imported or manufactured after 1986. And I really can't see the military buying too many of these; a few for special ops types... maybe. So that means the real market will be cops.

I can hardly wait for the wave of full-auto "his service weapon, which somehow fired accidentally" incidents, in which some idiot with his booger hook improperly on the bang switch blows his arm or leg off.

Hopefully, no 13yo kids will be in the line of fire.


* ND: "negligent discharge"; what happens when someone stupidly pulls the trigger when he shouldn't have. Usually referred to as an accident or "the gun discharged itself" when a cop does it.
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7/21/14
NEWS FLASH! Nothing happens to couple not on doomed flight

News services go wild.


Like the couple in this 'story', this picture
has nothing to do with MH17

Seriously, can't they at least stick to making up conspiracy theories about Putin shouldering the missile launcher used?

ABC: Australian Newlyweds Escape MH17 Tragedy
(not hot-linked because I refuse to give this not-even-puff piece any traffic.)
Posta and Jovel are among the few travelers who were scheduled to fly on Malaysian Airlines flight MH17, which was shot down on Thursday while flying above eastern Ukraine, but for one reason or another changed their plans.
I wonder: How close must one come to being in an air travel disaster to make the international news? I'm feeling a little left out.

In December 1988, I took a vacation and flew from Frankfurt to NYC (is this sounding at all familiar?). Due to work, my travel plans changed; I left a week earlier than I had originally expected. On a Pan Am flight.

Yep. If I'd kept to schedule, I would have been on Pan Am 103. And not a single ABCCBSNBCREUTERSAPUPI reporter showed up to interview me.

In fact, my own Pan Am flight had so many mechanical problems (we got grounded for a hydraulic failure. Then the cabin pressure system wouldn't work. When we finally took off, the engines lost power, cycling up and down like nothing I've experienced on any other flight (and I've been on some doozies). When we at last reached cruise altitude, the cabin filled with smoke, with lighting randomly blinking on and off. The pilot chose to continue to NYC. Landing was interesting, too. And I won't bother you what we went through trying to get Pan Am ground agents to stay at their counters to get us our – missed – connecting flights; you may safely assume exits were blocked and a few threats muttered.

When I heard about 103, I immediately assumed that it had resulted from massive mechanical failure caused by shitty maintenance and worse crew decisions. I was astonished when I then heard it attributed to terrorism.


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7/20/14
Of course, that may be because the NSA activated your webcam


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7/20/14
Happy Lunar Landing Day

Forty-five years ago, some guys who were brave or crazy enough to strap themselves to the top of millions of pounds of explosives successfully landed on the Moon. Armstrong, Aldrin – and yes, Michael Collins, too* – are still my heroes.

That was the good part.

On the downside, a generation grew up hearing that as an example of the wonderful things government bureaucrats can do if we'll just let them run our lives. Allow me to point out a few things about our ground-bound heroes at NASA:

  • They orbited SkyLab, which was so flawed that it required major repairs to make it barely habitable.
  • Poor planning had SkyLab fall out of orbit years ahead of schedule.
  • Thhe Challenger STS blew up during launch because those wise, all-knowing bureaucrats overrode engineering safety warnings.
  • The Columbia STS burned up on reentry because those bureaucrats overrode engineering warnings about the heat shield.
  • NASA routinely screws up things like throwing away $750,000 O2 tanks because said bureaucrats stored them in an outside junkyard, lost an entire Mars mission because the bureaucrats neglected a simple metric system to English system math conversion, shook multi-million dollar satellites apart because they cranked the g-table up to 10x the correct setting, lost another Mars mission because bureaucrats ignored engineering warnings about a landing contact switch producing a premature engine-cutoff signal, and much more.
  • After 45 years of additional research and development, NASA is no longer capable of putting a man into a simple suborbital trajectory, much less into orbit. Reaching the Moon again? They think they could manage that in another 20 years, with $104 BILLION dollars and some recycled 1960s technology.
I suppose that was why a NASA administrator declared that the new primary mission of his agency was now "Muslim outreach". At least Muslims aren't out of reach of the ground space cadets.

NASA is the Veterans Administration of space exploration. Or the VA is the NASA of medical care. Flip a coin and pick one.


* Sure, he didn't land on the Moon with Neil and Buzz. He spent the whole time in solitary, keeping the mission going, wondering if the lunar explored would make it back, and if he'd have to make a solitary return. I'll bet that he spent some of that time thinking on the fact, that human nature being what it is, he'd be forgotten long before crowds stopped cheering and remembering the moonwalkers. And he still did his absolutely essential job. You try sitting for a day, all alone in a little shell of aluminum built by the lowest bidder, a quarter-million miles from the nearest breathable atmosphere, while someone else gets all the publicity.
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7/19/14
Amtrak & The Crock Pot of Doom


Sleep tight.
Amtrak is on guard.

I heard an interesting story tonight. A correspondent had taken some acquaintances to an Amtrak station for a trip. An Amtrak agent heard them talk about having a crock pot in their checked baggage, and told them they couldn't have a crock pot in there.

Yes, freaking slow cookers are now considered weapons.

Well, maybe the way I cook... but getting one to explode is another matter. We aren't talking about a steel container designed to hold pressure. It's a bloody ceramic pot with a lid that just sits on top.

Don't you feel safer now?


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7/19/14
Mini-Review: Abnormal End

Look what showed up in the mail yesterday afternoon. Abnormal End, from Joseph Francis Collins.


Buy It!

When Collins published Kill Code a few years ago, it ended at point from which a sequel could easily be launched. Abnormal End is that sequel.

Kill Code introduced us to sniper Leo Marston, hacker Jackie Winn, and an unusual terrorist/freedom fighter. Abnormal End picks up roughly a year later when folks are thinking – wrongly of course, since these are action novels – that it's safe to go back in the water.

The upside to Abnormal End is that it's chock full of action. The downside is that it is not a stand-alone novel. While Collins does insert some background material, if you haven't read Kill Code then Abnormal End won't make much sense. So go buy 'em both.

Tyrannicide is back 'ciding tyrants. Unfortunately, his target discrimination sucks, and his minions' is worse. You'll see Albuquerque in flames, Kirtland AFB blown up (in a manner that suggests base security is still a lousy as it was when I was last there thirty years ago), and ... well, read the book. I can't give away everything. And there's a lot of "everything" happening.

Unlike Kill Code, which had a fairly definite closure (while allowing a sequel), Abnormal End is a classic cliffhanger ("tune in next week to see how our heroes escape this inescapable trap"). It's less of a separate novel, and more an extended chapter, a la the three books of Lord of the Rings. It leaves you with more unresolved questions than answers. Clearly, the next planned installment, Ghostnet will be a must read.

The only problem with this book is one commonly shared by self-published works: Proofreading/editing. As a(n ex-)writer myself, I understand how hard it is to proof your own work. Your brain knows what's supposed to be on that page, so your eyes "see" it, whether it's really right or not. Someone could make a killing by offering bargain basement prices for halfway decent proofreading for the exponentially inflating self-publication market.

BUY IT: Abnormal End. Kindle: $4.99, Paperback: $13.46


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7/18/14
Tewksbury, NH

When did we start annexing chunks of Massachusetts? And can we give it back, or did Mass demand we take it off their hands?


Click for WMUR misreport

It's obviously time to delete WMUR from my news bookmarks. The blindly reprint police press releases unquestioningly, misreport nonexeistent machine guns, refuse to make corrections when caught out...

...and fail basic geography. Meh. Maybe they can get jobs with the TSA.

This sucks. WMUR was the last website I had left for routinely getting local news. But like the others I already dropped, I can't count on them to get basic facts anything right.


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7/18/14
Semantics
California School's Holocaust Denial Assignment Requires 'Reeducating' of Misled Youth
The assignment, which was given to eighth graders by the Rialto Unified School District in San Bernadino County, was part of a "misguided" attempt to satisfy Common Core curriculum requirements in critical thinking.
"Misguided," as in,"Shit, we didn't think they'd catch on."

"Reeducate," as in, "Dralm damn it, teach those little buggers to keep their mouths shut about what goes on in school."

Government schools have a strong disinterest in teaching actual critical thinking. After voters who can and will do that might try to vote out idiot politicians (yes, I do realize that's redundant), or vote down tax increases that wouyld funnel more money to schools and teachers who... don't teach critical thinking because...

Yep.

If they had any real interest in teaching (or, Ghu forbid learning themselves) critical thinking, they should spend less time on exercises designed to manipulate facts (propaganda) and more on Alfred Korzybski and General Semantics.

But teachers typically coming from the bottom* of their graduating classes probably think General Semantics is a dead Civil War officer.

(Hat tip to David Codrea, who also notes that Assemblywoman Cheryl R. 'for Reeducation' Brown has her own problems with contributing factors in the Holocaust.)

Added: A commenter at War On Guns brought up something I missed about Brown's claim that her father helped liberate "the Aushwitz [sic] concentration camp". Auschwitz was liberated by the Soviet Red Army; specifically, the 322nd Rifle Division ("Cargosquid" mentioned the First Ukrainian Front; I don't know how that group related to WW2 Soviet forces). I'm wondering if a black man really did serve in the Red Army, and if he emigrated to the US post-War. Or if Brown is just full of shit. Not that the two conditions are mutually incompatible in a politician.


* Back in the '90s, a college instructor was more specific: He maintained that it was teachers with degrees in education who graduated in the bottom ten percent of their classes.
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7/18/14
The newest superpower on the block

Maryland.

Construction of New CYBER/ISR Facility
The 175th Wing, Maryland Air National Guard, located at Warfield Air National Guard Base, Baltimore, Maryland
The purpose of this facility is to house a Network Warfare Group and ISR Squadron. The Cyber mission includes a set of capabilities, expertise to enable the cyber operational need for an always-on, net-speed awareness and integrated operational response with global reach. It enables operators to drive upstream in pursuit of cyber adversaries, and is informed 24/7 by intelligence and all-source information.(emphasis added-cb)
Now, you might be wondering why a smallish northeastern state needs global military power.

Me, too.

(Hat tip to Bruce Schneier.)


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7/18/14
So long as I'm comparing fiction to reality

SWAT Team Invades Innocent Family’s Home … For Credit Card Arrest
The fully-armed raid on the home was not done as part of a search for suspected murderers or armed robbers, but for two people who allegedly committed credit card fraud. None of the people Iowa police officers were searching for were found inside the home, nor was any stolen property found.(emphasis added- cb)
But way back in 1965, still well within my own lifetime:

    A few white chickens pecked disinterestedly in the littered barnyard; there was no other sign of life, but he knew there was a man inside.A man with a rifle, who would use it; a man who had murdered once, broken jail, would murder again.
[...]
    "Well, just what did happen?"
    "This man Morrison, and three other State Police officers, were closing in on a house in which a wanted criminal was hiding. He must have been a dangerous man – they don't go out in force like that for chicken thieves."

(emphasis added- cb)
Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, by H. Beam Piper, copyright 1965
No, they don't. These days, a chicken thief would probably call for a Hellfire drone strike.


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7/18/14
Firefly Alpha

This is interesting. And not just the reference to one of my favorite TV shows.

Firefly Space Systems Firefly Alpha
    Conventional rockets all use a traditional bell nozzle. The nozzle represents lost weight from a payload point of view, but is necessary to direct thrust and ensure that the exhaust gas expands at the correct rate. However, this expansion velocity is dependent on the external air pressure, and for a rocket, that pressure is constantly changing. In other words, traditional bell nozzles are a compromise; while they are effective at optimizing thrust for a given external air pressure, they are less efficient at other points during the rocket's trajectory.
    An aerospike tackles the problem the other way around: though not as efficient as a bell nozzle at a specific pressure, an aerospike uses aerodynamics to make it more efficient across the range of pressures in the rocket flight.
To the best of my knowledge, this would be the first practical application of aerospike in a launch vehicle. But... something sounds familiar about that description.

    "So you know how back pressure in the muffler affects the engine efficiency, right?"
    "Sure, that's why we go with straight pipe for racers and off-road shit. Mufflers block air flow enough to create back pressure that kills efficiency." Dom was on familiar ground now.
    Cal saw that, and played to it. "Well, rocket motors are kinda like that too. You know the exhaust... nozzles, the venturis on rockets?" Dom nodded. "The venturis are tuned to work best at certain air pressures, back pressure from air, so to speak. And one that works close to the ground doesn't work so good up high where the air pressure is lower. And vice versa." "I think you lost me again. This call for more beer." Dom started to stand up, then settled back into his seat. "What am I doin'? It's your turn to make the beer run."
    "Okay, okay." Cal rose to meet his obligation to the cause of inebriation. But gauging his own capacity and Dom's condition, he returned with just one beer apiece. Dom was drawing crude rockets on the wooden table top with the condensation from his previous bottles.
    "Alrighty, Einstein. I bet you thought I'd be too drunk to remember that you're supposed to be explainin' why shooting straight up was a good idea for the gov."
    "I can always dream," Cal replied with a grin. "Rocket motors only work best at certain heights, right?"
    "If you say so. Seems like the higher you go, the less back pressure you get, and the better the thing would work." Drunk he may have been, but Dom had obviously thought about it.
    "Well, it doesn't really work that way. Just take my word for it, okay?"
"Sure. It might even make sense if I weren't about half buzzed."
    Cal laughed. "Okay, so motors only work good at given altitudes. Therefore, NASA had to use more than one engine in different stages for when the rocket got to higher altitudes. One engine in one stage didn't do it. They had to use stages boosting vertically."
    "Damn," Cal's companion complained. "You're just tryin' to confuse me tonight. If one motor won't work from the ground to up high, how is Launcher doin' it? It don' make sense."
    Cal smirked. "Yes, it does. Our rocket motor won't have an exhaust nozzle."
    Dom just stared, groaned, and downed his beer in one long gulp. "It's a plot to screw with my head, right?"
    "It just looks that way because we're all out to getcha," Cal explained reassuringly. "Let's talk about aerospikes."

Net Assets, 2002
There are differences. My system was a horizontally-launched spaceplane, rather than vertical ballistic. Manned vs. unmanned. I used a "first stage" which never left the ground; that launcher didn't use an aerospike because it always remained in one atmospheric pressure range and would not have gained any advantage from intrinic variability. I used LOX/JP-5 instead of methane. But like the Firefly, mine was a small craft boosting a comparatively (relative to conventional sat missions) low mass payload.

But it's good to see this happening. I wish them luck


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7/18/14
The NSA Mix


Buy it.

(No, I don't get a commission on that, darn it.)

Via ClaireWolfe:

Artist sends NSA a super-encrypted mixtape
When you're an artist and a software engineer and you want to thumb your nose at the NSA, what do you do? Send them a mixtape, of course.
Only the mixtape David Huerta sent to the National "Spy" (OK, OK, Security) Agency isn't neatly labeled with hearts and careful penmanship detailing the tracks, because no one but him (and a few close friends) knows what's on it.
Claire asks, "What would be on your 'mixtape'?"

This is a rough first pass through my library. I think it'll do.

Cheap Trick - Dream Police
Dan Starr - Reading of the Bill of the Rights
Leslie Fish - Jefferson and Liberty
David Bowie - 1984
Black Sabbath - The Mob Rules
Crash Test Dummies - I Think I'll Disappear Now
Sonny Rhodes - The Ballad of Serenity (Firefly theme)
Hank Williams - Mind Your Own Business
Jordan Page - Sedition
DDT - Visiting FSB General
Warren Bluhm - You Cant Be Trusted
Rush - The Trees
Leslie Fish - No High Ground
James Kempf - Anti-Reorganized Maximum Efficiency State Theme
Leslie Fish - The Sheep Look Back
Next - Stalker
Poker Face - Please Brother Dear Brother
Poker Face - Kontrol
Ray Stevens - The Mississippi Squirrel Revival
Shadow Gallery - New World Order
Bob Kanefsky - A Warning For Unknown Voters
Country Joe McDonald - F-U-C-K
Steve Vaus - Tea Party
CW McCall - Convoy
Boston - Don't Look Back
Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It
Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction
Tom Lehrer - We Will All Go Together When We Go
Poker face - Fight For Your Rights
Rush - A Farewell to Kings
Les_Miserables - Do You Hear The People Sing
Julia Ecklar - Temper of Revenge
ACDC -Highway to Hell
Prism - Armageddon
But...

I wouldn't encrypt it. Not because I think they could crack any encryption I used, but because I'd want them to listen and ponder.

Of course, I could just save myself some time and send them Leslie Fish's "Lock & Load".


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7/17/14
Meta-Internet

I was musing on the Streisand Effect and wondered: How many people around the world are still learning about Barbra's adventures in stupidity, not because of her direct actions, but through her becoming a meme for stupidity?

I can comfort myself with the thought that no matter how much I've screwed up my own life, at least I never got a derogatory effect named for me.

