Thursday, January 31, 2013

Saying ‘shark attack’ makes sharks feel bad

Or something.

“…Christopher Neff of the University of Sydney, Australia, and Dr. Robert Hueter, leader of Mote Marine Laboratory's Center for Shark Research in Sarasota, Fla. — the only Congressionally designated national research center in the U.S. focused on sharks — propose a new system of classification to support more accurate scientific reporting about shark interactions, along with more accurate public discussion about shark risk to swimmers and divers.”

(That is a whole bunch of words to say “We need to have a story for people to read so we can show all that tax money we get, we actually do something.”

(The researchers say unplanned human/shark interaction should be designated shark encounter, shark bite or fatal shark bite.


Put this guy in a room with John McCain

“Mc Cain hates Hagel b/c Hagel fought in Vietnam while all McCain did was crash planes, screw around, bomb civilians, get captured & rat out.” – somebody called MJ Rosenberg, linked at

Some truths about the practice of journalism

“As is the case with many codes of ethics, the ethics of those in the journalism industry have as one of their primary purposes the maintenance of the status quo, particularly the economic status quo.”

“Prior to the late 1800s every small town in America had one or more newspapers, with each serving a particular religious, social or political constituency.

“Then ‘objectivity’ was introduced. The result wasn't objective news, but rather news that was found unobjectionable by all.

“Insipid news and comment proved to be a great business model because it was sold to the public as purely factual, utterly untainted by bias.

“Consumers trusted it. They lapped it up.

“Objective news was and remains a joke, but Americans continue to believe it exists.”

No, it does not say 'organism'

“The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities (UMTC) is set to hold an event this spring designed to help its female undergraduate students achieve more and greater orgasms.

“’Orgasm aficionados and beginners of all genders are welcome to come learn about everything from multiple orgasms to that mysterious G-spot,’ reads the description posted on the school’s official events calendar.

“’Whether you want to learn how to have your first orgasm, how to have better ones, or how to help your girlfriend, Kate and Marshall cover it all…’ it adds.

“’Are you coming?’ it asks.”

The program description is here:

Helpful hint from Popular Science, December 1932

Filing your brakes

“External brakes that have become scored and grooved through long use often can be put back into shape with a coarse file. Jack up one wheel and remove the brake bands. Then, with the gear shift lever in high and the motor running a trifle faster than ordinary idling speed, apply the file (a twelve-inch fender file preferred) to the spinning drum in a manner shown in the picture above. Sandpaper and steel wool can be used for the finishing touches.” Page 76.

Question: If you jack up one wheel and then put the transmission in high, with the other wheel still in contact with the ground, doesn't that mean you might then have a bigger problem than worn brakes?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Is that like a place mat, or a bath mat, maybe?

“On Monday I saw him at a laundry mat …”

(Not to make light of the story; just that writers and editors need to pay attention, or perhaps re-read a story after using spell Czech.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Kicking around the right-wing sites: DHS wants 7,000 full-auto AR15s

“The juiciest part of this bid is the use of the phrase ‘Personal Defense Weapons’ to describe the full-auto AR-15s being purchased by DHS.

“Apparently, when YOU hold an AR-15, it's an ‘assault rifle.’ But magically, if you hand that same rifle to an armed government homeland security enforcer, it instantly transforms itself into a ‘personal defense weapon.’

The request for bid actually says:

“’DHS and its components have a requirement for a 5.56x45mm NATO, select-fire firearm suitable for personal defense use in close quarters and / or when maximum concealment is required.’

“So there it is, right in black and white: DHS enforcers need full-auto AR-15s which are ‘suitable for personal defense in close quarters’ and for ‘maximum concealment.’"

Linked from

Some stuff, you wish it was made up

And then people wouldn’t seem so stupid.

An Ohio man posted a picture on Facebook, said picture of him holding his 1-YO daughter and a pistol. His ex-mother-in-law saw the picture and called police. The cops busted the guy for child endangerment.

See it all here:

Another Anti-Gun Overreaction

(In this case, stupid being the ex-mother-in-law and the po-leece.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Wow! An RPG?

Not exactly.

“A device that police described as a used military surface-to-air missile launcher was brought to the Seattle gun buyback event Saturday morning.
“The single-use device, which Mayor Mike McGinn later described as a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, had already been used and could not function, according to a department bomb squad member. A man who was at the event bought the launcher for $100, but that man then had it confiscated by Seattle police.

“In the six months after Seattle’s 1992 gun buyback – the city’s only other gun buyback effort – the average number of firearms-related homicides increased. The mean number of firearms-related assaults in Seattle also increased, as did the mean number of robberies with guns. Even the mean number of accidental shooting deaths more than doubled, according to data in a government journal.”

(First found at but my computer locked when I went to the link there. Maybe somebody will tell Mayor McGinn that not every tube is an RPG launcher.)

Saturday, January 26, 2013


“I SAW the second-best minds of my not-so-Great Generation destroyed by Bush Derangement Syndrome, pasty, paunchy, tenured, and not looking too sharp naked,

“aging hair-plugged hipsters burning for their ancient political connection to the White House through the machinations of monied moonbats,

“who warred on poverty and Blackwater's Wal-Mart and bulbous-eyed and still high from some bad acid in 1968 set up no-smoking zones on tobacco farms in the unnatural darkness of Darwinistic delusions floating a few more half-baked secular notions like 'Let's all worship Zero!'"

(There’s more – much, much more. In fairness, vote Democrat not all of those pilloried do, not by a loooooong shot, many a GOPer wears the emperor’s clothes.)

You will have to scroll way, way down, past and through many other opinings.

Natural rights and the Second Amendment

“In America, the government does not confer rights. Our freedoms preceded government. We invented a government to ensure our freedom, and deliberately handcuffed government power for the same reason. Americans do not have delimited rights - the government has delimited powers. That was the radical idea. Such was intended by our Constitution, anyway. Since then, government, intoxicated with its importance, has been at war with our radical Constitution.”

Maggiesfarm comment on ‘Natural Rights and the Second Amendment’

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ace has it right

Shotguns are much better killing machines than are AR15s, so why aren’t gun grabbers going after them? Using an AR15 to kill requires practice and practice. Using a shotgun requires knowing how to load, chamber, point and pull.

‘Steven King on Guns: Guns Are Scary’

Coming after your guns

“Democratic lawmakers formally reintroduced a bill Thursday that would ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, the most ambitious — and politically risky — element of proposals unveiled by President Obama to limit gun violence.

“The ‘Assault Weapons Ban of 2013’ is a much more far-reaching proposal than the federal ban that expired in 2004. The proposal would ban the sale, transfer, manufacturing or importation of more than 150 specific firearms, including semiautomatic rifles or pistols that can be used with a detachable or fixed ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and have specific military-style features, including pistol grips, grenade launchers or rocket launchers.

“It excludes more than 2,250 firearms used for hunting or other sport, and assault weapons lawfully owned before the law’s enactment. But it would require background checks for the sale or transfer of grandfathered weapons and would bar the sale or transfer of large-capacity feeding devices owned before the bill’s enactment. Current assault weapon owners also would need to safely store their firearms. Unlike the original federal ban passed in 1994, the new ban would be permanent.”


(What is that “It excludes more than 2,250 firearms used for hunting and other sport …”? Did somebody go through a gun encyclopedia – “This one. This one. Not that one.”)

How many crocodiles?

“Thousands of the reptiles escaped from farms, including the Rakwena Crocodile Farm, along a river on the South Africa-Botswana border when gates were opened earlier this week to alleviate pressure caused by rising flood waters.”

“It isn’t clear exactly how many crocodiles are on the loose. Mulaudzi said he believes around 10,000 from multiple farms remain on the loose. Officials from the Rakwena Crocodile Farm have been quoted in conflicting South African media accounts as saying either 7,000 escaped or up to 15,000 escaped.”

(Seven thousand. Maybe 10,000. Or 15,000. We had roll call, but …)

Candidate for Czech president speaks Czech ‘like a Sudeten German’

Expulsion of 12-15 million Czech-Germans almost 70 years ago now part of presidential campaign, or, people have long memories. Especially Central and Eastern European people.

