Friday, December 30, 2011

How It Was Supposed To Work

He also said he would not respond militarily to keep the strait open—because he would not consider it an act of war against the U.S. But if he were president, he would report to Congress on the issue, leaving it up to lawmakers to declare war if they wanted.

Congressman Ron Paul, talking of Iran's threat to close the Straits of Hormuz.


To approving applause from a crowd of about 125, the Texas congressman said that "we always seem to have to have a country to bash," linking the current saber-rattling against Iran to previous hawkish rhetoric that led to conflicts in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere.

"If you want to quiet things down," he said, referring to Iran, "don't put sanctions on them" because it's "just going to cause more trouble."

He said an Iranian blockade would be the most likely response to tighter sanctions because Iran has "no weapons of mass destruction" and shutting down the strait is "the most" it could do.

"I think the solution" to current tensions with Iran "is to do a lot less a lot sooner and mind our own business and then we would not have this threat of another war," he said to applause.

Read George Washington's Farewell Address sometime. By modern standards, Washington would be considered an isolationist. There's nothing inherently wrong with minding your own business - - and showing the same courtesy to others.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hi Kids! We're Going To Learn a New Word Today!

That word is recidivist. Can you say that? Good! I knew you could!

A teenager who has found himself on the wrong side of the law multiple times in recent years was again arrested — and tased — by Wilmington police for a botched Christmas Eve robbery, authorities said.

Police arrested 19-year-old Taquan Pearley James after they found him wrestling with a man outside of a house in the 1200 block of Orange Street, a rifle lying nearby.

James has run into police several times in recent years. He was one of two 16-year-olds who in 2008 were arrested on suspicion of holding up two Domino’s Pizza delivery drivers. And in 2010, he served a little more than a month in prison for breaking into a house on Barnett Avenue.

Can we keep him in prison for at least 5 years this time, and give the citizens of North Carolina a break from his inability to control his criminal impulses? It'd be much appreciated.

Random Nostalgia Post of the Day

Remember the wide belts and large belt buckles of the 1970's? A major brand name in the buckle business back then was Bergamot Brass Works, which, in fact, weren't usually made of solid brass, but were made of pot metal and only plated with brass or pewter. I had several of their buckles; one was a Winchester riding horse logo in pewter finish; I also had this Mayan calendar buckle:

(If I recall, though, Bergamot referred to it as an "Aztec" calendar.)

It's a Miracle, Part 12,985

Jesus H. Christ on a sock!

Gallery: Cape Romain Lighthouses

Over at the Charleston Post & Courier.


update: Accompanying story can be found here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

New York Times: Ron Paul Supported By Klan, Neo-Nazis

Yer typical guilt-by-association hit job by Barack Obama's propaganda arm the "newspaper of record."

You Have To Be a Bit Squirrely To Love a Giant Acorn

The giant acorn sculpture that is a symbol of Raleigh, North Carolina, is being repaired and spiffed up for its New Year's Eve appearance.

It needed repair after tornadoes visited NC in April did some damage.

A Squirrel's Fantasy Home.

"With This Gun Protecting Me, This Piece of Iron, I Feel Safer."

A convenience store clerk, robbed twice, had his own gun the third time a robber walked in.

The story is one that I mentioned a while back, but it's written less about the circumstances of this particular use of armed self-defense than it is a wider discussion of the increase in such cases since NC instituted a "castle doctrine" law that eases restrictions on gun use in self-defense cases. Amazingly for an MSM outlet, the reporters actually got representatives of both gun rights and gun control organizations to comment on the issue, and the law enforcement officer they interviewed addressed the issue in an intelligent, balanced manner, not reflexively taking the gun control side.

Good, balanced story. Wish the MSM would write more of these on the armed self-defense issue.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What It's All About

And, even back in the early 1960's when A Charlie Brown Christmas was first broadcast, the network tried to get this part of the show cut out, thinking it was too religious and might offend someone. Charles Schulz was adamant that it remain, however. And so it did.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Back-To-Back-To-Back Home Runs

Victor Davis Hanson hit three of 'em in his most recent writings:

Obama Derangement Syndrome? A point-by-point, with examples cited, comparison of the very real "Bush Derangement Syndrome" with the much-less-real "Obama Derangement Syndrome."

When the Legend Becomes Fact, Print the Legend. A discussion of Obama's supposed "genius," with pointed commentary about how his scholastic and medical transcripts have been sequestered, with little or no objection by the MSM.

The President Who Never Was. Hanson details Obama's search through the Closet of Presidential Personas, trying to find something to fit: Kennedy? Lincoln? Carter? Ah, yes, that one fits.

This stuff is great writing. Give it a look, add it to your RSS feeds.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cesaria Evora, 1941-2011: R.I.P.

Kind of unnoticed in the roll call of recent deaths is that of Cape Verde Islands singer Cesaria Evoria, who has apparently succumbed to hypertension and what used to be called emphysema. She passed away on Saturday. The BBC has a video report here.

I liked her music, myself, although I only discovered her a few years ago.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Trailer For The Hobbit...

...has arrived:

And note that the movie itself is still a year off, so there is quite a wait ahead of us.

Looks like they didn't use Tolkien's silly hair/clothing colors as described in the book. They appear to have used one of the most soul-stirring songs from the book, however, and that is all to the good. Just hope that they don't use the inane (and, frankly, gay) elf-songs from the book: Oh, tra-la-la-lally here down in the valley, ha ha!

h/t Random Acts of Patriotism.

(As an incidental note, I have been in Middle-Earth myself all morning, via the MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online. Did you know that you can play the game free, in a limited way? You can visit many of the places famous in the books, including Bag End, Bilbo and Frodo's home. Depending on which race you choose, you can meet various characters from the books in the tutorial, including Gandalf and Aragorn.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Four Dollars

That's all a homeless man's life was worth in Wilmington, NC, just a few days before Christmas.

Remember When...

...if you wanted to buy porn (real XXX porn, not Playboy) you had to go to an adult book store to buy it? And, if you lived in some cities or jurisdictions there might be laws/ordinances against those stores, resulting in your having to either drive to a major metropolitan area (and usually in the high-crime areas) or acquire your porn via the US mail, hopefully in a plain brown wrapper?

Looking back on it (and it was less than 20 years ago, for most of us) it seems pretty quaint, doesn't it? And there was no huge wave of rapes and other sex crimes resulting from widespread internet porn, either.

Not All Stupidity Is Government Stupidity

The corporate world is fully as capable as government is in behaving stupidly.

