Hey, Progressives - Listen To Pravda, Will You?

Americans never give up your guns
These days, there are few few things to admire about the socialist, bankrupt and culturally degenerating USA, but at least so far, one thing remains: the right to bare arms and use deadly force to defend one's self and possessions...
Where in the world did we go wrong, that we have freaking Pravda encouraging us to defend our constitutional rights?  At this point, I'm just waiting for a goateed Spock to show up...

Love Story With A Twist

She is the daughter of a well-respected doctor who grew up living on Park Avenue.  He is a Harvard graduate with a masters degree from the Kennedy School of Government.  Living together in Greenwich Village, with a child on the way, they had an idyllic, peaceful life.

Well, that is, if you define "peaceful" to include the OWS ties, the extreme political views, the bomb-making chemicals and equipment, multiple guns, and the papers about making homemade booby-traps and sub-machine guns...
Greenwich Village couple busted with cache of weapons, bombmaking explosives 
The privileged daughter of a prominent city doctor, and her boyfriend — a Harvard grad and Occupy Wall Street activist — have been busted for allegedly having a cache of weapons and a bombmaking explosive in their Greenwich Village apartment. 
Morgan Gliedman — who is nine-months pregnant — and her baby daddy, Aaron Greene, 31, also had instructions on making bombs, including a stack of papers with a cover sheet titled, “The Terrorist Encyclopedia,’’ sources told The Post yesterday. 
People who know Greene say his political views are “extreme,” the sources said.
Oh, and they were in possession of a nine high-capacity rifle magazines, as well.  Maybe David Gregory can offer them some advice on the matter, given his recent experience with breaking that particular law.

It's like something out of the 60's.  Well, no... it's not like something out of the 60's.  It's exactly the same thing as what went on at that time: rich, progressive radicals planning the violent overthrow of the rule of law.

Expect the spin about how their upper-class, Harvard-educated, OWS-inspired political views and terroist radicalism are really, honestly, truly right-wing in 3... 2... 1...

You're Going To Need A Bigger Pocket

The Diplomad relates the story of The Popeil Pocket Fisherman and the Croc.
Somewhere out there in magnificent Lake Gatun, a croc trails half a Pocket Fisherman. I watch the nature shows in the hope that one day Jack Hanna or another intrepid host will find that croc. I stand ready to explain the whole thing.
It's a delightful little tale.  Go, RTWT.

Linked List

Glanced at briefly, filed away for future reading, and presented here for your edutainment.


    interfacelift - "High-Resolution Photography Wallpapers for Every Screen Size"

    There are some very nice images here - the current links shows Christmas Eve in Seattle.

    "Oh stewardess..."

    What Happens when You are The Doctor on the Airplane?
    My friend Drew is a doctor. I am not. Recently he posted a note to Facebook that he had been summoned into action onboard a flight. He was the doctor who responded when they asked over the speaker, "Is there a doctor in the house?"
    An interesting account of what happens when someone needs medical attention on a flight.

    Parse This

    Coding a Parser - Twenty Sided
    I spent Christmas day coding. That was fun. As part of my efforts to move to Linux, I decided to port some of my code. One of the first things I’ll want in the world of Linux is the ability to read .ini files.
    Shamus gets to write a parser.  Lucky dog.

    And yes, I do mean that.

    "Now witness the firepower..."

    "... of this fully armed and operational... Star Wars: Sequel Debacle Simulatron!"
    Select a writer, director, and star for your film. Adjust the balance of elements like action and romance to fit the flick you want to make. Give it a title, and release it into the wild to see how the press and audiences react.
    Hint: a result like "It is time for us to confess that 'Star Wars' truly ended with 'Return of the Jedi'" is not a positive.

    1st Amendment? What Are You, An Extremist?

    In 2010 I went to the Democratic Republic of Congo to report on the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group. In 2011 I wrote a graphic novel script based on my reporting and artist Tim Hamilton agreed to draw it. Cartoonist Matt Bors edited the story and early this year the Dutch Website Cartoon Movement serialized the art online, following which book publisher Public Affairs acquired the paperback rights. And last month, the federal Office of Foreign Assets Control confiscated the majority of the advance payment, claiming that we were laundering the money for onward transfer to a terrorist organization.

    Yes, you read that right: the feds believe Tim and I are terror financiers.

    The Family That Decays Together...

    Are your family members the kind of folks who would double-tap you if you were bitten by a zombie? Show your pride with these Zombie Family Car Decals. The gang‘s all here: Mom, Dad, Daughter, Son, Baby, Dog, Cat, and Fish.

    Who's Sexist, Now?

    A couple of sexist pigs decide that they get to tell women what to think about guns:
    I had to check out this video of two male Wall Street Journal reporters talking about how Smith & Wesson will need to go back to the drawing board on their new marketing efforts because those efforts included outreach to female NRA members...
    Boys at the WSJ, let me give you a little lecture on females with strong views rooted in constitutional principles and concern for self-defense and that of our homes. We’re dedicated... we’re vocal. We don’t sit back and listen to men tell us what they think we “should want” to hear. We’ll make up our own minds about messages that resonate with us."
    Ah-yep.  Progressives.  Some of the nastiest, sexist, racists bigots you'll ever encounter. 


    Science fiction goes occult in SPACE ELDRITCH, a volume of seven original novelettes and novellas of Lovecraftian pulp space opera. Featuring work by Brad R. Torgersen (Hugo/ Nebula/Campbell nominee), Howard Tayler (multiple Hugo nominee), and Michael R. Collings (author of over 100 books), plus a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Larry Correia, SPACE ELDRITCH inhabits the intersection between the eternal adventure of the final frontier and the inhuman darkness between the stars.
    From Howard Tayler's announcement:

    For those of you who prefer your Lovecraftian space opera in print, Space Eldritch is now available in that format, graven in black upon the brutally pulped, cruelly pressed heart-marrow of young, innocent trees.
    We hoped to use sentient trees, but apparently they fled the planet during the Little Ice Age.
    Space Eldritch.  Now available on dead trees... as it should be.