Another day flying door gunner

Air Cav Troop was at Lai Khe for the second part of Operation Junction City. Our Hueys shared space with 1st Infantry Division helicopters at the air strip. The troop set up in a large growth of young rubber trees across the road from the air strip.

One day when flying door gunner on a gunship covering a ground operation, I saw an air strike from above, an Air Force F-105 that dropped a bomb into the jungle.

It was magnificent. I had seen air strikes from the ground, but those were nothing compared to seeing one from the air. I had a better view than the pilot who dropped the bomb.

The gunships were flying at maybe fifteen hundred feet. A cavalry troop on the ground was taking fire, so we had rolled in and worked the jungle with flex guns and rockets and door guns. The ground commander started yelling that brass from our machine guns was falling on soldiers in the ACAVs. Then we were told an Air Force FAC was coming in, so we backed off.

The F-105 came in just above the trees where the VC were supposed to be and dropped a 500-pound bomb.

There was a big oak tree down in the jungle, standing taller than the other ¬trees. The tree must have been two hundred years old. The bomb, a fat black mass, went straight for that tree, and then the tree wasn't there any more.

The bomb took that tree and other trees nearby. The trees just disappeared in a cloud of dirty gray dust. Dirt jumped hundreds of feet into the air.

It was something you would have to see to understand and to appreciate. I had seen mines go off and tracers coming in and one night I saw a machine gun firing at me, but that bomb turned a small area of the jungle into nothing. We didn't draw any more fire that day.

Door gunner

On a Sunday summer morning I flew door gunner on a two-gunship team covering a convoy from base camp to Long Binh. The gunships flew back and forth along the convoy, from the time it left Blackhorse, through Xuan Loc, and along the main highway to Long Binh.

Gunship crews flew convoy cover, ground support and rotated standby on five-minute alert. Sometimes, you go up hoping somebody on the ground takes a shot at you, and you can go down and cut loose with everything -- flex guns and rockets and miniguns and door guns, eating up the foliage and hoping there's somebody down there.

Most of the time, though, when one bad guy popped a round at a chopper, he was gone into a hole before the ships could return fire. But we raked the jungle anyway, because you never knew. He might be slow getting into his hole, or maybe he didn't have a hole to get into, because you surprised him.

One gunner I knew, Maher, said his gunship team jumped a couple of oxcarts one day in a clearing. The gunships came zipping over the trees and onto the clearing before the people in the oxcarts knew what was happening. The people just looked up, and the gunships were on them. There was a young man walking beside one of the oxcarts, Maher said. The man carried an AK-47. Maher and the VC were eye-to-eye, or at least as near as they could be at a hundred miles an hour closing speed.

Maher said, "I had him. All I had to do was pull the trigger and he was dead. But I couldn't do it. I couldn't pull the trigger." By the time they circled and went in for the run, the people were gone. They had all jumped off the carts and made the trees. So the ships raked the carts and the oxen.

Maher said, "When we got back on the ground, Major Treadway jumped all over me. Really gave me a chewing out. He said ‘Why didn’t you fire? Why didn’t you shoot him?’" But the pilot hadn't had the enemy in his sights; he hadn't seen the young man face to face.

On other flights, particularly if you’re in a slick, you don't want any contact, and if it happens, you're angry because somebody spoiled your day. You go up wanting to enjoy the time, free from the ground, with the green countryside below and blue sky above, and fat cotton ball clouds hanging there for you to see. Those flights aren't adventuresome, just enjoyable. On those flights, you want simple things. Go from here to there, pick up passengers or cargo, go somewhere else. You want the coolness of flight, chop through the air, with the heat somewhere below. Coming down from those flights is . . . well, coming down. When the chopper lands, those small moments of freedom are gone, and you're wrenched back into reality.

I saw the ocean one day on a lethargic flight. The flight wasn't important. We went somewhere, picked up some people, took them somewhere else. The pilot was bored. He took the chopper way high; three, four thousand feet. The air was cold, brilliantly cold, unheard of cold. I looked off to my right, and there was the ocean, an enormous expanse of blue and green water, and I knew the water went all the way home.

Flying convoy cover was no different than other flights, except we always knew where we were going. We lifted off, and when past the perimeter, I opened the feed tray cover on my machine gun, pulled the bolt back, engaged the safety, lay the lead round of the ammunition belt into the feed tray and closed the cover. Then, I waited and watched, looking in four directions -- up, forward, down and back. Looking down, maybe I would spot something unusual, something out of place. I looked up and back and forward to spot other aircraft. Sometimes, people in other aircraft don't watch what they're doing, where they're going, what's around them.

Most of convoy cover is flown low, just off the treetops. Helicopters get shot down when they stray a few hundred feet above the trees. The danger area is between a few hundred feet and two thousand feet. Flying low, we zipped past villages or single hootches. We flew so close to the vehicles in the convoy we could see the drivers and gunners on the tracks. They always waved. We always waved back. We knew we were lucky. Most of the guys in the trucks and tracks slept in their vehicles. The guys in the tanks and tracks lived in their vehicles, worked in the mud and dust, busted jungle, got ambushed, blasted away with main guns and machine guns. In my troop, we went back to base camp at night, most of the time, unless my squad had ambush. We slept in the same tent every night. We got cold showers, because that's the only kind there were. But we got them.

There was a grass airstrip between Xuan Loc and Long Binh, a lush green line, surveyor-straight, that ran between a stand of rubber trees and the highway. Usually it was deserted. On that Sunday, we flew over it about two hundred feet. There were a half dozen civilian planes parked on the strip. The planes were painted bright colors -- white, blue, red, green, orange. People in white and blue clothes stood around the airplanes.

"French," one of the pilots said. "Must be having a fly-in."

We hadn't seen anything that wasn't dirty or army green for a long time. The clean bright airplanes and white-shirted pilots and pilot families seemed obscene. The war was dull green and covered with dirt. What were those clean people doing in our war? We figured they owned the rubber plantations we pulled ambush in, the plantations we flew over and sometimes shot up, the plantation I had an ambush in one night and couldn't get mortar fire because the explosives would kill the young rubber trees and the army would have to pay for them.

Those beautiful clean airplanes sat on that closely-cropped grass strip; gull wings and stagger wings and straight wings and parasol wings, antiques you would see in a museum.

I wondered what they'd look like if we rolled in and stitched them with door guns. It was only a passing thought.

We flew a few miles down the road, dipping over the convoy, waving at the soldiers. We turned back and made a large circle. The grass airstrip and the bright airplanes and the squeaky-clean French were coming up again. The pilot had the AM radio on Armed Forces Radio Network. The Sunday morning rock show was on. The Beatles were singing.

The pilot suddenly dropped the gunship, then leveled out just above the strip. We were doing one hundred knots, four feet off the ground, and in my headphones: "When I was younger, so much younger than today, I never needed anybody's help in any way." Then, the pilot lifted the ship over rubber trees at the end of the strip. The French pilots and their clean families looked shocked. What a rush!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

New York gun law should be model for country

Says Charlie Rangel.

“Well I hope so. New York is a little different and more progressive in a lot of areas than some other states and some of the southern areas have cultures that we have to overcome.”

Charlie Rangel and the Culture He Hopes to Overcome


Is that a mouse in your pocket, or do you know I am inspecting?

“Commanders inspected thousands of units at more than 100 Air Force installations, where almost 600,000 Air Force military and civilian personnel work. Commanders looked for and removed three broad categories of material: pornographic, inappropriate or offensive, or unprofessional.

“According to the results, in the three categories, the Air Force found 631 instances of pornography (magazines, calendars, pictures, videos that intentionally displayed nudity or depicted acts of sexual activity); 3,987 instances of unprofessional material (discrimination, professional appearance, items specific to local military history such as patches, coins, heritage rooms, log books, song books, etc); and 27,598 instances of inappropriate or offensive items (suggestive items, magazines, posters, pictures, calendars, vulgarity, graffiti). In total, 32,216 items were reported.”

Air Force sweats the small stuff


Check his pockets for pizza!

“The mayor also takes along a police detail when he travels, flying two officers on his private plane and paying as much as $400 a night to put them up at a hotel near his house. . . . Guns are largely forbidden in Bermuda — even most police officers do not use them — but the mayor’s guards have special permission to carry weapons. A spokesman for the Police Department declined to comment.”

