Friday, August 30, 2013

The TSA On the Job

Via the NY Daily News, Shemane Nugent, wife of Ted Nugent, was arrested at DFW for attempting to board a plane with a firearm in her carry on bag

Now, there is no excuse for the very lovely Mrs. Nugent.  She should have remembered that she was carrying.  I can't carry a knife or a gun onto a plane.  That's one of the checks I go through when I have to fly.  In her case, she was probably in a hurry.  I'm sure it will all be worked out.

The stupid thing is that anybody with even a small amount of sense should feel safer on a plane with an armed Shemane Nugent.  That plane is not going to be hijacked and flown into any buildings.  Mrs. Nugent is not a terrorist. 


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Al Qaida Has An Airforce

That's the bad news.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that all the pilots, crews and equipment are American.

Man, it is a sad, sad day in this once-great nation's history, when about the only politician making any sense is a leftist loon like Dennis Kucinich, and the only thing close to honest reporting is showing up in the Cleveland Pig Squealer Plain Dealer. Kucinich says that an attack on Syria would be to the benefit of al Qaida

Kucinich, a fervent opponent of U.S. military engagement in Iraq - told The Hill that intervention in Syria would ensnare the United States in another war and embolden the Islamist militants fighting Bashar Assad's regime.

“So what, we're about to become Al Qaida's air force now?” Kucinich told the publication. “This is a very, very serious matter that has broad implications internationally."

Kucinich also, and very reasonably, questions the evidence that the chemical weapons which allegedly killed hundreds of civilians were actually deployed by Assad's military.  

All in all, attacking a long-time Russian ally and deposing a government that is not spoiling for a fight with Israel or the U.S. is somewhat difficult to justify in terms of American interests.  It looks like a really bad idea.

Don't forget Alas, Babylon: American fighter pilot attempting to intercept an enemy plane over the Mediterranean inadvertently fires an AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seeking missile that goes off course and hits an ammunition depot in Latakia, Syria, resulting in a large explosion. This event becomes the apparent casus belli for the Soviet Union to launch a nuclear strike against the United States and her allies.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Folly of Fighting Back

... according to The Powers That Be, anyway.  The WWII veteran who beaten to death by thugs in Spokane, WA apparently tried to fight them off: 

Spokane police said Mr. Belton made the two teens angry when he tried to fight them, and that’s when they started to hit him on his head with “big, heavy flashlights,” Breitbart reported.
Sounds like the Spokane police want to blame the victim.  In other news, Spokane police say rape could be completely eradicated if women would quit resisting sexual assaults.  Just roll with it, ladies. 

I don't know how reliable this story is since it is the Washington Times taking a report from Breitbart.  Still, it doesn't surprise me at all that a man like Mr. Belton would have resisted an attack.  (And by the way, Times, for crying out loud, get this hero's name right in the title.  I have an excuse.  I don't have an editor.)  I tend, though, to think that the thugs are trying to make themselves sound less brutal and vicious by saying they wouldn't have been beaten him so badly if he had just gone down. 

It's not really working for me. 

Delbert Belton had every right to fight back, just as he had fought for the freedom and prosperity that fed, clothed, housed, and educated these two worthless, state-raised punks. 

And so do we all ...

... by whatever means are at hand. 

Of course, I am not advocating carrying or using anything illegal, or doing anything to provoke violence.

I am particularly saddened because this incident, along with the murder of Christopher Lane and numerous other incidents are coming to the forefront as black-on-white, racially-tinged crimes.  It is not about the skin color of the perpetrators or the victims.  It is about an attitude among far too many in our society who seem to think they have a right to do whatever they can get away with doing.  Until good people, like Delbert Belton, stand up and resist evil, evil will triumph.   

God bless you, Mr. Belton, and may He comfort your loved ones with the knowledge that you at 89 were still too much of a man to lay down for a bully. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

Photo Identification Politics

Colin Powell, a man I once thought was pretty sensible, is a racist.  First, he voted for Barack Obama solely because Obama is black.  That's not my opinion, but what can be derived from Powell's own statements at the time.  He thought that Obama was up to the task of being president -- which he clearly wasn't and isn't, and he thought it was acceptable to vote for him so that a black man could be president.  If I voted for a man based on his pigmentation, I would be a racist.  I have never done that.  Colin Powell has; ergo, Powell is a racist.