    Minty Fresh

    Linux Mint is an elegant, easy to use, up to date and comfortable GNU/Linux desktop distribution.
    Ubuntu based, but including some proprietary software (Flash, Java) installed and configured out of the box.  Seems like a nice little distro to try out sometime.

    Warning: May Cause Seizures in Statists

    An opinion on gun control.  Wait - strike that.  An incredibly informed, well-reasoned opinion on gun control by Larry Correia, someone who is (a) an excellent communicator, and (b) definitely very well-informed about the subject matter.

    I didn’t want to post about this, because frankly, it is exhausting. I’ve been having this exact same argument for my entire adult life. It is not an exaggeration when I say that I know pretty much exactly every single thing an anti-gun person can say. I’ve heard it over and over, the same old tired stuff, trotted out every single time there is a tragedy on the news that can be milked. Yet, I got sucked in, and I’ve spent the last few days arguing with people who either mean well but are uninformed about gun laws and how guns actually work (who I don’t mind at all), or the willfully ignorant (who I do mind), or the obnoxiously stupid who are completely incapable of any critical thinking deeper than a Facebook meme (them, I can’t stand). 

    Today’s blog post is going to be aimed at the first group. I am going to try to go through everything I’ve heard over the last few days, and try to break it down from my perspective. My goal tonight is to write something that my regular readers will be able to share with their friends who may not be as familiar with how mass shootings or gun control laws work.
    Of course... assuming that they are capable of making it that far, I am sure that most leftists and statists will manage to completely misinterpret his comments regarding the 2nd amendment and immediately file him in the "OMG domestic terrorist!!!eleventy!!" bucket.

    Then again, they're generally incapable of tying their shoes without assistance, so...

    It Really Is All About Power, Isn't It?

    Meet the prominent legislators who think it's okay to throw Americans in jail forever without charges or trial. 
    What everyone must understand is that American politics doesn't work the way you'd think it would. Most people presume that government officials would never willfully withhold penicillin from men with syphilis just to see what would happen if the disease went untreated. It seems unlikely that officers would coerce enlisted men into exposing themselves to debilitating nerve gas. Few expected that President Obama would preside over the persecution of an NSA whistle-blower, or presume the guilt of all military-aged males killed by U.S. drone strikes. But it all happened. 
    Really thinking about all that may make it easier to believe what I'm about to tell you.


    TREKH NAWA, AFGHANISTAN – The US Marine Corps has confirmed reports of a new mass-killing in Helmand province that has shocked the governments of both the United States and Afghanistan. 
    “We can confirm that [these killings] took place, that they involved a squad from the 3rd Battalion 9th Marine Regiment, and that an investigation is in progress,” read a coalition press release. 
    The incident, originally reported by an Afghan human rights group called the Taliban, started when a squad of US Marines came upon several dozen Afghan men engaged in the traditional Afghan sport of badal, consisting of launching several ceremonial mortar rounds at Combat Outpost Hanson.
    It starts off good, and just gets better.

    Larry Correia, are you ghost writing for the Duffel Blog now?

    New Frontiers in Baking

    My family has a tradition of making gingerbread houses for the holiday season, the more elaborate the better. So when we got a 150-watt laser cutter at Sector67 one of the first “practical” project ideas I had was to try and laser cut structures out of gingerbread.
    Well, of course.  Who hasn't thought, "Gee, I wish I had a laser so I could cut some gingerbread for the holidays?"

    Russia, Syria, n'at

    The Russian Defense Ministry says a navy squadron has set off for the Mediterranean on a mission that comes amid official talk about a possible evacuation of Russians from Syria...
    The squadron of five ships that sailed from the Baltic Sea base of Baltiysk includes a destroyer, a tugboat, a tanker and two large amphibious vessels that could evacuate hundreds of people.
    Another group of three navy ships departed Tuesday from Severomorsk, the main base of Russia's Northern Fleet on the Kola Peninsula. While their official mission is anti-piracy patrol in the Gulf of Aden, the ships will sail past the Syrian shores and may linger there if need be.

    "Wait - did you guys just start playing a different tune?"

    Ebb and Flow are no more. The two spacecraft of NASA’s Grail mission crashed on the Moon at about 5:28 p.m. Eastern time, about 30 seconds apart, one of the few times that cheers and claps have been heard in the control room to celebrate the loss of a spacecraft.
    NASA also announced it had named the impact sites after Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.
    From inside sources, I understand that NASA officials were considering naming the impact sites "Obamacare" and "California", but changed them at the last minute when it was pointed out that the spacecraft wouldn't leave craters anywhere near the size of those terrestrial pits of failure.

    Bah.  Nuke the moon!  It's the only way to be sure.


    Radley Balko on Facebook:
    I've been driving through the Mississippi Delta this week. I've seen no evidence of shining like a National guitar. I grow tired of your lies, Paul Simon.

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    Radley Balko reports on The Police State Comes To Arkansas:
    "[Police are] going to be in SWAT gear and have AR-15s around their neck," Stovall said. "If you're out walking, we're going to stop you, ask why you're out walking, check for your ID."
    Stovall said while some people may be offended by the actions of his department, they should not be...
    Stovall added that he realized there was little difference between what he was proposing and martial law--and that he didn't much care.
    Hey, gun control groupies?  When your Starbuck's medium nonfat soy vanilla causes a random neuron misfire and you mouth opens up to spill out some canned tripe like "No one needs this type of weapon to protect themselves!"


