Thursday, March 31, 2022


A mime is a terrible thing to waste. 

Who here remembers Animaniacs (good Lord, can it really be 30 years ago?) and their "Mime Time" segments?

What is it with the Air Force and Bronze Stars?

As a follow up to yesterday's post about excessive fruit salad on military leadership, it seems that this is a persistent problem with the Air Force in particular.  Here's the relevant bit from Wikipedia (yeah, I know - Wikipedia; but it is all sourced):

In 2012, two U.S. airmen were allegedly subjected to cyber-bullying after receiving Bronze Star Medals for meritorious non-combat service. The two airmen, who had received the medals in March 2012, had been finance NCOICs in medical units deployed to the War in Afghanistan. The awards sparked a debate as to whether or not the Air Force was awarding too many medals to its members, and whether the Bronze Star should be awarded for non-combat service.[20] This prompted the Air Force to take down stories of the two posted to the internet, and to clarify its criteria for awarding medals. The Air Force contended that meritorious service awards of the Bronze Star outnumber valor awards, and that it views awards on a case-by-case basis to maintain the integrity of the award.[21]

This is not the first time that the USAF has been criticized for offering this award. The Department of Defense investigated the award of the Bronze Star Medal (BSM) by the USAF to some 246 individuals after operations in Kosovo in 1999. All but 60 were awarded to officers, and only 16 of those awarded were actually in the combat zone. At least five were awarded to officers who never left Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. During this campaign, the Navy had awarded 69 BSMs, and the Army with 5,000 troops in neighboring Albania (considered part of the combat zone) awarded none.[22][23] In the end, there was a Pentagon review and decision by Congress in 2001 to stop the awarding of Bronze Stars to personnel outside the combat zone.[24]

So Gen. Wolters came by his Bronze Stars honestly, at least by Air Force standards at the time.  Your standards might be different, as are mine.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The problem with our Military leadership, in a single picture

Zerohedge has an article about how NATO Supreme Commander Gen. Tod Wolters had to walk back Biden's comments on Ukraine.  That's embarrassing, but the photo of Gen. Wolters caught my eye:

Man, that's a lot of ribbons.  Here they are in expanded form (via Wolter's Wikipedia page):

That's thirty-four ribbons by my count, plus Pilot and Basic Space Operations badges.  Now compare with a different General who only had ten ribbons after a longer career:

It makes you wonder which General had the more impressive career, doesn't it?  (Actually, it doesn't).

Our Navy ships are covered with rust and keep running into huge container ships in an empty Pacific ocean, we evacuated Afghanistan while leaving tens of thousands behind - after losing a 20 year war), the Military spends more time on correct pronoun use than on actual warfighting training.  A fish rots from the head.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

OK, I'll play

Glen Filthie posted about some Twitter Chick and her, well, challenge:

He has his suggestions from North of the Border, so go read.  So here is my answer to Inna's excellent question.  Vladimir Putin is welcome to:

  • California, Oregon, and Washington.  Sorry, we keep Alaska (and Canada keeps Yukon, per Glen).  Note to Vlad - there's a real crime problem in Seattle and Portland, and San Francisco has a problem with the homeless crapping on the street.  Maybe the Russian Mob can fix all this.
  • New England, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania east of Harrisburg.  Sorry for northern Maine and New Hampshire but y'all know that you're screwed with all the Boston refugees.  Not to mention Glen giving away Quebec.
  • Chicago, Denver, and Albuquerque.  Giving these "City-States" away will being sanity to Illinois, Colorado, and New Mexico.  Well, some sanity.  For a bonus, we'll throw in Austin if Vlad promises to keep it weird.
  • Minnesota.  'nuff said.

I reserve the right to "gift" other places to Russia in the future.  Maybe in exchange for some good Vodka.

So let me know what you think in the comments.  Did I leave out anything important?

Quote Of The Day - Queen Of The World snark edition

Do you think it's a coincidence that the Minnesota State bird is a loon?  Asking for a friend.

She's right, you know.  Even if Governor Jesse "The Body" Ventura could not be reached for comment.

Monday, March 28, 2022


What does a triceratops sit on?

His tricerabottom. 

Saturday, March 26, 2022

Wolfgang has a houseguest


Augie, 7 months old.  He likes playing chase and so does Wolfgang.

Friday, March 25, 2022

Quote of the Day, Online Voting snark edition

This one is a joint effort by Aesop and your humble host, commenting on my post Online Voting is A Persistently Bad Idea

Aesop: Like people haven't already absorbed the lesson of what happens when you order a president online?

Borepatch: You get one from China. 

 I'm here all week.  Try the veal.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Online voting is a persistently bad idea

Via Cold Fury, PJ Media writes about Redo Voting's Internet voting system.

tl;dr: Oh Hells No.

Longer discussion: it's QR codes on scratch off lotto style tickets, with a lot of crypto (SHA-2 512!) thrown in.  I haven't dug into the details but there are at least two glaring security holes here:

1. Your ballot seems to be stored unencrypted (you get a PDF file of your vote).  Sure, there's strong crypto (a SHA-2 hash of your ballot) to prove that it was your ballot, but anyone who gets into the data store will be able to post lists of who voted for whom.  If you think about California's Proposition 8 and how Brendan Eich was fired from his leadership role at Mozilla, this is very bad juju.  

Now maybe I'm wrong and the data is encrypted, but reading through their web site they don't say this at all.  This seems a really important item for a company touting "Unparalleled Security".

2. Their ballot counting software is, well a server.  Anyone who can hack the server can fiddle the results.  Duh.  When you think of Internet Security you have to think in terms of who the attacker might be and what their motivation might be.  Given the huge financial benefits of winning a US national election (not to mention the geopolitical implications) you have to assume that the threat isn't script kiddies or hactavists, but rather foreign state actors.  Or heck, domestic Three Letter Agency actors.