 Last week, Powell, who has no expertise or grounds for authority in this area, declared unequivocally that voter fraud doesn't not exist, also, photo identification is racist

Please explain to me logically how a photo ID is racist or makes it more difficult for a registered voted to cast a ballot.  I'm not sure how North Carolina's law is written, but free photo IDs are generally provided to people who do not already have one -- a miniscule portion of eligible voters -- and cannot afford one.  Most of us have a picture ID because we drive.  People who receive government benefits usually have or can easily acquire such an identification card.  I would imagine most veterans have picture IDs. 

It is simply not comparable to a poll tax or a literacy test.  Personally I think only taxpayers should be allowed to vote.  People who receive a check from the government should not be eligible since they are prone to vote their pocketbooks.   

Here's the question:  if there is no voter fraud, what threat is posed by a free picture ID?  What is this vehement, and, to me, irrational, opposition protecting people against?  I do not get it. 

Unless -- I mean, is it possible that perhaps those opposed to a photo ID requirement know that this might cut down the 100% (or more) voter turn-out in cities like St. Louis? 

I will admit that a lot of these urban voters have nothing to do except vote, but what is the overall turn-out in a general election?  Maybe fifty or sixty percent at best?  Considerably less than 100%, I know.  Inner cities do have a lot in common with dictatorships, including one-party rule and perfect voter participation, and The Party always gets all of those votes. 

Powell is also an idiot who "questions" the verdict delivered by a jury in the trial of a man who defended himself with deadly force against a brutal attack by a street thug.  Any respect I might have had for Colin Powell is gone with the wind.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Apple Time

It is a lot of work. 

First I pick them

Then I clean them up and sort them.

Finally we cut them up and process them for this winter.

We had a really good year for apples.  My work is far from done.  The ones in the jar were picked and canned before I picked that batch that is in the driveway.  There are more on the trees.  Once they are all processed, I'll have my fall pruning.  My Macintosh tree, which I originally planted mainly as a cross-pollinator, has been producing for the last couple of years.  This is first serious year for the Galas, Red Delicious and Jona-Golds. 

As much as I love strawberries, blackberries, and grapes, the orchard is my favorite part of this place.  I have a bunch of very large and great-tasting pears from one tree, as well as the apples.  No plums this year because of the late spring.  No nectarines because of the Japanese Beetles.  Permaculture does require attention and work, but it demands less energy in terms of tillage and usually gives a pretty good caloric ROI.  

And I like apples.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Victory Vision On Ophir Pass

John Ogden of Hatfield, AR, took his Victory Vision over Ophir Pass on standard street tires.  It's a good bike.  Mr. Ogden is clearly a very good rider. 

The article could use a little editing by someone with English as a first language, but apparently Ogden's 1731 cc Vision owns a world's record as the largest displacement bike to ascend and descend this unpaved pass from east to west.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sarah Hoyt Is Prudent

I owe American Digest for featuring this particular essay in "Notable Quotes", but I have According To Hoyt high in my blog bookmark folder.  That's partly because I keep them in alphabetical order.  Anyway, Mrs. Hoyt talks about building "Galt's Network" in the event of a collapse.  I think she is probably correct about the nature of the collapse that is coming:

What you get instead is an inability to trust the civilization you’ve come to know.  Your “conveniences” will fail, and “conveniences in this case include not just cable TV (actually that might well keep going through it all) but electricity, water, roads.
Despite occasional moments of panic, I have generally felt we would experience deterioration rather than detonation.  At some points the decay may be more rapid and obvious, but overall things will simply get worse economically and in terms of the limitations we are forced to deal with.  Manufacturing, supply chains, and transport will not be broken but will be badly bent.

Here's another thing Mrs. Hoyt is right about:

Yes, the British empire collapsed, but when that Atlas shrugged we were there to take up the burden.  Yes, our ways were different, but we still were ready.  Only the less rational of the progressives expect China to take our place.  And that’s because they don’t GET China.

Nobody is going to come along and bail out the United States.  China is not going to take our place in the world even if they survive a crash in the West, which is unlikely.  We will be left to muddle through on our own.

The inflation/deflation question still looms.  Denninger thinks Bernanke will end QE in the next few months over concerns for his legacy.  Both equities and bonds seem to be reacting as if this were at least a possibility.  Nevertheless, the political class is going to put pressure on the next Fed chair to resume and even accelerate bond-buying because the government will get squeezed by tighter money.

Mrs. Hoyt and her family do not have the luxury of bugging out to an isolated, self-sustaining, defensible retreat in the event of a financial and societal failure. In that she is like many people.  We are going to need a shadow system, a way of communicating, cooperating, and interacting, that bypasses the current failed models from Big Government to Big Data to Big Education.

