Monday, August 31, 2009

Fiddling With The Tax Forms

I met with my federal Representative today, and listened to discussions on several topics, mostly health care. I also dropped a suggestion that should be easy to impliment, and make him fairly popular as well.

On every federal 1040, there is a line where you are encouraged to donate to a generic campaign fund for candidates for federal office. As long as the real estate is available on the form, why not let us make the same donation to the agency of our choice? A simple 3-digit code, and zap! $5 out of your taxes is earmarked for NASA, the Marine Corps, the Border Patrol, ACORN, ABC news, or whatever other agency of the Federal Government you feel is most worthy.

The marketing info alone would be worth a small fortune, letting congress-critters know what to stand for, party platform permitting, or against. Somehow I'm not seeing the IRS, for example, getting a lot of love in this.

So what's your favorite agency? Me? I favor NASA, although DARPA is a very close second.

Lucky Kid

A daddy in W. Va. made his kid really happy for his birthday:

Daugherty said he is not worried about the federal government coming to get his son's cannon because he has spoken to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as well as the National Security Agency. Though Daugherty said he is still stunned that he had to get clearance from the NSA for the archaic artillery piece, it is legal to own such a cannon because it does not use a firing pin or is breach loaded. He said the government does not consider the weapon a threat.

The approach of a neophyte who knows nothing about the regulations is to assume the worst and proceed from there. This is not without its virtues, as government agencies are notorious for not speaking to one another, or the peasants either, if it can be avoided. In case you didn't know, the federal government considers black powder firearms to be curios, and beneath their purview. Most states, excepting New York, that I know of, go along with this.

I have more than one BP cannon myself, and have nearly finished a paper of how to tell a black powder cannon from a pipe bomb, the latter being illegal in most states. As cannon aficionados will tell you, having one end open does not guarantee that your projectile will fly merrily down range. You need to do a bit of math first.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Rally and Counter-Rally

I can't call these things demonstrations, I've seen real demonstrations back in the 60's ant this isn't it. The Obamanauts held a pep-rally for nationalized health care, and various citizen groups showed up to provide a counter-weight.

The organizational effort by the left is impressive. They schedule a rally to be held on a college campus downtown, most notable to me for its lack of parking within a mile or so of the site. Word of this quickly got out to a number of groups including the Tea Party, and a number of bloggers, and sentiment for a counter-rally quickly built.

At the last minute, around noon on Friday, a venue change was announced, moving the event from downtown to a local high school, but not out front, facing the main street, but around back, in the parking lot, which was closed off to all but VIPs. The venue was filled with a couple hundred folks with pre-printed signs and t-shirts in a peanut gallery who applauded on command. A sound system with music, and a TV truck were also conveniently located.

The rest of us were not allowed within half a block of the speaker, but occupied the sidewalk where some people were trying to enter the small, but filled lot. The traffic on the street generally approved of us, and pictures were taken, but none by me. We had about 75 on hand, but were handicapped by a lack of available charter buses.

The OFA charter buss arrived quite late, which I attribute to no one telling the driver about the venue change either. All in all, pretty low-key.

Update 1: Pics here.

Update 2: More and better pics, with a detailed writeup here. My readers will be able to identify my sign.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


So the Dems want to rename the health control bill for Teddy K. Sounds good to me, just put it and the late Senator in an Oldsmobile (made by Government Motors) and bury both at sea.

3 clunkers, none of my cash.

Fiddley detail; GM quit making Oldsmobiles before the government takeover.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy

Teddy has a lot of history, enough of it well enough publicized to keep him out of the White House, but not enough to evict him from the Senate. He was the kind of man who made me wonder why moral turpitude was such a selling point in Massachusetts.

So here's the quote of the day:

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
" —Clarence Darrow (1857 - 1938)
I'm sure there will be plenty of them to read, some of them accurate, too.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Future of Transportation

This is perhaps less likely to be seen anytime soon as it is an exercise in modern chic done by students at an industrial stylists school in Austria:
At the site you'll also see how well this desin will fit in to the relatively uncrowded streets of Calcutta, where it easily shares the road with an elephant. In Austria, presumably, doors would be added for winter use, although I'm not sure how much I want to ride across Vienna in the winter time, even with some studly fellow in lederhosen pumping away in the back seat.

