Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
Sledgehammer's Performance and Custom Cycles

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Needs more cowbell ukelele

Bohemian Rhapsody does, I mean.



It's a virtuoso performance from someone who's incredibly talented on the ukelele, which despite the standing ovation is perhaps a bit like being a dancing bear.  And so to Instinct's place here he has the Muppet Show version of this same song.  There's even a (muppet) bear.  But he doesn't dance.  Sad.  But awesome.  30 Million views on Youtube awesome.

New business opportunities for Apple?

Interesting idea about what Apple's core competence is, and what they might do next:
What’s the next act for Apple? Let me start by listing off a partial list of somewhat expensive products that are painful to use, contain at least some electronics, and that would be relatively easy to improve:
  • big-screen televisions and Blu-Ray players (whenever I want to use one the device decides that it is time for it to download and upgrade its software)
  • cable television (flipping up and down through a list of 1000 channels?!?! How is it that an interface developed for a TV with a rotary knob to select among 10 possible channels was ported to the 1000-channel case?)
  • compact digital cameras (a million buttons and menu items, almost none of them relevant to a photographer’s objectives in making a picture)
  • Windows 8
  • Android tablets other than Amazon’s (I have the Google Nexus 7 and it simply cannot hold a charge so it is essentially limited to being plugged in full time; ridiculously poor power management compared to the iPad)
  • automobiles (start with the fact that the speedometer is front an center rather than a moving map; why would I care about my speed if I’m in heavy traffic (which I always am, since I drive in the U.S.) and/or if I am traveling at a legal speed (which the car knows from its navigation system database))
  • houses (even a toilet knows when you’re standing in front of it; how come all of the stuff in a recently built house isn’t smart enough to detect the “nobody is home” case and turn down the heat?)
Apple’s superior profitability seems to stem from the spectacular stupidity of other companies and sometimes industries.
What Apple was good at was forcing the existing channel (e.g. AT&T with the iPhone) to make the changes needed to enable their insanely great game changing technology (said tongue in cheek but only partially tongue in cheek; they really forced some changes at AT&T).  Some of the ideas here would require a similar change in the channel - i.e. cable TV delivery would have to be different or the idea above just wouldn't work.

Interesting thought, though.

Geek humor

Huh.  I hadn't known that "EMACS" stands for that.

Heh.

Definitions. Trust. Page 13.

So is what's buried on page 13 of Senator Feinstein's bill as sweeping as some people think it might be?  To ban all semi-automatic firearms?

Me, I don't know.  However, there's no reason at all for gun owners to give the benefit of the doubt to Senator Feinstein.  Or to Federal Prosecutors.

The Internet

It gives us free and unrestricted access to the greatest art, the deepest thinking, the most subtle scientific insights ever devised by the mind of Man.  And to what use do we put it?


Darn factional strife.  It comes from having so many splitters about.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A third of a century

That's how long it's been since The Beatles* had their last pubic performance.





* Go ask your parents, kids.

A public service announcement

Suppose you were to fry up a mess of bacon, because bacon.  You'd have some hot bacon fat when you were done.  Rather than let it go to waste, suppose you looked in your fridge for something to fry in it to make it bacony (because bacon).  Suppose you found a bag of baby carrots.

Well if you fry them until they're nice and browned, they'll get all soft and fried and bacony.  Pretty good, really.

Quote of the day, arrogant but insightful bastard edition

I have to confess that I don't like Edward Abby much.  OK, OK, I don't like him at all.  It's more than that he was a dirty commie (well, kinda) - for reasons I don't want to go into, I have an actual personal grudge against him.*

And so it's a bit annoying that I find a quote from him that I 100% agree with:
The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state-controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an "equalizer." Egalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people of this nation knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny.
"Final defense". Damn.  Even a dirty commie (sort of) is spot on.  At least on this.

* Really, and don't ask.

Tornado siren in Roswell GA

Blowing right now. I-75 in Cherokee county got hit pretty hard, with over turned cars and semis.

Almost makes me miss the snow in Yankeeland.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

UPDATE 30 January 2013 13:50: At least one dead, storms still going on.  Ugly.

A gun control "compromise"

Use of scare quotes is intentional to highlight that I use the term in the unapproved, political manner, not in the Correct™ manner.  The Correct™ manner is that gun owners give up less than gun banners would like.  The manner that I use it is that gun owners give up something that they like and gun banners also give up something that they like.

You know, compromise.

It seems that a movement is gathering steam on Capitol Hill to require background checks for all gun sales.  The NRA* (spit) and GOP (spit) are looking to climb in bed with the Democrats (spit spit) to screw gun owners (again).  Well, OK then.  How's this:

1. Universal background checks for all firearms purchases.

2. A current valid Concealed Carry license is considered to completely satisfy the requirement for a background check.  After all, they did a background check and finger printed you, right?  Why do you need another one?  This will be at gun shows, for private transactions, and everywhere - just take a scan of the CCW card and you've covered yourself.  Simples.  Sure, this puts the onus on the government to revoke a CCW if the holder commits a felony, etc.  Shut up and do your damn jobs, bureaucrats.

3. All States are required to recognize CCW licenses granted by all other States for out of State visitors, just as they are required to recognize drivers granted by all other States for out of State visitors.  To discourage malicious prosecution, CCW holders prosecuted by a different State will be (upon acquittal) granted treble Attorney fees.

4. If you have a valid CCW, you can buy a gun in any of the 50 States or US Territories.  If you remain in that State longer than 15 days you are subject to all pertinent State laws (e.g. "Safe" storage, etc.).  But if you're at your Uncle's funeral in Worcester, you should be able to buy (and carry) a heater to protect yourself.  Interstate Commerce Clause FTW.

5. There will be no requirement for any background check for transfers between family members (including First Cousins - if you can't marry them "because they're family" then you can give them a gun "because they're family").

6. Any State requiring any sort of firearm registration will lose all Federal Highway funds.  If we can do it for the drinking age, we can do it for gun registration.  Yeah it's big government anti-federalist nanny state abuse.  It's my kind of  big government anti-federalist nanny state abuse.  Suck it, Progs.

Now I don't much like this idea, but it has the distinct advantage of giving us something that we like in the compromise (use of CCW for validation, universal recognition, incentives against stupid prosecution, hands off the family, no registration).

Of course, such a "compromise" would never be portrayed as a Compromise™ because it requires gun banners to actually, you know, compromise.  As such, there's no political upside for such as the NRA (spit), the GOP (spit), or the Democrats (spit spit).  And it is therefore instructive as to which institutions are on our side in this Cold Civil War.

* The NRA denies this, sort of.  Whether you believe them is dependent on whether you believe them, I guess.  Me, I'll believe them when they say that they're scoring any vote on universal background checks.

UPDATE 9 February 2013 22:58: Welcome visitors from IMAO, and thanks for the kind words, Harvey.  While you're here, there's a lot more on gun control, freedom, and general statist pricks.  Plus some range reports.  Feel free to look around and scratch where it itches.  We're not very formal here.

