Saturday, April 26, 2008

Unintended consequences writ large:

Dirt biscuits or fuel? Tammy Bruce refers me to Mark Steyn.

any ideas?

Anybody have any idea what this is? Or, have a friend who might know what it is? I have scoured it from end to end for a manufacturer's mark to no avail. Before I take it in to a gunsmith and make a fool out of myself, I thought I'd make a fool of myself here.

It has similarities to an M-1 Garand and the Mauser used by the bad guys in WWI and II. I'm trying to decide if it is worth taking in to determine if it's usable and make it so if not. It is pretty heavy compared to contemporary rifles. Looks like it would take a clip of about 4 or 5 cartridges.

And, yes, the refurbished Compaq is working just fine, thank you.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New poll -->

Dr. Pepper in a rout.

Still waiting for my new glasses

Should be here in the next week or so.

From the site's return policy:

But why stop there??

Frames are to big or small - 100% Refund
Colors don’t suit you- 100% Refund
Wife doesn’t like the frame- 100% Refund
Neighbor just bought same design- 100% Refund
New collection just came out – 100% Refund
Your dog chewed on your new frames – 100% Refund

My man Krugman nails it

"The attacks from the Clinton campaign have been badminton compared with the hardball Republicans will play this fall. If the relatively mild rough and tumble of the Democratic fight has been enough to knock Mr. Obama off his pedestal, what hope did he ever have of staying on it through the general election?"

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Re: Legless Wurym (think Braveheart)

Just one small, picky point; I assumed the NYT article to be true for my two points.

This is just more evidence (along with the unmasking of Gibson and Stephanopoulos as the fascist harlots they are) of the GOP’s absolute control of the MSM.

Legless, Much Like a Worm (Re: Military Industrial Media Complex)

Scooter commented on two reasons there would be no legs to the NYT story about military analyst taking direction from the Pentagon on what to say and taking money from defense contractors, while pretending to present independent expert opinions all over the media:

1) Too late in the Bush Admin. (I might have to revise this if McC wins though his statements on Gitmo and "torture" might insulate him) and 2) attributes too much cred to the Idiot King.

There's yet another big reason:  complicity/responsibility of the media itself.  A post on Kos mentions this reason and sums up the amount of coverage the story has gotten thusly:

[L]et's follow-up with a look at the coverage this propaganda for profit scandal has received.
Questions by the White House press corps: None
Frontpage coverage in major newspapers: None
Discussion on T.V. talk shows: None
Questions to Defense Secretary Gates: One

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

"Quint gave Khalil $100; Khalil gave him a ride home in his personal vehicle. "

What a cheapskate! That'll teach ya. $100 reward for a $4M violin.

Petraeus rewarded too quickly

This just seems like a terrible idea: a promotion for Petraeus.

General Petraeus will be nominated by Mr Bush to take charge of US Central Command in Florida, which oversees the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US Senate must first confirm him in his new position, and little opposition is expected.

Assuming the new strategy (I can no longer use the "s" word) is working, why not wait a little longer for the promotion?

Forget global warming

"All four agencies that track Earth's temperature (the Hadley Climate Research Unit in Britain, the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the Christy group at the University of Alabama, and Remote Sensing Systems Inc in California) report that it cooled by about 0.7C in 2007. This is the fastest temperature change in the instrumental record and it puts us back where we were in 1930. ...The bleak truth is that, under normal conditions, most of North America and Europe are buried under about 1.5km of ice. This bitterly frigid climate is interrupted occasionally by brief warm interglacials, typically lasting less than 10,000 years. The interglacial we have enjoyed throughout recorded human history, called the Holocene, began 11,000 years ago, so the ice is overdue. We also know that glaciation can occur quickly: the required decline in global temperature is about 12C and it can happen in 20 years." Via Ace and The Corner.

No Bleat...

It's not just me per

Interesting analysis

at Red State. Obama didn't win seven of the ten most populous states (accounting for 53.42% of the USA's population); didn't win two of the reliably three Blue states; and won none of the four battleground states. Via Rush.


Quick plug for CaringBridge:

As I mentioned below, I lost a dear friend this week to cancer. He was greatly loved and really unable to communicate much at all for several months now and spent the last few weeks in Houston Hospice.

