Thursday, June 30, 2022

Woody Williams, in his own words

The last of the World War II Medal of Honor recipients has reported for the final muster.  Here is a 4 year old video of his recollections of that day on Iwo.

Ave atque vale.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Don't listen to "Studies" of gun crime

AWA over at Gunfreezone posts about a new study showing that increased Concealed Weapon permitting leads to increased gun crime:

Concealed-carry laws boost gun crime by a third, study finds

A new study finds concealed-carry laws lead to a boost in gun crime by between 29% and 32%, mostly by triggering a surge in gun theft.

The study comes on the heels of a Supreme Court ruling that struck down New York’s attempt to limit the ability to carry a gun outside their homes. That ruling was seen as particularly significant as other states have sought to restrict concealed-carry permits.

Oh, it isn’t people being shot. It is guns being stolen.

He recommends clicking through to read the whole thing. I don't. I've seen enough studies about gun control.  As the old saying goes, if you torture the data enough it will confess to anything.

Many years ago, Eric Raymond wrote a detailed post about how the gun control study sausage is made.  It was brutal, and is a must-read for everyone in our community.  He gives example after example of malfeasance in the academic literature, from "Arming America" which made up its data to the AMA "43 times more likely to die from a gun" that refused to release their data.  Go RTWT, but this sums up the top dirty tricks that they use:
I described the errors as “systematic” before the jump because there is a pattern of distortions in the anti-gun literature that have been repeated over decades even though they violate known good practice in the social and medical sciences. These include but are not limited to:
Failure to control for socioeconomic differences between star and control groups, even when the differences are known to correlate with large differences in per-capita rates of criminal deviance

Choice of study periods that ignore well-documented trends that run contrary to the study’s conclusions immediately before or after the period.

Selective use of suicide statistics, counting them only in star but not control groups and/or ignoring massive evidence that would-be suicides rapidly substitute other methods when firearms are not available.

Tendentious misapplication of Uniform Crime Report data, for example by ignoring the fact that UCR reports of homicides are entered before trial and therefore fail to account for an unknown but significant percentage of findings of misadventure and lawful self-defense.
And I described this pattern as “fraud” before the jump because the magnitude of these errors would be too great and their direction too consistent for honest error, even if we did not in several prominent cases have direct evidence that the fraud must have been intended.
My guess is that the new study falls into the second of his categories (selective choice of study periods) at the very least, and probably the misapplication of UCR data.  Quite frankly, the last 20 years simply do not show any obvious corollary of relaxed CCW laws and crime - or they show a corrolation between relaxed CCW laws and lower crime.  A 30% increase is simply not what I've seen at all.  My suspicion is that the data were tortured for a long time before they confessed to this.

Tagged "Junk Science" because, well, you know.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Dad joke CCXV - special BBQ edition

What kind of grill does a spider BBQ on?

A Weber.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Pulled Pork AAR

So yesterday I smoked a pork butt.  It came out really well but I thought I'd follow up.

One weirdness was the probe thermometer seemed to get stuck at 133 degrees.  After an hour without any increase in temperature I got the meat thermometer which showed 145 - 150.  So I finished using that which meant a lot of opening the grill.

Another weirdness was that the temperature stopped going up after 6 or 7 hours.  This may have been because the weather clouded over and the outside temperature dropped.  I double wrapped the pork in foil and finished it in the oven at 300 degrees.

It had a nice dark bark which was nicely but not overly smoky.  It was nice and juicy (thank you, Mr. Brine!).  I now have a bunch of containers that are in the freezer.  All in all, it was a good experience.  You would only do it on a lazy summer day when you have 8 hours to mess around with things, but it was as good BBQ as I've had down here in Florida.  Winning!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Want a smoke?

No, not tobacco (or something more potent), I'm smoking a Boston butt on my gas grill.  I'm using something like this:


Napoleon 67011 Stainless Steel Smoker Pipe.  It looks like there are plenty of options, but I have wood chips and a lot of the tubes are for pellets.  Might work the same, I don't know.  So far things look like they're going pretty well, but the proof of the pudding and all that.  Here are the key points for smoking on a gas grill:

1. Start normally, with a good soak in a brine.  I did 24 hours.  There are a million brine recipes - the one I had uses Sprite instead of water.  And then a good rub.

2. Only one of my four burners is on, and it's down around it's lowest setting.  I took the grates off so that I can swap the smoker tubes - when one has given its all for King and Country I swap in the other which is loaded with fresh wood chips.

3. Soak the wood chips.  Dry chips are gone in 10 minutes in a huge cloud of smoke; soaked chips last 45 minutes with wisps of smoke surrounding the meat the entire time.

4. Indirect heat, baby.  I have the far left burner on with the smoker tube on it, the butt is over on the far right hand side of the grill.

5. 250 degrees is the magic number for the grill thermometer.  Remember, that thermometer isn't very accurate, which leads us to the next item:

6. A probe thermometer will tell you when you're ready to pull the meat off.  I still have an hour or two to go, but the grill is steady at 250 and you can smell (but not see) smoke.  That's what you want.

