Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bombay B.S

Oh yes, one other thing about the event. The bombay paper that wrote it up described the terrorists armament as:

Every man was given six to seven magazines with fifty bullets each, eight hand grenades per terrorist with one AK-57, an automatic loading revolver and a supply of dry fruits.
Typically AK magazines hold 20-30 rounds with 50 being rather rare, but what I really, really want to see is that AK-57 automatic loading revolver. I shoot revolvers myself, and that would be a real boon because reloading always takes so long. I hope the dry fruits aren't part of the process. I'm familiar with the external ballistics of some vegetables (pumpkins) and believe me, they're nothing to write home about.

Bombay Massacre

One of the terrorists was photographed walking nonchalantly through the rail station with his rifle and backpack, by a photographer from the local paper. His observation was that there were plenty of armed police in the station, but without orders from their superiors, none would draw his weapon and fire, even after some of the policemen had been shot.

But what angered Mr D'Souza almost as much were the masses of armed police hiding in the area who simply refused to shoot back. "There were armed policemen hiding all around the station but none of them did anything," he said. "At one point, I ran up to them and told them to use their weapons. I said, 'Shoot them, they're sitting ducks!' but they just didn't shoot back."
After all was said and done, only one of the attackers survived the experience. Notwithstanding their inability to shoot, the Bombay police department apparently have the technique of extracting information from suspects down pat.

But it seems the police grilling was so intense that before he left the hospital for an undisclosed location, he pleaded with the police and the medical staff to kill him. “Now, I don’t want to live,” he said.
There's criminals, then there's REAL criminals, then there's these guys. In these guys case, remember you're not really abusing your detainee unless he's begging you to kill him. At this point, you know you're doing it right. Jack Bauer would approve.

The terrorists came to Bombay from Pakistan. The Paki intelligence bureau is little more than a branch of Al Quaida, and we've actually used them to get Taliban fighters to leave Pakistan to avoid an impending bombing, only to cut the fighters off, and bomb them in Afghanistan, where they thought they'd be safe. The head of Paki intelligence actually visited Bombay to expresses his shock (Shocked, you hear!) at the attack, and deny all involvement in it. More likely a post action evaluation.

Much discussion has ensued regarding the probability of such an action having the same success here in the US. In Texas, some 3% of the civilian population has CCW, which is comparable to most states with shall-issue laws. There are armed cops in most public venues, such as train stations and airports, and most of them are not shy about using their weapons. Heck, in the Aurora Mall, East of Denver, the police would arrive in time to find 2 dead terrorists, no weapons, and no one who had seen anything. And the Aurora cops are not slow.

Post action evaluation: 10 terrorists in a densely populated area, facing no real resistance killed about 150 people. That's about 15 each. The shooter at Va Tech killed 31 with only a pistol. For being "heavily armed" and "highly trained" and operating in a classic gun free zone, I'd have to say their performance was, at best mediocre. Here's a list of mass killings for comparison. Note that most of them were done solo.

Bombay was a soft target, and easy to hit. The US would be somewhat more difficult, depending on organization and timing. Obie promised to leave the middle east with his tail between his legs, like a whipped Spaniard. These guys will be wanting to remind him of this, and apply whatever pressure they can to speed up the process. Something to look forward to, along with getting your CCW. As they say: When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Notwithstanding the earlier recipe for turkey, I want to say there's probably nothing better than Mesquite-smoked, bacon wrapped, Jimson-weed stuffed haunch of organically grown, free-range prairie dog, served with a bottle of good Tequila. The feast that keeps on giving.

Somali Pirates

They have struck again, this time picking up a chemical tanker. No word on what chemicals might be on board. The ship had 3 British security guards on it, and we now know who NOT to hire for that job.

The law giving to the US congress the authority to issue letters of marque and reprisal are still on the books. Blackwater seems to be a prime candidate for one. According to international convention, a ship on the high seas is sovereign territory of whatever country who's flag it's flying. If pirates are captured, they are subject to that law, which in the case of the Saudi oil tanker, would likely be beheading. Ships captains are requested to bring any captured pirates to the country in question for trial, but recognizing that this isn't always a practical notion, allows the capturing party to summarily hang them on the spot.