(It’s hardly surprising that a big-city mayor carries guards who carry. You never know when some disgruntled citizen might want to go nose-to-nose because of some dumba$$ decision a mayor made. Nothing like big gun-carrying dudes to keep things peaceful.)

Linked from maggiesfarm.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Those touchy-feely Celts

“The Celts were long considered a barbaric and violent society. But new findings from a 2,600-year-old grave in Germany suggest the ancient people were much more sophisticated than previously thought.”

(First thought: It sometimes seems that in the last 20 or so years every ethnic group and every race has been determined less violent and less war-like than previously believed, except the Romans. And then I read this:

(“Roman writers in particular described the heterogeneous people as barbaric, only excelling in violence and war. But that's a distorted view, according to Dirk L. Krausse from Baden-Wurttemberg's state office for historic preservation.”

(So even when the Romans were writing about other peoples, they were wrong.

(And another thing: Being “more sophisticated” does not make a people any less violent.)

Linked from

Meanwhile, back in the Department of Stupid

“Denmark, which like its Nordic neighbours prides itself on promoting equal treatment for men and women, has taken gender equality all the way to the beauty salon.

“A ruling last month by Denmark's Board of Equal Treatment effectively stated that price differences between men's and women's haircuts were illegal.”

(It’s in Europe. Oh, OK. That explains it.)

YB-29 at Pratt, Kansas

A couple of things I did not know about the initial B29 test version: there is what looks like a gun blister just below and aft of the cockpit area and another behind the wing, and a bubble extension on the nose.

My father was stationed at Pratt for a while, between his time at Ellington Field near Houston and the Boeing School at Seattle. He said Kansans didn’t like Texans, and he returned the favor. But that was long ago, when people who remembered the cattle drives were still around, as were a few Jayhawkers and Bushwhackers.

‘Ugly’ cholesterol worse than simply bad cholesterol

Study says.

“People with high levels of 'ugly' cholesterol face three times increased risk of developing ischemic heart disease, the most common cardiovascular disease.”

(Well, ain’t that just great. The sky falls at an even greater pace.)

Oh, there is hope.

"We also hope that the pharmaceutical industry will develop new drugs targeted specifically at raised ugly cholesterol levels," he emphasises," he added.

(OK, news editor. Did he “emphasizes” or did he “added”?)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Gates of Vienna

Gates of Vienna was back up this morning, but with no new posts since Saturday. Message now is the site has moved. And:

Gotta get down to it,
Blogger is cuttin us down
Shoulda been done long ago

Monday, January 21, 2013

Advanced fighter checklist

Uses too much fuel. Check.
Pilots sometimes pass out for unknown reason. Check.
Fuel tanks explode if aircraft is hit by lightning. Check.
Cracks found in wing. Check.
Cracks found in engine. Check.
Pilots prohibited from flying aircraft within 25 miles of lightning storm. Check.
Expected delivery in 2018. Check.

“A Lockheed Martin spokesman said: ‘The F-35 programme has yet to formally test for lightning protection. We still have 4 years of Developmental Test ahead of us, before we actually begin formal Operational Testing. There is a plan in place for lightning testing to be completed in the future test plan, and for the jet to be appropriately equipped to fly in all weather. The plan is to conduct lightning test towards the end of the flight test programme. Because the testing has not be completed to date, we therefore have a lightning restriction of 25 miles at present for flight operations – this is obviously the safe, and sensible way to do business and supported by all involved in the programme.’”

(Four years of development testing?

(The old joke about the entire AF budget spent on one airplane draws nearer to being true.)

Jihadist/PC conspiracy

“A few days ago, Gates of Vienna was unreachable; but since other blogs also were affected by the outage, it appeared simply to be a technical problem, as follows from this article in 1389 Blog. After Gates of Vienna had not been in the Internet the past two days, it appeared that Blogger decided for the final shutdown yesterday.”

Iowa City alleys aren’t spiffy enough

Iowa City “downtown leaders” considering nicer lights, murals, fewer trash dumpsters so people using alleys won’t fee so … like they’re in an alley or something.

(Anybody think the downtown folk might find a use for citizen tax money?)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

CBS political director to Obama: ‘Go for the throat!’

“The president who came into office speaking in lofty terms about bipartisanship and cooperation can only cement his legacy if he destroys the GOP. If he wants to transform American politics, he must go for the throat.

“Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents. Through a series of clarifying fights over controversial issues, he can force Republicans to either side with their coalition's most extreme elements or cause a rift in the party that will leave it, at least temporarily, in disarray.

“Obama's gambit in 2009 was to build a new post-partisan consensus. That didn't work, but by exploiting the weaknesses of today’s Republican Party, Obama has an opportunity to hasten the demise of the old order by increasing the political cost of having the GOP coalition defined by Second Amendment absolutists, climate science deniers, supporters of ‘self-deportation’ and the pure no-tax wing.”

Linked through &
(But, hey, there’s no bias in the national media.)

Obama gun control proposals ‘test case for grass-roots movements’

So said former President Bill Clinton “before a joint meeting of the Obama National Finance Committee and a group of business leaders …”

“’You have the power to really democratize America,’ Clinton said. ‘You can do it on immigration reform, you can do it on these economic issues. You can do it on implementing the health care bill.’

“But, Clinton warned, the issue of guns has a special emotional resonance in many rural states — and simply dismissing pro-gun arguments is counterproductive.”

(Put aside gun control arguments for a moment. What planning is being decided in a “joint meeting of the Obama National Finance Committee and a group of business leaders”? And what does Clinton mean by “really democratize America”?)

Linked from

TSA stops teenage girl for “gun” on purse

Leather purse, imprinted pistol design = DANGER, DANGER!

For once, the victim and TSA inspector are on the same intellectual level.

"She was like, 'This is a federal offense because it's in the shape of a gun,'" Gibbs said. "I'm like, 'But it's a design on a purse. How is it a federal offense?'"

The girl missed her flight and then got sent to another city … Dumb f’s all around.

From Ace of Spades HQ:

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Ohio NG unit, local law enforcement drill for attack by Second Amendment supporters

Paul Joseph Watson
January 18, 2013

A safety exercise involving police, national guard and emergency management officials in Portsmouth, Ohio was centered around the premise that individuals “disgruntled over the government’s interpretation of the Second Amendment” plotted to use weapons of mass destruction to terrorize the local community.

The exercise, which took place yesterday, was run by the Ohio Army National Guard 52nd Civil Support Unit, Scioto County first responders as well as local law enforcement.

“The make-believe scenario is timely,” reports WSAZ News Channel 3, “Two school employees who are disgruntled over the government’s interpretation of the Second Amendment, plot to use chemical, biological and radiological agents against members of the local community.”

The drill revolved around the scenario of the two pro-second amendment advocates killing a teacher before setting up a chemical lab to develop weapons of mass destruction.

Some people are just stupid

“I don’t know if you know the genesis of the right to bear arms. The Second Amendment comes from the right to protect themselves from slave revolts and from uprisings by Native Americans.

“A revolt from people who were stolen from their land or revolt from people whose land was stolen from, that’s what the genesis of the Second Amendment is.” – Actor and Constitutional Scholar Danny Glover in speech at Texas A&M University.

Fashions to foil surveillance drones

“I don’t want the next generation to grow up thinking that giving away all of your personal data for free is the norm. If we’re on track for total surveillance, then good countermeasures are essential.” – Designer Adam Harvey

Watson? Come here, I … Aw &^W#*, *!(_$!!!

IBM AI program learns to cuss.

“Watson picked up some bad habits from reading Wikipedia as well. In tests it even used the word "bullshit" in an answer to a researcher’s query”, he added.

Who’s that terrorist in the mirror?

West Point study “says anti-federalists ‘espouse strong convictions regarding the federal government, believing it to be corrupt and tyrannical, with a natural tendency to intrude on individuals’ civil and constitutional rights. Finally, they support civil activism, individual freedoms, and self government. Extremists in the anti-federalist movement direct most their violence against the federal government and its proxies in law enforcement.’”

Michelle Obama: We can’t stop now

Two minutes and 37 seconds of cult of the individual.