If you want to know where this came from, here's a picture I took in Viet-Nam:
Not as stylish as the carbon-fiber wonder from Austria, but what it lacks in looks, it more than makes up for in excitement. Note the brass foot rail, which doubles as the front bumper. Note the passenger, who doubles as the airbag in an accident. Better yet, ignore all that and take a ride. In the Saigon traffic, where Newtonian Law (My vehicle has more mass than your vehicle, therefore I have the right of way) is supreme, this thing was better than any e-ticket ride Disney has to offer.

I would love to lay my hands on one of these.

Statics, Polls, and Art

And while I'm at it, I should probably include lies, and damn lies too. Polling data can, of course, be jiggered to produce whatever result the customer is asking for, especially if the result is to be published as gospel for the customers benefit. The results on this one have a certain air of truth to them though:
This sort of thing could well be the inspiration for this:

Which is nicely animated on the original site. What it really needs, though, is the red lines running down to form a puddle of blood, as the administration hemorrhages approval.

The media like to think they can influence a persons approval ratings as much as 15% either direction, and Lord knows which way they've been pushing their boss. Of course the collective management are, at bottom, a bunch of capitalists with an interest in keeping their jobs, and there's a limit to how far down they're willing to go on this ship.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Crime Problem

Solution: Put everybody under house arrest.

OK the solution isn't quite that draconian, but a universal curfew is something usually reserved for war zones and the aftermath of major natural disasters.

(AP) — PATERSON, N.J. - Curfews might not be just for kids anymore in one city in northern New Jersey.

Officials in Paterson are considering one for people of all ages in a bid to curb violence after a spate of deadly shootings.

Makes you want to spend your next vacation in the garden state, doesn't it? In Chicago, they threaten to call in the National Guard, which has slowed their rate by 11 percent so far this year. One wonders if the decline in the murder rate might be due to the movement of the criminal upper management from Chicago to Washington.

The Future of Transportation

One of my friends found this and passed it along. If you think about it, the problem with the Segway was that it takes up a lot of space, and mixed into a pedestrian environment, can make the rider rather intimidating.
solves that problem by producing the most compact Segway imaginable. The builder is currently trying to get production off the ground, and doing the multi-country patent dance at the same time. This thing has a range of 30 km and a top speed of 15 km/hr. The first question I had when I saw a Segway was "What happens when the battery goes dead enough to be unable to balance that thing?" The same question comes to mind here, but the potential exists to fall in any direction at all.

Still, this thing appeals to me, which should tell you something about a really sick and twisted mind.

H/T: John. The link goes to a nice movie of the prototype being trundled about. It weighs 28 kg, so slinging it into a car trunk may not be everybody's idea of fun, but it's small enough it could probably be convinced to trundle up a small ramp into the passenger seat where it can be connected to the power outlet (does anyone light cigarettes with that any more?).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fun Stuff

OK, here's a time waster that appeals to the demolitions man in us.

Demolition City!

Kamikazi Democrats

I have not been following the minute details of the health-care bill, since I assume the Obama brownshirts will come and beat me to shovel-readiness before I actually need any real health care.

What's interesting about the process is the use to which the administration is putting the "majority maker" democrats that got elected in otherwise Republican districts when the Republican base stayed home in a fit of pique last election. These folks make up a good number of what are being called the "blue dogs" on the theory that they were, in fact, as moderate as they said they were. Believing any democrat on anything is an iffy proposition at best, but one can safely assume that these folks want to get re-elected.

The administration, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be worried about re-election as much as getting the important parts of the agenda passed. To this end, they seem to expect their new members to vote against the wishes of their constituents, and against their own interests in getting re-elected. What this resembles is the behavior of the WWII Japanese or the modern Taliban. Recruit newbies, tell them what a difference they're going to make for the cause, then tell them they're going to do this by committing suicide. Presumably they will, at some point, promise them an eye-catching memorial.

