Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Blogging is up lately

Who knew?  I thought I was slacking off, but there were more posts this month than any other month (but one or two).

I must say that I did have some help from the Missus.  But dang - I'm a chatty Cathy even when I shut up ...

Time to change the oil?


Wonder what that one sounds like when you crank it over?

You know that guy who thinks he can work with his hands and fix things, but can't.

Don't be that guy.

Especially when someone is filming something that will end up on YouTube.  Srlsy.

The Gormogons cause Global Warming

Stay with me here.

The Silicon Graybeard brings teh smart about solar activity, sunspots, and Global Warmenning.  Go RTWT.  I'll wait.

It's all there, all nicely tied up with a bow.  The only thing missing is the greeting card (probably carved in bloody runes on parchment with a dagger) from The Gormogons, saying "We may or may not have been playing magnetic games with the sun.  Enjoy this next winter, suckers."

I mean, it's all there: The Mandarin with his solar "experiments" (and inscruitability, no extra charge), GorT for the time travel (how else do you go back in time to change - sorry, sorry: "adjust" - all the old temperature readings), and the Czar (for the bloody runes; and just where is Dat Ho, anyway?).  I kind of suspect that Al Gore is actually one of The Volgi's life size anamatronic experiments, but that's really just conjecture.

It's a brilliant scheme, which just reinforces the suspicion that your Gormogons are behind it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

TheOnesDay® No. 11


There's a whole site for TheOnesDay™, it seems.  Awesome.

Via Theo.

Just call me Ashok

I just spent an hour on the phone with my younger brother.  He's visiting Mom, and trying to get her computer back on the Internet.  He spells "computer" with a "k".

After 45 minutes, I realized he was typing a backslash instead of a slash.  *Headdesk*



I don't see how tech support does it.  Strong language warning.

From the place where Great Britain used to be

Wow:
The result of policies that punish the innocent but fail to deter crime has been stark, even before the latest urban violence. The last decade has seen a doubling of gun crime. According to the latest annual report of the Home Office (2009), there was a 25% increase in crimes involving contact, such as assault and battery, over the previous year.
But don't hold your breath waiting for the Intellectual Class to re-examine their first premises for validity.  They're all busy at the 127th Intellectual Class Twit of the Year competition ...

Quote of the Day - The more things change edition

This is from twenty years ago:
The basic right-wing populist insight is that we live in a statist country and a statist world dominated by a ruling elite, consisting of a coalition of Big Government, Big Business, and various influential special interest groups. More specifically, the old America of individual liberty, private property, and minimal government has been replaced by a coalition of politicians and bureaucrats allied with, and even dominated by, powerful corporate and Old Money financial elites (e.g., the Rockefellers, the Trilateralists); and the New Class of technocrats and intellectuals, including Ivy League academics and media elites, who constitute the opinion-moulding class in society. In short, we are ruled by an updated, twentieth-century coalition of Throne and Altar, except that this Throne is various big business groups, and the Altar is secular, statist intellectuals, although mixed in with the secularists is a judicious infusion of Social Gospel, mainstream Christians. The ruling class in the State has always needed intellectuals to apologize for their rule and to sucker the masses into subservience, i.e., into paying the taxes and going along with State rule. In the old days, in most societies, a form of priestcraft or State Church constituted the opinion-moulders who apologized for that rule. Now, in a more secular age, we have technocrats, "social scientists," and media intellectuals, who apologize for the State system and staff in the ranks of its bureaucracy.
He diagnoses the problem with the Libertarian approach pretty well, I think.

Via Samizdata.

You keep using that word

I do not think it means what you think it means.


The NSA: We're from the Government, and we're here to help

More specifically, to help you keep your home computer and home WiFi network more secure.  Pretty decent advice, really.  This isn't earth shattering advice, but it's good advice nonetheless.

For home WiFi, newish readers should read this old post, too.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Why government services stink, part CXXI

Because governmental agencies are incentivized to prolong (or worsen) the problem:
“Congestion is our friend,” says Florida [transportation] planner Dom Nozzi, echoing a popular belief that getting a few people out of their cars is worth any cost. My review of long-range transportation plans for the nation’s 72 largest metropolitan areas revealed that more than half of them included policies aimed at increasing congestion rather than reducing it, and a third of them focused almost exclusively of such policies
See, if you actually solved the problem of traffic congestion, you wouldn't need transportation planners, right?  And so, why should we expect the agencies to produce workable solutions?

Why the Left sees Fascists under every bed

The Left sneers at the Right for seeing Communists under every bed.  They seem to be impervious to the irony of how they see Fascists under every bed.  Via Sean Sorrentino, we find a very interesting post at The Other McCain:
Liberals refused to confront the reality of Soviet-sponsored subversion and therefore attributed malign motives to anti-Communists, most especially such Republicans as McCarthy and Richard Nixon. The true extent of Soviet efforts to influence U.S. policy was not known for decades; only with the post-Cold War release of the Venona Papers and other documents was conclusive evidence obtained, and few historians have re-examined the record in light of such revelations. (See In Denial: Historians, Communism, and Espionage by John Earl Haynes for a discussion of academia’s failure in that regard.) Thus the mythic terror of “McCarthyism” took root and grew in the liberal imagination, fostered with the aid of cultural Marxists like Theodor Adorno, such of Adorno’s liberal disciples as Richard Hofstadter, and the young leftists who took up the “Long March Through the Institutions” in the 1960s to become a dominant force in contemporary academia.
It's a long and interesting post, and you should RTWT.  I would add, though, that this explains what's happening on our side of the Atlantic.  European leftists have a somewhat different historical perspective, and in fact are likely justified in seeing a clear and present danger from a resurgent Fascism.

The entire post war history of Europe has been the story of transnationalism.  The French strategy of being too close to Germany to punch was pretty successful, even if it took hundreds of thousands of American troops in a decades long occupation to pull it off.  But the explicitly nationalist socialist movements from all the Western European countries gracefully moved to a internationalist socialism world view.

It was really the same thing - top-down control by a strong technocratic State  working in close cooperation with big business - but instead being informed by local patriotic feeling, it was informed by a Pan-European vision of "ever closer" integration (i.e. control of the periphery from the Paris-Brussels-Berlin core).

And so the increasing restiveness of the populations strikes the Intelligentsia with horror.  As the State has increasingly lost claim to legitimacy, the public in all of the European countries have become increasingly annoyed at the EU's increasingly desperate attempts to keep the wheels from coming off the EU Bandwagon.

Most horrifying of all is the German public's stubborn unwillingness to fund bailouts for the Southern European nations.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel has dug in her heels to stop this, because it would spell the end of her government.  And this stirring of die Deutsche volk to oppose the Transnational Elite should have all Right Thinking People™ thinking on a resurgent fascism.

