Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Dillon Aero Minigun

drjim want a Dillon Aero M134 Minigun.

It fires 7.62x51 NATO, and can be set to fire between 3000 and 4000 rounds a minute. A thousand rounds of 7.62x51 weighs about 52 pounds. Some quick counting on my toes (I am a Marine, after all) gets me to the idea that ten minutes of firing is a ton of ammo. Really, a ton, maybe a few pounds over.

So you really need a platform for it. A helicopter, a truck, a boat, something to carry the weapon on a base, provide electrical power, and carry the ammo.

 7.62x51 is running about 50 cents a round, so that same 10 minutes of firing cost $20,000.00, more or less. I suppose you could get a discount for buying it by the semi-truck load.

Looks like a lot of fun, but I'm not sure one rich uncle would be enough. The major costs I can immediately see a big ranch in the Southwest for a range, helicopter(s), fuel, crews, Dillon minigun, spare parts, ammo, mechanics, armorers, and a company that was doing "development research" so that there would be justification for your possession of the system and those low level strafing runs on old cars. I'm thinking you might need Bill Gates as your uncle for this one.

Here it is, though, and drjim ever works all this out, I am ready to come out for a range day.

Stoner 63

Eugene Stoner, of AR-10 and M-16 fame, went on to develop a modular rifle in the 1960s. Carbine, rifle, machine gun, in various combinations for different missions. The system, when chambered in 5.56 NATO, is known as the the Stoner 63.

There are a handful of transferable examples out there. Here's one that will configure as a rifle, carbine, or Bren. Oh, and it's only $125,000. I'd say that makes it a grail gun. A few pallets of ammo and it's a day at the range!


Study: American public doesn't trust scientists

H. L. Mencken was wrong:
The review, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), shows that while Americans view scientists as competent, they are not entirely trusted. This may be because they are not perceived to be friendly or warm.

In particular, Americans seem wary of researchers seeking grant funding and do not trust scientists pushing persuasive agendas. Instead, the public leans toward impartiality.
Gosh, I keep seeing these things that reinforce my faith in the basic wisdom of the American People.  But what do the researchers say is the solution?
"Scientists have earned the respect of Americans but not necessarily their trust," said lead author Susan Fiske, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and professor of public affairs. "But this gap can be filled by showing concern for humanity and the environment. Rather than persuading, scientists may better serve citizens by discussing, teaching and sharing information to convey trustworthy intentions."
So a Psychologist and Public Affairs Professor says that the way to address mistrust caused by the perception of agenda-driven science and featherbedding is by pushing an environmentalist agenda and slick talking.  Riiiight.  Good idea.

Maybe the public's concern about the monomaniacal thirst for grant funding is right, and warps how science is done?  From an old post of mine, Make Big Money doing climate research from home:
Well, I don't know about the "work from home" part, and whether you need to stuff envelopes, but the money's sweet: $79B since 1989, just from the US Fed.Gov. Add in the fellow traveler Euro.Govs and you've maybe doubled that.

Note that's "B" as in "Billion". Skim a lot off the top for Department of Energy and other bureaucrats, and there's plenty of cold hard cash, as long as you toe the line
Or perhaps it's an awareness that scientists are not playing straight with the public?



This is Dr. Richard Muller, head of the Berkeley Earth Sciences department.  He explains precisely how the lead authors of the IPCC reports fiddled their data, and remarks that not only would this never be allowed to be published in any journal he would be willing to be published in but how he won't read their papers anymore (because he thinks they are untrustworthy).

Hey, don't be a Science Denier, Dr. Muller!  A little more focus on the environment and some better warm fuzzy PR spin will totes make this all better!

This was published in the Journal of the National Academy of Sciences, for crying out loud - that tells you just how deep the rot runs.  And just remember, people like Professor Fiske think they're smarter than you and me.  Nicer, too.  Professor Fiske, in future I'd like a higher caliber drivel from you, if you would be so kind.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 30: My Dogs are killing me


Nice collar!

The Silver Comet Trail used to be a rail line that went from Atlanta to Alabama.  As with much of life, it passed its usefulness and ended up abandoned.  But it was redone as a biking trail, and is now an outdoors destination for the ATL.  Like Wolfgang and a dashing (if unconventionally dressed) companion.

I'm keen to see how much we all raised - so far it looks like it's a little off from last year's total.  That would be a shame.  All month Jay, and Kelly, and all the Teams have put their dignity aside for a good cause.  I've found that it's been a wonderful experience, better than I had imagined.

And no, it's not because suburban hausfraus in the Publix parking lot tell me that they think it's hot.  Well, a little, but that's not the point.

This is the point:
This disease is cruel in what it does to the body; any military organization that did even a fraction of this to a prisoner would be guilty of war crimes.

Anger is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, deserving an entire ring of Hell in The Inferno.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned ...
The cancer took Dad, and I'm still a little p***ed about that.  The fact that so many of you have donated means more than I can say.  For those who haven't, there's still another day left - it would be great to beat last year's total.  Remember, if you donate $24 via Team Borepatch, you'll get an autographed copy of my sister-from-another-mother Brigid's amazing Book Of Barkley

Monday, September 29, 2014

AEK-919

First, a picture of the firearm Tony Tsquared submitted as his grail gun.


Chambered in 9x18 Makarov, it is reminiscent of the Uzi. It's a close quarters weapon, the suppressor is removable and the stock collapses. Introduced in 1995 and select fire, so there just aren't any of these in the U.S., making it a true grail gun. 


And a video, in Russian. You don't need words to see it being fired with accuracy near the end.

The" Grail Gun Series" Side Benefit

I am doing some interesting searches while looking at information on your grail guns. I have learned a lot and not always about what I intended. Here's a new site to add to the sidebar, Accurate Shooter, filled with so much information and reading I stopped to share it here.