OTOH, "they" say there's no such thing as bad publicity. If it got people to actually pay for my books...

Meh. On the gripping hand, I was once the lead tech for a telecom company in a midwest city. One day the area sales manager rushed into my office with a newspaper.

"Carl, look! We have a huge write-up!" he exclaimed.

I looked. It was a big article, top of the fold on the front page of the business section, continued inside. Nice, if you didn't read it. Nor even the cringe-inducing headline. "Um, Tom (not his real name), the whole article is about how bad the company is: shitty service, crappy customer service, infrastructure problems, management problems. That isn't the kind of publicity you should be happy about."

"But it's publicity. Everyone will know our name," he countered.

"Sure," I agreed. "And they'll associate it with catastrophe."

"But they'll know who we are."

That company – surprise! – went bankrupt.* Completely out of business. It no longer exists. Because they valued even poor marketing over competence.


* Amusing note: That company tried to merge (i.e.- get bought by) WorldCom before the shit hit the fan. Normally when a merger of that sort is announced, one or both companies will see a stock surge. In this case, both stocks tanked.
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7/17/14
Somebody's looking for a lighning bolt in the ass


Jesus Christy Superheroine

Marvel's new Thor will be a woman
This morning on ABC's The View Marvel announced that Thor, Marvel's God of Thunder, will be a woman in the comics.
I'm looking forward to the gender-switched "Jesus Christ Superhero" comic. That's gonna put an... interesting spin on the theories that Christ and Mary Magdalene had a thing going.

Hmm. Maybe Marvel will do Jesus, and DC can do "Mohammed, Mover of Mountains".

And saints... Imagine a steampunk version of St. Ignatius Loyola kicking badguy ass and saving their souls, whether they like or not.

Possibly some of you readers weren't aware of it, but there are still adherents to the old Norse pantheon. I've met some. When the subject came up, most seemed to find the comic book Thor in slightly poor taste, but mildly amusing in a "Thor can take a joke, or destroy you if you overdo it" way. Maybe we'll see if Transexual Thor qualifies as "overdone".

(Hat tip to Claire Wolfe.)


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7/16/14
The 5 Most Dangerous Stupid Sheisse from Rolling Stone

...in at least the last two days.

The 5 Most Dangerous Guns in America
Using firearm trace data from the ATF, as well as FBI homicide records, we determined the types of guns most often recovered from crime scenes and/or used in murders.
Now, if that were anything like a semi-honest publication, you might be expecting to see the most popular-with-violent-criminals makes or models. I'll save you a little time by summarizing here (and believe me, you aren't missing anything by skipping the stock photos).

To begin,we have the very first clause of the very first sentence of the very first paragraph... you get the idea:

  • "Contrary to what those who defend the right to own high-powered assault rifles believe..."
    There is, of course, no such thing as a high-power assault rifle. The very definition of assault rifle specifies intermediate power (i.e.- between handgun and rifle cartridge power levels). This is because the concept is intended to reduce the size and weight of cartridges in order to reduce the rifleman's load.

    And this is, of cours – again – an attempt to blur the lines: assault rifles (i.e.- ATF-defined machine guns) are heavily regulated, very expensive, and require special taxes, permissions, and stamps to lawfully own. And you civilians can't even get one made after 1986 no matter how rich you are.

  • "Popular among handgun-owners, pistols are defined by their built-in barrel and short stock."
    No. They just described the "Short Barreled Rifle". Handguns – pistol or revolver – don't have stocks. SBRs are regulated and taxed similarly to those "assault rifles" the Rolling Stone already lied about.
  • "Some grenade launchers, shotguns, and rifles also have rotating barrels,"
    Not the attempt to equate revolvers – a type of handgun – with military grenade launchers. (And those rotating cylinder shotguns? They're called "streetsweepers" in common parlance, and are... wait for it .. heavily regulated just like SBRs and machine guns.)
I'll interrupt this slide-by-slide- analysis to ask: Have you noted a potential trend in the "most dangerous guns" yet?
  • "Law enforcement agencies pulled more than 39,000 from crime scenes in 2012, firmly establishing this weapon — designed to be fired from the shoulder — in third place on the ATF's trace list. "
    The deception is strong in this one. They've jumped from "most dangerous" to most traced. "Traced" guns includes stolen weapons that have been recovered, legal weapons seized for reasons unrelated to violent crimes (like Joe Blow's guns taken without due process with divorcing wife get a TRO), and pretty much anyting else. What they're avoiding with this shift is admitting that FBI Uniform Crime Report numbers show that rifles and shotguns together usually are used in fewer than 3% of all violent crimes (that includes armed robbery).

    And I'll bet you've figured out the "trend" to which I referred.)

  • "Unlike rifles, however, one pull of a shotgun's trigger may also spray the target with round pellets, or shot. Additionally, the explosive that creates the energy to fire the gun occurs in the fixed shell of a shotgun rather than the metallic cartridge of a rifle."
    Oh noes! Not spray and pray! That must mean (to idiot RS screed-scribblers and other idiots) that shotguns are machine guns, too. Not. (-psst- The burn ignites in the case/shell of all modern self-contained cartridges, hence the name.)
  • "With just more than 2,000 recoveries in 2012 ... derringers are the fifth most-cited firearm in crime scene recoveries. "
    Actually, derringers are so rarely carried that RS only included them because some editor insisted that this list had to have five entries. Something else that RS isn't telling you is according to CDC cause of death figures, more people are killed with blunt objects (rocks, baseball bats, candlesticks, etc.) than with rifles, shotguns, and derringers combined. More people are beaten to death with bare hands than killed with rifles. And so on, and so forth...

    Oh, that trend? Surely you jest. The five "most dangerous guns" of the RS are actually the most-traced-for-any-reason three classes of firearms: Handguns, Rifles, Shotguns. And they couldn't even get those classes right.

    sigh- This is just a part of the Stone's recent coordinated attack on human/civil rights, with the cock-slobbering, fawning interview of Bloomberg (in which he denigrated women and lied about... pretty much everything), and the demonization of GOA's Pratt.

    They should have stuck with sex, drugs, and rock&roll, where they actually have extensive knowledge and experience.


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    7/14/14
    Death by stupidity

    Stupidity can be a capital offense. This idiot was very, very lucky.

    This was supposedly filmed in Kentucky; I don't know what city(ies). That moron committed several acts that would be crimes around here. He's obviously guilty of Reckless Conduct or Criminal Threatening, both class B felonies, and it might come as a surprise to anyone who never saw a news report about someone robbing a convenience store with a BB gun that it's Armed Robbery (yet another felony) because he tried to make it appear he had a real firearm. The other folks driving that vehicle and recording the incidents could be charged with Aiding Criminal Activity.

    Oddly enough, it's illegal to wear a mask in many places (usually with Halloween exceptions for minors). In the South, these laws typically had the KKK in mind. They are also used to target masked criminals of the more common thieving sort: criminal paraphenalia. I can't find the reference, but I recall a masked idiot with a toy "AK-47" being arrested on misdemeanor charges a few years ago in New Hampshire; the charge specifically related to the mask.

    But it pretty much would have been a moot point here. Without actually being in that situtation, I'd have to say that it's likely that I would have shot that masked idiot when he continued to approach me with "gun" in hand. Claiming it's "only a prank" would strike me as a ploy to get closer for criminal purposes.

    Update, 7/15: Some Kentucky specifics. Kentucky does have a law against wearing masks. I'm fairly sure that the NH offenses described above also have Kentucky analogues; those in Kentucky can look them up here. Have fun. You'll want to search on terroristic threat, criminal threatening, reckless conduct, disturbing the peace, assault, and whatever else strikes your fancy.

    As for the legality of that victim shooting "zipkid99":

    503.050 Use of physical force in self-protection
    (1) The use of physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other person.
    (2) The use of deadly physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable under subsection (1) only when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious physical injury, kidnapping, or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat.
    (3) Any evidence presented by the defendant to establish the existence of a prior act or acts of domestic violence and abuse as defined in KRS 403.720 by the person against whom the defendant is charged with employing physical force shall be admissible under this section.
    My layman's read of the law, and having viewed the video as a former sworn peace officer/military/licensed security officer, is: that guy would have been completely justified – legally, morally, and rationally – in ridding the world of one more dumbass. Note that the victim need only have reasonable fear of harm (inflicting such fear was obviously the point of the "prank") and that a real fiream need not be present; the appearance of such presented in a blatantly threatening manner suffices to invoke self defense. Consult an attorney, preferably one admitted to the Kentucky bar, for a professional opinion.


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    7/14/14
    Fame, courtesy of the lamestream muddia

    Police Officer Slain by Killer Who Sought Fame
    The gunman, 27-year-old city resident [name redacted because I'm not going to feed his 15 minutes], never tried to rob the store, Fulop said. Instead, he approached a witness and apologized for his conduct inside the store, then said to watch the news later because he was "going to be famous."
    Wants to be famous, news says, "Sure!"

    No doubt they'll be interviewing old high school classmates next.

    The hell with reading the "news" anymore. If someone notices anything actually worth reading, email me.


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    7/14/14
    I don't know why I bother checking

    Top of the NBC "news" feed:

    Fast & Furious? Nope. EPA missing rules data? Uh uh. IRS missing hard drives? Surely you jest. Benghazi? Nada. Syria/Iran/Iraq/Afghanistan/etc? Of course not.

    There are several stories about Disney World (or Disneyland; not giving a damn, I didn't look closely), and more about the plight of the poor, downtrodden UACs illegally entering the US.


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    7/10/14
    Some AGWarmista will blame global warming in... 3...

    ...2...

    Hot Spot: Yellowstone Road Melts, Sites Closed
    The ever-changing thermal geology of Yellowstone National Park has created a hot spot that melted an asphalt road and closed access to popular geysers and other attractions at the height of tourist season, officials said Thursday.
    ...1....
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    7/10/14
    Just lie on the warrant application instead

    “Effective immediately: No officer shall inform a citizen that there has been a call to the emergency communications center, including a hang up call, when there in fact has been no such call.”
    Seems an officer admitted under oath, during a trial, that he lied to get no-warrant entry to a home. He said it's common. The chief denies that... but apparently it's so common that the cop was willing to admit it on the stand.

    Heck, just lie on the affidavit for a warrant. Sure, it leaves an incriminating paper trail, but the odds of the cop winning the Power Ball are better than anyone who matters checking up on it. And if they do...

    ...vacation!.


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    7/10/14
    Mug Shot

    In ‘sexting’ case Manassas City police want to photograph teen in sexually explicit manner, lawyers say
    Manassas City police and Prince William County prosecutors want to take a photo of his erect penis, possibly forcing the teen to become erect by taking him to a hospital and giving him an injection
    Yes. They wanted to shoot the underaged kid full of enough Viagra to give Bob Dole a hardon, then take their own pictures. To identify him.

    Let's see:

    • Underage girl not arrested and charged for the explicit pictures she took and sent.
    • Underage boy charged as an adult for taking pictures of his underaged self.
    • Cops broke laws creating "child porn" by taking pictures of the boy's penis (yes, they did).
    • Cops and prosecutors trying to break laws and create "child porn" by taking pictures of the boy's erection.
    The only halfway intelligent thing anyone in this did was nolle prosqui the child porn creation charge. They're still going ahead with the adult charges of only one of the kids for sending a pic of himself.

    Detective David E. Abbott, the lead investigator, would seem by his actions to be one sick son of a bitch.

    I hope to hell the defense lawyers start mentioning "equal protection" and "selective prosecution", and demand charges for the girl, too. Not that I want her life destroyed any more than I want the boy's future ruined. I want this stupid crap to be seen as stupid crap. And handled appropriately.

    I want the cops who already took explicit pics of the boy to face the same charges they tried to lay on the kid.

    "Appropriately" would be: Teens send each other dirty pictures of each other? Parents act like parents, delete the images, taking away their cell phones, and tell the little idiots to stop it. If idiot teens want to continue, let them move out of their houses and buy their own phones.


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    7/10/14
    I'll see your ATF stupidity, and raise it by ATF imbecility


    source


    Seriously. They say that's a machine gun.

    (Hat tip to David Codrea.)


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    7/9/14
    Bubble-popping
    Obama ‘The Bear’ Lets Loose in Denver
    ust as the White House cautioned, President Obama, “The Bear,” went “loose” in Denver, breaking the “bubble” to meet with average Americans.
    Appparently that means something different in DC newspeak. Us ordinary peasants tend to think that being surrounded by at least nine bodyguards keeping us away from His Imperial Majesty is not "breaking the bubble".

    Too bad he didn't accept that joint. Then the feds could have jumped on his ass, busting him under fed law in contravention of state law.


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    7/9/14
    I have a suggestion for their next pistol


    Not the Kahr
    (image source)

    Kahr Arms to offer purple pistols
    Kahr Arms is once again brightening up their product line by introducing another new color; purple. Following the success of their Cobalt Blue Kahr CW9, Black and Orange Auto Ordnance 1911, Burnt Bronze Desert Eagle and the popular Kahr PM9 in Robin Eggshell Blue, Kahr Firearms Group has partnered this time with Davidson’s, Inc., one of the largest and most progressive firearms wholesalers in America, to introduce a purple version in either the CW9 or CW380.
    They should produce the Bussjaeger .04 Hypersonic in titanium purple.*

    As I pointed out to Neil, I'm usually associated with somewhat larger bore weapons. But... hypersonic.

    The generally accepted lower threshold for hypersonic velocities is 5,625 ft/sec. Assuming a lead projectile, 19 grains isn't unreasonable. That would give you a muzzle energy just shy of 1335 ft/lbs. For comparison, a 230 grain .45 ACP round will be in the neighborhood of 510 ft/lbs. That Bussjaeger .04 will have 2.6 times the power of a 1911. It would be less than .454 Casull, but I can live with that. I'll even tolerate purple for that.**

    Kahr needs to start cartridge development ASAP.


    * It's on page 158 of the hardcover edition.
    ** Yeah, energy transfer to the target, due to the tiny cross bullet cross section, may be problematical, but still... that should alter most criminals' outlook on life.
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    7/8/14
    Andy Lopez Murder Update


    We stand corrected.
    They can.

    Last year, Sonoma County Sheriff's Coward Erick Gelhaus shot an unarmed 13 year old boy from behind for the suspected misdemeanor offense of carrying a rifle in public. By the cop's coward's own account, Gelhaus shot Andy Lopez from behind multiple times less than 10 seconds after he drove up. Gelhaus maintains that it was necessary to kill the unarmed boy because he was afraid when the boy began to turn around in response to being yelled at by strangers.

    Yesterday...

    Protestors march following DA's announcement of no charges in Andy Lopez case
    Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch said an investigation into the shooting death of Andy Lopez determined that deputy Erik Gelhaus “fired his weapon in response to what he honestly and reasonably believed was an imminent threat of death to himself or others.”
    Please note that Gelhaus' partner apparently did not share this pathological fear of being shot by an unarmed boy with his back to the cops; he didn't fire a shot.

    I strongly suspect that Gelhaus' murder of the toying-toting teen, and DA Ravitch's whitewash, have done far more to prompt an "imminent threat of death" than a kid playing with a toy gun at the neighborhood airsoft range (not on the street as some muddia outlets reported). People are pissed. I don't blame them.

    I'm sure Gelhaus wanted to go home safely at the end of his shift. If Andy hadn't been gunned down in fewer than ten seconds, he might have expressed a wish to make it home alive after Gelhaus' shift, too.

    It's worth noting that the lunatic who killed Andy Lopez is a firearms instructor who teaches other officers and civilians when to shoot, and has shot himself. Reassuring, eh?


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    7/7/14
    Another 'teabagger" slur?

    [In deference to the sensibilities of my
    own stomach – and yours – I am
    not including an obvious graphic]

    It's old but – possibly – still significant. Walt Havenstein is one of the Republican field running for New Hampshire governor.

    What Walt Havenstein Thinks of the Tea Party (YouTube video)
    "We got a lot of problems in this country. The teabaggers or whatever they are, they have been telling us that all summer long,"
    For once, I'm willing to cut a politician a little slack on the "teabagger" slur. I'll be honest: My own... recreational tastes tend towards the plain vanilla. Until big statists of assorted types started using the term to denigrate Taxed Enough Already activists, I had never heard the term. I vaguely recall encountering a comment on a story that prompted me to do a web search which I found somewhat educational, if disgusting. I thought it said worse things about the sick people throwing the term out than it did about folks who simply think we're... taxed enough already.

    Watching that clip, I think it's clear that Havenstein was about as clueless regarding the insult as I was. I don't think he meant it in a bad way. I gather from the quotes that he was in reality trying to say that TEA partiers had a valid point. He just wasn't up on derogatory slang. That's an easy trap to fall into when punks are inventing new terms every day.