There is a lot of local structure in place.  Forget the federal government.  Concentrate on correcting ills within your local systems.  If they are too far gone, you may have to consider going elsewhere.

In any case, Mrs. Hoyt's essay is well worth the time it takes to read it.

As you may or may not know, she is a pretty good science fiction writer.  I read one of her (free) books called Draw One In The Dark.  It's not bad, and one of the few science fiction or fantasy novels I've tried recently which didn't get tossed aside in utter boredom or finished "ironically" because it was just too horrible to contemplate not knowing the full extent of the train wreck.  I am clearly not the intended demographic for a novel like this -- I would guess she was aiming at single Christian females under 35 who like to feel empowered.  It's certainly too YA and shape-shifter Jane Austen for me to recommend as a PFD pick, but Mrs. Hoyt's work did keep my attention.

In the same way that her SyFy is not my SyFy, her preps are going to be different from mine, and probably from yours.  She is also correct that some of us put too much emphasis on firearms and other favorite tools as opposed to creative thinking and problem-solving.  It is always good to get a different perspective on things.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, August 19, 2013

Senseless Smalltown Murder

From the Melbourne, Australia, Herald Sun, we read of the murder of Christopher Lane, a 22-year-old Australian who was playing baseball in the United States.  He was gunned down while jogging on a quiet suburban street in Duncan, Oklahoma.

I've been to Duncan, and it was a really nice place back then -- 1989 or so.  I imagine it is still a nice place in many ways.

The perpetrators of this pointless act of mayhem were not "racially motivated".  Mr. Lane was white.  Two of the murderers were black and one was white.  [UPDATE:  Looks like that might have been misreported -- the picture Denninger has makes it appear that all three thugs are "minority".]  Our murders are getting much more diverse, and I don't mean that as humor.  The thugs had posted to Fakebook about killing people.  They saw Chris Lane go by, got in a car, drove up behind him, shot him with a small-caliber firearm and left him to die on the side of the road.

They should be dragged into the town square of Duncan, put on their knees, horsewhipped until they confess both their guilt and regret on live television then shot in the back of the head, pointblank, with buckshot.   That would be some reality TV.  Instead, they will sit in jail for a year or two while their public defenders bill the state.  A couple of them will plea bargain.  One might get placed on death row where, after wasting more taxpayer money on his incarceration, maintenance, and appeals, he might be executed twenty years from now -- long after Chris Lane's baseball career would have ended had his life not been cut so cruelly short.

This was thrill-killing.  It's not the immediate "physical" culture that is in Duncan but the mental culture.  The minds of these three creatures have been so warped by the education system and the milieu in which they immersed themselves that they thought somehow a random act of extreme violence, destroying a human life for no reason whatsoever would be equivalent to actually going out and achieving something with their worthless lives.  Righteousness and decency have been denigrated to the point that they saw no reason to pursue such ends.

I've been a hunter and killer of game since I was a very small child, but I have never killed so much as a snake without a twinge of regret.  I feel bad about accidentally killing a butterfly.  I've squalled the tires trying to avoid hitting a squirrel on the highway.  Despite having access to firearms for as long as I can remember, I have never killed or attempted to kill a single person.  Do you know why?  Because killing people except in the defense of life is wrong, and I know that.  And so do you.  Why didn't the despicable little pissants who murdered Christopher Lane know that?

One of the Australians who commented on the story at the link chided the United States for its "antiquated" gun laws and suggested Obama take us by "the scruff of the neck" and put us in line.  I am sorry to think that there are such neutered Australians running around, but there are plenty in this country who think the same.  They seem to forget that these "boys" were driving what was likely a three or four thousand pound guided missile.  They could have killed Christopher Lane with the car door, with a crossbow, with a blackpowder pistol, or a home-made spear.  It is way past time to stop focusing on the tool or instrument and start focusing on the intention and the depraved mindset that wields and controls the hands.

They went out with the intention of killing an innocent person just for the sake of killing.  How in this world does a person get to that point?  We can take away guns and knives, cut off hands or whatever, but until we stop indoctrinating our children with the idea that there is no God, that all cultures and ways of thinking are equally valid, that good behavior is not really good and bad behavior is not really bad, this kind of insanity will continue and most likely get much, much worse.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Proper Attitude Toward the Office

Hoft has a bit on the little incident at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.  A rodeo clown went out in an Obama mask.  The announcer asked if the crowd would like to see a bull run over Obama, or something.  The bull chased the clown who escaped unharmed.  It was played for a laugh.  Period.