Or this article, from Ammoland, on corrosive ammo.

I even learned that Precision Shooter Magazine had gone out of business. I probably should have known that, but I always got those magazines used.

Fall Out Boy - The Phoenix

Via #2 Son comes this plausibly appropriate-for-the-Zombie-Apocalypse music.  It seems it's what the young folk are listening to.



I'd sure like someone to do a song with these lyrics:
LORD, make me fast and accurate.
Let my aim be true and my hand faster
than those who would seek to destroy me.
Grant me victory over my foes
and those that wish harm to me and mine.
Let not my last thought be “ If only I had my gun ”.

And LORD if today is truly the day that You call me home,
let me die in a pile of empty brass,
Surrounded by the lifeless bodies of my enemies
and with blood and skin on the barrel of my empty pistol
where I beat the last one to death.

Amen

Heaven's favorite

Heaven gives its favourites early death. 
- Lord Byron, Childe Harold's  Pilgrimage
Father's Day 2011 was memorable for me: it was the first that I was away from the kids, off in that cold apartment in Austin; and it was the time that Sabra and Pistolero shared their family with me.  That day was a great comfort, passing it with their entirely charming children.

Sadly, those children are now missing their newest sister.  Heaven had other plans:
Psalm-Angel Guadalupe was born Wednesday evening, September 24, 2014, at 6:10 pm. She lived about an hour and a half before she went home to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. She got to spend time with Mama and me, as well as her sisters and brother. She knew nothing but love her whole life.
I'm afraid that I do not have words to express my sorrow for tiny Guadalupe or her family.  May flights of Angels sing her to her rest.  If you have a little left over at the end of the month, please consider donating to help defray the costs from their ordeal.
Media vita in morte sumus.
In the midst of life we are in death.
- The Book of Common Prayer

Navy M14

Burt's grail gun is the one he remembers. An M-14, as issued by the U.S. Navy, along with the accessories, sling, pouches, magazines, and the like.

It's the rifle that replaced the Garand. Chambered in .308, select fire, accuracy with a punch. It was swept aside in favor of the M-16, but it will not go away. Units still carry and use the M-14 and in the recent unpleasantness in the Middle East, the value of a .30 caliber rifle in the hands of a dedicated marksman has proven itself. 


They were good days, those days of our youth, maybe better than we realized at the time. To own the rifle we carried then would be to own a piece of our own history.



How to roll chaps

This is cool.



This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by get out and ride more, damnitall.

Barrett B.'s Barrett

Barrett B. also wants a Barrett M82, specifically in the newer short barrel design, the Barrett M82A1-CQ. If I have looked this up correctly, the military designation for this is the Barrett M107.

I looked at a lot of videos, but the one I picked is Jerry Miculek's review of the rifle. He takes the rifle apart, talks about the features, and then takes the rifle out and shoots it. He doesn't go out to what I would call a long range, but he does what he does best, he shoots fast and he has a lot of fun.

If this is your grail gun and you get to shoot one, I hope you have as much fun as Jerry.


Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 29: Almost gone


This has been quite a month, with the teams raising over $10,000.  Jay has opened up a comfortable lead, but I'm glad to have done my bit.  I keep thinking that Dad would have laughed his butt off if he could have seen me, but I also think that he would have smiled about it.  Thank you, everyone who donated via Team Borepatch for that particular thought - I means a lot to me.

But the month isn't over, and while collectively we've broken the $10,000 mark, that's just a number.  If you haven't donated yet, there's still time.  Remember, if you donate $50 via Team Borepatch, you'll get an autographed copy of Brigid's amazing Book Of Barkley.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Thompson

This is my grail gun, too. Some guns hum a little "buy-me, love-me, take-me-home" tune when you fondle them. The 1928 Thompson sings to me like a siren calling a sailor onto the rocks. All that stops me is the fact that owning is completely out of reach. I am lashed to the mast and cannot break free. If someone left me 50 million, I would start the paperwork that week, before I bought a new truck, talked to a financial adviser, or even picked out the safe I was going to put it in.

I have shot a Thompson, both the 1928 and the WWII configuration, several times. Won a club full-auto shoot and the over all high shot for the day using a 1928 Thompson, a 1911, and an AR-15 on one of those occasions. There was a member of my club that had a large collection that included several full-auto weapons. He had purchased them decades ago when new ones could be made, and while they were relatively expensive, they were were still within reach. He was generous with his toys and would set up range days that gave us access. He has passed on and it seems unlikely that opportunity will come my way again.

Here's one for $19,995. It sings to me. The Wiki article is a good jumping off point to read about the Thompson. There's information about the variants, the modifications during the production years, weights, rates of fire, and more. This time, for me, it's not academic. Here's a gun pr0n image and a video. Click on the image to biggify.
And here's the story of the Thompson from the History Channel's Tales of the Gun. The retired FBI agent, John Wallace, that appears at 40:14 is the man I knew and that Thompson is one that I got to shoot.

Johann Mattheson - Sonata No.2 in G major

Image via Das Wik
You don't often run across a composer who can fairly be described as "badass".  Johann Mattheson puts the lie to the claim that classical music is for pantywaists.

Mattheson was friends with Georg Frederic Handel - both were born around the same time in Hamburg and grew up in the same musical community.  They had an argument during a performance of Mattheson's opera Cleopatra in 1704, an argument that soon escalated to swordplay.  Mattheson very nearly killed Handel, who was only saved because a button on the great composer's coat deflected Mattheson's thrust.

The two quickly got over their mutual murderous rage and spent the rest of their lives as fast friends.  Pretty badass, all in all.

Mattheson  went on to be not only a composer, but a diplomat, traveling all over Europe.