7. Don't keep opening the grill.  As they say, if you're lookin' you;re not cookin'.

We'll see how this comes out, but it's been pretty straight forward so far.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

14 years around the sun

Today is our 14th blogiversary.

It's a bit odd to still be blogging - most folks have moved on to other, more modern platforms.  Some have hung it up, like Miguel.  Others don't post much, or about anything of note - Not Clauswitz only posts about the weather.

I can't say that I blame them.  Say Uncle used to say that he did this for him, not for you.  It's a good rule but I can understand the feeling that you've said pretty much everything you have to say, twice.

The Queen Of The World has helped - it was her idea to post Dad Jokes which has lightened the mood here.  She also suggested movie soundtracks on Sunday when I was quite simply running out of ideas for what classical music to post.  She's not just a pretty face, she's pretty smart and creative.

Quite frankly, it's hard to keep the creativity up year in and year out, so I'm thankful for all the help I get from her.  And I'm grateful to co-blogger ASM826 who's been helping out here for eight years now.

14 years, 13316 posts, 49483 comments, 11,355,369 views - it's been quite a ride.  I'm very grateful for all of you who stop by.  As a thank you to our regular readers, all blog content will be 100% free of charge today!

Friday, June 24, 2022

So why is Joe Biden so under water in the polls?


It's a real mystery,that's for sure.

Hat tip: Don Surber.

Things that make you go "Hmmm"

From the comments over at Althouse, there's an assertion that the reason that the SCOTUS took ten years to take a Second Amendment case was that Roberts told everybody that if they took a case he would vote against it.  Then Trump appointed Barrett and instead of a 5-4 court it was 6-3 and he lost his veto.

No citations are offered up, but it's an interesting idea.  The implications are important if this is true - Thomas had his 75th birthday yesterday so we can expect maybe five more years from him.  Given the questionable state of Presidential (at least) elections, that may be all the time we have.

Then again, maybe this is just another chemtrails theory.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

In praise of Mitch McConnell

No, really.

Long time readers will know that I don't have much use for Mitch.  But it is unlikely that today's gun control win - one that drives a stake in "May Issue" licensing - would have happened if he hadn't put Merick Garland's SCOTUS nomination on hold in 2015.  Today's 6-3 majority would have at a minimum been 5-4, and the case very well might never have made it to SCOTUS because the justices can also count votes.  This might not have been seen by the conservatives on the court as the hill to die on.

Yes, the GOP turn coats will see a new gun control bill passed, thanks to Mitch.  But today is without a doubt two steps forward, one step back.

Astute readers will see this as forward progress. 

UPDATE 23 JUNE 2022 14:25:  David Koppel thinks this ruling is a big deal, and doesn't seem very worried about the new gun control bill.  I hope he's right.  Clayton Cramer looks into his crystal ball and predicts how the new bill will play out.  I expect a lot of litigation on the vague parts, and suspect that Congress knows that most of this will be struck down but wants to be seen as "doing something".  Whatevs.

And quote of the day goes to Sebastian:

Long term it’s probably best not to rely on the Courts for protection. Just ask Planned Parenthood how well that’s working out for them. But we can use these reprieves to help repair the gun culture in these jurisdictions if the restrictions lighten things up a little. This is not over. There will never be a death blow to the desire of the nobility to control the serfs. Nonetheless we should use the circumstances presented to us for maximal advantage.

UPDATE 23 JUNE 2022 15:24: I haven't been feeling well, but that's no excuse for not pointing out that the hat tip to the article came in from Dwight via email. He's your go-to guy for obituaries and it sounds like more than a couple of The Usual Suspects will have aneurysms from this.

UPDATE 23 JUNE 2022 16:52: Carl Bussjaeger has a long post analyzing why this is likely a much bigger win for our community than many realize.  He seems to think that this may gut (or at least hobble) "Red Flag" laws.

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Softness to traitors

Softness to traitors will destroy us all.
- Maximilian Robespierre

Texas GOP Senator Cornyn, leader of the Republicans playing Gun Control footsie with the Democrats, gets booed by Republicans at the Texas GOP convention.  And not just a couple of Boo birds, but a solid minute and a half before his speech.  It seems that the good Senator was surprised by the response.

Smartest kid in class, right there [rolls eyes].  Maybe he should have read Shakespeare.

But cruel are the times, when we are traitors,
And do not know ourselves; when we hold rumor
From what we fear, yet know not what we fear,
But float upon a wild and violent sea
Each way and none

- William Shakespeare, Macbeth

Dad Joke CCXIV

What is the best dressed fish?

The swordfish.  It always looks sharp. 

Monday, June 20, 2022

The Left Arm of God has a statue

Sandy Koufax was called "The Left Arm of God" because he was simply unhittable.  In four incredible seasons between 1963 and 1966 he won the Cy Young award every year, won 25 games in three of those seasons, and was World Series MVP.  The last season say him win 27 with a nifty 1.73 ERA and 27 complete games (!!!!).

