WSJ: "Fire Is Hot"

In his United Nations speech on Tuesday, President Obama talked about the September 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya and declared that "there should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice." What he didn't say is how relentless he'll be in tracking down the security lapses and intelligence failures that contributed to the murders. Let's say there's some doubt about that.
In the past week, I've started to see more articles of this sort from the MSM: little tidbits that make me think, "Hey, finally!  Someone's paying attention!"

Then I realize that they're probably just backing off of the rabid Obama support a little bit so they have something they can point to and claim that no, really, they were totally, like, unbiased, man.

"See, we criticized the Obama administration over their handling of Libya!"

"Well, ok, no.  We didn't criticize Obama himself."

"What?  You think he should take personal responsibility for his administration?"


"WMDs? I don't think they exist."

Panetta: We’ve Lost Track of Syrian Chemical Weapons
The U.S. has lost track of some of Syria’s chemical weapons, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday, and does not know if any potentially lethal chemicals have fallen into the hands of Syrian rebels or Iranian forces inside the country... 
Panetta's statement follows reporting that Syrian rebels claim to have taken control of a military base that contains chemical weapons.
Oh, joy.

Someone's Being an Idiot Here...

And it ain't Bibi. As Larry explains (Warning: Entirely Justified (IMHO) Strong Language):
So Netanyahu goes before the UN a few days after Ahmadinejad talks of vaporizing Israel, and tries to warn the world that a nuclear Iran is unacceptable, and to plead for sanity. 
To do so, he employed a prop - a cartoon representation of a bomb - and drew a red line through it.  Which was apparently too much, or something?
So it makes perfect sense that the title of this article is: Netanyahu’s ‘red line’ mocked on Twitter… Because, you know, when a desperate world leader is pleading for sanity the best thing to do is make fun of his graphic design skills.
Of course, as one of the commenters pointed out:
I bet if Obama started drawing on cartoons everyone would say “That’s a great way to help the audience visualize the importance of a complex subject”.

"Is that a gun in your pocket, or..."

How to arrange good-looking clothing around the decidedly non-standard bulge of a handgun is a topic worth looking at. It’s something that a whole range of men need to think about: police detectives, security guards, entrepreneurs in dangerous countries, and even your average American civilian who prefers to be armed.
Covers weapon choice, types of carry, and - of course - style.

Being a non-gunnie [1] type, I thought the article was interesting; and based on what little I do know, I went looking for "pocket carry" to see if what they said lined up with what I had seen elsewhere from folks that I trust...

The biggest disadvantage of carrying your gun in your pocket is that, unless you have an internal holder sewn into the pocket (which we recommend if you plan on pocket carrying regularly), the gun will shift around as you move. This can slow your draw, make the gun more likely to “print” (show its outline through the fabric), and even be a safety hazard.
Emphasis mine, which checks out with what I've seen before on the subject.  So it seems like they've got at least a minimal clue.  I'll have to keep this article in mind should I ever decide to pick up my CC permit.

[1] By which I mean: I know what I have, I like what works for me, and debating gun styles and manufacturers and all that just isn't my bag.

Total Disconnect

You have got to be kidding me.

IIRC, my wife got her first gun (a .30-30) at 10.  My eldest daughter got her first gun, a .22 rifle, as a gift from a friend at age 10.  She's also been going out hunting with my father-in-law and my darling wife (who's a much more avid hunter than I am) since she was 9, which is, by the way, perfectly fine with the state of PA.

Anyone who thinks that encouraging a 10 year old interested in hunting is some sort of child abuser has are seriously disconnected from reality.

Deja Vu

They fail by trying to solve non-problems.
I was skimming through this, and thinking, "Whoa, this sounds a lot like what Steve Blank has to say about the startup business", and then at the end, I saw:
This article initially appeared at
Well, whaddya know.

In startups I've worked for, the popular question seemed to be "What's the pain point"?  That is:
  • What problem do your customers have?
  • How does your product solve their problem?

