Thursday, June 28, 2012


So the Supremes decided that while the government can't legally require you to buy a Chevy Volt, it can legally impose a stiff tax on you if you don't.

Romney is campaigning on the premise that he will work to get the whole thing repealed, which I believe to be as likely as putting a unicorn in every garage. Repeal would normally require a House majority, 60 votes in the Senate, and a compliant president. 2 out of 3 won't work, and I don't see the Republicans picking up enough Senate seats to pull this off.

The tiny ray of hope comes from the re-definition of the mandate as a tax. Tax measures are exempt from the filibuster in the Senate, so while repeal of the whole thing is probably impossible, it may be possible to hamstring it by repealing the tax part.

We shall see.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Burning Chrome

In William Gibson's book of the same name, a cyberhacker type attacks the bank account of a large corporate entity (Chrome) and successfully transfers most of the corporate finances to parts unknown but to him.

Today it seems, the feat has been duplicated, only larger as multiple European banks have had assets transferred to parts unknown. According to the story, it's still happening as the bankers are slow to slam the electronic doors to the vaults.

It's 7:50 PM MDT. Do you know where your money is?

In an unrelated story, the Obama campaign has announced that being outspent by Romney is no longer a worry.


Here's why I'll never have a career in the government:
“If anyone wants to advance safety through regulation, it can’t be done without further loss of life,”

William Voss, chief executive officer of the  Flight Safety Foundation.
Also why we don't need any more government. By this reasoning the best way to expand the size of a bureaucracy is to have it fail at it's assigned mission, thus proving that more of the bureaucracy is needed.

Oh wait....

Making Human Organs

On a chip. The latest killer app for your I-phone? Hell if this works I'm getting one. I could use several new organs at this point, and the prognosis for the rest isn't getting any better.

Come to think of it, isn't Microsquash's latest offering called the Slab? Human organs squelching away on a slab? The stuff Mad Scientists are made of!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Smoke to the North of me (Ft Collins and Boulder). Smoke to the South of me (Colo Spgs). Smoke to the East of me (Bennet), smoke all around me, here on the edge of the Smokey Mountains of Colorado.

Update: Wind shifts, flames move toward Boulder, hippies from Denver jostle to get preferred places down wind.

Headline Fun

Japan police probe man who cooked own genitals

Adding insult to injury....

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Existential Question

If you still had a rotary dial phone, and the phone maze you got into wanted you to '"press one for English", would the dialed signal work?

How about text? Would dialing "5" 3 times get you an "L"?

Dead Tree Journalism

Here's a piece about how the old model of journalism can't possibly be done without, citing reporters writing copy up to their knees in floodwaters during Katrina. Money quote:
"Every citizen can be a reporter," she said.
It's already here. The Wall St Journal, Drudge, and Complete Colorado are already available on your wireless internet device.

Range Report, Hi Point 4095

And Remington Nylon 66, but for now, loading .40 S&W at Hodgdon's recommended maximum of 5.9 gr of Titegroup under Barry's 155 gr round nose hollow base plated bullets delivers 1450 fps from a barrel lapped with Dave Tubbs' lapping bullets. Average velocity with the recommended minimum load was 1380 fps. FWIW, using Barry's plated bullets in the lapped barrel, I got no evidence of the plating failing even at the maximum velocities.

 Notes on the Remington: The gun makes extensive use of plastic (Nylon, duh) which at 104 degrees is a bit soft. The scope will hold a zero as long as you handle the gun carefully and don't bang it around, otherwise it walks all over the place.

Gun Fun and Lessons Learned

Yesterday was the clubs Blow Up The World BBQ and day at the range. Generally a fun time.

1. Don't bring more stuff that you actually need. Yes it was 104 degrees, and yes the shelter was a good idea, but...

 2. Pack as much of the big bulky stuff as you can the night before. This is easier when you don't have to work late Friday after working late most of the week.

3. Don't try to squeeze too much into what should be mostly a social event. Bringing a postal match along detracts from the socialization. Bringing a difficult postal match and a novice takes a big hit.

4. Co-ordinate with your shooting buddies. We had enough water between us to douse a forest fire. Unfortunately all the fires are over 100 miles away.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gun Fun

A good day at the range begins when you have to check the air in the tires of the stuff you plan to shoot there.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gun Running

The president has invoked executive privilege in the matter of turning over documents relating to Fast and Furious. Notwithstanding the somewhat checkered history of this doctrine, it has been pointed out that the primary purpose is to protect confidential communications between the president and his cabinet or foreign dignitaries.

Invoking executive privilege implies a direct presidential involvement with the F&F program, which I'm sure the prez would just as soon remained very confidential, having denied knowing anything about it repeatedly.

It helps when the media, in possession of evidence to the contrary, suppresses it. Unfortunately those old videos that wound up on the web never actually go away, and often can't be erased no matter who is embarrassed by them.

This makes it look like not only did everyone of any consequence get involved in the program, but that it was the president's brainchild to begin with.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Entrepreneurial Capitalism

Over on the Firearm Blog there's an article that restores my faith in the free market economy. Here's a fellow who recognized the opportunity in the New York gun buybacks, and is taking advantage of it.