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    7/5/14
    I for one welcome our new computer overloards

    Or I would if it worked that way. Really, could a PC running Windows Vista do much worse than Congress?

    By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' And That Could Be A Problem
    "Today there's no legislation regarding how much intelligence a machine can have, how interconnected it can be. If that continues, look at the exponential trend. We will reach the singularity in the timeframe most experts predict. From that point on you're going to see that the top species will no longer be humans, but machines."
    If I thought he was serious, I'd be forced to consider him a moron. Low grade. But it's important to remember that he's hawking a book on AI, you have to expect silly crap to appeal to clueless reporters.

    For something like forty years, I've been hearing that computers will achieve human-quality speech recognition within five years. It's still expected within five years.

    Granted, government run schools are doing their best to lower human-quality speech recognition to levels achievable by a Commoncore Commodore 64... But I digress.

    Until the computers can talk to each other and those semi-human cyborgs, I'm not terribly worried about them taking over. If they gain the power of speech... see above re:Congress.

    Speech? Let's not get carried away. Go to Google Translate for a translation of some foreign language web page. When you can get through the new version without giggling, it might be time to worry.


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    7/4/14
    Birth Control vs. Corn Chips


    A Free Coathanger in Every Bag!

    Forbes' Rick "I write from the left" Ungar rants stupidly:

    Hobby Lobby Invested In Numerous Abortion And Contraception Products While Claiming Religious Objection
    But to now discover that these people are seeking to avoid their obligation under the law to provide their employees with a contraceptive benefit at the same time they are allowing their 401(k) to invest in—and profit from—these very products is, in my view, completely unforgivable.
    Let me begin by noting that this position is a strawman argument anyway. Let's say I'm a person who believes that self defense is a human right, an expression of basic survival instinct, but that I'm opposed to State-waged wars of aggression. MagPul makes magazines that government soldiers use in war. Should I refuse to support the company by purchasing their magazines for my own self defense use, because someone else uses them for purposes of which I disapprove? (That's a trick question: Of course the Left only wants government to be able to kill people.)

    With that out of the way, let's play Forbes' silly game:

    Hobby Lobby: It's been a while since I had a employers 401k, but as I recall it, I chose which mutual funds my money went to. And while I could request a list of investments held by the fund, holdings were subject to change without notice as the fund manager juggled them to maintain profits. So Hobby Lobby didn't invest "In Numerous Abortion And Contraception Products While Claiming Religious Objection"; they provided a 401k through which employees voluntarily chose mutual funds without a realtime way of knowing what companies the fund invested in, and one or funds invested in companies with products Ungar finds inconsistent with someone else's principles. He concedes in an update that employees do make the choice, but complains that evil Hobby Lobby management unfairly restricts fund choices for those poor unsuspecting employees to more eviller funds that invest in companies that might, and sometimes do, produce products used for birth control or abortion. How naughty.

    Ungar is claiming that HL should monitor which funds employees choose, constantly monitor the funds for current investments, track down those companies, get a full list of their product line, analyze the products for intended use and off-label use, determine which uses are offensive, and demand changes in a fund in which HL employees are only a small part of the pool of investors. Kind of which defeats the purpose of a mutual fund.

    Wait. I thought the Ungar's Left was big on personal choice. Shouldn't the employees be held responsible for choosing those funds? In fact... No one makes them invest in the 401k at all. They can decline to participate. But let's keep going with Ricky's line for a bit.

    Should HL refuse to allow investments in companies that sell knitting needles and coathangers, long used for abortions? What about Burpee selling Queen Anne's Lace, a progesterone blocker that can be used for birth control?

    How far up the production line should they go in search of unappproved materials? Do they simply refuse to invest in Consolidated Coathangers, Inc., or do they also decline to invest in Acme Aluminum, who supplies the raw materials for Consolidated's production line? But wait! what about the company that provides the enamel paint on those coathangers? Do they continue up the line to boycott the Shell Oil for producing the petrochemicals for the oil-bas for the enamel paint? What about the Ohio farmer with a leased oil well in the middle of his corn field that produces the oil for the petrochemicals for the paint for the coathangers for the off-use abortions?

    Boycott corn chips!

    Uh oh... Did you know that people have used sea sponges and dilute lemon juice for birth control for thousands of years? (And how did anyone get a patent on that?) -sigh- Yet another set of markets you can't invest in: Household cleaning products and citrus crops.

    Right. Shall I continue? I mean... I could go into the whole discussion of organics being composed of carbon (the EPA has told us how deadly that exothermal carbon is), hydrogen (eek! used in hydrogen bombs), oxygen (if that isn't bad, why do food nazis want us to eat antioxidants?), and nitrogen (nitrogen run-off is sterilizing our streams and rivers!), and frivolously demand those birth control/abortifacient precursors be banned for the sake of Forbes' alleged consistency.

    They do have an interesting point regarding the the Timothy Plan and the Ave Maria Fund. But I wouldn't be surprised if they'd never heard of them; I hadn't. If I were an investor, I'd want to know a lot more about their size, yield, reliability... there's such a thing as fiduciary responsibility. You'd think Forbes would know that.

    (Hat tip to Claire Wolfe.)


    * I could point out that the whole thing is BS, as government shouldn't be forcing people and companies to purchase a damned thing in the first place. But in practical terms, the SCROTUM SCOTUS has already rendered moot the basic Obamacare debate.
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    7/4/14
    Oddly enough, that graphic showed up

    on The Gun Feed this evening, shortly before I saw this article.

    Dog Dragged Behind Vehicle
    Oklahoma police investigating a disturbing case of animal cruelty. Cops say they found a dog that appears to have dragged behind a vehicle.
    Poor little guy. Probably kept up with you for a mile or so.
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    7/3/14
    Failbook: Still can't find anything original

    Now and then.

    26 years ago...


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    7/3/14
    WMUR: Still defending the official lies

    Last month, the feddie prosecutor in New Hampshire claimed his peeps had seized a "45-caliber submachine gun outfitted with a silencer". Maybe they did; but the weapon on display was not a subgun, but the Kriss Vector CRB semiauto carbine with a barrel shroud. The identification was pretty easy to make (several other people have noted it, including at least one federally licensed NFA expert).

    Gettting a correction to the claim is tougher, as you can see above. WMUR doesn't even want you to see the truth (besides the comment, I sent WMUR a separate email detailing the issues with firearm ID and Feith's honesty). The Useless Leader was nice enough to allow a comment. But none of these Pravda outlets are fixing the reports to something more honest and less inflammatory like, "alleged submachine gun with a silencer". Naturally, they are not about to do something as extreme as publish a report that the identification is being challenged, or note that no charges reflecting the unlawful possession of a post-1986 machine have been filed, as would have been the case if Feith's ID was accurate. He lied in that press conference, he knows he lied, WMUR and UL know it... and the anointed lamestream muddia outlets apparently don't think a dishonest prosecutor is news you should see.


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    7/3/14
    Preaching to the heathen, whether we like it or not

    I read a lot of news. I try to hit different sites for the various spins placed on stories in hopes of picking out a few common themes which may prove to be facts: ABC/CBS/NBC for the leftist look, FOX for the rightwing flap, RRND for aggregated libertarian-leaning material, CNN for the White House alternate reality, and throw in EurekAlert! because I'm interested in sci/tech.

    CNSNews.com was on my "conservative" list until yesterday. CNS tends to be a little... extreme. I wouldn't have been bothering with them (or CNN) if I were out for opposing viewpoints in hopes of striking a balance that vaguely resembles reality. But like CNN, they aren't always making radio contact with reality. Point in case, this showed up in their RSS NEWS feed yesterday:

    Satan Laughs and Spreads His Wings
    "They have rejected Him completely and have chosen to follow me."
    It's – as best I can tell – pseudo-Christian proselytizing written in the form of a first person-Satan gloating screed. It's all very vague, making blanket accusations of bulk-rate sinning, without ever identifying the alleged sinners. Presumbably, in the author's eyes, we're all guilty. By which she means you, you, you, yes you... and you there, hiding behind the column; you, too... and me are all gluttonous, mother-humping murderers.

    Jen Kuznicki lives in a very strange world. I hope the medications help.

    The whole thing was so bizarre that my first thoughts were 1) WTF, CNS?, 2) Oh, wait; maybe they got hacked by fundie pranksters, to 3) No, they would have noticed by now and pulled it... and they do have a religious bias.

    As I said, CNS isn't a "news" service I'd normally want to use. I posted this comment:

    I've been reading CNS for news, not pseudo-Christian sermons. If you had some other point to make, you failed to do so. Apparently it's time to delete CNS from my bookmarks and look for another source of politically right-leaning spin. It's bad enough trying to pick out the facts in the assorted left/right/looney spun reports. Here, I'd have to sort out the proselytizing, too."
    Unfortunately, I left my Disqus options set to email me when I get replies to comments. Mostly that's useful, but in this case, I've "learned" that:
    • it's my fault for reading the opinion/commentary page (I didn't; this showed up in the news feed)
    • that this is a Christian nation established by Christians (...and the odd Jew, assorted Deists, agnostics, at least one associate of the Hellfire Club. I've even seen a claim that Alexander Hamilton had voudoun ties, but that seems quite unlikely based on his ties to Haiti's Toussaint, who opposed voudoun in favor of Catholicism.)

      A potential tie to Catholicism could be amusing, since the "Christians" of colonial and revolutionary America didn't have much use for Catholics. Funny how selective that "Christian" identification can be.

    • that I "have Libtard written all over you...MSLSD or HUFFPOOP is where you need to go...back to..." (The mind boggles at that assertion, and HuffPo is too biased even to make my list of opposing viewpoints. MSLSD? Never heard of it.*)
    • I steal picnic baskets and toilet paper
    • I'm blue. (I'm guesssing that person found his way to my web site and decided based on the color scheme that I'm a registered Dimwit. Sorry, I just like the color.)
    • And my personal favorite: "[T]here is a requirement of Adulthood that demands you not whine when you cannot tolerate an occasional faith-based commentary, and then threaten to take your ball and go home." See? I'm required to keep reading CNS religious screeds.
    Sorry, upbnd816; objecting to sermons in the news feed which render that source less than useful for news isn't whining.

    As for not being allowed to "take your ball and go home", please, do show me the section in the Constitution or US Code that requires me to read your favorite biased media outlet. For that matter, I suspect you can pull some vague, endlessly interpretable quote from the Bible that "proves" CNS is the revealed word of Allah, and I'll be beheaded G-d/J-h-v-h/Jesus (how come I can write out "Jesus" in full not "God"?) if I stop reading it; that should be entertaining.

    And no, Michael David Davis, I didn't assume from the outset that this was proselytizing. I came to that conclusion after reading the screed. Your fellow bigoted commenters underscore my point with the claim that I'm a "poor lost soul" because I don't welcome preaching in my news.

    Yes, removing CNS from my reading list was a wise choice. A "news" service that cannot keep personal messages from Satan out of their news feed (as opposed to a commentary feed) cannot be trusted or relied upon to provide useful, factual (if biased) news.


    * Ah. Apparently it's a Rush Limbaugh reference for MSNBC.
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    7/2/14
    COPSLIE and the State helps

    "All-righty then. If we can't limit your free speech on plates, we'll stop it completely," says the DMV.

    New rules put New Hampshire vanity plates on hold
    The New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles has put a temporary hold on issuing vanity license plates.

    The state Supreme Court ruled in May that New Hampshire needed to come up with more specific rules on what constitutes an appropriate vanity plate.

    If you aren't familliar with the case, Mr. human (not a typo; that'shis name) wanted a personalized plate that read "COPSLIE". (I avoid personalized plates, but then, I like to avoid hostile attention from cops; human understood what he wass getting into with that part). DMV guidelines allowed individual clerks to deny application for violations of whatever they happened to consider "good taste".

    The good news: The NH Supreme Court said they couldn't do that. Too vague. Subject to individual bias.

    The bad news: Rather than accept the ruling and go on with business, the DMV has stopped issuing personalized plates at all. Supposedly, this will be very temporary, while clerks are "retrained". Why clerks need extensive "retraining" simply to follow the new rules that plates may not include messages "advocating a crime and profane words" is puzzling, since the toughest part of that is scribbling a list of profane words. I suppose they're gov-school graduates and read very, very slowly. It isn't like they need to memorize the list; they can write them on their computer password cheatsheet under the calendar blotter.

    If they know how to write.


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    7/2/14
    Just in case you needed another reason to oppose Scott Brown
    Scott Brown Senate campaign brings Mitt Romney back to New Hampshire
    He insists he's not running for president a third time, but Mitt Romney is campaigning again in New Hampshire.The former Republican presidential nominee is set to endorse Senate candidate Scott Brown on Wednesday, campaigning publicly in New Hampshire for the first time since the early hours of Election Day 2012 as he continues a larger effort to re-emerge as a force in Republican politics.
    Joy. RINO Romney endorsing the gun-grabbing, carpetbagging, debate-dodging, question-evading Masshole RINO Scott Brown.

    I've said that if the NHGOP picks Brown in the primaries I willl not vote for any Republican for any office, on the tested theory that they'll have proven the the entire party cannot be trusted. All things considered, I don't think I need to wait for the primiary to make that call. The GOP – noted for shoving unwanted, pre-anointed candidates down our throats – seems to be doing its best to kill off any real choices. Hardly a surprise, since "choice" has largely meant choosing someone from column A or column B of the Boot On Your Neck Party. The Mississippi GOP cooperation with the Dems to eliminate the TEA party challenger just highlights that. The fact that virtually no media site even mentions the Libertarian candidate's existence adds an underscore.

    Well, some of that is Libertarian Goldsmith's own ineptitude. His idea of voter outreach is a series of YouTube videos that sound like they were scripted by the ghost of Ayn Rand, and a web site last updated on May 21st.

    I think it's fairly safe to predict a November win for Shaheen, which is – depressingly – preferable to Brown. "The devil you know...""


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    6/30/14
    No, that is not a submachine gun

    Look! Bullshit lamestream muddia parroting LEO press releases, unquestioningly. Again.

    10 arrested, weapons seized as drug ring broken up
    "Digital scales, money counters and a significant collection of firearms, including a .45-caliber submachine gun outfitted with a silencer," Feith said.
    Just to clarify, the ".45 caliber submachine gun" probably isn't. What they have there appears to be a KRISS Vector CRB, which is the semiauto-only civilian version of the KRISS Vector SMG. You'll notice that the SMG's fire selector is missing from the displayed firearm. It also appears to have the CRB's 16" inch barrel rather the stubby 5.5" SMG barrel.

    The claim to a "silencer" is less clear. The CRB photographs of the CRB all show the barrel enclosed by what I would guess to be a shroud, but what could conceivably be a suppressor. I do note that the tech specs for the SMG include barrel threads and suppressor as available options, while those are not listed for the semiauto CRB. I have an inquiry in to KRISS, but for now I think the "silencer" claim is as fake as the submachine gun claim.

    Added: Still waiting to hear back from Kriss, but here's a little more to support my thought that the "silencer" is really a shroud. Pictured are the Vector CRB with the possible shroud, a Vector SMG, and a Vector SMG with an actual suppressor. Note the difference in the gap between the CRB shroud and frame vs. the SMG suppressor and frame. Compare that to the seized weapon pictured.


    Click for larger image

    Shroud.

    Added, 2: Here's another picture of a Vector CRB (semiauto) with a shroud. Again, look at that gap between shroud base and frame.

    Added, 3: The Useless Leader is also dumbly accepting and reporting the bogus "machine gun with a silencer". No one else seems to be wondering – if they so very badly misidentified the firearm – whether they also correctly identified the alleged pot. At this point, I wouldn't be too terribly surprised if it wasn't a load of parsely and oregano for a chef supply business. If I were on the jury for this case, I'd laugh DA Feith out of the courtroom.

    Added, 4: I am informed that a person with extensive NFA experience (at this time, the person requests anonymity, for very good reasons) has confirmed my ID of the firearm as the semiauto Vector CRB. Not a machine gun.


    (And really, guys? A whole yearlong investigation – or is that 6 years starting in 2008? – and all you got was "approximately" (meaning a lot less) thirty pounds of weed? Wow. Our tax dollars at work wasted.)


    Side Note: My comment on the WMUR article, IDing the firearm, went to moderation. Always does that when I criticize them for some reason. They claim Disqus is doing it behind their backs, and they have no control. [grin]


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    6/30/14
    Hanging Judge

    In the L.Neil Smith sense.