    Tell me.  Who's going to protect us from megalomaniacs like Boss "I figger Ima gonna have me my own PO-LICE STATE right here in Arkansas!" Stovall?

    You know, the guy who decides that he's in charge, outfit his friends with all those deadly rifles, and does things like stop people for daring to be out on the the streets without his permission good reason, and throw them in jail if he doesn't like their looks they can't prove that they're not a criminal.

    Who watches the watchmen?

    And who will protect you when "The Chief" decides that you're not one of the "good people"?


    Terry Pratchett summed it up in Men At Arms:
    "But that's not right, see? One man with the power of life and death."
    "But if he's a good man-" Carrot began.
    "What? What? OK. OK. Let's believe he's a good man. But his second-in-command-is he a good man too? You'd better hope so. Because he's the supreme ruler, too, in the name of the king. And the rest of the court… they've got to be good men. Because if just one of them's a bad man the result is bribery and patronage."
    Bad men, bribery and patronage.  Say hello to Boss Stovall, gun control advocates... because if you get your way, he is certainly going to get his.

    Please To Meet You, Won't You Guess My Name

    Yesterday's Tampa Bay Times reports on the jailing in late November in Pasco County Florida of Shanita Marie Burden on charges of driving with a counterfeit car tag, driving without a Florida license (her South Carolina license was suspended), and giving a false name to police...
    Burden insists she is Zuri Akila Betiti Matawala Zurj-Bey, a "grand sheikess" in the Moorish Temple of Science of the World... [She] claims she was born of a religious conversion last year and that she declared her former self, Shanita Burden, dead. She then made herself the personal representative for Burden's estate and filed court papers declaring this. At a Nov. 19 arraignment on the traffic charges, Bey, identified herself only as "flesh and blood."
    I need to remember that introduction.  "Hello.  I am flesh and blood."  Sure to be a real ice-breaker.

    14 Bag End, The Shire, PA, 17011

    CHESTER COUNTY, Pa. (AP) — Worlds away from the Shire, a little stone cottage tucked into the Pennsylvania countryside would make Bilbo Baggins feel like he was back home with his Hobbit friends in Middle-earth.
    Nestled in a part of Chester County dotted with picturesque barns and rolling fields surprisingly close to Philadelphia, this Hobbit house belongs to a lifelong fan of author J.R.R. Tolkien who wanted a worthy — and private — repository for the rare books and Tolkien-inspired memorabilia he has collected in 30 years of travel in the U.S. and abroad.
    Via the lovely Mrs. Robb, who knows me well enough to understand that the confluence of "The Hobbit" and tiny houses would please me greatly.  As to the rumors that we have discussed buidling a Hobbit hole on our own property... those, I can neither confirm nor deny.

    "It belongs in a museum!"

    That strange Indiana Jones journal that arrived at the University of Chicago?

    Turns out it was Old Man Withers... no, wait.  Sorry, wrong mystery.

    They did figure it out though:

    For those of you who have wondered as hard as we have how we came to get this Indiana Jones journal: we have our solution.
    You will have to RTWT to get the interesting details.  Note that the bit about the Egyptian stamps being honored by the post office may seem odd, but is entirely plausible.


    In the 1950s, Soviet engineers built a massive city in the Caspian Sea off the coast of Azerbaijan. It was a network of oil platforms linked by hundreds of kilometers of roads and housing 5,000 workers, with a cinema, a park and apartment blocks... 
    The foundation of the main settlement consists of seven sunken ships including "Zoroaster," the world's first oil tanker, built in Sweden. In Neft Dashlari's heyday, some 2,000 drilling platforms were spread in a 30-kilometer circle, joined by a network of bridge viaducts spanning 300 kilometers. Trucks thundered across the bridges and eight-story apartment blocks were built for the 5,000 workers who sometimes spent weeks on Neft Dashlari. The voyage back to the mainland could take anything between six and twelve hours, depending on the type of ship. The island had its own beverage factory, soccer pitch, library, bakery, laundry, 300-seat cinema, bathhouse, vegetable garden and even a tree-lined park for which the soil was brought from the mainland. 
    Fascinating.  Google turns up some nice images of Neft Dashlari.


    Presenting the Atmospheric Vortex Engine:
    An atmospheric vortex engine (AVE) uses a controlled vortex to capture mechanical energy produced when heat is carried upward by convection in the atmosphere. A tornado-like vortex is produced by admitting warm or humid air tangentially into a circular arena... 
    The vortex engine has the same thermodynamic basis as the proven solar chimney except the physical tube of the solar chimney is replaced with centrifugal force. There is no need for a solar collector - The solar collector is the earth’s surface in its unaltered state.

    An AVE power station could have a diameter of 200 m and generate 200 MW of electrical power at a cost as low as $0.03/kWh.  
    Interesting; from the looks of it, there are working small-scale demos of the technology, and they're picking up some serious investors.  I would think that the idea of having controlled tornadoes above power plants might make pilots a little bit titchy, though...

    How I Stopped Worrying...

    and learned to Love Volatility:
    Several years before the financial crisis descended on us, I put forward the concept of "black swans": large events that are both unexpected and highly consequential... 
    To deal with black swans, we instead need things that gain from volatility, variability, stress and disorder. My (admittedly inelegant) term for this crucial quality is "antifragile." The only existing expression remotely close to the concept of antifragility is what we derivatives traders call "long gamma," to describe financial packages that benefit from market volatility. Crucially, both fragility and antifragility are measurable.