He finished his career at age 30, with his arm blown out.  But even not able to pitch like he still clocked a career ERA of 2.76 and a 165-87.  His premature retirement from overwork is the poster child for the pitcher abuse that was the standard back in those days.  Typically a pitcher needs to have 300 wins to get voted into the Hall of Fame; the fact that Koufax was inducted with half of this shows just how dominant her was.

But you almost never see a pitcher pitch a complete game today.  The reason for middle relief and closers can be found in his shortened career.

Over the weekend, the Dodgers unveiled a statue to him.  He's led a quiet life, shunning the limelight.  My first reaction was "Sandy Koufax is still alive?"  Yes indeed:

Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax has played an enormous role in Dodgers history. It would be easy to argue that he’s the best pitcher to ever wear Dodger Blue. His No. 32 was one of the first retired by the organization, along with Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 and Roy Campanella’s No. 39.

On Saturday, Koufax and his famous leg kick were forever immortalized at Dodger Stadium as he became the second player to get a statue in the center-field plaza. Koufax joined Robinson, who received the first statue in Dodger Stadium history back in 2015.


Sunday, June 19, 2022

Happy Father's Day

Wolfgang got me a sweet rifle cleaning box/stand.  All my cleaning stuff fits nicely in it, and the carrying handle means I can take it to the range and clean the rifles after shooting them there.  And it's made in the USA.

It's a very nice relaxing day in Florida.  Hope you have one, too.

UPDATE 19 JUNE 2022 15:37:  Man, that Garand was filthy.  I used half a package of bore patches and now it's only a little dirty.  I've only put maybe 100 rounds through it, so it must have come dirty from CMP.  They didn't replace the barrel, so I suspect that there's some ROK soldier who got away from his last range day without cleaning it.

And I am shooting mil-surp .30-06, which could be dirty.  With this cleaning case/stand I don't have an excuse for not having a sparkling clean barrel.

The Queen Of The World brought out a bowl of warm Murphy's Oil Soap and it turns out that the stock was also filthy.  After a good scrub and some Liquid Gold, it shines good enough for a parade ground .

I guess I need to do the same on the Enfield now ...

And in answer to the questions in the comments, the box is made out of heavy duty plastic.  You would never shoot from this on the bench, but it looks like it would handle the WWII rifles, hunting rifles and shotguns, and ARs.  And since it's plastic it would catch any spills of Hoppe's or Ed's Red.  I didn't even unroll my cleaning mat.  

And all the cleaning stuff fits in the box when it's closed up.  Nifty.  I'm pretty darn happy with this.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Hank Williams Sr. and Hank Williams Jr. - There's a Tear in my Beer

Tomorrow is Father's Day, and there's no more famous father/son pair in Country Music than Hank Williams, Senior and Junior.  Senior died when Junior was a baby (there's an old photo of the two of them in the video, Senior with baby Junior sitting on his lap).

But the late 1980s was a time of emergent technology miracles, and this video is the highlight of the pre-digital editing age.  Keep in mind in today's age of "Deep Fakes" and special effects that the merging of old Hank Sr. footage with a modern day Junior was done without any computer graphics at all.  The Hank Sr. footage wasn't even of him singing this song - it was actually "Hey Good Looking", and an actor/singer recorded the new song and his mouth was superimposed on thew old footage.  This was cutting edge, a third of a century ago.

The song was pretty much a sensation - it was video of the year for both CMT and ACM, and Hank Jr. and Sr. shared a Grammy for best Country vocal collaboration.

I remember watching this when it came out, and how poignant it was - what might have been but never was.  

There's a Tear in my Beer (Songwriter: Hank Williams, Sr.)

There's a tear in my beer
'cause I'm cryin' for you, dear
you are on my lonely mind.
Into these last nine beers
I have shed a million tears.
You are on my lonely mind
I'm gonna keep drinkin'
until I'm petrified.
And then maybe these tears
will leave my eyes.
There's a tear in my beer
cause I'm crying' for you dear
You are on my lonely mind.

Last night I walked the floor
and the night before
You are on my lonely mind.
It seems my life is through
and I'm so doggone blue
You are on my lonely mind.
I'm gonna keep drinkin'
till I can't move a toe
and then maybe my heart
won't hurt me so.
There's a tear in my beer
cause I'm cryin' for you dear
You are on my lonely mind.

Lord, I've tried and I've tried
But my tears I can't hide
You are on my lonely mind.
All these blues that I've found
Have really got me down
You are on my lonely mind
I'm gonna keep drinkin' till I can't even think
Cause in the last week I ain't slept a wink
There's a tear in my beer
cause I'm crying for you dear
You are on my lonely mind.

Friday, June 17, 2022


 You know why dad can't plant flowers this weekend?

Because he hasn't botany.

Dad Joke CCXII

Why did the fungus move to a bigger location? 

Because he didn't have mushroom.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Quote of the Day - Boogaloo Edition

Your humble host and The Queen Of The World were discussing the "Father's Day Ammo Sales" that are floating around (to her in-box).  It sort of went like this:

Me: I just got a bunch of .380.  Why do we need more?

The Queen Of The World: We need to order a thousand rounds because when the Boogaloo hits, we'll need it!