It seems the NYPD will give you up to $300 for turning in a gun, no questions asked, and will then destroy the evidence for you. Being of an artistic bent, and full of avarice, Tom Sachs first builds zip guns as art, charges people to see them, then turns the art in to the NYPD who actually pays him for it.

This one actually works as opposed to some of the other items which are non-working art pieces.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


France has elected a solid majority of Socialists to their parliament to compliment the Socialist they just elected president.

This will not end well, and with the kind of support President Francois Hollande is about to get, the end should be quite near. Keep a supply of popcorn around, and some nice California wine to go with it.

My bank here in Colorado, is ultimately owned by the biggest bank in France. Perhaps I should consider relocating some funds.

Ammo Shortage?

I asked my daughter for a brick of .22 for fathers day. Cheap and easy to find at Wal-Mart.

Wal Mart didn't have any. Instead they had mini-bricks, 225 rounds in smaller boxes.

When the zombies come, aim carefully, the ammo you save will be your own.

The Gun Control Debate

Using the word "debate" rather charitably here, here's a clip of S.E. Cupp debating with 4 antis on a TV news show. As was noted, 4:1 odds seem a bit steep, and keeping abreast of the arguments and countering them as they come up is very difficult.

The lead man for the antis is Dan Gross, current front man for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Ownership Violence. His position is that for an extra $12 added to the price of  any newly manufactured gun, shell casings and bullets can then be quickly traced back to the guns registered owner.See? Registered guns, and the owners pick up the tab for the registration.

The point being missed here is the bit about registration of the gun to a specific owner. One might as well suggest that if you buy a gun, the gun would not only be registered to you, but the guns serial number be tattooed on your arm. Should you give up your gun, the number would be struck through, showing that you're probably unarmed, but nevertheless a person of interest.

Mr Gross denies that he favors confiscation, but if you go back to the previous incarnation of his group, Handgun Control, the founders there were forthright about their desire to confiscate every gun in the country. Their idea of compromise was to grab the hand guns first.

The other item not touched on was the follow-up to registration, which is the annual renewal that would be required, and the ever-increasing cost of said renewal. Some states have this already.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Future Of Transportation - Toys

Toyota is experimenting with a plastic-bodied electric car aimed at the child market in the hopes that it will inspire the incipient drivers to buy the real thing when they get old enough for a drivers license.
An interesting marketing ploy. The vehicle seats 3 and goes 25 mph. I'd want at least an acre before I'd let a kid drive something like that around, especially with 2 other kids in the back seats.The styling shown here must be something uniquely appealing to Japanese sensabilities.

 Over here one can purchase street legal golf carts with the styling of anything from a CJ Jeep to a Rolls Royce. I have seen 2 dealerships for them, but have yet to see one tootling down the street.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gun Control

Why is Chicago more dangerous than Mogadishu? Because they have better gun control. Actually if Moga City has any gun control laws at all, it would seem they are roundly ignored.

Why does Detroit have the highest justifiable homicide rate in the country? Because it has the highest population of people who need killin' I guess. Also somewhat more lenient gun control laws.

Note that in Chicago where no one's allowed to have a gun, it's thug-on thug shooting with associated collateral damage. In Detroit, it's the citizens defending themselves from the thugs.

Gun control: It's not about guns, it's about control.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Aerospace Workers Union to Organize the Unemployed

An offshoot of the International Aerospace Workers union has announced it will be organizing the unemployed. Don't take these folks threats to stay off the job idly, they surely mean business.

I imagine the structure thusly:
The unemployed unionize, and the union bosses threaten that if their demands are not met, they will fail to show up at the polls this November.
Frightened pols accede to the demand that unemployment benefits be raised by an amount equal to the union dues. The unemployed are told of the increase.
The deal stipulates that the dues will be paid directly to the union by the government. The unemployed will see no change in their check sizes.
The union will spread the money around among friendly pols who promise to raise the unemployment benefits. Dues, which are based on a percentage of the bennies, increase as well, but since no one sees them except the union, no one will miss them.

Both the union and the pols benefit from having high unemployment.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Indiana To Allow Shooting Of Politicians

That's the good news. The bad news is that the law was apparently written by the same pack of bozos who write all the rest of them. From AlGov:
Police officers in Indiana are upset over a new law allowing residents to use deadly force against public servants, including law enforcement officers, who unlawfully enter their homes. It was signed by Republican Governor Mitch Daniels in March.
Now I don't advocate shooting cops without a really good reason, and getting pulled over for 40 over in a school zone is not a good reason, no matter how many beers you've had. What probably happened here is that a perfectly good law allowing citizens to shoot politicians ran afoul of the equal protection clause of the constitution which forbids giving anyone special privileges.

Update: The law addresses a bad state Supreme Court decision and sets things back the way they were. Radly Balko has the details.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nature, Red in Tooth and Claw

Nothing like a good video of the fanged predator running down the fleet, but doomed cute furry prey right?