The obvious solution to the problem is to allow merchant ships to go armed, either with personal weapons for the crew, or with larger weaponry mounted to the bow and stern. The problem with this is that when a merchant ship pulls into port, they are subject to the local laws concerning weapons, and the less stable governments are very touchy about who is allowed weapons, to the point that even locking individual weapons up while in port won't keep the local authorities happy.

Designing a shipping container to contain firing ports and a gun nest sounds like fun, placing one on each of the four corners of a merchant ship would be easy enough, provided the ships owners are willing to give up 4 cargo positions for armament. OTOH, back in the day (1802 or thereabouts), a working solution was developed by the US that involved naval bombardment of the pirates stronghold combined with a land attack by marines.

Somalia has no functioning government, which means it would be easy to locate a local panjandrum and pay him enough to sign a treaty giving us the use of the pirates base as a US naval base. All we have to do is go in and control the local vermin, establish a perimiter about 1 mile greater than the range of any local ordnance, and make sure everyone in the neighborhood understands our "zero tolerance" policy regarding perimiter violations. I think this would work out in the long run.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Uber Cool Nerd King

You can't really claim the title unless you have one of these:

Heck, I thought the video toaster was much the same thing. Gee, just put a small packet of jelly in your leather laptop case, and get a flash drive with a knife blade on one end (Hey! That's a GOOD idea), and you're ready to fend off starvation while you work.

Details on this techno-wonder are here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Who said cooking a turkey had to be hard. Here's a recipe from the comment section at curmudgeonly and skeptical that makes the job easy and entertaining as well.

H.T. to olds-mo-william

Here is a Turkey recipe that also includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing.

8 - 15 lb. turkey
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing
1 cup uncooked popcorn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush turkey well with melted butter salt, and pepper. Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven. Listen for the popping sounds. When the turkey's ass blows the oven door open and the bird flies across the room, it's done.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Obie Makes Final Cabinet Appointments

As reported here at Iowahawk, Obie has filled the last two open positions in his government, appointing Bill Clinton to the position of President of the United States, and himself to Assistant Undersecretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

I no longer harbor any doubts about the future of the country. None whatever.

Nerdiness Test says I'm an Uber Cool Nerd King.  What are you?  Click here!

I haven't looked at a comic book since I was in Jr.High. It was Classics Illustrated.

Let's Go Flying

Thanks to Bijou Renaissance Man for finding this tidbit. Why build a model plane when you can build a model fish, complete with muscle-like actuators.

Air Art from flip on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Believe the Experts

Way back when, which date I don't remember, an Italian wrote a book on how to get to the top and stay there. It's a classic. It's everything you'll learn in Business school except how to actually cook the books yourself, but that's because book-cooking is something best left to expert hirelings, who can be done away with if anyone starts asking questions.
From the comments here at the Volokh Conspiricy:

"There has never been a case in the history of the world in which a Prince whose subjects hated him did not disarm those subjects, that his subjects may not depose him by force of arms," is a fair consensus. Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince, "On Castles."

A bit further down in the same set of comments, is a discussion on the VPCs (Violence Policy Center, AKA Brady Bunch, AKA Handgun Control) in which they discuss long-range, high-power sniper (AKA hunting) rifles in which the author states:

300 meters is only slightly less than the length of two football fields.
Lots of good commentary here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Promise Marker

Shamelessly stolen from Don Luskin, Obie promised us "change". So what sort of change will we get? Did you think it would be for the better? I'm putting this here, so I'll be able to find it on Nov 4th 2009, assuming I've got electric power and federal permission to use the internet.

CHANGE THIS! Obama ran on a platform of "change," and was fond of pointing out how horrible everything is -- that is, how much it needs his "changing." OK, let's hold him to it. Here's the benchmark. On election day,
The inflation rate was 3.7%
Unemployment was 6.5%
The prime was at 4%
The Dow closed at 9,625
The NASDAQ closed at 1,780
The S&P closed at 1,005
Oil was $60 a barrel.
U.S. monthly domestic oil production: appx 155 million barrels
U.S. proven oil reserves: 21.3 billion barrels
U.S. offshore proven reserves: 3.9 billion barrels
You XL usere, feel free to make graphs.