White House petition for Obama to go skeet shooting with Congresswoman Blackburn

Asking President Obama to invite Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn to Camp David to go skeet shooting?
Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn has an idea — if the president is a skeet-shooting fan, why not host a bipartisan group of lawmakers at Camp David, and kill two birds (pun alert!) with one stone? It would provide an opportunity for some positive PR in terms of both across-the-aisle outreach and quelling Second-Amendment enthusiasts’ fears that Obama might be an anti-gun zealot? And if the “fact” that the president enjoys skeet shooting really is so very trivial to the overall gun debate we’re having, why did he bother mentioning it at all?
The White House says that they'll consider anything that gets 100,000 signatures.  I've, err, created just such a petition.  So get petitioning.

And a bleg to any Tennessee readers who are in her district (TN-7).  She won't accept email from people not in her district:
I am very interested in hearing your views on issues of importance to you. Due to the large volume of US Mail, email and faxes I receive, I am only able to accept messages from residents of the 7th Congressional District of Tennessee. Congressional courtesy dictates that Representatives be given the opportunity to assist their own constituents. 
 Can someone in TN-7 let her know about the petition?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Doris Day - Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps

Doris Day is a guilty pleasure, and this is perhaps her greatest song ever.  And it's a simply smashing rumba, which if you've never learned it I'm sure that your Captain can help you out.  Certainly all of my Gentlemen Readers should be able to do a credible rumba because their Lady Friends will simply swoon when they do.  Not sure what more of a recommendation you need.



Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Cuban songwriter Osvaldo Farrés, translated from the Spanish by Joe Davis)
You won't admit you love me
And so how am I ever to know?
You always tell me
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

A million times I've asked you,
And then I ask you over again
You only answer
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

If you can't make your mind up
We'll never get started
And I don't wanna wind up
Being parted, broken-hearted

So if you really love me
Say yes, but if you don't dear, confess
And please don't tell me
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

If you can't make your mind up
We'll never get started
And I don't wanna wind up
Being parted, broken-hearted

So if you really love me
Say yes, but if you don't dear, confess
And please don't tell me
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
And to answer my overly-curious readers, yes I can do a quite credible rumba.  Especially to this.  And doubly especially with the lovely and light-on-her-feet Mrs. Borepatch.

Well that's not good

The Jeep's drive train is giving off a peculiar odor - sort of the "you let all the magic smoke out" odor that you get from classic English motor cars.  That can't be good.


Sigh.  I didn't really want that Garand anyway.

What the hell?

Helicopters firing machine guns over Miami?
Miami-Dade police sent out a warning Monday that multiple police agencies would be providing support for a joint military training exercise somewhere over Miami and elsewhere in the county. The exercise will include the use of military helicopters.

When and where will this happen? Police didn’t say.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/21/3193887/dont-mind-the-helicopters-its.html#storylink=cpy#storylink=cpy
But fear not, Citizen.  All is under control.  Just your Department of Homeland Security.  Nothing to worry about.



Holy cow, black helicopters and machine guns over I-95.  If ten years ago you had told me this would be happening, I would have hand folded a tin foil hat for you.

And it's gun owners who are crazies?  Anyone at the Miami PD even think about what this looks like?

Gun Control advocates: standing athwart the march of history and yelling "stop"

The Left likes to think of themselves as the "Vanguard of History", having seen the future predicted with high levels of accuracy and (surprise!) it all confirms Progressive Dogma.  Gun Control is one of the policies that they're entirely convinced will ultimately prevail, through the march of progress.

As with many things, they're not anywhere near as smart as they think they are:
What does it take for an idea to spread from one to many? For a minority opinion to become the majority belief? According to a new study by scientists at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the answer is 10%. Once 10% of a population is committed to an idea, it’s inevitable that it will eventually become the prevailing opinion of the entire group. The key is to remain committed.

The research was done by scientists at RPI’s Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC), and published in the journal Physical Review E. Here’s the abstract:
We show how the prevailing majority opinion in a population can be rapidly reversed by a small fraction p of randomly distributed committed agents who consistently proselytize the opposing opinion and are immune to influence. Specifically, we show that when the committed fraction grows beyond a critical value pc=10%, there is a dramatic decrease in the time Tc taken for the entire population to adopt the committed opinion.
We've very likely passed the 10% point - meaning that 10% of the country are committed gun owners.  Probably half of the country are gun owners, and so the only question is what percent of these count as "committed".  The recent panic buying of firearms and ammunition suggest that this is non-negligible.  The recent increase in NRA membership is another.

This explains the anti-gun propaganda campaign.  The reason that the gun banners rely on emotion and misrepresentation (conflating military assault rifles with modern sporting rifles) is because they simply can't get to 10% on their own by logical, intellectual persuasion.

Me, I don't think it matters.  I think we've reached the tipping point, actually some time ago.  The lack of support for new gun control legislation has been clear in polling for several years.  The tide is running and fixing to swamp the gun banners.

They may try to ram their dogma down an unwilling country's throat anyway, as they did with Obamacare.  All this would do is further erode the sense that government has any legitimacy.  Progressives are finding that they're at the end of the Progressive Experiment, in no small part because of that lack of legitimacy.

So what comes next?  Who can tell?  But it will not look like what we see today, a Progressive dream of central control by an educated elite.  And it won't have new gun control.

Massachusetts: No, we won't share mental health info with the FBI gun check system

Rick emails to point out the big middle finger that Massachusetts is giving to the national background check system:
WASHINGTON — Despite its reputation as a state with strong gun-control laws, Massachusetts for more than a decade has not provided mental health records to an FBI database for gun background checks, the result of a 43-year-old state law prohibiting such sharing.
Massachusetts has submitted just one mental health record to the federal database since 1999 — apparently as a test — at the same time that the FBI has processed 1.6 million background checks of Bay State residents who seek to buy guns from federally licensed dealers. The situation has sparked concerns that firearms could fall into the hands of the mentally ill.
Governor Deval Patrick has twice tried unsuccessfully to get legislative approval for the sharing of mental health data. Both attempts failed to gain traction in the state Legislature amid opposition from gun-rights activists.
That last bit is simply wrong - gun owners have absolutely no political stroke in Massachusetts.  But the point is a good one - the Legislature simply refuses to change the law prohibiting cooperation with the FBI.

Quite an interesting data point.  You'd almost think that this is all a complex problem that foils simplistic solutions.

Monday, January 28, 2013

So you think you had a rough day

Watch this and reconsider.



I have to confess that it must be dusty in here right now.

Don't screw around with Pinkie Pie

Srlsy, she'll mess you up good.


My name is Pinkie Pie (Hello!)
and I am here to say (How ya doin'?)
I'm gonna make you smile
and I will brighten up your day

It doesn't matter now (What's up?)
if you are sad or blue (Howdy!)
'cause cheering up my friends is just
what Pinkie's here to do

'Cause I love to make you smile, smile, smile (Yes I do)
it fills my heart with sunshine all the while (Yes it does)
'cause all I really need's a smile, smile, smile
from these happy friends of mine

I like to see you grin (Awesome!)
I love to see you beam (Rock on!)
the corners of your mouth turned up
is always Pinkie's dream (Hoof-Bump!)

