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.


Second Amendment But-Heads

These are people, mostly Democrats, who give lip service to the Second Amendment in the wake of the US Supreme Court's Heller and MacDonald decisions. They take their cue from President Obama, and preface their call for new gun control by giving lip service to the Constitution with some variation of the following line (this one uttered by a Republican prosecutor in West Virginia:

"I am a very strong supporter of the second amendment, but there must be some common sense applied here."

It's always a variation of that construction: I am a supporter of the Second Amendment, but...

These are the same people that denied the main clause of the Second Amendment because of the prefatory clause: A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Let's apply some actual common sense here. If you're one of these Second Amendment But-Heads, what you are proposing is that law-abiding citizens who have undergone the necessary training and background checks to become legal gun carriers have their right to do so infringed. You're not proposing additional laws that would penalize criminal misuse of a gun, nor are you proposing that already-existing laws against criminal misuse of guns be more rigidly enforced. No, what you are proposing is that law-abiding gun owners give up their right, because they scare you. You don't want them in a restaurant with you, nor in a mall with you, nor in a workplace with you. In fact, you don't want them anywhere with you, but you're not allowed to say that anymore, because the Supreme Court ruled against people like you, much to your horror and chagrin. So if you're a gun-hating politician of the Barack Obama sort, you have to give lip service to the Constitution by saying I support the Second Amendment but... all of the time.

Sucks to be you, doesn't it?

h/t Lagniappe's Lair for the WV story.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Must Be Hell To Be Burdened With a "Conscience Thing."

Lucky for us the former Speaker of the House of Representatives isn't so burdened.

Why, yes, that was an example of irony. Thank you for noticing!

Convenience Store Clerk Shoots Robber - - Update

The clerk decided to play at being the Compassionate Gunfighter:

Around 11:30 a.m. Thursday an armed man demanded that the clerk, Mark Headstrong, hand over money from the register.

This is the third time a robber has tried to steal from him.

But this time he pulled out a gun and told the robber to drop his weapon. When the robber continued to point his gun, Headstrong said he shot at the floor and the bullet ricocheted into the man's leg. When the robber still wouldn't drop his gun, Headstrong shot him in the finger.

"I had to protect myself," he said. "And he said, ‘Please don't call the cops. Just call my girlfriend.'"

There's a couple of broken rules right there. You don't fire warning shots, because you can't guarantee where your bullet will go after it leave the gun, and you're responsible for where it goes. If it hits an innocent bystander, you can be arrested for negligent homicide or even manslaughter. Another rule is that you don't shoot to wound, you shoot to stop. You've been lucky so far that the robbers you faced only wanted cash; one of them might get kicks out of taking life, and you should not trust the good intentions of a robber.

And, of course, the police trot out the usual tripe about being a Good Victim:

Crockett pointed out that one of the lessons taught in robbery-prevention training is to comply with an armed robber.

"The advice is the same whether we're discussing robbery from persons or commercial robbery. No amount of money or property is worth the potential loss of life," she said. "Many companies even have written policies instructing their employees to meet the demands of an armed robber."

No One Told the Frogs

Turns out that the frogs weren't as extinct as originally thought.

A frog species believed to be extinct has hopped back into sight in northern Israel.

Omri Gal of Israel's Nature and Parks Authority said Thursday the Hula Painted Frog was seen for the first time in 50 years this week. He said it was declared extinct.

Gal said, "It's an amazing find, now we have a second chance to preserve the species."

The frog is native to the Hula Valley, a swamp drained in the 1950s to stop malaria.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Convenience Store Clerk Shoots Robber

Over in Wilmington, NC.

An employee at the Wrightsville Country Store in the 2400 block of Wrightsville Avenue shot someone who was trying to rob the store about 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Wilmington police spokeswoman Lucy Crockett said.

The suspect, whose name was not yet available, was alive and en route to the hospital, she added.

This is the second time the Country Store has been robbed in recent weeks.

Wonder if it was the same clerk both times? And if so, wonder if he got permission to arm himself, or just did it anyway? If the place is corporate-owned, (s)he'll probably be fired over it. If it's a mom-and-pop place and (s)he had permission to be armed, then well done indeed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A Blitch and a Son of a Blitch

Don't look at me, I didn't name them Blitch.

We'll call this one not quite a homonym.

I Guess Bull Halsey Or Uncle Ernie King...

...would be unwelcome in the modern Navy.

To some of his subordinates, Capt. Greg Thomas was direct and demanding, but got the job done.

To others, he was “abusive and lacking in trust, dignity and respect,” as described in an April 4 command climate survey launched following an anonymous hotline complaint about Thomas’ conduct.

In mid-May, Naval Sea Systems Command temporarily yanked Thomas, a rear admiral selectee, from his perch atop Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. A naval inspector general investigation completed Aug. 31 found Thomas’ conduct “went beyond the limits of professional conduct expected of persons in authority.” The firing was made permanent Oct. 25 after Thomas was formally reprimanded for conduct unbecoming an officer.