O.K. it's not a cheetah pulling down a Gazelle, but you've seen that one a million times already.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Early Polls

Given that polls this far in advance of an election can afford to produce whatever answer the person or group paying for it desires, bring a dab of salt along but here's one that has Romney carrying the nations biggest bastion of union voters, Michigan.

Of course it's possible that the loyal UAW guys were thinking of Mitt's father, George, who made American Motors the jobs powerhouse it is today.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


You know it will happen, because any interaction with government wherein a civilian says, "No" eventually ends with guns in the civilian's face.

Silicone Graybeard

SWATting Flies

Referencing the post below, the feds probably can't do anything about the practice unless the fake phone call came from across a state line. In any other case, the crime is strictly a local beef like filing a false report. Still, if it draws attention to the practice, that's probably a good thing and might encourage some of your local Reps and Sens to sponsor legislation making the practice a big-time felony.

Dropping them a line or a note suggesting this is a good start.

Going Postal

Saxby Chandlis has asked the Holder DOJ to investigate the practice of SWATing conservative bloggers, faking a phone call describing a shooting at the bloggers home. The practice brings out the SWAT team, guns drawn, looking for a shooter.

I expect the DOJ to pursue this with the same enthusiasm as they did the NBPP voter intimidation action in Pennsylvania, or the busing of Michiganders into Wisconsin for the Walker recall.

Meantime, the first entry in the 2012 e-Postal match seems to be shaping up:
This from Day-by-Day.

Update: The Broxton Bridge Plantation has 3 points so far, and Damon from Day by Day seems to have 1150 points in the fantasy division.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Urban Farming

The peaches are now easily noticeable from the back porch, and there is a noticeable absence of once-bitten green peaches on the ground. The squirrel trap has netted me somewhat more than 20 of the tree rats in the last 3 weeks, and the big problem is what to do with the bodies when you're looking at 6 very hot days between offing one and trash day.

Indispensable addition to the trap is a 5-gallon bucket with a lid in which a kitchen bag will hold your weekly catch and keep the odor down. Squirt a little insecticide in it and you're good to go.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Election Day

In Wisconsin, where the outcome isn't in all that much doubt, at least at the top of the ticket. Still, with the polls open a bare 4 hours, the Dems are crying in their beer over alleged phone calls telling Dems that if they signed the recall petition, they don't need to actually vote in the election.

This is right up there with telling them that Republicans will be voting today, and Dems will be voting tomorrow. Paying for a recall election: $60M. Having constituents too stupid to vote: Priceless.

Still, despite squeals about voter suppression, Madison claims to be on track to show 119% turnout. Shades of Baghdad, but up there, the game actually permits this.

If you can't provide leadership, at least provide entertainment.

Update: It gets better, The Unions were bringing in busloads of Michigan residents to inflate the vote for their side. One of the bus riders ratted them out to a radio show.  No word on weather the plot was foiled or if the union police sided with the Dems.

Meanwhile the buses must be behind schedule as the Dems have sued to have the polls in heavily Dem areas kept open late.

Vote fraud? Sure! And not even subtle.

On the other hand, if the margin is big enough, even the best cheating doesn't carry the day.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Headline Fun

What if America had a queen?

Dude, we've got thousands of them.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gun Show

 Worked today's gun show on behalf of the Colorado Shooting Sports Association, mostly selling raffle tickets for an M1 Garand. Chat with the people, and pass on information.

Shooting buddy stopped by wearing a well-worn "shoot-me-first" vest which we kidded him about and Booth Partner showed off his own sartorial contribution, a vest long enough to be worn in public by a devout mullah, and containing, by his count, 23 pockets, at least two of which were clear plastic fronted so as to show off your hidden I.D. card.

There was a pocket specifically for a pen, containing a pen, one that nicely held a speedloader, 5 rounds, to a gun he wasn't carrying, and at least one which at one time held a magazine to a .45, which he was carrying, but which had transferred the magazine to the lower parts of the vest lining through a hole he could not find.

Manipulating the vest, we could see the magazine through the mesh liner but couldn't figure out how the thing had gotten in there. Perhaps the vest maker should consider a zip-in liner. Booth buddy was advised by several people not to use the vest as a magazine holder for IDPA shooting. A fairly amusing time was had by all.

Gosh, this is a whole lot more fun than kvetching about politics!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Gun Fun - E-Postal

2-fers weekend this weekend. You can shoot the Milles Bourne match from Sand Castle Scrolls, and you can shoot some billiards over at Random Nuclear Strikes.

This one is tiny, just like you'd see it at 7 yards. Go over to RNS and download the real one, which is slightly larger.

Sand Castle has extended the deadline on account of the month ending so close to a weekend, and RNS has already done the same so if you like to procrastinate, you'll be able to shoot the pool balls plus whatever the July match is on July 7th

The billiards match is a "shoot until you miss" match with a maximum score of 7 since you get to shoot odds or evens. This is a great ammo saver as I'll miss on the first shot, get lucky and hit the second, then miss the third, rendering the target UN-submittable as you're only allowed one miss. Kinkos, on the other hand, will love this as I'll have to put up about a dozen targets to get one I can send in for each gun.