She's right, you know.  And she is the wind beneath my wings.  Of course, this isn't the first time we've had this discussion ....

Cheap guns!

The Miami PoPo are doing a gun buy-back "to benefit Ukraine". [rolls eyes]

They're offering peanuts, in the form of gift cards. Smartest kids in class, right there.  [rolls eyes again]

If you're in that area and looking to score guns cheap, show up at Miami City Hall on Saturday at 10:00 AM.  If you offer twice as much in cash, I expect you'll get first pick.  Looking at the price they're offering, that'd be $300 for an AR.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Dad Joke CCXI

Where do Eskimos keep their money? 

In snow banks.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

We know what Red Flag enforcement looks like

I've seen how this movie ends:

I've linked several times to posts over at the blog Dispatches from TJICistan.  TJIC is an outspoken (some might say extremely so) advocate of smaller government.  He's also a firearms owner in the People's Republic of Massachusetts.  While he owns guns, it appears that he's no longer allowed to possess any:

ARLINGTON (CBS) – A blog threatening members of Congress in the wake of the Tucson, Arizona shooting has prompted Arlington police to temporarily suspend the firearms license of an Arlington man. 
It was the headline “1 down and 534 to go” that caught the attention. “One” refers to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in the rampage, while 534 refers to the other members of the U.S. House and Senate.

Police are investigating the “suitability” of 39-year-old Travis Corcoran to have a firearms license

Let's ignore for the moment how many people were investigated for making similar comments about George W. Bush.  Let's look at the "logic" being exercised by the Arlington Po-Po, shall we?

They claim that Corcoran is so dangerous that, while he has done nothing more than put up a blog post, he must be restrained from possessing firearms.  However, it appears that it's not worth it for the police to follow him, or stake out his place, or arrest him.


Look, guys, if you think that his speech rises to the level of an actual threat of specific harm to specific persons, he should be in jail.  If you're not sure, then do the leg work to establish whether it is or not.

Ah, I was so young and optimistic, 11 years ago.  After all, we had ferocious conservative Republicans ferociously conserving things.  But even then it was clear where this would go:

It would be one thing if the law were applied equally to all.  It's not, and it will be applied disproportionately to us, because we hold views considered by some in power to be Double Plus Ungood.

Divemedic says the same, in fewer words.  He also has some suggestions on a strategy you can use.

Thanks to the GOP, we're all TJIC now.

There's a reason that they're called the "Stupid Party".  And there's a reason that the Democrats are called the "Evil Party".

Monday, June 13, 2022

Quote of the Day: Eye of Sauron edition

Tacitus muses on the algorithms that Google uses for suggesting new Youtube videos.  Unlike all the breathless stories about how "the AI is alive", he's not impressed.  He thinks he does a fair job of intentionally confusing the algorithms:

Back in the early days of the internet I used to salt my profiles with various fake information just to see if I would get ads in Portuguese, spam email from tailors in Denmark, stuff related to Icelandic scrimshaw art. The only entry on the above list that might still be carrying over would be the Bossa Nova music! I of course have all "notifications" turned to the OFF setting but another account in the household did not. Maybe that's where gardening came from.

But it seems to not matter. My efforts to punk the algorithms seem unnecessary, they autopunk themselves.

Dad Joke CCX - special Wolfgang edition

Wolfgang had his tenth birthday last month and that makes him a Senior Citizen dog.  He's been having more pain in his back and hips for a while now.  He drags his hind paws when he walks, and has worn down his claws until they bleed.  We have shoes for him which he likes - I think that he knows that we're doing this to make him more comfortable.

Our goal is to keep him comfortable and with a high quality of life for the time we still have with him.  But it makes me sad to see the trajectory that our four legged child* is on. 

So there will be more Wolfgang-themed material.  Including this: how many dogs does it take to screw in a light bulb?  The answer, of course, depends on the breed.

Golden Retriever: The sun is shining, the day is young, we've got our whole lives ahead of us, and you're inside worrying about a stupid burned-out light bulb? 

German Shepherd: I'll replace the bulb after  I've done a perimeter check to make sure that everyone is OK.

Border Collie: I'll do it, and I'll replace any wiring that's not up to code.

Dachshund: I can't reach the stupid lamp!

Poodle: I'll just blow in the Border collie's ear and he'll do it. By the time he finishes rewiring the house, my nails will be dry.

Rottweiler: Go Ahead! Make me!

Lab: Oh, me, me!!! Pleeeeeeze let me change the light bulb! Can I? Can I? Huh? Huh? Can I?

Doberman Pinscher: While it's dark, I'm going to sleep on the couch.

Mastiff: Mastiffs are NOT afraid of the dark.


Chihuahua: Yo quiero Taco Bulb.

Irish Wolfhound: Can somebody else do it? I've got a hangover.

Pointer: I see it, there it is, right there...

Greyhound: It isn't moving. Who cares?

Australian Shepherd: First let me put all the light bulbs in a little circle...

Old English Sheep Dog: Light bulb? Light bulb? I can't see any light bulb!