Do you think you can protect yourself against the NSA or the Russian FSB?  I don't think I can defend myself from them, and I don't think that Redo Voting can, either.  These attackers could easily justify funding tens of millions of dollars for a single attack - which could be as simple as bribing a system administrator to look the other way.

Game over, man.  Never mind that some more thought would almost certainly come up with more problems, this is enough.

So no, this is not a good idea.  It's actually a stupendously BAD idea, wrapped in crypto marketing fluff.  Maybe I'm being unfair to Redo Voting, but all I have to go on is what they say on their web site.  Quite frankly, it's very unconvincing.  What we need is not technology that helps centralize the voting process "for convenience"; we need distributed systems that need thousands of people to subvert.  Quite frankly, paper ballots are pretty hard to beat at this.

But if you like the fact that perhaps a quarter of the US population has serious questions about the integrity of the 2020 election, and if you would like to get that over 50%, then this is the bee's knees.  Otherwise, run away.  Keep running.  Don't look back.


I'd tell you a joke about perforated paper, but it's tear-able. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Shirley Ellis - The Clapping Song

The Queen Of The World brought an idea to me - songs which all you Old Farts will recognize.  She was singing to me - this song - and I thought she'd lost her mind.  Instead, she was leading me to (ahem) Old Fart crowd pleasers.

I probably will make this a regular feature, although I cannot rely on the ever-youthful TQOTW for material.  For you Old Farts, I mean.

Damn, I remember 1965.  I guess I'm an Old Fart.

We've known the cut of Mitt Romney's jib for a long time

Mitt is in the news beating the drum for war in Ukraine.  Lots of tough talk, including accusing people of treason.  Looks like quite the fighter, right?

Except we've known what he is for a long, long time.  Ten years ago I called out what he is and the past decade has not given me cause to rethink anything.  I took some heat on this back then but believe that the intervening years has proven that he would have been a disaster as President.

In which I endorse Barack Obama for President

Stick with me on this, because I am motivated by hope and change.

The race essentially is between Obama and Romney - Ron Paul is interesting but whatever impact he has had is over.  Likewise, the Libertarian (whatzisname?) will get the typical Libertarian 2%.  As adults, we need to face reality that this is President Composite Girlfriend vs. Mittens.  OK then, which way will make us better off?

Let me start my cheerfully admitting that a second Obama term - unfettered by the need for re-election and likely facing a Congress entirely controlled by the GOP - will be a disaster of faculty lounge inspired radicalism.  It will be EPA killing oil production and the ATF arming the Iranian Mullahs.  He will moot card carrying communists for the Supreme Court, as well as for every open Federal Bench seat.  Nobody can constrain his radicalism now, and it will be much, much worse come January.

So what about Romney?  He's an Establishment Fixer to the core, as his record as Governor of Massachusetts shows.  While he might not support new gun control laws today, he was happy to in the past when he felt the need to "reach across the aisle" to "make an impact" (build a political career).  While he may not support huge State-sponsored intrusion into your private business today (RomneyCare), he was happy to in the past - again, when he felt the need to "reach across the aisle" to "make an impact".  Romney is easy to figure - just ask yourself what's most beneficial for Mitt Romney right now, and that's what he'll support.

He has an exquisitely refined sense of sniffing out tactical personal gain, and does not suffer from a surfeit of political philosophy like those boring old Founding Fathers did, with all their tiresome talk of liberty.

He's Gov.Party the Lesser.

And so we must vote for Obama.  He's the only hope for real change.

The GOP in general, and Mitt Romney in particular are big-government, big-spending, big-intrusion-into-our-business.  The Republic is facing a fiscal crisis - the nation's credit has been downgraded, the Entitlement programs are just now tipping into a bottomless sea of red ink, the middle class has been hammered with collapsing housing valuations, persistent unemployment, and a higher education bubble that is ensuring that our children graduate with so much student debt that they will never be able to marry.

And where are the bold reforms from the GOP?  The best on offer is Paul Ryan's plan which won't balance the budget for three decades.

And dig this: the Media will savage a President Romney mercilessly in hopes that he will falter, lose heart and supporters at the savage attacks, and think it will be in his best interest to reach across the aisle to preserve his re-election chances.  The media will think this because Romney has shown repeatedly that he'll cave if it builds his personal political chances.

So what about change?  We're actually seeing change today, before our eyes.  Just ask Orin Hatch, in the fight of his political life against a Tea Party candidate.  Or ask (former) Senator Bennett, or (former) Congressman Castle.  A Million people were energized to take to the streets to protest, two years ago.  That's change.  And you know what they were protesting?

Barack Obama and his vision for a remade America.

That's what you give up by voting Mitt Romney into the White House.  In six months, Romney will be a sad sack, pummeled by the media into losing his "conservative" veneer (and let's be honest, no one believes he's actually a conservative).

A RINO President will demoralize the one significant spark of change that we've seen, the onlyreaction to an out of control Fed.Gov, our only hope of putting the brakes on before we're as wrecked as Greece.  And quite frankly, a withering of the Tea Party reform movement will be a delight to a GOP Establishment every bit as corrupt and venal - and power mad - as Nancy Pelosi.

And so, it is our civic duty to take a hit for our Country.  Put Obama back in office, unfettered.  The orgy of Progressive overreach by Regulation will be sporadically (and mostly ineffectively) resisted by a corrupt Big Government GOP.  The Agencies will rule the land, and the economy will remain seized up.

And rather than a million Tea Partiers taking to the streets, it will be two million, or three.  Rather than five or ten corrupt GOP Establishment corrks turned out of office, it will be thirty, or fifty.