As exhibit one, I present this UPS package tracking information (click to embiggen):

The package I am awaiting was shipped from Georgia. I live in Matthews, NC. Look at this map:

Cross-reference back to the shipping data, and you'll see that my package is taking an entire extra day visiting the city of Greensboro, NC, before arriving here in Matthews - - a suburb of Charlotte, from whence it arrived (and departed for Greensboro) this morning.

Or As He Calls Them, His Base

"POTUS has Coffee with Progressive Media Stars."

Or his collaborators. Or co-conspirators. I note that Ezra Klein of "JournoList" infamy was invited.

You Think YOU Have It Bad?

Be lucky you're not like the man from League City, Texas, who fell down a manhole, was bitten by spiders and snakes and, after that misadventure, was attacked by his girlfriend, who went upside his head with a baseball bat.

I guess the GF is something of a cougar, since she is 51 and he is 26. Or maybe he's just such a mope that she was all he could get in the way of GF's.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Probably From Stephen King Or Warren Buffett

The annual appearance of a gold coin in a Salvation Army donation kettle has occurred.

These things happen every year, just like clockwork. Sometimes I suspect the Salvation Army of doing it just for the media coverage.

Or, maybe it's Stephen King, or Warren Buffett, or one of those other leftists who feels he has too much money and wants some of it taken away. $1700 isn't very charitable, though, when you consider how much wealth these people have.

Random Thought

I wonder if the members of Union Station are intimidated by the musicianship of dobro ace Jerry Douglas, who came to the band later than the others? He seems to dominate the band's sound now, to the point where it could almost be considered Alison Krauss, Jerry's Dobro, and Union Station.

Electrifying Pokeweed

That ubiquitous weed in your back yard is capable of playing a part in generating carbon-neutral electricity.

In the case of poke, I guess you can have your electricity...and eat it, too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lazy LOTRO Post

Rather than post real blog content, I'll just be lazy and post an image from Lord of the Rings Online:

He Didn't Pass, Either.

(click to embiggen) That's the Bridge of Khazad-Dûm in Moria, where Gandalf broke his staff and the bridge as well, sending the Balrog (and himself) falling to "the uttermost foundations of stone." You can stand on the bridge, if you want to, and yell YOU SHALL NOT PASS! If you're one of the staff-using player types, you can even smack your staff on the bridge for emphasis. One thing I haven't tried is jumping off the bridge and seeing if I survive the fall into the water far below. Gandalf's hat is down there, by the way.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Heartbreak of the Buggy Whip Maker

Or, in this case, the heartbreak of the pay-phone owner/distributor.

ST. LOUIS -- At 62, Jim Nesselhauf is not sure which will come first, retirement or the demise of his business - pay phones.

Three years ago, Nesselhauf's company, Joltran Communications Inc., had 1,000 pay phones scattered around the St. Louis area.

Today, he's down to about 400. And he expects to soon lay off one of his four remaining employees.

Technologies come, and they also go. Do you remember the last cassette music tape you bought? Your last LP record? I purchased "the" Amazon Kindle last year, and now it's old technology already, somewhat derogatorily labeled "the Kindle Keyboard" so as to distinguish it from more advanced models.

It's a Long Way To the Ground

Been playing Lord of the Rings Online pretty steadily for the last week. Right now I'm in Lothlórien doing quests and making myself useful. Caras Galadon, the city of the elves, is a vertiginous place:

(Click To Embiggen.) You can quite easily fall to your death from those tree-platforms, but I can't blame the game developers for it, because J.R.R. Tolkien himself described them that way in The Lord of the Rings. The Mines of Moria are similar; bottomless pits and precipices everywhere there. OSHA would have a time in Tolkien's universe, I'd imagine.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sometimes the Boy In You...

...wants to buy something, and the man you are has to struggle to convince the Boy it's not needed in his life. I'm having that struggle currently:

"Experimental WWI Helmet."

This strange thing is currently for sale in the Atlanta Cutlery Corp. catalog. I have no need or use for such a thing, but its Steampunk look causes the Boy in me to whimper with toy lust.

Worst is the fact that I don't have spare cash right now. The IRS sent me a Christmas present last week which will pretty much abnegate any holiday spirit around here, and my sister's surgery just exacerbates matters, because she'll be struggling to pay bills and I'll need to pick up the slack. So I can't afford to buy any stupid toys right now.

I swear, though, that helmet looks like it came right off of Boilerplate's head.

He Hadn't Filled His Quota, Or Something

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department inexplicably let a man accused of two rapes out of jail - - and he promptly committed a third rape.

*shakes head in disgust*

How Far To Brasstown, NC?

239 miles from my location. A little far to be travelling on New Year's Eve:

A national animal rights group wants a North Carolina man to abandon his famous New Year's Eve Opossum Drop.

The Washington-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on Thursday said that Clay Logan's event is "cruel and illegal."

Logan, owner of Clay's Corner near the Georgia state line, hosts the parody of the Times Square Ball Drop as a family-friendly and alcohol-free New Year's Eve party.

The opossum is not actually dropped. It's lowered while inside a Plexiglas box.

That sounds like good Southern fun, don't it?

Oh, by the way: Fuck PETA!

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Christopher Hitchens, 1949-2011: R.I.P.


A great loss. I exchanged emails with him on occasion, usually just a line or two to wish him a happy birthday or welcome him as a citizen of the US. Only time he ever replied sharply was after the death of televangelist Jerry Falwell, when Hitchens wrote one of his usual savage send-offs; he said that had he died first, Falwell and his ilk would not spare sharp words about him, so he saw no reason to spare Falwell in his turn.

He was remarkable in his ability to see matters clearly, and write about them skillfully. The only bugbear he seemed to have was his aversion to religion, and that is the only place that his usually clear and careful analysis would be clouded by personal animus.

I've been dreading this day. I'll miss his writings and his television appearances.

Thanks for all the good writings, Christopher. I guess you know by now if there really is an afterlife or not. If there is one, I hope it's a pleasant place and you're happy there. If there isn't, then it isn't any more than you expected.

Update: A great video clip posted at Amy Alkon's place.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Girls Want Their Lap Dances Back

"Feds: Man passed fake $20 bills at strip club."

Not really. I bet they'd like to kick him in the nards a few times, though.

Nards? First heard them called that here:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Treasure Blog: Viking Hoard, Silverdale, Lancashire, UK

Discovered by a treasure hunter with a metal detector, 18" below the surface of the ground in a lead pot.


Ron Paul's A Wacko On Foreign Policy

This video proves it:

Headline of the Day

"Fake Testicle Trial Continued To Next Month."