* That's how The Queen Of The World and I refer to him.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

It's twin fuselage airplane day

There must be something in the water or something.  First, Tam posts about the F-82 twin Mustang fighter.  I posted about it quite a while back, but Tam's idea is pretty cool. 

Next up, Mr. Garibaldi posts about a DARPA project for a hybrid ground effect/seaplane heavy lifter that could deliver cargo all the way across the Pacific ocean in a day.  It is also twin fuselage.

Lastly, via a Wikiwander I wan across a twin fuselage variant of the Messerschmitt BF-109.  The Z or "Zwilling" version was an interceptor which would have been armed with five 30mm cannon which would have been a bad day for the Eighth Air Force.  Only one seems to have been built and it was destroyed in an air raid before it could fly.

Pretty strange to find all of this all at the same time.

Hector Berlioz - Royal Hunt and Storm

Congratulations to the Tampa Bay Lightning, who eliminated the New York Rangers last night to advance to the Stanley Cup finals.  The Lightning have won the Cup the last two years and will now play Colorado for the Threepeat.  This is pretty rare, although the Rangers did four in a row in the early 1980s.

Since it is Sunday Morning, classical music is on the menu.  To congratulate the Lightning, this is perhaps the greatest classical composition about lightning - even greater than Beethoven's Symphony no. 6 (Pastoral), made famous in Disney's Fantasia

Hector Berlioz was an interesting fellow.  He was a free thinker and a rebel in a rigidly conformist period, and so his music runs a wide gamut from groundbreaking (like his Symphony Fantastique) to pedestrian (but commercially successful).  He was a lover of both Shakespeare and classical literature, and was encouraged by his patron to combine these loves.  He chose the story of the Trojan War as told in Virgil's The Aeneid, written in grand Shakespearean tradition.  The 1858 Les Troyens is  certainly his greatest Opera, and perhaps his greatest work.  Certainly it was his most ambitious, taking four years to complete.  It was so long that he struggled to get it staged, eventually breaking it into two parts (The Fall Of Troy and The Trojans At Carthage).

In this section of the Opera a sudden summer storm blows up causing the lovers to take refuge in a cave.  A lightning bolt hits a tree, much to the delight of the nearby satyrs and fauns who pick up burning branches and dance around with them.  The Romantic Movement was nothing if not romantic.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

But no more mean tweets, amirite?

The Queen Of The World saw this on the Book of Faces.


Quote Of The Day: the fish rots from the head edition

Larry Lambert brings it:

Imagine that you are in a trench somewhere, waiting for your commander-in-chief, creepy Joe Brandon to order you over the top into wire, pre-sighted artillery, land mines, and enemy machineguns for the glory of the regime

And then ask yourself why the US military is falling way short on enlistment quotas.

It’s not just the tranny thing or the “let’s all be queer” mantras that the generals and admirals chant.

It's an interesting post with a lot more, including Alexander the Great.  Joe Biden is no Alexander the Great.

Friday, June 10, 2022

A Gun Control "Conundrum"

Since Miguel left Florida, there's been a noticeable drop off in local gun news.  Let me step into the breach.  The Miami Herald is upset about a Florida law that says if you sue a gun store or manufacturer for legally selling a gun to someone, you can get dinged with a bill for their attorney's fees:

The Guttenbergs have sought to pursue a lawsuit against Smith & Wesson and Sunrise Tactical Supply, a store that sold the Smith & Wesson-made gun used in the mass shooting. 

But as a precursor, the Guttenbergs went to court to try to get a ruling about whether a state law shields gun makers and sellers from such lawsuits. That is particularly important, they argue, because part of state law could force them to pay attorney fees and other costs if they pursue a lawsuit and ultimately find out that the gun businesses were shielded. A circuit judge, however, dismissed the Guttenbergs’ request for such a ruling, known as a declaratory judgment. That spurred them to go to the appeals court, with their attorney writing in a brief that the Guttenbergs are faced with a “conundrum.”

What "conundrum"?

“Plaintiffs’ declaratory-judgment action is a textbook request for an improper advisory opinion,” Smith & Wesson attorneys wrote in a March brief. “The claims seek answers to hypothetical questions that may possibly arise only in the future. The trial court correctly recognized that plaintiffs are not entitled to a legal opinion preemptively depriving defendants of a potential affirmative defense before plaintiffs even file the claims to which the defense may or may not apply.”

Remember, Nikolas Cruz passed a background check when he bought the gun he used in the Parkland school shooting.  The FBI admitted that they dropped the ball, and paid $125M to survivors because they didn't follow up on a tip that would have stopped the attack.  The Broward County school system also settled a lawsuit with survivors because they dropped the ball here too.  This is all public record (I know, Wikipedia, but even they say this).  The only conundrum is why the public officials responsible have not been flogged in the public square for their incompetence.

It seems that the conundrum facing the Guttenbergs is whether to leave Florida for a State with insane gun laws.  In the meantime, kudos to the Florida Legislature for passing a law that (a) protects lawful commerce in firearms, and (b) annoys all The Right Sort Of People like the Miami Herald.  In the meantime, don't New York my Florida.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

The Queen Of The World points out a charity raffle for a good cause:


In cased you missed it, we have very exciting news! How would you like to win a brand new Harley Davidson OR $15,000 in cash?