A final footnote of badassery is that the complete list of Mattheson's compositions all went missing after World War II.  They were discovered in Armenia in 1998 and returned to Hamburg.  All in all, a wide ranging character, that Herr Mattheson.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 27: Almost out of gas


We're down to the wire, and Blogfather JayG is starting to beat me like a rented mule.  Many thanks to everyone who's donated, and to everyone who has been considering, please help put us collectively over $10,000.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And remember the bonus: the all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of Brigid's amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Barrett M82A1

First the round. .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun), designed about 100 years ago and adopted in 1921, it was a round developed for use in a heavy machine gun.

Now the rifle. A purpose built long distance sniper rifle, designed around the cartridge, taking what was a machine gun round, and using it in a semi-automatic scoped rifle for one shot accurate hits.


This is a rifle that needs a scope. That scope has to give you the visibility to see out at the ranges the rifle is capable of covering and it has to take punishment of the recoil while holding the zero. There's only a few suitable choices and they can add thousands of dollars to the cost of the rifle.

Then there's the range. As Aczarnowski mentioned in his comment, this rifle needs an appropriate range. Anything less than 1000 yards seems cramped. With the mythical uncle's money, a range like the one in this video is possible, allowing the rifle, scope, and that first pallet of ammo to be used as designed. 

Abbey Normal

At my annual physical, my PSA was elevated. The doc wanted to redo the test: no biggie, things are sometimes goofy with False Positives.

It was elevated the second time, too, so they sent me to a specialist for a specific test. The office called yesterday.

The Doctor would like you to come in to discuss the results. They were abnormal. How does next Tuesday work?

Well there's some good news. Especially the "We can't see you on Monday so come Tuesday" bit. Not in four weeks, but four days.

I'm getting behind in the kilt pictures. Sorry. I'm a bit distracted.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 26, 2014

Original, Minty, Winchester Model 75 Sporter

Ancient Woodsman would get a Winchester Model 75 Sporter. New from the factory or as close as could be found.

I picked this one next because I own one of these. It isn't new. You can't even see new from where it is. But it's a Winchester 75 with Lyman target peep sights and it is a shooter. I don't know if it's the long sight radius, the size and weight, or the great sights, but it is a joy to take to the range.

I got it from the original owner, a smallbore shooter, along with several bricks of Olin match grade .22s. It has been shot by many a Boy Scout and, just by chance, is going to the range tomorrow for a Scout activity.

But a minty one...might be harder to come by. Here's one the seller is calling 98% . I'm no judge of firearms, most of what I own are old dinged up junk shooters, but this is certainly as nice an old rifle as you're going to see.


Actually, that's exactly how it works


I wonder how you would tap into this

Underground beer pipes:
The Belgian city of Bruges has approved plans to build a pipeline which will funnel beer underneath its famous cobbled streets.

Locals and politicians were fed up with huge lorries clattering through the cobbled streets and tiny canal paths of the picturesque city and decided to connect the De Halve Maan brewery to a bottling factory 3.2km (two miles) away.

It is estimated that some 500 trucks currently motor through Bruges each year on their way to the brewery, which is a famous tourist attraction.

Now they will be kept out of the city limits, as the pipe pumps 1,500 gallons of beer per hour. Construction is set to begin next year.
What's the over/under on how long it takes before they find clandestine taps have been attached along the way?

Webley-Fosbery

Knirirr wants a Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver. I picked this one to highlight first for two reasons.

The first is that when I looked it up I realized I didn't know anything about it. So let's look at Knirirr's dream gun and see what we are talking about.

Start with a Webley break top revolver. That gets you the basic revolver that George Fosbery modified. Now, set the top of the revolver to recoil, then cut a series of guide track in the cylinder so that the recoiling mechanism advances the cylinder and sets the trigger. Now you have a 6 shot semi-auto revolver(!!). Commonly chambered in .455 Webley, which was a 265 gr. bullet running 650 to 750 fps, considered a powerful cartridge in it's day, it saw use in WWI. It was also considered as an option for the U.S. military and some test prototypes were made in .45 ACP.

Here's a clip from Forgotten Weapons detailing the operation of the Webley-Fosbery.
The other reason is much sadder. The country that developed and issued this weapon now essentially bans the ownership and use of the gun. As Knirirr mentions in his comment, there are strict laws about owning, reasons for owning, ammunition ownership, and use of what they call Heritage Firearms. His grail gun is not out of reach because it was especially rare, or even all that expensive. It is unavailable to him because there are laws, regulations, and because so many of the pistols were collected and destroyed. That lesson is one we in the United States would do well to be mindful of.

OK, this sucked me in

I'm not one to spend much time with reality TV, but this sucked me in bit by bit.  Maybe it's because it isn't quite reality TV, and it's all about motorbikes.



If you haven't seen this, it's on Netflix.  And it's impossible to understand Hitler's motorcycle without watching it ...



But seriously, it's sucked me in enough that it's been cutting into my blogging.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Grail Guns

Pretend we're sitting around the campfire talking about grail guns. What do you buy? You know the one. It's what you would buy when the rich uncle you know nothing about leaves you 50 million dollars. The first one, anyway.

Leave your choices in the comments and I'll post some of them on the front page.

Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee - Red River Blues and Crow Jane


Batten down the hatches. Again.




5 months after the worst security bug in history comes what may be the worst security bug in history.  I can't blame people at Microsoft if they smirk about this, because Windows is not vulnerable but Unix/Linux/MacOS is.  And the bug turns out to be over 20 years old.

Sigh.

A quick note: if you are running Ubuntu (or other flavors of Debian Linux) you are not vulnerable.  Also, this is a server-side attack, and so it won't directly impact most of you.  However, Linux is embedded in a lot of devices, like your home router.  These are maybe vulnerable.  Stay tuned.