And that will be the time when the calculators like Mitt Romney will get the idea that they will most likely advance their career by striking down the Progressive beast, again and again.

Because if that message doesn't come across loud and clear, and repeatedly, then the game is over.  It simply won't matter who's in office, because they're both the Establishment Party.

So vote Obama this November.  I do not say this from anger, or frustration, or peevishness, but from cold, rational calculation.  Sure it will be painful, but we got into this mess because like Bluto in Animal House, we f***ed up: we trusted the GOP.

We screwed up, and believed all this, and the government never got smaller under the GOP.  It got bigger, and more intrusive, and more remote from the people, yea even under St. Ron.  Maybe it's too late for us, but if it's not then the only way forward is to burn the GOP to the waterline.  The most expedient way is to keep the Tea Party energized, and a President Romney will cause many to fall away from that movement under the eleventh commandment (another Reagan philosophy).

Well screw that noise.  We f***ed up once, trusting him and the rest of the GOP team.  How's that working out?  Rebuilding a party that Reagan might actually recognize is what this country needs - and right now, damn it - and Mitt Romney isn't the man to do it.

Barack Obama is.

Hope and Change.  Your country depends on you.  Your children and grandchildren will wonder what you did at the Republic's darkest hour.  Don't let them down.  Vote Obama.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


The detective solved the murder in minutes.

It was a brief case. 

Monday, March 21, 2022

And I don't Even Like Budweiser

But sometimes you get surprised.

Sunday, March 20, 2022

So what's the difference between Ukraine and Canada?

I'm thinking that the Russia.Gov invaded the Ukraine a month ago.

But the Can.Gov invaded Canada a year ago.

Maybe we should send Javelin Missiles to Canada, eh Hoser?

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Liane Edwards and the Dust Raisers - Homewrecker

It's a long way from Indian Trail, North Carolina to Varetz, France -  but Country Music is a thread that joins them.  

Leigh Ann Abernethy started singing in the Indian Trail Baptist Church in the 1970s.  After she graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in French, she headed across the Pond and settled down there as Liane Edwards.  She's been singing with the Dust Raisers for 30 years, writing a bunch of her own music.  She was voted Songwriter of the Year in 2017 in the French Country Highway Awards.

But even though across the sea we find that while you can take the girl out of Carolina, you can't take the Carolina out of the girl.  This song only has 463 views on Youtube which is a crying shame.  It's the real deal.  Formidable!

Good stuff.  Like I said, this is the real deal.  Or as her web site puts it (en francais), Liane Edwards est un shot de whiskey dans un monde de Coca.  Endorsed.

Friday, March 18, 2022

Quote of the Day - Conspiracy Theories edition

Francis Porretto thinks that we are entering the Golden Age of conspiracy theories and that it's all the Media's fault:

Now, whatever the truth of the matter – and it may be quite a long time before we have it, if we ever do – the proliferation of wild theories is a direct consequence of the loss of trust in the major media. The dynamic is fairly straightforward:

  • The organs of information have proved themselves un-trustworthy, and the fora for discussion arbitrarily silence persons who deviate from the “official truth.”
  • Thereafter, conversation will admit any and every thesis that might explain why we’re being force-fed a steady diet of lies.
  • Since there are innumerable possible explanations for such a thing, they will multiply and proliferate without limit.
  • The “zero plausibility threshold” was set by the major media, which have demonstrated indifference to the truth.

     Perhaps this would be beyond the comprehension of a small child. However, I’d expect a teenager to get it without a beat. Look at how much crap the “authorities” in their lives feed them.

I think he's right.  When all the media's legitimacy got sucked out of the room, something was going to fill the vacuum.  I guess we're seeing what that is.


What's the difference between a poorly dressed man on a tricycle and a well dressed mad on a bicycle? 


Thursday, March 17, 2022

Irish music for St. Paddy's Day

Chris Lynch posted a great list a couple years back.  Endorsed. 

Turlough O'Carolan - various Irish classical tunes

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  This is my traditional Paddy's Day post.

What is the "Classical Music" of Ireland? It's not (Italian) Opera, or (German) symphonies, or even an (English) homage to Ralph Vaughan Williams (who studied under an Irish music professor) "countryside music" in the concert hall. Instead, we find something ancient
We find something that easily might not have been.  Turlough O'Carolan (1670 – 25 March 1738) was the son of a blacksmith.  His father took a job for the MacDermot Roe family; Mrs. MacDermot Roe gave the young lad some basic schooling and saw in him a talent for poetry; when a few years later the 18 year old Turlough went blind after a bout of smallpox, she had him apprenticed to a harpist.  He soon was travelling the land, composing and singing.

This tradition was already ancient by the early 1700s.  it was undeniably Celtic, dating back through the Middle Ages, through the Dark Ages, through Roman times to a barbarous Gaul.  There bards travelled the lands playing for their supper on the harp.

This was O'Carolan's stock in trade.  He rapidly became the most famous singer in the Emerald Isle.  It is said that weddings and funerals were delayed until he was in the vicinity.  One of his most famous compositions - if you have spent any time at all listening to Irish music, you know this tune - was considered too "new fangled" by the other harpists of his day.  Fortunately, he didn't listen to their criticisms.

He married very late, at 50, and had many children.  But his first love was Brigid, daughter of the Schoolmaster at a school for the blind.  He always seemed to have carried a torch for her.

So why is this post in the normal slot reserved for Classical Music?  Listen to this composition of his, and you see the bridge from the archaic Celts to Baroque harpsichord.

And keep in mind how this brilliance might never have blazed, had Mrs. MacDermot Roe not seen the talent in a blind Irish boy and set him upon a path trod by many equally unexpected geniuses, all the way back to St. Patrick.  It is truly said that we never know what our own path will be until we set our foot down on it.