Well - you can. Today I'm just following up with you to let you know that we have officially launched our Hero Co Moto Sweepstakes!

Chances are VERY HIGH that you can be the grand prize winner (The Harley OR 15k Cash...your choice)

Here's how it works -

Our goal is to raise $100,000 to help pair Veterans with trained service dogs, in time for July 4th. If you make a donation you get entries into the Moto Sweepstakes.

Here's what each donation gets you:

$10 = 50 Entries

$25 = 100 Entries

$50 = 250 Entries (Most Popular)

$100 = 500 Entries

$500 = 1000 Entries

Hurry, you only have a few more weeks left to enter! Feel free to forward this to a friend for their chance to win big!




Wake up the neighbors when you start up this bad boy and hit the road. You’ll be cruising on a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle that perks ears, and turns heads.

As the winner, you’ll be able to take the bike or just simply accept $15,000 in cold, hard cash. Whichever you choose is fine by us. (Even though the bike is really freaking cool.)

Above all, your entry will help fund service dogs for Veterans battling PTSD, so we can get these Heroes service dogs at no cost to them – a life-changing gift. (Each entry donation goes towards the $100,000 goal)

Hurry and enter now - Let's do this 💪


Wake up the neighbors when you start up this bad boy and hit the road. You’ll be cruising on a brand new Harley Davidson motorcycle that perks ears, and turns heads.

As the winner, you’ll be able to take the bike or just simply accept $15,000 in cold, hard cash. Whichever you choose is fine by us. (Even though the bike is really freaking cool.)

Above all, your entry will help fund service dogs for Veterans battling PTSD, so we can get these Heroes service dogs at no cost to them – a life-changing gift.

Hurry and enter now!



Wednesday, June 8, 2022

A step even farther out

Longtime readers will no doubt be shocked to find out that I am a nerd, and have been for a long time.  Back in the 1970s I subscribed to Galaxy science fiction magazine in no small measure because of Jerry Pournelle's monthly column "A Step Farther Out" about space and space technology.

I've just run across a blog that is basically this for the modern age: Casey Handmer is a former JPL techie who seems to be in one of the many space exploration companies that are popping up everywhere these days*.  I think I ran across his blog via a link at The Silicon Graybeard, but Handmer doesn't focus on "what's the space news from this week" - rather, it's in-depth discussion of fascinating topics that I either didn't know, or topics that I thought I did know but actually knew wrong.  Here is a smattering of some of the most interesting ones:

OMG space is full of radiation, and why I’m not worried
Domes are over-rated
Modular space stations don’t save time or money
The Moon’s water is less exciting than you might think
There are no known commodity resources in space that could be sold on Earth

And the most important of his posts (IMHO) is this one: .  Here's the key bit:
Historically, mission/system design has been grievously afflicted by absurdly harsh mass constraints, since launch costs to LEO are as high as $10,000/kg and single launches cost hundreds of millions. This in turn affects schedule, cost structure, volume, material choices, labor, power, thermal, guidance/navigation/control, and every other aspect of the mission. Entire design languages and heuristics are reinforced, at the generational level, in service of avoiding negative consequences of excess mass. As a result, spacecraft built before Starship are a bit like steel weapons made before the industrial revolution. Enormously expensive as a result of embodying a lot of meticulous labor, but ultimately severely limited compared to post-industrial possibilities.

Starship obliterates the mass constraint and every last vestige of cultural baggage that constraint has gouged into the minds of spacecraft designers. There are still constraints, as always, but their design consequences are, at present, completely unexplored. We need a team of economists to rederive the relative elasticities of various design choices and boil them down to a new set of design heuristics for space system production oriented towards maximizing volume of production. Or, more generally, maximizing some robust utility function assuming saturation of Starship launch capacity. A dollar spent on mass optimization no longer buys a dollar saved on launch cost. It buys nothing. It is time to raise the scope of our ambition and think much bigger.
He then goes on to think bigger.  There's all sorts of things wrong in this world, but what's happening in space is not on that list.  We are witnessing the birth of The industry of the 21st Century, just like aviation was the industry of the 20th.

Pournelle wrote a column when the Space Shuttle Enterprise first flew, comparing it to the DC-3 "Gooney Bird".  I think that Starship is the actual space DC-3.  It will make space travel routine, in ways that we can't imagine any better than someone looking at the first DC-3 in 1935 could.  They would never have figured on Freddy Laker's People's Express; we can't imagine what a Moon Shuttle will be.

* Now this is the 21st Century I was promised. 

Well bless her heart

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has a new ad out, highlighting opponent Stacy Abrams' remark that Georgia was the "worst State to live [in]."  After playing Abrams' statement, the narrator says "Bless her heart."

For folks up in Yankeeland, this is taking the gloves off.

Now I'm not a big Brian Kemp fan (the best Governor of Goergia in all the years I lived there was the late, great Zell Miller).  I guess we'll see how the Georgia voters react to this very southern mockery.  I mean, just because you're insulting someone doesn't mean you can't be polite.