That said, this is about as bad as it gets for web servers:




Those of you who work in IT, life is fixin' to get interesting ...

9 good ideas about home alarm systems

Good advice.

Cool old car

Seen three years ago at the Owl's Head, Maine car show.  Didn't get the make/model, blast it all.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 24: tricky to change a flat tire


I'm referring, of course, to the 1948 TASCO with it's odd wheel pods.  It looks like it was inspired by fixed gear 1930s aircraft landing carriages.  The whole car seemed to be inspired by air frames.



TASCO sands for The American Sports Car Company, and this concept car was the first to have a T-top roof.  The inventor (Gordon Buehrig) sued GM when they infringed on his patent with the 1968 'Vette.

We're coming down to the wire, and JayG in particular has harnessed the power of his fully operational Battle Star blog to pull neck and neck with Team Borepatch. But the point is not the competition, the point is the end goal - all the teams are pushing towards breaking $10,000 in this month's fund raiser.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And you can watch me riding in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

A Programmer gets a PhD

Then he finds that he can't get a job:
I recently completed my PhD in computer science and hit the job market. I did not think I would have difficulty finding a job esp. with a PhD in computer science but I have had no luck so far in the four months I have been looking.
Education is sold as a benefit by people who work in education.  The benefit from people buying more education, so this really isn't a surprise.  But just like with a car dealer, expecting them not to try to upsell you to a more expensive model is like expecting a compass to point someplace other than north.

But the marginal return on a dollar of education is not linear.  Our hero in this story is finding out that the marginal return on his PhD investment is negative.

Now where have we heard that before?

Shanah Tovah

To my Jewish readers, may you have a sweet new year!

Via The Wik

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy birthday, Nintendo Koppai

Founded on this day in 1889 to market a hand painted playing card set. 

Image via Wik-san
It's been a long, long way from there.


Forgotten Weapons

A new link for those of you with an interest in arcane firearms. Forgotten Weapons is a giant time sink a great jumping off point to look at weapons that never got out of development, were innovative, rare, or just old enough that none of us have ever seen one.

I am going to include one link and an image. Here's an M16A1 outfitted with a grenade launcher and a Starlight scope. The Air Force set this up in 1967 creating an eighteen pound weapon out of an eight pound rifle.
 There is no end to the obscurity. Pinfire harmonica pistols? Early efforts at semi-auto military rifles? How about a Remington Model 8 shotgun with a 15 round box magazine? If you don't see that last one, you haven't wandered back far enough through the older posts. I'm tempted to just find the oldest page and read forward.

Advice from a cop on restoring the public's trust of the police

Lose the military gear.  Wear cameras.  End the War on Drugs.  Word.

Hat tip to Isegoria.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Quote of the Day - Dumb ex-jock edition

Chris Lynch brings the hammer down on the NFL TV coverage:
... one of the side benefits of the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson allegations is I haven't watched a single minute of any NFL pre-game shows. I need sportcasters and ex-jocks discussing societal issues in my life just as much as I need Hollywood movie stars telling me how I should think politically. I haven't watched any of the shows and I haven't missed them.
Amen.  I have enough sanctimonious jackasses in my life.  Got all I can use, actually.  Happy not to have any more.

Happy Hobbit Day!

September 22 is Hobbit Day:
Hobbit Day is the birthday of the hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, two fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's popular set of books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In the books both Bilbo and Frodo were said to be born on September 22, but of different years. Bilbo was born in the year of 2890 and Frodo in the year of 2968 in the Third Age (1290 and 1368 respectively in Shire-Reckoning.)
So go have a pint and smoke some pipe weed ...

One of my favorite films

They were showing this at Japan Fest, along with Anime.  It reminded me just how much I like the movie.



The creativity in this is simply off the chart.  If you have kids between the ages of 7 and 13 or so, this is a great family film to watch with them.  It's perhaps a bit scary for younger kids.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 22: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

I think that the artists who animated the file had actual models to use for inspiration for the wonderful cars in the flick.  Like the 1941 Chrysler Thunderbolt:

Everything was almost cartoon rounded.


It reminded me of this:


We're two thirds of the way through the fundraiser. Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And you can watch me riding in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Modern Arms and Free Men

Modern Arms and Free Men by Vannevar Bush was published in 1949. He foresaw many of the developments of the 1950s and 1960s, missed the mark on some others. On the whole, a very interesting book that marks a moment in time. The Soviet Union was on the verge of successfully detonating their first nuclear bomb. The Cold War was new. The author was looking forward toward the next major war and did not recognize the effect nuclear weapons would have on political decision making.

Chapters on the various aspects of military force, weapons, land based, aviation, and nuclear, followed by chapters on democracy, education, planning, threats, and totalitarianism. Here's the opening sentences from the chapter "Planning".
"A great deal is heard about planning these days and the word has been abused. At times it does not mean planning at all, but the detailed execution of plans by a horde of bureaucrats who, so those to whom the word is anathema tell us, would dictate how many chickens we could have in the back yard and ultimately what to read and how to part our hair."
You can perhaps see why I was interested in this book. One more quote, from the conclusion.
If we lose our liberties, it will be because we abandon them                              --Vannevar Bush (Modern Arms and Free Men, 1949)                                          

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 21: Heros

The 442nd Infantry Regiment is known as the most decorated unit in World War II, with 8 Presidential Unit Citations and 21 of its members awarded the Medal of Honor.  Amazingly, it was formed from Japanese-American volunteers who went off to fight while their families were interned in concentration camps by FDR.

At Japan Fest, there was a gentleman keeping that amazing story alive.


Those men were badass.  One of the Medals of Honor went to a Hawaiian boy named Daniel Inouye who lost an arm in the action which would win him that decoration.  We should remember these men and their story from a time that was very different than today.