    As a practical matter, emphasizing antifragility means that our private and public sectors should be able to thrive and improve in the face of disorder. By grasping the mechanisms of antifragility, we can make better decisions without the illusion of being able to predict the next big thing. We can navigate situations in which the unknown predominates and our understanding is limited. 
    The article goes on to present five rules for creating resilient systems.  Not surprisingly, these rules are essentially the antithesis of the existing federal government bureaucracy:
    Rule 1: Think of the economy as being more like a cat than a washing machine.
    Rule 2: Favor businesses that benefit from their own mistakes, not those whose mistakes percolate into the system.
    Rule 3: Small is beautiful, but it is also efficient.
    Rule 4: Trial and error beats academic knowledge.
    Rule 5: Decision makers must have skin in the game.


    I am sure that you have heard about the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut earlier today.  Twenty-six people dead, among them, 20 elementary school students.

    This is a horrible, nightmarish situation.  I cannot even being to think of what it must be like to be one of those children who survived, one of those parents who has lost their child, one of those spouses who has lost a loved one.

    Not even being involved, my emotions are all over the map.  Today I have cycled through feelings hopelessness, despair, sickness of heart, righteous outrage, and deep sorrow.  Not just once, but many times.

    If you are reading this, and you understand what I am talking about, then I am asking you to make an effort to remember these feelings.  I am asking you to not forget the vivid emotions, the feelings of pain and sorrow and anger and disgust.  To take them, and tuck them away somewhere in your heart, never to forget.

    In part, I am asking you to do this so that the knowledge of this event does not fade.  There is evil in this world, and we do well to remember that.

    Primarily, though, I am asking you to remember how you feel right now because this will happen again.  And when it does, and you and your friends make all the same noises and utter all the same excuses for Hamas launching rockets into Israel and killing children, I want you to understand exactly how I feel about you.


    United States to send troops and Patriot missiles to Turkey
    The United States is to deploy 400 troops and two Patriot air-defense missile batteries to Turkey in the coming weeks to defend against potential threats from Syria, defense officials said Friday.
    Nothing like a little bit o' war to jump start the ol' economy, eh?

    The atexit() Rule of Software Development

    I hereby propose "The atexit() Rule":
    If you are seriously considering fixing a bug by patching atexit() to perform an action that is completely unrelated to process exit, then is it probably time to rewrite your code.
    Just sayin'.

    Choices, Redux

    Borepatch, ever the one to stand up and point out that the king is running around buck naked, notes that  the current evidence supports the assertion that Environmentalists Hate Poor People:

    Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth file suit to prohibit US development aid for low cost electricity to 3rd World countries... 
    Keep 'em poor and in the dark... 
    Environmentalists sleep soundly at night, untroubled by their conscience.  Quite undeservedly, I might add.
    As he's said previously:
    Choose, progs. You can have your SWPL environmentalism or you can help a billion people get out of grinding poverty. Pick one.
    I think he's being overly generous.  I don't think they even realize that there was a choice.

    More Equal Than Others

    ...if you’re expecting to see Left-protests and marches and demonstrations at what looks remarkably like a corrupt vicious suckweasel politician covering up for his vicious suckweasel drunkard son… well, don’t.  Because there’s one more wrinkle: guess who put on a 2012 Women’s Issue Conference, and is otherwise considered ‘good’ on women’s issues (from the point of view of any feminist not within range of his family’s fists)? That’s right: Jim Moran.

    So. You have to understand. Jim Moran’s a good provider. He doesn’t mean to lose his temper; it’s just that he and his boy Patrick just get a little worked up by the women in their lives, sometimes…
    Masks.  Slippage.  Rope.


    I know that sometimes mail gets delayed, but this is a bit much.  The University of Chicago Admissions department received a package addressed to Henry Walton Jones, Jr.:
    We don’t really even know how to start this post. Yesterday we received a package addressed to “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.”. We sort-of shrugged it off and put it in our bin of mail for student workers to sort and deliver to the right faculty member— we get the wrong mail a lot.
    Little did we know what we were looking at. When our student mail worker snapped out of his finals-tired haze and realized who Dr. Jones was, we were sort of in luck: this package wasn’t meant for a random professor in the Stat department. It is addressed to “Indiana” Jones.
    Oh, very inspired... what really makes me smile is this little detail:
    There is no US postage on the package, but we did receive it in a bin of mail, and it is addressed to the physical address of our building, Rosenwald Hall, which has a distinctly different address from any other buildings where it might be appropriate to send it (Haskell Hall or the Oriental Institute Museum). However, although now home to the Econ department and College Admissions, Rosenwald Hall used to be the home to our departments of geology and geography.

    Look On The Bright Side...

    Finally! The Obama administration is doing something other than blaming Bush.

    Through Freedom of Information Act requests and interviews with officials at numerous agencies, The Wall Street Journal has reconstructed the clash over the counterterrorism program within the administration of President Barack Obama...
    The rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.

    OK, granted - that "something" is inching us closer to a totalitarian state.  Nobody's perfect.  Besides, it's OK, because you're a racist teabagger, or something.

    Oh, yeah.  Pass the rope, please.

    Data Point

    Yesterday morning, I had N friends on Facebook.

    This morning, I still have N friends on Facebook.

    Which option is more likely?

    1. I am doing the whole "political posts on Facebook" thing wrong.
    2. I have a passel of incredibly tolerant friends.
    3. I have inadvertently trained all my Facebook friends to ignore whatever I say.

    I'm leaning towards #3, myself.

    Interesting If True

    Here is a message to the GOP:  Amnesty or immigration reform had nothing to do with Obama carrying Hispanos by a huge margin... 
    Why do I say that immigration reform had nothing to do with Obama's reelection?  
    First, he never lifted a finger to do a thing about immigration reform. In fact, no immigration reform law has ever been passed by a Democratic president or Congress. They talk a good game but they never score! 
    Emphasis mine.

    Is this true?

    I'll have to do some looking.  The History of U.S. Immigration Laws seems like a good place to start.

    Linked List

    Glanced at briefly, filed away for future reading, and presented here for your edutainment.