Organizing for Action.

Specifics from Mrs. Obama: Not so much. But the world is closer to what it should be, she said.

Linked from

Friday, January 18, 2013

Palestinian Authority memo shows support for murderers, but court says the letter must be returned to PA

Lawyers representing the families of two American and one Israeli teenager killed in a 2002 bombing receive by mistake a secret memo that shows the Palestinian Authority supported two terrorist organizations. The Palestinian Authority asked the memo be returned. Plaintiffs’ lawyers said the memo proved their allegations.

Not a difficult decision, you might think. And apparently the judge in the case though the decision not difficult, either.

Except: “A US court has ruled that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has the right to cover up a document linking it to a 2002 suicide bombing that killed two Americans and one Israeli teenager.”

Link from:

Truth in song

My wife this morning went out the door to work singing (to the tune of Count Your Many Blessings), “Take my many freedoms, take them one by one …”

And now:

“Consider the following possibility -- common sense dictates that the progressives have already considered it. Someday, federal officers are going to visit the home of a man who owns a so-called ‘assault-style weapon.’ He has a family and a job. He pays his taxes. He has no criminal record. Not even a parking ticket. He purchased his gun legally. He uses it for target shooting. He thinks of it as an investment in the protection of his family and his nation, and his personal stand for constitutional liberty.

“The federal officers are going to tell him that his weapon has been banned, that the deadline has passed for him to turn it in at the local police station, and that he must turn it over immediately. He is going to refuse, on the reasonable principle that a man is not obliged to obey a law that fundamentally violates his constitutionally protected rights. The officers, who will have been trained to regard such "resisters" as hostile and as mentally unstable, will call in for back-up and then give this law-abiding patriot an ultimatum: produce your banned weapon peacefully at once, or be taken into custody on charges of illegal possession of a firearm, and possibly subjected to psychiatric assessment.

"If this man gives in and hands the officers his weapon, he will feel for the rest of his life that he has been broken -- that when push came to shove, he did not have the courage to stand up for his children's future. This, in short, is how the federal officials who sent the officers to his door want him to feel, and how they want everyone to feel: weak, ineffectual, emasculated, and submissive. It is how they want you to feel when federal agents molest your wife at the airport, and photograph your pubescent daughter in a naked scanner. It is how they want you to feel about your ‘private’ health records being permanently on file with a half dozen federal agencies, to be opened at their discretion. It is how they want you to feel about the thousand bank-breaking regulations you are obliged to comb through and comply with in the names of "sustainability," ‘social justice,’ ‘anti-discrimination,’ and a dozen other fronts in the war on self-governance.”

Lao Communist officials corrupt

“UNICEF figures show that 48 percent of Laotian children are stunted. They will grow up short and probably not very smart. That comes from serious malnutrition during the first years of life.

“This should come as no surprise to the uncaring, obdurate Communist government that rules this place. Five years ago, the UN’s World Food Program carried out a major food-security study of Laotian children and found that half of them were chronically malnourished. Today, nothing has changed.”

(Laos is building a big dam on the Mekong River. Thailand will buy almost all of the electricity. Cambodia and Vietnam are not pleased with the changes on the Mekong.

(President Lyndon Johnson offered a cooperative dam construction to Ho Chi Minh as a way to end the war in Vietnam and provide electricity for all people in Southeast Asia. As fitting a a good Communist and Vietnamese nationalist, Ho didn’t reply. Had the US and South Vietnam defeated North Vietnam, people in the region would not be malnourished today.)

And now for something entirely different

Mess with car seats all you want, but the other things … leave them alone

“There I was, trying my best, and failing royally, to buckle my 2-year-old grandson into his car seat. ‘Is it me?’ I wondered. ‘Or is it technology? When did car seats get so blasted hard?’

“The answer? It's both. Car seats, like most other baby equipment — with the possible exception of breasts — are infinitely more complicated than they were back in the day when I was filling my nest.”

(There is no “possible exception.” They are fine the way they are.)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Using kids for political gain

“It’s come to this: White House releases videos of young kids asking Obama for more gun control”

1927 Bath School bombing

The Bath School disaster is the historical name of the violent attacks perpetrated by Andrew Kehoe on May 18, 1927 in Bath Township, Michigan that killed 38 elementary school children and six adults, and injured at least 58 other people.[Note 1] Kehoe first killed his wife, fire-bombed his farm and set off a major explosion in the Bath Consolidated School, before committing suicide by detonating a final explosion in his truck. It is the deadliest mass murder in a school in United States history.

Andrew Kehoe, the 55-year-old school board treasurer, was angry after his defeat in the spring 1926 election for township clerk. He was thought to have planned his "murderous revenge" after that public defeat and he had a reputation for difficulty on the school board and in personal dealings. In addition, in June 1926 he was notified that his mortgage was going to be foreclosed. For much of the next year, a neighbor noticed Kehoe had stopped working on his farm and thought he might be planning suicide. During that period, Kehoe purchased explosives and discreetly planted them on his property and under the school.

Kehoe's wife was ill with tuberculosis, he had stopped making mortgage payments, and he was under pressure for foreclosure. Some time between May 16 and the morning of May 18, 1927, Kehoe murdered his wife by hitting her on the head with a blunt object. On the morning of May 18 at about 8:45 a.m., he set off various incendiary devices on his homestead that caused the house and other farm buildings to be destroyed by the explosives' blast and subsequent fires.

Almost simultaneously, an explosion devastated the north wing of the school building, killing many schoolchildren. Kehoe had used a timed detonator to ignite hundreds of pounds of dynamite and incendiary pyrotol, which he had secretly planted inside the school over the course of many months. As rescuers began working at the school, Kehoe drove up, stopped, and used a rifle to detonate dynamite inside his shrapnel-filled truck, killing himself, the school superintendent, and several others nearby, as well as injuring more bystanders. During rescue efforts at the school, searchers discovered an additional 500 pounds (230 kg) of unexploded dynamite and pyrotol connected to a timing device set to detonate at the same time as the first explosions; the material was hidden throughout the basement of the south wing. Kehoe had apparently intended to blow up and destroy the entire school.

The crazies will find a way to commit mass murder

(Ann Coulter is usually mean, but in this column, she is calm and correct.)

Guns don’t kill people, the mentally ill do

By Ann Coulter

Seung-Hui Cho, who committed the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007, had been diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder as a child and placed under treatment.

But Virginia Tech was prohibited from being told about Cho's mental health problems because of federal privacy laws.

At college, Cho engaged in behavior even more bizarre than the average college student. He stalked three women and, at one point, went totally silent, refusing to speak even to his roommates. He was involuntarily committed to a mental institution for one night and then unaccountably unleashed on the public, whereupon he proceeded to engage in the deadliest mass shooting by an individual in U.S. history.

The 2011 Tucson, Ariz., shopping mall shooter, Jared Loughner, was so obviously disturbed that if he'd stayed in Pima Community College long enough to make the yearbook, he would have been named "Most Likely to Commit Mass Murder."

After Loughner got a tattoo, the artist, Carl Grace, remarked: "That's a weird dude. That's a Columbine candidate."

One of Loughner's teachers, Ben McGahee, filed numerous complaints against him, hoping to have him removed from class. "When I turned my back to write on the board," McGahee said, "I would always turn back quickly -- to see if he had a gun.”
On her first day at school, student Lynda Sorensen emailed her friends about Loughner: "We do have one student in the class who was disruptive today, I'm not certain yet if he was on drugs (as one person surmised) or disturbed. He scares me a bit. The teacher tried to throw him out and he refused to go, so I talked to the teacher afterward. Hopefully he will be out of class very soon, and not come back with an automatic weapon."

The last of several emails Sorensen sent about Loughner said: "We have a mentally unstable person in the class that scares the living cr** out of me. He is one of those whose picture you see on the news, after he has come into class with an automatic weapon. Everyone interviewed would say, Yeah, he was in my math class and he was really weird."

That was the summer before Loughner killed six people at the Tucson shopping mall, including a federal judge and a 9 year-old girl, and critically wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, among others.

Loughner also had run-ins with the law, including one charge for possessing drug paraphernalia -- a lethal combination with mental illness. He was eventually asked to leave college on mental health grounds, released on the public without warning.