The Kilted To Kick Cancer fundraiser is entering its final leg.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And if we reach $2500 for Team Borepatch, you can watch a video of me riding the motorcycle in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

Kodo - "O-Daiko" classical music from Japan

They had drummers at the Japan Fest yesterday.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 20: Domo Arigato, Mr. Kiltobato

Today was Japan Fest with #2 Son.  In addition to cool things Japanese, that meant it was picture time!


I expect I was the only guy there in a kilt, and so attracted quite a lot of attention.  Antonio thought it was badass, but he was dressed up, too.


And I loved this lady of a Certain Age, rocking Sailor Moon.


I'm saving the best for tomorrow, though.  In the meantime, a musical interlude. 
I have a secret
I've been hiding
under my kilt ...



We're two thirds of the way through the fundraiser. Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And you can watch me riding in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

Vannevar Bush

We went to the beach for a couple of days and stopped in a big junk shop. Along one wall in an alcove there were hundreds of books.Most of them were clearly from one person's private library. College yearbooks, cookbooks, fiction, and non-fiction all mixed in together.

I could see the arc of a life and was pondering what happens to our treasures after we are gone. I found a name in some of the books, looked at them as a senior in college in the last yearbook, considered what books they collected, figured out that at some point they had joined the "Book-of-the-Month" club.

One of those books was written by Vannevar Bush. I'd never heard of him, but he was one of the most important scientists of the last century. The Wiki article on him is extensive. Here's the opening:
Vannevar Bush (March 11, 1890 – June 28, 1974) was an American engineer, inventor and science administrator, whose most important contribution was as head of the U.S. Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) during World War II, through which almost all wartime military R&D was carried out, including initiation and early administration of the Manhattan Project.
There's a lot more in the article. He invented and built an analog computer in 1927 to do differential equations. His team developed the proximity fuze for artillery shells. He was involved enough to have been there with Oppenheimer for the Trinity test. He was the head of the panel that reviewed the evidence and informed the President that the Russians had detonated a nuclear bomb.

He was also a writer. I bought one of his books in that junk shop for three dollars. That book and it's predictions will be the subject of my next post.

Japanese Bluegrass - We'll Meet Again Sweet Heart

Today is Japanfest, and #2 Son and I will make our annual pilgrimage to enjoy the Rising Sun ambiance.  In this spirit of internationalism, here's a (sadly unnamed) Japanese bluegrass band playing a great old classic.  The World is a small place.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Want


Pretty sure this picture was taken in the Sea of Cortez.

In Your Lifetime

Which Administrations and Congresses made government smaller? Which Administrations and Congresses balanced the budget? Which Administrations and Congresses reduced the debt? Which Administrations and Congresses made America's place in the world stronger, safer, more secure? By what measures or standards can we say that either major party has provided meaningful leadership in our lifetimes?

My answers to these questions does not lead me to think that continuing to reward the professional politicians and their parties with my vote is a good thing for the country. Just voting for the "lesser of two evils" because that lesser evil has a chance to win no longer seems to me to be a strategy.

If the trestle is out and we're all on a train going sixty miles an hour toward the gorge, choosing the candidate that says, "Let's slow the train to forty!" over the candidate that says, "Let's try for seventy!" does not solve anything.

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
--Albert Einstein

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 19: A guy in a kilt walks into a bar ...

The guy in the kilt expects the regulars to take a bit of the Mickey out of him.  But this is the best bar in the world, with Fred (the best barman in the world).


Mac McGee's on Canton St. in downtown Roswell, GA.  It's worth the trip.  Tell Fred that the goofy guy in the kilt sent you.  He'll probably tell stories on me.  Tip appropriately.

I've been repeatedly impressed at how positive the responses are to the kilt, especially once people hear about the cause.

Because it's not a good cause, it's a great cause.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And you can watch me riding in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

But at the end of the day it's generous people cutting you slack - and even donating! - for wearing what's most unusual attire.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The worst kind of terrorism


Let's be careful out there.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 18: Kilted Motor Madness and a challenge to you!


Things are getting jiggy in Roswell, GA.  Yes, I rode the bike wearing the kilt.  Yes, it was (ahem) exciting.  The things we do for fund raising.

And so to the challenge.  There are 12 days left in the Kilted To Kick Cancer fund raiser.  Ambulance Driver said that as of a couple days ago Team Borepatch had raised over $1200 (the thanks go to those of you who have donated).  He also said that he'd like to see the (then) total of $5600 get doubled.  I agree.

And so my challenge to you, Dear Reader: if Team Borepatch breaks $2500 by September 30 then I will post video of me riding in a kilt.  There, I said it.  You might not want to watch (what has been seen cannot be unseen), but I will put my dignity on the line for the Cause.

Because it's not a good cause, it's a great cause.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty all donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Note that I've modified the rules - all donations will get a copy of her outstanding book, because I'll buy them myself for her to sign.  So not only can you get a great read, not only can you support a great cause, but you'll help drive her rankings on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.  And you can watch me riding in a kilt.  If you screw your courage to the sticking point.

Let's blow this away, everyone.  The Internet expects all readers to do their duty.


The most important thing you will see today

Old NFO has it.  Damn, that's amazing.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Heh

Top shelf snark:
Saying he’s fed up with cleaning toilets for a living, local janitor Sean Ritchie announced Wednesday that he’s putting down his mop for good to join the Navy.
At least he'll have regular work hours.

Mitt Romney Considers Running Again

Mitt can run, but if he's the GOP candidate, the Democrats will win again. His stand on the 2nd Amendment (and health care, "Homeland Security", taxes, and the role of government) makes him unacceptable. His legislation in Massachusetts, coupled with his answers in the second debate last time, decided it for me.