    [1] Also known as Mike Flynn.
    [2] Also known as The O'Floinn.

    "I shall play you the song of my people."

    "Santa Clause is Commin' Dahntahn!"

    Yinz better wahtch aht
    Yinz better not paht
    Yinz better not cry,
    I'm tellin yinz!  Hauscome?
    Santa Clause is commin' dahntahn!

    He's makin' a list
    He's checkin' it aht
    He's gowen find aht who's nebby an 'at
    Santa Clause is commin' dahntahn!

    He knows if yinzes a jaggoff
    He can see inside your haus
    He knows if you've been workin' hard
    Or sittin' on your caach

    Yinz better wahtch aht
    Yinz better not paht
    Yinz better not cry,
    I'm tellin yinz!  Hauscome?
    Santa Clause is commin' dahntahn!

    Who Knew?

    When it is cold outside, the only acceptable outerwear with a suit is an overcoat. But there are a lot of terms thrown around when discussing these dressier jackets.
    Ulster, guard coat, chesterfield, covert, polo... so many choices.  I'm probably unduly influenced by John Constantine, but in my mind, the urban working coat is the trench coat, period.

    I wish I had managed to hold on to my Navy greatcoat (water damaged during a flood, unfortunately).  That was probably the warmest cold-weather coat I've ever owned, and it looked good, to boot.

    The Party Of Piece (Updated)

    As in, "We're going to take a piece out of you, #$%&@#$%&@#!"

    I must have missed a memo or something.  It appears that the new "new tone" is one of violence and intimidation.  Oh, wait.  I forgot, that's the just the default setting...
    I just spoke with David Fladeboe of Americans for Prosperity, who was working security outside the tent cut down by pro-union protesters outside the Michigan statehouse today...
    Video is now breaking of Fox News contributor Steven Crowder being assaulted by the downed tent by a union demonstrator.
    NSFW video at the link. Lest you think this was "just another isolated incident", a local hot dog vendor apparently drew their ire as well:
    Nobody is safe. Apparently union protesters targeted anything that had a white tent yesterday, even reportedly taking out the hot dog stand of Lansing fixture Clint Tarver.
    Collateral damage, amirite?  He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Where "wrong place" can be conveniently defined as "anywhere in the vicinity of a 'peaceful' union protest."

    I'm sure this will be all over the news soon.  After all, a mob of angry white men assaulted and destroyed the property of a well-regarded local black businessman.

    Oooh, wait a minute.  They weren't angry white men, they were angry white union men.

    Thankfully, while the union goons are standing around trying to pretend that this never happened - or that it was somehow the fault of anybody but them - local folks are raising funds to help Mr. Tarver replace his cart.  They've already reached their initial goal of $2000, and are hoping to raise up to $5000 now.

    I'd urge the professional union agitators to "stay classy", but, y'know... the basic problem is that they're thugs who've never been anywhere near classy.

    Update: According to the "I Support Clint" page on the fund raising site...
    I would like to clarify the events, however. Clint hired as a caterer for the AFP tent which was torn down. He was much more concerned about the others, and particularly helped to get the women out of the tent. It was when he returned to gather his equipment that the taunts and racial slurs began.
    Emphasis mine.

    So.  These were not just thugs.  They were not even just union thugs.

    They were racist union thugs.

    And - just in case you might be lead to think this was a few bad apples - let's note that this was not the only incident of racism on display, as Union Protesters Greet Project 21's Stacy Swimp with Racist Taunts.

    Amazing what you get to see when the mask slips, isn't it?

    Nothing To See Here, Move Along

    There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
    — Daniel Webster
    Nothing witty to say here.  I just always forget who to attribute this quote to, so I thought that recording it someplace I can get to it would be a Good Thing (TM).

    "Capitalism's" Failure? Really?

    "How Corruption Is Strangling U.S. Innovation".. details how many legacy companies use questionable regulations to hinder disruptive upstarts who are challenging their businesses via unique and innovative means... 
    It is corruption, but it's done through this regulatory framework to make it look, sound and (in some cases) feel perfectly legit to many people, making it much easier to keep those regulations in place. The corruption is "cleaned" of its dirty connotations... It is corruption, but the truly nefarious part is that the corruption is done in such a way that there is plausible deniability over whether or not it is truly corrupt.
    Posted this to Facebook earlier today.  Can't wait for the inevitable "Oh, those evil corporations, misusing our poor, innocent widdle government that way!" comments from the bleachers.  Meanwhile,  government regulation hikes up her skirts, puts on some fresh lipstick and heads out to troll the streets and see what corporation she can whore herself out to today.

    Poor little government, indeed.

    It's For The CHILDREN!

    CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — A kindergarten teacher locked a 5-year-old boy in a small, dark room alone at the end of a school day then forgot the child there for over an hour, according to a southwestern Idaho father.

    School officials said Friday they were investigating after hearing from James Cagle, who says that when his wife found their son the boy was crying and had urinated on himself... 

    "I know that if I locked my child in a room long enough for him to urinate on himself, I'd be going to jail or child protective services would dang sure be here taking him out of my house that night," Cagle said.
    The response from the school?

    The teacher "should not have done that," said District Superintendent Tim Rosandick. 
    "That's not a preferred practice," Rosandick added. "That is not what we would have wanted her to do."

    Oh, well then.  Mistakes were made.  I mean, we're not going to let a little kidnapping and child abuse in school affect the oh-so-important career of a teacher, are we?  After all... she cares for the children, people.  For the children.


    Bring enough for the teacher, the principal, the superintendant and anyone else that defends or excuses this child abuser.

    I Whip My Moons Back And Forth

    Via the always impressive M. Flynn, a Copernican/Tychonic orrery done in software.

    In case that kind of thing interests you.