    Judge Orders George Zimmerman Defamation Suit Dismissed
    "there are no genuine issues of material fact upon which a reasonable jury could find that the Defendants' acted with actual malice; that there exists absolutely no clear and convincing evidence that Defendants' knew that the information published was false at the time it was published, or recklessly disregard the truth or falsity of those statements at the time they were published."
    Lessee...
    • "no clear and convincing evidence that Defendants' knew that the information published was false": NBC had the original recording.
    • "no genuine issues of material fact ... that the Defendants' acted with actual malice": NBC specifically edited the tapes to change the apparent context and meaning.
    • "recklessly disregard the truth or falsity of those statements": With the original recordings in hand, NBC continued to stand by the false claim of accuracy.
    • We know that NBC knew the report was false and considered it a bad thing because NBC fired at least two employees after the story came to light" for misconduct.
    This was a "summary judgement" on the part of the blackrobed crossdresser. That means she refused to let a jury decide at all. Funny thing about summary judgements:
    "A procedural device used during civil litigation to promptly and expeditiously dispose of a case without a trial. It is used when there is no dispute as to the material facts of the case and a party is entitled to judgment as a Matter of Law."
    The judge ignored Zimmerman's claims of material facts (supported by NBC's broadcasts and firing of the perps), and then declared those facts don't exist.

    As for that pesky jury thing: "In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved." I seem to be missing the part that adds "unless some judge can't be bothered."

    Is Judge Debra S. Nelson stupid, ignorant, or crooked?

    (Also, last week, NBC had argued that Zimmerman couldn't sue because he became a public figure when they libeled him on national TV.)


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    6/30/14
    Ask, and ye shall receive,

    David.


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    6/28/14
    Well, she does think she's America's nanny

    Apparently this is my day to sound off on immigration issues.

    Pelosi on the Border: We Have to Use This 'Crisis' as an 'Opportunity'
    Pelosi explained, "We are all Americans -- north and south in this hemisphere," and urged America to see this as not a crisis but an opportunity "to be helpful." She also said she wished she could simply "take home" the thousands of children temporarily housed in the overburden facilities.
    Excellent. I think she should put her estimated $100 million where her socialist mouth is.

    Adopt 'em, bitch.


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    6/28/14
    A rhetorical question

    As it happens, I'm pro-open borders. My own great-grandfather came to America through an essentially open border.* So this rhetorical question is really for the folks who want to wall in the border and line it with heat-activated, automated machinegun nests (seriously, I've heard that). Bear with me, because it needs a little lead in. I suspect most of you will see where it's going pretty quickly, though.

    "We" (by which I refer to government weasels who sat safely on their asses, while sending other people to get shot at) invaded Grenada in '83, because violence driven by Cuban "undocumented immigrants" posed a potential threat to American medical students. "We" invaded Panama in '89 Just Because (and set a new world record for SWAT team no-knock "dynamic entries") Noriega was a drugrunner (whose 50 kilos of coke turned out to be tamales) and his actions created instability and violence that endangered Americans. "We" invaded Iraq in '91 because that nasty ol' Saddam was destabilizing the region. We kept up bombing runs, cruise missile strikes, and imposed a no-fly zone on Iraq for another twenty years, until Dubya decided to prove he was as tough as Daddy by... invading Iraq again and desposing Hussein... because he was destabilizing the region (something our ongoing war – – apparently didn't do at all) and didn't have anything to do with 9-11. Regime change would make everything better. Just ask ISIS. Regime change similarly worked wonders for Afghanistan, which had the gall to not actually be sheltering 9-11 mastermind bin Laden, who was responsible for killing Americans.

    I could also mention Liberai, Zaire, Somalia, Yemen, Bosnia, Macedonia, Haiti, CAR, Albania, Congo, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria (doesn't seem to have stopped the 419 scammers, though), East Timor, Philippines, Côte d'Ivoire, Georgia, Djibouti, Pakistan, Syria, Lebanon (wait; the region still hasn't been bombed into total stability?), Uganda, Jordan, Turkey, Chad, Mali...

    Anyway...

    "We" did all that (and more) in the alleged interest of political stability and protecting Americans. The Obama Administration would have us believe that the tens of thousands of undocumented guests swamping the southern border are "refugees" from the same sort of instability and violence in their countries. And Great Ghu knows, it's driving crime and violence in America.

    So.

    When do "we" invade? No? Why not?


    * I am, however opposed to free social services – collectively, so-called "welfare" – for immigrants coming here for the free services. I am also opposed to a drug war that primarily serves as a government subisidy for drugrunners, jacking up the prices of agricultural products, which should be comparable to produce in your local grocery stores, to thousands of dollars per pound; which also drives traffic and violence across the border, the same drug war driving much of the instability in South and Central American countries.
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    6/28/14
    WTF, KC?

    After Cleveland shooting, cities restrict police chases
    Kansas City, Kan. officers can now only pursue a driver if there is "probable cause to believe the violator has committed a felony, or misdemeanor, or traffic violation," according to an April policy change.
    Wait... what the...

    What in the hell were they chasing people for before that? Building code violations?

    Central, this is Car 54. I'm in hot pursuit of a six story multifamily dwelling with suspected unapproved green front doors. Request backup."


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    6/28/14
    Free Speech? We can't have that!

    Your tax dollars* at work.

    Youth regularly receive pro-marijuana tweets
    Hundreds of thousands of American youth are following marijuana-related Twitter accounts and getting pro-pot messages several times each day, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found.
    Yeah, they're all upset because people are able to talk about marijuana. Obviously, this will cause the collapse of western civilization. But let's keep reading this nasty little press release.
    Although 19 states now allow marijuana use for medical purposes, much of the evidence for its effectiveness remains anecdotal.
    This peer reviewed study suggests otherwise. But wait, the drug warriors exclaim, that's just one study. OK, how about 105 peer reviewed studies? No? Maybe 800+ peer reviewed studies?

    Possibly the feds' problem with that research is that a great deal of it didn't happen in the US, so it somehow doesn't count. Of course, there's a reason US research is limited and hamstrung. More than one reason, as it happens, approved research has to be conducted with approved, federally-supplied weed, and there's... not a hell of a lot of it. Hmm... people making a living by restricting marijuana gut marijuana research, then use the lack of research to demonize pot...thus ensuring continued job security... No conflict of interest here!

    Keep reading.

    With the help of a data analysis firm, the investigators found that of those receiving the tweets, 73 percent were under 19. Fifty-four percent were 17 to 19 years old, and almost 20 percent were 16 or younger. About 22 percent were 20 to 24 years of age. Only 5 percent of the followers were 25 or older.
    You might be wondering where they got that age data. After all, a quick check of the Twitter sign up page doesn't show a field for date of birth. So they didn't simply demand it from Twitter. Hint: "data analysis firm". More like data-mining. Now think about what they did.

    They mined Twitter for feed subscribers' userids. Then they had this conveniently unnamed dataminer scour the Internet to cross-reference those IDs to personally identifiable data elsewhere. Once they have names, they simply wander through the SSAN databases for dates of birth. Oh. And yeah.

    This means that evil SOBs who will lie and cheat to make an easy living keep the world safe from ditchweed now have a listed of verified names of people who support marijuana use, and may well be be marijuana users. I'm sure the feds would never abuse that list.


    Side Note
    Show of hands: How many of you are wondering how much help Google provided in assembling that list? How many of you are planning to take additional steps to protect online privacy?
    "[I]t turns out a Twitter handle that promotes substance use can be equally popular," she said. "Because there's not much regulation of social media platforms, that could lead to potentially harmful messages being distributed. Regulating this sort of thing is going to be challenging, but the more we can provide evidence that harmful messages are being received by vulnerable kids, the more likely it is we can have a discussion about the types of regulation that might be appropriate."
    Notice that there's no question in this bitch's mind that speech must be regulated to prevent people hearing about pot. First Amendment? What's that? She figures they only thing left to be decided is how to shut you up.


    * Funded by the NCRR, NIDA and the NIH. A trifecta of bad "science".
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    6/26/14
    Thanks to whoever that was

    Bitcoin. No name.

    Thank you!


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    6/26/14
    A Lyndeborough Public Service Message

    To the one fucking around my truck:


    A message for morally and intellectually challenged punks.
    If it saves just one idiot child.


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    6/26/14
    Oh, look. WaPo still lying.

    When you're a people-hating victim disarmer, that never gets old.

    Federal gun violence research has been banned for years. Now researchers are getting around it — with Google.
    The NRA and their supporters in Congress also famously and ferociously oppose any federal funding for gun violence research.
    When you're the WaPo, you don't have to let any inconvenient facts get in the way of your drive to violate human/civil rights. The inconvenient fact here is: CDC is NOT forbidden to conduct research into violence or gun safety.
    PUBLIC LAW 104–208
    "That none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be used to advocate or promote gun control"
    "advocate or promote gun control". Because that's what they were doing. Not research. Political activism for a cause to violate the constitution and your human and civil rights. The CDC can and does still conduct research into firearms-related issues. They – and the victim disarmament crowd generally – are just pissed that they don't get to spend your money violating your rights.

    Added: I doubt that I'm the sole persson pointing out the facts to WaPo. That article originally showed 16 comments. When I clicked to read them...

    0 Comments
    Gone. Vanished. "Moderated" into the Black Hole of Inconvenient Truth.

    Added, again: David Codrea (thanks for the link) says the comments are still there if you click the link under the headline. I still saw that reading "0" until I – dangerously – allowed all scripts on the page to run. Sorry about that; my default browser state is to block scripts except on known trusted sites. I don't exactly trust WaPo. It's still odd that the page did originally show comments with scripts blocked, and later showed them zeroed out. Who knows?


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    6/26/14
    Looking for the black cat in the coal bin in the basement at midnight

    NASA finds mysterious signal that baffles astronomers
    A leading theory, NASA reports, is that the X-rays are a result of decaying "sterile neutrinos," which are particles that could potentially produce dark matter.
    So... hypothetical sterile neutrinos, which have never been detected despite multiple attempts, generate equally hypothetical dark matter, which likewise has never been detected despite decades of searching, to generate X-rays which even "NASA notes that normal matter may also have created".

    When you have to invent undetected (and virtually undetectable) hypothetical particles to account for undetected (and virtually undetectable) hypothetical invisible matter to account for your expansion model not matching reality, it's time to drop the epicycles and consider the possibility that your model is wrong, not the universe.

    When you're looking for that black cat, you should first consider the fact that it isn't meowing. Maybe... just maybe it isn't down there.


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    6/25/14
    [Re-]Defining "Child"

    • Dictionary.com: a person between birth and full growth; a boy or girl
    • Wikipedia: generally a human between the stages of birth and puberty
    • Federal law: Federal law defines a “minor” as a child under the age of 18 unless specified otherwise.
    • PolitiFactFarce: Anyone up to and including legal adults 19 years old, who can be used to irrationally inflate numbers to instill panic.
      "...a five-year average of government data recording children who died from gunshot wounds. The ages range from infants to 19."
    Since this is a firearms-related issue, perhaps we should consider the "otherwise specified" ages for buying firearms. According to 18 U.S. Code § 922, a licensed dealer may sell long arms to 18yos (for the clue-impaired, that would be a year younger than what the Brady Bunch and PoolitiFarce* considers a "child". True, teh age limit for handguns is 21, but so is the age limit for buying alcohol. Oddly enough, despite that nannyism, an 18yo can still vote and enter into legally binding contracts.

    In New Hampshire, RSAs specify that, for firearms purposes, a "child,'' "juvenile'' or "youth'' shall mean any person under 16 years of age.

    Some will point out that it's difficult to pull up only firearms deaths for under 18yo from the CDC's online database. There's some truth to that. The database uses some arbitrarily odd age groupings. However, considering that "child" is most commonly used to refer to someone below puberty, the <1, 1-4, and 5-14 groups are a fairly good general match. Using that, we get a 12 year average of 1.1 child deaths per day; far, far below the 7.81 found by PoolitiFarce, and 9 by Brady, supposedly using the same database. The next age group is 15-24, which includes those old enough to vote, by any lawful firearm, buy alcohol, enter contracts, enlist in the military...

    Yeah. That last. Technically, the 15-24 group should include Afghanistan combat deaths for young adult military personnel.

    The more rational might point out that it's long past high time for the CDC to either fix the arbitrary groupings that make sorting children from adult gangbangers or military personnel impossible, or dispense with thgroupings altogether and listing all incidents by the age (which they must know in order to assign them to current groupings).

    And yes, PoolitiFarce did determine that 7.81 equals 9. No doubt this finding will be used to support the next round of attempts to legislate pi=3.2


    * Not a typo.
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    6/25/14
    It took thirty years

    But Dean Ing nailed it. Granted, he figured it for 1995, not 2014.


    "You're going too far," Eve snapped, thumbing the fax sheet Mills had carried to her condominium-sized office.

    "Don't tell me the system can't handle a message tailored to each household," Mills wagged a finger in warning. "I've channeled too much money into your media research and read too many progress reports." It wass such hot stuff that Mills had insisted on the electronic programs being stored in a government-controlled underground vault. There, it would not be pilferable by some industrial spy.

    But Eve snorted, setting off ripples in the flesh at her throat. She had the trick of switching from the nasally sensuous to imperious tones without pause. "Not the electronics, goddammit, I'm talking about viewer reaction. Boren, you're asking for a level of message control that assumes viewers will never compare videotapes, never start a brushfire under some Indy congressman once they have proof you're tailoring messages to each holo set."

    Mills reflected on the lifetime appointments of media commissioners and waved the objection away."Not that the Indys could do anything about it," he said.

    "Legally? No, your risks aren't legal; they're charismatic." In media research, 'charisma' no longer referred strictly to people. Any message that approached overwhelming credibility was said to be charismatic. "As long as John Q. talks to his neighbor, you'll get some coalition of fruitcakes who'll call FBN's credibility on the carpet. Even if you cleaned up your act afterward, it'd be bye-bye charisma – and bye-bye to some network ad accounts for FBN. Is that what you want?"

    Mills, sitting on an arm of Eve's ample couch, sighed and retrieved the fax sheet. "So the problem is still word-of-mouth," he mused. "Which means we work harder to alienate the bastards from one another."

    "Divide and conquer," Eve chuckled. "Welcome to media theory."

      –  Single Combat, by Dean Ing, copyright 1983


    Deciding what to target the loners with was a little more complicated, but really not so tough after all.

    (And for those who believe that the Internet is a magical device that will Reveal The Truth To All: Confirmation Bias)


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    6/24/14
    With a little luck, we'll lean if it's possible...

    ...for a politician to die of embarrassment.

    Oh, dear Bog. The irony is at near-lethal levels. Assuming embarrassment doesn't kill them first. Being who they are, I know shame won't get 'em.


    Watch at YouTube (short version; for those with a low tolerance for BS).

    If you didn't catch it, the song is "We Shall Overcome".

    I understand that Dictionary.com plans to update their definitions of irony and condescension with this pic:

    (Hat tip to Joel.)


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    6/24/14
    Acme IT, at your service

    'We have a problem with you, and you have a problem maintaining your credibility': House Republicans slam IRS commissioner as they subpoena a White House lawyer in 'missing emails' case
    "Since Jan. 1 of this year, for example," [IRS Commissioner John Koskinen] claimed, "over 2,000 employees have suffered hard drive crashes."
    Lessee:
    • IRS Employees: 89,500
    • Drive Crashes Jan 1 - Jun 23 2014 (174 days) 2,000+
    • Crash rate: 2.23%
    Annual equivalent rate: 4.68%

    Specified number of failures was at least 2,000. So call the annual rate 5% of personnel experiencing failures. For the IRS.

    I've had 1 partial hard drive failure in 36 years.

    Either the most transparent administration in history is doing something very, very wrong, or I'm doing something right. Probably the IRS should disable the automatic coffee mug trays so those idiot employees will stop spilling beverages in the computers.


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    6/23/14
    Whoa


    Source: These 50 Photos From The Past Are Shocking And Hilarious.
    I Can't Believe How Things Have Changed...


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    6/23/14
    Those incredible Spaceweather balloons


    Larger Image

    I criticize NASA scientist shill Tony Phillips' ongoing description of high-altitude balloons reaching the "edge of space, because they don't. But "edge of space" probably sounds sexier than "upper stratosphere" to a deskbound NASA geek, and likely generates more web hits.

    Lately though... while he hasn't abandoned the abuse of "edge of space", he has started in with another misused term for those balloons: "suborbital".

    One could argue that since the balloons aren't in orbit, then they are suborbital. By that standard, anything that isn't in orbit is suborbital. Like the coffee mug sitting beside me right now.

    "A sub-orbital space flight is a spaceflight in which the spacecraft reaches space, but its trajectory intersects the atmosphere or surface of the gravitating body from which it was launched, so that it does not complete one orbital revolution."
    Sadly for the reality-challenged Dr. Phillips, suborbital does have a specific meaning (just like edge of space) which conveniently differentiates between between things sitting on the ground or flying in the air, and those that reach fricking space. Yes, suborbital specifically refers to something which reaches space but does not complete an orbit due to lack of velocity (that might be a starting suborbital velocity, or a retarded velocity as in Fractional Orbit Bombardment System).