Monuments to Human Ingenuity

This fellow should have been employed by some big-name high-tech company. His suicide is the sort of thing songs are sung of, and legends arise from.

David Phyall, 50, tied the Black & Decker tool to a leg of a snooker table in his lounge with string, taped up the on button and plugged it into a timer, Winchester Coroner's Court heard.

Mr Phyall, who had consumed a small quantity of alcohol but no drugs, then lay down under the snooker table face up and placed the chainsaw against his neck.

A piece of the tool's cardboard box initially cushioned the blades from his neck.

The hearing heard the timer, which is usually used to turn lights on and off, was fixed to start up the chainsaw for 15 minutes.
Although I had heard of a couple of Russian lumberjacks who, after consuming significant quantities of Vodka, demonstrated to one another just how tough they were as the first bravo fired up his chainsaw and cut off his own foot. The second, not to be outdone, took up his own chainsaw, and cut off his own head.

No one has (pardon the pun) topped him to date that I've heard.

Obies new A.G.

Not only does he firmly believe in "common sense gun laws", he believes in "common sense speech restrictions" as well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bailing out Detroit

This is an exercise in futility, and the biggest beneficiary will be the UAW, whose members pass 90% of their dues to democrats, via the union. There being no election for another 2 years, the urgent need for money may be fading a bit. If the Big 2-1/2 get 25Bn, or about 4 times what they're worth on the open market, they will keep producing unprofitable cars for a while longer.

Obamas pick for the EPA is Mary Nichols, head of the California Air Resources Board, an immensely powerful and totally unaccountable agency that likes to keep their offices in buildings off the beaten track, and not visited by public transport. She was behind Cali's effort recently to be allowed to dictate emissions and sales requirements to Detroit. The current EPA told her no, Cali was still a state, and forcing Detroit to make a Cali model to sell there, and a US model that couldn't be sold there would be burdensome.

Obama, however, claims to want to make carbon dioxide a "dangerous pollutant", and make most of our transport run on alternative energy sources ASAP, which should put the big 2-1/2 out of business in a year or two anyway.

Why waste the money. Congress could just give itself 10% of the bailout money, and save the taxpayers the expense of the other 90%. At the end of the day, the effect is the same.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Epicurian Delights

It surely can't get any better than this

now can it? My favorite dish in the whole world, contained in a bottle, best enjoyed at room temperature.

And check out the other flavors like Beef Jerky and Dirty Hot Dog.

Obie's Secretary of State

Obie may not be as dumb as I thought, bringing Washington's Lady Macbeth that close to himself. Just imaging if you were one of those no-account tinpot dictators in a country where superstition and belief in witchcraft was still strong, and this

apparition landed her broomstick at your national airport, doffed her pointy black hat, and breezed into your office suggesting you do this, or stop doing that.
If I were them, I'd do like she says lest my dangley bits be stricken with some horrible curse that would spread unstoppably and reduce me to a smelly pile of bare bones in about a week. We Americans know well who the Wicked Witch of the East really is.

Monday, November 17, 2008

And you thought Obama would take away uour guns?

Of course he wouldn't. Didn't he say he was pro-2A? He wouldn'd bring back anything like the old assault weapons ban, because he has 5 (alleged) republicans to do it for him.

  • Rep. Mark Kirk [R-IL]
  • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen [R-FL]
  • Rep. Michael Ferguson [R-NJ]
  • Rep. Christopher Shays [R-CT]
  • Rep. Michael Castle [R-DE]
The above rinos are introducing H.R. 6257: Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2008, because it's for the children, or something.