Truck nuts.

Home From the Hospital

My sister's surgery went well, she is sleeping in the recovery room. She'll be moved to a regular room later this evening, and will be in the hospital for a day or so. Surgeon said that there were no complications. Hopefully she'll have a complete recovery and no recurrence of cancer. Thanks, all of you, for your prayers and good wishes.

Wow. An Entire Year Has Gone By...

...without the journalists at NBC Nightly News covering the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal.

Explain that one to me, Walt.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Poor Man's Holiday

I'm on vacation this week, but can't afford to go anywhere, so I'm home playing Lord of the Rings Online and spending my vacation battling orcs and other creeps. Sorry for the light blogging.

In other news, my sister Karen will be having surgery tomorrow morning to have a cancerous kidney removed. Your kind wishes and prayers would be appreciated.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Another One of Those Defective Guns

You know the sort of gun I mean, the kind that just "go off" while stashed inside a jacket pocket.


Omit That, Not Important

Let me get this straight: the gunman who was shooting people on the street in Hollywood was yelling Allahu Akbar! and not one of the news sources think it's worth mentioning in their coverage, and seem puzzled as to the guy's motivations?

Death Panel Says...Sorry, Soldier

But we won't pay for your cancer treatment with Avastin.

Run along and die now, there's a good fellow.

Treasure Blog: Roman, Greek, Byzantine Coins

Rediscovered in a library in Passau, Germany, by a janitor.

Just lying around in a wooden box, ignored for centuries.


Excuse me for a bit, I'll be up in the attic.

I'm Dreaming of a White...


Caught in Dorset, UK, it's now in an aquarium, spared the usual fate of lobsters. Pic:

Treasure Blog: Ephraim Brasher Gold Doubloon

From what I can determine it was a privately struck coin, and not an official US Mint coin.

One of only 7 made, so it's quite valuable. Others of the 7 have fetched over 2 million pounds sterling, or over 3 million US dollars.

Here's a pic; note the crude engraving, compared to US mint coins:

LOTRO Easter Egg

I guess it qualifies as an Easter Egg. What it is, is a reference to a famous movie (click to embiggen):

Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Five Favorite...

...Robert A. Heinlein novels are:

1. Starship Troopers. I'll call this one The Patriotism Book. Heinlein tied patriotism strongly to survival of the human species. His theory of patriotism can be found in an address he made to the US Naval Academy titled The Pragmatics of Patriotism, which can be found in the Heinlein collection Expanded Universe.

2. Tunnel In the Sky. The Survival book. A story beginning with survival by the individual, working up to survival by a small team, and finally survival at the village level. With more people it might have ended with survival at the national level, which is what Heinlein defined patriotism as. Funny how similar in theme this one is to Starship Troopers. It also features knives in a prominent role, and since I've been a knife nut all my life (even more so than a gun nut, actually) this book has much to do with my own attitudes toward survival in the wilderness.

3. Glory Road. The Sword book. Heinlein was a fencer while at the US Naval Academy, did pretty good at it. That knowledge he put to good use in Glory Road. Is there any fan of Heinlein's who doesn't want a "Lady Vivamus" of his/her very own?

4. Have Space Suit - - Will Travel. The Space Suit book. This one is fun in that it discusses the modern US education system, and how it cheats the typical student of a real education, usually with the student's full cooperation. Along the way is yet another tale of survival: survival against a hostile environment (the Moon), survival against an alien race (the Wormfaces), and, finally, survival of the human race, when judged by an interstellar government.

5. Expanded Universe. The Heinlein's Thoughts book. This is a varied collection of stories, essays, polemics, speeches and predictions, all with commentary included by Heinlein. Included are such gems as Heinlein's first story ("Life-Line"), the aforementioned The Pragmatics of Patriotism, other polemics such as Who Are the Heirs of Patrick Henry?, and even a fantasy story (Over the Rainbow) in which the US's first black, female President puts us back on the gold standard, re-institutes the Pauper's Oath, throws open the borders and forces everyone to learn "Spanglish," among other achievements. I like to keep this one close beside me mainly for The Pragmatics of Patriotism. Supposedly, Heinlein specified that this book was to be published only within the United States, as he didn't believe in airing the country's dirty laundry in public.

Well, those are my five. What are yours?

Morning Hawk

On top of the power pylon behind the house. This one appears to be a Redtailed Hawk, rather than the usual neighborhood Red-Shouldered Hawk. Its feathers are puffed out to maximize warmth. It's very pale for a Redtail, could even be a Krider's Hawk, which is an albinistic subspecies of the Redtail.

Friday, December 09, 2011

What a Great Criminal Name

Stormy Bleu Waters, an accused robber down in Charleston, SC.

No photo is provided and no physical description, but I'll guess that Stormy Bleu is female and African-American. If she's got a hot little body she could use her real name as a stripper name, it has that stripper sound to it.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Treasure Blog: The Kaiser's Urinal

Still at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, actually.

Wish I had a photo of it. Oh, well.

A Lying State of Mind

According to Attorney General Eric Holder, lying "has to do with your state of mind and whether or not you had the requisite intent to come up with something that would be considered perjury or a lie."

Wasn't there a James Taylor song about that?


In my mind I know that I'm not lyin',

Can't you feel the sunshine,

Can't you just feel the moonshine,

Ain't it just like a friend of mine

To hit me from behind,

Yes I'm knowin' I'm not lyin' in my mind.

Or something like that.

h/t Weasel Zippers.

The Empathy of the Rats

When a fellow rat is captive, the other rats do what they can to secure his escape/release.

Greater love hath no rat...

Been Watching Eric Holder Testify Before Congress...

...but I have to keep running to the toilet to puke at the antics of Sheila Jackson Lee and Maxine Waters, who are both on the House Judiciary Committee and are both causing numerous interruptions of the proceedings in their defense of Holder. When Darrell Issa was questioning Holder, Lee interrupted several times, resulting in chaos. I should note that Issa was belligerent and treated Holder, as he himself put it, as "a hostile witness."

I'm glad I don't watch this stuff on a regular basis, I'd die of a frothing fit before a week was out.

Sounds Like He's New At This Robbery Stuff

He'll learn proper technique in the slammer, so he knows how to do a robbery properly next time.

What, you don't think there'll be a next time? Dumbass.

A man tried to rob the A&J Food Mart at 3016 Princess Place Drive at 4 a.m. Thursday, according to a news release from the Wilmington Police Department.
A man walked into the store with his face covered and unsuccessfully tried to pull a handgun out of his coat pocket, employees said. Then an employee pulled a handgun on the suspect, who ran from the business.

