Carl Bussjaeger


Who I Am
My Amazon Wish List

ESSAYS & COMMENTARY
Updated 8/26/2014:
"A Gun Rights Compromise"

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



(Newer posts below)
8/22/14
EMERGENCY: JPFO Directors Selling Out

Update 5, 8/24, 2:30AM: Gottlieb spews back


Having known Aaron Zelman, I believe he would be disgusted by this move to sell out to that bagel brained Gottlieb. Via Claire Wolfe:

Now, the JPFO board of directors has hatched a plan to hand JPFO over to SAF — a merger that is scheduled to be finalized next week if JPFO supporters don’t stop it.

[...]
[KEEP READING]


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Error: Oops. Embedded data could not be displayed. 8/28/14
Ewww

I am so glad the Market Basket fiasco appears to be in the process of being settled.

While MB workers were protesting, I still had to shop for groceries. I decided to do something I hadn't done in years.

I went to Walmart.

Even back in the day, there were food(-like) items I would not buy at Wally World. Like "Great Value" canned goods. I should have stuck to that wise course. But I walked past the canned meats, and saw the Roast Beef. I like a little real protein on occasion, so I looked for the brand I recalled buying there in the past (don't remember the name, but the label was mostly blue). I didn't see that, but I saw that there was now a GV version. How badly can you screw up canned roast beef?

Well, it's Walmart, so it's possible. I compromised by picking up a single can. It languished on my shelf until this evening when I decided to put together a beef and potatoes dinner.

Unlike the other brand, this... stuff was in a thin, brownish, watery "broth," not gravy. A lot of broth. In fact, I didn't see any meat(-like) substance at first. For the record, half the volume was water(-like) substance. I dipped in a spoon...

...and came up with a large lump of lard. Kinda gross. I fished around and found...

... a large, gelatinous lump of fat. No. I found several large, gelatinous lumps of fat. Ick.

Half the contents was something resembling river water, and of the solids (and semi-solids), about a third was lard and fat. The remainder – roughly 4 ounces out of a "12 ounce" can – was the presumed "beef." Could be. So long as it's animal protein, and nontoxic, I can't afford to be picky about what I've already spent money on (don't ask about the can of green beans and crickets, admittedly not from Walmart; the beans were delicious).

So much for that experiment. I'll add it to the list of things I won't buy if I'm stupid enough to go to Walmart again. That list includes canned food(-like) items, and anything I hope will last more than a couple of weeks of light-to-normal use without falling apart. I say any canned goods, because even the "name brands" seemed to be low quality; that could be subjective,* but why take the risk?

Considering what you get, as well as how much, for that "low price" shopping at Walmart can be false economy.


* Low quality "name brands" at Walmart is not purely subjective. One day (I used to work there, to my shame) a customer wanted to buy two foam archery targets. When he lifted the second target, he went off balance and almost fell over. One target was significantly heavier than the other.We investigated and found that the "normal" targets had low density closed cell foam guts, while the one heavy target appeared to be full of dense urethane foam. The part numbers on the "normal" tags differed from the "heavy target's tag: those had a "W" suffix that the otherwise identical "heavy" part number lacked. My guess was that the supplier ran short of cheap Wally-spec'd targets and included a real one to complete the order. Other people claim that Walmart prices those name brands low bydoing just that sort of thing. I'm morally certain that's what I saw.


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8/28/14
Medical Media Miracle

What can I say? I find that b... walking advertisement for cosmetic surgery malpractice insurance somewhat annoying.

If she wants sympathy, she should try being a decen a human being.


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8/28/14
Survey says...

-brrring brrring-

"Hello."

"Good evening. We are conducting a Gallop survey on attitudes towards firearms law. Would you mind answering a few questions today?"

"Go ahead."

"First, do you own a firearm?"

"Sure; got a bunch."

"And do you oppose or support legislation promoting firearms safety, or do you not have an opinion?"

"I'm all for safety."

"Thank you you for participating, sir. Your voice will be heard."

***

The attorney hangs up his phone and turns to his client. "That's confirmed, Mrs. Smith. Your ex does have guns. We'll include that in the TRO petition. It'll look great in the custody hearing."

***

-brrring brrring-

"'Lo?"

"Hi! We're conducting a survey for the community enrichment commission. We'd like to ask a couple of questions about gun rights and safety."

"Wait. Is this the Gallup poll, 'cause I just..."