If you can't answer the first, you don't know who your customers are.  If you can't answer the second, you don't know what your product is.  If you can't answer either, then you're up a certain creek sans paddle.

Fair Fight

Note: You may reprint this cartoon provided you link back to this source.
Fair Fight - Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion

China Commissions First Carrier

TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) - China sent its first aircraft carrier into formal service on Tuesday amid a tense maritime dispute with Japan in a show of force that could worry its neighbors.
"Could worry its neighbors"? Seriously?  COULD worry?

I very much suspect that the entire point is to make them worry...

For those of you saying, "Well, yeah, but they don't have any planes that are capable of landing on the thing, so it's really not that big a threat", I have one word:


It's a pretty dang big ship.  Cram it to the gills with army/marines, and you've got a rough-and-ready helo carrier, perfect for amphibious assault ops... like, f'rinstance, taking control of a contested set of islands.

Moar Ebil!

I've previously documented how evil, evil capitalists are doing such cruel things as providing free shoes and glasses to children in third world countries.

Pure evil, amirite?

Roberta X recently uncovered yet another of these evil corporations that have the nerve - the audacity! - to market an efficient $7 stove in Ghana:
You can read the article and find a lot of blather about carbon this and green that; all very nice, if you like that sort of thing, but for the Ghanan housewife (or, if I interpret the photo, fast-food vendor), it's about things more concrete and immediate: a better stove -- and more money to spend on something other than cooking fuel.  It's a step up.
Not only are they doing so without the assistance of the benevolent hand of government (praised be its Policies!) - they're making a profit.

The horror.

Deer Leader (Not!)

A deer has been repeatedly trashing an Obama/Biden yard sign in Austin.  As Bob Ownens notes:
When you’re such a bad President even other species are out to get you (killer swamp rabbit, anyone?), perhaps it’s time to concede you are a spectacular failure...
It's all so 1979.

Obama Wants YOU!

Well, not really.  He's more interested in your stuff.

Well... no.  That's a lie.  He'd much rather that you take your tacky belongings, sell them to some other chump, and then send him a little folding green, if you know what I mean.

So show your loyalty - have a Yard Sale for Obama!

Grab something. 
What's the one thing you'll sell to get our president re-elected? Can't decide? Sell them both. 
Sell it. 
On Craigslist, easy peasy.  With friends in your front yard, that counts.  Just turn those hidden gems into cash. 
Whatever you make, how much you'll give is your call.  All donations are direct via the official grassroots fundraising page on
Or, you know, you could just get married and earmark your gifts for the Dear Leader.  That works, too.

Remember - money is evil!  Give it all to Obama so he can keep you safe from it!

Pocket Obama

Pocket Obama

Printed in a size that easily fits into pocket or purse, the little blue book is an anthology of quotations borrowed from Barack Obama's speeches and writings, intended to keep the momentum going for those inspired by his message of hope and change.

Little. Blue. Book.

"It's a moral imperative."

Hurt U.S. Congress

Now, there's a campaign I could really get behind.

Happy 75th Hobbit Day!

Tolkien wasn’t bowing to literary fashion, he was geeking out on his own passion. He didn’t worry whether his novels were seen as high art or bedtime story; in fact, he was doubtful his creations would have any appeal beyond his children and Oxford colleagues like C. S. “Jack” Lewis. Surrounded by those who didn’t get it, Tolkien was ridiculed. “How is your hobbit?” his colleagues mocked. Despite peer pressure, Tolkien remained undaunted.
I think I'll curl up with my battered copy of the Hobbit this evening.  Or maybe read the graphic novel to da goils again.  Or... heck, maybe do both!