    Balloons, being limited to the velocity of the air in which they float, say, a maximum of 100 meters per second – roughly 224 MPH – are far, far below actual orbital velocity of 6.9 thousand meters per second (15,430 MPH). Your typical jet airliner goes three times as fast as that max wind-driven balloon speed. And we've already mentioned that – in freaking atmosphere – those balloons never get close to space.

    Philllips seems to be a bright guy with an actual science background. Which means he deliberately chose to abandon science for a career as a media spinmeisterfailed-apprentice.

    Damned shame, but that does illustrate everything wrong with NASA. Happily, I now have other sources for the information I used to get from Spaceweather.com, so I won't have his BS inflicted on me anymore.


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    6/23/14
    Un-news of the day

    Somewhere in an alternate universe...


    Source

    TAHMOORESSI TO BE RELEASED?

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Under mounting pressure from the most popular Congress in history, President Obama is reported to be cutting a prisoner exchange deal with Mexico for the release of Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi,who is currently being held on weapons charges despite his contention that he accidentally crossed the Mexican border.

    According to White House spokesman Jay Carney, the proposed deal bears strong similarities to the recent agreement with Afghanistan Taliban forces for the release of Bowe Bergdahl.

    "Yes, the deal does hinge on a potential exchange of personnel," Carney confirmed. "If Mexico does not release Sergeant Tahmooressi immediately, we will repatriate roughly 80,000 potential Democrats illegal aliens undocumented immigrants unacccompanied visitors noncitizen detainees with no formal residency status to Mexico. Specifically, to Juárez. All of them. All at once. With their kids. And the guns and drugs we took off them. The whole enchilada nonspecific ethnic gustatory reference."

    Mexican President Nieto's office had no comment, but confidential sources report that he is currently incapacitated by an extended attempt to shit a brick.


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    6/21/14
    Salesman of the century

    Mike Vanderboegh in Big Spring, Howard County TX, 21 June 2014
    I'd like to open my speech today with two shout outs, one to my most devoted sponsors, the One Hundred Heads Life and Casualty Company and the other to the twice-elected President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama, on the singular milestone in his career, or indeed of anyone who has ever sat in the Oval Office. Sometime later this month, if my estimate is correct, Mr. Obama will have presided over the ONE HUNDRED MILLIONTH FBI FIREARM SALES BACKGROUND CHECK. Now, more a guy who's only been in office for a term and a half, that'd quite an accomplishment as a firearm salesman representing the Unintended Consequences Armaments Corporation, he has managed to put even Bill Clinton in the deep shade.
    Do keep reading.


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    6/21/14
    I think someone is worried about being fired

    This just showed up in my mailbox, via my website email form

    Unquestionably, even the best adresse can be useless appears to be marketing is actually unnoticed. Everyone who is during the procuring prevent within your e-mail, agree to work to keep your own situation wellinformed. Evaluate posted documents.
    From there, it devolves into the usual Lewis Carrollish psuedorandom babble sprinkled with URLs no sane person would click.

    Could be he's afraid of getting one of these.

    One can always hope.


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    6/21/14
    More quality reporting

    See that?

    Police seize assault rifle, scope, silencer in drug dealing case
    The following evidence was seized:
    [...]
    § GSG-HR 22 caliber long refile with silencer and scope
    Not...quite.

    Actually, that is not a "GSG-HR22 assault rifle". That appears to be a .22 caliber plinker called the GSG 522SD. It is not an assault rifle: It is semi-auto only, and it's chambered in .22LR rather than an intermediate power "assault rifle" cartridge. The "silencer" isn't a silencer either; it's a purely cosmetic, non-operational feature that the manufacturer includes because this is meant as a sporting replica of the Heckler & Koch MP5.

    Possibly the "drugs" weren't drugs either.

    If you're a reporter with zero firearms knowledge, you should really get a gunnie or two in your Rolodex. Or learn to use Google. Or at least stop reprinting police press releases as unquestioned fact.

    Seriously, folks; I didn't happen to be personally familiar with that firearm, but was alerted by the odd claim of "assault rifle" (if it had been a full-auto capable assault rifle, criminal charges should have reflected that; they don't). It took me roughly 60 seconds to ID the gun and pretend "silencer". That was starting with the article's wrong name/number for the thing. It isn't that hard to figure out.


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    6/21/14
    Meaningless statistics

    Apparently Gary Bauer has said that, "More Babies have Been Aborted than Jobs have Been Created" Under Obama. Sounds vaguely impressive until you consider that it doesn't mean anything.

    More yards were mowed last year than vehicles were manufactured in Detroit. So what? There's no correlation. The factoids aren't related.

    Unless Bauer is – most unlikely – advocating retroactive abortion as a means of reducing the potential labor pool, and thus increasing the labor rate percentage. Does he want us to adopt a policy of killing off undesirable potential employees to make the numbers look better? Come to think of it, I could maybe get behind that.

    We could start with Congress.


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    6/21/14
    McCain whines about liberal media bias

    World laughs at his RINO ass.*


    Really! I'm a Republican. See my horn?
    (Original Image by Jared C. Wilson**)

    John McCain Is Very Upset Chuck Todd Made Fun Of Him
    "It's not like further evidence was needed to prove the liberal bias at MSNBC and in the mainstream media, but Chuck Todd's 'hot mic' comments asking if anyone 'checked on' Senator McCain for 'heart palpitations' over General Petraeus' remarks on Iraq show just how quickly the media will try and discredit Senator McCain and anyone who questions President Obama," McCain's communications director, Brian Rogers, said in a statement.
    I'm hoping McCain will run for president again. We need the laughs.
    * The guy is walking, talking babbling proof that the Dems and Reps are just two branches of the Boot On Your Neck Party.

    ** If anyone has a good URL for Wilson, let me know so I can link it.


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    6/20/14
    One little observation regarding drive crashes

    IRS: Inspector general probing hard drive crash
    Commissioner John Koskinen [...] says eight federal employees experienced hard drive failures. That means emails related to the investigation could be unrecoverable.
    I've been working with computers since 1978. I don't think I can count how many computers I've personally owned, much less those I've used professionally.

    In 36 years, I can recall one (1, uno, ein) hard drive crash that lost data.*

    In that single case, the IDE controller failed and scrambled some data. Some. Not all. I lost some data written since the last backup; around 99% percent of the data was still available on the drive without resorting to backups. I pulled the drive, put it on another controller, and continued to use the drive. I eventually retired that drive, not because it failed, but because it was silly to keep using an 8GB hard drive for stuff that 16GB portable thumb drives do better.

    And yet... the IRS coincidentally had eight catastrophic, un-frickin'-recoverable failures in the same time frame, that coincidentally all chanced to involve Lerner's emails which are required by law to be archived.


    (Heh. Just for fun, I checked my regularly available, locally stored emails. Without even going to multiply-backed up archives I can pull up email from August 2006; nearly eight years. The IRS can't find anything more than three years old?)


    * Amazingly, the one that crapped out was not in the computer that got totally submerged in water. Don't ask.
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    6/20/14
    Up, Up, and Away!

    Derek Lowe at In the Pipeline often has smart things to say. He also has damned funny things to say.


    Look! Up in the sky. It's
    Bureaucratman!

    I like Lowe. I very often agree with him. Occasionally, when my opinion differed from his, he offered facts and convinced me. Not this time, though.

    Stem Cells: The Center of "Right to Try" Email This Entry
    There are libertarian and free-market groups behind several of the legal initiatives in the US, who honestly believe that the current FDA structure is an impediment to medical progress, and that this sort of deregulation will end up helping more people more quickly. I believe that their motives are sincere - not everyone pushing these ideas is looking for a quick buck. But the people who aren't need to look around and realize how many quick-buck artists are surrounding them. Every libertarian reform needs to have someone thinking "OK, less regulation and more freedom of choice, check. But what are the ways that this could be abused by unscrupulous SOBs?
    So, Dr. Hmm, looking at this morning's junk folder collection...
    • "Guaranteed Snoring Solution - It Works"
    • "Eating fat to burn fat? Sign me in!"
    • "Stretch Your Dollars More On Next Oil Change"
    • "PayPal account information needs to be updated"
    • "Who's Who Among Executives"
    • "Please find attached the business account forms"
    • "You have received fax from EPSON55462893 at"
    • "Save 85% Off On New Michael Kors Bags!"
    • "You have received a voice mail message from 657-367"
    Oddly enough, I haven't seen any "herbal V!gara" or "Levt!r!a" ads yet today; unusual. Then there's there's the "weird trick" to cure cancer, quit smoking, lose weight, and feng shui my apartment. Nigerian 411 scams. Fake IRS and FBI notifications. Fake VA notifications (not to mention the real ones: "Die early! Die often!").

    Let's not forget heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines, GHB, and other unapproved street drugs, all quite readily available despite the superheroic efforts of Bureaucratman to protect us from ourselves.

    Somehow the fact that fraud is already illegal, and marketing unapproved drugs is already covered doesn't seem to be slowing the [freelance] crooks down a whole lot. The FDA isn't noticeably protecting me; common sense and my own due diligence does that. Clearly having a fed agency chock full of bureaucrats seeking perpetual job security doesn't substitute for having and using my own brain.

    Then there's approved drugs with troublesome issues: SSRI with heightened suicide and violent impulse risks, for example.

    Oops! Don't forget the various perfectly legal, unregulated herbal remedies people have been using for centuries or more.

    The FDA may be protecting the heck out of the industry, but it doesn't do a lot for consumers who still have to make informed choices (and there's not a heck of a lot anyone can do about the folks choosing to make bad choices – 40 year war on drugs anyone?). So why not try dumping the FDA and see how it works out? If you insist on being protected by a bureaucrat whose desperation for a regular paycheck matches your own desperation for a cancer (or whatever ails you) cure, you could leave the FDA in place as a voluntary process, while allowing free marketing without FDA approval: you take your pick and take your chances...

    ...just like the current real world situation.


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    6/20/14
    "Except one side doesn't have any billionaires."

    I'm beginning to wonder if the latest group to buy off Harry Reid is the GOP. He certainly seeems to determined to produced as much election year fodder for the Republicans as possible.

    Harry Reid: Democrats Do Not 'Have Any Billionaires'
    "The decisions by the Supreme Court have left the American people with the status quo in which one side's billionaires are pitted against the other side's billionaires," he said this morning on the Senate floor. "Except one side doesn't have any billionaires."
    Except Tom Steyer, George Soros, Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, Warren Buffett, Larry Ellison, Eli Broad, Jon Stryker, Steven Spielberg, Dirk Ziff...


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    6/19/14
    Bullshit Science

    Via "Doctor" (I think he found that doctorate in a Cracker Jacks box, while looking for his Nobel Prize) Tony Phillips' Spaceweather.com – the guy who thinks balloons at 120,000 feet have reached the "edge of space" – thunderstorms generate "gravity waves".

    A Bullseye in the Sky Over Texas
    "These are literally 'ripples of glowing atmosphere' whose structure is the result of a train of gravity waves that is passing through a thin layer of the atmosphere that produces a very faint veil of light called 'nightglow,'" [Steven Miller, senior research scientist and deputy director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere] said.
    Whoa, Nelly! Let's save several million dollars and shut down the LIGO project. You know; the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory. The instrument that hasn't managed to actually detect gravity waves despite a couple of runs and sensitivity improvements. What do we need with a failed gravity observatory that can't even detect seriously freaking massive gravity waves in our own atmosphere?

    Yeah. Right. CIRA's Miller would have us believe that 1) a thunderstorm is producing gravity waves of detectable magnitude, 2) that those waves are so seriously freaking powerful that they are ionizing the very air, and that 3) somehow the GRACE satellites – so sensitive to mass fluctuations that they can tell us how thick Arctic ice is – never noticed a huge gravitational event visible to infrared optical instruments. Too bad LIGO wasn't running; it could have missed this event, too. You'd think we'd have noticed the frickin' earthquakes caused by gravity waves of such extreme magnitude. Or, at least, our beer mugs tipping over.

    Heck, gravitational forces like that should have screwed up satellite orbits enough to require correction. Anyone notice GPS or Dish TV problems?

    Shit. Our clocks should have slowed down.

    Maybe... just maybe... these weren't "gravity waves". It isn't as if we don't already know of electrical activity that ionizes air. You know, like lightning or aurora. Hmm... thunderstorm... electrical activity... could it be... ? Nah. Of course not. Sudden air pressure changes associated with the big storm couldn't possibly generate a ripple effect either. Right?

    On the other hand, if they've just discovered a way to generate gravity electrically (and there are bright people who think that's possible), I think Miller should work on duplicating the effect in a lab. I can think of lots of applications for artificial gravity: communications not affected by EM interference, nondestructive materials testing.... heck, the old SF standby artifical gravity in spaceships, no spinning required.

    Personally, I think he just discovered another way to ionize gases electromagnetically.


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    6/19/14
    Funny thing about trademarks

    Like my site's new look?
    (Added: I had temporarily changed the overall theme to a Redskins logo and color scheme. I've gone back to the proper look now that I've made the point. I hope.)

    Surely even the least pro-sports inclined among my readers has heard that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration . A lot of people, like the less than brilliant Senator Harry Reid seem to be under the impression that this means the Redskinsnon-TM will be forced to change their team name.

    Such folk are sadly mistaken, having misunderstood what a PTO trademark is.

    A registered trademark is not "permission" to use a word, phrase, or symbol. It isn't as if you have to register something in order to use it. What a trademark does is prevent anyone else from using it. If you neglect to register your trademark, then the .gov won't make other naughty people stop using your symbols. You're on your own.

    If the .gov cancels your registration, and announces that it won't allow registration of such an offensive term as "redskins"* then... All bets are off. The field is clear. Anyone can use it without fear of being sued for infringement.

    I have a sneaking suspicion the PC goons didn't think this one through.


    * BS. My earliest recollection of even being aware of the Redskins team name was that they must be tough, wily, cunning, competent... because that's how I thought of "Indians", "Redskins". I saw it as something in between a tribute to Amerindians and a hope to be like them. It never occurred to me to think of it as offensive. People usually don't try to associate themselves with things they think are bad: How many pro sports teams do you see called the "Naples Nazis", or the "Philadelphia Pedophiles"? "Oregon Onanists"? "Denver Dumbasses"? "Washington Wimps"? Not many; those aren't what people generally want to be. But "Redskins", "Braves", "Indians"? Hell, yeah.
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    6/19/14
    This explains a lot

    Obama Is First President to Be 3D-Printed
    "You can see down to the wrinkles in the skin and the pores on his face," Vince Rossi, a 3D imaging specialist, told the AP.
    Plastic, hollow, blank eyes, devoid of rational thought...

    Huh. I guess they perfected the process by first producing Congress.

    If the government is going to 3D print those undetectable assault pols, maybe 3D printers should be banned after all, before the pols get more realistic.


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    6/18/14
    Live Free, Or Die and run from the chickens

    Oh, New Hampshire... What have you become?

    Manchester residents, aldermen squawk over chicken proposal
    Several residents and aldermen on Tuesday spoke out against a proposed ordinance that would allow residents to raise chickens in the city, raising concerns that ranged from economic discrimination to the possibility of a chicken attack.
    Dear. Frickin'. Bog.

    We call that alektorophobia.

    I'm far more worried about encountering an off-duty Manchester cop in a bar than I am about hypothetical enraged chicken attacks.


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    6/18/14
    Life Expectancy
    "The amount of harm caused by any politician can be estimated by his life expectancy in public without bodyguards."
     – Oleg Volk, 6/18/2014

    Huh.


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    6/17/14
    Book Reviews: Hillary Clinton's... whatever the heck

    Seriously. I have trouble remembering the title of her campaign flyer book.

    My current favorite review:

    As a punishment for misbehavior…, June 15, 2014
    My science teacher once assigned me to write a 500-word report on the contents inside a ping-pong ball. I was NOT allowed to use the word, “nothing.” It turned out to be a very creative exercise. I learned a lot about gas; particularly nitrogen and oxygen. --But it was possible. The ghost writer of “Hard Choices” faced a similar task… Write a 650-page book on the accomplishments of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (And do NOT use the word, “Benghazi.”) By all means, read this book! -- It’s very creative, and you’ll learn a lot about gas.


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    6/17/14
    Warning: Star N9500 spyphone

    Since I know some of my readers are on budgets nearly as tight as my own...

    Don't buy one of these.

    Report: Chinese phone comes preloaded with spyware
    A cheap brand of Chinese-made smartphones carried by major online retailers comes preinstalled with espionage software, a German security firm said Tuesday.
    [...]
    G Data said the spyware it found on the N9500 could allow a hacker to steal personal data, place rogue calls, or turn on the phone's camera and microphone. G Data said the stolen information was sent to a server in China.