"No, sir. This is local. Do you own guns?"

"Of course."

"Excellent. Now would you vote for or against mandatory safe storage laws?"

"Oh, for, naturally. I always keep my guns locked up in the upstairs safe."

"Thank you for yo' time."

***
"Yo, homie. Another address in that upscale neighborhood for the hit list. He got guns, but keep 'em locked 'way alla time."

"Shee-it. Put him on the home invasion list, not the burglary list."

"Sho. Dude even tol' me where he keep the safe."

"Cool!"

***

-brrring brrring-

"Huh. Hello?"

"Good day. We're surveying residents on Second Amendment rights. Do you support or oppose ownership of military assault weapons?"

"If you mean semi-auto modern sporting rifles, I'm all in favor. Got three myself. But military? The Army uses full-auto assault rifles; not the same thing at all."

"Thank you, sir. That helps us a lot in protecting you and your rights."

"Any time."

***
The officer scribbled a final note, then spun his chair around. "Got another one, Sergeant. Three illegal assault weapons. Cross-check with the database says he hasn't registered them under the new law."

"Three, huh? Make a note to list that in the warrant affidavit for a no-knock raid."

"Already done. Hard to believe these idiots will just incriminate themselves to a stranger on the phone."

"Thank god for the democracy disease. Dumbfucks think they're making their voices heard, participating in the political process, and shit."

"Asshole's about to participate in the criminal justice process."

***

-brrring brrring-

"Wow. A lot of surveys tonight."


These are, of course, purely hypothetical. I don't really know what these "surveys" ("legitimate" or otherwise) might be like, because in fifty-three years I have never, ever – not even once – been the recipient of an APGALMUSSENHARRINEILSONZOGGOV survey call.

Never.

Do you really want to tell a nameless, faceless stranger about your portable, valuable, highly stealable property, and your ability or inability to defend yourself? Or incriminate yourself?

And why in Ghu's name would you believe the alleged results?


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8/28/14
Breaking news

Hello Kitty is not, in fact, a felis catus.

I'm shocked.

Apparently there's absolutely nothing happening in the world about cops violating civil rights, wars in multiple regions, ebola, RKBA groups gobbling one another, Obama taking time out from golf to break the law, civil unrest, illegal changes to licensing laws, or Market Basket

Hello Kitty not a cat, company says ... or is she?
Actually, that headline isn't even consistent with the article:
"She's never depicted on all fours," Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist with the University of Hawaii who is curator of a Hello Kitty retrospective at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles in October, told the newspaper. "She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat."
What the company says is, “Hello Kitty was done in the motif of a cat. It's going too far to say that Hello Kitty is not a cat. Hello Kitty is a personification of a cat."

The word you're looking for is anthropomorphic. I can excuse that in a Japanese-speaking company rep, but apparently UofH professors aren't up to speed on the concept, and lack the budget to buy a dictionary. Or use the Internet.

If Hello Kitty is a little human girl, she's a mutant or suffering some extensive birth defects.


Hello Mutant

In related news, genetic biologists have discovered that Mickey Mouse is not a Mus musculus, Donald Duck's DNA differs greatly from that of the family Anatidae, and Pluto is neither Canis lupus familiaris nor a minor planet.

While I found nothing that explicitly described the funding of this earth-shattering discovery, it's a safe bet that your tax dollars went into this, at least indirectly...

... even ignoring the rather obvious fact that Yano is sucking at the public jugular for her paycheck.

Every year, I'm more pleased with my decision to drop out of college.


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8/26/14
Now here's something I hadn't fully considered

The Catch-22 of Energy Storage
Several recent analyses of the inputs to our energy systems indicate that, against expectations, energy storage cannot solve the problem of intermittency of wind or solar power. Not for reasons of technical performance, cost, or storage capacity, but for something more intractable: there is not enough surplus energy left over after construction of the generators and the storage system to power our present civilization.
I've often pointed out that "biofuels" and other [semi]synthetic fuels are no overall alternative to conventional petro-fuels, because there's a net energy loss in creating them. They aren't fuels so much as "chemical batteries" charged through production.

I'll concede that I'm also one of the people who maintained that better storage systems could make "renewable" power sources like wind and sun industrially useful. Eventually. But these folks have done a far more in-depth analysis of the production costs of anything faintly resembling current battery technology...

And it's pretty bad.