And so, a Southern parable on politeness:

Two Southern Belles see each other at a School reunion.  While they had been friends Back In The Day, they had lost track of each other in the years since.  Here's the conversation as they catch up on what's been happening.

Belle #1: I married the most wonderful man.  On our first wedding anniversary be bought me this fur coat.

Belle #2: Oh, how nice!

Belle #1: And on our second wedding anniversary he bought me this diamond ring.

Belle #2: Oh, how nice!

Belle #1: And on our third anniversary he bought me a Merceded-Benz.

Belle #2: Oh, how nice!

Belle #1: So are you married?

Belle #2: Oh yes.

Belle #1: Does he buy you things?

Belle #2: Yes, he bought me etiquette lessons.

Belle #1: Etiquette lessons??!?

Belle #2: Oh yes.  Before the lessons I used to tell people "Fuck you."  Now I say "How nice!'

The Queen Of The World tells this in a sweet, syrupy southern accent which makes it even funnier.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Dad Joke CCIX

You can't keep secrets in a bank.  There are too many tellers. 

Monday, June 6, 2022

LOLOL [snort]


Sultan Abdulaziz - La Gondole Barcarolle

Yesterday was a lazy day for The Queen Of The World and me, so I didn't post anything at all.  But in a Wikiwander last week I ran across this pretty interesting classical music piece, composed by a Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.  I think that this makes the third royal composer featured here (the other two being Henry VIII of England and Frederick the Great of Prussia).

Abdulaziz ruled from 1861 to 1876, and was a big reformer.  He modernized the Ottoman navy, chartered railroads, and implemented all sorts of other improvements to make the Empire competitive with the industrial Western powers.  He was only partially successful, in part to the traditional Ottoman dynastic politics where Sultans were often overthrown.  This was his fate, and he died under mysterious circumstances.

But he had a first rate European education and was a pretty talented composer.  I quite enjoyed this piece.


Saturday, June 4, 2022


I have been remiss in not posting this week about Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee.  She is now #3 on Wikipedia's list of longest reigning monarchs, and in a week will move into the #2 slot. I do not know the protocol on whether to offer congratulations to Her Majesty but there is no doubt at all that her reign has left the monarchy stronger.  In an era of globalization she remains wildly popular to her subjects.  That's quite an achievement, perhaps unique in the history of royalty.

I think that more than a little of this is due to things like this (from Some It's Just As Well, via Chris Lynch):

Prince Philip once pranked her by dressing as a palace guard.  The expressions on both their faces are quite endearing.  Royalty is a difficult game to play, a tension between the remote and mysterious vs. the human face.  Queen Elizabeth managed that better than any monarch that I can think of.

It must be bittersweet for her to have this celebration without her beloved Philip.  Any while the moniker "Widow of Windsor" was taken by a Queen Victoria grieving for her lost Prince Albert, it's not hard to imagine that it applies in spades to Good Queen Bess as well.  And yes, that one was taken as well but you know what I mean.

And so Congratulations to Her Majesty (protocol be damned).  We here in the Colonies decided on our relationship with monarchy these two hundred years ago, but if you were to have a Sovereign you could do much, much worse than Elizabeth Regina.  And you would be most unlikely to do better.

Friday, June 3, 2022

A Borepatch Presidential endorsement

I like the cut of this fellow's jib. If you do too, then forward this on in whatever social media platform you like - let's make some actual patriotism go viral.

====== BEGIN ======

Today I was asked why I am running for President, and why should people vote for me?  Below is my answer.Thank you for the question. Why am I running for President?  The short answer is because the U.S Constitution says I can and my conscience says I must.Why should people vote for me?  I do not believe the Office of President should be reserved for insiders, professional politicians or power hungry Americans.  The President is granted the power and authority to lead by the American People.  Therefore, I believe the President must engage in effective and efficient efforts to serve the American people. The President should not beholden to follow strict party rules. The President must act on conscience and make decisions that are in the best interests of All Americans.I hurt to see so much division in this nation I so dearly love.  I am outraged by the erosion of our Constitutional freedoms and Liberties.  I believe too many American Citizens have stopped believing in "The American Dream".  There is apathy among Americans to engage in the political process. The talking heads host "Opinion Editorial Programs" on most of our news channels.  The American People fail to recognize the difference between journalism and unbiased facts versus their favorite news talk show.  The Free Press must be preserved.  This right comes with the responsibility to report truth and facts.I do not believe in "Alternative Facts".  There is only one "Truth".  While I understand some Presidents rightfully feel the media is biased against them, the idea of presenting "Alternative Facts" is absurd.  In my opinion we could call that propaganda. I will serve in the best interests of All Americans.  I will not cater to any one person, organization, political party, or P.A.C.  The only thing the President should be obligated to is the Constitution and the American Citizens. We have a mass propaganda system in place which has been cleverly designed to divide our nation.  If the "Powers that Be" can manipulate the majority of Americans then they are able to do harm unto our Republic.  If we are blind and ignorant we fall for these propaganda agendas.If the politicians can get us to oppose one another then we take our eyes off of them.  When we broadly categorize every Democrat as a socialist and every Republican as a fascist who benefits?  Not the American People.When any politician or political party actively engages in efforts to subvert the American Government or the Constitution they are dead wrong.  Freedom of Speech must be protected but it should be used in a responsible manner.  Elected officials must be held to a higher standard.  In my opinion, if anyone or any party takes action to undermine our Democratic Constitutional Republic they must be held accountable. Today we have a far left and a far right.  Do either really serve the best interests of Americans?  No.  If someone attempts to create a socialist government or a fascist dictatorship both are wrong and should be deemed as an "Enemy of the State".We must unify and unite our nation.  Today our youth spends less time learning about American History, The Constitution, Civics and Social Studies than at any time in our past.  In fact some schools make American History and Social Studies an elective class. If we don't understand the Founding principles of our Republic how can we recognize the erosion of our nation.  If we do not engage in Social Studies how can we learn to accept cultural diversity and perspectives.  If we allow the population to operate in fear of one another due to ignorance, how do we create an all inclusive nation which promotes "Assimilation"? We need real change.  One person cannot do it alone.  The President cannot implement change without the support and confidence of the American People.I hope this helps answer the questions and again, thank you.Respectfully,Mickey G. Rose for President Of The United States 2024