The IG interviewed 45 witnesses who served in various leadership positions under Thomas during his nine months as commanding officer of the shipyard. Nine said they were subjected to “demeaning, insulting or profane language or intimidating behavior” privately as well as in public. All names other than Thomas’ were redacted from the report, which was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act.

Down at the bottom we see the possible reason for Thomas' behavior:

Thomas told the IG that he was under pressure to improve the yard’s performance on intermediate-level submarine maintenance. Thomas quoted former Submarine Forces commander Vice Adm. John Donnelly as telling him, “My No. 1 distraction in command has been your shipyard’s performance on my I-level work.”

Thomas acknowledged the criticism, telling the IG, “We had a very poor record. ... We were not getting boats underway on time.”

One commanding officer interviewed by the IG said he could relate to Thomas’ situation. “I saw a lot of pushback from the civilian workforce that wanted to maintain the status quo,” the officer said.

So what we had was lazy civilian workers - - probably union workers - - who didn't wish to deal with an old-fashioned ass-kicker who was working them harder than they were used to. A clusterfuck, in other words:

The Plumber He Said, "Never Flush a Tampoon." *

Onboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush, the heads (toilets) are not working as required.

And sailors are being written up if they, out of desperation, look for an emergency substitute:

The Navy’s newest aircraft carrier has a messy problem. Since deploying in May, the Norfolk, Va.-based carrier George H.W. Bush has grappled with widespread toilet outages, at times rendering the entire ship without a single working head.

But it’s no laughing matter. Sailors tell of combing the ship for up to an hour to find a place to do their business, if they can find one at all. Others have resorted to urinating in showers or into the industrial sinks in their work stations. Some men are using bottles and emptying the contents over the giant ship’s side, while some women are holding it in for so long that they are developing health problems, according to sources on the ship.

The sailors blame the ship’s vacuum system. But the Navy is blaming sailors for flushing “inappropriate material” down the toilets.

Some are taking extra showers when they need to urinate. Women are finding working men’s heads and putting a sentry at the door. Or they’ll use the industrial sinks in their workspaces. Men are sneaking onto catwalks to surreptitiously relieve themselves without getting busted by a master-at-arms on patrol, searching for sailors using anywhere but a head as a bathroom.

“If you violate a direct order, you go to mast. We had one seaman go thus far,” one chief told Navy Times.

An AIRLANT spokesman confirmed that one sailor received non-judicial punishment for “urinating on a sponson.”

*bonus points for identifying the source of the post title.

Hell With It

I just am not much interested in doing lots of posts any more. I can't keep up with it, and it takes too much of my leisure time. I'll try to do a post or two a day, and somedays more if I'm feeling communicative, but I'm not going to spend a half-day every day reading all the stuff in my Google Reader. We're talking over a hundred blogs to look through, and that's before I even get to the newspapers.

I Have To Wonder...

...if it was a Fast & Furious gun.

The Secret Service says a bullet hit a White House window, stopped by bullet-proof glass.

A round of ammunition was also found on the exterior of the White House grounds, the Associated Press reports.

The Tuesday discoveries came after reports of gunfire near the White House on Friday.

The discovery follows reports of gunfire near the White House on Friday. Witnesses heard shots and saw two speeding vehicles in the area. An AK-47 rifle was also recovered.

The Secret Service says it has not conclusively connected Friday's incident with the bullets found on the White House grounds. U.S. Park Police have an arrest warrant out for Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, who is believed to be connected to the earlier incident.

And, if we're going to entertain conspiracy theories, it seems rather a coincidence that the same sort of weapon passed on to drug cartels in Mexico is being used to shoot at the White House, right at a time when Attorney General Eric Holder is under pressure to resign...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

34 Years Later, He Gets To Say "I Told You So."

After that long a period, the emotional satisfaction is likely to be bittersweet.

It's not unusual for an archaeologist to get stuck in the past, but Carl Gustafson may be the only one consumed by events on the Olympic Peninsula in 1977.

Sifting through earth northwest of Seattle, he uncovered something extraordinary - a mastodon bone with a shaft jammed in it. This appeared to be a weapon that had been thrust into the beast's ribs, a sign that humans had been around and hunting far earlier than anyone suspected.

Unfortunately for Gustafson, few scientists agreed. He was challenging orthodoxy with less-than-perfect evidence.

or almost 35 years, his find was ridiculed or ignored, the site dismissed as curious but not significant.

But last month, a team that re-examined his discovery using new technology concluded in the prestigious journal Science that Gustafson had been right all along.

The pierced bone was clear evidence that human beings were hunting large mammals in North America 13,800 years ago - about 800 years before the so-called Clovis people were thought to have migrated across the Bering land bridge from Asia.

And presumably many of the people who ridiculed his conclusion are dead, and went to the grave thinking that they were right.

Shipwreck Blog: 17th C. Swedish Warship

Named Svardet (Sword), she went down in the Baltic Sea during a battle with Danish/Dutch forces.

And because the Baltic Sea is too cold for shipworm, it's likely that the hull is in a good state of presevation. Other shipwrecks found in the Baltic Sea have also shown good preservation.