His noobie mistake, of course, was not having the gun in his hand when he entered the store. A real pro robber will put on his mask and pull out his gun just outside the business, and then quickly run inside to confront the clerk.

On Capitol Hill...'s Eric Holder's day to face Nemesis in the person of Representative Darrell Issa.

Going to be a fun news day.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Meanwhile, At Carolina Beach, NC...

...a dead whale has washed ashore.

I think they know better than to blow it up:

Update: “We're sampling the snot out of this whale here.”

News Stranger Than a Monty Python Sketch

"Wash. man acquitted in mistaken marten assault."

ONTESANO, Wash. A jury has acquitted a Washington man accused of breaking into a home and throwing a dead mink at another man during a confrontation that made weasel headlines across the country.

Defense lawyer Chris Crew said Monday that 33-year-old Jobie J. Watkins of Hoquiam was found not guilty of burglary.

Police said Watkins was carrying the dead animal when he went to the other man's apartment looking for his ex-girlfriend on June 6. The other man said he was struck after he asked Watkins why he had a dead weasel and Watkins reportedly insisted that it was a marten.

Crew said witnesses provided inconsistent accounts and the "prosecution failed to prove a link to the mink."

The story writer obviously wants to write for Hollywood.

Mom, We Love You and All...

...but we done told you to leave our beer alone.

A brother and sister are in the St. Clair County Jail charged with beating up their mother over beer.

Brittany M. Ferguson, 20, and Lindell K. Ferguson, 18, both of Fayetteville, have each been charged with multiple counts of domestic battery in connection with an incident that left their 42-year-old mother bleeding, scratched and bruised in their Fayetteville home, according to St. Clair County Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Hundelt.

The siblings were charged last week by St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly.

According to police, they received a domestic disturbance call around 7:40 p.m. Nov. 22 in the 2100 block of South First Street in Fayetteville. When police arrived, Lindell and Brittany Ferguson had already fled the home. Their mother, whose name was not released by police, was bleeding profusely from her nose, her left eye was black and swollen and she had numerous scratches on her arm. She refused medical attention. Another adult, a 47-year-old man who also lives in the home but is not believed to be the father of Brittany and Lindell, had also been battered.

The victim told police the disturbance started because she threw out several cans of Bud Light beer from her refrigerator because her daughter, Brittany, was not of legal drinking age. The disposal of the beer angered Brittany, according to police, and she attacked her mother. Lindell joined his sister in the beating of their mother.

Blood may be thicker than water, but it ain't thicker than Bud Light.

Yer Seemingly Disgusting Headline of the Day

"Blue Vampire Star Caught Sucking Red Giant’s Gas."

There's even images of the suckage, if you can keep from puking. Must be from a progressive sector of the universe.

"Ford Island Looked Like the Whole Damned Island Was On Fire."

"It looked like a sheet of flames."

David P. "Buck" Morris Jr. was a US Navy signalman on board the destroyer USS Phelps (DD-360) on December 7th, 1941.

Click the link to read the rest of his reminiscences.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Yer Attention-Getting Headline of the Day

"'Smoking can make your nipples fall off': Plastic surgeon warns of gangrene following breast lift."

The UK Muslim "Get Out of Jail Free" Card

You just have to be drunk.

A gang of Muslim girls who repeatedly kicked a young woman in the head walked free from court after a judge heard they were 'not used to being drunk' because of their religion.

The group screamed 'kill the white slag' while kicks raining in on 22-year-old Rhea Page as she lay motionless on the ground, the court heard.

The attackers - three sisters and their cousin - were told by a judge that normally they would have been sent to jail.

However, he handed the girls - all Somalian Muslims - suspended sentences after hearing that they were not used to alcohol because their religion does not allow it.

That's How They Caught the Invisible Man, Too

Footprints in the snow, that is to say.

A serving soldier allegedly tried to blow up a mosque in a race attack by setting it alight and running a gas pipe into it, after putting threats on Facebook referring to Muslims saying: 'Burn them out'.

Simon Beech, 23, who was in the army at the time, was arrested at his barracks in Preston, Lancashire after being connected to footprints spotted in the snow around the religious building in Hanley, Staffordshire.

A CCTV operator noticed smoke billowing from the first floor and when fire crews arrived to tackle the blaze they noticed the gas pipe running into the building from a neighbouring property.

Prosecutor Paul Spratt said: 'It was a determined effort to set fire to a mosque. Had the fire and the gas come together there would have been a substantial explosion.'

I guess he's got an overdeveloped sense of vengeance:

In My Recent Poll...

...titled Would You Vote For This Guy?, the former President who I quoted was James K. Polk, who was born a couple of miles from where I work. His homesite is a NC State Historic Site.

Monday, December 05, 2011

When the Story Is Incomplete

"Former CMS bus driver accused of murder in bar fight," reads the headline in The Charlotte Observer, which perhaps gives the impression of working-class women getting involved in a fight that involves more than scratching and hair-pulling. One of 'em probably stole the other girl's boyfriend, you might think to yourself.

You'd be wrong. Tara Servatius, Charlotte's own (and best) muck-raking reporter, supplies the facts that The Charlotte Observer didn't want to share with you: that the bar in question, Hartigan's Irish Pub, is frequented by "butch" lesbians, and the death was probably a gay-on-gay killing. The Observer wouldn't report that because it's not politically correct and doesn't fit their narrative.

MSM bias often is not what is reported, but what is omitted. Much of the 2008 presidential campaign was like that, with every salacious/embarrassing detail involving Republicans trotted out for inspection, while details about Barack Obama were curiously left unmentioned. The same is happening now in the 2012 presidential race, with the MSM so far successful in sliming vetting Michele Bachman, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain. They're also starting on Newt Gingrich. Sarah Palin and other qualified candidates (well, qualified in the sense that Barack Obama was qualified) have also been discouraged from even running by the prospect of the savage "vetting" that Republicans receive and Democrats don't.

The double standard is what it is. It won't change, and Republicans/conservatives/Christians have to get used to it. Having said that, Republicans need to mention it more in interviews; take a page from Hillary Clinton and begin talking of a vast, media conspiracy to slime everyone with an (R) after their name. We've seen Newt Gingrich be successful with such a policy so far this election season. The MSM needs to have their feet held in the fire and called on their double standard.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Coon Smackin' Mama

A Burlington, Vermont woman took a dead raccoon to City Hall and slammed its carcass against the entrance doors.