You could get around the storage cost by simply over-building the wind and solar generation systems. That would entail building enough power collection systems around the world, to ensure a constant supply even when the wind stops and the sun goes down in any one location. Photovoltaic arrays meant to provide a constant 100 MegaWatts would have to be built to produce at least 200 MW, just to compensate for sunset. In fact, you'd have to build in more capacity for cloudy days. Then, to stabilize the grid supply, excess not drawn off for dark areas would have to be run into resistive loads to avoid grid surges. Likewise for wind power.

Very likely you'd run into the exact same production cost problems overbuilding generations as you would with storage. Obtaining the necessary rare earth minerals is already a technological/political issue. And it takes a whole lot of power to make a PVC panel.

Those who still want to believe that renewables are industrially viable must concentrate on that "anything faintly resembling current battery technology;" and search for something radically different with an entirely different – probably a couple orders of magnitude cheaper – cost per watt. A better lithium battery isn't going to hack it.

I happen to have confidence in humanity's technological capability. I think we can eventually make such a breakthrough. But genius level breakthroughs in theory and engneering cannot be predicted. They happen when they happen. Consider that humans – depending on your definition – have been around for 500 to 2,000 centuries, yet we only learned to fly (heavier than air) about a hundred years ago.

Whille we're working toward a breakthrough, we can either go all renewable and let 90% of the human race die in misery, or we can make the most of the resources we have: oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables as appropriate (generally for isolated, nonindustrial off-grid applications).

I prefer confidence and the latter option. Mass murder isn't my thing.

(Hat tip to Watts Up With That.)


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8/26/14
A Gun Rights Compromise

Relax. Bear with me for a few minutes.

OK, everyone is all wound up over the takeover of JPFO by SAF/Gottlieb. I've had things to say over the years that apply well to this situation, so let me summarize the arguments for a compromise.

Compromise isn't always a bad thing, not when everyone gains something good.


The Second Amendment Foundation has strengths. They have a pool of fine attorneys who do well in court, making gains both small and large against existing infringements. I would like to see them do more of that, and they appear to be happy to oblige. Great...

[KEEP READING]


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8/25/14
Kal waiting periods kinda struck down

In a case of the Second Amendment Foundation doing what it should be doing (i.e.- concentrating on its strengths, not screwing up other organizations), a federal court has ruled against the 10-day waiting period to buy a firearm.

Sort of.

SAF WINS SILVESTER CASE ON WAITING PERIODS IN CALIFORNIA
The Second Amendment Foundation today won a significant court victory in California in which the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California ruled that the Golden State’s 10-day waiting period violates the Second Amendment “as applied to those individuals who successfully pass” the state’s background check prior to the ten days, and who are in lawful possession of an additional firearm.
Now, if you read that quickly and don't think too hard, it sounds good. It isn't quite a encompassing as some gun blogs have indicated, though. Look closely:
"as applied to those individuals who successfully pass” the state’s background check prior to the ten days, and who are in lawful possession of an additional firearm." (emphasis added-cb)
Eugene Volokh has more details.

"Lawful possession" is the stumbling block. In the People's Republik of Kalifornia, that means registered firearms. Guns the state knows you have, right down to the make, model, serial number, caliber...

The court effectively upheld firearms registration as a condition to "keep and bear". Expect to see the victim disarmers pushing registration as a "compromise" in the very near future. Kal already has registration, so this amounts to a slight improvement in that state. But it will be brought out as a precedent in other states that do not currently have firearms registration.

(And this is why I absolutely oppose Alan Gottlieb's attempts to preemptively "compromise." He appears to be incapable of understanding the difference between making small gains in court against existing infringements, and signing off on new infringements in legislation if the pols promise not to beat us when they rape us our rights. Silvester v. Harris is a net gain for Californians, yes. But when Gottlieb attempted to "compromise" Washington state into universal preemptively-prove-your-innocence, he set a precedent that could – and quickly was – used to push PPYI nationally (because "big time pro-RKBA Gottlieb says it's OK"). In WA, SAF didn't win a small victory against an existing wrong; they just rolled over supposedly for an exemption to the new requirement for folk who registered themselves with the government. And then Gottlieb turned to Machin, Toomey, ad Schumer to do they same damned thing to everyone in the country without even the nominal gain.)