The Terrorist's Veto

Michael J. Totten in the City Journal:
Around the world, a campaign of religious intimidation and murder intensifies...
Hezbollah is technologically advanced and media-savvy. Nasrallah knows perfectly well that when an individual uploads a video to YouTube, it doesn’t count as “the United States broadcasting a film.” That’s actually his point. He’s not threatening the United States in the abstract. He’s threatening *you*. If you insult Hassan Nasrallah’s religion on the Internet, terrorists may come after *you*.
There are a few folks I know (some personally) and whom I trust when it comes to an evaluation of the state of life, politics, and religion in the Middle East.  They have the knowledge and experience to be able to speak with some authority on what's happening there, and so I respect and trust them when they speak on the region.

From what I understand, these folks seem to feel the same way about Totten.  Take that as you may.

Quote of the Day

From Jennifer:
Without pig farmers, we wouldn’t have bacon.  Tell me that’s a world you’d want to live in.

"Spontaneous Demonstration". Right.

First it was a spontaneous demonstration that got out of hand.

Then it was a spontaneous riot that some passing terrorists took advantage of.

Then it was a not-so-spontaneous riot that terrorists helped get going so they could attack the consulate.


Witnesses of last week's deadly attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya have told CBS News that the alleged anti-American protest that U.S. officials say morphed into the assault never actually took place.
In other words, there was a straight-up terrorist attack.

On 9/11.

What's that word that the Obama misadministration uses when they get the monthly jobs report?

Oh, yeah. "Unexpected".

You know, Mr. President... I don't think that word means what you think it means.

My iTunes Top 20

Because apparently it's a thing now, or something.

Well, OK.  Also because my other choice at this point in time is to continue to look at wireshark dumps of CIFS ACL ops [1] until my eyes start to bleed and brain cells commit spontaneous suicide.  I already lost most of my 4th grade memories this morning with the first set of dumps, so... yeah.  Break time, I think.

  1. The Islander, Nightwish
  2. Last of the Wilds, Nightwish
  3. Meadows of Heaven, Nightwish
  4. Anarchy-X, Queensrÿche
  5. I Remember Now, Queensrÿche
  6. Revolution Calling, Queensrÿche
  7. Operation: Mindcrime, Queensrÿche
  8. Speak, Queensrÿche
  9. Spreading the Disease, Queensrÿche
  10. Green Grass & High Tides, The Outlaws
  11. Cinderella, Steven Curtis Chapman
  12. Mercury, The Clarks
  13. (Ghost) Riders In the Sky, The Outlaws
  14. Dead Man's party, Oingo Boingo
  15. Howling Wind , The Alarm
  16. The Mission, Queensrÿche
  17. True, Concrete Blonde
  18. Lawyers, Guns and Money, Warren Zevon
  19. Hello, Poe
  20. Solsbury Hill, Peter Gabriel
And there you have it.  Outside of iTunes, I've been doing a lot of listing to Chris Rea, Old Crow Medicine Show, Enter The Haggis, Lindsey Stirling, and The Piano Guys.  Oh, and Phineas and Ferb, of course.

[1] And if you understand that, you have my sympathies.

Replicas of Columbus's Ships

Replicas of the Niña and the Pinta arrive in Pittsburgh:
Replicas of the ships of Christopher Columbus will be docked in Pittsburgh from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4 and available for public viewing.
A co-worker of mine left early today to see this - his father was on board the replica of the Niña as a lookout.  Looking at some pictures he just posted, I'm really questioning why I decided to stay at work today instead of tagging along...

A Nose Makes You Old

Emoticons with noses are historically older. Since it is words that unite and distinguish clusters, this means that people who use old-fashion noses also use a different vocabulary—nose users don’t mention Bieber or omg.
My assumption is that if someone avoids capitalization like a plague, they're probably under 20.

If they avoid obvious txt-speak abbreviations ('l8r', 'cu', etc.) then they're probably over 30.

If they actually make use of punctuation, they're probably over 40.

If they use proper grammar, they're probably a schoolteacher.  Because, honestly - if ending a sentence with a preposition is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

Moi?  Smileys with noses, proper capitalization, no txt-speak, proper punctuation and lousy grammar.  