As of today, the trend is toward a Republican-majority in the house after 2010. The big hope on the left is the knowledge that nothing that is passed ever gets repealed.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Sure I post mostly anonymously here, I have to work for a living, and there's no point in annoying people at work with my individual foibles. I annoy them plenty already with work-related ones. Still, get a load of the commenting rules over at NPR:

Sign up for the NPR Community

Welcome aboard, matey!

– Any comments you post to the site will include your full name, so please be aware of this before contributing to the site.

There are inquiring minds that will want to know. They pay us here. We also belong to their union.

– A simple user profile will be created showing your full name and nickname.

A front and side photo will be added later.

– Visitors to can view this profile, but it will not show up in external search engines.

A certain amount of denyability is required.

– The profile will display your comment history. Comments cannot be changed or deleted after you post them.

Everything will appear on your PERMANENT record, and can and will be used against you. What do you think you are, a Senator?

Unlike here. I don't like spam in the comments, but you may, at your own discretion, "spit on the floor and call the cat a bastard".

Worthy Cause

Everybody should have a worthy cause to promote. Tom Leher announced his at one of his concerts as being "Obscenity" (polite smattering of applause). "I'm FOR it." he continued (Huge round of applause), and proceeded to perform his promotional song "Smut!"

Worthy though it is, I've decided to tilt at a local windmill, in the form of the HOV lane designation on Sante Fe Blvd, from Littleton to I-25 in Denver. I'm against it.

Originally, Sante Fe was 4 lanes, no divider, lots of truck traffic, and many stoplights. A popular route from an industrial area to all points south, it had gotten to the point that it barely moved fast enough to provide multiple daily accidents. The local confab of municipal governments, DRGOG, noted its notoriety, and applied to get some of out tax money back from Washington to widen and improve the road. Which they did, widening the corridor to six lanes, and eliminating several connecting intersections, but at the cost of being required to designate one of the three lanes HOV at times of peak demand.

Right. When we need 3 lanes the most, we have to cur back to 2, just like before, to help subsidize the buses and the handful of carpoolers using the roadway. Well, OK, but shortly after this was imposed, the bus company branched out into trolleys, and ran their flagship line, you guessed it, along Sante Fe, and to encourage usage, essentially halted all bus service on that route.

The last time I had to use Sante Fe, it was winter, so I had to drive my pickup, and the government had assigned nobody from my neighborhood to work near my employer, so no carpooler. While parked in the #2 lane, waiting for the next light to change for the third time, I had time to count the cars, both in the HOV lane, and in the #2 and 3 lanes, reserved for the transportationally handicapped. It appears, that absent bus traffic, the HOV lane serves about 4% of the traffic during peak demand. This means that the road is reverted to the same state it was in before we got to spent some $23 million / lane mile on the improvements.

I am back commuting on Sante Fe, this time on my motorcycle, and I can report that the HOV lane, which I am permitted to use by virtue of being on a 2-wheeler, is empty enough to allow speeds (ahem) noticeably above the posted limit. This alongside a crowd of PO'd solo motorists, some of whom vent their frustrations by merging into the HOV lane.

I haven't seen them yet, but I expect to eventually. The city of Englewood has, in the past, enforced the HOV lane to the point that 4 cops standing at one of the traffic lights, can write $40 tickets as fast as writers cramp permits, which, to my estimation while parked in the #2 lane like a good boy, is about $2000/hour. This effort has been successful enough to traumatize the rest of the population into staying out of the #1 (HOV) lane, even when they would otherwise be allowed to use it. This, of course, increases the maintenance required on the other 2 lanes by about 50%, your tax bux at work.

So far the alphabet soup collection of agencies that I have contacted seem to favor eliminating the HOV designation. I am now contacting individual politicians from the bergs along the road, where I expect to find more resistance, at least initially. We'll see.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Free At Last!

I was told by my liberal friends that if Obama got elected, the dissidents imprisoned by the Republicans would finally be freed. They were right, although even they expected the dissidents in Gitmo would get out before Squeaky Fromme.

Can John Hinkley be far behind?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What Did I Tell You?

Just like I said, here's the first of them:

Can I call it or what?

What Did I Tell You?

Just like I said, here's the first of them:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Working For A Living

Or trying to anyway. My daughter sent me this pic, which is making the rounds:
I guess it depends on how you define "work". Check the employee parking behind any government building.