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8/25/14
Cats for against global warming

A couple of years ago, I did a spoof YouTube video: "The Gender-Neutral Kitten Salvation Happiness Fund", complete with acccompanying Indiegogo fundraising page. The idea was to raise money to save the poor little kittens from global warming. I inserted every possible ridiculous cliche that would fit into 2min 7sec. I made up up statistics and pasted on screen that they were made up. I used the classic "Free Cat" picture. I... well, I tried to get a friend to do the voiceover, but it was too far over the top even for her sense of humor.

And people took it seriously.

Why do I mention it now, years later?

Because the Sierra Club has suddenly discovered that cute cats can fight global warming. Or something.

I've emailed them to offer to sell them the rights to my own – much more professional – video.

Welcome to the party, pals.

(-psst- Nobody tell 'em cats like it warmer – what with originating in the desert – until I've got the money.)


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8/25/14
Wobblies. Yes. They are.


Wobblies weeble but they don't fall.. oh. Wait.

Joel Simon posted a piece about the very strange Amanda Curtis, newly nominated MT candidate, supporting the Industrial Workers of the World. Commenter "John" took exception to me referring to them as "Wobblies."

Unfortunately, Joel's commenting system is doing strange things and my response to that seems to be disappearing in a cloud of disassociated electrons. So what I tried posting follows here:

John,

Please examine the sign and flag in the picture above. Note the logo and the name "Industrial Workers of the World."

Checking the URL you provided, I find that "International" Workers of the World site states: "This is the official web-page of the International Workers of the World, IWW/AI
[...]
This section of the Anarchist International was founded/reorganized at the The First Nordic Anarchist Congress 15-17 october 1982 in Oslo" (emphasis added). That's decades after the Wobblies. Note their logo: a simple black and red rectangle divided diagonally.

From Wikipedia: "The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), commonly known as the Wobblies" (emphasis added). Please note that the logo displayed in the wiki article identifying the group as the Wobblies is the same as that displayed in the picture above.

The chronology of the "Industrial" Workers of the World, as given on their official website, shows it organizing in 1904 (Wikipedia says 1905; the difference could be one of organizing versus declaration, but that's a guess – Wikipedia has been known to be wrong [grin]). Again, note the logo on this official site. Same as above.

Using the site search function at the Industrial WW site for Wobblies pulls up several documents clearing showing that this group – again, using the same name and logo as the group pictured above – calls themselves "Wobblies".

Yes, the International WW is a different group from the Industrial WW. This group pictured is the Industrial (though probably not industrious) type. Clearly Curtis is supporting Wobblies.

(In fairness, the Hot Air text Joel quoted did ID the IWW as the "International Workers of the World. Since then, the article was edited to remove the "International" reference, and it now says "Industrial".)

Added: Joel points out that "Wobblies: is right on their banner.

So 'tis. I couldn't tell what that smaller print said until he noted the obvious for me.


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8/23/14
Climate Census Data

I'm trying to imagine applying "homogenization" to other fields. Like... racial census data.

"I'm sorry, Mr. K. K. K. Hoodhead. Our data shows that you're now 5% blacker than when you were born in the '60s. Models indicate that you'll qualify for NAACP membership by 2030."

I suspect raw data "correction" and models would suddenly get a lot more attention.


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8/22/14
Raiders of the Lost Corn

I meant to blog something about a personal tragedy this morning, but I got caught up in the JPFO controversy.

I've been raided.

That's my corn, such as it is. Given the temperatures at this elevation, and the less than ideal sun exposure, my corn crop is minimal at best. But something found it acceptable. I discovered that when I stepped out this morning. I still have a few plants left, so I'm hoping the whatever will leave me something.

I don't know what the critter was. I've had deer problems in the past, but I didn't find any tracks this time. Which means whatever it was, it was big enough to reach the inside plants without stepping into the soft garden soil within the frame. I suspect it has something to do with this.

For the past month or so, something has decided that lily bed makes a great... bed. Again, I haven't spotted it. Ever. I sneak out periodically at oddball hours throughtout both night and day, but I never catch it. But it keeps the lilies plastered flat, depriving me of that bit of color.

And now my comestibles.

So far, it's left everything else alone. Which is why I was able to harvest these today.

A couple dozen jalapenos. Not my first gathering either. And plenty more still growing. Some of those are about three inches long. This is definitely my best year for the peppers. So far. Critters allowing.