Perhaps if Carl Grace, Ben McGahee or Lynda Sorensen worked in the mental health field, six people wouldn't have had to die that January morning in Tucson. But committing Loughner to a mental institution in Arizona would have required a court order stating that he was a danger to himself and others.

Innumerable studies have found a correlation between severe mental illness and violent behavior. Thirty-one to 61 percent of all homicides committed by disturbed individuals occur during their first psychotic episode -- which is why mass murderers often have no criminal record. There's no time to wait with the mentally ill.

James Holmes, the accused Aurora, Colo., shooter, was under psychiatric care at the University of Colorado long before he shot up a movie theater. According to news reports and court filings, Holmes told his psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, that he fantasized about killing "a lot of people," but she refused law enforcement's offer to place Holmes under confinement for 72 hours.

However, Fenton did drop Holmes as a patient after he made threats against another school psychiatrist. And after Holmes made threats against a professor, he was asked to leave campus. But he wasn't committed. People who knew he was deeply troubled just pushed him onto society to cause havoc elsewhere.

Little is known so far about Adam Lanza, the alleged Newtown, Conn., elementary school shooter, but anyone who could shoot a terrified child and say to himself, "That was fun -- I think I'll do it 20 more times!" is not all there.

It has been reported that Lanza's mother, his first victim, was trying to have him involuntarily committed to a mental institution, triggering his rage. If true -- and the media seem remarkably uninterested in finding out if it is true -- Mrs. Lanza would have had to undergo a long and grueling process, unlikely to succeed.

As The New York Times' Joe Nocera recently wrote: "Connecticut's laws are so restrictive in terms of the proof required to get someone committed that Adam Lanza's mother would probably not have been able to get him help even if she had tried."

Taking guns away from single women who live alone and other law-abiding citizens without mental illnesses will do nothing about the Chos, Loughners, Holmeses or Lanzas. Such people have to be separated from civil society, for the public's sake as well as their own. But this is nearly impossible because the ACLU has decided that being psychotic is a civil right.

Consequently, whenever a psychopath with a million gigantic warning signs commits a shocking murder, the knee-jerk reaction is to place yet more controls on guns. By now, guns are the most heavily regulated product in America.

It hasn't worked.

Even if it could work -- and it can't -- there are still subway tracks, machetes, fists and bombs. The most deadly massacre at a school in U.S. history was at an elementary school in Michigan in 1927. It was committed with a bomb. By a mentally disturbed man.

How about trying something new for once?

MRE for breakfast

“The Defense Department took to Twitter to clarify that some troops in Afghanistan's Paktika province are receiving Meals, Ready to Eat instead of hot breakfasts as U.S. forces prepared to pull out next year.”

Napoleon (sort of): An army’s morale travels on its stomach.

An MRE to start every day, because breakfast is the most important meal.

If every morning I knew an MRE waited as my breakfast, I would not be happy.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

3 healthy reasons to cook with cast iron

You use less oil; cast iron doesn’t exude non-stick chemicals; your food is fortified with iron.

More explanation:

(My Number 1 reason: Food tastes better.)

Smart phone

My wife said her smart phone locked up. My phone isn’t smart enough to do that.

Gun-free household

Courage of conviction?

Uh, no.

Link from

But wait! There's more!

Kathleen got a Salad Chef for my wife and me. The appliance came with a cook book.

How odd, I thought. A cook book for a device that spins lettuce and chops stuff.

There is more than lettuce spinning, of course. The cook book has recipes for soups, main dishes and desserts.

When finding the recipe for Mum’s Apple Crumble I thought, “That’s noice, innit?” (People who say “Mum” also pronounce “nice” as “noice” and “isn’t it” as “innit.” I learned that from watching Are you Being Served? on KERA TV from Dallas.) Apple crumble is a good breakfast recipe, especially served with boiled egg whites.

I read the ingredients. OK. Yes. Got that.

“Fat for greasing the tin.”

What? (Or: Wot?)

“Fat,” “greasing” and “tin”?

To paraphrase Jimmy Dugan, “There’s no greasing in American cooking!” And if the food Nazis had their way, there would be no fat either. Nada. None. Zero.

And “the tin”? In the US of A, “tin” normally is an all-purpose adjective, covering various metals, although “sheet metal” has replaced most of tin’s usage. Few people say “tin roof,” for example, or “tin building.”

When I get around to making Mum’s Apple Crumble, I will spray a baking dish with non-fat cooking spray. (There is a loss there somewhere. “Fat for greasing the tin.” “Non-fat cooking spray to spray the baking dish.” The language has been lessened.)

Oh. The Salad Chef does spin lettuce.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

No pushovers in Mali

“In fact, a presidential official quoted by the Agence France-Presse said that French armed forces were surprised by the military capacity of the Islamist militants.

"’At the start, we thought they would be just a load of guys with guns driving about in their pickups, but the reality is that they are well trained, well equipped, and well armed,’ the official told AFP. ‘From Libya they have got hold of a lot of up-to-date sophisticated equipment which is much more robust and effective than we could have imagined,’ he continued, alluding to weapons that were smuggled into Mali after the fall of Muammar Qaddafi.”

Linked from

We’re going down the tubes and we’d best start biting the bullet

“(T)he new economic order has two likely alternative shapes. If people can be educated to understand that one steep, but relatively short-lived, depression can cleanse the system and begin a new era of prosperity, then a new free-market economy can rise out of the ashes of the soon to be old order. To get there, people would have to agree to delay substantially their receipt of retirement benefits (Social Security and Medicare); unionized government employees would have to accept Wisconsin-style limitations on public-union bargaining; federal regulations on business would have to be rolled back to Reagan-era rules; subsidies to businesses and farmers would have to be eliminated over a short phase-out period; oil and gas drilling on federal lands would have to be allowed to accelerate; the income tax would have to be amended substantially, either converted to a low-rate flat tax with few deductions (including the loss of the deductibility of home-mortgage interest) or scrapped entirely in favor of a national sales tax; the power of the Federal Reserve to create money out of thin air would have to be curtailed. In effect, Keynesian economics would have to be placed in the so-called dustbin of history.”

(Does anybody believe “gimme, gimme” will change to “Oh, I see. We all have to do our part”? The politicians will not move from the trough, economic elites will not stop funneling into the trough, and the entitleists will not give up their free money.)

Linked at news feed.

With China’s government telling Beijingers ‘Don’t breathe,’ what exactly is in the air?

Much the usual stuff when too many people are driving too many cars to and from too many factories. Or breathing.

Deaf Belgian twin brothers euthanized

Two deaf twin brothers in Belgium were euthanized by their doctor after realizing they were going blind and would be unable to see each other ever again, their physician says.

The 45-year-old men, whose names have not been made public, were legally put to death by lethal injection at the Brussels University Hospital in Jette, on Dec. 14.
The men, who were born deaf, had a cup of coffee and said goodbye to other family members before walking into hospital room together to die, their doctor told Belgian television station RTL.

"They were very happy. It was a relief to see the end of their suffering," said Dr. David Dufour.

"They had a cup of coffee in the hall. It went well and a rich conversation. Then the separation from their parents and brother was very serene and beautiful," he said. "At the last there was a little wave of their hands and then they were gone,"

More than 1,000 people legally availed themselves of doctor-assisted deaths in Belgium in 2011, most of them were terminally ill cancer patients.

The brothers are unique in that their illness was not terminal. Belgian law, however, allows doctors to euthanize "suffering" patients who are both mentally sound, over 18 and want to die.

Belgian lawmakers are considering a law that would extend euthanasia to dementia patients and children, whose families and doctors consented.

(“Belgian lawmakers are considering …” Of course they are. Once society accepts the idea of allowing voluntary suicide, the next step is the non-voluntary ending of life. “Our grandfather really does not know where he is, so let’s send him off.”)

From the Dan Rather school of responsible journalism

It was fake, but it was accurate.

“Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy held a news conference Monday where his department “put on display several of the firearms seized … during the first two weeks of 2013,” according to a police news release.

“But that wasn’t exactly the case.