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    6/17/14
    Hoarding Stockpiling

    Got a little time to kill today? Spend some of it researching what people are stockpiling, and why. I accidentally ran into what seems to be a trend this morning.

    Yeah, we know the new civil war/zombie apocalypse/collapse of the dollar/UN blue tops are coming fringe has been stockpiling ammunition. Less noted in the lamestream muddia, but possibly more prevalent in real life is food prep. Maybe this isn't really as widespread as my brief read suggests. Hard to say, since my circle of friends tends towards readiness (of the "it's hurricane season again" sort). But I wonder.

    And yes, up till this year, firearms have been big items. Then there's gold, silver, even copper. I've known of nonsmokers stocking up on cigarettes and bags of pipe tobaccco for trade goods. Toilet paper, too; which is probably a good investment with this administration. I'm not talking about a few loonies out in their Carrington Event-EMP-shielded mountaintop camouflaged bunkers either. All things considered, all that is not indicative of a country with a lot of confidence in the recovering economy, political stability.

    But what I saw today, the new hoarders' delight...

    Building materials. Cement. Bricks and blocks. Lumber. Plywood. Vapor barrier, tar paper, shingles, nails, staples, tools. And not by contractors trying to take advantage of some perceived temporary drop in prices.

    Ordinary homeowners. And not just homesteading, backwoods folk. Suburbanites. And no, not for specific planned projects.

    Most of the stockpiling that's made the news can be chalked up to anything from short-range disaster-as-usual (hurricanes, earthquakes) planning to outright paranoia (which might not be paranoia if they are out to get you). But being ready to build whole new houses "just in case"?

    I hadn't connected the two trends until just now, but something else I've noticed getting attention in certain circles: Tiny houses; cheap, quick, and easy to build or transport anywhere.

    This is considerably more than people expecting the dollar to be worthless, or short term instability as starving hordes rush out of the collapsing cities. I've seen that for decades, and my history reading says it's gone on for centuries. This is people who are deciding to convert their resources to the very long term, making sure they have the stuff on hand to build homes for their children and grandchildren.

    Because they honestly doubt whether the social and physical infrastructure is going to be there over the long run.

    Anyone else notice this, or is it an artifact of the kind of stuff I follow on the 'Net?

    Added: Thanks to Claire for the link

    .


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    6/13/14
    For some reason, I'm popular with the feds this month

    Most months, I see 20-40 visits from .mil domains which, on closer examination usually seem to be overseas folks doing a little browsing. I figure those are bored GIs in our many war theaters.

    .gov varies more. Occasionally, someone at NASA notices Net Assets again (I have lots of things to say about NASA in that book), and I'll get a run of hits from space cadet locations. Or I'll write a letter to some clown in DC (Hi, Senators! -waves-), and see 4-5 hits.

    Either way, if .mil shows up in the summary chart, it's rarely above the halfway mark. And .gov only appears in the summary every 2-3 months, and almost never higher than 25th place. To see both in the top ten is, I think, unprecedented.

    I wonder who I pissed off. I suppose I'll download the raw logs and do a detailed analysis. I suspect a lot of this will backtrack to the VA. (psst!- guys; stop browsing, get off your asses, and try working; I'm sure there's a vet or two who needs help.)

    Update: A quick look at the log file suggests the VA is interested in me. I wonder why.

    On the other hand, another biggie is the US Postal Inspector Service (USPIS). I'm pretty sure just what they don't like. (This probably means my mail is going to start showing late, in pieces, as often happens after a surge in USPS hits. C'est la vie.)


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    6/13/14
    Voting out one Republican in favor of another Republican is "rebellion"?

    I don't think so.

    A Populist Path to Power?
    "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

    If Thomas Jefferson's benign reflection on Shays' Rebellion, that uprising of farmers in 1786 and 1787, is not the first thought that comes to mind today for his fellow Virginian Eric Cantor, surely it is understandable.

    "Benign".

    While it's rare for me to agree with Buchanan, I haven't considered him stupid. Foolish, perhaps; but not stupid. So that leaves me to wonder if he's merely being disingenuous, or if he truly believes that the Republican Party powers-that-be are the only one true way, and that daring to vote the bastard out is "rebellion".

    Or, I suppose, this could be an attempt to distract pissed off voters – none too sure that their votes count – from engaging in the real thing.

    Hint, Buchanan: Participating in the approved, regulated, Party-owned electoral system by nominating another party member to go up against yet another Party-approved candidate from the other approved branch of the One True Party in November isn't rebellion. But if the two branches, Democrat and republican, continue on their course of ignoring voters (when they aren't manipulating them), then I no longer think it impossible that Mr. B will see the real thing: shots fired, blood in the streets, politicians dangling from lamp posts and trees.

    This is a country where people are accustomed to the idea that they have a voice. When the permitted options don't give voice to their ideals... Let me quote from another document Jefferson drafted: "[W]hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government".

    Lest Mr. Buchanan misunderstand how the people throw off such faked, unresponsive government (perhaps like Senator Schumer, he confuses the bloodless electoral coup of the Constitution with the Declaration beginning years of bloody war), here's yet another Jefferson quote

    "And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure."

    It's important to keep that tree healthy.


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    6/12/14
    We don' need no steenkin' badge knowledge of firearms or law

    From August 5, 2013:

    FHP Gun Rights Infringement at it's worse. (YouTube video)
    FHP (Florida Hwy Patrol) making new gun laws ass they please.
    Aside from the incredible ignorance about Florida carry laws (how the hell can she not know better, since exactly what's she's talking about is exactly what was being debated publicly in national mass media when FL carry passed?), she's... she... she...

    The freaking idiot "cleared" the pistol by "clearing" the chamber and then removing the magazine; a stupid, likely lethal trick, that I haven't personally seen since basic training 34 years ago. (For nongunnies, an autoloader works by the slide moving back and stripping the next round out of the magazine and into the chamber. Properly, you clear a pistol by removing the magazine first so there's no rounds present to strip out of a magazine. And really, even if she'd done that right, she should have left the slide locked back, action open, before she handed the pistol back to the owner; among other advantages, that allows one to immediately see that there's no round chambered.)

    That idiot has no business touching a gun. Not even her own.

    Additional reporting says that the FHP claims: "As it turns out, that trooper in the video no longer works for the Florida Highway Patrol. She resigned in December 2013."

    Given her safety violations, I'm somewhat surprised that she lived long enough to resign; it would be a toss-up which came first: if she negligently shot herself with an "unloaded" pistol, or got shot by some perp to whom she handed an "unloaded" gun during a stop.

    Makes you wonder what she's doing now. Did some other police department hire her to mishandle firearms and risk lives?


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    6/11/14
    Review: FireChrome* v30


    **

    You may recall that I expressed a certain... heightened level of disgust with Mozilla upon the release of their Google Chrome clone "Firefox v29". After all, I don't like Chrome. It was pretty damned unlikely that I was going to be jumping for joy to get a crappily executed, limited, crippled, hard-to-use version of Chrome foisted on me.

    After screwing around with it, trying to figure out where my assorted required tools went (and why in fuck they stuck the window resize widget in the middle of what tools they did leave), I downloaded some other browsers and began testing. I finally settled – quite happily, browserly-speaking – on Pale Moon. I highly recommend it.***

    Not was I alone in despising FF29 with its aptly named "Australis" UI. Unfavorable feedback at the Mozilla website started around 80%. The last time I checked, it was up to 92% bad. While I did not verify the ratio, I'd guess that around two-thirds of the feedback used expletives that risked slagging Mozilla's servers.

    Would that they had.

    I like to be fair. So when I became aware that Mozilla had released a whole major revision – v30 – I downloaded it to see if the poor Google-suckers had listened to any of that feedback.

    Would that they had. They didn't. Unfavorable feedback (i.e.- bitching about the load of shit they're still shovelling) is currently running at 89%, with this being a typical missive: "Hey Mozilla cockroaches you fucking asscunts, motherfucking child rapists and donkey fuckers! How does google cum and sperm taste you freaks, you handicapped autistic brain power limited blowjob rats with no dick "

    Tell us how you really feel. [grin]

    In honesty, my brief test drive didn't turn up anything new that they made worse in FireChrome30 vice 29. But if they improved anything, I couldn't find that either. In short, 30 is a deliberate, knowing, rebellious slap in the face to those users who tried to tell them that they're fucking up majorly.

    I haven't researched the extent of Google's financial stake in Mozilla. At one point, I did find documentation claiming that the only money Moz took from Google was search engine referral fees, for setting Google as the default search. Since then, I've been told that Google has a stake as high as 30% in the Mozilla Corporation. I haven't confirmed that, but that Moz adopted the Chrome engine in all its... inglorious grunge, still sets Google default, and told the 92% of users that hate the clone-browser to FOAD does tend to substantiate the rumor. In fact, otherwise-insane decision making at Moz suggests a much, much higher Google ownership percentage... like 100%. But that's just my opinion based on appearances.

    If you have FireChromefox installed, uninstall it. Delete the file from your hard drive. Never, ever do business with Mozilla again.

    And get Pale Moon. It'll look familiar and run well. It's based on the old, open-source pre-Google engine code that Mozilla used to use when they were sane, and hadn't sold out to the "Be evil" folks.


    * That's a hint.
    ** That's another hint.
    *** And another.
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    6/10/14
    Are they invading or not, damnit?

    No joke: ‘Climate change may prevent contact with alien civilisations’
    From the you’ve got to be effing kidding me department come this dead serious essay from “The Convseration”, that hotbed of climate alarmism in Australia which somehow got past bullshit detectors at phys.org. The money quote sort of tries to talk down the headline, but they leave it wide open as a possibility.
    Wait...

    Does that mean climate change will stave off the alien invasion caused by climate change?

    I wish they* would make up their minds.

    Climate change: There's nothing it can't do. Or not do. At the same freaking time.

    ADDED: Ah ha! We're going to use climate change to shrink black holes that the aliens were going to use for interstellar worm hole transport. It all makes sense now. In an AGW-ey drug-induced way.


    * I'm honest-to-Bog not sure anymore if by "they" I mean the Little Green (in both senses) Men, or the local AGW lunatics.
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    6/10/14
    Wintemute lies again


    Poster by David Codrea

    Violent crimes could be prevented if felony charges were reduced less often, study finds
    "Our study found that people with convictions for violent misdemeanor crimes who subsequently purchased handguns have very high rates of arrest for firearm-related or violent crimes later on."
    Garen Wintemute is infamously dishonest and an anti-RKBA sneak (you know, cops arrest people for that), and as you can see he's still at it. It is absolutely impossible for him to honestly make that claim based on the methodolgy of his "study".
    For the study, Wintemute and colleague Mona Wright reviewed criminal records, linking violent misdemeanor convictions with their original criminal charges. Nearly 40 percent of the 787 individuals in the study had misdemeanor convictions resulting from felony charges.
    That is, by only examining a group of people with later criminal convictions, he – glaringly dishonestly – claims that all people with misdemeanor convictions have high reoffend rates even though he never examined the whole group. What's more, he makes the sweeping claim that all people – regardless of gender – with misdemeanor convictions are highly likely to commit violent felonies, based on examination of records only of violent felons an overwhelming 96.2% of whom were men. I.e.- because a lot of men with violent felony convictions had earlier misdemeanor convictions, any woman with a misdemeanor conviction is probably going to commit a violent felony.

    My head hurts. If he wanted to be honest, he'd have to examine a larger group of all persons with misdemeanor convictions who bought guns, and compare the numbers of those who went on to commit felonies to those who did not. If he wanted to be honest, he could have pulled records of all misdemeanor convictions, then cross-referenced those to later felonies then contacted both groups to inquire as to whether they'd ever bought guns. But that would be hard, because 1) it's work, 2) no one who knows who Wintemute is would actually want to tell him anything, and 3) even those who don't know Wintemute would be leery of telling a stranger about weapons purchases, particularly people with criminal records who fear incriminating themselves. Still, Wintemute already has his foregone conclusion, so he doesn't have to bother with legitimate research; he can make it up as he goes. Lies work fine in his line of... work.

    Those familiar with the deluded Doctor Wintemute are aware that he seemingly cracked under the strain of working too many hours in an ER, and is now committed (though he should be committed) to expanding the class of prohibited persons to include the entire human race. To that end, he has demonstrated his willingness to lie, manipulate data, snoop, break rules, unlawfully record, or anything else it takes to render the population harmless for his favored predators.


    ADDED: For those not quite seeing what I mean about Wintemute's study, consider this analogy:

    Let's say that you got curious about the dates of US pennies in circulation. You decide to collect pennies and record the dates. To make sure you get enough pennies for a fair cross-section, you get friends around the country to send you pennies.

    But that turns out to be a lot of coins and it's too much trouble to look at them all. So you just grab the box from a guy in California. And it's still a bunch, a lot of effort. So you sort out just the shiny, easy to read pennies. Cool.

    Except it turns out that your California bud is a collector of wheat pennies.*

    As a result, you come to the unwarranted conclusion that it's "highly likely" that all pennies in circulation are 1909 Lincoln Wheat pennies.

    That's what Wintemute did: He looked only at pennies ("criminals") from one area, sorted out only the ones that were easy to "read" (the ones with felony records), and concluded that all those pennies in the discard pile that he didn't look at are probably felonious wheat coinage.


    * Not unreasonable. When I was much younger, I went through a period when I collected those in hopes they'd appreciate enough to make it worthwhile.

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    6/9/14
    Wisdom

    You may have noted that I haven't said anything about the Vegas shootings. As David Codrea puts it...

    Allow me to point out that "news" reports thus far amount to "Meth-popping white supremacists dressed as Peter Pan started a revolution by killing two white cops and either killed some guy in a Wal-Mart while or were killed by a concealed handgun carrier. Or one of them. Or not." At my last scan of the maniacal rumormongering, no one but the cops have been officially identified, leaving you with the question of how the rest of the randomesque rambling is "known".

    Even if you buy all that you're still left with:

    • Lawfully prohibited-from-possessing-firearms drug abusers with firearms despite current law.
    • Supposed white supremacists perps with at least 4 out of 5 deaders being... white.*
    • Pete and Tink failed to escape by flying away on pixie dust.
    Good luck with that. Let me if you accidentally encounter any facts.


    * That's based on pictures of the cops, and alleged pix of the officially unidentified killers, all of whom display typically caucasian physical characteristics. But all/none/some of the photos may be BS. Or not. Lemme know. Or don't.
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    6/9/14
    The New Terrorism


    Cartoon by Scott Bieser(always worth reading)

    Claire Wolfe has a column up at JPFO that's worth reading.

    "Terroristic" Dress-code Violations and Other Threats to Gun Ownership
    Two dozen middle schoolers were suspended because they commented on or shared a Facebook post urging mass resistance to their school's dress code. This is the kind of small act of resistance adolescents have indulged in forever -- particularly in the heady last week before summer vacation.

    [T]he principle of Cowen (I'm tempted to write "Coward") Road Middle School in Griffin, Georgia, accused participants in the FB discussion of making "terroristic threats."

    Ms. Wolfe continues to discuss why everything is becoming "terrorism" these days. I thought I'd add a few thoughts, and some specific data, to the discourse.

    Useful definitions of terrorism, which generally only apply now when they want to explain away why their actions are not terrorism:
    [KEEP READING]


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    6/8/14
    Insert obligatory O...

    ... you know the drill.


    At Cheezburger


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    6/8/14
    Shields failing, Captain!

    You know that guy who saved lives by stopping the Seattle Pacific University shooter with pepper spray?

    He violated SPU's no-weapons policy.

    COMMUNITY STANDARDS AND POLICIES
    Lifestyle Expectations

    13. Possession, use or display on University property of any firearms, weapons, fireworks, live ammunition, incendiary devices, or other items that are potentially hazardous to members of the campus community.
    Yep. Not just a "gun free zone" (oops- looks like the weapon-repelling force field failed... twice; maybe they should try a magical TRO), but a general weapons free zone.

    I assume they'll be expelling Mr. Meis for that violation. Killer Ybarra will not, naturally, face such a penalty since he wasn't a student.


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    6/8/14
    Obviously we need more restrictions on people who didn't do it


    Source: ptoday.blogspot.com

    Seattle Pacific shooting: Despite 'rage inside,' Aaron Ybarra found 'not detainable'
    Aaron Ybarra had long struggled with substance abuse and mental health issues. Still, authorities did not find reason to detain him.

    Ybarra had in 2010 called 911 in a drunken stupor, telling a dispatcher that he had a “rage inside” and wanted to commit suicide. “He wanted to hurt himself and others,” according to a Mountlake Terrace police report.

    In 2011, Ybarra took himself to an emergency room, telling staff that he got scared after hearing the voice of Columbine High School shooter Eric Harris in his head, telling him to hurt people.

