Monday, February 27, 2017

QOTD - Saying No

You can say No in a variety of ways. When asked to surrender by the Germans, Gen McAulliffe famously replied "Nuts!"

When asked to surrender by Sultan Mehmed IV of the Ottoman empire, the Cossacks of Ukraine came up with a much wordier response. Cossaks being the Klingons of the diplomatic world, the thought that this response might start a war was probably considered a feature rather than a bug.

Found the initial reference to this on Samizdata in the comments of a piece comparing various methods of attacking the press, some of which sound like great fun. The references there took me to Wikipedia where not only the quote in its entirety appears , but also the initial demand by the Sultan that inspired the thing:

Sultan Mehmed IV to the Zaporozhian Cossacks:
As the Sultan; son of Muhammad; brother of the sun and moon; grandson and viceroy of God; ruler of the kingdoms of Macedonia, Babylon, Jerusalem, Upper and Lower Egypt; emperor of emperors; sovereign of sovereigns; extraordinary knight, never defeated; steadfast guardian of the tomb of Jesus Christ; trustee chosen by God Himself; the hope and comfort of Muslims; confounder and great defender of Christians - I command you, the Zaporogian Cossacks, to submit to me voluntarily and without any resistance, and to desist from troubling me with your attacks.
--Turkish Sultan Mehmed IV
The Cossacks' reply came as a stream of invective and vulgar rhymes, parodying the Sultan's titles:

Zaporozhian Cossacks to the Turkish Sultan!
O sultan, Turkish devil and damned devil's kith and kin, secretary to Lucifer himself. What the devil kind of knight are thou, that canst not slay a hedgehog with your naked arse? The devil shits, and your army eats. Thou shallt not, thou son of a whore, make subjects of Christian sons; we have no fear of your army, by land and by sea we will battle with thee, fuck thy mother.
Thou Babylonian scullion, Macedonian wheelwright, brewer of Jerusalem, goat-fucker of Alexandria, swineherd of Greater and Lesser Egypt, pig of Armenia, Podolian thief, catamite of Tartary, hangman of Kamyanets, and fool of all the world and underworld, an idiot before God, grandson of the Serpent, and the crick in our dick. Pig's snout, mare's arse, slaughterhouse cur, unchristened brow, screw thine own mother!
So the Zaporozhians declare, you lowlife. You won't even be herding pigs for the Christians. Now we'll conclude, for we don't know the date and don't own a calendar; the moon's in the sky, the year with the Lord, the day's the same over here as it is over there; for this kiss our arse!
- Koshovyi otaman Ivan Sirko, with the whole Zaporozhian Host.
Interesting to note that when translating obscure languages that while some terms may become subject to debate over time, like the word "brewer" which might also mean "drunkard", none of the really good inferences seem to have had any such problems. You have to wonder though if being a Macedonian wheelwright might be like being a quality engineer with Yugo.

 Ladies are commended to the study of fine literature so as to be able to say no in such a way at to not foreclose on getting the young man in question to help with your car or moving at some point in the future.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Warring Tribes Upgrade Their Armament - Chicago

Warring tribes in Chicago that is, have discovered that AR and AK pattern rifle works better than a Glock in a drive by. No word yet as to what the city government plans to do about this as quite a few of them owe their seats to help from the gangs tribes.

Police started noticing the rifles early last year, mostly in Back of the Yards, and their use has been increasing. October had three rifle shootings, November had six and December had nine, about the time the shootings started in Brighton Park, according to police.

By the end of December, gangs in the area were using rifles "almost exclusively," according to several veteran officers interviewed by the Tribune.
Throwing the gangsters in jail might affect the voting patterns adversely for some Aldermen so this is unlikely to happen, however there is an alternative approach that has been tried in other states. To wit, you bring in a Federal agency, say the ATF, and let them sell illegal cigarettes to fund the purchase of AR and AK pattern rifles which they in turn sell to the gangs on the premise that they will then trace them to the evil gun dealers who provided them in the first place... oh wait, maybe not. At least they wouldn't have to think up a new name for this fiasco project, as Fast and Furious will probably do just fine. It could also be a solution to the problem of too few people being shot by rifles of any kind which always gets brought up an any legislative hearing to talk about an assault weapons ban.

The increased lethality of rifles over pistols should also do wonders toward restoring Chicago to an "over 100 murders a year" city this year.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Biological Warfare

Here's something usually thought of in rather apocalyptic terms such as the inadvertent or intentional release of an unstoppable plague with near 100% fatality, or worse yet, an organism with 100% fatality and an appetite for anything organic which results in the entire planetary biosphere being reduced to "gray goo". Here's an example which while not as broad spread, is about as disgusting; body lice.

The obvious solution would be to pick this fellow up, de-louse him, find out where he's been living and disinfect that, then turn him loose with the requirement that he wear a Hartz Flea and Tick collar for the next 6 months.