I voted for Gary Johnson. I could not pull the lever a man that wants to strip me of my liberties. The "lesser of the two evils" argument would not sell with me and with enough other conservatives and libertarians that Pr. Obama won a second term. Remember Paul Ryan? Remember the energy he brought? Even that couldn't carry Romney to the finish line.

There's two years to find a candidate. Gary Johnson is running again. Read his platform and ask yourself if you don't support his beliefs and ideas more than every candidate you ever supported for the Presidency.

So here's my hill on this issue. If the Republicans can do no better than Mitt Romney in 2016, they will have to convince someone else to vote for him. If they can get beyond themselves and consider a candidate that shares at least some of my values, I will reconsider.

Has anyone heard any news about Goober?

His heart surgery was two days ago.  If anyone has any news please ping me.

Crash likes my luggage rack

The luggage rack for the motorcycle showed up yesterday, and Crash the Wundercat couldn't be more thrilled.  He actually doesn't care about the rack, but the box it came in is his new most favoritist place every.


Ohai!

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 17: Going to the dogs

Well, to the dog park.  Wolfgang is rocking the kilt.


I'm a regular, and so people were happy to take my picture.  We had good conversations on the fundraiser which (hint, hint) is still going on.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fire

There's a reason the old command is "Fire!"


Barrel Length and Powder Burn Rate

We've talked about it. Here's an example.


Click to biggify. H/T to Miguel at gunfreezone.net

So what has Obamacare done for employment?

350,000 jobs lost:
Businesses are cutting jobs due to ObamaCare, according to surveys by several regional Federal Reserve Banks.

Health economist John Goodman noted that "three Federal Reserve Banks in Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta have surveyed the folks in their area and roughly one fifth of the employers are saying they cut back on employment.

“Roughly one fifth are saying they're moving from full time to part time,” Goodman added. “More than one in ten are saying they're doing more outsourcing - all this because of the new health care reform."

Doug Holtz-Eakin, former Director of the Congressional Budget Office, said “for the smaller employers -- those that have between 20 and 49 employees -- you get a negative impact on jobs, you get a negative impact on wages in those jobs. What this means for small business as a whole is over $22 billion of earnings gone for their workers and 350,000 jobs."
Man, nobody could have seen that coming.  All the proof that you need that the GOP is the Stupid Party is that you don't have campaign ads 24/7 on this, featuring people who have been put out of work.  #GOPTooStupid2Live.

Outstanding overview of Global Warming for the layman

If you want to get a second opinion, then this is a very good starting point that will make you more knowledgeable than 95% of the people you will run across.  My opinion is that this is the most important thing you will see there:

The yellow band is the model predictions relied upon by the IPCC.  The black line is the observed temperatures as recorded by the RSS Satellite system.  Note that the observed temperatures have been outside the 5% - 95% confidence interval since the early 2000s.  At the same time, we see this:

Atmospheric carbon dioxide has been rising monatomically each year.  These two are what you whip out when some idiot sneers at you that everyone knows the Greenhouse Effect is settled science.  Personally, I find that sort of arrogance to be more than a little annoying.  A sweet reply of "Well then why do the satellite sensors report there's not been any warming for almost 20 years?  After all, the Greenhouse Effect is settled science."  The results of that are usually pretty gratifying, but then I'm a horrible denier-type person.

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 16: Cyclone

More specifically, the 1959 Cadillac Cyclone.



Yup - Harley Earl was here.  390 cubic inches of big block goodness and a bubble top.  It had an anti-crash radar system (really!) hidden in these cones.


From back when Detroit dreamed outsized dreams.  This month we're dreaming outsized dreams about beating prostate cancer.  There are two weeks left in the fundraiser.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Monday, September 15, 2014

So where's the pot of gold?


I was told that there was would be a pot of gold.


I believe that I shall send a strongly worded letter to the appropriate authorities.

Comcast says that if you use anonymity services that you're a criminal

Well OK, then:
Reports have surfaced (Via /r/darknetmarkets and another one submitted to us) that Comcast agents have contacted customers using Tor and instructed them to stop using the browser or risk termination of service. A Comcast agent named Jeremy allegedly called Tor an “illegal service.” The Comcast agent told its customer that such activity is against usage policies.

The Comcast agent then repeatedly asked the customer to tell him what sites he was accessing on the Tor browser. The customer refused to answer.

The next day the customer called Comcast and spoke to another agent named Kelly who reiterated that Comcast does not want its customers using Tor. The Comcast agent then allegedly told the customer:
Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that aren’t so-to-speak legal.
Are there any ISPs that aren't miserable Quisling bastards?

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 15: Nice shape!

This is so sweet I could feel myself getting a cavity just looking at it.


That's a 1935 Bugatti Type 575 Competition, designed by Jean Bugatti (son of founder Ettore.  One of these was recently discovered and sold at auction for 3.4 Million euros.  I guess collecting these is like collecting Picassos or Rembrants.


There are two weeks left in the fundraiser.  Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

This is what winning looks like


#1 Son and I shared some Newcastle Brown Ale.  The bottle cap made me laugh.

Ouch

So I've been off the grid, and my posting shows it.  I've been in training for a trip to Panama City Beach at the end of the month for the motorcycle rally.  I've done nearly 300 miles this weekend, which is good practice for the 350 or so miles to PCB.

Ouch.  I'm looking at an Ibuprofin cocktail ...

So heads up - anyone want to meet up in PCB at the rally?  It's between October 1 and 5.  Leave a comment if you think it could be a good time.  And how cool would this be, painted on the bike or a helmet (or a patch for a jacket)?


After a little self-pitying moaning, I'll get back to the regular blogging schedule.


Barrel Length and .45ACP

Tam has started posting again. Here's a range report on .45ACP and the effect of different barrel lengths on bullet velocity.

