Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Sunday, March 26, 2017

I Like the Cut of Her Hijab!

 photo Hajib.jpg

She's probably going to get stoned later.

(Stolen from Wirecutter.)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I Just Turned Down... offer from Wideners to test ammo for free*.

I feel a little ill.

*They wanted me to review the ammo on the blog. Here's what I said in my response:
Thanks for the invitation, but I feel I must decline. I've cut way back on blogging, don't get enough range time as it is, and I'm a reloader so I pretty much make everything I shoot with the exception of .22LR and 12 gauge. I appreciate the opportunity, and turning down free ammunition makes me wince, but I don't think I'd be able to hold up my end of the bargain sufficiently well to make it worth your investment.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Gun Content

So I've cut way back posting here, but I'm still occasionally answering stuff over at Quora.  Seems a waste to let this one vanish in their bit-buckets, so here's a question-n-answer with an associated comment thread I did recently.

The question was:
Why are guns a right in the US, meanwhile education and healthcare are not?
The question is not about whether or not the government will prevent you from having an education/healthcare. My question is about why education and healthcare aren’t considered in the constitution.
I stumbled onto it fairly early, so there weren't many answers, but most of them talked about how the Constitution conferred rights on citizens, etc. Here's my answer:
Oy vey. After reading the current answers (there are eight not downvoted enough to be hidden) it becomes blindingly obvious that our free “education” system has failed pretty dramatically. As one student stated "I Was Never Taught That Knowledge."

The fundamental question is “What is a ‘Right’?”

Several people here state that education is a right, or that healthcare is a right.

No, they’re not.

While I’m not an Objectivist, I think Ayn Rand was correct when she stated:
A 'right' is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man's freedom of action in a social context. There is only one fundamental right (all others are its consequences or corollaries): a man's right to his own life.
As others have stated, “guns” aren’t a right, the right to self-defense - protection of one’s own life - is. The right to keep and bear arms is its corollary, for if denied the tools of that defense, the right is essentially stripped.

Education? You have the right to study anything you wish. What you don’t have is the right to make someone teach you. Health care? Same thing. You have the right to take care of yourself, but not force others to care for you.

Because forcing others violates their rights.

So why is the right to arms listed in the Bill of Rights, but education and healthcare are not? Because the Constitution is a legal document that establishes the limits of power of a governing body. If the Constitution were a document that said only what government could not do, it would be infinitely long. Instead, the body of the Constitution itself lists the powers that the Federal government has, and the mechanism under which those powers are established, maintained and exercised. The Bill of Rights is a (limited) list of things that government is warned explicitly not to trifle with, and a warning that there are other such rights not so listed.

The Tenth Amendment, too, is a limit that basically says “Only powers defined here belong to the Federal Government. Everything else is a power reserved to the States or The People. Hands off.”

So of course that’s the first one that got folded, spindled, mutilated and incinerated.

So what do we gather from this? That EDUCATION and HEALTHCARE are not in the purview of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. It’s not the job of the Federal Government to provide these things, subsidize these things, or regulate these things except as they affect interstate commerce. (A clause that has been stretched to obscene lengths ever since Wickard v. Filburn.)

It doesn’t matter if they seem to be good ideas. Those powers were not given to the Federal Government by the Constitution. They’re (as you observed) not mentioned in that document. They’re among the “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution.” And they’re not rights.

But they are most definitely powers.
I got a lot of positive responses, and the answer got spread around a lot (17.4k views so far), but this was the best comment thread I think:
Garry McConnell:
Successfully arguing that education and health care are not rights does not by extension prove that it isn’t a good idea for the federal government to invest in these areas. It might be that conditions have changed enough in 250 years that individual responsibility and hard work cannot alone pay for a child’s education or their uninsured cancer treatments, and that by extension a small class of people has an unfair advantage in the life, liberty and happiness department.

You also might consider that when the Founders spoke of defence, and the amenders referred to guns, they did so in the context of raising state militias, not foreseeing a $600 billion Pentagon, and that in the case of personal self defense they probably would have considered a 50 round semi-auto a tad excessive.

“Successfully arguing that education and health care are not rights does not by extension prove that it isn’t a good idea for the federal government to invest in these areas.”

That’s not the argument. The argument is - good idea or not - the Federal government wasn’t given those powers. You want to give the Federal government those powers? Article V spells out how to amend the Constitution. Have at it.