But if you're kind of worried
and your face has made a frown
I'll work real hard and do my best
to turn that sad frown upside down

'Cause I love to make you grin, grin, grin (Yes I do)
busted out from ear to ear, let it begin
just give me a joyful grin, grin, grin
and you fill me with good cheer

It's true, some days are dark and lonely
and maybe you feel sad
but Pinkie will be there to show you that it isn't that bad

There's one thing that makes me happy
and makes my whole life worthwhile
and that's when I talk to my friends and get them to smile

I really am so happy
your smile fills me with glee
I give a smile, I get a smile
and that's so special to me

'Cause I love to see you beam, beam, beam (Yes I do)
tell me, what more can I say to make you see that I do?
it makes me happy when you beam, beam, beam
yes, it always makes my day

Come on everypony smile, smile, smile!
fill my heart up with sunshine, sunshine
all I really need's a smile, smile, smile
from these happy friends of mine!

Come on everypony smile, smile, smile!
fill my heart up with sunshine, sunshine
all I really need's a smile, smile, smile
from these happy friends of mine!

Yes a perfect gift for me
is a smile as wide as a mile
to make me happy as can be
smile, smile, smile, smile, smile!

Come on and smile!
come on and smile!
If you see Pinkie Pie coming at you with a Pinkie Pie sword, run and don't look back.  Run like the wind.

Via #2 Son who knows everything about Skyrim.

HAHAHAHAHAHA

[wheeze] [wheeze]

HAHAHAHAHA!

What goes on at the Christmas Party stays at the Christmas Party

Well, at least until Youtube gets on the Intarwebz.


Rainbow Banned Episode by SuperUbuntu


The back story: Rainbow was a British children's story aired from 1972 to 1992.  This non-aired "adult" version was shown at the 1979 Christmas Party.  Of course it's full of innuendo.  Of course it made it to the Internet.

Posted not just for the amusement value (safe for work, unless you work at a very strict place) but as a reminder that three people can keep a secret if two are dead.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Planetarium laser light show

I first heard this album in the campus Planetarium, where a mirror had been glued to a speaker and a laser trained on it while this was playing.  The combination of the laser and the star patterns was very 1970s.

In a good way.



Yeah, I'm an old fogie.  For you kids, here's the context.



I have to confess a guilty pleasure to Operation Wang Chung.



And the lovely and loves-her-80's-music Mrs. Borepatch tells me that I don't like Operation Banarama.



Srlsy, she tells me I don't like this.  At all.  Or this:



Big hair, short skirts, and pink guitars, yeah baby.  Although I'm told that I don't like this.  At all.  Okay, then.

What I learned to do today

How to cut up a rabbit.  Two, exactly.  It's not that different from cutting up a chicken, really.  The thighs come off just like a chicken's.  The forelegs are different from the wings - closer to the chicken thighs than to the wings, really.  There's no breast meat to deal with (to speak of, anyway), but the loin (down pretty much the entire backbone) is like nothing I've ever done.  I mangled the first one, but got the other three more or less intact.

Recipe later, after dinner.  It looks pretty damn good, but you'll have to wait until we've eaten.

Global Warming: A picture says a thousand words

Suppose you were to go to the Fed.Gov's website, download the historical temperature for the US lower 48 states dating back to 1895?  Suppose you were to plot the monthly average high and low of all of this data covering 118 years?  With all of this "Global Warming" that we're hearing about, you'd expect to see this in the plot.

Well, you'd expect wrong:


The blue bars show the high-low range for each month since 1895 (CONUS only).  The red line is a 12 month weighted average of the blue ranges.  The absolute highest range reported was July 1936, and the absolute lowest reported was January 1979 (green circles).

What this says is that the trend is essentially indistinguishable over almost 120 years.  Quite frankly, this agrees with what the Fed.Gov itself says - 0.8°F over the course of the 20th Century.  It agrees, of course, because it's the exact same data set.

Now here's the kicker: we're told that essentially all of this comes from greenhouse gas warming, mostly due to increased carbon dioxide.  CO2 is plotted here in black - it's basically an exponential growth curve.  You might even call it a hockey stick.

So here's the part that I don't get: there's been almost no change in temperature in 120 years, while CO2 concentration has increased by a third.  So why all the talk about catastrophe if we don't do something RIGHT NOW DAMNIT?  I'm struggling to understand the urgency.

Actually, that's a lie.  I'm pretty sure that I understand the urgency of the folks pushing expensive, intrusive government schemes.  I think I understand that just fine.

Rabbit. It's what's for dinner

I'm making braised rabbit in red wine with bacon, pearl onions, and chanterelles.  Stunningly, I find that I'm out of bacon (how did that happen?).  Also out of red wine (How did that happen? [you very well know. - Ed.]).

Off to the store, I guess.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in G

I am quite powerless when obliged to compose for an instrument I cannot bear.
- Mozart, in a letter to his father
Mozart needs no introduction other than perhaps a notice that today is his birthday.  One peculiarity about his was that while he wrote some splendid flute music (the lovely flautist Mrs. Borepatch says his is some of the best flute music out there), he positively detested the instrument.  Perhaps it's a testament to his unmatched genius that he could make an instrument that he didn't like sound like this.



Bootnote: While he did say that in his letter, the idea that Mozart hated the flute is disputed.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy birthday Lee-Enfield rifle


On this day in 1907 the Lee-Enfield rifle was accepted into service in the army of His Majesty King Edward VII.  It's still in use today in Commonwealth nations India and Bangladesh, making this the longest serving military rifle in world history.

I can personally attest that it is a sweet shooter and entirely bad ass.  As I wrote in my Range Report:
It was the rifle of Empire, from the days when the sun literally never set on the British Empire.  The Empire's day has passed, and this rifle has passed with it, but for those who appreciate the poetry of rifles (as opposed to the stark utilitarian prose of modern designs), this rifle brings it in imperial gallons.
But since it has a ten round magazine (removable, although that's more in theory than in practice, being loaded via stripper clips) and a bayonet lug, Diane Feinstein wants to ban it.  Because 100 year old rifles totally are used to shoot up schools, or something.  And while it doesn't do so well "spraying bullets from the hip", the action is smooth as silk and very fast:



Oh, and the sights are designed to let you shoot accurately at 1300 yards (!) - if you can.  But why, we hear Senator Feinstein ask, do you need a rifle that will shoot accurately to 1300 yards?  The answer: Senator, why do you want to win re-election?

UPDATE 26 January 2013 22:53: Jon W. emails to point out that Feinstein's bill explicitly excludes bolt action rifles from the ban. 

Why I won't ever use Groupon

Groupon (an online coupon service) has suspended all firearms related activities.  They are a private business (well, publicly traded; work with me here) and so are fully within their rights to do so.  Fill Yer Hands did the leg work I'm too lazy to do and emailed them a Whiskey Tango Foxtrot missive. Surprisingly, they replied:
Please note that we have never sold guns, and this hiatus only applies to firearm-related deals including shooting ranges, clay pigeon shooting, and concealed weapons training classes. We have not made a final determination regarding this category — we are simply taking a break and may reevaluate in the future.
Go ahead and take a hiatus - this tells me everything I need to know, and I won't do business with them, even if they change their minds.  This is a Cold Civil War and they have chosen sides.  I can respect that, although I have chosen the other side.