“A police spokeswoman said McCarthy had hoped to display 25 weapons from among the more than 300 seized since Jan. 1 — but in fact the ones shown were from last year.”

“The weapons shown ‘match the guns that we took off the street’ in characteristics like maker and caliber …’”

(The chief said the 2013 guns were evidence and couldn’t be shown; the spokeswoman said the 2013 guns hadn’t yet been inventoried.),0,2319668.story

Linked from

OMG! It’s like the real military or something!

‘Air Force to Force Some Into Drill Instructor Duty’

“The nonvoluntary selection process is aimed at boosting military training instructor numbers and filling those slots with more experienced and mature airmen, Air Force officials said in a Friday news release.”

Monday, January 14, 2013

The aircraft is very well built …

Now if only the manufacturer can make it fly.

“Official type testing was undertaken on May 24, 1918, and during the D-type contest evaluation pilots praised the excellence of the construction and workmanship of the D.II while calling for an improvement in the flight characteristics.”

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What here is difficult to understand?

“In Europe, Globalization, and the Coming Universal Caliphate, Bat Ye’or cites Bassam Tibi, a world-class, Muslim scholar in order to clarify how utterly different the Cairo Declaration is from the UDHR (United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights). According to Tibi, ‘peace only exists between Muslims, and not between Muslims and non-Muslims and non-believers can only achieve peace with Muslims through conversion or submission (dhimmitude).’ Tibi further explains that for a Muslim, ‘striving in the path of Allah to spread Islam in the world [a.k.a. jihad] is not war but a pious, just action and a religious duty.’ Hence, non-Muslims who obstruct their nation’s Islamization must be considered aggressors. They are to blame for their resistance to Muslim conquest. Put differently, a non-Muslim who remains faithful to his own inherited tradition is ipso facto guilty of failing to accept the ‘truth’ of Islam. By resisting Allah’s will and compelling Muslims to wage jihad against them, they alone bear the full guilt for the hostilities. As Bat Ye’or comments, the logic espoused by the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) is completely at odds with the secular values of the nations of the European Union.”

(People educated in Western thought generally believe all other people will, through similar education, achieve the same philosophical reasoning about individual and universal rights. Maybe so, but if societies and governments and countries do not allow Western education, from where will those people gain reason and universal ideas? Simple answer: They won’t. Another simple (but ignored because of exclusion): Those people are not like us; they never will be like us. Western ideals philosophize (to a great extent) that all are created equal. Muslims know better. The West has itself to blame for the coming dhimmitude. Europe’s wars of religion first established one national religion, whether Catholic or Protestant, and then Western philosophers decided all the world’s people are the same.)

Everybody who knew Head Start didn’t work, raise your hand

Isn’t it great to have common sense, the kind that says taking kids out of their homes at an early age is stupid?

Health and Human Services' own study says it don’t work.

“In 2010, HHS released the findings of the Head Start Impact Study, which tracked the progress of three- and four-year-olds entering Head Start through kindergarten and first grade. Overall, Head Start had little to no positive effects for children who were granted access.

“For the four-year-old group, compared to similarly situated children not allowed access to Head Start, access to the program failed to raise the cognitive abilities of participants on 41 measures. Specifically, the language skills, literacy, math skills, and school performance of the participating children failed to improve.

“Alarmingly, access to Head Start for the three-year-old group actually had a harmful effect on the teacher-assessed math ability of these children once they entered kindergarten. Teachers reported that non-participating children were more prepared in math skills than those children who participated in Head Start.”

Long trail through maggiesfarm, lucianne and hotair to:

French soldier killed in rescue raid; helicopter pilot killed in Mali attack

“A French soldier has been killed in Somalia during a failed operation to free a hostage who is also believed to have died, the defence minister said.

“Jean-Yves Le Drian told reporters in Paris that a second soldier was missing after the operation.

“A battle erupted with al-Shabab militants after commandos swooped on the town of Bulo Marer overnight.”

“A French pilot was killed in a helicopter raid in Mali, the French defense minister said Saturday, as France deployed troops to the African nation to try to prevent an advance by militant Islamist forces.

"The pilot was fatally wounded as he took part in an aerial operation Friday afternoon in support of Malian forces in the north of the country, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a news conference.”

Austin City Council, Travis County Commissioners Court forget which state they’re in, want gun control

“William Barrett Travis and Stephen F. Austin, two great heroes of Texas' historic fight against the Mexican tyrant Santa Anna, would be rolling in their graves if they could watch the Travis County Court of Commissioners and City of Austin maneuver to end gun shows in their namesake city and county.

“The moves by court and council might seem innocuous, appropriate and innocent enough to the media-washed voters in this blue dot county of red Texas. But ominously they signal that the city and county, governed almost exclusively by liberals, will likely move down the path of ever-stricter gun laws -- like the ones that don't secure the safety of citizens in Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., etc.”

‘Dangerous Old Men’

“Samuel (Whitmore) was an old man -- seventy-eight years old, to be exact -- on April 19, 1775. After many years of service bearing arms for the British Crown, surely he was too old to fight, and his wife even told him so. On that fateful morning, though, he gathered up his musket, two pistols, and a cavalry saber that he acquired from a French officer who "died suddenly" and took his place to meet the British Regulars in Menotomy. When it was over, the British thought they were fired upon by a whole company and sent the same to subdue him. After dispatching some British Regulars by emptying his musket and pistols and drawing his sword, he had half his face shot off and was bayoneted thirteen times and left for dead. Samuel did indeed die -- ten years later.”

Doggie dental work

On Monday the dogs are going to Westrock Animal Hospital for teeth cleaning.

The procedure is not the same as was done 47 years ago to Army sentry dogs. The reasons for change most likely are: this is not 1966; and, Charlie and Victor are civilian dogs, not Army dogs.

In 1966, every so often, an Army veterinarian and an assistant drove in an M151 (jeep) from Taegu to Camp Howze and checked Sentry Dog Platoon’s eight mixed-German Shepherds. The procedure was simple for teeth cleaning. Each dog handler muzzled his dog and when told to do so, picked up his dog and put the dog on a table set up in the bright sunshine. The handler put his dog on right or left side and, with assistance from the platoon sergeant, held down his dog while the veterinarian, using a scalpel, scraped tartar from the dog’s teeth. The procedure was done for both sides of the dog’s mouth.

The Army 1966 procedure was not pleasant. The dogs did not like being forced into an unusual position and then held down. The dogs were trained to bite, hard and often. The dogs tried to bite the thing scraping their teeth, and the man holding the thing. This sometimes resulted in scalpel contacting the dog’s gum, but never so much as to cause large bleeding. Just a little bleeding, which did not improve a dog’s temper.

When the procedure was done, the dog was let up and it jumped from the table, quite on its own. The handler patted his dog and told it what a good dog it was, and then both ran around for a while for exercise and because a dog likes to run with its principal human.

In the 2013 procedure, dogs are anesthetized. That’s all I know.

Charlie and Victor also are overweight – Victor weighs 92 pounds and Charlie weighs 65 pounds. I wasn’t concerned about Victor’s weight, since his father weighed around 120. Charlie and Victor get a little more exercise than I do, but not a whole lot. A big part of their weight gain was caused by my choice of dog food. Both dogs really liked (I won’t mention the name of the fattening food, but it begins with a “K.”) People at the vet’s office said (K) has more fat than other dog food.

Now I know.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I will be glad when the word 'Vietnam' plays no part in American politics

At the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1981 I heard an editor (no military experience) talking about US aid to El Salvador. “We’re sending weapons and ammunition and advisors. That’s how we got involved in Vietnam.” I turned to someone at the City Desk and said, “It’s amazing how some people don’t know **it about history.”

The editor was repeating what he had heard and read somewhere, sometime.

Now we’ll get it all over again with hearings and stories as Kerry is up for secretary of state and Hagel as defense secretary.

Here is a fact that the rest of the world operates on: The American war in Vietnam don’t mean **it.

Let go, Luke.

‘The Problem with John Kerry and Chuck Hagel: They Are Products of the Vietnam Generation.’

They are not like us

The United States is the world’s only superpower, and Americans believe our power can be injected in any part of the world at any time. Whether that injection is right, proper and moral is not part of the argument; the agreement is that we can.