“It might be that conditions have changed enough in 250 years that individual responsibility and hard work cannot alone pay for a child’s education or their uninsured cancer treatments, and that by extension a small class of people has an unfair advantage in the life, liberty and happiness department.”

But why should it be the job of the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT to correct this iniquity? Why should it be granted the powers necessary to do this? Has history not shown what happens when governments accrue more and more power? (See your “$600 billion Pentagon” comment.)
Garry McConnell:
Well, my answer is because I don’t think the country can prosper without all citizens having reasonable access to health care and education, and costs in those fields have risen beyond the ability a hard working middle class family to afford. I feel it is wrong in civilized, wealthy country for a family to be ruined financially by a single medical bill. I think it is scandalous that a simple blood test costing $50 in Canada is billed at $5000 in one US state, and governments in other countries are able to drive down the cost of drugs and procedures by being the “single buyer”.

I’m aware of the constraints of the national debt, but I feel the country is in need of a reassessment of its budget priorities. We likely have different views on what has happened since the Depression; I do not believe the country would have survived without the government assuming a greater role in the economy, for example making education available to returning WW2 soldiers, and creating a viable middle class. I know that other democratic countries have offered public or hybrid health care systems that deliver equivalent quality at less than half the cost as a % of GDP. Finally, on a global scope I doubt the planet can survive another 100 years of growth-driven priorities and extreme concentration of wealth. And I don’t care if you label those views socialism, this is the only country where that’s an insult. I understand and respect your arguments, Jefferson is one of my favorite quotes, I just think the world can no longer afford the degree of economic freedom you prescribe.

I could be wrong, I’m not Einstein. I frequently fault liberal governments for spending on everything instead of setting clear priorities. Perhaps the country needs a new approach; the severe blue/red discord is not healthy.
“…and costs in those fields have risen beyond the ability a hard working middle class family to afford.”

And why is that? I don’t think it’s because of a lack of government regulation.

“… I feel the country is in need of a reassessment of its budget priorities.”

Here we agree on the generality. On the specifics I suspect not so much.

“I know that other democratic countries have offered public or hybrid health care systems that deliver equivalent quality at less than half the cost as a % of GDP.”

While depending on the U.S. to provide not only their security but the majority of new drugs, new medical procedures, and new medical technologies.

“Finally, on a global scope I doubt the planet can survive another 100 years of growth-driven priorities and extreme concentration of wealth.”

And how has this “extreme concentration of wealth” come about? Through government regulation. See Regulatory capture and Rent-seeking. So, hey! Let’s give the government some more power to decide who wins and who loses! Let’s give it control over another 1/6th of the total economy! What could go wrong?

“…I don’t care if you label those views socialism, this is the only country where that’s an insult.”

That’s because this is apparently the only remaining country that actually grasps what an abysmally bad idea it is.

“Jefferson is one of my favorite quotes, I just think the world can no longer afford the degree of economic freedom you prescribe.”

Perhaps you’ll like these quotes from Milton Friedman:

"I frequently fault liberal governments for spending on everything instead of setting clear priorities."

Friedman has one for that, too:

“Perhaps the country needs a new approach; the severe blue/red discord is not healthy.”

On that we also agree. But that divide is the result of 100+ years of public education pushing the idea that freedom is scary and dangerous, and we’d be much better off being told what we can and can’t do by our supposed betters.

I’ve concluded that it’s a little late to try and overcome that.
Garry McConnell:
Sorry, Friedman has always left me cold. I don’t believe freedom stands alone, it comes with responsibilities to our fellow man. And contrary to capitalism, every dollar isn’t equal. The dollar spent feeding a starving child is simply more valuable than the one going towards a trust baby’s second yacht. If economic freedom is creating too many yachts compared to starving children, it isn’t working. And I don’t believe that if government just got out of the way freedom would solve the world’s greatest problems. I think we would have more poverty, pollution, and corruption, and as class concentration increased, we would ironically have less freedom for most people.
“Sorry, Friedman has always left me cold.” Says the man who also stated: “I don’t care if you label those views socialism, this is the only country where that’s an insult.”

Quelle suprise.

“The dollar spent feeding a starving child is simply more valuable than the one going towards a trust baby’s second yacht.”

No, it’s a dollar. How you feel about it does not change its value.

“If economic freedom is creating too many yachts compared to starving children, it isn’t working.”

How many is “too many”? Who gets to decide? And, more importantly, who gives those people the power to restrict my economic freedom?