Police in Vermont say a woman who might have been angry about a dead raccoon left on a street took its bloody carcass to City Hall and angrily slammed it against the building's doors.

Burlington police say the woman left the raccoon's body outside City Hall before walking off one morning two weeks ago.

Witnesses have told the Burlington Free Press the animal might have been hit on a nearby street and that the woman might have been upset no one from the city had come to collect it.

Sounds like it would make a great blues song:

She's a coon smackin' mama, don't want her mad at you.
She's a coon smackin' mama, don't want her mad at you.
She'll smack you with that coon until your body black and blue.

Fungus Among Us

It's humongous:

And no, I didn't eat it. I don't eat fungus, even when I can identify it.

Quote of the Day

To me it scarcely seems possible, but this issue you're reading marks the sixth anniversary of "The Old Man and the Boy" - - seventy-two pieces without a missed deadline, although there have been some frighteningly near squeaks. Perhaps now my friends might like to join me in a sort of author's-eye view of what has been the pleasantest writing chore I ever took on.

About 180,000 printed words have been dredged out of boyhood trove of memories, the basic idea being that in an era of atomic power, zip guns and juvenile gang warfare something of excitement might be recalled from an ice age in which kids were given knives and guns as a reward for behaving themselves.

- - "The Smell of Christmas," Field and Stream magazine, December, 1958. As found in the book The Lost Classics of Robert Ruark.

Would You Vote For This Guy?

Would you be inclined to vote for this former President of the US, based on this quote:

I would relieve the burdens of the whole community as far as possible, by reducing the taxes. I would keep as much money in the treasury as the safety of the Government required, and no more. I would keep no surplus revenue there to scramble for, either for internal improvements, or for anything else. I would bring the Government back to what it was intended to be - - a plain economical Government.


Would You Vote For That Former President?
Hell, yes.
Hell, no. free polls 

Bonus points if you can identify him. If no one does, I'll disclose his identity tomorrow, or maybe Monday.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Meanwhile, In Wilmington, NC...

...the Spider-Man bandit has held up his last convenience store.

The Wilmington Police Department believes the notorious "Spider-Man" robber who held up convenience stores of cash and cartons of Newport cigarettes with a handgun was killed in October.

Authorities said today that Anthony Lafrance Devone, 41, who was shot and killed Oct. 20, was the masked robber.

Rum and the Lash Are Still Forbidden...

...but you can bugger a goat to your heart's content.

The Senate on Thursday evening voted 93-7 to approve a defense authorization bill that includes a provision which not only repeals the military law on sodomy, it also repeals the military ban on sex with animals--or bestiality.

Well, that should bring in a whole new bunch of recruits.

A Tune From My Navy Years

I was in the US Navy from 1980-1984. I went to boot camp in Orlando, Florida; that particular base has since closed, which is a pity, because sailors on liberty in their dress uniforms in Walt Disney World were a great public relations stroke. The theme song for my boot company was Queen's Another One Bites the Dust, which was appropriate to the number of guys that fell by the wayside and washed out of the company. Bob Seger's Against the Wind was another popular tune from that year.

After boot camp I went to technical school in Pensacola, Florida. The chow hall had a sound system, and they'd play music all day long. Two songs I specifically remember as chow hall songs are:


While over on the country charts you might hear:

It was all good. I was young and in the Navy. I never wanted anything more.

(This story about a Hall and Oates concert over in Durham this weekend inspired this post).

Meanwhile, At The New York Times...

...yet another gun-hating journalist displays his ignorance, and beclowns himself:

Of course, sensible laws might have kept people like Jared Lee Loughner, the clearly deranged accused shooter in the Tucson massacre, from owning — and legally concealing — his Glock 19 semiautomatic, with its multiple-clip magazine. But Obama would not use his executive power to make even that case.

"Multiple-clip magazine."

Timothy Egan, this maroon's for you:

h/t Bob Owens.

update: It's been fixed.

Oh, the Irony, It Burns

Friday Funnies, over at Reason online:

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Yer WOW Break of the Day

The US Army Drill Team performs:

I'd Call That a Disfiguring Weapon

Down in Rock Hill, SC, a man robbed a convenience store by threatening the clerk with a can of what he described as "sulfuric acid."

Detectives have obtained surveillance footage from the robbery, the report states. The robber is described as a white man between 40 and 50 years old, about 6-foot tall and 190 pounds. He has gray hair and a goatee and was wearing a dark hoodie and jeans at the time of the robbery.

Sounds like a homeless guy using his last can of beer to acquire money to buy more beer.

Hey, Gunnies!

Monday I reviewed the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, and I noted my belief that Rick (played by British actor Fred Lincoln) doesn't know how to hold his Colt Python. I said that he held it above his line of sight, so that it would be impossible for him to use the revolver's sights to aim at a target. Here's a photo that shows what I mean (click to embiggen):

You tell me: does it look as if he is holding the revolver too high for dramatic purpose, and thus can't use the sights?

(picture, and a good article about the show, found here.)

update: here's a pic from the season final itself. He's shooting Sophia, the child zombie, so I'm ok with the barrel of the revolver pointing downward; but he's not using the sights. No way.

It's a 20-Footer

Actually it's just 18.

And it's off Wrightsville Beach, NC. One of my favorite NC beaches.

Aw, hell, I can't resist:

h/t Drudge Report

Treasure Blog: Lawrence of Arabia's Pocket Knife

To be auctioned, expected to sell for around £300.


It appears to be a combination knife of the sort that antedates the Swiss Army knife. In addition to the main blade, you can see a scissors, a button hook, a corkscrew, a leather punch/awl, and a couple of tools that may have been broken off in use; one, the narrow one, was probably made for tending fingernails. The other may be a screwdriver. A similar knife in better condition can be seen here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Most Transparent Administration In History...

...just sealed the records on the murder of Border Patrol officer Brian Terry by guns allowed to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Cover-up? What cover-up? Nothing to see here.

Meanwhile, Down In Goose Creek, South Carolina...

...a young boy is in the hospital recovering from a rattlesnake bite that took 40 vials of antivenom to counteract.

Judging from the description of the snake it was probably an Eastern Diamondback, and if it was a 6-footer (probably not, people always overestimate the length of snakes in a snakebite incident) it would have been capable of injecting huge amounts of venom, and it got the boy twice on the leg. Kind of late in the season for a snakebite, but this is Low Country South Carolina we're talking about, and it's been warm so far this fall.