This is a very different thing than what's happening over here.  While our Elite has us going down that same road, we're nowhere near as far along as Europe is, and there aren't competing national consciousnesses here to worry about.  The blather here about the right and fascism is precisely as Stacy McCain describes.

But as Tam once said, Europe has shown that they can go from zero to Jackboots in five years.  It was only a half step from National Socialism to International Socialism, and it will only be a half step back.

While my posting is off a bit lately ...

It seems that ASM826 has been picking up the slack in ClaimateChangeBlogging™.  In the middle of a hurricane, no less.

Al Gore: Climate Change "Deniers" are like racists.

NYT: Global Warming caused the hurricane.  Because we never had hurricanes before.

And so while I've been a lazy bum, the Blogosphere comes through!

Dear Wayne LaPierre

Thank you so much for having one of your people contact me.  I know that he didn't listen at all when I said that you guys need to focus less on the ZOMG-teh-UN-iz-coming-to-ban-teh-guns thing, and more on getting shall issue overruled.  I also know that he didn't listen when I said that Obama can sign any old treaty he wants, but until the Senate ratifies it, it's just a scrap of paper.  And see, the Senate won't touch this with a ten foot pole.  I know he didn't listen to that, either.

Funny, the whole experience of you trying to scare me into sending you money made me wonder if Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy is alive and well at the NRA.

Love, Borepatch

P.S. Just how many different ways do you tell people to say "Wayne LaPierre, Executive Vice President of the NRA"?  I bet if you think hard, you can come up with a couple more.  kthanxbai

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Things that are filled with win

Going to the Mall with the boys, and just hanging out.

Watching Top Shot with #2 Son.

Not having my derriere in a car seat for 14 hours.

The greeting you get from the dogs when you're back after a long trip.

The still cat-like (Ohai, r u going to feed me?) but I-missed-your-lap purring from Crash the WonderCat.

10 degrees cooler weather.  That's how hot it is in Austin right now - Atlanta in August feels positively cool.  Now where are all my jackets?

So which governmental regulations stifle job creation?

It's a trick question: no governmental regulations stifle job creation.  Remember in January when the President signed an Executive Order that all agencies identify outdated or onerous regulations that are holding back the economy?
This order requires that federal agencies ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while promoting economic growth. And it orders a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive. It's a review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules, the result of tinkering by administrations and legislators of both parties and the influence of special interests in Washington over decades.
Eight months later, it seems that there aren't any of these.  Boy, that's good news.  I was worried that red tape might be hurting us.  Glad that's all cleared up!

The Ruin

This masonry is wondrous; fates broke it
courtyard pavements were smashed; the work of giants is decaying.
Roofs are fallen, ruinous towers,
the frosty gate with frost on cement is ravaged,
chipped roofs are torn, fallen,
undermined by old age. The grasp of the earth possesses
the mighty builders, perished and fallen,
the hard grasp of earth, until a hundred generations
of people have departed. 
The Ruin is an Eighth Century poem in Old English, the still Germanic root of our current language.  It describes the failing of the old Roman systems of engineering.  Nothing works anymore.

America is unique in many ways, but one particularly characteristic American trait is to pull up stakes and move.  New England forests are littered with stone walls, marking what used to be the boundaries of fields where people tried to grow crops in the stony soil.  It wasn't armies of barbarians that led to the ruins, but greener pastures elsewhere.

New England is also filled with run down and dilapidated mills.  The Industrial Revolution first landed on these shores in New England, but companies have slowly found themselves strangled by red tape and again, seek greener pastures elsewhere.  The town I used to live in, and where this picture was taken, was almost the location of Henry Ford's factory.  The Town Fathers seemingly didn't want all the dirty manufacturing jobs there, and so it remains a sleepy Boston bedroom community.

If you, like me, ever make the Highway 20 ride from Texas to Atlanta, you pass by an enormous and gleaming new Mercedes factory in Tuscaloosa.  Perhaps the Sudbury Town Fathers see Alabamians as barbarian hordes.
Wrætlic is þes wealstan, wyrde gebræcon;
burgstede burston, brosnað enta geweorc.
Hrofas sind gehrorene, hreorge torras,
hrungeat berofen, hrim on lime,
scearde scurbeorge scorene, gedrorene,
ældo undereotone. Eorðgrap hafað
waldend wyrhtan forweorone, geleorene,
heardgripe hrusan, oþ hund cnea
werþeoda gewitan. Oft þæs wag gebad
ræghar ond readfah rice æfter oþrum,
ofstonden under stormum; steap geap gedreas.

Edvard Grieg - Peer Gynt Suite (Morning Mood)

Edvard Grieg is without doubt Norway's most famous composed.  Much beloved in his country because of the way he included traditional Norwegian music in his works, 40,000 attended his funeral in 1907.

The Peer Gynt Suite is without doubt his most famous work.  Grieg himself didn't much care for it - he wrote it as the score for a Henrik Ibsen play that Grieg thought particularly difficult to adapt music to.  Ironically, some of his distaste related to what made him so popular.  He wrote:
I have also written something for the scene in the hall of the mountain King – something that I literally can't bear listening to because it absolutely reeks of cow-pies, exaggerated Norwegian nationalism, and trollish self-satisfaction! But I have a hunch that the irony will be discernible.
Irony for this piece didn't end with Grieg's death.  The film Soylent Green depicted a dystopian future of overpopulation, where older people were expected to "Go home" via government assisted suicide.  One character is asked by the government operator what sort of music he wanted.  "Light classical" was his ironic reply.  In that scene, Dick van Patten gave what was perhaps his greatest (certainly most ironic) line: Too bad you missed the overture.



Perhaps I'm in the mood for irony, having just embarked in a journey of going home.  Still, it's morning, and I hope the mood is unironic.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I like the cut of this man's jib

Compare and Contrast

The 500 Word essay is due Monday first thing, Progressives.

If it's Saturday, there must be a gaping pit of Security Fail in Flash

You know Flash, the stuff that puts the "You" in Youtube.  Well, while you're watching Saturday Redneck, your computer could potentially get pwned longtime.  I don't think that this video is a problem, but Flash player has a rookie security hole in it that is sadly not much different from the many rookie security holes they've had recently:
When handling the [input] value the size is not validated and the process blindly copies user supplied data ... into a fixed-length buffer on the stack. A remote attacker can exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code under the context of the browser.
Look, this problem is twenty years old.  The only excuse if that the developers are lazy, or the company doesn't think they need to invest in automated testing.

Get your patches here.  iPhone users, you're safe because His Steveness decided you can't handle the Flash.  Android users, get the to the Android App Store to download the update.