But respect doesn't mean that I have to ever deal with them.  Let them shrink their market to only what will be supported by the gun control side.

The Cold Civil War means that you don't sleep with the enemy.  Groupon has chosen to make themselves my enemy, at least for my "wallet share".  Hope you enjoy the smaller Total Addressable Market, Groupon!

Be sure to click through to Fill Yer Hands' post, and to spread this to everyone who hasn't heard.  It's now Our Side and Their Side, and we need to support ours and shun theirs.

Good on ya, mates






Happy Australia Day to all our mates down under.  Hoist a coldie (if your esky is full).  I hope it's really going off for you.  And to the Diggers fighting by our side, I'm proud to say we've got your back.  And vice versa.



That cobber can sing, fair dinkum.  I think that Slim Dusty's ghost can be heard as you pass by the billabong.

Aaron Lewis - Country Boy

If you need an anthem for the Cold Civil War, how do you choose it?  There's something to be said for letting your enemy choose it for you.  The Village Voice teed off on Aaron Lewis, in a screed worthy of the Junior High school paper:
Politics aside, what's most impressive about "Country Boy" is the way that this "country" song is little more than a Staind track that's angry at the government instead of a girl/mom/cruel world. It plods! It's lyrically awkward! Lewis' vocal range is about five notes wide! Do a side-by-side contrast of the new track with Staind chestnuts like "It's Been Awhile"-- the only differences here come from the verse supplied by the beautifully cracked voice of George Jones and the contributions of Charlie Daniels, who schmaltzes up "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" on his fiddle and provides the following message-board-worthy rant over his string-playing:
"I love my country. I love my guns. I love my family. I love the way it is now, and anybody that tries to change it has to come through me. That should be all of our attitudes. Cause this is America, and a country boy is good enough for me, son."
Daniels' mic stays on after that; the producer allows him to ramble a little bit more, perhaps for the purposes of making the song feel more "real". At the very least, indulging him spares us from Lewis yowling New Hampshire's state motto over and over.

"Country Boy" is a relatively recent release, so whether or not it'll catch fire among radio programmers is up in the air.
The selection is made, by the class of urban intellectuals who are our adversary.  This is our anthem because it gives the Right Sort® the vapors, in a belly laugh inducing way.  The poverty of imagination on display here is impressive.  The idea that there are people - intellectuals, even - who think as well (or better) as the Intellectual Class simply never occurs to the writer.  Apologies to the people who wrote my Junior High School paper - they did a lot better job than this.  And Village Voice?  This video has had 16 Million views:



Country Boy (Songwriter: Aaron Lewis)
Well I grew up down an old dirt road in a town you wouldn't know
My pops picked the place up for 1500 bucks back in 1964

My grandfather was a drinker back in the day he put em down
But a war is known to change a man and the whiskey is known to change a man

That's not me
I rarely drink from a bottle but I smoke a little weed
I still live in the sticks where you wouldn't go
In a town of 1200 off an old dirt road
And a country boy is all I'll ever be

Now it's been 12 years since I sold my soul to the devil in L.A.
He said sign your name here on the dotted line and your songs they all will play

He set up shop on sunset, he put me up at the marquee
He said you wanna sell a million records boy you better listen to me

He said change your style, whiten your smile, you could lose a couple of pounds
And if you want to live this life, you better lose that wife, do you need your friends around?

I said, no that's not me
Cause the biggest things in life are your friends and family
And I like my jeans and my old t-shirts
And a couple extra pounds never really hurt
Cause a country boy is all I'll ever be

Cause Hank taught me just how to stay alive
You'll never catch me out the house without my 9 or 45

I got a big orange tractor and a diesel truck
And my idea of heaven is chasing whitetail bucks
And as a country boy you know I can survive

Now two flags fly above my land that really sum up how I feel
One is the colors that fly high and proud
The red, the white and blue
The other ones got a rattlesnake with a simple statement made
"Don't tread on me" is what it says and I'll take that to my grave
Because this is me
I'm proud to be an American and strong in my beliefs

And I've said it before but I'll say it again
Cause I've never needed government to hold my hand
And I've said it before but I'll say it again
Cause my family has always fought and died to save this land
And a country boy is all I'll ever be
The Cold Civil War is fair joined now.  For a long while half the Republic has focused on the common threads that bind us while the other half has busily been snipping them in twain.  Well, all right then.  No more compromise, no more common ground, no more accommodation with people who have contempt for us.  No more "meet in the middle" for people unwilling to actually meet in the middle. 

I for one return their contempt with interest.  I reject their assertion that they are smarter or better than I, simply because they have swallowed whole an unexamined dogma of centralized Statist (I should say Fascist) control by an unelected and unaccountable so-called "elite".  At least their position is now in the open, with no more trying to shade the truth with a soft marketing spin.  Their intent is well announced.  Fine.  So is mine.

The lines are drawn.  The good news is that this brings clarity, that we each of us must choose one side or the other.  Me, I like the side that makes The Village Voice want to call this one of the 20 worst songs of the year.  It's the kicked dog that yelps.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Oops. Wrong car


Hat tip: Andrew via email.

Teletubby zombies?

Damn.


I have to confess that I had something to do with La La's demise.  In my own defense, we did way more than double-tap.  But I thought we were free and clear, once we dealt with the Teletubby Spec Ops team.

Heard in the Borepatchmobile

I'm taking #2 Son to school, and out of the blue he blurts out, "Man, you'd have to be an idiot to date Taylor Swift."  Not sure where that came from, but Farce The Music found the tree she carved her love on:


Still don't know where that popped into #2 Son's mind from, but that's about right.

Quote of the Day, Cold Civil War edition

Clarity is a virtue.  The good thing about the Democrat's latest run at guns is that it's all out in the open now, not hidden behind carefully worded platitudes like "common sense gun control".  Now that it's out for everyone to see, people are seeing it:
The issue there was not guns but the use of tax money to pay for teachers of religion. In the paragraph quoted above, [James] Madison went on to say that citizens should object to the requirement of paying even "three pence" to support a religion because a government that extracts even that trifle may go on to coerce religious conformity. The small things are not small. The small things are where the people still have the capacity to fight authoritarian government.

Democrats know this. They are part of this American culture of deeply engrained belief in constitutional rights. What is different to the Democrats is that they don't believe that the right to keep and bear arms is a constitutional right. They think the Supreme Court misinterpreted the Second Amendment when it found a constitutional right. District of Columbia v. Heller was a 5 to 4 decision, and the 5 are the 5 Justices, still on the Court, whom the Democratic Senators would love to have a chance to replace.

The NYT portrays the folks back home in West Virginia as misinformed, troublesome, and hysterical. That’s what we’re dealing with.
We've known this for a long time, but this is from politically middle-of-the-road law professor Ann Althouse.  Clarity is a virtue, the game afoot.  Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of the Cold Civil War.

Bill Clinton, the funniest President ever

Still giving back to the Republic, I see.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sinnerman

From the incomparable Nina Simone.