    Of course, the heretics don't include Pluto.  Which is a planet, thank you very much. [1]

    [1] Right vs. Left, Rural vs. Urban, Dependent vs. Independent... I am positive that history will record that these distinctions paled into insignificance when compared to the cause of the Great War of the Americas, when the persecuted Plutonians arose and totally smote the unsuspecting Dwarf Planeteers.  ¡Viva la Revolución!

    "So... which one is the trigger?"

    SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Seattle man pleaded guilty on Thursday in connection with a plot to mount a machine-gun and grenade attack on a U.S. military recruitment center in the city, federal prosecutors said.
    Oh, look. More violence from the left. Quelle surprise!

    Well, let's be honest - more attempted violence. Thank God they're generally incompetent.

    Apparently, All Iraqi Expats Are Republicans Now

    An Iraqi man charged with detonating a homemade explosive device outside a Social Security Administration office building in Casa Grande has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
    Of course, commenters at the Daily Kos were quick to assume this was right-wing violence because... well, primarily because they're hate-filled bigots, but mostly because they're idiots.

    "Look - up in the sky!"

    It's a bird!  It's a plane!  No... it's... the Virus Copter?
    At the latest San Francisco Drone Olympics (now called DroneGames, thanks, no doubt, to awful bullying from the organized crime syndicate known as the International Olympic Committee), there were many fascinating entries, but the champion was James "substack" Halliday's Virus-Copter... which made wireless contact with its competitors, infected them with viruses that put them under its control, sent them off to infect the rest of the cohort, and then caused them to "run amok."
    Drones, network security, and a gratuitous snark at the IOC. It's a trifecta of win!

    Of course, this isn't really an issue.  I mean, no one could ever take control of US military drones remotely.  There is absolutely no risk involved, Citizen.

    Lest We Forget

    Sunset and evening star
    And one clear call for me!
    And may there be no moaning of the bar,
    When I put out to sea,

    But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
    Too full for sound and foam,
    When that which drew from out the boundless deep
    Turns again home.

    Twilight and evening bell,
    And after that the dark!
    And may there be no sadness of farewell,
    When I embark;

    For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
    The flood may bear me far,
    I hope to see my Pilot face to face
    When I have crossed the bar.

    -- Alfred Lord Tennyson, "Crossing the Bar"

    We Are The Wee Free Men

    Sarah Hoyt has a particularly inspiring piece up today, Ungovernable.
    Yeah, Americans talk back, and make classrooms noisy, and can sometimes be counterproductive.  On the other hand, Americans, faced with a gadawful mess don’t look around and wait for “the proper person” to fix it.  They roll up their sleeves and each of them goes “Well, I’ll do this.”
    This is to an extent why  – to quote Bill Whittle – the future comes from America.  We are willing to go ahead and try it, and see how it plays. 
    The spirit is still there.  Diminished, perhaps, but still much stronger than in the rest of the world.
    This is why statists of any stripe so often throw their hands up and call us ungovernable.  Not that this gives them the idea they shouldn’t try.  No.  Instead, they try to devise more cunning ways of governing us.  You have them to give credit for dreaming the impossible dream.  It’s the one proof we have that the sons of beetles are Americans.
    Ungovernable.  As Sarah reaffirms once again - it's not a bug; it's a feature.

    Ungovernable.  I like the sound of that.  Rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it?

    Unabashed.  Uncowed.  Unbowed.  Ungovernable.

    It reminds me of a line from Buck Ramsey's book, Cowboy Poets and Cowboy Poetry:
    And there was the cowboy who was asked by a proper sort of Englishman, "Tell me, my good man, where is your master?" He replied, "That son-of-a-bitch ain't been born yet."
    Or, as the Wee Free Men would put it...
    Nae king! Nae quin! Nae laird! Nae master! We willnae be fooled again!

    X-Treme Gardening!

    Extreme Urban Gardening: Straw Bale Gardens
    Here's a very simple technique for gardening in tight spots and in places with no/terrible soil (from the arctic circle to the desert to an asphalt jungle). It's also a great way to garden if you have limited mobility (in a wheel chair).
    This looks interesting...

    The SS America Star

    An eerie picture of the SS America Star.
    In 1994 the SS America Star was being towed to Thailand to become a floating hotel. Disaster struck while passing the Canary island of Fuerteventura and a strong storm beached the ship and broke her in two. Today you can still see the bow of the ship sitting on the beach and rusting away.

    Hillary Insensitive, Lacks Empathy

    Not that that's news, though.  However, Hillary wasn't talking about herself, but about Israel:
    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has never been a friend to Israel. Today, speaking at the 2012 Saban Forum on US-Israel Relations, a liberal organization, she railed against Israel for supposed insensitivity, lack of empathy, and lack of generosity with regard to the Palestinians – even as the Palestinians unilaterally violated all agreements with Israel and attempted to declare statehood, and within days of Hamas firing rockets on Israeli population centers and bombing a bus.
    Ripping Israel for insensitivity and lack of empathy, after they've had over 2500 rockets lobbed at them this year alone.

    Jane Hillary, you ignorant...

    Another Trip To Lowes? ALready?

    Hmm.  Maybe I'm better off ordering from Amazon.