I must say that it's somewhat disheartening to see this kind of stupid, careless, inexcusable n00b error keep poping up.  You get hit by a fiendishly subtle new technique known only to folks who go to Black Hat, well, that's one thing.  You get hit by something that everyone has learned about in Programming 101 for the last two decades, you're an idiot.  And the rest of us get to spend a little Personal Patching time because of that.

Blackberry Smoke - Son Of A Bourbon

What's not to like about a woman who can drink whiskey without making a face?  Or a song about it?

What we used to call "Southern Rock" is alive and well, with guitars, long hair, and beards.  Bands like Blackberry Smoke are carrying the torch onward.

The attraction of the music (other than simply great music from bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd) was that it had an honesty, a return to the roots of working man's music.  The band writes about this, hilariously:
At a certain point, Southern Rock as it was perceived in the ’70s was alternately tarted up in slutty make-up by Rock or blow-dried and sanitized by Country, neither of which did much to effectively or appropriately expand the genre’s range. Blackberry Smoke may be too young to remember firsthand the visceral bite of early Lynyrd Skynyrd, the moody excellence of the Marshall Tucker Band and the gritty Blues of the first three ZZ Top albums, but they do a pretty decent job of channeling the era without slipping into faceless arena Country Pop that shares little with Southern Rock outside of a decibel level.
Awesome.  Keep on rockin' guys!




Son Of A Bourbon (songwriters: ??)
My mama drank scotch whiskey
and my daddy drank Jim Beam
I was concieved
just outside of New Orleans
told my ma he loved her
while ole Elvin Bishop played
daddy’d be the worst mistake
my mama ever made

I’m a son of the bourbon I’m a son of a bitch
I’m the dying breed of rock and roll
left ass up in a ditch
I’ve been up against the law
I’ve served some time in jail
I’ve been known for gettin’ stoned
and I’ve raised my share of hell

They went back to Alabama
one cold October day
soon as I was born
my daddy up and ran away
we got by on gettin’ by
we’d live from week to week
as long as I’ve got two good hands
I’ll work to earn my keep

I’m a son of the bourbon
I’m a son of a bitch
I’m the dying breed of rock and roll
left ass up in a ditch
I’ve been up against the law
I’ve served some time in jail
I’ve been known for gettin’ stoned
and I’ve raised my share of hell

My mama drank scotch whiskey
and my daddy drank Jim Beam
I was concieved
just outside of New Orleans
when my life is over
and my time has come to pass
bury me upside down
so the world can kiss my ass

(image source)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blog later

I'm trying to get home, and the world isn't cooperating.  I've been away for five weeks, and am more than a little frustrated.  Not in the frame of mind to blog, sorry.

If I'm lucky, I'll be home at Camp Borepatch tonight, but you won't have any posts.  If I'm unlucky, I'll be here another day.  If you see posts, you know that my life is pretty full up with suck.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Now that's an obituary

Blisteringly sexy, she killed Nazis with her bare hands and had a 5 million franc bounty on her head:
She could easily have been one of the sassy songbirds who brightened up World War II. But this was the face of Nancy Wake, one of that conflict’s bravest underground fighters against the Germans in France — and  certainly the most stylish.

A male comrade-in-arms in the French Resistance summed her up as: ‘The most  feminine woman I know, until the fighting starts. And then she is like five men.’ She lived up to both parts of that compliment.
Belladonna.  Deadly, and yet could grace Paladin's Girl Friday*:

 Truly, Giants strode the Earth, in those days.  God speed with fair winds and following seas, Nancy Wake.

Et lux perpetua luceat eis.  Amen.

* Maybe the best thing on Al Gore's Intarwebz, and completely SFW.

Is there anything that doesn't cause Global Warming?

Housewives of the world unite!  All you have to lose is your fabric softener!
Scented laundry products emit hazardous chemicals through dryer vents.
And reader Wolfman emails to point out that CNN (once again) gets the story wrong:
Global Warming makes east coast earthquakes stronger.
Look, get with the program, will you?  Space Aliens cause stronger east coast earthquakes because they hate all this Global Warming that we're causing.

[rolls eyes]

Me, I think that government grants funding junk science cause Global Warming.  Well, I do.

And Wolfman gets the last word, because it's filled with snarky goodness:
Eh... the science is settled, after all. Next time I get a speeding ticket, maybe I'll tell the Judge Global warming caused my speedometer to malfunction...

Heh.

Quote of the Day: Making sh*t up edition

Heh:

It seems like just a week or two ago that Smart People were busily and happily engaged in projecting all their personal political proclivities onto the London rioters.

Well now suddenly it’s aliens.

What I always find puzzling is why both sides don’t just get into this projection game. Why is it always and only the ‘progressive’ side that employs psychological-projection-based extortion? I mean given that they’re clearly just making shit up to try to get their way, what exactly prevents their political opposition from making other, countervailing shit up?

Aliens are gonna attack us cuz we don’t have a flat tax. Aliens are gonna attack us because we allow too many eminent-domain seizures. Aliens are gonna attack us because with only some exceptions we don’t allow cross symbols in publicly-owned spaces. Aliens are gonna attack us because Social Security is not privatized. Aliens are gonna attack us because we do not enforce our borders well. Aliens are gonna attack us because the Tenth Amendment isn’t followed.

See how easy it is to make shit up? All equally supportable and evidence-based as the alien/global-warming claim or the London rioter/’austerity’ claim, I might add.
Kind of long for a QoTD, but if you've been around here for a while, you know that "kind of long" isn't a bug, it's a feature.  Plus, he gives the definitive description about why people do this sort of thing.  I'd say it's spot on, but c'mon, this is Sonic Charmer, so you know that it's (a) wicked smaht and (b) packed with mockery about "Smart".  Plus, it has a post title so good as to obsolete all other post titles.  Srlsy.

I *so* want to buy this guy a beer, or maybe take him to the range.

RTWT.

You're a good ol' dog, Hawkeye


There is no faith which has never yet been broken, except that of a truly faithful dog.
- Konrad Lorenz
Blue has the story.

Et lux perpetua luceat eis. Amen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

NPR's stupid list

Yeah, I read a bunch of 'em.  You know what?  My list of which of these fiction "great works" I've read hasn't changed at all in twenty years.  Maybe I should read more fiction.  Maybe I should have more respect for NPR's Top 100 list.

Maybe I should have more respect for NPR.

I'm sorry, I'm not interested.  I don't agree with a lot of their list, I'm not particularly interested in getting into why with them, and don't particularly want to have the "fiction vs. non-fiction" debate with them.  Or the "What is it that makes a person truly educated" debate with them.