Here's a summary:
Assault Weapons Ban Reauthorization Act of 2008 - Amends the federal criminal code to reinstate, for 10 years, the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act's assault weapons ban to prohibit the manufacture, transfer, or possession of a semiautomatic assault weapon or a large capacity ammunition feeding device. Specifies models and features of banned weapons.
Sets forth exceptions to such ban, including: (1) firearms or devices lawfully possessed under federal law on the date of enactment of this Act; (2) certain firearms, replicas, or duplicates listed in an appendix as they were manufactured on October 1, 1993; (3) any firearm that is manually operated by bolt, pump, lever, or slide action and that has been rendered permanently inoperable or that is an antique firearm; (4) any semiautomatic rifle that cannot accept a detachable magazine that holds more than five rounds of ammunition; (5) any semiautomatic shotgun that cannot hold more than five rounds in a fixed or detachable magazine; and (6) firearms manufactured for, transferred to, or possessed by a federal, state, or local government agency or for law enforcement.
Requires the serial number of any weapon or device manufactured after enactment of this Act to clearly show the date of manufacture.
Directs the Attorney General to study and report to Congress on the effects of this Act on violent and drug trafficking crime.
Bold text added by me. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but does this mean that bolt, pump, lever, or slide action firearms are covered unless they have been rendered inoperable? That sort of implies that this bill pretty much bans everything. Period.

I'm reasonably certain that this is a typo, but if engineers designed bridges the way legislators wrote laws, the US would end at the first creek west of Plymouth Rock.

Rep. Kirk's office phone is 202-225-4835. His e-mail address, along with the others, may be found here.

Warning: Democrats are notoriously uncommunicative when you contact them about something, and come down on the wrong side of the issue, so don't be surprised if you don't hear much back from these guys. Yeah, I know they all claim to be republicans, but a common feature with democrats any more is that they lie about everything, including, sometimes, their party affiliation. Feel free to encourage these jerks to at least be honest about that.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Market Humor

Found this at the Conspiracy To Keep You Poor and Stupid


Didya hear about the blonde homeowner? Paid her mortgage.

Difference between an Investment Banker and a Pizza? A pizza can still feed a family of four.

Overheard at Happy Hour: This is worse than a divorce. I've lost half my net worth and I still have a wife.

How can you tell if a banker is an optimist? He irons five shirts on Sunday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Extra-Solar Planets

American Thinker is reporting that 2 instances of extra solar planets have been successfully imaged, and the pics are here, and here.

The good news is that we're getting actual images of planets. Before this, we got hints of the existence by observing the wobbling of the star as the planetary body orbited it. The problem with that is that it takes a really big planet to cause a star to wobble.

The picture of Fromalhaut is interesting as it seems to be surrounded by a huge asteroid belt, larger than our own solar system. The planet has an orbital period of 872 years as opposed to a sprightly 248 years for Pluto. You'll need push bumpers on your space ship to visit.

The War Is Over and We Won

From Insty, this report from Michael Yon:

Michael Yon just phoned from Baghdad, and reports that things are much better than he had expected, and he had expected things to be good. "There's nothing going on. I'm with the 10th Mountain Division, and about half of the guys I'm with haven't fired their weapons on this tour and they've been here eight months. And the place we're at, South Baghdad, used to be one of the worst places in Iraq. And now there's nothing going on. I've been walking my feet off and haven't seen anything. I've been asking Iraqis, 'do you think the violence will kick up again,' but even the Iraqi journalists are sounding optimistic now and they're usually dour." There's a little bit of violence here and there, but nothing that's a threat to the general situation. Plus, not only the Iraqi Army, but even the National Police are well thought of by the populace. Training from U.S. toops has paid off, he says, in building a rapport.

Of course it's not to say that defeat cannot be snatched from the jaws of victory. The Dems did it once before, in Viet Nam, and the resultant genocide killed 2 million people and created a million or so refugees. In the more populous middle east, a precipitous withdrawal accompanied by speeches declaring the local politics of the area to be none of our business, should bring the Iranian army across the border in no time at all. Half-assed Ah-sod, president of Syria, will soon find out who the junior partner is in his alliance with the Ayatollahs, and Israel will be looking at Iranian rockets on its own border.
It doesn't have to be this way, but to leave some troops in Iraq to help the new democracy would be to do the one thing no real Democrat can being himself to do: Admit that a Republican was right about something.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Don't Want a Pickle

I just want to ride my motor-sickle. As the song goes, it looks like I'm back on my bike, and will be riding in the Harrys Roamers Turkey Run this Sunday.

Because I can, I'm declaring this the Rocky Mountain Bloggers Motorcycle Ride of the year, and expect to see all of them out on their Harleys (FreedomSight) or Vespas (Left Off Colfax) weather they actually have such transport or not.