I don’t have these comment thread discussions in order to change the minds of the people I’m sparring with - I know that’s a waste of time - I do it so that interested third parties can look at both sides of the argument and see perhaps something they’ve not thought about before. So, even though he “leaves you cold,” here’s Milton Friedman on Donahue discussing “greed” and government, about which I’ll have more to say below:

“…I don’t believe that if government just got out of the way freedom would solve the world’s greatest problems.”

That’s the difference between us, then. Because freedom has lifted more people out of poverty than anything else humanity has tried, and as they rise out of poverty they prefer a cleaner environment (that now they can afford to have) and they oppose corruption as it tends to limit their freedom. Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” at work. (Would I be correct in assuming that Smith “leaves you cold” as well?) Friedrich von Hayek in his Road to Serfdom has this to say about Smith:

“Perhaps the best illustration of the current misconceptions of the individualism of Adam Smith and his group is the common belief that they have invented the bogey of the ‘economic man’ and that their conclusions are vitiated by their assumption of a strictly rational behavior or generally by a false rationalistic psychology. They were, of course, very far from assuming anything of the kind. It would be nearer the truth to say that in their view man was by nature lazy and indolent, improvident and wasteful, and that it was only by the force of circumstances that he could be made to behave economically or carefully to adjust his means to his ends. But even this would be unjust to the very complex and realistic view which these men took of human nature. Since it has become fashionable to deride Smith and his contemporaries for their supposedly erroneous psychology, I may perhaps venture the opinion that for all practical purposes we can still learn more about the behavior of men from the Wealth of Nations than from most of the more pretentious modern treatises on ‘social psychology.’

“However that may be, the main point about which there can be little doubt is that Smith's chief concern was not so much with what man might occasionally achieve when he was at his best but that he should have as little opportunity as possible to do harm when he was at his worst. It would scarcely be too much to claim that the main merit of the individualism which he and his contemporaries advocated is that it is a system under which bad men can do least harm. It is a social system which does not depend for its functioning on our finding good men for running it, or on all men becoming better than they now are, but which makes use of men in all their given variety and complexity, sometimes good and sometimes bad, sometimes intelligent and more often stupid. Their aim was a system under which it should be possible to grant freedom to all, instead of restricting it, as their French contemporaries wish, to 'the good and wise.'

(Bold my emphasis.) Government is the concentration of power into the hands of the few. Throughout history government has existed not to “solve the world’s greatest problems” but to protect and expand the power and privilege of the powerful and privileged. That power corrupts and attracts the already corrupt. It’s human nature. As Friedman asks in that clip, where are you going to find these angels who are going to organize society for us?

Thomas Paine had it right in Common Sense: “Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil….” A necessary evil - best kept small and watched closely. You want to feed starving children? Please, be my guest. Use your individual freedom. Start a GoFundMe page, Patreon, form a group like the Masons or Elks. Try to convince that trust fund baby to contribute. But don’t hand more power to the government in the belief that they are somehow better human beings - “the good and the wise” - just because they were elected to office or collect a government paycheck.

Ask the Venezuelans.
Garry McConnell:
You’re right, of course, we are going around in circles. Just one more point. People who claim they don’t want the government to interfere in the economy or peoples lives are sometimes inconsistent. Freidman, for example, thought the Fed should have printed its way out of the Depression, which can add significantly to the central bank’s balance sheet, expose the Treasury/taxpayer to risk, and in the worst case turn a deflation into a hyperinflation. It also, as we saw in 2008, can be a way to bail out Wall Street banks who should be allowed to fail if we are truly in a free economy.

I also find those preaching liberty are sometimes the same ones passing laws telling people how to lead their lives or supporting extreme government surveillance options. Or my favourite: turning the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of religion on its head and insisting on “religious freedom”, which often is held up as the right to discriminate without regard to the law.

Anyhow, thanks for being civil. Cheers.
We’re not really going around in circles, but we do differ on first principles, so there cannot be any real agreement reached. Regardless, the discussion serves to expose readers to two vastly different worldviews, and at that it was useful. Thanks to you for the civility as well.

Inconsistency is found on both sides of the aisle - human nature, again. “Liberal” used to mean “in favor of maximizing individual liberty.” Now, subsumed into the “progressive” bandwagon (and like Vizzini’s “inconceivable!”) “Liberal” means something entirely different. Like the “liberals” being for the right to choose except when it comes to where you send your kids to school, what size soda you should be allowed to purchase, how much salt you can put on your food, what size car you should be allowed to drive, whether you can opt out of purchasing health care insurance, what you can say in public, what you can believe with respect to climate change, who you can associate with (as long as you’re not a member of a protected class), which flags you can fly, what books you can burn, who should be banned from speaking on college campuses, etc. etc. etc.