(Funny, Acquinas isn't on their list anywhere.  Probably too hard for them.)

So somewhere, there's an NPR drone supported by my tax dollars who gets to choose what it is to be a member of the Intellectual Class.  Oooooh kaaaay.

Ya know, I remember those early 2000's PBS commercials: "If PBS doesn't do it, who will?"  Yeah, that's my worry.

Die screaming in a fire, PBS.

Interlude, with bore snake

I'm a bad gun owner, leaving the guns dirty for three days.  I'd give you all sorts of excuses, but you don't want to hear them.

On the plus side, I have three guns to clean.  That's a plus because it means I took three guns to the range to shoot last Sunday.  And I shot 'em.  Don't tell the Massachusetts.Gov; it's probably illegal for people in Texas to have guns without the approval of the Mass.Gov, or something.

And on the made of win side, I head home this weekend.  Haven't seen the kids in over a month.  Wonder if they'll remember me ...

In the meantime, here's music to clean your gun to.

Explaining the debt, in simple to understand terms

Everyone will understand this.  Show it to your family and friends.



(via)

I blame Sarah Palin for this culture of hate and intolerance

I mean, who else could have caused it?

BRUSSELS — The Belgian top-flight encounter between Germinal Beerschot and Lierse on Friday was halted by the referee after Lierse goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima was taunted with chants about the Fukushima disaster.

Lierse had gone a goal up when visiting Beerschot fans threw a projectile in the direction of Japanese international 'keeper Kawashima before insulting him with chants of "Kawashima-Fukushima! Kawashima-Fukushima!" the Belga agency reported.

Following protests by Kawashima, the referee decided to bring play to a halt for several minutes until order was restored.

The match ended in a 1-1 draw, but Kawashima, 28, left the pitch at full-time in tears, and spoke of his anger at the chants.
Maybe Rick Perry?  Couldn't be a case of bad mannered Euro-idiots.  I mean, they're all like Einstein crossed with Shakespeare, right?

Can every Progressive that ever said we should "be more like Europe" please shut up and sit down in the back of the room?  Grown-ups are talking.

(via)

Woah



Oddly enough, I don't have the slightest desire to do this.  But it's cool.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The "Chicago Typewriter" T-Shirt

Found here, with a ton more.



You know you want one.

Richard Fernandez writes what I would like to have written

But sadly, have not the intellect.  Obama as Japanese Admiral Nagumo at Midway.  Win:
Yet there is a further dimension: the future  is never, as Barack Obama pointed out, completely blank. It is always imprinted with hopes and expectation. In 1942 the force which left Japan en route to the Central Pacific was hoping — unrealistically it now seems — to make an end to the Pacific War. But they did not realize this dream was even then beyond their grasp.  All they knew for a fact — an undeniable fact — was that they had the best aviators in the world.
But it did not save them. They were doomed from the start.
I guess that's why he's Richard Fernandez, and I'm, well, just Borepatch.  Sigh.

Oh well, I once wrote of Obama as King Ethelred the Unready.  Not quite the same, even if it does have Old English.  Sigh.

Thomas Aquinas for Kids

Well, Thomas Aquinas as a kid:
(Age 9)
Article MCDIII: Whether we should let Laurie play in the treehouse with us?
Objection I: It would seem that we should let Laurie play in the treehouse with us. For it was said: “You boys better let that nice Laurie girl play with you. She’s as sweet as can be, and she never hurt anybody” (my mom).
Objection II: Further, the treehouse would be more fun if there was a girl. For according to Holy Writ (Genesis 2:18–22), “…the LORD God said it is not good that the man should be alone…and made He a woman.”
On the contrary, it is written: “No Girls Allowed” (the sign on the treehouse).
I giggled all the way through this, especially at the bit where Aquinas (age 15) wonders if he should ask Vanessa to the dance.  This is very theologically-geeky, but for all that is so filled with Win that I had tears running down my face when I read it.  But you all knew I was weird.

Lone Star Parson, you're welcome. (if you dig theological geekiness, you have to click through that link)

Very, very well done indeed.  Lord, I'm still giggling.

(via, which is via)

The Box O' Truth for Medieval Longbows

Isegoria finds it.

For those two readers who have never run across the Box O' Truth, you're in for a treat.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Do it, England



Bonus lit cred for identifying the post title quote.

Via Theo.

How to blog like Borepatch

Assuming you'd want to, it's actually not that hard.  Just watch stuff like this, perhaps my favorite TV show when I was a lad.



The Industrial Revolution simply changed everything, and I've touched on it before.  It made the Modern World.  But there were a lot of moving parts, all interrelated, all influencing each other.  A change in one (say, credit) led to a change in another (transportation).



Long time readers will start to see from whence came Planet Borepatch after you watch a few of these.  James Burke did a fabulous job of making the show interesting and funny.  That opened the opportunity to get you thinking.



The bit about John Locke is particularly interesting, as Locke's phrasing is explicitly commercial: the Social Contract.  The context of most of history has been forgotten.  For many people, that's not a big deal - after all, we're all busy getting on with our lives.  But for people (like me) who want to understand why the world is the way it is - so you can figure out how it might evolve - that context is everything.



Now, you might not want to blog like Borepatch.  Rumor has it he's a terrible bore (work with me here), but you'll gain 10 IQ points watching this series, now helpfully posted to Youtube.



This series, The Day The Universe Changed, is a follow on to Burke's earlier Connections.  I found that first one to be a bit to manic and ever shifting.  This takes a single idea and develops it over the course of a show, exploring and reexploring it from different sides.  I think it's quite frankly the best educational series ever made.

Bacon cornbread with bacon and bacon fried BBQ corn

Man, it's good.

Cornbread:

Start by frying 2 rashers of bacon in a cast iron skillet.  Reserve the bacon.  Pour your favorite cornbread batter into the hot fat.  Chop the bacon into bacon bits and sprinkle over the top.  Bake at 400 ° for 15-18 minutes.

If you use fake "bacon bits" from a jar that you bought at the grocery store, I will personally come to your house to kick your butt.

Bacon:

Just fry it up.  More, of course - however much you want.  You'll need a different skillet for this.  Reserve and drain on paper towels when you're done.  Do NOT throw away the fat.


Bacon-fried BBQ Corn:

Thaw frozen corn kernels.  Drop into hot bacon fat.  Dust to taste with BBQ rub - I like Rudy's Rub, which has a little kick to it.  Fry it up.

I still have half the cornbread.  No, it wasn't low fat.  Sure was good, though.

Flanders and Swann: The Laws of Thermodynamics (ragtime)



The pictures are a complete non-sequitur, but the song is simply outstanding.  That's entropy, man!