But his was an ancient path and he inherited much from those who trod it before him.  His "Farewell to Music" is said to be more in the traditional mold, and might have been appreciated at a feast held by Vercingetorix before the battle of Alesia.

This music is a bridge between modern and the ancient that disappears into the mists of legend.  Perhaps more importantly, it is a music that is still alive today, after a run of perhaps two and a half millenia.  You don't get more classical than that.

And it is a music where you still hear the yearning of a young blind man for his muse, Brigid.  That is a vitality that should not be exiled to a single day of celebration, even if it is for as illustrious a Saint as Patrick.  On this Feast Day, remember just how deep the roots of our civilization run.

(Originally posted March 16, 2014)

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

The Queen Of The World whispered sweet nothings in my ear ...

"I'm out of .380."

I actually don't think that's nothing ...

Who knew?

Pretty much everyone knows that there was Napoleon.  A lot of folks know that there was a Napoleon III who was defeated by what became the German Empire in 1870.

What I hadn't known was that there were a lot more Napoleons.  It seems that Napoleon VI was a hero in the French Resistance in World War II. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022


 The roundest knight at King Arthur's Court was Sir Cumference.

He always had too much pi.

Happy Birthday Santa Claus!

More formally: St. Nicholas of Myra, born on this day in 270 AD.

In addition to being the patron saint of children, he is also the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, brewers, pawnbrokers, unmarried people, and students.  The Queen Of Thee World swears that he's also patron saint of christmas trees and chimneys, but I hadn't heard that before.


I went to the Air And Space museum.  There wasn't anything there. 

Monday, March 14, 2022


What do you call a broken can opener?

A can't opener. 

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Vladimir Putin is the worstest ever!!!!11!!!eleventy!!

There is a *ton* of propaganda about what's happening in Ukraine right now, maybe 80% of it from the Ukranian side.  This makes it hard to know what is actually, you know, happening there.  This is a very long and very interesting analysis of (a) current situation, (b) Ukraine.Gov motives, (c) Russia.Gov motives, and (d) US.Gov/NATO motives.

Highly, highly recommended.

And this part seems to me to hit center mass:

In my analysis, the Ukrainians are mass mobilizing their civilian population to use them as human shields, and then parade their bodies on Western media. These forces will be poorly armed and trained, and have little military usefulness. They will make it more costly for Russian forces to enter Ukrainian cities, but as I mentioned previously, the Russian solution to this problem is the simply level the city. In the end, all of these armed civilians will die, their cities destroyed, with nothing gained. I believe this is in fact the goal of the Ukrainian leadership, who are being cheered on towards this end either consciously or not by Americans and other Westerners. I think Ukrainian leadership is hoping for Russia to flattened cities and inflict mass deaths among the civilian population for PR purposes. With their mass mobilization of urban populations, the Ukrainian leadership is putting the Russian forces in a similar position that Hamas puts Israel’s IDF in. What Hamas does, is hide their forces in dense urban centers from where they stage attacks on Israel. The Israelis are faced with a dilemma, either they tolerate Hamas’s attacks, or they shoot back which will inevitably inflict civilian casualties. The Palestinians in turn show dead civilians and destroyed building on Western news media with the intention of ruining Israel’s international reputation. Both Hamas and Ukraine are using their civilians as human shields. Civilians throwing Molotov cocktails at Russian tanks will achieve nothing, other than getting themselves killed. This should be obvious. As America is weaponizing its “cancel culture” for foreign policy objectives, Russia will be endless maligned in Western media if the Ukrainian strategy succeeds. Personally I find it quite sick that Westerners are cheering the Ukrainians on with this strategy. What they are doing, whether consciously or not, is to sacrifice endless Ukrainian lives all for a narrative to be built of Ukrainian martyrdom.

Take a half hour to read the whole thing which is best described as (ahem) Borepatchian in length.  Or maybe even longer.  But there's a ton of food for thought, at least for folks who don't appreciate being manipulated by increasingly transparent propaganda.

And when I say "increasingly transparent propaganda" I really, really mean increasingly transparent propaganda.  For example, the "New York Times" journalist who was just killed.  The headline?  

BREAKING: Award-Winning AMERICAN Filmmaker and Journalist Shot Dead By Russian Troops...Here Are The Details

Wow, just wow.

Except, not so fast.  Here's the interesting graf from that very article:
Daily Mail reports – Initially, he was thought to have been on assignment for The New York Times because he was carrying a press badge that listed the newspaper as his publication but it has since emerged he was working on a global film about refugees.
So was he or wasn't he covering things for the NYT?  Like I said, increasingly transparent propaganda that is increasingly disconnected from facts.  Certainly this is a tragedy for him and his family - actually the whole damn war is a tragedy for millions and their families - but wartime journalism is known to be a dangerous profession.  Remember the 15 journalists killed in the opening weeks of the Iraq war?

Like I said, I would love a higher caliber of news reporting from Ukraine.  It feels like the original link to Alexander's Cartographer is providing what used to be provided by regular journalists.  Is it, or is it a more subtle and less obvious propaganda?  Who can say?

But it seems that most of what you read is clearly drivel.  I'd like a higher caliber drivel, please.  Go read the whole thing which does not feel to me like drivel, but rather reasoned discussion.

Richard Farrelly/Victor Young - Theme from "The Quiet Man"

The Quiet Man is a mixed bag - beautifully filmed in Ireland and with strong performances by John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.  But it feels dated, with over-easy reliance on all sorts of stereotypes that accumulate over the course of the film and add up to nails on chalkboard.  The lazy, shiftless Irish men, the incompetent railroad employees, the negotiation over O'Hara's dowry.