The sound of silence

I feel a little bad about closing down anonymous comments, but it's quite a change seeing this every day.  In the week or so since I shut that door, I think I've had one real comment that got mistakenly tagged as spam and no spam comments at all.

What's wrong with this light bulb?

It's inexpensive, provides great light quality, and has been used for a century.  It's also soon to be illegal. Congress, that collection of Solons, has decided in its wisdom that the Republic is at risk not from out of control government debt, but from the energy use of incandescent light bulbs.

Fear not, citizen.  Congress is in session.

And so it's been mandated that you use this.  It's almost ten times as expensive as the incandescent bulb.  It was claimed to last for years and years, but people have discovered that they don't last much longer than the old style bulbs.  They take a lot less electricity, true, but the quality of the light they put out is horrible.

But that isn't the biggest problem with the bulbs.  This is:
Oman Observer reported that more than 140 countries have agreed on the first global treaty to cut mercury pollution through a blacklist of household items and controls on power plants and small scale mines

United Nations said that the legally binding agreement aims to phase out many products that use the toxic liquid metal such as batteries, thermometers and some fluorescent lamps, through banning global import and exports by 2020.
So Congress passes a law that makes us buy replacement bulbs that don't work as well and are ten times and expensive, then then the President gets all International and goes and bans them.  Observe your Philosopher Kings in action.  Why people still give these people credit for being smart when they act in such an unambiguously dumb manner is quite a mystery to me.
IDIOT, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot's activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but "pervades and regulates the whole." He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

Integrity

Via Sebastian and Graybeard, we find a company that puts its money where its mouth is.  I have to confess that I'd never much paid attention to Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, even with their 200,000+ attendance.  Never made much of an impact in my life.  But Guntag Signature Seasonings was always there because it was a major part of their business life.  No more:
GUTNTAG, LLC WITHDRAWS FROM EASTERN SPORTS SHOW DUE TO BAN OF ASSAULT AND TACTICAL WEAPONS
GUTNTAG, LLC, announces its official withdraw from the 2013 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show (ESOS).  Recently, Reed Exhibitions, veteran organizer of the ESOS, announced an assault and tactical weapons ban to be implemented at the largest show of its kind in the United States.

We have made the costly decision to withdraw because it is the right thing to do.  We are a young company that relies on this one venue to create our operating capital for the year; however we cannot support uninformed businesses caving to political pressures caused by broadly politicized events.   We proudly support the 2nd Amendment in the capacity for which it was intended; the right of citizens to keep and bear arms.  Our freedom to do so was not for hunting or competition shooting, but protection for law abiding citizens.

In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.  The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”  Friends, if we continue to give in inch-by-inch, we will find ourselves with no protection and a tyrannical government.
 Well said.  These folks are putting their business' existence on the line because they believe what they believe.  What I believe.  That's an integrity that I respect.

I respect it enough to order some of their seasonings.  I like doing business with people I like.  If you do, too, they have a 2nd Amendment Special.  Heh.

The down side: shipping is actually more than their product.  The up side: they make money without supporting those Quislings at the ESOS.  That's worth paying cash money for.  I'll post a review once their rub gets delivered.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Holy cow, I'm tired

This whole month it's been non-stop.  I'm exhausted.



Sure miss Madeline Kahn, too.

Are the wheels coming off of the Global Warming bus?

Despite the prominence of Global Warming in Obama's inauguration address, the wheels look to be coming off.  Germany's Der Spiegal has an 8 part series about the abuses of the Climate Science Establishment aimed at the general reader.  The series is simply devastating to the consensus view of ZOMG Thermageddon!!!  It exposes the shoddy work of the IPCC with examples like this:
The all-clear signal on the hurricane front is another setback for the IPCC. In keeping with lead author Kevin Trenberth's predictions, the IPCC report warned that there would be more hurricanes in a greenhouse climate. One of the graphs in the IPCC report is particularly mysterious. Without specifying a source, the graph suggestively illustrates how damage caused by extreme weather increases with rising average temperatures.

When hurricane expert Roger Pielke, Jr. of the University of Colorado at Boulder saw the graph, he was appalled. "I would like to discover this sort of relationship myself," he says, "but it simply isn't supported by the facts at the moment."

Pielke tried to find out where the graph had come from. He traced it to the chief scientist at a London firm that performs risk calculations for major insurance companies. The insurance scientist claims that the graph was never meant for publication. How the phantom graph found its way into the IPCC report is still a mystery.
It's all here: the hockey stick shenanigans, the poor quality of the temperature data bases, the ignoring of Urban Heat Island effects (cities are warmer than countryside, and growing cities absorb what used to be rural weather stations), the uncertainties that are brushed under the carpet, the over-reliance on computer simulations rather than gathering actual data, the politicization of science.  The opening lays out the indictment:
Plagued by reports of sloppy work, falsifications and exaggerations, climate research is facing a crisis of confidence. How reliable are the predictions about global warming and its consequences? And would it really be the end of the world if temperatures rose by more than the much-quoted limit of two degrees Celsius?
This is astonishingly fair for a mass media publication.  Long time readers here will recognize much of this but the fact that it's published in Germany's equivalent of Time Magazine is nothing short of astonishing.  Anthony Watts speculates that the political climate in German has changed, with Nuclear power generation being replaced en mass by Coal, leading to a political benefit for climate skepticism.  I'm not sure if this is the reason or not, but if even the eco-friendly Germans are in full skeptic mode, this is bad juju for the carbon catastrophists.

Watts also points out that the reliance on "renewable" electricity and the required subsidies to make it viable have resulted in the average German's electricity bills rising over 60% since 2000.  That's also very bad news for Obama's climate agenda.  Donna Laframboise puts this in terms that I've used here, objecting to stupid, useless environmental regulation:
The greens have been very clear. Climate change is due to too much CO2. Therefore energy use, which produces CO2, must be slashed. Therefore prices should rise sharply to discourage people from using energy.

No other serious analysis has been advanced by the big green machine. That’s the basic climate change argument. The problem is that this amounts to a war against the poor.
A "War on the Poor" is worse than stupid and useless regulation, when you think about it.  Here's the sound bite for the Stupid Party to use when Obama announces the details of his climate policy.

M.I.T.'s we site pwned because of Aaron Schwartz

Again:
This morning MIT's website was hacked and defaced, with its nameservers changed. The site credited hacker FBI informant Sabu (LulzSec); the site autoplayed The Star Spangled Banner and stated "R.I.P Aaron Swartz."

This was the second time in a week that they got pwned which brings to mind Oscar Wilde's great line from The Importance Of Being Earnest: To have lost one parent is a misfortune, to have lost two is carelessness.

Boy, I hope that MIT sure thinks that this was all worth it.  After all, third time's a charm!

I'm not against progress

I'm just against stupid and useless "collective" [rolls eyes] governmental action.  We see this in spades with gun control, with "assault weapons bans" that don't actually ban anything, and proposals to limit magazine size - as if you can't change a magazine in 2 seconds.  Stupid and useless.

And proposed by people who want to make themselves feel better by proposing them.  You might be able to stomach it if it were only about guns, but the words "there ought to be a law" come forth from that same upwelling of stupid and useless.  They don't ever think through the consequences of their proposals.