Learn to drive a tank

The coolest thing I saw at the gun show was a guy at a booth for the Museum of the American GI, in College Station, TX.  They had a brochure: Would YOU like to crew a REAL tank?

Is a gun range hot in Texas in the summer?  You bet I would.  As it turns out, they have a Tank School:

This, they claim, is the third largest collection of running armored vehicles in the United States.  The school takes one day a month for 4 months.  You learn to drive and shoot (blanks only, sorry) one of their tanks.

Did I mention you would drive and shoot a TANK??!

And here's the catch: it's free.  The owner of all the tanks doesn't want the skill set to die out.  Sort of like an up-armored CMP.  Don't mess with Texas, baby.  They have tanks, and are teaching folks how to drive and shoot them.

Next class starts in November.  They don't have a web sign up form, but I have the organizer's email.  Contact me if you're interested, and I'll put you in touch with them.  Dang, I want to do this so bad I can taste it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Mad dogs and Englishmen

Go out in the noonday sun.  Instead of getting up early again, I slept in.  What's the big deal, I said to myself, if I get to the Range late?  I mean, what could go wrong?

Even shaded, it's danged hot when it's 104° of Texas broil.   Quite an interesting challenge for your marksmanship, as you find all your strength has been sapped by the heat.  Holding steady takes on a whole new world of difficult.

But look at me complaining.  I went to the range!  Yay, me!

Clausewitz for Kids

Oh my God, I would so pay cash money for this: The Children's Illustrated Clausewitz:


Guten Morgen, Class! For our first lesson, we will talk about what war is, why we go to war, what we get from war, what some of its primary characteristics are, and a little of what it takes to be successful in war.

War is the use of force – Yes, Otter?

Yes, Otter?
-What’s ‘force’ mean?

This is an emerging work, so go leave some encouragement.

Via Isegoria, who finds more interesting stuff than just about anyone I know.

Gandalf or Dumbledore?

Gandalf, by Epic Rant at the end.


Also at Geeksaresexy, the reason why you want to make sure your bride-to-be knows how to properly off a ZombieAwesome.

Via Aretae, who finds the coolest stuff.

Best wishes today

To Mrs. Tin Can Assassin, who's in the hospital.

Joseph Haydn - Symphony No. 45 in F Sharp Minor (the "Farewell" symphony)

Government action gives rise to unanticipated consequences.  So has it always been, even in Haydn's day.

Haydn's patron was Hungarian Prince Esterházy, who employed a court orchestra (among his many extravagant acts of artistic patronage).  Of course, where the Prince goes, so must the court follow.  And so we get to today's story.

The Prince took an extended holiday with his family in the Prince's summer palace of Esterhaza.  The court musicians had to spend considerable time away from their families.  When the Prince extended his stay - and by implication, their's - Haydn wrote this symphony.

The last movement (shown here) sees the musicians standing up and walking off stage, one by one.  The orchestra gradually but continually shrinks until it's just a couple.  Then it ends.  The hint to the Prince was to let everyone go home.  They all did, the next day.



Haydn was famous for being a musical joker - his "Surprise" symphony had sudden loud passages in the midst of quiet parts, to wake up sleeping audience members.  This was in that same vein.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Space Aliens won't destroy the Earth because of Global Warming

By now, most of you have heard the latest idiocy from Climate "Science" - a peer reviewed paper* saying that Space Aliens will wipe us out because we're causing Global Warming.

Silly scientists!  Space Aliens don't care about Global Warming.  They just need to build a Hyperspace Expressway, and our planet has been condemned by the building council.







But don't panic, even if it's the end of the world.  I feel fine!



That's some righteous peer reviewing.  The science is settled!

* I think that the names of the reviews should be published, along with their comments on the draft.  Name and shame.

Gunshow AAR

I met up with fellow Austin gunblogger and Internet security dude Sports Firings, and a few of the lads from the office (remember, HR has not yet approved the new "Concealed Carry Tuesday" policy) at the SAXET Gun Show.  Here are some impressions.

It's a good idea to show up early.  It was a lot easier to navigate the aisles at 0900 than at 1215.  A lot easier.  And the vendors are friendlier then too - happy to see the first customers, vs. already getting tired after 4 hours of pandemonium.

There seems to be some sort of unwritten rule of gun shows, that you spend the better part of a C-Note an hour.

Prices vary all over the place.  I got ammunition for about half the price as at the first table I saw.  Same thing for spare magazines (well, not half, but 30% less).  Your patience seems to reward you, by reducing your spend per hour.

I expected to see more people selling shooting slings.  I guess they're not TactiCool enough, or something.  Did see one of those Saiga Tactical Evil Black Shotguns.  I'm not put off them because they look all evil and scary, I'm put off because they're north of $900.  Ouch.

The Nineteenth Century double barreled, exposed hammer shotgun from Birmingham England was also $900.  Ouch.  Not tactical, but very cool indeed.

I forgot to get stripper clips for one type of ammo.  Gonna make Baby Vulcan cry, right there.

I have four guns here at FOB Borepatch.  Today I bought ammo in three different calibers (I have plenty of .22).  Planning fail.  Of course, I can't even use the excuse that I didn't see this coming.

This was much more family-oriented.  There were almost no kids at all at the shows up in Massachusetts (other than #2 Son); Cobb County seemed to have a fair number of older (8 and up) kids.  Here in the Lone Star Republic State there were tons of folks bringing strollers into the show.  It was cool to see the kids walking because the stroller was filled up with rifles.  Heh.

I'd never heard of Tanfoglio, but their 1911-style pistols seem well built, solid, tight finish, and insanely inexpensive.  I know nothing about them other than they felt pretty good and looked well built.  The guys from the office (who know rather a lot more about guns than I do) seemed to think they were pretty good.  Anyone ever run across them?  Their .45 had a grip that was a little chunky to my taste, but it was double stack and I'm used to single.  I'd like to shoot one of these some time.

CCC AMMO had about the best prices I saw.  All factory reloads, but looks very high quality and the Guys from the office swear by it.  I pucked up a big old bag of .45 ACP.

Sports Firing's Gunwalker T-Shirt got many, many covetous glances and remarks.  There's a market opportunity there, Sean.

This was the first time I carried at a gun show.  Had to take the magazine back and leave it in the car.  I understand the tie wrap on all guns, but what's with the no magazine in the pocket?  It felt a little like Massachusetts.

I also ran across the most insanely great thing I've ever seen at a gun show, but that will be another post.  It's a Texas thing.  But there was also this:


The "Aggie Snake Gun" (barrel replaced with a hoe) - what's with hating on the Aggies?  Must be a Texas thing.