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8/22/14
Name change: The University of Dumbass

University newspaper changes its name because it ‘propagated violence’
The student-run newspaper at the University of Mary Washington (UMW) is changing its name from The Bullet to The Blue & Gray Press over concerns that its original name carried violent connotations.
Umm... what? Let's fsck this.
"the old name was “a little outdated” and was more representative of the Fredericksburg, Va., community’s ties to the Civil War and not the school as a whole."
"Bullets" are violent. War (the blue and gray reference) is just happy-thought.

"In this day and age, no one really cares about the Civil War. We wanted something that was updated," Thoet said.
Blue & Gray refers to that Civil War that "no one really cares about".

Oh, dear Bog, I can't continue.

In related news, The Bullet The Blue & Gray Press Fuzzy Pastel Tribble has changed its name because someone acquainted with American history pointed out the war connotations of earlier names. More importantly and ironically, over-emoting liberal arts students thought "Blue & Gray" was dreary and depressing.

Additionally, "bullet statements" will now be called "unicorn dreams."


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8/21/14
To be ask or not to be ask

Shakespeare had it easy back in the day.

According to Cheezburger, the humor site with an accuracy rating significantly higher than a William Connolley-edited climatology article...

Umm...

Make up your effing minds.



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8/18/14
I have to give him partial credit

The gunniesphere is all... ahem a-twitter over this faux pas.


Deadly Assault Plugs

Breathtaking Ignorance
Yes, ladies and gentleman…that’s a reporter who doesn’t know the difference between rubber bullets and foam earplugs.
On the one hand, how did this clown reach nominal adulthood without ever being exposed to loud noises– gun range, power tools, heavy equipment, aircraft, pop music concerts? I'm mildly astonished that he couldn't figure it out. Or use a search engine.

But on the other hand; minimal credit where minimal credit is due. He asked. He didn't simply publish a putative "news" article outright asserting that they're something they aren't. Or claiming something that is absolutely impossible.

So he's an idiot, but maybe an only-slightly-dishonest idiot.

I wonder what he thought the ear wax was.


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8/15/14
Paying people for votes?

What? Suddenly that's new?

Panel wants L.A. to look at using prizes to boost voter turnout
"Maybe it's $25,000 maybe it's $50,000," said Commission President Nathan Hochman. "That's where the pilot program comes in -- to figure out what ... number and amount of prizes would actually get people to the voting box."
Seems to me they're treating symptoms, not causes. Maybe there's a reason people don't bothering voting anymore.
Study: You Have 'Near-Zero' Impact on U.S. Policy
A startling new political science study concludes that corporate interests and mega wealthy individuals control U.S. policy to such a degree that "the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."
"Startling" only to anyone who has never tried communicating with a DC Rep or Senator as a private citizen not representing an organization with deep pockets and a giving nature.


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8/14/14
Ferguson Jackbooted Thugs in action benched

In our previous thrilling episode, I observed that the Fergie Fifes were going to have a lot of trouble explaining why they needed to be tear gassing news crews and such-like. I rather thought some other folks agreed with my assessment since the governor officially relieved the SLCPD of responsibility for Ferguson, and they reacted by exclaiming, "Hot damn! Let's get the hell away from these dumbass yahoos," as they bailed out of the town. However, one should not forget just which yahoos were prepared to murder peaceful First Amendment participants.

I guess that still wasn't quite good enough. Possibly considering the mental stability of the town dipshits, the governor has acted again: FPD is fired. More or less.

Ferguson shooting: Missouri State Highway Patrol to take over security, governor says
The Missouri State Highway Patrol will take over supervising security in Ferguson, Missouri
[...]
Nixon said the change is intended to make sure "that we allow peaceful and appropriate protests, that we use force only when necessary, that we step back a little bit and let some of the energy be felt in this region appropriately."
Translation: "You goddamned idiots are too dangerous to play with anything but unloaded Nerf guns. You're fired." Without the actual firing part naturally, since the police union isn't about to let that happen no matter that these assholes make the Keystones Kops look good.

It takes a hell of a lot for a politician to step up and relieve an entire police department. My only question is: What the hell took you so long to notice, Nixon?

Side Note: Any bets on whether the Anonymous identification of the alleged killer cop turns out to be correct, despite the SLCPD claims otherwise? (I did a little checking and found some older material on the 'Net that makes it credible, though not confirmed.)


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8/14/14
Ferguson Jackbooted Thugs in action

There's no good way to spin this one, ossifers.