LOLOL [snort!]

Via Don Surber 

Win Free Ammo!

Ratus emails about a nifty ammo giveaway by Federal.  Thanks, Ratus!

Thursday, June 2, 2022


What is a tree's favorite soft drink? 

Root beer.

What causes de-forestation?

First the god news: de-forestation is down by two-thirds since 1980

In the past decade, the yearly reduction in forest area was 0.12 percent – down from 0.19 percent in the 1990s and 0.35 percent in the 1980s. In other words, out of 100 hectares of forested area in 2010, 98.85 hectares still green the world today. Emphatically, we are not running out of forests.

This is from the latest UN report on the subject, found via a link from Chris Lynch.

Now the bad news: ancient forest is being clear cut for wind farms:

Lately we’ve been reporting on what many people are calling one of the greatest environmental felonies in Europe: the deforestation of the 1000-year old Reinhardswald, known as the “fairy tale forest”, in order to make way for largescale industrial wind parks to produce “green” energy. Proponents claim the wind parks will save our environment and climate. Clearing the forests has already commenced.

I guess that "sustainable electricity" comes from cutting down thousand year old forest.  Good to know.

Unknown whether the report talks about how deforestation is up in Scandinavia because the forests are being cut down to make wood pellet fuel.  What a weird "environmentalism" that burns the forest in order to save it.


Paleontologists recently excavated the largest dinosaur tibia ever discovered.

Apparently it was a real shindig.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

The most famous case of cross dressing in history

You've very likely heard something about this, although probably not put in these specific terms.  Back in ancient Rome, a man was caught disguised as a woman in the house of the Chief Priest (Pontifex Maximus) in Rome.  It was during a festival to honor the Good Goddess (Bona Dia), and the rite was strictly restricted to women only. Except Publius Clodius Pulcher was there, in drag.  It was said that he was there to seduce the wife of the Pontifex Maximus.

And who was the Pontifex Maximus?  Julius Caesar.

The story was a sensation in Rome.  The sacrilege led to the trial of Clodius, with none other than Cicero himself as prosecutor.  Cicero couldn't stand Clodius, and so went out of his way to seek a conviction.  Clodius was influential in Rome, which put Caesar in a delicate spot.  He was the (or a) wronged party, but as an up and comer he didn't want to alienate Clodius' supporters.  And so when Cicero put him on the stand to testify, he went all Stg. Schultz.

I wasn't there.  I didn't see anything.  I don't know what happened there.

Cicero was incredulous, because Caesar had divorced his wife after the incident.  He asked why, if nothing had happened, had be divorced her?

This is the part that you might have heard before.  Caesar replied: Caesar's wife must be above suspicion.

It was all fake, of course.  Caesar knew what had happened, or could have figured it out if he wanted it.  It was more convenient for his political plans to "not know" anything.  And adding to the fakery was his buddy Crassus and the jury tampering that took on epic - and entirely undisguised - proportions.

Clodius walked, because power and money talked.  Those without power and money were routinely convicted on trumped up charges.  Rome's constitution and institutions were in tatters.  Everyone knew that everything was fake, except for naked power.  30 years later the Roman Republic was gone, with Caesar's great nephew hailed by the Senate as Augustus, the first Roman Emperor.

Michael Sussmann also beat the rap.  The jury was tampered with in an epic - and entirely undisguised - manner.  America's Constitution and institutions are in tatters.  Those without power or money languish in prison without trial 18 months after what the rich and powerful called an "insurrection" - seemingly the first in history where none of the "insurrectionists" brought weapons to the "insurrection".


Caesar's wife must be above suspicion, but if you have money and power in Washington D.C. you can pretty much do whatever you want.  We will see if a grateful Senate will welcome a strongman to end the civil war in thirty years' time, as did the Roman.