Neil Young's Surprising Comments On Piracy

Though his recent statements are unlikely to shock the many young music fans who grew up downloading albums and songs illegally, many were surprised when Neil Young said he didn't really mind piracy.
"It doesn't affect me because I look at the internet as the new radio," Young said in January. "I look at the radio as gone ... Piracy is the new radio. That's how music gets around ... That's the radio. If you really want to hear it, let's make it available, let them hear it, let them hear the 95 percent of it."

Finding the World's Deepest Swimming Pool

Nemo33 is a deep-sea diver’s ocean away from the ocean. One hundred feet deep and filled with over 660 thousand gallons of highly filtered and solar heated spring water, Nemo is the world’s deepest swimming pool (and an aquaphobic’s worst nightmare). 
The result of three years of design and revision, Nemo strays far away from our traditional notions of a swimming pool. With such thoughtful additions as underwater caves and ledges for practicing submerged exploration and windows to allow outsiders a view into the pool, Nemo offers a unique underwater experience for divers and recreational users alike.

An Encouraging Word

From Sarah Hoyt, on the current state of the world (or, at least, this corner of it):
Remember the difference between a dystopia and a dystopia with a Heinlein character in it.  Be a Heinlein character... 
Don’t give up.  Don’t accept decay as an inevitable fate.  Fight.  Improve.  Think up new ways to do things, and new ways to get around problems. 
We’ll do.  We’re humans and humans survive.
I don't know about you, but sometimes, I need to be reminded that we haven't lost - we just haven't won.


Arab Spring, Chinese Fall

The Middle East has been a tinderbox for decades.  But there's a problem with our intervention in Afghanistan in particular, and that is the fact that both Pakistan and India, not far away, have nuclear weapons.  India is reasonably stable but Pakistan is another matter entirely, and the last thing we need is for a conflict to spread into that country.
The worst of the unrest, however, isn't there and isn't being widely-reported.  It's in China. 
China and Japan have had a long-running territorial dispute over some a handful of islands.  Over the weekend what had been a simmering issue turned into a real problem with Chinese rising up and doing something extraordinary: They are demanding WAR with Japan.
Not This August, but October.  Looks like Cyril was only off by a few months.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Chinese General: Prepare for Combat

China’s most powerful military leader, in an unusual public statement, last week ordered military forces to prepare for combat, as Chinese warships deployed to waters near disputed islands and anti-Japan protests throughout the country turned violent... 
Gen. Xu Caihou, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, considered the most senior military political commissar, said Friday that military forces should be “prepared for any possible military combat,” state run Xinhua news agency reported.

I'm sure that President Obama realizes that there's a lot at stake here.  Aside from the lives of millions of Japanese and Chinese at stake, a failure to attend properly to this crisis might even have a negative impact on his re-election chances, after all!

Quick!  Full power to the teleprompter!  Deploy the mom jeans!  Let the speechification begin!

Juuuuuuust kidding.

Quick show of hands: who thinks that President Obama will bother to take time out of his busy schedule of campaigning and fund-raising to even pay attention to this?  I mean, I'm sure he's aware of the situation.  It's not like he's skipping half of his security briefings or anything like that.

Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  Anyone?

Yeah.  That's about what I thought.

Long John Silver's

Today only...
It’s our favorite holiday! Celebrate National Talk Like A Pirate Day with a FREE piece of fish with your order. Dress code – Pirate Casual, or “Come as you “ARRR!”
Get yerself an extra chunk o' fish at Long John Silvers, me hearties! ARR!

Anti-Japan Protests in China

Anti-Japan Protests in China

A long-standing conflict over the sovereignty of a group of eight tiny, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea has resulted in dozens of anti-Japanese protests across China, some violent.

Dice Holdings buys Slashdot, SourceForge

Along with a few other sites, for $20 million, cash:
NEW YORK (AP) — Dice Holdings Inc. said Tuesday that it acquired Geeknet Inc.'s online media business, including its Slashdot and SourceForge websites, for $20 million in cash.
I used to follow /. pretty closely, way back when (I've got a user id under 15k, if that means anything to you).  Over the past few years, though, my respect for /. and the attention I pay it have both decreased sharply.