Click for story and video

I haven't had much to say publicly about what's going on in Ferguson, Missouri, even though I used to live in the area. So far as the – original – shooting itself, I was troubled but awaiting more information. Which oddly isn't forthcoming as the cops decided that transparency was a bad thing. In court proceedings for a civilian, most juries would consider that incriminating.

But now... Click that image and read the story, watch the video. TL;DR/W: A news crew standing off at a distance, with things appearing rather quiet, all things considered. Suddenly the cops fire a tear gas grenade at them. Crew runs off. Cops immediately drive up in an armored vehicle (labeled St. Charles County Regional SWAT) and two gas-masked stormtroopers begin dismantling the camera gear, beginning by dumping the lights on the ground so they don't illuminate anything but grass,then turning the running camera down to look at said grass, while a third "guards" (from the quiet street?) with what appears to be an evil AR-pattern rifle of the sort that is meant only for "killing lots of people very quickly". About that time, they realize another crew is recording them. The cops then try to force the second crew to leave: "We don't wanna see you guys get hurt." Since there is no one else but cops there, I'll leave the question of who is going to hurt the crew to your imagination.

I still have contacts in the area, who aren't involved in the protests. Some of what they're telling me is hinted in the "news". Some I haven't seen reported (maybe it's there and I missed it): At the scene of the shooting, cops allegedly seized a cell phone – without a warrant – from a witness, a 15yo girl, and arrested her. Apparently Missouri cops aren't aware of Riley v. California, nor even MO's own Missouri Electronic Data Protection, Amendment 9. I think the cops just made that kid rich.

Local sources told me before the rumors hit the "news" that Brown was shot 10 times in the back. One report has it that he was kneeling with his hands in the air at the time. That does conflict with the reported witness statements that he was running away. We'll see.

What is in the news: “Your right to assembly is not being denied,” declared the cops as they strongly suggested that a peaceful group of protestors leave at gunpoint. But it's OK, because it was "no longer a peaceful protest". Well...not once the cops showed up threatening peaceful protestors with unjustified deadly force; that's not a peaceful act at all.

I strongly suspect that all the cops involved realize just how badly they've been effing up. The Saint Louis County PD is pulling out of Ferguson completely, and the governor has officially relieved them of policing responsibility for the town. That's a clear, Don't sue us. It was all Fergie PD! Too late, Officer Friendly; that was SLCPD's TOU vehicle with the cop pointing a rifle at protestors on top.


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8/14/14
Technically, he's right

Ol' Joel bets that none of us have a waterfall in the front yard. He's right.

Mine's in the back yard.

Would have been a lot more impressive if I'd gotten out there twelve hours when the storm runoff was still high. This is about normal for this time of year.

Looks like I need to do a little range maintenance, too.

Yes, we caught part of that "historic" east coast storm the lamestream muddia was hyping to deflect attention from little things like Barrycade's Middle East cluster-coitus.


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8/13/14
Emphasis on "special"

One may hope that, among their very many other coming problems, they're about to be sued into oblivion for unlicensed use of the Punisher logo. (If you don't know who the Punisher is, you should really read up to see why this is effing scary.)


YouTube video

Doraville, Georgia Police: Putting the "special" in SWAT.

The soundtrack music is "Die Motherf—-r Die". (Probably another licensing issue there, too; if Marvel leaves any crumbs.)

Doravillle, GA has a population of roughly 8,500. They did have a murder once. Five years ago.

Now let's talk about that "training" scenario recess play time. We'll excuse them driving the armored vehicle into a supposed hot zone with the door open; there might have been a tacticool reason for that beyond an inability to open the door quickly once on-scene.

But, seeing how long it took them to get the top hatch open and to toss out the smoke grenade – more on that – I'd bet on congenital fumble fingers.

Now the grenade. This was an officer down rescue scenario. One would hope that they remembered they were supposed to be putting the armor between the downed cop and the threat. Either they screwed that part up, or they threw the smoke grenade in the wrong direction. The smoke is meant to provide concealment for the rescue; it should be placed between the rescuing vehicle and the threat. Tossing it over by the downed officer merely obstructs the vision of the rescuers.

My badge-wearing days are long past. Apparently things have changed since then. Back in the day, when we practiced rescuing a downed person, we had to carry or drag him to safety. He sure as hell didn't simply stand up and walk back to the vehicle with us. No doubt the fine folks in Doraville are very accomodating and will ignore wounds to walk themselves to safety, sparing delicate officers back sprains.