If you're not familiar with modern treatment for snakebite, be advised that cutting the bite and using suction to suck the poison out doesn't work, and has the potential to make things worse. Just get to the hospital as quickly as you possibly can so they can start treatment with antivenom. No tourniquets, either, unless you definitely wish to lose a limb.

If Paul Bunyan Had a Rifle... would probably be about this size.

.75 Chinese Fortress Rifle.

Yes, you read that right. .75 caliber.That's bigger than the Ma Deuce, bigger than the .600 Nitro Express. It's three quarters of an inch. I don't know if you could shoot the thing unsupported. Recoil? I wince just thinking about it.

h/t The Firearms Blog.

First Stop Hospital, Second Stop Jail

He picked the wrong grocery store to rob, because the clerk had a gun of her own.

A clerk at a Kannapolis grocery store turned the tables on a thief.

Police say John Davidson III tried to rob Bethpage Grocery on Mooresville Road at gunpoint Tuesday night, but the clerk got out her own gun and shot at Davidson.

Davidson ran away but police say he called 911 and told them he had been shot.


Meanwhile, In Galveston, Texas...

...a Marine Vietnam War veteran's body lies unclaimed on a cold slab in the morgue because the town can't find next of kin and won't recognize his best friend or his unadopted stepdaughter as sufficient to release the body.

A decorated war hero who died on Veteran’s Day might get his final wishes fulfilled if a probate judge agrees to release his body to his stepdaughter during a probate hearing this morning.

Manual Maurice “C.W.” Walden, a U.S. Marine veteran who received the Purple Heart twice and was awarded the Bronze Star for valor for his service during the Vietnam War, died Nov. 11. His remains have lain unclaimed on a refrigerated slab in the Galveston County morgue since then because the medical examiner has been unable to find any blood relatives.

His close friend Coyt Mangum said that is just not acceptable.

“I’m really angry over this,” Mangum said. “I’ve been getting the runaround, no one would allow me to move forward and take care of his final arrangements because they can’t find any family. His family is gone; I’m the only family he has.”

Mangum, who also served in Vietnam, met Walden in a Galveston bar 25 years ago. The two became fast friends and often worked welding jobs together. In recent years, Mangum built the disabled vet an apartment on the ground floor of his home because health issues forced Walden to use a wheelchair. Mangum said the retired welder was well known around Galveston as a guy that would give the shirt off his back to anyone in need.

As it turned out, Walden was helping others even after his death. Mangum on Monday gave Walden’s wheelchair to Al Perdew, a veteran whose own wheelchair had been stolen from his truck.

Click the link to read the rest. Representative (and Presidential candidate) Ron Paul, whose district this is occurring in, has gotten involved, and hopefully it will be resolved in the near future.

Update: Resolved.

Child Molester Killed In Prison


The convicted child molester who was strangled over the weekend while serving a 20-year sentence at McCormick Correctional Institution was mutilated and his body went undiscovered for some time, possibly for hours, state officials said Tuesday afternoon.

His cellmate, John Michael New, 32, who is serving a life sentence for hostage-taking, was charged with murder, according to an arrest warrant made public by the S.C. Law Enforcement Division.

New is charged with killing Ricky Cooper, 49, who was found dead late Saturday morning in a common area in front of a shower near his cell, according to prison officials.

Wonder why he wasn't in the Protective Custody Unit? Either he thought he was safe in the general population, or maybe he got transferred out of PC for pissing off someone.

I don't personally gloat when men are raped or killed in prison, no matter how much they might deserve it. When they stood before the judge to be sentenced for their crimes, (s)he didn't add and I also sentence you to be gang-raped on a regular basis and killed for simply trespassing into another inmate's personal space, or looking at him funny. This is the United States of America, and we're supposed to be better than that.

Think about it, and have some empathy. There but for the grace of God and proper upbringing go you yourself.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Ka-Bar's modern version of the US Navy Mark I knife:

Purchased as a birthday present for myself with the Amazon gift card provided by my sister.

The Mark I knife was the predecessor of the more famous Mark II, the famous "Kabar" carried by Marines since WWII. If I recall my military knife history, the Mark I knife had a flaw that was corrected in the Mark II: the pommel in the Mark I was threaded onto the knife's tang, which proved insecure when the knife was used as an expedient mallet or hammer. In the Mark II, the threading was replaced by a pin that pierced both tang and pommel. They are made that way to this very day. This new version has the pinned pommel, a Kraton rubber handle instead of the original's stacked leather, and a sheath made of Kydex and nylon instead of leather. The blade is carbon steel, and instead of being Parkerized, is coated with a modern baked-on black paint. The edge is hair-popping sharp right out of the box, as is usual with Ka-Bar knives.

This knife is a good choice for general outdoor use, short enough to be effective for hunting and other light camp work without scaring white people into thinking it's a deadly weapon.

I could see this one becoming a personal favorite.

It's Arizona's Version of the Poe Toaster

That is to say, a mystery recurring over many years, to the delight of local residents.

Once upon a time on a Thanksgiving weekend long ago, an unassuming juniper tree on Arizona Interstate 17 became more than just a tree.

Under cover of darkness, parties unknown adorned the evergreen with ribbons and ornaments and tinsel so that motorists between Phoenix and Flagstaff might smile and admire its cheery demeanor.

As sometimes happens, the secret trimming became a holiday tradition, and it became a subject of Arizona lore.

The spectacle was dubbed "Mystery Christmas Tree."

For about three decades, travelers eagerly awaited a glittering diversion in the median near Milepost 254, just north of the Sunset Point rest area.

Investigative journalists tried -- and failed -- to identify the anonymous decorators. Some folks credited Santa's helpers. Others insisted that Arizona Highway Patrol officers or Department of Transportation workers were involved.

But no one was ever caught in the act, and nobody stepped forward.

Just like the Poe Toaster, whose decades-long tradition of "toasting" the grave of Edgar Allan Poe on the occasion of the poet's annual January birthday sadly came to an end a couple of years ago.

He Must Have Been Watching The Walking Dead...

...season 2, episode 201, "What Lies Ahead." That's the episode in which Karl is shot by Otis while approaching a deer.

Well, ya see, there's this buck, and I took a shot at it, and just as I shot it jumped and ran away, and I didn't realize there was a horse standing there behind the buck, and...

Anyway, that's my guess. The hunter might have another story in mind:

AIKEN — Authorities say they have charged an Aiken County hunter with animal cruelty after he shot at what he said was a buck and killed a horse instead.

Investigators told the Aiken Standard that the 7-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding had to be euthanized after it was wounded around 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

Deputies say they were able to find a hunter in a nearby tree stand who said he was shooting at a buck when the bullet hit the horse.