This being Berkley, there's always the chance that he's a student or perhaps one of the faculty, but that's a chance the public health people will have to take. Killing that many lice might bring accusations of genocide.

Obama's Next Calling

I have to admit to being of two minds on this one. It seems there's a movement afoot to bring O'Bungler to France and run him for the presidency there in the upcoming elections. No specific party is mentioned but in France this makes little enough difference.

The up side of this is that we get rid of the man who with 8 years of occupation in the Oval office, arguably still has no executive experience. OFA (ACORN) will be devastated especially if he takes Valerie Jarret with him.

The down side is that the French would be getting a candidate who will stand four square with the rioters in the banlieues around Paris, probably writing the actions off as a pollution reduction effort since a burned out car cannot be driven and therefore pollutes less.
Low pollution vehicle, manufacturing process.

Jokes about the legendary manliness of French men and the martial prowess of the French military aside, I really don't hate the French enough to wish this fool on them. The North Koreans maybe, but not the French.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

WaPo Reveals Its New Mission Statement

I get a daily e-mail news summary from the Washington Post. I frequently have to check to see that the Bolsheviks haven't stormed the White House and replaced the Trump administration. Here's the new banner:
A forthright and uncompromising mission statement if ever I saw one. Ace of Spades has suggested alternative lines, each more lurid than the last.

UPDATE: Post denies that this is actually a mission statement. (FAKE NEWS ALERT?)

REAL UPDATE: Found the link.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

EPA Head To Visit Colorado

Trumps new head of the EPA has promised to visit Colorado as part of an effort to see what if anything can be done about the Animas River spill. Anticipating this I have re-written the old Hamms Beer ditty from way back when:
From the land of Orange waters, waters
Comes the Gold King mine's effluvia, effluvia
EPA home free.
Not their fault you see,
Fine. If I was any good at songwriting, I'd be a songwriter instead of an engineer. Readers are challenged to do better in the comments.

As it happens, Hamms was acquired several times until it became part of the MillerCoors consortium so it currently has a connection to Colorado.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Schrödinger's Cat Box

Everyone by now knows the thought experiment called Schrödinger's Cat and the 2 possible states of the cat. In Government there is a varient on this that involves 3 states.

When a bill is introduced, it is read by the poo-bah of the chamber to the assembled critters, then referred to whatever committees might be interested in the effects of the bill should it be enacted. A legislative committee is a Schrödinger's Cat box within which a bill can achieve one of 3 states.

State 1: It can be approved with recommendation and sent back to the chamber.
State 2: It can be disapproved, in which case it leaves the box out the bottom slot in neatly cut strips.
State 3: It can be tabled for (much) later consideration, usually after the legislature has adjourned. This has the same effect as State 2, but without the embarrassment of a recorded vote for or against. State 1 or 2 sets up a requirement for a public hearing at which the committee members are expected to support or attack the bill with the populace invited to enter commentary. 

This can be dangerous as pols have been known to say some really stupid things to their constituents to justify a position on a bill. Moving consideration out to the next century is much safer.

Sanctuary Cities - Local Relief?

From a summary article at Diogenes Middle Finger, to the linked article at American Patrol, and cherry picking the relevant sections, I find that

A person (including a group of persons, business, organization, or local government) commits a federal felony when she or he:
* assists an alien s/he should reasonably know is illegally in the U.S. or who lacks employment authorization, by transporting, sheltering, or assisting him or her to obtain employment, or
* encourages that alien to remain in the U.S. by referring him or her to an employer or by acting as employer or agent for an employer in any way, or
* knowingly assists illegal aliens due to personal convictions.
and down a bit lower this
RICO -- Citizen Recourse
Private persons and entities may initiate civil suits to obtain injunctions and treble damages against enterprises that conspire to or actually violate federal alien smuggling, harboring, or document fraud statutes, under the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO). The pattern of racketeering activity is defined as commission of two or more of the listed crimes. A RICO enterprise can be any individual legal entity, or a group of individuals who are not a legal entity but are associated in fact, and can include nonprofit associations.
To my non-lawyerly eye it looks like a citizen of a city can sue the Mayor and city council if they actively engage in protecting illegal aliens. Looks great but you probably want to be careful of this in case you don't happen to have more money guns, and lawyers than the city you are filing suit against lest you find out that everything you own from your house and car to the brand of shoes you're wearing is in violation of city code and subject to impoundment.

The American Patrol link quotes the statute in some detail and makes for some interesting reading.

BYOD - (Drugs)

Arizona is having trouble getting pharmaceutical companies to provide some of the drugs used to execute criminal and is considering asking the families of the condemned to help provide the necessary drugs in the requisite doses.