Radley Balko has more about these dangerous idiots.


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8/13/14
Look! A herd of RINOs.

John McCain to campaign with Scott Brown in NH
It is unclear how much Brown is helping with branding by appearing with McCain
Unclear only to idiots.

McCain only did as well in NH primaries as he did because people still fell for that "R" after his name. People know better now. And Brown? Nobody but the NHGOP ever thought he in anyway whatsoever resembled a conservative with respect for the Constitution. If they'd just bring in Chris Christie at the same time, we could watch the NHGOP disappear into a black hole of ill-chosen political (in)expediency.


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8/12/14
Rule by fiat, New Hampshire style
See updates below: Links to old and new version of the application.

It looks like the Dimwits, unable to get actual anti-RKBA legislation past the people, have fallen back to the old stroke of the pen, law of the land technique to violate human/civil rights.

Bad Changes To New Hampshire Carry License Application Action Needed
Without notice, and without prior solicitation of comments from the public, a bureaucrat in Concord has exceeded his statutory authority, and added new requirements to the New Hampshire pistol/revolver (concealed carry) licensing process.
It's pretty bad. In fact, if you know recent NH legislative history, it's f--king disgusting.

Here are the worst parts (and this is the basis of the letters I just sent; you might want to use it, although Hassan's webform limits you 800 characters).

Dear ______,

I find recent changes to the RESIDENT PISTOL/REVOLVER LICENSE application (DSSP85, revised 08/2014) very troubling. Specifically:

1. "Has any state or federal agency ever claimed that you are prohibited by law or regulation from possessing a firearm?"

It is hardly unusual for officers and security guards to incorrectly make such a claim. Please note that this question makes no mention of a binding judicial finding, with due process protections (a condition already addressed by previous questions); there is no differentiation between an uninformed opinion by a low level bureaucrat and proper law. Nor does it differentiate between a permanent disqualification and a temporary order found to be improper.

This question is extremely troubling since it opens the possibility of a denial because one shares a common name with a person placed on one of the federal terrorism watch lists/no-fly lists, which have been shown -- repeatedly -- to be error-prone and lacking in due process. You may recall that a few years ago, certain legislators attempted to alter RSA 159 to allow issuing authorities to deny a license based on an unsupported claim that the applicant might be a terrorist (and again, with no due process to cahllenge that accusation); that bill resulted in aproximately a thousand people showing up at the State House to protest and the bill being deservedly and ignomiously declared Inexpedient To Legislate. Now, some bureaucrat has slipped that very – soundly rejected – provision into the licensing process.

2. "Have you ever held a resident pistol/revolver license before?"

Does this refer only to a New Hampshire license? If so, why ask? The form already asks for previous license information if the applicant is renewing a license. If a person voluntarily allowed a license to lapse because they did not intend to carry a firearm, this question allows the issuing authority to use that good judgement call against the applicant.

If the question refers to out-of state licenses, does this require me to provide decades of previous licensing data from other states to the issuing authority? If I no longer have a copy of a Georgia license that expired decades ago, can the issuing authority use that to deny my application?

This application revision must be revoked immediately, and the previous revision reinstated.

You can find the necessary email links and phone numbers in the alert article.

Added: Here's a link to the revised application, so you can look at it yourself. You might be able to find the previous revision online somewhere; if not and you really need to see, let me know. I saved it from last time I renewed.

Added 2: Looks like a lot of people want the old form for comparison. Here's DSSP 85 (REV. 03/11) (PDF).


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8/7/14
Prescription: Mandatory Customers

We have a new contender for the title of Doctor Death: Perry Grossman, a physician who lives in Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Americans must stop carrying guns, revise Second Amendment
Where his argument became naive was the assumption that if only we could get the would-be assassin the mental health services he or she needs, we could prevent the mass murder from occurring.
The deadly doctor then elaborates by explaining that "the type of mental illness that leads to gun violence is [...] most often not treatable", nor is it detectable: "there isn't the perception of a need for mental health services". Therefore, honest folk should not be allowed to "carry devices specifically made to kill other individuals" to protect themselves from surprise attacks by those untreateable, undetectable lunatics.

Grossman being someone in the highly paid industry of treating illness and injury, one might wonder if his prescription for more victims is crazed or just a form of job protection for himself guaranteeing a constant stream of paying customers for his medical services. I'd prefer to think he's crazy rather than evil, since in my experience most doctors want to do good.