Watch this soldier from the Old Guard silence a crowd at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier:

Tomb of the Unknown Guard Silences Disrespectful Crowd:

Bravo Zulu to the soldier. Very well done, indeed.

About Your Pulitzer, Ms. Atkisson...

Don't hold your breath waiting for it.

Back in the 90s, J.D. Cash told me about a class of FBI snitches called "sensitive confidential informants." J.D. derisively called them "high-level snitches." These were members of the news media, the clergy, politicians and congressional staffers who the FBI had on the string. One of these, we know now, was then ABC reporter Chris Isham, who is currently the CBS Washington Bureau chief.

Yes, folks, that makes him Sharyl Attkisson's boss.

That would be the Sharyl Attkisson who has been one of the few MSM journalists actually covering he Fast & Furious scandal.

Read the rest of that post, as well. Vanderboegh also accuses Utah Senator Orrin Hatch of being an FBI lackey because he got caught in a sex scandal.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meanwhile, Down In York, SC...

...a man was killed and a boy was injured when they were thrown from the 1923 Model T Ford motorcar they were riding in.

No seat belts; the Model T was built before anyone saw the need, and the law doesn't require it of cars in that circumstance.

Shipwreck Blog: The "Jesus Boat"

A fishing boat from the first year A.D., to be exact. Found in the Sea of Galilee.

“The Sea of Galilee will give us a treasure one day,” one brother told another. Turns out, he was right.

In 1986, Yuval and Moshe Lufan, two sons of a fisherman in Kibbutz Ginosar, were walking the shores of the Kinneret. The drought that year dropped the level of the lake lower that the men had seen in years. One brother noticed something odd protruding from the mud. An old nail. As he poked around with his finger, he found another one. Then another. More digging unearthed pieces of ancient wood.

While they didn’t realize it at the time, they had discovered a fishing boat that dated to the first century.

I don't think you could, given the decayed condition of the boat after all these centuries, find any evidence to link it to New Testament events, but it's fun to speculate.

They Lived Together, and Died Together

Because when you spend 48 years of your life together, you don't want to be parted by death.

Allan DeLaine told "Rhoe," when he visited her in the hospital a few weeks ago, that "Rabbit" - her husband - wouldn't last long in this world without her. After 48 years, 11 months of marriage, the couple had become as one, not only to all the people who knew them in their Clayton community, but to each other.

Rhoe didn't dispute him.

"She agreed with me. She said 'I know,' " DeLaine told me last week in the parking lot of Johnston Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church. "I just knew he wasn't going to be able to make it without her. I had no idea he would go as quickly after her as he did."

A few feet from where we stood talking, two long, shiny black hearses were warming their engines at the head of a procession, preparing to take Cynthia Rhoenna Gardner Sanders and Augustus Cromwell Sanders to the cemetery where, side by side, they'd spend eternity - or at least until that great gettin' up mornin' that Mahalia Jackson sang about.

Sometimes it seems like later generations have lost that devotion and sense of commitment that the Sanders obviously had for each other. Great story, click the link to read the rest.

Hitchens On Armistice Day, and War

Being a literate man, Hitchens ties War and Armistice day up with reflections on Rudyard Kipling and Wilfrid Owen:

Even as Kipling was repressing his doubts about the nature of the war and the death of his only son, there was a sort of revolution of poets at the other end of the country. In a mental hospital in Scotland were confined, because of their opposition to the war and their “battle fatigue,” men of the stature of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen.

Then he ties it in with current events, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Occupy Wall Street protests:

Last week, some mediocre California mayoress announced that she wasn’t going to attend a Veterans Day event in her city of Richmond. Gayle McLaughlin, in fact, was down with the “Occupy” guys and gals instead. You can easily picture the response she got: the city of Richmond insulted, along with the memory of its brave men and women in uniform. Indeed, there might not even be a Richmond if not for those unforgettable volunteers. But if this were true, then the writing of history would always be simple. So would the composition of morality stories. Both Kipling and Owen came to the conclusion that too many lives had been “taken” rather than offered or accepted, and that too many bureaucrats had complacently accepted the sacrifice as if they themselves had earned it.

And this has made a lot of difference. It means, for example, that each case needs to be argued on its own merits. I am convinced that the contingents who went to fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, though badly led on a scale almost equal to that of 1914 to 1918, are to be praised and supported. But I take no comfort from the idea that this should be an official position. I must say I think that La McLaughlin expressed herself with awful casualness (because Nov. 11 is, after all, truly—still—a solemn day on the calendar). But it’s still more important on such a day to discuss dissent, and to reflect on whether it might have been your own enemy, or your deeply mistaken father, who brought you bound to the pit and alive to the burning.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

You Don't Want 'Em? We'll Take 'Em Off Your Hands

The US Navy and US Marine Corps agree to buy all of the Royal Navy Harrier jets, plus spare parts.

I used to watch Harriers take off and land when I was in the Navy, serving on board USS Saipan (LHA2) and USS Nassau (LHA4). Impressive, to say the very least. I'm sorry that Great Britain is in such distress that it can't afford them any more, but glad we got them so we can extend their use in our own fleet.

Who Eats Collards?