It's good to see the posts, but she has turned off comments. Even though I understand the reasons, it takes something away from a blog to not have the interaction that comments create.

You can load .45ACP specifically with a longer barrel in mind and see some increase in velocity, although it is not going to be that great. The case size is also a limit on how much pressure you can develop as the powder begins to burn.

The volume in a larger case, like a rifle cartridge, allows the pressure generated to have some place to begin it's expansion before the bullet has moved. Once the bullet is moving, the ongoing burn continues to generate pressure behind the bullet so that it continues to accelerate. In handgun cases, that volume isn't there. Trying to generate an ongoing pressure behind the bullet to take advantage of a longer barrel results in a dangerously high pressure in the early moments when the volume is limited.

This is what limits carbines in .45ACP to lower velocities even though they may have barrels of 16 or 18 inches. In some cases, the bullet velocity peaks in the barrel and begins to slow down before it exits, the powder having been consumed and no additional pressure being created. Here's a link to ballistic tables for various commercial .45ACP loads in barrels from 18" down to 2". It's the same sort of testing Tam was doing, taken to 11.

Ballistics by the Inch is a great resource on the effects of barrel length on handgun ammo and I am adding it to the sidebar.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

She Told Me To Get Out of the House

What a Saturday! She was having a group of friends over for lunch and a meeting. She told me to be gone and stay gone. Well, okay then.

I packed up early and went to the range. Took lunch with me. Shot some of mine, shot some other things. Had a lot of fun with some .22s that a friend had brought out. One of the most interesting and fun things I got to shoot was a Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22.



Built from the design phase as a .22, it's not an AR-15, but it looks, feels, and has controls like one. Shoots and cycles with standard .22 ammo. Plenty accurate and a good way to get rid of all the .22 ammo in your stockpile. I had seen them in the shops and at the shows. This was the first time I had gotten to shoot one.

I don't foresee getting one, but anytime one is available, I'll bring my own ammo.

Life, Death, and Barkley

I finished reading The Book of Barkley last night. It begins with a puppy. and it ends, as it must, with loss.  It is shot through with fine writing, wisdom, and love.

You can get a autographed copy by being one of the first 20 people to donate $50.00 to Kilted to Show My Bird Legs Kick Cancer. Be sure to select Team Borepatch.

Or just buy a copy.

The author is one of the best writers blogging today and if you are not taking the time to read her on-line efforts, you're missing something valuable. Her nom de plume is Brigid and she posts at Home on the Range. You should go now. She has cookies.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Kilted To Kick Cancer - Day 12: Back To The Future!

I missed yesterday's kilt picture with all the family drama.  But those of you who know me know that I'm nothing if not obstinate, and so it's back to the future!


That's a 1970 Lancia Stratos HF Zero, the only one of the cars that I'm been posting where I actually have a price tag.  This one was purchased in 2011 by the Petersen Automotive Museum for a cool €761.600 (around $850,000).  Yowzer.  The keen eyed among you will remember this car from Michael Jackson's 1988 film, Moonwalker.

But the car pr0n (and the kilt, err, pix) are just the surface trappings.  The fundraiser is the thing, and Justin at Kilted To Kick Cancer says that all y'all have donated over $3,500 so far (across all the teams)!  And there are still two and a half weeks to go.  It would be great if this year blew previous years away.

Please click through to donate to this cause.  It's fully tax deductible, as a 501(c)3 charity.  The Donate link is here, and please select Team Borepatch.

And if you click through to read Brigid's post you'll see why she is also invested in this - her Dad is fighting that same fight right now.  She is so invested that she's made an enormously generous offer: the first twenty donations of $50 or more via Team Borepatch will receive an autographed copy of her amazing The Book Of Barkley.


What does winning mean?

Great comments yesterday on my post, and on ASM826's post about conflict in the Middle East.  It's made me think long and hard on what it takes to actually win a conflict.

We did it in World War II, where we demolished the mythos of the Übermensch and the similar mythos of the Samurai.  We did this by destroying their will to fight, to support the fight, and to want to do it again.

The questions for the Middle East are:
  1. Who fights?
  2. Who supports these people?
  3. Who wants to keep doing it?
If we look at it this way, things get more complicated, and simpler.  The answers are:
  1. Lots and lots of people.  ISIS is only the latest of a long like of jihadis.  We can treat them as the Übermenschen or followers of Bushido.  In the short term, all we can do is kill them in bushel loads.
  2. Lots and lots of people, most importantly the royal houses of the Gulf States.  Not only do the royals not like us, but they have been keen to play the game of shipping their malcontent jihadis off to die fighting us, not at home.  It's no accident that 18 of the 20 9/11 hijackers were Saudi.  We will need to cause these people massive pain to get them to stop supporting the jihadis.
  3. Lots of people.  Large overlap with #2, but also includes Iran, most of Europe's Intelligentsia, Russia, China, and most of the geopolitical stage.  We will need to carefully analyze which of these we can peel off, and how to twist the arms of the others.
I posit that #1 is immediate and tactical, and actually air strikes may not be a bad approach - although we will need serious air power, not the pin pricks likely from the current Administration.

#2 is the most urgent strategic goal.  The approach we should take here is a list of demands for the Royal Houses - round up and kill these jihadis, throttle back on Wahabi exports, dry up the flow of money.  The "Or Else" is that we will (a) open public lands for oil fracking, aiming to drive the price of oil down to $70/bbl (lower than that it's not economic to extract the oil) and (b) withdraw entirely from the region.  No more protection from the US Military for the Royal Houses.

Whether this will work or not, there will be a lot of late night discussions in Riyadh and Qatar.  And in Moscow and elsewhere.

Europe likes to natter on about how we exercise "hard power" while they exercise "soft power".  Well OK, then.  Check out this soft power, biatches.