But this was the most popular film of 1953.  It was nominated for seven Oscars, and won two.  The castle in the film is a luxury hotel catering to fans.  The town of Cong is a tourist destination.  It's all a real mix.

But the music is pretty nice, and is also pretty interesting.  John Ford produced and directed the film, and chose the theme song personally.  "Isle of Innisfree" was written by Irish composer (and policeman) Richard Farrelly, and incorporated into the soundtrack by Victor Young who did the movie score.  The score incorporated man Irish songs, although they were chosen by Young rather than Ford.  The video editing here is not so great but the music sure is nice.

Farrelly composed his song n a bus journey to Dublin.  It became the most famous of his over 200 songs.  Bing Crosby recorded the version that caused John Ford to include it in the film.

Saturday, March 12, 2022


Did you hear about the new invisible airplane? 

Me, I just can't see it taking off.

Liam Kelly - Working Man Blues

This week is St. Patrick's Day when everyone is Irish.  Interestingly, the ever-musical Irish have a flair for Country music so this is a bit of a two way street.  The Irish mania for Country music is best seen on Glór Tíre, one of the most watched Irish TV shows - sort of a Country music American Idol from Ireland; if it were any more awesome it would collapse into a black hole of awesome.

Country music - it's as America as Corned Beef and Cabbage ...

Liam Kelly won Glór Tíre in 2015.  This is a Merle Haggard, toe-tapping Country song.  Enjoy!

Workin' Man Blues (Songwriter: Merle Haggard)

It's a big job just gettin' by with nine kids and a wife
I been a workin' man dang near all my life
I'll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
I'll drink my beer in a tavern,
Sing a little bit of these working man blues

I keep my nose on the grindstone, I work hard every day
Might get a little tired on the weekend, after I draw my pay
But I'll go back workin, come Monday morning I'm right back with the crew
I'll drink a little beer that evening,
Sing a little bit of these working man blues

Hey hey, the working man, the working man like me
I ain't never been on welfare, that's one place I won't be
Cause I'll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
I drink a little beer in a tavern
Sing a little bit of these working man blues

Sometimes I think about leaving, do a little bummin around
I wanna throw my bills out the window catch a train to another town
But I go back working I gotta buy my kids a brand new pair of shoes
Yeah drink a little beer in a tavern,
Cry a little bit of these working man blues

Hey hey, the working man, the working man like me
I ain't never been on welfare, that's one place I won't be
Cause I'll be working long as my two hands are fit to use
I drink a little beer in a tavern
Sing a little bit of these working man blues
Yeah drink a little beer in a tavern,
Cry a little bit of these working man blues

Friday, March 11, 2022

Life imitates the Cinema, hilariously

A couple of current events made me chuckle.  J.Kb posts about an invasion of giant spiders dropping from the sky in Georgia. (and I thought there were weird fauna in Florida ...)

Anyhow, it made me think of this classicly bad horror flick from the 70s:

There are a number of things that are cool about this flick.  It is bad enough that it was shown on Mystery Science Theater.  It also stars Barbara Hale, who portrayed Della Street on Perry Mason.  It also starred Alan Hale, Jr. (no relation to Barbara) who was the Skipper on Gilligan's IslandAnd it predicted the future for Georgia, seemingly.  Here's the trailer (note that the entire film is on Youtube):

Next, Peter points out the cutting edge of feminism in space:

Today's [Doofus of the Day] award goes to a group of rather… weird German feminists with an interest in space.

A German feminist art group has revealed a vulva-shaped spaceship concept, which it is encouraging the European Space Agency to help realise in order to better represent humanity in space and "restore gender equality to the cosmos."

He's not joking, so click through for the hilarity.  But this made me think of this scene from the original Austin Powers movie:

 Like fart jokes, johnson jokes never go out of style.  No report as to whether the ladies were joking or not ...

Dad Joke CLXXX

I got a drone, but it got stuck in a tree.

It's not the worst thing that happened to me today, but it's right up there. 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Russia's intercontinental nuclear torpedo


Poseidon is an ‘Intercontinental Nuclear-Powered Nuclear-Armed Autonomous Torpedo’. It is a giant torpedo which can hit coastal cities with devastating results. Compared to an intercontinental ballistic missile it is very slow, but possibly unstoppable.

Russia maintains that it can also be used as a tactical nuclear weapon against warships. High-value targets would include aircraft carriers. This is harder to rationalize than the second-strike nuclear deterrence role, but it is a constant theme. Ever since it was first revealed in November 2015, then known as Status-6. it has been described as a multirole system.

The weapon’s expected speed, around 70 knots, is fast enough to make it realistically uncatchable to existing torpedoes. And its operating depths, perhaps as deep as 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) puts it beyond reach. Western planners will have to develop new weapons to intercept it. And that will take considerable time and investment.

It uses a mini nuclear reactor for power, and can deliver a small nuclear warhead.

Hat tip: Isegoria, who always finds cool stuff.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022


Where do you find the Arnold Schwarzenegger action figures in the Megamart?

Aisle B, back. 

Inflation impoverishes the poor

So says The World Bank:

Using polling data for 31,869 households in 38 countries and allowing for country effects, Easterly and Fischer show that the poor are more likely than the rich to mention inflation as a top national concern. This result survives several robustness checks.

Also, direct measures of improvements in well-being for the poor - the change in their share of national

income, the percentage decline in poverty, and the percentage change in the real minimum wage - are negatively correlated with inflation in pooled cross- country samples.

High inflation tends to lower the share of the bottom quintile and the real minimum wage - and tends to increase poverty.

So record inflation (remember that the Fed.Gov changed the way that inflation is measured so that food and energy prices are no longer counted - meaning that the "Highest inflation in 40 years" actually means "Highest inflation ever") is driving people into poverty at a record rate.  Because the resident of the Oval Office has a "D" after his name I don't expect this to be reported in the Media, but keep this in mind when anyone tells you nonsense like "the Democrats are the only ones to do anything for the poor."