I got a short-term gig on the North side of town. One thing I notice driving in to work is that the traffic sure is light.

Working For A Living

Or trying to anyway. My daughter sent me this pic, which is making the rounds:

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sorting Out A Disputed Election

In Pakistan they really know how to do it right. If you don't approve of the winner, you simply knock them off, and try again in the next election. Benazer Bhutto comes to mind right up front, but wait, there's more.

You may have heard of the recent demise of Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban, who reputedly ascended to the post after "eliminating" his own brother from the competition. All that work and what do you get? A missile from a Predator drone, right in the middle of a leg massage. At least his legs aren't sore anymore.

The Taliban held a convention to pick a successor. Hakimullah Mehsud was elected. the loser, Wali-ur-Rehman, upset with the outcome, opened fire on Mehsud, killing him. Mehsud's followers fired back, killing Wally. I suspect that more than just the two were among the departed by the end of the "recount", and it appears that now they have to start all over with a new slate of candidates.

While putting "none of the above" on the ballot accomplishes the same thing, you have to admit the Pakistani method is certainly more exciting, plus there's the possibility of TV talking heads to become part of the collateral damage. A win-win-win situation.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Stimulus Money

I could use some of that stimulus money, so here's my suggestion for the next big thing:

Simoleans for Stickers

Under this $1.3 trillion bumper-sticker upgrade bill, everyone will be issued upgrade stickers for now-outdated bumper stickers.
You get a small one that says "NON-" to go in front of your old "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism"
You get "DONT" to go in front of "Question Authority"
You get "CONFORMITY" to overlay "Diversity" on your "Celebrate Diversity" sticker.

Of course you could always just swap the Authority with the Diversity and accomplish the same thing, but we all know how hard those stickers are to remove. I will earmark $10 million to develop an earth-friendly bumper sticker remover. I'm told that a mixture of gasoline and nitromethane works well. 10% Ethanol will be added to insure the support of the congressional delegations from Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana.

Maybe I'll just buy both stickers, cut them in half, and reverse the offending words.

$100 million has been earmarked to a think tank to come up with more such good ideas. Send recomme3ndations for funding to be sent to Billlls Idle Think-Tank to, with special mention of how patriotic I am for coming up with such a worthy use of the taxpayers money.

Upon receipt of the funding, all my regular readers will be invited to a local watering hole for an evening of high-level dr...thinking, all on me. The unemployed among you will be added to my staff.

Show Trials

The L.A. Times is reporting that Eric Holder, the U.S. answer to Felix Dzerzhinsky, has announced that he is near to appointing a special prosecutor:

U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. is poised to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA abuses committed during the interrogation of terrorism suspects, current and former U.S. government officials said.
Apparently using anything beyond the dreaded "comfy chair" on people who feel a religious obligation to kill as many Americans as possible is frowned upon by the current leadership, although publicly beating domestic dissidents and stationing "voter screeners" at polling places is acceptable.

Some cases have not previously been disclosed, including an instance in which a CIA operative brought a gun into an interrogation booth to force a detainee to talk, officials said.
Cultural equivalency takes the position that a bone in the nose is equivalent to, say, walking on the moon. In the detainees culture, if you are being questioned by the local authorities, and one of the interrogators brings a gun into the room, you may safely assume that if the quality of information you have been giving does not improve markedly in the next 30 seconds or so, that you will be leaving the room feet first in about 35 seconds.

Bracing for the worst, a small number of CIA officials have put off plans to retire or leave the agency so that they can maintain their access to classified files and be in a better position to defend against a Justice investigation.

"Once you're out, it gets a lot harder," said a retired CIA official who said he had spoken recently with former colleagues. The inquiry would probably also target private contractors who worked for the CIA during the interrogations.
Going after people who are in a poor position to defend themselves improves the chances of getting a headline-grabbing conviction. How much this will divert attention from the administrations problems with Cap and Tax and Nationalized Health Control remains to be seen.

On that note, it seems the congress critters, home to party with the people, seem to be genuinely surprised to find the natives to be quite restless:
Aide: "Sir, the peasants are revolting!"