Certainly his solution to "gun violence" by armed lunatics isn't reality-based. He notes that treatment for "the type of mental illness that leads to gun violence [...] cannot be imposed upon individuals" under current law. But instead of changing laws to allow treatment of those judicially and medically determined to be an actual threat, he proposes changing the law to render everyone helpless in the face of crazed attacks. (And wait... I thought that the courts could involuntarily commit dangerously insane people, and that such people are already prohibited from possessing firearms.)

He thinks it's "naive" to change laws (actually, to use existing laws meant for the purpose) to work towards finding and treating the few mentally ill who would commit murder, but perfectly reasonable to change laws (and the Constitution) to find and disarm every honest and stable gun owner in the world. After all, the Second Amendment"was drafted in 1787 [sic], when we were a newly minted democracy, uncertain of the dangers posed to its citizens. The guns available at that time weren't assault rifles". Yes, the old "they never envisisioned technological advances" argument. Again. (Oh, and doc: the Bill of Rights was drafted in 1789, not 1787.) And yes, the old "assault rifles" argument; unless he was a military doctor in a war zone, it's pretty damned unlikely he's ever treated assault rifle wounds. Could be he's delusional and stupid. Or hopes his readers are.

Yes, firearms have improved. They are safer, more reliable, and more effective now. Kind of like... medicine. Perhaps the good crappy doctor would also like to reset all medical advances back to the 18th century, too. Myself, I prefer a world where doctors and their patients have access to more modern, effective tools to protect innocent life. But I'm not crazy.

Possibly Dr. Grossman doesn't subscribe the notion of primum non nocere (it does seem to have been eliminated from the modern version of the Hipppocratic Oath, as promulgated by Johns Hopkins). No wonder he advocates rendering the entire population of honest folks helpess against crazed murderers. Primum, nocent, pecunia, indeed.


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8/5/14
Update on L.Neil Smith

Neil is one of my favorite writers. While I considered him a friend, I'm forced to confess that I've largely been out of touch with him for a few years. So it took a while for the news to trickle down to me.

"To our friends who have patiently refrained from asking, Neil suffered a stroke on June 28. He is currently in an excellent acute rehabilitation program at a facility in Northern Colorado and is making good progress. I'm happy to share information. If you want updates, please let me know by email and I'll reply. Giovanni and I are working on making the house (built in 1949) accessible for Neil's eventual return."
Neil, Cathy, & Giovanni
cathylz@netzero.com
Neil is a great writer, but he is not a wealthy one. If you can spare a few bucks, please consider helping out. I don't know what sort of coverage he has, but you know darned well that insurance never covers everything. Structural alterations so he can get around in his own home probably aren't covered at all.


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8/3/14
Note to M.E.

Got it. Thanks. Just now got a mail server bounce message, saying my acknowledgement hasn't been received.


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8/1/14
404

Recently, author and blogger Claire Wolfe posted "Bleg: Keep the roof over Claire’s head, looking for $4,150 bucks for roof repairs. She's a nice lady, a fine writer. And she could use a little help sometimes.We all can.

Within a few hours of posting that, she already had about four hundred bucks (and a few hours after that, the better part of $700). I've been making my books available for free "tips welcome" download for years. Sometimes I even get tips. But $400 is more than I've gotten... in years. Total.

I've been getting about one donation per 4-5 thousand downloads. I normally see around a thousand to eleven hundred downloads per month (that number keeps growing; I used to see a few hundred D/L a month).

More power to Claire. She's much more popular than this bitter old curmudgeon is ever going to be. I left my books available because 1) I do see the very occasional tip, and 2) it's been a slight ego boost to see people downloading thousand of copies of Net Assets more than a decade after it was originally published.

But it's not that much of an ego boost, and there aren't that many tips. Worse, those downloads are exceeding my bandwidth allotment, which means my host is going to be wanting more money, which in turn means hoping for tips and ego-stroking costs me money.

That's why those download links below will now give 404s. For evermore.

My thanks to that handful of supporters over the years.

For those who feel that "information wants to be free" and "those words aren't yours" (both of which I've been told by people who then demanded to know when my next novel would be out for their uncompensated pleasure), I concede the point and make my complete works available here.

Some assembly required.


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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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gets old after a while.)

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Copyright 2003 - 2012 by Carl Bussjaeger