    Say hello to 1984.  We've only slipped that ship date by about 30 years.
    Verizon Patent Helps Deliver Relevant Ads By Eavesdropping Conversations
    It's a patent that sounds like a plot description for a science-fiction movie or the result of Apple's Siri and Google's AdSense mating. With it, Verizon could program its set-top boxes to survey a room to determine relevant ads to display either on your television or mobile phone
    Yeah... who in the world thinks this is a good idea? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

    There there's a couple of new stories from Techdirt.  First up, the ITU wants to make sure that Big Brother legitimate world governments can access your data on the wire easily and efficiently:
    ITU Approves Deep Packet Inspection Standard Behind Closed Doors
    Techdirt has run a number of articles about the ITU's World Conference... One of the concerns is that decisions taken there may make the Internet less a medium that can be used to enhance personal freedom than a tool for state surveillance and oppression.
    The telecommunications standards arm of the U.N. has quietly endorsed the standardization of technologies that could give governments and companies the ability to sift through all of an Internet user's traffic -- including emails, banking transactions, and voice calls -- without adequate privacy safeguards.
    Well, hey!  Look what we have here!


    Well, OK.  Sure, someone in a third-world banana republic might have to worry about government agents snooping their conversations, but that could never happen here in the good ol' US of A, right?
    No Warrant, No Problem: The Government Can Still Get Your Data
    Pro Publica has done it again... the shorthand version is that the government can pretty much look at an awful lot of your data with very little judicial oversight.
    Seriously - what the world is going on this week?  Is this some sort of weird budgetary thing, where various agencies have to get their allotted level of civil liberties violations in before the start of the new fiscal year?

    You know what we need to use up before the end of the year?


    Oh, yeah.  One final thing.  You think encryption is going to save you?  Unless you know what you're doing - and, apparently, most people don't have a clue - it's probably already compromised, because you're using a weak-sauce password.  Don't think that a strong password is any better, either.

    So... let's recap.
    • Verizon wants to give you 24/7 monitoring "to serve you better".
    • The ITU wants to make sure that the government has the ability to access all that data.
    • And law enforcement can pretty much get that information anytime they want, without a warrant.
    Starting to rethink the whole rope idea, here.

    A famous quote from Aliens seems far more apropos.

    I Have Said It Thrice

    Disturbing to think that there's folks out their slimier than politicians.
    $1.5 Billion In Taxpayer Funds Go Directly To Movie Studios Each Year
    If you've been following MPAA boss Chris Dodd ever since the death of SOPA, you'll be aware of his stump speech. He seems to give it every chance he can: "the movie industry is all about jobs, jobs and more jobs."
    Please pass the rope!
    Whoops: Movie studios ask Google to censor links to legal copies of their films and related content
    Several large movie studios have asked Google to take down legitimate pages related to their own films, including sites legally hosting, promoting, or discussing them.
    I'd call for rope, but frankly, I wouldn't trust the RIAA/MIAA with anything more dangerous than a wet noodle.

    On second thought... yeah, pass the rope. I'll gift wrap it for 'em and wait to see what happens.
    Cops to Congress: We need logs of Americans' text messages
    State and local law enforcement groups want wireless providers to store detailed information about your SMS messages for at least two years -- in case they're needed for future criminal investigations.
    Good gravy, I'm going to have to make a midnight run to Lowes. What for, you ask? Why, for MORE FREAKING ROPE.

    "I have said it thrice: What I tell you three times is true."

    Rope. Rope. ROPE.

    Gay Paris, Circa 1914

    Albert Kahn sent photographers all over the world in the early 1900s and amassed over 72,000 color photos in the process. Here are a few shots of his from Paris on the eve of World War I.
    Old time color photographs are amazing.  The original site is in Russian, but hey, that's what Google Translate is for, right?

    Nein. Non. Ní hea. Iie. Mhai.

    See No Evil
    If a campaign finance story is not about David Koch or Sheldon Adelson, do liberals care?
    Betteridge's law says... ?

    Fair Winds and Following Seas

    51 years after being commissioned into the US Navy’s fleet, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the world’s first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, has seen her last deployment. She was officially decommissioned today at Pier 12 in Norfolk, Virginia.
    Circumnavigating the globe 40 times. Yeah, that seems about right. And for my non-geeky friends: Yes, Star Trek's USS Enterprise (NC-1701) was indeed named for this USS Enterprise (CVN-65). Which in turn led to NASA naming one of the space shuttles... Enterprise.

    Sing with me now!  "The ciiiiiiiiiircle of liiiiiiiiiiife!"

    One day, we will have a start-fairing Enterprise - God willing and the creeks don't rise.

    Linked List : Political Incorrectness Edition

    The judge who ordered Major Nidal Hasan to shave his beard has been taken off the Fort Hood shooting case.  Let's just transfer the twelve Amish beard-shaving culprits to the same prison that Major Hasan is currently infesting.  Problem solved!

    There's apparently some question as to whether or not Hillary Clinton's top aid,  Huma Abedin, has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.  Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank opines that "It’s hard to escape the suspicion that it has something to do with the way she looks and how she worships."  Hey, Dana?  I'm a white, Christian male.  I am continually judged by idiots like you based entirely on how I look and how I worship.  As Dogbert said, "Cry me a river, Liberal."

    Those stinking racists in Congress are opposing immigration reforms again.  No, not the GOP.  The real racists.  Apparently only people from the correct countries - you know, the ones that produce potential Democratic voters - should be shown any preference with regard to immigration.

    Being a conservative academic.  How difficult could it be, really?  Apparently not difficult at all, so long as you sit down and shut up.  Step out of line, though...
    Finally, one day, an administrator called me in to chastise me for hanging a protest letter on my office door.
    The protest letter included a photograph from the “NO H8” campaign, with a man in a white T-shirt gagged by duct tape... Ironically, the administrator did not know that the No-H8 campaign was originally for gay rights, so he thought the picture of a man with duct tape over his mouth came from some Tea Party hate site....
    The word “offended” came up a dozen times — in the context of my colleagues who’d made anonymous complaints.
    “When do I get to feel offended?” I asked.  ”Let’s say you were a Jewish soldier, and someone hung posters advertising some slapstick lampoon making fun of Jews.  Would you say nothing?”
    The administrator stared back in deafening silence.
    “Would you say nothing?”
    “Yes,” he finally answered.  ”I would say nothing.”
    Those clever progressives.  Why bother with censorship when you can just give your buddies the ability to sue anyone you disagree with into oblivion?  All you need to do is provide the proper incentives to the right people, and before you know it, your enemies are cowed, and you can claim that your hands are clean.  Not that they are, mind you, but you can claim it.