Congress Critter, to himself: "You can say that again!"

The congress seems to take it as an affront that anyone should question their judgment. They seem to have forgotten that we didn't elect them for their judgment, we elected them to express ours.
Keep up the pressure. To paraphrase a quote attributed to Adlai Stevenson and Everett Dirksen; When they feel the heat, they (sometimes) see the light.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Job Market

Perusing the job boards, I came across this one, for a skateboarding instructor. The rate offered is $25/hr. Now tell me again why I went to engineering school? I suppose if stuff like this is popping up, the recession must be easing.

Noted in the National Review was that the loss of about 1/4 million jobs actually caused the unemployment rate to go down, to great celebration and hosannas in the white house. Later on in the article, it was revealed that this was accomplished by dropping about 3/4 million folks off the rolls of workers.

In June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the civilian labor force was 154,926,000 people.

In July, 796,000 of those were taken out of their definition of the workforce, and thus their unemployment calculations for this month, because they have stopped looking for work “because they believe no jobs are available for them.” Ten percent of the June workforce would be 15.4 million, 1 percent would be 1.5 million, and so 796,000 is roughly one half of one percent.

In other words, BLS took .5 percent of what you and I would consider unemployed and took them out of their total. And with that, unemployment went down one tenth of one percent.

I suppose that as the first of the baby boomers reach 62, and find themselves out of work and facing grim prospects, they take the much-reduced retirement route to keep the wolves from the door, and thus drop out of the work force. OTOH, the population of the country is inexorably increasing, probably faster than the boomers are receding, so I would expect the overall workforce to get larger, if anything.

On that note, here's a musical interlude, the theme song of the Democratic party for 2008-2012:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Art Appreciation II

My heart goes out to whomever it was that came up with the Obama-Joker image. The L.A. lefties are demanding he step foreword so he can be publicly tried and pilloried for hate crimes against humanity, and the right has taken the image and is turning it into $$$ on various sites as t-shirts, ties, and all the usual stuff.

Making your own poster in 8-1/2 x 11 and getting copies from Kinkos is fast becoming a national pastime, and John Hawkins of Right Wing News suggests that if you do this, make the posters up with multiple different slogans on them, as this causes people to look at all the posters they pass.

Read the posters! Collect the whole set!

Suggestion: Keep your slogan to 3 or 4 words only. They're much easier to read, and more memorable.

"Health Control"

We know it's not about care.

"I am your Banker"

"I am your auto"

"I am your media"

"I am your Fathe..." no wait, that one's taken.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gun for Sale

Machiavelli observed that while it is wonderful to be both feared and loved, if one had to choose only one, it would be better to be feared. Well, here you are, the baddest potato cannon on the block, and probably for several miles around.
This baby was built to chunk pumpkins, and does so with great enthusiasm. Powered by compressed air, the compressor is a 35 CFM unit driven by a 39 hp Kubota diesel. The 15 cu ft tank fills to 85 psi in just a couple of minutes, and the hand made quick-acting valve snaps open at the push of a button to lob your projectile up to 1/2 mile through the 10 inch dia PVC barrel.

When squash are out of season, 12 lb bowling balls fly the same distance. The barrel shown here was damaged, but the gun includes a 2-piece, heavy duty replacement totaling 26 ft. The components are mounted on a 2-axle car carrier trailer, and all are bolted on, no welding was done on the trailer.

The complete unit weighs 3500 lbs, and the trailer does not have brakes, so be sure to use an appropriate tow vehicle.

Built by the Denver Mad Scientists Club, who, by the way, need a web page person, interest has waned, and storage may soon become an issue. For $1500 this cutting edge technology can be yours.

Complete advert is here. Along with contact info.

Update: New advert addy with better pics, possibly movies as well.

Art Appreciation

Here are two works based on the same theme:
This one is described as "edgy and insightful commentary on the administration".
This one was described as "hateful and racist, lacking only the noose".

I'm sure someone who has studied art appreciation at, say, Harvard, could tell you instantly what it is that differentiates the two.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dems Turn On Voters

And I don't mean that in a groovy good way:

What you gonna do with P.O.'d people?
What you gonna do with P.O.'d people?
What you gonna do with P.O.'d people?
Early in the Morning.