Having worked in the medical device industry for a few years, I can assure you they the function of the FDA is to assure the public that absolutely nothing ever gets to market and here's one more example, accomplishing the same thing by using lawyers.

The obvious solution to this is to deal the medical professionals, lawyers, and government agency busybodies out of the process, and bring in an engineer. Group A above consists of the people who made Obamacare what it is today, and group B is the folks who brought you the self-loading pistol. Either device will get you to the same place, but face it, the pistol is faster and much cheaper.

To avoid a messy cleanup, borrow a page from Pol Pot who executed most of his 2 million with a plastic bag and a rubber band. Flood the bag with Nitrogen, and the process becomes quick, quiet, cheap, non-toxic, and painless. The condemned even gets to leave a pretty corpse for the undertaker.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Odds On Trump

British bookies are giving near even odds that Trump will not serve out a full 4-year term due to impeachment or just early resignation.

Remember these are the same bookies who began paying off the winners who bet on Hillary to win the presidency up to a week in advance of the election.

Immigration - The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

What I love about the internet is that eventually you can find someone who knows what he/she is actually talking about who can explain seemingly complex issues in a straightforward manner. Here, for example is Milton Friedman explaining why uncontrolled immigration was good in 1914, but is a disaster in 2014 and why illegal immigration may not be as bad as all that.

What he overlooks is that when an illegal comes here and works, everyone benefits with the exception of the legal fellow who would otherwise be doing the job. That fellow can't compete because it would be illegal for him to offer to work for a bit less. The government sets his wages and benefits which below a certain level are non-negotiable.

Makes the case for a minimum wage of $0.00 doesn't it? As to the welfare state, back in the 60's, President Kennedy declared a "war on poverty" in the united states. This was met with some skepticism even from a largely supportive press who dutifully went out to find this "poverty". They reported that it was nearly non-existent except for a fer isolated patches deep in Appalachia. The sort of places where they shot at government agents.

Today, 20% of the American population is by definition "in poverty" and entitled to a big TV, fancy sneakers, and subsidized housing. Maybe if we subsidized the poverty business less we'd have less of it.

Crazy talk.

 Found the video at Mish Talk where it played a part in a column on the Women's March.

Exercise In Brevity

Pols love to ramble on and on and on and........ Bills they write follow the same lead probably as they write the things some pesky staffer notices that sub paragraph (b) of section 20 would effectively legalize slavery or something, so some more qualifying statements need to be added:

254  notwithstanding any understanding that sexual relations with owls are NOT made mandatory by

255 any part of this bill, not that there's anything wrong with that, and

256 quit with the snide remarks about my nephew who would become Director of the agency

257 in charge of whatever this is.....

Or you can keep it short, succinct, and to the point:
If you were looking for an excuse to write to your congress critters this week, here it is. HR 861 in all its glory. It currently has 3 co-sponsors and has been referred to 3 committees. You can check on its progress here.

And no, abolishing the agency would NOT abolish all our environmental laws and rules along with it. Those would need to be addressed by the congress which had the sole authority to write them in the first place.

Science Marches Onward

The latest innovation in camera technology is the cameras worn by police which may soon include face recognition abilities. Couple this with the license plate readers already installed in some dashcams and voila! the cop on the beat comes into work in the morning, sits down at his laptop, and gets his marching orders complete with a BOLO list of people and license plate numbers.

His body camera can pick out the listed items and send an alert to his earpiece and maybe a visual cue to his sunglasses, and in a flash, another scofflaw is in custody.

I want one of these myself, already having bluetooth enabled hearing aids, that will spot people I walk up to and if I've ever met them, will whisper in my ear their name and something about the context. "Fred, gun club.","Karen, bicycles", "Charlie, business". That sort of thing. Perhaps wearing a camera might be too much of a warning that the wearer is either developing Alzheimers or might be an undercover cop, in which case the camera might be disguised as something innocuous, like Google Glasses, or a Boutonniere, or maybe a parrot on ones shoulder.

Invaluable to politicians to instantly identify constituents by name and contribution amount thus allowing them to tailor their greeting to the correct level of warmth and obsequiousness.

Got possibilities though, no?

Thursday, February 16, 2017

QOTD - Fairness

When I hear the word fairness being used I generally take that as a dog whistle cue to grab my watch and wallet. Here's an observation from Scott Adams, author of Dilbert:
Fairness is a concept invented so children and idiots can participate in debates.
The whole article is here.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

National Brotherhood Week

Some time back it was noted that at the start of National Brotherhood Week, Malcom X was assassinated.
In honor of the week, song writer Tom Leher wrote this ditty

The actual Week hasn't been observed for some time now but this article noting the death of Frank Ancona, Grand Imperial Wizard of the Traditionalist Knights of the Ku Klux Klan under suspicious circumstances led me to check. Sure enough, NBW is the third week in February so there we are.

Keep it up folks, there's still 6 more days left.