Until recently, most of us failed to realize much of the rest of the world does not care if we can move land, air and sea forces anywhere we want.

Superpower just doesn’t carry the same meaning as when there were two, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R.

Michael J. Totten gets into that realization with his “The International Elite Bubble,” stating that Western elites have fooled themselves into believing forces of good and right and proper are ascendant in the world today. That belief, Totten says, simply is not true.

Totten references Robert D. Kaplan’s December column in The Wall Street Journal, in which Kaplan says “Westerners identify like-minded, educated elites and mistake them for the population at large. They prefer not to see the regressive and exclusivist forces—such as nationalism and sectarianism—that are mightily reshaping the future.”

Kaplan, Totten says, “is quite right that Western internationalists often don’t like to see what’s going on outside elite bubbles in distant societies.”

What is going on is the same fight for the same pieces of land that the same people have argued over even before modern religion and nationalism. Kaplan again: “The disputes in Asia are not about ideology or any uplifting moral philosophy; they are about who gets to control space on the map.”

That is a hard reality for Western elites to swallow, after years and years of educating the heathen, bringing the barbarian into the fold of leagues of nations and nations united. Hard reality, though, remains real.

Kaplan’s article is here:

I disagree with the subhead: ‘The spread of universal values is being rolled back on many fronts, from Russia to the Middle East.’

“Universal values” requires definition, and definition will not be the same between a university educated Westerner and an Easterner in Central Asia.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I will shoot the burglars if they come back

1 p.m.

Took dogs to vet for shots, got back from town about 11:45 and found the front door kicked in. I went back to my pickup and drove to a position to watch the house and called 911. The deputy arrived and did a walk-around and then called another deputy. Both went inside and cleared the house. Nothing missing as far as I can tell. The bastards must have been looking for cash and jewelry, because they passed up about 20 long guns and 15 handguns. Door and facing completely buggered. Temporary repair probably this afternoon. Dogs and I (and a couple of shotguns and pistols) will be in the living room tonight. The bastards know about the guns; they’ll be back. Also ordering gun safe.

4 p.m.

My wife got home and we did another walk-through. Her iPad was stolen and a basket with about $50 in change. And a pillow case from our bed to put the stolen things in. The pillow looked strange, all white and uncovered on the bed.

Yes, Virginia, there is a health care investment surtax

“Starting this year, taxpayers who have a modified adjusted gross income of $200,000 or more ($250,000 for joint filers) will pay a 3.8 percent surtax on certain kinds of investment income, such as interest, dividends, capital gains, rent and royalties. (Interest on tax-exempt municipal bonds doesn't count.)”

(It’s OK. Only wealthy people will pay the surtax.)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Hollywood meets my wife … and backs down

A few years ago somebody from one of those Wife Swapping/Trading Spouses TV reality shows called my wife at her office.

HOLLYWOOD PERSON: We would like to offer you the opportunity to make an Arkansas Girl Scout family famous on our Spouse Swap program, so would you give us the names and phone numbers of Arkansas Girl Scout families you think might be interested?


HOLLYWOOD PERSON: We are offering a unique opportunity, so if you know an Arkansas Girl Scout family that wants to be on a TV reality show …


HOLLYWOOD PERSON: Oh. Well, thank you.

MY WIFE: Any time.

Bank of America freezes gun manufacture's account

"We believe you should not be selling guns and parts on the Internet." – Bank manager to American Spirit Arms owner Joe Sirochman.

The truth about Democrats

“Those that self-identify as progressives, leftists, socialists or Marxists, have one overwhelming trait in common: they are narcissists who believe they are pre-ordained to rule the masses too ignorant to govern themselves. Over the past thirty years as these extremists fully infiltrated academia, the mainstream media, the entertainment industry and taken over the Democratic Party, the American people have lost many of their individual rights. They are now being told what they can eat, where they can live, who they must associate with, where and how their children must be educated, and soon what medical care they are allowed to access, as well as the type of car they can drive and the amount of energy they are permitted to use.”

AF intercepts UFOs over DC in 1952

So said The History Channel’s Ancient Aliens, with one of the program’s experts stating Air Force “F-93s” made the interception.

F-93? I didn’t remember that number as part of the Air Force inventory.

“On 9 June 1948, the USAF ordered 118 F-93s, but the order was cancelled a year later.”

“In 1949, the production order was abruptly canceled as priorities had shifted dramatically following the testing of the ground-breaking Boeing B-47 which reputedly would not need an escort due to its high speed capabilities.”

It’s a small thing, giving credit to the wrong aircraft. But … Small wrongs in an alleged history program add up to wondering what else did the researchers and writers and experts get wrong?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Rather disgusting

When I walked into the living room Monday morning, a TV commercial showed a young man wearing a sports jersey throwing a football to another young man. Then the scene changed, to an image of a man in his late 20s, early 30s, pulling on a pair of jeans over a large diaper. The announcer said something about the (whatever brand advertised) being more comfortable than the leading brand of white paper (something).

Wait a minute, I said to myself. Why is a man in his late 20s, early 30s, wearing a diaper? And for a pickup football game? Does he intend to make use of the diaper during the game?

I’m not sure which would be worse – the huddle or lining up against an opposing player.

HUDDLE, Quarterback: OK, we’ll run a 3-4 option … Hey! Who … Holy cow, Jenkins! You ---- your pants?

LINEUP, Defensive tackle: Man, I’m gonna be on you like … What’s that smell? Dude! Get away from me, man! Time, time! We have offensive offense here! Dude ---- his pants!

Wolves hit Sakha reindeer herds

“Wolf packs have moved into Sakha's central reindeer pastures, from their normal hunting grounds in the mountains and dense forests. Reports speak of increased attacks on livestock, but not on humans.

“The Sakha agriculture ministry says 16,111 reindeer were savaged by wolves in 2012 - a 4.3% rise on 2011. That meant a loss to reindeer herders of more than 150m roubles (£3m; $5m), as each reindeer is worth about 10,000 roubles (£205; $328).”

The Sakha government says the area has 3,500 wolves, with an optimum target of 500. Wolf-hunting season is now year-round.

Was a time, was a time

Late this morning at WalMart in Sheridan I wrestled a 40-pound sack of dog food from the buggy onto the conveyor so the Associate could shoot the bar code, and then I wrestled the sack back into the buggy.

“Was a time,” I said, “I could throw stuff like that all day.”

“Things change,” she said.

“They do,” I said. “It doesn’t matter how much you don’t want them to, they do.”

She totaled the groceries and things and announced how much I owed. I got my card from my billfold and my glasses from a jacket pocket.

“Was a time,” I said, “I could see, too.”

The Associate laughed.

AWOL telephone

My telephone went AWOL on Friday. I looked in the usual suspect places – bedside table, living room table and my office desk. No luck. I decided maybe I had left the phone in my truck after boxing up Christmas lights and taking the boxes to the shop out back. That’s were my truck keys were after I discovered they were not in my pocket. I left the truck keys on the seat after parking the truck in front of the shop, and then after the boxes were stored, I decided to leave the truck parked there. But I forgot to get the keys. When I got the keys, the phone wasn’t there.

Sunday afternoon I decided the phone had to be in one of the three major places – bedroom, living room or office. I conducted a recheck of places where the phone might have gone into hiding. I did not find the phone near the bedside table, but I did find my book reading/TV watching glasses that had been AWOL for more than a week. The glasses were on the floor, between the table and the bed. After finding the glasses, I checked the living room chair-side table. No phone. I went to the office and looked at the desk. No phone visible. I moved some papers. Eureka. The phone was about a foot from where I always put it.

If it had been a snake … Well, it would have been a dead snake real quick.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The psychopath is right

“Jamie was talking about boxing there a minute ago. Well, I once heard a great quote from one of the top trainers. He said that if you climb into the ring hell-bent on knocking the other chap into the middle of next week, chances are you're going to come unstuck. But if, on the other hand, you concentrate on winning the fight, simply focus on doing your job, well, you might just knock him into the middle of next week anyway.”

Linked from

Slobbering on the hand that feeds; re Al Gore

“When considering the several suitors who were interested in acquiring Current, it became clear to us that Al Jazeera was founded with the same goals we had for Current: To give voice to those whose voices are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the important stories that no one else is telling. Al Jazeera, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.” – Joel Hyatt, co-founder of Current TV.