Call the cops and have 'em busted!
Call the cops and have 'em busted!
Call the cops and have 'em busted!
Early in the morning.

What you gonna do with an arrogant Rep now?
What you gonna do with an arrogant Rep now?
What you gonna do with an arrogant Rep now?
Early in the morning.

Show up at their office and give 'em hell now!
Show up at their meetin' and give 'em hell now!
Show up at the polls and turn the bums out!
Early in the morning.

Feinstein has constituents arrested at her office:

Yes folks, pay a visit to your congressthing and, rather than listening
to you, get charged with trespass?

Hat tip to the Welshman:

And thanks to Jed, whose blog Freedomsight is temporarily out of service, who sent me the note about Feinstein. Blame me for the sea chantey.

Gun Show Report

This weeks gun show was again, modestly attended. Prices are coming down, but the sellers still have inventory for which they overpaid to get rid of. Consensus at our table was that we have gotten past the time of "Oh my god, Obama's going to take our guns, better buy now!" and moved on to the "Oh my god, Obama's going to take our money, better not spend any!"

On a lighter note, Julys postal match from Sailor Curt is now over. Results will be posted eventually. This too seems to have been under-attended, possibly because everyone is hoarding ammo. Anyway, for those of you who play golf, here's the target:
Nice course. The drill is to hit each red "hole" one time. Theoretical best score would be 5. Take as many shots as you need from 21 ft. Note that hits in the "sand" count +1 for 2 strokes each. Hits in the water count +2 for 3 strokes each. Anything else counts 1.

I'm sure you golfers have had days like this: Hole #1 (top left) 2 shots. Hole #2 (top right) 1 shot. Hole #3 (bottom center), 1 shot. Hole #4 (right center) 4 shots, which wouldn't have been so bad if 2 of them hadn't been in the sand, and the 3rd on in the water for a score of 8.

Hole #5 (left center). About here I seem to have come down with a severe case of the DTs or something. I hit the thing only on the 11th shot. Damn good thing there was no sand or water close by.

Resisting the temptation to wave the gun in the air and scream "Rat Shit!", I put up another target and tried again. Did better. How much better we'll see.

Update: Thanks to Sailor Curt generously giving me a 1-stroke handicap, I have a tie for second place. Curtis Lowe has the August match ready. Get your guns, and get shooting.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

DeGette To Hide From Voters

Maybe this is the new 21st century and I'm just out of date, but I hadn't heard of it before. Instead of an in-person town hall meeting in a properly sized venue, Congresswoman DeGette (D, CO-1) will be taking calls which will be well-filtered beforehand.

The format for being possibly heard, is to sign up for a kind of conference call in which you get to listen to DeGette and a friendly moderator hold forth on the wonderful job she's been doing, providing you with the Porkulous bill, the Cap and Tax energy bill, Cash for Clunkers, and soon, nationalized health care. And let's not even begin on the wonderful tax hikes on the evil rich. Here's the format:
  • Thousands of constituents are called and asked to stay on the line to join a live telephone town hall with U.S. Rep. DeGette.
  • For those who submit this form with your phone number, you will receive a call.
  • Those who remain on the line will hear U.S. Rep. DeGette and a moderator.
  • People who wish to ask questions can press a button on their phone and be connected to a staffer who puts the constituent into a ‘queue’ along with others who have questions.
In addition to your phone number, they ask for your zip code. If you think they might actually let you ask a question, use 80201, which is within her district, otherwise the friendly staffer will likely put you into the queue for don't call us, we'll call you.

In a real live town hall meeting, questions that the politician would normally brush off are sometimes met with widespread murmurs, (grumbles, shouts, etc) of agreement which were not what the pol expected. This lets him know that he's missing out on an issue. The telephone format eliminates this, and the friendly staffers insure that the pol and anybody on the conference call will hear only the party line. This isolates the pol from the dissenters, and the dissenters from each other, encouraging the pol, and stifling dissent.

Of course it also saves the bother of having the police eject noisy voters, or, in some cases, provide the pol with cover during his or her escape. Thanks to Jed for the link.