I don't, but if you do, there a good article and recipe for them here.

I don't, in fact, eat anything green at all, unless it's a pickle. Or lime Jell-O.

I Wonder If They Make Them In Rootbeer Flavor?

Lollipops for pain from battlefield wounds.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


CRKT Gekkota:

I'm currently experimenting to see how best to carry one. Right now it's around my neck on a bead chain; a little heavy, and tends to pull out the odd chest hair. Since many of those are white now, that's not a big deal. It might end up on the key ring, which is sort of a mini-survival kit in its own right, what with a whistle and pinchlight already installed thereon.

Thanks to Weer'd World and Feral Irishman for the inspiration.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Family of Brian Terry Break Silence

And they blame Eric Holder for their son's death.

"If they never let the guns walk, maybe Brian would not have been out that day," Josephine said. "I just can't believe our own government came up with a program like this that (let) innocent people get killed."

The Terrys watched Holder's appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. Asked if he wanted to apologize to the family, Holder declined, saying only he regretted what happened.

"That shows what kind of a person he is," Kent lamented. "To me, he is not much of a person. I don't know if he has a son. But if he lost his, he would think different."

"I sat in a chair and cried," Josephine said. "It was so inhumane. An apology to anybody means at least they are trying to fix it. He didn't."

Both parents want Holder to resign, citing his response to a question from Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who asked if Holder thought it was his responsibility to have known about Operation Fast and Furious.

"There are 115,000 employees in the Department of Justice," Holder said. "I cannot be expected to know the details of every operation on a day-to-day basis."

To which Kent said: "Holder says he has 115,000 employees. That is his job. If he can't handle his job, he should get out of it."

Today's Earworm...

is from that genius multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield:

This one sticks in my head in a good way, I like it there. It's a comfortable earworm. I imagine hiking somewhere with a staff in my hand, listening to it.

I'd guess he probably played everything in this cut except the uillean pipes, he probably got Paddy Moloney of The Chieftains to do that for him.

Funny factoid: when my son was an infant, I'd often play Oldfield's LP's Ommadawn and Five Miles Out on the stereo, and my son would screw his face up and start screaming his head off when uillean pipe solos by Moloney would play. Weird.

This Sounds Interesting

Blackthorn, a Western movie about the latter years of Butch Cassidy, who in this version survived the shootout against the Bolivian Army.

Please God, don't let there be a Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head section in it.

Lebben Lebben Lebben

Happy Veteran's Day to my fellow veterans on 11/11/11.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Attention All Veterans & Military Personnel

Here's what a Suffolk Law professor thinks about your service:

I think it is shameful that it is perceived as legitimate to solicit in an academic institution for support for men and women who have gone overseas to kill other human beings. I understand that there is a residual sympathy for service members, perhaps engendered by support for troops in World War II, or perhaps from when there was a draft and people with few resources to resist were involuntarily sent to battle. That sympathy is not particularly rational in today's world, however.

The United States may well be the most war prone country in the history of civilization. We have been at war two years out of three since the Cold War ended. We have 700 overseas military bases. What other country has any? In the last ten years we have squandered hundreds of billions of dollars in unnecessary foreign invasions. Those are dollars that could have been used for people who are losing their homes due to the economic collapse, for education, to repair our infrastructure, or for any of a thousand better purposes than making war. And of course those hundreds of billions of dollars have gone for death and destruction.

via Michael Graham, the Natural Truth.

Gotta love a liberal prick that pens such a screed a few days before Veterans' Day, huh?

Honey Badger Blood Orgy - - NSFW

This one had me literally laughing out loud. It takes a couple of minutes to get going, but once the Honey Badger appears, the bloodshed begins.

Now I'm Hungry

Over at BBQ Jew, a YouTube video of Bridge's BBQ Lodge in Shelby, NC.

Sara and I have eaten there a couple of times. Sara liked the sauce so much that she bought a half-gallon of it to take home with her.

You'll see NC BBQ expert Bob Garner in the video, eating one of the sandwiches.

Bil Keane, 1922-2011: R.I.P.

89 years old, of congestive heart failure.

One of the all-time greats of cartooning. I didn't generally read Family Circus except on Sundays, and then only if it was one of the strips in which one of the kids went on an expedition; Keane usually drew these as a dotted line on the landscape, with explanatory notes as to where and why the kid lingered at any one area.

The Old Man Would Understand

Trying to rebuild stocks of Menhaden along the Atlantic Seaboard.

Called menhaden, the fish — part of the herring family — is today mostly used as fertilizer, feed for animals and farmed-fish and bait. Its place in American history goes back to the Pilgrims. Menhaden were the fish that Native Americans taught the Pilgrims to plant with corn as fertilizer. New England tribes in the pre-Colonial era called the menhaden munnawhatteaug, or "fertilizer."

As the most heavily harvested fish, in terms of pounds, on the East Coast, its numbers have dropped to about 10% of its Colonial-era population.

So on Wednesday, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted 14-3 to reduce the amount of menhaden that may be caught by about 25% compared with the previous year's catch. That should mean on average 60,000 metric tons "more fish in the water to help the population begin to rebuild," says John Crawford of the Pew Environment Group's Northeast Fisheries Program.