Yeah, they do something, all right.  Good and hard.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Robert Heinlein (and most classic SF writers) were right

Well, they were right about one thing - a ginormous room to house computers in their novels.  Let me explain.

Tam writes (and I wholeheartedly agree) that "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" is Heinlein's finest novel.  Go read her kind-of review, but this part triggered a thought:

About the most noticeable anachronisms are that almost all communication seems to be by wired landline, although low powered suit radios are mentioned, and the idea of a huge room-sized computer running most of the moon is odd if you allow yourself to stop and think about it, but the plot steps along well enough that you probably won't.

Strangely, a huge room housing a computer that runs the Moon is sort of what's shaping up in today's modern IT technology.  Computing is racing to "The Cloud" which is a series of technologies that let you basically rent computer time from service providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS).  The key breakthroughs that made this possible include:

  • Ubiquitous high speed Internet access;
  • Scalable, reliable, Open Source operating systems (e.g. Linux)
  • Enhancements like Docker and Kubernetes that let microservices spin up as needed, and spin down when they are no longer needed.

What's weird is that things have come sort of full circle from the 1960s and 1970 where you had the computer room behind glass walls and you submitted programs to the Operator at the desk.  Only now everything is automatic and controlled through an API.

What's driving this is that if you use the Cloud you get a lot of benefits:

  • Higher availability that you could likely afford on your own.  Maybe not the fabled "Five 9s" (99.999% uptime) but for sure 3 Nines.  This is probably prohibitively expensive for you to do on your own because you have to buy a bunch of servers and put them in geographically separated data centers.
  • Better security than you could probably afford on your own.  Good security is expensive, but if the servers are cookie-cutter installs then one security guy can cover a lot more of them.  Remember you need both computer security as well as physical security for the data center, which don't come cheap.  The Cloud dramatically lowers the cost to run a secure data center because you amortize the cost over many customers.
  • You don't need as much hardware because more capacity spins up as you need it and spins down when you don't.  You only pay for what you need, rather than a big fat check to cover the peak if you were to do it on your own.

And so things look like this now:

I think Heinlein and Asimov would recognize this instantly.

What's really weird about all of this was this story from Back In The Day.  I was at an early Internet conference (1992?) at a session on High Speed Networking (back then, 200 Mbps was righteous).  One presenter made the comment that if you imagine a fast enough network you could run the entire country from Data Centers in Kansas City.  We all laughed.

Except maybe you could run the country from Data Centers in Kansas City.  Funny how what's old is new again.


What do you call an apology letter written in dots and dashes? 

Re-Morse code.

Monday, March 7, 2022

The Queen Of The World speaks

TQOTW posted this to the Book of Feces.  Just like the Pope sometimes speaks ex cathedra, TQOTW is speaking from her throne.  So pay attention.

The Democrats were so proud of themselves as Biden signed bills to reverse all the good Trump did for this country, most notably the Alaskan pipeline. They didn’t care about the consequences then or now for this country - they just wanted to make sure they put Trump in his place. So how’s that working out for all of us now? They didn’t care about the ramifications, or how it would impact us. Had they not done that, we’d be self sufficient and prices for gas that will soon hit $5 or more per gallon would not be happening. So for those of you who are actually living and did vote for Biden, hope you’re happy! You’re as big a part of his treasonous acts as he is! Everyone knew he has dementia yet no one wants to admit it - except his son who made fun of it even before he ran for POTUS!

Gas jumped 20 cents a gallon overnight.  Even here in Florida it'll be over $4 a gallon Real Soon Now.  But hey - no mean tweets, amirite?

Tagged "Democrats suck" because, well, you know.

The Peasant's Rebellion

In 1381 an English construction worker named Wat Tyler had had enough of an oppressive and out of touch government.  He led a growing movement that became known as The Peasant's Revolt which descended on London and created panic and confusion in the government of King Richard II.

Richard wasn't a strong monarch, being only a boy at the time, and all of the peasants assembled before the city walls was an impressive sight.  The King negotiated with them to try to defuse the situation.  After all, the English Army was beating the French in the Hundred Year's War because of the yeoman Longbowmen who made up much of the peasant's armed host.

But it was all a ruse.  The King met with Tyler, something went wrong, and Tyler was cut down by the royal bodyguard.  The King rode out to address the peasant force who, leaderless, dispersed.  This is pretty typical of Peasant Revolts in general - very few of them have been successful.

US Truckers have descended on Washington, D.C., having had enough of an oppressive and out of touch government.  But they seem unfocused, with confused goals - the original "End the Covid mandates" having more or less been done before they reached DC.  I have no idea what they hope to accomplish.

Good luck to them, but history suggests that they are unlikely to be very successful at whatever they are trying to accomplish.

Sunday, March 6, 2022


If the networks don't report it, is it even happening? I was coming north on I-95 and almost every overpass had groups of people waving, flying flags, and holding signs supporting the truckers. If I saw one group, I saw 100, and I was only out there for 250 miles.

Saturday, March 5, 2022

Walker Hayes - Fancy Like

The Great White Whale that today's Nashville Producer Ahabs are constantly chasing is the cross-over mega hit.  This is why most Country songs don't sound like Country anymore.  Once in a while, they find one - artists like Taylor Swift or Keith Urban who may or may not sound Country even if there's a banjo playing.

But once in a great while, they find a mega crossover hit that's actually Country.  And it seems that we can thank the Covid lockdowns for it.