All in all, it was a great time.  In fact, the only thing missing was running into Doubletrouble and Lissa.  And going with the kids.  But it's cool to come home with ammo, even if I was a dummy and forgot stripper clips.

Tactical Lip Gloss

Brigid writes a hilarious piece about how her Barbie dolls, err, "retired on disability", being replaced by G.I. Joe.  Well, why have to choose?  Just tactical her up!


The lovely and tactical Mrs. Borepatch likes to  accessorize.  Looks like Barbie found some Tactical Lip Gloss.

But yeah, I never would have let her in my G.I. Joe space capsule.

A political endorsement

I don't do this almost ever, but I firmly endorse DaddyBear for Vice President.  I urge each and ever one of you to give him your support.

Or at least read his post where he announces his candidacy, which is so full of Win that it hurts.

OK, this is just fun



Sure it was staged.  It was just plain fun.  Goofy, no excuses, Bollywood-meets-Michael-Jackson oddball.  Watching Simon Cowell go from his usual Grumpy Gus to a big ole grin was part of the fun, too.

Via Theo.

Zach Brown Band - Highway 20 Ride

Something strange happened when I started thinking about the song to post for Saturday Redneck: I realized I'd already posted it, last week.

It's unusual for Saturday Redneck, which has a pretty standard format: an introduction giving some background about the singer and the song, a video, and the lyrics.  Instead, this post was intensely personal.  Quite a change from the regular formula.

Many of my best posts can be described as coming from when the Muse dropped by for a visit.  I don't think any of my Saturday Redneck posts are like that.  Until now.

I quite like Zach Brown, and will do another post sometime in the regular format.  But this song of his touched my heart, and a post popped out - one that I wish Dad could read.  Not sure if I can offer higher praise.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The kids are all right

Srlsy.

"The Science is settled"

Half Sigma muses on how people think, and it explains a lot about the Climate Change debate, including the entirety of the "the Science is settled" silliness:

As I’ve previously stated, the vast majority of people believe what they believe because other people believe it, and not because they have actually attempted to reason through the evidence to come to the correct answer themselves.

When there is a divergence of opinion on a subject matter, people are far more likely to use whatever reasoning ability they have not to figure out the actual truth of the matter, but rather to figure out which group they should believe.
Shockingly, people of a liberal bent find "scientific" evidence supporting their policy preferences to be felicitous.  Unsurprisingly, people of a conservative bent find skeptical arguments against same to be preferable.

This is why even though I blog about climate issues here, I don't much talk with people about it.  I approached the issue from the perspective of finding out what fits the historical record, which led me into data and down the rabbit hole.  Most people aren't interested in that.  They just want to make sure they're pulling for the "right" team.

It's an interesting read.  Not sure if I believe he's right about Rick Perry, but he absolutely nails Mitt Romney.

Beautiful, redux

Would that we had such an emergent meme each and every day, but Eric Raymond has a post so filled with beauty and triumph that it's simply impossible to summarize.  I'll offer only a single nibble of temptation:

These musicians took heritage art, pried it out of its stuffy conventional box, and made it shine again. And the audience understood what they were doing. The 2500-year conversation we call Western civilization is made of moments like this, when we connect with the best of our past and re-purpose it for the present and the future. And that conversation is not over; our capacity for keeping that best, casting off the junk and accretions around it, and using it in fresh ways it is still with us.

...

I looked at those musicians and that audience, and what I didn’t see was decadence or exhaustion or self-hating multiculturalism. I felt like pumping my fist in the air and yelling “This is my civilization!” It lives, and it’s beautiful, and it’s worth defending.
It sure is.  RTWT.  Twice.

Northwest Passage.

I had to pick a new radio station to wake up to and for some reason, it seemed to be a good idea at the time, I picked the NPR station. I guess I was hoping to wake up to classical music, instead I wake up to NPR news. (Music doesn't start until 9:00am) I had forgotten how bad it was. Some of it is just what news they decide to share with us, which is slanted at best. Then there is the political news, which is hard for me to stomach any time, and is so biased as to almost be propaganda instead of news. My favorite stories, however, have been a couple about the sliver of a waterway that has been gradually opening up in the Canadian Arctic.
Arctic Warming Unlocking A Fabled Waterway by Jackie Northam
This was the first I heard, but the one that stuck with me. I heard more this morning. Apparently, the fabled Northwest Passage is coming into being and governments are already starting to worry about this, and who is going to control it, regulate it and how the region can be commercially exploited even though it is still "Bloody fucking cold" up there all the time, and super hard to get oil and gas out of frozen ground. Really? This is what you think is news? They choose to run stories about about a sliver of water no one can get a boat that's not an ice-breaker through at the present, for maybe a month or two a year before it freezes back up? Had these guys been around, they would have bemoaned the melting of the glaciers that dug out the great lakes, or uncovered New England.
Then again, it does fits into their narrative. It is an illustration, a "hard fact" if you will, of "Global Warming," sorry "climate change" my friends now say, sort of like all the pictures you see of Polar bears stranded on ice floes. They even had a guy on, an expert don't ya know, talking about, how on this year's trip to the Arctic the ice looked the same, but it felt different than last year. It had a different texture. It was softer ice, warmer ice. I had to wonder. Did it come in different flavors too? Snow Cone anyone? Was it grape, instead of blue raspberry? I may leave the station on just so I know what my liberal friends are listening to, or for the entertainment value, if I can stomach the political coverage. Their interview with Barney Frank nearly made me sick to my stomach. Besides, I really want to keep up with this Northwest Passage thing. The season could get longer this decade. Or the ice texture could change some more. Besides we really need to settle who is going to have the controlling presence in the region. Apparently, everyone except Canada thinks it should be international waters. Silly Canada. This is why I find it so amusing. No one contested the water before. Everyone was happy to let Canada have the water when it was frozen. Now that it's melting, everyone wants it. It isn't the Panama Canal folks, not yet anyway. The U.S. of course is needed to be a stabilizing influence in the region. Yeah, we all know how hostile and combative those Canadians are. But, I guess since we all know the science is settled, every shipping company in the world is sure that someday it will be like the Panama Canal, open year round and big enough to haul many tankers through. I guess it is pretty, but not pretty enough for me to want to take an ice-breaker cruise.
You know, ice melts, it can freeze again too. Just ask those Alpine villagers whose villages are now being uncovered by retreating glaciers, or those Norse in Greenland who had to abandon their settlements when the ice encroached. Oh, did I forget to mention, they are fighting over Greenland again. It's warming up as well. Ah me, I think I'll go see if I can find some pictures of that snow in Auckland.