You illustrate “religious freedom” being “turned on its head” because (for example) a Christian baker didn’t want to make a cake for a gay wedding because homosexuality is a sin for Christians. But apparently it’s perfectly OK to deny service to Trump voters because they believe the wrong things.

Pot? Kettle.

I think any business should be able to deny service to anyone for any reason they wish. If they’re assholes, it’s easier for me to avoid them if they wear their “(_*_)” tattoo on their foreheads for all to see. But that’s just me.

WRT Friedman, nobody’s right all the time. As of this moment our nation is $19.9 trillion in debt, up $8 trillion in just the last eight years. I’m wondering why we don’t have hyperinflation right now, and the only reason I can come up with is that the Dollar is the world’s reserve currency.

To close, here’s an interesting Venn diagram I ran across a few years ago for you to think on:

I would place myself on that diagram somewhere between Minarchism and Paleo-Conservatism, shading a lot closer to Minarchism.

I imagine the idea of a Federal government that small frightens you.
Garry McConnell:
Interesting, thanks.

Modern Liberal
Again, quelle suprise! ;-)
I kind of enjoyed that and thought I'd share.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Car Show!

Today was the annual Fords on Fourth car show here in Tucson, or as I like to call it, "twenty acres of Mustangs and some other Fords."

Here are some of the other Fords.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

A Bill Whittle B-Day Present

Bill posted this on Thursday, my birthday.  Got 30 minutes?

Friday, March 03, 2017

Movie Review: Logan

No spoilers.

I'm detecting a trend in action movies this year: Lots and lots and LOTS of dead bad guys. (John Wick 2, Logan....)

Hit-Girl has some serious competition.

The preview for Deadpool 2 is hysterical.

The reason, I think, that DC comic-book movies are not as commercially successful as Marvel comic-book movies is because they're not as fun or as funny. The reason the X-Men movies haven't been as commercially successful as, say, Iron Man or the Avengers series is, they're not as fun or as funny. It wasn't the R-Rating that made Deadpool wildly commercially successful, it was the humor. This was not a fun/funny film. It ain't for kiddies. The R-Rating was earned. It was pretty serious. And pretty predictable. But damned well acted.

If you like Hugh Jackman as The Wolverine, it's worth your money to go see it.

Oh, and the kid can ACT. You'll be seeing more of her in the movies, I think. (Why couldn't George Lucas cast a kid who could ACT?!?)

Tough History Coming

Sarah Hoyt pens an essay on the topic that you ought to read.

(You know, Say Uncle is right - linking is a lot easier than writing....)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

They Really Are Desperate to Stop Trump

Now they're after Jeff Sessions for talking to the Russian Ambassador. Let me recap:

 photo desperate_democrats.jpg
I thought the Russians were supposed to be the Democrat's friends.  Remember the "Reset" "Overload" button?  Teddy Kennedy begging Russia for help to thwart Ronald Reagan?

What the hell do they think Donald is going to do for Putin?

Honestly, I don't think they believe it at all (though their true-believer followers do).  The "Russian scandal" they're pushing they think is a chink in Trump's armor, and they intend to use it to pry him open like a tin can using the media as their can opener.

Hey Republicans?  Take a page from the Democrat playbook:

It's worked for Hillary for decades.

Quote of the Day - Empress of Snark Edition

So Tam posted this on Facebook, but not her blog.  So that it's not lost forever:

iPhone 7: $650
Sig P250: $425
Doucheflute: $40
Holster: $9.99
Getting mocked ruthlessly on the internet: Priceless

 photo Doucheflute.jpg

THAT'S priceless!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quote of the Day - GeekWithA.45 Edition

I wish the man would blog again, but I'll take 'em where I can get 'em.  He left this over at Kim duToit's place.  I'll fix his edit and quote in whole:
Super long story short:

I no longer believe the axis entirely pivots on Right vs Left.

I was using the term “collaborative establishment” until I encountered the term “Deep State”, which I think is probably more apropos.

Viewed as dispassionately and as objectively as I can muster, the federal US government is a machine whose function is to ingest a significant fraction of the people’s productivity, and transform that wealth into various benefits and favors. Both establishment parties fully, 100% agree that this machine shall persist and grow, and will drop all differences towards that end, collaborating fully. Where the parties compete is on the output end, crafting such packages of benefit such that they will believe will attract the most power, votes and influence.