This game is about changing how people think, just like 1944-45 was about changing how people think.  We will never change that without changing how we think.  Whether the US Government is up to the task is a question for another day.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Problem of Non-State Enemy Combatants

Several comments to my post suggesting we should declared war back in '01 after the September 11th attacks questioned my assertion. I think this sums it up pretty well, "On whom were we going to declare war? How would we know when we've won/lost/tied? Who would sign the peace treaty for the other side?"

I would reply that we committed our troops, our nation's military resources, and our money without a declaration of war or an answer to any of those questions. Instead of putting the question to Congress, and following our written Constitution, Pr. Bush committed us to an undeclared war, with no defined goals, no defined enemy, and no idea of what victory would consist of.

We spent the lives and health of some very fine men and women. We spent money we didn't have. We wore out our military and our equipment. And we accomplished almost nothing. If we could not find answers to those questions, then we should not have gone at all. If we, as a nation, could not decide to defend ourselves through our Constitutional process, we should have buried our dead, marked it up as acceptable losses, and moved on.

That declaration of war would have put the questions you are asking front and center, kept Congress in it's proper role, and allowed the citizens of the States to hold their Congress members to account for the decisions they made, the votes they cast, and the rationale they offered for those votes.

Instead, we got nation building. Mission creep. Thirteen years of undeclared war with no end in sight. We still have troops in battle, we are still taking losses, we are still spending money we don't have, and now we are getting ready to do some more.

And for all of that, I totally agree with your questions. Even today I want to know, "How will we know when we've won/lost/tied? Who is going to sign the peace treaty for the other side?"


A Public Service Announcement

Any other family members who think I'm an a$$hole, please take a number.  The line forms outside.  You can take the door in the back.

Don't let it hit you in the butt on your way out.

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by the Ad Council in association with Foxtrot Oscar, Ltd.  We now return you to your regular scheduling.

If you used a debit card at Home Depot, change your PIN

Banks see spike in ATM Fraud after Home Depot compromise:
Nearly a week after this blog first reported signs that Home Depot was battling a major security incident, the company has acknowledged that it suffered a credit and debit card breach involving its U.S. and Canadian stores dating back to April 2014. Home Depot was quick to assure customers and banks that no debit card PIN data was compromised in the break-in. Nevertheless, multiple financial institutions contacted by this publication are reporting a steep increase over the past few days in fraudulent ATM withdrawals on customer accounts.

The card data for sale in the underground that was stolen from Home Depot shoppers allows thieves to create counterfeit copies of debit and credit cards that can be used to purchase merchandise in big box stores. But if the crooks who buy stolen debit cards also are able to change the PIN on those accounts, the fabricated debit cards can then be used to withdraw cash from ATMs.
If you've used your debit card at a Home Depot in the last few months, change your PIN.  Better safe than sorry.

Thirteen Years

Thirteen years after the attack on Pearl Harbor it was December 1954. The risk of an attack by assets of Germany or Japan in December 1954 could reasonably be called low.

We are thirteen years past the attacks on the United States that occurred on September 11th, 2001. Would anyone be surprised if the United States was attacked again today? Tomorrow?

George Bush's biggest mistake was not going to Congress on September 12, 2001 and asking for a declaration of war.

Does Politics stop at the water's edge?

Congress is making huffing and puffing noises about military action against ISIS:

The president who ran to end the Iraq war announced a broad, aggressive military campaign in the region to stop a new terrorist threat on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In a primetime address to the nation Wednesday night, President Obama forcefully laid out plans to dramatically expand U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq well beyond their original missions and to extend the aggressive military action into Syria — all in a “relentless” effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

“Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, [the Islamic State] through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy,” he said in an address from the White House's State Room.
When Democrats say this, they mean airstrikes and only airstrikes.  These are photogenic, providing great pictures for the nightly news, but won't be effective.  They never are, without boots on the ground.  And here's the dilemma: since the Democrats haven't supported boots on the ground since LBJ, we can expect a lot of explosive futility from this.

Politics stops at the water's edge hasn't been true for nearly half a century:


The Democratic Party's base is strongly anti-war, having shed pretty much all the Scoop Jackson Democrats and anyone who isn't ideologically pure.  It hasn't been an America focused big tent since, well, since Jimmy Carter drove the party into a ditch.  It's nothing but coercive identity politics now.

And so pardon me if I hesitate in supporting sending our Guys into harm's way under these circumstances.  If I thought that the Administration had a plan other than a flashy media campaign to get this out of the polls, I'd feel different, perhaps.

But I don't trust President Obama on this.  He didn't show any of the "care" he talked about here.  He didn't do any of it.



I don't trust Secretary of State Kerry, who has always been clear what he thinks about the military (and no, this isn't the I voted for it before I voted against it quote).



I don't trust former Secretary of State Clinton, who doesn't support the military any more than Kerry does.



This isn't the rank and file, this is the top leadership.  None of them are interested in doing what it would take.  All of them have been happy to not let politics end at the water's edge.

And so I find that on the anniversary of 9/11, no - I don't support more military action over there.  I don't see how we can ask some kid to be the last guy to die to Barack Obama's poll numbers.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Not Over It


I was working in a university multimedia department in September 2001. We had access to the video feeds from the satellite dishes on the roof of our building. Just before 9 AM, we heard that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. We turned on a monitor. I was standing there watching it when the second plane hit and the world changed.

We routed a couple of the satellite feeds to display on monitors, and starting watching whatever was been sent along with several of the network channels. The news kept coming, the Pentagon, then Flight 93, and we watched people die. Managers in the national news rooms made the decision not to air what was coming off the satellites. The news crews in New York were sending it, but it was just too much to put on the air.

Because people were jumping. Right up until the building collapsed, people  trapped above the fire made the only remaining decision in their power and chose not to burn.