Beautiful

It's a conceit that we're smarter than generations past.  Sure, the store of knowledge is bigger (typically no thanks to ourselves), but there's nothing that suggests we think better, or more deeply, than those long gone.

But Gerard Van der Leun shows why deep thinking is not dead, with a beautiful and moving post about photographs from a summer's day at the beach, a century ago:

That was the moment, less than a second, in the midst of that summer now more than a century gone. All, each and every one, of those nearly 300 souls are now gone as well, even the children held on the shoulders or standing in the shallows, all gone -- all perhaps, maybe, save one now almost silent centenarian.

Well, what of it? That’s the way of the world and the way of the waves of the world and our lives. What we have is this moment snatched out of time on the Jersey shore one afternoon in August before the last century went smash. Who is there? What were they like? It can’t be known, but it can be seen and what can be seen, at least in this one moment, is that these people had what anyone would recognize as that thing we call happiness.
This is the most beautiful thing that you will see today, except for those of you lucky enough to be surrounded by your families. 
In the middle of the splash we can see the young man, full of life and ready for anything, held up high by his father, shouting out and waving down the years as if to say hello from a great summer day in 1910.
It's a tale well told, and well illustrated, by a master of both.

That's good, right?


Welcome to New England.  Ouch.

Uncle Jay has a bunch more.  Gotta get 'em all!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Interlude, with awesome



I confess here that I'm a huge Doris Day fan, for both her music and her movies.  Watching this makes me a little sad, seeing the glamor that's been lost from our society.  Sharp suits, pearls, and the occasional rumba.

Green-on-Green fighting

Holy cow, NASA's Jim Hanson - probably the guy who started the whole ZOMG-Thermageddon!!1!! thing, has come out slamming renewable power as balderdash, and saying that belief that we can get significant amounts of power from renewable sources is like believing in the Tooth Fairy:
Can renewable energies provide all of society’s energy needs in the foreseeable future? It is conceivable in a few places, such as New Zealand and Norway. But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.
This is like the Pope saying that all those sacraments are a bunch of puffed up nonsense.  But his critique of the early Friends Of The Earth claims that we could get essentially all our power from renewables by, well, now is simply withering:
Indeed, it [reliance on soft renewables] is much less than worthless. If you drink the kool-aid represented in the right part of Fig. 7 [Amory Lovins' soft renewables fantasy], you are a big part of the problem. The problem is that, by drinking the kool-aid, you are also pouring it down the throats of my dear grandchildren and yours. The tragedy in doing so is much greater than that of Jim Jones’ gullible followers, who forced their children to drink his kool-aid. All life will bear the consequences.
That's like the Pope saying that those danged priests are imperiling your Immortal Soul.  Wow.

Just wow.

Look, it's one thing for someone like me to say this sort of thing.  After all, my Denier cred is well established:
And so let me say that I'm proud to be a leading Internet purveyor of flat-earth, tool-of-the-energy-industry, republic [sic] talking point, reading-but-not-comprehending, trooling [sic], paid-oil-company-hack BS! Sold more Rumors than Fleetwood Mac, I have ...
When the Big Guns of the Climate Science Establishment start training their fire on Greenpeace and Friends Of The Earth, you know that the world just got a whole lot more interesting.

RTWT.

Yeah, but is it secure?


Slow Wave is the cat's meow.

OK, then


Because we all know that Millionaire Singles are hot for us.

Well, for you.  Not so much for me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Best. Harry Potter. Review. EVAH!

Srlsy.  I'm totally a Shirley Henderson fan.

Nothing I could write could improve on Sonic Charmer's awesomeness.

It's a fair cop: I dun it

Isegoria has video where the Montgomery County (MD) police sit back and watch while a flash mob loots a 7-11.  Commenter Monarch asks the question di tutti snarky questions:
Hey! Who edited all the white and asian folks out of the security video?
Monarch, I cannot tell a lie.  I removed a bunch of white folks from Montgomery County (MD): myself, the lovely and likes-her-gun Mrs. Borepatch, and the kids.

I guess it was good practice for editing some white folks out of Massachusetts.

Note to actual working people stuck in Montgomery County (MD) and Massachusetts: there's a whole big country out here that won't stop you from protecting yourself.  Come on down.  Yeah, the Usual Suspects™ will call you redneck racists; they're out of options, other than name calling.  Don't pay it no nevermind.

TheOnesDay® No. 11

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for another dose of mockery for the Lightbringer.*

I sure hope that Obama's bus has a good GPS and some road maps.  If they get lost, there's no way he'll listen to anyone giving directions.

Alinsky's rules: The Man is still a ripe target for mockery.

* Yeah, I know I missed a couple weeks.  "Regularly scheduled" is being done as effectively as, say, the White House jobs creation program.  So the missing posts are actually "posts created or saved" ...

Austin blog meetup?

There's the Happy Fun show (Gun Show) this weekend.  Anyone in Austin want to meet up?  I need to get Ammo and a rifle sling, but it would make a fun afternoon.

It would be fun to meet for Blues In The Park tomorrow (Los Lonely Boys headlining), but not going to be able to make it.  But all y'all go and have fun.  It's free, in Zicker Park.

UPDATE: Saturday is the day we're look at for the Gun Show.

Rick Perry's first scandal is here

Boy, that didn't take long (video at link):
Chris Matthews: "Do you think the nation's newspapers, the big news organizations are now going to send every nickel they have sending young people out there to investigate this guy?"

Eugene Robinson: "Absolutely."

Matthews: "I think there will be a tremendous amount of investigation of this guy. He better be clean as a whistle. The times coming. He's arrived. The march of time has begun. You don't like the heat? Stay out of the kitchen, Governor."
And those nickels are paying off for the Media.  Seems they found out he's Trig's real mother.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A picture is worth a thousand words






What's with the Hobbit?  Snerk.

Via Toaster, who has some words to add to this thousand.  Not often someone beats me for wordiness.

The air smells of freedom

Dennis, holster maker extraordinaire of Dragon Leather Works emails to say that he has finally decided that the People's Republic of New York is, well, a lot like the People's Republic of Massachusetts:
I have to admit, it will feel great to breathe the free air of Tennessee...up until now, the thought of being able to buy a handgun and not have the state demanding that I register it, and add it to a permission slip that says I'm *allowed* to have it, were just crazy thoughts. And I literally can't wait to walk into a gun shop, see a 17 round capacity handgun, ask to see it, and not be asked to show my super-secret-LEO qualification permission slip that allows me to even *touch* the gun. Hell....I'm surprised that they don't arrest folks on the spot here in NY for even *thinking* about a LEO-only handgun.