Why don't you kill him?  I have a better idea: I intend to place him in an overly-complex and easily escapable situation and assume that it all goes to plan.



Let's pass a law that mandates high benefit costs for employees who work more than 30 hours a week, and just assume that nobody will reduce employee hours to under 30.  Let's pass a law outlawing certain cosmetic gun features and just assume that nobody will change their designs and sell as many guns as before the law passed.  Let's entirely outlaw some things that people seem to really, really want and just assume that this time it will come out differently than the War On (some) Drugs.  Or Prohibition.

This has actually become my go-to way of dealing with progressives:

I don't oppose gun control, I just oppose stupid and useless laws about guns.

I don't oppose health care, I just oppose stupid and useless laws about health care.

I don't oppose environmental regulation, I just oppose stupid and useless regulations that don't help the environment while they impoverish working class Americans.

And then when they say that their proposals aren't stupid and useless, I open my eyes wide and say Tell me more.


No really - dazzle me.

My experience is that there are two outcomes, either of which is satisfactory.  One is that the person spouting blather will realize it, and their minds will be open to a real discussion on the merits.  For example, you'll be able to talk about guns, gun violence, and self-protection without having to listen to dick jokes.

The second outcome is that the person stops talking to you, which means that you don't have to listen to "smart" ideas about the government doing stupid and useless things.  You're a winner either way.

The trick is to straight up challenge the other person to justify why his proposals are not stupid and useless and then shut the heck up.  If you're as nasty as I am (and don't care about being invited back to the "right" parties) when they finally sputter to a halt - after your increasingly incredulous (but silent) facial expressions - you can turn to a listener, give a knowing wink, and say He really doesn't know, does he?

But you'd never say anything like that because you're not as nasty as I am.  And a good thing, too.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What's in your burger?

Well if you're in the UK, it might be almost one third horse.  That's the bad news.

The good news is that there's no "Mad Horse Disease".

Actually ...

I could so be an Olympian at curling.


Srlsy, hoser.

Java: a sucking chest wound of security fail

Even though there's a new patch out, the consensus in the security community is that the patch isn't very good.  Since exploits are presumed to be coming Real Soon Now, the advice is that you should turn it off in your browser.

How to disable Java in Firefox

How to disable Java in Chrome

I've done both of these, and you should too.  Unfortunately, disabling Java in Internet Explorer is really convoluted and error prone.  I've chosen to leave it enabled, but I only use IE to connect to internet company web sites or equipment that uses Java for the interface.  Since neither of these serve up ads (a delivery channel much beloved by the Bad Guys), I believe that the risk is low.

Honored Arrogance

One of the most notoriously wrong of the Eco-Doomsayers from the 1960s and 70s was Paul Ehrlich, whose book The Population Bomb was a sensational best seller.  I use the word "notorious" advisedly and deliberately.  The book opened with a dramatic prediction of doom:
The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate...
We all know what actually happened: food calories per capita have increased dramatically and death from starvation has plummeted.  Rather than hundreds of millions of people dropping in their tracks from malnourishment, the world population has approximately doubled since Ehrlich wrote his Magnum Opus.

We see that if you hold Approved Views® that it doesn't matter how spectacularly wrong you are.  Indeed, Ehrlich has become wealthy and honored, and is still publishing.  His latest predictions are now out, in no less prestigious a publication as The Proceedings of the Royal Society*:
But today, for the first time, humanity's global civilization—the worldwide, increasingly interconnected, highly technological society in which we all are to one degree or another, embedded—is threatened with collapse by an array of environmental problems. Humankind finds itself engaged in what Prince Charles described as ‘an act of suicide on a grand scale’ [4], facing what the UK's Chief Scientific Advisor John Beddington called a ‘perfect storm’ of environmental problems [5]. The most serious of these problems show signs of rapidly escalating severity, especially climate disruption.
I guess that I should point out here that his article is not just in one of the World's most important scientific journals, but that it is peer-reviewed.  It is not known whether the reviewers saw fit to question the scientific credentials of HRH Prince Charles.  One presumes not.

The article itself is a tedious repackaging of his old, busted predictions of mass famine.  Perhaps this time he will finally be right, although the way that the article is larded with "might result in" and "could lead to" suggests that Mr. Ehrlich has learned to camouflage  his more falsifiable predictions.

But this line in the article actually leaves me speechless:
The needed pressure, however, might be generated by a popular movement based in academia and civil society to help guide humanity towards developing a new multiple intelligence [135], ‘foresight intelligence’ to provide the long-term analysis and planning that markets cannot supply.
So humanity currently lacks this "foresight intelligence" and needs the likes of Ehrlich to develop it?  The same Paul Ehrlich who once said that a large portion of the human race would starve to death before 1980?  That we should look to him for foresight?

[blink] [blink]

And the Royal Society saw fit to honor this arrogant idiot by publishing it in their house organ,  publishing it after it was peer-reviewed by the scientific community?

[blink] [blink]

This is the point where everyone who ever uttered the words "Republican War On Science" can shut up and sit down in the back of the room; grown ups are talking.  And the Royal Society might consider changing their motto.  Sic transit Gloria Mundi might be appropriate.
IN Egypt's sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:—
"I am great OZYMANDIAS," saith the stone,
"The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
"The wonders of my hand."— The City's gone,—
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro' the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.
– Horace Smith
Hat tip: William M. Briggs, who fairly demolishes the article.

* The Royal Society is presumed to be the oldest scientific organization still operating today, having received its charter from King Charles II in 1660.  It's motto - Nullis in verbo, or "take nobody's word for it" - would have been good advice for the peer reviewers.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Kamelot - Ashes to Ashes

Silverthorn, Kamelot's new album is out featuring their new lead singer.  Perhaps surprisingly, the new singer (Tommy Karevik) sounds a lot like the old singer (Roy Kahn) - perhaps because Karevik is a Swede and Kahn is Norwegian.  Maybe there's a common lutefisk connection, or something.

There is a common songwriting thread - the same core of the band still writes the songs.  And so there's a commonality that Kamelot fans should like.



I've only listened to some of the album (in the car with #2 Son), but it sounds like the most classically operatic of the Kamelot oeuvre*. Certainly this song opens that way.  If you like Rock Opera - real Rock Opera - then this should be something that you'll like.

* I only use the term because I don't think I've used the word in the 6500 posts here.  So there.

Prediction is hard, especially about the future

Peer-reviewed Scientist, March 2000:
However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.
Non peer-reviewed non-scientist, January 2013:
Snow and icy conditions are continuing across the UK for the fourth day in a row. Click on the images below to find out more about some of the areas that have seen most disruption.


Heathrow Airport reduced its schedule on Monday by about 10% - cutting about 130 flights - in anticipation of low visibility. Heathrow cancelled 300 flights on Sunday and weather conditions also led to more than 40 cancellations at London City Airport.
But remember, always trust Peer-Reviewed Science®!  It's Peer-Reviewed, so it can't be wrong!