So our Republican Lt. Governor, Peter Kinder, condemns the incident by saying, "We're better than that."  I don't understand.  This is America.  This is how we do things.

Our own Ma Hogg, Senator McCaskill, chimes in that we need to get to the bottom of this, investigate and find out who was behind it.  OK.  As soon as Eric Holder testifies under oath about Fast and Furious, and the IRS stops taking the Fifth about their politically motivated investigations, and we find out who refused for seven hours to send aid to Americans fighting for their lives on the ground in Benghazi, just to name a few things, then get back to us, and we'll talk about checking on a clown.

Lots of people are indignant that the office of the President has been demeaned.  Actually, the only person who can demean the office is the one holding it at the time.  Bill Clinton demeaned it.  Obama is doing a mighty fine job of demeaning it.

I respect people who earn respect.  I don't give people respect based on their title.  We don't have nobles, lords and ladies, kings or princes or queens.  If Obama wants my respect he should respect the American people, the office he temporarily holds, the Constitution and the rule of law.  If he refuses to do that -- and he has mostly, I owe him nothing except contempt.  When he stops acting like a clown, I might stop thinking of him as one.

Politicians are public figures, and, as such, they have no expectation of protection from ridicule or mockery.  It doesn't matter if the politician is "on my side" like Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, or Peter Kinder or on the other side like Obama, Biden and Ma Hogg, none of them should expect deference from the American people and certainly not from their political opponents.  Grow up. 

Nobody forces a politician into the public arena.  You worthless jacklegs beg for these jobs.  You want to be famous and important?  Fine.  You get ridicule, mockery, and derision on the same plate.  Eat it or go home.

Now I will say that if Obama is suddenly subjected to attacks from bulls released on the golf course by copycat, uh, bull-releasers (pretty much what politicians are, come to think of it), I might consider revising my stand on this.

Probably not.  But I would need a video to be sure.  I hope the Secret Service have their smart phones fully charged.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

As If I Needed It

Another reason to love Ann-Margret:

The next day Ann-Margret, 59 at the time, carried on as Grand Marshal of the Colonel’s Truck Accessories National Hot Rod Association Nationals, riding in a pace car with her left arm in a sling and waving to 140,000 people.

That was in 2000.  A year later, she appeared on Larry King Live and discussed the accident with the idiot King who wanted to know if she was going to continue riding bikes.  When she answered in the affirmative, he wanted to know why.  She said she loved riding motorcycles.  King pressed, asking why she loved motorcycles.  Her final answer?  It is everything.

Though she overstated it just a bit for dramatic effect and probably to avoid punching Larry in the face, bikes are a unique experience.  It would be difficult to find a comparable feeling to leaning into a corner at speed and that vital unity between man, oops, individual and machine.

Ride on.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Water Everywhere

At times like this, I am glad my house is where it is.  If it ever backs up here, you will be needing an ark.  Living along a creek or a river is wonderful until hilltops start turning into creeks, and the creeks turn into lakes as is the case in areas of Missouri -- especially around Fort Leonard Wood.  In the town of Waynesville, a woman and her four-year-old son died when their car was swept off the road.

As natural disasters go, flash flooding is one of the more deadly.  Our topography means that every little dry wash with a low-water slab crossing is a potential killer in heavy rains.  If a person doesn't drown immediately, there's still a good chance of being killed by debris.  What is happening now is unusual only in terms of the time of the year.   

It really does take only a few inches of water to cause a vehicle to lose traction and potentially be swept off to destruction.  Be careful.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Cops Gone Wild in Cleveland

Back in November of 2012, a couple were driving under the influence of illegal drugs including cocaine and marijuana, as well as alcohol.  The driver was driving on a suspended license.  The police attempted to pull the car over, and, foolishly, the driver fled.  When the couple were finally stopped amid some 60 police cars which had joined the pursuit, the cops opened fire on the car.  They fired 137 shots and killed both the driver and the passenger.

The occupants of the car were unarmed.

The female passenger was struck 24 times, the male driver 23 times.  This was a grossly inappropriate reaction, and some 75 officers will be disciplined as a result.

Disciplined?  How about being charged with manslaughter? At that point in time, the occupants of the car were essentially prisoners.

 I have no doubt that a cop fired the first shot.  It could have been an accidental discharge.  In the darkness and confusion, it's possible to give the officers some benefit of the doubt, but there is no excuse for pouring that amount of fire into a parked car containing people who, whatever their crime, presented no threat whatsoever.