I'll still read the occasional pure science or technology article, just for the discussion - there's still a pretty solid group of commenters there in those cases.  Anything that might remotely touch on politics or religion sees the Daily Kos type commenters come out in full force, so I avoid those topics like the plague.  As time has gone on, the article selection has tended towards flamefest topics more than serious technical discussion.  More comments, more page views, more revenue there, I'm sure.

It's saying something when you can get more up-to-date and interesting techical discussion on Facebook than on /.

I'm more worried about what might happen with SourceForge, though that's really a non-issue as well.  If anything happens, developers will shift over to GitHub or Google Code or whatever other service all the Cool Kids (TM) are using these days, and that'll be that.

Internet Movie Firearms Database

"Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games".  The entry for Aliens:
Aliens is the 1986 sequel to Alien directed by James Cameron. Sigourney Weaver returns as Ripley, who travels with a platoon of US Colonial Marines to investigate a loss of contact with the colony established on the same planet discovered by the crew of the Nostromo.
M41A Pulse Rifle
The Marines of the USCMC (United States Colonial Marine Corps) famously carry the M41A Pulse Rifle as their standard issue weapon. In the film, the weapon is described as a futuristic assault rifle with a magazine capacity of 99 rounds of 10x24mm caseless armor-piercing ammunition with a pump action 30mm grenade launcher mounted underneath the barrel. The pulse rifle was constructed from an M1A1 Thompson submachine gun fitted with a cutdown Remington 870 shotgun underneath with the heat shield and foregrip of a SPAS 12 covering it. At the end of the film, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) fastens one of these rifles to an M240 Flamethrower in her attempt to rescue Newt (Carrie Henn).

Oh, my. I'm hardly a gun nut, but this is a dozen flavors of awesome.

Irwin native was ‘driven,’ ‘perfectionist’

Lt. Col. Christopher “Otis” Raible, 40, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, was one of two coalition service members killed when insurgents attacked the airfield at Camp Bastion in Kandahar province, according to family members.
CO of the Harrier squadron killed during the attack, and a CMU graduate (class of '95).

John Donovan: "According to accounts from people who know these things, LtCol Raible pulled his Beretta and closed with the enemy. As any good sheepdog would."

Orée | Wood + Tech + Design

A line of lasting & elegant connected objects primarily made of premium woods and handcrafted in France...
Portable wireless keyboard made of premium Maple wood for tablets, smartphones and PCs equipped with Bluetooth 

Beautiful looking, but at about $165 or so, I'll stick with my current keyboard, thank you.

Per Square Mile: Marchetti's constant, or why the 30 minute commute is here to stay

Per Square Mile: Marchetti's constant

“How far should you live from work?”
I pondered that question a few weeks ago after perusing American Community Survey data compiled by Charlie Gardner. It showed that most people in most metro areas in the United States tended to commute about 30 minutes each way to work, give or take a few.  


Russian ships displayed at DNC tribute to vets

On the last night of the Democratic National Convention, a retired Navy four-star took the stage to pay tribute to veterans. Behind him, on a giant screen, the image of four hulking warships reinforced his patriotic message. 
But there was a big mistake in the stirring backdrop: those are Russian warships. 
While retired Adm. John Nathman, a former commander of Fleet Forces Command, honored vets as America’s best, the ships from the Russian Federation Navy were arrayed like sentinels on the big screen above.

DWS attacks Examiner for ‘deliberately’ misquoting her, but here’s the audio |

DWS attacks Examiner for ‘deliberately’ misquoting her, but here’s the audio |

CHARLOTTE – Earlier this evening, in an appearance on Fox News, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz accused the Washington Examiner of “deliberately” misquoting her comments claiming that Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren stated that Republicans were “dangerous for Israel.”

Hmm. Lie, then lie about lying. Stay classy, Dems.