The commission's decision was complicated, based on the estimated percentage of spawning-aged fish , says Ben Landry, director of public affairs for Omega Protein Corp. The Houston-based company catches 75%-80% of menhaden, which it turns into fish meal and fish oil at its Reedville, Va., plant.

If you've ever read The Old Man and the Boy by Robert Ruark, you'll remember that the Old Man, Capt. Ned Askins, owned a "pogie boat" for Menhaden fishing in Southport, NC, and young Robert had some of his adventures on that boat. You'll also recall that the Old Man was a firm believer in conservation, teaching Ruark the importance of preserving various species (quail, in particular) by not over-hunting or over-fishing.

Thank a Chinese Doctor

The Western Black Rhinoceros of Africa has been declared extinct.

Because the Chinese think that that powdered rhino horn makes your dick hard.

Veteran's Day Discounts/Freebies For Veterans

via US Naval Institute Blog.

The Marriott Casa Monica Hotel In St. Augustine Is Run By Unpatriotic Jerks

OK, deal me in.

Borepatch starts a meme.

Even Ron Paul Does It

Confuse two similar words, that is:

"That is arrogant," Paul said of Obama frequently using the executive order function as of late. "It is flaunting the Constitution and the whole principle of how we’re supposed to operate. The idea they can just do this and take over the legislative function and brag about it -- and Congress does nothing and the courts do nothing about it, it's very, very bad."

Rep. Paul meant to use the word flout:


1 : to treat with contemptuous disregard : scorn
2 : to indulge in scornful behavior


Shawn gets annoyed by pedestrians who flout traffic laws by crossing the street outside of the crosswalk.


Watch out when using "flaunt" and "flout." Critics have been complaining about the confusion of these two words since the early 1900s. "Flaunt" means "to display ostentatiously," and most usage commentators consider it an error to use "flaunt" with the meaning "to treat with contemptuous disregard" (even though some admit to doing it themselves). Many educated writers have used "flaunt" in the "flout" sense for years, but the notoriety of the controversy is so great, and the belief that it's wrong to use "flaunt" for "flout" is so deep-seated, that we think you would do best to keep the two words distinct.
(via Merriam-Webster Online.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Not To Put Too Fine a Point On It...

...but he's probably a registered Chicago voter at this point, as well.

Did you know that Freeland Borough, PA’s Mayor Tim Martin died from esophageal cancer on September 2, 2010? Yet, amazingly, Mike Bloomberg’s anti-gun coalition still claims him as a member on their website as of November 8, 2011.

In fact, not only do they claim him as a member, but the deceased mayor has signed his name to at least two advertisements, three letters to Congress, and one letter to the President sent by Michael Bloomberg’s office. Now, just how on earth is Bloomberg getting a dead man to sign his letters? And why are media outlets running advertisements that are clearly fraudulent.

Because not even death can stop a Democrat from working toward disarming law-abiding Americans.


Christopher Hitchens has pneumonia.

Not good when you're already battling cancer. It might be that I'm a bit over-concerned because my mother died of pneumonia back in May, but I see pneumonia these days as a death sentence. Maybe with a comparatively young and healthy man like Hitchens it isn't invariably fatal, and I'm just going by what I saw in the nursing home my mother was in. In any event, my best wishes to Mr. Hitchens for a full and complete recovery.

WTF Did He Use, Rock Salt?

How can you shoot a pit bull in the head with a shotgun from a dozen feet away and not kill it?

The man grabbed his shotgun and then confronted the dog, which continued to act aggressive. The man fired one shot at the animal from the front porch, striking the pit bull in the head and snout area, the report states.

The dog laid on the ground for a few minutes then got up. That's when the man called police. He told officers he's had "numerous issues with this dog in the past," according to the report.

The pit bull was released to Animal Control and its owner was cited with a leash law violation.

Proof Romney's a RINO

He's refusing to go on Fox News and answer "the tough questions" from Bret Baier.

Wonder how soon it will be before Chris Matthews gets a minor thrill up his leg over this? (Not as if Matthews will vote for Romney or any other Republican, but even MSM liberals have their favorites)

Swiss Muslims: About That Cross In the Flag...

...could you remove it...please?

I've heard that manufacturers such as Victorinox (maker of Swiss Army Knives) have already accommodated Muslim sensibilities by making knives without the offensive cross on them.

h/t Amy Alkon.

Monday, November 07, 2011

It's So Warm Out Today...

...on this 7th day of November 2011, that the reptiles are out and about:

It's 62°F out today, and the doors and windows are open.

Volcano Blog: El Hierro, Canary Islands

Islands off the coast of Africa that belong to Spain. Known mainly as the birthplace of Atlantic hurricanes.

This is an underwater eruption, if it goes on long enough the volcano could emerge from the sea. This is how the Canary Islands were originally formed, after all.

Some scientists have a theory that occasionally segments of the Canary Islands break off and fall into the sea, causing tsunamis. They predict that, sometime in the future, a large enough segment (a mountainside, basically) could fall into the ocean and trigger tsunamis that would inundate the entire eastern coastline of the USA.