    Finally, in the aptly titled post "Politics of Doom", Robert X brings the snark on GOP opposition to Susan Rice vis-à-vis GOP support for Condeleezza Rice:
    Lookie here, WaPoMSNBC and Dems in gen, if'n y'wanna call 'em "partisan hacks," that's supportable; if you wanna tell us the GOP can't abide Mr. Obama's pick 'cos they are making a wrong interprtation of her role in wallpapering the Administration's slant on Benghazi on the Sunday politricks programs, fine; but you haven't a leg to stand on when you clam Susan Rice is opposed 'cos she is a woman of color -- unless you are claiming Condeleezza Rice is actually a fiendishly talented white female impersonator? (And in that case, why do you hate effeminate gay men?) Is it some "who's more black" contest? If so, you're objectifying women and racial minorities!

    "Thank you for your input, Vint. Now please sit down."

    We've been talking about the ITU's upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) for a while now, and it's no longer "upcoming."
    Imagine that.  The telecom industry wants to get its hands on the internet.  Yeah, these are the folks who thought charging both ends of a data connection was a good idea.  I'm sure that nothing bad could come of this.  Really.
    The US, the EU and now Australia have all come out strongly against the ITU's efforts to undermine the existing internet setup to favor authoritarian countries or state-controlled (or formerly state-controlled) telcos who want money for internet things they had nothing to do with...
    Having the US, EU and Australia against these things is good, but the ITU works on a one-vote-per-country system, and plenty of other countries see this as a way to exert more control over the internet, in part to divert funds from elsewhere into their own coffers. 
    No, really?  Do ya think?  Let's see.  From the quoted article:

    "There have been proposals that have suggested that the ITU should enter the internet governance business," said Terry Kramer, the US's ambassador to Wcit, last week.
    "There have been active recommendations that there be an invasive approach of governments in managing the internet, in managing the content that goes via the internet, what people are looking at, what they're saying.
    "These fundamentally violate everything that we believe in in terms of democracy and opportunities for individuals, and we're going to vigorously oppose any proposals of that nature."
    He added that he was specifically concerned by a proposal by Russia which said member states should have "equal rights to manage the internet" - a move he suggested would open the door to more censorship.
    Ooooookay.  Central control, monitoring, and censorship.  Pitched as a positive.  Gotcha.  Because history has shown us that this is such a good idea...
    This would see firms face charges if they wanted to ensure streamed video and other quality-critical content download without the risk of problems such as jerky images.
    No, this doesn't sound at all like some sort of government-sponsored protection racket.  "Nice stream you have here.  It would be a shame if something were to happen to it."
    One of the other concerns raised is that the conference could result in popular websites having to pay a fee to send data along telecom operators' networks...
    So that existing telecommunications companies can make more money.  Gotcha.  
    Etno says a new business model is needed to provide service providers with the "incentive to invest in network infrastructure".
    In other words, "We hate the idea of investing even an iota of our current profits into keeping our business afloat.  We'd rather have you force people to give us more money to do the things that we should already be doing."

    So, hey.  What do the technical folks say?
    Vint Cerf - the computer scientist who co-designed some of the internet's core underlying protocols and who now acts as Google's chief internet evangelist - has been even more vocal, penning a series of op-ed columns. 
    "A state-controlled system of regulation is not only unnecessary, it would almost invariably raise costs and prices and interfere with the rapid and organic growth of the internet we have seen since its commercial emergence in the 1990s," he wrote for CNN.
    Oh, please, Vint.  Why, sure, you're a technical guy.  I'm sure they admire that, really they do.  After all, if it wasn't for folks like you, the ITU wouldn't have the internet to try and exploit develop as a new profit source, after all!  You've got to understand, though - when it comes to business and politics, why, these folks are just so much smarter than you are!

    Any minute now, I'm sure that the ITU will explain that it just wants to bend the cost curve down... and that you're a racist if you don't see it their way.

    Oh, sucks!  No need to wait!  They're already laying that groundwork:
    "The brutal truth is that the internet remains largely [the] rich world's privilege, " said Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the UN's International Telecommunications Union, ahead of the meeting.
    Support the ITU, citizen.  They know so much better than you do, you racist, capitalist pig.

    I've Seen This Movie Before...

    I didn't like it at all, and I'm certain I wouldn't like a remake any more.

    BUDAPEST (Reuters) - A Hungarian far-right politician urged the government to draw up lists of Jews who pose a "national security risk", stirring outrage among Jewish leaders who saw echoes of fascist policies that led to the Holocaust. 
    Marton Gyongyosi, a leader of Hungary's third-strongest political party Jobbik, said the list was necessary because of heightened tensions following the brief conflict in Gaza and should include members of parliament.

    As Gandalf said of Mordor, "There is evil there that does not sleep." 
    I think I was about 8 or 9 years old when I came home from playing out in our neighborhood one day, and asked my mom why the nice old couple down the road had numbers on their arm. It is, I think, my first memory and my first real understanding that there was something more than meanness in the world; that people were capable of true malevolence... 
    More than that, though... looking at the world today, at attitudes towards Israel and her people, there is a growing fear within me that we, the people of America, have forgotten one of the most important lessons of the Holocaust. Eisenhower knew that lesson, and knew it well, and did his best to ensure that it would be communicated to the generations that followed. If we fail to hear and understand, it is our fault, not his. 
    There is evil there that does not sleep. 
    God help us all.