    In 2012, police found him drunk in the street where Ybarra said he hoped a “SWAT team would make him famous.”
    (emphasis added-cb)

    And the offical response now?

    "Once again, the epidemic of gun violence has come to Seattle – the epidemic of gun violence that is haunting this nation."– Seattle Mayor Ed Murray

    Maybe he's looking at the wrong "epidemic". Maybe there's an epidemic of "authorities" not getting off their asses when real threats are made by real crazies.


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    6/6/14
    Recall


    As seen at Cheezburger

    This is like saying insecticide should be banned because it kills more fire ants than defective TV stands dropping sets on toddler heads.

    Comparing deaths caused by design/production flaws in a single line of vehicles to all deaths -- including deliberate murder -- inflicted with guns operating as designed is fraud. Instead, compare ALL automotive deaths to all firearms deaths, or compare Pinto deaths caused to by bad fuel tanks to Remington 700 deaths caused by bad trigger assemblies.

    Cheezburger commenters also raised the subject of "nonlethal" weapons. Design an effective system and people (myself included) would buy it. Nonlethal generally doesn't work well:

    Chemical ("tranquilizer guns"):

    1. Slow; the effect takes too much time to kick, allowing a bad guy to continue his aggression. It doesn't help you much if he drops after cutting your throat and running off with your wallet and watch.
    2. Ineffective; if you don't happen to hit a major blood vessel, the drug is dispersed in soft tissue and takes that much longer to have an effect.
    3. Ineffective; your shot doesn't get enough drug into the perp, and nothing happens buy pissing him off.
    4. Overly effective; you hit him with an overdose, killing him and subjecting you to murder charges because you killed the perp when your actions demonstrated by your use of a supposedly nonlethal technique showed that you didn't think lethal force was justified (this has come up in many cases).
    Summary: You have to tailor the dose to the subject by body mass, and have time for it to take effect.

    Impact ("rubber" and "bean bag" rounds ): You have to get enough force transferred to have a useful effect, yet not simply kill the perp with a slightly softer bullet. Inpractical, this has killed many people. Larger cross-section projectiles spread the force over a larger area than that of a typical handgun bullet, which means you'd have to tote around a large bore weapon like a shotgun... and remember to load the right ammo (police have killed people because they mixed up "rubber bullet" rounds with conventional shot rounds). Even with everything else right, shot placement is critical; head shots are typically lethal.

    "Pepper" rounds (oleoresin capsicum;yet another chemical round) and sprays: Same problems as rubber bullets (ask the family of the young woman killed by police in Boston with a pepper ball gun), plus, people have highly variable reactions to incapacitating chemicals. Capsicum affects some people very little, while triggering fatal reactions in a few.

    "Tear gas" (CN and CS; "Mace"): CN has very little affect on a lot of people except in very high concentrations (it irritates my eyes but does not incapacitate me, for instance). CS takes longer to take effect, and can be lethal in high concentrations, which is why police are only supposed to deploy it outdoors. Capsicum, CN, and CS all take time (seconds to minutes) to take effect after deployment, which you probably don't have in a defensive situation. It's also worth noting that tear gas is banned in international warfare.

    Electrical: Stun guns (consumer grade high voltage, low current): Painful but not incapacitating unless you can apply the electricity to a sensitive place and hold it there; not much of an option when faced with multiple muggers.

    Electrical: Tasers (lower voltage than stun guns, but higher current): These can be immediately effective, but share "overdose" problems of chemical weapons, causing death. Hitting the torso (especially the chest in the area of the heart) can and sometimes does cause fatal heart attacks. Taser began re-branding their products as "less lethal" rather than nonlethal because of this, and recommends training to only apply the electrodes to extremities.

    Stun guns have to be manually applied to the target, which requires the user/defender to close and contact the perp/mugger. Tasers also have this contact mode, but famously include a projectile mode which alllows you to stand off from your assaulter more safely, but makes it more likely that you'll hit the torso "forbidden zone".

    Tasers also inflict burns, and have been known to set people on fire. In projectile mode, they share the same over-penetration issues of rubber/pepper rounds.

    Seriously, if you can come up with a truly effective nonlethal weapon system, you'll be extremely rich in short order. But folks have been working on it for a very long time (literally centuries- that's what "rock salt" in shotguns was intended for, and Singapore police used "broom handle" rounds in the 1880s), so it's no simple task.


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    6/5/14
    Climate math and nuclear fish. Or something.

    Report supports shutdown of all high seas fisheries
    Fish and aquatic life living in the high seas are more valuable as a carbon sink than as food and should be better protected, according to research from the University of British Columbia.

    The study found fish and aquatic life remove 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year, a service valued at about $148 billion US. This dwarfs the $16 billion US paid for 10 million tonnes of fish caught on the high seas annually.

    Maybe I've screwed up my math... I'm not at my best right now... but he's valuing 1.5 billion tons of carbon at $148 billion, which appears to be $98.67/ton. Seems to me that carbon futures on the CCE finished up at a nickel – $0.5 – per ton: that's 1973.4 times LESS than the figure Sumaila pulled out of... somewhere.

    Then there's the little of matter of EITHER $16 billion worth of food OR $148 billion in decarbonized unicorn farts. Is he under the impression that fishing totally eliminates the entire oceanic ecosystem every year? Or is it just the "10 MILLION tonnes of fish" that was soaking up 1.5 BILLION tons of carbon?

    (Where's the excess mass going; total conversion to energy? Can we harness THAT and stop piddling around with thorium reactor dreams? Are the fish radioactive now? Is the energy release from that mass/energy reaction driving "global warming"? Doesn't that make it our solemn duty to save the planet by eating the fish? Is Sumaila on drugs, and did he over pay for them by almost 2,000 times the street price? Do Enquiring minds want to know?)

    Please, someone tell me I slipped a few decimal places or something.

    (Hat tip to Watts Up With That.)


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    6/5/14
    Doorbells

    "Hey, Sheriff! You know what's never burned an infant horribly? A doorbell."
    — Tamara K. (@TamSlick) June 3, 2014
    But I suppose that isn't as much fun as pulling some easy overtime by playing wanna-be soldier in the middle of the night, looking for someone who didn't even live there anymore. Kinda makes you wonder about the in-depth investigation, and minor drug buy the CI claimed to have made there. You know: at the place where they didn't find any drugs... nor the weapons they used to rationalize a no-knock night-time raid...or a drug dealer.

    But what's a roasted baby when all the cops got to go home safely at the end of their shift with fat paychecks?


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    6/4/14
    Annie et al get your gun*

    Sometimes it's a good thing for freedom when out of state gungrabbers, who don't understand local culture, try to interfere in our elections.

    Gun control group focused on at least 11 races
    The group plans to advertise in some of the Democrats' top Senate races, helping [...] Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire...

    It plans to help four House incumbents: [...] Democratic Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster of New Hampshire...

    Thanks in part to an influx of blue types from neighboring Taxachusetts, New Hampshire has been turning pretty damned blue itself. But...

    We like the low crime rates helped by our very high honest gun ownership rates. We've consistently shown that every time the idiot Dems have pushed gun control in the state legislature. Typically, several hundred extremely vocal people show up to express our disapproval when they attempt it, even though it means taking time off paying jobs. Most often, NH Dems try to downplay their gun control positions during campaigns.

    This highly visible gun control gambit will not play well here. So by all means, do it.

    I'm not yet endorsing anyone, but Marilinda Garcia is looking like a much better option every day (that statement is vague and bland, but Mari has much stronger and specific positive things to say in public).


    * Kuster apparently misunderstood. She may end up emulating another Custer, politically speaking.
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    6/3/14
    Oh, look: Xanax

    Since the early reports that Elliot Rodger was on meds for mental problems, I've been wondering what he might've been on, seeing as too damned many killers have been jacked up on meds associated with violent impulses and acts.

    In Rodger's case, reports have it that he was addicted to Xanax, at least. Some of Xanax's listed side effects include:

    • discouragement
    • feeling sad or empty
    • Actions that are out of control
    • attack, assault, or force
    • thoughts of killing oneself
    In the end, Rodger was responsible for what he did. The drug doesn't force anyone to make and carry out long term plans to commit mass murder. But so many of these lunatics are on these drugs that it seems clear that very close medical supervision and intervention as necessary needs to be there. Note that Rodger's therapist – presumably familiar with his drug regimen – did find it necessary to report him to the police... who blew it off. Even though he already had an official history (investigated by the police) of engaging in acts of violence and force. And threatening more.


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    6/2/14
    Ammo Sale Sold

    On the one hand, it's kind of depressing to realize that your ammo stash is worth more than your guns.

    On the other hand, there's something to be said for hearing, "Holy shit! Look at all that!" from everyone in the gun store when you start lugging it through the front door.


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    6/1/14
    Bear's Law

    My addition to Wikipedia's List of eponymous laws (or it would be if I were a Wikipedia editor):

    Bear's Law: Kicking in doors because the occupants are well armed is a bad idea.*


    * Derived and simplified from an old (criminy, 20+ years now) quote regarding Kalifornia's "assault weapon" ban: "The sheer immorality of victim disarmament aside, one would hope every government thug out there would stop to consider all the possible ramifications of kicking in several million doors because the occupants are well armed." I also predicted the largest outbreak of "blue flu" in history should the idiot Kal pols be stupid enough to require the police to begin confiscation. Amusingly, a few weeks later, the FOP predicted the same thing. Mass confiscations still haven't happened, although they've been sneaking out and doing it piecemeal lately.
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    5/31/14
    Meet Bou

    Bou – Bounkham Phonesavanh – is a 19 month old felon so dangerous, terrified police were forced to take him out with a grenade in his crib as he slept.

    Oh. Wait. Not exactly...

    Georgia Toddler in Induced Coma After Being Hurt by Police Grenade
    A 19-month-old boy remained in critical condition in an induced coma at an Atlanta hospital Friday after authorities trying to capture a suspected meth dealer threw a flash grenade into the baby's crib.
    Let's take this step by step.
    1. The police did not "investigate" to determine who was actually living in the apartment.
    2. The police claim they did send in their "confidential informant" to make a buy; he told them he bought the drugs at the door.
    3. But the wanted – alleged – dealer wasn't... actually... there. He wasn't home. (Correction: current reports say he didn't live there at all anymore; he'd been thrown out some time previously, and had a new residence.) Oops. CI lied, or the cops lied; take your pick.
    4. Embarassingly for the cops, the drugs weren't... actually... there either. Nothing illegal found in the raid. Oops.
    5. Embarassingly for the cops (you've noted the trend, right?), the weapons used to justify rationalize the no-knock raid weren't... actually... there either. Nada. Oops yet again.
    How professional.

    No, wait; that's a question: How professional?

    Answer: This professional:

    Drug task force that burned a toddler this week also killed an innocent pastor in 2009
    The task force followed Ayers to a convenience store, where he went in to get money from an ATM. When he returned and got into his car they pounced. They pulled up behind him in an unmarked black SUV. Armed agents dressed in street clothes then rushed Ayers’s car. He put his car in reverse and attempted to escape. In the process, he nicked one agent. Another then opened fire, killing him. Ayers told hospital staff was that he thought he was being robbed. His reported last words were, “Who shot me?

    Clarification, 6/3/14: Per Radley Balko"[T]he same Mountain Judicial Circuit Narcotics Criminal Investigation and Suppression Team did conduct the alleged drug buy and investigation before last week’s raid. But the raid itself was conducted by the Habersham County Special Response Team."
    Well, Ayers was shot by... Officer Billy Shane Harrison, who was not a certified peace officer (heck, even I managed that much down in Georgia) and was not authorized to wear a badge, carry a gun, nor call himself a cop.

    Oops. (I should put that on a macro while discussing these bastards.)

    In fact, while the cops tried to lie and claim that Ayers was a specific target of the investigation... he wasn't. Repeat: they lied. Oops.

    The cops were out of uniform. Witnesses said they didn't ID themselves before shooting the innocent, unarmed preacher. No drugs were present.

    Follow-up investigations by the state, the DA, and the department were so "in depth" that they missed the part about Wanna-be Harrison not in fact being a certified cop when he murdered an innocent man and lied to cover his ass. That cost taxpayers – not the state, DA, department, or murdering "officers" – $2 million.

    As even more incriminating facts come out in the case of the attempted murder of Bounkham Phonesavanh (to be fair, one might argue that it was merely gross criminal negligence), I expect the taxpayers are about to shell out another few megabucks.

    Look again; this is Bou. This is what he looks like now. His 20 (added: or 30; I'm seeing mixed reporting of the age now) year old relative did not do that to him. The drugs that weren't actually in the home did not do that to him. The weapons that weren't actually in the home did not do that to him.

    The police did. For the children.

    ADDED, 9:20AM:

    SWAT team threatened after grenade injures toddler in drug raid
    Members of a northeast Georgia SWAT team are "devastated" after a drug raid in which a flash-bang grenade landed in a 1-year-old's playpen, seriously injuring the child, the Habersham County sheriff said Friday.

    The police officers involved have been called baby killers and received threats following the incident, Sheriff Joey Terrell said.

    "All I can say is pray for the baby, his family and for us," he told CNN.(emphasis added - cb)

    Pray for your own ass, wanna-be babykiller. Dead preacher, baby in a coma... what are you psychos planning for an encore?


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    5/30/14
    Troll or idiot?


    Via Watts Up With That

    I'd like to think that someone successfully trolled the paper, but the sad fact is that I've personally met people (including at least one alleged college graduate) who professed to believe that DST does increase the length of the day.*

    (As it happpens, this is a fairly old story from October 2008. But still funny.)


    * The belief generally seems to be based on observations that DST starts in in the spring, and that's when days get longer, therefore... correlation does equal causation abracadabra presto TA DA! Noting that, post summer solstice, days get shorter with DST still in effect results in a dismissive,"You just don't understand," or blank looks reminescent of deer in the headlights.
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    5/30/14
    History, Revised

    I just read an editorial at New Hampshire's Useless Leader, "Good luck, vets; Obama doesn't care" (no link, as they don't deserve the traffic; google the title if you must), which, as you'll be expecting, is critical of Obama's VA. I hate it when idiots like McQuaid put me in the position of appearing to defend Barrycade.

    BUT...

    Have I either slipped into an alternate reality where the VA has actually been worth a damn in the past, or am I simply the only person in the country who remembers that the VA has had a reputation for being a good place for useless veterans to go to die for the past several decades?

    The VA – and VA hospitals specifically – has always been there to quietly shuffle no-longer-needed cannon fodder into convenient obscurity at minimal expense. It has always existed to for the purpose of pretending to honor veterans while doing anything but, in reality.

    Bogus wait times? I recall hearing veterans bitch about that before I ever enlisted myself 34 years ago. Over the years, I've seen reports on which regional hospitals to try to reach, because some at least tried to offer medical care. I personally knew someone who moved cross-country simply because "his" VA hospital wouldn't even give him pain meds for his back, while a network of veterans told him he could actually get surgery to fix his back at the new location (and he did, no longer needing those meds).

    The only way Obama's administration has differed in regards to the VA is to handle it in a clumsier fashion than most of the past several administations of either Party. So clumsily that those damned veterans have been annoyingly visible to the people they mistakenly thought they were fighting for. Chickenhawks like McQuaid actually had to see them and think about the results of policies they pushed or allowed.

    So naturally Mr. Publisher has to shift the blame to only the latest in a long line of Presidents who've gotten veterans maimed (physically and mentally), then dumped them once they were of no further use as cannon fodder. That way, he doesn't have to think about his share of the guilt in pressing (and supporting) his own Republican branch of the Endless War Party's foreign adventures.

    Obama doesn't care about the victims of his foreign entanglements. But neither does McQuaid.


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    5/25/14
    Balllot Access for me, but not for thee

    Judge puts Rep. John Conyers on primary ballot
    A judge on Friday ordered U.S. Rep. John Conyers to be placed on the August primary ballot, overturning a decision by Michigan election officials who found the Detroit Democrat ineligible because of problems with his nominating petitions.

    Many petitions were thrown out because the people who gathered signatures weren't registered voters or listed a wrong registration address. That put Conyers more than 400 short of the 1,000 needed to run for re-election.

    Meanwhile, in an Alternate Reality, the AR Libertarian Party is cheering this win for equal ballot access, signature requirements having been trashed-canned.

    In this reality, Democrats are merely chuckling at such naivety.

    (Hat tip to Joel.)


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    5/25/14
    Signs


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    5/25/14
    Elliot Rodger's Kalifornia Killing Spree

    1. 3 stabbed to death
    2. 3 shot to death
    3. 8 wounded by gunfire
    4. 4 wounded by automotive impact
    5. 1 wounded by unspecified means
    Oddly, I haven't seen any calls for car control, knife control, or "unspecified" control amongst the various calls for gun control (bearing in mind that lawfully purchased and registered his firearms in a state with probably the most Bradyesque and restrictive gun laws in the country: background checks, waiting periods, purchase limits, registration, magazine capacity limits).