Walking Dead Notes, Episode: "Cherokee Rose"

Hope all of you saw it. If you didn't, spoiler notice hereby issued.

1. Swimmer zombie: Why didn't they simply have Daryl shoot it in the head with the crossbow? The crossbow bolt stays in the wound, so minimal leakage of zombie smegma would occur. Then just send Glenn down to lasso the zombie and pull it up. Yah, I hear you say, but Daryl was out hunting for Sophia. He wasn't there. So what? Zombie wasn't going anywhere and wasn't a danger to anyone.

2. Daryl, Carol and the Cherokee Rose. Simply the most touching scene in the show. Daryl reveals a poet's heart by bringing the gift of a flower to Carol. Despite their age difference, those two might hook up. It would be a good match.

3. Daryl and Merle. There's going to be an interesting conflict starting next week when Merle reappears. Daryl has been under Merle's influence most of his life, and defers to him, viewing Merle as the alpha. Now Daryl has started to become socialized to the group rather than being a loner, so the conflict will occur when Merle attempts to re-establish his dominance over Daryl. Daryl will submit, until Merle attempts to hurt one of the group. Prediction: Merle will attempt to rape Carol or Andrea and Daryl will have to stop him.

4. Merle Dixon's return. Does he have Sophia? Is he going to bargain with the group, using Sophia as a chip? There's little doubt he will come back to the group in the short term, but will probably get killed before season's end. Who will kill him, though? Nearly anyone in the group has the mindset to do so, although not all of them are physically a match for Merle. Still, God made men, Col. Colt made them equal, and there's enough guns in the group so that anyone can grab one and off Merle.

5. Talking Dead web page extra. In the interview for this episode, a quiz was posed to the two guests about tactics to use in a zombie apocalypse, and hoodies reinforced with duct tape came up as putative armor against zombie bites. I've wondered myself why armor isn't being used against the walkers. I've thought that leather armor, either in the form of jackets or suits specifically designed as armor, would be effective against zombie bites. Even heavy Cordura nylon might work if it was quilted in some fashion. Hot, yes, but better than suffering a bite from Zed.

6. Next episode is titled "Chupacabra," which is the name of the Latin American monster that sucks milk from goats. That should be interesting.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Covering the Important Stories

Over at Big Journalism, some statistics on the comparative importance of political scandals:

How much is too much? Politico broke the Cain sexual harassment story last Sunday night, launching organization wide coverage filling up a full week of heavy coverage on their scoop.

Since the scandal broke, the political reporting juggernaut has published at least 90 online stories on further developments and public reaction to the story.

That’s 90 stories in less than a week.

By contrast, according to a good faith count using Politico’s own search engine….

…there have been exactly two stories with the words “Rielle Hunter” in them not only during the time it mattered, the Year of our Lord 2008, but still months after John Edwards dropped out of the race.

…there were only 16 stories about Jeremiah Wright the week that bombshell dropped, and more than a few were favorable to Obama.

…there have been fewer than 40 total stories about Fast and Furious since that story broke months ago.

…there have been only 65 stories about Solyndra over the last six weeks.

…and there have been fewer than 30 stories surrounding anything involving the New Black Panther Party.

Decline of the Finesse Crime

New York Times article about "lush workers," subway criminals who slit the pockets of drunks on the trains with a concealed razor blade.

In the world of crime statistics, there is a certain subsection of victim on the city subways: a reveler who, overserved during a night on the town, nods off on a train. He wakes with a flapping, precision-cut hole in his trousers and cool, thin air where his wallet used to be.

This victim shakes his head in self-disgust, joining the besotted ranks to fall prey to a brand of criminal as old and established below the streets as a twisted root.

The police, long ago, coined a name for this criminal. The lush worker.

They note that the typical lush worker is a middle-aged man, many of them with numerous arrests for the crime.

The article is similar to one I recall reading about pickpockets a couple of years ago. Pickpockets are on the decline as well, because the skill needed to surreptitiously steal wallets and other valuables isn't passing to younger generations of criminals, because the younger criminals aren't willing to put in the hours of practice necessary to become skilled at the art. So it is also with the lush worker.

I'd have to guess that, in the hierarchy of crime, that a lush worker falls below a pickpocket, since the lush worker needs an unconscious or semi-conscious victim, whereas a pickpocket can commit his crime against a fully alert victim.

And, really, they both are what in the medieval period would have been called a cutpurse.

Yet Another Reason To Go Heeled

Kangaroo might attack you.

Oops, forgot, it's Australia, can't go heeled. You're shit out of luck, son. Carry a stick. Or maybe a whistle, so you can whistle up a policeman when you're out there in the bush.

Andy Rooney, 1919-2011: R.I.P.

92 years old, he retired just last month from his position as commentator on 60 Minutes.

I read several of his books during the early 1980's, when some of them became bestsellers. Didn't watch 60 Minutes all that much. I think he probably should have retired from CBS long before he did, and that he was kept on as sort of a living memento of the Murrow/Cronkite ere at the network.