Walker Hayes is a singer-songwriter from Mobile, Alabama.  Like a bunch of singer-songwriters, he's a "ten year overnight sensation" - working for years in the belly of the Nashville beast before getting his breakout chance.  His chance came last August.  Unable to tour, he wrote a goofy song about his family and he and his teenage daughter came up with a goofy dance to go with it.  They were just having fun, but then lightening struck on Tik-Tok and thousands of people were filming themselves doing the dance.

And the song shot not just to #1 on the Billboard Country charts but #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It was a White Whale.

I have to say, this song is just fun.  Yes, it's Country Pop, but its family oriented, good-clean-fun themes are clearly Country.  Both The Queen Of The World and I enjoy this.  She suggested I post it this morning, so this is kind of a Command Performance.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Fancy Like (Songwriters: Walker Hayes,  Cameron Bartolini, Josh Jenkins, Shane Stevens)

My girl is bangin'
She's so low maintenance
Don't need no champagne poppin' entertainment
Take her to Wendy's
Can't keep her off me
She wanna dip me like them fries in her Frosty (frosty)

But every now and then when I get paid
I gotta spoil my baby with an upgrade (ayy)
Ayy, ayy, ayy

Yeah, we fancy like Applebee's on a date night
Got that Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo shake
Get some whipped cream on the top too
Two straws, one check, girl, I got you
Bougie like Natty in the styrofoam
Squeak-squeakin' in the truck bed all the way home
Some Alabama-jamma, she my Dixieland delight (ayy)
That's how we do, how we do, fancy like

(Fancy like, ooh)
(Fancy like, ooh)
(Fancy like, ooh)

Uh, don't need no Tesla to impress her (don't need no Tesla to impress her)
My girl is happy rollin' on a Vespa (there she go)
Don't need no mansion to get romancin' (ooh, woo)
She's super fine, double wide, slow dancin' (slow dancin')

But every now and then when I get paid
I gotta spoil my baby with an upgrade 
Ayy, ayy, ayy

Yeah, we fancy like Applebee's on a date night (that's right)
Got that Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo shake (ayy)
Get some whipped cream on the top too (gotta add that whipped cream)
Two straws, one check, girl, I got you (girl, I got you)
Bougie like Natty in the styrofoam (styrofoam)
Squeak-squeakin' in the truck bed all the way home (all the way home)
Some Alabama-jamma, she my Dixieland delight (ayy)
That's how we do, how we do, fancy like

My new clean blue jeans without the holes in 'em
Country kisses on my lips without Skoal in 'em
Yeah, she probably gon' be keeping some Victoria's Secrets
Maybe a little Maybelline but she don't need it
In the kitchen light, radio slows down
Boxed wine and her up-do goes down

Yeah, we fancy like Applebee's on a date night (that's right)
Got that Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo shake (ayy)
Get some whipped cream on the top too (gotta add that whipped cream)
Two straws, one check, girl, I got you
Bougie like Natty in the styrofoam (styrofoam)
Squeak-squeakin' in the truck bed all the way home (all the way home)
Some Alabama-jamma, she my Dixieland delight (ayy)
That's how we do, how we do, fancy like

And here's the dance he and his daughter invented that really kicked this off, along with a pretty interesting interview with him about the whole thing.

We have always been at war with East Asia

A fish doesn't notice the water it swims in.  The Western populations swim in a sea of State sponsored propaganda.  Perceptions are carefully shaped so that only Approved® preferences emerge.  Unfortunately for the "Elites" they have pushed the envelope so far from most people's perceived reality that propaganda collapses.  It seems that the American public remains sane:

The Economist/You Gov poll showed that despite a barrage of pro-war media coverage only 19% of Americans support "sending soldiers to Ukraine to fight Russian soldiers."

54% oppose.

You have to dig very deep in its poll story to find this gem. It is almost as if they were trying to manipulate the public.

So you have to dig to find out that Americans oppose World War III.  The "Elites" trying to shape public opinion have a long way to go still.  Good.

And the scare quotes around "Elites" is well earned.  A great post at Liberty's Torch lays out the case against them:

Rule by moral midgets is the rule now. The posturing Trump could not contain his feverish wish to bomb Syria in 2017 and Clinton before him inexplicably took it upon himself to bomb Serbia relentlessly for over 70 days. Obama chose groveling on the international stage as his signature gesture and his Secretary of State wet herself with glee at the death of Gaddafi. The entire political class of the United States has chosen to chase will-o’-the-wisps fueled by arrogance and delusions. Denial of fundamental biological reality is now an integral part of the mental processes of said class, superbly “educated” to a man but ignorant of life’s most precious truths.

It’s not only an American phenomenon. All but a few European leaders desire anything but national suicide by immigration to vindicate the most vaporous and sappy sentiments of compassion, fairness, and historical retribution. A mere 104 years after the massive slaughter of The Great War and not a one of that lot could summon the courage let alone vision to lift a finger to derail the asinine U.S. encroachment on Russia or question its inherent assumption of some unique Russian depravity or willful nonobservance of civilized norms. Slavic brutes!! Lessons learned from the reckless slide into the massive slaughter of modern industrial warfare? None.

Top.  Men.  Good thing the People still retain some common sense.

Friday, March 4, 2022


What happens when you put a duck in a cement mixer? 

You get quacks in the sidewalk.

Let them hate, so long as they fear

The Romans were hated by a lot of people in the ancient world.  This bothered the Romans not a bit.  Their attitude was spelled out in the post title, although the original latin has a certain je ne sais quoisOderint, dum metuant.

The Powers That Be in these United States seem to have forgotten that this is a dynamic, and that things done to instill fear can lead to hate.  Big Country hits this nail on the head looking at all the sanctions that the US PTB are piling on Russia:

Two is that #ourguys are purely fucking up by the numbers. Initially, the Russian Population was starting to protest against the war. Lots of Grannies, regular civvies, and yeah, Vlad had a crackdown on it, as he is wont to be. However, all this 'other stuff'... the cutting off of Paypal, Applepay, Goolagpay, services and well, just about any and all economic 'stuff' in Russia by OUR Oligarchs?