    It's the NRA's fault, but not the AAA, BMW, Gerber, or whatever. Certainly not the fault of the Sheriff's Office that left him in the wild despite multiple reports of danger.

    Interestingly, aside from the "investigation" of Rodger's, with a history of mental health problems since the age of eight, threats (according to assorted sources, reported by Rodger's family, a therapist, and at least one gov health agency) in which deputies determined that yeah, he made threats; yeah, he said he's having problems, yeah, we got his own specific threats – right down to presciently accurate target locations and people – documented in video and 141 page online manifesto... the alleged perp said he's not a risk, so he must not be a risk... because he was "polite, courteous"... Aside from that...

    Aside from that we have this claim that Rodger was the likely aggressor in an earlier assault.

    But obviously, "polite, courteous" psychos are never dangerous.

    Huh. Kind of reminds me of another case, of a similarly overly-privileged nut, in which Sheriff Dupnik determined that a killer-to-be was not a threat despite multiple reports. Dupnik did manage to deflect blame from himself by accusing TEA partiers, thanks to a complicit lamestream muddia. So will Sheriff Brown.*

    ADDED, 5/25/14, 11:55PM: CYA is in effect.

    Deputies Never Saw Menacing Videos Before Rampage
    Now, the deputies not being aware of the videos, you might be inclined to be a little more understanding of their being suckered by the "polite, courteous" alleged murderous lunatic. Now, it's important to remember that the videos were the reason (in addition to his very long history of mental illness) Rodger's parents reported him to the authorities. So...

    "Hey, look, Charlie. We got a call from this guy's parents and therapist saying he's sick and has posted specific threats of violence and suicide. Whaddya think?"

    "No prob, Joe. He seems polite, courteous. Just blow it off."

    After all, why should headquarters tell the deputies out in the field why they're being told to check something out? Who needs facts or background? It's easier to log it as a wellness check, than a felony threat investigation.


    * In the interest of fairness, as current reports have it, Brown probably isn't directly at fault, as I think Dupnik definitely was. But I'd say he bears some responsibility for the training that allowed his deputies to blow off the potential danger. Look, a long time ago I wore a badge, and our training then required us to investigate and report what they admit they heard further.
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    5/24/14
    Dear NSA/FBI/DEA...

    ...local cops with ALPRs, hackers, cracker, script kiddies, peeping toms...


    You looking at me?

    "Mammals don’t respond well to surveillance. We consider it a threat. It makes us paranoid, and aggressive and vengeful."
     – Peter Watts, biologist
    I would like to add that well-armed mammals tend to eliminate threats; something to consider when an "authority" suggests disarming citizens.

    (Hat tip to Bruce Schneier.)


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    5/22/14
    Sophistication

    FBI Feared Boston Bombers 'Received Training' And Aid From Terror Group, Docs Say
    Prosecutors seeking a death penalty conviction of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Wednesday said the FBI at the time of his arrest last year believed he and his brother Tamerlan had been trained by a terrorist group because of the sophistication of their weapons and tradecraft.
    Sophisticated. My ass. They ground up retail fireworks for the [low] explosive. They detonated it with Christmas tree light bulb filaments. That is not sophisticated. "Extraordinary skill" would be packing the cooker with black market Semtex. Failing that, they could have improvised their own explosive with ammonium nitrate fertilizer and gasoline (diesel is traditional, but since they used a sealed container, gas would work fine). Or, if they were feeling mildly immortal, they could have whipped up a batch of TATP. Or just mixed some potassium pechlorate with petroleum jelly. And seriously... highly trained "pros" couldn't get their hands on a real blasting cap?

    Oh well. This is the same FBI that thought the DC Beltway Sniper was such an incredible marksman that they were checking out graduates of Army sniper school. Great Ghu, the murderous clowns were missing man-size targets at sixty yards. With a rifle. A supported rifle. In the prone position. Missing. And the FBI thought that was incredibly skillful shooting.

    Come to think of it though, the FBI has demonstrated explosives expertise on par with their own marksmanship.

    And "trade-effing-craft"? The "tradecraft" that required the idiots to kill a cop for his gun because it hadn't occurred to them to get one before? The tradecraft that didn't tell them to gas up their vehicle for the great escape? That forced them to kidnap a man and steal his car while they were being hunted because they never thought of prepping a clean getaway vehicle? Tradecraft that... dear Bog, they didn't didn't have a plan; supposedly they decided on the spur of the moment while being hunted to drive to NYC and bomb Times Square, too.


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    5/21/14
    "Go home."

    GraniteGrok was doing video interviews across the street from the GONH-Brown Love Fest* when they happened across a friend of mine. Emily is much more polite than I, which explains how she can get elected.

    It appears that the supposed strict ban on press at the meeting wasn't quite so strict if the press concerned is leftwing and inclined to excuse Brown's anti-freedom ways.

    Nor does Brown's campaign seem to have a problem with recording... anti-Brown protesters.

    Oh, and remember when I wondered if the fact that GONH sent me an invitation to the meeting would get me in? Obviously not.


    * Just to be clear, that's sarcasm. Except when applied to the GONH leadership like Kopacz who appear to be quite happy to assist the NHGOP in foisting this scumbag on the voters. Clearly the membership doesn't have the same hots for the gungrabbing carpetbagger.
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    5/20/14
    Brown's meeting with GONH
    Update. See below.
    (TL;DR: Some gun owners couldn't stomach Brown's doubletalk and evasions, and walked out of the meeting.)

    If any readers attended the GONH Q&A session with Masshole Brown on Tuesday night, I'd appreciate it if you could send me a report; preferably one you wouldn't object to seeing posted here. Video of the event might be even better, if anyone had a camera running.

    I see that the Union Leader, NH's leading NHGOP propaganda outlet, is covering Brown's gungrabbing butt with an unsourced claim that "Rather than oppose any ban on high-powered guns, Brown has said the issue is best left to the states."

    As a matter of actual fact, Brown's position on bans is slightly different than the Useless Leader claims:

    “What happened in Newtown where those children were subject to that level of violence is beyond my comprehension. As a state legislator in Massachusetts I supported an assault weapons ban thinking other states would follow suit. But unfortunately, they have not and innocent people are being killed. As a result, I support a federal assault weapons ban, perhaps like the legislation we have in Massachusetts.”
    [The Republican / MassLive.com, December 19, 2012]

    Update, 5/21/14:
    From the Concord Monitor this morning:

    “He never gives a straight answer on anything,” one man declared in disgust as he walked out of Brown’s talk halfway through.

    After the meeting, Kopacz said Brown indicated a willingness to continue talking with the group. He said Brown declined to agree to signing any type of pledge regarding how he would vote on gun issues, but he said he would be willing to fill out a questionnaire indicating his positions. Kopacz said he thinks Brown needs to be better educated on gun issues.

    Several people who left the meeting said they didn’t feel Brown gave a straight enough answer on anything, and wasn’t clear about his position on federal gun bans.

    I've had dealings with Kopacz regarding candidate ratings. I know the GONH has given good ratings to Republican candidates who refused to answer the Gun Rights Questionnaire. The fact that GONH has not already told Brown he's earned an F rating and tossed his ass out of the meeting is proof enough for me that GONH values party affiliation over RKBA.


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    5/18/14
    VA Obamacare: Chapter Three

    This is getting a little bit weirder.


    click for large image

    Yesterday, I mentioned that for some strange bureaucratically sensible-but-incomprehensible-to-normal-people reason the Veterans Administration tracked me down to an address I lived at seventeen years ago, to tell about the joys of signing up withthe VA for my Obamacare coverage. That in itself was peculiar because the VA had already tracked me down (23 years late) at my current address half a continent away, to tell me that if I haven't died of Gulf War Syndrome yet, my odds of doing so are three times higher than other veterans. Joy.

    Today I received a page scan of the cover letter. When I heard about this, I assumed it was something sent out by the hive creatures of VA headquarters in Dystopian Confusion. It wasn't. This came from the "VA Saint Louis Health Care System" (VASLHSC... sheesh, and Agent Coulson thought S.H.I.E.L.D. was a lousy acronym). Yep, this came from an individual regional VA office. Not DC. For the record, I never registered with them. This means they got my name from some list, cross-referenced it to something (tax records, I presume) to determine that I had lived in their area at some point, and sent me a sign-up letter.

    Does this mean that someone in DC is sending lists of veterans' names out to all the regional VA offices, and that each office is independently looking up me (and other veterans) to see if we ever lived near them? Is there a decades-long string of contact letters stretching across the country in a bizarre attempt to sign me up to be ignored until I conveniently drop dead? Page 2 of that letter points out that the VA has 1,700 separate offices across the country; are all 1,700 spending tax-victim dollars to track me (and Ghu only knows how many other veterans) down?

    Figure this process is automated, so it only costs any one office three or four bucks to collect and correlate that data, and to send out the form letter with a few ounces of inserts. That's maybe $6,800 they're spending just to not-quite reach me alone.* If they really want to help me – and save some [of your] money – they could just wire me five or six grand and I'd call it good. Hell, they could drop it in my Tip Jar.


    * Then multiply that by however many veterans they still haven't gotten their murderous claws into already. Considering that there are still living WW2 veterans – plus another 69 years of foreign entanglements – that probably comes to some serious bucks even by DC standards.
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    5/17/14
    We're from the government and we're at the wrong place to help you

    You may now flee in terror. We'll try to catch up in a few years.

    Chapter 1: As you may recall, our caring and efficient Veterans Administration finally located me some twenty-three years after the end of Desert Storm to inform me of the permament health perils I may face* as a result of my participation in Bush I's Sand Box Adventure. I suppose they were hoping that said and enumerated wors would have already killed me, saving them from the ding in their budget I might represent. It could have been worse.

    Oddly enough, while it took them 23 years to figure out that I might maybe possibly could in some circumstances potentially face with some uncertainty the possibility of death... they were able to determine quite quickly – in mere months – that, as a result of the didn't-happen, I am permanently disqualified as a blood donor simply because I was in-theater.

    Chapter 2: I received an email today. From the owner of a place where I lived for a while back in the '90s. It seems that yet another VA snailmailing has shown up. There. After the one that showed up here, where I've lived for ten years. At this rate, the next VA letter should arrive in Memphis, where I lived before joining the Air Farce.

    Given the [poor] timing, I thought this was another "Gulf War Update." I told my correspondent to open it up and see what we've got. Nope, not another update. It's... if your sense of humor tends to the morbid... better.

    It's a "pamphlet called, "The Affordable Care Act for Veterans Who Need Health Care Coverage" and a VA form 10-10EZ so I can sign up to receive faked appointment dates and be ignored until I conveniently drop dead. Obamacare found me. Sort of. Where I used to be. Years ago.

    Yeah, on its own the VA may only be 23 years behind the times, but – dear Bog, I never thought I'd say this – they're efficiency incarnate compared to Obamacare, which (despite access to tax record and VA records which obviously have my correct current location) lags even the VA by more than 17 goddamned years. Fortunately, unlike some foolish and desperate people, I'm not counting on the feds to keep me alive.

    If they really wanted to help, they could just send me the money they wasted tracking down old addresses, sending fliers, and not providing actual service.

    Oh, yes. I almost forgot: the punch line. One may also fill out a 10-10EZ online at the VA's web site. If one is very trusting.

    ...can't even keep their security certificate updated...


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    4/12/14
    Gulf War Update AITC (32B), March 2014

    Huh. Didn't even know there was such a thing.

    Yeah, the feds finally found me, and sent me an update on the study of health issues for deployed Desert Shield/Desert Storm veterans. Lessee... started mid '90, got back in March or April, I could look it up but... 1991.

    Yep. That comes to 23 years. And they just now got an "update" to me. Judging by the sequence number, these have been coming out for quite a while. As I said, never even heard of it before. I figure I've been through 10-11 physical address changes since then. Presumbably they found me by my tax returns.

    A rational person might think, "Gee, they knew who I am. They sent me there, on computer generated orders (I used to work in the office that generated those deployment orders for the 5th Mob). I know they had pay and tax records back then for me (and all of us that went to play in the sand box, since they had to do that to give us our combat pay. So you'd think they could turn over a list of those names/SSANs to the IRAS and ask for the latest tax return addresses for us. Years ago."

    Possibly rational persons aren't familiar with the federal government's awesome efficiency. I'm surprised they got something to me before I died.

    Of course, if they'd gotten these notices to everyone in a timely, pre mortem mannner, they might have had to pay out more benefits. Says here:

    "GW Veterans are three times more likely to have chronic multi-symptom illness (CMI) compared to non-deployed GW-era Veterans (37 percent versus 12 percent)."

    Doesn't say how many of us managed to survive this lo... oh. Wait. They just found me (and maybe one or two others?). They don't frickin' know if we survive to be inconvenient financial burdens on the benevolent VA.

    Never, ever forget that you and the feds may have conflicting ideas of "efficiency", not to mention "concern" and "responsibility".

    Added: Anyone know offhand if the feds ever decided to extend more conventional "GI Bill" style benefits to people who entered service between 1977 and 1985? We had the useless VEAP, and so far as I can tell they never got around to grandfathering us. But sorting through Title 38 is a bitch. Didn't worry about it too much, because I understood the "contractual" limits when I signed up, but it would be interesting to hear they slipped us in finally.


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    FREE BOOKS
    I don't get paid for these. I don't have a publisher. In fact, the one "publisher" that put out bootleg copies of these books never paid me. Worse, he conducted some unauthorized activities under my name, causing me to get hit with the taxes on his pirated profits. Some pirates are still selling some of these, including a horribly edited, unauthorized collection of short stories (get The Anarchy Belt below: all those stories and more, and better edited) elsewhere on the 'Net. I don't get royalties. Never have. No advances either. Nada, nothing, zip.

    In short, if you like what you see, I'd appreciate it very much if you would consider dropping a little something in my Tip Jar. It's the only money I'll ever get out of all that work. It would be great if I could get enough to keep me in beans and rice. If nothing else, remember that it costs me money to maintain this site and provide the bandwidth for the free (to you) downloads.

    By special request, I can also provide these in other formats (Kindle, EPUB, etc.)

    Thanks.


    Added, 4/1/2014: Someone wondered about the back story of my publishing woes. Looks like I killed the old page that explained that, so here is the short version of what happened. Enjoy.



    Net Assets
      What would you do, how far would you go, for freedom?
      Net Assets is the story of people who push all the limits – technological, political, personal – to develop an affordable space launch system which anyone can use. It is also the story of those who would anything to stop them. Anything.
      Bussjaeger examines the laws, treaties, and technology that make or break the old dream: real space development and colonization by real people, out of the reach of government bureaucracies that fear the consequences of unlimited freedom.
    2003 Prometheus nominee.
    PDF

    Review of Net Assets, courtesy of Kent McManigal.



    Bargaining Position
      Sequel to Net Assets.
      An oddball pair of extremely individualistic asteroid miners on a speculative journey to the far reaches of the solar system think they have struck it rich: an ancient, robotic space probe apparently free for salvage. But who built it, and do they want it back? And is it really an unmanned robot?
      While grappling with those issues and suddenly quirky automation problems of their own, a few more people decide they want the probe for themselves.
      Is this First Contact? How do they define contact? How do they define life?
    PDF

    Here's a nice little review of Bargaining Position compliments of John Walker.

    Kent McManigal also turned his attention to Bargaining Position: See his review.



    The Anarchy Belt
      A collection of short stories by the author of Net Assets and Bargaining Position. 24 tales of people dealing with new problems, and a few old ones in new contexts. Includes 12 more stories in the NA/BP universe.
      Piracy on the high frontier, high tech rednecks, revolution against... the post office?, psychopath training simulators, the right to keep and bear nukes, and much more.
    PDF


    A Little Pussy
      A new short story with the Hunters from Bargaining Position.
      Aggressive housepets... sort of. And Bill unsupervised in the workshop. It's a toss-up which is scarier.

      (Note to prudes: look at that cover art and consider the reference to "housepets" before jumping to conclusions. So far as sexual content goes, I rarely exceed PG13, and never R. If you do want porn, you'll have to look elsewhere.)
    PDF


    Free craft/SCA articles here
    A collection of craft and how-to articles. Includes paper-making; inks, pigments, and paints; sundials; brewing; medieval footwear; metal gauntlets and half gauntlets; spangenhelm; tactics; and more.

    I used to be active in the Society for Creative Anachronism, so a lot of these are written from that perspective. But they are still useful for anyone interested in learning how to do things for themselves.




    Bussjaeger Family Interests
    Family Links, etc.
    Genealogy: Family Tree




    Can you take this oath?

    I did.

       



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