His wife used the website above to keep his legions of friends updated and his legions of friends could post their wishes and prayers there as well. When they first started using the site I thought it rather impersonal but after reading the hundreds of posts of friends family and the updates from his wife, I realized how much easier it made things for her. In the end in many ways she was comforting us. She wrote that reading the posts from friends to him meant a lot to both. Posts from the hoi poloi kept out by virtue of a password system.

Seems like the site turned out to be really useful. It doesn't have to be used only in dire times but happy times as well, e.g., tracking a pregnancy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just for LJ

"We" are having dinner with Laura Ingraham and about a thousand of her closest friends tonight. "We" will have a great time. Only downside is that "we" won't be able to watch the Keystone State returns until about 10:00 o'clock tonight.

10:13 Update: She is much softer in person if that makes any sense. Also, by my best guess it was closer to about 3000 of her closest friends. Nice to see that she was working from her own notes. Well, as best I could tell and I was pretty close to the stage...handwritten notes from a yellow legal pad.

Next morning update: More like 1500.

Military Industrial Media Complex

It is time for a rechristening: "military industrial complex" needs to be revised to "military industrial media complex". The New York Times story of April 20, 2008 describes a couple of ugly secrets: 1) supposedly independent "military analysts" appearing on TV and radio and sourced for print are tightly controlled by the military; and 2) many of these military folks have a financial interest in war because of contracts they have with defense contractors.

Deanie Mills has written a reader's blog entry for TPM that describes her reaction to the piece, as a wife and mother of military men. I found this part to be particularly poignant:

And yet, when my son and the Marines in his unit were plunged into the Battle of Fallujah less than a week after Bush was supposedly re-elected (they had to wait outside the city for two months because the administration was afraid that a bloody body-count just before an election might be a bad thing for their boy)--they did so with substandard body armor and old-fashioned Vietnam-era M-16 rifles.

(When they re-deployed 14 months and many deaths later, they finally had the right equipment.)

He commented to me at the time that the Marines hated the private contractors because, among other reasons, they had all the latest high-tech body armor, "and they had the M-4's with collapsible stocks and these great scopes, while we had our piece-of-crap rifles."

That would be the M-4s and body armor paid for by billion-dollar contracts that warmongering retired generals were pushing on TV and newspapers, which also served to make some of them very very rich--way beyond military-grade pay scales.

She also make the observation that "the networks all own stock in the private war-contracting businesses". I don't if that's literally true. Certainly it is true if she means it metaphorically, as in conflict (the war itself as well as pro-war/anti-war sparing) is great for ratings.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Falun Gong Turnout

There were tens and tens of them (ok, maybe I was a little late):


Immediately after high school, I lost a very good friend to a drowning (in a Norway fjord of all places). At that time I was still young, stupid, vain and bulletproof. It all seemed surreal.

Today I learn of my second loss of a contemporary to brain cancer last Friday. This was a friend of some thirty-three years. Though I hadn’t seen him in twenty years, everybody has this kind of could go twenty years and meet again and it would be as if you had never missed a day. Just pick up without missing a beat. I had kept up with him through my brother and other old friends. Seems like we are all blessed with one or two of those types of friends from the key formative times in our lives...for me: high school, college and law school.

In spite of that, how I regret not having remained closer.

A contagious laugh that lit up a room and never failed to cheer me up. A joy just to be around.

A courageous wife who has suffered with him magnificently since Christmas. G-d be with her and strengthen her.

New poll -->

China's financial holdings in US

VDH has been particularly depressing on this issue but last week's Stratfor article makes me feel a little (it's only one paragraph after all) better:

While China thus lacks politico-military options to counter the Tibet pressure, it also lacks economic options. It is highly dependent for its economic well-being on exports to the United States and other countries; drawing money out of U.S. financial markets would require Beijing to put it somewhere else. If the Chinese invested in Europe, European interest rates would go down and U.S. rates would go up, and European money would pour into the United States. The long-held fear of the Chinese withdrawing their money from U.S. markets is therefore illusory: The Chinese are trapped economically. Far more than the United States, they can't afford a confrontation.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

State's Rights

This was a little creepy. I was walking around the capitol today (there was a Falun Gong anti-China protest...not exactly an awe inspiring turnout) and came across this:

I wonder when this homage to those who died in the "Late Unpleasantness" was erected. If you click on the pic you can actually read.