Therapy for New York Times Op-Ed writers

So it seems that someone wrote a chin-tugging NYT Op-Ed saying that since she was clinically depressed and a suicide risk, they government should take away her (and your) second amendment rights:
Do more to help us protect ourselves because what’s most likely to wake me in the early hours isn’t a man’s body slamming at my door but depression, that raven, tapping, rapping, banging for relief. I have a better chance of surviving if I never have the option of being able to pull the trigger.

Actually, there's someone who can help her.



This article by the Times is the most grotesquely manipulative thing I've seen since, well, since the gun grabbers used the blood of a bunch of kindergarten kids to propose a bunch of stupid, useless laws that wouldn't have protected those kids.  The NYT's cynicism is simply staggering, and only exceeded by the moral degeneracy of their continually using the weak and vulnerable as props to flog their ridiculous dogma.

Lying. It's what they do.

I refer to the Media, of course.  The Czar of Muscovy brings down the Axe of Love in a post about the Media's shamefully blown coverage of the Sandy Hook atrocity:
One cannot possibly accept that the media are ignorant on this issue. While that is a probability on most issue, one month has passed in which media types were given every conceivable explanation for the distance between AR-15s and other rifle platforms, why AKs are not ARs, why a .223 is not a monster bullet, the difference between semi-automatic and fully automatic, and so on.

The smallest amount of fact-checking would have cleared this up in no time.

Instead, you have active suppression of evidence followed by an informed distortion of the record.
How bad is the situation?  So bad that the best case scenario for the Media - the one that most preserves the scraps of their tattered reputation - is that the entire MSM is institutionally incompetent to report on anything relating to guns.  That's the best explanation, and the others are, well, precisely as your Autocrat describes.

And so to my snark from yesterday, about the Gun Control crowd whining that the evil NRA is using fear to whip up support.  The two are inextricably joined.  Gun owners (and more importantly gun sympathizing non-owners) see the lies that are not the accidental rarity, but rather are the core argument of the anti-gun crowd.  They see the blatant misrepresentation by the media.  They hear the calls for confiscation.  What is their natural reaction?

Panic gun buying.  Joining the NRA.  Deciding that this is the time to make the stand.

And so all the complaints that Diane Feinstein's and Andrew Cuomo's calls for confiscation were "taken out of context" fall on deaf ears - after all, if the Media is seen to always exaggerate to the benefit of the Gun Control agenda, this is just more of the same, right?

And the same goes to pro-gun Democrats.  And while there are a lot of them, they are in terrible danger of not getting credit for it.  After all, a bunch of their fellow Party members lie through their teeth - aided and abetted by the Media - and so why shouldn't we wonder if they're lying, too?

And so there are two clear lessons from this debate: The Media has destroyed their credibility with the entirety of the American public: everyone (both pro-gun and anti-gun) read their statements as code words and both sides assume that the Media secretly is firmly on the side of gun control - and therefore slants its coverage to push that agenda.  Both sides discount the actual content of the reporting, correctly only perceiving the agenda.  This means that the Media has absolutely no ability to shift opinion in favor of further gun control.  Since everyone thinks that they're rooting for their "home team", there's no possibility of being seen as a neutral broker.  In fact, the only impact they could have would be to report the facts correctly which would likely have a massive swing of popular opinion in favor of gun rights.

The second lesson is that the Media is now damaging the Democratic party.  The majority of the population simply doesn't believe them on this topic, and when the Media reports that Senator Manchin (D-WV) "supports gun rights" they read this as code reporting - even if it may be true.  Given that gun rights is a topic that energizes voters like few other topics - especially voters who are not political junkies - this is very, very damaging to Democratic candidates in competitive districts.

There's a quite good chance that the damage has already been inflicted on the Democratic Party's 2014 hopes.  The message has been sent, and it has been received.  The Media can only make this perception worse with their coded support of gun control.  What remains to be seen is whether the NRA will take this as an opportunity to explain to "pro-gun" Democrats that they're simply not believable any more, and as long as (say) Nancy Pelosi is still their leader in the House that even those politicians who were once considered pro-gun are presumed to be at the beck and call of their anti-gun political party.

Because until there is a cost to the Democrats for pushing this anti-freedom agenda, they'll keep pushing it.  Sure, they'll claim that the "support the Second Amendment" and the Media will dutifully report that.  And everyone will watch this and think "They're lying.  It's what they do."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday afternoon

First we took the dogs to the Dog Park, where Wolfgang got to play with his girlfriend Maisy (a 10 month old Rhodesian Ridgeback).  Puppy love FTW.

Wolfgang and Maisy in October


Then it was off to Tractor Supply Co for puppy food.  And an extra $60 of stuff that we somehow couldn't manage without.  I am listening to Ivan the Terrier who lets me know that our supply of squeaky doggie toys is replenished.

Then to the supermarket for game provisions.  Bacon wrapped bratwursts on pretzel rolls with sweet potato fries and carrot and celery sticks with guacamole dipping sauce.  #1 Son exclaimed "This is the best dinner ever!"

And then watching the Falcons blow the game.  Oh well, can't have everything.

But not a lot of blogging, I guess.  Tomorrow we'll be a bit back to a less lazy schedule.

Irony is under appreciated

Epic cluelessness is epic:
Supporters of strict gun laws, meanwhile, bristle at the fear-mongering they say is driving the gun rush.

"It's an unfortunate phenomenon that fear is being used as a way of marketing their products," said Heather Martens, the director of Protect Minnesota: Working to End Gun Violence.
I mean it's simply beyond the pale to try to push your preferred policy options by using fear and emotion.  Certainly Ms. Martens' group would never stoop to that.  Oh, wait.

Their tears of frustration at their lack of success are Nectar of the Gods.  Drink up.

Johann Schein and the birth of the Baroque

Ever wonder why Baroque was invented?  It may be that it was dinner music; that's why Johann Schein composed it.  He lived in Weimar in the sixteenth century, at the very beginning of the Baroque age, at the inflection point where music was beginning to be composed for more than just religious ceremonies.

He made his living from religious music as Kapellmeister the at Weimar, writing works like this:



But he was perhaps the first non-Italian composer to write in the new style.  This is his most famous work, and is unmistakeably Baroque.


Seems legit


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Things I did not know

Today is Robert E. Lee day, a holiday in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi.  I guess that this is a day for reflection that a series of successes can lead to a feeling that you can accomplish anything.  Great talent and a string of successes are no guarantee of future success, and that a dash of humility is a great tonic to the soul - and can help us resist the urge to order General Pickett to charge the Yankees on yon ridge, across that empty field.

St. James Infirmary

Satchmo plays it.


Quote of the day - Gun Control edition

Offered without comment, because it needs absolutely none:
As an idiot leftist friend kindly pointed out to me, it's just not the same thing!  [Drunk Driving] doesn't just walk into a school and start killing people! [1]
Ah-yep.  That there's the mindset, in a nutshell.  What I want is perfectly reasonable, what you want makes you a monster.  Because shut up, peon.
Then pass me the bottle, will ya?
You are going to RTWT, aren't you?  I knew you were.  It's worth it.

Blake Shelton - Kiss My Country Ass

There's a Cold Civil War in this country, between those who would rule and those who don't want to be ruled.  We've just seen this play out with gun control - those who would rule have proposed stupid, ineffective measures aimed at those who they would rule.