Weird Stuff On YouTube At 2:30 A.M.



There's lots more, but once you've seen one two-legged retarded running animal, you've pretty much seen them all.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Tips From a Hotel Worker

That hotel worker being myself.

Use of the Do Not Disturb sign: It's really not there to make other guests act in a responsible manner. Business guests won't bother you, they're trying to get a good night's sleep themselves. The sort of guests most likely to cause a disturbance are families with children, sports teams, and traveling school classes. These people won't heed a Do Not Disturb sign, and hanging one out might actually make you a target for harassment. Often the signs will be pulled off the doors, anyway, and thrown to the floor.

The Do Not Disturb sign is best used during the day to prevent the maid from disturbing you. Bear in mind that if you leave the sign on the door when you leave for the day the maid will NOT clean your room, and this will be noted in the Executive Housekeeper's worksheets, so calling the desk to complain won't really help you (the desk clerk will be happy to furnish fresh towels/linens, but your room won't be cleaned after working hours).

Quote of the Day

"The thing about crony capitalism is there’s no shortage of people wanting to be cronies."

Say Uncle brings the snark.

That's the real secret behind the OWS protesters, after all. All they really want is a sinecure. Is that too much to ask?

He's More Concerned With His Golf Handicap, For One

President Obama says that the 2012 presidential election is "the least of my concerns."

He's probably due for another vacation, too.

Lions and Tigers and Bears!

Oh, my!

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) – Deputies who arrived at a private compound in Ohio where dozens of exotic animals were set free by their owner last month encountered lions and bears charging at them and crashing through fences, forcing them to shoot and kill the animals, according to reports released Friday.

They found animals crouching between abandoned vehicles and tigers still coming out of their cages. A tiger and a black bear were in the same enclosure, but the door was unlocked and open.

"As I backed the team up, the tiger came out the door and charged right at us," said deputy Jay Lawhorne.

With little time to react, deputies shot the tiger. Another deputy said he shot a charging black bear that dropped within seven feet of him.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Having a Blast* Reading...

...Mike Vanderboegh's unpublished book Absolved.

He's in the news, you know.

If you have been following the Fast & Furious news about the ATF walking guns to Mexico, then you're aware that Mike has been leading the charge against the ATF and the Department of InJustice. His blog, Sipsey Street Irregulars, is one of the go-to places for Fast & Furious news.

Absolved is a good read, so far. Fans of Larry Correia or Oh John Ringo NO! or Tom Kratman will like it a lot.

*I just finished the chapter titled "Black and Tans," which concludes with an earth-shattering KABOOM!

If a Tree Falls In a Forest...

...and the forest in question is the Giant Sequoia National Monument, will the various bureaucrats and functionaries working for the US Forest Service be able to decide what to do about it?

Probably not.

I Never Did Believe That "Do No Evil" Crap

And here's the evidence (click to embiggen):

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Gee, Can You Guess the Theme Song?

A California doctor claims to be able to use a laser to turn brown eyes blue.

Sounds Like a Robbery Gone Sour

Officer-involved shooting in Albemarle, NC.

Police were called just before 6 a.m. to a home on Oak Street off U.S. 52. The homeowner told police that a man knocked on the door and asked to use the phone. When the homeowner refused to let him in, the man shot at a trash can, the dispatcher said.

The homeowner called 911.

Officers searched the area and found a man fitting the suspect's description. "He was armed with some sort of weapon," the dispatcher said.

When the suspect wouldn't surrender, police on the scene requested back-up. Then shots were fired. "The next thing we knew the investigators were calling Medic," the dispatcher said.

The suspect died at the scene.

Albemarle is about 30 miles east of Charlotte, not far from the Uwharrie National Forest. Pretty country around there.

Anyway, asking to use the phone is often a pretense to gain entry to a house for purpose of robbery. And what with near universal ownership of cell phones these days, no one should be asking to come into your house to use the phone, anyway.

Hmm, What's Going On Here?

The Geezer Militia plotting a McVeigh event?

And have any of you heard of this "online novel Absolved?"

update 1:Oh ho. It's written by Mike Vanderboegh of Sipsey Street Irregulars. I smell a Justice Department plot to shut Vanderboegh up.

update 2: Vanderboegh talks about it here.

update 3: For those wanting to read Absolved, David Codrea provides a link here.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

OK, Can We Just Remand Him, Now?

A usual suspect has been arrested in Columbia, SC, for cutting off a monitoring ankle bracelet for the second time and fleeing his bail here in Charlotte.

OK, has he given sufficient proof of untrustworthiness now? Or are you idiots up there at the Mecklenburg County courthouse going to trust him again?

Death In the Blogging Family

William the Coroner has passed away.

Southern Manners On Decline, New York Times Says

Actually the headline reads "Southern Manners On Decline, Some Say," but I fixed it for them.

They start their story off in a metropolitan Atlanta bar, and a dispute between a bartender, two African-American men, and two European-American women. None is specifically identified as being from the South, yet we're told that somehow this matters to the story, as if the simple fact of presence on southern soil imparts southern gentility.