Here's a comment on this story from a "conservative" on a "conservative" website in response to someone asking if the parked car was endangering anyone as much as the cops firing all those shots:

Yes. Anyone and everyone else on the road that night.
Second question irrelevant. No innocent people were harmed. Either by a drunk and stoned driver, or the cops who stopped him.
This intrepid law-and-order commenter fails to grasp the point.  A high-speed pursuit is not always the best course of action.  True, a person under the influence has greater likelihood of being involved in a fatal accident than a sober person.  But that is a probability, and still a relatively low one -- not a certainty.  The probability increases with speed so the police must be allowed some discretion and encouraged to use good judgment as to whether a chase is justified.  Even if we give them the pursuit, the shooting remains a problem.  The vehicle had been halted and trapped.  There were dozens of officers.  The two people inside were not going anywhere.  According to our law and tradition, two "innocent" people, people who never had their day in court, and who had not been judged as guilty by the legal system, were hurt.

Even when a person clearly threatens an officer of the law with a firearm or other weapon, it is the duty of the officer to stop the attacker, not necessarily kill them.  It is certainly an egregious violation of commonsense and decency for enforcers of the law to act like a bunch of mobsters.  It has, in fact, the markings of a mob mentality -- a mindless act of destruction.

This must have looked like something out of The Blues Brothers.   I guess Jake and Elwood were lucky they were in Chicago. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

No News Is Good News Lately

It has been raining here for 38 days and 38 nights.  I left the windows down on the ark, and it's full of water.  I can't find where I have a drain plug in these blueprints -- but they're in Hebrew anyway.  I can’t remember a summer quite like this one.  Temperatures have been below average, generally.  The prior two years were below average in rainfall and, last year especially, very hot.  June, usually our wettest month, was a little drier than normal but July has more than made up for it. 

We are about a month off.  Spring was late.  We had snow during the first week of May ...   

I know!  The earth is slowing down.  If we don't throw Fat Albert Gore off the planet, we're going to spiral down into the sun!  We’re all going to die!  

And perhaps we should.   

Because of the continuing rain, I stayed up to watch the local news last night.  I rather wish I had skipped it.  First there was a story about a presidential photo op with some girls who had won something, maybe an NCAA championship in some sport, possibly having to do with curling irons.  A couple of the girls made “bunny ears” behind Obama’s back.  This was a big story – I suppose it was meant to be amusing – pitched as the “latest scandal”.  It ended up mocking the several real scandals, and the news gave more time to this non-story than they have given to Benghazi and Fast and Furious combined.

I would also add that they were never “bunny ears” in our day.  They were devil horns.  What a bunch of PC wimps. 

The second reason I regretted watching the news was a story about children who are “not ready for kindergarten”.  I thought kindergarten was supposed to get a child ready for school.  (People without kindergarten or Head Start or pre-school went to the Moon, with less computing power than is in a smart phone.)  The story was pitched like it was one of the ten plagues of Egypt.  It was dire.  Doom looms.  Of course, the government has an answer.  By employing otherwise unemployable, useless, overweight women, our children may be saved from the cruel fate of remedial nap-time.  Yes, we will steal your children from your breast and begin their indoctrination education while they yet babble incoherently.  They will be delivered from the curse of right-wing family values and taught to recite their rights to abortion, alternate lifestyles, and hygienic piercing, as well as the pledge to Satan -- and lubed condoms for all.

Next time, I think I’ll just look out the window to see if the rain has stopped.

Friday, August 2, 2013


I ought to get indignant and rant on about Benghazi and the economy and politics and pop culture, but I am more than a little flat.

Ninety years ago today, President Warren G. Harding died in office, of unknown causes,  and was replaced by his Vice-President, Calvin Coolidge.  Coolidge is the high-water mark of the American Presidency between Lincoln and today (whether one thinks Lincoln himself deserves his status might be a discussion for another time).  He will likely remain so in the foreseeable future.

History does not repeat; I'm not so sure it rhymes but it does seem to have the reverb turned on.  Obama is something of a reverberation of Woodrow Wilson, a Princeton professor as delusional as the University of Chicago lecturer who inhabits the White House at the moment.  Harding and Coolidge followed Wilson and got the economy that had been run aground back on course.  Maybe that will happen again.

Meanwhile, it's the weekend -- one I may actually get to enjoy, and I think the wise thing to do is be more light-hearted and relaxed.  At least for a couple of days.  Life will go on.

Let's back it up and have some fun. Turn it up.