Hollywood serious about violence in films

Of course movie makes are serious. Violent death pays. And scenes with more bodies pay even more.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

All-night poker game

Early on a morning, 1951 or so, my father came home from an all-night poker game. We lived at the house that burned then, a bare wood house with a tin roof. There were two big oak trees, one southeast and the other southwest of the house. Land was open to the north and to the west, sparse woods to the south and long-time fallow fields to the east.

“I got out of the car,” my father said, “and a mockingbird started singing – ‘Deal ‘em, deal ‘em. You loose, you loose.’”

Searchers going to Burma after buried Spitfires

“LONDON — British excavators are heading to the Burma city of Rangoon to find a nearly forgotten stash of British Spitfire aircraft thought to be carefully buried beneath the former capital’s airfield.

“The venture is backed with a million-dollar guarantee from a Belarusian videogame company. Backers say it will uncover dozens of Spitfires locked underground by American engineers at the end of the Second World War.”

Another story says Burma holds 140 buried Spitfires.

“YANGON, Burma — As many as 140 World War II Spitfire fighter planes — three to four times the number of airworthy models known to exist — are believed to be buried in near-pristine condition in Burma. A British-Burma partnership says it will begin digging them up by the end of the month.

“The go-ahead for excavation came earlier this week when the Burma government signed an agreement with British aviation enthusiast David J. Cundall and his local partner. Cundall, a farmer and businessman, earlier this year announced he had located 20 of the planes, best known for helping the Royal Air Force win mastery of the skies during the Battle of Britain.”

You weren’t paying attention!

“Got my first paycheck post-deal today. As expected, my taxes went up. Since I make less than $25k a year I guess I must be an evil rich guy.”

(Welcome to the real 98 percent.)

And from someone who Has Absolutely No Idea:

“Just opened up my paycheck, they said that the payroll taxes were going to be hit...FUCKING REPUBLICANS!!!!”

Linked from

(Just wondering: When these same people got (in effect) a 2 percent raise, did they not wonder why? Answer: No. And those who knew the 2 percent was a cut in payroll tax, did they wonder if the SS would have to be made up somewhere down the line? Answer: No. Draw your own conclusions as to the smarts of these people.)

My wife was watching one of those morning shows Friday …

I don’t remember which; they all run together after a while, except HLN’s Morning Express with Robin Meade because Robin Meade is there, and the Fox (whatever it’s called) with three blonde mice.

Whichever show, the story was about the increasing number of men who wear tights as part of daily wardrobe.

Now, if a man wants to wear tights, that’s his business; he just better be sure he picks the proper place to show off the shape and size … of his legs. Billy Don’s Friday Night All You Can Eat Barbecue and Honky Tonk is not the right place. Some place in Metroville would be okay, one of those places with drinks like Strawberry Chamomile Sparkly; a place where financial advisors and social workers congregate, where the women are looking for a man, they’re just not sure what one is, and neither are the male type persons they meet there.

A piece in takimag listed and talked about “2012: The Year in PC.”

Writer Jim Goad sometimes gets carried away with some of his penning; references to the War of Northern Aggression as an example, but in the referenced article, he does okay.

We’re all being carried to Hell in a handbasket, and that slope is getting mighty slippery.

My wife said, “Back when men wore tights, didn’t they have that round thing, too?”

I don’t know if there was codpiece envy in those days, but I do know we need nationwide adaptation Kinky Friedman’s intent to dewussify Texas, if it has to be done one wuss at a time.

Friday, January 4, 2013

10 most wanted corrupt American politicians of 2012

So says

Republicans and Democrats; therefore, a diverse and equal opportunity list.

• Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
• Secretary of Energy Steven Chu
• Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice
• Attorney General Eric Holder
• Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)
• Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
• President Barack Obama
• Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)
• Rep. David Rivera (R-FL)
• Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius

But wait! There are more!

Dishonorable Mentions for 2012 include:

• Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC)
• Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY)
• Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano
• Gen. David Petraeus
• Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
• Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)

U.S., N.Z. tested tsunami bombs

In 1944.

“The tests were carried out in waters around New Caledonia and Auckland during the Second World War and showed that the weapon was feasible and a series of 10 large offshore blasts could potentially create a 33-foot tsunami capable of inundating a small city.

“The top secret operation, code-named "Project Seal", tested the doomsday device as a possible rival to the nuclear bomb. About 3,700 bombs were exploded during the tests, first in New Caledonia and later at Whangaparaoa Peninsula, near Auckland.”

(“Doomsday device?” Maybe so, if your town was tsunamied.)

Also at gatesofvienna.

Meanwhile, back in Islamworld …

‘Indonesia city to ban women “straddling motorbikes”'

“A city in the Indonesian province of Aceh which follows Sharia has ordered female passengers not to straddle motorbikes behind male drivers.

“Suaidi Yahya, mayor of Lhokseumawe, says it aims to save people's ‘morals and behaviours’.

“Leaflets have been sent out to government offices and residents to inform them about the regulation.”

(Strangely, as a Muslim activist said, Gabriel did not mention motorbikes when giving instructions to Mohammad.)

Linked from gatesofvienna.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Democratic voter

Tweet at Democratic Underground:

‘What happened that my SS withholdings in my paycheck just went up.’

“My paycheck just went down by an amount that I don't feel comfortable with. I guarantee this decrease will hurt me more than the increase in income taxes will hurt those making over $400,000.” – NCTraveler.

‘First Paycheck Of The Year: Schadenfreude Is A Poor Substitute For Cash’

(I do not tweet or text or Facebook or any of that, so my answer is limited to here:

(Dear NCTraveler: You voted, right? You kept aware of all the arguments from all candidates, right? No doubt you heard news reports of that “payroll tax” thing, the one newspeople never explained. Why didn’t you Google or Yahoo (or whatever search thingee you use) the words “payroll tax”? Blame yourself for your surprise.)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

And the winner for Most Corrupt Person of 2012 is …

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project named Aliyev based on the president’s “secret ownership stakes in banks, construction firms, gold mines, and telecommunications firms.”

Paul Radu, OCCRP's executive director, said, "We identified hidden companies that were owned by the first family of Azerbaijan in Panama, for instance, or in the Czech Republic. And we identified assets that they owned back in Azerbaijan via these companies."

Honorable mentions for Most Corrupt Person included “alleged Kosovo-born cigarette and drugs smuggler Naser Kelmendi, Montenegrin Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, Russian President Vladimir Putin, politically connected Serbian entrepreneur Miroslav Miskovic, longtime Uzbek President Islam Karimov, and wanted Serbian drugs smuggler Darko Saric.”

How long will Putin allow this sort of thing?

Quite a production, but it reeks of individualism and capitalism.

Linked from

Hey, poor Third World person!

Have we got a deal for you! A cookstove that reduces bad gasses and chemicals from that wood fire you’re burning. That’s right! You have been following your equally uninformed ancestors, who for thousands of years cooked food over an open fire. But now, thanks to civilized countries, you can have a stove in which to burn wood and a chimney that will carry away all those dangerous chemicals. And all for only $100!

You say your annual income is $200? Not a problem! The civilized countries of the world will give you a cookstove!

Heaven forbid we should have inflamed discourse

“Our obsession with the Constitution has saddled us with a dysfunctional political system, kept us from debating the merits of divisive issues and inflamed our public discourse. Instead of arguing about what is to be done, we argue about what James Madison might have wanted done 225 years ago.” – Louis Michael Seidman, “Let’s Give Up on the Constitution.”

Linked from

(A few days after the election in November, my wife was getting her hair cut. Two stylists were talking about the election.

(“I don’t understand that electoral college thing,” one said. “Why doesn’t my vote count just like anybody else’s? Why don’t they just count the total votes and whoever has the most, wins?”

(My wife entered the discussion. She mentioned history and the constitutional convention, arguments between big states and little states and the compromise that led to the Electoral College.

(“If we didn’t have it that way,” she said, “about five or six states’ voters could decide who’s president for the rest of us.”

(One stylist looked at the other and said, “That’s why we cut hair.”)