The incursion into the south of transplanted Yankees is mentioned, along with an unwillingness to assimiliate:

Dana Mason, who teaches second grade in Birmingham, says manners have been at the lowest level she has seen in her 36 years in the classroom. Parents who move South tell her they don’t want their children to learn to say “yes, sir” or “yes, ma’am.” Too demeaning, they say.

They forecast good manners for the 2012 Democratic National Convention, which will be here in Charlotte in September:

The country will have a chance to see Southern civility on display next fall, when Charlotte, N.C., hosts the Democratic National Convention.

Life in Charlotte is not as pleasant as it once was. Like many American cities, it has its share of road rage and rudeness. And although crime rates have dropped, in May the city called out its Civil Emergency Unit and arrested 70 people who rioted two hours after the end of a Nascar event.

But in the best of Southern tradition, the city will try to lead with its manners come September.

“It’ll be all sweet tea and hush puppies,” says Michaele Ballard, a writer and lifelong Southerner.

We'll see. I plan to be out of town on vacation that week so I don't have to deal with it, since I'm a hotel worker.

I'll give the last word to Florence King, who wrote of Southerners in her book With Charity Toward None: A Fond Look At Misanthropy:

South Carolina novelist Blanche McCrary Boyd writes: "Southerners are polite as cattle, except when they're not. When they're not, they might shoot you or chase you around the yard with a hatchet."

The Sound of the Mighty Pump Shotgun

Why, just the sound of it being operated three times caused two men to flee for their lives!

The sheriff's deputies were less than impressed, though:

Deputies arrested a High Springs man after they alleged he shot his own couch, threatened to kill his neighbors and pumped his shotgun in front of the deputies.

Ronnie M. Hammond, 59, was arrested early Tuesday by the Alachua County Sheriff's Office on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

In Hammond's arrest report, Deputy Matthew Yakubsin said the incident began when a 24-year-old sleepwalking neighbor walked to Hammond's home and asked him for help.

A witness said Hammond responded by going back into his home and retrieving a shotgun. The witness told deputies Hammond returned to the door, pumped the shotgun, pointed it at the sleepwalking man and threatened to kill him.

The victim's father walked up on the scene and told Hammond the sleepwalker was not doing anything but asking for help, the witness and the father told deputies. They also said that Hammond turned the gun on the father, threatened to kill him too and pumped the shotgun twice more.

The father helped his son flee from the property, the witness said, and Hammond walked up and down his property pumping his shotgun until deputies arrived.

Yakubsin said Hammond went back into his house when he spotted deputies, walked back outside once, then went back inside and fired one round from the gun into his couch. After that, Hammond surrendered to deputies.

Yakubsin said there were four rounds left in the chamber when deputies picked up the shotgun.

Ok, so he pumped it three times while was at his door. This either 1. proved the gun was empty, because no shells were ejected or loaded, or 2. made him look like an idiot ejecting two shells onto the ground. I'll guess it was #1.

Then he "walked up and down his property pumping his shotgun" until deputies arrived. We'll estimate he pumped it three more times, just to be on the conservative side. It's possible, of course, that he was pumping as furiously as a baboon at the zoo with an entire class of second graders watching, but we'll give him the benefit of the doubt. I'd think that the gun was still empty at this point, or he'd be leaving shells all over the yard.

Then the deputies arrived, and he went back inside, where he apparently loaded the shotgun. He came out, saw that the deputies were probably better armed than he was, and went back inside, looking for a less dangerous opponent. He found it in his couch, which he killed with a single blast, after which he surrendered.

Geez. All you can say about this guy is...what a maroon!

Rule 1, Rule 2 Violated, and a Soldier Is Paralyzed for Life

A British soldier was left partially paralysed after a corporal put a gun in his mouth and shot him through the head 'as a joke'.

Kingsman Dean Hughes almost died when his section commander Corporal Bird fired from point-blank range during a mock argument in Afghanistan.

The corporal did not realise the 9mm pistol was loaded, according to The Sun.

Bird is getting 14 months in the brig, and then a discharge, presumably under bad conduct conditions, or whatever the UK equivalent is.

Jeff Cooper's rules for gun safety can be found in my blog sidebar. Rule 1: a gun is always loaded. Even if it's not, treat it as if it is. Rule 2: Never allow the muzzle to cover anything you don't wish destroyed.

I have a rule of my own that I cite in these particular instances: A gun is not a toy - - don't play with it!

Sad Headline of the Day

"Doctors ORDERED to treat elderly with respect... but shouldn't that go without saying?"

Yah, it should.

update: And in a related story, the Death Panels are hard at work, making sure that UK taxpayers' money is not wasted:

‘No there isn’t - he is a demented person, there’s no resuscitation needed.'

President Declares Fort Monroe a National Monument

Finally, something I can thank him for.

I've written about Fort Monroe in the past; it's in Hampton, Virginia, just across Chesapeake Bay from Norfolk, where I was stationed with the Navy in the 1980's. I used to visit Fort Monroe regularly and walk around atop the old ramparts and visit the Casemate Museum there. Lots of good memories.