It starts and ends at a bar, (G.I.Jodis)it should be right up our alley.

Staircase Wit

From time to time, I say something witty. Alas, it's not always here.

The sad part is that Hamas in Gaza could easily transfer $15M to the Obama campaign in small unmarked credit card transactions, even using a foreign-issued credit card, as all the anti-fraud checks were turned off. Since Obama used only private money, there will be no audit. This is how McCain-Feingold works to protect you from big money unduly influencing politicians.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gun Goodness

Sebastian has a post up featuring a quote from a UCLA professor who was quoting one of us:

As one of them put it the other day, “If you can tow it behind your pickup it ought to be legal.”
For some reason the prof failed to see the crystal clear logic behind this statement. If I ever run for office, and some press person asks my position on guns, this is it.
Heck, if your weapons are self-propelled, they should be exempt from the "tow-ability by a pickup" requirement.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Own Personal Nuke Plant

Soon to appear at the Super Wal-Mart nearest you, at some kind of bargain-basement price.

Nuclear power plants smaller than a garden shed and able to power 20,000 homes will be on sale within five years, say scientists at Los Alamos, the US government laboratory which developed the first atomic bomb.

I certainly have that much space available for such a worthy cause.

The miniature reactors will be factory-sealed, contain no weapons-grade material, have no moving parts and will be nearly impossible to steal because they will be encased in concrete and buried underground.

"no weapons-grade material". Oh well, nothing's perfect.

Supposedly refuelable, although getting the "gas cap" off sounds like a major project. Maybe your garden should have access for a largish crane, too.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Let's Go Flying

This looks like fun:

Unlikely, but fun.


Stretching the definition of the word "research" a bit, here's a piece by a friend of mine who is a budding young Mythbuster:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Get 'em While They're Hot!

Guns, that is. It appears that Obama can sell more guns per day, between now and Jan 20th than Charlton Heston could in his whole life. In the words of one gun shop owner:

I found 5 DPMS AP4s yesterday and picked them up from a local cop shop. I brought them into the shop around 3:00, put them on the bound book, and the last one was sold by 6:00. In that same timeframe I sold 2 Sig 556s, a Colt sporter, an Olympic plinker, 2 WASRs, a Golani, an AK made out of railroad ties and plywood by a Pakistani over a campfire from the Khyber Pass, an Airsoft gun, and traded 2 chickens and a bag of rice for a goat. It was a very busy afternoon.
At this rate, by the inauguration, gun manufacturers will have enough back orders on the books to keep them busy until Sarah Palin is sworn in in 2012.

If you already have an EBR, get your sweetie a CPR (Cute Pink Rifle). I suppose you could think of putting a picture of a cat with a Kalashnikov on the gun as the equivalent to putting an enemy flag on your fighter plane.

Suggestion: If you already have a gun, buy more ammo. If you already have ammo, buy more ammo.

Bailing out the Bikes

We all knew that the price of the bankers bailout bill was a lot of unrelated pork, so that individual congressmen could not mention having voted for it, but crow about their own piece of pork, but whose idea was this?

The massive financial bailout law signed by President Bush in October adds a bicycle commuting reimbursement to the list of IRS qualified transportation fringe benefits.
Yessiree, if you pedal your butt into work, semi-regularly, you qualify for a break on your taxes:

The reimbursement will cover the purchase of a bicycle and the cost of improvements, repair, and storage if the bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employees residence and place of employment. The bicycle must be used for a substantial portion of the employees commuting.
The bonus, $20/month to a maximum of $240, for me won't even cover my band-aid bills. Frankly, I think I'd be far better off to junk the bike and switch to motorcycles, exclusively.
If you buy your bike at Wal-Mart, you could have some cash left over from this to buy a light set, and thermal spandex to use in the winter.