This is the single largest coherent economic activity on the planet, and is jealously guarded as such, with all the violence implicit in a gang banger protecting his profits on a single drug corner. The “military industrial complex” was merely the prototype for the “governmental economic complex”.

The election of 2016 is entirely about the people of the US recognizing that they’ve lost control of their government, (even if they couldn’t articulate it in similar terms) that this was the result of normal electoral politics, and that the the cost of rejecting the continuation of the status quo via the Established candidate Hillary was electing the outrageous blowhard and loose cannon Trump, in the wild hopes that doing something different would result in a different outcome.

The extent to which Trump simply recognized and rode that wave to the Oval Office is a subject of academic debate.

For myself, I think that this is a temporary respite on the long march to Deep State Progressivism, for it is the Progressives, an inherently statist, totalitarian and parasitic entity that is the primary architect of its favorite tool, the Deep State, as well as the primary antagonist of the infiltration and subversion of the institutions of influence whose purpose is now to position in the public’s mind the essential necessity and centrality of the Deep State as the most critical component of a just society and source of the good life.

Nonetheless, Trump is neither the solution nor antithesis to this. The most we can hope for is enough demolition to the underpinnings of the Deep State’s mechanisms that some deep reform will be made possible, but on this, I am not optimistic.
Neither am I.

Monday, February 13, 2017

F^*& Cancer with a Rusty Chainsaw

Connie du Toit has passed.  I just received a message from Kim.  Connie has passed due to cancer, and now he's got to pay off those bills.  If you've spent much time around the gun blogs and gun boards, you'll be familiar with Kim du Toit and his classic essays like "The Pussification of the Western Male" and "Let Africa Sink."  Kim & Connie were always ones to chart their own path, and that path has cost them.  So if you're so inclined, please consider contributing to Kim's Surviving Life Without Connie GoFundMe page.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Recommended Reading

I was pointed at this piece in an exchange over at Facebook. I'm not through with reading it yet, but it's interesting enough for me to recommend it to my readers who have attention spans. Situational Assessment 2017.  Excerpt:
I use John Robb’s term “Trump Insurgency” here to highlight the fact that the election of 2016 was not an example of “ordinary politics”. Anyone who fails to understand this is going to be making significant errors. For example, the 2016 election is not comparable to the 2000 election (e.g., merely a “close” election) nor to the 1980 election (e.g., an “ideological transition” election). While it is tempting to compare it to 1860, I’m not sure that is a good match either.

In fact, as I go back and try to do pattern matching, the only real pattern I can find is the 1776 “election” (AKA the American Revolution). In other words, while 2016 still formally looked like politics, what is really going on here is a revolutionary war. For now this is war using memes rather than bullets, but war is much more than a metaphor.

This war is about much more than ideology, money or power. Even the participants likely do not fully understand the stakes. At a deep level, we are right in the middle of an existential conflict between two entirely different and incompatible ways of forming “collective intelligence”.
As I said, interesting.

Quote of the Day - Liberals & Muslims Edition

Via Mad Mike Williamson on Facebook:
You can see the similarity between liberals and Muslims.

Only a handful of each are violent, but the peaceful ones won't do anything to stop them.

They both believe in religions that have long since been debunked by reality.

They both want the entire world to embrace their faith, by force if necessary.

They both have large elements who believe that the rule of law shouldn't apply to them, only their own internal law.

They both think it's okay for famous people to molest kids.
THAT should leave a SCAR.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Past Time for Another of These

Your Moment of Zen:

 photo MOZ2.jpg
(Click for full size)

What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

So, I like to watch those car restoration/modification shows.  You know:  Restoration Garage, Overhaulin', Detroit Muscle, Engine Power, Counting Cars, etc.  My wife has asked me on more than one occasion why I watch that stuff when I don't do any of that.

Well, I've always kinda wanted to.

Long, long ago when I was but a lad, my brother had a book on popular engine swaps, and one of them stuck with me - a Pontiac 215 cubic-inch aluminum-block V8 into an MGB.  Not quite twice the displacement, more than double the horsepower, and with a Muncie 4-speed, 50 lbs less weight.  My dad had owned a Triumph Herald with a 1500cc Spitfire engine equipped with dual Weber carbs.  I was too young to drive it, but I remember that car even now.  My brother rolled it.

But the idea of stuffing a V8 into an MGB has always stuck with me.  Turns out, it's a very popular thing.