Yeah, that's not helping us... in fact it just goes to prove the point to the Russian People that Putin IS right and that they, the Russian People as a whole have been targeted by the dissolute and decadent west for elimination. Hell, it ain't a hard argument to make, and we're proving it by putting the hurt on the Russian People as a whole. The Russians as history has shown rally around The Rodina when shit like this happens. A nearly singlemindedness and even bloodthirsty willingness to protect The Motherland

No matter what the cost.

So this makes me nervous, 'cos instead of them blaming Putin, they're realizing, from their POV, he might be right and it's time to make US hurt as badly as we're making them hurt. And as far as I can tell, that'd be the Giant Flashbulb Option, as they really don't have a way of fucking up or fucking with the general Untied Staaz population.

So if our beef is with Vlad and the Oligarchs (their Oligarchs, not our Oligarchs) then why do the sanctions seem to be targeted at the Russian People?  Oh, and I still don't have a good explanation as to why Ukraine absolutely positively has to be a member of NATO.  Still waiting on that one.

Ya know, what comes to mind is the ancient Greek saying that those who the Gods would destroy first are turned mad.  About sums up the US PTB, right there.

And an anonymous commenter leaves a really concerning comment over at Big Country's place:

More or less right on the money. Couple that with the administration coming up with shit like sanctions on India because they won't sanction Russia. Now India are looking at what they can trade without using the USD. Good work retards.
Lot of Arab countries now talking about investing more in/with China too. Worth watching what the BRICS countries do, once the move away from trade in USD kicks in...

"Good work, retards" looks like it's fixin' the be an excellent epitaph for the US PTB once they destroy the dollar as the world's reserve currency and the US standard of living drops by 70%.

Ah, brings to mind the old days, working at Three Letter Security Agency back in the '80s.  We all agreed that if the balloon went up we'd just go out and sunbathe in the parking lot and wait for that last big flash bulb to go off.  Been a long time since I thought of that.  And so, a musical tribute to the last tanning session (stolen from Western Rifle Shooters):

Damn, I wish we had a smarter and less reckless Ruling Class.

Thursday, March 3, 2022


Why did the Star Wars movies come out 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3? 

In charge of the scheduling Yoda was.

A plague of politicians

It's a deadly plague and the media is using the Ukraine crisis to sweep it under the carpet.  From the UK.Gov:

The latest data published by the UK Health Security Agency confirms deaths are rising dramatically among the triple vaccinated population whilst declining steadily among the not-vaccinated population in England.

With the most recent figures showing the fully vaccinated accounted for 9 in every 10 Covid-19 deaths over the past month; and the triple vaccinated accounted for 4 in every 5 of them.

This is a very interesting and information-rich post, and you should take the time to read it all - including the tables of data from the UK.Gov.  This is pretty damning:

Neither The Queen Of The World nor I have been vaccinated as I have been skeptical for some time as to whether the vaccines are effective (they are pretty clearly not, as the repeated moving the goalposts demonstrates).  I've also wondered whether they are safe - and quite frankly this has been the key determinant for us.  I mean, if they're safe then why did Congress prohibit lawsuits against the pharmaceutical companies for adverse effects?  The graph above suggests pretty strongly that the vax is neither safe nor effective.

Don't listen to what the politicians say.  Watch what they do.

Now I'm pretty nasty and suspicious but Peter lays out the problem with blood clots after the vax.  It's a big problem, one that isn't being reported.  Just like the problem of professional soccer players dropping dead.  Or High School students dropping dead or needing heart transplants.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

The best summary of Joe Biden's State Of The Union Address

It's from Ron DeSantis, Florida's America's Governor: 

Joe Biden’s State of the Union address was full of lies, omissions, and delusions.


He didn’t mention the worst border crisis in our country’s history – a direct result of his failed policies – or 13 American service members losing their lives due to his blundering policies.


He took zero responsibility for the worst inflation in forty years due to his reckless spending. Americans are getting crushed with soaring prices at the pump and in the grocery store, and Biden’s solution is to keep spending OUR money! And as Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, Biden is still buying oil from Russia to help fund their assault while stopping American energy independence.


Now, thanks to his slumping poll numbers, Biden is advocating for every COVID policy I implemented two years ago in Florida and acting like these are novel and breakthrough ideas. This, from a guy who called Republican governors, “Neanderthals,” and told me to “get out of the way” for employing the very same policies in Florida he is now adopting.


He never apologized for cutting our supply of monoclonal antibodies and depriving Floridians of access to life-saving treatment, and he said we need to stop looking at COVID as a “partisan dividing line.”  


Biden’s speech made no mention of the skyrocketing homicides and violent crime we’re seeing in Democrat-run cities across the country, and he said that we need to “hold law enforcement accountable.” Meanwhile, the only people he DOESN’T seem to want to hold accountable are the Soros-funded, soft-on-crime prosecutors and the criminals he portrays as victims.


Make no mistake, these are not just Joe Biden’s policies. These are the policies of the radical left-wing socialists who now own the Democrat Party.


But as Florida’s governor, I will never allow this president to erode our freedom, destroy our economy, cripple our businesses, or tolerate violent criminals as he shames the men and women who keep us safe.


I am standing in the way of these woke leftists that have put our country and your family at risk. In Florida, we will always stand for freedom and liberty.

Hat tip: The Queen Of The World.

UPDATE 2 February 2022 18:35:  J.Kb has video from the wild of Florida's America's Governor opening a can of whoop ass on a bunch of idiots who deserved it.