Of course, the simplest solution is that he's a dumbass and simply shot the horse because it was a target of opportunity.

Another possibility is that he shot the horse while it was in deep brush and couldn't be identified as a horse. In that case, he shouldn't have been able to identify it as a buck, either. And if he shot into a thicket without being able to identify his target as a buck deer of proper size, then again he's a dumbass.

Monday, November 28, 2011

He Cain't H'ep It...

...he's just an ignernt redneck.

PALM CITY, Fla., Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said a man arrested for allegedly brawling with his son told officers he shouldn't be arrested because "fighting is what redneck people do."

Investigators said Wach's 18-year-old son told deputies he confronted his father about 45 minutes before deputies arrived because the older man was intoxicated and shooting his pistol at the son's lawn mower in the yard of the 18-year-old's home, said.

The son said he took the handgun from Wach, who left but came back a short time later with a shotgun he allegedly pointed at the younger man. The two men fought until a passing deputy noticed the altercation, investigators said.

Wach allegedly refused to comply with the deputy's demands that he stop fighting and he was shocked three times with a stun gun before being taken into custody.

Deputies said Wach did not understand why he was being arrested.

"He then stated that he shoots in the yard all the time and that fighting is what redneck people do," the arrest report states.

To the deputies who arrested him, it was aggravated assault; to Wach, it was just another typical redneck weekend.

If you've ever tried to shoot the lawnmower and then got into a fight with your own might be a redneck.

Treasure Blog: Proto-Mickey Mouse Silent Film

Called Hungry Hobos, the film is from 1928 and features a character recognizable as Mickey Mouse - - but with rabbit ears.

Yes, Mickey started out as a bunny.

You've heard of sex changes and gender reassignment, right? Well, Mickey was on the cutting edge of that stuff in 1928, he had a species reassignment!

"With the Number Of Guns We Let Walk...

...we'll never know how many people were killed, raped, robbed." - - ATF agent John Dodson.

The Arizona Republic newspaper has a great primer on Operation Fast & Furious, the ATF's plot to let guns "walk" into Mexico and into the hands of drug cartels.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Re: Walking Dead, Mid-Season Finale

Wow. Just wow. A few observations:

1. Rick's really a dumbass for going along with Herschel about capturing zombies and bringing them back to the farm.

2. Herschel knew Sophia was a walker, since she was in the barn. Letting Daryl and others continue to search for her in that circumstance is heinous.

3. Watch Rick the next time you see him with the Colt Python. I don't think Fred Lincoln has much experience with guns, he holds it in a way that looks dramatic...and stupid. He's actually holding it so that the gun is above his line of sight, angled downward. I think he's trying to look like Clint Eastwood facing down the black bank robber at the beginning of Dirty Harry, but he doesn't have the gun savvy to do it.

4. Shane is the only one truly serious about survival, but he's a psycho.

5. The black guy at this point is getting next to zero screen time, and hasn't even been given anything to do other than get himself injured early in the season. I'm surprised that the usual race hustlers (Jesse Jackson, NAACP, Spike Lee, et. al.) aren't raising hell about his lack of screen time. Hell, he's a token black guy in an all-white cast.

6. I wasn't really surprised by Sophia being in the barn as a walker. She looked pretty good, though, hadn't obviously been chewed on. That may be foreshadowing, in the comics they eventually learn that being bitten isn't required for the dead to come back as walkers.

That's all I can think of for the moment. I may add more later.

Update. In animal pack terms, Shane is trying to assert himself as the alpha male; he successfully dominated Dale, nearly got into a fight with Daryl, and ended the show flouting Rick's leadership. He even made overtures to Lori, boasting of his ability to defend/protect her in comparison to Rick.

Even Glen is asserting himself in pack terms these days.

The group is divided into those who realize that the paradigm has changed since the zombie apocalypse, and those who don't realize it. Most of them aren't facing it.

A Stern and Unbending Sense of Justice

When 49-year-old hunter Timothy Bolognani accidentally shot and killed his hunting companion, 39-year-old Benjamin Birch, he then did what most guilt-ridden hunters who make a tragic mistake don't do: he took his own life in payment.

Think about that. A hunting accident is one scenario in which you can kill someone and get off scot-free, or with a slap on the wrist. Bolognani obviously didn't see it that way, though. Possibly he felt he'd incurred a blood debt that could only be repaid in blood; or, perhaps, he had such a bond with Birch that he couldn't face living in a world without him.

The story doesn't say whether the two men had families. If they did, I wonder if it's a comfort to Mrs. Birch that Bolognani paid such a debt?

Tragic, tragic story.

h/t Drudge Report.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Yer Video of the Day

H/T Velociworld.

November 26, 1961

I was born. Pretty day outside for a 50th birthday.

Mysterious Earworm

Mysterious as in "How does a particular earworm attach itself to our brain? Most often, I think, it's because you hear it somewhere; a radio, on the television, or even someone singing/humming it.

Why, then, when I don't watch TV or listen to soft rock on the radio, would I be plagued by Rick Springfield's Jessie's Girl upon awakening at 2:00 a.m. with a full bladder? More particularly since I've never been a Rick Springfield fan, and even in high school I'd see a copy of Working Class Dog in the record stores and think That's sooo stooopid! (It should be noted that I'd walk out of the store with Hank Williams Jr. cassettes, so I can't claim any profound musical taste, myself).

Wikipedia has an entry for earworms, believe it or not. Looks like some famous people have written about them.

Incidentally, to get rid of the Jessie's Girl earworm, I'm currently earworming Man In the Rain by Mike Oldfield.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Headline of the Day

"NC bell ringer sets sights on world record."

Well slap my face and call me Quasimodo.

And I wonder if the headline writer is aware (s)he's using a violent, gun-oriented metaphor in the headline? If Sarah Palin did such a thing, we'd never hear the end of it.

This Little Girl Can Sing!

Angie Vasquez, who is only 10 years old, and already has a viral video on YouTube:

She looks like a young Catherine Zeta-Jones, which won't hurt her budding career, either.

Meanwhile, People* Are Wondering Why...

...President Obama is being so very quiet about gun control.

Must be keeping it under the radar, no doubt.

*Fox News, actually. Which will bring a snort of derision from one of my regular readers, no doubt. In truth, I rarely link Fox News stories just so as to not have to listen to the carping.