The Democratic Horror Picture Show

(Image from maksim)

With musical accompaniment:

It's astounding;
Time is fleeting.
Madness... takes its toll.
But listen closely -
I've got to... keep control...

The UOT (USB Over Twigs) Protocol

Tam says: Do want!
Via email, a fan-forced camper's-sized rocket stove that uses a thermoelectric thingummy to power its fan and charge your handheld electronics.
That thing sets me all a-quiver right at some weird harmonic of prepper, hippie, outdoorsy, and gadget freak, like USB-powered recycled carbon fiber chopsti...
I... can certainly see uses for this.  I'm not nearly the outdoorsy type, and I'd like to have one around.  I may not be able to fully rationalize a purchase, but I'd be willing to make an effort at it, and sigh despondently when I realize that paying the kid's tuition will win out in the end.

Cast Your Vote: The Robot Hall of Fame

The Robot Hall of Fame - Powered by Carnegie Mellon University
Voting for the 2012 Robot Hall of Fame Inductees is now open to the public! Help us determine this year's winners by casting your vote online today.
Unfortunately, it looks as if GotT (once again) didn't make the ballot.  Dang chronoists!

Teen opens mobile shower for grimy ND oil workers

Teen opens mobile shower for grimy ND oil workers

It took little more than a day for 18-year-old Evan Jensen to smell opportunity in North Dakota's booming oil patch... An armada of food trucks and other roving enterprises was already catering to oilfield workers. The teen believed others also would value a hot shower nearly as much as a hot meal.

Quote of the Day

A little interchange in the comments over at VFTP:

Anonymous: "What is world of warcrack?"
Tam: "A computer game."
Kristopher: "What is Heroin? An analgesic."
Made me chuckle.  Now, if you don't mind, I've got to log in and find a couple of rare mobs to finish off an achievement...

BREAKING NEWS: Biden to Forego Democratic Convention

by Nom D. Plume
The Acessory Press

LORDSTOWN, OHIO -- In a surprise announcement, Vice-President Joe Biden revealed that he will not be present at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC next week.  Instead, he has decided to commit to a life-long dream and will be enrolling at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College.

"It's less of a professional thing, more of a vocation," he said to a sympathetic press corps earlier today.  "I mean, I've always been interested in clowning.  It just sort of comes out, you know?  I figure it's just time in my life to say yes to the floppy shoes and admit that, deep down, I'm a clown."

This decision is apparently one that has been a long time coming.  "I've been taking correspondence courses for a while now," admitted Biden.  "Well, hearing voices in my head.  That's the same thing, right?  I think they beam the internet right into my fillings.  Amazing what you can do with technology these days."

Biden indicating that he plans to pursue a course of study that emphasizes his innate abilities to beclown himself.  "There's Advanced Gaffes and Humorously Insensitive Statements, which I'm really looking forward to," he said.  "I'm also looking at a minor in inappropriate racially-tinged humor."

Giving his well-known smile, Biden quipped, "I'm kind of trying to go with my strengths here."

When a member of the audience pointed out that the Clown College has been closed for more than a decade, Biden snorted.  "That's what they'd like you to think," he said.  "If it's been closed, where do you think we get folks like Michael Moore and Nancy Pelosi, huh?  'We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it?'  That's pure comedy gold, man!  I can only hope that one day I'll be as ridiculous as that."

Biden ended the conference without taking any questions.  "Now, y'all keep an eye out for me.  I'm thinking of using 'Slow Joe' as my stage name - there's a lot of brand recognition there, obviously," he said.  "I haven't really ruled out Joe Bidenopolous, though."

Soon afterwards, Senior White House advisor Valerie Jarrett announced that the Obama 2012 campaign would immediately begin the search for a new Vice-Presidential candidate.

"We're looking for an empty chair, something in a cheap post-colonial," said Jarrett.  "Something kind of tasteless and pretentious.  The kind of thing that nobody every really wants, but everyone thinks looks cool."

"Besides," she finished, "It would be kind of nice to have a matching set."