New gun control measures are dead on arrival in the Congress, and so the President has promised a bunch of meaningless, stupid Executive Orders.  With the exception of New York and maybe a couple of other deep blue states, that's been a futile effort. Gun control has lost.  Here's who the "intellectual Elite" has lost to:



Kiss My Country Ass (Songwriters: )
Tearin' down a dirt road
Rebel flag flyin'
Coon dog in the back
Truck bed loaded down with beer
And a cold one in my lap
Earnhart sticker behind my head
And my woman by my side
Tail-pipe's poppin'
the radio's rockin' "Country Boy Can Survive"
If you got a problem with that, ha ha!
You can kiss my country ass

Well, I love Turkey calls, overalls, Wrangler jeans
Smoke nothin' but Marlboro reds
Tattoos up & down my arms,
And deer heads over my bed.
My Granddaddy fought in World War Two,
My Daddy went to Vietnam.
And I ain't scared to grab my gun,
And fight for my homeland.
If you don't love the American flag,
You can kiss my country ass.

If you're a down home, backwoods redneck,
Hey come on, stand up and raise your glass.
But if you ain't down with my outlaw crowd,
You can kiss my country ass.

Well, there's a whole lotta high-class people out there
That's lookin' down on me
Cause the country club where I belong
Is the Honky Tonk till three in the mornin'
Don't wear no fancy clothes
No ties or three piece suits.
You can find me in my camouflage cap
My t-shirt and cowboy boots
If that don't fit your social class
You can kiss my country ass

If you're a down home, backwoods redneck
Hey, come on, stand up and raise your glass
But if you ain't down with my outlaw crowd
You can kiss my country ass

Well I'm a front-porch sittin',
Guitar pickin', moonshine sippin',
Backer juice spittin' country boy from the woods
And I love fried chicken & blue gill fishin'
And outlaw women, an' I wouldn't change if I could. NO!
I ain't tryin' to start no fight, but I'll finish one every time
So you just mind your own damn business
Stay the hell outta mine.
If you got a problem with that
You can kiss my country ass

I said if you got a problem with any of that
You can kiss my natural born, Redneck to the bone
Ever-lovin' country ass.
This is who the Intellectual "Elite" have lost to in this gun control debate.  Congress won't touch this third-rail issue with a ten foot insulated pole, no matter what our "betters" tell them - and us.  What they've found is that this is a battle that matters to a majority of Americans, a majority that will remember, and vote against Congresscritters that side with the "Elite" in this Cold Civil War:
I ain't tryin' to start no fight, but I'll finish one every time
So you just mind your own damn business
Stay the hell outta mine.
Or I'll remember the next time I go into the ballot box.  Unlike the obscure "Fiscal Cliff", this is up close and personal to a whole bunch of people.  And it's being pushed not from a desire to protect children (or we'd see proposals aimed at constructive engagement) but rather using dead children to further a ridiculous dogma aimed at putting much of the law abiding American citizenry in it's place.

Under its "Betters".

No thanks.  I have a counter-proposal: how about Congress votes on all this Gun Control "goodness"?  Then both the People and the "Intellectual Elite" will know where they stand in this Cold Civil War.  If they don't like where that stand is, they can both try to correct Congress in the next election.

Congress won't touch real Gun Control because they want to win re-election.  The "Elite" doesn't like this idea, of course, because it means that the great "ignorant" unwashed masses are rejecting the "Elite's" guidance.  Too bad.  If they don't like it, they can kiss my Country Ass.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Silvan Zingg - Pinetop's Boogie Woogie

Music is an international language, even in Switzerland.



Maybe especially is Switzerland.  This still makes me want to kick up my heels.


Failure To Fire is a hoot

You do read it every day, don't you?



You know, I've never been called a "dumbass" by the FBI.  Sounds like something to add to my bucket list.

Offered without comment, on the Human Condition


The Kingdom of the Father is spread upon the Earth and Men do not see it.
- The Gospel of Thomas

The People's Soviet of Portland, Oregon

Offered for your consideration, Exhibit A in the People v. Portland:
The Antiplanner noted last February that the city’s transportation bureau elected to give up on street paving and repair so that it could fund streetcars. The latest news is that the city isn’t even property maintaining its buildings, including the internationally famous (for being ugly) Portland building. The city has just over half the money it needs to keep this and other city buildings maintained.


Another recent news story revealed that Oregon has the fourth-worst high-school graduation rate in the nation. Just two out of three high school students earn a diploma in four years. Oregon’s record is brought down by Portland schools, where the graduation rate is just 59 percent, which is “well behind those of districts with similar levels of student poverty.”
But Borepatch, I hear you ask.  Why call it a 'People's Soviet'?  Well, we've seen this sort of thing before.  Exhibit B tells the tale:
When comparing their multi-national country to the United States, Russians tend to pride themselves in a lesser amount of freak accidents and unnecessary deaths, such as shootings in colleges, hostage takings in shopping malls, and armed robberies. However, the sentiment is very different these days. Just in the past month, the world has witnessed two major accidents in Russia - a plane landing half a mile short of the landing strip and killing nearly everyone on board, and a ship sinking--not in the open ocean--but in a river, killing more than half of its passengers. The incidents, overlooked by the Western media, in the last two weeks include more helicopters and planes falling out of the skies, and the debates around Russia's new ballistic missile Bulava, that flies correctly only half of the times--a disturbing success rate if armed with a nuclear warhead. What is happening to Russia?

At the core of the problem is one fact: today, nothing in Russia is Russian, and whatever can be called such, is Soviet--in most cases over 50 years old, in some cases approaching the centennial age mark. The infrastructure has been raped, the profits from its abuse have landed in $750-million oligarchs' European mansions and rescued British soccer clubs.
Infrastructure crumbles around the ordinary citizen as the Oligarchy invests in prestige projects.  The fact that the Oligarchy in Russia is more capitalist than the one in Portland means precisely squat to the crumbling infrastructure or the ordinary citizen.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
- Shelly, Ozymandias 

Magazines for New York gun owners

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

A public service announcement

Why can't any of the contestants to American Idol* actually sing?  They all "interpret" the song, which means that they won't sing and hold a note.  Maybe none of them can stay on pitch.

Sing, people.  And get off of my lawn.

* The Missus likes watching this, which means that I like watching it.  Or so I'm told.

Secret Squirrel Blog

Intel News is a blog with all the news from the Intelligence Community.  Boy, that was a weird sentence to type.

If this is the kind of thing that you like, then you should check it out.  For example, they let us know that Jonathan Pollard's file has been declassified.

Protest, baby!



Actively Disengaged simply rocks.


Obama trolls the gun control crowd

After a month of the Big Guy weeping in a press conference, sending his wing man to hobnob with every anti-gun organization on the planet, and standing on a stage surrounded by school kids to announce a For Teh Childrenz™ program that ZOMGWEHAVETODORIGHTNOW, what do we get?


And the anti gun crowd will love him for the nothing* that he did so publicly.  Well played, Mr. President.  Well played indeed.

* For example, he very well might have been able to ban the importation of all semi-automatic firearms via Executive Order.  He didn't.