And making mag carriers for 17 rounders, at least in NY, would make me a felon, because as a non-LEO, I'm not allowed to even *possess* a mag larger than 10 rounds. Can't properly build/fit a mag carrier if I can't legally get my hands on the mag. So, yes, I will be adding hand-crafted mag carriers to my holster lineup once the business is set back up, and the Christmas orders are all packed and shipped, as well as adding gunbelts to the product lines as well.
As they used to say in the Middle Ages, Stadt luft macht frei: The air of locales that respect freedom make you, well free.

And thanks to the Super Smart rulers of New York, who drove yet another business from their fair land, and to freer climes.  Keep it up, Progressives, and keep watch your Congressional representation plummet.

But I can absolutely relate to the journey that Dennis has entered upon.  As I wrote when I made that same journey last year:
Because I no longer live in Massachusetts, I don't need special licensing from the State to own a gun.  Even without special papers, without fingerprinting and background checks, I can own one - and ammunition (!) -without becoming a felon.  What this make me, in a psychologically important way, is a citizen.  Not a subject, not someone who has to ask "please" from some Government Functionary, but a free citizen who can be entrusted with the tools of power.
Welcome to America, brother.

Dennis assures me that he has enough inventory to fill all his current orders, and will be back up in operation in time to get those orders in for sweet, sweet stocking stuffers.  Awesome.

Mmmmm, that some tasty Global Warming

Notice how each year seems to be ZOMG teh hottest EVAH!!!1!!eleventy!?  Every year, we get those stories.  I gotcher hottest evah right here:
Snow has fallen in downtown Auckland [New Zealand] for the first time in 80 years as a 'once in a lifetime' polar blast spreads across New Zealand, forecasters say.
Widespread reports of snow emerged this afternoon as bitterly cold and stormy conditions set in around Auckland.
Weatherwatch.co.nz this afternoon confirmed snowflakes had fallen in Auckland city centre for the first time since the 1930s.
This is the point where the Usual Suspects™ get all huffy, and say that:
  1. Weather is not climate.
  2. It's not Global Warming, it's Climate Change.  Err, Global Climate Disruption, or whatever the memo from Marketing said.
  3. Denier!
WhateverWe keep getting "weather not climate" falling all over the place.  At least in Auckland it isn't accumulating, but ever notice how a hot spell (reference: Austin, TX) is proof positive of Global Warming?

Err, Climate Change, or whatever you call it.

Fiddle with the data all you like; do your "gridding" and "homogenation" and "adjusting" to your heart's content.  Use dodgy statistical methods in your "peer reviewed" papers.  Keep refusing to disclose your data or computer code, even after Freedom Of Information Act requests.  Go ahead and blame it all on the LOLcats.  Keep using Greenpeace "scientists" to write the IPCC reports.   Keep using a sample size of two in your "scientific" reports.  Or one.

It won't keep snow from falling when you say it's ZOMG teh hottest evah!!!1!!eleventy!!  Or the hottest day in America's history was in 1913.

Maybe this is why people think you fudge your work.

Via email from Rick.

Best wishes to Kevin Baker

And more specifically, best wishes to his Mom, who had heart surgery.  Prayers for a speedy recovery, ma'am.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Quote of the Day: Star Trek meets Politics edition

Via Aretae, we find this:
I guess liberals are gleeful over the generally nutty display at last night's GOP shindig, but I will say this for the Republicans--as a matter of pure aesthetics, they have produced once again a genuine bestiary of real American types, whereas every time I see a gathering of Democrats, they seem to have beamed straight from some nearby planet, speak through slightly glitchy universal translators, learned human mannerisms from watching distant television broadcasts that have at long last diffused through space.  You may think that Mitt Romney is a huge fake, and you're right; but even he is recognizably homo americanus: the hair, the smile, the "my friend," the gladhanding--he's a classic bonhommian businesstype; Bachman is no nuttier than any other PTA or Little League lady I've had the displeasure to know; Ron Paul is as affable and futilely beloved as any barroom political crank; even the crackpot pizzabaron is comfortably of the same species as you and me.  Barack Obama on the other hand seems like a holodeck beta test.

That's so full of win that it hurts.  If I weren't so lazy, I'd photoshop Obama as Data.  Besides, HuffPo beat me to it.

Data's character, as I mentioned yesterday, was new to the world. It learned of him as he learned of it. Seems like a perfect fit to me. Besides, who doesn't think Barack Obama has an evil twin brother? You know he does.
Guess we know who's been golfing, and who's been running the country for the last while.  Heh.

And IOZ isn't by any stretch of the imagination a card carrying member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.  Or HuffPo.  Double Heh.

You belong to the State

So do your children.

So obey, prole, or get ready for a SWAT raid.  Actually, getting ready for a SWAT raid is probably an additional felony.  But remember who the State isEven when it's not criminally corrupt.

The Categorical Imperative

Immanuel Kant's moral philosophy held that a Categorical Imperative was an unconditional requirement for all people, at all times.  It is both required and justified in and of itself.

Making Barack Obama's campaign buy ammo for Blackfork can only be described as a Categorical Imperative.  Get clicking.  Besides, "Obammunition"?  That's worth the click right there.  Go be moral.

UPDATE: Bad link fixed.

The Mad Minute

Back in the days when Her Majesty's (Victoria's, not EIIR) Army was stationed over one fifth of the Globe, the Lee Enfield rifle was introduced.  Unique for it's time, it had a ten round magazine (vs. the typical five), and the small professional army trained for the "Mad Minute": fifteen hits in a 12 inch target at 200 yards, in one minute.  In 1914, Sgt. Alfred Snoxall scored 38 hits in a minute.

Well, Enfield owners in the UK still meet up every year for a Mad Minute competition:



Bravo.

Note: when I lived in the UK, it was within earshot of this firing range at Bisley.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vulgar

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular.
- Oscar Wilde
An Illinois High School football star will be sitting out his senior year because he was so vulgar as to enlist.  You see, Boot Camp kept him from pre-season practice, and we Progressives know that Soldiers are not manly enough to play Football.

To get shot at by the Taliban, yes.  But Football is harder.  To carry 100 pounds of gear in the desert heat perhaps, but Football is harder.  We should be convinced, because the Ruling Class of Blue State Illinois said so.  Oooooh kaaaaay.

The lad clearly needs to be punished, as he was so vulgar as to shrug off all Progressive State attempts to save his soul.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The Progressive Era was explicitly about improving the "lower" classes, making them safe from their bad decisions.  Eugenics sought to make them safe from their bad sexual decisions; temperance and prohibition sought to keep them safe from Demon Rum.  Now progressives seek to keep the lower classes safe from the military.  I for one predict the same success rate this time around.
RUM, n. Generically, fiery liquors that produce madness in total abstainers.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Divtionary