They Promise Not To Pepper Spray You Here In Charlotte


Of course, that doesn't mean that they might not Tase you to death, bro.

update: Looks like the Black Friday deals in Los Angeles are so hot that shoppers are pepper-spraying each other to get at them.

update 2: Hell, Fayetteville, NC has Los Angeles beat: Shoppers are shooting at each other.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Icy Finger of DEATH!

We interrupt this holiday from blogging to bring you the Icy Finger of DEATH!!!111!!1ONE!!!!11!

Tell me that doesn't remind you of the scene from The Ten Commandments where the "hand of God" comes down to kill the firstborn of Egypt.

h/t Radley Balko.

Happy Thanksgiving To You All.

I hope you enjoy a happy and blessed Thanksgiving, whether you are alone or with your family. Most especially my thoughts go out to military members around the world. Be safe out there.

Posting will resume on Friday.

Update: President George Washington's Proclamation of the first national Thanksgiving Day, 26 November 1789. (h/t Cassy Chesser)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Meanwhile, Over At The New York Times...

...Editorial Page editor Andrew Rosenthal talks about the AK-47 clone used to fire at the White House recently.

The WASR-10 is a Romanian version of the AK-47 assault weapon and definitely not for hunting deer amid the fall foliage in the Pennsylvania hills.

The WASR-10 is imported into this country by Century International Arms in Florida. You can buy it online for less than $500.

Why am I taking up your time with this? Because the WASR-10 was the weapon that Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez allegedly used to shoot the bullets stopped by ballistic glass on the second floor of the White House this week.

Mr. Ortega-Hernandez is said to have obtained his WASR-10 from a friend who purchased it in Idaho Falls, ID.

It’s a reminder of how lax American gun laws are and why that matters.

And this goes far beyond whether an unbalanced person tried to kill the president. The WASR-10 sells for about $400 in shops on the U.S.-Mexican border — but $2,000 to $3,000 in Mexico. Why the premium? Mexican gun laws are much stricter than those in the United States. So the re-militarized gun has to be smuggled into gun-shy Mexico from gun-crazy America.

According to the Center for Public Integrity, more than 500 of the Romanian AK-47/WASR-10s have been recovered in Mexico that were first imported by Century from Romania into the United States.

He then does the usual NRA-bashing. Nowhere in the article, however, are the words "Fast," "Furious" or "gunwalking" mentioned.

Go on over there and leave him a comment, won't you?

What Do You Do With A Drunken...C.O.?

Well, this one got Admiral's Mast and got hit with Sexual Harassment, Conduct Unbecoming, Drunk and Disorderly, Use of Indecent Language, Maltreatment of a Subordinate, and Simple Assault.

You never make Admiral after that, so he resigned his commission.

There's Gold In Them Thar Trees

And where there is gold, there is soon to be thieves:

SAVANNAH, Ga. Hired by farmers as a private security guard, Brooks Rucker patrols thousands of acres of Georgia farmland on the lookout for thieves toting 5-gallon buckets.

He rarely comes up empty handed. Since the fall harvest began Oct. 1, Rucker says, he and two other guards have caught more than 160 culprits in the act. Some they let go. Others get handed over to police. Either way, he's recovered thousands of dollars' worth of stolen goods: mounds of pecans snatched from his employers' trees.

It's not just pecan pies and other nutty goodies driving demand so close to the holidays. Prices have soared as China has developed an insatiable appetite for pecans, while withering drought in the southern U.S. has limited supplies.

In Georgia, the nation's top pecan producer, farmers and authorities say criminals can earn a tidy profit by stealing the nuts - worth $1.50 or more per pound in smaller quantities. Pecan grower Bucky Geer estimates a single 5-gallon bucketful is worth about $38.

At work my supervisor and I were talking about pecans just this very morning, remarking on the high prices and pondering supply and demand. It's not going to get better soon, either, because the trees need years of growth before they start producing in commercial quantities.

Citizen Journalist Stands Up To NYPD

A video from Reason magazine online. It should be noted that, after several hours of standing off the NYPD, the female journalist was finally forced into a pen with other journalists by female NYPD officers.

The First Amendment in action.

Still Operating In the 20th Century

Went to the NC DMV office yesterday to renew my driver's license, had the usual hour-plus wait. Noticed that the DMV still uses fairly old computer gear, and haven't transitioned to accepting debit cards for payment; only cash or personal checks are accepted. Now I know that upgrading all the gear in all the DMV offices throughout the state would be extremely expensive, but I also noticed that each of the examiners was a cash handler, too. You could very easily rearrange things in the typical NC DMV office so that the examiners do testing only, and then turn payment over to a single cashier, who would collect cash, checks and debit cards. The pace is so slow in the DMV office (union workers, no doubt) that a full-time cashier would make sense, and mean fewer cash-handling mistakes.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"There! Wot did I say? No good'll come o' that, I said."*

And sure enough, no good did come of it.

Shareca Latoya Jones, 28, has been charged with trafficking cocaine, distribution of a controlled substance, providing contraband to an inmate, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute a schedule IV controlled substance, unlawful carrying of a handgun and possession with intent to distribute a schedule I controlled substance, the release states.

The investigation began when a package mailed to the Lieber Correction Institution in Ridgeville was returned to a business in Lancaster earlier this month, according to the release. Inside, the package contained razor knives, a cell phone, about 30 ecstasy pills and about 28.8 grams of cocaine concealed inside a Bible.

"Why, hillo! Look here, now; this ain't lucky! You've gone and cut this out of a Bible. What fool's cut a Bible?" *

*Bonus points for identifying the literary reference.

Excellent News

Patrick O'Brien's Aubrey/Maturin novels are going to be released as e-books.

World's So-Called Funniest Signs

According to Travel & Leisure magazine.

I LOL'd at this one:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

You've Heard of Tom, Dick, and Harry...

...but did you know about George?

Most people didn't know about George.

Three tunnels nicknamed Tom, Dick and Harry were constructed 30ft underground using homemade tools. While Tom was discovered and destroyed by the Germans, Dick was used for storage.

The third tunnel, Harry, became the stuff of folklore on the night of March 24, 1944, when Allied prisoners gathered in hut 104 before crawling along the 100ft tunnel to a brief taste of freedom. Only three escaped; 73 were rounded up by the Germans and 50 were summarily executed.

Few could have blamed their devastated comrades for sitting out the remainder of the war. Yet far from being dispirited, a few men began work on a fourth tunnel nicknamed ‘George’, which was kept so secret that only a handful of prisoners knew about it.

Incredibly, George has just been uncovered after a team of engineers, archaeologists and historians excavated the site, a project filmed for a Channel 4 documentary Digging The Great Escape.