Post Election Commentary

Because it's obligatory. And since I have nothing at the moment, I direct you to Iowahawk, who is much wittier than I am. Example:

It's also heartening to realize that as president Mr. Obama will soon be working hand-in-hand with a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard like Senator Robert Byrd to craft the incoherent and destructive programs that will plunge the American economy into a nightmare of full-blown sustained depression. As Vice President-Elect Joe Biden has repeatedly warned, there will be difficult times ahead and the programs will not always be popular, or even sane. But as we look out over the wreckage of bankrupt coal companies, nationalized banks, and hyperinflation, we can always look back with sustained pride on the great National Reconciliation of 2008. Call me an optimist, but I like to think when America's breadlines erupt into riots it will be because of our shared starvation, not the differences in our color.
RTWT. I found it hilarious, in a graveyard-humor sort of way.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Postal Match Results

The October postal match results are here.
I did not embarrass myself (yay!), finishing:

Class 1 Rimfire pistol, Iron sights, 1st place
Class 2 Centerfire Pistol, Iron sights, 2nd place
Class 3 Rimfire rifle, Optical sights 8th of 19
Class 4 Centerfire rifle, optical sights, 1st place.

There seems to be someone else using the name Billll, with 4 Ls. Either that or Traction Control seriously fumble-fingered the data. Or maybe I have an admirer. Or a stalker. Or something.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Worked at the gun show today for the state NRA affiliate. Sold multiple NRA memberships to people who still had money left over after buying guns and ammo. The pistol merchant, whose table I peruse as I walk by on an ordinary day was invisible behind 2 layers of customers. My favorite powder and shot merchant was out of my flavor of powder.

Obama has promised to bankrupt the coal industry by making the stuff prohibitively expensive. If you buy electricity from someone who makes it from coal, your power bills can be expected to skyrocket. Likewise if you work for someone who uses coal based electricity.

Pollsters work for industry when they're not trying to get someone elected, and a bad record of predicting the election won't help their credibility on Nov 5th. You can expect the BS to diminish as the election gets closer, but really accurate numbers won't come out until Nov 4th when the pollsters can claim to be surprised at how many people changed their minds at the last minute.

Should Obie win, I'll predict a re-run of 1933 when the US, in a deep recession, elected an economic ignoramus who expanded what should have been a 3 or 4 year recession in to a 15-20 year nightmare, complete with a world war.

I don't expect McCain to fix everything either, but I do expect that he'll do less damage.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Home Economics

Of a sort. I've been told I can get back on my motorcycle the 16th of this month, if I promise to be very careful. Still, no drinking until January, which depending on how the election turns out, is not good.

In the coming hard times, however, the paper that knows best how to get to the good times, the Wall St. Journal, has a piece on what the best whiskeys might be if your portfolio isn't supporting the better single malts.

Sampling Whiskies


Teacher's Highland Cream $16.99
Robust, chewy malt taste gives this whisky ballast. Above deck, the Scotch gets dressed in the elegantly restrained smokiness of the lightly peated Ardmore single malt.

Ballantine's Finest $13.99
A rich, rounded, malty sweetness balanced by dry herbal notes.


J&B Rare $18.99
A grassy-green young whisky in which you can taste the light and flowery Knockando single malt, one of its constituent parts.

White Horse $12.99
A soft whisky with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, and caramel.

I don't normally drink whiskey, but this description of Teachers is enough to pique my curiosity.
Might make a good Christmas present.

Fixing the Economy

At least if you're a public employee whose pension fund has been chronically short, there's help on the way.
Stolen shamelessly from insty:

Colo. public employee pension fund plunges $10B. "Colorado PERA had been hoping that investment gains would help resolve its long-term underfunding problem." I'll bet they had. Hope is not a plan.

UPDATE: Taxpayers To Fund Public Pension Shortfalls. "While most people have watched their 401K values drop with the stock market over the past several weeks, taxpayers may have spend millions more propping up pensions paid to county and state retirees." I don't think that will play well, politically.

Now if your 401(k) has taken a hit recently, you know there's a way to fix it: Steal the shortage from the taxpayers.

There was a strip in the old comic "Pogo" in which the characters were playing Russians during the Khrushchev years. That would be the 50s for you kids. One of the characters cites a Russian proverb to the other:"The shortages will be divided among the peasants!"

I guess that's true here, too.

Quote of the Week

Found at Insty, but singularly appropriate on the eve of an election:

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as "bad luck."

Robert Heinlein