So I bought an MG to stuff a Ford 302 and a 5-speed into.  And, because I need the garage space and cubic dollars to restore & customize the MG, I sold my Mustang.

Here's what I had, a 2011 GT 5.0:

And here's what I bought:

It's a 1970, with all the niggling problems that you'd expect from a 47 year-old British sports car, but it does run fine.  As I described the experience of getting it home from across town:
That was exciting. No brake lights, no turn signals, one mirror that vaguely worked, no instrument lights, a speedo that doesn’t even vaguely work, it was dark, and thankfully I forgot my sunglasses.

Don’t think I’ll be taking it to any car shows soon.
Rust issues appear to be minimal, but we'll see once all the paint comes off.

Now I'll have even less time for blogging.  But you'll get progress reports here.

UPDATE, 2/8/17, @3:14AM MST:    OK, while I can be a fool, I am not a complete idiot.  I don't fit in this car.  Literally.  Getting into and out of it is (if you're watching me do it) a comedic act. My size 13 feet and six-foot corpulent frame just aren't designed to bend in the ways necessary to climb behind the wheel of this thing.  After two pretty much sleepless nights (see the time stamp of this update) I've come to a conclusion - I've made a mistake. Given my size, I'm not too small of a man to admit to a mistake.  Now to minimize the cost of that mistake.  Further updates as I try to dispose of this white elephant.  Dammit.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Superbowl Commentary

There are some damned clever people out there.  Best I've seen this evening:
A) Rome, groceries, Piers Morgan

Q) What are "Things that have been sacked fewer times than Tom Brady?"

Tamara Keel



This wouldn't be the first time a bunch of yanks burned Atlanta to the ground at the end of a long conflict.  - Traci Simer


 Falcons applying to change their name to the Atlanta Hillarys... - John Ross
I'm sure there will be more and possibly better tomorrow, but in the immediate aftermath, not bad!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

I Understood (and Appreciated) that Reference

I'm about halfway through the novel Babylon's Ashes by James S.A. Corey, the sixth in The Expanse science fiction series.  In this one the "inner planets" - Earth, its moon, and Mars are in conflict with the Free Navy, made up of warships operated by "belters" - the humans that live and work in the "outer planets" area - the asteroid belt and the moons beyond Mars' orbit.

I've enjoyed the series so far (and the first season of the TV series on the SyFy Channel).  But this Easter egg got my attention in the current novel:
In the middle column, the colony ships she and her fleet had taken:  The Bedyadat Jadida, out of Luna.  The John Galt and the Mark Watney, out of Mars.
Nice nod to Andy Weir there.  Would have been neat if one of the ships had been named the Rich Purnell.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Just Watched "Hidden Figures"

If you're going to do a Social Justice film, this is the way to do it.

Strongly recommended.

UPDATE:  Read this.

This is the Kind of Person "Reasonable Regulation" Would Disarm

On January 12, an Arizona Highway Patrol officer responding to a rollover wreck was attacked by the driver of the vehicle in the incident.  The officer was shot in the shoulder and chest, and then the assailant physically assaulted him, trying to bash his head on the pavement.

A passing motorist saw the assault, stopped and exited his vehicle with a handgun, ordered the attacker to stop, and upon his failure to respond and the officer's cries for assistance, the motorist shot the assailant, killing him, and possibly saving the life of the officer.

In a statement given today, the emotional shooter described the incident.  Rambo he is not:

DPS Director Frank Milstead discusses the incident in more detail:

Not an off-duty cop. Not ex-military. Just a guy who goes shooting "three or four times a year."

Moreover the Samaritan, Thomas Yoxall, had a felony conviction in 2000 that would have rendered him a "prohibited person" under 18 U.S. Code § 922 (g)(1). However, "In October 2003, a Superior Court judge vacated Yoxall’s guilty judgment and restored his right to possess a gun."

We're told that dangerous criminals like Yoxall can't be trusted with a firearm. Trooper Ed Anderson, I'm sure, is glad that he was armed.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Quote of the Day - Bubble Edition

From a Brian Eno interview in The Guardian:
My feeling about Brexit was not anger at anybody else, it was anger at myself for not realising what was going on. I thought that all those Ukip people and those National Fronty people were in a little bubble. Then I thought: ‘Fuck, it was us, we were in the bubble, we didn’t notice it.’ There was a revolution brewing and we didn’t spot it because we didn’t make it. We expected we were going to be the revolution.”
No, mate, you were the Establishment

Nice that somebody finally noticed.